The Labour Planet - Working Title - Part Two - 1103 words
The Labour Planet Part Two 1103 words
Once on board Jamie tried to take in his surroundings. After the noise of the crowd it was eerily quiet in this vestibule which he supposed led on to the deck area but what really drew his attention was how orderly everything was, there was none of the chaos he was expecting and he was confused because there was no sign of all the people he had seen get on the ship. The guard whose ammunition belt he had picked up poked him in the back.
“I’ll take you down to reception,” he said.
“Down” thought Jamie. This is a ship, an air ship, there is no down.
“Where are all the people?” Jamie asked.
“You’ll see them when you have gone through reception.”
With that the guard pushed Jamie forward and kept pushing until they reached what looked like a chute.
“Get in,” said the guard.
“I don’t think I want to,” Jamie said nervously.
“Get in,” said the guard using his gun to poke Jamie forward.
As the guard looked as if he would use it Jamie did as he was told and climbed into the chute which immediately whizzed him down, so far down he was completely at a loss as to what sort of ship this was. All the air ships he had seen on his televisual simulator usually had just one cargo area which was always on the same level as the deck. But he had no time to think anymore about it as he suddenly crashed into a barrier and was just picking himself up when a guard appeared seemingly from nowhere.
“You the last?” He said pointing his gun.
“Then get out of the chute and I’ll take you through to reception.”
Jamie apprehensively did as he was told. This guard didn’t look as if he was the sort who would accept non-compliance either. From what he had seen so far the guards were only too ready to use their guns to make a point. Once again, he was pushed forward until he reached a door which the guard opened by pressing what Jamie now saw was a button on his belt. The door hissed open and Jamie was pushed inside. The door hissed again as it closed behind him. He was in a small, round room with nothing in it except a very strong light which was strobing the room. Then from out of the wall came a machine with some kind of scanner at one end. The scanner went all over Jamie’s body before a green light came on. Then an unseen voice that sounded as if it was above him said,
“You are clear to go through. When the door opens do not stay where you are. I repeat, do not stay where you are. You must exit immediately. Do you understand?”
“Yes” said Jamie “I understand.”
With that the doors hissed open. Jamie was immediately hit by the noise. He could see people wandering about looking dazed or huddled together whimpering and some were crying but there were some that were just screaming. His ears were assaulted by this cacophony of sound as he stood rooted to the spot.
The disembodied voice said
“Exit immediately! Exit immediately…or you will die!”
Jamie stepped out of the room and was quickly grabbed by two guards and then one of them pressed the button on his belt and another door hissed open and he was thrown inside before it hissed closed again.
“What’s going on?” Jamie asked a middle aged man with a nasty, gaping wound over one eye.
“We’ve not been told anything.” The man said.
“It’s outrageous; the government will not get away with this; treating people like animals and herding them into some kind of people pen.”
“I should keep opinions like that to yourself, son, if you know what’s good for you. That is very dangerous talk down here and if a guard was to hear you…”
“So what if a guard should hear me?” said Jamie, unrepentant.
“They would kill you and by saying such things to me you put us both in danger.” And with that the man edged away.
Jamie tried to take stock of his surroundings but it was all too confusing. People were wandering aimlessly about and some looked as if they were in need of urgent medical attention. Others looked as if they were losing their minds. The people that were screaming were the ones that now drew his attention because he could see no reason why they were making so much more noise than the rest.
Then he noticed a young woman who stood out because she was so calm and she was clean and smart. Was she someone in authority Jamie wondered? She certainly seemed different from everyone else in that place but surely it would be dangerous for her to be down here with all that was going on without any guards to protect her. Jamie wondered if he dare risk going to talk to her. But then he thought if I am to understand what is going on down here then I need to talk to someone and she looks the most likely candidate to be able to give me that information. Cautiously he sidled up to the woman and stood for a few moments before he spoke.
“Have you any idea what’s going on here?”
“No, I’m afraid not,” the young woman replied.
“Well, what is your best guess?”
“That this is not the work of our government.”
“No,” said Jamie, “Why do you say that? Who else would it be?”
“Because before all this I worked for the government and although I didn’t have security clearance on work that involved cooperating with other countries my duties did include working on the Government’s plan for saving the population of England.”
“Only the population of England?” said Jamie
“Yes. Since Scotland, Ireland and Wales broke away from us and formed their so-called Tri-Alliance they had consistently fought to undermine any of our attempts at cooperation with them so our government took the view that we needed to act unilaterally.”
“Okay, so who else would it be if this is not the work of our government?”
“I have no idea but something’s not right about this,” she said. “No government would treat its people like this. They would never get away with it. Separating mothers from their children and dragging people out if they so much as object to the way they are being treated. And that’s not all; those that have been dragged out have not come back.”