Enemy of the Planet

Warning: Disturbing content.

She looked down upon him with cold gray-steel eyes. Water-washed auburn hair hung down to her shoulders. She wore no makeup but her natural features provided enough to inappropriately stimulate him. Her dark green well-fitted uniform rustled as she moved to the chair in front of him. The thin frame stirred him even more. In another world, she would have been a cover model or a TV broadcaster. A slight hint of body odor penetrated his nostrils.

He yelped as a baton rapped his shackled hands. Red welts appeared on his knuckles. “Pay attention! The Colonel asked you a question!” a squeaky high-pitched voice said beside him.

Brian faced his interrogator. She sat down across from him, never leaving her eyes off him. “Again, Mr. Lima. Do you know why you’re here?” Her voice came barely above a whisper.

For a moment, he found himself caught in her penetrating gaze. He paused, then shook his head vigorously. “No, I don’t,” he answered, not daring to say more. He tried to shift his legs, but they too were chained.

She blinked, then gave him a warm smile. He saw a slight yellow tinge on her teeth, remembering that toothpaste had been banned two years before. She reached out with her hand and caressed his bruised knuckles. He licked his lips as they dried.

“Let me introduce myself, Mr. Lima. I am Campbell, Senior Protector for the Office of Public Safety.” She drew her hands back. “You may also call me Colonel Campbell, if that makes you more comfortable.”

“Mrs. Campbell is the best at what she does! She protects Mother Earth with beauty and grace!” That high-pitched voice shouted again. Brian snuck a glance to his side. There stood a pudgy preteen girl in coke bottle glasses. Pimples covered her upper lip and cheeks. She wore the same type of uniform as Campbell but this one was too large for her. He shuddered at the baton in her hands.

Ms. Campbell, Regina,” the interrogator corrected with a sharp tone in her voice. Regina quieted down.

“Colonel,” he said with deliberate slowness, “I have done nothing wrong. I do not understand why they brought me in.”

A second passed. Campbell gave a small nod to Regina. Brian flinched as the baton struck his hands again. The chains clinked as he reflexively tried to move them away. The baton struck again. He gritted his teeth.

“Brian. May I call you Brian?” Campbell said, her voice covered in silk. “We can make this easy or we can make this difficult. Believe me, I want to help you. All you have to do is cooperate. All you need to do is tell us where you got the product.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Brian answered, forcing his voice not to quiver. He closed his eyes, waiting for the baton. It did not come.

His interrogator sighed. “Please, Brian. I’m trying to be your friend. Stop trying to hide things from us. We found the product in your companion when we performed the dissection…”

“My wife…” he muttered before realizing in horror his mistake.

She raised an eyebrow. “Mr. Lima, a wife? Why is this not in your record?” She paused. “Are you telling me that you planned to procreate?”

Tears came to his eyes and he shook his head. “No, no! We weren’t planning anything! We just wanted to be closer as human beings!”

“Mr. Lima, you do know that the practice of marriage is heavily regulated to reduce the risk of unsanctioned procreation? Any violation incurs severe penalties.”

He nodded. His shoulders slumped.

“Oh, I understand,” she said sympathetically. “We’re wired to build bonds with each other, especially sexual ones. But some of the things we’re wired for, they’re not good for the environment. They’re not good for our children. As responsible stewards, we must sacrifice a few of these urges for the greater good.” She brushed her hair back. “Do you understand?”

He nodded again.

Campbell tilted her head. “Still, my condolences. We regret her accidental death.” She pursed her lips. “Our Planet Protection Teams tend to be zealous in their enforcement of the Green Deals.”

Brian did not respond.

“Brian, you can end your nightmare. Just tell us who supplied the product.”

Again, Brian made no reply.

Campbell sighed again and rubbed her fingers across her brow. Her eyes hardened. “Fine, Mr. Lima. We’ll do this the difficult way. Regina?”

Regina nodded and went to the steel door of the interrogation. She knocked on it three times. The blows echoed across the room. The door swung open and two burly male guards stepped in.

Brian’s eyes widened as they approached him. One grabbed his hair and throat and held his head back. The other brought out an amber bottle with a dark liquid inside. Brian tried to scream, but the grip on his throat tightened.

“Don’t resist, Mr. Lima. It will be over in moments.” Campbell’s voice laced itself with jagged ice.

They forced it down his throat. It tasted of piss and rot covered with sugar. The chains rang as he tried to bring his hands to his throat, but he could not free them. The guard that had given him the liquid brought a large metal bowl in front of him. The other guard released his grip on his throat and pushed his head forward. Brian tried to throw up the liquid. He failed.

They waited in anticipation. Five minutes later, Brian felt his gag reflex go out of control. It came in heaving waves. His tongue and throat burned like fire. The contents of his GI tract burst out into the bowl. Red liquid pouring out at first. Wine. Then chunks of dark colored meat. He vomited for what felt like ten minutes. The guard held his head tight as he struggled. Finally, nothing else came out, yet Brian could not stop. He dry heaved for a few moments more before the guard let him go. They moved away.

Campbell sniffed. “Take note, Regina. Chicken, cow.” She sniffed again. “And turkey.”

“Chicken, cow, and turkey,” repeated the child soldier. “Chicken, cow, and turkey!” She said with fury. “This man is an enemy of the planet!”

The crack of the baton on his back forced Brian’s head into the bowl. He felt the recently consumed wine slosh across his lips. Desire swelled up within him, but he dared not. The baton struck his back again. A third time. A fourth time.

“Enemy of the planet! Enemy of the planet! Enemy of the planet!” shouted the squeaky high-pitched voice.

Campbell raised her hand. “That’s enough, Regina.” The child stopped.

Colonel Campbell nodded towards the guards. They brought Brian’s head out of the bowl. “This man is clearly exhausted. We’ll have to do this another time.” Another nod and the guards removed his shackles. They dragged him to the door.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Brian.” The voice was covered in silk again.

Note: This was a response to a writing prompt.

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