Photo: Inject by Furumaru on DeviantArt.com, http://www.deviantart.com/art/Inject-71167069
“Do what?” Security officer Dawn Mitchell stared at her Sergeant.
He consulted the wrist pad on the back of his SWAT suit. “Yeah. Crazy. But that’s the word from the government.” He tapped a key and her pad chimed.
She looked at the memo. “Holy space. Everybody? What about us?”
He shrugged. “I expect we’ll get the shots too, sooner or later.”
Dawn’s stomach rolled. She kept her voice soft. “But Sarge, docility shots? How’s that supposed to work?”
He looked around. No one was near. “Beats me.”
They spent the rest of the month, escorting medtechs from house to house and apartment to apartment, giving the mandatory shots. Some people were scared to resist. Dawn appreciated that. She hated having to shoot women and the elderly. Others resisted. She could appreciate their concern and admire their spine but it didn’t do any good. They just stunned them and the resisters were given the shot and marked down in a database tracking trouble-makers.
It wasn’t until six months later that the news began to report an increased number of hospitalizations. No word on what the problem was but it already affected ten percent of the planet’s population and was rising. Dawn was at weapons practice. “My mom had to go to the hospital,” she said quietly to her Sergeant. “I think it’s the thing. Whatever is going around.”
Her Sergeant coughed and made a quick look around. The rest of the team was focused on cleaning their weapons. “My father-in-law, too. They won’t let us see him or tell us what’s wrong.”
“Me too,” she whispered. “You think it’s the shots?”
He shook his head. “Who knows. But we didn’t get the shots. I haven’t heard of any of us getting sick.”
A month later the Sergeant stood in front of his team, all in full SWAT gear. “We’re gathering up all children under the age of five.”
Everyone in the room gasped, turning to their neighbor to whisper.
“At ease! Young children did not get the shot. We’re collecting them for Child Services for protection. The Illness is gaining ground. Parents are unable to care for their young. This is a humanitarian mission. Stun only for those parents not willing to let us take their children.”
Dawn swallowed. Her mother died two weeks ago, her father last week. Her husband, an accountant, was sick but not yet in the hospital. She wasn’t sure she could rip kids away from their parents. She called out. “What if the parents aren’t sick?”
The look on her Sergeant’s face told her he didn’t like the mission any more than she did. “All the kids.”
Back in the locker room, Dawn pulled off her armor. She was soaked with sweat. The day wasn’t too hard after all, since the parents had all had the passivity shot. There was weeping, cries of no, but it was the kids, screaming for their parents that hit her the hardest. She ran her hands through her hair. It seemed that security forces personnel could keep their kids, even if the spouse had the shot. She showered and put on her civvies.
“I’m home.” Dawn put a small bag of groceries and a bottle of wine on the counter and went to the bedroom. “Hey, Scott, how you feeling babe?” The bed was rumpled, blankets and sheets twisted and half on the floor. She ran to the other side of the bed. No husband. “Scott!” She ran to the bathroom and threw open the door.
Something from a nightmare lunged at her, growling and grabbing. A gash was in its head, blood covered the face. She screamed and backed up. Racing for the bedroom door she ran through and slammed it shut just before the horror grabbed her. It banged on the door as she held it closed. It didn’t try the knob. “What the hell!” She tapped her wrist pad. “Security, There’s something in my bedroom!” She gave her address. “We’ll be right over, Officer Mitchell.”
They arrived in full gear and with medtechs in biohazard gear. “Stand back, Mitchell.” The lead officer motioned two security officers and two medtechs into position either side of the door. “One. Two. Three.” He kicked the door in, the two officers stunned the monster and the medtechs wrapped it in secure sheets and put it on the gurney standing by at the front door.
Dawn, calmer now. Looked at the body. “No! No! That can’t be.”
Two officers moved to contain her.
“That’s can’t be!”
The lead officer motioned the medtechs to get the gurney out. He walked over to her. “Officer Mitchell.”
His command voice gained her attention. “You will not speak of this. Your husband was sick and went to the hospital. Understood?”
She blinked, still staring at the front door. “Scott is sick. He went to the hospital.”
He nodded. The two security officers left. “Keep it together, officer. Hear me?”
This time his voice was kinder. “They took my wife away three days ago.”
Dawn nodded, tears forming. “Understood.”
Within six months, the city was all but deserted. Children were in camps. Cities were being consolidated. The governments consolidating as well.
“This is a curve I wasn’t expecting.” Dawn said to her Sergeant as they packed up their gear.
He sighed. “Yeah. I just wonder if this is the future they expected.”