Life as a Worthless Worker

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Despair. That was the first thing I felt as I stepped down out of the train car and joined a lonesome line of homeless people. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and even if I did it wouldn't do me much good.

We were at a slave labour camp.

A good distance away was a camping site, with one large tent and multiple small tents pitched around it. We were in a wide, rocky valley surrounded by bush on either side. The train station we were at was merely an entrance to the valley.

Those things weren't what made me realize it was a labour camp; no it was the slave laborers who set off a painful weight in my chest and made me spiral into depressive understanding. I don't know if they were homeless or not, but there were at least ten people I could see, hobbling around the bush, dressed in rags, and looking defeated as they carried things or pulled wagons full of supplies behind them.

My eyes widened in shock as I realized that they weren't just hobbling around because they were tired, instead, on the legs of the workers nearest to me, I could see that they were chained around the ankles. I felt a rush of sympathy for them, and them with growing horror I realized what I was probably here to do.

Suddenly a soldier hit me upside of the head.

"Move faster." he growled. "Stop watching the filth."

I felt the strongest urge to punch him; and I probably would have if it wasn't for the heavy gun he had held in his left hand. So instead I picked up my pace and followed my desolate peers towards the biggest tent, and the closing of our fate.

As we approached the huge tent, which blocked whatever scene was behind from sight, two seemingly government officials exited the tent along with another soldier and a woman wearing an apron, a cook perhaps.

The officials walked leisurely towards us, seeming totally at home amongst this travesty. I scowled. I'd known the government was up to something nasty, and here was proof.

They stopped at the soldier who was leading us and gave some orders I couldn't hear from my position, but by their gestures and the evil looks on their faces I'd say they were saying something like this:

"Oh, these are homeless people? Perfect! More slaves for us to use to our unfair advantage! Quick, get them in the tent and chain them up and beat them, as that's only fair because they're filth. Now go!"

The officials stopped talking, and, indicating the line of homeless that I was sadly a part of, made the gesture for us to file towards the tent, and so we did.

The officials stayed behind, but the soldier and the cook followed us into the tent.

As we passed through the folds of canvas, we entered into a large room, with poles supporting the roof, a dirt floor, a few metal picnic tables set up, and one doorway leading to another room in the tent, probably some form of kitchen.

"Alright, now line up!" the soldier barked at us, and we fell back in order.

He paced along the line, stopping at each person and looking them up and down, weighing their strengths and weaknesses. The cook followed behind him, but stepped forwards to examine the people with her hands, trailing their muscles, body fat, cheeks, as if seeing how fit we were.

Eventually they stopped in front of me, and as the soldier watched me as the cook lifted my chin up, checked in my eyes, squeezed my arm, and felt my stomach. I locked eyes defiantly with the soldier the entire time. Then the cook nodded to the soldier and they moved on.

Once they were done examining everyone they moved to the side and conversed amongst themselves. I glanced around warily. All of us in the line were standing anxiously, fearful of what could happen to us.

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