When Will They Stop?

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Voices emanated from each part of the hallway, groups chatting, friends enthused. Hushed whispers mingled with them as the fierce and outspoken, loud speech intertwined with the soft, opinionated and cautious words of the ones too scared to reveal their views too loudly.

"I can't believe someone would do something this outrageous! I mean, what were they thinking, going against the State like this!?"

"How dare they!? My job is going to be just painful now! Ugh, I hate them!"

"How long do you think this is going to go on for?"

"Don't you think that this might be a good thing? The State has been so tough and controlling for so long. Maybe, this is time for us to band together and make a stand."

"Oh, my goodness! They're so brave doing something like that!"

"How do you think they did it? I mean, for all this to happen so quickly... I reckon it's a group of people."

"If they've taken away bombs and guns, what do you think they'll go after next? This is a time for us to be hunting down and killing these figures before any more of this happens!"

"What's happening to our country, to our lives!? Must we force ourselves to survive in an environment this frantic!? It's time we took a stand and killed the people destroying our lives!"

"How long will it be before the State starts searching our houses?"

"Why is this happening to us?"

Yes, of course, the population had found out. It had taken less than a day for the rumours to spread and suddenly everyone knew about the disappearance of the bombs and guns. It had gotten past the stage where everyone was concerned mainly with the individual parts of the rumour, discerning whether it was true or not, and on to the ethics and agreements and disagreements with what was taking place. 

Richard sighed. They always acted the same way - the population were like a machine and therefore always came out with the same answer each time. Hitching his bag back onto his shoulders, his pace quickened, head held straight. 

The buildings shifted, becoming lighter until light began streaming from the outside. As voices blurred together into a crumbled mess, brick and stone became separated with grass and bushes. He had reached the outside. And it was lovely. Great, tall trees filled with green undertones occupied the space along with happy screams of playing children and exhausted mothers trying to keep up. Fathers juggled children and toys, smiling and laughing as they entertained each other.

Richard sighed again. Unfortunately, this 'happy park fun' was all a facade. The fake trees, the bristling plastic grass - of course, real nature couldn't be found in a working facility like this. No, there was true nature but far away from workplaces as, according to the state, it distracted from the necessity of the war work. So, why did they place plastic objects to form a park here? For the children. Parents working here sometimes had kids to take care of. And sometimes they were single mums or dads with no partner to look after them, or the child was too young to be in a playgroup, or the parent/s were working too long and had no-one who could take care of the children for months on end. So, the children got to stay - with a park and everything.

Wheedling his way through the mass of adults and children, he kept his head low and waded through the park until the outskirts became visible. Hurrying through the last of the plastic grass, he arrived on the other side close to the buildings. Scanning the top of them, his eyes wavered over letters and numbers until finally they stopped at the top of a darker building on the words 'Chem785 - Etur'. He smiled.

He jogged towards the building, hands firmly in pockets, head low, avoiding any facial recognition from security cameras. They wouldn't notice a lone boy jogging past the buildings as such a movement was commonly performed by workers; however, Richard made sure to conceal any identity just in case. 

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