Wordle #152 and Writing Prompt, April 23rd – Dialogue pairing

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Full of attitude and unwarranted inflections Officer Grear enters the room, weapon drawn. His heart is a gasp, a bloodied, ill-fated moon. He takes aim and fires at the wardrobe just missing his target but arriving succinctly at his point. The weapon is silent but the emission of light and the smoking hole is sobering.

“You are taking the situation too lightly. Liberosis is reserved for times of peace.” Officer Grear regards Officer Noon, who is composed given his predicament.

“This has nothing to do with peace. This is prejudice. This is petulance. There is no excuse for what our government intends. This is genocide and I want no part of it.” Officer Noon looks truly pained. This is the first time he’s ever gone against his superiors more vexing still he is hoping to win Grear to his side. If he succeeds he’ll be condemning them both to death.

“Why risk our lives over a bunch of abnormals? They are disposable. We’re all disposable. Their deaths are going to bring peace to our people.” Grear lowers his weapon. His eyes remain fixed.

“The world we’re creating isn’t one I want to live in. It won’t stop with the mutants. The emperor is a paranoid man, he’ll find a new enemy, a new obsession.” Noon steadies himself without any obvious movement.

The tall soldier takes aim again. “I won’t miss the next time. You are very close to committing treason Officer Noon.”

“No I don’t imagine you will but killing me won’t banish your guilt given how long we’ve been friends.” Can words really undue years of brainwashing?

“Can you still call us friends after this?!” Grear asks his voice rising slightly.

“I don’t agree with your methods. I don’t even like you that much at the moment but we’re still friends. If I really meant nothing to you, your hand wouldn’t be shaking.” It’s a gamble provoking Grear, the man takes himself entirely too seriously.

Grear drops his gun cursing under his breath. “You’re not leaving me a lot of options here Mark. We have orders. This afternoon Anwar ceases to exist…every house…every mutant…every f-fucking jar of marmalade.” Grear’s voice breaks and for a moment he seems confused.

“You know as well as I that mutants are people. Their condition is not contagious, it’s a product of evolution and environment. They’re not a threat of any kind. If we only treated them with some goddamn respect we wouldn’t be in this predicament.” Noon plows forward eager to say his peace and emboldened by the other’s use of his first name.

“But the uprising…we need to set an example.” Grear’s voice has a pleading quality. Why won’t Noon see reason?

“An example? You want to use violence to discourage the use of violence? They’re just defending themselves.” Noon’s tone is cautiously sarcastic.

“When you say it like that, it sounds ridiculous but we’re well past negotiating with them.” Grear says settling into the conversation. Maybe there is still hope of winning Mark back to his side.

“They don’t stand a chance against the empire…it’s suicide…they are desperate for an alternative…as long as that alternative doesn’t require them to give up their freedom…they’ll negotiate it’s their best chance to survive.” It seems almost cruel to introduce doubt given the blood already on their hands.

“Even if you are right the others are out for blood. Not just the soldiers but the citizens. These mutants you care so much about are no better than vermin.” Grear is merely restating the propaganda but propaganda turned an entire populations on itself so it should suffice for one man.

“There is a photo in my left breast pocket take it out and look at it carefully.” Grear removes the photo almost tentatively and flips it over. “I found it in the last raid…their dead now…” The photo is ruined but the subjects are clear enough. It is a mother with her infant son. They are both mutants. Both deformed. Grear finds it uncomfortable viewing the image.

“What is she thinking?” Noon asks his voice is gentle but coaxing.

“How the hell should I know?! Her face is all fucked up I don’t even know where to look.” Grear snaps, his chest gripping.

“Look at her eyes…what is she feeling?” Noon rephrases but Grear doesn’t respond.

“What kind of life can someone like that have…killing them is merciful.” Grear says after a while. He’s seen something in the woman’s eyes, something that can’t be unseen.

“I suspect they would have had a very ordinary life…the reason their lives are such a struggle isn’t because their different…it’s because of intolerance…this whole fucking war is based on presumptions and superficiality.”

Although this is fictional I think it is relevant