Keyboard Warriors

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I’d like to just say that keyboard warriors are pretty awesome when you have nothing to do, and you just simply have to read a whole thread with a big bowl of popcorn in hand. Yes, you know who you are. If you don’t know who you are, here is a simple check list that may help to pinpoint who you are:

1. You’re the person that defends causes that no one really actually cares about. You’re the one that thinks hmm Photoshop is being used to change the appearance of people? They used an auto tuner during his/her performance? This is an outrage! How dare corporate America try to poison the hearts of my children! This is ludicrous!

2. You’re a person that reads through an article on the internet and realizes that everything on the internet is true. You freak out over a girl diving into a random pond where all of a sudden a Great White chases after her. You believe that we are living in a time period that existed almost a half a century ago. Occasionally, you’ll question if an asteroid is really about to destroy the earth because someone decided to edit a clip from Armageddon.

3. You’re that caring person that thinks a cat dancing with a pathetic human is animal abuse, or you thought steaks did not come from cows but just magically appeared in a grocery store.

4. You’re the person that has to be right. You are never wrong. If we continue to live in the society that we’re living in now, guns will surely kill people, and spoons will surely make people fat.

This is just to name a few keyboard warriors who tend to NEED attention, or just have to continue an argument behind a screen because they are too chicken shit to actually get into someone’s face. Seriously, I’ve read threads where people say what they would’ve done and blah blah blah.

For example, a guy was walking down the beach with some other people when they stumbled upon a shark. Yes, a dead shark. Apparently, its belly was moving around and they decided let’s play surgeon. A guy walks up with a dinky little  pocket knife and tears a whole in the sharks gut. Well, they discover three babies still alive inside the shark. This guy pulls the shark babies out and tosses them in the ocean without being gentle with them. This sparked a stupid argument that almost made me want to put my fist through my computer.

Someone decided that it was animal abuse because the guy just tossed the shark into the ocean without care. Then, people said they should’ve called someone to get the sharks cause now they’re going to die in the wild. I had to face palm myself for that bs argument as well. First of all, put yourself in this guy’s situation. You’re cutting open a shark that you do not know if it is still alive. You tap it and it doesn’t move. Then, you proceed to be a dumb ass and cut into the shark to discover live baby sharks. Now, if it was me, there was no way in hell I’d be pulling creatures out of a shark with the risk of pulling back a bloody red stump. Nah uh, not me. I give this guy huge props, but people got pissy and whiny because he wasn’t gentle. Okay, Kids, how about you bend over and toss a shark into the ocean gently. If you so happen to come back with a hand, kudos to you, but your argument is stupid! I swear, if the government doesn’t kill us first, it’ll be these sensitive assholes that think sharks are cute puppies and humans are robots.

Also, I think the most notorious keyboard warriors are the ones that keep tabs on every politician. Seriously, I think politics gets really old. It’s just who I am as a person. Yes, I am concern about the future of America. Yes, I am concerned about where my kids will be when they are older. Am I going to be able to change any of that sitting behind a keyboard and screaming like a crazy person? No, I’m not. If anything, my ass will be hauled to a psych ward.

I see memes talking about “Impeach Obama!”, “We the people want Obama gone!” , “There’s a petition to get rid of the Confederate Flag.” ‘You might be a racist if…”

I mean, seriously the list goes on forever. There’s always that one guy that learns how to put words on photos and turns it into a propaganda piece because pictures tell the truth. I remember seeing a meme that said, “This man claimed Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was hung in Iraq.” Then, I found this man’s face in an article month before and apparently he had murdered three people and was put to death. I mean, that is how simple lies and deception work. Someone takes a picture of a person doing something, writes something totally different, the world sees it, and now, we all are praising a murderer.

I mean, have we really come to the point where internet petitions, and writing our feelings online will make a difference in the world. Think about it, while we are focused on racism and sexism there are laws being passed while we are distracted. We are little giving the government an Ah-Ha moment because we are too busy arguing about a news story that had no business even appearing in out state’s news. Then, all them awesome keyboard warriors band together and create an elite of ignoramus people which lead to leveling a city and destroying everyone’s livelihoods.

America is lazy and sensitive now. There’s no more will to work. There’s no more motivation to be anything here anymore. Corporations have taken over and have turned everyone against each other. They’ve dipped their hands so deep into the government structure and have turned good politicians into the corrupt people that vowed not to be. What will it take before more jobs, homes, and lives are lost? We are simply letting the internet try to speak for us, but no one is listening. We are simply letting these people roll over us because we are comfortable. The internet is not the way to get your point across. It’s just another archive that stuffs your thoughts deep into the abyss of junk that flows through the world wide web.

Horizon Reveal (Sample Chapter)

SAULTER

May 29, 2113

Los Angeles, California

Berringer and Son Law Firm

Saulter enters the law firm with his two CIA operatives, Foster Lancaster and Miguel Perez, close behind him. His stiff posture and masculine march brings everyone in the firm to a sudden silence as though waiting for one of their own to be sentenced to death. He pulls his badge from his pocket and reveals it with a swift snap of his wrist to the receptionist. The woman behind the desk cowers in her seat as she watches him return it to his belt. Saulter reaches for the desk tag and reads the name. A devilish smile appears on his cracked lips.

“Mrs. Rose,” he says underneath the raspy and barbaric undertones of his voice.

“Miss,” she replies.

“Really, now? For an attractive red head like you, I would’ve expected you to have a significant other waiting for you at home.”

“No,” she shivers. “Recently widowed.” She squints at his tag. “General Saulter Williams. Oh my, is there something wrong?”

Saulter removes his green hat. “Every day, Rose, something is always wrong. That is why I am always getting the tough assignments. It’s because I am the kind of man that gets the job done.” He smiles. “And you may ask, at what cost? And I will answer in a heartbeat—at any cost to keep the lives of this nation safe.” He leans back from the desk and returns the hat to his head. “Now, you can make my job easier by pointing me in the direction to a Mr. Nathan Berringer’s office.”

“I would, sir, but he is in the middle of a—”

“Tell him it would be in his best interest to speak with me at once. I am a very busy man, and I am extremely impatient.”

“I understand, sir, but he did give me very specific instructions not to interrupt him today,” she says, looking up at Saulter with her hazel eyes.

“Cute,” he answers, looking up towards the hallway behind her. “I’ll invite myself in then. On behalf of the President of the United States, I am authorized to go into that office.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a folded document. “Here is a warrant.” He tosses the papers on the desk and marches towards the door that has N. Berringer written across the glass.

“But wait, I can’t let you go…” Rose trails behind the men, still begging them to stop.

Saulter pushes the door open with both men close behind him. He discovers Nathan Berringer flipping through a mess of files on his desk. The stout man wrinkles his forehead as the three men enter without warning.

“Rose, I told you I can’t be distracted today!” Nathan exclaims as his glasses slide to the end of his nose.

“I tried…” she answers as Saulter slams the door behind him, locking it. Both of his men flank either side of the desk.

“Gentlemen, you can’t just barge into my office without an appointment. I’m a very busy man,” Nathan says in heavy breaths.

“No need for an appointment, Mr. Berringer. I have a warrant that comes straight from the Commander-in-Chief. So, in my professional advice, I would suggest you sit your ass down and listen up,” Saulter says, slamming his fists on the desk.

“I will not tolerate—“

“Oh, you will tolerate anything and everything I throw at you, Mr. Berringer.” Saulter turns to the bookshelves, taking notice of all the pictures of the lawyer’s family. “Not to mention the impeccable danger your family will be in if you don’t cooperate with us.”

“My family?” Nathan’s eyes widen in shock. “What do they have to do with any of this?”

“Nothing at all. It’s just in my nature to use people’s prized possessions as bargaining chips,” Saulter grins. “Let’s just see how much information I can squeeze out of you before I explain what my men will do to your wife and children if I don’t get the answers I want, okay?”

Nathan sits back in his chair and looks up at all three men. Saulter pulls out his badge and rests it on the desk. He sits across from Nathan in an empty chair. He stares at the lawyer’s frizzled brown head of hair and dirt cheap suit. The prime example of a compulsive liar and cheat in American society. He watches Nathan reach for the badge and bring it close to his face.

“Director of the CIA, huh?” Nathan chuckles. “Had nothing better to do today, I presume.”

“Nathan, you have something the president wants immediately, and he is going to get it whether you want him to or not,” Saulter answers, snapping his fingers to Foster.

Foster pulls out a manila envelope from his black jacket and hands it to the general. Saulter flips through the contents and pulls out a letter addressed to Nathan that reads: From the desk of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States.

“I just wanted to make this more formal. President Rashaad has requested that the inheritance and/or inheritances of Captain Weston Lambright be confiscated and not recorded to the decease’s immediate family members,” Saulter says, watching Nathan skim through the letter.

“As much as I would love to cooperate with this request, I cannot, General,” Nathan replies, setting the letter back onto the desk.

“And why can’t you do this simple task?”

Nathan looks down at Saulter’s badge again. “General, due to the moral code of ethics and attorney-client confidentiality clauses, I can’t release that information. In addition, my client specifically instructed me not to release anything to the government, only to his sons.”

“But there are no legal issues that you are obligated to. You would risk the lives of your family and yourself for this man?” Saulter taps his fingers on his lap. His light-hearted spirits turn to a ruthless darkness within seconds as his eyes narrow like a hungry predator.

“I think it would be best if you and your two pets leave now,” Nathan says, leaning back in his chair.

“Oh, you have some large balls, Nathan, but, unfortunately, mine outweigh your ignorance.” Saulter cracks his neck and looks at both of the stone cold faces of Miguel and Foster. He leans closer to the desk. “You know, I’ve dealt with many persistent lawyers who have, like you, used the constitution and law to keep the government’s hands off of important documents. Although I commend you for your bravery to stand up to us, I also recommend you beg for mercy from my pets? Isn’t that what you called them?”

Saulter stands to his feet, looking outside the blinds of the window and slowly shutting them. Thin lines of sunlight stripe the walls of the small office.

“My pets were instructed not to do anything too drastic to you, considering you have delicate information, but I am afraid they have not learned the meaning of obedience just yet.”

Foster walks behind Nathan’s chair. He clenches the brown hairs between his fingers and spastically bashes Nathan’s head onto the glass cover on the desk. Foster pulls Nathan’s head back to the headrest of the chair. Blood seeps into the crevices of the cracked glass. Nathan tastes iron on his lips and feels blood drip from his chin. His eyes are beet red and deep gashes line his forehead.

“Are you ready to hand over those documents?” Saulter shrugs and leans close to Nathan’s face. “You can make this easy for me, or messy for you. Honestly, it’s really your choice.”

“Don’t you have his records in your damn database? What more could you need from the inheritance he left for his boys, you sick son-of-a-bitch?” he cries. “You’re the fucking government for god’s sake!”

“Do you not realize technology has created firewalls to keep the government’s hands off of certain individual’s files? Weston has figured out a way to slip through the cracks of our system and now we are at the verge of world destruction as we speak!” Saulter growls, while tossing files and papers off the desk. “Stop feeding me bullshit, Nathan, and give us what we want!”

Nathan keeps his mouth sealed tight. Saulter’s anger overwhelms him as his brain feels as though it could split at any moment. He nods at Miguel and walks away from the desk.

“Fine. I guess we’ll be here for a while then,” he says, reaching for the file on the floor. “Hmm… Becky Berringer. You have a file for your wife?” Saulter flips through the contents. He hears Miguel reeling back his fist and thrusting it into Nathan’s ribcage. He looks back to see Nathan heaving from the blow to his stomach. “Who keeps a file of their own wife, Foster? Isn’t a picture enough to satisfy a husband?” Foster laughs in the corner as Saulter tosses the file behind his head.

“You… can’t… do this. It’s against the law,” Nathan coughs.

“That is where you are very wrong, my friend. We actually can do whatever we want to suspected terrorists now. We can even do some pretty fucked up things to the family, as well. You should know this already though, you’re a lawyer.” Saulter sits in the chair across from Nathan again.

“You don’t understand. You have the wrong guy. I’m not a terrorist and neither is Weston. You guys are trying to frame us!” Nathan exclaims as blood spatters across the desk from his torn lip.

“No, you don’t understand, Mr. Berringer, the government decides who is a terrorist, whether it’s an innocent stay-at-home mom, or a corrupted lawyer.” Saulter walks over to the window again and watches everyone in the street. “We have passed laws only to satisfy the safety of our leaders, and we have desecrated the ones that our forefathers created to protect the people. This nation is no longer a perfect union for the people, it is now a country run by tyranny.”

“That’s bull!” Nathan interrupts as his head meets the surface of the sheet of broken glass on the desk.

“I didn’t want to jump to this scenario.” Saulter looks down at the photo of Becky. Nathan hocks a wad of bloody saliva towards Saulter. He dodges the red slime and looks up at both of his men with rage boiling in his eyes. “Please, do something about his mouth!”

Foster grabs the stapler on the desk and presses the metallic beam against Nathan’s forehead. He slams his fist against the top of the stapler as multiple staples puncture the lawyer’s forehead. He continues to press until he makes his way to the mangled lips. Miguel presses Nathan’s lips together as Foster staples his mouth shut. Droplets of blood rise from the wounds. Nathan moans as tears well up in his eyes and staples bend in and out of his head.

“Is the brave lawyer crying? Please, help him wipe away those tears,” Saulter laughs in amusement at the torture of an innocent man. He watches Foster seal his eyelids shut and press the stapler firmly against the rim of his eyelids.

Nathan’s shriek in his throat makes Saulter stop the two men.

“Do you have something to say now, before we permanently blind you, Mr. Berringer?”

“Mm…mmm…mmm,” Nathan mumbled behind his sealed lips.

“C’mon, let the guy at least have a chance to speak.”

Foster grabs the small staple remover from the desk drawer and wedges the sharp edges underneath each staple, ripping each one out with a slight tug. Saulter watches and listens to Nathan moan in pain until he can finally speak.

“Now, you were saying?” Saulter asks, leaning on the desk.

“Oh, god,” he exhales.

“Sorry, Nathan, but the big guy upstairs had to take a leak. It’s just you and me now.” Saulter grabs Nathan’s chin and turns the lawyer’s head towards him. “Could you stay coherent long enough to hand over those documents I so desperately need, or should I tell my men to torture your family ever so slowly?”

Nathan lazily tosses his head back. His eyes bulge as staples hang from his eyebrows like tiny meat hooks. His lip dangles from his mouth.

“Fuck… you…” he says under his breath.

“Wow! That’s a first from a lawyer, isn’t it, boys?” He looks up at his men with a devilish grin. “Usually your occupation requires you to squeal under pressure, but you, my friend, are the toughest bastard of them all,” he chuckles. “You should’ve joined the military instead. What a waste of talent.”

“Why are you doing this to me?” he asks.

Saulter clenches Berringer’s cheeks together. “This is what happens when you are a hero. It turns you into a person you never thought you could be. Almost superhuman.” Saulter tosses Nathan’s head back and sits back into the chair across from him. “It also turns you into a monster. Yes, you may get some nice feedback and decorate yourself with awards, but, in the long run, all people see is a scorched piece of shit.” He waves both men off of Nathan. “I don’t value the lives of anyone anymore. I only value the death of insubordinate citizens.” He looks out the window at the people in the streets with no sympathy behind his eyes.

Is It Expensive, or Are We Poor?

Greed

I was sitting at home today thinking about all the materialistic things that I have in my house right now. Many questions kept popping in my head and nothing seemed to make sense in my own mind. Seriously, why the hell did I buy this crap?! Apparently when I was an assistant manager I didn’t think about where my money was going. I’ve even had some friends tell me not to overspend and be careful with the newly acquired income I was receiving. Like damn, I went bookoo crazy! 

I stepped down from my job as an assistant because I was losing a lot of my personality. I was angry every day, unhappy, and the upper management made me feel like I was a shit stain they needed to clean up. It got to a point where suicide seemed like the only option to escape the place. I was frightened and scared what I might lose when I left my position. I was even more worried what might happen with my relationship with Nadine. I will be the first to say that sometimes it gets really rough financially, and it is very scary. I was never honest with myself though when I was working as an assistant. It was almost like I wanted to play this role as a celebrity when actually I was just rotting in some shit hole environment that was barely getting me by each day. I think the reason I bought a lot of the stuff I have now and ran my credit cards through the roof was because I wanted to try to create this environment at home that could take me away from that place I was in at work. I’m sure people may not understand the reasoning behind some of my actions, but in my head, they do make since.

I know I had a few friends say I was crazy for letting a job like that go but to be honest, working 60 hours a week for someone else and only making a very small percentage of the cake felt like I was being taken advantage of. My pay would decrease after 40 hours, it would decrease again after 50, and then decrease again after 60. I don’t mean a few bucks here and there, I mean half of my hourly pay, if you took it down to the numbers. I don’t think I’m the kind of person that is truly a money person. Yes, I want to have enough money to do what I want to do: write, travel, and enjoy life, but it feels like money has brought everybody around me as well as myself down. 

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We are so consumed by the new technology and new toys that hit the market that we are willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on brand names, when we can simply buy something cheaper that is the exact same product. I know yesterday I went shopping for shirts, I saw all these Marc Anthony shirts for 24.99. I look right next to it. There was a brand called APT, where you got 2 shirts for 18.99. These shirts were the exact same material and design as Marc Anthony. So, why would anyone pay more for less? Well, the name I guess. Why are we so consumed in impressing the next person that enters our home or sees us walking down the street? Have we come to that point in our everyday life that we have to out buy our neighbors just to satisfy our own egos?

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I watched a movie recently called The Joneses, but it had the perfect concept about this. A family moves into a neighborhood full of rich people. This family had a mom, dad, son, and daughter. Your typical American family. Well, they had all the brand name products across the board. We’re talking appliances, decor, perfumes, clothing, video games, and cars. The crazy part was the family was just a way for businesses to sell their products. These people got pulled from their normal jobs and families to take part in this to sell products and pretend to be a family. It was the craziest thing! The neighbors fell for it and bought everything these people didn’t spend a cent on. 

So what does this tell us about where we are going as a nation? I think right now we’re stuck in limbo with the bullshit that’s going on in politics as well as the corporate world that is just trying to grab every cent from our pockets. Where is our money really going when we buy these products though? Are they going to ethical business practices, or another environmental disaster waiting to happen? We are creating our own demise by giving in to the corporate lies that we see on television, hear on the radio, and read in magazines. I know I was a sucker for it for a long time, bought the nice car, the nice flat screen televisions, the surround sound system, and many more things. I don’t know why i felt the need to buy these things, but now, I wonder why I didn’t think it through before I just threw my credit cards and money willingly to these people.

It’s in human nature for us to want, but is it really what we need? Someone told me the other day are prices expensive, or are we just getting poorer? Honestly, who knows what the answer to that is, but I’m willing to bet, we’re getting poorer due to the government and corporations strangling us with their greedy fists. What do we do now to save ourselves?

Sample Chapter from Horizon

SAULTER

May 29, 2113

Los Angeles, California

Berringer and Son Law Firm

Saulter enters the law firm with his two CIA operatives, Foster Lancaster and Miguel Perez, close behind him. His stiff posture and masculine march brings everyone in the firm to a sudden silence as though waiting for one of their own to be sentenced to death. He pulls his badge from his pocket and reveals it with a swift snap of his wrist to the receptionist. The woman behind the desk cowers in her seat as she watches him return it to his belt. Saulter reaches for the desk tag and reads the name. A devilish smile appears on his cracked lips.

“Mrs. Rose,” he says underneath the raspy and barbaric undertones of his voice.

“Miss,” she replies.

“Really, now? For an attractive red head like you, I would’ve expected you to have a significant other waiting for you at home.”

“No,” she shivers. “Recently widowed.” She squints at his tag. “General Saulter Williams. Oh my, is there something wrong?”

Saulter removes his green hat. “Every day, Rose, something is always wrong. That is why I am always getting the tough assignments. It’s because I am the kind of man that gets the job done.” He smiles. “And you may ask, at what cost? And I will answer in a heartbeat—at any cost to keep the lives of this nation safe.” He leans back from the desk and returns the hat to his head. “Now, you can make my job easier by pointing me in the direction to a Mr. Nathan Berringer’s office.”

“I would, sir, but he is in the middle of a—”

“Tell him it would be in his best interest to speak with me at once. I am a very busy man, and I am extremely impatient.”

“I understand, sir, but he did give me very specific instructions not to interrupt him today,” she says, looking up at Saulter with her hazel eyes.

“Cute,” he answers, looking up towards the hallway behind her. “I’ll invite myself in then. On behalf of the President of the United States, I am authorized to go into that office.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a folded document. “Here is a warrant.” He tosses the papers on the desk and marches towards the door that has N. Berringer written across the glass.

“But wait, I can’t let you go…” Rose trails behind the men, still begging them to stop.

Saulter pushes the door open with both men close behind him. He discovers Nathan Berringer flipping through a mess of files on his desk. The stout man wrinkles his forehead as the three men enter without warning.

“Rose, I told you I can’t be distracted today!” Nathan exclaims as his glasses slide to the end of his nose.

“I tried…” she answers as Saulter slams the door behind him, locking it. Both of his men flank either side of the desk.

“Gentlemen, you can’t just barge into my office without an appointment. I’m a very busy man,” Nathan says in heavy breaths.

“No need for an appointment, Mr. Berringer. I have a warrant that comes straight from the Commander-in-Chief. So, in my professional advice, I would suggest you sit your ass down and listen up,” Saulter says, slamming his fists on the desk.

“I will not tolerate—“

“Oh, you will tolerate anything and everything I throw at you, Mr. Berringer.” Saulter turns to the bookshelves, taking notice of all the pictures of the lawyer’s family. “Not to mention the impeccable danger your family will be in if you don’t cooperate with us.”

“My family?” Nathan’s eyes widen in shock. “What do they have to do with any of this?”

“Nothing at all. It’s just in my nature to use people’s prized possessions as bargaining chips,” Saulter grins. “Let’s just see how much information I can squeeze out of you before I explain what my men will do to your wife and children if I don’t get the answers I want, okay?”

Nathan sits back in his chair and looks up at all three men. Saulter pulls out his badge and rests it on the desk. He sits across from Nathan in an empty chair. He stares at the lawyer’s frizzled brown head of hair and dirt cheap suit. The prime example of a compulsive liar and cheat in American society. He watches Nathan reach for the badge and bring it close to his face.

“Director of the CIA, huh?” Nathan chuckles. “Had nothing better to do today, I presume.”

“Nathan, you have something the president wants immediately, and he is going to get it whether you want him to or not,” Saulter answers, snapping his fingers to Foster.

Foster pulls out a manila envelope from his black jacket and hands it to the general. Saulter flips through the contents and pulls out a letter addressed to Nathan that reads: From the desk of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States.

“I just wanted to make this more formal. President Rashaad has requested that the inheritance and/or inheritances of Captain Weston Lambright be confiscated and not recorded to the decease’s immediate family members,” Saulter says, watching Nathan skim through the letter.

“As much as I would love to cooperate with this request, I cannot, General,” Nathan replies, setting the letter back onto the desk.

“And why can’t you do this simple task?”

Nathan looks down at Saulter’s badge again. “General, due to the moral code of ethics and attorney-client confidentiality clauses, I can’t release that information. In addition, my client specifically instructed me not to release anything to the government, only to his sons.”

“But there are no legal issues that you are obligated to. You would risk the lives of your family and yourself for this man?” Saulter taps his fingers on his lap. His light-hearted spirits turn to a ruthless darkness within seconds as his eyes narrow like a hungry predator.

“I think it would be best if you and your two pets leave now,” Nathan says, leaning back in his chair.

“Oh, you have some large balls, Nathan, but, unfortunately, mine outweigh your ignorance.” Saulter cracks his neck and looks at both of the stone cold faces of Miguel and Foster. He leans closer to the desk. “You know, I’ve dealt with many persistent lawyers who have, like you, used the constitution and law to keep the government’s hands off of important documents. Although I commend you for your bravery to stand up to us, I also recommend you beg for mercy from my pets? Isn’t that what you called them?”

Saulter stands to his feet, looking outside the blinds of the window and slowly shutting them. Thin lines of sunlight stripe the walls of the small office.

“My pets were instructed not to do anything too drastic to you, considering you have delicate information, but I am afraid they have not learned the meaning of obedience just yet.”

Foster walks behind Nathan’s chair. He clenches the brown hairs between his fingers and spastically bashes Nathan’s head onto the glass cover on the desk. Foster pulls Nathan’s head back to the headrest of the chair. Blood seeps into the crevices of the cracked glass. Nathan tastes iron on his lips and feels blood drip from his chin. His eyes are beet red and deep gashes line his forehead.

“Are you ready to hand over those documents?” Saulter shrugs and leans close to Nathan’s face. “You can make this easy for me, or messy for you. Honestly, it’s really your choice.”

“Don’t you have his records in your damn database? What more could you need from the inheritance he left for his boys, you sick son-of-a-bitch?” he cries. “You’re the fucking government for god’s sake!”

“Do you not realize technology has created firewalls to keep the government’s hands off of certain individual’s files? Weston has figured out a way to slip through the cracks of our system and now we are at the verge of world destruction as we speak!” Saulter growls, while tossing files and papers off the desk. “Stop feeding me bullshit, Nathan, and give us what we want!”

Nathan keeps his mouth sealed tight. Saulter’s anger overwhelms him as his brain feels as though it could split at any moment. He nods at Miguel and walks away from the desk.

“Fine. I guess we’ll be here for a while then,” he says, reaching for the file on the floor. “Hmm… Becky Berringer. You have a file for your wife?” Saulter flips through the contents. He hears Miguel reeling back his fist and thrusting it into Nathan’s ribcage. He looks back to see Nathan heaving from the blow to his stomach. “Who keeps a file of their own wife, Foster? Isn’t a picture enough to satisfy a husband?” Foster laughs in the corner as Saulter tosses the file behind his head.

“You… can’t… do this. It’s against the law,” Nathan coughs.

“That is where you are very wrong, my friend. We actually can do whatever we want to suspected terrorists now. We can even do some pretty fucked up things to the family, as well. You should know this already though, you’re a lawyer.” Saulter sits in the chair across from Nathan again.

“You don’t understand. You have the wrong guy. I’m not a terrorist and neither is Weston. You guys are trying to frame us!” Nathan exclaims as blood spatters across the desk from his torn lip.

“No, you don’t understand, Mr. Berringer, the government decides who is a terrorist, whether it’s an innocent stay-at-home mom, or a corrupted lawyer.” Saulter walks over to the window again and watches everyone in the street. “We have passed laws only to satisfy the safety of our leaders, and we have desecrated the ones that our forefathers created to protect the people. This nation is no longer a perfect union for the people, it is now a country run by tyranny.”

“That’s bull!” Nathan interrupts as his head meets the surface of the sheet of broken glass on the desk.

“I didn’t want to jump to this scenario.” Saulter looks down at the photo of Becky. Nathan hocks a wad of bloody saliva towards Saulter. He dodges the red slime and looks up at both of his men with rage boiling in his eyes. “Please, do something about his mouth!”

Foster grabs the stapler on the desk and presses the metallic beam against Nathan’s forehead. He slams his fist against the top of the stapler as multiple staples puncture the lawyer’s forehead. He continues to press until he makes his way to the mangled lips. Miguel presses Nathan’s lips together as Foster staples his mouth shut. Droplets of blood rise from the wounds. Nathan moans as tears well up in his eyes and staples bend in and out of his head.

“Is the brave lawyer crying? Please, help him wipe away those tears,” Saulter laughs in amusement at the torture of an innocent man. He watches Foster seal his eyelids shut and press the stapler firmly against the rim of his eyelids.

Nathan’s shriek in his throat makes Saulter stop the two men.

“Do you have something to say now, before we permanently blind you, Mr. Berringer?”

“Mm…mmm…mmm,” Nathan mumbled behind his sealed lips.

“C’mon, let the guy at least have a chance to speak.”

Foster grabs the small staple remover from the desk drawer and wedges the sharp edges underneath each staple, ripping each one out with a slight tug. Saulter watches and listens to Nathan moan in pain until he can finally speak.

“Now, you were saying?” Saulter asks, leaning on the desk.

“Oh, god,” he exhales.

“Sorry, Nathan, but the big guy upstairs had to take a leak. It’s just you and me now.” Saulter grabs Nathan’s chin and turns the lawyer’s head towards him. “Could you stay coherent long enough to hand over those documents I so desperately need, or should I tell my men to torture your family ever so slowly?”

Nathan lazily tosses his head back. His eyes bulge as staples hang from his eyebrows like tiny meat hooks. His lip dangles from his mouth.

“Fuck… you…” he says under his breath.

“Wow! That’s a first from a lawyer, isn’t it, boys?” He looks up at his men with a devilish grin. “Usually your occupation requires you to squeal under pressure, but you, my friend, are the toughest bastard of them all,” he chuckles. “You should’ve joined the military instead. What a waste of talent.”

“Why are you doing this to me?” he asks.

Saulter clenches Berringer’s cheeks together. “This is what happens when you are a hero. It turns you into a person you never thought you could be. Almost superhuman.” Saulter tosses Nathan’s head back and sits back into the chair across from him. “It also turns you into a monster. Yes, you may get some nice feedback and decorate yourself with awards, but, in the long run, all people see is a scorched piece of shit.” He waves both men off of Nathan. “I don’t value the lives of anyone anymore. I only value the death of insubordinate citizens.” He looks out the window at the people in the streets with no sympathy behind his eyes.