Line up, straight now, move on, don't stop, and keep moving towards the buses - blared the loudspeaker. The trees around the road waved gently with rustling leaves in a pleasant cool morning air with an early shining sun - all offering a fresh start. We were leaving our homes for a worker relocation camp. Families cried out desperately for their children who in some cases were dragged by heavily armed guards to lines more than a quarter of a mile from their frantically screaming parents. Some parents tried to attack the guards but were quickly shot through the head - a clear message to others who would disrupt the efficient boarding process.
With the collapse of the elite's global economy civil war broke out across the old empire - also in some less progressive European countries. We'd always thought that our corrupt federal government would somehow make the illusion of a stable economic model built upon a rational, functioning society a reality. Never could we have believed only a few months ago that our lives would change so dramatically - an inhuman abomination was born. We would never be able to return to our slowly deteriorating communities built upon complacency for they were doomed to become weed choked piles of rubble - a monument to our indifference.
All across the neglected newly minted dictatorship crowned the Eastern Republic plutocratic masters ordered that rural areas be depopulated in the interests of business efficiency. For it was felt by these incompetent, cowardly, overtly egotistical control freaks that if they could only lower their labor costs further they might be able to resuscitate the dead economy. They thought that once the dead economy was revived consumers with spendable income would rise up from the ether miraculously ready to consume. Once these phantom unseen consumers started spending all would be well and they could once again start draining every drop of income from the economy. These lords of evil were being eaten away with an insatiable greedy hunger for wealth that must be fed even if it meant that they'd have to hold a gun to the throbbing temples of their fellow citizens.
To these sick economic sociopaths it didn't matter that they would have to enslave every man, woman, and child in their feudal kingdom in order to achieve their delusional visions. No one dared ask one of these ideological religious fanatics just how the hell they'd get income from a rotten squashed apple - where were their prospective consumers - never mind that insignificant detail for if their holy book of Economics prophesied a new dawn it would arise. Don't trifle them with details for you just can't reason with a fanatic.
They had already eliminated all hospitals (other than their state-of-the-art facilities), and any other non-essential services that didn't help the bottom line profits of their businesses. It was thought to be terrible to have to spend all that money on bullets, barbed wire, and guards in order to stop the starving labor slaves from attempting to leave the country but those costs just had to be shouldered stoically. It was even rumored that some of the well fed gelatos sacks of dung died at their first annual meeting after these mental peanuts had ranted red faced for hours over all the wasted money being spent on policing the border. Opinion was settling upon the idea of no cost production at least from the standpoint of eliminating all labor costs so that the island buying, sports car loving, private plane hording human leaches could gulp the remaining income from the permanently decimated economy. That meant providing no shelter, 1 cup of soup a day, and reduced water rations in an effort to contain costs to a bare minimum. These elite paragons of insensitivity had resolved long ago that they were the chosen and therefore all the lower beings were so many cattle to be butchered for their contemptible global money machine.
So here we stood waiting our turn to get on these dilapidated buses that would take us to factory districts dribbled throughout this huge gulag called the Eastern Republic. Of course, there wasn't much to leave behind, only wasting buildings burned out from the riots, roads barely passable, resembling asphalt sand paths, and homes without electricity or water. How clear it had become that we the workers should sacrifice ourselves for the greater good of our prosperous lords. All of us fortunate laborers kept the wheels of prosperity well-greased with our blood - our souls and bodies were our ultimate gladly given gift to the free market - at least we let them believe we bought into their sick propaganda.
Daydreaming cost so much in potentially productive time. Mine surely did because when the order was given to shackle our feet to the bus floor my rhythm was a little off because the overseer came around to my seat and whacked me over the knees with his steel rod. It hurt terribly, but my slack attitude or for that matter utter disregard for the production model sparked this degrading punishment. Hadn't the most eminent elite intelligentsia concluded long ago that increases in productivity no matter how slight contributed significantly to the hordes of income flowing to our master's bank accounts?
This was my first trip to a labor camp. Stories had circulated around my town that those sent to labor camps might never arrive. A large swath of territory within our police state had competing business interests all scouring the countryside for fresh labor resources. At times the competition was so intense to get their substandard junk out the door they'd pay labor hijackers handsomely to intercept labor stock shipments. Unfortunately, one or more chained workers would invariably be shot in the crossfire between the competing slave labor bandits. Exploitation had become an art form that called forth all those oozing with skillfully orchestrated evil: a government, business masters, and those who fed off of the dirty crumbs that had soaked in this societal sewage. Looking around at those in my little group, all our eyes met. At that moment we all realized that our hell would soon end - we'd halt its advance starting today!