Sneak Preview Karma #4 – Rising Up
“There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it.”
― Aldous Huxley
I stand looking at the gore on my hands, the endless blood sliding out from the man that was Jeff pooling under my feet, dank, metallic, slippery.
What have I done?
“Karma.” I hear my name called as if from another country.
“Karma.” It comes again, faint but louder. Rick is sitting up on the cot, his pillow on the floor, his body sucking in great draughts of breath while the tendons in his neck stand out. He is trembling.
Mars races into our sleeping area from the server room. He flips a switch and throws blinding whiteness across the body, the grue, the killer standing there with her arms covered with blood.
That would be me.
I am the killer.
Mars wants to get out of here right away. He is pacing the floor, eager to leave this thirty-fifth level hell immediately.
Rick and I say we need to talk while we have privacy. We need to come up with a plan, agree on a story, and figure out what to say when we emerge.
So we’re talking. But we’re talking fast.
“I’ll turn myself in,” I say. “To Sheriff Aponte.”
“No,” Rick says. “They’ll put you out to Clean.”
He reaches across the small table in the sleeping area we carved out for ourselves. His arm touches mine. I am still getting used to his new way of caring.
I look at him, in part because I am amazed at his kindness and concern. But in part because I don’t want to look at the large sheet-covered mass on the floor. The sheet is stained with blood and already stinks of death.
Mars stops his pacing. “Dad. We have to get the body—Jeff—taken care of. At least put him in a bag. It will take both of us.”
Rick nods and stands up. He is stronger now, but his arm is still weak.
“I’ll help,” I say.
“We can handle it,” Mars says, heading off to the storage room where I assume there are extra body bags.
“I killed the man. I’ll help take care of his body.” I look at the sheet. The lump that used to be Jeff.
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