--- The National Party ---
“BOMBING IN SCHOOL GYM PERPETRATES FEAR AND TERROR!”
The Party is convinced: It has only been a matter of time before anarchism showed its cruel face.
(Ernest Churchill, November 16, 2040)
Seven people dead and several in intensive care—that is the devastating outcome of yesterday’s basketball game at Sunpalm High School. According to Police Commissioner Amherst, there had been signs of an underground movement for some time. Our leaders, however, were firmly convinced that no one would go so far as to endanger, or worse, kill, their own kin and comrades.
The assassin had the bomb attached to his body and set it off during the match’s second half. Responsible citizens who volunteered to testify said that before the detonation, the terrorist held his fist in the air and shouted the anarchists’ battle cry, which we will not repeat due to its vileness and out of respect for the brave men and women deceased.
The Party and our leaders are deeply saddened by this terrible news and vow to fight back and wipe out the terrorist cell with all their power. Furthermore, they call on the people of this beautiful country to report any suspicious activity to the authorities.
Because together, we are strong.
Loyalty. Strength. Dedication.
--- The Free Falcon ---
“BOMB EXPLODES IN SCHOOL DURING BASKETBALL GAME!”
The tragic deaths of seven people mirror the state of the nation.
(John Anderson, November 17, 2040)
The tragic and shocking news of a bombing at a high school shakes the country. Too many people lost their lives, too many were injured. The last words, spoken by the eighteen-year-old young man who had the bomb strapped around his chest: “We will crush the pigs!”
A cruel call, a bitter realization.
When did we take this direction? When did people see no other way out than to commit violence? When will the Party realize that one reaps what one sows?
My daughters were there. They have survived.
“Her bruises haven’t even healed yet, and our daughter wants to throw herself into a crowd that could be infested with crazed terrorists.” Kathy turned from Mina to her husband, her eyes red and puffy. “Say something, John!”
A journalist at the country’s only remaining independent newspaper, The Free Falcon, John Anderson sighed and folded his hands on the table. He, too, looked like he hadn’t slept.
“And then this article!” Kathy threw the latest issue of The Free Falcon on the bar counter and started pacing back and forth. “What were you thinking, John? Questioning the Party so openly? My God, you have a family!”
Mina’s father didn’t look at his wife, knowing how hurt and worried she was. “That’s why I have to call a spade a spade, Kathy! We’re all starting to live in fear, always waiting for a bunch of these uniformed brutes to show up on our doorsteps because they’ve been bugging you or because you have become inconvenient to their ideology!” He went to his wife and made sure they had eye contact this time. “It’s time for people to fight back—to question the Party, to question this state of control!”
Kathy gasped, her gaze wide in shock, and Mina knew that the argument between her parents had nothing to do with her wanting to go shopping.
“You can’t be serious, John.” Kathy started to scream, “Don’t tell me you’re advocating bombing, in a room full of children, with our two daughters—” she brought a hand to her mouth and propped herself up on the counter, her back now to her husband as a stifled sob escaped her.
John put his hands soothingly on her shoulders as she turned, tears streaming down her cheeks, seeking and finding the comfort of her husband’s chest.
Mina stared at her parents. She felt strange, different somehow after the attack, and her eyes wandered to her feet in shame. Because unlike everyone else, she didn’t know how to cry; didn’t know why she couldn’t cry.
“When I heard that a bomb went off in the gym, I couldn’t think straight, couldn’t function. I only prayed that my girls were safe.” John gently stroked his wife’s head as he held her tight to him. “It was only a matter of time before something like this would happen, I’m afraid. With all the restrictions, all the secrets—people start having doubts.”
“But, no, Kathy, I don’t want to experience a person’s anger in the form of bombs.”
For a moment, the kitchen was drowned in silence. Mina’s mother had calmed down a bit, and her father gave her gentle kisses on the forehead.
“What about your article?” Kathy asked in a choked voice.
“We both knew what I was getting into when I started working at The Free Falcon.”
“Will they come?”
But John didn’t respond. Instead, he continued to caress Kathy, yet his eyes were locked on the kitchen window overlooking the street.