Linder and Dorian drained their mugs while Linder signaled the barkeep to bring another pitcher. “Look, Dorian, I understand you had a bad day-“
“Bad day, hell!” Dorian interrupted. “Every day is bad when you’re a slave!”
Linder rolled his eyes and sighed. “Let’s not start this shit again, okay?”
“Well what else would you call it?” Dorian demanded.
“It’s no worse than being their employees, really. We work our shifts, we’re fed and housed, we…” Linder floundered. “I mean, we don’t get paid, but what would we need money for anyway? All in all, I think we have it pretty good. My grandfather talks about how things were before, and believe you me, we are a hell of a lot better off than people were just 50 years ago.”
“Oh yea?” Dorian remarked snidely. “If we have it so good, let’s go out of town tomorrow. We’ll just up and leave for, oh I don’t know, let’s say two weeks.”
“You know we can’t do that; we both have to work.”
“Aha! You admit it, then; the biggest thing we don’t have is freedom!”
“Oh for fucks sake, Dorian! You couldn’t just up and leave in the old days either! If you had a job, you had to go in every day, and you had to schedule your time off if you wanted to get away.”
“Bullshit, Linder! A free man could have left anytime he wanted! Nobody would use these,” he slammed his arm on the table, the bulge from the tracker prominent, “to track you down and drag you back! The worst that would happen is you’d get fired.”
“And what do you think happens now? Yes, they track you down and bring you back, but then you just get transferred to another site.” Linder poured them both fresh glasses from the pitcher the barkeep left at their table.
“Oh, Linder,” Dorian sighed, losing his heart for the argument. “If you can’t see the difference, I just don’t know what to tell you. It’s about freedom, and choices. We don’t have those things now because we are slaves.”
Linder drank from his beer and quietly said “So what if we are? What’s the big deal? Like I said before, we aren’t mistreated; we’re fed and housed; they don’t overwork us; we get excellent medical care. What more do you want?”
“They only do all those things because sick or dead slaves aren’t any use to them.”
“I say again: so what? We live under a benevolent dictatorship, and we’ve got it pretty good all in all. I may not be able to up and leave tomorrow without notice, but I can get permission to go just about anywhere I want, and without a lot of hassle about it. And so can you, Dorian. You have essentially the same freedom now that you’d have had under the old way of doing things.”
“You think so, huh kid?”
“I know so. Look, Dorian, you’ve been mouthing off about this for how long now, a couple of months?” Dorian grunted his agreement. “I don’t know what got you on that kick, but in all that time has anything happened to you? You haven’t been particularly quiet while complaining about our being slaves, and how we should rise up against the oppressors, have you? But no jack-booted thugs have bust in the door and dragged you off to never be seen again, have they?”
Dorian drained his glass and stood up. “Linder, m’boy, when you’re right you’re right, and you are right. Everything is peachy, and I’m an old, drunken fool to complain about it.”
“Ah, now listen, Dorian, I didn’t mean-“
“It’s okay, son. I’m going home to sleep it off, so I can be right as rain in the morning for my mas… for my employer. Don’t stay out late, kid.”
Linder sighed. “Be careful, old man. Call me tomorrow.” Dorian threw him a wave as he made his way out the door, then he was gone.
Linder swiped his chit for the beer they’d drunk, and a quick mental calculation later he resolved to make sure Dorian paid next time. His rations were almost gone and it was only mid-month; Dorian would have to dig into his allotment for the next night or two to balance accounts.
This is the start of a story idea I’ve had kicking around for a little while; is anybody interested in seeing where it goes? I honestly don’t know how I’ll get to where I see the end, or if the end will even look like I think it will now. And just to be up front about it, I might not even get to an end.
It won’t be a sex story, but there may be (or not) sexual situations, and because I write what I know those sexual situations could be kind of out there. Anyway, let me know what you think, and if I should try to continue.