Disclaimer: The story is of my own creation...
Genre: Slave-Fic; Angst
Warnings: Slavery; Character Death
Word Count: 978
Note: This a companion piece to To Be Free....
Crossposted: orig_slavefic; slavefics
Summary: Apathy is a sort of living oblivion. - Horace Greeley
He put on the nondescript white clothing, brushing away the nonexistent wrinkles with a slightly shaking hand. Gathering his resolve, he left the employee locker room and headed down the brightly lit corridors, the chain leash clinking in his hand.
His employment had started two weeks before and the despair that clung to the walls haunted him more with each passing day. In the beginning, he told himself he would learn to deal with what happened behind the walls hidden from the rest of the world, that he could adapt and think of his work as just another job that paid the bills.
He sighed as he reached the steel door that he was required to go through in order to start his shift. Behind that door were men… No, not men, they were slaves that were waiting for him to select one to lead from their cage and take the room at the opposite end of the corridor.
As he walked into the room, he emptied his mind from the task at hand and focused instead on his reason for being there. The economy had taken a down turn in recent years and many had lost jobs and struggled to pay off debts they had accrued.
His own debt came from college. He had spent four years of hard work to graduate with a teaching degree. He had always intended to start out at a smaller university and gradually work his way into a position at one of the prominent east coast schools. But it was never meant to be.
Once he had crossed that stage and smiled for the crowd, his fortune had taken a sharp turn. Finding an entry-level position was difficult and he had only managed to land a few temp jobs in place of women on maternity leave. It had bought him some time, but not much.
All too soon, debt collectors were calling and he was running out of money to give them. He had needed a permanent job and the only place hiring was the place that most avoided even thinking about, let alone working there.
The Facility had been around since slavery had been legalized. When the first batch of slaves had aged to the point that no one wanted to purchase them, the government was left with the task of finding a place for mostly non-educated sex trained toys. They devised several options that ranged from manual labor to euthanasia.
Facilities were started in every major city and incoming slaves were evaluated on their potential to be retrained for manual labor jobs such as farm or factory work. If it was determined that the slave would be more trouble than it was worth to assign them to a work detail, the slave was terminated.
The only pitfall to the Facility was staffing. They had tried using slaves for the main work force when it came to the handling of those being euthanized, but that had resulted in too many escape attempts and other revolts. So they settled for a high turnover from those who were desperate enough that any job would work.
He had been at wits end when he filled out the application and sat through the psych evaluation that he had barely passed. He knew what happened to people who defaulted on loans and logic had told him that it was better to be the one outside the cage instead of the one waiting for a death sentence.
His shift had passed the same as every day before. He collected a slave, took him to the euthanizing room and then transported the body to the incinerator. The monotony was only broken when a batch of new slaves were processed to the wing in which he worked.
He hadn't determined if he preferred slaves putting up a fight or not. When they were silent and sullen, he could pretend they weren't human. When they struggled for all they worth, he knew that they were human and that they had every right to live as he did.
The work he carried out behind the doors of the Facility haunted his dreams. Each night he closed his eyes he would see the eyes of the slaves he had led to their deaths. They would look at him with accusation mixed with fear. Their looks would weigh his soul down until he jolted from bed, unable to return to sleep. Once or twice, the dream had ended with him in the bathroom with his head over the toilet.
He wasn't sure how long he could continue the job and still have his sanity at the end. He also knew that if he quit, it was unlikely he would find something else to pay the bills and keep him from becoming a slave himself.
It was the end of his shift and he had one more slave to process before he could leave for the welcoming sunshine that resided just beyond the doors of the Facility. He pushed the doors open and watched as most of the slaves jumped at the sound. He walked down the pathway and stopped in front of the wire door to a cage containing a slave who's two week holding time was at an end. He clipped the leash to the ring on the collar and gave a sharp tug, pulling the slave behind him as he headed out the door and to the euthanizing room.
He wanted the slave to fight, to scream at him and tell him it was wrong. He wanted to know that the slave was still a human. He wanted to take the slave and run through the doors and not look back on the Facility and the horrors it contained within its walls. He wanted to do anything than lead another person to his death. He wanted them to be free.
Read the companion piece To Be Free...