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Equilibrium Fan Fiction by Calico
Pater Primus

(This story will be completed in a series of installments)

Prologue 1 | 2

Prologue - Part 1

She was cold.

The concrete walls were poor insulation and the gunmetal gray chair felt like an ice block beneath the thin gown prisoners were issued. The harsh lighting provided no heat and only served to coat everything in a sickening frosty sheen.

Forty-eight hours since her arrest. There was the humiliating strip search; the begging for food at midnight because no one bothered to bring her dinner; and the inhuman looks of the Tetra Grammaton’s finest. But by far the worst part was the waiting, because the end of her life’s journey was nearing and she certainly wouldn’t be complaining about the cold then.

Sitting in the interrogation room, feeling what remained of her body heat seep into the frigid air, she felt miles away from herself, from everything she had believed in just two short days ago. But that was the point. It wasn’t enough Father’s goons had to snuff out any sign of life and culture, they had to break you first, make you deny all that had been important.

She hu
ng her head, letting the dark hair cover her face, and whispered one word, “Home.” It was safe, at least as safe as you could be in the heart of Libria. How foolish she had been. He couldn’t protect her; he couldn’t even protect himself.

The door opened with a loud bang that reverberated in her head like a gong. She felt sick to her stomach, tired, and weak. One foot was already in the grave; the furnaces just tidied things up.

Grammaton Cleric Second Class John Preston took the seat opposite her, set aside a metal file folder, and clasped his hands together on the table. She hadn’t been expecting this.

With an audible swallow she said, “What are you doing here?” The smallest flutter of hope took root in her stomach despite herself. The small voice reminded her how he’d come to her aide…at least until he’d been told the truth.

John’s eyes darted sideways for a moment before saying, “The Council believes you will speak to me more freely. That you’ll confess the extent of your crimes and name your accomplices.”

Oh really, she thought sourly. “I don’t have any accomplices,” she replied in a low defeated voice.

“You must,” he said evenly.

Viviana felt the tears, biting down hard on her lip. “Don’t you care!” she yelled, slamming a fist down on the table. “Don’t you feel anything? I’m your wife, the mother of your children, and you have nothing to say to me? Yell at me, John! I’ve embarrassed you! I’ve hurt your chances at a promotion! Aren’t you angry?!”

John took a deep breath, and then said, “It is a rather disappointing match. I should initiate an inquiry into the Department of Marriage’s testing requirements.”

“Disappointing match?” Viviana repeated, incredulous; while most marriages were founded on a compatibility score of 54-76%, theirs had been an astounding 93%. “Yes, I can see that.” She sat back against the chair, ignoring the shock of the cold through the thin material on her back. “But our children? Surely you can’t just disregard them? Look into your son’s face! Tell me that doesn’t stir something deep down?”

“If you are not going to cooperate, there is no point in continuing this. Perhaps clinical interrogation will be more successful.” He stood and gathered the metal file that held her picture inside.

A sudden panic filled her chest and she leapt up. “No! I do have something to confess!” She flew around the table and grasped his arm peering into his eyes. “It started when Robbie was born.”

Glancing down at her hand, he firmly pried it off his arm. “Continue.”

“From the moment I looked at him I…sensed something…knew that I should be feeling something. I would have gone off the dose then and there if you hadn’t been so….” She bit her lip and leaned against the tabletop, which, if possible, was even colder than the chair. Goose bumps rose up and down her arms.

“You had just left the monastery, and were so…so goddamned arrogant, looking for sense offenders around every corner, trying to rise to the top. If one didn’t know better they would have thought you full of pride.” After hearing the bitterness in her own voice she shook her head; the interrogations were always recorded. She couldn’t, even now, bear the burden of his life, especially when her children’s lives were also in the balance. “You were and are the perfect Grammaton Cleric. You’ve never shown a single emotional spark since the day we wed,” she finished softly. “What I’m saying is, that by the time Lisa was born, you were far busier and I had more time alone. The bond couldn’t have been stronger. Just holding her in my arms. My god, John, how could you not see it?” she asked sadly. “I’ve been off the dose ever since.”

If John was affected by her admission, he showed no sign. “Disappointing,” he said quietly, making a mark in her file. Angrily she snatched it out of his hand. Two enforcers burst through the door, guns raised. He waved them away. “She’s no threat,” he told them. “Give it back,” he commanded her.

“After you’ve listened to me.” He stood quiet and stared at her with narrow eyes. “One day. I know one day you’re going to come out of this. And when you do, I want you to promise me you won’t blame yourself.”

He gave a humorless snort. “There’s nothing to blame myself for.”

Viviana nodded. “You will. And I need for you to promise me you’ll remember what I said.” She waited but he offered no response. “Tell Robbie and Lisa that they are the world to me. I love them with everything I have, and the memories of them are going to accompany me to a better place. And then I want you to tell yourself the same thing.” His face shifted slightly, but he remained quiet. “I love you. And I know somewhere there is a man who is a good husband and a wonderful father. You will find it. You can’t let Father’s corruption rule you forever.”

“Your sentencing is scheduled for nine am tomorrow.” He seized the file from her hands and exited the room letting the door slam behind him.

She waited for the guards to return her to her cell, but instead when the door opened again it was another Cleric, newly adorned in his black First Class uniform.

Errol Partridge walked into the room slowly angling himself between Viviana and the camera high in the left corner. “Here,” he spoke softly, and then pulled something out of the pocket of his coat. A small vial of amber liquid winked in the harsh light. “You’ll have to ingest it,” he spoke in the same soft voice. “There is no way to smuggle an injector. Drink it fifteen minutes before the sentencing. There should be enough to hold you until…” his voice trailed off, unable to speak the harsh truth.

“Errol, you shouldn’t have,” she whispered, but a shaking hand reached out to accept it.

“I’m sorry I can’t do anything more.”

She smiled at him, and then remembering the camera, turned it into a sneer. “Coming to gloat, Cleric?” she said aloud.

“I should go,” he said and turned away.

“Errol,” she whispered. He met her eyes again, and she said, “Take care of him.”

With sadness he nodded.

“He’s not a bad person,” she continued.

“I know.”

“I just hope someday he’ll understand.”

“He was born to be a Cleric. There’s little you or I can do to change that.” The cynicism dripped off his words.

“You did. There is always hope, Errol, otherwise, what are Jurgen and the others fighting for?”

The knuckle of his forefinger briefly touched his lips. She nodded and then he was gone.

She was escorted back to her cell to wait, and the waiting was what finally did her in. She had hoped to be strong, to face the fires of Libria’s furnaces with head held high and senses fully intact. But she couldn’t. She broke off the top of the vial and with closed eyes, poured the liquid down her throat. The taste made her gag.

He was there during her sentencing, but the dose had taken effect and she found herself as aloof as he was, barely registering his presence. Inside the furnace she focused on nothing. A tickle in the back of her mind said she was supposed to be thinking of something, but it hardly seemed important now.


Prolouge - Part 2

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