|Equilibrium Fan Fiction
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.
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.
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
“You must,” he
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
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
“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.
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
shouldn’t have,” she whispered, but a shaking hand reached out to
“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.
whispered. He met her eyes again, and she said, “Take care of him.”
With sadness he
“He’s not a bad
person,” she continued.
“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
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.
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.
- Part 2