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by Mark Neiser (aka nouseforaname)

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Never hesitate. Stay focused. I have been trained to do this. But why am I.....nervous. No not nervous because I have no emotions. That's why we take Prozium. This is what I have trained for. It will be all be over soon.

John Preston watched as the squad of Sweepers formed a perimeter around the building that he was fixing to enter. On the other side of the building he knew that his partner Partridge was waiting to enter from the back. John Preston was a Cleric and this was his first sense offender raid since graduating from the monastery. He had trained for years for this but... ...

... .no. I am a cleric. I am trained for this.

Preston heard the Commander give the go and as he burst through the door into an entry way he spotted two men to the right in which he quickly took down, then another three were to the left. Preston turned and took them down as he somersaulted into the room ahead. He could hear gunfire from the other side. His partner he presumed. This room was empty with another door on the right side of the room. The schematics showed the entry hallway, this room, the room to the right and two in the back in which his partner was to take care of. Reports had been that these men were selling outlawed items to people in the area, which means they were sense offenders spreading it to others. The worse kind Preston thought to himself.

Preston breathed in and ran towards the door. He lunged his foot forward kicking the door open and somersaulting in one motion. He spotted five..no six...men as he leaped upward firing his guns outward to the left and right.

One, two, three down.

He landed and took one out immediately in front of him and then turned to take down the last two.

Preston looked up to see his partner and mentor watching him. Partridge was everything that Preston strived to be in the Grammaton Clerics.

"Well done John," said Partridge. "Well done indeed. You move very fast, maybe the fastest I've ever seen."

"You're being modest Cleric. Everyone knows you are the fastest on the move and on the draw. Besides this is my first time out since graduation I think it is a bit to early to evaluate my skills compared to yours."

"Yes John but I'm getting old, you are the new blood of the Clerics. Trained since you were what....one year old. Your whole life to be a Cleric. Faster and better at what we do. We will rid this world of the things we have deemed unnecessary and it will be because of the work of Clerics like you John."

"Yes we will. It is what we are trained to do."

As the car approached Cleric Headquarters in the heart of Libria, the city in which the Father lived, Preston thought of his first outing. He felt nothing about what had happened. He was not satisfied that it was successful, he was not happy or feeling guilty that he killed eleven men. He was thinking about the work that awaited tomorrow when they had to process the well over 100 items rated EC-10 that were found in the storage room of the building they raided. All items that were deemed offensive to society by Father and all would eventually be destroyed. His thoughts then turned to his wife at home. Would she be awake to wait for him this time of night? Preston could not even answer this question because he realized that it did not matter.

"Something troubling you John?" asked Partridge.

"No of course not why do you ask?"

"Well I've been in your shoes, I know what you are feeling."

"Feeling sir?"

"Thinking, I meant to say, I know what you are thinking."

"Well I was thinking about....well nothing really because I feel nothing over what we did tonight but yet I want to do it again soon. To stop sense offenders is what we are trained for."

"Well said John. And we will soon."

Then the bells of the city rang letting people know it was time for their daily dose of Prozium. Preston and Partridge took out their satchels, filled their injectors, and injected the drug into their necks. It was so routine they could do it with their eyes closed. The car was pulling up to headquarters as they finished their injections. Their work was done for today but tomorrow there is more to be done.

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