American Chimera – 22.1

American Chimera Cover Small

The interrogator tapped her tablet with stylus. Her eyes looked into the face of Stacy Ellington, pensive without betraying her intent.

“What?” Stacy held her wrists and wrung them. “We both know you’re not a shrink. What you want?”

Nothing changed. The interrogator blinked once, twice, but kept tapping the tablet with her stylus in rhythmic fashion. She clutched at something under her jacket, something solid.

The pace of Stacy’s breathing increased. “Is something going wrong? You haven’t acted like this before. I’m not going to die, am I? You’re not going to kill me?”

The interrogator released the object beneath her jacket. “Your fate hasn’t been decided.”

“Is that what I’m here for? You, like, my judge now or somethin’?”

“Perhaps.” The interrogator pressed a button on her tablet, shutting the mechanism down. “You’re young. Hopeful. Not yet cynical and disillusioned enough with the world to be displeased by the garbage people older than you left behind.”

Stacy rolled her eyes. “Please. You talk as if people my age don’t realize hags like you killed all the animals. ‘Save the environment by killing all the cows?’ My ass.”

“Cows aren’t truly natural animals. They’re not part of a healthy ecosystem-”

“Yeah, but where are the buffalo then? Where are the wolves, huh?”

“They’ve been gone for longer than you’ve been alive.”

“Because you didn’t save them. We’ll inherit the mess you left, all because you didn’t save the animals!”

The interrogator breathed in as if to refute Stacy’s comment, but then thought better of it. “Several years back, there was a war. The Chimera War. Have you learned about it yet?”

“That was like seven years ago. I remember it happening, dillweed. That’s not history.”

“Tell me how you feel about that war. How would you feel if it were happen again, right as you are about to flower into your draftable age?”

Stacy pulled back. “I’m not gonna stop bein’ Dani’s friend! I know the Accords don’t want her alive, but you can’t make me betray her!”

“That’s not what I requested. I want you to tell me what you, a fine young woman with a brain surely ripe for use as a drone soldier, think about war.”

Stacy gulped and looked around her. The interrogation room only offered her shadows and steel, nowhere to run. “Alright. I reckon it won’t change anything.”

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