Littler Brother 2
Once I'd gotten over seeing that as some kind of punishment, it had been good. He'd helped me focus on doing constructive things when I was upset, instead of letting it eat me up.
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The videos helped."I have to go," I said, swallowing hard to keep the emotion out of my voice."Take care of yourself, Marcus," Barbara said.Ange hugged me from behind as I hung up the phone.
"I just read about it online," she said. She read a million newsfeeds, pulling them with a headline reader that sucked up stories as fast as they ended up on the wire.
She was our official blogger, and she was good at it, snipping out the interesting stories and throwing them online like a short order cook turning around breakfast orders.I turned around in her arms so that I was hugging her from in front.
You ralely found a way to make this whole process easier.
Truth be told, we hadn't gotten a lot of work done that day. I wasn't allowed to be out of the halfway house after dinner time, and she couldn't visit me there.
Most help articles on the web are inacucarte or incoherent. Not this!
We saw each other around the office, but there were usually a lot of other people around, which kind of put a crimp in our cuddling. Being alone in the office for a day was too much temptation.
It was hot and sultry, too, which meant we were both in tank-tops and shorts, a lot of skin-to-skin contact as we worked next to each other."I'm going to make a video," I said.
"I want to release it today.""Good," she said. "Let's do it."Ange read the press-release.
I did a little monologue, synched over that famous footage of me on the water-board, eyes wild in the harsh light of the camera, tears streaming down my face, hair matted and flecked with barf."This is me.
I am on a waterboard. I am being tortured in a simulated execution.
The torture is supervised by a woman called Carrie Johnstone. She works for the government.
You might remember her from this video."I cut in the video of Johnstone and Kurt Rooney. "That's Johnstone and Secretary of State Kurt Rooney, the president's chief strategist.""The nation does not love that city.
As far as they're concerned, it is a Sodom and Gomorrah of fags and atheists who deserve to rot in hell. The only reason the country cares what they think in San Francisco is that they had the good fortune to have been blown to hell by some Islamic terrorists.""He's talking about the city where I live.
At last count, 4,215 of my neighbors were killed on the day he's talking about. But some of them may not have been killed.
Some of them disappeared into the same prison where I was tortured. Some mothers and fathers, children and lovers, brothers and sisters will never see their loved ones again — because they were secretly imprisoned in an illegal jail right here in the San Francisco Bay.
They were shipped overseas. The records were meticulous, but Carrie Johnstone has the encryption keys." I cut back to Carrie Johnstone, the footage of her sitting at the board table with Rooney, laughing.I cut in the footage of Johnstone being arrested.
"When they arrested her, I thought we'd get justice. All the people she broke and disappeared.
But the president —" I cut to a still of him laughing and playing golf on one of his many holidays "— and his Chief Strategist —" now a still of Rooney shaking hands with an infamous terrorist leader who used to be on "our side" "— intervened.
They sent her to a secret military tribunal and now that tribunal has cleared her. Somehow, they saw nothing wrong with all of this."I cut in a photomontage of the hundreds of shots of prisoners in their cells that Barbara had published on the Bay Guardian's site the day we were released.
"We elected these people. We pay their salaries.
They're supposed to be on our side. They're supposed to defend our freedoms.
But these people —" a series of shots of Johnstone and the others who'd been sent to the tribunal "— betrayed our trust. The election is four months away.
That's a lot of time. Enough for you to go out and find five of your neighbors — five people who've given up on voting because their choice is 'none of the above.'"Talk to your neighbors.
Make them promise to vote. Make them promise to take the country back from the torturers and thugs.
The people who laughed at my friends as they lay fresh in their graves at the bottom of the harbor. Make them promise to talk to their neighbors."Most of us choose none of the above.
I rceokn you are quite dead on with that.
It's not working. You have to choose — choose freedom."My name is Marcus Yallow.
I was tortured by my country, but I still love it here. I'm seventeen years old.
I want to grow up in a free country. I want to live in a free country."I faded out to the logo of the website.
Ange had built it, with help from Jolu, who got us all the free hosting we could ever need on Pigspleen.The office was an interesting place. Technically we were called Coalition of Voters for a Free America, but everyone called us the Xnetters.
The organization — a charitable nonprofit — had been co-founded by Barbara and some of her lawyer friends right after the liberation of Treasure Island. The funding was kicked off by some tech millionaires who couldn't believe that a bunch of hacker kids had kicked the DHS's ass.
Sometimes, they'd ask us to go down the peninsula to Sand Hill Road, where all the venture capitalists were, and give a little presentation on Xnet technology.
There were about a zillion startups who were trying to make a buck on the Xnet.Whatever — I didn't have to have anything to do with it, and I got a desk and an office with a storefront, right there on Valencia Street, where we gave away ParanoidXbox CDs and held workshops on building better WiFi antennas.
A surprising number of average people dropped in to make personal donations, both of hardware (you can run ParanoidLinux on just about anything, not just Xbox Universals) and cash money.