Twenty-First Century Slavery – Part 04

By convict 975468

One day Ted and Blake were ordered to a large area in the center of the new camp.  They saw other prisoners naked and washing while guards sprayed them with water from hoses.

They were told to strip and throw their clothes in the trash barrels provided.  Again their hair and beard were cut, as they had regularly been.  Soon their turn came they were sprayed with cold water and given soap to wash.  After that they were sprayed with an insecticide and washed again.  It was humiliating being naked in a group being sprayed with water.  The water was very cold – but in the end they were glad to be clean at last.

After they finished washing, they were then led naked over to the paved area, where there were trucks parked and tents erected.  The trucks were backed up to the tents and prisoners were being issued new uniforms.

But first they joined the line leading to a large mobile trailer.  The pavement was very hot to their bare feet; as they waited, they lifted one foot and then the other, trying not to be burned.  Though they were still dripping from the shower, they were dry by the time they got their turn to enter the trailer.  Still naked they went inside. At the first desk they placed their right hands on a fingerprint reading machine.  The clerk verified their names, DOB, SSN, etc.

Then he printed out a form and handed it to an attendant who directed them to stand before a standard police photo background with lines showing their height.  Pictures of the full body from all sides, as well as closeups.  Next they were led to a station where a number was tattooed on their right wrist and the left side of their neck.  At the last station a doctor inserted a computer chip into their necks.

Then they were led outside past the trucks, to a tent where uniforms were being issued.  There were tables with uniforms stacked in rows–tables for trousers and shirts, tables for everything.    An attendant started taking Ted’s measurements.  He measured Ted’s waist and called out, “34 waist” to a man standing at a nearby table.  Then he pushed the measuring device into his crotch, his hand touching Ted’s cock.  Ted jumped.  “Stand still,” the attendant told him, as he measured the length of Ted’s leg.  He continued by measuring his neck and shoulders, his head and feet.  Soon the other attendant had stacked Ted’s clothing on the table.  Ted picked up the stack of brown uniforms. Two pants, two shirts, two tees, two skivvies, and two pairs of socks.   Printed in black on the back of each uniform shirt was a huge “CCW”.  There was a smaller “CCW” on the left front of the shirt.  The pants were marked with a small “CCW” on the right thigh.  He then moved to the other side of the tent where he was issued a pair of heavy brown boots, with CCW stamped into their backs.

But he was not allowed to put on his new garb.  Still naked, he was directed to the line for the next tent.  When his turn came the attendant took his clothes and after noting Ted’s tattoo, he began to stencil them with his number.  Each piece of clothing was printed with it in black – even the socks and underwear —  it appeared on the shirt over the left breast, and on the left thigh. There would be no doubt of who and what Ted was.  His things were then piled on the table, and he picked them up and went outside, where he went to join the formation that was gathering at the edge of the pavement.  Soon Blake came and stood beside him.  They stood there naked, holding the clothing they were issued.  Knowing better than to move, Ted managed to whisper safely, “This is good!”

A guard began calling out prisoners by their numbers and having them form up in groups.  Blake and Ted found themselves standing in the first two positions of the fourth row of group one.   Now there were twelve men in a row rather than the eight as before.  The prisoners were told that the four groups, numbered Platoon 1 – 4, comprised Company A.  Platoons 1 and 2 were led to the first barrack and Ted and Blake’s 1st Platoon was assigned to the bottom floor.  The prisoners were assigned to bunks in the order in which they were placed in the formation.  Squad 4 – the one with Ted and Blake – was assigned the six double bunks in the left rear of the building.

The outer walls of the barracks were finished solidly.  Inside the framing was not covered — one could see the outer wall between the studs.  Only the latrine wall was finished, but the other side of that wall was open, exposing the plumbing pipes.  The guard told them to store their extra uniforms on the shelves attached to the wall between the bunks and get dressed.  The clothes were dark brown, and the whole outfit was of tough material and institutional.  There was nothing provisional or ad hoc about them. Ted pulled on his skivvies, which were stiff and heavy.  The trousers had no pockets or belt, only an elastic waist.  The tee was stiff and heavy like the skivvies.  The shirt, made of the same heavy material as the pants, was a v-neck short sleeve pullover that came down below his waist, and like the pants, had were no pockets.  He pulled on a pair of thick brown socks, and put on his boots.  To his amazement everything seemed to fit well.  There was one more thing in the stack that Ted had not noticed – a soft fatigue cap with a “CCW” in the front and his number on the back.

Once they were dressed up in their new suits, each was given a business-sized card with his number on it, which was then inserted into a slot on the end of his bunk.  On each bunk was a green plastic mattress and a green plastic pillow.  Stacked under the pillow were a blanket and two sheets.  How long had it been since they had seen sheets?

They were told the rules.  Each prisoner was responsible for cleaning his bunk and shelf.  The blanket and sheets were to be folded neatly under the pillow each morning.  With regard to the latrine, on the first day Squad 1 would use the latrine first in the morning, followed by Squads 2, 3, and 4.  Squad 4 would be responsible for cleaning the latrine that day.  Next day, Squad 2 would go first and Squad 1 would clean, and so on.  The squad that went first to the latrine was responsible for sweeping and mopping the rest of the first floor.  Everything would rotate in order day after day.  Each night one squad could shower and put on clean uniforms, meaning each prisoner would get a shower and a fresh uniform every four days.  One prisoner in each squad was named monitor and given responsibility for reminding his squad of their duties and might from time to time be required to attend a meeting and bring back instructions for his squad.  Blake was named monitor for Squad 4.

Ted and Blake were glad they were assigned to the same bunk.  Blake volunteered to take the top.  They realized that their squad would work together. Being in the same squad would mean that they would already be together when they reported to formation, and they would all arrive at their assigned workstation together.  The new arrangements functioned well.  The prisoners in the crew did their sleeping and eating and all the rest of their activities together.  Blake was a natural leader and the prisoners came to respect him.  Day after day they worked from sunrise to dusk.  The barracks continued going up.  More and more prisoners arrived.   There were endless days to work, eat, and sleep.

The camp changed dramatically.  The outer perimeter was completed: two chain link fences, topped with razor wire, and a tower at each corner and every 150 feet along each side with two armed guards ready to shoot any prisoner who tried to escape.  Just before the fences were completed, a large mess hall was built, with crude tables and benches, and all the prisoners, except for the new ones hauling rocks into and out of the mining pit, ate their meals there.

One day Ted was summoned from his work by a guard.  He had chains attached to his wrists and ankles and was taken out of the compound, past the tent area that still gave the new prisoners their taste of hauling rocks, and into the mining shack, which still served as the superintendent’s office.  Ted was scared; he wondered if he’d ever see Blake again.

The head guard sat behind a desk, and Ted stood at attention before him.

“Prisoner, I have here divorce papers which you will sign.  There is also a short note from your wife, which you may read.”

Ted looked at the note.  It was not in her handwriting but was typed.  It read, “Ted, it is too difficult for me and the children, while I am married to someone who is a threat to good social order.”

Below it was signed “April,” with a larger than normal dot over the “i.”

Ted read it again — still in stunned disbelief.

“Sign or you’ll be whipped, and then you will sign.”

Ted moved forward, took the pen he was offered, and signed.

“Leave the note on the desk.  You are dismissed.”

Ted turned and was led away.

That night after lights out, they sat on Ted’s bunk and whispered. Ted told Blake about his divorce and the note.

“The note was cold and businesslike.  I think someone else wrote it.  But there was a large circle of ink above the ’i’ in ‘April.’  I think she had used a little heart to dot the ‘i,’ like she often did — but somebody inked it over.”

Ted whispered, “I couldn’t make it without you.  I am so lucky to have you.”

They sat on the bunk like that for a long time.  Blake had his hand on Ted’s thigh.  At one point he reached over and grasped Ted’s right shoulder, turning him into an embrace.

Blake’s hand roamed from thigh to the crotch, where he found a hard cock.  He gently kissed Ted, who after a bit kissed back.  They pulled off their skivvies and lay on Ted’s bunk.  Blake took Ted’s cock into his mouth, and after sucking for a bit reached down and maneuvered his cock into Ted’s mouth.  This was a first, and Ted was reluctant, but willing.  Ted was not good at it — but he tried, and as he came Blake shot his load in his mouth.  They lay like that for several minutes, and then Blake turned around and held Ted in his arms.  Ted wrapped his arms around Blake and they held each other tightly.

Six weeks later the superintendent met with the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Public Order, who had come from Washington to inspect the camp.  After a tour of the camp they met  in his office with the department heads of the camp.  The Deputy Secretary emphasized that while other camps were in the planning stages, this was the only camp available to take prisoners.  He explained that the local councils were active, and that the camp could expect thousands of new prisoners rather than the trickle of hundreds that had been the pattern.

The Deputy Secretary stressed that they should divide the workers into two 12-hour shifts and continue construction 24/7.  He pointed out that there were hundreds of prisoners still held in tents, hauling rocks, and that these prisoners should be moved into the camp and assigned to work constructing barracks.  The superintendent replied that he was reluctant to bring the other prisoners into the camp until there were barracks to hold them.

The Deputy Secretary suggested that the most efficient approach would be to move the prisoners into the existing barracks.  He said that with two shifts, the day shift could sleep while the night shift worked, and vice versa.  The doctor objected and argued that they had disease under control, and that the sharing of bunks would risk spreading any infection that might occur.  The superintendent supported the doctor, praising him for his leadership in directing methods of sanitation.

The superintendent asked the group for suggestions.  One supervisor suggested moving the tents into the camp and the prisoners with them.  Again the doctor cautioned against that option; again citing sanitation issues.  Finally there was a suggestion that the large warehouse was just completed, and that a latrine could be constructed and connected to the building.  The idea was discussed, and one participant suggested that according to his rough figures the building could accommodate over 1000 prisoners.   It was also decided that a new mess hall should be constructed at once.

Further discussion concerned the fact that most of the prisoners lacked construction skills.  As a result of the discussion, the Deputy Secretary authorized the hiring of as many as 100 experienced carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and site supervisors to train and supervise the new prisoners.  A goal of building ten barracks per month was set.

The Deputy Secretary and the superintendent agreed that strict discipline must be maintained.  A committee of guard supervisors was formed to come up with appropriate rules.  The Deputy Secretary suggested that they should consider the morale of the current working prisoners.  He suggested that the new rules be announced and enforced one or two at the time, to allow the existing prisoners to adapt.

Now the guards concentrated on discipline.  It seemed to Ted that every week there was a new rule.  When alone, prisoners were no longer allowed to walk, but were required to run, unless they were actively involved in work.  If a guard entered a barrack every prisoner had to stand at attention by his bunk until the guard left.  If a guard found anything out of place, the prisoner would be given demerits.  The guards each carried an electronic device that synced with the prisoner’s chip and made it super easy to assign and record those demerits.  When a prisoner got to ten, he was called out at formation and whipped.

The guards carried riding crops, and enjoyed their authority to use them.  If a guard passed a prisoner, the prisoner was required to turn and stand facing away at rigid attention till the guard was past.  If a guard asked a question of a prisoner, the prisoner was to loudly answer, always beginning and ending with “Sir.”

In formation the prisoners were required to stand at attention, but were sometimes permitted to “stand at ease” — a military command allowing them to move as long as their right foot remained in place.  When being moved from one location to another, the prisoners were marched in lockstep and were at times made to run with the same precision.

Company A was assigned to the day shift.  The work continued as before, but greater progress was made, and barracks sprang up at two a week.  Almost every night Ted and Blake lay holding each other.  Many nights they lay head to foot, sucking each other’s cocks.

Five more months go by.  Fifty more barracks have been completed.  There are now more than 5000 prisoners in the camp.  Two months earlier, the carpentry prisoners were reassigned to new barracks across the camp, making them closer to their work.

Work went on as before.  They continued to build barracks.  Other crews were formed to build factory buildings.  Prisoners were trained to make uniforms, others to assemble parts for various manufacturers.  Agriculture crews were formed and chained together to work the fields, growing food.

Rumors began to circulate among the prisoners.  New prisoners were said to have been betrayed by their neighbors who reported them for spreading misinformation.  It was said that the “Truth Police”, the para-military force, dressed like the guards with uniforms like those that Ted had encountered at the citizen’s council, were everywhere.  Prisoners who were caught talking about these rumors were whipped.

The Deputy Secretary of the Department of Public Order visited again and was impressed with the progress.  In a meeting with the superintendent they discussed the fact that the camp would soon be built out.  The Deputy Secretary told the group, “Our original plan was to move the building crews developed here to other camps to assist in building them.  However, as you know, some months ago, we reassigned the hired carpenters, electricians, and plumbers to other camps to train crews there.  We only left a few to inspect the work at this facility.  Construction at those camps is underway   So it has been decided that when construction is completed here the crews should be assigned to other work.

“Already there are more inmates here than you have work for.  There have been some incidents of discipline breaking down among those not working.  The original plan for the camp was to utilize the mine to keep the prisoners working.  The department has decided that the best plan is to reopen the mine – with manual labor only.  Prisoners will use pick and shovel, and occasional blasting, to mine the ore and bring it to the surface, where it will be loaded onto trucks.  The ore is low grade, but we have found an operation reasonably close that is willing to accept it.  It will not bring in much revenue, but we can keep inmates occupied, and out of trouble.”

New fencing was soon put up around the mine.  Idle prisoners were put to work digging out the ore and bringing it to the surface in two 12-hour shifts.  Steadily new prisoners arrived and were put to work.  With the new fencing, there was no need for prisoners to be chained.

Blake and Ted continued on the inmate construction crew, where they had become more and more skilled.  They were working hanging doors and installing windows and other finishing work.  Often they were assigned a promising inmate carpenter to train.  Since buildings other than barracks were being constructed – factories, food processing plants, facilities for the mine – it was another year before all the barracks were complete.

There was no ceremony, no celebration, no thanks for a job well done.   The day after the last barrack was finished, construction crews were assigned to the mine and found themselves carrying ore to the surface. The work was backbreaking, but they had to adapt.  There was no pleasure in the work, no satisfaction as there was in seeing a floor laid or a window installed.  It was dull drudgery.

Blake and Ted were spared.  They were included among a group of the most skilled workers – forming a maintenance crew.  They could hardly believe their luck.  As the months went by, their love became stronger and stronger, and they found comfort in each other’s arms.

One day a new prisoner was assigned to the maintenance crew.  Ted told Blake that he looked familiar, but he couldn’t place him.  With his shaved head and brown uniform, he looked like the rest of them.  The next day Blake decided that he was Joel, the master carpenter who had been assigned to lead their crew, and from whom they had gained most of their skills.

In the days and weeks to come they got to know Joel better.  Eventually, carefully and quietly, he told them about life outside the camp.  Radical groups had gone from demand to demand; other groups pushed back; the government printed money to satisfy all demands; inflation was out of control; millions were out of work.

The government had declared an emergency and the Truth Police were given extra powers.  Though most people were opposed to the regime, they were also afraid to speak out.  People disappeared without explanation.  Everyone was afraid; neighbor turned on neighbor.  Joel had been arrested because he was working with a group that was printing and distributing leaflets in opposition to the regime.

For days after Joel had told them about the conditions outside the camp, they were distressed and hardly spoke a word.  Later they had an opportunity for a quiet discussion.

Ted started, “We’ve worked all these years under the threat of the whip.  We are no more than slaves.”

“All this time I hoped that eventually there would be a new election, and all this would end somehow.  But if Joel is right, the people are in slavery – or soon will be.”

“That leaves no hope for us, we will be slaves the rest of our lives.  I can’t live with that!”

“We don’t have to.  Joel was doing something about things.  We can too.”

“What are you saying, Blake?”

“I’m saying that it begins with us.  We talk to Joel again.  We make plans.  And slowly, carefully we take action.  Little by little we organize to fight for our freedom. There are 5000 prisoners here, and just hundreds of guards.  The numbers are in our favor, even though they are armed and we are not.”

“Do you really think it will work?”

“I don’t know, but if we aren’t willing to fight for our freedom, then we ought to be slaves.”

That night as they lay in each other’s arms, they felt closer than ever before.

End of part 4

Metal would like to thank the author, convict 975468, for this story — and also thanks to Joshua Ryan for inspiring it!

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