by Max Barry

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Region: The League of Conservative Nations

The Constitutional Republic of Zion wrote:Ivanovich enters the room with one guard. He looks upon the prisoner, a young man. Ivanovich chuckles
“You fool.” He speaks Morovan.
“You’ve given your life for a cause that was doomed to fail. You realize you will die. You have to. You prefer it. You want to be a martyr.”
The prisoner says nothing. Ivanovich begins speaking again.
“Well, you won’t be a martyr. But you will die.”
Ivanovich leans in and whispers.
“Can I tell you a secret? You’re right. There is no god. No hope for happiness and salvation. No, we just pretend. You ask any orthodox priest, they’ll say the Same. We tell the people what to do and say we act for some higher authority because they need to believe. They need that higher authority. We take away their freedom in Gods name because deep down they don’t want freedom. Freedom means decisions. Decisions are threatening. No, instead they want to be lead, so their lives will be complete. They’ll be happy thinking they followed the mysterious authority their whole lives when they die, and that happiness will aid their transition into nothingness. No, life has no meaning. We hide it from the people because they would be too crushed to live if they knew. I take upon myself the responsibility of our meaningless existence so they don’t have to. I tell them to bring some joy to their meaningless lives. You tried to take that away. You and your godd*mned pamphlet. For that, you will die. I will make sure no one remembers you. I will ensure that no man or woman in earth knows you existed. I will make sure every reference to your name is gone, so that even the people who remember you will doubt their own mind. Who are you?”
The man is silent. He says nothing. The Morovan soldier takes a picture of the man.
“No matter.” Ivanovich continues. “you can ignore me. We will find out who you are nonetheless.”
The man looks down, leans over, and kisses Ivanovich on the cheek. Ivanovich, startled, backhands him.
“What, you think that will defeat me? A little kiss? I have spent years consolidating power. I rule every aspect of our nation. You have no chance against me.”
The man speaks for the first time. His voice is quiet.
“It wasn’t a kiss that will beat you. It’s love.” Ivanovich cackles.
“Love is nothing more than your brains motivation to get you to reproduce. No, love lost before it got its fists up. I have won.” Ivanovich turns to the creeperopolis guards
“I have determined that this man should be executed for treason, sodomy, libel, sedition, and sacrilege. It is not worth identifying him. Do with him what you will.” He says. He turns and he and his guard leave the room.

The Creeperian soldiers take the man away and is never seen again.

Ivanovich and his men are escorted back to the airport.

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