***DISCLAIMER: IF YOU'VE BEEN READING UP UNTIL NOW, YOU KNOW WE DON'T CENSORE HERE AT MANUSCRIPTS BURN. HOWEVER, THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS VIOLENT CONTENT THAT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR ALL READERS. PARENT SHOULD MONITOR THEIR KIDS.***
"Knock that off!" Cain said sharply, "No need to torture the poor bastards."
The two Oxen whom Cain had singled out stopped what they were doing. They had been cutting the ears and nose off of one bum, and blinding another. The pathetic drunk victims were powerless to do anything to defend themselves. On Cain's order the two Oxen finished their sadism and simply executed the two homeless people.
"All right. Throw them in the bus," Cain said.
The two Oxen hoisted the dead bums and brought them gingerly on board the SEPTA bus before throwing them roughly into a pile of bodies. They then got underway, with Ben driving the bus. Cain was sitting in the first seat, right behind the driver.
"How much more of this are we going to have to do, Adrian?" Ben asked, because he found that he did not have the stomach for the high quantity of brutality the Fellowship had been administering, he could only take it in small doses.
Some of the other Oxen riding the bus, particularly the ones near the pile of bodies in the back, chimed in their agreement that they were getting tired of the violence.
"I don't know," Cain admitted, "The census is not very good at keeping track of bums. Don't tell me you're losing your nerve for this, Ben. You were the first man I thought of for this job. And the rest of you volunteered for this, after all. I didn’t twist anyone's arm."
It was true that Cain had not forced anyone into this slaughter against their will. He had carefully selected the most hate-filled members of the Philadelphia chapter of the Fellowship and told them about his plan. He had been very careful; the plan would have failed if Victory or one of the other peace-lovers caught wind of it's true intentions. It had required great delicacy on Cain's part to accomplish the murder of every homeless person in Philadelphia.
"I don't know, Adrian. It sounded like a good idea at first. But now that we're actually killing people it seems kind of...evil."
"Evil?" the word struck a nerve in Adrian Cain, "Evil, you say? Is a doctor considered evil for curing a disease? Is a general considered evil for defeating a nation's enemies? Are they?"
"No," Ben admitted.
"Well that's all that we're doing! We are destroying a virulent, monstrous disease. We are battling the enemies of our nation and the world. Yes, we have to do it in secret, but that is only because the American public is so squeamish. We are heroes, I assure you, and in a more enlightened age some years from now, we will be honored for what we are doing tonight. Any of you who wishes to pass up the glory and the righteousness which we are gaining tonight, may leave at any time. I'm not keeping you here."
The bus was quite suddenly very silent. They had all chosen their lots, and now they would have to live with them.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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