It was just like any other day. I left home early, like I do everyday and rushed to work. It was a public holiday so there were very few people hanging around. Nothing strange in that. Work was as mundane as it’s always been and it was not like I was expecting miracles to happen.
So when the strange guys made their entrance, no one gave them a second glance. I mean, the public walks into this place all the time and there’s no way one can vet everyone who saunters in. The strange looks started like an hour into their visit. The guys had been sitting in the room and saying nothing. That’s when someone asked who the hell the visitors were. That’s also when we realized that they were sitting like statues; saying nothing, reading nothing and looking very uneasy, like they got spiked clubs stuck up their behinds.
I thought there were only two but when someone walked up to one of them and asked what they were doing sitting in this members-only place, we saw some others, three from the lib and three from upstairs, coming and forming some form of military formation thingy.
That was when we realised there was cause to fear. When the guy who looked like the platoon leader stood up, the employee who had dared ask backed away. The guy was a man mountain and the look on his face made him even bigger. That’s when we noticed that they all had loose fitting shirts over bulges at their sides. They had radios, which did not look like standard army issue. They looked tense, like they were waiting for an order from somewhere.
We were all rooted to our spots. No one dared talk. The room had grown deathly quiet. We did not know what these intruders wanted but whatever it was, we knew these guys would not hesitate to use force to get it. It was the moment when the weak bladdered would have released the contents from this morning’s breakfast.Maybe some of us did.
What did they want? Why had they ambushed us? Why were they all staring stony eyed at us? At least they should say something so we can know if they are human or just automatons out for the kill.
Then three other guys came down the steps leading the MD. I had never seen the guy that shaken. Hell, how often do you see your boss at the point of shitting his pants? In another setting, I would have burst out laughing. This would have been the material for many barstool tales but at the moment, I knew anyone, even I could shit my pants anytime. The air had grown chilly and it was only 11 AM.
Then the office clown walked in. The guy everyone despised. He of the funny lisp and slow brains. They guy who would never be smart if the earth survived the extinction level event coming next year and gave all the stubborn survivors a second lease on life. This guy now walked into the office with three gorillas behind him and the way he carried himself, it was obvious that he was the guy running the show.
And he was speaking a strange language. A military language, which sounded harsh and clipped. He was giving the intruders orders and that’s when it dawned on us that every one of us had been suckered. We had been playing in the jaws of the enemy all this time and like a big cat playing with its prey, this small insignificant man had let us say all the incriminating things one can say about a government.
Because we knew this was about all the things we had been saying about the state. Now the state was here to get its own back. The international community was not here to save us. All they could do was talk. There would be a million talking heads on a million stupid boxes around the world saying a lot of hot air but that’s all they could do.