fodschwazzle: (Sandy hole)
Dear Denise,

I didn’t really do it, and I do still love you.

The news will report my absence like this, I think: “Cory Roane, a well-liked physical therapist in Salt Lake City, was found to have ties with an illegal in New Magdalena in the latest in a series of outreach crimes. Federal agents captured him on Thursday night and placed him under arrest.” I’m not sure how much you remember about my cousin, Paul. Like me, Paul was put under arrest shortly after his wife was put under arrest, which was shortly after her father was put under arrest. Like them, arrest meant that I was processed at Nogales Station and posted just south of the wall.
Like you, I received an email from a loved one.

If you’ve opened this message, they’re probably coming after you now. Three days after I opened Paul’s email, I woke up at Nogales. An hour later, I was abandoned with a group of people with only enough water to get us to New Magdalena. There is nothing immediately south of the wall, Denise. We believed that Nogales was on both sides, but there is no evidence of any human life within the first 30 kilometers of the wall.

I don’t remember being taken, and you know I was the lighter sleeper. I doubt you remember. People here say they suspect some kind of gas is sent through a house that knocks residents out for a few hours. They come in the night, take the “perpetrator,” and transfer them as quickly as possible. Do not expect to be able to defend yourself against being taken. None of us remember how it happened.

I didn’t email you just so that you could be trapped. Take this message to the news station. Renounce your love for me. Burn the letter on video. Maybe this way, you can avoid getting taken. If you would prefer to make a stand, do it fast and throw everything else in your life aside.

You probably won’t be hearing from me again. There is a wireless signal here on an unprotected network. You might recall hearing about it and how people here are accessing it with increasingly complicated hacking protocols. New Magdalena, an outpost of about 30 repurposed shipping containers on a hilltop with little else in the way of civilization, is about thirty kilometers from the wall. There is no signal in any direction around New Magdalena, meaning that someone is allowing “illegals” to access certain networks. We have electricity, water, and modern computers. All I can do is access my email, though. Every other website has been blocked.

The problem is, however, that there are no old illegals in New Magdalena. I can’t find Paul anywhere, even though this is supposedly where he went. Did he keep going south after a rest at New Magdalena? I doubt it. A man came up from a town south of here. He couldn’t speak any English, but we managed to ask him if he’d seen anyone like us. He shook his head, made a sound and a gesture not unlike firing a rifle, and pointed to a far off outcropping of hills. He then showed us some of the marks--tiny holes in the container units that always seem to be at face level. Is there a kind of gun that can make so small of a hole while still puncturing steel?

I expect I will be dead before you can do anything about it, Denise. Probably, if you know all of this, you’ll wind up where I am soon too. I think this is their way of winnowing down anyone who could possibly oppose the way of things. Odd, considering that we have always been annoyed and even scared to hear about hacking attacks and seditious acts from illegals who apparently no longer exist.

Do you remember when the word “illegal” changed? I must have been a baby at the time, but I definitely recall it meant something else once. When did it stop referring to people who crossed into our country without clearance and start being about all people who looked like they had come from the south? When there were no more of those people to process and post, when did it become about affiliation with the illegals who had already been processed? There is no one to defend me as an accused man if you and I both perish, and now that I’m here, I realize that anyone who could defend me would wind up here too.

I hear a popping sound now. I think I’m out of time. I can’t give you advice here. If you do anything I’ve asked you to do, you’ll be caught and processed. I love you more than words, more than water, and more than you can know. I will do what I can to survive and hope you do too.

Your husband,
Cory Roane

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