The sirens had just started ringing all throughout the school building. We all knew something terrible was about to happen. We were marched down to the hall by our teachers, wearing the symbol of The Regime on their left arm. As we entered the hall, The Regime’s army force waited with guns in hand. 

It was selection day and I knew I was doomed. My father had been working with The Resistance for ten years and was one of the leaders. If The Regime found out who I was, I would never be seen again. Each military member wore full black body armour apart from the red slash on the mask. 

Selection began and they called everyone up one by one to the desk. People were put in two groups; one to join The Regime and one to stay in school. It kept going like this until it came to my turn. I walked up to the desk. 

“Name and I.D number” the Regime officer barked. “Scott McDonald, E469827” I said, trying to stay calm. As soon as I stated my number, two military men grabbed me. “Take this traitor to the jeep!” the officer shouted with his black mask staring straight at me. I knew I was done. 

 

A bag was put over my head. I was tied up and thrown into the back of a car. The only thought going through my head was that I would be killed or tortured in front of everyone. 

The car finally stopped driving after thirty minutes. I was dragged along the floor and kicked every few seconds. When the military man finally stopped walking, he took the bag off of my head. The room was dark with one small light bulb and a man sitting on a chair. As I saw his face, I knew who he was. Slash. The leader and terror figure in everyones life. 

“Your family is a disgrace, Scott. If you don’t start talking, you won’t have any working bones” Slash sneered as he circled me. I couldn’t move or speak as I was paralysed with fear. “Well, you don’t seem like you want to talk. Maybe, after Mike has some fun, you might”. Slash left the room, smirking. I knew I was doomed. 

A man came out of the darkest corner, standing over six feet tall with muscles bigger than my head. One hit and I was down on the floor. I knew I would not be able to last long but if I started to talk, I would ruin The Resistance’s plans. He then dragged me outside to a courtyard filled with rocks and threw me on the ground. 

As he went to hit me again, he fell to the ground and blood splattered out from his back. I lay there in fear, not knowing what had happened. Shots started to rage from all directions. People screaming, hand grenades blowing up. The Resistance had come to save everyone in this prison and hopefully kill Slash. I heard one voice over them all that I knew all too well. My father ran up to me, wearing armour and holding two guns.

“Dad! You came to save me!”, “Of course I did, son. You’re too valuable for me to lose. Now, get this on and take this gun. We are going to end this war together!”. His voice was full of pride and rage as he handed me a bulletproof vest and a gun. He lead me back to the door I’d come out off. More of the Resistance fighters joined us as we entered the building. 

 

We were greeted with gunfire and tear gas, but we marched on through. People started to fall on both sides as we neared the end of the corridor. 

We reached the door with only Dad and I left. As I looked at him, his face was full of fear. He knew Slash was behind that door. “We are not going to fail, son” he said, forcing a smile. We entered to be greeted by Slash. 

“Well, look who it is. The leader of the Resistance”. “It’s over, Slash. Stand down now!” my father shouted. “Or else what? I’m the stronger man here. I still have a whole army left while you only have a handful”. Slash seemed to be enjoying this too much. My dad looked startled and a gun shot rang out through the room. My dad fell to the floor with a thud, blood pumping from the bullet wound. 

Slash laughed, thinking he had me again. But he forgot one thing about me. I turned as quickly as I could and fired the gun at Slash until it stopped shooting. He was dead before his stiff body hit the floor. I knew I should be happy but I couldn’t be. My father was there beside me, never going to know how the world would turn out to be. All of his hard work and I had to finish the job for him. 

 

As I watched my father bleed out, I thought of everything we did when I was younger. All those happy memories of him and everything he was fighting for. I knew I couldn’t just let this battle for freedom end so easily. As Slash stood there with her evil grin, I knew I was the only hope of there being a change.

“Well boy,” she sneered, “Any last words?”. “What’s all this fighting for? Why do you have to put fear into the life of others? Why can’t we have freedom of speech? Why aren’t we able to be who we want to be?” I shouted, thinking it was the end.

Slash stood there in awe, not knowing what to do or say. But then something incredible happened. She lowered the gun, put it down, and began to cry. “All I ever wanted to do was make a world where people wouldn’t be in danger.” she said as the tears rolled down her face, “I was abandoned as a child and left on my own to fight on the streets. When people looked at me, they thought I was a disgrace.”. I was just standing there, shocked to the core at what I had managed to do. The most feared person in our lives was having a mental breakdown right in front of me. “Then a group of teens came up to me and attacked me. They knew I had nothing. They just wanted to see me cry and feel pain. That’s how I got this,” she looked straight at me with one finger running down the thick, red scar stretching from her eye to her chin. “From that moment on, I wanted to make a change and bring peace and order to the land”. “But why all the violence? Why all the suffering and why on your own? You need people around you to help get all the answers and to try make life fair.”. It was the first time I spoke in a while and Slash got up and walked towards me.

“It wasn’t always like this” she stated, “I tried to do it nicely but violence and force seemed to be the answer.”. “No, it’s not. Letting people speak, letting people have an idea is the way. Violence only makes it worse. Thousands died just because you thought it was right. I lost my dad today because of you. How would it make you feel to watch yours die right beside you?”. I felt a sudden tension lift from the room. “You’re right” she said. “I am?”. “Yes, all this power and all I wanted to do just made things worse for everyone. I’ve broken families, caused people to die. What I really should have done was come find people to help me with trying to make things right.”. “You still have time. There’s always time to fix your mistakes and make our world a better place”. “But how can I just expect everyone to not be scared of me?”. “By doing what you did today. Come out and be honest with yourself and show people who you really are.”. “Thank you for everything. I’m sorry for what I did”.

She leaned in and tried to hug me but I backed up. “I know you struggled as a teen but I can never forgive you for killing my own father as I watched” I said. She looked at me, then looked at the stiff corpse lying on the ground. She left the room with itchy eyes and a goal in mind but I couldn’t leave. I creeped over to my father in fear of what I would see. As I knelt beside him, I knew we had won but I would never feel like that. As I kissed his forehead one last time and got up to leave, I knew I might have just started a new beginning for the lives of everyone.