Join Now Or Die

Set in a futuristic London ruled buy a 'Reformer' who does as he pleases.


1. The Reform

The eerie silence fell like an executioner’s axe. Nothing was going to break it nothing could. Everything had changed; the once busy, bustling market had been reduced to dilapidated stalls that stank of decaying fruit, mixed with the rat droppings and bodies littering the street. The grandest of buildings had been reduced to rubble, and the once illuminated signs of the famous city, were lying in disrepair everywhere.
  The city was unrecognisable; it had been stripped of its grandeur and been replaced by what could have been mistaken for a bombsite. Which in fact it had been, yet this was not caused by a bomb or in fact any weapon. No, this had been caused by sheer terror, determination and manipulation. The key things a person needs to start a revolution or riot. Although this was definitely not ordinary.
  A voice boomed out of the speaker system.
“Day 4,384 of the reform. Deaths: 8,172,538. Deaths to go: 1,564.”
  That was the voice of the ‘Reformer’, doing his daily reminder. None of the survivors knew who he was or what he was capable of. He had just arrived out of nowhere on that warm spring morning on April 23rd, and changed everything.  He had managed to appear on every television, every radio, everywhere possible. He was always pictured or heard with the same twisted words: ‘Join now, or die later.’ Of course everyone completely ignored it. What did that mean anyway? It was just another weird man using his life’s savings to tell the city that the world was about to end or we were all doomed.
  Except this time it wasn’t, this time it was real. After few listened, and joined him he started rumours. It was only family to family, but he spent, years, just stirring trouble, just until everyone cracked. All hell broke loose, riots everywhere. He must have planned it; everything was so intricately tuned, so it would fall perfectly into place, when needed.
  From then on, from his point of view, he had done what he intended, he just needed to finish his work. The few who had joined him took on his dirty work: At the start of his reign it meant killing. Killing anyone who had power and didn’t agree with him. The deaths were made discreet, highly toxic gases that disappeared when exposed to sunlight, poison that could travel through the body that only caused harm after the person had excreted, were the two favourites. After the first couple of months the deaths grew violent; a whole hotel killed by a fire, as somehow the fire alarms weren’t working. The politician whose throat was slit in front of his children, before them themselves were hanged, off lampposts in public view. Least of all, and probably the most horrific was the public execution of twenty five orphans. One by one they were executed using knives; it was like the medieval times. Every ‘yelp’ of a dying child, meant another goal achieved by the ‘Reformer’.
  Not even the police had power anymore. Anyone who tried to intervene, suddenly and very suspiciously turned up dead within the next few weeks. It had been twelve years since this regime had started, meaning the year was 2026. He had killed 8,172,538 people and only had another 1,564 to go. This made his followers goals not to kill but hunt.
  For the 1,564 people still alive, survival was the only thing they could think about. To the ‘Reformer’ it was a game. A warped game of cat and mouse, between the survivors and his followers. He loved hearing the reports of the deaths, the new ideas, and ways to kill. He was sickening, even sometimes asking that any survivors found be brought to him so he could watch them fight his followers in front of his eyes, no matter whether they were men, women or children. In the unlikely event that a survivor beat a follower, he or she would be asked to join the followers. Accepting would save your life, declining would mean torture and death.
  The city was no more a place for people, it was no more a place where many had moved to follow their dreams, or visit the iconic city. It without a doubt was not London anymore.

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