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In the Name of Terror

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A loud shattering noise could be heard throughout the sleepy suburbs of Philadelphia. Police officers charged through the splinters, shouting orders to each other in the process. One officer, a troubled young man by the name of Louis Stevenson, hesitantly followed behind.

He knew why he was here, which sickened him to the core. His brother, Mitchell Stevenson, had recently been declared a "threat to national security and interests," and was currently on the lam. Spotting a ragged journal on a glossy mahogany desk, Louis proceeded to read its contents.

Mitchell Stevenson

Journal Entry #1, 3/12/13

I have just been commissioned by the U.S. government to work full-time in the Philadelphia Institute for Genetics, which is currently working to combat fatal diseases, most notably the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDs. Outside of my orders to assist in a recently established project, I have been given little knowledge of what exactly I will be doing.

So far, working in this institution has been fairly uneventful. The colleagues I have been cooperating with, however, all seem on edge, as if stricken by paranoia. Honestly, I feel that they may be coming down with a little "cabin fever"; not anything serious that I need to worry about. Regardless, I'll keep my eyes open for any suspicious, or dangerous, activity.

Journal Entry #2, 3/13/13

Just a few hours ago, I noticed something strange here at the Philadelphia Institute. I saw a live patient being carried away on a stretcher, having been sedated to the point of a comatose trance. Though I dismissed it as a possible volunteer in a research project, I never did hear anything about said patient. None of the other scientists there had any information to provide me; every time I inquired someone about the patient, tears would form in their eyes, and they turned away. Slightly unnerved, I decided that I would eventually take greater initiative.

Journal Entry #3, 3/14/13

I feel less and less comfortable with this place the longer I stay. I have this deep-set feeling that something dark is happening in this building. Walking past locked rooms, I would sometimes hear gut-wrenching howls of pain and anguish, the jangling of metal chains, ending with dead silence. What is going on here that I have not been informed of? Why is my hand shaking as I write this? I do not know if I am losing my sanity, but I do know that what I have been experiencing is what has afflicted my fellow scientists.

Journal Entry #4, 3/16/13

Yesterday, a good colleague of mine escaped. He ran out of the front door, spouting off claims of how the government was "manufacturing terror." What occurred next is what truly scarred me. Heavily armed guards unloaded on the unarmed man. The first bullet looked to have killed him, as he tumbled immediately. However, that proved no satisfaction to the guards; they diced the man up with their bullets and hauled him off. I lurked behind stealthily, wondering what would become of the scientist's corpse. To my horror, I saw a building resembling a giant oven, and the man's defaced body being tossed inside.

Journal Entry #5, 3/19/13

Has everyone lost their damn minds? A man was murdered and incinerated three days ago, and nobody has blinked an eye at it! I cannot take this environment anymore; I must leave. The ominous feeling inside me has grown stronger over the days, coursing through me like IV fluid. Wait; what was that? Were those footsteps? Are they coming for......

As Louis read those last few words, he was mortified. How could this happen to him at this time, he thought. How could his family be torn apart like this? Noticing a tape recorder next to where the journal previously lay, Louis clicked it on, and listened to its message.

"This is General Grant speaking. I am currently in the holding cell of one Mitchell Stevenson, who was convicted of treason. Mr. Stevenson, what do you have to say for yourself?"

"I didn't do anything! I'm innocent, I tell you! Innocent!"

"Mr. Stevenson, no one is innocent anymore in this world. Do you know why you are not innocent anymore?"

"No, why?"

"Because you have seen far too much, and you have the potential to know too much. Mr. Stevenson, some things are best left unearthed."

"I don't understand you."

"Have you ever wondered exactly why so many cooks and nut-jobs run free through America? You know why 9/11 happened?"

"Why?!"

"Because we, as the government, made it happen. You see, from its facade, the Philadelphia Institute appears to be a benevolent place of research that could help combat lethal diseases. However, that is not true."

"What have you been doing?"

(A loud smack could be heard, followed by a scream of agony.)

"Shut up, you insolent bastard! If you would have some patience, I could finish!"

"I...I...I'm sorry."

"As I was saying, here at the Philadelphia Institute, we manufacture terror. By manipulating the human genome, we can instill medical insanity into our 'patients.' We can lobotomize people until their memory is kaput, and then we can give them a new identity. How about a young man dedicated to radical Islam? Or maybe a sweet, caring man by the name of James Eagan Holmes?"

"You...you sick fucks! Why?"

"Now that, my friend, is a good question. Why do we, the American government, create terrorists and criminals? Because, through tragedy, we can create nationalism. Give people a common enemy, and they become more loyal to their government. Why did we decide to target the Arabs, might you ask? Well now, us white Americans don't want to view other white people negatively, now do we?"

"This is madness! You can't possibly be telling the truth!"

"Oh, is that so? Because soon enough, you'll be just another cook that we have to hunt down. In fact, I've got specific plans for you. How would you like to help us ruin the upcoming Boston Marathon with a couple of bombs?"

The tape recorder cut off there, leaving Louis in shock. My brother thought about betraying the country that raised him. How could he even be considered sane! Louis was genuinely disgusted at the thought of his brother committing treason. As he stood there, a fellow officer approached him. "Alright, Mitchell's body is in the trunk. Have you got the journal and recorder that the general left?" "Yeah, I do." With that, Louis Stevenson and the other police officers headed for their cars, carrying as much of Mitchell's belongings as possible. Louis sighed with relief; the deed was almost done, and soon, Mitchell would be but a memory. He kicked back in his chair as his police car cruised to the Philadelphia Institute's industrial furnace.

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