The final warning

Today we have a final notice from the army – if we do not open the doors by 7:00am tomorrow and let them in, they will force a way into the campus. I do not even forward the message to the forum, where the Party will see it, but go straight to Li, and we go together to Zhen. He listens while we read the message. He looks at us, like he did not understand, and I read it again. Zhen says nothing. He stares in front of him. He begins to tell Li to call a meeting for breakfast – we think, this is good, he begins to make a plan. Then he asks how much is in the store for lunch, do we need to harvest more root vegetables? Li almost throws the tea at him, but we make him drink it instead.
“This is very kind of you girls,” he says, smiling. “I know you are very busy. How is the power system, Mei? Is there enough electricity for the forum? I should start reading the forum again. I have more time now.”
I ask Li, “How long has he been like this?”
She tells me maybe two weeks. They hide it – take him to the meetings with rehearsed lines to say, and then somebody takes him away and they continue without him. They cannot let the party see he has become so bad – we will be finished.
I tell Li we will be finished anyway tomorrow if we do not do something. But what? Get people ready to fight? Open the gate and get people locked into their rooms? Call the committee for a meeting?
“Call everybody,” I say. I put a message out on the forum and we get some people calling through every building where people live or work – Emergency General Meeting in the auditorium. For a moment, I feel almost happy, because this is how it was in the beginning, when we felt strong and we could do anything, when anybody can call a general meeting and nobody will say: “By what authority?”
Of course, The Party and even some of the Quarantine Movement in the committee are angry we did not go to them first.
“There isn’t time,” I say. “We need to get ready, now, all of us. Never mind the procedure.”
“Where is Zhen?” somebody asks, but I shrug my shoulders and say, “I am just an assistant, how do I know?”
Li chairs the meeting. She tells everybody that Zhen prepares a plan for the fight, but meantime we must decide who will be guarding each entry, prepare the barricades and traps and distribute the weapons we have, and the face masks and gloves – I had nearly forgotten how uncomfortable they are. We will be ready tomorrow morning. I will use a camera for a live feed and Li leads the medical group. Jian will join her. We only fight if they get past the gate and the barricade. I try to sleep a little before the morning, but I do not think I will. I will tell you what happens when I can.

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37 thoughts on “The final warning

    • Thank you Fiona – I cannot know for sure when they will invade, but their communication says 7:00am, which will be 7:00pm EST or midnight GMT.

      • Are you going to put up some big banners – Quarantine! Please do not break our quarantine! so it’s clear that is what is happening…?

        • I think they’ve had signs up since the beginning of the occupation, but there seem to be a few more tonight. The only one I can see that’s in English says: “No more silence.”

  1. You’re filming with a powerful zoom from a good distance away, right? You’re not actually going into a battle with the army, with nothing but a camera?

  2. What’s going on now? There seems to be less fighting. She’s actually running towards the wall. Are those soldiers climbing back over?

    • Before we clean up, we must decide if we go back to isolated quarantine. Li tries to persuade the committee we must do this now, to save more infection, but the forum server is down and there is much that we must decide quickly.
      Nobody can find Zhen. I must go now.

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