At my parent’s house, which I seem to share with my ex-wife and mother-in-law. My ex calls to say she’s running off with Darren, one of my bosses who recently split with his own wife. I am only a little upset, having seen this coming for a while.
Later, I use his name as a pseudonym to infiltrate a government ministry in a fascist utopia. I am called out by a woman working there, who thinks I am one Darren O’Brien, a famous journalist; she asks a telling question about possible subversive language in one of “my” articles. Thinking quickly, I play along, congratulating her on ferreting out the subtextual propaganda. I declare myself as an agent of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, basically the secret police, and commend her, as well as the entire office, on their vigilance for the Fatherland. Her comrades are all quite pleased. I know there is only one way to ensure that my credentials are never called into question, so to protect my fellow rebels I announce that it is now my duty as a proud servant of the Fatherland to submit myself for summary execution- the pretense of subversion is still subversion, and a crime in service to the Ministry is still a crime. Their duty is to follow through the full measure of the law. I remain utterly calm, even somewhat good humored; and in fact nobody in the office is ever the least bit upset or hostile in any way. Everything is carried out calmly and matter-of-factly, with an air of good grace and justness.
Later, I haunt her dreams. Does the peace of the Fatherland really call for such extremes? Wracked by guilt and doubt, she eventually seeks out the very resistance cell I was once part of and replaces me in their ranks. With the high mark she received for catching me, she is far better placed within the hierarchy to serve the rebellion than I ever would have achieved. My mission is counted a success.
Her first assignment, ironically enough, is to find the real Darren O’Brien and find out if he really is a sympathizer. To recruit him if he is… and if not, to protect her own cover by making sure the man she had executed is never heard from again.