It used to be that one could simply walk into a room and kill someone. You had a bad. You had a uniform. You had a gun. It was as simple as that. I was a much younger man then. Just starting off in fact. Do you have the badge. You have the uniform you can do what you want. And do you have your orders. And if you don’t execute your orders, they will execute you. If you don’t execute your orders by executing the person in question they will execute you. It’s a simple as that. Or rather it was.

It was a simple system. And it had its problems. Sometimes the specific numbers on the specific doors were in specifically stated in clear language. Answer one might find oneself in the wrong room killing the wrong person. It was easy enough to fix. Do you simply identified the correct number and killed the correct person once you’ve made a mistake. And you didn’t really have to tell anyone. And there wasn’t really any reason to. That you might’ve accidentally killed the wrong person. But the important thing is that you to kill the right person in the end and that was really what was important.

I was very effective at doing what I was doing. And I didn’t make too many mistakes. Not I quickly rose and rans. However, as I Rosen it rings, things began to get a little bit more complicated. There were issues. And the issues needed to be resolved in one form or another. I believe in a revolution might’ve actually been involved in someway. Nothing big and popular or flashy or anything like that. Just a revolution from within. Someone else was in power. And they might’ve had someone killed or someone they loved killed. That might’ve been an accident. Or there might of been some information that might have slipped through the cracks when the wrong person was killed. I don’t know. Whatever the case, paperwork was involved. And suddenly it wasn’t a simple.

I was still actually performing work as a superior officer when the rules changed. You could no longer simply walk into a room and kill someone. You had to get the proper paperwork for us. Granted, it didn’t take long. I just had to fill out the correct forms. Make sure everything was properly documented. And it was important. It is important to get the proper documentation. Once you get the proper documentation you can kill whoever you like. And it was perfectly fine. However, it was uneasy and uncertain once I had gotten into a higher ranking to know exactly who it was that you needed to kill. You were no longer taking orders from someone. You were actually giving the orders. And performing some of the executions yourself. It wasn’t all that pleasant. But in the end, the workout done. And the right people were killed. Many of the wrong people were killed two. But not quite as many as there has been before. However, that didn’t make the paperwork any less of a stress.

I felt genuinely concerned about the whole situation. As things progress. I suppose there might’ve been another revolution involved. When I was very young all you had to do was go into room and kill someone. When I was slightly less young, you had to get the right paperwork first. By the time of the next revolution, things got considerably more complicated. They were hearings. They were trials. The individual question wasn’t necessarily aware of the trial. But the proper channels had to be discussed. The proper meetings had to be made. And the proper people had to OK the execution. I don’t even remember that we necessarily called them executions before. They were just jobs. And now they were called executions. A little bit more serious perhaps. Or maybe meant to instill a little bit more fear. I don’t know. Whatever the case, certainly it was the case that things were a little bit more of a mess.

I don’t know exactly what happened. I mean, I’m not really in charge of things anymore. Not the way I have been towards the end of it all. And I do respect your desire to know more about the situation. But it’s all very well documented. The second or third revolution sought to that. I don’t know what more I could be to you. I don’t know of what health. I assure you that though I am retired, That doesn’t mean that I don’t have appointment sticky. There are people relying on me. I do need to leave. And I wish you good luck in your investigations. But I really am afraid that I must leave.

I realize that you have your reasons for keeping me here in this room. And I’m sure those reasons are perfectly valued. And I am sure that in time I will be allowed out. I’m sure there may be those who had been in power with me who were still in certain ways in power. There may be some turmoil if I’m not allowed to leave. I am not saying this in any way to intimidate you. I’m just merely stating a fact. Something could go wrong. That’s all I’m saying. Someone could see it the wrong way. If I’m not allowed to leave this room. That’s all I’m saying.

And now I realize that the door is open. Then I realize that this was a technique before. If up in the door. We used to use this technique before. Simply allow someone out. Or allow someone to think they’re leaving. It’s interesting, though. Functionally it is no different from actually allowing someone to leave. The action is the same. Smile open the door. It’s just the question of whether or not there might be a gun pointed at the back. There might be a trigger fired. I had to fire that trigger into so many backs. It could be deaf. It could be freedom. Functionally it’s no different at this stage. The door has been open.

— Russ Bickerstaff is a critic and author living in Milwaukee, WI.

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