"Running with the Devil" Chapter 5 snippet

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“Have you ever thought that maybe the Alliance has run its course?”

Kate felt herself perk up at Adams’ comment. How could anyone ever thing that freedom was something bad? Mankind had labored for centuries to be free, and Adams was wondering if it was a bad thing?

Maybe she should have lived some of my life in Necko, Kate thought. That would have answered her question about freedom!

“Where I come from,” Kate said. “This is paradise.”

“But don’t you think that all of mankind would be better under one flag?” Adams asked. “Instead of multiple governments?”

“Why?” she said. “If people are free, they’re happy. I didn’t come”-she made a gesture with her fingers-“this close to dying to not live in freedom.”

“I’m just wondering if a single government and collective state couldn’t make people happier,”

“How the hell could it do that?” Kate asked. “When one is subservient to a collective, the individual loses out. His or her rights are trampled and they are sacrificed at the altar of the masses.”

“For a former slave,” Adams said. “You seem to be well-versed. Where did you learn that from?”

“Rachel,” she said. “You should know how much reading I’ve been doing.”

“True,” Adams said. “I just never thought you were learning subjects that deep.”

“There’s a lot of learning I need to catch up on,” Kate said. “Like fifteen years worth.”

“Going back to the original topic,” Adams said. “Why are you so anti-collectivism?”

“‘If the Government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have.’” Kate said.

“Where did you hear that at?”

“Former United States President Gerald Ford said that,” she said.

“Interesting quote,” Adams said.

“It’s so true,” Kate said. “The problem with mankind is that we never learn. It’s never a question about whether you’re free or not: It’s a question of whether you’ll fight when necessary to protect freedom.”

“I don’t know if I agree,”

“Why?”

“Well,” Adams said. “Sometimes the individual can be so lazy, so stupid that the government has to step in and become the leader and if a few freedoms are lost it’s all for the common good.”

“‘The common good,’” Kate snorted. “That reeks of fascism, Rachel. An individual can do far more if left to live in freedom then under the yokes of tyranny.”

Adams fell silent and Kate concentrated on flying her fighter. How could anyone, with centuries of history to learn from, not feel that freedom was a necessity for mankind? Every society that had failed on earth had been one where totalitarianism and intrusive government had existed. Starting with the Roman Empire and repeated through history to climax with Nazi Germany and Communism, it took man centuries to learn freedom’s value.

And now it seems there are people who honestly feel that the collective is better, Kate thought with a sigh.

“Why do you feel that government would be bad, Kate?” Adams asked. “There are many instances that show the collective works.”

“If you have to ask that,” she said. “Then you don’t understand people, Rachel. Man, at his basest nature, is a greedy bastard. If you give him absolute power, then he will be corrupted absolutely, understand?”

“No,”

“Let me make this simpler,” Kate said with a sigh. “When on Necko, I had a Games Master called Ferini. He had absolute power over his slaves and he was able to do whatever he wanted. There were many a night where he raped me just because he could…do you understand what I’m saying?”

“You’re saying the old quote,” Adams said. “‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ aren’t you?”

“That’s the real world,” Kate said.

The controls chirped for her attention and she looked at them. They were about to enter Ireland orbit and the terrorists would be able to detect them. However, unknown to the terrorists, Kate’s fighter had a stealth screen and it would allow them to be invisible to sensors.

“Hold on,” Kate said. “I’m activating the stealth screen.”

The fighter disappeared from view and continued on its way to Ireland’s surface.
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