Author : Anthony Rove
The night when Joey saw his first drop-off, dense grey fog hung over both sides of the Line. Across it, through the pea-soup clouds he saw the Liberator’s outline. Joey imagined that he could see Ben sitting upright in the driver’s seat with his noble stare locked forward, but in truth, it was too dark to see much of anything other than the Liberator’s bulky frame.
The Liberator was nothing more than a broken pickup truck covered in rust from top to bottom. From a distance, the deep brownish-red color gave it the appearance of being made entirely out of wood. Without making a sound, it crept towards the Line. Its progress was painfully slow, but after what seemed like an eternity, the truck’s back wheels finally slid over the thin stretch of white tile that separated evil from good; the axis from the allies.
The truck pulled up next to Joey. Now that it was close, Joey could see the bulging outlines of five pitiful survivors doubled over in the Liberator’s bed and covered with a blanket. Ben opened the driver’s door, and climbed out of the Liberator.
“How’d you manage to sneak five of em out?” Joey was trying to keep his voice calm and impartial, but his eyes were wide with admiration. The dirt on his face served to accentuate their milky white glow.
“Quietly,” Ben responded. “Let’s hurry up and get ‘em out of here. You got the clicker?” Joey nodded without speaking and pulled a thin metallic rod, no larger than a pen, out of his pocket. A pale blue light emanated from the device, throwing a sickly blue tint onto Ben and Joey’s faces. It had no dial. It had no display. Its only adornment was a small black rubber button on its tip. Without lifting the blanket which concealed them, Joey pointed the clicker towards the pitiful survivors who were doubled over in the Liberator’s bed.
The idea of racial superiority is not unique. It has been rather common throughout the course of human history. But in every era of racially motivated violence, there have been angels. Angels who hide the era’s most pitiful survivors. During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman helped slaves find shelter in the north. In World War II, brave Germans would sneak Jews into the nooks and crannies of their homes. But Ben, Joey, and the Allies knew that the best hiding place wasn’t a place at all. It was a time.
“You will be safe now.” Ben’s brusque voice fell through the pitiful victims’ blanket and into their ears. “Soon, you will be in America, in the twenty-first century. When you arrive you will meet Sergeant Roberts. He is in charge of that century’s safe house. He will ensure you have what you need: food, shelter, and eventually a job and a new life. No one will find you there.” As Ben spoke, muffled sobs began to rise from the Liberator’s bed. Joey could just barely hear a fragile voice saying, “thank you, thank you” over and over again. Ben looked at Joey and nodded. Joey pushed down on the clicker’s small black rubber button, and the pitiful survivors disappeared.