The Party is like God. He is everywhere; you just can't see him.
There was no difference between the government and the Party, the Party and the government. So intrinsically intertwined were they. When the revolution happened and the Party rose from the ashes it remade the country in it's own image. So impossibly connected that it made rule by any other political party untenable. That was the true genius of the revolution. The revolution we later found out they had instigated. Whilst everyone's gaze was distracted by the bloodshed and mayhem the Party bided its time in the wings and just waited for it all to blow over. It started slowly. The gradual build to power. At first, we hailed the Party as our salvation.
It was felt, at the time, that the Party was all that stood between us and oblivion. You have to understand what it was like in the days of the revolution. No police. No army. No authority of any kind. Just terror. Children turning against parents. Neighbour against neighbour. Carnage on street corners. A fight for survival every minute of every day.
Then, out of nowhere, a lone radio broadcast. A calming voice in the dead of night. It was like God himself had reached down from the heavens to take your hand. That first night it was just a few soothing words of comfort spoken into the darkness. That this state of chaos would not last. By the end of the month it seemed like everyone was listening to the voice in the night. As he spoke people started to remember their duties from before. His voice alone re-started our normality. And we were grateful. We should have known better really, than to trust a nameless voice coming from the dark.
Although it may sound odd now, it didn't really occur to anyone (well, apart from Him) to question how someone had managed to access the nationwide broadcasting equipment. We were just all so scared. We became our own downfall. When he asked for a show of our strength, of our solidarity, we answered in our droves. He promised leadership out of the darkness. And we grasped it with both hands. By that time our country was so broken and our allies had abandoned us. It was easy for the Part to begin their 'restructuring'.
The individuals who made up the original Party had grown tired with the government of the day. Who, in their insistence on providing a secure basis for all, were not as efficient as the Party members wanted. Efficiency. That was one of the Party's bywords. Everything and everyone had a purpose. Whatever that was deemed to be. Profit and order were their goals. In the early days of the rebuilding process, oder didn't seem like such a bad thing. It felt like bliss actually, after the chaos.
It was only years later when the goals of order and efficiency began to be truly realised. At the age of eighteen, after a careful monitoring of your education, you were told which profession you would be allocated. It would be one which played to your strengths. Whatever they may be. Engineering. Teaching. Murder. Freedom was an illusion. You became an instrument of the state. Supposedly it was possible to change profession after a decade. But I never heard of anyone who succeeded in doing so.
It felt like your every thought was monitored. One wrong word could have you languishing in a rural backwater. Loyalty was rewarded. More pay. Better housing. Even induction into the Party itself. And it wasn't just you they would go after. One wrong thought could affect your children. Parents. Siblings. Of course it was all unofficial, but everyone knew. But by then the Party was everywhere. In every major company. In every town council. In every form of media possible. It felt like there was no escape.
The first time I saw Him was at the Central Comedy Club, as odd as that sounds. It was an open mic night and near to the end of the session when he strolled onto the stage and took a seat. He was wearing a small mask which covered his eyes. Compared to some of the acts we had just seen, it didn't seem particularly strange. And then he began to speak. He actually said out loud that there was something terribly wrong with our country. With the Party. We knew. Of course we knew. We had all known for a while. But didn't he understand? To overthrow the Party meant returning to that place of darkness and chaos.
I must admit I ran. After seeing Him, I ran. I accepted a job at a small country primary school. No-one could really understand why I wanted what was effectively a demotion. I had a bright future, everyone said so. But in the countryside, surrounded by rolling hills and wide open skies, freedom doesn't feel like such an illusion. In the time before the next, inevitable, period of turmoil, I intend to roam through the forests of green. Sun myself under the bluest of skies. Climb the highest peaks. Feel the wind in my hair and the rain on my cheeks.