This is the "quick version" of this story's first chapter! It was started as an assignment for my Government class, for which I had to write a story in which 25 of the 27 amendments are violated. And so I cam up with this idea! Read on, and find out what happens... :) This was fun!

Freedom Force

His name was Russel. In full, it was Russel Kemuel Sterling, or Russel K. Sterling, professionally R. K. Sterling, or sometimes just Sterling. Despite all these names, however, he preferred to be called "Russ".

Russ had a head of shiny black curls which didn't really mop over into his face. They more or less just stayed near the back of his head with relatively short bangs. His eyes were rather blue, and he wore a lot of black. In fact, the only thing he wore that wasn't black was his army-green jacket.

He wasn't even an adult yet... he was just a kid of seventeen years old. And one day, this teen was thrown from his world into another by a transdimensional phenomenon occuring in his mirror. Suddenly, Russ found himself in a parallel America. This America was a wreck, and almost void of rights.

Lost and confused, he had approached a man and had begun to ask him questions. "Careful what you ask, boy," the man had said. "You could get arrested. Don't you know that?"

"Arrested?" Russ asked. "Since when could you get arrested for asking questions?"

"You could be a spy," the man had answered. "Oy, the government knows everything because of the ever-watching police. Watch your back. Nationals have full control here, the states have nothing."

"But... but you- we have rights!"

"What rights?" The man snorted. "I don't know what country you come from, but this is America. We have no rights but to eat, sleep, breathe, walk, and work. That's all. Can't talk much, can't have weapons. We just live."

"What about votes? Can you vote?"

"Vote?" The man sounded astonished. "No, no one votes. Not men, not women, not slaves..."

"There are slaves?"

"For the rich, yes. We ourselves are slaves, if you look upon us that way. And oh, the taxes! We're not taxed, thank goodness, on the stuff we make ourselves. But everything else is highly overpriced."

Russ was curious. "What do you make yourselves?" he asked.

"Most of us grow our own vegetables... and some even make beer to sell. Beer's illegal, though. For the fat cats in power alone. That's why it's a secret trade, you see. Why I'm whispering," the man answered.

"I see," said Russ. "So, how long have these 'fat cats' been in power?"

"You ask a lot of questions, that's dangerous," said the man. "The President has been in control for twelve years, and he's horrible. Not that we can say that publically, though. The lot with him are just as wicked. There's no order to any of them, though. If the president dies, they'd be arguing about who would become president next. And they're greedy, greedy souls. They always raise their salaries, wanting more and more money..."

"And nobody does anything about this?" Russ asked, growing angry.

"No, we don't have that kind of power, boy. We wouldn't dare, with all the police around..."

That's when Russ noticed some men in black running toward him. "And here they come! Run boy, get out of here!" the man hissed to the teenager. Russ took the advice and ran. He ran into a nearby wood, shouts of the police soldiers growing more distant. His legs had not begun to tire until he was way out into the woods. He took deep breaths, thankful that he had been on his school's track team for several years in a row.

Russ noticed he had lost the police soldiers, but he figured they were probably still looking for him. Still, he took the time to relax and take a deep breath.

Later, after resting, he left the wood and came upon a secluded town. He didn't see any police nearby, but he took the man's advice and watched his back. The sky had grown dark, and black-clad Russ was practically invisible. He hiked through the town, looking for some shelter from the night. He knocked on the door of one house. A woman opened the door. She looked frightened at first, but she relaxed when she saw the knocker was only a teenager, for she had feared police.

"Thank goodness you're not a soldier," the woman said, catching her breath.

"Can I stay here?" he asked. "I was being chased, and... and I... I think I lost them. I guess I must've talked too much."

"Well, you didn't kill anybody, so you're welcome to stay here," the woman answered. "Come in quickly." Russ did so. "I'm actually one of the few people who houses runaways for a living in this country," the woman continued. "You got lucky, unless word has gotten out about me. Then I'll definitely have police knocking down my door."

"Lucky," said Russ, smiling a little. "I'm kind of... new around here?"

"I see, another immigrant from who-knows-where. Where do you come from?"

"Um..." Russ tried to think of a clever lie to tell where he had come from. "California. I'm from California."

"California?" asked the woman. "Is that far away?"

"Oh yes, very far away," said Russ. Apparently this America hadn't a state named California.

"Mumma, who's that?" asked a young voice. Russ turned to see a young boy, probably eight years old, looking at the two with big brown eyes.

"I'm Russ," said Russ.

"He's running from soldiers," said the small boy's mother. "He'll be staying with us tonight."

"But what if the soldiers come?" asked the little boy, anxious.

"Then we'll hide him in the secret cellar, like we always do," said the woman.

"Hey, what about weapons?" asked Russ, suddenly piping up.

"No weapons for the common people," said the woman. "Only the soldiers have those. That's how they control us all so easily, though some extreme groups would rather die than obey the soldiers."

The boy came over and say down next to his mother and Russ. "Russ," said the woman, "this is my son, Benjamin."

"It's Ben, Mom," the boy interrupted.

The woman continued by telling Russ her name- Ruth. Ruth Peters. "I'll get you some food and some blankets- you can sleep on our couch. If soldiers come, I'll alert you and Ben can show you to the cellar."

"Sounds good... you had my attention at 'food'," said Russ. "I haven't eaten since..." He struggled to think. "I don't remember. But I know I haven't had a bite all day."

After Russ had been fed and was comfortable in a heap of covers, he grew drowsy and began to drift off. Then...

"Russ, get up! Soldiers are coming!" Ruth said, prodding the teen in the side. Russ bolted upright, gripping his blankets. "Ben, show him to the cellar now."

The boy nodded, grabbing the teen by the hand and taking him off through the house. The two entered a small, dark room, where Ben lifted a tile from the floor. Beneath it was a hole and a ladder leading down into another room full of supplies. "Go," the boy ordered.

Russ shoved his blankets down the hole and went down as quickly as he could, driven by fear. Ben shut the tile back over the opening, leaving it pitch black inside the cellar. He could hear what was going on above. The soldiers were looking for him.

"Tall, young, black hair, black clothes, green jacket. We know you must have seen him," said a voice. It didn't sound friendly.

"Oh, fine." That was Ruth. "I've got no one to hide. Search for him all you like, he isn't here."

The footsteps progressed through the house. Russ huddled in his covers. No one opened the tile, though the soldiers finally declared they were going to stay in Ruth's house for the night... without her permission.

Russ just closed his eyes and lay on the ground curled up in his blankets, hoping the night would soon be over.

Russ awoke the next morning to find Ben standing over him. "It's morning now, the soldiers are gone," said the boy. "You can go on your way now."

Russ sighed gladly. "Thanks," he said. He stood up and followed Ben out of the secret cellar and out into the open. He thanked both Ruth and Ben and left through the back door, a couple of pieces of bread in tow.

He travelled on to the next town, a bigger one. In fact, it was more of a city. The place was swarming with police, so Russ stuck to the shadows. He walked through the city, keeping an eye out for enemies. He did not, however, see the police-soldiers hiding in the shadows. The teen felt a sharp smack to the back of his head. He fell and immediately felt cuffs clasp around his wrists. "You're coming with us," said the soldier.

Russ was dragged off to a car and toted away to what he assumed would be the courthouse. Instead, he found himself being dropped off in a prison and shoved into a cell. He was uncuffed and had the barred door shut behind him.

The teen began to lift himself up from the ground. He sat upon his knees and felt a hurting spot on his head. He drew his fingers back and looked at the crimson spots on them. He sighed, figuring he got that from being knocked down onto the concrete. "Nice people," he muttered sarcastically.

After sitting in the cell for a couple of hours, a man came to his cell. "Admit you are a spy from one of the other countries, like we know you to be," he said.

Russ snorted. "I'm not a spy!" he said. "I'm seventeen years old, do you really think I could be a spy?"

"Yes. That's why we're suspicious. So young, they'd think we wouldn't suspect you. Well, tell me, spy. What country are you spying for?"

"I'm not a spy, I told you already!" Russ declared again.

The man motioned to another man with him. "He won't talk. Beat it out of him."

Russ gasped, backing up against the cell wall.

...

After being beaten by a club and chained to the wall, Russ was barely conscious. He just wanted to fall asleep and wake back up in his home, in bed, and safe. The cell door unlocked. The teen lifted his head to see a man, dressed in black, as he was, coming toward him.

"Hey, prisoner. You one of us?" asked the stranger. "Are you a Freedomforce?"

"Maybe," Russ rasped. "They think I'm a spy." He didn't realize his escape was imminant.

"Come on. We've taken out the guards. You can come with us and fight for the freedom you must have been speaking of."

"Escape?" asked Russ to the stranger.

"Yeah," said the stranger, unlocking the chains. "Escape. Freedom. Freedom I think you're used to and believe should be in this country." The last chain was unlocked, and Russ dropped down to his feet, gasping. "You with me?"

Russ looked up, realizing this was one of the "extreme groups" Ruth had spoken of. He smirked. "Yeah."

The stranger gently wrapped his arm around Russ's back and led him out of the cell. "Come on, then. Free world comin'."

...

Hope you enjoyed that. :D It was actually fun to write. Please review and tell me what you think. I'd love to continue, but not from this story. This is the abridged version, I'll expand on it later.