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“Vengeance is Mine, and recompense;
Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand,
And the things to come hasten upon them.’

Deuteronomy 32:35

I sit here in my cubicle surrounded by varying shades of brown. The walls, the carpets, the ceilings and even the desk itself offer little in the way of contrast. The artificial light that streams down from above hardly casts a shadow on anything it touches. There is no conversation among my peers. Any words that are exchanged are done so electronically.

Clickclickclick….CLICK – message sent

Clickclickclick….CLICK – message received.

We sit fewer than ten feet apart.

We wear the same company approved brown uniform.

This goes on for eight hours a day, five days a week.

It begins to feel like it will last for eternity.

I begin having what may loosely be called nightmares only there are no visuals. Just the incessant sound of clicks punctuated at the end by a deafening CLICK that causes my eyes to snap open and my head to jump from the pillow.

Still shrouded in darkness, I awake to find myself covered in a cold sweat and my heart is beating inside my chest like a drummer setting the cadence for a marching band. I make my way upstairs, splash some cold water on my face and look at my reflection in the mirror.

I notice that the face that stares back at me has begun to change. My eyes, once as blue as the summer sky are now brown. My hair, once blonde and curly, is turning brown and straight. My skin, that at one time took on a pinkish hue, is now sepia colored. I sigh in frustration and surrender and make my way to the office.

I arrive at work and look at the brown building. I make my way inside and once again, at home in my cubicle I decide to dare and do the unthinkable. I rise from my seat, walk to the window and peel back the brown curtains. Along the way I take notice of my coworkers, all them staring straight ahead at the glowing rectangle that dominates our lives. Although they have suffered the same fate as me, none of them seem to have taken notice.

The black ones with skin as dark as ebony are now brown.

The white ones with pale skins have darkened to the same shade of brown.

It doesn’t matter what race, ethnicity or gender we are, we are all brown.

Clickclickclick….CLICK – message sent

Clickclickclick….CLICK – message received.

I realize we are an army.

A security guard rushes past me, frowns in my direction and whispers something into his radio. The curtains are soon closed.

I realize the vengeance I vowed earlier toward those that I serve is futile. It is them who have taken their vengeance out on me and others that share my fate. What I thought was my motto has become theirs. I am only here to their bidding.

I realize we are not a volunteer army.

We are the army of the unknown. Each of us wears the same uniform and the same blank expression on our faces and there is no rank or insignia to differentiate one of us from another.

I am surrounded by silence save for the sound of :

Clickclickclick….CLICK – message sent

Clickclickclick….CLICK – message received.

For as long as I shall live.

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