The heavy metal door swung open with a loud groan as the imposing figure stepped into the interrogation room. The room was small, dank, and square. A lone light bulb hung from the ceiling, its glaring light highlighted the many blotched, dark stains that plastered the concrete floor and walls. It stank of mold and battery acid.  His leather boots clicked on the hard floor and the interrogators in the room stood at attention. A Doberman, dressed in the long black coat and cap, the uniform of the state political police, clicked his heels and saluted. “Report on the raid at the rebels’ hideout, my Leader.” He handed him a folder.

            He thumbed thru the folder, “So, is this the only survivor, captain?” the Leader asked.

            “The only one that we were able to apprehend. I conducted the raid myself. They put up a hell of a fight, but we managed to kill most the instigators. Few escaped though, and their leader with them.” The Doberman adjusted his stance in anticipation of the Leader’s response: he doesn’t take failure lightly. “We suspect they are hiding with collaborators among the populous.”

            His stone features hid the grimace of dissatisfaction. He closed the folder and handed it back to the captain, “What have you been able to get out of the prisoner?” He motioned to the fox tied to a chair at the far end of the room.

            “We haven’t been able to get much out of him. His will is strong, but we will break him. It is only a matter of time.” He held the fox’s jaw and rotated his head, showing the results of their interrogation. The Leader leaned in to examine the prisoner closer. The fox was barely conscious; his face was beaten to where the side of his face swelled to the point to where it didn’t have much the appearance of a face. His ripped and tattered clothes soaked with his own blood and most of his teeth were missing, to where, upon examining the floor, could they be approximately accounted for. This is good work, he thought too himself.

            “We managed to get out his alias.” The captain continued, “Apparently, he goes by the name of Synapse.”

            “An odd name.” The Leader commented.

            “An odd name, yes.” The political officer agreed, “We’ve also been able to confirm the identity of their head organizer.” He opened the folder and pulled out a file, “Citizen number 457823-01B.” he handed him a photo, “More often known as Grey Squirrel, sir.”

            He examined the photo. It was that of a young squirrel. He had the look of determination in his eyes. He looked back up to the battered creature tied to the chair. “Wake him.”

One of the other guards in the interrogation room doused a bucket of water over his head. He coughed and sputtered as he came awake. He glanced up at the towering figure before him thru his one good eye. A dog, a Labrador he supposed, of a tan fur tent, wearing a long gray coat with red trimming with a red armband with a white diamond with a P in the middle, a dark red cap and a dark blue shirt with tan trousers. “The almighty Patryk, I presume?”

“Correct.” Patryk answered. “So you are what is left of your little Libertarian Party?”

“Supposedly, there are a few of us here and there. Where there is oppression, we’ll be there.”

“And your leader, this Grey Squirrel, what of him?” He held up the photo, “Tell me, where is this man?”

“Oh he’s still out there hiding, for now.” The chair bound fox answered.

“Where is he?”

“I don’t know.” One of the guards slapped him, whipping his head over his shoulder and spraying blood over the wall behind him.

“Tell me where he is and I will spare the rest, but only if you tell me where he is.”

“Your mama.” The guard slapped him again.

“Wrong answer. You will tell me what I need to know.”

“I once knew a guy like you…” he stammered, “He used to do this thing… he wasn’t either…” He had obviously become delirious. Probably too good he thought.

“I grow tired of this. I have more important matters to attend to. Like running a nation.” He turned to the captain, “You are head of the Bureau. It is your duty is to maintain order and to implement the Party’s will. I leave this matter to you.” A low growl confirmed the subtle implications.

“Sir!” They all stood at attention as he steps back out. Walking at a brisk pace down the corridor as his adjutant scurried along side. He jumped as a gunshot echoed thru the hallway.

“More reports on the terrorist attacks, my Leader.” The rat handed him more folders, “It has caused a slight decrease in production for this quarter. And you are scheduled for your speech this afternoon.”

“Have all the foremen who do not meet quota arrested and executed. Production must continue despite those who instigate against My Will.” They stopped as they approached the doors at the end of the hallway. He looked down and noticed that he still had the file photo in his gloved hand. “Have a reward posted for this Grey Squirrel, 100,000 roids and bestowment of the title People’s Hero, Second Class.”

The adjutant clicked his heels and promptly went down the hall in the opposite direction.

He looked back down at the photo and thought for a moment. “We’re not so different, you and I.” He said to the figure in the picture. He then crushed it within his clenched fist, dropped it to the ground, and promptly stepped thru the doors onto the balcony, to the roaring crowd shouting his name.