Within the Argon Cluster there are 2 Empires, 879 System States, 345 Trading Guilds, 987 Free Commonwealths, and an estimated 150,000 colonies. Illegal immigration is a problem. This is because of the constant flux of settlers between colonies which given the lack of a single unified governmental body for the entire Argon Cluster creates a situation where at any given time the total population for any planet consists of at least 12% illegal immigrants living without citizenship for the regional autonomous authority. This is the story of one such illegal immigrant who once apprehended is then processed and deported back to his system of origin.
The room was amber light as the sun set over the horizon water coloring the waiting chambers of the police station as Bob sat in the tattered and torn leather chair. His clothes hadn’t been changed in the three days after his apprehension by the RESA Trading Guilds ISS Department on New Adrian. Sure, there were lots of Illegals on New Adrian. After all, it was a backwater mining colony established to loot the massive ore reserves of the Adrian System before the colony could be integrated into the United Colonies. RESA knew what it was doing. They employed Illegals like Bob because they were cheaper and more desperate than your standard wage workers. And, since big brother wasn’t around to keep tabs they could get away with labor exploitation. This having been said, Bob was in a unique situation. Some stupid Illegals had gotten into their heads that what RESA was doing was wrong and therefore tried to publically protest the company’s actions. The resulting crackdown on Illegals was what landed Bob in the ISS Departments holding area. He didn’t partake in the protests, but he was an Illegal who just happened to be in the wrong area at the wrong time without his fake ID (company supplied).
RESA may have been a member of the Confed Trading Union, but that didn’t stop them from playing dirty. They sold fake IDs to Illegals so that they could be waved past security checkpoints. In reality if it was a RESA colony the estimated 98% citizen rate was really about 64% and that was being generous.
“Anyway… Mr Bob… let’s see here,” uttered the ISS agent. He was a balding fat man in a brown linen suit sipping coffee from a Styrofoam cup. “Seger, HA, as in the singer. Very funny, very clever. I’ll have to remember this one for the office party.”
“Look… can we make some sort of deal…?”
The ISS agent looked at Bob with a hardened stare and perhaps his next words would have been slightly less hypocritical had he not been employed by RESA and RESA was the problem, “How dare you Illegals come onto my planet and steal the jobs of us hard working people! And then you have the audacity to try and bribe me! I am a government official! No! There is only one solution for people like you!”
And, on that note the ISS agent shuffled his papers and stood up. His bones popped at the joints from the weight of his gullet. “We’re sending you back to Jericho Primus where you belong… you Illegal scum.”
The ISS Agent then exited the room. Bob remained seated, sighing, not because he was going to be deported, but because Jericho Primus was another RESA colony. This was the way it always worked. Once you were in the system, you stayed in the system. If RESA had to get rid of its Illegals on one colony it simply shipped them off to another colony. They liked to play the system like that by dodging the United Colonies authorities.
A set of knuckles now tapped on the door to the waiting room. Bob looked at the window and saw a police officer motioning for him to stand up. “Here we go again.” He stated dully while standing up, his orange jumpsuit clinging to his body from days without a shower.
“We took the liberty of packing your things,” he said as Bob exited the room, the officers initial words followed up the phrase, “Illegal scum.”
“Lovely, tell me, do you treat all your productive workers like this or just the ones you love,” smarted Bob. This wasn’t the first time that he was being deported. This was his sixth rodeo and it ended the same way each and every single time. The police arrested him because other people did something stupid, he was taken into holding for god knows how long, lectured by some patronizing ISS agent, shipped off, taken to a new RESA colony, and four months later it all started again.
“Yeah Yeah, this way smartass,” the officer then lead Bob down the corridors crammed with some REAL sycophants. In one corner there was some biker looking guy with a green Mohawk threatening to beat up his tiny Hispanic wife as two officers tried to restrain him. In another corner there was a drunken old man getting tasered by a SWAT officer in full body Kevlar. There was also an overworked booking desk with a line of drug addicts and petty thieves backed out the door. Most of the people here were Legals or as Legals liked to call themselves ‘noble citizens.’ It was Kind of funny how the colonies real inhabitants were the people causing all the trouble while Illegals kept themselves and their problems behind closed doors where they belonged.
“Take a seat,” Bob was directed to a waiting room filled with at least thirty other people including numerous crying babies, playing children, sick old people, and angry human trash. The chamber was thick with heat from all the body heat, it also stank since everyone here hadn’t bathed in a month, and the noise volume of so many people talking at once drowned the individuality of each person out to white noise. Bob took his seat between an elderly old man wearing a derby hat while reading the newspaper and a middle aged woman breast feeding her baby. What sweet hell this was.
Time it seemed stood still. Bob had gone through this process several times. Each time was the exact same with people being as annoying and agitating to one another as humanly possible. It never changed. It was always infuriating between the sounds of screaming children with their shrill loud voices, old sick people sneezing at you, and church people trying to hock their religion onto you. These Churchies became the worst if you tried to shy away from them. Bob always found that funny how people who were trying to comfort those about to be shipped off to another colony could go from friendly to full on bitch in a matter of seconds if you tried to walk away. “And remember to have a blessed day!!!!!” they would also spit with some degree of venom.
“Now serving number 45,” said an intercom in the room. An aging woman in a red skirt and grey hoodie stood to her feet with a sigh of relief exited the room. Several people grumbled at her sigh as if the deed of actually showing the lifting of frustrations that everyone felt was insulting. Bob was number 75. He was way down the list and this hell would continue for quite some time.
(17 hours later)
“Bob sat in his chair, his finger nails gripping into the leather, the blood vessel in his right eye about ready to burst. In front of him there were two children playing tag running back and forth down the room. The old man reading the newspaper had been replaced by an African American want to-be rapper by the name of M.C. Logo-coca. The breast feeding woman was now replaced by an exceedingly overweight man whose gourd like body was spilling over into his chair like whale blubber. Bob knew not to make eye contact with either man. He had already run the simulations through his mind.
(Simulation of M.C. Logo-coca)
“What up my homie, want to buy my album, support a starving artist?”
“Uh… no… not really…”
“Racist….! Don’t you know who I am! I’m M.C. Logo-coca! I’m gonna be a star!”
And it would just get worse from there….
(Simulation of Overweight man)
“What? Something wrong buddy?”
“Uh no… just minding my own business.”
“I would have you know that this is just a glandular problem. I don’t need someone like you judging me…”
And it would just get worse from there…
“Now serving number 75,” Bob smiled, stood to his feet and exhaled deeply. Everyone in the room let out an annoyed moan as it was his fault for violating the social norm of HELL. He could have protested this post modernist notion that everyone was right all the time and no one was wrong about anything, that they were all correct in being obnoxious and it was his job to take it on the chin, that the golden rule was meant to enforce some bizarre social contract that he had signed at birth where it was his duty to tolerate assholes because to violate the golden rule was to somehow reduce society to a point where maybe assholes would be held accountable, but by god who were you to decide that. In any case, Bob just wanted to get the hell out of here. So, instead of lecturing those fortified in the castles of their own moral superiority he instead walked out of the room and into the processing line.
“Name?” asked the clerk, an old woman with beaded glasses and a nametag which read Agatha.
She stamped a few papers and pushed them through the hole in a glass protection plate that was designed to prevent her from being mauled by an Illegal. As Bob picked up his papers a trio of police officers in the background tackled a drug addict attempting to stab a detective with an ink pen. The drug addict was a citizen, sitting in a chair before the detective’s desk, when he suddenly snapped like a twig. Yeah, Illegals were the dangerous ones, keep telling yourself that.
Bob took his papers and was motioned by a police officer through a doorway which led into a long dark corridor lined with cells. There were all sorts of criminal scum in these cells. These were the real inhabitants, citizens of the colony, an odd assortment of murderers, drunks, and rapists waiting on bail money. But, Bob was not to be among them. The police officer instead led him into another waiting room where he stood in line behind three other people.
“Name?” asked another old woman as he reached the desk. She was behind another glass protection plate, this time wearing a pearl necklace and nametag which labeled her as Gladus.
She took his paper work, stamped it twice, and slid it back to him.
Bob followed another motioning police officer. This one led him to a claims desk where RESA’s ISS agents had already located his apartment and packed a suit case for him. They were very efficient like that. Then again they already knew where he was going, to another RESA colony, so in an odd sort of way they already knew what he needed.
“Hi, I’m uh… Bob Seger…”
Bob fumbled the papers and handed them to the claims clerk. He shifted the documents, clicked a switch to rotate the carousel, and slid both the papers and a suitcase through a metal shout. “Your flight leaves in the thirty minutes. Proceed to Gate 4.”
Bob did as he was told not so much because the police would beat him. More so because the police were watching him and if he refused to move along then they would shove him into the shuttle regardless. In any case Bob proceeded through the RESA ISS docks until he reached a shuttle at the very end where 60 other people were waiting to be boarded. This included the old man, woman in a red skirt and hoody, and several other people he had waited with in the previous holding chamber.
“This is Flight 78 to Terra No-Bank ready for boarding.”
Everyone in line smirked or smiled. RESA was doing what it always did. They weren’t sending them back to their planet of origin. They were shuffling them around to other backwater worlds where they could flush out the workforce with cheep labor. No matter the situation Bob and the others boarded the shuttle and seconds later it departed for another backwater money making colony. At least now he could get some piece and quiet.