Introduction of a character in a story I co-wrote with some friends.
| President Hopkins eased back into the leather chair in front of his sizable mahogany desk. Both items had been found, salvaged, and restored from among the wreckage that constituted this new world, but that had been 7 years ago now, and the wear of constant use showed age in both his chair and desk. Luxury items that he neither cared about nor wanted, but he was president and he had to maintain some air of importance. It was the same reason he wore a black suit every day crisp and pressed each night, in spite of the horrendous impracticality of such garb in this world.
People had expectations and if those were not met, then sometimes orders were not followed. As though the cut of his suit made any difference about whether or not the residential housing needed a new plumbing system or if they could wait another month so the man power could be used to fortify the exterior walls... another month wouldn't kill anyone, but a hole in the wall surely could.
Tiredly, Hopkins sifted through the piles of papers that sat in front of him, troop requisition forms, civilian complaints, and research reports. Swimming in a sea of problems, it was no wonder he had to keep such a tight leash on things. Suddenly there was a soft rap on the door to his office.
"Come in." he said tersely. Another interruption to put me further behind.
A uniformed soldier entered and moved swiftly to the center of the room firing off a quick salute he started into his report. "Lieutenant Dawkins, Bravo company, reporting from morning patrol, Sir."
After 10 years he had become used to this military excess of protocol, which his captains assured him was of the utmost importance for soldier cohesion. Standing slowly to move to the front of his desk and faced the solider.
A brisk nod was all the man needed to spill back into his debriefing. "Initial scouting revealed no significant changes in infected movements in a five mile radius around the compound. Highest concentrations remain around salvage areas, with predominantly stage 1 sightings."
Of course they are in the salvage areas that's where we go they follow us... Hopkins thought to himself. He nodded again, "Is there anything further?"
The soldier hesitated before continuing, "Yes, we had an incident... During one of our sweeps we ran into a group of hostiles. After a short firefight we apprehended 6 men and 2 women. We believe they are resistance members."
Resistance Anthony groaned inwardly. Have I become such a "monster" that I must be "resisted". All I have ever done is what I had to. I never wanted this. He turned back to the soldier. " How many casualties?"
"4 of ours, 7 of them." He responded succinctly.
The president returned to his chair and massaged his temples. "Have the prisoners interrogated." he thought for a moment. " Have them transported to the GA compound. I want Knott to do it." He shuttering to himself, but he knew it had to be done. Hertz was a great captain, Hopkins was relieved he was able to keep the peace so well, but this was not a job for a kind man. "Make sure you tell Knott that this time if any word gets out to the civilians about his ... methods. I will feed him to the infected." he waved a dismissal to the soldier and turned back to his papers, before stopping and adding. "Actually, run them past Dr. Frasier first. See if he can use any of them, before we move them out." At least this way he could spare his own people the monthly lottery for Dr. Frasiers experiments.
As the soldier saluted and exited the room, Hopkins moved to the window looking out across the yard to the barracks where the prisoners were undoubtedly held, he muttered under his breath, "Monster sounds about right, I guess. Damn this new world. Damn it all"