The Correspondent is a web serial by Dylan Reed. Buy the Origin story now.

Golden Age, Episode 4, Part 3

The Correspondent

People always talk about where they were when they first heard about The Correspondent. She came out of nowhere and tried to make a difference. Some saw her as a beacon of hope, others as a sign of how far down the slope we had come. I never paid attention to all of that. I was too busy. Too busy working to pay my bills, too busy trying to figure out life. I was seventeen when it started. I was The Correspondent. This is my story.

When the bus arrived I was soaking wet. I hated it. Running my bus pass through the machine I climbed on and headed to the back of the bus. The bus lurched forward and I stumbled into one of the seats. Sitting down I gave the driver a dirty look, which he returned in the mirror.

After about forty-five minutes of stops, starts and bus transfers I made it home. Well, not home, but the closest bus stop to home. I still hadn’t heard from my mom and wasn’t looking forward to that conversation. I pulled my hood up over my head and walked home as the slushy rain turned to snow.

I made it home before I started to shiver and went straight up to my room. Peeling off my wet clothes I put a long sweater on. The bottoms of my suit looked like leggings so I figured I could get away with it. Grabbing my laptop, I headed to the living room and turned on the fireplace.

Sitting in front of the fireplace was amazing. I opened up a letter I had been working on since my dad was injured. It has started as a coping mechanism giving to me by the police’s victims advocate. The letter was not intended to be sent or shared with anyone.

Whenever I felt bad about what happened I would open the letter and add to it. I was supposed to feel less guilty by writing the letter, but instead it just made me feel worse. I read the letter five times before I closed it.

Opening the web browser I headed to the forum that Shelby had told me about. The site was just as he described, but I couldn’t find any mention of the collar on the site. I kept digging, looking for anything that would help me find Fate and the technology in the collars.

Wading through pages and pages of the forum was tedious. The busiest posts were about how the forum members felt mistreated by society. They were poor and angry. Fate seemed to be just what they were looking for. He offered an outlet for their anger.

My most shocking discovery was that The Rat seemed to be a member of the forum. There was a user, RaTiGuNs, that had disappeared from the forum after The Rat had been arrested. I followed his post history and he seemed to be a prolific poster.

Learning more about The Rat didn’t lessen my hate for him, especially since he was getting off so easy, but it started to paint a picture for me.

The Rat was lonely. He had a mind for crime. According to his post history he had been arrested at a young age and had learned from that experience. RaTiGuN had written many posts about how important it is to have a plan if you get caught.

After reading a lot of posts by wannabe criminals I was exhausted. Shutting my computer I closed my eyes and fell asleep.

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The story of The Correspondent will continue weekly. If you enjoyed this story, please scroll down and recommend it. Follow me on Medium or on Twitter.

Dylan Reed has always been interested in a good story. Raised without a TV he spent a lot of time with books and loves reading. Dylan has been a professional entertainer, studied commercial diving, and loves random trivia. He brings all of this and more together in his stories.