Justin threw the man against the wall. "You oft think such thoughts, pal? I don't much appreciate yer notions 'bout our Chancellor." Sparks began to leap off the police officer's baton as the button on its side was depressed. The captured man squirmed, attempting to get away from the office. Yet there was nowhere to go, he could only press himself into the wall behind him. "Please, I didn't mean no harm, sir. They was just stray thoughts, promise!" The baton came crashing down on the man's shoulder. Jolts of electricity surged through his body as he convulsed and fell to the ground. The officer loomed over the man, "Let me tell you what stray thoughts is, boy. Stray thoughts is peakin' at some nice young dame walkin' down the street while yer holdin' hands with yer wife. Stray thoughts is wonderin' what it'd feel like to jump off the ol' town bridge into the icey water below. Stray thoughts ain't thinkin' some fool nonsense 'bout our Chancellor bein' corrupt!" The baton once again struck the man, causing even stronger convulsions. Spittle flew from the man's mouth as he began to cough violently. His eyes pleaded with the officer as he struggled to look up, "Please, sir... I'll never think it again, I promise!" A smile spread across Justin's face, "Oh, I know you won't be thinkin' them thoughts no more. I'ma make sure o' dat..." His final words were accompanied by the sound of his baton smashing into the man's head.
The chair creaked as it leaned back, doing its best to hold Justin comfortably. The officer, now home and out of uniform, took a sip of his beer and clicked on the TV. A news reporter chimed back at him, "Today's arrests total 37. The thought police continue to keep us safe from dissenters by rounding up those who would threaten our infrastructure. For more on today's crimes, tune into Chet's report at 9. Now for sports!" Click Justin turned the TV off and sat back in his chair. His eyes bore into the ceiling, his mind lost in thought.
"What was it that woman said earlier?.." Justin thought to himself as he poured through his memories of the day. The woman he arrested that morning had yelled something odd at him. As the moment came flooding back to him, he could almost hear her voice in his ears again, "Stop being a useless fucking pawn and think for yourself! Is this right?! Does this seem right to you?! Knocking us around and arresting us for thinking the violence against us commoners is wrong? Why don't you-" Of course, he'd stopped her from saying anymore with a swift kick to the face. Yet, he couldn't shake this odd feeling that'd come over him... What if she was right? Maybe there was more to this than he'd initially been lead to believe.
The next day Justin requested some time at this desk, to get a break from field work. He pulled as many files as he could without looking suspicious. As he tore through the files, reading about case after case, he noticed a trend. These people had been arrested for little more than criticism of the regime. And as he read their various criticisms, he couldn't help but think that... maybe... just maybe... some of them were right.
Sleep didn't come easy for the officer that night. He eventually gave up and pulled himself out of bed early. After suiting up, Justin hit the town in search of criminals. After patrolling for around an hour, he heard shouting coming from a nearby alley. He ran over and saw one of his fellow officers punching a man in the face. The officer, a woman appearing to be in her mid-30s, waved him over. "Hey, want a piece of the action? This asshole thought he could get away with questioning the government's thought probing program. Can you believe that?!" She laughed and hit the man again. Justin forced a chuckle, but it had no heart to it. He watched as the woman struck her victim again and again, the man helplessly taking the abuse and begging for it to end. "Now to make sure you don't forget this little lesson. Let's see how many teeth I can knock out!" The woman pulled back her arm, preparing to strike the man as hard as she could. As her fist started to fly toward his man, it was abruptly stopped. Justin stood between the female officer and her target, his hand wrapped around her hand. "This ain't right." He knew there'd be no going back from this, but it was time for things to change.