Return to It's not enough they take your life away with a gun; they have to take it away with their pens, too (idea)

We stood [huddled] in the darkest corner of the most hidden [alleyway] in [Ekaterinberg]. Some of us had been [on the run] for weeks. Others had only recently realized the [fate] of our [movement] and rushed to join us, guided only by faint clues and [the power of rumors]. We were all that remained, and for every one person who found us, there were hundreds who fell unaided into the [abyss].

Sven, the remarkably moody [Swede], was crouched under the [tarp] supported by three [crooked] poles that served as our [shelter from the storm|shelter from foul weather]. He argued that it was safe enough to [start a fire] now. So many people had been [driven out into the streets]. By doing so we would look like a ragged band of [dispossessed] [commoners] instead of the [ragged band] of what we really were.

[Freedom] amongst [filth] would be our [lifestyle] for several days. We could see them patrolling the streets and looking for those who opposed them. Fortunately, our [bedraggled] appearance and [fading health] served us with cover, just as Sven had proposed. Then, like all good things, our [peace] would come to an end. [Svetlana] would be recognized by someone who was a friend to their cause, and a chain of [whistles were blown]. Our position was [parlayed] to a [random] patrol and the first crackle of [gunfire] would awake us from our [slumber]. Sven would be the first to fall, in a way [ironic] because this was not his war. Alexander would take a [bullet] to the back of the head soon after, and I had the unfortunate pleasure of [standing beside him] when the [projectile] tore through his [genius].

Most were killed that night, and they were the [lucky] ones. My own [cowardice] caused an [involuntary reaction] in my arms. They shot up in the air and I [dropped to my knees] when the first [rifle] sounded. I remember one of the [rare] [Avtomat Fyodorova]s pointed towards [my heart].

"On your feet! Come with me!"

His words were an [unemotional] grunt, but I could tell he was not merely another one of the new [secret police]. He was Gregor, the one who had been searching for Leon and myself for months. They had distributed [literature] calling Leon and myself the [enemies of the people] because we were the writers who propelled our movement. He was glad to have captured me. Leon's body was lying in a bloody pool of [sewage] not more than fifty feet from where I stood with arms raised.

I was led, along with the other [survivors], into a shell of a building. It was not far from where I had watched [Nicholas] and his family executed more than a year earlier. I was brought into a room and forced to sit at a long wooden table. Two men in [overcoat]s joined the man who had captured me. They placed a [sheet of paper] in front of me and told me that reading it would just "waste [valuable time]."

"You will feel better if you do not read the [document]. Just sign it and [you can go] free. It is little more than stating that [you were mad] when you wrote what you wrote. You sign, and [everyone is happy], and you can go home. Perhaps your [wife] is still amongst the living? Admit you were [foolish] and go back to your [family] where you belong."

I sat silently and did [nothing]. The man who captured me came up behind me and pressed his rifle against the back of my head. I turned slightly, and noticed [he was smiling]. It was over. He had won.

"Sign the document. Become a [contributing member] of our [great society] again."

I picked up the pen and wondered if anyone could ever [forgive me]. If my [comrade]s would forgive me. If my wife would forgive me. If [history] would forgive me.

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