Claire’s thoughts fixed on Jared and she wanted to know the truth. She was afraid for his and Ethan’s future since no one knew for sure what that was. The uncertainty drove her to push her mother on the issue.
“What destiny? Claire demanded. “Men never come back here. Where do they go and what happens to them when they leave here, Mother?”
“That doesn’t need to concern you.”
“I want to know, Mother. Tell me the truth. If you want me to understand you and the life you embrace you have to be honest with me.”
“Hmm,” Katherine hesitated. She wasn’t sure how much she dare share, but she wanted Claire to accept her future and break free of her less than desirable companions. Claire had to understand the authorities were only doing what was best for the citizens. “It’s more of a federal issue than a state issue, but I do know that males report to one of three occupational categories. Many men work in the factories in the central manufacturing zone on the East Coast, others volunteer for the military and the rest participate in science. All are noble contributions to our collective cause.”
“I don’t even want to know what it means to participate in science or I fear I will never be able to speak to you again, but why would any man agree to join the military and protect this country when they have so few opportunities in society?”
“Well, if they successfully complete their military obligation they are allowed to retire and live anywhere they want. They can even go home if they wish.”
“But they never do, Mother. They never come home. Are we murdering our men?”
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