I arrived at the checkpoint hoping to reach The Standard and reconnect with Wayne. I need to know he is okay. My gut fears the worst.
At my insistence, Peter and Michael stayed back at the hotel. I felt I could move quicker on my own. But today I was stopped at a checkpoint crippled by chaos. There was no distinct line of cars, everyone just jamming themselves towards the gate. And the mercs manning the gate seemed in no hurry to do much of anything.
After 45 minutes of absolutely nothing, one of the mercs announced that the checkpoint was closed for the day. No reason, no explanation. The men just sat back in the sun ignoring the throng.
A man in the car next to me started weeping. I learned that his wife and child were stranded at home in a remote part of the savannah 20 kilometres north. He’d been working in town to support them, but he’d just learned of an attack at the nearest village. He needed to get them out before things escalated. Now they were stranded.
He got out of his car and walked to the mercenaries. I could see him pleading his case, but the men stared as if watching a sports update. Then they just turned back to each other and continued whatever useless banter they had going. Not a word to the poor man.
His family might very well die and he was helpless. He got to his car and drove off to another checkpoint across town. Hopefully he’d reach it before they shut down for the night. Hopefully.
With the AU withdrawal, it hasn’t taken long for things to degenerate to such levels. As Lord Acton famously said, absolute power corrupts absolutely.