Chapter 207 Recruitment
Raymond hugged his own child and gradually walked toward the relief station of the Brotherhood of Steel. Next to him was his wife and they were holding hands tightly with a dignified look on their faces. The child was crying in Raymond’s arm and he kept yelling, “Mommy, don’t go.”
The couple did not answer their child. Their hearts were already broken.
Raymond was originally a senior actuary and was one of the top dogs in the financial sector. He once worked at Pricewaterhousecoopers’ New York branch, but now… he was nothing but an ordinary man struggling to survive.
No one needed even an accountant in the cataclysm, let alone an actuary. He hardly managed to survive the first two weeks of the cataclysm with his only gun and little to no food. However, after fleeing from Manhattan to Staten Island, he realized that it was increasingly difficult to maintain his family.
Just a week ago, Raymond, who was on the hunt for food, returned home empty-handed. His wife then told him bad news - his two-year old son had starved to death and his five-year-old could not hold on any longer neither. On that day, his whole family hugged each other and cried in desperation and pain.
In the following week, Raymond, who had now been forced to a dead end, tried everything to survive. He even killed people just to get some food for his family. However, it was still inadequate to support a family of three. His older son became thinner and thinner and even if the couple gave him all the food that they got, the child still fainted several times due to hunger. It seemed that he could be dying at any time soon.
In desperation, Raymond’s wife proposed to become a slave as she heard that by selling herself, she might be able to exchange herself for some food. There was a slave market near the relief station of the Brotherhood of Steel and there were quite a lot of people promoting themselves over there. Usually, a slave would only cost around a piece of bread.
However, what can a piece of bread do? It will not save Raymond’s family out of trouble. Raymond went silent for quite a long time when he heard the proposal, but in the end, he knew that he could only nod. This might be the final thing they could do for their child.
When the mother bid farewell to her child, the five-year-old son did not even know how to respond. He kept yelling “Mommy, don’t go.” However, his mother could only reply him with smiles and kisses.
The relief station of the Brotherhood of Steel no longer provided any support to the refugees. There were dozens of people who tried to sell themselves as well, standing under the building. There were only two to three hundred people in the slave market the last time Raymond was here. But now, there were already more than a thousand people here.
His wife walked up the side of the wall and expressed her willingness to sell herself. Raymond just stood a few meters away from her and the couple was staring at each other. The wife smiled, Raymond straightened his face while their child cried. The child even reached out, asking for a hug from his mother.
All of a sudden, a fierce gunner walked through the crowd and many people watched him. A sense of arrogance could be felt from the gunner when he disdainfully looked down on all the people at the side of the wall. He put emphasis on the women and when he walked in front of Raymond's wife, he even deliberately reached out and grabbed her boobs.
Raymond turned his face to the other side as he did not wish to hear the negotiation between his wife and the gunner. He felt humiliated, but still, he could not leave. He was yet to receive the food which he used his wife to exchange for. The child fainted once again after running out of energy from crying. Hence, the wife did not carry on the negotiation. In the end, she sold herself for only half piece of bread.
When the bread was delivered to Raymond, his wife kissed him and their child for the last time. She whispered in his ear, “Don’t give up, dear Raymond. From now on, you’ll be the only one taking care of our child. If anything really happens, I believe you’ve already done your best as well. We’ll meet again in heaven.”
Raymond did not burst into tears. At that moment, his heart was already completely broken into pieces.
The wife was soon taken away by the gunner. Raymond bit the molded bread into tiny pieces and fed them to his child. After eating some food, the child finally restored some energy. He then shouted, ‘Mom’, once again but his mother was no longer by his side.
What should they do next? Raymond had completely run out of ideas as he gradually walked away from the slave market. All of a sudden, he heard noises from the crowd in the slave market and it seemed like the crowd was flooding towards one direction.
“What happened?” Raymond followed the crowd subconsciously. “Will it be that the relief station is distributing food once again?”
However, Raymond heard something shouting using a megaphone, “Go away, go away. We aren’t looking for ordinary labor this time. We’re currently looking for some professionals. We’ll need accountants, financial officers, logistics officers, and data analysts. Is there anyone here who knows how to make false accounting entries? We need someone who’s good at that.”
Raymond felt that he had finally found the voice of God. He hurriedly rushed toward the direction of the megaphone and shouted, “I know how to make false accounting entries. I’m an actuary at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. In fact, my biggest specialty is making false accounting entries. I promise that I could produce absolutely perfect results and even the people from IRS wouldn’t be able to find any flaw."
Raymond’s roar was overshadowed by the announcement of the megaphone, “I… I… I… I really know how to make false accounting entries. I’ve made false accounting entries for more than over hundreds of countries around the globe. Trust me, I’m an expert in this area.”
The man who held the megaphone threw a few glances at Raymond, before bending his head and said, “You! Go stand behind me.”
Raymond and his child hurriedly walked towards the man who held the megaphone. There were also several armed men surrounding him, blocking the flooding crowd.
It was quite a large-scaled recruitment this time around. In just the blink of an eye, there were already fifty people standing behind the man who held the megaphone. Some people were even required to carry an interview session on the spot and they will only be given a piece of bread and some water once they passed the interview.
Bread, bread, bread! Raymond, who just sold his wife for half a piece of bread minutes ago, now had an entire piece of bread in his hand. He instantly rushed towards the man who held the megaphone and begged him, “Please give me some time. I’m going to redeem my wife. Someone just bought her a few minutes ago.”
“No, what if you just run away!” the man who held the megaphone rejected him without much hesitation.
“I swear that I will not escape. Also, my wife used to be a logistics officer in New York Harbor. She’s responsible for all the planning of cargo transportation and vehicle allocation. You guys need some logistics officers as well, right? You guys could hire my wife too,” Raymond continued begging him.
After some hesitation, the man who held the megaphone finally agreed to Raymond’s request. He also ordered some armed men to follow Raymond to retrieve his wife. Raymond then immediately rushed towards the direction where his wife was just recently brought to. In the rubble a few hundred meters away from him, he could see that his wife was being raped by the others.
“Wait, wait! My wife is no longer for sale. I’ll return you the bread. You only paid me half a piece of bread just now, and now I’m redeeming my wife with a whole piece of bread.” Raymond handed the piece of bread out. However, due to the vigorous movement when he was rushing towards his wife, more than half of the bread had already fallen apart.
“Are you fooling around?!” the gunner, who was having fun, was now infuriated. He put on his pants, stood up, pulled out his gun and wanted to shoot Raymond, “Go to hell.”
Raymond thought that he was doomed at that point. However, when he finally opened his eyes once again, he saw that one of the armed men, who followed him all the way from the recruitment camp, was blowing his gun muzzle, “You and your wife better be useful. Otherwise, Miss Fox will kill your entire family.”