For Your Protection

By Chris Bunton

“Tracy and David Santos, come out of the house!” A voice spoke through a loud speaker.

Tracy and David both jumped up from the couch in their living room. They looked around in terror.

Their favorite show flickered on the TV, and the image was replaced by a message which read.

“David and Tracy Santos. You are being placed in quarantine by order of the CDC Health Safety Mandate. Please step outside and speak with the Health Collection team.”

At that moment, both of their phones started emitting a high pitched squeal and displaying the same message.

Tracy grabbed her phone from the coffee table and tried to clear the message, but it would not stop screaming, nor change the screen.

“David and Tracy Santos, step outside!” the loud speaker echoed again.

David looked at his wife, and then his head dropped down to look at the floor. He never thought it would get this bad or this real.

“I guess someone reported us” He said over the squealing from the phones.

“What are we going to do?” She asked looking around for a hole to crawl into, knowing there was none.

“I don’t know. What choice do we have? Just pray.” He said.

He reached out and took her hand. Then, they walked across the living room to the front door and opened it. Then, they walked outside together.


It was just after dark, and there was a little light showing in the west from the setting sun. A spot light blasted them as they stepped out of the house, blinding them to some extent.

After blinking to regain their vision, they stood on their porch and looked at the scene before them.

Standing in their front yard was a robot, about 5 feet tall. It was bipedal with two legs that resembled metal ostrich legs. It had no body above the hips. Only a platform.

The platform held several devices. A speaker, a camera, a screen, a scanner, a spot light, a tazer, a netgun, and a shotgun with a drum magazine. The robot had the spotlight on them.

Tracy almost fainted at the sight. David gripped her and held her firm. She started to weep.

David looked around them, and saw 2 four legged robots that resembled panthers came around from the back of their house. The cat-like robots were on both sides and were ready to prevent an escape from the back or sides of their home..

The robots set up on both sides of the couple, tazers and guns at the ready.

A black van was parked in the street, right in front of their house. The top of the van held several types of devices and antennae. Two humans sat in the front seat watching what was going on through cameras and infrared scanners, which viewed into their house. They also hacked every camera available on the property.

The passenger looked out the window and spoke to them through a handset, which he raised to his bearded mouth. The voice came out through the speaker on the bipedal robots, platform before them.

“Place your face in front of the robots scanner for facial recognition.” The speaker said.

Tracy weakly moved forward to comply, while David looked down the street of his neighborhood.

Vans were parked in front of several houses and the exact same scene was occurring at each location. Spot lights, robots, and families weeping, with black vans on the street.

David stepped forward and let the robot scan his face.

The speaker spoke again.

“By order of the CDC and FEMA health mandate, you are requested to step into the van, for relocation to a humanitarian site nearby. This is being done for community safety reasons.”

“Why” David asked.

“You have refused to be vaccinated, despite all evidence that they are needed for community health. This act has put you in violation of the Community Health Initiative, and you have been deemed mentally compromised, and part of an extremist ideology. You are detained for your safety and the safety of the community, until such time as you can be re-educated and restored to normal life.”

Tracy started moving weakly toward the van. She cried as David took her arm and helped her.

Across the street he heard a scream. He looked at the Fredricks’ house and saw Nathan Fredricks running across his lawn in his pajamas to escape.

A robot hound quickly went after him, covering the distance in a flash. The robot stopped and fired a tazer which struck Nathan in the back. He jerked and fell to his knees.

A second hound quickly moved into position and shot a net gun that sent a net exploding over Nathan, pinning him to the ground.

The van in front of the Fredricks house rocked as the human handlers inside laughed and high fived each other. Jennifer Fredricks started to go to her husband but one of the cat-like robots moved and cut off her approach.

David turned and helped his wife up the ramp and into the van, where they both sat down on a plastic bench against one of the sides.

The hounds moved into position to guard the door, in order to prevent them from coming back out of the van.

David looked past the robots, and down his street where he saw more families being loaded into vans.

Then, one of the humans from up front, looked inside at Tracy and David. He laughed as he slammed the van door shut, leaving them in darkness.

Bio: Chris Bunton is a Writer, Blogger and Poet from Southern Illinois.

His dystopian stories on The Yard include: “For Your Protection” “Clear” “The Prisoner” “Power Hour” “Last Train to St. Louis” “The Rant

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Publishing Editor for The Yard: Crime Blog.

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