Karina cried to herself and I sat next to her on the sofa, trying to console her. Her mind kept flashing back to the assaults and she couldn't take herself out of the vortex of the trauma.
"I'm so happy the Regime didn't hurt me when I was pregnant," Karina said.
It dawned on me that The New Order Regime never knew about Boris and Betina.
"Did anyone find you under the bridge? Besides Rambo?" I asked.
"I found her sleeping with the newborns at the end of the block near the tunnels," Rambo said.
"That means you're the only Royal alive, Karina," my Father said. "Boris and Betina are your heirs. They can easily take the new governing power over The New Order Regime."
"That's not my goal, Mr. O'Connor," said Karina. "I just wanted to live happily ever after."
"But, if you had a choice to take the government or say something about it, you'd be the first person who should," said Rambo.
"I want to wait until Betina grows up. She's my first born and Boris is next by 4 minutes," said Karina. "I will nurture them to be leaders. I think families are sovereign, and Royals are allowed to live and be as they are, especially if they help others. We are just families, like the families of Giuseppe Baptiste and Pearsons Rockfield. The Ting Dynasty never harmed anyone."
"That's fair, but how will we tell everyone what happened? The world accepted the Regime," said Rambo.
"If we expose Pearsons and Baptiste, we will show how corrupt they are and show the world that they are not fit to be the world's leaders," my Father said.
"What should we do about the energy shortage, and the macaroni and cheese shortage," I asked.
"Why must we all have to eat macaroni and cheese? The whole world is eating the same thing, and now there is a shortage in their production. What are we supposed to eat now?" Rambo said.
"It's the staple foods, we all eat macaroni and cheese. That's just what we eat," I said.
"How come only certain items are available to Tier 1 only?" asked Karina.
"I eat popcorn, that's what I eat besides mac and cheese," said Rambo.
"Popcorn is available at all Tiers," my Father said.
"Why not bacon?" asked Karina.
"That's a Tier 1 item," said Rambo. "Tier 2 and 3 eat everything in pre-packaged containers, like macaroni and cheese. Meats and vegetables and fruits are mostly for Tier 1."
"Why not bacon?" I asked. "Meats and certain vegetables and fruits are for Tier 1 only. I don't see why we can't eat that instead of macaroni and cheese, or just pasta. Why can't we live as people, not as animals in the mills of Giuseppe Baptiste and Pearsons Rockfield?"
"That's not what we are used to eating," said my Father. "It's just what we know."
"Princess Diana would let Karina have bacon," I said. "She was a Royal. She was a lovely Royal. I read about her in history."
"The Princess with the Heart of Gold," said Rambo.
"I grew up wanting to marry Princess Diana," my Father said.
"It's a matter of greed, isn't?" asked Karina. "Only certain Tiers can eat certain foods, and the fine items belong to the Regime. With Giuseppe Baptiste and whoever this Pearsons Rockfield is, distributions of foods and incomes are not equal. Even when they say they are. They claim they give equality for all, but that's not true. The vulnerable and the homeless are still vulnerable and homeless, and worse yet, we can only eat certain foods conditioned for our social class. With this fascists and communist New Order Regime, we now bow to Giuseppe Baptiste and his counselieri, Pearsons Rockfield."
"What do you eat Karina?" I asked. "And you're right about The New Order Regime. They don't believe in equality."
"I go to the vending machine and eat whatever is there," said Karina. "The Regime only want everything that benefits the Regime."
"Will you eat apples?" I asked.
"Why apples? Because I'm a vulnerable?" said Karina. "They offer that at the vending machines and the shelters, but nothing else. At some point, it becomes an insult."
"I'd eat apples if I was offered it," I said. "It's healthy."
"Bacon!" said Karina. "What else is left now? Macaroni and cheese are gone, and I wish I can eat that, but the Regime is taking that away from us."
"Father,...," I asked my Father for help, because although I was yearning for macaroni and cheese too, I knew we had to eat other foods.
"When the old world existed, there were programs for the people, of all income levels. We can purchase any levels of products at our convenience. Nothing was a staple, although some people do love certain types of foods, but we were not all conditioned to eat macaroni and cheese the way The Regime did to us. We had opportunity and individualism, and our accomplishments and excellence were ours to enjoy and savor. Now, it all has to be part of the benefit of The New Order Regime," my Father said. "I think it's strange how Giuseppe Baptiste could just tell everyone what he wants and people do it. To think, he acquiered the world through murders."
"Why not purchase whatever Tier 1 is left," said Rambo. "There might still be foods left behind. Tier 2 and 3 must all have emptied the isles and rows at Knox."
"Karina, will you eat some apples if we have to?" my Father asked. "We will have to buy whatever fruits and vegetables are left behind, and especially apples."
Karina looked to me and my Father, and told us, "I suppose so. But, what else would be left now?"
"We will have to go to Knox and see," said Rambo. "I still have popcorn."
"We can't live on popcorn alone," my Father said.
"I could," I said, as Rambo and I high-fived.
"Bacon, please," said Karina.
"We will get bacon for Karina," said Father. "Princess Diana would be proud of us."