The ministry was the last building to fall. Its cold, brutal facade symbolised everything about the regime. We’d all known friends, family and enemies who’d been taken there – most never heard of again; bodies rarely found.
Today office after office was being ransacked. Files and folders scattered. Everything was going up in flames. It didn’t matter what notes they’d taken on us over the centuries. They were gone; the old ways were over. Everyone’s sheet was now blank.
Shouts up ahead said they had something, or someone. I waited for my second to catch up. He would need to see this. Make sure the message was relayed.
Nods of respect followed my walk up the dimly light corridor. Above a strip light flickered. Papers burned behind every broken door – except the last one. Behind that one was a woman. Everyone knew her. It was likely the last face many who disappeared in this place saw. I could see her regulation dark blue overalls and boyish, greying hair. Her back was turned to me.
Entering the room my second passed me the loaded revolver. Without turning around the woman spoke in a soft, unemotional voice.
‘Go ahead son. I know you have to.’
She was right – I did.