I walked over to where everyone stood and checked out the memorial. That was exactly what it was too. I had seen them before in town back before everything truly went to hell. Candles, a photo or three, some flowers or if it was a kid -- a stuffed animal. This one was a lot bigger and it didn't smell to good either. It was obvious why. Rain had swept in repeatedly and soaked the stuffed animals. More than a few items of clothing with blood stains were intermixed with the photos and toys. They added their own scent. It smelled like a combination of Goodwill store and the leftovers from a week old foreclosure eviction. If you added some furniture it would look like one too.
The woman in the official Fedland uniform whom I noticed lurking behind the group of people walked up to me and asked "Can I help you sir?" It was a creepy kind of voice. She sounded like she was an undertaker in church at a funeral and trying to sell coffins to the mourners.
"How did this happen here? I mean ...why here?"
"Because of the Citizen Location building here."
I saw Zane come out the front door and yelled "Zane!" and waved him over. I told her "I was only in there briefly. What's that all about?"
"It's a database really. People go in there an can search for the whereabouts of friends and family. They can also have photos and information posted about themselves so others can find them. It's like facebook but only for people who are missing, dead, or trying to reunite."
"And the government runs it?"
"Yes sir it does.