The light behind your eyes (appelbaum & assange music fic)

This little experiment is my first fic writing experience…. and English is not my native language, so please feel free to correct my mistakes! :)

Before reading, please consider listening to the song it was based upon, to better feel the atmosphere:


            The lyrics hit where it hurts most. Jake reached out to turn off the radio but his arm hung in the air and dropped wearily, and the song kept playing.

"So long to all of my friends,
Everyone of them met tragic ends”

            He has lost too many. American justice has overtaken the majority of those who were one way or another connected to the job he was doing. Someone was rotting in jail as a particularly dangerous criminal, someone had an “accident” on the road, someone caught a bullet aimed to put down a “dangerous terrorist”, and someone was openly got by drones, while others simply disappeared without a trace.

"With every passing day,
I’d be lying if I didn’t say,
That I miss them all tonight…”

            Jake put his head on his hands, remembering those who have gone, and barely restrained tears. He was almost completely alone and now his life cost was miserably little. He was sitting in a small room with boarded up windows, without turning the light on not to attract any unwanted attention. On the floor there was a travel bag with all the most necessary belongings to grab it at any time and rush through the back door to the motorbike and drive…where?

            Over the past few years he has changed so many locations that he had almost no idea where else he could go. And there were less and less people who could help him to settle down for a while. It seemed that not that long ago he lived relatively peacefully in sunny Berlin, and though he didn’t feel completely safe, but at least he was able to sleep at night, meet his friends and travel, keeping away from the USA. Their undertaking flourished and prospered and they believed the day was near.

            Everything went wrong in spring 2015 when they captured Edward. German authorities promised to provide his safety during his visit to testify about the American intelligence services spying for German citizens and the chief executives of Germany. American special services turned out to be quicker. Snowden didn’t even manage to get out of the plane – he was taken out handcuffed, with a bag on his head and escorted to the US that same evening. German diplomatic protests were ignored and even Russian authorities, under whose protection Snowden officially was, were unable to do anything. Americans didn’t announce what was happening to him next, but independent journalists putting their own freedom at a risk disclosed that he was held at one of military bases in the most severe conditions, while “preparations for trial” were being made. There are rumours that he is still kept on drugs. Nothing more is known.

            That was a start of what could be called a slaughter. Activists, cypherpunks, journalists, protesters, dissatisfied and any significant persons in the formed resistance movement were tracked down and expunged. Anonymous networks stopped helping because the “Clean-up” operation was primarily based on human factor. Gradually, it became impossible to trust neither the equipment, nor the people around. Only the closest friends. But all his friends were gone. There was only one left…

            Jake clenched his fists and screwed up his eyes shaking his head and furiously shaking the tears off the eyelashes. “They won’t dare”, he tried to convince himself. But he knew these words were as worthless as his present life. THEY will dare to do anything. Nobody in the world can do anything about what is happening in the implementation of the interests of the United States, violating all rules of international law and common sense.

            The storm, the assault was being prepared. Everybody knew it, although no such word was ever said, nor any preparation work was ever seen. Simply, it was obvious: it’s impossible to suppress the resistance and destroy the movement as long as its leader is alive. Julian Assange has been permanently staying in Embassy of Ecuador in London for over 5 years.

"And if they only knew what I would say,
If I could be with you tonight…
I would sing you to sleep,
Never let them take the light behind your eyes…”

            He suppressed a fit to grab Cryptophone and dial a number and a sobbing wheeze burst from his chest. Jake collapsed on the couch and cringed, wrapping his arms around his head and not even trying to calm down. It could happen at any moment. He should have got used to this thought but he was just unable to accept it.

"One day, I’ll lose this fight…
As we fade in the dark,
Just remember you will always burn as bright”

            Memories came flooding back and Jake started tearing his hair, powerless. Their first meeting. Black & white photos taken by Jake in Berlin. Joining WikiLeaks team. Night programming. A kiss, that Jake thought to be the end of everything (while it was just beginning). Trips around the world. Iceland. Their first intimacy… That amusement park, where they were having fun like kids, although things were already bad for both of them. “Cypherpunks”, those few hours of reckless fun while discussing serious topics. Squabbles over the beard. Nights at the Embassy and long talks on big leather sofa. And not only talks… (Jake smiled exhaustedly, remembering how the beard was tickling him). That last peaceful Christmas before the “clean-up” when they, like in the good old days, were programming together all day and half the night, and then hanged the garland on the window and ordered a pizza to the embassy. And a happy light behind his eyes which has always given Jake the faith that everything will turn out.

"Be strong, and hold my hand.
Time becomes for us, you’ll understand.
We’ll say goodbye today,
And we’re sorry how it all ends this way…”

            But they’ve said their last goodbyes and then there was only life on the run. From place to place, covering up the traces, avoiding people ‘cause meeting with him would threaten them with imminent danger. How is it possible to live like this? How long will he be able to last, all alone? He couldn’t help to remember all those people that he knew and that meant a lot for him, and it was slowly driving him crazy.

            Jake got up from the couch and approached the window boarded from outside. The small room was terribly stuffy but there was no way to open the windows. Through the cracks in the boards a little piece of sky was visible, pitch darkness around. And in the sky, there were the stars shining gently…

"I’ll fail and lose this fight,
Never fade in the dark
Just remember you will always burn as bright”

            Jake suddenly felt a sharp twitch of strange anxiety, which was unusual as he got used to that feeling and normally didn’t notice it. He rushed to the laptop bag but then remembered at that place there wasn’t any Internet. He reached into his pocket and pulled a Cryptophone. But whom to call? With Julian, they had agreed to contact only in emergency cases, not to be subjected to unnecessary danger. He dropped the Cryptophone to the table and sank wearily on a chair beside.

"Sometimes we must grow stronger and,
You can’t be stronger in the dark.
When I’m here, no longer, you must be stronger”

            All of a sudden, there was a signal of incoming message. Jake jumped up and grabbed the Cryptophone. He re-read a message a few times, as if not realizing, not believing his eyes and not understanding those letters and that language. His hand holding the device slowly descended. The song kept playing.

"I failed and lost this fight,
Never fade in the dark,
Just remember you will always burn as bright”

            The message was only three words:

            “The assault began”.

"The light behind your eyes…the light behind your eyes…the light behind…"