Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Microstory 1398: Truth

Advocate: Before we proceed, there are a few things you have to understand about your case. First, we’re not going to be able to convince the arbitration panels, or the general public, that you’re not guilty. I think you’re well aware of that. There’s too much evidence against you, and there’s no evidence that anyone else is actually responsible for your crimes. Does this sound right to you?
Fiore Stern: It is. I have to accept the fact that I’ve been caught. I cannot deny that I killed those people. So if I’m already guilty, what else can we do? What is the point of any of this? Can’t they just lock me up, and walk away?
Advocate: There are still some things to work out, and some things we can do to make your time in prison easier. Even if there weren’t, this is how our system is designed. We can’t just start punishing people without due process. You might be willing to skip trial, but what about the poor nineteen-year-old kid, who just got addicted to drugs? No, it has to be like this, and I’m afraid to tell you that it’s not going to be pleasant. The adherent is going to make you out to be the worst person on the planet. They’re going to make the panels think you deserve nothing better than a hole in the ground, and some slop once a week. As your advocate, it’s my responsibility to prevent that.
Fiore Stern: Okay.
Advocate: To that end, I have to know a few things. First, how many people have you killed, in total, including your colleagues at the bomb-making outfit, and anyone you dispatched for reasons other than your ritualistic killings?
Fiore Stern: I have killed twenty-four people in my life.
Advocate: The authorities found eleven bodies that they can attribute to you, including your psychiatrist. The other ten were put on display, so as to be found. Did you kill others before that, after, or in between?
Fiore Stern: All before. I didn’t decide to come out to the world until I had already killed thirteen people.
Advocate: You started wanting people to know who you were?
Fiore Stern: I wanted people to know me, but I didn’t want them to know who I was. I didn’t want to be caught. I put them on display, so people could enjoy my artwork.
Advocate: Okay, well, maybe don’t say that in court, since we’re not going with an insanity plea strategy. Here’s the problem. The bodies you put on display make you look disturbed. The bodies you kept hidden make you look remorseless. What you need to do is tell the authorities where to find the bodies that they have not yet uncovered. That will go a long way to making you more sympathetic. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but the arbitrationers need to know you’re not using these missing people as leverage, or toying with the world. They need to see you feel remorse.
Fiore Stern: I don’t feel remorse.
Advocate: Yeah, again, don’t say that.
Fiore Stern: Well, I’m kind of all about the truth. That’s why I did what I did in the first place. I want people to see the beauty in death. The reality is that everyone dies, and I consider my subjects to have received the highest honor. I only took a few decades from them anyway, and now, they will never be forgotten. How many other people can say that?
Advocate: This isn’t looking good for you, Mr. Stern. People don’t like it when you say things like that. Do you honestly believe people will buy into that, and that it will help your case?
Fiore Stern: I don’t really care about my case. I’m going to prison for the rest of my life. What difference can you really make? We don’t put people in literal holes in this country. I’ve seen what the worst prisons look like, and I’m prepared for those.
Advocate: It’s not just about the facility itself. It’s about the people in them. Do you know how many people you sent to prison when you took down that terrorist organization?
Fiore Stern: Two hundred and sixteen people worked for them, and are considered to be responsible enough for prosecution.
Advocate: It’s more than that. The company didn’t just make bombs for themselves. They funded their cause with money from their clients. They sold explosives to other groups. Many of those groups are now being watched and investigated, thanks to intel the government received from people you helped arrest directly. Now, a lot of these people end up in special prisons that you probably wouldn’t go to, but not all of them. You could end up in a cell with one of them, and they’re not going to be very happy with you. I can get you to the right prison, with the right protections. You have to be honest, but you also have to be careful with how you frame the narrative.
Fiore Stern: I understand.
Advocate: Good. Now, let’s move on, and start from the very beginning. Who was the first person you killed, and why?

No comments :

Post a Comment