Thursday, July 2, 2020

Microstory 1399: Story

Seasoned Reporter: This is the interview with Fiore Stern, noted serial killer and terrorist.
Fiore Stern: I am not a terrorist. I’m the one who helped take down the terrorist organization. Get your facts straight.
Seasoned Reporter: You worked for Hemming Fertilizer for three years before you contacted the authorities about their misdealings.
Fiore Stern: That’s right. I was undercover all that time.
Seasoned Reporter: That’s what you said when it happened, but you were later discovered to have personally killed two dozen people. Does that not call your motives regarding the bomb-making company into question?
Fiore Stern: I don’t think it does at all. The two things have nothing to do with each other.
Seasoned Reporter: According to earlier interviews, you knew the entire time what Hemming was in reality. Now, I’m not saying it doesn’t take three years to go undercover, and bring terrorists to justice from the inside. I honestly don’t know how I would do it, let alone how long it would take. But because of these revelations about your private inclinations towards violence, you have to understand that people are going to be suspicious about your role within the company. Some are wondering whether you had always intended to fight against them, or if you simply saw an opportunity, and took it, assuming that no one would scrutinize you about who you really were.
Fiore Stern: I can see where people might start modifying their perception of me. But they have to realize that serial killing and terrorism are two very different ideologies. What I did to those innocent victims was very personal, and I’ve been working with mental health professionals to understand my reasons. It’s a lot more complex than you might think.
Seasoned Reporter: I would never characterize your behavior as simple. No one seems to be arguing that.
Fiore Stern: Yes, but terrorism kind of is simple. These people were angry at the world. The justice they saw, they perceived as injustice. They believed it was their duty to correct society as a whole, and make people afraid to go against them. Now, I’m not at all saying that the terrible things I did were okay. It’s just that Past!Me had very different motivations. He thought he was making art, and subsequently beauty, and he even thought he was creating life. When I put those bodies on display, I surrounded them with plant life, which signified rebirth, and transcendence. Again, I’m completely aware of how wrong that was, but the terrorists couldn’t care less about any of that. I don’t fault people for hating me, or thinking I’m not better than the people who worked for Hemming, but to suggest we fall into the same category is quite negligent, and no psychologist would do that. I just want to make it clear that I didn’t hurt anybody for Hemming. I’ve hurt people, but not for those reasons, and not for them. It’s important to me that the public acknowledges that.
Seasoned Reporter: Okay. You’re both bad, but you’re not the same. Acknowledged.
Fiore Stern: Thank you.
Seasoned Reporter: Let’s move on. Tell me how life in prison has been for you over the course of this last year. Have the other inmates accepted you for what you did to your victims, or do they mistreat you because of what you did to those bomb-makers?
Fiore Stern: I’m actually in protective custody, but a special corner of it. This is where they put the corrupt cops, and snitches, so I interact with people a little, but not much. I’m mostly in solitary confinement.
Seasoned Reporter: And have you found that difficult, being alone all the time?
Fiore Stern: I like it. I don’t much care for people, and I don’t find myself going crazy in there. They gave me a little window, so that’s nice.. I will say this, though, the place could do with a few more plants.

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