A Predator's Reward
Turget Pulgam came to Derision when Marlee was fourteen years old. At the time, Marlee Corinth lived with his mother Serene Willette and his three sisters in a small bungalow. Derision was located thirty miles away from the city of Kenderry on the island of Atfaro. It was a small community (population 13,893) and was very well developed as far as rural communities went. Racially, Marlee was Old Earth African stock; he was 5’7” tall with unruly curly hair and dark copper skin. He weighed 182 lbs and had well developed musculature. Most of the people in Derision were related and as a result, they were very affectionate and protective of each other. There were three major families in Derision: the Minotts, the Lewises and the Corinths. Marlee was related to all of them.
Growing up in Derision was a very good experience for Marlee. He had attended the Derision Preparatory School until he was twelve. When he passed the Liberation exam on the first attempt, he enrolled in the Worker’s Training Center which was located in an adjoining district where he was studying to become an agronomist. Marlee loved to make and fly “box kites”, play chess, video games, volleyball and soccer; he did not read much. On weekends, he liked to accompany his uncles to their farms and help out. They would pay him and give him food and vegetables to take home, so he stayed active and got paid for it. Marlee thought that this was a very good deal indeed.
The Manatee River ran through Derision, there, it was a gentle, quiet stream and the children of the village spent as much time as possible on its banks. The river had crayfish, crabs and a freshwater fish known as Pullé that was quite succulent when steamed, roasted or fried. Many trees grew on the banks of the Manatee, so the first set of children to arrive at the river for the day, would make a fire from brush and wood mainly to drive the mosquitoes away; the fire would invariably be used for cooking, however. Many trees grew by the banks of the river; there were breadfruit, rose, star and otahetie apples, mangoes, oranges, starfruit, and berries of many types as well as tamarinds and cherries. There were also patches of Honeydew watermelons and cantaloupes that the young men of the farmer’s co-op planted and tended as community service and banana, plantain and scores of coconut trees. Gathering and eating food was a full time occupation for the children, as Atfaro was located in the tropics and something was always ripe and ready for harvesting.
Because Derision’s inhabitants were close knit, Turget was welcomed by most people when he moved there. He was related to Marlee’s aunt Carissa, so the community accepted him as family. Turget was a small man, slim, about 5’6” weighing no more than 145 pounds with a soft cultured voice, he was 33 years old. He told people that he was an accountant who had gotten wealthy speculating on stocks in Valhalla, Chefari Free State. He had moved to Atfaro for peace, quiet and retirement. He rented a small cottage on a hill overlooking Marlee’s house and moved in with his mother and sister.
The Plot Thickens!
In a very short time, Turget had ingratiated himself with the people of Derision. He joined the Lion’s and the Kiwanis Service Clubs. He sourced books for the Prep School, and he volunteered to coach in the chess club. He got involved with the Drama and Screenplayers Society, and sponsored a video shoot for a song with a popular Jam Rock singer featuring the village, where all of the extras and dancers were village youth. After this, everyone was of the opinion that Turget was a definite boon to the community. Turget then proceeded to lease three acres of land where he established a fish farm and a honey farm initially with seventeen boxes of bees. He hired four young men to assist him with this enterprise; everybody’s lips were overflowing with praise for this progressive and civilized young man.
Like everyone else, Marlee very impressed with Turget, he thought it was great to have a wealthy relative. Turget would transfer credit to his account very regularly, and was inclined to give him gadgets and very fashionable clothes and shoes. It was not that Marlee was deprived in any way, no one on WOSTANE is, but he was far from wealthy, coming as he was, from a single parent home. Selene worked as a systems analyst for a multinational corporation and she also received assistance from Zion for the children, but the family still had to economize. That is, until Turget arrived, after that nothing or nowhere was out of reach.
Marlee had three close friends, Tristan MakaFree, Severance Tolerdant and Unity Minott. Tristan was fourteen years old; he attended Worker’s like Marlee and was training to become a cabinet maker. Tristan was tall for his age (5’10”) fair skinned with wavy hair and intense eyes that could be green or hazel depending on the light. Tristan, unlike Marlee, loved to read and kept his notebook with him at all times. Severance was thirteen and had passed the Liberation exam on his second try; he had not continued his education afterwards but had joined the Farmer’s Co-op instead. Severance had very pale skin and limp blonde hair and blue eyes. He was of average height (5’6”) but heavyset (196 lbs) because he loved to eat. Of the four friends, Severance was the only one who was already betrothed; he planned to marry a very pretty girl named Calesha Lewis as soon as he could afford it. Unity was fourteen years old; he was a bright, creative, gentle, sensitive soul. He attended the Elite Fashion Institute in the capital city Progression, where he intended to become certified as a Designer of women’s apparel. Unity was very slim (147 lbs) and quite tall (6’0”); his hair was usually braided and was shoulder length. He took his appearance and hygiene very seriously and as a result, was very popular with the girls. In addition, he could “do hair” and paint nails so well, he had been paid to do this from a very young age.
Having a FUN day!
Turget liked the company of young men. His argument was that as a successful businessman, he could provide the guidance that would lead them to prosperity. It seemed like a logical conclusion, so Marlee had no problem introducing him to his friends. Turget particularly enjoyed being around Unity.
“Unity is insightful, well read and intelligent,” he would observe more than once in Marlee’s presence. “He is sure to go very far in life.” Marlee couldn’t help but agreeing, these were the same reasons that he liked to be around Unity. Most times, any problem that he could articulate, Unity already had arrived at the solution.
So it went for a couple of years until Marlee was seventeen years old. Turget threw a massive party for him on the weekend after his birthday. The party was held on a fairly large piece of community property adjoining Marlee’s house, everybody from the village was there. It was quite the affair, Turget had hired rides for the younger ones, there were two massive sound systems playing the latest hit music. The food was well cooked and abundant; there was a fountain spouting soft drink for the minors and cases and kegs of alcohol for those who could consume. There was a circus on the field complete with lions from Maton, dancing bears and an off world biped called frangle that was trained to juggle. The crowd lost its mind when the frangle juggled seven flaming sticks at once; the noise on the field could be heard from miles away.
The dancing continued for long after the children had gone to bed until the wee hours of the new day. It was around 04:30 when Marlee missed Unity. He had been around for all of the party, so Marlee began to wonder if he had gotten tired and had fallen asleep somewhere on the field. It was unthinkable that Unity had left without telling him; that was simply not how Unity operated. So Marlee started to walk around in the pre-dawn moonlight, looking for him. Will-I was the only of the three moons of WOSTANE that was still in the sky, because it was a red moon, the light was dull and gave the field an ethereal appearance.
Marlee had circled the field twice and was on the side nearest to his house when he heard voices coming from behind the sheep pen. At first, he thought it was one of the lambs that had been born during the chilly months. Then he heard what seemed like a groan of pain, which is when he became intrigued. Because he wasn’t sure what the sound was he moved quietly and cautiously. He inched towards the side of the pen where the sounds were coming from and carefully peeked around the corner of the pen. What he saw stopped his breath.
Turget was stark naked and Unity only had on his tank top. Unity was on his knees and Turget was behind him; they were having sexual intercourse. Marlee was in a state of shock. He could not believe what he was seeing. He pulled back from the corner and attempted to breathe, his success was negligible initially, while around the corner the groaning continued. He tried to think, but there were a million different thoughts racing through his head. His eyes were wet; he took a deep breath and let it out quietly because he did not want them to hear him. There was dialogue now interspersed with the groaning which had intensified. He put his head back around the corner to hear what was being said. It was Unity, who was talking,
“Stop now T., I can’t stand the pain, it hurts!” and then he began to groan again, this time more loudly.
“Just relax baby,” Marlee noticed that Turget was sweating slightly and was caressing Unity’s privates. “I promised to help you, and I will, but nothing is free. You’ll get used to this; it’s the first time, that’s why.” Marlee noticed that Turget was in ecstasy, he could hardly talk, he was moving his head from side to side and he gave out soft moans of pleasure.
“No!” Unity was trying to pull away, “I don’t want get used to this, let me up! It hurts!”
“Wha’ me say,” Turget grunted, thrusting into Unity harder, grunting and sweating pebbles now, “Relax punk! Relax! Soon done! Ugh!” Unity was trying to pull away, but apparently Turget was much stronger than his slight frame suggested. Marlee wanted to run away from the scene, but his knees wouldn’t bend, his head wouldn’t turn and his feet had sprouted roots, locking him in place. He was trapped in a hellish nightmare. The betrayal made him want to vomit, but his stomach wouldn’t co-operate. Turget’s movements were getting more violent and urgent, obviously he was nearing climax. Unity’s cries were now unashamedly loud.
“Whoiee! No! No! NO! Heelp! Help me! Whoiee! Stop! Stop!” If Turget heard, he gave no sign, lost as he was in the throes of sexual oblivion. All of a sudden, he deflated and let go of Unity, sinking to the ground in the same movement. Unity crawled away from him, moaning and cursing.
“Blasted rapist! Wicked beast! Leave me alone! Never again you rass pig! Oh God! Punish this fucking monster! This is not the end of it Turget, You asshole!” Turget laughed weakly, he was so sated he couldn’t do much more than whisper.
“One word of this to anyone you little pup, and your life is mine! You hear me?” Turget hissed. Sounding to the voyeur like the snake he had come to realize that Turget was. Then to add to the horror, Unity put his hand to his backside and wiped, his hand dripped crimson. Immediately, Marlee’s body released him, and he turned and fled across the field, as he ran, he heard Unity wailing, screaming and ranting. He ran blindly because his tears were flowing fast and hot by now. He ran the whole half a mile to Severance’s house, coughing up sobs the entire time. When he got there he beat a small stone against Severance’s room window yelling loudly for his friend. Severance opened the window just in time to see Marlee spew the contents of his stomach onto his back steps. Severance ran to the kitchen door and opened it, then gingerly made his way down the steps trying to avoid the refuse splattered all over the stairway.
PROTECT MY CHILDREN!
Marlee and Sev
“What’s the matter Marl? What happened? Damn! You hurled all over the steps man! You OK son?” Marlee was still retching and his stomach was still heaving, he found that his body was covered with Goosebumps; he was trembling violently and his teeth were chattering, because of these things, he was unable to answer. Eventually, he calmed down; by the time he had managed to compose himself, Severance had made some mint tea and re-emerged from the kitchen with a steaming cup. Severance waited until Marlee finished drinking the tea, watching him anxiously the whole time. Severance could hardly keep himself in check; he had never seen Marlee so upset.
“Alright Marlee, tell me everything.” Marlee related what he had seen. As the story progressed, since Marlee decided that he would not spare his friend’s sensibilities, the horror intensified on Severance’s face. Marlee summed up.
“He forced him Sev, Unity was bawling and screaming at the end. He even cursed, you know that Unity don’t swear man. Turget tore him up! His fucking ass was bleeding man. That guy is a bloody animal, Shit! I think we should kill that wicked motherf**ker!” Severance was angry too, but Sev was extremely practical.
“Even if we manage to kill him, the docs will just bring him back, and you know the law, if you break the law and happen to get yourself killed, you can’t be prosecuted for the crime, that’s gone.”
“Well what in Hades are we gonna do then?” Marlee demanded hotly, he was in no mood to think logically, he was kind of offended that Severance could manage to be so cool in the face of what he heard. He wanted to act, and Sev seemed to want to analyze. “Look man, doesn’t this qualify as rape under the law?”
“That’s what I’m saying Marl,” Severance wanted his friend to think, something he knew that Marlee hated to do. “If we can bring proof against that monster, the overseers will lock him up for three hundred years at least. That’s far worse than death man, you ever seen the documentaries on mentaforming? It’s like they force you to excrete every single anti-social tendency you’ve ever had… contemplated even. They go into your personality man, for a degenerate turd like that; it will be three hundred years in the hottest hell! First thing we got to do is make sure that Unity gets treatment and counseling. After we get that process started we can think about that damned foul, blasted, stinking, crapdigging baboon!”
By this time, Marlee had calmed down somewhat. Not much though, he had stopped sweating, but his stomach still felt queasy, and he couldn’t stop trembling. He had to admit though, Severance made sense; death would be a reward for an iniquitous, sick, impious fiend like Turget. In addition, if he died, there would be no closure for Unity, that much he knew. Unity would end up feeling guilty as if he was somehow to blame for the rape because he was a bit effete. He would start to think that he had invited it. Yep! Severance was right; Unity’s healing was paramount, after that…vengeance! Severance was speaking again.
“Look Marl,” he said with authority, “you need to get some sleep bro, when you wake up, come and get me and we’ll go check on Unity. We’ll have tell MakaFree as well, it’s gonna take the three of us to convince him to go to the health center and report this to MPS (Minor Protection Service). You know him… it’s gonna take some doing, we’ve got to have our wits about us, or he’s gonna let this slide.”
Marlee assented… He knew why instinctively, he had chosen to come to tell Severance first, Sev was the most mature of the quartet, and had the knack of breaking down a problem into fractions so it could be solved efficiently and effectively. So he told his friend later and headed home.
My son at his wedding
Marlee reads and thinks...finally
Once home, he didn’t discuss the experience with his mother. Instead, he went straight into his room and into bed with his shoes still on. He tossed around in bed for a while and then got up and undressed, he felt hot and dirty; so he went into the bathroom and took a long shower. When he went back into his bed, he fell asleep immediately.
Marlee didn’t wake until in the 02:30 the next day, it was dark outside so he lay in bed replaying the rape in his mind until he noticed his notebook notification light blinking. Three messages and twelve missed calls! Damn! He thought, I must have been dead. He checked the messages and calls, of course they were all from Severance, and so he dialed him.
“Yow! Sorry man, I guess I was destroyed.”
“It’s OK Marlee, man I knew you were exhausted, by the way, I cleaned the steps. Where did you put so much food kid, it’s like you have four stomachs like a cow, Ha! Ha!”
“That’s very funny coming from you Mr. Clean up! “Marlee retorted, and he laughed for the first time since witnessing the assault on Unity. “So I guess we move at first light?”
“Yeah man, first thing. Peace.” Severance hung up. Marlee didn’t go back to sleep, he spent the rest of the night researching the Rape Laws of the planet. WOSTANE had been founded after human beings had discovered faster than light travel and had spread out to the stars from their home system “Original Sol I”. Only one planet in that system could support human life initially; so that was the only place where human beings could be found for millions of years. When humans developed space travel, they proceeded to colonize other planets in the system and the science of terraforming was born; but they were still confined because it took too much time and resources to travel to other stars.
When the Amwell FTL Stardrive was developed finally, by a brilliant young scientist named Theresa Amwell (from a small island called Martinique, in a region known as the West Indies). The hundreds of billions of humans who were alive at the time, swarmed across the star systems of the universe. The word overpopulation became obsolete. The universe was infinite and expanding, so the possibilities were as endless as Creation itself. Worlds were founded on different themes and with myriads of varying objectives. WOSTANE for example, was a place that was chartered to create Utopia.
The founders of the world were two psychologists known as Raffael Remario Rattee or more popularly known as RE; and his nineteenth wife, Everlead Renee Girly known simply as Mom. They had written the seven hundred page Charter in sixty hours — thirteen thousand years ago. That there had been no opportunity to amend it in all that time, was testament to the brilliance, foresight and scope of those two legends. Re’s son, Central Worker (another legend), was the Chief Trustee (or seneschal) of the planet currently. He was five thousand and seventy four years old and whenever he appeared in public or in the media the first impression one had was that he seemed like he was no more than fifteen years old.
Now the charter that every person had to sign on their twenty first birthday, also called their Adult Naming Day, stated that if a person was convicted of sexual contact with a minor (i.e. child < 12, liberated < 17 or independent < 21), also called State Defined Rape; his freedom was forfeit for no less than 285 years. The offender will undergo mandatory personality adjustment (mentaformation), and has to, upon completing his sentence, convince a board of thirteen overseers that he had been reformed. There has to be at least ten votes in favor of release for the offender to be freed. As a result, most offenders spent more than five hundred years in confinement for this crime. The current record was held by a Jancunu Harkon Gwillie, who had spent two thousand eight hundred and forty three years the Renee Reformatory Institute in HayTown, on the Island of Zion. Also, a conviction of State Defined Rape meant Hard Labor everyday for the entire time that the offender spent in confinement.
“Sounds like Justice to me,” observed Marlee when he read this last bit. Apparently Central Worker presided personally over every trial of State Defined Rape on the planet, much as Re had done prior to his abdication. According to the stats, Central had never sentenced any convicted rapist to less than four hundred years mandatory, and the average sentence was seven hundred and sixty seven years.
“I bet Central Worker is going throw away the key on this one,” Marlee mused aloud, “Not one day less than twelve hundred years mandatory.” He laughed quite hysterically at the thought. “It’s just to get the vicious bastard in front of him, that’s what we’ve got to do.”
Dawn took its time arriving, but eventually it did. The notebook’s alarm chimed six hundred and thirty hours and as it did, Marlee took up his coat and left the house. He headed for Tristan’s house. He found Tristan in his garden fertilizing some newly transplanted lime trees.
Me and Josh
Vengeance is a meal, best served cold
“You’re up with the birds Tris.” Marlee commented as he walked up. He then clapped Tristan on the shoulder. Tristan looked up at him and smiled.
“Some of us have no time to be laying about dreaming you know Marl, some of us have actual work to do.” Marlee laughed for the second time that day.
“You call digging around in soft soil work? Hell Tris, that means I’ve been working since I was three years old!” The two friends chuckled and touched fists.
“So what evil activity drives you from between Selene’s duck down comforters at this ungodly hour Marlee?” Marlee had to take a deep breath; this was the bit that he did not relish. Tristan had to know however, he loved Unity like a brother, he was closest with him and, as far as Marlee’s knowledge went, had never had cross words with Unity in the fifteen years they had been friends. Marlee plunged into recounting the story, he edited the bits about the blood, but pretty much covered everything else. As the story progressed, Marlee watched Tristan closely for signs of reaction. Sure enough, Tris was getting angrier with every word. His hands tightened around the small spade he had been using to spread the fertilizer, the veins in his neck became engorged, his forehead furrowed and his eyes got red and damp. Tristan turned away and gestured for Marlee to stop talking. Obviously, he had heard enough.
“We need to go to him.” Tristan was grim. “I bet he’s over there suffering in silence.” Marlee didn’t respond; instead he meditated on a pretty white and green pebble that was laying on the ground between his sandals. “Have you told Sev?” Tristan queried, Marlee nodded,
“He told me to come and get you and we’d all go to Unity’s place.” Marlee tried to keep his voice even. “What are we going to do about this Tristan?”
We’re gonna check on Unity, that’s what, give me a minute, I’m gonna fresh, soon come.” with that Tristan turned into the house, leaving the spade where he had dropped it.
Nearly ten minutes later, Tristan emerged from the house looking brand new. He said nothing to Marlee but proceeded to head towards the gate. Marlee had been sitting on a metal garden chair waiting. He rose and exited the yard with his friend. They arrived at Severance’s house and found him sitting on the back steps talking quietly with his Mother, Patty. Patty’s face was filled with indignation so Marlee guessed that Sev had not been able to keep the situation to himself. When Patty saw them, she smiled half heartedly and whispered quietly to Severance, kissed him and left. Severance did not speak; instead he nodded to Tristan and walked out of the yard, heading in the general direction of Unity’s place.
It took them forty minutes to get to Unity’s place as it was on the other side of the village from where their houses were located. The silence between them was painful; each boy was caught up with his own thoughts. Unity’s house was in actuality, a mansion. Surrounding it were beautiful plots of many varieties of flowers. There was an extensive orange and apple orchard on the right of the mansion that belonged to the Minotts. In front was perhaps half an acre of manicured lawns, the building itself was painted in gold and red, it glistened in the morning sunlight. Tristan rang the doorbell; they heard the deep chime echo. Moments later, the Minott’s butler Ardus, opened the door. He surveyed them for a moment and said,
“Good morning young masters, shall I inform Master Unity that you are here?” The boys consented, as usual; they were invited by Ardus to wait in the study. He offered them refreshment but they declined, worried as they were about Unity. Ardus went to fetch Unity and the silence descended again.
The wait was interminable for Marlee, he was thinking about what he was going to say to Unity. Would Unity be embarrassed that he had witnessed the assault? Would he be angry? He was worried that this situation could end their friendship. In his reading during the night, he had found out that many victims of rape blamed themselves for the offense. He believed that Unity would not be an exception to this. Ardus returned after perhaps fifteen minutes.
“It took some convincing,” he said in his slow deep university accent, “but Mater Unity will see you. Maybe you gentlemen will be willing to share what is wrong with him; he has not spoken to anyone or eaten anything since returning from your birthday party Master Marlee.” Ardus was looking at each of them in turn with a very calculating gaze. “Did you all have a falling out? Is that why you are here at the crack of dawn? Gentlemen, Madam is going out of her mind with worry. Please say what happened so that I can put her mind at ease, or at least tell her something she can act on.” The boys were at a loss, none of them wanted to tell the adults of this house anything yet. It was Tristan who replied.
“Let’s go to him first Ardus, it’s not our place to say anything, we were just worried about him because he left the party without telling us and wouldn’t answer our calls. When we find out what is going on, we’ll tell him to tell you, OK?” Ardus inclined his head in consent and motioned them towards Unity’s quarters.
Unity’s rooms were located on the fifth floor of the Minott’s mansion; the boys had taken the main elevator up. The first thing that Marlee noticed upon entering Unity’s apartment was the darkness. The curtains were drawn and all the lights were off, they had to stand just inside the entrance of the room that Unity used to practice drawing and sewing until their eyes had adjusted to the gloom.
“Hey Uni,” Severance whispered into the shadows, using Unity’s pet name. “You alright man? Put on the light so we can see.” There was no reply— by this time, Tristan who was most familiar with the layout of Unity’s apartment had found a table lamp and switched it on. There was Unity, wrapped in a blanket sitting in the far corner of his bedroom, on the floor. They rushed across the work room and into the bedroom towards him. Tristan was closest to him and he reached down to touch Unity’s shoulder.
“No!” Unity’s voice was hoarse and raspy, as if he had been screaming for a long time, “Don’t touch me Tris!” Tears started to stream down Unity’s face and he uttered thick, deep, guttural sobs.
“Oh God! Uni” Tristan ignored the instruction and knelt down beside his friend, putting his arm around Unity’s shoulders. The other two friends also crowded around Unity, touching him and speaking soft words of comfort. Unity would not be comforted however, he continued to weep. Tristan also began to cry, Marlee was close as well; only Severance did not show distress. He was deeply disturbed though and very angry at the destruction of his friend’s self-esteem.
“Don’t worry Unity,” he said softly with all the love he could muster. “This is far from over, we’re gonna get him.” It took the better part of an hour before Unity was in any condition to even consider cleaning up. Marlee had suggested that he take a bath and put on some clothes. They had discovered that Unity was naked under the blanket, and had not slept or moved from where they had found him since arriving home.
“You’ve been damaged Uni!” Marlee said, “We’ve got to take you to the doctor’s.”
“Yeah,” Tristan confirmed, “You need some counseling also man.” Unity did not respond, eventually he stopped sobbing and stared blankly at the wall in front of him. The other boys did not continue with their advice, and so a viscous heavy silence enveloped all of them punctuated rarely by a hiccup from Unity. After a long while, Unity let out an extended sigh, gathered his blanket about him, and headed for the shower.
While they waited for Unity to compose himself, they did not converse. None of them had really come to terms with what had happened yet. Marlee and Tristan were quite angry, Severance was plotting. The shower was on for a while, finally it stopped. They waited for a next long time until Unity emerged dressed and perfumed; his hair was twisted into a bun and held with a gold colored “Scoochie”.
“Well you’re gonna come with us willingly man? Or are we going to have to carry you? We talked about it before we came” Marlee lied, “If takes that, you’re going to the clinic.”
Unity sighed again, “I’ll never be able to find friends like you guys again, and I guess you all are right. I’m going to have to get help. No, you don’t have to carry me Marl.” With that they went to the elevator.
The Inspiration for the story
The Road to Recovery
The “Mercy Center” was a massive building painted white inside and out. No other color was on the walls unless it was in a frame. All the staff, from ancillary to management was attired in the same pristine paleness. They moved with purpose and competency, speaking in hushed voices. The place smelled of disinfectant and rose. The registration office was on the first floor directly across from the entrance. The boys were promptly shown in to the doctor after Unity confirmed his identity by eye scan.
The doctor was a very young woman; her name tag said “Charisma F. Redtree, G.P.”. Doctor Redtree wore a very calm and pleasant demeanor, but her eyes were acutely intelligent. She gave them leave to address her as Charisma; this made them relax a little. The friends watched as Unity was given a cursory examination, Charisma was chatting and being humorous at the same time; his eyes, ears, heart and lungs were checked. When the young lady had completed her check up, she asked Unity,
“Well Unity, you are in excellent health, why are you here?” Unity didn’t answer; instead he lowered his eyes from her scrutiny. Charisma waited for a full forty five seconds before she spoke again, “Your medical officials are paid to have your best interests in the forefront of their priorities young man, so there is no need to keep anything at all from us. Tell me everything.” Marlee realized that Unity was in difficulty, he thought that Uni didn’t want to re-count his assault before the rest of them.
“C’mon guys let’s go outside and wait.” He rose from the chair in which he had been sitting and made to exit the office.
“No guys!” Unity spoke a tad more loudly than he was usually wont to do, his perplexity expressed on his face quite plainly, “Don’t leave! You all need to hear, plus you don’t know the whole story.” He then inhaled deeply and began to relate the account of what happened with Turget to the doctor. As he spoke the look of sympathy and concern increased and intensified on Charisma’s face, Marlee noticed that she did not interrupt with any questions however, instead she allowed Unity to speak until the end.
Many questions that had been flitting periodically through Marlee’s mind were answered when Unity told the doctor what had happened. Apparently, Turget had promised to get Unity hired by a major Fashion House. This was a very large multi-planetary enterprise; with exports to more than eight thousand star systems in their sector. They even had clientele in the Original Sol I System. They made quadrillions in profit every quarter and paid their staff designers salaries exceeding the incomes of planetary trustees. No wonder Uni was tempted to listen to that monster. Marlee concluded to himself, Turget made him an offer God would consider! The young doctor was very incisive, even more than Marlee or the other boys would have anticipated though; her next question established this fact without doubt.
“You told us that you did not know what came over you, and you don’t remember how you came to be naked with him, did you drink any alcohol, smoke or inject any drugs Unity? What are your last memories before you were attacked?” Unity was quiet for a few seconds before answering.
“I did not drink any strong drink, and you can ask my friends, not just these guys… Anyone who knows me, I don’t smoke and have never experimented with any drug. Not one time!” he finished emphatically, he then closed his eyes and put one hand on his forehead as if calling up a memory, “But I remember that right before I lost time, I was dancing and I couldn’t stop laughing, I don’t what was the joke, Turget was watching me dance and was encouraging me and saying how beautiful I was, and then nothing till I was in all kinds of pain. That’s what got me out of the daze, the terrible pain.” It seemed to Marlee as if he was going to begin crying again. Instinctively, Marlee put his hand on Unity’s shoulder. Unity appreciated the gesture Marlee knew, because he put his hand on top of Marlee’s own and squeezed gently.
Charisma was no longer in a joking mood; she told Unity that there were some other tests that she needed to administer, she instructed him to go behind the curtain and undress and while Unity complied, she made calls to MPS and to the clinic’s administrator. After the physical, she confirmed to them that there was definite evidence of assault.
“I suspect that you were drugged young master Minott,” she was wearing a very severe expression by this time, “That is the reason I am taking blood, when I am finished with this, go into the bathroom and pass a little urine into one of the sample cups.” When Unity had complied with her request she told them to wait there in the office, assured them that she would not be long absent and exited the office. The boys were silent for a while after Doctor Redtree had left. Marlee still had his hand on Unity’s shoulder and Unity was again contemplating the tiles of the office. It was Tristan, who broke the silence,
“How are you doing Uni? This must be very difficult I know.”
“Nah man…I don’t think you know.” Unity’s was barely audible, “But I know that you care, and that’s what matters, I really love you guys you know. I mean really, really love you, you are the best friends that a fellow could wish for.”
True to her word, Charisma returned in short order. She produced her scanner and informed Unity that his statement had been recorded and an agent of the MPS had arrived to receive it, he needed to confirm that his statement was the truth by eye scan. She also told them that Turget had been taken into custody and arraigned by the MPS because of her report and that Mr. and Mrs. Minott were awaiting them outside in the reception area.
The boys were shocked that everything had happened so quickly, Doctor Redtree smiled and made them understand that no society took crimes against children as seriously as WOSTANE did. Nowhere in the universe were a child’s well being as assured and their safety and development as high a priority as right where they were now. She then made Unity schedule an appointment with the family counselor and recommended that he allow at least one of his parents to be present in the session.
“They’ll both make time to be there,” Unity laughed, the sound startled Marlee, but it was a pleasant occurrence. Marlee surmised that the recent news had improved Unity’s mindset, for this he was extremely grateful. Silently, he whispered a prayer of thanks to his Mother.
“OK gentlemen, we are all done here.” Doctor Redtree smiled warmly at them.
“All done Charisma?” Severance could help the incredulity in his voice, “So doesn’t Unity have to testify in court?”
“He has already testified,” replied the pretty young doctor, tossing her shoulder length locks. It was colored pink and blue. “Everything that is said in this office is recorded for administrative records. It is primarily there in case malpractice suits are brought against the clinic. It is a very simple matter to edit and transmit the events of this morning to Zion. As a matter of fact, Mr. Pulgam has just this moment been scheduled to appear before Central Worker at 16:25. The notification appeared just now,” she brandished her notebook while smiling quite contentedly. “I’m following the case, you guys really shouldn’t keep the adults waiting much longer you know,” she turned to face Unity, “Your Mom is really distraught, you should have told her at the first opportunity.”
“I was so embarrassed that I could have let something like that happen,” Unity said, “I didn’t know how to face her.”
“Listen to me Mr. Minott.” Charisma wagged her finger at Unity and shook her head in negation, “You did not let anything happen. You were the victim of a crime; we do not protect criminals in this society. You should know better, you have excellent grades from Prep School until now, I guess you have better application skills when it comes to other people, but lack the same when it comes to yourself? You need to do better my brother.”
“I guess so,” Unity concluded rising from his chair in the same instant. He shook Doctor Redtree’s hand, “Thanks for the advice and the help doc.” The rest of the gang murmured their thanks and the Doctor bid them goodbye. They left the examination room.
Outside Nerfille and Kyla Minott were standing in the reception area, holding hands waiting anxiously for their son. As the boys emerged from Dr. Redtree’s office, Unity’s Mom released her husband’s hand and ran to them taking her son in a tight, breath stopping embrace. Her tears were streaming down her beautiful face marring her mascara and make-up. She kissed her son and was speaking words of comfort and encouragement quietly to him. Unity had begun to cry again too.
Mr. Minott came over to the group and thanked the other boys for their actions and love. He hugged them all in turn and then embraced his wife and son who were still upset. After a time, composure returned to the group and everyone went back to the Minott’s place. The boys spent the day in Unity’s apartment because his parents had travelled to Zion to give character testimony and witness the trial.
A quick test of Empathy
What should happen to child molesters?
All thing work out for GOOD! Everytime.
By the time the Minotts had returned home, Unity had been contacted by more than one hundred relatives and friends who had heard about the rape and Turget’s subsequent arrest. Everyone who had heard about it was following the reports as they came in so the phones and notebooks and telemeet chimed constantly all day. Thousands of messages of comfort and love poured in from all over WOSTANE and even from other planets nearby all day.
The boys tuned in by their various devices to witness the happenings from time to time, while other friends contacted them with updates and et cetera. Twenty of their closer friends who had been in Prep school with them dropped in and stayed with them giving jokes, encouragement and moral support.
The hearing began promptly at 16:25. Marlee watched Doctor Charisma, the Minotts and the Mayor of the village give their testimonies. Turget had hired a lawyer from Sae Chee who was notorious for getting criminals free from prosecution on the basis of technicalities. As the trial proceeded, the comments and calls coming in to them were incessant. Very soon as they watched however, all arguments and evidence were given and Central Worker retired to his chambers to consider.
“That damn lawyer made it seem that Unity was guilty of rather than a victim of a crime.” Tristan stated disapprovingly chewing and frowning at the same time. He was eating a very large bowl of noodles, meatballs and stewed pork.
“That’s his job Tris,” said Marlee, he had finished his food and was sipping a punch made from cherries and an exotic fruit called jimbalyn, he found the drink to be very refreshing. “That is what lawyers do; they try to make their clients look good even when they know that the guy is scum.”
“That is why I’m a farmer,” interjected Severance, “I believe in making an honest living, all that credit they make, I bet lawyers spend most of their income on psychotherapy and sleeping pills, there is no other way I would be able to relax doing that job.” The entire group erupted in laughter at this statement.
“Hush guys,” Unity said. “Here comes Central Worker!” Unity channeled the newsfeed onto the big screen and turned up the volume. Central Worker’s footsteps echoed in Unity’s apartment. A profound quiet fell over the friends as they all held their breath.
“The defendant will rise.” The bailiff spoke with the authority of years of experience doing his job. The boys watched Turget stand up. He was impeccably dressed in a green satin suit. He looked for all intents and purposes like a high ranking government official or a wealthy clergyman.
“Animal!” A girl called Wyndear shouted, she was a great friend of Unity and loved coming over to his house especially before a party to get “spruced up”.
“Dog is too good, to call him that is to insult a noble and loyal creature.” observed Quentin, another close friend and admirer of Unity.
“C’mon guys!” Unity insisted, “I want to hear.”
“Mr. Turget Wandow Pulgam,” Central Worker addressed the monster with an even, monotonous, indifferent tone. “The evidence against you is overwhelming and unshakeable. The public has been consulted and the doctors and parents of your victim have testified. I find you guilty of State Defined Rape against one Unity Linguistic Minott, a minor of seventeen years. The minimum sentence under our charter is two hundred and eighty five years in a Reformatory Institute. Given the manner and violence of your offence however, I believe that a much harsher sentence is proper. According to what is before me, this was not passion, but a cold and calculating assault on a very bright and promising youth. A young man who, because of your actions — may have been scarred mentally for his entire existence.”
“He, his friends and his family are watching these proceedings; they have been deeply wounded by your unconscionable attack on their loved one. I have been reading their messages before this hearing started and while it has been taking place. I believe that they must see Justice served. It is therefore my decision, That you Turget Pulgam, be incarcerated in the Fuller Reformatory Institution to be subjected to personality adjustment and must serve one thousand nine hundred and ninety two years mandatory at hard labor before being able to apply for release. In addition, not only must ten officials from the overseer department vote for your release, but you will need to have the written and signed testimony of five psychotherapists affirming that you are no longer an animal and is now able to live among human beings.”
Every communication device lit up in Unity’s apartment at Central Worker’s final words. The boys received more than twelve thousand messages in the first subsequent minute. They kept coming in for weeks! So much so that four of the twelve information servers on Atfaro froze due to overwork. There was so much noise in the room that when Ardus entered with pizza and pasta, he had his earplugs in; since they all could be heard downstairs.
Central Worker also declared all of Turget’s assets to be appropriated and re-distributed to centers and projects supporting and developing young people. He also awarded Unity three million credits in damages from Turget’s assets. Unity began crying again, but Marlee was sure that this time; those were tears of relief and reconciliation.
Unity used some of his credits to establish an independent designing firm when he was twenty years old. He still lives in his apartments at home but when he was twenty-one and able to legally cohabit, He and Wyndear signed a marriage contract. By Unity’s twenty fifth birthday he had fathered three children by her. His father remodeled the fifth floor so that they would have space to expand their family.
Severance and Calesha also got married; they at age twenty five only have one child. A beautiful, intelligent little girl they named Grace. Severance is chairman of the Farmer’s Co-op had spearheads many projects, his specialization however, deals with environmental protection and maximization.
Tristan although graduating at the top of his discipline, never got into woodwork. Instead, he became a very famous author. By his twenty fifth birthday — he has finished twelve novels, seven screenplays and more than seventy short stories and novellas. He spends a lot of time off-planet promoting his writing, but ensures that he stays in touch with his childhood friends.
Marlee also never bothered with agronomy, after gaining his first degree, he continued his education to a second degree this time focusing on Child Development and Psychology. He is now at twenty five, a Senior Supervisor in the Overseer Department and reports directly to Central Worker. Patty Tolerdant, Severance’s Mom has said on more than one occasion, that of the “four mouseketeers” — Marlee is who surprised her.
“I never once thought he would end up an intellectual.” She would remark. “Growing up you couldn’t pay him to read a book.”