He Deserves What He Gets (Crime and Punishment)
One of the major disadvantages of living in a vault, which is essentially a modern fallout shelter, is there is no place to run, and no place to hide.
Bang, bang, bang. “Colonie Porticia Marshal. Open up!” Bang, bang, bang.
Zach freezes as he hears the police at his door. He knows what he did wrong.
“Peace Officers. Open the door. This is an order.” barks the Marshal as one of the constables bangs on the door again.
Zach slowly gets up, wondering how they could possibly know. He hopes this is just another contraband raid.
“Um, coming!” Zach yells back in an unsure tone. He remembers he has a kitchen knife on the counter, and picks it up and looks at it pondering what to do.
The Marshal hears something over his earpiece, and immediately says “417A, 417A.”
The constables nod and position themselves with their batons and tasers ready at the closed door. Firearms aren’t really effective inside the vault. Too many metal surfaces to ricochet off of.
The Marshal shouts “Zach, put the knife down!”
Zach stops in his tracks. He thinks to himself, “How could they know that? The door is closed.” He frantically looks around the room.
“Put the knife down, get on your knees, and put your hands on top of your head. This is an order.”
By now, residents down the hall are all peeping out their doors, wondering what is going on.
Zach realizes that he is outnumbered, and using the knife would be suicide. Besides, they have no proof of what he did. He slowly puts down the knife, and gets on his knees and puts his hands on his head. He starts to wonder, how will they get in if he doesn’t open the door.
“I’m, I’m unarmed,” he loudly stammers back.
The Marshal gets another message in this earpiece, and mentions to his constables, “he’s complied.” He motions for them to get ready to enter.
The Marshal gets the master key out of his pocket, and unlocks the door. The constables enter, batons in hand. One constable trains a taser at Zach.
The Marshal enters, “Zach Stam, you are under arrest for the rape of Anming Ko. You have the right of a trial by council, and anything you say or do can and will be used against you. Due to the nature of the crime, peace officers are authorized to use deadly force to subdue you if you resist. Do you understand?”
Zach nods his head in silence.
“Get him up,” the Marshal says to the other peace officers.
The constables pull him up, forcibly grabbing his hands and tying them behind his back with a zip tie. As they start leading him away, one of the constables whispers in his ear “give me a reason….”
They escort him out of the room and down the hallway.
After they are down the hallway, one of the neighborhood children asks “Mommy, how did they know he had a knife?”
The mother looks around to see if anyone heard, and replies “shhhhhhh” and quickly ushers her daughter inside.
The peace officers escort Zach into the magistrate’s office, where Inspector Wilmer and Justice of the Peace Edmund Woodard are already waiting.
Here in the vault, justice is swift, and there is no jail. Punishment is typically community service, restitution, house arrest and/or death.
Zach looks around, as the officers almost shove him into a waiting chair.
The Marshal announces their arrival. “Your honor, we have executed the arrest warrant for Zach Stam, and he is ready for his hearing.”
Justice of the Peace Woodard replies back, “Very well. Thank you officers. Once Chris arrives, we will begin.”
The constables assume a guard like stance next to the sitting prisoner.
The Marshal and Justice of the Peace take their seats behind a long table, with a third chair reserved for Chris, the leader of the colony. The Inspector also sits, but is positioned on the same side of the table as the prisoner.
The Marshal leans over and tells the Justice of the Peace, “We can get started with the formalities before Chris arrives. He only needs to be here for the actual presenting of evidence.”
Justice Woodard nods and begins. “Zach Stam, you have been accused of raping Anming Ko, a female under the age of consent, and an additional count of intentionally causing severe emotional damage to someone under the age of consent. This hearing is for the purpose of deciding your guilt or innocence, and if guilty, to pass sentence. The offense of emotional damage requires restitution, while the offense of rape is a capital offense. Since rape is a capital offense, the leader of the colony will sit as one of the judges. I, as the Justice of the Peace, will direct this trial in all fairness and according to the law, while Marshall Okamura and Leader Chris Schultz will listen to both sides and pass judgement. If there is a tie, I will be the deciding vote. Do you have any questions?”
Zach looks around, then asks “How do I know this will be a fair hearing?”
The Justice of the Peace answers, “This hearing will be based on evidence presented, and Marshal Okamura and Leader Schultz will base their decisions on that alone. They have not seen the evidence yet, so this is your chance to present your side of the story. And, as you know, this court and the leaders of this colony have no tolerance for making false statements and falsely accusing people of crimes. If you are innocent, the person accusing you will be called to answer for their crimes.”
Zach feels a bit relieved for a moment. He knows that no one saw them together, and that Anming would be too scared to talk. He made her think that if she talked, her parents and friends would wind up dead. He grinned, thinking of the timid little girl.
Chris walks into the room, and says “I see you have started without me. Where are we in the proceedings.”
“I was just explaining the charges against him, how trial by council works, and just asked him if he had any questions before we begin,” said the Justice.
“Very well,” Chris replied and sits down. “Proceed.”
Zach then cautiously asks, “Since there are penalties for making false statements by the accuser, will I be facing my accuser in this trial?”
Justice Woodard replies, “That is up to the Inspector. If he feels he can make his case without her, then she does not need to be here.”
“Okay” replies Zach, trying to think of ways he can shift any blame to her. He starts thinking to himself, ‘how could they know?’ and starts to worry a little bit.
“Zach Stam, how do you plead? Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest?” Woodard asks.
“I plead Not Guilty, your honor.” Zach replies.
Justice Woodard asks “Zach, can you explain why someone would accuse you of raping an underage girl?”
Zach replies with a question, “Who is accusing me?”
The Marshal butts in, “We ask the questions. Now please answer.”
Zach, a little startled at the forceful response, stammers “I am not sure. I never hurt anyone.”
The Inspector chimes in, “Never hurt anyone? What about that time when you got into a fight with a gay man at the cantina? You said, and I quote ‘I thought he was making sexual advances” and then proceeded to assault him.”
Zach stammers, “But those charges were dismissed. That was a big misunderstanding, and the charges were dropped.”
Zach starts worrying that this is a witch hunt rather than a trial.
The Inspector continues, “So, in pleading not guilty, you are denying that you had sexual relations with Anming?”
Zach responds back “I don’t want to speak anymore. That is my right.”
Chris chimes in, “Yes, you have the right to remain silent. Inspector, would you please present your evidence.”
“We have affidavits from eye witnesses saying they saw Zach Stam have sexual relations with Anming Ko in his quarters while her duenna was at the market.”
Zach blurts out “How can you have witnesses?”
“Someone saw you,” the Inspector replies, annoyed.
Zach thinks, this can’t be possible. He did rape the girl, but there were no witnesses. How could they possibly know? How could they say there were witnesses?
Chris then asks, “Inspector, who were the witnesses?”
“Myself and Constable Madalitso,” he replies.
Chris asks “What about Anming Ko?”
“She is not talking. She is too scared.” replies the Inspector.
With energy, Zach asks “How could they possibly see me in my room, with the doors closed?”
The Inspector replies “We saw you do it on video surveillance.”
“What? What do you mean video surveillance? We don’t have any.” stammers Zach, thinking back to how they knew he had a knife.
The Inspector holds up a data card and replies “Yes we do and this video clearly shows what happened.”
The Marshal chimes in “Please show us.”
With that, the Inspector gets up and places the data card into the video screen, and it starts playing. It clearly shows Zach raping the girl, and shows that it isn’t willing. It also clearly records the threats he made to keep her quiet.
After the video plays, Justice Woodard turns to Zach and asks “Your response to this?”
Zach is shocked. They have audio and video, from multiple angles, in his own living quarters. There is nothing to say to deny it.
Zach stammers. “You can’t video us in our own homes. The colony will be in an uproar when they hear about this.”
The Marshal replies, “They won’t hear about this.”
“But this court hearing is public record,” Zach blurts out.
Chris answers “The court records will be altered to say an eye witness saw you. Which in a way is true. We just witnessed what you did on video. We just won’t mention the video.”
Zach stammers “but, but, but….”
The Inspector turns to the officers, “Constables, you were in that sector that night, correct?”
“Yes sir,” they reply.
“Did anyone see you during the time in question?”
“Would you be willing to witness said act?”
“Yes sir, we were alerted to a disturbance and responded and saw the defendant engage in said act.” reply the constables.
“But that didn’t happen!” Zach almost yells.
The Marshal replies, “Yes it did. They were alerted by this court, witnessed you on this video. It’s not our problem if people assume they were at the scene of the crime. So everything stated is truthful.”
Zach stammers “But, but…”
“You’re guilty. You can’t argue around that. Shall we get to the sentencing?” says Justice Woodard.
Zach sits there with his mouth open, unsure what to do.
Chris says “Yes, and strike the parts about the video from the record.”
“Yes, obviously,” replies Woodard. “Marshall Okamura and Leader Schultz, based on the evidence seen, how do you find the defendant?”
“Guilty as charged” both the Marshal and Chris reply.
“So be it,” states the Justice. “Since this is a capital case, this court will pass sentence, and Leader Schultz will have the ability to veto said punishment if he deems appropriate.”
Woodard continues, “Sex is meant to be pleasurable and consensual, not forced. The fact that you decided to rape a little girl, even with sex being widely available throughout the colony, with all sorts of fetishes and volunteers, means that the sex act was more about force than sex. You also emotionally damaged a young girl at the most critical part of her life, despite the fact that there are willing petite women over the age of consent that would love to pretend for you. We cannot tolerate this in our colony.”
“We hereby sentence you to involuntary rape, and if you pass the health inspection, to be processed into meat without the aid of painkillers or psychedelic drugs. Since we have interviewed the child, and she is emotionally damaged, you will also be required to make restitution. All of your worldly belongings will be transferred to her, of which she may keep or sell them. Your meat will also become her property, for her to do as she pleases. Since she is below the age of consent, this council will oversee this, and make decisions for her if she is unwilling or unable to do so herself.”
“Her family is especially upset, and they will have the opportunity to rape you themselves and help butcher you when the time comes. Although Anming, being so young, will go into therapy and not be permitted to participate, since her mind is too impressionable.”
“Unless there are any objections from Leader Schultz, you will be immediately turned over to the Colonie Porticia Pork Geisha Council for processing and execution of your sentence,” Justice of the Peace Woodard finishes.
“No objections, “Chris replies.
Zach sits there like a zombie trying to process all that just happened.
“We are adjourned” states Justice Woodard. With that, the constables escort Zach out of the courtroom and deliver him directly to the Pork Geisha Slaughterhouse to be raped and processed for meat.