He had to forgive everyone, or no one. That was the conclusion Shleeps Mvok came to as he starred out a subway window, into a dark landscape occasionally flickering with passing lights...
If I expect to be forgiven for my trespasses . . .I have to offer the same forgiveness to others. Yet, I do not do the kind of shit that lands people in prison.
Sitting beside him, his brother has been silenced by the roar of the train echoing through the mettallic car. Shleeps was not sure how he was supposed to act toward Alvo. His brother had been in prison for the last twenty two years. Caught up in the Rebellion on Targot Lin, he was one of hundreds the government had rounded up.
He was four when Alvo went to jail. His family had suffered for his actions, too. Their father lost his job, started getting harrassed by the government at every turn, until he did what they wanted him to, and took the family off planet.
They had been run out of town, basically. Now he was back. The prison did not release broke criminals without a family sponsor. Someone had to go back. He was chosen. His brothers actions seemed idiotic to him, almost sure to cause mayhem.
They get off at the airport, walk up the stairs into the main concourse, look around the mammoth steel and glass building for signs to their plane. He is looking down at the tickets for the fourth time, comparing the numbers with the neon signs pointing to the different loading zones.
The voice he hears is official. A cop. They are talking to his brother. He looks up to see one of the men holding handcuffs in his hand, the other has a gun aimed at them.
"We're going to put these on right now. You know why."
He is amazed at what he is seeing. He has just spent seven hours going through the process of getting a prisoner out, passing through all the required hoops to be declared legal. "Hey, he is legel. We just came from Daly Prison. They..."
"Yea, we know. You're going to want to come with us, too. Cuff him up."
His heart is pounding, his fears began repeating the letters from him brother when he was in prison -- once you are charged with terrorism, they can do whatever they want to you. The law no longer applies. He had read through them when he found out he was going to make the trip back to their old planet.
Cameramen and reporters film everything.
He looks at his brother and see's him looking down at his stomach.
The cop putting on his cuffs notices, too, and tells Alvo, "It isn't going off. You went through all that shit to have a dud put in your gut, asshole."
Shleeps does not know what the hell they are talking about, but his brother seems to... his face has gone curiously blank.
Seven hours later, he is in much deeper shit than any of his fears. They have just shown him a video of his beaten brother, repeating back whatever his interrogator was telling him to say... like a puppet, he was saying that his brother was in on his plot to blow up the airport. They had also shown him an x-ray of what his brother thought was a bomb sewn into his abdomen.
His brother hadn't want to leave the prison and start a new life, he'd just wanted revenge for what had been done to him, to strike out at his enemy.
He was the victim of a strangers decision. For the moment, at least. He could see why they would interrogate him, but their assumption that he was guilty was maddening to him.
They were acting like he was totally fucked.
"I wasn't really involved." He starts to use the words as a verbal mantra against them, using the same answer everytime they tried to bring up a new angle with him. One of them starts asking about where he was trained to withstand interrogations?
They name off terrorist camps, ask him if he has been to any of them.
Twelve days later, they have still not beaten him, or treated him all that badly. His brother has been shipped back to prison, while he has been housed in a local jail, in his own room, with a Tell Vision. His file has been shipped from home, and a committee has been chosen to rule on his fate. They will not let him go to a regular court, hire his own attorney. He is considered an enemy combatant until MOOK knows otherwise.
He watches the judges deciding his fate on video. They ask him no questions. They stare into their computer screens and read everything they want to know.
He is surprised when they let him go. He is escorted to the plane by five officers, which he thought was ridiculous overkill until he realized how hated he was. As soon as he left the Prison Van, people were yelling, Murderer... Go Home.... Etc... He had no doubt that without the cops, someone would have attacked him.
Alvo was betrayed by every he had thought was his friend. The prison had an active underground, set up in cells that were cut off from the others. They met unknown to even each other. Set up places where they could hear disguised voices through the vents. He was one of the first to set up the meeting. He had to kill three men to the secrecy in plance. Prison to him was a place to spend all of his time planning his next attack. The government was his enemy, and he owed a lot of allegience to fallen comrades. When he first met the radicals who would lead him down his path into a prison cell,
none of them had much of an idea at all that the government would care about their activities. Like most they believed the rhetoric that the voting public could aright any wrong.
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