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Stories

Take Your Daughter to Work Day

1 – Strength Faith Prosperity

The little girl sat quietly in a small room, watching the single brown door patiently for her father to enter. She was a pretty girl about seven and wore a plain white dress with pink details and a pink bow in her dark hair. Like all Geometrian girls, she wore her hair straight and not quite shoulder length; her bangs were cut even across her forehead.

There wasn’t much for her to do in this room, which was designated as a waiting room for visitors to the Hall of Justice. There were several copies of the Ministry of Justice pamphlet arranged in a fan on one low table. The girl picked up a pamphlet and began to read. She liked to practice her reading. She found it boring but liked looking at the picture of Great Leader. Great Leader was handsome and heroic, although stern-faced in the pamphlet. He had to be stern, the girl figured, because he had so much responsibility.

There were several heavy-looking wooden chairs in the room, all dark and unadorned in the Geometrian style. The girl sat on one in the middle, a framed portrait of Great Leader dominating the wall behind her. Bored by the pamphlet, she laid it neatly on the table, careful to return it to its former position. Three simple geometric shapes had been etched into the door along with words painted in gold beneath them. The little girl read the familiar words aloud.

“Strength faith prosperity,” she recited.

Every Geometrian person young and old knew the national motto. Great Leader ended every TV appearance with the motto. Strength was portrayed as a simple red square, faith was a white circle and prosperity was a green triangle. The motto and symbols appeared everywhere in Geometria in various forms. In official buildings like this one, it appeared as the two-dimensional symbols with the words beneath them. Officials of the government wore the symbols on their uniforms. The symbols appeared all over military structures and uniforms, as well as on the national flag of Geometria. In National Square, Great Leader had erected a massive statue nearly as tall as a building. The gray statue portrayed the national motto three-dimensionally as a cube sitting atop a globe which sat atop a pyramid. The words of the motto were etched into the shapes themselves. It was an awesome sight and attracted many Geometrians to their capitol. The statue was so famous that Great Leader’s armies had copied it and used it as battle standards. The Geometrian News Network frequently reported on Great Leader’s military victories over the terrorists by showing cheering Geometrian troopers waving their battle standards for the cameras.

The little girl was thrilled to be at the Hall of Justice. Her father was Inquisitor. She didn’t know what an Inquisitor was or what one did, but she knew it was an important job. The Ministry of Justice, as her father had gently explained it, helped Great Leader protect Geometria and Geometrians from terrorism. He had an important job helping Great Leader in this work. Today was Take Your Daughter To Work day, and the little girl was very excited at the prospect of finally seeing her father doing important work for Great Leader. Like all Geometrian children, she had been taught to revere the founder and President of the country. She was proud that her father’s work helped Great Leader.

Above the heavy door was another familiar sign. The words “God Bless Geometria” were printed in ornate lettering next to the logo of the National Church of Geometria: a plain golden cross painted on a waving Geometrian flag. This sign also appeared everywhere in Geometria.

The little girl was getting impatient. She had never seen a real terrorist in person and was eager to do so. Her father had promised, and he always kept his promises. Her schoolmates would certainly be impressed. She imagined what it would be like when all her friends oohed and ahhed at her retelling of her experience seeing a real live terrorist. How wonderful!

The door finally opened to admit a tall severe-looking woman wearing the tan uniform of a Ministry of Justice Administrator. Like all Geometrian adults, whether in the employ of the government or not, the woman’s hair and dress was designed to give her a sparse, squared-off appearance. The uniform had flat, slightly flaring shoulder pads and revealed nothing of the woman’s bodily contours. Her hair was cut short in the Geometrian style to make her head look like a square. The only evidence that Administrator was female were the pale lipstick and eye shadow she wore on her face. Geometrian rules of personal style and presentation were constantly quoted by the National Church, a powerful institution, and strictly enforced; there could be no hints of sexuality in the workplace.

“Come along Maryfaith, we’re almost ready to start,” said the woman, holding the door open and gesturing with her perfectly manicured hand.

Maryfaith stood up and eyed the woman warily. “Where’s my daddy?” she asked.

The Administrator frowned impatiently. “The Inquisitor is busy preparing for the next session. He instructed me to escort you to the Visitor’s Gallery.” The woman pointed through the door again. “We have to go now, Maryfaith. We mustn’t be late.”

Maryfaith nodded her understanding and walked through the door as the woman had indicated. As she passed the woman, she secretly stuck out her tongue. She would have to remember to tell her father about this woman.
The Administrator closed the heavy door behind her and quickly outpaced the little girl, the square heels of her black boots clicking on the polished floor of the corridor. Maryfaith tried to keep up with the woman while looking at the pictures on the walls. Great Leader was portrayed in a variety of poses and facial expressions, some photographs, some paintings, all larger than life-size. The girl was very impressed.

The woman had reached another heavy brown door, this one unmarked, and opened it. “Come along Maryfaith,” she instructed the girl.
Maryfaith scurried through the door, which opened to a medium-sized square room with blank beige walls and a door on each wall. One door had a simple sign identifying the Visitor’s Gallery behind it. The woman gestured toward this door.

“This door leads to the Visitor’s Gallery. That’s where you will be sitting.”
“Will I be able to see my Daddy from there?” asked Maryfaith.

“The Inquisitor instructed me to seat you in the front row of the gallery, so yes, you’ll have a complete view of the proceedings.” The woman withdrew a key from an unseen pocket and unlocked the door to the Visitor’s Gallery. “Now just go through here and somebody will help you to your seat,” said the woman. She approached Maryfaith and pointed her finger at her. “And Maryfaith: it is VERY important that you remain as quiet as possible until the end. You mustn’t disturb the Inquisitor.” The waggled her finger in the girl’s face for emphasis.

“I know,” said Maryfaith. Her father had already told her how important it was to be quiet so he could do his important work for Great Leader. Maryfaith did not like this woman at all.

The woman frowned at the little girl’s impudence, but quickly replaced the look with a false smile. Best not to upset the girl; the Inquisitor would not be pleased.

Maryfaith entered the gallery and the door closed behind her. It was difficult to see in the darkened area, which was really a balcony overlooking the spacious Hall of Justice. Someone touched the girl’s arm gently; a smiling young man with blonde squared-off hair in the brown uniform of an Administrator appeared.

“You must be Maryfaith. My name is Administrator Jones.”
Maryfaith’s eyes were adjusting to the dark and she looked up to the smiling Administrator. “Hello,” she said politely.

“My, such a pretty girl! The Inquisitor must be proud to have such a pretty daughter,” the young man commented, shining the flashlight to the front row of seats to their left.

“Thank you,” replied Maryfaith. She liked this Administrator. He seemed so nice.

Administrator Jones led the way to the front row of seats. The seats were standard issue theater seats with dark red cushioned seats and seatbacks, and plain brown armrests. They looked quite comfortable. “Here we are, Maryfaith. I’ll take the aisle seat and you sit here,” said the smiling young man. He leaned close to the girl and whispered, “Don’t tell anyone, but these are the best seats in the Hall.”

Maryfaith smiled at their little secret and plopped down on the big seat. It was very soft, and she bounced up and down a little to test it. The Administrator smiled down at the girl.

The Hall of Justice was a huge square auditorium approximately three stories high. A large blank video screen dominated the wall in front, dark red velvet curtains pulled to both sides. A small platform with a black dais and several large black chairs sat below the screen. “That must be where Daddy sits,” thought Maryfaith. The Geometrian flag waved from both sides of the platform. A gold cross painted on the front of the dais was the only decoration.

The Visitor’s Gallery extended the width of the hall in back and was abuzz with visitors entering, sitting, chatting. Maryfaith turned around to look at all the people in the gallery. Most were dressed formally in plain gray or black unisex suits; some wore military or diplomatic uniforms. A few wore the vestments of the Geometrian church. They all looked very important to the little girl.

Administrator Jones noticed her interest and whispered, “You’re very lucky to be here today. The Inquisitor will be doing very important work for Great Leader this morning.”

Maryfaith smiled. She looked up at the high ceiling in wonder. She’d never been in a room so big! There seemed to be some machinery in the shadows of the high ceiling, but it was too dark to make out any details.

Except for the video screen, the platform in front and the Visitor’s Gallery, the Hall was empty and bare. The walls and floor were painted dark grey and the most of the room sat in darkness. Two yellow spotlights shining down onto the platform were the only illumination. Looking down at the center of the room, Maryfaith squinted to make out a faint rectangle on the floor with a line through the center. She leaned toward Administrator Jones. “What’s that down there?” she asked quietly.

“That’s where your Daddy will be doing his work,” he said.

A loud trumpet blast suddenly interrupted the low din of the Visitor’s Gallery. Bright lights filled the Hall of Justice and all the visitors’ attentions were redirected to the main area of the Hall.

“Watch now, Maryfaith,” said Administrator Jones, a hint of excitement in his voice. “They’re going to start.”

2 – The Hall of Justice

The lights in the Hall of Justice suddenly came on as the Geometrian Honor Guard marched loudly into the Hall, their movements directed by unintelligible commands. The trumpeters were up front, and when the large group of well-disciplined, square-tailored military troopers formed a rectangle in the center of the Hall, the trumpeters gave three loud blasts. A final shouted command silenced the trumpeters, and several people filed onto the platform in the front of the Hall.

Maryfaith leaned forward to get a better look at the new arrivals. Suddenly she smiled. “There’s my Daddy!” she whispered excitedly to Administrator Jones. He nodded in agreement, smiling.

Three figures garbed in long gray robes took seats on one side of the dais and neatly folded their hands. A member of the clergy stood at the dais, preparing to give the traditional benediction. Maryfaith’s father, the Inquisitor, sat alone on the other side of the platform, dressed simply in the black and yellow uniform of his position.

The main lights dimmed and the giant video screen came alive. “Ooh,” said Maryfaith. She could easily see the Geometrian priest in front. In fact, the entire proceedings would be shown on the video screen, eliminating the need for visitors to squint or use binoculars. “This is just like a movie,” said the little girl.

The priest raised his arms to the ceiling and the room became silent. All eyes in the Visitor’s Gallery watched the giant image on the screen.
The priest began in a loud emotional voice. “Our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven, God of Geometria and God of all peoples, we your humble servants do beseech you in the name of our Great Leader. Oh Lord, help us strike down the scourge of evil that afflicts us. Oh Lord, help us smite the godless menace of terror that seeks to befoul your Holiness and despoil Great Leader’s great works in your name. Oh Lord, help us spread your gospel to the unenlightened peoples of the world. Our father in heaven, bestow your blessings on Great Leader and on all your humble servants so that we may spread your word and Geometria’s glory in your name. Now let us pray.”

He lowered his arms and closed his eyes in silent prayer. Those seated behind him on the platform followed suit, as did the Honor Guard and all the visitors in the gallery. Maryfaith dutifully closed her eyes and prayed to Jesus for her father to help Great Leader.

The priest opened his eyes and nodded a final “Amen.” Everyone in the Hall of Justice murmured their own Amens in response.

A loud command from the floor of the Hall broke the spell, and the Honor Guard turned smartly and marched out of the Hall. The priest took a seat next to the Inquisitor, whispered something in his ear and the two smiled briefly. Voices were muttering in the gallery again in anticipation of the start of the proceedings. Administrator Jones leaned down to Maryfaith and whispered excitedly, “Watch Maryfaith, here comes your father.”

The Inquisitor stood up and the Hall lights dimmed, once again leaving the Hall in darkness except the video screen and the two spotlights illuminating the floor. The Inquisitor was not a tall man, but the cut of his uniform, his squared off haircut and the general air of authority about him made him look much bigger. He cut quite an imposing figure on the large screen.

The Inquisitor approached the microphone and spoke in a deep confident voice. “By the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord and our Great Leader, I formally open this hearing.” He glanced down at the square cut into the floor. “Bring in the accused.”

The floor suddenly opened with a low moan, the two halves of the square separating and disappearing under the floor. The square hole in the floor was dark and vacant for several seconds until a grinding sound interrupted the silence. A hooded figure began to rise from the cavity. In the Visitor’s Gallery, Maryfaith watched proudly as her father the Inquisitor descended the stairs from the platform to the floor.

A platform was rising from beneath the floor. The hooded figure was a nervous middle-aged man in ragged clothing, his wrists and ankles strapped to a heavy wooden chair behind a table empty but for a plain microphone and a panel of buttons and switches. The two spotlights lit the prisoner in harsh light, causing the man to turn his head away. A second empty chair sat across from the prisoner. The grinding noise stopped as the rising platform pulled even with the floor and was locked into place.

The Inquisitor approached the table calmly and deliberately, removed the man’s hood and sat down in the chair facing the prisoner. The big screen revealed the sweat pouring from the prisoner’s forehead. The Inquisitor was not perspiring at all, in spite of the harsh lights.

The Inquisitor looked at the prisoner, his face blank. The prisoner tried to avoid the stare, and squirmed in the chair, his bonds preventing any real movement.
“Jakob Wallensky, you are accused of conspiracy, treason, aiding and abetting terrorists, and crimes against Great Leader,” said the Inquisitor firmly. His voice echoed through the vast Hall.

Jakob Wallensky glanced nervously from side to side. The big screen showed his face in close-up; visitors in the gallery nodded approvingly to one another.
“I-I’m innocent,” the prisoner blurted suddenly, eliciting a gasp from the Visitor’s Gallery.

The Inquisitor smiled. From long experience, he knew that terrorists liked to deny their guilt. This one would be no different. He continued. “Furthermore, you have been identified as a leader of the terrorist movement in Geometria.”
Jakob began squirming again.

The Inquisitor smiled at the prisoner. “You are uncomfortable, I can see,” he said calmly.

Jakob’s eyes darted nervously from side to side again before returning the Inquisitor’s gaze. He nodded his head slightly, tentatively.

“Do not be afraid Jakob. We are only interested in seeing that justice is served. Speak the truth, and I will see that you are made more…” He paused as if searching for the right word. “…comfortable.” He watched the prisoner carefully. Jakob said nothing, but continued to perspire heavily.

“You want to be more comfortable, don’t you Jakob?” asked the Inquisitor. He kept his well-manicured hands folded neatly on the table before him.
The prisoner seemed to be afraid to speak. The Visitor’s Gallery began to buzz with angry whispers.

The Inquisitor smiled again, trying to put the prisoner at ease. Frightened prisoners yielded false information at best. “I apologize for your tight bonds, Jakob. I assure you, they are only temporary. Again, we are only seeking the truth here. Now, I ask again: do you want to be more comfortable?”
Wallensky nodded yes.

“Of course you do, Jakob. Of course you do. And I want you to be comfortable, too. But first you must do something for me. You must do something for Great Leader and for Geometria.”

The Inquisitor’s smooth voice had a calming effect. The prisoner wasn’t squirming as much.

“Jakob, I’m afraid that I must ask you some questions. They are difficult questions and I regret that they may cause you distress.” He caught Jakob’s eye and stared at him unblinking. “But they are important questions and if you answer them truthfully, you will be helping Great Leader. Are you ready to help Great Leader by answering my questions?”

“O-okay,” answered Jakob.

“Good,” said the Inquisitor. “Very good.” He paused, holding his stare. “Jakob, where were you born?”

Jakob hesitated again. On the big screen it looked like he was afraid to answer, afraid to give the wrong answer.

“Come now Jakob, it’s a simple question. Where you were born?”

“I was born in Squigg- I mean, East Geometria, sir.”

“Ah. You started to say ‘Squigglyland’ didn’t you?” The prisoner’s eyes grew wide at the question. The Inquisitor held his hand up, indicating that he didn’t expect an answer.

“No matter, Jakob. You were born in Squigglyland, weren’t you?”

“Yes sir.”

“So you are a Squigglist are you not?”

The prisoner hesitated. To be a Squigglist in Geometria was to be branded a terrorist. He didn’t know how to answer.

“Jakob. This is going to be most difficult for you if you continue to avoid answering my questions. Now, this is a simple one really. You are from Squigglyland, which makes you a Squigglist, does it not?” The Inquisitor let a hint of impatience creep into his voice.

Jakob Wallensky could feel the heat of the light on his face and blinked to clear the drops of perspiration from his eyes. He could also feel the heat of the Inquisitor’s stare. “I – I…don’t know. I was born in Squigglyland…”

“Which makes you a Squigglist,” continued the Inquisitor. He raised his voice. “DOES IT NOT?”

“Y-yes,” squeaked the frightened man.

The Inquisitor smiled. “Don’t worry Jakob, you’re doing fine. Just tell the truth and let justice take its course. You are a leader in your community, aren’t you Jakob?"

“I-I don’t know….”

“Well, allow me to help you out Jakob. Do you know a man named Yusef Frank?”

“I- I know a Joseph Frank,” answered Jakob.

“Yusef, Joseph, no matter. You know him, don’t you Jakob?”

“Y-yes, he is a customer in my shop.”

“And how well do you know him, Jakob?”

“I – I don’t know. He’s just a customer, that’s all. He comes in once a week to buy fruit, that’s all.”

“Now Jakob, I want to you try very hard to answer my next question. It’s a very important question. Are you ready?” The Inquisitor smiled.

“Yes sir, I think so.” The prisoner’s face was dripping with sweat.

“Have you ever sold Mr. Frank illegal weapons?”

Jakob shook his head vigorously. “No, no sir, never!”

“Are you certain, Jakob? Never?”

“Yes I’m sure, never. I’m not a terrorist, I never sold any weapons, ever,” answered Jakob. He was visibly shaken now. The visitors in the gallery were whispering to each other.

The Inquisitor lowered his eyes in disappointment. “Jakob, Jakob, Jakob. Do you respect Great Leader?”

“Yes of course!”

“And you respect his good works? This Hall of Justice, for example? You respect this institution, don’t you Jakob?”

“Yes yes, of course I do!” Jakob’s voice cracked.

The Inquisitor stood up dramatically and raised his voice. “Then why do you continue to lie? Why do you continue to disrespect my office?”

Jakob averted his eyes from the Inquisitor, who walked around the table, grabbed the prisoner by the hair and forced his face up toward the harsh lights. The prisoner shut his eyes against the glare.

The Inquisitor’s face was inches from the prisoner’s. “Jakob I am very, very disappointed in you. I had thought that you would help us find the truth. I had hoped that you would help us fight terrorism.” He lowered his voice. “Now I see that I was wrong.”

Jakob wimpered in response.

The Inquisitor released the man’s hair and returned to his seat. “Jakob, I want to help you. I do, really,” he said in his calming voice. “I only want justice. I only want to protect the great people of Geometria. Will you let me help you, Jakob?”

“Y-yes, sir.”

The Inquisitor smiled. “Good. Very good.” He looked directly at the prisoner and said in a loud voice, “Prepare the Circle of Truth.”

3 – The Circle of Truth

“No, no, not that. I’ll tell you anything you want to know. Not the Circle of Truth, please!” The prisoner’s eyes darted all around and he squirmed in his chair. The audience watched his every move on the big screen.

A murmur rippled through the audience. Administrator Jones whispered to Maryfaith, “Oh you are one lucky girl, Maryfaith. You get to see the Circle of Truth!” Maryfaith smiled.

The Inquisitor stood up again. “Now now Jakob. I’m only going to help you. You said you wanted me to help you, didn’t you?”

Jakob was wimpering again. “Y-yes….I- I….am confused.”

The Inquisitor pressed a button on the small panel of buttons and switches on the table, and a circular object attached to a wire of some kind dropped slowly from the ceiling. It stopped its movement when it touched down on the table.
The Inquisitor spoke into the microphone. “Attendant.”

A large burly man in the Ministry of Justice uniform appeared out of nowhere and positioned himself behind Wallensky, who strained to see who was behind him.

“Keep still, Squig,” muttered the Attendant, who held the prisoner’s head in place in his large knobby hands. He then picked up the circular object from the table. On the big screen, the audience saw what appeared to be a flimsy silver headband attached to wires. The big attendant held the Wallensky’s head still as the Inquisitor placed the headband on his head and tightened two tiny thumbscrews on either side.

“Now Jakob, I’m going to help you, and my Attendant is also going to help you. Remember, we’re only after the truth here.”

Jakob was shaking visibly now. His mouth was moving but no sound came out. The audience was on the edge of their seats.

The Inquisitor sat back down and placed his finger on one of the switches on the panel. He looked up at the Attendant. “Thank you, Attendant. You may stand back.”

He turned his attention to the prisonere. “Did you sell weapons to Mr. Frank, Jakob?” he asked quietly.

“No, no, I nev-“ Jakob Wallensky screamed as the Inquisitor flipped the switch and send a current of electricity through the headband. The audience let out an “aaah” as they watched wisps of smoke rise from both sides of Jakob’s head, which was shaking violently.

After a few seconds, the Inquisitor flipped the switch again and stopped the flow of electricity to the Circle of Truth. “Did you sell weapons to Mr. Frank?”
Jakob’s head was still shaking and the pain was quite severe. He couldn’t answer right away.

The Inquisitor shook his head and flipped the switch again. The Circle of Truth did its work once again, engulfing Wallensky’s head in painful electricity, sending more wisps of smoke into the air. The prisoner’s eyes began to roll back in his head and his body was shaking violently.

Again, the Inquisitor flipped the switch.

“Yes, it hurts, doesn’t it Jakob?” he said to the prisoner. “I can make the pain go away. But only if you help me.”

The Attendant roughly grabbed the prisoner’s hair and forced him to look at the Inquisitor. “Answer the Inquisitor, Squig,” he growled.

Jakob’s mouth was opening and closing but he could no longer form words. The pain was too intense; he felt very weak. He was vaguely aware of the Inquisitor’s finger just above the awful switch.

“Do you want the pain to go away, Jakob?” asked the Inquisitor.

Jakob nodded his head weakly.

“Then tell me the truth. Did you sell weapons to Mr. Frank?”

“Uh, ungh,” muttered the prisoner.

“Did you sell weapons to Mr. Frank?”

No answer.

The Inquisitor raised his voice angrily. “DID YOU SELL WEAPONS TO MR. FRANK? ANSWER ME!” He flipped the switch again, and pressed a small button next to the switch.

The Attendant had stepped back several feet when he saw the Inquisitor press the button. The Circle of Truth crackled with new current and started to glow white. The prisoner was lost in agonizing electrical pain and his body simply shook as the electrical current took him. The smell of burnt hair and flesh wafted up from the floor, and the Attendant waved his hand in front of his face to keep the smoke away.

The Visitor’s Gallery was quiet as everyone watched the big screen. Maryfaith made little fists and banged them on the armrests.

Finally, the Inquisitor turned off the Circle of Truth. Jakob’s body still shook, but the violence of the shaking gradually diminished until he slumped forward, his eyes glazed, his skin red.

“Now then, Jakob” said the Inquisitor. “Did you sell weapons to Mr. Yusef Frank?”

Jakob’s eyes filled with tears. “Yes,” he croaked weakly.

“And did you know that those weapons were later used by Squigglists to kill some of Geometria’s brave public servants?”

Jakob nodded. He could barely hear the words.

“Is that a yes, Jakob? Did you know?”

Jakob croaked another “yes,” barely audible over the din of the Visitor’s Gallery.

“Are you a terrorist, Jakob?”

Jakob could barely keep his eyes open. He felt the presence of the Attendant behind though, and panicking, nodded his head vigorously.

The Inquisitor smiled. “So you admit it, you are a terrorist?”

“Y-yes.” Tears flowed freely now.

“We know that there is a terrorist cell in your community, Jakob. Tell me, are you the leader?”

Jakob shut his eyes.

“Jakob…” warned the Inquisitor, his finger poised over the switch again.
“No, no please,” pleaded the prisoner. The Attendant stood behind him at the ready, an evil grin on his blocky face.

The Inquisitor sighed heavily and stood up. “I’m going to ask you this one more time, Jakob. If you don’t answer me truthfully, there will be more pain.” He let this sink in for a moment.

Jakob was shaking his head back and forth now, getting hysterical. His head was on fire and he was mad with fear. He couldn’t bear any more pain, he just couldn’t. It was too much for him.

“Are you the leader of a terrorist cell, Jakob?” asked the Inquisitor.
Jakob nodded his head weakly.

“What was that, Jakob, I couldn’t hear you. Please speak up.”

“Y-yyes,” answered Jakob. He was barely audible.

The Inquisitor stood up dramatically and raised his arms to the ceiling. “People of Geometria, behold! The Great Leader has destroyed another terrorist cell!”
A great cheer went up in the Visitor’s Gallery. Maryfaith clapped her hands proudly.

The Inquisitor nodded to the Attendant, who removed the Circle of Truth from the prisoner and pressed a button on the control panel. The headband, still smoking, rose up and disappeared in the dim darkness of the ceiling. The Hall lights came on.

“Jakob Wallensky, it is the finding of this hearing that you are guilty as charged. In his profound wisdom, Great Leader has decreed that all terrorists be destroyed.” The Inquisitor looked at the defeated prisoner. “Therefore, it is the decision of this hearing that you be put to death at a time and place to be determined for your crimes against Geometria, the Geometrians people and our Great Leader.”

He looked at the Attendant. “Attendant, remove the prisoner.”

Up in the Visitor’s Gallery, people were stirring. There was a slow exit, excited conversation filling the air. Administrator Jones took Maryfaith by the hand and led her to the back of the gallery, to a separate exit reserved for distinguished guests. “This is our SECRET exit, Maryfaith,” he said to the little girl.

Maryfaith was so proud of her daddy. He was a hero! She decided at that moment that she hated all terrorists. Later that day, when she finally saw her father in his office she told him that she wanted to be an Inquisitor just like him when she grew up.

“Well honey,” said her father, sipping a cup of coffee at his desk, in Geometria, you can be anything you want. We have Great Leader to thank for that kind of freeom.”

Maryfaith looked at her father. “Great Leader is a very great man, isn’t he Daddy?”

“Yes honey, he is a very great man.”

THE END.

© 2006 Michael S. Cohen

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