What if they were wrong?
Madison set her pen down. “So tell me,” she began softly, “What would make such a learned man betray the State and the very society he teaches?”
Matthew looked at her. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” he said forcefully, “I am a loyal supporter of the State. Registered Democratic-Republican…”
Madison just smiled. The smile a parent gives a child when they patiently listen to their child to try and get out of trouble. She merely nodded her head. “I read your dossier. Joined the Young Democratic-Republicans at fifteen, kept your affiliation with them till college, when you joined the college party. Got your Bachelors and Masters from Lamar University in Beaumont where you graduated with honors.”
“Married at the ripe old age of thirty after having lived with your girlfriend for about ten years. You currently reside in the Clear Lake area of Houston.” She smiled. “Impressive background. Not so much as a traffic ticket.”
Here faced clouded, “Until six months ago, when you began to undermine the authority of the state.” She then gave him a perky smile. “However, don’t worry we’ll cure your criminal illness and reunite you with your family.”
Once again Matthew said in an exasperated voice, “I did not commit sedition.”
Madison reached into her case and pulled out a recorder and a manila file with the Texas State Seal on it. She looked at him, “I am going to record the sessions. It will serve as my notes and the official transcript of your hearing.”
Madison opened the folder and read. “Six weeks ago you committed an act of sedition against the State. It was on the eighth of June.” She looked at him, we have sworn depositions. She looked at him and said in a pleasant voice, “Think back to the day. You had just gotten ready for work.”
Matthew looked up at the ceiling again and searching his mind for that day and anything that seemed to stand out. He was drawing a blank. He tried to shrug, however, his hands were still strapped down. ‘I can’t think of a thing.”
Madison smiled, soothingly she said, “Think back, it was right after you finished scanning the news online.”
Matthew squirmed in his seat as he scanned the news. Another environmental action day declared in the area, NATO troops have liberated the Atlanta area from armed insurgents. The Astros managed to drop a squeaker in the ninth inning to the Tokyo Giants. He shook his head and gulped down his coffee.
“Honey,” his wife called out, breaking his concentration, “You have to use the public transit system today!”
He looked up with a confused look. “The bus?” He paused for a moment, “Why?”
Monica Andrews shrugged her shoulders, “We seem to have exceeded our carbon emissions allotment for the month and the car won’t start.” She continued walking around the room gathering her purse and jacket.
Matthew just grunted, “I thought that we were supposed to get a higher allotment since we had Jackie, the four family rule should have added something.”
Monica merely smiled, “Don’t worry, we’ll get it. In the meantime, we only have to make do for a week until we get our next month’s allotment.” She then added cheerfully, “We’re doing our part to save the planet.”
Matthew tried to be as upbeat as she was, “I lose about five pounds of weight to the Texas sun just because we haven’t gotten our allotment adjusted yet.” He said sarcastically, “I’m overjoyed.”
Monica had a concerned smile on her face, followed by a blank expression, “You know how we have to sacrifice to save the planet.” She added again, “We must all do our part.”
Matthew snorted, and then said as he got up to hug her, “Of course. Have a good day.”
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.