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Wild Justice By Ruth M. Sprague Characters: 6423

Updated: 2017-11-28 00:06

Igor O'Toole put his scrapbook aside, then stood up and stretched. Back at his work bench, preserving, repairing and reconstructing the tomes of human accomplishments, mistakes and history, he ruminated on how the more things change, the more they remain the same.

The structure of all but the most recently birthed colleges and universities is rigid, he observed to the roll of transparent tape he was using to repair still another torn page. Their medieval trappings, so obvious at historic functions, may appear invisible in other facets of existence. None the less, these trappings still exist.

Patterned much like the society of monks, higher educational administrations still follow a monolithic, generally white male-dominated path even though modern times have seen the enrollment of women students, the hiring of women faculty and even women in central administrative posts. But it's a facade. The real discipline, established centuries ago, is maintained and furiously guarded.

For a while, the newer laws of the seventies relating to affirmative action suggested that there would be a break in the male bastion. Time proved, however, that sex discrimination and sexual harassment laws were never well enforced and were being slowly destroyed by the Supreme Court.

Continuing his mentation, Igor allowed as how, like the monastery, the university structure is maintained because it is supported throughout the governmental system of a state or country.

Now comes the turn of ethnicity as students of all races, religions and creeds are storming the ancient fortifications. Thus far, they have not even cracked the surface. What appears to be maneuvers that should embarrass a university administration only serve to entrench it even more.

At Belmont, the student's attempts to force political correctness-PC, on the administration culminated in a takeover of their offices. Nothing new here. This has happened at many universities all over the country. The result of the takeover, far from enlightening the powers that be, only delighted the Belmont administration.

As student protests do every time, he reflected, they take the public's attention away from the stench of the secret university policies and procedures and place it on the antics of the students. Most always, student protests involved property destruction. As a result, public opinion turns against student innovators or bell ringers. The cause of their protest-entrenched, polluted power-is again shrouded by the ignorance that gave it birth in the middle ages.

Igor yawned and scratched his chin. Most of the collected intelligence and experiences of the world is in this library, he reminded himself, but few avail themselves of it. Upstairs now, you don't even have to search through books for whatever you're looking for, you just punch up a computer and it collects everything ever written on any subject you can think of.

But with all these wonderful strides in disseminating information, he marveled, the people running this place act just like they always have. Tradition covers a multitude of sins and power corrupts now just as it used to.

Too bad most young people don't realize how much their

protests just solidify the status quo, or rather, most of them don't. Igor smiled to himself as he glanced at the clock.

Diana would be back by now. Time to give her a call. He sat down at his desk and dialed the phone.

"Thought I'd find you in. I've just been thinking about our little project and taking a lot of comfort from it."

He listened briefly, then said, "Just thought it was too bad that most young folks waste their efforts so. Not like those two young women upstairs. They are exceptions."

Listening again, he answered, "Yes, they are good friends and just as upset as me over the SmurFF fiasco. Well, we have begun something that will have an effect for some time to come."....

"Me? I'm tickled pink to have had a part in an endeavor which, in the Baconian sense, allows, '....a kind of wild justice' to prevail....

"Well, yes, I am still angry at the way Dan Field acted when the students came to him on your behalf, Diana. This guy claimed to be so strong for human rights, claimed to represent the blacks and other down-trodden and he crapped out. No doubt about it, he had the position and the clout to have stopped this thing in its tracks. He was the administrations's visible token black.

"And that brother in the EEOC. Surely, as head honcho, he should have checked the facts before blindly bowing to political pressure....

"Well yes, thank you. I, Igor have made up for both of those Oreos. I have made Afro-Americanism stand for something positive at Belmont."

Smiling now, he reviewed with her the culmination of the combined efforts of those two women upstairs, Diana and himself.

Pooling their knowledge of computers, they had formulated and introduced a harmless virus into the library computer which had already spread throughout this library and beyond. And it would continue to spread. The contents of his scrapbook, along with all the originals of the documents Diana could produce, had been incorporated into the viral computer program so that whenever anyone queried information on any relevant topic, the SmurFF Affair at Belmont would be targeted. The true facts of the good ol' boy conspiracy against Diana Trenchant could no longer be hidden by the administration.

Any interested person would be able to access all of the letters and documents relating to it. The entire transcript, attorney briefs, Attorney General's LOD and all the shady meetings and despicable planning engaged in by the power structure of Belmont University would be instantly available in menu form on their computer screen. The virus would see to that and good old human curiosity would do the rest.

Still smiling, Igor said, "So long and take care. I'll talk to you tomorrow."

Picking up his jacket, he turned off the lights. Another day-well, it would seem good to get home.

Upstairs, as he passed between the desks of Roz and Andrea, the women who had made such fantastic use of the contents of his scrapbook, he paused. Holding up both arms, palms flat out, he said, "Good night, my friends. Have a nice evening....and thank you."

Slapping his palms in unison, with grins broad enough to span the universe, they returned the greeting and the emotion.

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