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   Chapter 26 No.26

Prey World - Citizen 1-564398B-278843 By Alexander Merow Characters: 5072

Updated: 2018-07-06 12:01

"What?", Frank winced.

?On the Scanchip of your father, there is an arrest note on 09.04.2028. At the beginning of June 2028, it has finally been shut down. As additive there is a footnote: "ODOA" (official deactivation by official arrangement) and further ?CSO" (citizen switched off). He has been liquidated!", explained HOK.

?What?", cried Frank in pain.

?It`s the same in the case of your sister. She was first arrested, and then liquidated. Your nephew…" HOK was interrupted.

?What? What`s up with Nico?", gasped Frank with fright in his eyes. "Tell me what..."

?He is registered here as an "orphan in national care". So he is still alive!" The computer scientist didn`t dare to look in Frank`s direction.

But it didn`t work. The young man was speechless with terror and sank back on the chair. He struggled for air and tried to shake off the claws of horror that griped his throat and took his breath away. But it was impossible.

Within a few seconds, he fell into a black hole of despair and ran crying out of the house of the computer scientist. All the distress and the fear had returned now. They had spared him in the last months, to come back in this second in their whole, dark size.

In the next days, Frank hardly left his sleeping room. Alf tried to explain to him, that the arresting of relatives or family members was used by the system, to lure disappeared offenders out of their hideouts, to make them ring up at home, while the telehone call was bugged, or to make them even visit their old homes. But Frank just told him to back off.

Now the scary nights returned and the mental terror, the holo cell had kindled in his mind, crawled around him in the darkness, arm in arm in old unity with the new horrors. Again, the young man thought about following his parents and his sister to the netherworld, he mused about terminating his hopeless existence, but Alf stopped him from doing such things and cared for Frank as good as he could.

When September brought the autumn to Ivas, Frank was afflicted by a strange dream one night. He could no longer completely remember each detail, when he woke up again on the next morning with a bad headache, but the most pictures remained in his memory.

He was a spectator in an hall, which looked very similar to a court room. In front of him were the judge desk and the dock, and only this place was lit by a lamp. The rest of the room remained in a hazy twilight, also the seat rows of the spectators, on which Frank sat alone. In front of the

dock were two persons and Frank could not exactly recognize, who it was, because he saw only their backs. Behind the judge desk was no human being, it was rather a shadow or a ghost.

"The negotiation starts!", called the shade. ?Be quiet please! Today, we talk about the following criminal case: The politics against Mr. Rainer Kohlhaas and Mrs. Martina Günther, born Kohlhaas."

The two accused turned around and gave Frank a fearful look. It were his father and his sister. Now they turned around to the judge again, because he began with his remarks. The spectator nervously stared at the ghost and tried to decipher the name on the plate, which was on the desk in front of him. Only after an arduous staring, Frank was able to recognize that there was no name. The only words on the plate were "The Politics". Now the judge read out the charges and began with the interrogation.

?I will start with you, Mr. Rainer Kohlhaas", he said with a glowering, deep voice. ?Can you remember, that you have ever cared about the important facts around me?"

?Well, I have already been concerned with you, if it had something to do with my life", stammered Rainer Kohlhaas.

?Can you describe that more exactly?", asked the judge.

?Thus, I watched TV and read the newspapers", Rainer Kohlhaas tried to explain.

?And you, Mrs. Martina Günther? Did you have ever seriously worried about me?", grumbled the shady judge with a threatening voice.

?Perhaps not enough. Only sometimes. I was too busy, most of the time. My job was full of stress and so I had other things on my mind than thinking about you…", replied Frank`s sister sheepishly.

?And it was the same in your case, Mr. Kohlhaas?", resented the judge angrily.

?I'm sorry, but if I`m honest, I have just worked all my life, and have primarily cared about myself. It was a constant struggle to survive and to make money. And finally, there has been no more time to think about any politics", explained Rainer Kohlhaas ruefully.

?And you really think, that was enough? That you could just ignore me in all these years?", hissed the ghost.

"Please forgive us, Mr. Judge! Today, we know that we have made a big mistake! But we still have watched the news on television...", Rainer Kohlhaas tried to justify himself.

"Yes, I did the same!", agreed Martina.

"And you think, it was sufficient, if others talked about me and you just parroted their slogans? Why didn`t you think about me for yourself?", asked the shadow reproachfully and stared at them.

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