A Few Things Ill Considered

The Bottleneck Years

by H.E. Taylor

Chapter 78 Table of Contents Chapter 80

Chapter 79

The Military Industrial Prison Complex, November 14, 2055

What do you do when your brother is locked up for an unconscionable crime and you have good reason to believe he is guilty? You see that he has a good lawyer. I spoke to a friend in the law faculty and got the number of a lawyer in Ottawa who came highly recommended.

Then I tried to contact Jon. The Ottawa police were unhelpful. They didn’t have him, they didn’t want him and they didn’t know where he was. The ecocops, or more properly the Gendarmes of the Ecological Mandate, acknowledged his arrest, but couldn’t or wouldn’t say where he was.

I called the lawyer. Levi Bergman was a straight forward guy. He asked a couple of questions and, when I didn’t have answers for him, said he would get back to me.

Edie had been sitting just out of view, listening to me make these calls, and now she got up and moved to the couch.

“I don’t know what more I can do for him,” I said.

“I’m amazed you would as much as lift a little finger to help him.”

I looked at her in shock.

She saw my reaction and spoke, as if to a child, gently, gently. “Luc, he tried to kill millions of people. He destroyed everything you’ve been working for and might have condemned us all to privation and death.”

“I know, I know… but… he’s my brother. He’s part of me.” I was thinking of Hillside after dad’s death — how long ago that suddenly seemed — the shining white triangle. “F3. F2. F1?” I said more or less to myself.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

Edie patted the couch beside her and I sat, putting my head on her shoulder.

“You get points for loyalty, but none for logic. You are one confused primate.”

“It’s not all bad,” I said. “Matt’s sunbugs will work. I think….”

“You know this is the first time I have seriously disagreed with you about anything you have done.” She looked into my eyes as if searching for something. “I just hope you are right…”

I sighed and lay back against the couch. I was restless and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was in no state to work. I needed to clear my mind. It was early evening yet and I didn’t feel like losing myself in a video.

“I know just the thing,” said Edie.

I raised my eyebrows and she kissed my nose.

“You put Anna to bed and then I’ll put you to bed.”

“Oh?”

We made glorious love and I slept like a baby.

Early the next morning, the phone rang. It was Bergmann. “GEM was unforthcoming, so I threatened them with a writ of habeas corpus and they informed me your brother was no longer in their custody. He has been transferred to the jurisdiction of the ICC in the Hague.”

“Have they shipped him to Europe?”

“No. And it’s not likely they will. They can rule on him in North America just as easily as in Holland.”

I nodded and Bergmann added, “He is in the Haverfield terrorist detention centre north of the city.”

I thanked him and put an audio only call through to Haverfield. They wouldn’t let me talk to him. Their visitation day was Wednesday. I would have to call back then. I felt like I was caught in a bureaucratic spider’s web.

By this time, Edie was up. She caught the end of my conversation with the prison official. Sitting at the kitchen table, drinking ersatz coffee and glowing in the morning sunlight, she asked, “What are you going to do?”

“There’s nothing I can do until next Wednesday.”


Excerpted from _The Bottleneck Years_ by H.E. Taylor

For further information, see
A Gentle Introduction.

If you want a copy, see
The Deal.

Last modified February 11, 2014