The TriadCity Adventurer
Justice For a Sinful World
Month of Eagles 22, Year of the Boar 4.
Adventurer readers will have heard that the city recently implemented an upgrade to the justice system. This reporter was lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with a citizen who has already been processed by the new system. All names have been removed for the sake of confidentiality.
Sophia: Thank you for giving Adventurer readers this opportunity to find out what it's really like living on the wrong side of the law. As one of the city's first convicts, tell us what you think about the new system.
Nameless: I guess it does what it's supposed to do. Just don't take it lightly. Serving my time was the worst three days of my life, but I've gotta admit that it's an improvement on the old system. I'll warn ya now: don't fool yourself into thinking NorthWesterners are soft. Punishment is no joke.
Sophia: Let's start at the beginning with your offense.
Nameless: Hardly an offense if you ask me. My only crime was to steal a loaf of bread for some starving children.
Sophia: So what went wrong? How did you get caught?
Nameless: Well everyone gets butter-fingers once in a while, even a skilled thief. With CrimeNet around one slip-up is all it takes to get on the wanted list. At first I thought I was being paranoid, I was seeing Stormtroopers and CopBots over my shoulder at every turn. But it was no mistake, the cops were definitely onto me. It was only a matter of time before they took me down.
Sophia: And how did your arrest occur?
Nameless: I tried to lay low for a while to avoid the police. One day my hunger got the best of me, so I tried to sneak back into the NorthWest to grab some breadfruit from the Gardener's cottage. It looked like I was gonna make it, but just as I crossed the bridge from Sanctuary Island, there he was: the NorthWest Detective. He's a new breed of cop, smarter than your average Peacekeeper and twice as fast. It was like he had some sixth sense that told him I would be in that location at that time. Before I even realized what was happening, I was totally immobilized.
Sophia: What do you mean?
Nameless: The police have got some fancy new gimmick, special shackles that immobilize anyone wearing them. I couldn't move, I couldn't fight, nothing. That Detective must be a strong fella too because he dragged me straight across the White Plaza and up the stairs to the Citizens Tribunal.
Sophia: Exciting! So what happened next?
Nameless: You wouldn't be so excited if you were the one being hauled into court. And what a joke that Tribunal is too. They've got citizens standing by to do 'service' to the Third, but the Judge didn't consult them once, she was all business. Just looks up the CrimeNet log on her terminal and issues me a sentence.
Sophia: Can you explain how your sentence was decided?
Nameless: I'm sure I don't know how it works. All I can say is that the Judge checked whether my crime was violent, whether it was committed locally, and whether I had any priors. After tallying things up the Judge announced that my crime 'score' was 276. I have no idea what that means, but it earned me a fine of about 2500 dinars and Level 3 Punishment.
Sophia: What kind of punishment?
Nameless: No, see, that's the thing. Punishment is not just the activity, it's the name of the place I was sent. NorthWest looks like they are all soft on the outside, but they must have some pretty twisted residents to design a thing like this. Punishment is a maze with several levels and, like I said, I was sent to Level 3 which was pretty big. It took a long time to find my way out.
Sophia: That's it, you were sent to a maze? I think this system needs work...
Nameless: Hang on, let me explain the whole thing. See, in this maze every room has locked doors. You can open the doors by answering a pun that is presented to you. Even the name of the maze is a pun. "Punishment". Get it? If you open enough doors, you can find your way up to the next level, and eventually find your way out of the maze. That may not sound like much to you, but I can't stress enough that it was the worst three days of my life.
Sophia: You're right, it doesn't sound like much.
Nameless: You can't say that until you've been there. By the time I wandered out of that maze I was completely dazed and disoriented. I stood there on Sanctuary Island just humming to myself for a while trying to remember what was happening. I had been so overwhelmed by the constant punning that I forget it wasn't normal to be answering jokes every second of my life.
Sophia: So you're saying it was not a good experience.
Nameless: To say the least. I guess the designer can rest content that he has done his job: torturing other people with his twisted sense of humor.
Sophia: Anything else you can tell us about your encounter with justice?
Nameless: Rumor has it that Punishment is just the tip of the iceberg. I'd hate to see what else the NorthWest has cooked up for harder criminals. My advice is not to put yourself in a position to find out. Crime doesn't pay kiddies.
Sophia: Justice, now being served at your local tribunal.
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