“This world is cold, dark and cruel and our mere presence in it only makes it worse. In this presentation, I intend to…”
“Excuse me Selena, if this is another attempt to speak negatively about Retribution, this is really not the forum.”
“But we were asked to talk about something we’re passionate about.”
The teacher shook her head disapprovingly.
Selena was a good kid. She did her chores, she hung out with the right sort and was a rock star at school. But she was also inquisitive, confronting and questioned everything. Constantly sticking her curious nose in places it most certainly shouldn’t be. She was also headstrong and righteous. Right and wrong was something she felt in her gut.
But her feeling of right and wrong did not mesh well with the rest of society at all.
In 2047, after 14 years in power, the Prime Minister declared that “The Eye For An Eye Principle” would become the guiding code for criminal law. When looking at the history of the decision, Selena was always amazed that so many of his decisions where still in force to this day considering he turned out to be a certifiable lunatic.
Originally, the punishment was for every crime but after the Prime Minister was ousted, the law was deemed to only be fit for crimes that involved a death and was re-branded as Retribution, in order to help families deal with their grief and move on from the death of a loved one.
The world went crazy for it, the idea was so popular that almost every country on the planet had enacted some form of it into law. Violent crime was down to an all time low, but the wording of the law meant that even if a death was accidental, it would be subject to Retribution.
Worse still, if the family declined to go through with it, a lottery was held for anyone that fancied giving it a go. Even as “just” a child, Selena could see what was happening. You make committing crimes a seriously scary thing to do but potentially give the type people who would’ve committed them before, a new, legitimate outlet for their darkest desires.
Because herein lay the problem most detractors had with the system (the silent minority). You can enact Retribution in any way you want. You can go on in for a quick kill or you can hurt them they way they hurt you. If your loved one was shot 47 times, you could shoot the perp 47 times. Or you could burn them alive. Hell, you could eat them if you wanted to. The world was your homicidal oyster.
So few people had a problem with it. It was actually quite staggering how many people where okay with killing other people given the chance. It wasn’t against the law to oppose the practice but it was frowned upon and several vocal people had suddenly disappeared. You were supposed to tow the party line. You were supposed to accept it all without questioning. You were supposed to be willing to seek Retribution.
“So Selena, are you going to complete this presentation or would you like time to prepare something else?” The question wasn’t really a question, it was a threat tinged warning. Selena had always respected her teacher and knew her words came from a place of love but also the fear of letting her student carry on down this path publicly.
“I think I would like some more time to prepare, please.”
“That sounds like a good idea, who’s next?”
xx woeful writes xx