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A sentence of Truth

From Shifti
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Author: Sdw

"You are a habitual liar. You have told lies, cheated your friends, neighbours, business associates and recruits you have gathered around you who are simply gullible. Your lying has probably cost the life of two people, possibly more, although the lies you have told make the extraction of the truth almost impossible to ascertain. Your are a habitual liar and you will be punished for it"

Dave stared the judge directly in the eyes. Dave was not going to bend to the will of anyone.

"Your lying days are at an end. Simply put, given the weight of evidence against you, and the testimonials of the witnesses, you are to be punished for your deceitful and entirely selfish practices. This Life sentence is irreversible. You are to be sentenced to the Truth for the rest of your life. Case Dismissed."

Confusion flooded into Daves' mind - what did being sentenced to the Truth mean? His handcuffed wrists were sore from the metal, and his guards were rough with his upper arms as he was lead out of the court and back to the small, austere metal lined cell in the courtroom. Shortly afterward he was collected by the transportation guards and taken to a small van and locked in the back. The thin padding seemed to smell of sick and urine, and he watched the courtroom walls slide past the small barred window. For a brief moment many flash-bulbs flared at the window as journalists wrestled for a shot. Then the van accelerated away and drove for what seemed like hours.

He had slumped on the floor, hands still cuffed when the van finally came to a halt and the door was opened, and he was handled very carefully and given every courtesy as he was taken from the van to a small, low building as part of a larger prison complex. He was given a comfortable room, much like a hotel room, and had access to a TV, some newspapers and a shower. His prison clothes were changed for a comfortable pair of trousers and a shirt, yet despite repeated requests for some answers, none were forthcoming. He was invited to rest for the night and the next day there would be some tests.

The tests seemed to go on for days in a repeating pattern. He had been connected to a distant machine using a series of skin electrodes and an automatic blood monitoring system had been hooked up. Again and again, and very nicely, people asked him questions, repeating some of the questions every day, introducing new questions every day, and by the time ten days of 12 hour questioning had been completed he was entirely physically and mentally exhausted. Then he had several days to recover - still no-one was telling him what was going on.

On about day 15 he woke up with a head-splitting headache, and called for help - he could hardly see for the migrane-like pain, and requested and received some painkillers. The headache seemed to go on for hours, and eventually subsided.

Then without warning, and entirely unexpectedly, the judge from the trial and sentencing was with him in the room.

"How are you?

"OK, I think. Are you going to tell me what is happening?"

"Yes, I am, and right now you need to know that you must stay silent while I tell you. This is really very important. You have been sentenced, as you know, to The Truth. This is what that means. You must, from now on, only speak the truth. The consequence if you do not is slightly delayed, and irreversible, so listen carefully. The tests over the past few days have identified the subtle physiological changes that occur uniquely in you when you tell a lie. They are calibrated so that even if you do not realise that you are lying, but what you are saying is in fact a lie, that counts. Quiet! Hear me out! SIT DOWN! Every time you lie, the biological reprogramme you have received will add material to your nose - think of it as a Pinocchio Virus, although it's not a virus, it's more complicated than that. Each time you tell a lie, your nose will swell both in width and girth. If you were to tell a lie every day for a month, you nose would be about the size of a tennis ball, and a lie every day for a year and you would have a medicine ball attached to your face, with a weight exceeding that of your head. You would not be able to see past it, and it would interfere with all aspects of your life as you would require both hands to hold it while you walked, not that you could see where you were going. You can have the growth removed, and some of our lifers have taken a sharp knife to the growth, and since it has a main artery designed to run into it, they have almost all died of blood loss a few seconds later. Feel gently the tip of your nose - go on, do it now, can you feel the slight soft area at the tip - that is the beginning of the artery. The one who survived did so only because he was in hospital, and unfortunately for him having removed the tip of his nose the secondary sentence kicked in and he now lives with lie regulated growths across his face, each one is now the size of a marble and he has mended his ways. Speaking, typing, texting a lie, communicating a lie in any way will generate growth, however since a small amount of lying could be incorrectly detected you have been set at three unintentional lies a day before the growth kicks in, and it kicks in overnight. One deliberate lie will generate growth, two will generate twice more, so in effect if you were to tell 30 lies today your nose tomorrow would be the size of a tennis ball. Please stay silent and think carefully how you now speak - if you for instance say 'This isn't so' - that's clearly a lie because it is so, and that would be one strike. If you say 'I can't believe you've done this to me' actually you need to be sure about that - it might be a lie, you might believe that we have done this to you. Think carefully before you say or write anything from now on, as it is entirely possible to go through life without telling a lie to anyone else - a number of hermits have a lovely, peaceful life without telling a lie to a soul. Now, what questions do you have...?"