By Wes Parish
The (former) General Stevenson stood as his accuser, Private de Cuella, entered the room. He did not smile.
"Sit down", said Private de Cuella. He had nothing better to do, so he sat. "You know what your sentence is?"
"200 years concurrent for the six proven charges," he replied, but did not add, that that meant he would be out in 36 years, and though he'd be eighty-six by then, he'd be able to exact his revenge on his accuser.
He did have supporters after all.
"You will not have heard, but a company I have some contacts with have agreed to use you as a guinea pig for their life-extension drugs."
No, he most certainly had not. Why would they extend his life? Proven war-criminals were generally executed as soon as possible. On the other hand, using criminals for potentially dangerous drug experiments ... he'd done that himself. It was part of his investment portfolio after all.
And life extension — he might be in better condition when he left prison than he thought. You fool, he thought, but did not speak. I'll have you when I'm out. Your testimony will come back to haunt you!
"Very well," he replied, after the silence had gone on for a bit too long. "I have no objections. Not that they would count for much, would they?!?"
"They count. But you've given your acceptance. I assure you, you won't suffer from the drugs."
Oh, and what's that supposed to mean? For the first time since he'd been captured, he started to worry — just slightly.
"Another thing. You are not well loved. You will be in solitary confinement for your own protection."
He clenched his fists. He was still able to defend himself!
Private de Cuella cleared his throat and frowned. "I should also add that I persuaded the presiding judges to alter the sentence from concurrent to consecutive. The life-extending drugs should extend your life to at least 200 years."
He rose from his seat and faced (former) General Stevenson. "I will say, live long, but prospering is no longer an option. You should have plenty of time to reflect on your crimes, both the ones you were sentenced for, and the ones they never discovered. By the time I die you should have lost your sanity, and still have several more decades to enjoy it. I will not see you again."
About The Author
Wesley Parish is an SF fan from early childhood. Born in PNG, he enjoys reading about humans in strange cultures and circumstances; his favourite SF authors include Ursula Le Guin, Fritz Lieber, Phillip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard and Frank Herbert. He lives in Christchurch, NZ, is an unemployed Java and C programmer, and has recently decided to become a mad ukuleleist, flautist and trombonist, and would love to revert to being the mad fiddler and pedal steel guitarist.. "Where oh where has my little pedal steel got to ... ?"