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Writing science fiction; interview 4

December 9, 2084
"Interview with Genneva Casterhazy Halldread," conducted by CNN-Prime's Malcolm Ndebe
Cyberdragon dismembered by Humankinder terrorists at charity ball while guests watch in horror

CNN-Prime:
Mrs. Halldread, let me begin by expressing CNN-Prime's deepest sympathy for you and for all the guests at the Crystal Ball who went through this terrible ordeal last night; our hearts go out to you.

Genneva Casterhazy Halldread:
Thank you, Malcolm.

CNN-Prime:
Could you -- I know it's hard -- could you just briefly tell our viewers what happened?

Halldread:
Well.... Last night was the Crystal Ball, at the Governor's Mansion...

CNN-Prime:
Yes. The annual charity ball for victims of Alstrina's Syndrome. One of the year's most glittering events! As I understand it, everything was going beautifully. And then something happened that has never happened before.

Halldread:
Yes. Everybody was there, and of course everybody had brought their cyberdragons with them for the occasion -- we always do that -- and we were all dancing and enjoying ourselves. The band was playing "Chestnuts Roasting By An Open Fire"... [Shudders.] I will never be able to listen to that song again... never!

CNN-Prime:
And then -- suddenly?

Halldread:
And then suddenly this gang of Humankinders -- this gang of terrorists, these men all in black, with black masks over their heads, jumped up on the stage and of course the band stopped playing... And one of the men....

CNN-Prime:
Yes, Mrs. Halldread?

Halldread:
He.... He had my favorite cyberdragon -- my little Evangeline, my darling little Evangeline -- and he was holding her up over his head and just laughing and laughing and shaking her in the air and... and he yelled at us to hand over the cashbox with all the money for the ball or he was going to.... He said, "Or I'm going to pull this little cyberdragon's legs off, one at a time!" And my husband ran -- he ran -- to the stage with the cashbox and gave it to him -- he didn't argue, I swear he didn't, he went right to that man, with the cashbox... And...

CNN-Prime:
Take your time, ma'am. Please.

Halldread:
And the man took the cashbox and he handed it to one of the others, and then -- Malcolm, then he went right ahead anyway... They all did, there were half a dozen of them... They held Evangeline there in front of us, where we could all see everything that happened, and... oh dear god in heaven.... Malcolm, they just pulled her apart. They pulled off all her legs, you cannot imagine what it was like to see that ... they pulled off her little tail ...

CNN-Prime:
And I understand that... that they pulled off her head.

Halldread:
[Sobbing] Yes! YES, they pulled off her head! And then they stood there on the stage laughing, Malcolm, and they sort of .... they played catch, you know? They threw the pieces of Evangeline to each other, threw them back and forth... while one of them went out the back door with the cashbox. And then they pointed their machine guns -- did I mention that they all had machine guns? -- they pointed their machine guns at us and they backed their way out of the ballroom ... and they took all the pieces of Evangeline with them, and oh god they could be doing anything to her and we don't have any way of knowing what they're doing to her and I can't stand it, I can't stand it, what they might be doing to her!

CNN-Prime:
Mrs. Halldread, I am so sorry -- but as a journalist, I have no choice, I have to ask you this question: Doesn't it help to know that because Evangeline is a robot she can't feel pain?

Halldread:
NO! NO, it doesn't help! We love her! She is precious to us! And I'm not sure she can't feel pain -- how can we be sure??

CNN-Prime:
Mrs. Halldread, you do know that Holdyn Callaweigh -- the CEO of Cyberdragon Inc., the company that built Evangeline -- was on the air before dawn this morning with a statement assuring us all, unequivocally, that their cyberdragons absolutely cannot feel pain or distress of any kind.

Halldread:
Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? ... And Malcolm, I have a question for you too, that I have to ask: What if you had to stand helplessly and watch while a gang of brutes tore one of your cyberdragons to pieces?

CNN-Prime:
It's an honest question; I'll give you an honest answer: I really do believe I would lose my mind. I believe I would go insane. I'm not as tough as you are, ma'am.

Halldread:
Malcolm, you have to understand, everybody needs to understand -- they didn't just take Evangeline when they left. They were all carrying cyberdragons under their arms. And they told us this was just the beginning. They told us... "Starting right now," they told us, "no cyberdragon is safe. We have cells everywhere, and we are going after every cyberdragon on this planet, and we're not stopping until we have destroyed them all, every last one of them!" Malcolm ... what are we going to DO?

CNN-Prime:
I understand that the Department of Homeland Security is in an emergency meeting right now, as we speak, and that--

Halldread:
Oh, THAT'S good! That's WONderful! It's in the hands of HOMEland SeCURity! Now that I know THAT, I know everything will be FINE! RIGHT? RIGHT? [Hysterical laughter.]

CNN-Prime:
[Clears throat.] We thank you, Mrs. Halldread, for being willing to talk to us at this difficult time. We appreciate it.



=====
[Note: The other interviews about the cyberdragons are at http://ozarque.livejournal.com/421074.html and at http://ozarque.livejournal.com/423028.html .]
Tags: cyberdragons
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