Kino no Tabi:Volume2 Chapter4

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“Land of Free Press” —Believers—[edit]

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MEDIASQUARE DAILY PRESS

5th of Doe, Year 893


TRAVELER SHOT MAN, THE POLICE DEEM SELF-DEFENSE

The 4th. Daytime. At West 56th Street, a traveler (age unknown) who entered the city two days before, shot a businessman (age, 55), inflicting severe injuries. The police recognized that it was an act of self-defense on the part of the traveler, who was able to leave the borders that evening. Police will further discuss enforcement of laws regarding self-defense and persuader ownership.


MALE BUSINESSMAN WOUNDED SERIOUSLY FOR “SUSPECTED THEFT”

Morning of the 4th, around 11:29. On 56th Street in the western district, a visiting traveler who entered the city two days before got into an argument with a male company executive who wished to take a closer look at the traveler’s motorrad. When the man tried to approach, the traveler quickly shot him twice with a persuader, hitting him in the right shoulder and right leg. The man was immediately taken to a nearby hospital by medics but would require a full month to recover from his severe injuries.

The traveler stayed for police interrogation, where the traveler claimed self-defense against the company executive, who allegedly attempted to steal the motorrad. The police accepted the explanation, and the traveler was allowed to leave the country the same evening without any further incident.

The case took place in the crowded shopping district in front of the western gate, causing quite a commotion among the onlookers. Luckily, no one else was hurt by stray bullets.

In relation to “justifiable self-defense”, there was a case four days ago in the southern district where a policeman fired without warning at a young man who attacked his fellow police officer. The young man died from 14 bullet wounds. The police also deemed the shooting as an act of self-defense, but many who believed that it was an act of police brutality took to the streets in protest. (See page 39 for details.)


STREET KILLINGS? THE TRAGEDY OF “SELF-DEFENSE” SHOOTINGS

A peaceful street was disturbed by a loud gunshot, followed by cries of panic. All this happened in broad daylight and in plain view of pedestrians.

At the scene, a man was found curled up on the pavement, his shoulder and leg bleeding profusely. A frantic young woman was at his side providing medical assistance. Witnesses reported that the traveler with the smoking persuader did not act to aid the wounded man, but merely stood and looked on coldly.

The 55-year old man is a company executive from a leading medical equipment firm. On the day of the incident, the man was visiting the area for business reasons. He was dining with his colleagues at a nearby restaurant before the shooting occurred.

According to his colleagues’ statement, the man was engaged in lively conversation when he noticed the parked motorrad by the street. He purportedly remarked that it was “a nice motorrad.” Its owner appeared shortly and sternly warned the man to stay away from the motorrad.

Although the man gently rebuked the young traveler for his tone, the traveler paid no heed and shouted at the man to stay away from the motorrad. When he attempted to step closer, the traveler open fired without warning. The man was wounded in his right shoulder and right leg, and the pain caused him to collapse onto the pavement.

He was immediately sent to a hospital to undergo an emergency surgery, but due to the severity of his wounds, it would take at least a month for him to completely recover. The shot to the leg was particularly treacherous, narrowly missing major arteries by a few inches. The lead surgeon commented that if the shot was any closer, it would have sent him into a critical condition. The trauma from the injuries affected the man’s memory of the incident.

The man’s family also gave their statements about the incident. Unable to hide their disbelief, one of them remarked: “How could something like this happen?” Later that evening, upon learning that the police had marked the case as rightful self-defense and allowed the traveler to exit the borders, the family member was outraged further into saying, “Even though he (the man) had done nothing wrong, he was shot, while the shooter was able to walk off scot-free! This is unjust!” The man’s attorney expressed, “We can’t let the police continue with their tyranny.” They are considering filing charges against the police who resolved the case as a mere act of self-defense.


EXPERTS’ VIEW

JUSTIFIABLE SELF-DEFENSE WILL BE THE DOWNFALL OF THIS NATION

(Tony Methone - Former Judge of the South District Court)

I believe that the traveler had chosen to fire unnecessarily. It would not be hard to imagine that the traveler believes himself to be above the law and beyond retribution, just because of the fact of him being a foreigner. To shoot a citizen without provocation tells us that the traveler is a bloodthirsty fiend. It greatly disappoints me that the traveler was not arrested and brought to a court of law. This was indeed a failure for the nation.


TOLERANCE TOWARDS SHOOTING INCIDENTS

(Nihal Ruthbator - Chairman of Citizen’s Eye on the Police)

Lately, there have been many cases where the police use rightful self-defense as an excuse for shooting incidents. Since the fatal shooting four days before, persuader ownership and the definition of self-defense have been a hot topic on everyone’s lips. Now with the latest shooting, I can’t help but think that this is too great a coincidence. Could it be that someone is manipulating the situation behind the scenes? The traveler probably was in no danger of being arrested in the first place. The traveler could be getting paid for his involvement this very moment just beyond the border!


MEDIASQUARE DAILY PRESS

7th of Doe, Year 893


READER’S REVIEW CORNER

STRICTER IMMIGRATION INSPECTIONS

(Betty Teteths — Female, Age 28, Homemaker)

“Ouch! Ouch!”

Was my first response when I heard about the west district shooting on the radio. The one where a man was badly wounded by a traveler with a persuader.

I also heard there was an uproar over the police’s decision regarding the shooting. But what troubles me is how someone like that could be allowed to enter our border? I demand that the immigration office take responsibility!

For us law-abiding citizens, to own a persuader would require a strict background check, especially for small firearms. Yet, this traveler who openly displays a persuader was allowed to enter the border. I was even more shocked to learn that the traveler was allowed to leave the country on the same day after the incident. It pains me to hear the situation of the hospitalized man.

When the news was released, I was called back to reality by my 5-year-old son. He was asking me with a serious face, “Where did it hurt, Mommy?” I hurriedly told my boy, “Don’t worry, mommy’s fine now.” To think that my dear boy would be worried about me, it fills me with tears. As I hold him tightly, my heart is filled with rage towards the callous traveler. To let someone so dangerous enter our country armed is a huge mistake! For the safety of my child, I hope immigration will impose stricter regulations.


“PLEASE THROW AWAY YOUR PERSUADER, TRAVELER”

(Anne Yelets — Female, Age 7, Grade school student)

Something bad happened near my home: a man who was looking at a motorrad was shot by the owner, hurting the man’s shoulder and leg.

Why would the traveler do that? I don’t understand why.

“He was trying to steal my motorrad,” the traveler said. But I think the man just wanted to take a closer look at the beautiful motorrad. I think the man must be really hurt, and his parents must be hurt too. Can’t the traveler feel their pain? I believe the traveler has a waiting mommy and daddy at home, too; how would the traveler feel if they were hurt? I would like to know.

Persuaders are bad things that are used to hurt and kill people and animals. I wish they would disappear so that no one will get hurt again. Please throw away your persuader, traveler. And please have a heart for others.


ON THE TRANSPARENCY OF COMPETITIONS’ CLOSED-DOOR SCREENING

(Eliza Blau - Female, Age 64, Homemaker)

A few days back, this paper announced the results of the naming contest of a 2-month-old forest panda. I too have participated in the contest and eagerly awaited the result.

To conjure up the serene image of adorable pandas living peacefully in the lush green forest, I named the newborn “Woods”. A simple name that even children can easily pick up, yet still carries the majesty of the forest, I believe there can be no better name than this and was very confident with the contest.

But my heart sank when the results were announced.

Not only did my submission not make it into the consolation, the biggest shock was that the winning name was “Woody”, a mere single character’s difference from mine. I would not have minded so such if they were both vastly different, but this result makes me doubt the decision of the panel of judges.

The winning name came from a 17-year-old girl from the northern district. Could a girl shallow in life’s experiences come up with a winning name?

I know that my suspicion seems beastly, but I think the panel of judges took my submission and altered it slightly. Pretending it was submitted by the pre-selected girl, they announced her as the winner.

There have been previous cases of corruption between the organizer and the judging party, and it would be hard to warrant that such handy-party did not happen this time also.

So, for future contests such as this, there should be a neutral third party audit overseeing the process much like the Anti-Corruption Agency for the government.


NEWSWORKS DAILY

5th of Doe, Year 893


TRAVELER SHOT MAN, THE POLICE DEEM SELF-DEFENSE

On the 4th, a traveler (age unknown) who entered the border two days earlier, shot a man at West 56th Street in broad daylight. The man (age, 55) was reportedly fiddling with the traveler’s motorrad. As the man refused to stop even after repeated warnings, the traveler fired his persuader out of necessity. Police deemed the shooting as a case of legal self-defense, and the traveler was able to leave the country the same evening.


ATTEMPTED THEFT? MAN RECEIVES MINOR WOUNDS

At around 11:29 on the morning of the 4th, on West 56th Street, a traveler who entered the country for sightseeing found a man trying to mount a motorrad that belonged to him without permission. The traveler issued several verbal warnings to the man, but he was too drunk to take heed and replied with threats. When the man grabbed the traveler, the traveler was forced to shoot him with a persuader (a .22 automatic) twice. The man was hit in the right shoulder and right leg and was rushed to the hospital with minor wounds. Doctors reported that recovery would take no more than a week.

The traveler was questioned by officers at the scene, and after collecting reports from witnesses, the police deemed the traveler acted in self-defense and was released from custody and allowed to pass through the border that evening. According to the police, the traveler held no grudge towards the country for this incident.

The man was under the influence of alcohol during the incident and was unable to recall what happened after he was sent to the hospital. He was given a stern warning by the police.

Crime is on the rise in our nation, and it has become a serious concern. Four days before in the southern district, there was a case of a drug addict injuring his physician-in-charge to escape the hospital. He later attempted to take a patrolling police’s persuader by force with a knife, and another officer was forced to shoot the addict to avoid a catastrophe. (More detail in Local News Section)


ARROGANT BEHAVIOR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL; NO CHARGES FILED

At the time, the man probably thought he was allowed to do whatever pleased him. He meddled with another person’s possession, attempting to handle and operate a motorrad without permission from its owner.

The thing of note in yesterday’s incident was that the man was clearly intoxicated and was barely standing when he was shot by the traveler.

He was participating in a company function at a nearby restaurant. According to restaurant staff, they had been drinking a lot and were being loud and disrespectful to other patrons. One of the staff who tried to calm them down received a face full of vulgarity.

After the man left the restaurant, the motorrad caught his attention and he immediately went to it, grabbing the handles and knocking on the gas tank. He was on the verge of hopping onto the motorrad when the traveler returned carrying fresh sandwiches for lunch.

The collection of witnesses reported that the traveler was being tactful with the encounter, but the man would have none of it, spouting phrases such as, “You’re not the boss of me!”, “I once rode something like this, so this is mine!”, “Show your respect, youngster, and get lost!” and more unintelligent babble. The traveler continued to request that the man leave the motorrad several times in a cool and calm voice, but the man somehow took offense at the traveler’s tone and kicked the motorrad several times. He also repeatedly threw curses and tried to grapple the traveler. This is when the traveler was forced to shoot him.

Even though the bullet hit him in the shoulder, the man continued to yell and stagger toward the traveler, forcing another shot to the leg from the traveler to finally stop his rampage.

Examination reports from the hospital tell us that the persuader used was of low caliber range, and would not be fatal as long as it did not hit the head or chest. In the man’s case, the wounds he received clearly show that the traveler is a highly-skilled persuader-user, as he was able to avoid major arteries and bones.

Being the victim of this incident, the traveler was released and allowed to leave the country that evening. No charges were pressed against the man, thus no punishment was issued and his name was not revealed.

But that was probably not the end; the rampaging of drunks might not only cause trouble to travelers but could also quite possibly harm citizens.


EXPERTS’ VOICE

THE CAUSE AND EFFECT OF SELF-DEFENSE SHOOTINGS

(Ole Tucker - Retired Director of Ministry of National Defense)

The traveler acted to protect the safety of his life and property, a fully understandable act of self-preservation. The man had been messing with the traveler’s property and chose to ignore repeated warnings by the traveler. Witnesses of the incident point out that the man was shouting gibberish and was prepared to attack the traveler. Under no circumstance should violence be used as a solution, but I would like to applaud the experienced and cool-headed officer for classifying this incident as legal self-defense.


INTENSIFY ALCOHOL INTOXICATION LAWS

(Timothy Tenostor — Chairman of “Parents Who Lost Children to Alcohol Abuse”)

“Lawless, shameful and childish” might be the words the traveler would think of at the mention of this nation. If he or she were to be further charged with criminal offenses, that would truly be tragic. I wish to applaud our police force for their correct decision, for we always turn a blind eye to drunks. Now is the time to face this growing social issue! Including the problem of underage drinking, laws against alcoholism need to be enforced now before our children become the next victims because by then it will be too late.


NEWSWORKS DAILY

7th of Doe, Year 893


CITIZENS’ OPINION

ONE STEP AWAY FROM VICTORY

(Eliza Blau - Female, Age 64, Homemaker)

A few days back, this paper announced the results of the naming contest of a 2-month-old forest panda. I too have participated in the contest and eagerly awaited the result.

To conjure up the serene image of adorable pandas living peacefully in the lush green forest, I named the newborn “Woods”. A simple name that even children can easily pick up, yet still carries the majesty of the forest, I believe there can be no better name than this and was very confident with the contest.

But my heart sank when the results were announced.

Not only did my submission not make it into the consolation, the biggest shock was that the winning name was “Woody”, a mere single character’s difference from mine. I have participated in similar public contests before, and this was the first where I was so close to victory, making the defeat all the more bitter.

But I will not give up and will use this experience as a drive to perform better next time, even if my friends call me stubborn and out of league. (Editorial department: An edit has been made.)


“ARMED EQUALS VILLAIN” MENTALITY

(Norgen Heidini — Male, Age 76, Unemployed)

There was a case of a shooting on the 4th involving a man and a traveler, and when I heard the man’s family attempted to sue the police force for their decision, it filled me with disgust.

The man was drunk in broad daylight, disturbing other’s property, and was ignoring warnings from the owner while being aggressive towards him. It boggles my mind that the man still thinks he is innocent and not in the wrong. I would very much like to see the people who raised this brute!

Some might think the traveler had murder in mind, but the traveler only shot him in the shoulder and leg after repeated warnings. As someone who has served forty years in the police force on the front lines against crime, if murder was the motive, the traveler would have aimed for the head or chest instead. If we were to frame the traveler as a criminal just because of the shooting, that would have been a grave mistake.

Can we afford to hide our heads and assume that “all those who use weapons, e.g. persuaders, are bad guys,” making judgments without considering the circumstances? Imagine you are caught in this situation; what actions would you take? I hope everyone would cool their heads and not overreact over this incident.


TRAVELER’S ACTION REMINDS ME OF A DARK PAST

(Anonymous — Female, Age 30, Company Employee)

The incident reminds me of something that happened to me before.

I was sexually assaulted by a drunk when I was fifteen.

Although it was broad daylight, a red-faced drunk in his 50’s suddenly grabbed me on the street. I wasn’t even able to scream out of panic. The man continued to grope me, and with his breath stinking of alcohol, he spat obscenities at me before staggering off laughing.

It was several hours later before my mother found me crying by the street, and took me to the hospital, reporting the incident to the police.

The police brought the man shortly, and in my rage and shame, I vowed to bring him to justice. So I identified him as the culprit. But the man proclaimed loudly, “I am the headmaster of a renowned high school, there is no way that I could have done this! If you continue this nonsense, I will sue you and your parents for defamation of character!”

Suffice to say, he was released due to lack of evidence. He left not before hurling more obscenities and threats, and my father later found out that the man truly was as he said, a headmaster of a renowned high school and quite high up in the education ministry.

When he passed away several years later, rumors of his past started to surface. That he could not hold his liquor and had repeatedly used obscenities in PTA meetings. But I don’t wish to dig up filth on a dead man since I have no proof that the incident even took place.

I just wish to express my admiration to the officer who decided to let the traveler go.


——


“——and that’s it, Hermes.”

Someone spoke in the middle of a desert.

She sat on a sea of hardened sand that spread out in all directions. The sun was setting in the west, staining the earth and sky a bright orange.

She was about fifteen, with a mop of short black hair. Large eyes adorned her fearless face, and she wore a black jacket over her shoulders, a simple but thick belt around her waist, and a holster containing a hand persuader (Note: A persuader is a gun. In this case, a pistol) over her right thigh.

In her hands was a newspaper that she had just finished reading out loud, and scattered all around her were more newspaper sheets that she had finished perusing.

Parked nearby was a motorrad (Note: A two-wheeled vehicle. Only to note that it cannot fly).

A rifle-type persuader was leaning against the motorrad, next to a large travel bag.

Hermes, the motorrad, happily chirped in. “A persuader-user who travels on a motorrad? That sounds just like you Kino! I bet anyone who has read the news would have gone ‘Oh! That’s Kino!’”

The girl named Kino smiled sourly and said, “You are being rude…. I would never open fire on a street like that.”

“Oh well, maybe.” Hermes paused and asked, “Why do you think the fellow opened fire?”

She stared at the dipping sun in the far horizon and answered honestly.

“I don’t know. I can’t make a sound conclusion from these reports. He might be a trigger-happy sadist who likes to taunt his victims, or he could be a man of justice who only retaliates when forced. Or he could be both.”

“Is that so… but Kino, have you realized the most critical thing that is missing from all of these reports?”

“Hm? What?” Kino tilted her head to one side with a look of confusion. Hermes quickly solved the mystery himself.

“The motorrad’s side of the story, of course! They never bothered to interview the biggest witness to the incident! And they call this unbiased reporting?”

Hermes continued to fume, while the orange in the sky was slowly replaced by shades of purple, with stars beginning to appear.

Kino removed a blanket from the luggage and laid it out on the ground, then put on her brown coat. She picked up the rifle that was leaning on Hermes and checked its chamber to see whether it was loaded. After readjusting the scope on the persuader, she laid it down next to the rug.

“Why do you carry those newspapers anyway?” The question suddenly popped into Hermes’ mind.

“The news is just a coincidence… as to why,”

Kino started to remove single sheets of paper from the stack, and twisted them as if drying a towel, then laid them out in a sunburst formation.

“When there’s no firewood around, they become a useful replacement.” Kino lit a match with a single stroke on her boot, and as she let the tiny flame lick the newspapers,

“What’s printed on them doesn’t matter.”



Under the deep, starry purple sky, the earth was pitch black.

Except for a tiny dot of light.

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