"Mr Taylor, are you lying?" The harsh-looking police detective asked. She was sat across from John Taylor in a boxy room with breeze-block walls painted a vibrant green. Between the policewoman and her interviewee was a metal table and two cups of cold coffee. She held in her hands a manilla envelope and a wad of paper with what no doubt was incriminating evidence. In John's hands were the chains
that connected his manacles together. He pulled on them a little, and then let the links slack. "No," he said. The detective gave a theatrical sigh, and said, "We care about you." This was a lie. Somewhere, there was a camera and hidden microphone picking up everything that was said and done. John suspected
that the only reason these interviews were recorded was so the Emote Force could never be held culpable for any abuse. It also meant that the moment they were switched off, he was fair game. But still, he held his ground, "No," he repeated, firmly. "We have evidence." "You haven't shown me any,"
John met her stare with his own - he still had some rights. One of which was being allowed a legal representative. Of course, the lawyer would be a state provided one and probably worked as part of prosecution team as much as the defence, but it was always nice to have someone to talk to, John reflected. "Where's my lawyer?" he demanded. The detective simply gave a thin smile, evidently he was not
going to a legally provided state-funded conversationalist. Perhaps they only came once you were found guilty. The detective drew him out of his thoughts, "I'll ask one more time, Mr Taylor, are you lying to me? And here, just for you, I'll show you some of that evidence you wanted." She had flicked through the papers to two with a jolly blue paper clip attached
to the tops. It seemed a little out of place, but in a few moments, it did not matter. The detective unfixed it and tossed the metal to the ground. The jolly blue clip may not have been a pin, but in the silence while John scanned the papers, it suited the metaphor well. The evidence was indeed damning. On his SocMed account was a post, and the post announced that he was
'joyous'. That alone was no crime, in fact, the State actively encouraged 'joy', 'happiness', 'delight', and all other '+++Emotes'. They meant contentment, and contentment was a Classified Good. The problem was the second slip of paper attached with the jolly blue clip. On that, were the records of his TruCheck. The TruCheck, monitored his health, location, sex life,
trends, patterns, bodily functions, and of course emotions. The TruCheck was a band that encircled his ankle, and like everyone else's, was eternally measuring him, and totally immovable. One of the recordings was highlighted in pink. John wondered why the Emote Force insisted on such happy colours. Perhaps it was because its members never actually felt feelings. It was rumoured in secret that
they were 'drained' as part of their training. But this was not the time to ponder on the ethics of the police - not that they had any. Now was the time to look at what was highlighted in the obnoxious pink. It was a reading from the emotion records, taken from the same time of the SocMed post, and it said that John Taylor was 'Xtrasad', and that was a '--Emote'. Again, like the post, it was not bad on its own,
but together, it meant that somewhere there was a lie, and a lie was a Classified Bad. The punishment for a Classified Bad crime was not execution, but no one actually knew anyone returning from the penalty. In a way, that made it worse. The policewoman watched him for a while. John squirmed. He could not remember posting the positive feeling, nor feeling the negative one, but there was not much he could say.
Feebly he muttered, "It wasn't me." "No?" the detective raised a thin black eyebrow. "I..." John paused and reread the pages, they were irrefutable, "I don't recall any of this. I didn't do this." The detective prized the pages back from John's shaking hands. She straightened the
sheets with two short taps and slipped them into the envelope with the rest of the pages, the paper clip lay forgotten on the floor. "Is that so?" she asked, not believing him. She would later read the TruCheck recordings that took place during this interview, and after, she would conveniently erase them. John knew he was doomed, the detective knew he was doomed, the public would learn tomorrow that
he was an 'XtraStateDissident' and would be, rightfully, doomed. And it was all a lie. A Classified Bad sanctioned by the State. The detective smiled, stood, and tucked her chair under the table. The metal feet shrieked in protest. "I'll come see you later," she said. Then, she walked to the
door, opened it at the sound of the buzzer, and left. The envelope sat across from John, the lip of it open just a crack, and it seemed to be smiling.