August 1, 2023
Garrett is currently doing films in Burbank California. At home
he is enjoying a hearty dinner of roast pork with stuffing and gravy, saffron rice, and a baked apple. He jumps up to read incoming DVD Email on the computer and blinks with disbelief
when he sees Clifton Farris.
Hello Mr. Valdison,
My name is Clifton Farris, John's younger brother by four years.
We know you to be a journalist who specializes in truth and at last write
to you about the Court of Belated Justice. Luckily we now have all the funding we need, but the terrible wasted effort of
the former episode in this regard gave rise to the question - Is there not an easier way? Hope so, because our current judicial
project is featuring not less than five hundred thousand defendants. We hope to inspire others, you see.
After contemplating the acquisition of a one million square foot industrial
facility for our display, and the terrible security problems involved with this, we finally hit upon the idea of miniaturization.
This is the method in practically all dioramas. Surprised we didn't think of it sooner. We also realized then that
we could add model trains and other amenities for that special lifelike effect.
To date, we have done the following:
1. Procured five hundred defendants per day for one thousand days.
2. Executed them all painlessly, also on a daily basis.
3. Removed the middle finger of each right hand. Disposed of the bodies,
also daily. A massive undertaking.
4. From photographs, had perfect effigies of each defendant carved from
each finger bone. Hated to do it, but we had to outsource to Chinese artisans for this because of the sheer numbers.
5. Painstakingly created our diorama on a huge table with electric trains
and all kinds of interesting buildings, lights, and gizmos. Also mountains in the background. Trees, little cars, dogs, cows.
You name it.
6, Last but not least, a separate area for the original two thousand and
eleven defendants. Effigies carved from ivory as a special tribute with tiny capsules of cremation ash inside. We luckily were
able to procure this from the city morgue. Best we could do.
There will, of course, be a solemn ceremony with more than five hundred
thousand "live" spectators wherein an effigy of John Hobart Farris will be posthumously given "The Good Citizen Award for
Innovative and Constructive Social Action".
Yes, a truly splendid achievement! We will begin the legal proceedings soon.
We were hoping you could handle the story exclusively in the same way you promised John originally at the Wisconsin Facility
so long ago.
Please let us know at your earliest convenience.
A complex arcane sigil ends the message. Now Garrett understands all the news talk
for the past couple of years about how missing persons cases seem to have been increasing all over the USA.
"It's clean living that brought this one to me.
Thank you, Odin!" says Garrett and continues eating.
August 11, 2023
Garrett is eating a fine breakfast of mesquite smoked bacon, eggs poached
with apple cider vinegar, buttered spaetzel, and black cherries. The phone rings and it's Clifton Farris, the man who paid
the mini storage rent and Emailed last week about the diorama.
"Time to come see it, Garrett, but first I need to know how you feel about
the commonly held idea that a journalist who won't reveal sources to the police actually encourages and aids the illegal actions
of the people he reports about."
Garrett replies "I disagree with the idea. I've discussed it with sources
in the past and they have always told me that they would somehow publicize their activities effectively, with or without my
interview, but would prefer to work with a truth-oriented journalist because it's easier."
"Good. They told you right" reples Farris.
Garrett is now driving into the airport. He parks and is approached by his
contact, Albert, a tall lean red-haired man about forty. They go to an area near the small plane hangars and Albert gives
Garrett some wrap around shades sprayed with flat black paint on the inside to serve as a blindfold that will
not draw attention.
"Hope you don't mind. You can take them off in the plane and watch
TV. We have the cabin curtained off. When we arrive they go back on for a half hour drive and then just a short walk
to the building where you'll meet Clifton."
Three hours later Garrett enters the building with Albert, who retrieves
the shades and puts them on a table near the entrance door. The ceilings are ten feet high. The walls plain white. Doors,
trim, and floors are polished golden oak. Huge oriental rugs everywhere. As his host approaches Garrett blinks, still
surprised at how much Clifton Farris looks like John. The two men shake hands. As Garrett begins to look
around, he sees within one eye-shot, more than fifty mummified human bodies.
"Well, I see you're up to your old shenanigans again. I thought you were
going strictly miniature these days."
Farris chuckles and replies "We go tiny on the commemorative stuff,
but one must decorate, after all. Let me show you around. It's okay to use the camera. Just don't take any pictures of staff."
As they walk down the long hall Garrett can scarcely believe his eyes. On
each side every ten feet a human body beautifully cured just like the little alligators at Stuckey's on old Route 301
to Florida in the 1950s. Each mummy is standing up perfectly straight on tiptoes, arms reaching upwards, supporting a
brazier of light on outstretched fingertips.
"Art Deco Moriendi" exclaims Garrett. "Macabre, but I must admit
they are exquisite. Wonder if there could be any potential for them in a global market."
"I thought of that too. Things haven't come that far yet. Besides, distribution
would be too difficult. And, of course, petty legalities from one place to another, tariffs, taxes."
They enter the huge living room. Again amazement. A glass top coffee table
supported by a mummified man lying on his back, limbs raised so that the glass rests on his forearms and kneecaps. Another low table but larger, with four men on their hands and knees supporting the
glass with their backs. Three magnificent large chandeliers made from human bones and skulls. Along the walls hundreds
of fine shrunken heads displayed in glass cases.
Then into the dining hall. Twenty four straight-back chairs carved with
medieval style skull faces surrounding a glass-top table thirty feet long, the glass supported by the heads and upraised hands
of twenty four kneeling mummies. Garrett has noticed that the glass is a full inch thick on all the tables.
"I'm surprised dry flesh and bone can support so much weight" exclaims Garrett.
"Oh, every one of them is impregnated with special plastic for extra strength.
Same stuff the government uses for the space program" beams Farris like a proud school boy.
"Clifton, in your resourcefulness you are the equal of Captain Nemo."
"Now that is a compliment. Thank you. Let me show you the diorama."
They go down the long staircase to the basement and Garrett is amazed to
see a continuous table ninety feet long by forty feet deep. It nearly fills the entire basement. The whole thing is HO
Scale with double train tracks running around the periphery of the entire layout. Two young couples are running the trains.
There are branch lines running to different destinations: town with passenger stations,
railroad yard, factory freight platforms, big dairy farm with cows. There are roads with cars and trucks, a small lake
with boats. Also woods, pumpkin fields, stores. Everything that exists in daily life and all very realistic. But for
all of this, one huge difficulty overwhelms the viewer.
Almost one third of the space is taken up by tiny figures waiting outdoors
for their verdict at the courthouse. Five hundred thousand of them, beautifully detailed, just standing there perfectly still
while trains, boats, and logging machines are running. At the far end of the table to the side there are large fixed
binoculars for viewing the little figures close-up just like the coin operated ones at scenic overlooks in mountain country.
Garrett gazes with disbelief, only now truly comprehending the scale of
what this strange host and this organization have accomplished. They have privately executed over one half million
Farris asks "Well, how do you like it?"
Garrett gulps and replies "It's magnificent. Not as big as the one
at Niagara, but your detail is beyond exquisite. This must have cost a fortune. Which reminds me... There is a question
that's been bothering me. Why did the mini storage payments in Las Vegas stop?"
"The news people at first assumed that John's coma was the reason, because
they didn't have the facts. We simply ran out of money. Without putting too fine a point on it, we were invested to the
hilt, totally illiquid, and completely undiversified. The return took much longer than we anticipated. We didn't keep
back enough cash to get us through it. On the upside, when it finally did pay off, the return was many many times
greater than we expected, so now we're on a scale vastly beyond any of our original plans."
Phrasing carefully Garrett asks "Clifton, after I got back from Wisconsin I studied photos of all the defendants
and have a pretty good idea about your criteria in selecting them, but as a journalist I must assume nothing. I need to hear
it directly from you. Who are these people?"
"Of course. All the defendants were proven wrongdoers who saw fit to make ongoing unjust encroachment
against others as this would be defined by any civilized society in history, but who for one reason or another had not
been dealt with appropriately by our society. This, of course, is the bigger meaning behind the term Court
of Belated Justice.
"One day I simply reached the conclusion that what we need on this planet is a quick clean-up. To stop
pleading with people to do what's right and start kicking ass. Show me the Reinhard Heydrich of the final solution to the
un-libertarian problem on Earth and I'll show you the true savior of mankind. We must blacken the sky with smoke from their
burning bodies and pave our streets with their bones."
"Okay. That's pretty much what I thought, but I'm glad to hear you say it anyway. This, however, leads
to another question. While the defendant numbers are very large, I know that with good organization almost anything
is possible, but how in the world do you manage to sort them out from the rest of the population?"
"Sorry, Valdison. Modus Operandi is not part of the press package. No offense intended."
Garrett shrugs his acceptance, but then looks perplexed.
"Clifton, may I be honest about the diorama?"
"Yes, of course. Please do."
"Okay, says Garrett. "Visualize this. Imagine a large crematorium with smoking
chimney behind the courthouse."
"Hadn't thought of that. Good idea."
Garrett continues "Let me finish. There's much more. Picture just eight
figures filing into the courthouse, linked with cuffs as in real life. Nobody could control five hundred thousand people outdoors.
They constitute an army in and of themselves, even if they don't have weapons. It's just too unrealistic looking.
"Now visualize beautiful tiers of glass shelves, just four inches deep with
glass doors, lit from above and below, all along this wall opposite the layout. All the rest of the figures placed three
deep in offset rows about one half inch apart either with background mural or light blue mirror. Easy
to view and no dusting."
Garrett keeps on "Somebody has to be profiting from all the farmland and
factories. You could turn all the area now occupied by defendants into a beautiful neighborhood of mansions with huge fields
around them grazed by horses and cows. Gazebos, tea-houses, sports cars abounding. Instead of all this crowding and unpleasantness...
I rest my case."
Farris smiles "Valdison, you absolutely amaze me. I see exactly what
you mean and agree completely. I'll start on the changes immediately. Want to stay a few days and help? I read somewhere
that you're quite a food-smith. We eat pretty good around here."
"I'm tempted, but I have movie business I must keep after. I want to
see the changes though. Could you send me a few pictures when you're done?"
"Sure. Be glad to. Let's go have lunch" invites Farris.