As the Piedmont family was being shown into the chamber, the younger boy, Jackson, started to protest, his 7’1″ frame struggling mightily against the policeBots assigned to escort them.
“No, no, I’m not going! I have constitutional rights that protect me from cruel and unusual punishment!” He shouted.
His mother, Michelle, looked at him resignedly. “Desenz is for our own good, President Margrave has stated this many times. Do you not trust our dear leader? Look at your brother, he’s fine with it, aren’t you Paulus?
Paulus did not appear to have heard, his head down as he trudged alongside his family towards the desensitization apparatus. Jackson was not calmed by his mother’s reassurances, and continued his struggle anew.
“I refuse! I refuse! President Margrave is a murderer! This is murder!” He was crying now. “I’m not going back in there, not ever! Please, don’t make me!” He was now being dragged bodily to their destination by the policeBots, their grip ironclad. They were trained in the handling of resistors; their semi-human emotions were programmed to never acknowledge pleas like the young Piedmont was making.
The father, Olaf, tried to calm the young man in the only way he knew how. “Hey, it’s not going to be so bad. I’ve been through Desenz so many times I’ve lost count, and look at me, I’m fine! Besides, you know what we’re going to do when we get out? We’re going to go to the Hall of Fame! And when we get there, you and me are going to relive the crown jewel of Tyler Zeller’s career, his 24-point performance against the Lakers in 2014! And, this was going to be a surprise, but I’ll tell you now: I arranged for the Great Zeller to make an appearance at your birthing date celebration!”
The Piedmont boys were big fans of the NBA’s greatest ever player, Tyler Zeller. They clamored endlessly to be taken to the NBA Hall of Fame, which was almost entirely a testament to his numerous and great achievements.
Jackson was now weeping silently, his repeated attempts to escape thwarted easily. They had drawn near to the entrance of the large stainless-steel enclosure, where they were to be separated. As each of the family members was bundled into their own cage, Jackson turned to his father.
But Olaf could make no response, as he had already received the tranquility drugs. Jackson, too, soon received his dose, and drifted into a half-sleep, filled with dreams of Tyler Zeller shooting 10 for 11 against the Lakers, dreams which would soon be seared away in the cold steel of Desenz.