"Alexander Tipton, you are accused of assault and battery on Mrs. Debra Tiessing. How do you plead?" asked the Judge.
Before I answered, I thought back to the events leading up to me standing trial here.
Debra said to me, "Thank you for your help."
I had just helped her carry some boxes to her beat up old car. She was going to take it to the homeless shelter to give the contents to the people there. I warned her, "Be careful in the alley behind the shelter. I hear people get attacked there."
"I'll be careful, Alex," replied Debra with a smile.
I set off in my crappy old pickup towards the old docks. There might be some iron and copper laying around. With the prices these days it was lucrative to collect them and sell it to a scrap dealer. It wasn't making me rich, but it supplemented my meager salary from my part-time job. My parents, rest their souls, had been right. I should have gotten a good education. Now I had a crappy part-time job and had to scrounge old metals to get by each month.
Searching through the wreckage of ships, cars and other junk, I gradually got further away from where I had parked my car. I was about to give up and return to my car to park it closer to where I was heading, when I heard voices.
" ... last time you crossed me." A deep man's voice said.
I didn't hear the reply well enough to understand. Then the deep voice spoke again, "I'm not worried about the police. I own most of them. Besides, they are looking for a male reporter, not a homeless prostitute. I've already got the paperwork ready for you."
I looked around a corner and saw a scene of one man kneeling in front of a big, slightly fatty man. He wasn't kneeling totally on his own as a few men stood behind him and probably helped him to kneel. The kneeling man said, "What do you mean? I'm not a ... you are going to... ?"
Then the big man put something to the neck of the kneeling man and he screamed out in pain. He started to spasm and the men around him restrained him somewhat. Then he screamed again, but during his scream the sound got higher, like a string being pulled taut. Astonished, I watched him turn into what looked like a young woman before collapsing into a heap on the ground.
A while ago some company called Girls R Us had invented a way to convert a man into a woman using some secret procedure. It had inspired some other companies to try the same, but they were less successful. The first uses of the successful transformation procedures were for trans-gender persons that wanted to switch from a male body to a female body. Then the government, faced with overflowing prisons, thought that this was also a good way to punish sex offenders. They had introduced this type of punishment to rapists at first. They added murderers to this type of punishment later. The public was never told the fate of the sentenced men, at least I never knew about any convicts after a Gender Conversion.
It actually worked too, violent crimes with weapons was down and sex offenders thought twice before even thinking of committing such a crime. Sexual assaults was at an all-time low since Gender Conversion or GenCon for short was introduced. The official name for someone that was sentenced to this treatment was Genetic Gender Conversion Convict. The general public never knew where GenCon's disappeared to. There were lots of rumors, but I hadn't paid attention to those.
As I saw the woman at the feet of the big fat man, I understood that he performed identity murder on his victim. I didn't even know that people could get their hands on the technology. It was supposedly all strictly regulated by the government. Because of what I just witnessed, I carelessly stepped back to get out of sight, however doing that made me knock a loose pipe from a ledge to the ground.
With a loud rattle the pipe hit the ground and immediately all eyes were in my direction. The big fat man said, "There's someone there. Get him, you imbeciles."
Several of his men started running in my direction with guns drawn. I didn't wait, but sprinted towards my car myself. I had a good lead on them, and being in good shape, I managed to reach my car before any could get close. As I took my keys out of my pocket, I forced myself not to try unlocking and put the keys into the ignition too fast. I knew that you'd fumble and lose more time doing that. I still did it in record time and tore away with screeching tires and doused lights. In my rear view mirror I saw several flashes and bullets whizzed past my car. Fortunately none hit me or my car and I rode as fast as I could towards home.
Arriving home without incidents, I barely had time to get my heartbeat back to normal levels before someone started insistently knocking on my front door. Then a voice shouted, "Open up Mr. Tipton, CPD, we'd like to ask you some questions."
With dread I went to the door. Fearful of deception I peeked through the spy hole first. They seemed genuine police officers but that didn't mean they weren't on the payroll of that big fat man I had seen 'murdering' an enemy. One of the officers grew impatient and banged on my door again. "Open up Mr. Tipton, we know you're home. We ascertained that your car engine is still hot."
"Shit", I swore silently in myself. That could give me away. Finally I opened the door with the chain still on. "Can I see some ID first please?"
Through the gap they showed me their Identity cards and I read Officer Pete Murphy and Officer Clara Bell. I almost chuckled at the second officer's name. She must have been harassed a lot in school. Satisfied with the knowledge that they were genuine police officers, I opened the door. I did get ready to slam it shut, should they be affiliated with the big fat man.
The female officer Bell asked me, "Can you tell me your whereabouts earlier this evening? About 1 to 2 hours ago?"
I hesitated to answer, since I didn't know if they knew about the gender conversion from the fat man or not. They mistook my hesitation for something else as the other officer Pete said. "All right, Mr. Tipton. I'm asking you to come with us for questioning. You're accused of raping your neighbor, Mrs. Debra Tiessing."
I was shocked. 'Debra was raped?' "She was raped? Where? Was it in the alley behind the shelter? I warned her about that, you know."
Pete Murphy answered gruffly, "Yes, we know you warned her. That's why we're here to question you. Since you know it is dangerous there, you could easily be the perpetrator."
I was about to answer him how ridiculous that was, when I saw two men wearing overcoats looking at my car. They looked like the men I saw earlier with the big fat man, so I didn't say anything to the officers. I just went with them looking defeated.
During my questioning, I couldn't see anyone looking at me except the interrogators, due to a one way mirror in the wall. They probably had a video camera on me as well. I gave only sparingly information and asked for a lawyer to be present. When my lawyer arrived, I was surprised to see what looked like a very high priced lawyer. He asked to talk to me alone before the police resumed their questioning. I asked detective Sawyer, who had been questioning me, "Who is that lawyer. He doesn't look like a public defender to me."
Detective Sawyer answered, "That's Mr. Braktovich. Usually he works for Senators and other high up people. You should be thankful. If anyone can get you off, it'll be him."
I had an idea who Mr. Braktovich was working for, my guess would be the big fat man that I had seen. Now I had two choices, I could explain where I had really been and get acquitted for the rape of Debra. In which case I could see a very short life ahead and be dead or worse within days if not hours. Or I could take the blame for the rape, which would most certainly get me a sentence of gender conversion. At least I would be alive and have a life without worrying about my fate at the hands of the big fat man. Or so I thought.
"Mr. Tipton, your answer, please!" The booming voice of the judge shook me from my flashback.
I tried to swallow and took a quick look at my lawyer. I couldn't refuse his aid, as that would alert the big fat man. Nor could I claim my innocence. Stammering I said softly, "G ... g ... guilty."
"Please speak up a bit louder, Mr. Tipton," the judge said sounding annoyed.
"Guilty!" I exclaimed loudly.
A loud murmur went through the court room. Nobody had expected that. Most people being tried for rape always said not guilty as they didn't want to be gender converted. Even then they pleaded insanity or something like it to get out of it.
"You do know what the standard sentence in a case like this is, Mr. Tipton?" Asked the Judge.
"Yes, I do your honor."
"So unless you have a secret desire to be a woman, which doesn't show in your profile, why would you plead guilty? Well, it doesn't matter anyway. I'm sentencing you to the mandatory Gender Conversion and one year of service. Case closed."
I was led out of the courtroom into a small waiting room. In there I got an unexpected visitor. It was my supposed victim, Debra Tiessing. She entered with a police detective, while my lawyer was saying loudly that he needed to be present in a meeting like that. He was kept out of the room thankfully, while Debra sat down in front of me. Softly she said, "I just heard you plead guilty to raping me. I couldn't identify my attacker because of the mask and darkness, but I know you Alex. You wouldn't rape me. So why would you plead guilty? What is going on? Did you kill someone or do some other heinous crime that you think this is an easy way out?"
.... There is more of this story ...