Harmonius Schnitzel was born in 1928. He is married with Innocentia Schnitzel, né Loyalpatriot, and has a daughter named Heidemarie who was born in 1965. In 1978, he built a complete flat into a basement which wasn’t included on any blueprint of his and his wife’s house, and unknown even to his wife. He locked Heidemarie into the basement in 1979, secured it with power lines which would kill anyone who tried to enter or leave the place without typing a complicated code into a switchboard first, and advised his wife that Heidemarie “had joined an evil cult” which didn’t respect the loving and respectful relationship between children and their parents. The fictional evil cult forbade Heidemarie to remain in contact with them, he told his wife, and Heidemarie had therefore left them without leaving an address or a phone number. Harmonius Schnitzel also faked some letters in which Heidemarie “bade her parents farewell forever”.
In the course of over twenty years, Harmonius Schnitzel had an incestuous relationship with his daughter in the basement and became the father of two children with her. The basement was detected and he was arrested in 2001, and Harmonius Schnitzel subsequently sentenced to sixty years in prison.
Mr Schnitzel reads as many newspapers as he can, because he is a very opinionated man with a great interest in politics. Recently, he subscribed to the newly created English edition of the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper. Becoming a very faithful and regular reader, he began to view his prison sentence from a new perspective.
This morning, he had a discussion with his lawyer. The JR intelligence Unit bugged the visiting room, and the following is a transcript of Mr Schnitzel’s discussion with his lawyer, Mr Schickedanz.
Schnitzel: You are late, Mr Schickedanz!
Schickedanz: I’m very busy lately. Very sorry. When I heard that you had some new ideas to counter the injustices you have suffered, I immediately suspended a case in Klagenfurt and rushed back to Vienna.
Schnitzel: Smart decision. You will be thrilled by the case I’m going to make.
Schickedanz: Ah, OK. Please tell me!
Schnitzel [unfolds a very recent Global Times edition]: Have you heard about the riots in Xinjiang?
Schickedanz: Yes, I overheard some of it… they were reporting something on the radio while I was diving here.
Schnitzel: Now, tell me, aren’t these Uighurs ungrateful suckers?
Schickedanz: Well… hehe. You know, I’m not as well informed as you are. But then, I don’t have as much time as you have to study the news.
Schnitzel: You should. China is the future. You should base some of your career on the coming of the Great China.
Schickedanz: Well, yea, maybe. But then, I’m 59 years old now, and I’m not planning to work until my dying day. My wife and I are going to buy a caravan and travel Italy for the rest of our lives. Dolce vita after a hard working life, you know. Hehe.
Schnitzel [sobs]: How cruel of you! You know exactly how many years they gave me in prison! How can you talk about dolce vita to a man who suffered a grave injustice, and may never see the light of the day again, if it is up to those hostile buggers at prosecution office, and that idiot of a judge who got me here?
Schickedanz [with a somewhat impatient frown]: Mr Schnitzel, with all due respect – you are here because you locked away your daughter who wouldn’t have seen the light of the day for the rest of her life if it had been up to you, and abused and raped her countless times! Don’t pity yourself.
Schnitzel: You lawyers are all the same – prosecutors, judges, defenders. You all work for the same unjust system and twist your brains to come to the weirdest and most unrealistic conclusions. I’m getting impatient with you. But anyway. Do you want to hear the case I’m going to make or not?
Schickedanz: Sure. As I said, no path was too long for me to come here as fast as I could. Your ideas always amaze me.
Schnitzel: OK. You know, my daughter was actually a very dangerous terrorist. If I hadn’t been tough with her as a father, society would have faced a very, very grave threat.
Schickedanz: [unobtrusively rolls his eyes, then takes an ostentatiously attentive facial expression]: A terrorist? Can you explain further?
Schnitzel: You lawyers know every letter out of every fuckin’ para of the law, but when something is as clear as the day, you have no idea and confuse everything…
Schickedanz: Mr Schnitzel, please! You are looking at things from your perspective, and I’m looking at them from mine. It’s my profession. As much sense as your points may make, they need to be translated into something that make sense to a court, too!
Schnitzel: Hehe, well said, Mr Schickedanz! That’s really the heart of the matter! Anyway. Once upon a time, umm, when Heidemarie hadn’t yet been influenced by bad ideas such as the 1968 anarchists and so on, me, my wife, and her, lived happily together. But there were external forces with no respect for family life and the integrity of family life, and in school, and in her tennis club, and so on, Heidemarie acquired strange and dangerous ideas. All of a sudden, she would reject her father’s love and attention for her, and she became more and more radical and dangerous in her views. Be assured: she would have torched a fiaker very soon, with all the people and horses!
Schickedanz [sighs]: I think I understand, Mr Schnitzel. That’s why you locked her away and shagged her in a basement, rather than in the living room as you did before, right?
Schnitzel [slightly uneasy]: Yes. She needed a lesson, so to speak.
Schickedanz: Hang on– you locked her away for more than two decades and did something to her which is neither legal nor morally acceptable! She went through hell– for more than twenty years!
Schnitzel: Why, she loved it! She needed it, not I. A father can always tell what his children need without their asking!
Schickedanz: Is that why you put the high-voltage powerlines into the armored doors which would have killed her at the first attempt of getting out?
Schnitzel: You lawyers are freaks! You really don’t get it, right?
Schickedanz: Frankly, no.
Schnitzel: Well, obviously, the power lines were in the door to protect her.
Schnitzel: You know, there had been so many external hostile forces who tried to destroy our happy and peaceful family life… [his voice breaks for a moment] … a responsible man has to protect his family.
Schickedanz: Nothing personal, Mr Schnitzel. But as you said, lawyers have their own ideas. And as I said, we need to find a formula which will be comprehensible for the judges.
Schnitzel: You think this won’t do?
Schickedanz: I’m afraid not, Mr Schnitzel. But let’s continue. Rome wasn’t built in a day. There was your daughter, in a basement, right under the feet of her clueless mother. Your wife suffered, because she thought that her daughter didn’t respect her and had run away with an evil cult…
Schnitzel: I know! It was so tough for all of us! It broke my heart! But you see, in the end the story I told my wife was actually true. Heidemarie didn’t respect her mother, just as she didn’t respect her father. I kind of tuned the whole story a bit, sure, but at its core, it was a true story. She had lost all her respect for her parents. Daughters who don’t respect their parents don’t respect themselves either and lend their ear to all kinds of evil freaks who try to spoil them. That’s my theory, you know…
Schickedanz: OK… then there were the two children you had with your daughter. They grew up, they became teenagers, they were fifteen and thirteen respectively when they came out of the basement and saw the light of the day for the first time in their lives… And their father was at the same time their grandfather. Their lives are pretty damaged, to put it carefully, even now, eight years on. It’s hard to see how this can ever be healed somehow.
Schnitzel: But that was the fault of our enemies! It’s because of them that I had to build the flat in the basement and protect Heidemarie there!
Schickedanz: Mr Schnitzel! Your enemies are one thing. What you do is another. Don’t you understand that there are limits to what you can do to your children, even if you believe it was the right thing to do? And can’t you see that it wreaked havoc on the lives of five people – your daughter’s, her children…
Schnitzel [angrily]: Our children, Mr Schickedanz – they are my children, too. Those ungrateful brats haven’t shown up even once here to see me so far, and nor has Heidemarie. There you can see what a bad effect life outside the basement is having on them!
Schickedanz: Let me finish: your daughter, her children, your wife, and yourself. Mr Schnitzel, sorry to tell you, but this case you are planning to make won’t convince anyone. Not even close.
Schnitzel [whiny]: I knew you’re a failure, asshole! You have no idea! But I can tell you one thing: I’ll find a lawyer who knows his profession, and who has moral principles. And once I’m out of here, I’d be very careful if I were you! I don’t like people who are moral failures! You are underestimating me. Italy won’t be sufficiently far away for you to be safe. If I were you, I’d consider Canada’s Northern Territories.
Schickedanz: Good luck, Mr Schnitzel, and Goodbye.
Schnitzel: Guards!!! Arrest this bugger!!! He’s no lawyer, he’s a terrorist! I’ve just found out!!! I’m going to testify against him right away!!