Moral Compass Lost

by Avi Green

Roper Beglaryan was showing his girlfriend Emmanuelle Granlen and their buddies at a sky-restaurant meeting a holographic projector recording of a news report on a literary critic he once spoke with years ago, Josten Puglet, who'd been arrested the other day for serious criminal offenses. It seems Mr. Puglet had assaulted his wife before fleeing the scene, and threatened police officers apprehending him with an energy rod. Now, he was standing trial for his crimes, and his wife was not only in the process of divorcing him, she reportedly had to file for legal protection lest he pursue her again.

“I used to correspond with Puglet through holographic e-mail many times 2 decades ago,” said Roper. “He always came across as such a decent fellow then, and seemed to know a lot about literature, even animation, from the ancient formats viewed on ordinary screens to the more modern holographic approach to viewing them. Who would've known he'd fall from grace and commit a sick crime like spousal abuse years later?”

“That's the problem, Roper,” said Emmanuelle. “There's people out there who can lose their grip on sanity, and proceed to commit violent crimes. Remember that science writer from Tikustown I once told you about, Rodentin Losco? He was arrested several years back for attacking a woman he'd been quarreling with in an air-shopping mall over a petty issue. I once corresponded with him at the time he was a science columnist, and now, my skin is crawling in retrospect. And you know who I really feel sorry for? The wives and children of these felons who'll now have to bear the shame of having an abusive husband and father who hurt them and other people, devoid of all consideration of their actions.”

“Yeah, I see what you mean,” grumbled Roper. “Figuring out the the mind of a mere book reviewer is no easy feat. We have to realize that people can lose their moral compass and turn truly evil. And those who suffer worst are their family members and victims. And we have to do our best to learn from these terrible incidents why they're wrong, and why we must avoid committing them ourselves.”

“You got that right,” said Emmanuelle. “Well, enough of that. Let's just continue eating and find something less troubling to talk about.” And they returned to their meal and changed the conversation.

Copyright Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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