How then, Mr. Savetchkin, do you maintain your plea of innocence and non-involvement?
|“Is it or is it not true, Mr. Patriko Savetchkin, that you were present in the bank lobby at the time of the robbery?”
“It is true, your honor.”
“And is it or is it not true that you were fully aware of the dubious deeds being carried out within mere feet of your person—and that you did nothing whatsoever to hinder the activities of the so-called ‘other’ criminals?”
“That, your honor, is also true.”
“How then, Mr. Savetchkin, do you maintain your plea of innocence and your claim of non-involvement?”
“There is a way, your honor, by which I can assure you and the court as a whole of my innocence.”
“Now is the time. Speak freely and quickly, sir.”
“Your honor, before you draw conclusions about my responses to the two previous questions, you must understand the circumstances in full. There was indeed no immediate physical threat to myself, were I to intervene. I am as sure as you are that the criminals would not have assaulted me in any way in such a public setting. I understand that under the good-Samaritan policies of this great nation, it is expected that a citizen act to negate an unlawful act of which he or she is aware. However, my lack of action in this case is, as I have previously asserted, justifiable.”
“Yes, yes, Mr. Savetchkin, so you have advertised gratuitously. Now comes the time for explanation, dear sir, else you will doubtless bear the punishment for criminal apathy.”
“Indeed, your honor, I understand. Here it is, then: I knew no reason to intervene. I had never seen the men in my life before one in the afternoon on the day of the robbery. They explained to me upon our meeting that they each carried a small, electronic communications and computations device, the origins of which were not revealed to me. I suppose they were interested in me as opposed to another merely by random chance, and that they simply needed a single scapegoat for the crime. The men claimed to have purloined the bank’s most recent transaction records and vault statements during the previous week. Towards the time of the robbery, about two in the afternoon, and by which time they had made me fully aware of their plans (which were far too fascinating for me to ignore, you see, and I took quite a fancy to their ramblings on the technologies they would employ), the bunch of us set out towards the bank. In the lobby of the bank, the men began to use their electronic devices in secret—in their pockets, you see. The men claimed ahead of time that at this point they would be sending what they referred to as an ‘electromagnetic signal,’ an informational signal through the air. This signal, they insisted, was entirely invisible and undetectable by any person. The only way to detect the invisible informational signal, which they explained to travel almost instantly between themselves and their accomplices located deep in the interior of the bank (undercover bank workers, you understand), was by a pocket-sized electronic device very similar to their own devices. Some crucial information, therefore, must have been sent by such a seemingly-nonexistent signal between the criminals in the lobby near myself and the criminals far within the bank. After this information had been exchanged, somewhat miraculously, the robbery was all but complete—and the latter stages of the plan unfurled seamlessly.
“You see now, your honor, why I did not intervene. Should the state hold me legally responsible for thinking these queer fellows were merely madmen, and for failing to stop a plan which seemed so wildly preposterous? Surely I could not have expected the plan to succeed until I saw with my own eyes that it had.
“I know already that several innocent standers-by were present and observed the strange men and myself in the bank, and indeed those good citizens have already testified that such men exist. Would that I had not exclaimed in dumbfounded shock ‘I know how the robbery was carried out!’ immediately after the strange men disappeared, incriminating myself…
“I presume that the men only revealed the entirety of their plans to myself—the scapegoat—with the expectation that I would eventually recount their plans in court. Knowing that my testimony would be taken as absurd, much as I once considered the true criminals’ plan, they must have assumed that the court would find me fanciful and unstable, and thereby readily convict me of the robbery. I trust that the court has not listened in vain to my words, and that your honor can make a judicious decision in light of the admittedly stupefying true nature of the crime.”
“Send him away.”