"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." ~ Douglas Adams
Minerva, Chapter 36
'Thank you for the critique of our current policy,' the senator from Iowa said. 'And now, Mr. O'Toole, perhaps you could offer this committee some constructive suggestions?'
'That's why I'm here,' O'Toole said. The room laughed.
'First and most important,' O'Toole began, 'the Black Administration must retake the moral initiative. Too many people, even in the First World countries, view the U.N. as the aggressor. After all, that's how America 's own Independence Party platform describes it.
'What you need to do,' O'Toole continued, 'is remind everyone of the facts behind the original founding of the so-called anarchist island. Contrary to its official reports, the Minerva Corporation under Eugene Callahan's leadership did not acquire the original title through purely voluntary means.
'I should know,' O'Toole said, 'since I oversaw the operations. And,' he said, holding up a stack of papers, 'I've got the documents to prove it.'
* * *
'That's right, Senator Holland,' O'Toole said. 'Do everything you can to provoke the Minervan firms; send in spies, flood them with counterfeit bank notes, you name it. Once they take the necessary countermeasures, it will be more and more clear that the islanders have a 'State' just like everyone else on this planet. The only difference is, the Minervan State is controlled by private individuals, rather than elected politicians.'
'This committee thanks you for your enlightening testimony, Mr. O'Toole,' the chairman said.
'And I thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight,' O'Toole said.
* * *
'So what exactly was that all about?' Sheldon Marcus asked as they headed for the press conference.
'I just freed Danny,' O'Toole said, a wide smile on his face.
* * *
'Linda,' Heather Durant said, 'you've got to stop making excuses for these assholes. These rich kids come in and think they can do whatever they want. Bullshit.'
'I know,' Linda Graves said. 'It's just . . . I never actually said 'no.' What if there's a trial?'
'Linnn-da,' Heather said. 'How many times do we have to go through this? Didn't you tell him all along that you wanted to wait?'
'Yes,' Linda admitted.
'Didn't he get you piss drunk that night?'
'Most important, did he ask your permission before he rammed his dick in you?'
'No,' Linda admitted.
'Well, I hate to tell you this kid-o,' Heather said, 'but Dan O'Toole raped you.'
* * *
Linda buried her face in the towel and stood in the shower, dripping, for several moments. She then patted herself down with the towel and wrapped it around her head. She slipped on a robe and walked into her small bedroom.
On her bed sat a woman dressed in black.
'Wh-who are you?' Linda stammered as the woman got up and approached her.
'Listen to me you lying slut,' the woman said as she snapped off her sunglasses. 'You and I both know that Daniel O'Toole didn't rape you. I don't care how your sorority friends try to twist what happened, you know that Daniel O'Toole did not rape you. I know you were drunk and now you're embarrassed and you just wish the whole thing had never happened, but you know that Daniel O'Toole did not rape you.'
'Wh-who are you?' Linda repeated.
'You listen to me,' the woman commanded. 'You need to think about this before you continue. Let me tell you, it will change your life FOREVER if you become the sorority girl who charged a boy with date rape. Now if it ever happens to you, then by all means go ahead and endure it, but you do NOT want to be that girl if it didn't even happen.'
'Who are you?' Linda asked.
'Remember,' the woman said as she put her glasses back on, 'you and I both know full well that Daniel O'Toole did not rape you.'