Old Oneball

Clipboard, Slater, and Brooks sat at one side of the conference table. Court had been going quickly that night: two curfew violations, three fence violations, one robbery, four brawls, and one indecent exposure, which had been dismissed as a simple misunderstanding. They were waiting for the last five cases, who would be tried all at once for what Brooks called Kreznerkrime, urination or defecation outside a latrine. Those five would each get six hours of community service for their crime against public health–and were the most likely to be defended by Schick.

“You know, it’s funny. With all these Monday night court cases, we’ve never had a single accusation of rape or sexual assault,” said Slater. “Maybe this outbreak has been bringing out the best in people.”

“Give it time,” replied Brooks. “People will never change. Men will never change. Trust me.”

They both looked at Clipboard, whose face registered a momentary flash of discomfort before an instant return to his normal unperturbed placidity. Most people would not have noticed. Slater and Brooks were expert poker players.

He noticed they were staring at him. He cleared his throat and quietly said, “I don’t think that we’re going to have a problem with rape in the Zone.”

“Why?”

“I told some guys in Corpse Corps the story of Oneball Johnson.”

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