2039. Toronto, Canada.
Gladiator took the podium first, her hair in a trademark pompadour of bright colours. Wargod stood next to her in black, brown, and maroon.
Q “This is a question for Wargod. Was killing every member of the terrorist cell necessary or even legal?”
G “Excuse me, but I’ll speak first and then let Wargod respond,” Gladiator said. “When you are fighting an implacable enemy, you must exterminate them or they will grow in the shadow of your fear and menace you again. Not every member on this team is an experienced killer who can deal death with wisdom, compassion, and mercy. Two members of this team want to punish, make evil women and men suffer. Wargod says no. And so we don’t punish. Wargod?”
WG “Thank you, Thara. People infected with fanatical and hateful spirits don’t change. While they live, they will gather strength, followers, and seek new, better ways to hurt people. I won’t let people like that live. Not in Canada on my watch. Thank you.”
Gladiator raised her eyebrows for a split second, then put a hand on her comrade’s shoulder.
Q “And who are you to decide who lives and who dies? How is that not arrogance at best and 1984 despotism at worst?”
WG “Canada has the bravery to enlist a few good women and men to bypass democracies’ chiefly capitalist function to fight enemies of the pubic good. Because this extraordinary experiment affects the integrity of the legal system in Canada, our legal powers are given to only the nine members of the Shadowforce team.”
Q “Gladiator, are you comfortable with the legal powers that have been bestowed upon the members of this unanswerable legal entity?”
Gladiator took the podium.
G “We are movable and answerable. In four years, our service will be reviewed and we may be disbanded. Elected officials will decide. I understand it’s a scary experiment, but what it may teach us about how to make a better society could be invaluable.”
Q “Ever the optimist, Gladiator?”
“I’ll answer that, Boss.” Faith Jackson, Wargod, said, aggression in her voice, leaning into mike. “Gladiator wants this team to shine a light we can follow to a better world where terrorism isn’t persuasive and crime isn’t necessary. I’m just a fighter. Gladiator’s our North Star, and she knows our values.”
Q “Gladiator is ethically infallible, so we grant her and each Shadowforce member legal immunity for any act in Canada?”
Gladiator took the mike, smiled at Faith.
“Thank you, Wargod. Well, we’ll need to break laws to hunt predators who impoverish people in legal ways. We can’t fight the toxic, dangerous, and parasitic elements of our society that are legal if we’re bound by the law.”
By Mark in Garden and Lumber