Chapter 23: A Game of Prestige [20.1]

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

Once again, Patriot One made the headlines. But unlike the evacuation of Huapatrian citizens from nation N, this news was something that rang very, very differently this time.

That one would go traveling abroad only to suddenly require emergency search and rescue because the abrupt breakout of a civil war was something that would happen only once in a blue moon. Barely a handful of people around the nation could actually relate themselves to the news of what happened at Nation N when they saw the news, as much as they appeared to be excited at Patriot One’s valiant exploits.

But the news of the abduction resonated very personally with everyone, unlike the news of the civil war.

The possible loss of one’s child could happen to virtually any parent. No parent could boast to be Superman and the irrefutable margin of error innate in every human being only made the threat all the more real and probable.

Tens of thousands of children are trafficked every year and little to none of them ever reunited with their family and the loss of the child could deal a very corrosive and destructive blow to any family.

Yet in this abduction, it scarcely took twenty minutes before the baby was successfully recovered and all three of the villains were arrested. The arrest allowed the department to make their way up the food chain of the human-trafficking syndicate, leading to bigger fish. By the time the evil syndicate was fully busted in its entirety, the police had detained more than fifty accomplices and rescued more than a hundred children who were fortunate to have not been transported elsewhere yet.

The national central television channel broadcasted exclusive coverage about this incident and members of the public submitted video clips that they recorded. Some depicted how Patriot One had swooped down on the grey little van and tore open its roof like an action movie flick. The scenes where it recovered the abducted baby moved many to tears, chief among them parents who have children of their own.

The baby would have been as good as gone if not for Patriot One.

The exclusive coverage turned out to be the much-needed publicity to reintroduce the much-neglected Patriot Kids into public eye.

A wearable device with an AI that monitors its wearer’s vitals and surveys its surroundings at all times. During any time of emergency, the AI would automatically engage its Intelligent Security System that would immediately alert the Patriot One mainframe system, allowing any nearby Patriot One droids to initiate rescue operations within five minutes.

Ardent and aspiring customers alike swarmed every exclusive reseller of Patriot One devices in cities all around the country, eager to get their hands on one Patriot Kids device.

Giving a limb was the least any parent would do if only to ensure their children’s safety. With each and every Patriot Kids device a glaring guarantee to every child’s safety, no parent would not want one for their most precious tot.

In just two short days, the sales of Patriot Kids hit past the thirty-millionth flagpole and the number was still climbing.

With more and more children wearing a Patriot Kids device of their own, the reports of child abduction quickly freefalled at a staggering pace.

Still, the authorities could still find the occasional skeptic who still could not quite prevent seizing a baby or two, only to be arrested not even ten minutes later and the children were quickly returned back to their rightful places by their parents.

 As electronic devices for children slowly becoming a usual regularity for the masses, people began to realize there really was more than meets the eye with Patriot Kids devices.

Innocent children lacked the power nor strength to protect themselves and their naive and trusting minds made them very vulnerable to deceit and flattery, making them preys to any predatory adults who happen to clap eyes on them.

Yang Bao’er was one such child. A little girl growing up with a single mother who was rarely home because of her irregular work shifts. That made Yang Bao’er a regular at her uncle’s home which was only just nearby. As gratitude and compensation for their help, Yang Bao’er’s mother would pay a couple of thousand dollars to her brother.

On this day, Yang Bao’er’s aunt was on a night shift and her elder cousin was not home too. He was staying at his school hostel for the night because the journey home was just too late and too far. Therefore, he only came home during the weekends. That left only her and her uncle at home.

Yang Bao’er went back to her homework after her dinner and her uncle came into the room and locked the door behind him.

The audible click of the lock alerted Yang Bao’er to the presence of another person in the room and her head swiveled just in time to see the man approaching her.

Her uncle looked strange, his pained expression looking as if he was trying to keep something suppressed. In his eyes, Yang Bao’er found emotions inexplicable and unfamiliar to her, but her uncle had always been kind to her and she found no reason to suspect him. Tilting her head playfully, she asked, puzzled, “What is it, Uncle?”

He stroked her hair and ran the little girl’s silky hair through his fingers, his hand trembling with bridled excitement.

The little lass of ten years looked like a budding rose to exude a captivating fragrance, enough for Yang Bao’er’s uncle to feel his carnal hunger reaching a breaking point.

They were alone; her aunt was on her night shift and it could be hours before she came back and her mother would only come back after two days from a business trip.

With only them both in the house, the predator has found the best chance to strike.

Yang Bao’er’s uncle’s hand slowly came down, his fingers caressing the smooth hair and fell on her shoulder in a manner seemingly inadvertent. But the icy cold sensation that pricked his skin when he touched her came like a tolling bell, restoring some sense of clarity back into him.

He winced and saw what he touched: a metallic button-like object on Yang Bao’er’s shoulder.

It was the recent fad, the Patriot Kids wearable for children, he knew. Apparently, it could prevent children from being abducted.

“Where did you get this thing, Bao’er?”

The words slipped through his tongue before he even knew it. Maybe because he was only trying to break the ice, or maybe he needed to say something to calm his nerves.

Yang Bao’er fingered the metallic button and grinned, “Mum bought it for me. She said the anti-abduction function won’t be useful with you and Aunt taking and picking me up from school, but it monitors my health so she’ll know if I get sick. She says she feels safer knowing that I’m fine even when she’s away on work.”

The child’s innocent smile is one of the most beautiful and blissful things in the world, yet in the wrong eyes, it conveyed a more grotesque and depraved message.

Yang Bao’er’s uncle did not even understand why did he even bother asking about the Patriot Kids device. But seeing her smile and hearing her voice, he could no longer hold back his lust. His hands groped for her.

“Let’s play a game, Bao’er… I’m sure you’ll enjoy it…”

Yang Bao’er’s cardigan slipped off her shoulder. The button-like object emitted a dull glow. When the uncle reached over to unbutton her shirt, the object shifted and transformed into a futuristic pair of shackles that cuffed around his wrists!

“BEEP! BEEP! Criminal activity on underage minors detected! Initiate Intelligent Security System!”

Yang Bao’er’s uncle reeled with shock. Before he could react, he felt a jab of pain shooting up his hand before everything went dark and he fainted.

Five minutes later, a Patriot One droid landed outside the house.

The cops came ten minutes later and arrested Yang Bao’er’s uncle.

Yang Bao’er’s mother turned as livid as her complexion would allow the moment she received the notification about what happened from the Patriot Kids mainframe. She set aside her work and hired a car to rush all the way home that night.

She could not believe that her own brother was capable of anything so savage and depraved! He loved Yang Bao’er so much!

But Yang Bao’er’s statement and the video clip recorded by the Patriot Kids device left zero room for misinterpretation: he really had almost done the most heinous thing to his own niece.

“I’m sorry, Sister,” said Yang Bao’er’s aunt said to her mother, “I’m sorry that I have not been careful. I didn’t know he could be such a beast.”

The deed might have not been done, but he had sinned nonetheless.

The laws are clear: attempted criminal acts on minors, especially with testamentary proof on the intent of the crime, are as punishable as committing crimes.

His wife made no plea on her husband’s behalf and so did Yang Bao’er’s mother. He had almost committed a sacrilege so hateful and wanton especially since the child was one of his blood and that demanded a heavier sentence.

The uncle was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment.

Author's Notes:

Thank you all for your support! I'll be sure to keep on going!

New update! Do stay tuned if you like this story! Thank you!

Scribbles of TheBrokenPen:

Recent chapters seem to be larger in size, therefore I decided to divide them into parts. Or else, I fear I won’t be able to upload anything for weeks T.T

I appreciate feedback of all kinds, and monetary donations go a long way in encouraging our journey together into this story!

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----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

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