Throughout human history, those able to gain power over others, have experimented with methods of maintaining order in the societies they rule.

There is no need to reiterate that history here. The legacy of totalitarian despotism (and the brutal repression and revolutions to which it inevitably led) as well as past attempts at democracy and its limited success in forming an equitable social contract, are well known and documented.

But for clarity’s sake, it may be useful dear reader, to have a brief explanation of some of the control dynamics of this, our beloved Nurfworld.

As stated in the introduction, behavior contributing to the safety of everyone is continuously supported and rewarded. The entire culture is based on safety, and everything within Nurfworld must not only be seen as safe, but must actually be safe. The only danger there can be, must be outside.

Thus there is no punishment.

Oh there are still rules, and consequences for breaking them. The debtor’s prison in which our hero scientist Takeshi Nakamura sits, is simply the result of his financial situation and the only place he can find residence for the duration of his bankruptcy. But to inflict any actual harm at all, of any kind for breaking a rule, would violate the promised guarantee of total safety. So there can be no punishment. Only positive reenforcement.

This then brings us to the problem of our radical (and radically popular) Nurf Surfer… Jimmy Tukool.

Technically, Nurf surfing is not illegal. But since the sport developed, after the introduction of frictionless Nurf had solved all previous problems of people suffering “Nurf burn” falling from a height sufficient to generate enough friction (rare as that was), the surfers have been getting more and more radical ideas of how to maximize their thrill. Of course this had the effect of maximizing the concern of those in charge of monitoring and maintaining the safety of all. (i.e. The Safety Patrol).

The Safety Patrol has been doing all they can to dissuade the Nurf Surfers by making sure they are standing by “Just in case” whenever they surf. The patrol rightly concluded that their presence reduces risk. Of course their presence also reduces thrill. The surfers popularity has however, made this quite difficult because, of course the audience wants to see the most radical surfing run possible and this can only happen when the safety patrol kill-joys are not around. So the audience and surfers work together to keep their events a secret until the last possible moment.

Again… all this is completely legal. There is a rule however, to comply with safety patrol concerns and thus the patrol leaders can compel anyone to attend “school”.

The Center for Safe Practices Education (popularly referred to as “school”) runs continuous programs designed to keep anyone deemed in need of training, with the latest information on how to best maximize their safety in Nurfworld. All the latest methods of positive reenforcement techniques are employed to give attendees everything they need to return to society as happily active, safe members of Nurfworld and it’s ever evolving spirit of guaranteed safety for all.

Jimmy Tukool (and all his Nurf surfing friends) despise the very idea of school.

But last weekend’s run was just too cool to pass up, despite the fact that Jimmy knew he would be sent to school for it.

What no one can figure out however, is why Jimmy would up the ante like he did. And where did he get the blade?

These and many other related questions are what now consume the expert mind of Suzy Sogood as she prepares to interrogate Jimmy. She is going to have to employ all her psychological and sociological experience here. All of her superiors are watching, the most high profile case in recent history. It’s the kind of thing that can make or break a career.

But Suzy is ready for this, her chance to shine. She enters the interrogation room with confidence and smiles…

“Hi Jimmy” she greets the young man with genuine affection.

“Comfy, I hope?”