"Virtual Reality" by Otto Tot, November 2012

Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.

AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.

AN2: None.

Summary: In many cases bride is raped in order to convince her to stay with her husband, as in many traditional cultures the loss of virginity is harshly judged. In some cultures a bride price is customary, so the kidnapper may contact his victims family to demand compensation.

Virtual Reality

After father of the kidnapped Jewish boy, David Levit, was contacted "officially" by Malcolm Curtis – the kidnapper with a distorted voice, police was already recording the details in an office room especially arranged to comfort David and his family.

"That's it?" David seemed bewildered, rising hands in the air. "No ransom amounts? NOTHING!?" He rose up in disbelief as his wife tried to lower him back into the business chair.

"Sir …", Detective Daniel Josephs leaned on the desk, frowning since he had a bad night, "… heave you heard of the term 'virtual kidnapping' perhaps?"

David looked up at his wife as if wishing to indicate he was about to break his neck, but she patted his hand and he realized that he had to communicate on that level.

"No … I don't believe that I have."

Detective rose up and paced slightly, other police communication specialists rolling their chair away to make more space.

"Virtual kidnapping is more a scam than an actual kidnapping."

"What are you trying to saydetective?" David was half-way up as his wife ushered him compassionately back into his seat. "That my son …", his lip quivered a bit as he adjusted yarmulke on his head, "… that my son Moses … is NOT kidnapped?"

Detective chuckled sardonically in secret, folding arms in front and visually checking David briefly.

"No. I am NOT saying that …"

David lifted his hands up into the air, staring at the ceiling."

"Ein Ke-Elohenu!" David offered sarcastically, still upset and out of his normal condition. His wife read some digital data as she scanned for his pulse and blood pressure. Data was, of course, directly transmitted directly into one of the most prestigious hospitals in Switzerland that had a direct leased line with a prestigious insurance company. Also in Switzerland, of course.

"I am just trying to pin-point and alternative …"

"An … alternative?!" David rose up, shivering like a raging bull. "An alternative to what!? To my son's life perhaps?"

Another police detective called Daniel Josephs out and he excused himself as someone offered another glass of water to David.

"All that my partner was trying to say …", police detective Norm Oshrim started, trying to soften Mr. Levit a bit, "… is that sometimes the perpetrators will wait until their target is unreachable …", he clasped hands on the desk, as David lifted an eyebrow, examining Norm in some careless manner, "... visiting an area with no cellular coverage, for example, then …", Josephs returned, obviously upset since he's been reprimanded outside, "… will contact the target's family …", David stirred in his seat, "… or company …", Norm glanced at David's wife, "… claiming they have kidnapped the target and demanding an immediate ransom."

"But they did not demand a darn thing!" David continued, still perplexed that no one could understand him.

"Perhaps they are not sure that Moses is out of range yet?" Detective Josephs interposed but Norm waved a hand at him to calm down. David waved a hand at Josephs as if writing him off. Daniel felt even more upset, unsure as to what made the Jew so cranky.

"You see … Mr. Levit …", detective Oshrim continued in some calm manner, "… The target eventually returns, unaware that anything untoward has occurred."

David placed a finger on his chin, swinging slightly in his chair. Oshrim leaned back in some victorious manner, trying to buy some extra time.

"And …", Josephs tried to iron out his relationship with David, "… Due to the need for haste …", someone brought in more refreshments, "… the ransoms demanded are generally relatively modest."

David frowned, grimacing to his wife in some pitiful way.

"Another common technique …", detective Oshrim continued to save the arse of his colleague, "… is to call the target pretending to be a cellular phone company representative, and then asking them to turn off their phone for a short while for a technical reason, during which …", David was nodding like a horse in the stable, "… the virtual kidnapping is conducted."

David was swinging even more, slight optimism reaching his worried face.

"But … how common is that sort of kidnapping here?"

"Actually it's not." Detective Josephs cut off Oshrim and Norm's eyes flashed with anger and some clemency. He suddenly realized that being frank and open did not work always … He started to sweat and then pushed on, complacent about his future. "Thus far …", Josephs tried to look more professional by wiping his forehead with an ironed handkerchief, "… virtual kidnappings are most common in Latin America, specifically Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, and … Mexico." He knew that Mexico was the closest he could get and his best bet.

David brought his hands together as if praying, hiding himself, staring at the floor.

After a tense stance, he finally murmured.

"And … suppose this is the case …", his voice sounded tired, "… what's the usual procedure?"

Josephs glanced at Oshrim and he nodded.

"We would assume this guy is innocent …", David lifted his head up in yet another astoundment and daze, his blood-red eyes staring directly at detective Josephs who evaded the penetrating stare, "… and we would attempt to discuss the situation for hours …", he rocked in his chair unconsciously, Oshrim looking at him, "… maybe even a day or sometimes … longer."

"Longer than a day?" David clasped his hands and stared up at his wife. She kissed him on his forehead. He mumbled something on Hebrew.

"Unfortunately …" Detective Oshrim dared.

"And then? …" David leaned back and wiped his forehead, his wife helping him.

"Give him a fair trial …", Josephs sighed, "... find him guilty … send him to prison for a few years where he'll get out and …", David's eyes widened and Oshrim almost laughed aloud as his lip curled into a mocking sneer, "… and most likely do something stupid again."

"Stupid? … Again?" David looked around in consternation. Other police officers either nodded or did not move.

"While in prison …", Josephs cleared his throat and then sipped some water, "… he will have a roof over his head, … watch cable TV, … eat and maybe learn the law and …", David was gaping in even greater demoralization at detective Josephs, "… and before we know …", he checked on his tie knot, "… he'll turn around and sue the police negotiator and local and federal governments …", someone yelled they found some wi-fi trace, "… and all this and more is paid for with our tax dollars!"

"That's right you sonofabitch!" David rose up, fuming like a dragon. "OUR tax dollars, NOT yours!" He wanted to throw something at the detective but his wife prevented, as the other members of Levit family also stopped the incident.

Suddenly an officer with headphones waved and the call was placed.

David took a deep breath, exhaled and then answered his cell phone.

"Yes?"

"David Levit?" Distorted voice went over the speakers.

"Yes?!" David was tight and strung out like a bow, listening for every possible relinquishing detail.

"Dr. David Levit?" Distorted voice continued. Some could even bet they heard feeble Moses' moaning in the background.

"That's me …" David's eyes did not blink as his blood pressure rose up, expecting the result like a nigger in the courtroom.

"You really think that I would demand ANYTHING from such a filthy scum like you?" There was a tense pause as Moses' cries now became evident. David's wife started to sob. "The Jews will be hanged one after another, and they will stay hanging until they stink!"

They heard a wooden chair drop to the concrete floor and then some choking sounds, as well as of a rope tightening. Levit's family members started to cry, assuming they were sounds of the freshly hanged Moses.

"Heil Hitler!" Distorted voice shrieked out and then the connection was cut off.

The mourning atmosphere was even gloomier as David himself started to sob slowly.

"We should have never negotiated with the terrorists …" Detective Josephs offered in consolidation and then David, ravaging mad, devastated and in a complete foray, started to chase detective Josephs.

Only this time … no one prevented him from doing it.