What might that be?

In some nursery, a little kid is vivacious searching among his toys. Mogul can’t remember that scene; that must be something very old because this format of digital recording hasn’t been in use for all that long. Only when he slows down the speed of presentation does he realize what he’s looking at. It’s a sequence from the surveillance tape of the automatic camera in his nursery when he was four or five years old. At that age, everybody called him Tommy and not Thomas.

Tommy picks up a toy from a heap, glances at it for just a moment, drops it again and continues with another one. After some time Thomas Mogul notices the kid squeezes something under his armpit that’s not made of plastics like all his other toys. Only when Tommy sits down on the floor and tenderly presses this toy against his cheek does the long forgotten memory flash through Mogul’s mind.

For God’s sake–that is his Harlequin! His precious, his favourite toy–the one their servant once sewed together from motley bits of clothing. Harlequin was all in tatters from overuse and being hidden in various unseemly caches. That is why Harlequin was a strictly forbidden toy. A long-time ago, Tommy’s mother had confiscated it and thrown it into the trashcan. No child of hers was going to play with such an unhygienic and disgusting toy.

After Tommy finally recovered from his desperate cry he dug Harlequin out of trashcan. Since then, he caressed it in secret–mostly at night or when he was sure that his mother had gone out shopping or on some other errand.

Thomas Mogul suddenly shuts his eyes and his mental command interrupts the performance. Now he feels a shudder for the memory of that evening, when he was put to bed after supper.

A glittering light makes his eyes smart; his mother’s severe figure is at the door. Her hands are methodically searching through his bedclothes; inexorably she wrenches the Harlequin from his resisting hands. His cry of despair is in vain.

Mother reproaches him, “You naughty, ungrateful child–what do you mean by lying baldly to my face? Now I’ll take care of this disgusting thing once for all! I’m going right to the cellar to throw it into the stove!”

She hurries out of his bedroom and locks the door from outside. Tommy howls and beats on the locked door; his imagination shows him the terrible blaze devouring his poor, helpless Harlequin. The tears are sliding down his cheeks. Never since has he come to hate someone more than his own mother. Thomas Mogul is sitting motionlessly, stooping in his armchair when he suddenly feels some alien moisture behind his eyelids.


At the same instant, somewhere far away, the supervisor on duty flinches in surprise. A loud alarm rings out–the first after a long, long time–and one among many green indicators is now blinking carmine.

An anomaly!

After the first shock, the supervisor calls his superior with his mental command and after some moments, his drowsy face appears on the big screen on the wall. At first, the chief supervisor doesn’t understand what his excited subordinate is trying to tell him. But after a few moments, he starts to talk and his verbal commands are simultaneous with text running over the big screen. The entire procedure is precise and objective, strictly according to the set routine. Finally, the chief allows himself some personal remarks. Yes, the matter is unusual, even irrational–especially for a person of Mogul’s rank. Still, there shall be no deviation of the reign of law. During the whole operation, all the men involved have pay strict attention to discretion. Any unusual disturbance in that distinguished residential area is strictly forbidden. Any questions? No? The liquidation team must leave at once.

After the connection cuts off the supervisor leans comfortably back in his chair and sighs deeply. This unexpected event has given him a great relief. It’s all right, now. Finally, something outlawed has happened. His position won’t be cancelled.

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