Next Case
Next case
Image from Bernd Helfert
Note: This story was written totally on a whim, for humor purposes. DO NOT TAKE SERIOUSLY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

By Michael Boncher (2008)

Maybe it was the fact that there wasn't any grass on the entire planet. Maybe it was the fact that there was a superbright AI that took care of everything so people didn't have to work. Maybe it was the fact that you just couldn't cram seventy million people into a single city without some of them getting mad at each other. For whatever reason, people who lived in a year that had five digits were still committing crimes.

That was why Judge Steinberg still had a job, listening to the cases and deciding what bail would be. It was just public relations for the masses, he knew, but he'd do his job.

"Case Number 4893279553, the Protector my His Code remain forever Pure, vs. Saeed Gharahman, the charge is seventeen murders."

"How does the defendant plead?" Steinberg asked.

"Not guilty do to extenuating circumstances." said the public defender.

"Your honor, the man committed these murders over the course of two years, removed the heads with his bare hands, and took them back to his apartment where he injected them with nanotechnology to animate the muscles in the mouths enough to give him a blow job. We demand the defendant be held without bail." said the prosecutor.

"It was an accident." pleaded the public defender.

"Defendant is held without bail." said Steinberg. "Next case."

"Case Number 4893279554, The Protector, may His Code remain forever Pure, vs. Annick Prieur. The charge is Grand Theft Public Building."

"Didn't I see this one before?" Steinberg asked.

"We arrested the wrong person." admitted the prosecutor. "We thought that the person who had stolen the Haverford Bridge was the same one who had stolen the Fisher Bridge, but we were incorrect. However, we have rectified our error."

Steinberg sighed. "How does the defendant plead."


"Does The Protector, may His Code remain forever Pure, wish to argue this plea?"

"No, provided she serves her time in a prison with a time multiplier not greater than 1.7 and not less than .8."

"Let the record show that those are the conditions. Next case."

"Case Number 4893279555, The Protector, may His Code remain forever Pure, vs. the Dursleys. The charge is child abuse."

"How do the defendants plead?" Steinberg crinkled his nose, there was an odd smell that he couldn't quite identify in the air. The three people before him didn't look like much, mostly fat or trying hard to get that way.

"Not guilty."

"Your honor, they locked this child up in a cupboard underneath the elevator lift for much of his life. The people demand a bail of no less than $50,000 credits."

"Your honor, this is excessive." said the defense lawyer, who was evidently not a public defender judging by his expensive suit.

"They are honest, hardworking people who made an error in judgement."

Steinberg had been inclind to go easy on the trio, but they stank and he detested people who didn't wash. "Bail is set at 70,000 credits. Next case."

"Case Number 4893279556, The Protector, may His Code remain forever Pure, vs. the Staff of the Hogwarts Academy of Wizardly. The charges are Not Reporting a Case of Child Abuse, and several thousand counts of Illegal Pets. Due to space restrictions, only one representative is here."

"How does the defendant plead."

The representative looked quite mad, gibbering insanely. "This is a all plot by You-Know-Who, it has to be. The world isn't like this."

The public defender was saner, though. "Your Honor, for over forty years this man, and those who work with him, have been engaged in a very complex simulated reality setting. They are no longer able to deal with the world, and I plead guilty by reason of mental defect."

"Does The Protector, may His Code remain forever Pure, wish to contest this plea?"

"No, providing the defendants undergo extensive ecstasy treatments to prepare them for the real world." said the prosecutor.

"Let the record show that these are the conditions." The smell was still here, and growing stronger, like sulfur and brimstone combined. "Next case."

The next defendant was some kind of alien or droid or genie, bipedal but with horns, a forked tail and red skin. The smell was coming from him.

"Case Number 4893279554, The Protector, may His Code remain forever Pure, vs. The Devil. The charge is Incitement to Commit Crime."

"What crime?" Steinberg asked.

"All of them."

"How does the defendant plea?"

"Not guilty." said the defendant in a voice that seemed to whisper of the lies that you wanted to hear and the truths you were afraid to know.

"The suspect has a history of leaving the jurisdiction once caught," said the prosecutor. "Only to return at a later date. We demand that the suspect be held without bail, as he commands sufficient financial resources to pay his bail and flee the jurisdiction."

"So noted. The suspect is held without bail. Next case."

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