Mike Williams series: A courtroom drama in space
Mike Williams saw his life flash before his eyes, quite literally. The big screen behind him showed a slideshow of pictures from his life. Right from his first moments as a red-faced baby, to his childhood and now it was showing awful teenage pictures. The entire United Galaxy Council stared at him in a diaper, him missing his first tooth, him skinny and pimpled with a goofy smile. Lay’tek broke the silence.
“We chose Mike Williams for a reason. This is his life. He hates Mondays, he likes to have a beer with his friend, to tend to his garden. He has a pretty forgettable face, he’s never won anything in his life, he’s not smart or powerful. In fact, Mike Williams is one of the most boring and average humans on Earth. This is why we chose him, this is the rules: We choose an average citizen to reflect a specie.”
Mike wasn’t sure if he should feel offended, but something about Lay’tek in the appearance of Morgan Freeman, made him sit at the edge of his seat – just like all the aliens in the room.
“If this man, this guy, who doesn’t knew aliens existed, who in the face of the elimination of his home planet, just wants to water his roses and hug his mother – then what do we have to fear? Is this the violent and dangerous humans we have been warned about? Look at him. Look at that pale, sweaty face. Is that the face of someone so criminal, that the entire species must be imprisoned?”
The aliens started mumbling with one another until a loud voice broke the silence.
“Yes!” shouted Nai’zest. “That is the face of a horrific species that deserves to be punished.” His voice was trembling with desperation as he pointed with all his tentacles at Mike.
The hairy judge smacked its big palm at the table and the room went silent.
“It is time for a vote.”
Lay’tek leaned in at Mike and whispered.
“All the council members votes count as one vote. The three judges have one vote each. They must have the majority of votes to move this hearing to trial. You just need two out of the four votes in your favour to win.”
Carls whiskers was as messed up as ever, and Mike felt like they reflected his intestines.
The all-powerful voice was back.
“Are Mike Williams, representative for planet Earth, guilty as charged?”
Mike was suddenly happy, that all he had eaten was a biscuit.
The toad looking judge pushed a button on his table and the result was showing instantly at the big screen. If anyone was in doubt the booming voice announced it as well.
Don’t look at Nai’zest, don’t look at him! Mike thought to himself and looked straight at Nai’zest who gave him a flash of his predator teeth in a smug smile.
The hairy humanoid judge pressed a button as well.
Carl threw up in a paper bin in the corner. Nai’zest glanced with hatred at Judge Luuuted and Mike was suddenly happy, that he was not alone with the prosecutor. Lay’tek grabbed Mike’s arm as the final judge, the small and wrinkled one, was about to give its vote.
Mike felt his throat tighten, but he wasn’t sure if it was from a sob or if he simply was choking out of fear. It was up to the crowd. The council of aliens. Who didn’t know Earth. Didn’t know the sense of new beginning in the morning right before sunrise. Or the smell of dirt in the rain. The taste of chocolate. The unspoiled joy in the laugh of a child. Everything that made the Earth what it was. How could he, Mike Williams, have showed them? How could he ever impress them enough to convince them? What did they know about anything, with their tentacles and robot-arms and three legs and bat-wings?
“The Council Members!”
Mike closed his eyes, he didn’t pray, he didn’t cry. A whispering voice reached him.
“You don’t stand a chance, human Williams.”
If I lose this, Mike thought, I think I might throw myself at him. Try to take him down. Maybe I can stuff one of those tentacles up his nostrils before they drag me out.
“WHAT? That’s not possible!” screamed Nai’zest in rage. The three judges were already packing up and leaving the stage.
The fence in front of Mike Williams’ house was the same as ever. Yet, somehow, it looked completely different. His blue front door, his crocked mailbox, his roses climbing the wall – they all seemed so alien. He turned around to say goodbye to Carl the humanoid lion and Lay’tek in the shape of Morgan Freeman.
“I guess this is it farewell, then,” he said awkwardly padding his pockets for no reason.
“You did very well, Mike,” Lay’tek said.
“You totally saved all of humankind and your planet!” Carl agreed and padded Mike on the back. “And we have a surprise for you! Right, Lay’tek?”
“I’m not sure I’m up for any surprises right now. Or ever.”
“Since you won the hearing, it’s custom to give you a compensation for your time.” Lay’tek explained. “I figured you wouldn’t come by any Inter Galactic Space Stations to use your space money any time soon, so I took the liberty of buying you something.”
“What is it?”
Lay’tek gave him an all-knowing Morgan Freeman smile.
“Go take a look.”
As Mike went around his house, he heard a humming sound and knew Lay’tek and Carl was being beamed back to the shuttle ship. It really was over then. He went around the corner and in the middle of his tiny garden was a brand-new lawn tractor.