Posted in Fiction

Chapter 3: Not the driest palms

Mike Williams series: A courtroom drama in space

Mike Williams didn’t like to speak in public. It always seemed to make his palms sweaty. Once, at his parents anniversary, he was expected to make a toast. For weeks he was tormented and had a terrible stomach ache. On the big day, he tapped his glass, stood in front of all the guests, his palms all wet and managed to stammer ‘To mom and dad!’. It was a disaster.

He wasn’t sure how many people – or aliens – would be at the United Galaxy Council, but he was pretty sure that this crowd wouldn’t fit in his parents’ living room.
‘How am I supposed to address all the members of that council?’ he asked Carl.
‘The UGC? Ah, you see, Mike Williams, as soon as we go aboard the M/S UGC, you will get to meet your legal counsellor. Shouldn’t be long now.’ Carl glanced at a digital board at the wall showing a couple of weird symbols.
There were so many questions building up in Mike’s head, that they seemed to stumble upon one another.
I wonder what was in my drink, Mike thought to himself.

At the Mothership Mike was let to a small and almost empty room. Aside from a desk and two chairs, there was only a sharp ceiling light. The walls were naked and as he thought, this room could really use some windows, he realized how stupid that was. He was somewhere on a spaceship and come to think of it, he was glad there were no windows.
Carl had led him to the room where he was to wait for the legal counsellor. He was not sure whether to shake Carl’s paws when parting so he just made a small handwaving gesture which made Carl look very confused and his whiskers curl.

Mike had just seated himself at the desk when his mother wearing nothing but red lingerie entered the room. Of all the things Mike would expect to find on a spaceship, this wasn’t one of them. If Carl had surprised him, then it was nothing compared to how he felt now. Being abducted by a furry alien was like driving a bumper car, while this was backing a truck down a twisted mountain road 80 miles per hour while his pants were on fire.
‘Hi, Mike, I’m your legal counsellor,’ his mother said and placed a thick briefcase on the desk.
‘Oh, sorry, I’m Lay’tek. I’ve made a quick search on who male humans feel most safe with and I found the results to be either their mom or a sexy woman, so to make you feel truly safe and comfortable I decided to mix them.’ Her mom gave him a reassuring smile. Mike felt sick.
‘So you are not my mom…?
‘Oh, no. I’m a felta, you see.’
Mike felt like the truck was beginning to spin around.
‘I’m sorry, a what?’
His mom, or Lay’tek, or whoever it was, slapped its forehead.
‘My bad, I forgot how primitive earthers are. Only dipped your toe into space. A felta can take any form to those who look upon it. As far as it’s something familiar.’
Mike tried to understand.
‘So you can take any shape you want to? Like a shapeshifter?’
‘Almost. I can look different to everyone that looks at me at the same time.’
‘That is kind of cool. But what do you truly look like then? I’m not sure this mom/underwear model thing works for me, Lay’tek. Can’t you just be you?’
Lay’tek began sorting papers from her briefcase.
‘Sorry, Mike, I can’t because you wouldn’t understand. My true appearance is too far from your concepts.’ She wrinkled her nose at the bare walls and snapped her fingers. The walls immediately changed, like high-resolution screens and now Mike and Lay’tek appeared to be in a green forest.
‘Please just change, I’m sure I’ll handle it way better than this,’ Mike begged. Lay’tek gave him a calming pad on the shoulder.
‘My true appearance is best described as the visual version of the tickling feeling you get in your nose right before a sneeze. But I can change into something else that might work better for you. Because third on the list of reassuring beings was this guy.’
One moment his mom in kinky underwear was standing in front of him, the next it was Morgan Freeman.
‘Feel better?’ he asked with a gentle smile and a calming voice.
‘Yes, thank you,’ Mike sighed relieved and fell back into his chair.
‘Now let’s prepare for your big speech,’ Morgan Freeman said.

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