Mike Williams series: A courtroom drama in space
Mike Williams had never had a vivid imagination. As a kid, he didn’t
have an imaginary friend and when he was playing with his sister he had a
hard time keeping up with her imagination. Where she saw a spaceship on
a mission, he saw a bed. Where she saw a dangerous cave in need of
exploration, he saw a closet.
In his teens, one of his friends invited him to join a live roleplay game. He wanted to see something else than nerds in homemade costumes, but he just couldn’t. He went down with a bored face, eaten by a large troll.
Mike was impressed by people who could just turn on their imagination, he was sure their worlds was a little bit more fun, but generally, he didn’t care that much. He was content with his life and his garden.
Back in the preparation room with the animated forest walls, Mike looked at Carl the lion and Morgan Freeman.
I wish this was just a dream, Mike thought, but it couldn’t possibly be. I could never make up anything like this. Aliens, space trials, that creepy Nai’zest and in front him Lay’tek as Morgan Freeman.
‘So, if you look different to everyone and you can be anyone or anything. I mean, you looked like my mom earlier, now you are Morgan Freeman. Are you male or female when you are yourself, Lay’tek?’
Morgan Freeman smiled.
‘What? What does that mean? Not that it matters. I just don’t understand.’
‘I’m not male or female, but as you say, it doesn’t matter. And we have bigger fish to fry.’
Carls whiskers look tangled.
‘That evil Nai’zest, he’s just out to get you. He doesn’t even care if it’s justice, he just wants a win. He is the most-‘
‘Thank you, Carl,’ Morgan Freeman interrupted. ‘That’s enough for now.’
He browsed through his papers, mumbling to himself.
‘Can we win this?’ Mike asked.
Morgan Freeman looked up from his papers and gave a nod.
‘It is possible.’
‘That would be the first time Nai’zest lost a case!’ exclaimed Carl and received an angry glance from Freeman.
‘What? Has he never lost? Why didn’t you tell me, Lay’tek? Do we really stand a chance or are you just trying to calm me down? Would you just be frank with me, I can’t take this anymore! There’s too much going on, I can’t handle it if you’re not earnest with me! I’m trying to figure all this out and I-‘
Freeman handed Mike something that looked like a triangular biscuit which Mike without thinking accepted and started to eat, preventing himself from rambling on.
‘Now, now, have something to eat, Mike. I will be earnest with you, as I have been all along. Nai’zest has not lost a case yet, and yes, he is very good. But we do have a chance even if it is a small one.’
Mike looked at Carl to
read his opinion while chewing on the surprisingly moisty biscuit. Carl
pressed his lips together as if trying not to object, his whiskers all
‘Remember, Mike, this is not a trial. This is a hearing to see if we are going to trial.’
‘If we lose today we will most certainly lose the actual trial,’ Carl burst out not able to hold his tongue any longer.
‘We don’t know that,’ Morgan Freeman said looking annoyed and irritated for the first time.
‘It always goes that way!’
‘There’s no point in losing all hope in advance, that’s not how we’re going to win this case!’
‘We are not going to win! Why won’t you realize that?’
‘Because I’m not just gonna give up on a whole species like a cowardly lion!’
Mike hadn’t discovered when Lay’tek had changed its form but it was no longer Morgan Freeman. Instead, Carl was facing a panther standing on two legs resting its paws on the table. Both were showing their big feline teeth, hissing and growling. It all came to an abrupt end when both were hit in the face with triangular biscuits.
‘We don’t have time for the two of you to be measuring your teeth! I don’t have time for it. What I need is a strategy, a thought out plan,’ Mike said giving the two embarrassed cats a stern look.
‘You are absolutely right, Mike.’ the panther said. ‘I’m afraid the times is almost up, but at least I have time to give you the last advice: Whatever dirty trick Nai’zest tries to pull, whatever insulting thing he blames you for, don’t lose your temper. If you lose your temper, you lose the last sparkle of sympathy from the judges and the council. If you lose your temper, we lose the case.’
An electronic voice informed them over the speakers:
’15 minutes break is now ending. Please be seated in a few moments.’