STORY: Justice Ch. 11

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:30 pm
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[personal profile] moxie_man

“Government Counsel shall go first.”

“Thank you, your Honor.” The lemur turned to the jury. “Ladies and gentlefurs, there is only one decision you can come to. The accused is guilty as charged. He confessed his guilt previously in a plea bargain. One only does so if one believes they are guilty and believe they’re getting a better deal by not going to trial. During his time in the Circle, he confessed that he had pled guilty. There is no question of his guilt, which I’m sure you will agree to after deliberation.” She pointed to Aldin. “The victim is a kind soul and has requested leniency. You can grant leniency by reducing the sentence, but don’t let the accused get away with attempted murder.” She sat down.

The ferret immediately got up and paced in front of the jury, all the while making eye contact with every member. “My client should never have been accused of attempted murder. Even the ‘victim’ has told you he is innocent of that charge and if it were possible to extradite the accused to the victim’s home world, he’s push to have the charges dropped against my client. Parliament charged him with fighting, nothing more. As you have listened to the testimony of my client, the ‘victim,’ and others, it is clear that my client is the actual victim here and not the perpetrator. He was baited into a fight by the ‘victim’ who intentionally broke the laws of Parliament and hospitalized my client in the process.” He pointed at Aldin. “The ‘victim’ admitted as such immediately after the fight and again here in testimony! If you find my client guilty, you are only adding to the injustices Mr. Enhray has endured.” The ferret sat down.

Judge Perraul turned to the jury and gave them final instructions. They exited the courtroom.


The news otter stared into a camera drone. “This is Jerrico, WNN, once again reporting to you live from outside the Alisferil Region Court House in Forestdale, where we are now on day three of the jury’s deliberations in the trial of former Alisferil Representative Enhray, accused of attempted murder of Al-den Bush-E-tail, Terran Embassahder of the Nah-mah-cant-ah Free Squirrels…” he trailed off as he listened to something in his earpiece. “It appears the jury has made a decision. We take you now inside the court room.”


“All rise!” All did so as Judge Perraul entered and sat. Everyone else then sat.

“The jury may enter.” The jury did so and took their seats. Judge Perraul turned to the chosen spokesperson for the jury who remained standing. “Enhray, the accused, is charged with attempted murder of Embassahder Al-den Bush-E-tail. Have you have come to a unanimous decision?

“Yes, your honor. On the charge of attempted murder,” he paused,” we find Mr. Ehnray is guilty as charged.” The visitors’ gallery was filled with gasps of disbelief as security guards stepped forward to restrain Ehnray. “And.”

Judge Perraul looked at the spokesperson. “And?”

“While most present know our justice system, the victim, may not. So I will explain and then move forward with the ‘and’. While the jury is responsible for determining the guilt or innocence of a perpetrator on the charges presented to them, they may also determine other charges the perpetrator is guilty of based on the testimony presented in the case. As stated previously, Mr. Enhray has been found guilty of attempted murder. After long deliberations, we had no choice in that as he had already plead guilty to the charge previously. Even though it was allowed to be withdrawn, we could not ignore that. Per our laws a guilty plea cannot be withdrawn by the perpetrator.

“As for the ‘And’, though wild cousin squirrel is legal to hunt here in Alisferil Region, it is not legal to hunt it in the Capital District where the fight took place as the Capital District is a designated preserve zone. As part of his testimony, Mr. Ehnray has admitted to attempting to hunt the Embassahder whom he deemed a wild cousin at the time. So, in addition to attempted murder, we find him guilty of attempted poaching. The jury recommends a sentence on the lesser charge of three months prison time.”

Judge Perraul nodded. “And on the attempted murder charge?”

“Due to the status of the victim, Mr. Ehnray should get ten years.” He paused as Enhray’s wife started to weep. Enhray glared over at Aldin as the security guards held him in place.

“However, due to the request for leniency by the victim, we recommend the minimum sentence allowed, two years.”

“The jury has found that the perpetrator is guilty of two charges. The sentences shall be concurrent. The perpetrator shall serve two years in prison minus time already served,” Judge Perraul hammered his gavel once and then looked directly at Aldin. “Is the victim satisfied with the sentence?”

(chatterspit) “No, I am not satisfied, your Honor,” Aldin replied as his tail lashed out back and forth in agitation. “I am deeply disappointed. The humans of my world have a similar inefficient and sometimes unjust joo-dish-al system. I had hoped for a better outcome here.”

“Mr. Ehnray’s sentence has been reduced. However, if you are not satisfied, you may request a retrial as is your right.”

“No, your Honor. Based on what the jury’s speaker stated, I believe that would be a waste of everyone’s time at this point.”

The guards struggled in restraining Enhray. “We had a deal, tree rat!”

“Yes, Enhray, we did and that deal still stands. Please be patient. You’ll go home shortly. I promise,” Aldin replied as he pulled his personal flat panel off his back and started tapping.

“Embassahder, you don’t seem to understand,” Judge Perraul said. “The perpetrator will be escorted back to prison immediately as he’s been found guilty.”

“I understand, your Honor. However, he will not be returning to prison. I do not know if you have ever played games of chance involving,” he paused a moment and switched to English for the next word, “cards. I am not even sure if you have ‘cards’ here as I have not yet seen anything like it here. So, I do not know if the phrase I am about to utter will make any sense. I promised Enhray I have ‘an ace up my sleeve’ should things go wrong at trial. I just need a moment, please.”

Aldin finished tapping a code on his flat panel. Against a wall near the judge a purple light came on one of the wall panels. Aldin went to it and held his paw where it could be scanned. Text appeared on screen requesting an eye scan. After the scan, Aldin blinked a few times from the bright light as the light on the panel turned green.

“Paw and retina prints confirmed,” uttered a female computer voice. “Please state the verbal password for voice print confirmation.”

Aldin uttered in English, “Found guilty, proceed.” He then switched to chitterspeak, “chitterchatterchitchit.”

“Voice print matches. Password accepted.”

A middle age vixen appeared on screen.

“You probably know who I am, but to make this official, I will identify myself. This is citizen Mara of the Northeastern Hills Region, a research chemist. I served as Chancellor of the 805th Session of the United Earth Parliament that ended just over 2 months ago.

“Embassahder Aldin Bush-E-tail has informed me that former Representative Ehnray was sent to prison not for the two months he should have served for fighting on the floor of Parliament but for five years for attempted murder.”

“Parliament has its own sets of rules and laws that govern it outside of normal law. Those laws are in place to protect those who serve. For example, an employer cannot fire a citizen chosen to serve while they are away serving in Parliament.” Her eyes narrowed as she glared at the camera. “I am not pleased that someone overrode the recommendations of Parliament and I have filed a complaint with my current Representative. I promise you, this will be investigated as it is an attempt to undermine the powers granted to Parliament.”

“Though once again a private citizen, as I have served as Chancellor there is one power I retain for life. I can grant clemency to a perpetrator for crimes committed during the time period I served as Chancellor. The Embassaher has requested I use this power in this instance. I take that power seriously. As I informed the Embassahder. I have decided that I would only use it IF former Representative Ehnray went through a jury trial and was still found guilty. Sadly, if you are watching this pre-recorded message than that has occurred.

“By the power invested in me, I, Mara, Chancellor of the 805th Session of the United Earth Parliament do hereby grant Ehnray the Pine Marten of Alisferil Region clemency for any and all crimes he has been found guilty of that occurred during the period of time I served as Chancellor. As this strikes all criminal charges from his record he is to immediately be set free.

“I need a minimum of three members of that Parliament to agree in order to make this grant of clemency official. It turns out I am not the only one to find this interference in matters of Parliament troubling. Following this message you will find twenty members concur with granting clemency to Mr. Ehnray. If I had had more time, I suspect I would have had more willing to concur.”

Mara’s image faded from the screen to be replaced by recorded messages from twenty members of Parliament, which appeared one after the other, all stating their name, what region they had represented during the 805th session, and that they concurred with the grant of clemency. The court room was silent as all watched. When the screen finally went blank, Judge Perraul stared at the blank screen and then looked down at Aldin.

“I have never heard of a Chancellor using that power before.”

“It was last used about seventy years ago to allow a dying perpetrator to die at home among their family. You may research it if you wish, your Honor, to make sure it is legal. You’ll find it in…”

“No need. I saw the steps you had to go through to initiate playback of the secure message. It is extremely rare to require more than two forms of verification.” Judge Perraul looked up and around the chamber. “As the charges in question occurred on the floor of the 805th Parliament and the Chancellor of that session of Parliament has granted clemency, let any records of the charges and punishment for Mr. Ehnray be struck from the records. He is free to go.” The bear hammered his gavel and the courtroom erupted in cheers from all except government counsel. She simply glared across the room at the small squirrel.

Phyllis and Enhray’s three children rushed down to the floor and enveloped Enhray in a group hug. When they broke up Aldin cautiously approached Enhray and offered a paw in handshake. Enhray refused the paw. Instead, he scooped the small squirrel up in a hug. Cameras flashed. “Thank you,” he whispered. “But please don’t ever come near me again, Embassahder. You smell too tasty. I don’t want to be tempted like that again.”

Please Try This At Home...

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:06 pm
waitingman: (Scream)
[personal profile] waitingman
... because stupid is as stupid does - there's no point telling people not to

Man gets his penis stuck in a gym weight

And you thought you were having a bad day... imagine being the guy using the angle grinder!!

In other news... not much. No drama, no photos. Work, eat, sleep, repeat

Off tomorrow!

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:43 pm
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
On my grand and crazy choral adventure through Europe.  So you won't be seeing a lot of me here, though I will undoubtedly be all over Facebook like a rash.  Incidentally, it turns out that I'm in Paris for the Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre, which is very exciting, and means that I have been madly signing up to free exhibitions and tours of all sorts of things.  I shall report back when I can.

I finished up work on Friday, but have been running around like a madwoman ever since, because what with everyone around me having horrible health scares or worse this year, I'm beginning to feel a bit morbid about my trip and wanted to see everyone before I left just in case I died while overseas.

Yeah, that's the inside of my brain right now.  It does not sleep.  Sleep is for the weak!  (Or for the plane.)

I also have apparently decided that I am only allowed to ignore the postal survey if I have written EVERY IMAGINABLE POLITICS BLOG POST before I leave.  So in addition to the one from last week, I wrote an epic piece yesterday fact-checking one of those long lists about all the ways countries lost their religious freedom after achieving marriage equality (hint: they really didn't. Also, some people are really paranoid about gender fluidity), and I'm working on four more pieces which will publish at various points while I'm away and after I come back.   Because I'm nuts.

Oh, and I posted my vote back on Monday, because that's rather more important than just writing endless essays...

For a different flavour of nuttiness, we're doing the Global Challenge at work this year, and our team is called 'one small step for science', which pretty much mandates an astronaut theme – and so on Saturday, I led my team on our first big group walk to the planetarium.  We met in Brunswick, at Handsome Her, a café that has achieved peak Brunswick by being vegan, environmentally sensitive (glass straws, no disposable cups or serviettes, free compost out the back for your garden) and feminist (men have to pay an 18% surcharge, which is donated to a women's shelter, and the walls are covered with vulva-themed art.  Except in the bathrooms, which have a menstruation art theme.  It's quite... something.).  Also hipster - every item on the menu has about twenty different elements, including things like charcoal brioche buns, smoked avocado and strawberry baobab ice cream.  Oh, and also all menu items are named for feminist icons.  And there are four kinds of non-dairy milk available for your coffee.

It's hilarious.  The food's pretty good, too.

Anyway, having stuffed ourselves silly on vegan yummies, we embarked on our journey, which quickly turned into a bit of a death march because everyone had arrived late, which meant we hit Brunch Peak Hour, which meant we left late, which meant we had just over 2 hours in which to walk the 12 km to the planetarium before our show started.  Ouch.

We started by walking along the Capital City trail, through Royal Park, until we met Flemington Bridge. Which we hadn't been expecting to meet, but evidently we got onto the wrong trail in Royal Park.  Fortunately this was, if anything, a short cut. Then we wandered through the streets of Kensington, and along a rather pretty path between houses and gardens with rather farm like fences that made us feel as though we were being herded like cattle - we were on the site of the old abbatoir, as it turned out!

Next we walked along the Maribyrnong River for a while, past the glorious golden Buddha statue, and then sadly left it behind us to walk along a rather busy road and under the Westgate Bridge. We had to take a slight shortcut at this point, which was a pity, because we missed a nice little footbridge out over the water.

Finally, we reached the planetarium - five minutes before our show was due to start!  We rushed in, and got to watch a gorgeous show about stars and how they work, which had really spectacular artwork - they would visualise the star as it would look, then stylise it into an art-deco / stained glass sort of design, and it was just stunning.  This was followed by a guided tour of the night sky over Melbourne in September, which referenced the indigenous constellations, and was really fantastic.  Finally, we got a special extra video about the Cassini mission to Saturn, which had of course ended the night before.  So that was really a nice touch, and we all walked out resolving to do some actual star-watching at a later challenge date.

And then we caught the ferry home, because if you can catch the ferry, you must catch the ferry.  That is the rule.

It was spectacular, and fun, and I got 26,700 steps and hurt all over for two days.  But it was worth it.

And this is me signing off for now - I have politics blog posts to write and a bag to pack.  See you next month!

Jose, go home, your drunk! (still)

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:49 am
moxie_man: (Default)
[personal profile] moxie_man
Jose has weakened to a tropical storm, though as I noted yesterday, it looks more like a cold core nor'easter and not like a warm core tropical system. The center of Jose is currently sitting a few hundred miles southwest of NYC. Basically, pull Mass off the map, lay it out at a southwest angle from NYC and the center of Jose would be sitting on the tip of Cape Cod. The outer bands of Jose are raining on eastern Long Island, RI, and Cape Cod. We have heavy swells up here in Maine.

Long range forecast shows Jose continues to be a drunk. It should transition to extra-tropical (ie cold core) status later today or tomorrow. I can't believe the hurricane hunter planes they've sent through it keep finding evidence of a warm core system based on what I see on satellite photos. Anyway, Jose will continue to meander in a second loop off Cape Cod and hang around through part of next week where it will either dissipate or get absorbed by Maria.

I wonder if we'll lose any tourists to them as we have in the past. What happens is tourists will get too close to the waves for that perfect picture, get caught in one and swept out to sea.

Meanwhile, Maria has "weakened" from 165mph (265kmph) to 155mph (249kmph), so a maximum Cat 4 instead of a Cat 5. Damage potential--not much difference for the folks in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, where Maria is currently in the process of crossing over.

As kind of mentioned above, Maria is forecasted to head-up the Eastern Seaboard basically on the same path as Jose without looping. It may clip Cape Cod next Wed-Thurs and then brush by Nova Scotia and clip southwestern Newfoundland by next weekend.

Using only the Brat Pack

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:07 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Cast a 1980s New Teen Titans film....
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
It occurs to me I haven't looked at the Heavy Gear rules in a long time....

STORY: Justice Ch. 9

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:10 pm
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[personal profile] moxie_man

“The Government’s next witness is unable to travel here, but is in a court room in her home region,” stated the lemur representing the Government’s case against Enhray. She tapped a button on her flat panel. A three-dimensional hologram materialized in the witness circle showing a good rendition of Aouphril. Aldin was fascinated with the technology as he looked on. The image of Aouphril looked about. She looked off slightly to one side and stifled a yawn.

“This appears to be working at my end, but the flat panel in this room is to one side. So, when asked a question, I’ll be looking to one side. I’ll do my best to remember to look at the camera when answering questions, Counsel,” Aouphril stated. “My apologies if I look sleepy. It is the middle of the night in my time zone.”

The lemur nodded. She then started. “Please state who you are, where you are from, and your occupation.”

“I am Aouphril, mate of Orlan. I live in the Northeast Hills Region. I am a student in my final year at Nadowahoc College.”

“How long have you known the victim, Ms. Aouphril.”

“Since his arrival in our world approximately three months ago. I was the first citizen he encountered.”

“According to the records you spent time in quarantine with him.”

“That is correct, Counsel. Orlan and I both spent time in quarantine with Aldin. So did the doctor who tended to his broken arm and two orderlies who came into contact with him that first evening at the clinic.”

“While in quarantine, you watched the proceedings of Parliament?”

“Yes. Aldin was preparing to be questioned by Parliament. So, we watched the proceedings in preparation.”

“What did he say to you about that upcoming meeting?”

“Seeing some of the factions in the chamber, he feared he would be attacked. He warned me when it happened to be brave and do what I felt was necessary. I didn’t believe it would come to that, but it did.”

“There is video documentation of the resulting encounter,” the lemur stated. “However, I want to know what was going through your mind when the accused charged down on the floor.”

Aouphril lashed her tail back and forth. The tip blinked in and out of existence as it lashed out past the hologram sensors. “When Representative Enhray charged down on the floor and called Aldin a ‘Tree Rodent’, I was highly insulted. I was raised to give proper respect to other species. If I had used a similar term for another species in the hearing of my mother, she’d have twerked my ear so hard it would be sore for a week.”

“How did the victim react?”

“He didn’t react, which surprised me, for I knew he knew what the two words by themselves were. Then he said it back to Representative Enhray as part of his name. Enhray snarled calling Aldin a ‘talking lunch’ and leapt at him. Aldin rolled backwards, kicked-upwards with his hind paws and Enhray crashed into the Chancellor’s podium. It happened so quickly that the fight was over as soon as it had begun. I was too shocked to react at that moment.”

“But you did react afterward, correct?”

“Yes. Aldin surrendered the visitor’s circle and was escorted out of the chamber. I immediately stepped into it recalling Aldin’s instructions to do what I felt needed to be done after the fight. Not if there was a fight in his words, but after the fight.”

“And what did you say to Parliament?”

“I called shame on them for their failure to stop Enhray. I told them how we’d now be at war with Aldin’s people if he had been an official representative sent by them to us.”

“Thank you. No further questions, your Honor.”

Judge Perraul looked to the ferret. “Your witness.”

The ferret did not pace in front of the hologram as he had done with face-to-face witnesses. “Ms. Aouphril, you’ve known the victim since his arrival on Earth, correct?”


“And you assisted him in preparing to face Parliament?”

“Yes. I now know more about Parliamentary procedures then I’ll ever need to know unless my name comes up in the Lottery.”

“And he was one of the witnesses to your marriage to your mate…” the ferret glanced at his flatpanel a moment, “Orlan?”


“And the victim has continued to live with you and your mate since that time until the present?”


The ferret turned to the jury. “Please take note that this witness is very close to the victim and as such, her testimony may be influenced by that closeness.”

Aouphril’s fur bristled. The ferret raised his free hand briefly. “My apologies, Ms. Aouphril. I do not mean to insult you. But it is a fact you have been very close to the victim since his arrival and the jury needs to know that.” The ferret brushed a finger upward on the flat panel, looking for something a moment and then nodded. “While in quarantine, what exactly did the victim say to you in regards to a potential fight in the Parliament chamber?”

“That he expected there would be a fight.”

“Regardless of what he did?”


“Did he make any indication that he might start said fight?”

Aouphril hesitated a moment and then answered softly, “yes.”

“A little louder please.”

“Yes. Aldin said he believed the only way to get the faction of Parliament that believed he was just a wild cousin who was taught a few tricks to see he was more than that would be if there was a fight. He believed one of them would attack him, but if necessary, he’d start a fight to prove his point.”

“Per your testimony to Government Counsel, the victim knew what the terms ‘Tree’ and ‘Rodent’ where. Yet, he didn’t seem to react to them as every other squirrel in the chamber did when they were said in combination.”

“That is correct.”

“Yet he did understand the term. Per his own testimony here and in the video documentation,” the ferret tapped an icon on his flat panel and Aldin appeared on screen:

“I was fully aware he was trying to insult me with the term ‘tree ro-dent’ or as we say in English, ‘tree rat’. I knew he wood leap for me if I tossed the insult back at him in the way I did, playing in-no-sent and assuming the insult was part of his name.”

“Members of the jury, the victim started the fight per his own testimony and that of Ms. Aouphril. He wanted the accused to attack him.” He turned back to the holograph of Aouphril. “Thank you, Ms. Aouphril. I have no further questions.
full_metal_ox: (Default)
[personal profile] full_metal_ox posting in [community profile] metaquotes
[personal profile] sasha_honeypalm's musical tribute to Barbara G. Walker's (professionally published!) novel

Don't know much about history
Don't know much about theology
Don't know much 'bout how to write a book
Don't know how to cite the quotes I took
But I know all that I say must be true
And I know if you believed it, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much sociology
Don't know how to understand folklore
Don't know what a reference book is for
But I do know that one god is bad
And if we'd kept the goddess we once had
What a wonderful world this would be

Now, I don't claim to be a goddess
But I'm tryin' to be
For maybe if I'm a goddess, people
You'll all worship me.

Don't know much about history
Don't know much about technology
Don't know much...

[personal profile] rosepsyche's paean to the Power of Story is also quoteworthy:

I have to call "bull" on Antiope's reasoning that art and music are inferior because they are "not alive" for another reason. No, such creations aren't living, breathing things. However (and I apologize if this gets a bit corny), the best of them can seem as if they are alive, get us invested in their characters, have us cheering about their triumphs and crying over their tragedies. They are just as valuable in their own way for their ability to entertain, to inspire, to teach, to help us grow and develop by seeing the world from a new point of view, and I don't think anyone involved in creating them would appreciate being told that their work can never compare to something that was squeezed out of a vagina.

Context sporks the world's worst Wonder Woman fanfic.

I will follow this advice

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:19 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
According to my brother, one should not bounce a chainsaw off one's knee as it is very hard on denim.
moxie_man: (Default)
[personal profile] moxie_man
Jose with winds around 85mph (136kmph) is looking less like a hurricane and more like a nor'easter on satellite photos this morning. The current forecast models still keep it off shore, but threatening Cape Cod before wobbling eastward and then south, possible doing another loop before fizzling out. Southern New England could still see a couple of inches (5cm) of rain out of it starting tomorrow into Wednesday. Less rain up here in the Maine Wilderness.

Folks on the East coast need to keep an eye on Maria. It'll slam through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this Wed. as a major hurricane, possibly with winds as strong as 140mph (225kmph), 'cause they need a second major hurricane to hit them this month. After that, long range has Maria taking a similar tour as Jose, without the loop-de-loop and stay just off the Eastern Seaboard and threaten Cape Cod next Tues/Wed. As the forecast models have a difficult time with tropical systems, that means Maria could strike anywhere along the east cost from sometime this coming weekend through early next week.

Reminder: both my degrees were in general meteorology. Tropical was not my specialty and I usually only pay attention to the tropics if something major happens or if there is a storm of potential local interest to Maine. Our hurricane shield (MA's Cape Cod) usually protects us pretty well from the brunt of storms.

Jose, go home, your drunk!

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:57 pm
moxie_man: (Default)
[personal profile] moxie_man
Jose has completed it's loop-da-loop in the Atlantic, restrengthened to a Cat 1 hurricane despite some serious wind shear aloft, and may threaten Cape Code Monday night into Tuesday per one model and actually hit Long Island/Southern New England Monday night and make second landfall in Eastern Maine according to another model.

The first model goes out longer and shows Jose making ANOTHER loop and then brushing along Nova Scotia's southern coast early the following week (around the 25th or so). Said model also has Maria slamming into NC at about the same time.

All we can do is wait and see what happens.


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