STORY: Justice Ch. 12-Epilogue

Sep. 21st, 2017 05:44 pm
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TWELVE-EPILOGUE (mild cussing)

Aldin scampered about collecting butternuts as a camera drone recorded him. He buried some as a wild cousin would. Others he stashed in a small knapsack inside a hollow at the base of a tree, which put to bed any thoughts one might have watching the footage as to whether or not he was a wild cousin. When filled, he carried the knapsack to the hovercraft and emptied it into a larger sack. He then went back and gathered more. Karl the skunk watched footage of this on two different monitors. The leaves on the deciduous trees around them were starting to change color.

“I think that’s enough footage for today,” stated as he powered-down the drone and started to disassemble it in order to store it for the return trip.

Aldin paused, drooping his tail. “But I have not filled my sack yet. It’s only half-full. And these butternuts are wonderful.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

“Have you ever tried one?” Aldin quickly stripped the husk off one, leaving a little bit of yellowish stain on his paws and offered it up to the skunk. “Go ahead.”

Karl hesitated for a moment and then took the offered nut and bit into it and chewed slowly. It was softer than he expected and did have a buttery taste. He was impressed. “That is tasty.”

“Yes, and I think they will be even better after roasting.”

“You’re trying to turn me into a squirrel, aren’t you, Embassahder? First you talk about teaching me to climb trees. Now you’re getting me to nibble on raw tree nuts. Next, you’ll be getting me to gather some with you.”

Aldin scuffed a paw. “Well, I was not going to ask, but it would help me fill that sack quicker. But you have nothing to worry about. My father studied genetics, not me. I’m sure if he was here and you asked, he could transform you into a squirrel. Me, not likely.”

Karl stared at Aldin over the statement about what his father could do. Aldin simply shrugged, turned, and continued to gather butternuts. He called back over his shoulder, “And I have not forgotten that promise. I am serious if you want to learn to climb, I’ll teach you, but you will need to grow your nails out like the others.” His knapsack filled again, he quickly scurried to the hovercraft to empty it into the sack.

“I’m still thinking about that,” Karl replied as he packed away the monitors. “But we need to get back to campus.”

“Just two more trips to fill the sack.”

“Why?”

Aldin paused. “It is the wild cousin instincts in me. I need to gather food like this because,” he paused and said the next line in a very serious tone, “Winter is coming.”

Karl looked at him nonplussed. “So?”

Aldin shook his head. Of course Karl wouldn’t get the reference. “A squirrel must always plan for the future. But I agree, we do need to get back, even if my sack is not full.” (drooptail) “I will have to come back out later. In about a klick-and-a-half I have an appointment I need to keep with a law counselor.”

“I thought you were finished with that trial a week ago.”

“Yes, I am, but as I just said, a squirrel must always plan for the future. I need to get a will written.”

“You have few possessions to worry about. What? Do you plan to leave these butternuts to your roommates?”

Aldin (gigglechittered) “I doubt they will last that long. Right now it is true that I have few possessions, but there is still something very important I need to make sure is taken care of.”

-------------------

“WNN. Our top headline this hour: Al-den Bush-E-tail has died. The small, wild cousin-like squirrel served in his role as Embassader of the Terran Nah-mah-cant-ah Free Squirrels for more than forty years. We’ll have a remembrance after the rest of our headlines…”

Someone pressed the door buzzer interrupting the news. The pine marten got off his cushion to answer the door. Outside, stood a ferret dressed in a business suit and tie with a small hover cargo pod by his side.

“Can I help you?”

The ferret bowed. “I am Elizus with the Mustelid Law Firm in Forestal. Is Mr. Ehnray home?”

The pine marten wiped a tear from his eye. “Yes, my father is here. He is his death bed. The doctor gives him a day or two at most. He’s currently resting asking us to leave him be for a little while.”

The ferret frowned. “I see. My father represented him in court forty some odd years ago. After that case, he was hired on by the Nahmakanta Free Squirrel Embassy on retainer. I took that job over after his retirement ten years ago. Father passed away two year ago, so I know what you’re going through. My condolences.” The ferret briefly bowed again.

“It was just announced on WNN that the Embassahder died.”

“Yes, he passed yesterday evening local time of natural causes. That is why I’m here. Your father is in the late Embassahder’s will. And should he pass, it goes to you and any of your surviving siblings. May I come in?”

The pine marten motioned him in. The cargo container followed a short distance behind the ferret.

“What is that?”

“The inheritance from the Embassahder. Is Mr. Ehnray lucid enough for a visitor?”

“We’ll see.” The pine marten led the ferret into a back room where Ehnray lay semi-curled up on a hammock bed breathing shallowly. His son went over to his side and touched his hand. “Father you have a visitor.”

Ehnray opened his eyes and focused on the ferret. “Do I know you?” he rasped.

“No, but you knew my father, Mr. Enhray. He represented you in court many years ago.”

Ehnray’s eyes widened a little. “Yes, I remember.” He breathed in and out a bit trying to build up a bit of strength. “You look just like your father and if I had known him while I was in the hospital, I would never have been found guilty. If I remember, after the trail, the Embassahder hired him. How is the Embassahder these days?”

“I’m sorry to say, Mr. Ehnray, he died last night. That is why I’m here.”

Ehnray blinked a couple times. “Really? I outlived him?”

“Yes. And he left you in his will. While, I find what he did highly unusual, I must respect my client’s wishes.” The ferret tapped an icon on his flatpanel. A quite young Aldin appeared on the entertainment panel on the wall.

“Hello Ehnray, or his survivors should I have outlived him.” Aldin’s tail flicked about briefly like he was waving it. “This part of my will I set in place about a week after you were granted clemency. If you are watching this, then I have passed onto whatever lays beyond this life. Among your people, cremation is the normal way your remains are disposed of. That is not the way of my people. We are not far removed from our wild cousin ancestors and remember our roots as a prey creature. Normally, we lay our dead in the open in the forest for predators and carrion eaters to consume.

“However, I recall in the trial how you said how much you enjoyed the taste of wild cousin squirrel. You asked that we never meet muzzle-to-muzzle again because I smelled like a tasty wild cousin squirrel to you, and you feared you would do me harm if we met again. And so I offer you my body so you can enjoy the taste of wild cousin “tree rat” one more time. Well,” Aldin shrugged, “pretty close to it anyway. I would be honored if you were the predator to consume my remains. If you want nothing to do with this, I understand and hope I have not caused offense. In that case, my counsel will transport my remains to a forest preserve and lay them in the open.” The screen went dark.

Enhray started to laugh hard and uncontrollably, which turned into a coughing fit.

While Enhray coughed, his son declared, “That’s disgusting! Didn’t that tree rat cause enough harm to my father all those years ago! How dare he do this!”

“That little shit!” Enhray stammered between coughs and shook his head giggling some more.

“Excuse me, Father, what was that last word?”

“That was Ing-lish,” Elizus responded. “The late Embassahder’s native language. If I remember right, it is a slang term for scat.”

Enhray nodded at Elizus, looked at his son and rasped, “Alonzo, there is nothing disgusting about his request. His people are different than ours...” He closed his eyes a moment and caught his breath. “As I learned over time. A few months after the trial, he checked in on me via video. We talked regularly for over a year after that. He respected my request not to visit in person.” He paused catching his breath. “I learned a lot about him and his people. In the process of those video conversations, we taught each other a few cuss words and their context in each other’s languages. ‘Shit’ is a mild cuss word in his Ing-lish. I also learned a few things I would never dare utter for fear it would summon your mother’s spirit from the next life long enough to smack me.” He chuckled again and closed his eyes in thought.

“I will honor the Embassahder’s last request.” He paused a moment. “We’ll stew him. As old as he is, a slow cook method will ensure he is nice and tender when served. Alonzo, you and your siblings, mates, children and any grandkits on hand will join me. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten wild cousin squirrel, even if it is just one small taste as there won’t be much meat on him, maybe a third of a kilo in total. The Embassahder may not have been a wild cousin, but he was awful close to being one. He smelled like one. I’ll bet he tastes like one.” Ehnray drooled a little.

As instructed all of Ehnray’s family present had some of the stew with their father that evening. He was more animated than he had been in some time as he ate the squirrel stew. They would agree that squirrel was delicious.

-------------------

“WNN. Our top headline this hour, Ehnray the Pine Marten, who once attempted to kill the late Embassahder Aldin Bush-E-tail, has died, just two days after the Embassahder. After the rest of the headlines, we’ll have a remembrance of this would-be assassin who was granted clemency for his crime…”


FIN

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Author’s notes:

No, that isn’t the end of my story telling with Aldin. However, he insisted that you, the readers, know this part of his will. Considering my family history, timeline-wise, I guess he plans to outlive me (chuckle) as an addition 40-some-odd years would put me a good decade plus beyond the maximum age any male member of my family has lived to date.

Also it's someone's B-day

Sep. 21st, 2017 05:53 am
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Not mine. Go wish [personal profile] whitetail a Happy Birthday!

Jose & Maria

Sep. 21st, 2017 05:44 am
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Jose is currently sitting about 150 miles (240km) southwest of Nantucket Island and will start drifting westerward today. The National Hurricane Center hasn't declared it extratropical yet, but I suspect that will take place later today or tomorrow AM at the latest. The outer bands of Jose continue to rain on Cape Cod and the islands (Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard) and will probably continue to do so through the end of the weekend and beyond when Jose will finally rain itself out and anything left will get absorbed by Maria.

The forecast for Maria puts it further east of previous forecasts. It will pass over the eastern Bahamas and then north off the eastern seaboard and west of Bermuda and then curve eastward south of Cape Cod and head out into the open Atlantic. Provided the forecast models are correct and of course, they always have a difficult time with hurricanes. Bottom line: if you're on the Eastern Seaboard, you need to keep an eye on it.

STORY: Justice Ch. 11

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:30 pm
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ELEVEN

“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.”

Jose, go home, your drunk! (still)

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:49 am
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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.

STORY: Justice Ch. 9

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:10 pm
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NINE

“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?”

“Yes.”

“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?”

“Yes.”

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

“Yes.”

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?”

“Yes?”

“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.
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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
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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.

STORY: Justice Ch. 7

Sep. 16th, 2017 05:51 pm
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SEVEN

“Court is now in session. All rise for the honorable Justice Stepin Perraul.”

A black bear in black robes entered the court room and sat behind the judge’s bench. Even sitting, he towered over all present. After he sat, everyone else sat. He looked at the dossier on his flat panel and then looked up. “Bring in the perpetrator.”

Enhray was escorted in by two security guards. The bear looked down at the pine marten.

“You’ve submitted a request to change your plea to ‘Not Guilty’ and receive a trial by jury. Your request is denied. Once a perpetrator confesses guilt he cannot uncon…”

The bear stopped in mid-sentence as the doors to the viewing gallery opened and closed. He watched a small gray squirrel find a seat. The squirrel noticed the bear looking at him.

“My apologies, your Honor, for my lateness. I hope that is the correct term. Like Mr. On-ray’s original trial date, I did not receive proper notification about this hearing.”

Judge Perraul closed his eyes a moment, took deep slow breath that was almost a sigh, and then reopened them.

“Then you will be happy to know, Em-bass-ah-der, that I was in the process of denying the perpetrator’s request for a retrial.”

Aldin briefly drooped his tail. “Forgive me, your Honor, I have not had time to read-up on the proper procedure. However, if you deny his request, I will file whatever forms are necessary for a retrial as is my right as the victim.”

There were hushed mumblings among the few in the courtroom as again, Judge Perraul closed his eyes and this time sighed. He looked up again. “Em-bass-ah-der, please approach the bench.” He glanced at the ferret sitting next to Enhray and a lemur off to one side. “The perpetrator’s and government’s counsels will do likewise.”

Aldin made his way down to the bench and stood next to the ferret and lemur. Both of them towered over Aldin. The judge towered far above all three of them. “You may come up here. This sidebar conversation is off the record for now.” All three climbed up. Aldin had all he could do to suppress his wild cousin instincts telling him to flee from such a large predator. The judge was larger than any bear he had ever seen back home. The bear quietly spoke so only the three of them could hear him. “Em-bass-ah-der, the perpetrator has already confessed his guilt. He cannot request a new trial.”

“My client plea bargained, your honor, while still recovering from a head injury,” the ferret interjected.

Judge Perraul glared at the ferret. “You’ll only address me when addressed. You and the government counsel are only up here to hear what I say to the victim.” He turned back to Aldin. “This is not your Terra or whatever you call your home. Our laws are different here.”

Aldin nodded. “Yes, I understand that, your Honor. I have also briefly read through your laws/rules regarding trials. If the victim is not satisfied with the sentence, the victim can request a new trial. If you will not grant the perpetrator his request to a new trial, then I will file for one on his behalf. I am not satisfied with the sentence. It is too harsh. Parliament charged him with fighting on the floor, not attempted murder.”

All three stared at him. The ferret tried hard not to grin.

“The perpetrator or his family hasn’t threatened you in any way have they?” Judge Perraul asked.

“No, your Honor. In fact, I gave the perpetrator a chance to rip me apart in his jail cell two days ago. He had me by the scruff of my neck, but he did no harm to me. He simply removed me from his cell. I would guess you can find a report on it in there.” Aldin pointed to the judge’s flat panel with his tail. “You will also find there is no way for him or his family to bribe me. Parliament has yet to decide if I am allowed to work or not, so I have no account in your world banking system. No account, no way to get paid. All I have is the embassy ‘charge account’, but I’ve already tried to receive payments for speaking engagements through that with no success.

“As I said, I will file for a retrial as I object to the length of the sentence. He should have served a maximum of two months per Parliament rules. I understand the rules are different here. It would be much easier back at Nahmakanta. Back home, all I would need to do is request the charges be dropped and that would be the end of it.”

All three stared at him.

“Please repeat that,” Judge Perraul requested.

“Among my people if the victim requests the charges be reduced or dropped against the perpetrator, they are dropped or reduced accordingly. Of course we do not jail those found guilty as we are at war and cannot spare any paws to watch someone in prison as our numbers are small. I do understand the prison thing as humans use it back home. Among my people, the punishment meets the crime. A fight like ours would have resulted in several klicks to several hundred klicks of community service. Attempted murder would mean banishment from the colony. I could go on, your Honor. However, I will do whatever it takes to get Enhray’s attempted murder charge dropped. If simply requesting to do so does not work here, so be it. If that means I need to submit a request for a new trial, then that is what I will do.”

Now the ferret was smiling.

Once again, Judge Perraul closed his eyes a moment in thought. “Please go back to your seats, I need to do some research.” He stood up.

“Due to who the victim is, I need to do some research in my chamber. Court will reconvene in one klick.”

“All rise!” a security guard cried out as Judge Perraul departed through a door behind the bench.

Immediately, the lemur went over to Aldin. “Have you lost your mind, Em-bass-ah-der? He tried to kill you and you’re trying to have him released?”

“Counsel, as I explained to Mr. On-ray in his jail cell, I started that fight intentionally. It would not have mattered who it was that charged down on the floor to challenge me, I would have picked a fight with them to prove the point I am not just some wild cousin who was trained to speak a few words. Any sentence longer than he has already served is unjust and I will do whatever it takes to get him released.”

“You are crazy!” the lemur threw up her paws and stormed back to her table knowing she was going to have a difficult trial ahead if the judge granted his request.

The ferret then approached him. “I must look out for my client’s interests, Em-bass-ah-der. Is what you said up there and to my client genuine?”

“Yes.”

The ferret’s grin was extra wide.

-----------------

A klick later, the door to the far chamber opened again.

“All rise!” a security guard called out. All did so as Judge Perraul reentered the chamber and sat down. Everyone else did likewise.

“I did some research and found that long before we were a united world, when the various regions were independent countries, most sent official representatives, what we call ‘Foreign Representative’ or as among the Embassahder’s people ‘Embassahder’, to those countries they had friendly ties with. If that foreign representative became victim of a crime, they had the right to have the perpetrator extradited to their home country to face trial under their laws rather than in the country the crime originated in.

“Technically, at the time the crime was committed, Al-den Bush-E-tail of Terra was not yet appointed, Embassahder of the Terran Nah-mah-kant-ah Free Squirrels. However, I will ignore that as he was appointed to that position soon after. Per our sidebar conversation, the Embassahder has made a request that the accused perpetrator be tried under the rules of his home country. Unfortunately, there is no way to extradite the accused perpetrator to Terra as we do not know where it is nor have any way of making contact with Terra at this time. Our laws do not allow a charge of this magnitude to simply be dropped as the Embassahder has indicated would be allowed in his country if the victim requests it. As a compromise, I shall allow the accused to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial. That trial shall commence in one week. Counsels, prepare your arguments accordingly. The accused perpetrator is, hereby, transferred from the region prison to house arrest until said trial.” He then looked directly at Aldin. “There is to be no further contact between the victim and the accused until the trial. If contact is made between the two, this compromise is void, the guilty plea will be reinstated, and the perpetrator will return to prison to continue serving his five-year sentence.” Judge Perraul picked-up the gavel on his bench and hammered it once.

STORY: Justice Ch. 6

Sep. 15th, 2017 02:02 pm
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[personal profile] moxie_man
SIX

“PUT THE EMBASSAHDER DOWN!”

“So, On-ray,” Aldin looked at him from where he dangled in the pine marten’s grasp, “last time we met, you tried to attack this ‘Talking meal,’ which did not turn out all that well, did it? You got five years in prison thanks to me. Here’s your chance for revenge if you prefer to stay in prison. And if you’re quick enough you might even gulp me down in four or five mouthfuls before they can do anything about it. At least then you’d have committed the crime for which you’re trying to serve the time. Of course, if you choose revenge, then you will not go home to your family anytime soon. Are you interested in freedom or staying here in prison?”

“PUT THE EMBASSAHDER DOWN!”

Enhray held Aldin there a moment in thought. Just one quick slash with his free hand just like the suicidal tree rat suggested. It was SO tempting. He then shook the thought from his head recalling how his last encounter with this small tree rat ended. And last time the tree rat had one arm in a cast. That wasn’t the case now. Enhray cussed again and then replied, “I’m not that stupid.” He turned to the guards. “I’ll bring the Em-bass-ah-der to you. Don’t fire. You might hit him!”

He carried the squirrel to the cell door. He dangled him near the lock until the light turned green. He opened it enough to set Aldin down and then locked himself back in the cell and held his hands in the air again. He mumbled another cuss word under his breath, which like the others, Aldin couldn’t quite catch. The guards rushed forward with their weapons drawn and put the Aldin behind them. Immediately, the indicator lights on their weapons turned green. No one noticed the wet paw prints Aldin left on the floor.

“Please do not shoot him,” Aldin calmly requested. “As you can see, no harm came to me.”

After some hesitation, the guards slowly lowered their weapons.

“Crazy tree rat,” Enhray mumbled. “Not happy seeing me in prison, you’re trying to get me killed!”

“Maybe I am crazy, but you are now talking more than just ‘go away’.” Aldin waved his arms at the guards. “Please put your weapons away. They are not needed. Now that I have gotten his attention, may I have some privacy with the prisoner so we can continue our conversation?”

All of security but the raccoon slowly filed back out after glancing at the coon, who nodded. Once alone, the coon thrashed his tail back and forth as he glared at Aldin, pointing a finger close to his chest. “I’m only allowing you to stay because you are the Embassahder. But I don’t care what your title is. Even if you were suddenly made Chancellor. If you pull a stunt like that a second time you’ll find your tail out that door,” he pointed at the door behind him, “so fast the rest of you will have a hard time keeping up with it!”

Aldin nodded. “I understand, officer.”

The raccoon stepped back out, except this time, he didn’t secure the outer door.

Aldin made himself comfortable again on the sitting cushion. “Now where were we before that interruption?” He pondered a moment. “Oh, yes, I was asking you why you are in there and not home with your family where you belong.”

Enhray sighed as he paced in the cell. “Obviously you won’t leave me be until I answer your questions. I pled guilty to attempted murder.”

“Now why would you do that?” Aldin briefly held his tail up in a curl. (curiousflick)

“BECAUSE I [PG-13] TRIED TO KILL YOU!” Enhray bellowed as he glared at Aldin through the bars. He threw his hands up in the air. “There, I’ve confessed to you now! Are you happy? Are you here to gloat at me, Em-bass-ah-der Tree Rat?” He added the title in a sarcastic tone.

“No, I am not happy,” Aldin replied calmly. “Nor am I here to gloat at you. If all I was going to do was gloat, I would not have put my life in your paws just now. Instead, I’d have just sat here and taunted you until I got a reaction. However, that’s not my way, On-ray.”

“Uh huh, right. You’d have just let me rip your throat out. If so, you’re crazier than I thought.”

“Now, there, you’re correct. I’d have tried to stop you, but by holding me by the scruff of my neck, I’d have been hard pressed to avoid serious injury. A squirrel’s reflexes are quick, but that’s one position that is difficult to defend from. Our combat training does not cover it ‘cause the enemy we face back home is not large enough to lift us by our scruff.” Aldin flicked his tail back and forth slowly a couple times.

“Anyway, back to our first encounter where you believed you tried to kill me. Did you really try?” He looked down at himself brushing at his fur and felt behind at the scruff of his neck with a hind paw. “You did not do a very good job of it. I came out of it unscathed. And I just gave you another chance. You had me in your grasp at your mercy and you did not even pierce my skin. After talking to your wife, I knew you would not, On-ray. You are not that bad a person the way she told it. Or she is a really good actress, and you just blew your chance at a tree rat snack.” Aldin (gigglechittered) trying to lighten the mood up. Enhray simply stared at him.

“Look, On-ray, maybe all you really did was pick a fight, huh? And then some over-zealous judge or,” he used the English word for the next word, “lawyer, or whatever it is you have in your justice system decided to press bigger charges, because of who you fought with despite Parliament’s charge of fighting-only. That was the only charge they wanted pressed. And for some reason you chose to plead guilty to the larger charge anyway. Sounds like you did not have a lawyer to advise you.”

“I leapt at you with the intention of killing you.”

“And you think I was not expecting that nor prepared for it? Back home some wild cousin predators tend to make that mistake from time to time with my people. They do not tend to make it more than once.” Aldin started tapping away on his small flat panel. “According to Parliamentary Rules,” he held the flat panel where the marten could read the text if he chose and paused a moment and (gigglechittered). “Yes, the very rules I had offered to let you reread just before I tossed your insult back at you and you jumped at me. Anyway, according to those rules, the maximum punishment for fighting on the floor of Parliament is 2 months prison time. It’s been a little over 2 months now. You have more than served an ‘appropriate’ punishment for that crime. So, why not fight the new charge?”

“Is this a trick? I got off easy at five years by pleading guilty. If I go to trial, it could be twenty.”

Aldin tapped his flat panel again read something, put an earbud to his ear and listened to ensure he was reading it right and then tapped something else. “According to this,” he motioned at the text on his flat panel, “provided I am reading and hearing this right as my ability to read Common is not that great yet, but it improves every day. Anyway, as the ‘victim’ of this crime, if the per-pah-tray-ter is found guilty, and I am not satisfied with the punishment, I can request a new trial, with the understanding that the…per-pah-tray-ter may get a reduced sentence or be found not guilty and set free.” He looked up at Enhray. “I suggest you withdraw your guilty plea and request a new trial. Otherwise, I will as I am not satisfied with the sentence you received.”

Enhray bristled. “This has to be a trick. You want to see me serve twenty years don’t you?”

“No, Eh-ray,” Aldin responded calmly, “I want to see you go home to your family, leave this behind you, and get on with your life. I hold no ill will towards you. Live and let live. If your wife had not called me, I would not have known you were still in prison. Someone neglected to notify the ‘victim’ of your court date where you plead guilty.” Aldin again pointed out this was not normal based on the laws he called up on his flat panel. “If I had known about it, I would have tried to stop you from doing so then and maybe you would already be home now.”

“My wife is better off divorcing me and finding a new mate,” Enray added dejectedly. “I lost my job. I can’t support them. Who would hire me after everyone in the world saw that fight?”

“She loves you and is ready to take you back. Why else would she call me and ask for help? I also had a muzzle-to-muzzle talk with your employer just before coming to see you. He is willing to give you a second chance, but you’ll be on probation for 5 months. Yes, I have been a very busy squirrel these past few days.”

The pine marten stared at Aldin in disbelief. “Why would you do this?”

“Look, On-ray, what really happened that day is that you,” he pointed at the pine marten with his tail, “were the victim, not me,” Aldin pointed at himself with his tail. “It was my intention all along to pick a fight with the first representative to storm down on the floor in objection to my being there. And I planned on it with the understanding I would probably spend two months in prison. I figured it was worth it to quickly prove that I am more than just a wild cousin who learned to imitate a few words of Common and,” Aldin shrugged, “it would have given me a couple extra months to polish my Common before addressing Parliament. My accent, at least to me, is not as strong as it was two months back on the floor of Parliament.

“It takes two to fight. You just happened to ‘volunteer’ to be the other fighter. Of as some of our human-Fudd allies would say back home, you were ‘voluntold’.” Aldin trailed off as he looked over Enhray’s shoulder rather than directly at him a moment as his eyes seemed to briefly go out of focus. “You do not know how close you came to dying that day, On-ray. While I was ready to leap or dodge aside from whoever charged me, I had not anticipated someone leaping directly at me. I had all I could do to pull back on the killing blow. My people have been at war longer than I’ve been alive. The combat training I went through was intense. It is more or less ingrained into me. It has to be. The most common attack by the enemy is to leap at us with claws extended. When the enemy leaps at you, it’s kill or be killed. You hesitate, you die. It is fortunate for you I hesitated because you do not look like a devilbunny. In some ways, it is also fortunate that you slammed into the podium and got a concussion. If you had landed in the clear, turned around and leapt at me again, I do not think I could have held back a second time.

“If anyone should be serving time for attempted murder over that fight, is should be me, not you. Parliament chose not to punish me. Instead only you got punished. And,” Aldin shook his head, “you received five years for being made a fool of in front of a watching world audience. Now that right there is not fair and I am sorry it has come to this. That is why I am here to do what I can. I want to set things right. I have already declared your family wards of Nahmakanta so they are covered financially while we fight this. Provided, you would like to go home to them rather than continue to sit here and feel sorry for yourself.”

Enhray stared at Aldin and was silent for a while. Finally, he asked, “If I request a new trial, what exactly would you do?”

Aldin explained what he planned to do step-by-step.

“And if all that fails and I am right back here, possibly for twenty years.”

Aldin sighed. “I doubt you will wind-up back here. However, if you do, I am going to walk into that cell again, but this time I will spend the entire sentence with you or however long it takes until the charges are dropped. You saw how the guards reacted just now. Imagine what they’d do then.”

“You’re truly serious, aren’t you? Creator as my witness, you are beyond crazy.”

“Yes, On-ray, I am serious,” Aldin replied. “Crazy or not, we got started on the wrong paw. I do not expect you to respect me anymore now than that first day on the floor of Parliament. If you still consider me some trained wild cousin who learned a few words in Common so be it. But that does not mean I hold a grudge against you or anyone in the ‘wild cousin’ faction of that Parliament. Nor do I want to see anyone punished for something they did not do. Do we have a deal? Will you withdraw your guilty plea and go to trial?” Aldin held out his forepaw through the bars. Enhray hesitated a moment and then accepted it, shaking it once.

“So be it, Em-bass-ah-der Tree Rat.”

“I would not tolerate that name from anyone else but you, On-ray. However, you may want to be more respectful in court.”

STORY: Justice Ch. 5

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:45 pm
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FIVE

“Hey, ‘Representative Tree-Rat’! You’ve got a visitor!” The raccoon guard called out as he led Aldin through a clear heavy polycarbonate plastic doorway.

Aldin’s fur bristled as he glared at the guard. “I take offense to that term, officer, and will not tolerate such language from you. I hear it from you again, and I will file a complaint with your superior. You will address your prisoner by his real name.”

The coon shrugged. “As you wish, Embassahder. But as you’ll find he’ll ignore us. Enhray! Visitor for you!” The coon set a pillow down outside a barred cell for Aldin and exited through the plastic door, which locked behind him. The coon sat beyond that door where he could watch both Aldin and the prisoner.

Aldin sat on the pillow and looked through the very human-like barred cell, except these bars were polycarbonate instead of steel. Inside a curled-up brown, furry form lay on the pallet. Aldin cleared his throat.

“Go away,” mumbled the form.

“This is quite the,” Aldin paused trying to come-up with the word in Common, “pickle, would be the Terran term, you’ve got yourself in On-ray.”

This time Enhray poked his head up and stared at Aldin a moment. “You!?” He sighed and lowered his head again. “Go away, Tree Rat.”

“That’s Ambassador ‘Tree Rat’ to you, On-ray, or simply Aldin, your pick.”

Enhray sighed as he curled up again. “I have no interest in talking to you.”

“Nor anyone else, apparently.”

“Go away,” Enhray mumbled again. “Leave me be.”

“Why? So you can throw your life away in self-pity?”

Enhray didn’t bother replying this time and simply ignored him.

“Your wife, Fill-is, called, On-ray. She was very plez-ant to talk to. She told me everything, On-ray.”

Enhray didn’t even twitch.

“Fill-is still loves you. That’s why she called me hoping I would help. She’d prefer to have you home rather than to divorce you. She’ll be forced to do so soon if you stay here. Your kids need their father at home, On-ray.”

Enhray continued to ignore him.

“I am not going to leave just because you’re ignoring me, On-ray.” Aldin quietly scampered over to the electronic lock on the cell. He held his paw over it a moment, and as he expected, the light on it changed from purple to green. Aldin entered the cell, closing the door behind him and the light on the lock changed back to purple. Aldin scampered over to Enhray’s curled-up form and lightly poked him on the shoulder. “In fact, I am not leaving without some answers, On-ray.”

As Aldin did this, the coon guard fumbled with the outer door as he called out, “What the?!” He scrambled into the inner chamber drawing his sidearm. “How did you do that?! Get out of there! He already tried to kill you once!” The coon aimed his weapon pass Aldin at Enhray and the ready light on it turned off. He stared at it in disbelief. He lowered it and the light came on. He pointed it pass Aldin at Enhray and it turned off again. He banged the side of it a few times with his other paw. Whenever he didn’t have it pointed at his intended target, the ready light came on, but it turned off as soon as he pointed it again at Aldin and Enhray. He pulled out his personal flat panel with his free hand, tapped an icon, and yelled into it. “I’ve got a situation down here in Heraldes Block. I need back-up, now!”

Meanwhile, Enhray had jumped back startled by being poked on the shoulder. Aldin simply sat on the edge of the pallet and patted the space next to him.

“Come on, let’s chat.”

Enhray cussed. Aldin twitched his ears. It drove him nuts. Regardless of how much he worked on learning Common, cuss words seemed to pass in one ear and out the other without registering. He heard them, but couldn’t remember them. Maybe it was because he didn’t know the context of the slang used.

“You’re one crazy tree rat,” Enhray paused and added afterward, “Aldin.” He shot his hands in the air once he saw that the coon guard had a weapon pointed at him. “I don’t want any trouble, officer!”

“Finally, we’re getting somewhere.” Aldin glanced over at the guard. “That’s not necessary, officer. You can go back to sitting outside the other door.”

Other guards rushed into the outer chamber. As each drew their weapon, the ready light shut-off whenever they pointed it at Enhray, who was partially blocked by where Aldin sat on the pallet. Like the coon, they each stared in disbelief as the light would turn on if they lowered their weapon or pointed it elsewhere, and turn off when pointed at Enhray.

“Embassahder, please exit the cell for your own safety,” the coon pleaded.

“I am perfectly safe. You can put your weapons away. Mr. On-ray is no threat to me.” Aldin got up off his end of the pallet and moved closer to Ehnray. “I could turn my back to him and I’d be fine.” He did so.

Again, Enhray cussed. “Keep away from me, tree rat! I’m already in here for five years. You’re trying to get more time added to it, aren’t you?” Enhray continued to hold his paws up where the guards could see them and backed as far into the corner as he could on the pallet and away from Aldin. “As I already said, I don’t want any trouble, officers. The Em-bass-ah-der,” Enhray struggled with the unfamiliar word, “has lost his mind. I don’t know how he got in my cell.”

“They cannot harm you with their weapons, On-ray. s long as I am in this cell and breathing as I am in the line of fire. As the appointed Ambassador of the Terran Nahmakanta Free Squirrels, I have, I am not sure of the word in Common. In English it is ‘diplomatic immunity’ to Earth laws. Basically, your laws do not apply to me. As most everything here seems to be tied together through the world computer network, including the lock to your cell and their ‘smart’ weapons,” he pointed at the guards with his tail, “that makes it easy for me to,” he paused thinking of the word he needed, “flaunt, I think is the word. I can flaunt that immunity if I choose to do so. They can point their weapons at us all day long, pull the trigger and nothing will happen.” Aldin shrugged. “They’re no concern or danger to you while I am in here. And I am not going to leave you alone until you agree to talk with me.”

“Please, Embassahder, get away from him,” the coon again pleaded. “You aren’t safe in there.”

“Office, I am in no real danger here just as I was in no real danger back on the floor of Parliament when he leapt at me. He could lift me by the scruff of the neck, and I would still not be in danger.” Aldin continued to keep his back to Ehnray and got close enough to where the pine marten could easily grab him as described. He turned his head a bit sideways to be able to see the marten. “Go ahead and pick me up, On-ray. I trust you, though they do not.”

Again, Enhray cussed as he was cornered. He couldn’t back away any further and he couldn’t dart around Aldin.

“I am not leaving your cell, On-ray, unless you either talk to me or you remove me from it.” The defiant squirrel stomped a foot for emphasis.

Enhray looked at the squirrel and then the guards. One eye and ear twitched a moment. Finally, he lowered his right hand and grasping Aldin by the scruff of the neck, slowly and easily lifted him. The small squirrel neither resisted nor so much as flinch as he dangled in Enhray’s grasp.

The guards all repeatedly cried out at Enhray, “PUT THE EMBASSAHDER DOWN!” while pointing their weapons at him, clicking them uselessly.

Story: Justice Ch. 4

Sep. 14th, 2017 06:53 pm
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FOUR

Aldin checked in at the flight center, ignoring a few points and stares and the occasional, “Is that him?” Being named Ambassador was worse in some ways then how he had been confused for his famous grandfather back home on Terra. But it was a good trade-off. Unlike Terra, he had the freedom to travel in the open here. He had already seen more of this Earth than he had ever seen of Terra. Though he had only been here a little over two months he had already made up his mind. If there was ever a way to return to Terra, he wouldn’t. He’d request to be allowed to stay here.

He proceeded where directed to the boarding gate and glanced out a window at the flitter as the flight craft was called. It looked like a cross between a human airplane and a quadcopter drone back on Terra. There was no other way to really describe it. This would be his fifth flight on one since arriving on this Earth. It almost seemed normal to him to fly in one. He held up his flat panel as his combination ID and flight ticket for a steward at the boarding gate who ushered him through. Aldin found his seat and snuggled down for the long flight to the other side of the world.

“SQUIRRELY!” cried out a very excited, high-pitched youthful voice. “LOOK MARLE! A SQUIRRELY! CAN I PLAY WITH THE SQUIRRELY!?”

Aldin inwardly cringed as he opened an eye and quickly sat-up. He did his best to not let his tail whip about in warning as the young black Labrador-like dog a little bigger than him tugged at his mother’s paw as she tried to guide him down the aisle to their seats. Its tail was whipping back and forth excitedly. The mother glanced at him with a look of apology on her muzzle.

“Lokis, remember, inside voice. We’ve got a long flight ahead. And that’s not a wild cousin squirrel. That’s the Em-bass-ah-der. We need to leave him be. I’m sure he’s travelling on very important business.”

Lokis lowered his voice. “But I want to play with the squirrely,” he whined.

Aldin cleared his throat. “You need to ask me directly, young Low-kiss.”

Lokis squealed with delight. “Squirrely can talk!”

“Of course I can. My name is Aldin.” He glanced at Lokis’ mom. “And I am willing to go play with you, but only after the flitter takes off and we have permission to leave our seats.”

“YEAH!” Lokis bounced in place and then put his loose paw to his muzzle and continued in a near whisper, “Sorry, inside voice. Yeah.”

Lokis’ mom looked at Aldin. “Thank you, Em-bass-ah-der.”

Aldin nodded as the two made their way to their seats.

------------

There were six young children on the flight. In addition to Lokis, there was a bobcat, a fox, two raccoons and an otter. There was a sniff and touch session, that Aldin only agreed to after making sure it was alright with the parents as he wasn’t quite sure what was and wasn’t completely acceptable. The farm meet-and-greet had turned into a hug and petting session and he wasn’t sure if this would be similar or not. All six wanted to pet the “wild cousin” squirrel. Despite giving his name several times, they all called him, “Squirrely”. They did ask with coaxing from their parents and only petted him after Aldin gave permission. Some were excited with how soft his fur was compared to some of theirs. They agreed the otter’s was the softest with Aldin’s a close second. After that, there was a rambunctious game of tag/chase. The pups/kits giggled and cheered at Aldin’s acrobatic agility/antics in dodging the others. After a klick or so of play, Aldin dragged a large pillow into the middle of the play area and curled up on top of it.

“What are you doing, Squirrely?”

“Squirrely is tired. I need a nap,” Aldin replied and let out a big yawn, covering his mouth with his tail.

Suddenly, a nap seemed like a grand idea to the others. They brought more pillows over and snuggled up to/around Aldin and each other. Before long all six were fast asleep. Aldin carefully lifted his head up long enough to look at the watching parents who mouthed, “thank you” to him. He smiled and carefully gave them a thumbs up before laying his head back down into the fur pile and going to sleep himself.

Story: Justice Ch. 3

Sep. 12th, 2017 07:53 pm
moxie_man: (Default)
[personal profile] moxie_man
THREE

Aldin’s two hosts went for an evening walk to provide him with privacy. The entertainment flat panel indicated the call was going through. The pine marten appeared on screen. She looked about with her whiskers twitching slightly. She then looked directly at the screen.

“Hello? Your video feed is off.”

Aldin tapped an icon on his hand held flat panel turning on the camera feed on the larger screen which he had failed to turn on before.

“My apologies. This is Ambassador Aldin Busheytail returning your call…”

“Is the connection secure at your end?”

“Yes, of course, Mizz…”

“Phyllis.”

“Mizz Fill-is.” Aldin nodded his head. “Based on where the panel identified your call is from, I am going to assume you are related to On-ray, former representative for your district?”

Phyllis stiffened briefly. “Enhray is my husband.”

“I see.” Aldin said slowly as he drooped his tail. “When he leapt at me, I was not looking at what was behind me. I was simply demonstrating I am more than just a defenseless wild cousin.”

“‘Talking meal’ as he called you.” Phyllis responded with a little ire in her voice. “He can be stupid and an embarrassment sometimes, like at that moment, but I still love him.”

Aldin lowered his eyes a moment. “Yes,” he looked up again. “I hope he has recovered from his injuries. I wish no ill will against him, Mizz Fill-is.”

Phyllis’ body posture loosened a bit. “I was hoping that was the case, Em-bass-ah-der, for I need your help. Or I should say, my husband does whether he’ll admit to it or not.”

A klick later after the call ended, Aldin drooped his tail. He made some follow-up calls to rearrange his schedule with the college and booked a flitter flight to Forestdale.
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