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Rated: ASR · Fiction · Legal · #2250643
A snippet made during a stamina drill. No plot, just atmosphere. Where could this go?
The flash of anger drove me to my feet as I declared, "Your honor! I object."

The judge narrowed his eyes and nodded. "Overruled," he muttered, looking down.

How dare he? Did he not see-- but I did. The judge's lip wrinkled in disgust as he looked, not at the defendant, but the men sitting behind him.

My shoulders slumped, and I reached for my coffee.

The paper cup slipped from my impatient fingers, teetering just out of reach. The lid skittered across my notes as cream and sugar flooded the desk, gumming pages together and corrupting the leather of my briefcase.

I scanned the room for anybody to help me and watched the damage spread as, in a curse that I hoped came out as a mumble, I invoked the fires of justice beneath me.

The man at the defense table offered a thin-lipped smile and a handkerchief. Even the defendant couldn't meet my eyes. But the man behind it all, literally and figuratively, sat there in his self-consciously cheap, ill-fitting polyester suit, sat with fingers steepled, not quite smiling, his expression too comfortable to be called yet a sneer.

No, the man loved us, his enemies; we were barely so dangerous as chess pieces, or as lobsters in the restaurant. Like the main course, our pincers were tied, their reach limited to the waters of our system--a domain he would never personally enter. I checked my pockets for my inhaler. Not there. I wheezed, "Your honor, may I request a recess?"

The judge, his stoic mask perfect except between his eyebrows which turned up and pinched together, nodded and banged the gavel. "Fifteen minutes."
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