Short time from now in a lalaland not too far away...
our honor, as a graduate of the prestigious Moonfleet Law Academy, you understand as much as I the importance to our legal system of treating all beings, no matter what they may have allegedly done, with total respect and dignity. That includes never subjecting any individual to torture or other depravations of his/her/other lifeform rights."
"Yes, yes, I attended Professor Templemount's savage lectures on the Secondary Suggestion. So you need not remind me of its axiomatic design, counselor."
"Certainly, judge. As you well know, then, although the Deadernation has charged my clients with the crime of constructing a photon terroristic device, I believe there is insufficient evidence to support its case. For this reason, you granted my earlier petition to allow them access to relevant bomb-making materials just so we could see whether they were indeed capable of, as well as predisposed to making such a device if given the opportunity. But after three days of constant observation, no one witnessed them doing any thing of the sort. Therefore, I ask for immediate dismissal of all charges."
"Your argument is most convincing. However, can you cite an actual law that provides any grounds for such dismissal? Not that it's really necessary, mind you, since you're aware us judges are pretty much the law around here now."
"I think so. In my briefcase I have...wait, I don't remember packing a bunch of wires and photonic explo–" [*KaBoom!*]
"Bailiff, it would appear I need to assign the defendants yet another attorney."
"Your honor, the defendants were blown to bits too."
"Sir! The terrorists are about to overwhelm our position. They're beheading our paralegals who were doing research up on the front lines. What should we do?"
"Well, second-deputy junior partner, we'll pound them with yet another volley of wrongful-death lawsuits. That should get their attention."
"Good thinking, sir!"
"Of course it is. That's why I'm the general senior partner and you're just a lowly second-deputy junior one."
"Kneel, infidel. You're next."
"But what about the Denovian Convention? I have rights! Plus, I'm an officer of the court. You're violating several criminal statutes just by brandishing that knife of yours at me....Knife?! Wait, I have a right to counsel. I have the right to a fair—ayck! ug! ahhhhhhhh!" [*Thhhunk*]
"Fairly straight cut this time, Zitcoward. I believe your technique is improving."
"Go fetch another one, Abdrool. I like hearing them squeal like unclean pigs about their rights—right before I show 'em my version of due process."
"That was the last one. Our holding room is empty until we kidnap some more."
"This hearing of the Deadernation Council's budget committee will come to order. I'd like to welcome the two associate infallible beings of the intergalactic criminal court who'll be testifying this afternoon. Do either of you wish to make an opening statement?"
"We would, Mister Chairman."
"Both of you?"
"No. Just Ourself."
"Then please, go ahead, Infallible Being Qinn Addee."
"Thank you, Mister Chairman. Members of the committee, it is a great pleasure, honor, and thrill for you that We are here gracing your committee with Our presence. We will not demand any extended bowing or groveling at Our feet this visit because time is of the essence. We've come on most urgent business. As a matter of fact, it's a matter of life and death. As you know, Our colleagues and We are being threatened by cold-blooded, heartless, blood-thirsty, dispassionate killers who believe it their duty to see Us and Our fellow infallible beings all suffer the most excruciating, barbaric, inhumane deaths imaginable. They are discharging that duty even as we speak!"
"You mean the beheadings?"
"That's just the half of it, Mister Chairman. They're not allowing the condemned to even have a last meal, or any meal for that matter, before slicing off his or her head. Indeed, some are starving/dehydrating to death while in captivity."
"Isn't that the most peaceful, beautiful, eloquent form of execution anyone could possibly wish for?"
"Why don't you try it for a few days then tell me if you still think it is!... Sorry, Mister Chairman. But this situation is most upsetting. You must act now to save Our colleagues and Us from such a terrible fate, before it's too late."
"We'll consider your appeal, Mister Infallible Being, and get right back to you."
"Thank you, Mister Chairman."
[Thirteen hours later....] "I'm sorry, Infallible Being Qinn Addee, but your appeal, while both fervent and sincere as well as having an altruistic motivation, is demonstrably at odds with the Founders' blueprint for the Jem'Hadar controlling every enslaved sentient lifeform—the Deadernation Charter, version 2.0. Since we have sworn, as have you and your colleagues, to uphold and defend that living, breathing, and well-fed document, we must deny your request for help. Although we have indulged the presumption that you were in any position to request our help, we conclude that this was never facially the case. Your hasty request that this Council actively involve itself in saving the life of even one infallible being not only constitutes an encroachment upon the independence of the Deadernation Council, but invades its province and violates the Founders' axiomatic design based on the separation-of-powers—or SOP—principle. Such infirmity therefore renders your entire appeal a nullity. It cannot be countenanced by us. In short, that SOP thingy is much more important than protecting your lives. Hope you understand."
"Is that your final answer, Mister Chairman?"
"Yep. It is so ordered."
"Could you not have told Us all this before We expended any more of that precious little time Our colleagues and We have left, trying hopefully to get you to help every infallible being whose life and rights are so clearly and presently threatened?"
"If I did, I wouldn't have had this opportunity to say all that and thus crush all your hopes in so satisfying a manner."
"Here's another one, Tom."
"What's that note say? The one attached to the knife protruding from his back."
"Let's see: 'Dear Whomever It May Concern, We did not abuse this infidel. He died of natural causes after suffering a heart attack. See, his head's still attached. The complaints against us are groundless. Unlawyerly yours, Al Zitcoward.'"
"Hmmm. Reckon we ought to order an autopsy just to see whether he did indeed have a heart attack? That's something which would clearly show up in the results."
"Nah. Let's cremate the body instead. That way there's less fuss and verifiable paperwork."
"What do you mean We can't be an infallible being anymore? We hold a law degree from the prestigious Moonfleet Law Academy! We're licensed as an attorney on forty-one planets. There must be a mistake."
"No mistake at all, former IB dude. A new axiomatic design has been added to the Deadernation Charter."
"What, that so-called 'amendment' ratified by conventions of the sentient lifeforms? Don't you know We and Our fellow infallible beings are the only laws and charters you relative amoebas will ever need? We're so certain of that, We didn't even bother reading what was being ratified. Our colleagues and We were bound to change its intended meaning anyway."
"Perhaps you should have read it. Then you'd know it says that you and your kind are all washed up around here. We're yanking your power trip because no sentient lifeform wants to live in such a freedom-incapacitated state. Those are our wishes. I have a copy of the amendment right here. Read it yourself."
"Give Us that! We bet it doesn't say that at all. Let Us see: 'The highest conflict of interest in justice, being when professional practitioners of the law are allowed to directly affect its making, execution, or interpretation, the right of sentient lifeforms to prohibit such professionals from ever serving as executive or judicial officers or as members of any legislative body, shall not be infringed.'"
"In case you haven't heard, the newly appointed judicial branch has ruled that this is an individual right, not a collective one. So I'm here to confiscate your robe—with extreme prejudice, if necessary."
[Centuries later....] "All right, children. Get in line or you won't get your chance to see the exciting Judicial Tyranny Exhibit."
"Aw, Miss Marie. Can't we just skip this one and go back for another spin on the Robe & Gavel Ride?"
"Now, now, San'day. Your mother would throw a fit if she found out I took the entire class on a field trip to the Justice Museum but let you all miss seeing the most important part of the Lessons of History Hall."
"But it's just a bunch of dumb ol' old stuff about how dumb ol' lawyers used to be judges and stuff."
"Your wouldn't think it so dumb once you get to see how badly our ancestors had to suffer under that completely barbaric system, and how we all could suffer the very same things if we choose to ever forget."
"You mean they really let it get that bad?"
"They did. But they learned from their mistakes and corrected them; and they passed those lessons down to us so we wouldn't have to make the same mistakes. Now come along and I'll show you and the class what the very last lawyer-judge in history wrote right before his removal from office."
"Class, this first display case contains the screen shot of what that lawyer-judge last typed on his courtroom computer. I'll read it out loud for those in the back who can't see it—
Court Docket. Moondate 1162.8. This will be Our final entry. Thanks to the new axiomatic design, We're no longer qualified to serve on the bench. Parents will be free to discipline their children. Society will be free to punish its criminals. Member Planets will be free to defeat every terrorist. Helpless female lifeforms on Beta Florida III will be free to actually seek effective medical treatment. It's going to be an utter madhouse—a madhouse, We tell ya! Anyway, We still have Our private practice. We'll be putting out Our shingle soon. In case anyone's interested, Our specialty is guardianship law.
Does anyone have a question about this document? Yes, San'day?"
"Did he ever get any cli...cli–"
"Yes, cli-ents. Did he ever get any after he left?"
"It's not known for sure whether he did or not. Seems no historian is certain what happened to him later, or even cares."
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