• KL Forslund

Fiction: Judge, Jury...


PeeBee swore under her breath as a can of dextro-rations tumbled out, hitting her on the head. She picked up the can and looked back up, noticing Ryder sitting alone at the booth, staring into space and not noticing her. Peebee dropped the can onto the floor and said, “Ow.”

No reaction. She reached into the cabinet and knocked some more cans onto the floor. “I said Ow!”

“What! Huh?” Sara Ryder looked up finally, “What happened.”

“These fell out and hit me on the head. But enough about me, what’s bothering you?”

“Just thinking over this case Director Tann handed me.”

PeeBee ignored the cans on the floor and jumped up on the counter, “Maybe it’ll help if you talk about it.”

“Yeah, you’re right, I should go find Jaal.”

“I meant me, silly. I’m a good listener.”

“Alright, sure, why not. It’s about this Rensus case.”

PeeBee grabbed a box of cereal and started munching, “I heard about that guy. Didn’t he like kill his boss so he could run away?”

“Not quite. His boss was deluded and wouldn’t retreat from being over-run from the Kett. It’s all messed up, but I figured out what really happened.”

“OK, so what’s the problem?” PeeBee extended the box out toward Ryder, “Want some, it’s thinking food.”

Sara got up from the booth and grabbed a handful of torus shaped breakfast food, answering before cramming them into her mouth. “Tann only gave me two choices on what to do with Rensus, exile or release him on the Nexus.”

PeeBee raised an eyebrow ridge, mimicking the human facial expression for incredulity, even though she didn’t actually have eyebrows. “That’s it? That’s stupid? I can think of at least ten things you could do with him.”

“Ten things?”

“Yeah, you could shoot him, space him, freeze him, Drack could cook him, we could eat him, jail him, make him crush rocks, send him back home...”

“That’s only eight things. Are you counting exiling him and release him? And how are we going to send him back home?”

PeeBee hopped down off the counter and walked over to the refrigerator. “Thirsty? I am. Also, the BBQ option sounded good about now. But seriously, yeah, we could pack a cryo-tube into a torpedo or something and do some math and totally probably hit the Milky Way galaxy from here.”

Sara grabbed the offered can of beer and cracked the top. “That’ll take millions of years. And I’m not eating anything that talks, even if Drack cooks it.”

“Look Ryder, I’m just sayin you’ve got more than two choices. Heck, the freeze him option would probably solve everybody’s problem.”

“I’ll give it some thought PeeBee, I’m gonna take this beer for a walk. Thanks.”

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

Afterword

I wrote the preceding flash fiction for a contest to win a remote control Mass Effect: Andromeda car thingy for my wife. She loves Mass Effect, and tells me about the game. Enough that I could put together that story. She was telling me about this one quest where somebody was tried of a crime, the evidence was dodgy, and the player is given only three choices. I thought all three choices were limiting, and thus a story idea was born.

Tell me what you think of this one? I didn't win the contest.


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