‘That’s it?!’

‘Yes, that is all I am required to say about your rights. But I can answer questions.’

‘Ok, where the blazes is this Civil Courthouse of New Plattington and how the heck am I supposed to remember all that?’

‘I will answer the ladder first. In case you didn’t notice, you remembered the name of the courthouse very clearly. That’s because every bit of this conversation is being recorded, permanently and clearly, into your memory for instant recall. As for where the courthouse is, it is located in Galaxy 457b, on the planet Trinity, which orbits Solar Sytem 324456. Does that answer all your questions?’

Balar realized this last was wishful thinking.

‘So all I have to do is file a complaint?’

‘Yes, that will be sufficient to start the process.’

‘And the Host usually wins in court?’


‘Sounds simple enough,’ I paused contemplating. ‘Then you’re saying that it should only take a few days for me to get you guys out of my system.’

‘Yes. Well, no, not exactly. Yes, it should only take a few of your Earth days to get the initial ruling from the judges. But then there is the appeals process.’

‘Appeals! Man, that is so… Why the…,’ I was really irritated now. ‘And how long will that take? I have classes on Monday.’

‘Well, you have to understand that New Plattington houses the vast majority of the courthouses on this side of the universe and services about 50,000 planets in its immediate galaxy. While its judges are renowned for their impartiality, they are also well known for religious dedication to bureaucracy. They feel that in order for justice to truly be achieved, there must be rules that draw clear lines distinguishing correct from incorrect. Judge Beeble, in his famous edict, said that a…’

‘Excuse me,’ I interrupted. ‘This is all very interesting, but do you think it is possible to simply answer the question?’

‘I am answering the best I can,’ Balar snapped back. ‘As I was saying, the judges feel obligated to draw out this line, for those seeking justice, in the form of rules, regulations, and exact procedures. All of which must be followed to the letter. This kind of complete deliberation, pursued to the point of pedantic minutia, necessarily takes time. Perhaps 175 of your Earth years.’

‘What?!’ I was incredulous.



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