Adam’s Apple and the Infinite Regress
The scent of thousands of decaying pages of legal proceedings, long forgotten in bureaucratic purgatory, mingled with fresh ink as new pages flew out of the printers. The Federation’s Department of Universal Litigation and Lawyers, also known as DULL, had facilities on every member planet. The office on Dyntaxi Prime dealt with only the most grievous of crimes.
When Adam Evans, a human male in his mid-twenties, was pulled from a relaxing bubble bath and handcuffed for the second time in his life (the first involving a horrific misunderstanding between him and a former girlfriend), he was shocked enough.
However, when he arrived on Dyntaxi Prime and learned why he was there, his stomach nearly turned inside out. It took everything he had not to barf on the Magistrate’s desk.
“You understand the severity of the charges,” Magistrate Bibble said. His eyestalks twirled wildly each time he spoke. In fact, most people who came before him in his capacity as Federation Magistrate collapsed with vertigo.
The still-naked Adam shrugged as best he could. He couldn’t gesticulate all that well with his hands cuffed behind the metal chair. “Yes. Murder is quite serious. Unfortunately, only you would be crazy enough to charge me with murder under these circumstances!”
Bibble leveled all three of his red eyestalks at Adam. “It won’t do well to insult the individual in charge of your fate.”
He dipped his head. Though many in his situation might play nice, incredulity wouldn’t allow that. “She stole my apple. It isn’t my fault she took a bite and choked on it. You can’t blame her death on me!”
“The instrument that led to her death came from you. Your inability to prevent it from harming others makes you liable due to negligence,” Bibble said stoutly. “If it makes you feel better, Mr. Evans, we intend to file charges against Ms. Newt as well.”
“But . . . she’s dead!”
“Death does not prevent one from being incarcerated, Mr. Evans.” Bibble smiled. “In fact, a dead inmate is preferable to a living one. The food costs are greatly reduced.”
Adam wanted to scream, but he fell back instead on sarcasm. “Well, if you insist on applying the law that way, there’s an Earth creation myth that traces all of human sin to the theft of a single apple.”
Bibble’s eyestalks went haywire. “Thanks for that information, Mr. Evans. I’ll be sure to look into that. Maybe I can file some charges in that incident. Condemning an entire race warrants the most severe of penalties.”
All hope dissipated. Adam knew he didn’t stand a chance. “What’s my punishment?”
“Mr. Adam Evans, you are hereby expelled from existence. You may keep your living body, but you have no name, no identification, and no sentient being is allowed to have contact with you under penalty of death.” Bibble aimed all of his eyestalks at Adam, and for the first time, he actually seemed threatening. “Have a nice day.”
Proceed to entry B.
Proceed to entry B.