I don’t make it a habit to go on trial. For one thing, it tends to mess with my schedule. Awful hard to schedule a pedicure around court when you’re being held for…come to think of it, I’m not sure of the exact charges. There have certainly been enough murders and all sorts of criminal mischief. Plus, I got drunk and led that Mongol horde across Russia that time. It just seems like a strange thing to try my in the International Court of Justice as opposed to any single country. Just let me sit on my ass for a month, then pick me up and give me the shaft.
For a group with a number of resolutions asserting more rights than a lot of individual countries, they had no problem with lead poisoning. Just give me a lead elevator shaft to hold in my powers. I didn’t like to think about what the Electric Eyes were up to without me. It was really basic programming and they might try to jailbreak me, which isn’t entirely what I want. All I need is a good connection out, one way or another.
I actually thought the lawyer would handle that for me. She poked her head in after a couple of days to announce herself, then let them lower her partway down the shaft in a harness. “Hello, Mr. Gecko. I am Mrs. Pretorious, your legal counsel.” She spoke with an accent somewhere between Australian and British, which suggested South African to me. Mixed race, it looked like, and in her 40s. That had to be an interesting combination when she was a kid. South Africa had itself some pretty nasty racial discrimination at one time, which then naturally led to some retaliation later.
I looked up from my cot, not that there was anywhere else to look, and waved up at her. “Hiya. Any news from the outside? Tell me, have we kicked the damn Nazis out of France yet?” Truth is, she did interrupt me in the middle of Hotline Miami. I’m still trying to figure out how to get that last mask, looks like a walrus. I will find it even if I have to drill through every Russian mobster’s head I can find!
Oblivious to my obsession with pixelated Russians, the lawyer took a moment to process my attitude and faux-Shakespearean talk. Truly, there can be a bit of an adjustment period for someone encountering the man, the myth, the legend in the flesh for the first time. “…Yes. Are you aware of the charges leveled against you?”
“I did once pee in a public park.” After a brief opportunity for a signal when the top of the shaft opened up, I got nothing at all worth calling a connection while she hung out with me. Whoever guarded me had lowered the hatch back most of the way. But I had something else in mind for a brief ride on the information superhighway.
“I’m afraid this is more serious than that.” Yeah, right. I could find ways to pee in the park that threaten the fabric of reality. Probably. If I tried.
“Is this about me not returning that movie to Blockbuster? I figured that all went away when Blockbuster did.”
“I want to inform you that attorney-client privilege means we can discuss anything between us with the utmost earnestness and I am not allowed to share that information. It won’t count as a confession to be used against you. However, it is limited should you tell me of any plans to commit further crimes. Now, you have been accused of, frankly…” She shuffled a few folders in her hands. “Arms dealing, smuggling, racketeering, international wire fraud, a lot of murders and attempted murders, violation of agricultural quarantines, aiding and abetting an alien invasion, grand theft UFO, and a rare international charge of public indecency. I didn’t think that existed.”
I pointed up at her. “Woah, woah, woah, woah! I’ll have you know that I restrain my indecency until I’m out of public!” She and I looked down at each other for a long couple of seconds before I let my hand drift down to my pants. “Wanna see my penis?”
“You can’t treat this like a joke in court and expect to get off, Mr. Gecko.”
“Au contraire, ma puce. If that public indecency charge is to be believed, in court is exactly where I’m best at getting off.”
She hung her head, not looking too hopeful. “At least I gave it a try. They told me it was a death sentence being appointed as your lawyer.”
“Aww, there, there. Think of it this way: at least you’re not representing yourself! I hear then you’d have a fool for a client.”
She groaned, no doubt thinking she already had a fool for a client, but I decided she needed more encouragement. “Besides, you’re not the one likely to face the chair or guillotine or whatever the UN does for people like me. Wait, don’t they hang people?”
“You could be sentenced to hang, yes. We need to work on your defense, as much as we can put together.”
“How about pointing out that their miserable asses are alive and free from alien mind control thanks to me.”
“You complained about their intentions, but the attempted assassination of their diplomat is one of the charges. Some assert that the extraterrestrials felt they had no choice but to attack, particularly due to your actions.”
That gave me an amused snort. “Only the attempted assassination? Geez, good thing they don’t know I followed through on that guy here recently.”
“…You will not want to bring that up in court, Mr. Gecko.”
“Still, I think I deserve some credit for a few things. Freeing people from mind control and destroying the alien fleet should be enough to make them drop all the charges.”
“Destroying the alien fleet? Everyone is reporting The Mobian did that.”
I rolled my eye. They confiscated my laser eye. It really gets old having law enforcement seize my body parts. Then again, considering the body parts a canine unit might have seized…“Nah. I built the bomb, got it up there, and then he helped me get into the middle of their fleet, but only so he could negotiate from a position of strength. While he was busy talking, I armed it and got out of there.”
“We could bring that up in court, but then there are the charges of possession of a Weapon of Mass Destruction.”
“Preposterous. It’s matter they have to worry about, not mass, and it just gets moved around, not destroyed or created. Besides, I’m not going to leave out the fact that I did bad things to defend everyone from worse things. That’d just leave me with stuff like the nanites.”
“You smuggled the Long Life regenerative nanites into various sites around the world are in the charges as well.We need to be careful how we present all this in court, you understand.” She nodded, as if naturally my efforts to give people back their free will were somehow suspicious or evil in nature. Somewhere, Davos Seaworth is laughing at me and saying he got the better deal.
“No good deed gets left off the docket, I guess. Well I think the nanites thing speaks for itself, and it sounds to me like I had a great justification for doing all that. So, with you being all scared, I just have to wonder how big of a screwjob we’re looking at here?”
The lawyer opened her mouth to speak, but I kept on going. “No, don’t tell me. I saved the world, but in the process I revealed all sorts of scheming and tricks. They aren’t a bunch of aliens’ bitches, but now they know they’re sharing the planet not just with someone capable of fighting off an invasion force near-singlehandedly, no thanks to their cowardly asses. And that said person has no qualms about killing people. They’re scared more than ever, once again stuck in thinking that just because I have power, I will use it.”
“Your record,” and here, looking through her folders, she nearly dropped one. When she had it firmly in hand, she continued,”…speaks for itself on that.”
“If you look at all the years I’ve been around with, say, taking over the world, then I believe my record does speak for itself. There are world leaders who have done worse things than me without the redeeming quality of saving the world.”
“I intend to use that at your trial. There is also an American hero attempting to get you declared mentally incompetent to stand trial, but the irregular nature of your case means she could do more harm than good.”
“FINALLY! Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear someone else come to the same conclusion about her?”
“I want to lay out that this was an extraordinary series of events where you attempted to work with the authorities to the best of your knowledge. This is a show trial, but I want to make you a darkhorse character and suggest that you should not be punished for doing the right thing for once in your life. It sets a bad precedent for superhumans to be imprisoned or executed for saving the world.”
“Yeah, and I don’t need to be hung anyway. I already am.” More silence passed between myself and my attorney. “You’d know that, too, if you just let me…”
“No thank you!”
“Geez, fine. Getting yelled at by my own counsel. Check your attorney-client privilege, miss priss. Now, how about some communication, here? Phone calls, emails, internet access, anything?”
“A large portion of your charges stem from defeating an alien conspiracy with your own conspiracy.”
“Damn right.” I pumped my fist in the air.
“And that means the United Nations is exercising extreme caution in your detainment and communications, to keep you in custody while protecting your rights to the letter.”
“Funny how that works. If I was outside of jail, this would be a violation of my rights. In jail, while still presumed innocent…wait, am I presumed innocent under the UN? Eh, I didn’t vote for them. Help, I’m being repressed!” I chuckled to myself before adding, “Anyway, it kinda says something funny about the listing of rights and the letter of the law if they can be upheld with so many other prohibitions in place. It’s times like these I remember the debate between Federalists and Antifederalists, specifically the part that led to the creation of the Ninth Amendment. The Federalists maintained that any enumeration of rights to be protected would be incomplete because there are so many, and then they pointed out that some idiots might come along and assume that the only rights guaranteed to the people are the ones listed. Or they might willfully choose that argument, using a guarantee of rights against the people to restrict other rights. I understand we’re not exactly talking United States law, which nowadays ignores all that, but the U.S. And the same legal tradition was a major influence on the UN. Perhaps we can bring up a similar argument that they are punishing someone contrary to the spirit of the law for my bad image and prior crimes that have no relation to this alien business, all while using the letter of the law instead.”
That bit of coherence threw my lawyer for a moment, probably more because it showed I knew anything at all about the law rather than it being some amazing argument. It was a bit disjointed, after all. So then I added. “You’re right, they’ll never buy it. So then, to really hammer the point in home, I whip out my penis.”
She got out of there fairly quickly after that, promising to work very hard on her end to think up a legal defense. I couldn’t help but take that as an insult to my own abilities.
Lest y’all think it’s been nothing but yapping from me, I did try a daring escape. Can’t let these guys stay complacent, thinking they found a way to contain me. See, my little shaft also contained a toilet and a nice roll of toilet paper. One clogging of bed sheets later, and my cell contained a water leak. My watertight cell contained a leak, that is. As it filled it, my buoyant ass floated up to freedom.
Or I would have, if not for the door at the top opening when I was only halfway up the shaft to reveal Captain Lightning. He glared down at me. I looked up at him. I said, “I seem to have wet the bed a bit.”
Turns out they had more than one shaft, and the next one, I was warned, the water had been turned off. Due to my misadventure with the other cell, I am now provided with the state-of-the-art in bucket technology to handle the ass-end of my dietary needs.
Yep, I’m moving up in the world. When I first came to this world, I had nothing but the armor on my back. Now, I’ve got my very own pot to piss in.
On the plus side, I used my brief free time in the sunlight to send on some orders to make sure the Electric Eyes didn’t blow their covers by breaking me out. I have an entirely other plan to escape.