STORY: Justice Ch. 9

Sep. 18th, 2017 09:10 pm
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“The Government’s next witness is unable to travel here, but is in a court room in her home region,” stated the lemur representing the Government’s case against Enhray. She tapped a button on her flat panel. A three-dimensional hologram materialized in the witness circle showing a good rendition of Aouphril. Aldin was fascinated with the technology as he looked on. The image of Aouphril looked about. She looked off slightly to one side and stifled a yawn.

“This appears to be working at my end, but the flat panel in this room is to one side. So, when asked a question, I’ll be looking to one side. I’ll do my best to remember to look at the camera when answering questions, Counsel,” Aouphril stated. “My apologies if I look sleepy. It is the middle of the night in my time zone.”

The lemur nodded. She then started. “Please state who you are, where you are from, and your occupation.”

“I am Aouphril, mate of Orlan. I live in the Northeast Hills Region. I am a student in my final year at Nadowahoc College.”

“How long have you known the victim, Ms. Aouphril.”

“Since his arrival in our world approximately three months ago. I was the first citizen he encountered.”

“According to the records you spent time in quarantine with him.”

“That is correct, Counsel. Orlan and I both spent time in quarantine with Aldin. So did the doctor who tended to his broken arm and two orderlies who came into contact with him that first evening at the clinic.”

“While in quarantine, you watched the proceedings of Parliament?”

“Yes. Aldin was preparing to be questioned by Parliament. So, we watched the proceedings in preparation.”

“What did he say to you about that upcoming meeting?”

“Seeing some of the factions in the chamber, he feared he would be attacked. He warned me when it happened to be brave and do what I felt was necessary. I didn’t believe it would come to that, but it did.”

“There is video documentation of the resulting encounter,” the lemur stated. “However, I want to know what was going through your mind when the accused charged down on the floor.”

Aouphril lashed her tail back and forth. The tip blinked in and out of existence as it lashed out past the hologram sensors. “When Representative Enhray charged down on the floor and called Aldin a ‘Tree Rodent’, I was highly insulted. I was raised to give proper respect to other species. If I had used a similar term for another species in the hearing of my mother, she’d have twerked my ear so hard it would be sore for a week.”

“How did the victim react?”

“He didn’t react, which surprised me, for I knew he knew what the two words by themselves were. Then he said it back to Representative Enhray as part of his name. Enhray snarled calling Aldin a ‘talking lunch’ and leapt at him. Aldin rolled backwards, kicked-upwards with his hind paws and Enhray crashed into the Chancellor’s podium. It happened so quickly that the fight was over as soon as it had begun. I was too shocked to react at that moment.”

“But you did react afterward, correct?”

“Yes. Aldin surrendered the visitor’s circle and was escorted out of the chamber. I immediately stepped into it recalling Aldin’s instructions to do what I felt needed to be done after the fight. Not if there was a fight in his words, but after the fight.”

“And what did you say to Parliament?”

“I called shame on them for their failure to stop Enhray. I told them how we’d now be at war with Aldin’s people if he had been an official representative sent by them to us.”

“Thank you. No further questions, your Honor.”

Judge Perraul looked to the ferret. “Your witness.”

The ferret did not pace in front of the hologram as he had done with face-to-face witnesses. “Ms. Aouphril, you’ve known the victim since his arrival on Earth, correct?”


“And you assisted him in preparing to face Parliament?”

“Yes. I now know more about Parliamentary procedures then I’ll ever need to know unless my name comes up in the Lottery.”

“And he was one of the witnesses to your marriage to your mate…” the ferret glanced at his flatpanel a moment, “Orlan?”


“And the victim has continued to live with you and your mate since that time until the present?”


The ferret turned to the jury. “Please take note that this witness is very close to the victim and as such, her testimony may be influenced by that closeness.”

Aouphril’s fur bristled. The ferret raised his free hand briefly. “My apologies, Ms. Aouphril. I do not mean to insult you. But it is a fact you have been very close to the victim since his arrival and the jury needs to know that.” The ferret brushed a finger upward on the flat panel, looking for something a moment and then nodded. “While in quarantine, what exactly did the victim say to you in regards to a potential fight in the Parliament chamber?”

“That he expected there would be a fight.”

“Regardless of what he did?”


“Did he make any indication that he might start said fight?”

Aouphril hesitated a moment and then answered softly, “yes.”

“A little louder please.”

“Yes. Aldin said he believed the only way to get the faction of Parliament that believed he was just a wild cousin who was taught a few tricks to see he was more than that would be if there was a fight. He believed one of them would attack him, but if necessary, he’d start a fight to prove his point.”

“Per your testimony to Government Counsel, the victim knew what the terms ‘Tree’ and ‘Rodent’ where. Yet, he didn’t seem to react to them as every other squirrel in the chamber did when they were said in combination.”

“That is correct.”

“Yet he did understand the term. Per his own testimony here and in the video documentation,” the ferret tapped an icon on his flat panel and Aldin appeared on screen:

“I was fully aware he was trying to insult me with the term ‘tree ro-dent’ or as we say in English, ‘tree rat’. I knew he wood leap for me if I tossed the insult back at him in the way I did, playing in-no-sent and assuming the insult was part of his name.”

“Members of the jury, the victim started the fight per his own testimony and that of Ms. Aouphril. He wanted the accused to attack him.” He turned back to the holograph of Aouphril. “Thank you, Ms. Aouphril. I have no further questions.
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Jose with winds around 85mph (136kmph) is looking less like a hurricane and more like a nor'easter on satellite photos this morning. The current forecast models still keep it off shore, but threatening Cape Cod before wobbling eastward and then south, possible doing another loop before fizzling out. Southern New England could still see a couple of inches (5cm) of rain out of it starting tomorrow into Wednesday. Less rain up here in the Maine Wilderness.

Folks on the East coast need to keep an eye on Maria. It'll slam through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this Wed. as a major hurricane, possibly with winds as strong as 140mph (225kmph), 'cause they need a second major hurricane to hit them this month. After that, long range has Maria taking a similar tour as Jose, without the loop-de-loop and stay just off the Eastern Seaboard and threaten Cape Cod next Tues/Wed. As the forecast models have a difficult time with tropical systems, that means Maria could strike anywhere along the east cost from sometime this coming weekend through early next week.

Reminder: both my degrees were in general meteorology. Tropical was not my specialty and I usually only pay attention to the tropics if something major happens or if there is a storm of potential local interest to Maine. Our hurricane shield (MA's Cape Cod) usually protects us pretty well from the brunt of storms.

Jose, go home, your drunk!

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:57 pm
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Jose has completed it's loop-da-loop in the Atlantic, restrengthened to a Cat 1 hurricane despite some serious wind shear aloft, and may threaten Cape Code Monday night into Tuesday per one model and actually hit Long Island/Southern New England Monday night and make second landfall in Eastern Maine according to another model.

The first model goes out longer and shows Jose making ANOTHER loop and then brushing along Nova Scotia's southern coast early the following week (around the 25th or so). Said model also has Maria slamming into NC at about the same time.

All we can do is wait and see what happens.

STORY: Justice Ch. 7

Sep. 16th, 2017 05:51 pm
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“Court is now in session. All rise for the honorable Justice Stepin Perraul.”

A black bear in black robes entered the court room and sat behind the judge’s bench. Even sitting, he towered over all present. After he sat, everyone else sat. He looked at the dossier on his flat panel and then looked up. “Bring in the perpetrator.”

Enhray was escorted in by two security guards. The bear looked down at the pine marten.

“You’ve submitted a request to change your plea to ‘Not Guilty’ and receive a trial by jury. Your request is denied. Once a perpetrator confesses guilt he cannot uncon…”

The bear stopped in mid-sentence as the doors to the viewing gallery opened and closed. He watched a small gray squirrel find a seat. The squirrel noticed the bear looking at him.

“My apologies, your Honor, for my lateness. I hope that is the correct term. Like Mr. On-ray’s original trial date, I did not receive proper notification about this hearing.”

Judge Perraul closed his eyes a moment, took deep slow breath that was almost a sigh, and then reopened them.

“Then you will be happy to know, Em-bass-ah-der, that I was in the process of denying the perpetrator’s request for a retrial.”

Aldin briefly drooped his tail. “Forgive me, your Honor, I have not had time to read-up on the proper procedure. However, if you deny his request, I will file whatever forms are necessary for a retrial as is my right as the victim.”

There were hushed mumblings among the few in the courtroom as again, Judge Perraul closed his eyes and this time sighed. He looked up again. “Em-bass-ah-der, please approach the bench.” He glanced at the ferret sitting next to Enhray and a lemur off to one side. “The perpetrator’s and government’s counsels will do likewise.”

Aldin made his way down to the bench and stood next to the ferret and lemur. Both of them towered over Aldin. The judge towered far above all three of them. “You may come up here. This sidebar conversation is off the record for now.” All three climbed up. Aldin had all he could do to suppress his wild cousin instincts telling him to flee from such a large predator. The judge was larger than any bear he had ever seen back home. The bear quietly spoke so only the three of them could hear him. “Em-bass-ah-der, the perpetrator has already confessed his guilt. He cannot request a new trial.”

“My client plea bargained, your honor, while still recovering from a head injury,” the ferret interjected.

Judge Perraul glared at the ferret. “You’ll only address me when addressed. You and the government counsel are only up here to hear what I say to the victim.” He turned back to Aldin. “This is not your Terra or whatever you call your home. Our laws are different here.”

Aldin nodded. “Yes, I understand that, your Honor. I have also briefly read through your laws/rules regarding trials. If the victim is not satisfied with the sentence, the victim can request a new trial. If you will not grant the perpetrator his request to a new trial, then I will file for one on his behalf. I am not satisfied with the sentence. It is too harsh. Parliament charged him with fighting on the floor, not attempted murder.”

All three stared at him. The ferret tried hard not to grin.

“The perpetrator or his family hasn’t threatened you in any way have they?” Judge Perraul asked.

“No, your Honor. In fact, I gave the perpetrator a chance to rip me apart in his jail cell two days ago. He had me by the scruff of my neck, but he did no harm to me. He simply removed me from his cell. I would guess you can find a report on it in there.” Aldin pointed to the judge’s flat panel with his tail. “You will also find there is no way for him or his family to bribe me. Parliament has yet to decide if I am allowed to work or not, so I have no account in your world banking system. No account, no way to get paid. All I have is the embassy ‘charge account’, but I’ve already tried to receive payments for speaking engagements through that with no success.

“As I said, I will file for a retrial as I object to the length of the sentence. He should have served a maximum of two months per Parliament rules. I understand the rules are different here. It would be much easier back at Nahmakanta. Back home, all I would need to do is request the charges be dropped and that would be the end of it.”

All three stared at him.

“Please repeat that,” Judge Perraul requested.

“Among my people if the victim requests the charges be reduced or dropped against the perpetrator, they are dropped or reduced accordingly. Of course we do not jail those found guilty as we are at war and cannot spare any paws to watch someone in prison as our numbers are small. I do understand the prison thing as humans use it back home. Among my people, the punishment meets the crime. A fight like ours would have resulted in several klicks to several hundred klicks of community service. Attempted murder would mean banishment from the colony. I could go on, your Honor. However, I will do whatever it takes to get Enhray’s attempted murder charge dropped. If simply requesting to do so does not work here, so be it. If that means I need to submit a request for a new trial, then that is what I will do.”

Now the ferret was smiling.

Once again, Judge Perraul closed his eyes a moment in thought. “Please go back to your seats, I need to do some research.” He stood up.

“Due to who the victim is, I need to do some research in my chamber. Court will reconvene in one klick.”

“All rise!” a security guard cried out as Judge Perraul departed through a door behind the bench.

Immediately, the lemur went over to Aldin. “Have you lost your mind, Em-bass-ah-der? He tried to kill you and you’re trying to have him released?”

“Counsel, as I explained to Mr. On-ray in his jail cell, I started that fight intentionally. It would not have mattered who it was that charged down on the floor to challenge me, I would have picked a fight with them to prove the point I am not just some wild cousin who was trained to speak a few words. Any sentence longer than he has already served is unjust and I will do whatever it takes to get him released.”

“You are crazy!” the lemur threw up her paws and stormed back to her table knowing she was going to have a difficult trial ahead if the judge granted his request.

The ferret then approached him. “I must look out for my client’s interests, Em-bass-ah-der. Is what you said up there and to my client genuine?”


The ferret’s grin was extra wide.


A klick later, the door to the far chamber opened again.

“All rise!” a security guard called out. All did so as Judge Perraul reentered the chamber and sat down. Everyone else did likewise.

“I did some research and found that long before we were a united world, when the various regions were independent countries, most sent official representatives, what we call ‘Foreign Representative’ or as among the Embassahder’s people ‘Embassahder’, to those countries they had friendly ties with. If that foreign representative became victim of a crime, they had the right to have the perpetrator extradited to their home country to face trial under their laws rather than in the country the crime originated in.

“Technically, at the time the crime was committed, Al-den Bush-E-tail of Terra was not yet appointed, Embassahder of the Terran Nah-mah-kant-ah Free Squirrels. However, I will ignore that as he was appointed to that position soon after. Per our sidebar conversation, the Embassahder has made a request that the accused perpetrator be tried under the rules of his home country. Unfortunately, there is no way to extradite the accused perpetrator to Terra as we do not know where it is nor have any way of making contact with Terra at this time. Our laws do not allow a charge of this magnitude to simply be dropped as the Embassahder has indicated would be allowed in his country if the victim requests it. As a compromise, I shall allow the accused to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial. That trial shall commence in one week. Counsels, prepare your arguments accordingly. The accused perpetrator is, hereby, transferred from the region prison to house arrest until said trial.” He then looked directly at Aldin. “There is to be no further contact between the victim and the accused until the trial. If contact is made between the two, this compromise is void, the guilty plea will be reinstated, and the perpetrator will return to prison to continue serving his five-year sentence.” Judge Perraul picked-up the gavel on his bench and hammered it once.

STORY: Justice Ch. 6

Sep. 15th, 2017 02:02 pm
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“So, On-ray,” Aldin looked at him from where he dangled in the pine marten’s grasp, “last time we met, you tried to attack this ‘Talking meal,’ which did not turn out all that well, did it? You got five years in prison thanks to me. Here’s your chance for revenge if you prefer to stay in prison. And if you’re quick enough you might even gulp me down in four or five mouthfuls before they can do anything about it. At least then you’d have committed the crime for which you’re trying to serve the time. Of course, if you choose revenge, then you will not go home to your family anytime soon. Are you interested in freedom or staying here in prison?”


Enhray held Aldin there a moment in thought. Just one quick slash with his free hand just like the suicidal tree rat suggested. It was SO tempting. He then shook the thought from his head recalling how his last encounter with this small tree rat ended. And last time the tree rat had one arm in a cast. That wasn’t the case now. Enhray cussed again and then replied, “I’m not that stupid.” He turned to the guards. “I’ll bring the Em-bass-ah-der to you. Don’t fire. You might hit him!”

He carried the squirrel to the cell door. He dangled him near the lock until the light turned green. He opened it enough to set Aldin down and then locked himself back in the cell and held his hands in the air again. He mumbled another cuss word under his breath, which like the others, Aldin couldn’t quite catch. The guards rushed forward with their weapons drawn and put the Aldin behind them. Immediately, the indicator lights on their weapons turned green. No one noticed the wet paw prints Aldin left on the floor.

“Please do not shoot him,” Aldin calmly requested. “As you can see, no harm came to me.”

After some hesitation, the guards slowly lowered their weapons.

“Crazy tree rat,” Enhray mumbled. “Not happy seeing me in prison, you’re trying to get me killed!”

“Maybe I am crazy, but you are now talking more than just ‘go away’.” Aldin waved his arms at the guards. “Please put your weapons away. They are not needed. Now that I have gotten his attention, may I have some privacy with the prisoner so we can continue our conversation?”

All of security but the raccoon slowly filed back out after glancing at the coon, who nodded. Once alone, the coon thrashed his tail back and forth as he glared at Aldin, pointing a finger close to his chest. “I’m only allowing you to stay because you are the Embassahder. But I don’t care what your title is. Even if you were suddenly made Chancellor. If you pull a stunt like that a second time you’ll find your tail out that door,” he pointed at the door behind him, “so fast the rest of you will have a hard time keeping up with it!”

Aldin nodded. “I understand, officer.”

The raccoon stepped back out, except this time, he didn’t secure the outer door.

Aldin made himself comfortable again on the sitting cushion. “Now where were we before that interruption?” He pondered a moment. “Oh, yes, I was asking you why you are in there and not home with your family where you belong.”

Enhray sighed as he paced in the cell. “Obviously you won’t leave me be until I answer your questions. I pled guilty to attempted murder.”

“Now why would you do that?” Aldin briefly held his tail up in a curl. (curiousflick)

“BECAUSE I [PG-13] TRIED TO KILL YOU!” Enhray bellowed as he glared at Aldin through the bars. He threw his hands up in the air. “There, I’ve confessed to you now! Are you happy? Are you here to gloat at me, Em-bass-ah-der Tree Rat?” He added the title in a sarcastic tone.

“No, I am not happy,” Aldin replied calmly. “Nor am I here to gloat at you. If all I was going to do was gloat, I would not have put my life in your paws just now. Instead, I’d have just sat here and taunted you until I got a reaction. However, that’s not my way, On-ray.”

“Uh huh, right. You’d have just let me rip your throat out. If so, you’re crazier than I thought.”

“Now, there, you’re correct. I’d have tried to stop you, but by holding me by the scruff of my neck, I’d have been hard pressed to avoid serious injury. A squirrel’s reflexes are quick, but that’s one position that is difficult to defend from. Our combat training does not cover it ‘cause the enemy we face back home is not large enough to lift us by our scruff.” Aldin flicked his tail back and forth slowly a couple times.

“Anyway, back to our first encounter where you believed you tried to kill me. Did you really try?” He looked down at himself brushing at his fur and felt behind at the scruff of his neck with a hind paw. “You did not do a very good job of it. I came out of it unscathed. And I just gave you another chance. You had me in your grasp at your mercy and you did not even pierce my skin. After talking to your wife, I knew you would not, On-ray. You are not that bad a person the way she told it. Or she is a really good actress, and you just blew your chance at a tree rat snack.” Aldin (gigglechittered) trying to lighten the mood up. Enhray simply stared at him.

“Look, On-ray, maybe all you really did was pick a fight, huh? And then some over-zealous judge or,” he used the English word for the next word, “lawyer, or whatever it is you have in your justice system decided to press bigger charges, because of who you fought with despite Parliament’s charge of fighting-only. That was the only charge they wanted pressed. And for some reason you chose to plead guilty to the larger charge anyway. Sounds like you did not have a lawyer to advise you.”

“I leapt at you with the intention of killing you.”

“And you think I was not expecting that nor prepared for it? Back home some wild cousin predators tend to make that mistake from time to time with my people. They do not tend to make it more than once.” Aldin started tapping away on his small flat panel. “According to Parliamentary Rules,” he held the flat panel where the marten could read the text if he chose and paused a moment and (gigglechittered). “Yes, the very rules I had offered to let you reread just before I tossed your insult back at you and you jumped at me. Anyway, according to those rules, the maximum punishment for fighting on the floor of Parliament is 2 months prison time. It’s been a little over 2 months now. You have more than served an ‘appropriate’ punishment for that crime. So, why not fight the new charge?”

“Is this a trick? I got off easy at five years by pleading guilty. If I go to trial, it could be twenty.”

Aldin tapped his flat panel again read something, put an earbud to his ear and listened to ensure he was reading it right and then tapped something else. “According to this,” he motioned at the text on his flat panel, “provided I am reading and hearing this right as my ability to read Common is not that great yet, but it improves every day. Anyway, as the ‘victim’ of this crime, if the per-pah-tray-ter is found guilty, and I am not satisfied with the punishment, I can request a new trial, with the understanding that the…per-pah-tray-ter may get a reduced sentence or be found not guilty and set free.” He looked up at Enhray. “I suggest you withdraw your guilty plea and request a new trial. Otherwise, I will as I am not satisfied with the sentence you received.”

Enhray bristled. “This has to be a trick. You want to see me serve twenty years don’t you?”

“No, Eh-ray,” Aldin responded calmly, “I want to see you go home to your family, leave this behind you, and get on with your life. I hold no ill will towards you. Live and let live. If your wife had not called me, I would not have known you were still in prison. Someone neglected to notify the ‘victim’ of your court date where you plead guilty.” Aldin again pointed out this was not normal based on the laws he called up on his flat panel. “If I had known about it, I would have tried to stop you from doing so then and maybe you would already be home now.”

“My wife is better off divorcing me and finding a new mate,” Enray added dejectedly. “I lost my job. I can’t support them. Who would hire me after everyone in the world saw that fight?”

“She loves you and is ready to take you back. Why else would she call me and ask for help? I also had a muzzle-to-muzzle talk with your employer just before coming to see you. He is willing to give you a second chance, but you’ll be on probation for 5 months. Yes, I have been a very busy squirrel these past few days.”

The pine marten stared at Aldin in disbelief. “Why would you do this?”

“Look, On-ray, what really happened that day is that you,” he pointed at the pine marten with his tail, “were the victim, not me,” Aldin pointed at himself with his tail. “It was my intention all along to pick a fight with the first representative to storm down on the floor in objection to my being there. And I planned on it with the understanding I would probably spend two months in prison. I figured it was worth it to quickly prove that I am more than just a wild cousin who learned to imitate a few words of Common and,” Aldin shrugged, “it would have given me a couple extra months to polish my Common before addressing Parliament. My accent, at least to me, is not as strong as it was two months back on the floor of Parliament.

“It takes two to fight. You just happened to ‘volunteer’ to be the other fighter. Of as some of our human-Fudd allies would say back home, you were ‘voluntold’.” Aldin trailed off as he looked over Enhray’s shoulder rather than directly at him a moment as his eyes seemed to briefly go out of focus. “You do not know how close you came to dying that day, On-ray. While I was ready to leap or dodge aside from whoever charged me, I had not anticipated someone leaping directly at me. I had all I could do to pull back on the killing blow. My people have been at war longer than I’ve been alive. The combat training I went through was intense. It is more or less ingrained into me. It has to be. The most common attack by the enemy is to leap at us with claws extended. When the enemy leaps at you, it’s kill or be killed. You hesitate, you die. It is fortunate for you I hesitated because you do not look like a devilbunny. In some ways, it is also fortunate that you slammed into the podium and got a concussion. If you had landed in the clear, turned around and leapt at me again, I do not think I could have held back a second time.

“If anyone should be serving time for attempted murder over that fight, is should be me, not you. Parliament chose not to punish me. Instead only you got punished. And,” Aldin shook his head, “you received five years for being made a fool of in front of a watching world audience. Now that right there is not fair and I am sorry it has come to this. That is why I am here to do what I can. I want to set things right. I have already declared your family wards of Nahmakanta so they are covered financially while we fight this. Provided, you would like to go home to them rather than continue to sit here and feel sorry for yourself.”

Enhray stared at Aldin and was silent for a while. Finally, he asked, “If I request a new trial, what exactly would you do?”

Aldin explained what he planned to do step-by-step.

“And if all that fails and I am right back here, possibly for twenty years.”

Aldin sighed. “I doubt you will wind-up back here. However, if you do, I am going to walk into that cell again, but this time I will spend the entire sentence with you or however long it takes until the charges are dropped. You saw how the guards reacted just now. Imagine what they’d do then.”

“You’re truly serious, aren’t you? Creator as my witness, you are beyond crazy.”

“Yes, On-ray, I am serious,” Aldin replied. “Crazy or not, we got started on the wrong paw. I do not expect you to respect me anymore now than that first day on the floor of Parliament. If you still consider me some trained wild cousin who learned a few words in Common so be it. But that does not mean I hold a grudge against you or anyone in the ‘wild cousin’ faction of that Parliament. Nor do I want to see anyone punished for something they did not do. Do we have a deal? Will you withdraw your guilty plea and go to trial?” Aldin held out his forepaw through the bars. Enhray hesitated a moment and then accepted it, shaking it once.

“So be it, Em-bass-ah-der Tree Rat.”

“I would not tolerate that name from anyone else but you, On-ray. However, you may want to be more respectful in court.”

STORY: Justice Ch. 5

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:45 pm
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“Hey, ‘Representative Tree-Rat’! You’ve got a visitor!” The raccoon guard called out as he led Aldin through a clear heavy polycarbonate plastic doorway.

Aldin’s fur bristled as he glared at the guard. “I take offense to that term, officer, and will not tolerate such language from you. I hear it from you again, and I will file a complaint with your superior. You will address your prisoner by his real name.”

The coon shrugged. “As you wish, Embassahder. But as you’ll find he’ll ignore us. Enhray! Visitor for you!” The coon set a pillow down outside a barred cell for Aldin and exited through the plastic door, which locked behind him. The coon sat beyond that door where he could watch both Aldin and the prisoner.

Aldin sat on the pillow and looked through the very human-like barred cell, except these bars were polycarbonate instead of steel. Inside a curled-up brown, furry form lay on the pallet. Aldin cleared his throat.

“Go away,” mumbled the form.

“This is quite the,” Aldin paused trying to come-up with the word in Common, “pickle, would be the Terran term, you’ve got yourself in On-ray.”

This time Enhray poked his head up and stared at Aldin a moment. “You!?” He sighed and lowered his head again. “Go away, Tree Rat.”

“That’s Ambassador ‘Tree Rat’ to you, On-ray, or simply Aldin, your pick.”

Enhray sighed as he curled up again. “I have no interest in talking to you.”

“Nor anyone else, apparently.”

“Go away,” Enhray mumbled again. “Leave me be.”

“Why? So you can throw your life away in self-pity?”

Enhray didn’t bother replying this time and simply ignored him.

“Your wife, Fill-is, called, On-ray. She was very plez-ant to talk to. She told me everything, On-ray.”

Enhray didn’t even twitch.

“Fill-is still loves you. That’s why she called me hoping I would help. She’d prefer to have you home rather than to divorce you. She’ll be forced to do so soon if you stay here. Your kids need their father at home, On-ray.”

Enhray continued to ignore him.

“I am not going to leave just because you’re ignoring me, On-ray.” Aldin quietly scampered over to the electronic lock on the cell. He held his paw over it a moment, and as he expected, the light on it changed from purple to green. Aldin entered the cell, closing the door behind him and the light on the lock changed back to purple. Aldin scampered over to Enhray’s curled-up form and lightly poked him on the shoulder. “In fact, I am not leaving without some answers, On-ray.”

As Aldin did this, the coon guard fumbled with the outer door as he called out, “What the?!” He scrambled into the inner chamber drawing his sidearm. “How did you do that?! Get out of there! He already tried to kill you once!” The coon aimed his weapon pass Aldin at Enhray and the ready light on it turned off. He stared at it in disbelief. He lowered it and the light came on. He pointed it pass Aldin at Enhray and it turned off again. He banged the side of it a few times with his other paw. Whenever he didn’t have it pointed at his intended target, the ready light came on, but it turned off as soon as he pointed it again at Aldin and Enhray. He pulled out his personal flat panel with his free hand, tapped an icon, and yelled into it. “I’ve got a situation down here in Heraldes Block. I need back-up, now!”

Meanwhile, Enhray had jumped back startled by being poked on the shoulder. Aldin simply sat on the edge of the pallet and patted the space next to him.

“Come on, let’s chat.”

Enhray cussed. Aldin twitched his ears. It drove him nuts. Regardless of how much he worked on learning Common, cuss words seemed to pass in one ear and out the other without registering. He heard them, but couldn’t remember them. Maybe it was because he didn’t know the context of the slang used.

“You’re one crazy tree rat,” Enhray paused and added afterward, “Aldin.” He shot his hands in the air once he saw that the coon guard had a weapon pointed at him. “I don’t want any trouble, officer!”

“Finally, we’re getting somewhere.” Aldin glanced over at the guard. “That’s not necessary, officer. You can go back to sitting outside the other door.”

Other guards rushed into the outer chamber. As each drew their weapon, the ready light shut-off whenever they pointed it at Enhray, who was partially blocked by where Aldin sat on the pallet. Like the coon, they each stared in disbelief as the light would turn on if they lowered their weapon or pointed it elsewhere, and turn off when pointed at Enhray.

“Embassahder, please exit the cell for your own safety,” the coon pleaded.

“I am perfectly safe. You can put your weapons away. Mr. On-ray is no threat to me.” Aldin got up off his end of the pallet and moved closer to Ehnray. “I could turn my back to him and I’d be fine.” He did so.

Again, Enhray cussed. “Keep away from me, tree rat! I’m already in here for five years. You’re trying to get more time added to it, aren’t you?” Enhray continued to hold his paws up where the guards could see them and backed as far into the corner as he could on the pallet and away from Aldin. “As I already said, I don’t want any trouble, officers. The Em-bass-ah-der,” Enhray struggled with the unfamiliar word, “has lost his mind. I don’t know how he got in my cell.”

“They cannot harm you with their weapons, On-ray. s long as I am in this cell and breathing as I am in the line of fire. As the appointed Ambassador of the Terran Nahmakanta Free Squirrels, I have, I am not sure of the word in Common. In English it is ‘diplomatic immunity’ to Earth laws. Basically, your laws do not apply to me. As most everything here seems to be tied together through the world computer network, including the lock to your cell and their ‘smart’ weapons,” he pointed at the guards with his tail, “that makes it easy for me to,” he paused thinking of the word he needed, “flaunt, I think is the word. I can flaunt that immunity if I choose to do so. They can point their weapons at us all day long, pull the trigger and nothing will happen.” Aldin shrugged. “They’re no concern or danger to you while I am in here. And I am not going to leave you alone until you agree to talk with me.”

“Please, Embassahder, get away from him,” the coon again pleaded. “You aren’t safe in there.”

“Office, I am in no real danger here just as I was in no real danger back on the floor of Parliament when he leapt at me. He could lift me by the scruff of the neck, and I would still not be in danger.” Aldin continued to keep his back to Ehnray and got close enough to where the pine marten could easily grab him as described. He turned his head a bit sideways to be able to see the marten. “Go ahead and pick me up, On-ray. I trust you, though they do not.”

Again, Enhray cussed as he was cornered. He couldn’t back away any further and he couldn’t dart around Aldin.

“I am not leaving your cell, On-ray, unless you either talk to me or you remove me from it.” The defiant squirrel stomped a foot for emphasis.

Enhray looked at the squirrel and then the guards. One eye and ear twitched a moment. Finally, he lowered his right hand and grasping Aldin by the scruff of the neck, slowly and easily lifted him. The small squirrel neither resisted nor so much as flinch as he dangled in Enhray’s grasp.

The guards all repeatedly cried out at Enhray, “PUT THE EMBASSAHDER DOWN!” while pointing their weapons at him, clicking them uselessly.

Story: Justice Ch. 4

Sep. 14th, 2017 06:53 pm
moxie_man: (Default)
[personal profile] moxie_man

Aldin checked in at the flight center, ignoring a few points and stares and the occasional, “Is that him?” Being named Ambassador was worse in some ways then how he had been confused for his famous grandfather back home on Terra. But it was a good trade-off. Unlike Terra, he had the freedom to travel in the open here. He had already seen more of this Earth than he had ever seen of Terra. Though he had only been here a little over two months he had already made up his mind. If there was ever a way to return to Terra, he wouldn’t. He’d request to be allowed to stay here.

He proceeded where directed to the boarding gate and glanced out a window at the flitter as the flight craft was called. It looked like a cross between a human airplane and a quadcopter drone back on Terra. There was no other way to really describe it. This would be his fifth flight on one since arriving on this Earth. It almost seemed normal to him to fly in one. He held up his flat panel as his combination ID and flight ticket for a steward at the boarding gate who ushered him through. Aldin found his seat and snuggled down for the long flight to the other side of the world.

“SQUIRRELY!” cried out a very excited, high-pitched youthful voice. “LOOK MARLE! A SQUIRRELY! CAN I PLAY WITH THE SQUIRRELY!?”

Aldin inwardly cringed as he opened an eye and quickly sat-up. He did his best to not let his tail whip about in warning as the young black Labrador-like dog a little bigger than him tugged at his mother’s paw as she tried to guide him down the aisle to their seats. Its tail was whipping back and forth excitedly. The mother glanced at him with a look of apology on her muzzle.

“Lokis, remember, inside voice. We’ve got a long flight ahead. And that’s not a wild cousin squirrel. That’s the Em-bass-ah-der. We need to leave him be. I’m sure he’s travelling on very important business.”

Lokis lowered his voice. “But I want to play with the squirrely,” he whined.

Aldin cleared his throat. “You need to ask me directly, young Low-kiss.”

Lokis squealed with delight. “Squirrely can talk!”

“Of course I can. My name is Aldin.” He glanced at Lokis’ mom. “And I am willing to go play with you, but only after the flitter takes off and we have permission to leave our seats.”

“YEAH!” Lokis bounced in place and then put his loose paw to his muzzle and continued in a near whisper, “Sorry, inside voice. Yeah.”

Lokis’ mom looked at Aldin. “Thank you, Em-bass-ah-der.”

Aldin nodded as the two made their way to their seats.


There were six young children on the flight. In addition to Lokis, there was a bobcat, a fox, two raccoons and an otter. There was a sniff and touch session, that Aldin only agreed to after making sure it was alright with the parents as he wasn’t quite sure what was and wasn’t completely acceptable. The farm meet-and-greet had turned into a hug and petting session and he wasn’t sure if this would be similar or not. All six wanted to pet the “wild cousin” squirrel. Despite giving his name several times, they all called him, “Squirrely”. They did ask with coaxing from their parents and only petted him after Aldin gave permission. Some were excited with how soft his fur was compared to some of theirs. They agreed the otter’s was the softest with Aldin’s a close second. After that, there was a rambunctious game of tag/chase. The pups/kits giggled and cheered at Aldin’s acrobatic agility/antics in dodging the others. After a klick or so of play, Aldin dragged a large pillow into the middle of the play area and curled up on top of it.

“What are you doing, Squirrely?”

“Squirrely is tired. I need a nap,” Aldin replied and let out a big yawn, covering his mouth with his tail.

Suddenly, a nap seemed like a grand idea to the others. They brought more pillows over and snuggled up to/around Aldin and each other. Before long all six were fast asleep. Aldin carefully lifted his head up long enough to look at the watching parents who mouthed, “thank you” to him. He smiled and carefully gave them a thumbs up before laying his head back down into the fur pile and going to sleep himself.

Story: Justice Ch. 3

Sep. 12th, 2017 07:53 pm
moxie_man: (Default)
[personal profile] moxie_man

Aldin’s two hosts went for an evening walk to provide him with privacy. The entertainment flat panel indicated the call was going through. The pine marten appeared on screen. She looked about with her whiskers twitching slightly. She then looked directly at the screen.

“Hello? Your video feed is off.”

Aldin tapped an icon on his hand held flat panel turning on the camera feed on the larger screen which he had failed to turn on before.

“My apologies. This is Ambassador Aldin Busheytail returning your call…”

“Is the connection secure at your end?”

“Yes, of course, Mizz…”


“Mizz Fill-is.” Aldin nodded his head. “Based on where the panel identified your call is from, I am going to assume you are related to On-ray, former representative for your district?”

Phyllis stiffened briefly. “Enhray is my husband.”

“I see.” Aldin said slowly as he drooped his tail. “When he leapt at me, I was not looking at what was behind me. I was simply demonstrating I am more than just a defenseless wild cousin.”

“‘Talking meal’ as he called you.” Phyllis responded with a little ire in her voice. “He can be stupid and an embarrassment sometimes, like at that moment, but I still love him.”

Aldin lowered his eyes a moment. “Yes,” he looked up again. “I hope he has recovered from his injuries. I wish no ill will against him, Mizz Fill-is.”

Phyllis’ body posture loosened a bit. “I was hoping that was the case, Em-bass-ah-der, for I need your help. Or I should say, my husband does whether he’ll admit to it or not.”

A klick later after the call ended, Aldin drooped his tail. He made some follow-up calls to rearrange his schedule with the college and booked a flitter flight to Forestdale.

STORY: Justice Ch. 2

Sep. 11th, 2017 05:28 pm
moxie_man: (Default)
[personal profile] moxie_man

It was close to a klick (hour) trip in the hovercraft from the forest reserve they had been filming in back to the campus of Nadowahoc College. However, the time seemed to pass quickly. The three of them studied the footage they had gotten. Aldin pointed out how Giguere’s feet had positioned themselves just like Aldin’s when they faced downward on the tree trunk, allowing their foot claws to hold each of them in place. Giguere noted he didn’t have to think about it much, it just seemed to be the natural thing to do once he relaxed just as Aldin had suggested.

Once they arrived back, they parted ways. Aldin headed off campus to the home he currently shared with his friends, Aouphril and her mate, Orlan. It bothered him in some ways to share space with them. He knew he was welcome. Still, it felt like he was intruding on the young couple. He hated to freeload on them and had offered to help cover some of the expenses through the embassy account, but they refused, insisting he was their guest for as long as he wanted to stay with them.

This was also why he was offering his assistance to Dr. Kaynobble and his research. It was a barter/trade for services-in-kind. Aldin assisted Dr. Kaynobble and in return, Aldin got to work on improving his Common, both spoken and written at the college. As he had quickly discovered shortly after being appointed Ambassador for the Terran Nahmakanta Free Squirrels, he had no way to directly pay for the tutoring without running up a bill for Nahmakanta. The previous Parliament neglected one little thing when they designated him as Ambassador. While he had that “embassy spending account” that would eventually be billed to Nahmakanta should they ever make contact with this Earth, Parliament never settled on whether or not he, as a “visitor,” could legally work as he wasn’t an Earth citizen. As such, he had no personal account in Earth’s computer network. No personal account meant no one could pay him for work he did. This annoyed Aldin as he didn’t want to rely on the embassy spending account. He wanted to pay his own way in his new home. He didn’t believe Nahmakanta would ever make contact with this Earth. As such, he was very careful about when he added to that bill. Thus, the exchange agreement with the college. As convenient as the virtual credit system of this Earth seemed to be, physical hard currency would have come in handy in a case like his. Maybe some future Parliament could be convinced to allow him to “officially” work.

After the short 15 ceklick walk, well, scamper on all four paws as that was more natural for him, Aldin arrived at his shared home. He walked when he had to, which he practiced a lot, but he preferred to be on all four whenever he could get away with it. At the entrance, he placed his forepaw on the lock pad, the light turned green, and allowed him to enter. Neither of his two hosts were home yet as both had late afternoon classes. Aldin got started on dinner. This was one way he helped his hosts despite their refusal for him paying any sort of rent or assist with the household expenses. He did his share of household chores.

Aldin uncovered a bowl and punched down the dough within. He had set the bowl out that morning to let the dough rise. He ignored that for a little bit while working on a simple salad for himself. The salad had just a little bit of greens and a lot of raw vegetables, mushrooms, and nuts. He didn’t add any dressing. He wasn’t a fan of it anymore here than he had been when visiting the Fudd-humans back on his Earth or Terra as he called it here on this other Earth. Never mind his hosts liked a vinegar-based one. And here, the vinegar was a lot stronger/more pungent than what he ever encountered back on Terra.

Aldin turned back to the dough to create something a bit more complicated for his friends as the furry citizens of this world ate food similar to humans back on his Terra. He lightly greased a flat cooking sheet, and turned the dough on to it. He gently kneaded it outward thinning it out as it covered the sheet, bunching it on the edges. He then spread tomato sauce over the dough, shaking his head at the purple color. He just couldn’t yet get over how some vegetables here were so different in color.

On top of this, he grated and sprinkled cheese. It had been a challenge to track some down at first, not knowing what it was called here, nor knowing whether or not they even made the stuff. Apparently, it was made in some regions. It didn’t take him too long after that to find some that was similar to mozzarella back on Terra, but he never asked which domesticated wild cousin animal’s milk was used in the process of making this version. He had bartered for the cheese providing a “meet-and-greet” open house session at the farm that made it. Said session involved a few more over-excited kids then he had planned on, all of whom wanted to hug and pet the “wild cousin” squirrel. The sacrifices he made for his friends.

On top of the cheese, he sprinkled some dried herbs. He then added some sliced mushrooms and sliced rolled, spiced tofu-product that looked sort of like Terran pepperoni, which he knew both his hosts liked in other meals. Done adding toppings, he slipped it into the convection oven for 15 ceklicks. This took a bit of effort as the pan was as large as he was. The smell of baking pizza filled the kitchen as Aldin nibbled on his salad. Just before the timer buzzed, Aouphril and Orlan arrived. Both of their noses twitched at the smell. They had never smelled anything quite like it before.

“Surprise,” Aldin exclaimed as he checked the crust, shook his head, and slipped it back in. “Well, it needs a couple more ceklicks.”

“What is it?”

“Something from Terra, or at least my attempt at it. It is very popular among the humans my people work with. It’s called ‘pizza’, though you may want to come up with a different name for it in Common. Of course, for all I know, pizza is already made somewhere on Earth already.” Aldin described the process. Both were intrigued.

The timer buzzed again. This time, Aldin was happy with the crust, but needed assistance pulling it out. He sliced it up and served them each a slice to start and a smaller one for himself. There wasn’t much human-style food he liked, but he tolerated pizza in small portions. Aldin was pleased with how it came out as he nibbled on his slice. It was well received by his hosts as they made small talk about how their day had gone. There were no leftovers when they were done.

As Orlan did the few dishes, Aouphril noticed the flashing light on the side of the entertainment flat panel indicating a message had been left. This was unusual as all three of them had personal handheld flat panels through which someone could have contacted them. She tapped a passcode on her handheld that signaled through to the entertainment unit.

The screen lit showing the head and shoulders of a brown furred pine marten. It looked about and then directly at the camera. “I hope I have the right place,” she spoke. “I’m trying to contact the Em-bass-ah-der. Please have him return my call as soon as possible through the secured network.” The screen went dark.

Aouphril and Aldin looked at other with puzzlement on their muzzles. She replayed the message as Orlan joined them. She tapped a few icons on her handheld. The entertainment panel displayed:

Call ID: Private
Location: Forestdale, Alisferil Region
Return call?

“Scat,” Aldin mumbled, drooping his tail.

Both Aouphril and Orlan glanced at him and shook their heads, again, wondering why that was used as a cuss word on Terra.

small stuff, a ramble

Sep. 6th, 2017 08:01 pm
moonhare: (little bear)
[personal profile] moonhare
After the horrific stories and pictures from Houston, I let mild panic settle in and started buying some extra foods this week in anticipation of Irma and beyond. It's the Blizzard of 78 all over, as far as being prepared, but I won't stock up on perishables needing refrigeration or those with short shelf lives (i.e.bread/milk/eggs) . I've got an assortment of canned and dry goods "just in case" as well as bottled water in the event of power loss (no power=no well). I'll have 6 gallon contractor buckets for flushing, and these can be refilled at a local stream just down the road if needed. I also need to get pictures of possessions and assemble documents like titles and insurance papers. Well, maybe...

And today I finally re-upped our Sirius XM subscription as it included the premium station package and free device streaming along with the car radio options for around $31 for five months- I'll have to remember to cancel in February!

I bought a blue tooth transmitter for my truck so that I can now listen to songs off my phone and onto the radio there (my wife has the Sirius radio). It worked poorly the first two times I plugged it in, but today it sounded great.

Finally, "Let the Twitter Games Begin!" That's my mindset for how I'm dealing with the crap that appears in my timeline there. I can mute annoying people until I think maybe they have become less so, I can block ads, and I can stop retweets from over-zealous friends who love to share. But I cannot stop seeing 'likes' from friends: i.e. if someone likes, say, Asian Squirrel Pron, it ends up in my timeline. That's not the worst of it, though: it's the damned political garbage that I have to put up with. So I'm experimenting with muting keywords, which eliminates posts wherein the word(s) appear. So far I have muted a huge array of keywords, from antifa to nazis, both parties and the potus himself, and it is helping make Twitter fun again...

Twitter used to get bashed as being a place to see who was watching what show or what a person had for breakfast. Now it is a political quagmire :o(

Enough... well almost-

I just finished watching all three seasons of Brickleberry (wow, talk about boredom). Yeah, I like a lot of the blatant non-pc or sexual humor, but not all of the show, and mostly I just watch it for Malloy commentary :o)

This pretty much sums up my feelings about political rants on Twitter
moxie_man: (Default)
[personal profile] moxie_man
How not to stop Hurricane Irma: Nuke it.


In 1991, Typhoon Yunya (Diding), a Category 3 hurricane/typhoon packing winds with 120mph, was about to make landfall in the Phillipines. The Mount Pinatubo volcano exploded in its path. Yunya quickly diminished in strength. At the time, some believed it weakened due to the "plug up a tailpipe effect" caused by the volcano exploding. All that ash plugged-up the eye and interfered with the dynamics of the storm. You could create a similar effect by dropping a thermonuclear bomb on an island in the pathway of an approaching hurricane (not recommended).

However, later analysis would show it was upper wind shear that killed Yunya and not Pinatubo.

Anyone on my f-list in the pathway of this storm, please keep safe.
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