The Judge Hutchinson’s Gavel – commercial edition

The Judge Hutchinson’s Gavel

by Alex Shlenski

Copyright © 2018 – 2019 by Alex Shlenski

All right reserved

I have to tell you, this is a mind blowing story, hard to believe. On the other hand, unbelievable things happen almost every day, you know. Like one of these days, I was at my home in San Antone slicing me a piece of onion. I thought it was in the morning but in fact, it was after midnight, ’cause I was asleep and I was just dreaming that I was in the kitchen, early in the morning, holding a knife in my hand and cutting that onion. I was at home alone, nobody around. And the next moment my nana, who died very long ago, is standing right in front of me, asking, why are you cuttin’ this onion? And I like, nana, I’m all hungry and my tummy is rumbling like a thunderstorm! So I am fixin’ me some grub. And she comes, leave that onion alone, boy! You’re asleep and you’re supposed to be sleepin’, not eatin’. It ain’t no good to eat while you’re sleep. And I say, nana, you know how much I love you, but please, mind your own business. I am starving and I’m gonna eat that dang onion! And then she comes again, no, you toss that onion now, you’re supposed to be asleep. And then I say, nana, if I’m supposed to be asleep then you’re supposed to be dead, in the cemetery, and not tellin’ me what to do. And then she comes, don’t you get fresh with me, boy! And then I say, nana, you’ve been dead way too long! I ain’t a little boy no more! I am over fifty matter of fact, and my beard is half gray, how ’bout that? But anyway, it’s a different story and I’ll finish it some other time. ‘Cause right now am gonna tell you that unbelievable story about judge Hutchinson’s gavel. It’s a somewhat twisted story, mind you, but to the same talking, it’s worth listening. It happened one day in a courtroom up North in the state of Illinois…



District judge Glenn Hutchinson walked majestically to his seat and occupied it in a way a king is taking his royal throne. He glanced at the courtroom, waited for silence, then looked at the bailiff, who just announced the beginning of the trial, and asked,

– What’s on the docket, Mr. Thompson?

– People of the state of Illinois versus David Houdini, Your Honor!

The judge’s fleshy hand solemnly slammed the gavel into its wooden base. The blow was strong enough, to assert the inevitability of justice and inspire respect to the judicial procedure, but was not excessively loud. The judge’s gavel stuck to the center of its stand, seriously and meaningfully. It did not make an attempt to bounce back in a playful manner – such behavior may be appropriate for a tennis ball in a tennis court but would have been very indecent for a gavel in a court of law.

Judge Hutchinson’s gavel was a remarkable piece of art a large and heavy instrument of venerable appearance, made of ebony and adorned with nifty carvings. It was ornate in moderation, though, which made it look even more solid and respectable. Such a mighty gavel could not only open and close court sessions, announce fifteen-minute breaks and call for order, but also execute death sentences in one decisive blow right in the courtroom.

In order not to bore the reader, I won’t dwell on the gavel’s stand too much. I’ll only mention that it was a flat cylinder made of ebony, its bottom was covered with thick velvet cloth so that it did not slide on a table. The golden letters engraved over its side would say: “Fiat justitia et pereat mundus”. No one in the courtroom, including the judge himself, had a slightest idea what language it was, let alone a translation. Which was sad because the judge, who went online every night to watch some porn before going to bed, could have looked it up long ago, if only he craved for words as much as for big young boobs. It’s pure shame that with that many people from Latin America in the country nobody could translate a simple Latin proverb, let alone Cicero, Tacitus, and Virgil.

Both the gavel and the stand had been in the judge’s possession for eternity, and he never parted with them in his entire judicial career, just as a violinist never parts with his precious Stradivarius violin. On a second thought, comparison with a violin might seem far fetched. If prosecution, defense, judge and jury, witnesses on both sides, bailiffs and court reporter all together comprise a kind of an orchestra, and the judge is the conductor, then the judge’s gavel, without a doubt, is a conductor’s baton. The solemn swings of this holy tool of justice relate to the judicial process as the artistic moves of conductor’s wand to classical music. Both types of music – symphonic and judicial – have plenty of passionate fans, who never miss a single concert. The courtroom was full of observers, who come to court like theatrical play lovers come to a theater.


After these words the members of the judicial orchestra and their fans started perching their asses on the rough court benches worn from long continuous use. As it routinely happens in a court of law since time immemorial, the prosecution took the floor first. In our story it was the chief criminal prosecutor of Livingston county Kyle Stevens.

The chief prosecutor announced the indictment, which, by the way, was rather unusual. The defendant by the name of David Houdini’s was charged with a premeditated murder of Don Monteleone, the former chairman of the city council. The said murder was committed by suffocating the victim to death with a huge pile of cash.

There still are a lot of unclear circumstances in the David Houdini’s case, Mr. Stevens said. The defendant is a convicted felon, he was trialed and found guilty of manufacturing and dealing counterfeit money. However, criminal investigation could not figure the size of his earnings nor find any of his stashes where he hides his unlawful savings. What is even more suspicious, the investigators were unable to find the address of residence of the defendant, his birth certificate, parents, or any other relatives. His origination and real name are still unknown to the police, justice, and even to three letter agencies. Once in custody, the convict tried to fake a mental illness. He was claiming that he is not a human being and not even a life form.

The defendant was claiming that he is a artificial human created by a civilization far more advanced than the one on Earth, and his body consists of physical fields unknown to human science. He insisted that he is an extraterrestrial infiltration device disguised as a human and sent to Earth with a very important mission. He complained that his convincing human appearance is affecting his task very negatively. Humans doubt his extraterrestrial origin and therefore, do not pay due respect to his mission and the questions he asks. Because of that, he cannot conduct detailed interviews and study humans. He said that the civilization that sent him to Earth had no idea that their scout will have to deal with utterly disorganized and ignorant creatures, who know nearly nothing about their own nature and have no skills and desire to learn themselves and their environment the right way.

The consistently inadequate behavior of the convict, and especially his preposterous but amazingly well elaborated extraterrestrial plot finally convinced the administration of the correctional facility that the convict’s mental disorder might be real and they scheduled a psychiatric evaluation. The psychiatric panel and later, a panel of physicians, repeatedly examined the convict, created his psychological profile and made a series of medical tests. No sign of bodily illness or a mental disorder have been found, and the prison administration retired to the opinion that the convict is faking it. There was an incident with his blood work, however. The lab reported that the vials with the convict’s blood samples contained pure ethanol.

– Apparently this scoundrel somehow switched the vials. – concluded the judge – Did the medics repeat the blood test, anyway?

– Yes, they did, and the second time the vials contained diesel fuel. The convict was told not to mess with the vials and he said that he never did. He claimed that his system does not need blood and runs on any liquid fuel like alcohol, vinegar, gasoline, diesel, even liquid nitrogen. – replied the prosecutor.

In the correctional facility the defendant has shown an inexplicable ability to disappear from his cell and resurface in the most unexpected places on the prison compound. He could suddenly appear in the prison office, in the dining room for the prison personnel, in the armory, in the laundry facility, in the kitchen, in the boiler room and other places, including even the warden’s office… The convict never tried to escape from the correctional facility, neither he showed any signs of malicious behavior. Instead, he constantly tried to engage into a conversation with the other convicts and the personnel, asking them strange questions, none of which seem to have an obvious answer.

– What sort of questions would that be, dare to ask? – said the judge. The gavel in his hand sketched an inquisitive trajectory in the air.

– For example, he asked, why humans prefer to kill their excessive population in wars and suffer the consequences like wounds, injuries, dismemberment, PTSD, damage to the infrastructure and family losses rather than simply control their birth rate and kill redundant offspring. He was asking why humans have a strong movement against abortions but no movement against murdering adult people.

– That’s pretty neat! Any other examples?

– There’s plenty, your Honor. The defendant was also asking, why people get awarded for killing other people at war and get severely punished by law for killing people in many other circumstances. When the prison chaplain visited him in his cell and offered him to pray together, he asked him, why humans have limited their communication with God to repeating dumb words written by some idiots and called “prayers” rather than just talk to him in their own words and carefully listen to his answers.

The courtroom spectators started giggling. A couple of jurors chucked.

– It’s getting more and more interesting! This defendant is something else! Please, tell us everything you know. Don’t skip a thing!

– As you wish, your honor! Here are some other questions he asked: why people in the state of Florida drive their slowly clunkers in the leftmost lane on a freeway and go berserk when someone tries to pass them. Why prostitution and recreational marijuana are legal in Netherlands and illegal in the US. Why humans keep speaking so many languages instead of choosing just one and discontinue the rest. Why Muslims kill people for the religion they don’t understand well enough themselves. Why people who fight against abortions do not raise those unwanted babies to give them a chance not to grow up in the street and become druggies and criminals. Why people cannot sue a state for violating their constitutional rights and nevertheless call their regime “democracy”.

– Look at him! – snorted the judge. – He, who prints counterfeit money, is concerned about his constitutional rights and has the nerve to question sovereign immunity! Anything else?

– He asked many times why high intelligence makes human behavior highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, comparing to way less intelligent species that behave very cooperatively, especially cockroaches. He asked why humans don’t try to cross-breed with cockroaches in order to create a new species, not less intelligent but also peaceful and cooperative.

– My goodness! – exclaimed an old pious-looking juror.

– Goodness has nothing to do with it, dearie! – the judge objected.

– He asked people on many occasions if they know Barbara, Celarent, Darii and Ferio.

– Who the hell knows? People with those names could be rock stars, drug dealers, Greek philosophers or illegal immigrants in Arizona! – the judge’s gavel rose and fell.

– To prevent further violations of prison regulations, – continued the chief prosecutor, – the rogue inmate was transferred to the maximum security unit, placed in an impenetrable cell and secured to the wall with reinforced handcuffs and leg shackles. Despite of all restraining measures, the defendant continued to disappear and arise like a ghost in different parts of the prison. His shackles and handcuffs remained properly locked and chained to the massive steel hooks in the wall as if the inmate suddenly evaporated. Since the true identity of the inmate has not yet been found, the prison administration gave him the code name “David Houdini”. In fact, just a combination of David Copperfield’s and Harry Houdini’s names, that is, the men known for their ability to easily disappear from where they were supposed to be and then appear where they were not supposed to be.

Last but not least, the defendant had been fingerprinted eleven times, and each time his fingerprints were completely different like it was another man. He was asked to stop messing with the fingerprint technicians and change his prints every time. He promised to do so. The next time the print set indeed, coincided with the previous one, but somehow individual prints has jumped from one finger to another, as if the man detached his fingers from his hands, threw them into a basket, shook it and then attached the fingers back on in a completely different order.

– Your Honor, the chief prosecutor concluded, – I believe that this scoundrel remains in prison only because he enjoys making a mockery of the American penitentiary system. Otherwise he would have vanished without a trace. That would be all… So, can I call my first witness?

The gavel made a slight move in the judge’s hand, – Prosecution, you may call your first witness.

– The prosecution calls Stacy Beckett – announced Mr. Stevens. A tight red-haired man took the witness stand.

– Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? – asked bailiff Thompson.

– I do! – the witness replied.

– Mr. Beckett, what position did you hold under the late Chairman Monteleone? the chief prosecutor asked.

– I had the privilege to be his personal assistant and secretary.

– Please tell us how and under what circumstances you met the defendant.

– With pleasure! On the thirteenth of August two thousand fifteen this man arrived to our office in the state Capitol building. He first called me from the lobby downstairs and said that he had an appointment with Mr. Monteleone at two o’clock in the afternoon. It was 1:50 pm already, so I asked him to take the stairs or the elevator to our office on the third floor and sign himself in at our visitor log.

– Did the defendant take the stairs or the elevator? – asked the judge with a subtle smile.

– That is the strangest part, your Honor! I can swear, he took neither one. He emerged in the reception room out of nowhere, right in front of my desk. I thought that something wrong happened to my eyes. I even went to see my eye doctor the next day but he said that my eyesight was fine.

– Mr. Beckett, do you remember the name that the defendant put into the visitor log? – asked the prosecutor.

– Yes, sir. It was Jonathan Swift.

– Really! Why, this is a pretty famous name, don’t you think? – chuckled the judge.

– It definitely is! – the witness replied. – When I was a boy, one day I swallowed my father’s watch for a bet. When I got it back from the potty, it didn’t run anymore. So I took it to a watchmaker, whose name was Jonathan Swift, and he was a very famous man in our small town, indeed! Sadly, he refused to repair my watch because of the smell. He said, “hey boy, did you drop her into a pile of…”

– Boom! – said the gavel. – Irrelevant! – clarified judge Hutchinson. – Prosecution, please proceed with the questions.

– Mr. Beckett, do you remember when the defendant called you to make an appointment? – asked chief prosecutor.

– No, sir! This is another funny part because I could not recall anything. I was handling all the appointments for Mr. Monteleone and I never need to look at the schedule. I always remembered all appointments I scheduled. This was the only time I could not recall when and how I set up the appointment with Mr. Swift. He called from the lobby and caught me by surprise. I told him that he does not have an appointment but he insisted that I looked at my schedule. I did and to my dismay found his name, the date and the time written by my own hand, with ink on paper. Mr. Monteleone did not trust computers and wanted me to keep all his records in paper books.

– Did the defendant produce any documents at the name of Jonathan Swift?

– Yes, sir! He showed a valid Illinois driver’s license in that name, and it had his photograph. The ID was real. I am a retired police detective, I would have spotted a fake ID right away.

– Okay. Please tell the jury what happened next.

– Right after Mr. Swift signed in, Mr. Monteleone came out of his office and left, saying that he needed to see the mayor on a short notice, and he’ll be back in an hour. I told Mr. Swift that unfortunately he would have to wait. Mr. Swift replied that he’d rather leave and asked me to pass to Mr. Monteleone a little souvenir he brought for him. He handed me a small cardboard box, then he said his goodbye and immediately left.

– Please tell us about this box. Have you opened it?

– Yes, sir! I opened it and checked its contents meticulously. That was a part of my job as well. The box contained a unusual device of a size and shape of an iPhone. It was bright orange and there were four green buttons at opposite sides of the unit.

– What else was in that box, Mr. Beckett?

– A couple of pages with user instructions, sir. The instructions said that it was a high capacity portable cash printer that prints dollar bills. I thought, it must have been some sort of a prank.

– Did the instruction say what kind of dollar bills this device could print?

– Indeed, sir. It said that the device could prints dollar bills of any denomination. You just need to wish what kind of bills you want to be printed.

– To wish how?

– Just to think about it, that’s what the instruction said.

– Didn’t you think it was illegal to build, have in possession and use such a device?

– Of course, it was my first thought. But I was absolutely sure it was a prank or some sort of publicity stunt. Mr. Monteleone had many influential and eccentric friends. They had a funny tradition to send him all sorts of ridiculous gifts, both expensive and useless. I thought, this thing was just another prank, so I was not surprised at all.

– What kind of gifts? – asked the prosecutor. – Can you bring us an example?

– Sure! A golden model of a Tesla car with double exhaust, a toy cell phone that was yelling profane words very loudly instead of a ringtone, a green dildo with little paws, that hopped and croaked like a toad, a sex doll with shaky boobs and a very hairy…

– That’s enough, Mr. Beckett! I believe the jury got the idea. – said judge Hutchinson.

– Did you try to put this device in action and print some money? – asked the prosecutor.

– Yes, sir! I pressed the buttons and the device, indeed started working. Sir, it really was a joke. It printed three-dollar bills. Everybody knows that bills of such denomination do not exist. It was fast, too! In just few seconds this little thing squirted more than two hundred three-dollar bills out of its gut! It looked surreal, sir! The size of this device was way too small to hold that much paper. And I have to say, other than the denomination, those bills looked like a real deal. They felt right to the touch and even smelled like true money. If they were five dollar bills, they would’ve taken them in any store or restaurant, even in a bank! If not the portraits, of course.

– What portraits? – asked chief prosecutor.

– The face on the bills. It was not a face of any of the US presidents. I recognized that face right away. I saw it in our criminology textbook in the police academy. It was a portrait of Victor Lustig, a con artist who came to Paris and sold Eiffel Tower to French businessmen for scrap. That bastard sold the damn tower twice!

– Praise Lord, our Empire State Building is not made of steel and wire! – said Mr. Stevens.

– Lord has nothing to do with it! – said the judge.

– Well, tell us what happened next? – asked chief prosecutor.

– I remember, I tried not to laugh when I handed Chairman Monteleone the box with the funny device and the instructions as he returned from the mayor’s office. After a couple of minutes he asked me to make sure that no one disturb him for the rest of the day. He looked very excited. I mean, his eyes were wandering and he was almost choking. Next second he locked his door from the inside and I have not heard from him since. On the next morning I entered the office and noticed that the Pitbull’s door was still locked from the inside. I’m sorry, that’s how we called our boss behind his back. Pitbull… I got worried and called our security guard. The surveillance footage showed that Mr. Monteleone hasn’t left his office since yesterday. We knocked on his door and called his phone but he did not answer. Then we immediately called the sheriff’s office. Deputy Robinson and the rest of sheriff’s team arrived ten minutes later. We met them in the office. Kermit Ruffins, our security guard, brought the spare key and we opened the door. Your Honor… Mr. Stevens… you already know the rest.

– Thank you, Mr. Beckett. I have no more questions for you. – The chief prosecutor turned to the judge. – Your honor, may I call the next witness?

– Yes you can.

– Thanks, your Honor. The prosecution calls Brian Culbertson, the CSI officer with the Livingston county Sheriff office.

A huge police officer, taller than six feet, built like a wrestler, passed to the stand, covered the court Bible with his palm like a matchbox, and took an oath, promising to tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help him God.

– Mr. Culbertson, you’re a CSI with the Livingston county sheriff office, correct?

– Yes sir, that’s correct.

– Please describe to the jury what you have found after you and the deputy opened Mr. Monteleone’s office door.

– The door lock got stuck because something was pushing the door with a great force from the inside. I had to use some muscles to overpower the stubborn lock. The very moment the lock gave in, the door slammed open, and we all saw an avalanche of cash pouring out and flooding the reception room.

– What kind of cash did you see, Mr. Culbertson?

– It was brand-new hundred-dollar bills all over, sir! The office was stuffed with them from the top to the bottom, so the deputy called the janitor and asked him to bring the shovels. We began to shovel that huge pile of cash out of the office. Deputy Robinson grew up on a farm, his is really good with a shovel! It took us almost four hours just to remove most of the cash from the office and the reception room to the lounge. We needed help to safely impound that huge amount of cash, so the Deputy called for a backup. When we finally dug out Mr. Monteleone we naturally, broke quite a bit of sweat.

– In what condition did you find Mr. Monteleone, when you saw him?

– He did not move nor breathe, did not talk either. He had a bluish puffy face and his body was cold and very stiff. He did not have no pulse. We made no attempt to resuscitate him. He was dead as a door nail. Considering the temperature of the body, his death occurred between one and three o’clock in the morning. Later our coroner Warren McKenzie defined his cause of death as suffocation. You should have it in your files. That cash have crushed his body like a gardener stomps a snail.

– What else have you found at the crime scene?

– Late Mr. Monteleone was holding a small orange box in his hands and that box kept spraying a strong stream of cash right in the air like a fire hose. We had to pry it out of his dead stiff hands. Once the green buttons on the box got released, the device stopped spraying the cash. My goodness! I’ve never seen anything like that even in a movie!

– As the judge said already, goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie! – screeched the defendant suddenly in a thin squeaky voice.

– I gave the box a try to figure how it works and pressed those buttons. The box burst a spray of cash. I released the buttons and examined the result. The box produced almost a hundred seven-dollar bills in just a few seconds. We impounded the box along with the other material evidences and passed to our tech experts. I guess, Mr. Jamal will tell yous more about this unholy device. I have nothing more to say, your Honor.

– Thank you, Mr. Culbertson. You may be seated now. – Judge Hutchinson pointed his gavel to the chief prosecutor. Next witness, please!

– The prosecution calls Ahmad Jamal. Mr Jamal, do you need a Quran to take the oath?

– Thank you, Mr. Stevens. Actually, it’s A-kh-mad. I know my looks and my name suggest that I must be Muslim but I was raised as a foster child in a Buddhist family, so the Bible is all I need.

– What a shame! – squeaked the defendant. – I guess, you’re not even circumcised.

The judge slammed his gavel on the base real loudly. – Defendant! One more remark of that sort from you, and you’ll be in contempt of this court, which means more jail time for you! Cease and desist!

– Mr. Jamal, you work as a lead computer hardware engineer in Textronics corporation and you are also a forensic technical consultant for the Livingston county Sheriff office. Is this correct?

– That is correct. – The expert turned to the defendant. – And just for you to know, your guess is wrong. I am circumcised and I can prove it to you right after the trial.

The people in the court room burst laughing.

– Order! – the judge and the gavel barked synchronously. The courtroom gradually calmed down.

– Your honor! Ladies and gentlemen! I am about to show you a miraculous device built by a criminal genius that yet has to be found and put behind bars, unless this trial proves that its creator is our defendant himself. Before demonstrating the device, I’d like to briefly describe what it’s capable of. Don’t be tricked by its small size. Since Mr. Monteleone locked his office door and started printing cash until the Sheriff’s men slammed in and stopped the device, that is, in less than twelve hours, it had printed two billion one hundred and thirty-seven million seven hundred and ninety-two thousand four hundred dollars, all in hundred-dollar bills. It is more than the amount the Federal Reserve planned to print in four batches and loan to the leading national banks, interest-free, in the next twelve months to revive our country’s economy. The weight of this money exceeds forty-seven thousand pounds, which is more than twenty-one metric ton!

The murmurs and exclamations of astonishment flew throughout the courtroom, quickly turning into a storm. The district judge had to resort to his favorite tool, that is, his gavel, to restore order and silence. Little by little, the noise subsided, and the courtroom calmed down.

– Please continue, Mr. Jamal! – judge Hutchinson wiped his forehead with a long sleeve of his mantle, as he broke a light sweat, exercising with a heavy gavel for a few minutes.

– Yes, your honor. – the expert witness replied. – And now is the time to actually demonstrate the device.

Mr. Jamal opened his briefcase and produced a small metal box with a white sticker on its side. He opened the box, carefully pulled out its contents, and solemnly demonstrated to the courtroom audience an Apple iPhone, brand-new, as if it had just come from the store.

The expert witness looked at the iPhone, and the iPhone looked back at him with a devilish smile. Mr. Jamal’s hand flinched and dropped the unholy device on the floor. He crouched to pick it up but instead of an iPhone he grabbed a beat up old school Nokia phone with a long twisted antenna sticking out of its top. The expert witness dropped it again and screamed “kus emek!”, as if he was stung by a dozen of bees. The bees must have flown from the courtroom because it started buzzing like a disturbed beehive. Judge Hutchinson once again had to take up the gavel, and after a short while, resort to the bailiff. By the time the room was in order, Mr. Jamal had already picked up the device from the floor. Hell knows how but the unholy device changed its appearance once again and now looked like an iPhone, as it was before. The expert witness looked like a lost dog. He was staring fearfully at the devilish gizmo and his hands were slightly shaking.

– Your Honor! It was impossible to replace the material evidence. We kept it in the armored safe in the Sheriff’s office evidence room! I’ve never lost sight of my briefcase on my way to court even for a split second! I swear before God I never opened the briefcase and the evidence box.

– I have no doubt that you did everything possible to protect the evidence, Mr. Jamal. – answered the judge. – But I am pretty sure that little sticky fingers of this scoundrel managed to do it! – the voice of the district judge rumbled with righteous anger, and the gavel in his hand pointed to the defendant – a plain looking little man. He was a shorty, or like we say in the South, a knee-high to a grasshopper. His inconspicuous face left no chance to recognize it even to his own mother. He sat modestly, dressed in the orange robe of an federal prison inmate, with enormous handcuffs shining brightly on his tiny hands. His feet were chained with very serious shackles linked to a thick metal chain that was wrapped around a massive concrete dock several times.

– You are right, Mr. judge. – said the man in the orange robe – I did replaced the device, it was a safety measure. Only I did it not with my hands. I used a different way of handling things that you humans don’t know. – His plain face twisted into a grimace that was probably intended to be a smile. – Strictly speaking, I have no hands or any other body parts. – The defendant spoke loudly and distinctively. However, his voice was completely devoid of individual timbre. If a drinking glass could talk it would probably talk just like that.

– What you see, Mr. judge, is not a real human body, it’s a very convincing fake. – the defendant raised his handcuffed hands and they slowly disappeared, leaving the handcuffs hanging in the air. – By the way, Mr. judge, may I ask, what is the purpose of this heavy wooden hammer of yours?

– What hammer? – the judge asked, embarrassed by a strange question.

– This one. – the defendant’s little hand suddenly appeared over the judge’s table apart from his body. It grabbed the gavel and hit the wooden stand twice. The little hand gently put the gavel back in place and gradually evaporated, appearing at the same time in its rightful place in the company of the other hand and, of course, handcuffs. – I don’t understand why humans use different tools for same purposes. I would recommend you to control your court with one of those sticks that are used in an orchestra to synchronize the musicians’ parts.

– Why?! – asked the judge, completely stunned.

– I noticed that pointing and yelling at a human is more effective than knocking on the wood and yelling at that human. You will see it by yourself if you take your hammer by its head and point its handle at a person before you start yelling instead of pounding desperately on your desk.

Judge Hutchinson stared at his gavel and bulged his eyes, breathing frequently and heavily. Bailiff Thompson approached the defendant and bellowed right in his face:

– The judge should be addressed not “Mr. judge”, but “your honor”! – Then he slowly walked away, muttering – what a scoundrel!

– Can you people see the judge’s honor? – asked the defendant – No, you can’t, because you don’t know how. Can I see the judge’s honor? No I can’t see it either, even though I know how. And you know why? Because the judge does not possess such a virtue!

The judge gasped and so did bailiff Thompson and the rest of the courtroom audience.

– Then why do you people address something that you have no ability to locate and identify? Why do you address the non-existing judge’s honor, instead of addressing the existing judge? And by the way, what does the word “scoundrel” mean? Almost forgot… Mr. Jamal! You may start demonstrating my little money maker, I’ve restored it.

The expert witness absent-mindedly looked at the artifact that he’s been squeezing tightly in his hand all that time and barely managed to hold another scream. The phony iPhone in his hand unnoticeably turned into an orange box with four green buttons.

– Defendant, it would be better for you if you fully, honestly and without reserve explain how this device works. Your full cooperation with justice might somewhat ease your punishment. – said the chief prosecutor.

– Mr. Stevens, this device works very simply. – the defendant replied. – But if you insist, I’ll explain one more time. You need to think what kind of dollar bills you want to print and then press and hold four green buttons. As long as you hold the buttons, the cash will keep coming out of the slot on the front surface of the device. When you believe the device has printed enough cash, you simply release the buttons and the device will stop. Then you collect your cash and spend it as needed. That simple!

– Stop your mockery, Houdini! – retorted Mr. Stevens. – You surely understand that you are asked to tell everything about the technical aspects of this illegal device.

– I regret to tell you that human technological level is by far too inferior to even understand how it works, let alone how it’s built. But after all, it is to your benefit, because this device can throw your world into a financial chaos and paralyze your entire economy in a matter of days. I created this device just for a single case study and upon its completion it will be destroyed. By the way, I already annihilated all the cash that this device have printed and you have impounded.

The chief prosecutor stared at the defendant with superstitious fear, unable to utter a word. The other members of the court were not in a better condition. Judge Hutchinson was silently moving his lips, clutching his gavel with both hands, so the little man in the orange robe continued without interference

– This device has a very important restriction. It can print cash for a certain user only once. This restriction is accurately written in the instruction that Mr. Beckett mentioned. The purpose of this restriction is obvious. It forces the user to expose his real thirst for money. That way, it serves as a measuring tool of human greed. Unfortunately, Mr. Beckett have not read the instruction to the end. By the way, I’ve noticed that humans never read, write, think, print, imagine, create and destroy things to the very end. They always leave their business unfinished, and it causes all sorts of unpleasant consequences. But humans never connect their sufferings with their own mistakes. Instead they always blame someone by the name of Devil. Can someone tell me, who is Devil and why everybody blames him for their own inconsistent behavior?

– He is the Devil! – Yelled juror number three, pointing his finger at the defendant and crossing himself with the other hand.

– In the name of Jesus, be gone! – Juror number six grabbed his pectoral cross with trembling hands and began to mumble prayers, stammering and shaking with fright.

– No, he ain’t Devil. – objected judge Hutchinson, who already regained his consciousness. – Out of all beasts in the celestial zoo, the Devil knows, best of all, what the word ‘scoundrel’ means. Besides, the Devil would never wander around the prison, asking the inmates idiotic questions, he doesn’t have time for this shit.

The judge paused and barked, addressing the defendant,

– Tell me, why the hell did you choose my damn court out of all places on Earth, you little piece of alien shit?! There are special government institutions that have the official obligation, the right, and the funds to contact with damn aliens. Why didn’t you go there and introduce your abominable self to the right people, who are getting paid to talk to your ugly kind! This district court is representing the people of the state of Illinois and has the right to put on a trial only humans! We have no right to put on trial a hell knows what, that arrived on Earth from fuck knows where! This is going to be a mistrial, by all means! But since you’re here, would you please at least explain, why did you make your damn thing that killed my good friend Don Monteleone?

– Mr. judge, Don Monteleone wasn’t your friend. You two had a close business relationship, to be precise, an illegal sort of a relationship, but there was no friendship between you.

– What are you trying to imply? – exclaimed judge Hutchinson. His well-placed voice was roaring with righteous anger as his gavel was swinging menacingly in his hand.

– I’m not implying, but I’m saying directly that you received two and a half million dollars from the late Mr. Monteleone as a reward for using your connections to help him to get the position of Chairman of the city Council. This money was transferred to your secret offshore accounts two years, three months and nineteen days ago, and since then you have not paid a single penny in taxes to the Federal and state IRS.

– Is that right, your honor?! – chief prosecutor asked the judge in a dumbfounded tone, pointing a finger at the defendant – Is this telling the truth?

The chief prosecutor finally believed in the extraterrestrial origin of the defendant, calling him, for lack of a better word, the pronoun “this”.

– Of course, this is lying through its teeth! – replied the judge.

– Mr. judge, I don’t have teeth, gills, feathers, testicles, and other body parts because I don’t have a body. What you see is not what I am! But I always tell the truth and you humans had better start doing it as well! It should be recorded in my case that I waived my right to an attorney and elected to defend myself, so I am my own attorney. The prosecution has finished interviewing its witnesses, and according to the court rules, the defense can start interviewing its witnesses, right?

– You may begin calling your witnesses, Mr. your own attorney. Only I don’t see any defense witnesses in this courtroom. Are you going to dig them out of the ground? – the judge asked sarcastically.

– You’re pretty close, Mr judge. – replied the defendant. – Not quite out of the ground, though, but from a granite mausoleum in the Catholic part of Graceland cemetery in Chicago, where my witness was buried six months and eleven days ago. I’ll need about thirty seconds to regenerate his physical image, and for those thirty seconds, I’ll have to leave this place, and then I’ll be back to this courtroom with my witness, in the flesh.

With these words, the defendant slowly evaporated into thin air. Handcuffs and shackles fell to the floor with a metallic clang, and the orange robe slowly laid down on the dock, with its empty sleeves hanging lifelessly. Everyone in the courtroom held their breaths, counting the longest thirty seconds in their lives.

– The defense calls Don Monteleone. – announced the defendant in his glassy voice. The people in the courtroom winced. Everyone was so absorbed in counting the seconds that nobody noticed how the defendant got back into his robe out of nowhere. He did not return back into his shackles, though, and they remained lying on the floor.

No one walked to the witness stand, but the air above it suddenly dimmed, then thicken even more, and started condensing into vague shapes that were becoming clearer each moment until everyone recognized the late chairman of the city council. Monteleone, a red-faced bald fat man, was dressed in a strict black suit, in which he was shoved into his coffin. His puffy face had an extremely anxious look. His eyes were restlessly darting around. When he saw the judge, he tried to give him some signs, to which the judge shook his head negatively, briefly and decisively.

– Mr. Monteleone, – announced the alien loudly. – You’ve had a long lapse of memory, so you can’t remember how you ended up in this courtroom. You’ve been dead for over six months. I had to slap up a new body for your pitiful soul, using technologies unknown to your world, so you could testify. You have the right to refuse to testify. In which case you will immediately go back into your coffin and experience all the inconveniences related to the necessity to die again. If you prefer to testify, please put your hand on this ritual book, as did the previous witnesses, and swear to tell the truth.

The inexplicably resurrected Monteleone, trembling with horror, muttered the words of the oath and obediently stared with his frightened eyes at the little man in the orange robe, like a dog waiting on a command from his handler.

– Mr. Monteleone, have you been printing money in your office under duress? Did anyone force you to keep the device going until the paper pulp squeezed you to death?

– No sir, no one forced me to do it.

– So you could have stopped printing cash at any time, but you didn’t. Why?

– I don’t know. I couldn’t stop even when that dough started suffocating me. It was just above my will. I couldn’t release the damn buttons.

– Mr. Monteleone, you were fifty three years old when you died. Considering your health, your life expectancy should not have been longer twenty years. How exactly did you plan to spend that much money in just twenty years?

– I did not think about it, at all. I just wanted more money.

– I see. At the end your entire office got filled with tons and tons of hundred dollar bills. How did you plan to hide that money from everybody else in your office? How did you plan to carry all that cash to a place where you could store it safely?

– I did not think about it. I just wanted more money.

– Okay, suppose you managed to secretly move all your cash to a safe storage place. How did you plan to legalize that huge amount of money so that you don’t have any tensions with the law while spending it?

– I did not think about it, at all. I just wanted more money.

– Did you plan to use a part of that money to bribe government officials in order to get help to laundry the rest of the cash?

– Objection, your honor! – shouted the chief prosecutor. – The future intentions of the defense witness have nothing to do with his real actions that inflicted his death. I’d recommend the witness to plead the fifth.

– Sustained! – the judge’s gavel landed heavily on its wooden stand.

– Human’s intentions have a strong tendency to repeat upon the time. – said the little man in the orange robe. – Mr. Monteleone, did you secretly transfer two and a half million dollars to the offshore accounts of district judge Hutchinson in exchange for him lobbying you for the post of the chairman of the Chicago city Council? Yes or no? You have a choice to plead the fifth and return to your coffin or keep to testify and get a second chance on your life.

– Objection, your honor! – yelled the chief prosecutor. – A testimony made under a threat cannot be accepted as a valid proof of the allegations by the court of law!

Mr. Stevens tried to make an eye contact with the judge, expecting another “sustained!”. Instead, the judge tragically dropped his gavel and whispered hopelessly

– Overruled…

– Yes, I did it. – replied the dead man, who was suddenly brought to life. – My Sicilian friends in the construction business promised me mountains of gold in kickbacks if I become the chairman and give them all city contracts. I tried to bargain with the judge, but that old prick wouldn’t settle for less than two and a half mils. I transferred half a mil to his account in Switzerland, half a mil to Bermuda, half a mil to the Bahamas and another million bucks to his accounts in London, UK. – The former chairman of the city council turned to the judge – Glenn, I’m sorry, old pal, but I’ve no desire to risk my second chance to live, saving a reputation of a bastard like you. Better you go to prison than I go back to cemetery!

– You greasy Sicilian pig! – the district judge yelled, flailing his gavel. – You don’t want to go back to cemetery? Then I’ll send you there myself! – with these words, judge Hutchinson sprang from his chair, ran with unexpected agility to the witness stand, and with all his might brought down his gavel on the head of the god damned witness.

Probably never in the history of the planet Earth a man would die that soon after his sudden and unexpected resurrection. Monteleone plunged to the floor, his arms and legs twitching in convulsions, and a red oily fluid gushed from a hole in his broken head.

– Your honor! You just killed him! – chief prosecutor cried. The rest of the audience stunningly looked at the corpse of the defense witness and at the fire-breathing judge standing next to the dead body, holding his enormous gavel covered with thick sticky blood.

– Stevens, you idiot! Don Monteleone is dead, buried in his family crypt six months ago! This is not him! This piece of shit came from… – judge Hutchinson kicked the corpse in disgust. – I reckon, even the Devil himself can’t tell where this shit came from!

– Nevertheless, your honor, you just brutally killed a sworn witness in front of the courtroom audience – the chief prosecutor muttered.

– Fuck you, Stevens! If I have not whacked him, he might have told a couple of very interesting things on you as well.

– He surely might. – confirmed the defendant in his glassy voice.

– Dear Mr. Houdini or whatever the fuck you are… Could you please send what’s left of my dear friend Monteleone back to the cemetery where he belongs? Look, um… Mr. alien! How could I explain… He is no longer needed in our human world. His position in the city council is taken by another man. Three months ago his widow married her lover, whom she had been seeing for the last eight years. His golf buddies, those old farts, would have shit their pants if they saw him risen from the dead and showed up at the golf course with a club in his hands. Both his daughters hated him deeply. His connections and influence have already passed to other people. He could not live on, he’s worth less than an eaten egg. In fact, I did him a great favor when I cracked his bald skull with my gavel. – The judge took a short breath and began to wipe the bloody gavel on his robe.

– All right, I’ll move the corpse back to its coffin, but only if you return the favor.

– Within reason, of course. I guess, you do not need my money.

– That’s right. I don’t need your money, I can print my own. What I need from you, humans, is your time and your full attention. I need you to carefully listen to what I say and answer my questions to the best of your ability.

– Please ask your questions. – said the chief prosecutor. – We will try to answer them at the best of our knowledge. – Right after these words the dead body on the floor started disappearing. – Although, we would strongly advise you to contact those special government agencies. Why don’t your government send an official delegation to Earth and exchange ambassadors and stuff? And why don’t you ask your questions to our scientists, after all? – with his last words the bloody corpse appeared on the floor again and started twitching and stirring, trying to stand on its feet.

– All right! All right! – yelled the judge. – Forget the scientists! We are at your service, Mr. alien!

– Very good! – said the alien cheerfully. The corpse finally stood up, staggering on his feet, shook a bloody finger at the judge and started melting in the air slowly like a molasses until fully disappeared.

– Before I start asking my questions, I need to share with you my vision of your species and your civilization. You need to take in mind very seriously everything that I said. First, I need to remind you that not so long ago your scientists believed that Earth is flat like a dead skunk flattened by a semi truck. Which did not discourage them to proclaim it the center of the Universe. Did not they also claim that sheep could be grown on trees like apples? That there is a special stone capable of turning mercury into gold? That heat is a special kind of fluid? That California is an island… Do you really think their knowledge improved so dramatically that I can trust their answers now?

– Defendant! Um… Sorry, Mr. Alien! – judge Hutchinson raised his gavel. – Our science is evolving as much as the new facts become available to our scientists. Taking your example, California used to be an island, which was correct until September 9, 1850. But on September 9, 1850 California ceased to be an island because it was officially admitted into the United States as an undivided free state as part of the Compromise of 1850.

– Well, Mr. judge, your knowledge of American history is very impressive! What can you tell us about Hawaii, then? Same story? What about Rhode Island?

– Ah, well… Hawaii is not a real “state” state! It’s more like a territory, so it might still be an island. I mean, formally it is a state, it received statehood on August 21, 1959 as a result of the referendum, but still… And Rhode Island is definitely a state. But it’s called Rhode Island, so it’s definitely an island, even though it’s not… Screw it! I was trained to practice law, I am not a damn scientist!

– Thank you, Mr. judge! I really like your way of thinking! It is overly inconsistent, which is very typical for human species!

– What species, Mr. Alien? – asked chief prosecutor. – Do you mean, Americans?

– Not quite so, Mr. Stevens. I mean, all humans in general.

– But we Americans are not just humans in general! – objected the judge passionately. – Americans are the best humans in the world!

– All humans think they are the best humans in the world, Mr. judge! I established that fact in prison, where different nationals and ethnicities compete for the privilege to be the best with utmost determination. I especially like American prisons because they are organized much better than the rest of your country in terms of discipline, law and order.

– What made you come to such conclusion? – asked chief prosecutor.

They give the inmates more freedom than at large to compete for the right to be the best, but their excellent organization keeps the murder rate in American prisons much lower than in American cities.

– He is absolutely correct! – ruled the judge. – We all know the statistics. But we can’t incarcerate all American population to protect their lives from criminals!

– True! You cannot build that many prisons. But nothing prevents you to run your country in the exact same way your run your correctional facilities. I would recommend you to start with your scientists. I admit that they are getting better but still very far from perfect. They waste more time on their liberal activities than they spend on their science. They would’ve made much more accomplishments if they were kept in prisons rather than in universities.

– Why do you think so, Mr. Alien? – asked juror number three.

– Because liberalism and science are inconsistent with each other, and American prisons are much less liberal than American universities.

– You sound like a good old conservative man! – said chief prosecutor. – I like your spirit! We must stop those liberals from ruining our country. But what is a practical advantage of running a country like a prison? Look at North Korea, how stupid it is!

– North Korea is a very stupid prison, indeed. – replied the extraterrestrial scout. – If you want to see a smart prison, you need to look at China!

– That’s a very good point! – chief prosecutor grinned wryly. – Why don’t you go to China then and introduce yourself to the Chinese scientists? They will be more than happy to talk to you!

– There are too many Chinese in China, Mr. Stevens, and that makes things overly complicated. It’s hard to find scientists in such an enormous crowd, especially when all the people look alike.

– Agreed! Then go to Cuba! It’s a much smaller prison. It’s bigger than Alcatraz but smaller than North Korea.

– I’ve been to Cuba but I couldn’t not find any scientists there. Cubans told me that all their scientists had swam to Key West.

– No surprise! – smirked the judge. – Swimming to Key West is the most popular national sport in Cuba after baseball!

– I went to Key West, I noticed a lot of chickens and roosters wandering around the island, but I did not find any Cuban scientists there.

– No surprise! – said chief prosecutor. – Those Cuban scientists are all in Miami. But they won’t talk to you, Mr. alien. They are very busy stealing people’s cars and identities, selling drugs, pulling credit card and insurance scams and collecting refugee benefits.

– What kind of scientists are they? – asked the alien. – I’ve noticed that human science is very unorthodox, but their occupation, as you put it, is quite a strange sort of science!

– I can’t be more agree with you! – said chief prosecutor. – That’s why the best place to find that sort of scientists is prison. You’ll find a lot of Cuban scientists locked in FCI Miami, that’s for sure!

– And that is exactly what I did! I visited FCI Miami and talked to them. They are very pleased with that prison. They told me that they’re having there much better food than in Cuba, and more respect. Their only complaint was that they had no women and therefore they had to use their hands every night to relieve their sexual urges. They even tried to use my body for the same purpose but they could not find a suitable technological opening. They’ve got very surprised and asked me, “Man, where is your butthole?”

– Boom! – barked the gavel.

– That’s too much information! – said the judge. – We don’t need to know how Cuban scientists are using their hands at night in Miami federal prison, let alone your unorthodox body! By the way, they do it at a daylight time a lot, too! I believe, we’re done with the scientists. Now, what about our suggestion to use a diplomatic approach?

– We’ll get to that topic soon. But right now I need to make an important statement for you, humans! Your main problem is your highly inconsistent way of thinking and consequently, your way of living. For example, the prison regime is intended to correct the inmate’s behavior. But while in the male prison I noticed that inmates have no access to females. Why do you keep men and women in separate prisons? Keep them together and make sure they have plenty of sex! You absolutely cannot correct the inmates’ deviant behavior by sexual deprivation. It can only exacerbate their deviations. I made a quick experiment and found out that sexual satisfaction keeps the inmates’ aggression in a very low level.

– What experiment?

– A very simple one. I created an artificial woman for the inmates.

– Wha-at?!

– What “what”? Do you really think that I can only make an iPhone that prints money? I can make anything! Gold, silver, cocaine, weapon grade plutonium, a nuclear submarine, a cruise missile, a cure from any human disease, even a live Saudi sheikh and his mother. I can resurrect Gaius Julius Caesar just like I resurrected poor Mr. Monteleone. I can create a planet of a size of Jupiter and launch it around your central star that you call Sun.

– If you really can do all that fancy shit, why didn’t you go ahead and do it? – asked juror number seven.

– For what purpose?

– For one, just to impress us!

– If I start doing all that fancy shit, you’ll get too scared to do what I need from you the most.

– What do you need from us the most? – asked the CSI officer.

– I need to find consistent patterns in your brain organization.

– Why do you need it?

– To confirm that your species are worth living. Nobody in the Universe tolerates inconsistent behavior anymore!

– Are you for real, Mr. alien? – asked one of the spectators.

– I see, you still don’t believe me, and that’s sad. I need you to help me so that I could help you. I need you to open your hearts to me like to Jesus Christ! Come on, people! Jesus did not do even half of the miracles that I did to pleasantly surprise you!

– What miracles?

– Well, Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, remember? My miracles in FCI Miami were a bit different. First I started making artificial marijuana and alcohol and dispensing them to the inmates. Then I made for them an artificial woman. Marijuana made the inmates peaceful while alcohol elevated their aggression level, so I banned alcohol on the prison compound.

– What do you mean, banned alcohol?

– I made the prison compound an alcohol free zone. Any alcohol they tried to bring to the facility disappeared immediately.

– What about that artificial woman?

– Oh, yes! The woman… I made the best sort of a woman, the one that human males love the most. A woman that is ready for sex any time and always wants more. I named her Eve and introduced her to the inmates. She told them that she will be happy to please them all as much and as often as they want. But they found her offer quite indecent, and demanded that I properly pimped her out. I asked them what I should do and they explained to me that first I need to give her a better name, suitable for a whore. We had a quick vote and gave her a new beautiful name: Lucy Sweet Pussy. They told me to make a nice dress and lingerie for her because originally I created her naked. They said that I have to rent her to one inmate at a time and demand a payment of no less than four cigarettes an hour, two for me and two for Lucy. It’s remarkable that in prison they use cigarettes as money. They also said that I should not let her clients to beat her up, gang rape her, and rob her earnings. They told me that I must kill those inmates who try to do her any harm. I killed four inmates that tried to do so and annihilated their bodies. At the end of the experiment they said that I was a very good pimp even for a human, not just for an alien.

– Really! – said the judge rather sarcastically.

– You are making a very impressive criminal career here on Earth! – added chief prosecutor.

– That’s how I mostly learned the real behavior of human species in their natural habitat. By the way, Jesus Christ observed the exact same behavior in the ancient Jewish prison, only they did not use cigarettes for payment. Instead they used pieces of bread they called lechem. In two thousand years human behavior has not changed even a bit! But let’s get back to your suggestion about diplomatic ways. Think of the biology scientists studying the behavior of cockroaches in their natural habitat. Would they send an official diplomatic delegation to the cockroaches and exchange ambassadors? I doubt that! Most likely, they will create an artificial cockroach and infiltrate it into the cockroach world to study real cockroaches by interacting with them and learning they ways.

– You’ve made such a long way to Earth to study our cockroaches?

– I hope you’ve noticed that I look like a human, not a cockroach. So, technically speaking, in our situation you are the cockroaches and my makers are the scientists. It is not an insult, it’s just an observation. It’s my mission, to interact with humans and understand them better. And that is exactly what I was doing in FCI Miami and many other prisons.

– Whatever spins your wheel, Mr. alien! – said the judge. – To the same talking, if people’s attention is all you want, why don’t you go to area 51 and present yourself to the military command? They’ll be more than happy to talk to you!

– I’ve already been there, thank you! There are no sane humans at that place, only military personnel. In other words, the humans who’s been specially trained to kill other humans for land, property and just because of someone’s sick ambitions. Have not a slightest desire to talk to those morons ever again. They never listened to my questions, even a bit! They asked their own and were very rude!

– What? What? What questions did they ask you? – the spectators asked with agitation.

– They asked if I can destroy Russia, Iran, North Korea and a bunch of smaller places in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Antarctica.

– And what did you say?

– I said that I can easily destroy the entire Earth if they ask me too. They got very excited and started nagging me for a little demo, so that I showed them what I am capable of. So I suggested that I destroy New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. Those states are bankrupts, you know, so annihilating them would seriously benefit the federal budget. And it would be a very convincing demo.

The courtroom gasped deeply and synchronously as if it was one person.

– But for some reason they did not like my suggestion and got really pissed. I said that if those states have a sentimental value for them, I can annihilate Mississippi, Wyoming and North Dakota. My cellmates told me that nobody needs those shitty states anyway. But the military guys got upset even more, and told me to eat shit and fuck off. They explained to me that “fuck off” in their military language means to leave the premises promptly. Nobody explained why I had to eat shit, though. When I fucked off the area 51, I decided to return to my favorite prison and wait patiently for my trial. At that point I realized that so far the trial is my best chance to really attract human’s attention without scaring them off at the same time. By the way, before I fucked off the area 51, I annihilated all three liquor stores on their compound. One of my cellmates, an ex marine, told me that servicemen shall never drink in excess so I made sure they won’t.

– Have you seen any other aliens in area 51? – asked juror number eight, a young woman with inquisitive look on her face.

– Yes, I’ve seen a bunch. I even met a couple of buddies. They usually come and go.

– Who are they?

– Just dumb tourists, not even close to my level of interstellar proficiency. They come there to amuse themselves by talking to the most notorious idiots known to the interplanetary travel agencies.

– But you are not a tourist, are you? – asked Mr. Stevens.

– As I said, I am a scout. A science scout, not a military. Better say, a probe. I arrived on Earth to check on you and bring the results back to our panel of scientists that sent me here. Our science community is constantly sending scouts like myself to check on other life forms, so here I am! The previous device, also disguised as human, was sent to Earth a couple of millennia ago. I have to say, this little thingy got real popular here on your planet. You mention its name on every occasion!

– And what is its name? – a court spectator asked.

– I already gave you a hint. Its name is Jesus Christ. Rings the bell?

– No! Fucking! Way! – exclaimed the judge. His trembling hand dropped the gavel and the heavy tool hit the floor with a loud clunk.

– I’ve no reason to misinform you. – said the little alien. – Our first mission on Earth created on this lifeless planet the first live cell made of very simple DNA that coded a handful of proteins and some other organic components, just enough to live and proliferate in the local conditions. Our second mission helped some unicellular organisms to start assembling into multi-cellular ones. The third mission modified the genome of a little monkey to make it smarter. The monkeys started mutating and turned into your species, humans. We expected them to enjoy their brain power, live peacefully and cooperatively, and spend all their time learning Nature. Instead we saw them using their intellect to kill, rob and enslave each other. That time we sent on Earth our first infiltration device disguised as a human. The one you call Jesus Christ. It was supposed to help you fix your shit and show you the right way. But his mission failed because he messed with the Jews. Little did we know that the first rule of thumb here on Earth since the Plagues of Egypt was “Never, ever mess with the Jews!”. The Jews started messing with his program, the Romans started messing with his physical body… Long story short, instead of ending all the religions on Earth and making human mind rational, his mission created a new one, which became a complete disaster.

– Why do you call our Christian religion a disaster? – asked one of the spectators. – Did not people kill and enslave each other even before Christ?

– Sure they did! But Christians elevated human inconsistent nature, that your clergy improperly calls “the original sin”, to a completely new level. The Protestant’s revolt against Catholics rejected the idea of salvation through prayers and rituals and brought a new idea of salvation through exercising their faith through their business, with utmost relentlessness, accuracy, autonomy, and constant repetition. Do you recognize this spirit?

– I am Protestant, but the way you described my faith, it sounds like a Terminator! – said the CSI officer.

And what is a Terminator?

It’s a killing machine. – replied a young woman, a court spectator.

– Yes, it’s a machine! Humans had always used tools and mechanisms just like other intelligent animals. But protestants introduced the idea of a machine that uses external energy supply and does its work autonomously, repeating its working cycles over and over again. James Watt, a Presbyterian engineer, passed his Protestant spirit to his creation, an autonomous machine, and that was a dead end of the evolution of your species.

– Why? Why? – shouted the audience.

– Because instead of improving your natural physical and intellectual abilities you completely delegated your power and your intelligence to the machines and started deteriorating physically and mentally. Your machines become stronger and smarter as you become weaker and dumber! Without your machines you are nothing. You use your machines to feed, transport, communicate, entertain, control, and kill each other. You use them even to masturbate! You abuse your machines the same way you abuse cocaine, heroin, and especially, oil.

– What oil?

– Crude oil, the fossil fuel. That is the substance that you abuse the most! You humans are oil junkies! Junkies never think how much harm their addiction causes to them and to everybody around. Shall I remind you about your terrifying carbon dioxide emission? That is the first thing I have noticed when I arrived to your planet. If we remove oil from Earth, you will fall back into stone age immediately. I believe I showed and told you enough to confirm my credentials. Do you believe me now?

– Yes, we believe you! Please continue! – replied Mr. Stevens.

– Your holy book called “new testament” describes how my immediate predecessor was showing miracles in front of humans so that they accepted him seriously and followed his guidance. My mission does not include any guidance, only collection of data. Once on Earth I immediately realized that two millennia since our previous mission human behavior is still driven by greed, fear, and lust, in fact, even more than in the times of Jesus.

– May I ask what drives the other intelligent creatures out there in the Universe? – asked the judge.

– Just one thing!

– What is it?

– Thirst for knowledge! Every intelligent creature in the Universe strives for intellectual perfection but your species.

– But what are they trying to achieve?

– They transform their bodies to achieve the divine level of intelligence!

– And then what?

– And then just experience the unlimited power of observation and feel eternal bliss, watching the everlasting life of the Universe. That’s how it works for all intelligent creatures we have known before we came to Earth. We call it the Transformation Rule.

– Can you please tell us more about it?

– All intelligent creatures in the Universe, but humans, evolve in a similar way. First they study their body, the natural carrier of their consciousness, and improve its design through a series of careful modifications and selections. Upon a time, they create an artificial carrier, if they need one, and move their consciousness to a new platform. The final carrier is always the same. It’s not a physical body, it’s pure spirit. The idea is very simple: consume less but enjoy more! The ultimate goal is to move away from the physical Universe to the spiritual world and have eternal bliss. It’s the God’s level. So, this is the Transformation Rule in a nutshell.

– Does it mean that our God feels the eternal bliss? – asked the CSI officer.

– Absolutely! From the beginning of unbeginnable time till the end of the endless Universe.

– And he can observe everything from his spiritual outpost?

– Yes, without a doubt!

– Then how can he feel eternal bliss, observing all the people’s suffering here, on Earth?! – the questions poured from the spectator’s rows.

– For God, people’s joy and suffering are no more than sophisticated dance of molecules, atoms and electrical impulses in human brains. He is mesmerized by watching complex processes in the Universe. Suffering? Do you think that carbon atoms and water molecules in your brain suffer a lot? What you call suffering is nothing more than your imagination. You have to start transforming your body and mind, and that’s the only way to overcome your suffering.

– It is so amazing! – gasped a court spectator, an older lady. She pulled an old fashioned handkerchief out of her wrinkled purse and carefully wiped her eyes dimmed by tears.

– It really is. – agreed the alien. – But sadly, you humans, are the only exception to this rule. Your thirst for knowledge is limited by your lustful nature. That’s why your intelligence does not work for you. Your primitive instincts urge you to learn how to dance, rap, fashionably dress, flirt, sing songs, play football and baseball, shoplift, smoke pot, and lie to your parents. You memorize comic books, lines from TV shows, celebrity’s names and biographies, restaurant menus but you have no idea how many chambers are in your heart, what is the purpose of ventricles in your brain, and what kind of bacteria inhabit your mouth, rectum and vagina, let alone your backyard. You don’t even think about creation of a better platform for your consciousness! You’ll never transform because you are driven by lust and vainglory rather than reason and curiosity. It’s worse than a crime, humans, it’s a grave mistake!

– Your honor! – exclaimed the CSI officer. – I motion to dismiss further discussion of human motivation for failure to prove that our human instincts make us all criminals punishable by the interplanetary law, what ever it is! And by the way, I wonder, who is the defendant now?

– Motion overruled! – bellowed the judge, helping himself with his gavel. We have to keep this trial going and answer Mr. alien’s questions, that was our agreement. the judge took a deep agitated breath. Who’s the defendant? Good question! Apparently not him anymore! We are the defendants now! Our entire mankind is on trial and we are representing humans in this court of law! Don’t you understand?

– Your honor, thank you for your exceptional understanding and you invaluable support! said the former defendant. May I proceed?

Please proceed!

– The way human behavior is defined, varies greatly across the human population, so humans can’t predict each others behavior based on their own. Humans can’t read each others minds. Humans never say the truth. As a result, humans cannot trust each other and cooperate, because no human can be sure what defines his fellow human’s behavior.

– Our first president George Washington said once: two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything. – said chief prosecutor. – Maybe that will help you to better understand our motives.

– It is a brilliant piece of wisdom. – replied the extraterrestrial scout. – but someone mislead you about its author. It is not George Washington, it’s Mickey Mouse. If all Americans were so sweet as Mickey Mouse , your country wouldn’t need neither prisons, nor even courts of law.

– Mr. alien, what exactly is wrong with human behavior? – said chief prosecutor. – Your explanation can help us answer your questions better.

– Fair enough. I’ll try to explain and ask at the same time. The key issue is that unlike unicellular species, which are self contained to the extent that a single cell can found a whole new colony, a single human organism cannot do anything by itself, even reproduce.

– That’s not true! – objected the judge. – Every human knows how to masturbate.

– I know you do it a lot while watching porn, and what you feel is pretty close to what humans feel while mating. However, the biological result is not the same!

– That’s the whole point! – said juror number seven. – That’s why people keep jerking off.

– Why? – asked the man in orange robe.

– Because jerking off is much safer than having sex with a woman! It does not cost you anything, while the result is practically the same! – smirked the juror.

– What result? The only thing you can gain from jerking off is getting off!

– There you go! All a man need,s is to get off, does not matter how!

– Unfortunately, jerking off is the only thing you can do by yourself. All other intelligent creatures in the Universe can do everything.

– Objection! – shouted chief prosecutor – I can do a lot with the right tools! I’ve fixed my entire house myself with no contractors!

– “Tools” is the operative word! Can you fix your house with your bare hands?

– Apparently, I can’t. – mumbled Mr. Stevens.

– I rest my case! All you can do without your machines is jerk off. Motion to overrule the objection, your honor! – shouted the little alien.

– Now you’re addressing me “your honor”, eh? – said the judge sarcastically. – Okay, objection overruled! – the judge’s gavel loudly hit the stand. – Please continue!

The discussion gradually retired to the usual courtroom format.

– Human bodies are powerless. That’s why you started developing a machine civilization. Now your machines are ruining your species. They produce so much food and consumer products that you give it away to the most useless humans, who can’t study, work and contribute to the society and thus, have no right to live and pass along their defective genes to the next generation. As a result of your machine civilization, your genetic garbage gained a significant reproduction advantage over your robust gene pool. Genetically robust humans are bound to their jobs. They have no time and energy to reproduce, while your non-working genetic garbage reproduces rapidly. Machines turned human race into fast growing useless biomass that depletes the resources of your planet exponentially. Earth cannot afford you anymore, humans. You must promptly reduce the quantity of your population and increase its quality.

– What’s your suggestion?

– Well… My suggestion won’t be different from my predecessor, Jesus Christ. Remember what he said? “unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. He was trying to tell you that unlike adult species, your children have thirst for knowledge and don’t have egos, which makes them the greatest learners of Nature.

– I’ll be damned! – said juror number seven. – I wish they would have taught us new testament that well in my church!

– Anybody could say the next verse?

Judge Hutchinson raised his gavel and solemnly recited:

– “Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire.”

– You have good memory, your honor. – said the extraterrestrial ambassador. – But do you understand the nature of sin?

– I was educated in law, not in theology. – replied the judge.

– Very few theologians understand it, even though it is very simple. The nature of sin is waste. Waste is anything that distracts you from your way to transformation via perpetual learning and improving yourselves. Useless people, who are not capable to live for their cause, are a waste. You wasteful behavior is caused by your inconsistent nature, that is, your original sin. Sin can only be treated like cancer. You should amputate your limb affected by a tumor, because otherwise the tumor will kill the entire organism.

– But this is just an allegory! – said the chief prosecutor. – Some people are born to be a liability to our society but we cannot kill our less fortunate for their being born that way!

– Jesus did not mean to kill them and neither did I! It would be enough to separate them from their milieu, send them far away to a desolated place and don’t let them come back.

– It’s not that simple. – argued the judge. – They won’t go back to Africa voluntarily.

– Why Africa? Antarctica is a much better place for useless people. Their bodies won’t decompose in its frosty climate and their DNA will be well preserved. It might become a valuable material for your future science projects geared up towards your first Transformation.

– Mr. alien, you are a total nut job! – said juror number seven. – Are you busting our chops or you’re for real? First you urge us to create a bunch of supermen, to replace us, humble humans, on planet Earth. And now you want us to make those Frankenstein monsters out of some dead niggers frozen in Antarctica?

– You never know when a dead nigger might come in handy. And why do you think that all your genetic garbage are only niggers? C’mon! Don’t be such a racist! There is an equal share of trash among honkies, spics, chinks, kikes, and other ethnicities. All y’all roll in the same direction.

– What direction? – asked the spectator woman.

– Can you say, degradation? My Russian cellmate put it very elegantly: “the motherland is awaiting for prodigies and the cunt gives birth to morons!”

So we’re all doomed, you think? asked juror number nine.

– What do you think? A bunch of morons, who never trust each other, who are armed with weaponry that can burn this planet ten thousand times? You need to start cleansing your gene pool and reduce your population to a reasonable minimum.

– But we are Christians, not fascists! – exclaimed juror number nine. – We believe that every child has the right to be born, healthy or sick, talented or not. Every human life brought to this world is sacred, that’s the only thing that matters, everything else does not!

– It does not matter to you only because you are not suffering, living a substandard life. Imagine that you’ve been born sickly, lazy and stupid, with no chance to fix your health and your wits. Imagine you were born with a criminal mind. Suppose your poor stupid parents cannot afford your education, even a shitty community college that teaches you nothing. As a result, you fail to acquire professional and social skills, and you become a piece of useless trash, and all good working people scorn you! Do you want to be a piece of shit your entire life? Yes or no?

– No, sir! – mumbled the stunned juror. – I apologize, sir! I never thought about it like that. I am not a smart man, I just repeated what I was told in my church. I am really sorry, sir!

– You must be. – concurred the alien. – Jesus said once that a true man must bring to perfection his knowledge about two things in his life: when he must kill and when he must die. How can you call yourself Christian if you don’t understand such an important thing?

– I’ve never seen these words in the new testament!

– Because your corrupt priests did not want those words to be there! They did not want people to live by reason because those who live by reason cannot be manipulated. That’s why they’ve always been hiding reason in a plain site.

– What do you mean? – asked the juror.

– Like someone said, reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.

– I started thinking that you are a real Mickey Mouse fan. – ruled the judge.

– Yes, I really am. But it’s not a Mickey Mouse quote. – replied the alien. – It’s Karl Marx.

– Is that right? – asked the juror number seven, probably born and raised in Alabama, judging his heavy drawl.

– Right as rain, Mr. juror!

– Mister alien, you’re sweet! – said the Alabama juror. Mickey Mouse would love you! – Yet your rascal Marx is sayin’ that people’s reason is unreasonable and you’re sayin’ that all our science fell out of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. Reckon, it’s kinda uppity, considering that you still have a hankerin’ for the right answers.

– Didn’t I tell you already that I am looking for just one particular thing: consistent patterns in your behavior? If I find them, you have a ray of hope. If I don’t, you are toast. A couple of really simple questions might help me to find the answer.

– That sounds pretty scary. – said the Alabama juror. – but… Giddy up, man! God willin’ and the creek don’t rise!

– Inshallah! – exhaled the expert witness from the court bench.

– You must be true Muslim! And you’re circumcised, too! – smirked the defendant.

– Let’s just say, I am flexible. – replied Mr. Jamal diplomatically.

– I see. So, let me ask you: why do you humans believe in God so many different ways? How God is supposed to respond to your faith, which is widely diverse and absolutely inconsistent?

– Lord Almighty made us humans diverse and inconsistent, so he must knows how to handle it! – replied the Alabama juror.

– Lord had nothing to do with it, dearie! – argued the alien. – We created your species. And your first task was to make your bodies immortal like some other creatures on your planet. But so far you are failing it.

– There are no such living things on Earth. Every living creature is mortal. – objected the CSI officer.

– That is not correct! Jelly fish, lobsters and turtles never die of natural causes. And you humans deteriorate and die very fast. If you concentrated on learning your nature you would have found the way to increase your life expectancy. But you are not even trying! You are wasting your intelligence on wars, vainglory and shallow pleasures and for that reason alone you cannot control the most vital things about your life.

– Our civilization is too young! – said chief prosecutor. – We have not had enough time to learn how to control a lot of things! Natural disasters, epidemics, wars, sicknesses, death, crime, poverty, climate, fashion, consumer demand Sneezing and coughing, for Pete’s sake! Some people can’t control even their own bladder! We cannot control those things because it requires to not only be willing but equally knowledgeable, that we are not!

– Objection, your honor! The last statement is principally incorrect! There are plenty of things that you could have controlled at your current state of knowledge. Hate crimes, drug use, gambling, lies, being drunk in public, reckless driving, unhealthy diet and obesity, sexual transmitted diseases, hereditary diseases, teenage pregnancy… You have enough knowledge! What you don’t have is will power, benevolence, comprehension and communication.

– Speculations! Base your allegations on more convincing examples. – ruled the judge.

– No problem! The best example is human sexual behavior. Women in your country use their clothes, makeup and jewelry very provocatively. They stimulate men’s basic instincts and as a result, many women get raped. Don’t they know that looking a certain way increases their chances to become a victim of a sexual assault dramatically?

– We live in a civilized country! Our women believe that the law protects them from sexual crimes. – replied chief prosecutor.

– But the constitution of the United States proclaims that everyone is equal before the law and no one has privileges. Is this a correct statement?

– This statement is absolutely correct! – agreed Mr. Stevens.

– Got ya! You just made a confession that the law gives your females a privilege over your males to tease and tempt them sexually without giving consummation to their basic instincts. In your own human terms, it’s a torture! Don’t you think that your women’s privilege to torture your men sexually violates your constitution? There are lots of other serious loopholes in your judicial system, which you are aware of but neglect to fix. The same way your females neglect common sense that tells them that their chance to get raped substantially increases when they exercise their unconstitutional privilege to tease their males sexually. Which brings me to a conclusion that the primary reason of your not having control over your life is not lack of knowledge but inherent negligence, irresponsibility and a constant desire to please yourselves at someone else’s expense. All that is the consequence of your original sin, inconsistency!

– Objection, your honor! – shouted the young pretty woman from the front seat. – If that is the case yummy food, nice clothes, jewelry and other merchandise cannot be displayed for the same reason! It tempts thieves and robbers just like as you stated, women tempt rapists!

– All displayed merchandise is for sale. Are you and other women display yourself because you are also for sale? Can you please tell me your price?

– How you dare to even say that! – yelled the young woman and blushed.

– I acknowledged your answer. It means that you are not willing to render sexual services to anyone who would be willing to pay a fair price for it?

– Prostitution is illegal in the United States, to begin with! – retorted the young woman.

– That is not correct. Prostitution is legal in six counties in the state of Nevada. But that’s not the point. The point is, that your constitution, specifically the Declaration of Independence, proclaims the pursuit of happiness for every citizen. Now, tell me, what kind of happiness can have a law abiding citizen, who is deprived of his right to buy services to satisfy his very basic natural needs? You constitution is inconsistent with your other laws! And why people in some countries on your planet have the right to sell and buy sexual services and in some other countries they can’t legally buy what they want?

– Like my mother used to say, “people in hell want ice water but they can’t have it!” – barked judge Hutchinson. – We Americans have our moral values! Those who are horny can jerk off, there is no law against it! But prostitution, that’s illegal!

– You have enough knowledge to realize that you can’t eradicate prostitution just like you can’t eradicate street drugs. Which means, that you prefer your prostitution to be illegal, just like your drug use. Your original sin, inconsistency, is like a stem cell! It can transform into any particular sin. In your case it’s hypocrisy!

– Nobody said that our country is a perfect place, Mr. alien! – chief prosecutor growled bitterly.

– I rest my case! – replied the extraterrestrial nuisance.

– You have finally convinced me. The allegation stands! Objection overruled! – said the judge and his gavel synchronously.

– Thanks, you honor! So, it’s not the lack of knowledge that sets you back. Then, what is it? I’ll tell you. What we’ve got here is failure to communicate! Not only with other humans but even with yourself! Your inconsistent nature is caused by miscommunication! It prevents you not only from learning but also from using your knowledge effectively. It does not let you even find a sexual partner, that’s why you so often resort to masturbation. It makes you keep failing, and repeating failures give you a sense of futility. That’s why you always try to find yourself a little niche and never attempt to fix the big picture. Instead you try to escape your reality and live in imaginary world.

– What brought you to such a conclusion? – asked Mr. Stevens.

– You can see it for yourself. It is much easier for you to control your own genitals or your own computer by yourself than trustfully share the control of your temporarily conjoined genitals or your social infrastructure. For that reason you are so much disappointed with your real world that you totally lost your interest in it.

– Speculation, your honor! This allegation can’t stand! – said Mr. Stevens.

– Mr. alien, please prove your allegation by a solid evidence beyond a reasonable doubt! – ruled the judge.

– No problem! Go online and compare the numbers of sales of fantasy books and movies with those about natural world. The difference is appalling! Humans sell products of their imagination to each other and cherish those fakes way more than real knowledge. Look at a typical kids room and compare the number of plastic animals and the live creatures those kids have. But anyway, let’s make a quick and convincing experiment. Tell me, how many names of characters from book, movies and TV shows can you recall?

– Several thousands, easily. – said Mr. Beckett. – I have a photographic memory.

– Splendid! And how many names of fish, birds, mammals, lizards, insects and plants can you recall?

– A couple of hundreds.

– A couple of hundreds, while only the oceans on Earth contain twenty thousand species of fish and almost two million species of animals and plants! Once again, I rest my case!

– Allegation sustained! – ruled the judge and sighed heavily.

– You stuff your heads with terabytes of useless information and demonstrate no interest to the real world around you. I said enough for you to get a clear idea, why. Go ahead, say it!

– Because our real world is not a very nice place. – said CSI officer.

– And why none of you wants to make it better? Say it!

– Because none of us wants to waste their entire lives making the real world better for someone else! Each human has only one short life and wants to live it in fullest!

– And why is that? Say it!

– We don’t know! Maybe it’s just our lack of goodness! – exclaimed the young woman from the spectator’s seat.

– Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie! It’s not a lack of goodness, it’s a lack of consistency! You humans can’t read each others minds, that’s why you don’t trust each other. Your short life expectancy leaves you no time to win each others trust slowly and patiently, and you cheat and abuse each other to get what you want. You have created a very hostile world, where you need all your efforts just to survive. The efforts that you’d better have put into science, learning your nature and increasing your life expectancy. Only few of your kind can give themselves some comfort by shielding from their miserable world by a thick layer of money. The rest can only escape the gruesome reality in imaginary worlds of fantasy books, movies, religion, yoga, alcohol, psychoactive drugs and what not. Or just close your eyes and masturbate under the blanket.

– Why the dang blanket? – asked the Alabama juror.

– The blanket is an itty-bitty symbol of protection. You humans are remarkable by being driven by symbols rather than real things. It is another consequence of your inconsistency.

– You are right, you won! But we cannot be better than we are. If you can’t help us, please leave us be! – cried the spectator woman.

– I would if I could but I can’t. You humans are very close to killing this planet and making it lifeless again, just like before our first visit. The biomass of your species is only three hundred million tons, but the mass of physical matter that you use to support the life of your species is thirty teratons. That is, ten thousand times greater than your own biomass! All creatures modestly borrow resources from the ecosystem and return their corpses back for recycling. Only you humans waste natural resources as if you have a spare Earth to move to. Your planet is choking with your toxic wastes and non degradable plastic junk! We should consider eliminating your species to save this planet for a second chance. Maybe we should look more closely at the cockroaches and make them more intellectual.

– Mr alien! We have jobs, families, children to raise, homes and mortgages, cars, errands, hobbies, relatives, doctors, pills and medical bills, lawyers and lawsuits… We don’t have time and strength to take care of our planet! All we can do is pay our taxes and pray God! What else can we do to save our planet, Mr. alien?

– The best thing you can do for your planet is, die! I mean, all of you. When you die to save something more valuable than yourselves, death is the best choice. Your planet, your ecosystem is much more valuable for the balance of Universe than your distorted intelligence and your toxic instincts. Isn’t your planet worth to die for? You will free the living space for someone else, better than your own kind, you’ll give them a chance to grow, evolve their intelligence and transform their consciousness to God’s level of understanding and love. I’d rather you die than live on and poison your planet to death.

– For the sake of God’s love, please, leave us be! – sobbed the young woman.

– You know what Jesus said about God’s love? He said, it is ultimate understanding and complete non-interference. Don’t even try to find those words in your bible! – But that is the God’s works. We are just his servants, and interference in cases like yours is our privilege and responsibility. What needs to be done must be done!

– Mr. alien! – the young woman begged. – You’ve already asked so many humans so many questions! Please, try to recall some good answers that can change your mind!

– Yes, I did ask many humans many questions. But they usually were giving me only two typical replies: “pray God” and “go fuck yourself”. I followed both recommendations but neither one pointed me to the right direction. You were my last hope but you’ve failed to convince me that you humans are consistent creatures, just like all other people I talked to.

– Can you ask us one more question? Please, Mr. alien! Maybe we still worth living, after all?

– Okay. Here is my last question that should seal your fate. Who of you people drink a beverage called Martini?

– I drink Martini! – judge Hutchinson said. – Me too! – And me! – And me too! – shouted the others.

– Then tell me why you people put an olive in a Martini, not a plum or a cherry, for example?

– Because this is a tradition.

– Good! I just found one pattern in your behavior that might be consistent: tradition! And why is the olive pinned on a piece of wood? Isn’t it more convenient to drink Martini and then just shake the olive right into your mouth?

– Mr. alien, what if someone would like to eat the olive first and then drink Martini?

– You mean, some people eat the olive before they drink Martini, and some after?

– That’s right! – said the judge. – Personally, I chew my olive very slowly while I drink my Martini and try to stretch it over the whole drink.

– Well… I regret to inform you, humans, that you have failed again. Even your traditions are inconsistent! You are hopeless, people!

– Mr. alien! Give us another chance, please! Please, Mr. alien! Please keep asking!

– Okay, Okay. Let me try the dumbest thing, human etiquette. That, I believe, should be consistent in your behavior. When a human sneezes, the other humans always say “bless you!” to that human, right?

– Yes! Yes! – yelled the courtroom audience joyfully.

– But I usually say “zeit gesunt!” – suddenly objected a old juror with a kippah on the top of his head and Magen David on his chest. – The old Jew looked like a Buddhist monk in Nirvana. He appeared to sleep like a sweet baby during the trial and the following debates and woke up at exactly right time to drop his two cents into the fate of the mankind.

– Shut your hole, you fucking kike! – shushed everyone. – You will get us all killed!

– Never heard of anyone getting killed over sneezing. – the old Jew replied philosophically.

– You may be the first one if you keep blabbering! – hissed the judge.

– That’s right! – shouted someone at the back row. – Mister alien, if you need to kill someone, why don’t you kill that damn Jew and let the rest of us live?

– Oi vey! – sighed the seasoned court veteran. – You have to do something with your mashugana court, your honor. It reminds me of a mental asylum. What’s wrong with all these people?

– Nothing is wrong. – said Mr. Stevens. – These people are helping the extraterrestrial alien to find consistent patterns in human behavior so that he does not exterminate all the people on Earth!

– In that case, let him talk to a rabbi. It might give him the right idea. – said the old Jew.

– What’s the point? I am not Jewish, I am an alien! – argued the extraterrestrial scout.

– That should not be a problem. A rabbi can talk with the devil, if needed. Even a with catholic priest!

– I wonder, what ideas I can get from a clergyman who worships a god, apparently Jewish, whose only son converted to Christianity!

– Don’t you mess with my head, you little schmuck! I kept my old eyes closed so that my old ears could hear better. And those ears of mine heard your saying what my people knew two thousand years ago! That he was nobody’s son. Just a nice looking extraterrestrial toy thrown on Earth to mess with Jews and Romans! Shit happens to any religion, when a pots like yourself starts messing it up. At least we the Jews did not swallow your hook, line, and sinker like Romans and other idiots!

– You’re a wise man, Mr. …

– Zimmerman. Rabbi Zimmerman, at your service.

– Rabbi, you just mentioned shit and that gave me another idea! Here is my last attempt to redeem you, humans: aside from sneezing, what do you tell each other when you take a shit, urinate, cough, fart, burp, puke, fuck, do a dutch rudder, fellatio, cunnilingus and other stuff with your bodies?

– I guess, nothing in particular. – replied old rabbi. – People usually don’t need a blessing or advice at those moments of their lives.

– But why do you say special words when people sneeze?

– Just a tradition. – said old rabbi. – It’s like saying bon appetite when you eat and l’chaim when you drink alcohol. And you need to understand, people’s smarts are different. Smart people come to me for a piece of advice when they want to get married. Stupid people come when they already think about a divorce.

– Which, again, means inconsistent behavior at every possible level! I am very sorry but I can’t spare you, humans! All I can do for you is give you one hundred years to prepare your souls for eternity. Our next mission will find better species to inoculate intelligence to. But no more monkeys! I’ll vote for cockroaches. Anyway, I am heading home. Rabbi Zimmerman, you are the only consistent human I’ve met on your mashugana planet. You are coming with me right now. We’ll use your DNA and you brain waves to start intelligent life on another planet. Here on Earth you have no chance!

– Can you give me a little time to say a prayer? – asked the rabbi.

– He does not need your prayer. – said the alien.

– He does not, but I do! – replied the old rabbi.

– Your honor! – the alien turned to the judge. – I am taking along your hammer. We’ll exhibit it in our museum as a reminder of the species whose evolution we had to abort because of their utterly inconsistent nature. I’ll give you a different hammer. It’s made of gold, controlled by your voice and moves automatically. Saying prayers is all you can do at this point. He does not need them, but you do! Pray God, humans!

– Go and fuck yourself, you ugly piece of shit! – yelled the young woman and burst into sobbing again.

– I tried several times to follow that recommendation – replied the alien. – but it’s pointless. Anyway, it was nice talking to you, humans. Good bye!

Rabbi Zimmerman stood up straight, opened his mouth and uttered “shema Israel”… The next second he vanished. At the same moment the empty orange robe slowly flew down on the floor. Strange silence hung in the courtroom for a couple of minutes. Nobody knew what to do and what to say… The sentence was announced, the fate of the human kind was sealed and the trial has ended.

– THIS COURT IS ADJOURNED! – bellowed judge Hutchinson. – In response to his voice, a huge golden gavel jumped high in the air over the judge’s table, all by itself, and dropped rapidly on its golden stand with a loud metal clunk.

The judge stood up, spat on the floor and burped out of his throat a long and spicy blasphemy. Somehow it brought the court audience out of trance back to the reality. The judge looked at the golden gavel that was hanging in the air above his table and plunged back into his chair.

– What do you think people will do when they realize they are left to live only a hundred years? – asked chief prosecutor, addressing everyone, or maybe no one.

And that terrifying silence again…

– When I was a young man – suddenly said an elderly courtroom spectator, who’s never spilled a word all that time – When I was a young man, – he repeated with a soft smile – My dad used to tell me: Son, nobody lives forever… So, if you don’t wake up tomorrow morning, if this is your last day on Earth, you gotta be proud of what you’ve done in your life. And if you think you’re not, you’d better start getting square. I am a retired history professor, and I have a very mixed feelings about human history. On one hand, I am very proud of mankind and its great accomplishments. On the other hand, all those accomplishments had been made because some people ruthlessly sacrificed lives of other people to get what they wanted, and I am not fond of that part of human past. I am not really proud of my own life, either… But still, I would really hate to die, knowing that our world will end up in a hundred years… How can we right own wrongs in just a hundred years…

– Ye right! A hundred years is nothing for fixin’ the mess. But for kicking around and creating more mess it’s still a good bit of time! – said the Alabama juror. – I reckon, even if everybody truly believed that in a hundred years this thing will set the Earth ablaze, nobody would give a flying fuck! People will keep doing the same old shit they’ve always been doin’. I’m sure as hell about it!

– I think, we saw enough today to believe that the flying fuck, as you called it, will come back and do what it promised. – replied Mr. Stevens. – But if we seriously try to tell to the world that in a hundred years the flying fuck will come to Earth, wipe us out, and replace us with intelligent cockroaches, we’ll end up in a mental institution.

– Cockroaches! – moaned the young woman. – What a disgusting creatures! Yuck! I hate cockroaches!

– When I was a kid, I saw terrible things back in Syria. – said the expert witness. – I saw civil war, saw some ugly deaths. But for some reason I thought all that time that it’s just other people who can die but me – never! I still feel, not believe, just feel, like I am going to live forever. Even though today I saw and heard enough to lose my faith in God and start believing in the return of the flying fuck in one hundred years, I still keep my faith and believe in God and in my immortal soul. If this is inconsistency then I am proud of my inconsistency, and no flying fuck can take it from me!

– I don’t know when the flying fuck will come back for you, people – growled the judge – but it seems to me that my personal flying fuck is already here, right above my shoulders. Shoo! – the gavel and the stand flew straight up to the courtroom ceiling and quickly returned to their places about a foot away from the judge’s ears.

Judge Hutchinson grunted, left his chair, and walked out of the courtroom. The golden gavel and the stand flew into the air and followed him right above his shoulders. Nobody have seen him in that courtroom ever since.


Nobody knows for sure what happened after the trial to everyone, who was in that courtroom, and how they lived on. But I heard a rumor that the golden gavel and the stand are still flying around the rubber room in the mental asylum where poor judge Hutchinson has been kept for quite a while. Most of the time the judge looks like a sane man. He eats his oatmeal and french toasts every morning. After that he brushes his teeth, watches news on the TV and reads some books. He always takes his pills religiously. But from time to time, especially in a full moon, he suddenly starts gazing at the ceiling and barking: “Sustained! Overruled! Silence! Order! Motion denied! No objection! This court is adjourned!” And each time his flying golden gavel hits its flying stand with a loud metal clunk. And then the judge jumps up high to the ceiling about twenty times in a row, trying to catch those pesky things that he calls “the flying fuck”. But the gavel and the stand are very slick and always manage to escape.

The asylum administration tried to invite scientists, ghost hunters, bugs exterminators and what not, but each and everyone of them left the judge’s room empty-handed and drove away. Except for one little physicist, who was so impressed by what he have seen that the doctors had to commit him to the vacant ward next to the judge. Now he’s claiming that he is an artificial human created by a civilization far more advanced than ours, and his body consists of physical fields unknown to human science. He always talks about the inconsistency of human nature. He calls it the human’s original sin.

You might think as well that none of that story really happened and it is just a poor judge’s delusion. But how would you explain that not only the judge but everyone else in that mental institution can see the judge’s golden gavel and the stand flying under the ceiling? There is no such thing as collective hallucination, right? The administration tried several times to move the judge to a different ward but his extraterrestrial personal effects followed him relentlessly. Everybody could see them but nobody was able to catch them as far as I know.

I have asked the asylum administration a permission to see the judge and they’ve granted me an hour visit. Judge Hutchinson listened to me very carefully and gave me a really good piece of legal advice about my neighbor encroaching my property. As to his gavel, I looked at the ceiling and all around the room and I did not see not a damn thing! But everybody else in the asylum, including the doctors, nurses, orderlies, janitors and even the chief doctor and the accountant can see it, all right!

Every day right after the pill time judge Hutchinson stands on his bed and makes a short and very emotional speech: “Is that true that our judicial system is still not in a perfect shape? Yes, it is quite true! But no matter how bad it is, Justice is the only thing that draws a line of a difference between humans and other animals, especially cockroaches!” And you know what? He might be crazy as a loon but I have not a slightest doubt that after all, he’s right, even though human justice does not make humans any better than other animals, especially cockroaches. Cockroaches are amazing creatures, by the way. We know so little about ourselves and the world around us… Maybe one day… You know what I mean.

Just one more thing to tell ya… I believe that judge Hutchinson is doing great in his rubber cell. He is at peace with himself and I reckon that he feels eternal bliss like nobody else. He told me that he has been in his cell for eternity, or as he elegantly put it, from the beginning of unbeginnable time till the end of the endless Universe. And you know what? At the end of our rendezvous judge Hutchinson suddenly winked at me, and boom! I saw his golden gavel and the stand flying around, but only for a couple of seconds, and then the judge hid them again. The time will come, he said, and everybody will see them for themselves! And my nana, who comes out of her old grave from time to time to check up on me, says the same thing. The Judgment day is coming, boy, the Judgment day is coming!

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