The old man sat biting his lips and waiting for his trial to begin. He had never liked to speak publicly in civilian life, even to give a short message at his church. He could get out the words that he had to say, but he did not know what to do with his eyes and his hands. His lawyer’s presence at his side was not reassuring.
At their first meeting the lawyer had told him “Your only chance is to be human. Don’t try to justify yourself, for God’s sake. Let them see that you’re old and confused and frightened. Stop that ridiculous show of dignity, and don’t wear your uniform.”
He had accepted the suggestion about his uniform, which was stained and ragged anyway. He had been unable to accept the rest. His dignity was not for his own sake. He was only a low-ranking officer charged with a task as unpleasant as it was undistinguished; but he was being tried as a representative of the Pure State.
The judge came in and everyone stood. When everyone around him sat again, the old man followed their lead. Despite his lawyer's pleas, he would maintain his dignity. However, he would also try to convince the court he was human.
After shuffling herself to get comfortable, the judge turned to the bailiff. "What is the case?"
The bailiff stood. "The United States versus the Pure State."
The judge rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Just what I needed," she said. "Another Texan."
Opening: Joanna.....Continuation: BBJD