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The Best Defense

Kristine Kathryn Rusch


They tell me time has no meaning here. I sit cross-legged in a glade, surrounded by willow trees and strong oak and all sorts of green plants I don’t recognize. Flowers bloom out of season—roses next to tulips next to mums. The air is warm, the breeze is fresh, and I have never felt more trapped in my life.

Except when I was in law school.

Third year, sitting in my carrel in the law library, various teas stacked around the top, hiding me from the other students. I’d spend a few hours digging through some musty old tomes to find one little nugget of information that might help my hypothetical client or, failing that, impress some stupid professor, all the while wondering if I should just drop out.

Escape.

Pretend the past three years of Aristotelian logic and Socratic debate had never happened at all.

Now I have tea at my fingertips—all I have to do is snap them and some scantily clad nymph pours me a cup—and all the food I want (oh, yeah: that’s the thing they don’t tell you: never eat the food), and it doesn’t matter.

I’m still digging through tomes, trying to find something to get my client off. He’s not so hypothetical any more. Although I am going to have to impress a few people.

People I don’t really want to impress.

People who may not be people at all.


***


I only caught the case because I didn’t escape quickly enough from Judge Lewandowski’s courtroom. I’d been there to argue against remand for a repeater, even though I knew all of Chicagoland would be better off if he went to prison for life.

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