He’d lie awake, chilled from the cold sweats that troubled his infrequent dozing. He’d curse, in a dozen languages, the turns that had brought him to this place and time. The stark walls, the bouts of screaming from adjacent cells, knowing his turn would come again. But even diplomats were not above the law. Not here. This was justice at its purest, and he knew that it was right that he be punished. The worst part was that he couldn’t tell if it had been days or just hours, had no idea what portion of the sentence he had carried out. It was all just a haze of pain and fear.
His door slammed open, and he winced at the sound.
“Juror 5923455, do you understand the charges and their associated penalties?”
He coughed, then spat. His voice was dry and cracked, but he answered, “Yes.”
“Then in accordance with the laws of this state and jury selection, section 3 subsections 17 through 21, you have been deemed fit for jury duty. The trial will begin in two days. The information will be wired to your identicard, and if you follow the blue lines out, you’ll be able to rest a bit. There’s apple juice, and cookies, and your choice of movies.”
He stood, stumbled, and balanced himself against the wall. “I understand,” he coughed, voice still harsh. “Thank you.”
“Do you have any questions, or is there anything else I can help you with?” asked the guard.
“No. No, thank you. I think I’d just like to go home, now, and pray I never wind up on jury selection for a case this severe again.”
The guard chuckled. “Tell me about it. My cousin had to undergo jury empathy training for a third strike child molester. Sometimes you just have to wonder.”
He smiled. “I’ll count my blessings, there. I hope he recovers soon.”
“Thanks. I’ll pass that on.”
He stumbled out of the cell, carefully following the blue trail.
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