The Opinion Court

A blind woman with scales.

“You mustn’t speak falsehood to the Royal Court, boy—it’s dangerous.”

“What I said about His Excellency the High Lord was true, and I stand by my words.”

“You will die by them. Were His Excellency here, you would be dead already.”

“Whatever happened to freedom of speech?”

“Ah—you still have it, but certain . . . utterances will inevitably be regarded by our government as . . . detracting from the common order and good. Surely you acknowledge the need for common sense and discretion?”

“The planets are desperately poor. There’s no food, no technology, no schools, no infrastructure. The regional governments themselves are collapsing for lack of resources and enforcement. The High Lord is a thief, and is a tyrant, and he does not care for his people. And frankly, you can shove your veiled threats.”

“. . .”

“. . .”

“Unfortunately, the court is forced to conclude that you are a menace to the common peace, and as such will be sentenced under interplanetary terror law in accordance with due consideration to the irrational minor you are.”


“Take him away.”