Judge Maynard rapped his gavel. “The court will come to order.” A mixed party of late arrivals was still being seated. They were Navy personnel in rumpled uniforms and outworld miners in tattered garb. The sergeant-at-arms wrinkled his nose. He’d obliged a lieutenant in a suit of power-armor to wait outside.
“Several parties wish to prosecute this man,” the judge explained. “Will each of you please identify yourselves and state your cases?”
A tall man in a purple robe belted with an empty scabbard rose. “ Advocātus Calvert du Quesnay, representing the Fist of God of the Digital Communion of the Holy Synod. We wish to extradite Howard Bates for desertion and murder.”
“Lieutenant Enrico Reyes, of the Republic of Threeworld,” stated the next candidate. “We wish to extradite him for escaping custody and murder. And genocide, on behalf of his client!” he added, pointing at du Qeusnay.
“What republic?” muttered an admiral.
“The squeaker republic,” snorted du Quesnay.
“Order!” Snapped Maynard, gavel poised.