Letter From The Editor - Issue 56 - April 2017

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Issue 38
Stories
The Sound of Death
by Gareth D. Jones
Underwater Restorations, Part 2
by Jeffrey A Ballard
Rights and Wrongs
by Brian K. Lowe
A Little Trouble Dying
by Edmund R. Schubert
IGMS Audio
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
At the Picture Show: Extended Cut
New wave
by Chris Bellamy

Writing Fantasy

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-   -   -   -   P   r   e   v   i   e   w   -   -   -   -

Rights and Wrongs
    by Brian K. Lowe

Rights and Wrongs
Artwork by Nicole Cardiff

"Tell me again who I pissed off to get this job?" Carefully unwrapping my roast beef on wheat, I used the paper as a holder to keep mustard off of my lap.

"I thought you wanted the job," Rusty said. "I thought you were taking it as some kind of personal challenge." Russ Becker and I ate lunch together almost every day. "Rusty" was another assistant district attorney, and we'd bonded over a mutual disdain for other lawyers. Things being what they were, though, sometimes we got drafted to work the other side, and I'd drawn the short straw here, with Rusty as my prosecutor.

"Hell, no, I didn't want it! The Jan'i killed my parents, Rusty. I had to break into their house and find them on the floor, blood coming out of their ears. I couldn't even bury them; they had to burn down the house with them still inside." I stopped to pull myself together. "This is somebody's idea of payback, probably Bertoli. She's still mad at me because she thinks I screwed up the Andelson case."

"All right," he said. "What's done is done. But she's doing you a favor here. Nobody expects you to win this one; heck, nobody wants you to win this one. The only reason the alien's even getting a trial is because the administration wants to make this look like a regular murder instead of another terror attack. It's not like we're pushing for human rights for non-humans here. You sit next to him, I present my case, the judge finds him guilty. They'll be strapping him down for an injection before we can find an open bar."

"Wait a second," I said, putting up a hand. "Are you saying I should throw over the defense? Just phone it in?"

"No! No. I'm saying it's not going to hurt you when you lose. You take one for the team, Bertoli leaves you alone."

"Good. Because I'm going to give that alien son of a bitch the best defense I know how. You're going to have to work to convict. And when you do, and they strap him down and put those needles in him --

-- then we can have that beer."

"Please put your briefcase on the table." I followed Deputy Berman's instructions, stood back, and stuck my arms out to the side. Another marshal stood by stoically, one hand on his sidearm. "Who did you piss off to get this job, anyway, counselor?"

"I wish I knew. I was just asking somebody that same question."

"Human rights for non-humans." Berman indicated that I should open my case so he could glance inside. "It's just nuts."

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