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A Lawsuit
The morning after the hearing, Jon woke early in his university apartment. His room had been provided as a courtesy while participating in the debate he'd been invited to, and now that that had been concluded it was time to start looking for a new place. The university had mentioned the possibility of requesting Jon back for assistance with future legal studies, but had not made any indication they were going to do so any time soon, so it was best if his living arrangements were made independent of their plans. Jon considered returning to the United States in lieu of remaining in Moscow but quickly decided against that course of action. He didn't have any pending appearances in stateside courts and wanted to be on hand in the event the Custody court needed to call him again for a subsequent hearing, or if additional briefs or motions needed to be filed on behalf of his client.

A little fiddling in the kitchen brought the coffee maker awake, and the pungent, acrid smell of fresh, dark-roasted coffee beans permeated the apartment as the eastern sky began to brighten with the promise of a sunrise, but Jon had already been long at work before then. His message box on his Wallet was screaming for attention; requests – if the term was used loosely – by the Council of Native Americans for his opinion on two proposed amendments to their constitution and another request from them for him to write an Amicus Curae brief with the Supreme Court for a pending hearing regarding an ongoing dispute over water rights in the Southwest. Nothing particularly pressing, then, and he should be done with both by midday.

The aroma of coffee called to him. Jon made his way back to the kitchen and poured a bit from the carafe into an oversized white ceramic cup. He tasted it – hot, dark and bitter. Just the way he liked it. No sugar or creamer to disguise the bitter flavor. Black coffee was honest.

Jon stood in the kitchen, drinking his first cup while browsing current events on his Wallet. It would not do for him to miss any article – no matter the size of the publication's viewership – pertaining to his recent hearing. Sure enough, there were some hits, especially on opinion posts.

He didn't even make it to information about the trial. It was all over the headlines: “Prosecutor General found dead, apparent suicide.”

Jon's ceramic mug fell from his fingers and shattered on the floor, splattering dark drops of coffee across the tiled floor and white oak cabinets. He hardly paid it any attention. Fingers shaking, he read on. Anatoly Kant had hung himself just after the hearing had been concluded. The behavior had puzzled those who knew him.

Jon wasn't puzzled. It was clear to him what had happened. The man hadn't been able to deal with the effects of Jon's mind medicine upon him. Perhaps Jon had been too subtle in planting the seed, and it had made the man think he was losing his mind. Or perhaps it went the other way, being too strong.

In any event Jon believed he had failed to account, and take actions to regulate, how Kant would psychologically deal with the manipulation of his mind, and the man had killed himself.

No, I killed him.

This had not been anticipated in the least. But it should have been. Jon ran a hand through his hair, gripping his skull, as a wave of guilt passed over him. He had been careless, playing with forces he didn't fully understand, and it had cost a man his life. He was oddly reminded of the old myth of Coyote getting the medicine from Buffalo to become like the buffalo so he could eat grass, and wrongly handling the power to transform himself back, and almost getting eaten by another coyote. Odd that that particular tale would come to his consciousness now.

Another thought occurred to Jon. He had never had a particularly physical aggressive streak in him, and with his slight build was not ever one to be considered imposing. Yet it occurred to him for the first time that he could really be dangerous. The power of the Great Spirit that he wielded was a weapon as effective as a blade or a firearm.

Yes, he was truly dangerous, now.

Jon got a rag and cleaned up the mess in the kitchen. Then he stuck his Wallet in his back pocket and walked out the front door. His other work could wait, for now. He needed to walk, and clear his head. And maybe a drink, too.

Continued in Kings of the Castle

Edited by Jon Little Bird, Aug 29 2013, 03:32 AM.

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