A response to Nathaniel Lee's "(copper and ashes)" in Mirror Shards.
Janus watched the traffic judge (black pepper) preside over a petty speeding offense. The police officer (ozone) had an archaic notepad in his hand as he stood before the holographic display and identified the latitude and longitude from where he had taken the laser speed rating, including measurements to the hundredth of klicks per hour, and the exact latitude and longitude of the defendant (charred beef). The time of day was in millisecond accuracy and the officer played back a recording that focused on his interactions with the defendant.
The judge asked the defendant, "It says here that you plead not guilty. Do you wish to change your plea?"
The defendant's hands fidgeted (skunk) at his side and Janus watched the defendant's head bob as the defendant shuffled his feet. There wasn't much the defendant could do. It was obvious he was guilty. Janus worried about his own case. Perhaps, it would have been better to have just paid the fine. But, it was an unloading zone and Janus had been unloading supplies for the dorm party. On the other hand, how was Janus going to explain the length of time that his car had been parked in the unloading zone.
"I sentence you to traffic school, but will waive this speeding ticket from your record," said the judge (October rain). "Janus Tielsson and Ofc. Michael Hartley, please stand before me." Ofc. Hartley (wet dog fur) had a manila folder (library) under an arm with the pages wrinkled on the edges and his uniform was crinkled. "Please describe the incident."
"The vehicle was parked in an unloading zone only," said Ofc. Hartley. Janus was surprised by the brevity of the officer's statement and the lack of holographic presentation.
"Which vehicle?" asked the judge. "License number? Make? Model?"
"I can look that up, your honor." As Ofc. Hartley flipped through the sheets in the manila folder, some of them fell and scattered upon the floor. "It's in here somewhere."
"Do you deny that this is your car?" asked the judge.
"No," answered Janus.
"Do you deny the parking violation?"
"I was parked in the unloading zone because I was unloading my car on school business and when we came back out, I found the ticket." Janus rubbed his sweaty palms together (yeast).
"Ofc. Hartley, is unloading of vehicles allowed where the vehicle was parked?"
"Ummm... yes, but --"
"Then it sounds like there is no case here. Case closed." (post-rain breeze)