Smooth Criminal


When the Illamorrow Confederacy no longer knew what to do with someone, they gave them one last wish and then put them on a derelict ship with sufficient fuel to leave Confederacy space. 

When the Illamorrow Confederacy no longer knew what to do with someone, it generally meant that all their corrective measures had failed, that all of their warnings had fallen on deaf ears, that all of their attempts to enforce their laws had met with absolutely no repentance or apology. 

The Illamorrow Confederacy was not very good at dealing with outliers, but say this for them, they did try.  They tried over and over again, until sometimes they simply needed to cease trying. 

And then – 

Then you had someone like Fothitwo Twinshee Pren, who had broken, in alphabetical order, every law the Illamorrow Confederacy held dear, and then had broken every restriction and every punishment the Confederacy attempted to apply.  

“What is your final wish?” the gathered council asked Fothitwo.  The pirate – that’s close enough of a term for a galaxy far, far away, at least – had been prepared for this for some time. 

“I want a day here.”  Fothitwo’s data pad had been restricted, but there was nothing restricted about the photo Fothitwo accessed – as long as you didn’t know where it had been taken.  “Just one day. Twenty nine and twenty-nine-thirtieths hours, to be exact. Preferably starting at dawn.”

The council conferred and the council debated.  They muttered and, more than once, they asked Fothitwo if this was, for certain, the final wish. 

And then – We did mention the Illamorrow Confederacy was not very good at dealing with situations like this, yes? – then they asked Fothitwo where the planet was. 

When Fothitwo told them – a half a shun into the Forbidden Zone – the council erupted in argument.  Well, polite argument. Discussion with a slight edge of debate.  Conferral. 

They could not send Fothitwo there; it was forbidden. 

They could not  not send Fothitwo there; it was required to give one who was to be exiled, presumably (given what the Confederacy  knew of the space outside their borders) to death, their last wish. 

Others had wished for treasure or sacrifices or even just a ship full of supplies. 

While they talked this over, Fothitwo Twinshee Pren began working on breaking laws again, this time only picking the really interesting and not all that morally repugnant ones. The Council – and Fothitwo – were not immortal, but very long lives were a thing taken for granted within the Confederacy (and not outside it, even if one had been beforehand), and thus these matters tended to take a while. 

Ensconced in a cheap hotel room under guard – the Illamorrow Confederacy had no prisons, you see –  Fothitwo broke another three laws – communicating while under decision by the Council, for one, passing on information about something in the Forbidden Zone, for another, and plotting escape from a punishment by the council.  

There were also several dozen other laws broken while Fothitwo waited, of course, because the council deliberated for three years and then a little, but most of them were trivial, falling relatively under the radar, as it were. 

(At one point, Fothitwo had taken to deliberately breaking  laws in an obvious fashion, because it was no fun to not get caught when nobody had the mindset to even think about the crimes you were committing.  Now, Fothitwo was more careful, because now there was a bit more to lose.)

When the council came back with their decision – to allow Fothitwo the single day in the Forbidden Zone – Fothitwo was neither surprised nor unprepared. And when the council shuttle – allowed a special dispensation to be in this quadrant of space and orbiting this lovely and unpopulated planet – dipped down to pick up their prisoner… nobody reading this will be surprised to discover that they could not find their prisoner. 

The Illamorrow Confederacy, as mentioned, was not very good at dealing with people like  Fothitwo Twinshee Pren.

Three months later, when the furor had died down, a friend of  Fothitwo Twinshee Pren – or at least a debtor – brought down a shuttle, as arranged, to pick up the notorious criminal. 

But what this friend/debtor found surprised even Fothitwo.


Want more?

Written to CoffeeQuill’s Prompt here:

4 thoughts on “Smooth Criminal

    • Same. Is it just the flowers? (I will be perfectly happy if it’s just the beautiful flowers. What bugs me is not knowing.

      • I feel mildly apologetic but on the other hand, I got through a free prompt call with only one real cliffhanger!

        I can always be bribed to write more of something, in many ways, only some of which are monetary.

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