In my absence, the Burton v. Obolensky trial occurred in Steelhead. The entire transcript is available here, and Dr. Alter's recap is available here, but let's see if I understand Steelhead justice:
- The judge can ogle the attractive ladies in the courtroom, including the plaintiff.
- Anyone in the courtroom can shout out remarks, more or less at random.
- The defendant can act in his own defense when his attorney falls asleep.
- Consumption of spirits is nearly mandatory.
- Evidence is an afterthought.
- A disembodied brain may be sworn in, but may not actually testify.
- The defendant need no wait around for a verdict, but may disappear at will.
I realize Steelhead is the frontier, and one must not hold these pioneers to the same standards as in the civilized world, but would it be asking too much for them to establish that the plaintiff, in fact, had magical powers and lost those powers as a result of the attack? Or that the defendant be tied to the attack itself, as opposed to merely manufacturing the devices? (Dr. Obolensky's attorney, Zebrati Merricks, had the most telling remark: "To hold him responsible for the actions this party did would be the same as holding a gunsmith responsible for a murder." Also known as: "Anti-magical bombs don't harm djinii, people harm djinii.")
The only surprise of the trial was Miss Burton's claim that, as an attempt to negotiate a settlement to the matter, she demanded that Dr. Obolensky marry her. One would think that solution to be...unacceptable, for want of a stronger word that would still be sufficiently polite to use in this Journal, to all concerned.
When the good doctor disappeared near the end of the ordeal, one can only applaud and ask, "What took you so long?"