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Message Impossible

May 22, 2013

It had been in full defiance of the judge’s orders, of course. He had played it off as asking a simple legal question. That equivocation had bought him enough time to slip the defense counsel the note and the small piece of metal.

Truth be told, he didn’t really expect it to work. But to not try, to not take the chance. Well, that would have been far more devastating than failure.

The legal question was as yet untried anyway. The legislation that lead to the possibility that it might work was in its infancy. That in itself might be reversed at any time.

So it was he waited for an answer. He didn’t expect it to come directly from the one to whom it was posed, and something deep inside was shouting to run.

But he didn’t. The defendent handed back the note. The ring was still inside, though he noted the paper was crumpled and moist. It had at least been considered seriously.

The answer, though, was no. He spoke first anyway.

“Then I’m sorry.”

“If I had said yes, and you didn’t testify…what about your friend?”

There was a bit of hostility in those last words.

“Well, he’s spent a lot of time in combat zones. He understands the difference between those who give orders and those who follow them.”

He paused for a moment to look into the eyes he’d had so much trouble gazing into years before and now might not ever again.

“But do you?”

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