- indieweb: #comics
Some time later, Juni woke up, still sitting on the park bench, where it had been dreaming about having relations with Tanya. The court called to let it know that testimonial was to resume. Juni returned to the courthouse, and ran into Tamu, who was just leaving his deposition chamber. He had seen Juni’s testimonial, and wanted to discuss it, later, after the tribunal was complete.
Juni returned to its chamber, to watch the Corentins' testimonial, already in progress. Chandra expressed puzzlement at being called in to testify; he explained that since Tamu had lost interest in his research, he was working with Kali Rosha to publish it for the mainstream instead. When asked about the case at hand, Chandra had no idea about any of it, and began to ponder erroneous conclusions, and was thus dismissed from testifying. (Meanwhile, Kandra tried to get a few honks in edgewise, but of course nobody listened to what he had to say.)
When the arbiter asked Juni about this testimonial, Juni couldn’t explain the discrepancy between what it expected Chandra to say and what was actually said. It then grew angry when the arbiter questioned its intentions.
The arbiter had actually already questioned Doctor Goldberg at a prior time; a replay of this testimonial showed that Goldberg was similarly clueless about what was going on, and held a belief that Juni was paranoid and perhaps delusional; he also admitted that he was responsible for telling Kali Rosha about Juni’s original admission into his clinic. At this point, it became clear that the arbiter no longer believed that Juni was acting in the greater good, and that the focus of the investigation was now on Juni’s erratic behavior. The arbiter offered it a choice: admit itself for psychiatric treatment and have all charges dropped, or continue on with the case and risk things going very badly for it. Juni briefly considered the psychiatric option, but upon learning that it would be stripped of its academic position until it was found “completely sane,” it opted to continue with the ongoing case.
The arbiter questioned Sam regarding his personal and professional relationship with Juni. Sam explained that Juni and Tamu had been working together on research without regard for anyone else, and that Juni had experienced major personality changes after the experiments with the informaion repository. He placed the blame on Tamu’s experimentation, and stated that at present, he wanted nothing to do with Juni, and only wanted to spend time with his family. He had also clearly been in full-on ramble mode, as he had forgotten he was even testifying in a trial.
At this point, Juni was so defeated it could barely work up the energy to respond to the arbiter’s declarations of protocol. It gained a brief surge of energy and interest when it learned that Sasha had volunteered to testify on Juni’s behalf, but this glimmer of hope was quickly crushed when it was told that the court could not locate Hira and that Juni would have a limited time of 1 deci [about 2.75 hours —fluffy] to retrieve her for questioning.
Juni mustered enough energy to watch the last part of Sasha’s testimonial — apparently withdrawing from (or blocking the memory of) the first part — wherein Sasha explained that Juni simply has trouble explaining things in a linear manner without the right questions being asked, and that her belief (which she considered to be a firm logical conclusion derived from objective facts) was that Juni was acting in Unity’s greater interest and that she would do what she could to assist Juni toward its goals. She stated that the only part Juni did not plan for was Tamu growing concerned over Juni’s mental state, and that all of the preceding testimonial — which Sasha had viewed without permission, placing her in breach of tribunal protocol — stated that everything described was a logical extension of Tamu’s interference, implying that Tamu was in fact the origin of the problem.
Hira came to the court house to give her deposition; unfortunately, she and Juni hit a bureaucratic snag: the intake bailiff thought they were the same person as each other, and unfortunately the policies of the court agreed. Thankfully, the arbiter had enough common sense to allow this final testimonial to proceed, but unfortunately Juni would not be able to listen in on Hira’s deposition. Juni left the courthouse for home, and had a bit of a breakdown.
Some time later, Hira returned to Juni’s home, and attempted to comfort Juni by relating her testimonial. Soon after, Juni fell asleep, and had a number of disconnected and disturbing dreams; Hira, recognizing that Juni was not sleeping well, put a blanket over it, which at least improved Juni’s comfort.
The next morning, Juni did not want to go back to the court or even check the day’s schedule; however, this was not its decision to make, as it had been declared truant and forced to come. The arbiter — Kila Rosha, Kali’s spouse — immediately declared that Ed Lombard had committed no crime and was to be immediately released and exonerated.
Arbiter Rosha had three other declarations to make, however. First, Tamu had acted irresponsibly and placed others in danger. Second, Juni had clearly been both a source and recipient of extreme stress and should be placed under psychiatric care before returning to research. Finally, Sasha was to spend ten days without the ability to communicate for her violation of tribunal protocol.
After court was adjourned, Juni apologized to Ed and indicated it would simply not return to the Academy. Tamu interrupted their conversation, and asked to speak to Juni in private. Juni agreed.
Tamu expressed dismay at having been seen as “some kind of monster,” and explained its intentions, and said that Juni should have asked more questions rather than simply accept the conclusions which its neural simulations had come to. He was particularly saddened by the fact that Juni was a Kayohash with scientific curiosity — a rarity, in his view — and that their relationship had now gone wrong. He pointed out that Juni truly was acting insane, even going so far as to try faking its own death to continue on a nihilistic path, and taking actions with consequences which affected others profoundly.
Juni stated that it had to take Hira back to Kajoshu, and surprisingly, asked Tamu to come along, to show him that the Kayohash actually were curious in the right ways for science; they only lacked a proper education. Tamu said he would make it a point to visit Kajoshu some time in the future when he wasn’t under so many pressing obligations, and suggested that Juni enjoy the rest of its “vacation,” and he would see it back at work in five days.