Ida silently prayed to whichever gods would listen to her pleas. Announcements from the Jurisdiction were never good. Ever. Xanthe, her little sister, made sounds of discomfort from below. Even though she was five, Xanthe was forever begging to be carried. Ida stroked her platinum locks idly to ease her. As a lanky man with wiry auburn hair stepped up to the podium the chatter in the crowd began to quieten. He picked at his green pinstripe suit and looked down at the townspeople past his gleaming white shoes. He clasped his hands together softly, noiselessly but still managed to capture everyone's attention.
"Attention, citizens of Lextarria. Hear the law of your righteous judge, Bailiff Alitheius, Minister of the Peace. No longer shall you be represented unto the Law by your notary. From this day onwards the Jurisdiction shall seek its own counsel," the man said. Conversation arose once more within the crowd.
Someone shouted through the chatter, "Sir Loeborough, could you possibly reiterate what you said? Just for those of us who aren't quite so educated as you."
"It means, Mister Aefield, that we no longer live in a democracy. The Jurisdiction decides everything.Your life. Your death. Nothing is in your hands. If the Bailiff wishes your death, it happens. If you are to be imprisoned, you will be. I advise you to carefully continue life as before. However, a number of you are to be tried at the High Court. Apparently some treason has been going on unnoticed." Sir Loeborough pulled out a longish thin rectangular object with a few buttons and tapped on its face. What most residents of the town knew as a 'phone'.
"Those to go to travel to the High Court tomorrow are: Casper James, Thomas Wright, Emma Fen, Aaron Wier, Page Oakley, Triton and Mallike Annenberg."
To Ida nothing more was said after the last two names. Her own parents were to be tried. And trial meant torture.