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The double doors, which open into an aisle between two areas for spectator seating, swing open with a groan. Every head in the courtroom turns towards the sound. They blink as their eyes adjust to the extra light from the afternoon sun tumbling in through the corridor windows. Their eyes focus on the figures walking through the doorway, and as soon as they see this woman in the navy pinstripe suit, a murmur erupts from all sides of the courtroom.
She strides confidently into the crowded courtroom, making long strides despite her perfectly average height. She’s 5’4”, but anyone who sees her pass can feel her presence, which takes up the whole room, ceiling to floor, wall-to-giant-oak-doors slammed behind her. Her eyes, shining brown like the polished doors, seem laser-focused on the judge’s stand, which towers at the front of the room. Anyone who has ever had the glorious, resplendent misfortune of meeting her eye has seen the pulsing electricity of her thoughts rushing behind her irises. There is a flicker that gives a percussive rhythm to her gaze, as if she is flipping through her vast knowledge and great store of witty comebacks, like and old-school television set. With a crackle and pop of synapses changing channels, she finds what she needs to level anyone who tries to take her down a notch.
She is closely followed by a man being marched along with two cops, one on each side. He is in an orange jumpsuit, his hands shackled together with modified handcuffs. Instead of the usual silver bracelets, the must-have accessory for any run of the mill jailed criminal, his cuffs cover his hands entirely, turning them into powerless metal stumps. Unlike the woman who leads this mismatched entourage, he crinkles his forehead in worry and doubt, causing a crease to reshape the scar that covers half of his face, deforming his otherwise handsome features.
Seeing her foreboding figure start to walk down the aisle between the spectators, the head prosecutor, Chett Prava, turns forwards and places his face in his hands. The prosecution’s client, sitting to his left, watches her for a second longer before turning back to look at the empty judge’s seat, unperturbed by everyone’s moods. With his cleft chin, perfectly upswept black hair, and broad shoulder and pecs, it’s hard not to look at him, hard to miss his reaction. In this crowd of average-looking people, the baby-blue, spandex bodysuit, and silver cape are equally eye-catching. The prosecutor tries to compose himself, runs his fingers through silver and silt-colored hair, a substantial and exasperated sigh escaping from his lips.
To his right sits a junior lawyer, a lanky, red-head, who looks on, feeling confused about the commotion and his superior’s sullen reaction. He leans over to whisper to the greying lawyer, keeping his eyes fixed on the woman leading the charge towards the defense counsel’s table. “Mr. Prava, what is going on?”
“It seems that Mr. Cyclone had a last-minute change of attorney. Probably to his benefit, so the change is understandable. The state appointed attorney would probably have doomed him to a life in prison with not much sweat off our brows.” A small chuckle punctuates this statement, and then his face goes sour. “I wasn’t expecting to be up against her today.”
“What’s the big deal? Who is she?” The younger man’s eyes follow her as she and Mr. Cyclone sit down.
Mr. Prava gives another quiet sigh before he turns to face his underling. “Her name is Casilda Oikeus. She has been working for Wayne & Kent for the past ten years, and she made a reputation for choosing to be the defense lawyer for super villains.”
Confusion flashes across the junior attorney’s face. “Who would choose to defend super villains? They’re unpredictable in all aspects, except to being found guilty in court. Why would someone be so eager to enter a losing battle?”
“It’s not that she expects to win.”
“What do you mean?”
“She’s made it very clear that her clients should receive a fitting punishment for their crimes. She says her job is to make sure that they aren’t punished for crimes they didn’t commit, or that they don’t get excessive punishment for the crimes they do commit.” He lowers his voice and leans closer to the red head, trying to put as much distance between him and his client. “The problem is, she often makes a case against the superheroes.”
“A case against the superheroes? What crimes could she accuse them of? They’re the saviors of our city!”
“She doesn’t seem to care about that. She’s accused them of the excessive destruction of public and private property, excessive force during arrest, manslaughter of innocent bystanders, and even for the murder of villains.”
“That’s inconceivable! How could she get away with that?” The young attorney’s brows fold in anger and disgust as he struggles to keep his voice at a whisper. “Aren’t these accusations a stretch at best, and immoral and fraudulent at worst?”
“You’d think so, but trust me: she has a way of making it sound like the most logical conclusion to the jury.” Mr. Prava glances at his client, who is smirking and waving at the fangirls, oblivious towards his lawyers’ distress. “Mr. Electric won’t be sentenced at this trial. But if she finds antyhing even mildly outside of the law, he’ll very likely be scheduled for a trial of his own. Ms. Oikeus will likely volunteer to serve as prosecution against him.”
“There’s got to be something we can do to prevent that from happening.”
“We have to do everything to make sure that our client is squeaky clean and to prove that hers is the villain that we know he is.”
The bailiff’s voice booms, bringing the rumbling whispers throughout the courtroom to a halt. “All rise for the honorable Judge Hartford.”
As everyone rises, Mr. Prava and Ms. Oikeus catch each others’ eyes. Mr. Prava tries to stare her down, but electricity snaps in her eyes, compelling him to break their gaze. Casilda smirks as she whispers to herself, “Justice will be served to everyone today.”
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