Author: Don Nigroni

When everything is going well, I can’t relax. I just wait and worry for something bad to happen. So when I got a promotion last week, naturally I expected something ugly would happen, perhaps a leaky roof or maybe a hurricane. But this time, no matter how hard I looked for an upcoming disaster, what actually happened was not even remotely on my radar screen.

We’ve only met once before, at my wife’s college reunion. And that must have been ten years ago or more. According to my wife, you’re an excellent defense lawyer and she urged me to send you a missive informing you of my situation and asking for your assistance.

To catch you up, I’m happily married with four delightful kids, have a good job and had a bright future. I was hoping to take my wife and kids on a two week vacation next year to the Central Planet. My youngest really wants to visit Spaceland and I’m sure my wife would enjoy the Blue Resort.

Anyway, this morning I received a Retro Notice from the Office of Retrocognitive Justice stating that I got away with murder in another universe eons ago. I didn’t even know I had been incarnated way back then. Personally, I don’t even believe retrocognition is real. I suspect it’s all smoke and mirrors based on inferences from an abundance of facts plus savvy guesswork and a dash of luck.

Regardless, I know nobody has ever beaten a retro rap. Judges sitting on the Retrocognitive Courts are all hand-picked by the Supreme Minister of the Central Planet. And no one has ever eluded the Retro Force. I’ve heard they have video and audio devices hidden everywhere and a host of informants.

To make a long story short, the summons ordered me to appear in court next Wednesday. The crime listed was strangling an innocent young woman for sport. I’m shy, eager to please and pathologically honest. I wouldn’t steal a cup of coffee and I even pick up litter now and then and dispose of it properly. Hardly the criminal type, much less some heinous monster.

The last highly publicized person tried for a retro crime that I remember was that governor of the Outer Moon. He was a popular fellow with a pretty wife but perhaps too ambitious. There were reports that he wanted to become Supreme Minister of All the Moons. I had always just assumed that the retro trials were show trials to eliminate political rivals. I don’t have any political enemies. In fact, I didn’t think I had any enemies at all.

I need a good lawyer and you’re the only lawyer I know. I think the fact that your brother is on the Retro Force could be an advantage in trying to get me a light sentence. And I know you and my wife were an item back in college and hope you’re still fond of her.

For my sake but also for my wife’s and kids’ sake, I hope you can see fit to represent me. Please respond as soon as possible, hopefully today for a meeting later today or early tomorrow morning. I’m scared and I’m desperate.