The worst possible case and the worst possible prosecution.
Just thinking about it made for the worst pairing.
To be honest, I didn’t know where to start.
Finishing my courthouse paperwork from start to finish, I headed for the detention center the defendant was being kept. The detention center was relatively close to the courthouse, and I was able to reach in around thirty minutes by foot.
Unlike the court’s dignified form, a head-on look at the detention center’s exterior gave one the feel it was the perfect fortress to lock people away.
The building built with its gray concrete exposed didn’t give off a hint of kind warmth, holding an air as if you’d be coldly rebounded back if you crashed into it.
After arranging a meeting, I was guided to the visiting room. There was a table and chairs in the room, and two exits.
However, a wall of transparent glass was spread right across the center, and that bisected the room in two.
If from the glass onward was the world I lived in, then what existed on the other side?
It was the same space, but the other side shut out by a single pane of glass looked exceptionally distant as if it was an alternate world entirely.
There was no clock in the room, with only a tacit light on the ceiling.
How much time had gone by?
Normally, if you put in an appointment for a visit, you could see them in ten minutes. In the first place, the people in the detention center don’t have any plans until the verdict is handed down, so they should be able to meet at once.
But the suspect, no I guess she’s already the defendant… Claudia Rheinland showed no signs of coming to the visiting room.
Looking at my watch, the second hand made its war around. One minute, two… ten minutes passed, and finally, thirty were about to go by.
Eventually, I heard a scream on the other side of the glass. Whether it was a human voice, or some beast’s roar, I couldn’t really tell, but it was a terrible lonesome cry.
Suddenly, the door to the visitor’s room was broken down. Just as the phrase implied, it shot off its hinges, and floated through the air momentarily. After the door crashed into the wall on the opposite side, it flopped limply onto the floor.
As if to follow behind, a prison guard was shot into the room. His body flew as if it had been rammed by a car, his back hitting the wall much like the door before he collapsed to the ground.
With an exhausted expression, blood flowed from the elderly guard’s mouth, as he stared at the floor.
… What is this?
I was overwhelmed by the scene before me. I couldn’t tell what was going on.
Angry roars echoed through the room. Followed by screams, shouts, sobs, I heard the sound of something being struck from the hallway connected to the other side of the room.
Pip pip pip pip… the footsteps echoed. Someone was coming this way.
Eventually, a single girl burst into the room.
Her black hair that reached her hips was disheveled, her long slit eyes looking at me.
My eyes met hers.
The girl whose clothing I couldn’t call clean even as flattery stared at me cautiously, her blue eyes taking me in.
Her impression was different from when I saw her in the photo, but there was no doubt about it. She was Claudia Rheinland.
There were black handcuffs binding her hands. But her wrists were bruised red, and for some reason, she was barefoot.
There were wounds and bruises no matter where you looked on her body. For every old wound, there was one brand new, and looking closely, her lips were dripping blood.
“She ran into the visiting room! Chase her!”
As I heard the bellows of guards, Claudia Rheinland’s shoulders twitched in shock as she glared at me once more, making her way towards me.
Something I couldn’t quite think human, she raised a beastly roar as she approached, but her body hit against the glass partitioning the room, preventing her from advancing any further.
This glass was made exceedingly sturdy. It wasn’t something an unarmed human could break, and while Claudia hit her head against it again and again, it only gave off a dull thudding sound.
Finally figuring out it was futile, she touched her forehead to the glass, her blue eyes letting off tears as she whispered.
“Please, give it back…”
Claudia Rheinland was restrained by the guards who flooded in from the passageway, and dragged off further inside.
In the end, that was it for my meeting with her that day.
… The trial was to start tomorrow.