Welcome to Wednesday’s work in progress showcase. I’m working on a Sci-Fi alien romance – Chosen by the Judge. This week, I’m revealing poor Zara’s sentence. She’s standing before an alien judge, charged with drunk and disorderly, and it’s not exactly going well….
Another lengthy pause. More shoe inspecting. Her heart was pummelling so hard it almost hurt in her chest. It was like she was breathing through a tiny hole and not getting enough air.
“Zara Webb, you admit fault and will be punished according to our laws. You human frailties are no excuse. In coming here, to our great continent and imperial colony on Earth, you agreed to abide by our laws. You were briefed and reminded of our high values of behaviour.”
She nodded softly. She had signed an agreement before she left for the country that was once had been called Australia. Now it was part of the Vendu Empire. An outpost where they could keep an eye on their new allies: Earthlings.
“Therefore your punishment must set an example. You will be transported to the discipline unit. You will lay bare your body, be bound to a post and be whipped for the duration of fifty strokes to be conducted over no fewer than five sessions. Fifty strokes of a single whip across your buttocks.”
Zara listened in stunned silence. This was what she dreaded: a whipping! Her lips trembled and a familiar prickle of tears filled her eyes.
“To set an example to other Vendu so that they may not be tempted into following your drunken habits, your punishments will be publicised. Globally. This the law. This is our way.”
Zara gasped and her chin jerked up. The nameless judge was staring straight at her, his dark eyes fixed and unwavering. His short locks of hair were swept back to reveal high cheeks and a broad forehead. He was a striking man and his firm gaze pinned her to the spot.
The tears threatened to well up and over her rims. Globally meant broadcasting from all Vendu satellites and not only to their own people but to hers. Her fellow humans. Her friends. Family. Her jaw hung in horror when she realised the venerable committee, who’d selected her for the exchange program, would also witness her punishment.
“No, please. Not in public—” she moved forward and one of the court guards stepped between her and the judges high plinth.
“The sentence is fitting,” the judge declared.