"Jen'alein, you have been charged with high treason, aiding and abetting the enemy, and gross negligence of your sworn duty. How do you plead?" the High Prosecutor said with his fishy face twisting up in disgust. He couldn't use the normal method of speaking directly to me, and the round-shaped device at my feet translated his brain-sent words since my mind can't receive and decipher telepathic messages anymore. I looked at the stern, noseless creature and didn't respond. Trapped in my encircling earth-style, air-filled shield a mile below the surface, I searched for the answer that wouldn't matter. How could they understand what I'd been through?
Most of them have never left this watery planet; there is no need to. Outside of the military, and those like me, they stayed safe and secure in their underwater cities. It was also a protective measure since so much could destroy us. The wrong pH balance in the water, too long exposure to the heat of the sun, or a delicate digestive tract that relied on only a small percentage of aquatic life, could easily sicken and kill them. The prosecutor's pale pink flesh pulsed and his quivering webbed fingers caused tremors on the charges he held up. His tail thrashed in frustration, and he leaned forward, tilting the side of his head in my general direction. I saw him straining the long, flattened ears he possessed awaiting my answer. I gazed briefly into his black eyes and smiled.
I must have looked strange and different, perhaps even a little terrifying since I differed so much from them. Where they all stood well over six feet tall (or long depending on your point of view) I was a mere five foot six inches not possessing a spinal fin and I even had a nose. I gathered from their curious and disgusted stares it was impossible for them to consider me still a member of their race. The prosecutor's gaze bored into me, and his gills flared in ire as I continued my silence.
The courtroom on the Aquellian homeworld (just inside the Aquarian star cluster) had a light blue tinge to its white shade; it was almost pearl-like in color. The chamber seemed to flow into itself giving one the impression it was grown, not constructed. The citizens who crowded the auditorium of the High Court sat or floated just above long wide benches which encircled the sea-shell shaped courtroom without aisles. They glared at me, disapproving of my silence which I could sense almost physically being emitted by their large black eyes. My peers were waiting, wondering, and guessing at my answer.
"Jen'alein you have heard the charges against you," the white skinned elder, who sat in the judge's chair, asked, "What is your plea?"
I knew it didn't matter; I was going to be put to death anyway via a ritualistic beheading. But my story needed to be told, so that they might come to an understanding one day. Maybe they would even go so far as to reconsider the actions that had placed me in such peril.
"I will chose," I began softly, "insanity, Your Honor."