The elevator door opens on the third floor at the Massachusetts Federal and State Court. A young man nearly six feet tall stands at the back. Dressed in a navy blue suit, his bloodshot eyes highlight his tired face. A woman, most likely a few years younger, stands in front and to the left of him while another, older female stands near the control panel of the elevator. She turns to the others. “This is our floor. Please follow me to room 311.”
The three parties walk down a corridor, their shoes squeaking or tapping lightly on the faux wooden floor. The lights emanate a whitish-blue hue that makes the young lady’s clothing shimmer from the small bits of lace throughout it. As they approach the door of the assigned room, a computerized voice begins:
“Please place thumb on pad.”
The young woman, whose black locks flow down to her shoulder blades, steps towards the pad. After she complies, the computer voice speaks once more: “Ms. Samantha Price, age 23, approved. Please step to your right.”.
The older woman steps forward. Unlike her companions, she is carrying a black leather briefcase, one commonly issued to individuals in her field. The wear on the corners indicates she has been at this job for a while and perhaps a newer, better case was in order. She extended her left hand and placed her thumb on the pad.
“Counselor Amanda Williams, authorized, please step to your right.”
Finally, the gentleman approached the door and thumbed the pad as required. “Mr. Jonathan Towers, age 26, approved. All may now enter the courtroom.”
A quick wisp of air swept toward them as the mechanized doors opened. The party of three walked into the courtroom. It was a small room featuring just three chairs, with flags of the United States and of Massachusetts flanking a large video screen. The computerized voice came over the intercom once more:
“Please be seated until the judge is ready to hear the case.”
They did as instructed. The man sat and fidgeted with his watch. The younger woman sat down and slowly crossed her legs. The counselor opened her briefcase and sorted through documents.
A few seconds later the video screen came on. The state emblem was centered on the screen, but it was the timer below that caught everyone’s eye. It was a countdown clock displaying an estimation of when the judge would enter and take the bench.
The time passed swiftly, and the wait was overestimated. The lights in the room changed slightly, to a more subdued yellow color. The computerized voice called once more:
“Please rise for the Honorable Marjorie Smith.”
Within a few seconds an older female appeared on the screen, her once-brown hair laced heavily with strands of silver. She wore the customary judge’s robe and her emotions were muted, at least facially.
Once more the computerized voice came on: “Your honor, this is case number 352-2900, Price versus Towers in the matter of Baby A. The State of Massachusetts Family Court is now in session. Please be seated.”
The judge began to speak. “Mr. Towers, please rise.” He complied and Judge Smith continued: “As I read the case, you are 26 years of age and are of the mind you would like to keep and raise the baby that Ms. Price is carrying. Is this correct?”
“Yes, your honor.”
“Ms. Price, you are 23 years of age and do not wish to carry this baby to term. Is this correct?”
“Yes your honor, that is correct.”
The judge paused briefly, looking down at her records. “We shall proceed.” She turned her gaze to Mr. Towers. “Mr. Towers, of 153 Main Street, Adams, age 26, who wishes to raise this child you and Ms. Price have produced, what is your life value score of the previous two years?”
“A 7 and a 7.5 your honor, with the 7 being the most recent.” The judge nodded and turned to the young woman.
“Ms. Price, of 25689 Market Street, also of Adams, age 23, who wishes to not carry this child to term, what is your life value score of the previous two years?”
“3.5 both years your honor.”
The judge looked quickly at her notes, “And my records indicate that this is your second time in Family Court for this matter, is that correct?”
“Yes your honor.”
Judge Smith then shifted her head slightly to gaze at the counselor, “Counselor Williams, approved and appointed case worker in this matter, you are here to speak for Baby A and the state of Massachusetts, correct?”
“Yes your honor. I speak on behalf of both.”
“What is your determination?”
The counselor quickly looked down at her notes, “Your honor, while Baby A and the state have no doubt that Mr. Towers could be a capable father, our testing reveals that most likely that the child will have no greater than a 4 total life value, thus falling short of the state’s newest TLV requirements to suggest that life should be granted. Additionally, during testing the baby was found to possibly have a minor defect in eyesight. Thus, on behalf of the baby, the state requests termination as well.”
“Noted.” She paused momentarily. “It is thus placed into fact and law, that Baby A Towers-Price shall be terminated at it’s own, and the state’s, request.” Her eyes turned to the young Ms. Price. “As this is your second appearance in such a matter before the state, I, Judge Marjorie Smith, have entered a judgement against you as well; A penalty of 1 TLV rating. This places you below the TLV rating of 3, for which the state of Massachusetts assesses one of the three possible punishments, at the offender’s choice. First, as the state now values your life as much as compost, you could choose death. Secondly, as you are above the mandated death sentence that a 2 rating would require, you could choose sterilization. Lastly, you have the option of exile to another state that is more lenient than we are. What is your choice?”
The young woman was momentarily shocked; she was not fully prepared for such a dire judgement. After a few moments, she met the judge’s stare and said: “Sterilization your honor.”
“Duly noted. The case is now closed. Baby A shall be terminated and Ms. Price will be sterilized. Please proceed to Adams General to have the procedure done immediately. They will be waiting for you.”
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.