Unknown to those of us on Earth, our planet is being used by aliens to house their worst criminals.
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The greatest treachery is a false freedom...
Wyatt Simmons and Megan Simplot are neighbors, living peacefully in the hills of western Oregon. That is until their murders reveal a surprising truth about life after death. PRISON EARTH presents our planet as a penal colony where the souls of an alien species' worst convicts are implanted in humanoid bodies to live among us.
While these beings believe they are normal humans, the truth is that sophisticated computers and alien minds manipulate the daily lives of everyone on Earth, with the goal of rehabilitating the alien criminals.
But this carefully managed system breaks down when different alien species fight for the key to the ultimate power of the universe and the very existence of all known life.
Though initially stunned by this new reality, Wyatt and Megan must risk not only their new bodies, but their precious souls in the struggle to prevent a cataclysmic explosion as destructive as the Big Bang.
“Has jury reached verdict, maybe?”
The words shocked him as he struggled to breathe the hot, heavy air, made worse by the acrid odor of perspiring bodies pressing against the railing behind him. Two-hundred people squeezed into a room designed for fifty: dusty farm workers pressing rough leather against the fine white silk of the upper class. Bodies filled every door and window, blocking circulation as fans fluttered overhead in a futile effort to move the dense air.
Breathing became even more difficult as the tall, two-headed judge moved to the front of an elevated platform, turning one shockingly ugly face to glare at him. Its ten stubby feet shuffled nervously beneath the hem of a flowing crimson robe, festooned with buttons, sashes and medals. The creature’s other head faced a group of ten equally-bizarre beings standing in a small cubicle to his left.
“We have, Your Honor,” answered an individual with sky-blue skin and a head that seemed to be nothing but a rainbow-colored mass of hair. For some reason, he knew it was a woman, and oddly enough, the sight of her didn’t strike him as strange.
The judge nodded one head toward him and spoke with a heavy accent, “Defendant will be rising.”
When he turned to see who was on trial, shackles rattled on his wrists and ankles. He hardly had time to react before enormous hands slipped under his arms, clamped his ribcage, and yanked him to his feet. Warm sweat dribbling off his nose, he struggled in vain to twist around for a look at whoever was manhandling him.
He jerked back around when the judge’s head facing the jury asked, “What be you deciding?”
Her hair curling and uncurling in rhythm with her speech, the blue woman answered, “We find da defendant…”
The rest of her words were lost in the roar from the packed crowd. His body being restrained by the enormous hands, the defendant turned his head to look at the excited mass of people, but sweat stinging his eyes blurred their faces.
A horn, barely louder than the crowd, blared somewhere to his left. Ignored, the horn sounded again, bringing only a small drop in the decibel level. Grabbing an ornate staff with the rightmost of his four hands, the judge pounded the floor as his mouths opened and closed. The effort was wasted.
A third, much longer blast finally brought quiet to the room.
The judge scowled. “Another outburst like that and we be forfeiting verdict.”
“He’s never going to get a fair trial from a Koko judge anyway,” someone protested.
“Scum like him don’t deserve no trial,” another person countered. “Give him to us, Judge, and you won’t need no verdict.”
As the crowd rumbled in agreement to one opinion or the other, the staff rapped the floor again. This time the sound traveled to the far ends of the room, bringing immediate silence.
“Next person to be interrupting proceeding go with him.”
The meaning was clear. No one else spoke, or even coughed, as all heads turned toward the jury foreperson.
The judge kept one face toward the defendant, as the other turned to the jury box.
“Madam Foreperson? Please be repeating…”
A blur of green on his right startled the defendant as someone jumped up and pressed against the table separating him from the judge.
“Your Honor, this trial has been, and continues to be, a mockery of the most monstrous proportions.”
The protester was tall and slender, wearing a full-length, green velvet robe that sagged loosely on his bony frame and hid all but his head and the six stick-like feet extending below the hemline. As he spoke, his tear-shaped head wobbled on narrow shoulders as if it were about to fall off. A voluminous sleeve fell back as he raised a bony hand and shook a finger in His Honor’s direction.
“My client’s rights have been trampled at every turn. You can’t possibly consider this a fair and impartial verdict.”
The judge shook his heads and sighed in stereo. “Counsel for defense be having many chances to present usual pleas for mercy at later time.” He scanned the crowd. “Right now, all we wanna hear is verdict of most esteemed jury.”
Both heads turned to face the jury box. “Our apologies, Madam Foreperson, please be continuing.”
The woman bowed slightly and said, “Your Honor, on de charges of da willful destruction of de planet Ooertfael and da deaths of de six-and-one-half billion occupants of dat planet, we find da defendant guilty as charged.”
She paused, as though expecting to be shouted down again. The judge watched as well, but not a peep was uttered.
“De jury would also like to propose special circumstances relative to sentencing, Your Honor.”
Tears trickled down the defendant’s cheeks as all four of the judge’s jet-black eyes focused on him.
“And what those circumstances be, maybe?”
She hesitated and also appeared to look in the defendant’s direction, though he could see no eyes in the vibrating mass of hair. “We propose dat de defendant be imprisoned with no possible hope of parole for da duration of de existence of his Life Force.”
It seemed to him that everyone in the room gasped in surprise at the severity of the verdict. Even the judge seemed taken aback.
As his lawyer slumped back into his seat looking defeated, the defendant struggled against the restraining hands, but their crushing grip made it impossible to breathe.
“Oh God,” Wyatt Simmons cried as he sat up in bed, gasping for air.
His wife, Aurelia jerked awake and fumbled for the light switch. “Honey, are you OK?”
His eyes wide, and mouth opening and closing like a dying fish, Wyatt looked at her, but said nothing.
“Was it that exploding planet again?”
He shook his head, while running fingers through his reddish-brown hair. “This was different.”
“They said I destroyed it.”
He nodded. “And I think they were right.”