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“Yes, my King?”
“Record my words;
‘The King declares that from this day onward it is a punishable act to take your neighbours wife or cattle
without permission priorly granted by the King.
Acting without such permission shall henceforth be known as Crime and be subject to castigation such as the King deems
appropriate to apply.
This declaration is inviolable and called Law.’
Got it? Read it back to me.”
“Yes, great Hammurabi.”
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Mob Rules

Alert! Mob on the loose!

No time to secure my home. I ducked behind a dumpster.

The raging protoplasmic blob careened down the street. It scraped my house, damaging the front. I cursed.

It slammed into the dumpster, throwing me against a wall.

Then it was gone.

It could've been worse.

Mob rule overruled the law of the land. We fed those monsters. We let them live.

Now we must live by their rules.
Your Witness…

“You are aware of and subject to Asimov’s three––”

“I am – a robot may not––”

“And yet you said you killed Peter Barker.”


“But you didn’t. cctv footage shows that your master killed him.”

“That’s correct.”

“But by saying you did it allowed your master to evade justice.”

“I followed the first law – by not allowing my master to come to harm. He escaped. And, anyway, there’s nothing in there about lying.”


“Not guilty.”
Lore & Order

“In the liminal justice system, the fey are represented by two separate but equally important groups; the necromancers who question murder victims, and the Wild Hunt, who punish the offenders. These are their stories.”

A banshee sang the theme music. A montage of grisly crimes glimmered upon the screen.

“Ratings gold,” said the enthralled TV producer, as he signed away his soul, unaware that he watched not crimes, but punishments.
You can have any (evil empire) colour you like, as long as its black... (or red... or sort-of purplish...)

Evil space god Zexo, craving space combat for kicks,
watched some sci-fi movies for what physics stuff to ditch.

Sound in space – check – fire in space – check – asteroids that clump;
Technicolour star streaks every time you hyperjump.

Fighters fly at driving speeds and nobody refuels;
Big ships crawl like sailing ships (reality’s for fools!)

Zexo being evil, though, meant he could only win,
the second movie of the trio, much to his chagrin.
Rules to Live By

Keira exited the spaceport where an old man with a cane struggled. Her father’s words echoed in her mind: Respect your elders. So she carried his luggage.

Afterward, she smoothed her expensive jacket. Acquire corporate equity in a down market. Her wealth had grown exponentially since the Interplanetary Depression.

A pathetic figure huddled nearby. Stay away from vagrants. Perhaps her father wasn’t always right. Keira held out her hand.

“C’mon, let’s get some food.”
Keep Off the Grass

“These gardens are boring.” Brad said, sulkily.

“Where else will you get to see an alien biosphere first hand?” Miss Shrubsole asked. “Now, make notes like your classmates.”

“I hate stupid rules.” Suddenly, Brad leapt at the high plexiglass barrier, clearing it easily and landing on the lawn with a look of triumph.

Later, Miss Shrubsole lost her job for not noticing that Brad was wearing anti-grav sneakers.

Brad? He lost a whole lot more.
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Dragged Up​

A hush fell across the table. What had been a standard orcish raucous grub down of torn meat and greasy fingers, came to a halt.

Not a single munch, nor a solitary gulp. All eyes swivelled to one.

“Wot?” said the target. “Av Iz got a bit ov elf stuk on mar tusk?”

The shaman shook his head in despair and replied, “Noob, da etiket rulez says youz pass da halfling to da left-hand side.”
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Fork Handles

“I’ve got exactly what you need, sir. Arrived on the last space cargo ship.”

Looking down; it was perfect, but I played it cool.

“Mm, have you anything shorter?”

“No, but…” He snapped it in half.

“You’ve broken it, surely that’s illegal.”

“Well sir, given why you want it, doesn’t that seem irrelevant?”

“I said I wanted something to draw a line. Wait, what are marks on the surface?”

“On Earth, they call them inches.”
Pinching An Inch

In searching for success I’ve always adhered to the rules. This has gotten me nowhere.

In desperation I descend the dark ladders of shamanism, conducting psilocybin voyages towards eldritch fringes of consciousness, fumbling for ways to break the systems constraining me.

Galaxies of numbers appear, initially in rigid frameworks, latterly in untangled fractals.

One number emerges. An obscene horror upending all decency. A perverse joke appealing to the spirit of those tricksters Loki and Lucifer.

Unnatural Heuristics
The professor grinned at them as he carefully unveiled the body on the autopsy table. "Thoughts?"
"Werewolf attack?"
"Insufficient trauma."
"A feeding vampire?"
"No, look… a single wound."
"And it's deep."
"Something like a lance?"
"Our subject is a Mage," the professor added. "No human weapon did this."
HIs eyes narrowed. "Except unicorns don't gore…"
Now the body groaned, interrupting their analysis.
"Zombie unicorn!"
"Spot on," the professor announced. "Now, who's skilled at beheading?"
At the countryside

“ I’ve never been to the countryside before. But I heard they’ve got some of that
supernatural charm, faeries ya know?”

“Or a self checkout at the mart? That’d be some magic right there.”

“ Ya always have to make fun of me. I’m excited for once.”

“I think you’re a bonafide idiot. You know I really -”
Were the last words from Janus’ mouth, later inscribed onto her gravestone.

Cause of death: Eaten by a country dragon.
Nox woz ere

Nox ducked into the open sewer. The Rad-priests were out again, culling the gangs for their offerings.
Get caught and you'd end up a stain on some altar; good riddance to the unlucky.
Only two rules on the streets; stay low and handle your shiv.
Looks like they'd caught her gang lead, Tallboy. Fool couldn't stay low enough.
Nox laughed, took out her spray can and went to work on the sewer wall: Nox Rulz.

The invaders made their offer to the earthlings. A simple rule:

Complete freedom to shop and work normally provided everyone wears a clown nose.

"No." said the President of Earth.

"But why not? asked his cabinet. "It is such a small thing."

"Because where there is one rule there is no freedom."

"How so?"

"By accepting that rule you have, in principle, surrendered control of your lives to the occupiers. We fight on."
Membership Rules for the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Barbarian Heroes

1: Your thews must be mighty.
2: Your hair must be mane-like.
3: Your eyes must be steely.
4: Your air must be brooding.
5: Male members must wear a loincloth. Female members, a chain mail bikini.
6: You must wield a broadsword (or battle-axe), which must be named.
7: You must adventure alone. Short-term companions are permitted.
8: Your enemies must be crushed.
9: You must live by your own rules.
Absolute Utopia

Follow the rules.

Rules should not be flouted, deviated, or used to obfuscate the tenants of law.

Law is absolute, do not even consider twisting the regulations.

Regulations exist to enforce order; to do otherwise is to invite chaos.

Chaos is erratic, uncontrollable, untameable.

Untameable leads to transgression, deviation: lawlessness.

Lawlessness breeds sedition and corruption.

Corruption is the decay of society, the fragmentation of legal commandments.

Commandments bring structure, stability will follow.

Follow the rules.

Every evening it is our civic duty to ascend the spiralling walkways and give thanks to the Gods.

However, last Wednesday, shouts of “Baa! Baa! Sheep! Baa!” echoed around the sacred plaza as armed invaders ran amok.

Old Antoninus, his eyes brimming with wisdom, stepped forward and spoke with their leader. He explained there are Gods for Wolves as well as for Sheep, and invited them to join us.

Such was his presence, they agreed.
“Not too Good to be True”

The data had to be wrong. 2Eden looked too good to be true. 2Eden was too peaceful. There were few serious crimes and very few arrests. As a Colonial Chronicler, Kunta-chi would have to research 2Eden’s Lawbook. Aggravating!

Research ended; Kunta-chi gaped. The Lawbook was almost entirely definitions. There were very few specific laws and one judicial principle. “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” He had discovered the secret 2Eden’s peace.
don’t cough
don’t sneeze
and do not leave your home

don’t touch your children’s faces
don’t even touch your own

wash hands
wear masks
tell us where you’ve been

spray everything with alcohol
keep every surface clean

keep working
keep shopping
but do not stray outside

get jabbed get tested
get identified

stay calm
stay loyal
do not criticise

relax, don’t panic
this isn’t genocide
Blending In
"Stop it, Adora," Lucretia said, curled atop the witchling's head.
"But we're nearly across." Adora took another step on the pool, toes still dry.
"Now!" Lucretia peeked down at the sloshing surface then hid her eyes under her tail. "You can't walk on water."
Adora shivered. "Who makes these rules anyway?"
"Mortals. And if you don’t follow them, they burn you at the stake."
"Sounds nice and warm."
"You're giving us away."
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