(Alternate words: Undeath, universal, ugly, ultimate.)
“I’m not sure I understand why you’ve come to see me.”
“As I said, I’m the undertaker for Cantrel Steamweaver, of Socket City, Golden Groves.”
“I have had some dealings with him in the past, but -”
“Ah. I see. Perhaps the translation is misleading, and I should clarify. Mr. Janli, I am neither a euthanatrist, nor a funerist. Nor, for that matter, a biological waste recycling specialist. I undertake to handle the mélith-debts and other obligations of the deceased on the part of their survivors.”
“I don’t recall Cantrel owing me anything. Nor do I owe him anything. If you have business of that sort to transact, you’d best speak to my man of law.”
“It is not a financial matter, Mr. Janli. My client currently holds a writ of baculum outstanding against you from the Court of the Beyond. Naturally, he wished to carry it out himself, but under the circumstances was unable. Hence my involvement in this matter.”
“A writ of baculum?”
“It is more commonly known as a writ of assault, permitting a rather direct form of redress at the court’s discretion. A form of limited outlawry, I understand, that the court considered rather poetic, given the case in question. In any case, as you’ll see from the documentation here, we have local approval for its service, and there are certain specific limitations and requirements that must be fulfilled -”
“And you expect me to stand here and just let you beat me?”
“Oh, no, I merely expect you to be distracted by the documentation just long enough to let my assistant slip around behind you.”
“Good day to you, Mr. Janli.” The undertaker scribbled ‘paid in full’ across the writ, initialed it, then tucked it into Janli’s nerveless fingers. “Do keep your copy of the receipt.”
I have to wonder what sort of crime or other offense Mr. Janli committed for the Court of the Beyond to judge that beating him over the head with a stick would be poetically apropos.
(To say nothing about wondering just who the Court of the Beyond actually are…)
The Court of the Beyond’s just a specialized third-tier court (i.e., the same level as the Courts of the Districts; the bottom level ones that handle routine cases) that deals with extra-jurisdictional or foreigner-involving cases – rather than requiring/letting people find some suitable/inconvenient local jurisdiction and argue the case there. It also comes pre-equipped to sit by telepresence, if need be. At additional costs.
(More notably, it also comes with justices carefully selected such that they’ll at least warn shady foreign lawyers accustomed to somewhat different legal systems before citing them for Contempt of Court, Thinking This Is A Court Of Law And Not A Court Of Justice, Palaver Forbiddance, or Believing The Justices Are Dumb Enough To Buy That Load Of Feculent Bullshit.)