Log:The Judge Wakes
He awoke slowly, lying on one side. His first movement was a blind reach for the empty air in bed beside him. A hard blink, curious frown bending his lip as he sat up, triggering the lights. Eyes narrowed, as he set feet to floor and scanned the room, calling a name that brought no answer.
The walls and ceiling were plain white, the floor an evenly stained bamboo hardwood. It was sparely appointed, bordering on spartan: the bed was placed along one wall, an end table beside it with three hardcover books stacked atop within easy reach. On instinct, he opened the end table’s drawer and found a small square of battered paper, folded four times. Blunt, calloused fingers opened it, and he read:
6 stay (1 dies), 19 go free
2: Who can best survive staying?
3: Women out
4: Rich ones stay
He folded it back up and replaced the paper, closing the door afterward. There was also a small desk with a blank pad of lined paper, and a trio of sharpened pencils beside it, and a closet. The latter contained a wide variety of clothing, ranging from tanktops and shorts through polo shirts and jeans, up to a three-piece suit. He shed the light shorts he slept in and chose a set in the middle: a green polo shirt, belted jeans, and short, leather ankle boots.
He heard voices in the hallway outside, but delayed investigation long enough to finish pulling on his clothing and shoes before stepping toward the door.The Judge