Alice v. Wonderland

A copy of court transcripts. Defendant: Alice of London; represented by: the White Rabbit. Plaintiff: Wonderland. Prosecutor: Ace of Hearts. Judge: King of Hearts.

PROSECUTOR: People v. Alice of London, on trial for uselessness and resource waste.

JUDGE: How do you respond?

WHITE RABBIT: Not guilty, your honor, your Kingship. We would like to add, on record, that Alice is currently an upstanding citizen of Wonderland and that therefore this trial is completely unnecessary. Sir.

P.: Right, and —

J.: Noted. Though please refrain from such outbursts, counselor. You’ll get your chance to make your case in your opening statements.

W.R.: Yes, sir. Noted.

J.: Good. I think you’ve lost your chance to give your statement last, so please begin your case, counselor.

W.R.: Very well, your Kingliness. As you command. Ahem. Members of the jury, you all know of our beloved Alice who sits in this courtroom today. I do not need to list her great, er, good deeds to you. Alice from London is none other than the Alice who freed Wonderland from the tyrannous grasp… er, I mean from the hardships brought down on the lesser people of this country. And she didn’t do it for any other reason than a noble heart! Useless? Wasteful? No, these do not characterize the defendant at all! Rather, if she can aid those in need, the defendant is clearly a citizen we would want in our glorious country, one who is willing to offer her services to help others.

J.: And your response, Prosecutor Hearts?

P.: The defendant is no chivalrous character, people of the jury. I see you nodding your heads in agreement at the counselor’s words, but I argue strongly not to make such quick judgments. The defendant might have helped the lower class, yes, but who suffered when the Red Queen was overthrown? The people with businesses and money, the people who had to pay the most to restart an entire government! Surely you all remember the weeks, months, of upheaval after the Queen was deposed. And for what? So the lower class might lead more comfortable lives? The defendant is a force of upheaval. She is responsible for the waste of resources needed to rebuild Wonderland after the Queen was removed from power. Do you really want that kind of person, that kind of threat, some foreigner living in our land and changing our laws? I don’t think so.

J.: Alright, counselor. Call your first witness to the stand.

W.R.: We call Bayard the Bloodhound as our first witness. … Bayard, how well acquainted are you with the defendant?

BAYARD: We know each other pretty well, Mr. White Rabbit. She played fetch with me when she first entered Wonderland, and I took her to the Red Queen when she went to save the Hatter. A very nice lady, very nice.

P: Objection. Circumstantial.

J.: Overruled. But tread carefully with your witness, counselor. You are here to give hard facts, not opinions.

W.R.: Right. Of course your Majesticalness. Bayard, who was responsible for the deposition of the Red Queen?

B.: Alice.

W.R.: What was your life like before, with the Red Queen?

B.: I mean, it was a bit difficult, Mr. Rabbit. But as long as we did what she said and stayed out of her way otherwise, things were okay.

W.R.: Would you say your life has much improved since then, Mr. Bayard?

B.: Well, yeah, I think so. I don’t got to worry about my kids as much anymore, that’s for sure. And as long as we keep busy and stay productive, we can be pretty happy.

W.R.:  And you attribute that to the defendant, to Alice of London?

B.: Yes.

W.R.: Thank you, Mr. Bayard. No further questions.

P.:  Mr. Bayard, would you consider yourself lower class?

B.: No, sir. I mean, I may not make a lot of money, but —

P.: So you’re lower class. No further questions, Your Honor.

J.: Very well. Prosecutor, you may call your own first witness.

P.: Thank you, Your Honor. I call the Duchess to the stand. Duchess, would you say you are friends with the defendant, Alice of London?

DUCHESS: To a certain degree, yes, though perhaps “good acquaintance” would be a better term for it.

P.: Would you say the defendant has helped you out by deposing the Red Queen?

D.: Help? I wish I could say yes, but this is certainly not the case! In fact, my life has fallen rather far since the Red Queen was taken from her throne. And I by no means support her, of course, but look at me! I used to have status, a lovely place to live! But when the Queen was ousted, it was the rich they came for first, asking for money, demanding it! And now things are reorganized so that I have to work for money. Work! Me, a Duchess!

P.: Thank you, madame. No further questions.

W.R.: Duchess, do you have a job, madame? An actual occupation?

D.: Erm… No. Not yet, I mean! But I’m looking!

W.R.: And please remind the court, how long has it been since the law was passed saying every citizen must have work or else be imprisoned or withdrawn from Wonderland?

D.: A year.

W.R.: You’ve been diligently searching for a whole year?

D.: Yes… Of course, yes.

W.R.: So you want to accuse my client of wasting resources and uselessness when you yourself are guilty of the same exact infractions!

P.: Objection! There’s no question in that, Your Honor.

J.: Sustained. Ask the witness a question, counselor.

W.R.: Apologies. Duchess, in your venerable opinion, please explain the difference between you and my client in this scenario.

P.: Objection! Your Honor…

W.R.: I’ll rephrase. Duchess, in your understanding of the law, what exactly is my client guilty of?

D.:  She’s guilty of upending the natural order of things! She is wasting the government’s money because she made the government completely rewrite itself.

W.R.: For the better, wouldn’t you agree? Statistics submitted into evidence argue that lives are much better in general now that the Red Queen is gone. So tell me, madame: If a citizen were to waste resources because they want to make the world better, is that better or worse than a citizen who wastes resources because they have no viable trades due to… say… supposed royalty?

P.: Your Honor!

D.: I am a Duchess! I never had to do any work before in my life! But I still hold sway in this community, mister rabbit, so don’t you dare insult me this way! That girl might’ve been all sweet and innocent to begin with but I don’t give one wackadoo about statistics! She upended the status quo! She doesn’t understand life in Wonderland! How can she, as a foreigner?

J.: Silence! Duchess, keep yourself contained or you will be dismissed.

W.R.: No need, Your Honor. I have no further questions.

J.: Counselor, do you have another witness you would like to call to the stand?

W.R.: Indeed, your Kingliness. I would like to call the defendant to the stand.

J.: Very well, counselor. That is indeed your right.

W.R.: Erm, yes, thank you Your Honor. Alice, Why did you come to Wonderland?

ALICE: Come to… I’m afraid I don’t understand. Which time?

W.R.: The first time.

A.: Well, I didn’t get here on purpose. I just sort of… fell.

W.R.: And the second time you came to Wonderland…?

A.: Well, yes, I also fell, although of course I knew where I was by then.

W.R.: And this third time?

A.: On purpose. I finally found out how to get to Wonderland on my own and… well… this place is simply so wonderful. It is so much better than my own dreary world where nothing ever happens and life is so plain and boring. Nothing is boring here!

W.R.: When you are not uprooting evil… erm, sorry your Majesticalness… when you are not uprooting queens, what is it that you do to keep occupied?

A.: Well, um, I explore Wonderland and I help people too.

W.R.: What do you hope to gain by exploring Wonderland?

A.: I don’t know. I just think magical things shouldn’t go undiscovered, don’t you? Isn’t there a chance that there might be something good and useful out there?

W.R.: That is a very good question. Thank you, Alice. No further questions.

P.: Alice, can you guarantee that there are things out in the tiny recesses of this world that can prove of some use to our people and our country?

A.: Um, I mean, I can’t guarantee of course, but the chances —

P.: And is there a good chance that you may instead bring down on our people something evil, such as another Jabberwock?

A.: I didn’t set that thing loose!

P.: Answer the question.

A.: Um. Well, I mean I guess there’s a chance. Until we actually know what’s out there, I can’t promise what will or won’t be found.

P.: So you might bring about more change. Hmm.

W.R.: Your Honor, there’s no question in that.

P.: Alice, who funds these expeditions?

A.: No one, sir. I am very resourceful, and I just find what I need.

P.: So you just claim Wonderland’s natural resources without any consideration of who might make use of that in the future, or might stimulate our economy with those natural resources by selling them?

A.: That’s not against the law.

P. So you not only risk our country by poking your nose where it doesn’t belong, you also use resources that you didn’t buy yourself to go exploring for things that may or may not even exist. I rest my case. No further questions, Your Honor.

At this point, the typist would like to add that The Mad Hatter forced his way into the courtroom and interrupted the proceedings.

THE MAD HATTER: Excuse me, all! I’ve come here to crash a party, ha ha! Not a very fun party. I’ve got news for all of youuu. This case is a sham. Don’t forget what dear Alice has done for you.
The world was rotten, dead, and gone,
but now the Queen has gone along
And the world’s a better place
So thank Alice, your… ah ha! Saving grace!

J.: Guards, escort this man out of our courtroom.

TMH: They will find her guilty, ha ha!

J.: Good lord. Alright, counselor, do you have any other witnesses?

W.R.: Erm… no, Your Honor.

J.: Prosecutor Hearts?

P.: No.

J.: Then give your closing statements. Counselor?

W.R.: Yes, sir, your Just Royal Highness. Members of the jury, Alice of London is not Alice of London anymore. She became Alice of Wonderland when she came to our world and made it a better place… a thing she is still trying to do. The Prosecutor will want to argue that Alice simply doesn’t belong here because she wasn’t born here but look at what she’s done for us so far! It would be cruel to expel her for doing good things. And just look at the facts, members of the jury. They’re all written right here. She is not wasteful because she puts her resources to good use. And she has already proven her usefulness, her worth to Wonderland, when she saved us from the terror of the Red Queen. Mark my words, she will prove herself yet again if just given half a chance.

P.: The problem with the White Rabbit’s argument is that he leaves out one important fact. To quote our venerable leader: “With the Red Queen gone, the best thing we can focus on is progress.” Uncertainty is not progress. It is the potential for failure, or for moving backwards. We cannot trust her. Better to stick to what we know than to risk our world by expanding our knowledge with things we previously did not. By agreeing to let Alice stay or telling her to leave, you are passing judgment not on her but setting precedent for the entire country. Convict her, you keep our land safe. Say she’s not guilty, and you condemn our country to change that will just throw us back into chaos.

***

J.: Alright, the Jury has returned with their verdict. Members of the Jury, how do you find the defendant?

JURY MEMBER: Sorry, Your Honor. We could not decide unanimously. One refused to be swayed.

J.: Very well. Then by our court of law, it falls to me to pass the judgment. Alice of London, you are found guilty of all charges and are exiled from Wonderland for the rest of your life.

Various people speak at once; this typist is afraid that she could not catch all the words. General outrage. The Mad Hatter again bursts in, smaller and on the back of Bayard the Bloodhound.

M.H.: I told you, I told you!!
Once loyalties are bought or sold,
Even impartials might act this bold!
With the Red Queen their loyalties lie,
Leaving us lessers to simply cry.
Here, Alice, catch!

Alice and the White Rabbit miniaturize and escape the courtroom on Bayard the Bloodhound with the Mad Hatter.

J.&P.: After them! Off with their heads!


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