This month's patron-funded story is "Biohazard" by Victoria Frost, narrated by Eleanor O'Brien.
Pick up Monster Whisperer, Second Class
Although the junior adjudicators liked to go out for drinks after work, it didn’t mean they weren’t as boring and pretentious while lounging in the mixed quarter and drinking galactic drinks as they were in the Hall of Justice. U’elh sighed, sipping her drink, and gazed out over the bar, watching Ma'elhian and Humans avoid each other or, very occasionally, mingle.
To her surprise, at the bar she spotted a familiar jawline. She waited until the woman turned.
It was her.
Last week, a Human murderer had been brought to face Ma’elhian judgement. He was accompanied by two Human guards: one a male in a bulky jacket and gloves, and the other a young female, with a strong jaw and watchful eyes, showing no sign that she felt the Hall of Justice’s usual chill.
Usually, there was little reason for Humans to enter the Hall of Justice. They had their own courts and took responsibility for the behavior of their own citizens. But in this case the Ma'elhr clan concerned was not satisfied with Human justice, and the Humans felt enough distaste for the situation that they allowed the transfer of responsibility for the prisoner to the Ma'elhr Adjudicators.
“Monsters,” the prisoner spat at the sight of the Ma’elhian.
U’elh sympathized with his pain. His sister had died horribly, and a Ma’elhr had caused her death. However, as an Adjudicator, U'elh was wary of thinking that the Ma'elhr was "at fault" for her death. Yes, he had infected the girl with his symbiote, but she didn’t know the circumstances of their liaison, and neither did the murderer. Had the girl claimed to be on anti-microbial pills? Had there been an unfortunate accident with the tool the Humans called a 'condom'? Or had the Ma'elhr been one of the ugly and cruel who reveled in the power given to them by biological accident, the ones who intentionally spread death with their seed?
But the two principal parties were dead, and no one was left to answer those questions.