1

Dave Krendell stood facing the Judge.

The Judge spoke. "David Krendell. You have been convicted, by a jury of your peers, of the embezzlement of thirty thousand dollars, from your employer, the Manhattan Housing Company. It is now my duty to pronounce sentence upon you."

Few spectators were seated behind him in the Courtroom. His wife Amanda and daughter Karen were among them, seated behind the defendant's table. Across the aisle from them, his former Supervisor, Allan Ellington, his Divisional Manager, Joe Ginzler, and the Company's Personnel Manager, Olivia Ross, were among the spectators seated behind the Prosecutor.

The Judge pronounced. "I hereby sentence you to two years in exile, upon the Planet Mortenada."

Behind him, Dave heard Amanda gasp softly.

Karen whispered, "The vampire planet?"

The Judge continued. "Upon your arrival on that Planet, you are to be released upon your own recognizance, and must deal with things as you find them there, as well as you are able, entirely on your own. The only restriction being that you will not be permitted to return to Earth, until the entire two years of your sentence are completed. If your immediate family agrees, they will be permitted to accompany you to the Planet Mortenada.

"You are again remanded into custody, until you are placed aboard the next available space flight to the Planet Mortenada."

The Judge banged his gavel and pronounced, "The Case is closed."