The grey man in the suit stood and directed his speech to the witness box.
“Mr Lord” he paused for dramatic effect.
“Please outline, for the court, the issues that you have encountered as a result of the actions of the company XPL and their technologies”
The man was mid forties, neat suit with thinning hair. He took a drink of water to steel himself.
“Well….” he began his story.
“When I was young my mother noticed I got a surprising amount of attention from strangers. I was her first child, so she thought it was nothing abnormal. She became suspicious and worried after a young woman tried to kidnap me from the park.
The woman had been dressed quite strange. Long coat, strange hair, sunglasses. She was arrested but she disappeared shortly afterwards.
That was the first real incident. There were more after that. At least two other kidnap attempts. It drove my mother mad and she became overly protective.
When going to college I used it to break loose. Until then I’d been quite sheltered. My mother had become quite scared of people and she was, what I felt to be, overly cautious.
In college, people flocked around me, but they did it in a strange way. They were always taking pictures of me and staring but they always kept at a distance. It was strange and relentless.
I ended up dropping out of college. I spent six months as an inpatient in a facility getting treatment. My doctor told me that I was paranoid with agoraphobic tendencies.
Honestly it was the first time in my life that it had felt peace, that I was away from all the prying eyes. The rest from the outside world was something that helped me focus again. During this time, I started to write.
Once I had been released from the facility, I tried to get work. People started showing up again, taking pictures and watching. Different people almost every day. It got worse.
I couldn’t keep a job, so I stayed at home and wrote. It was all I could do to keep myself sane. I avoided people. I avoided going out as much as possible.
One of my friends managed to get me to go out for drinks one evening.
I suppose I was a bit drunk, a bit fed up. No, I was angry and frustrated.
This woman in the bar had been overt with her watching. Even my friends noticed. I went up and confronted her. It’s not the proudest of moments in my life for certain. She was obviously shaken and flustered. She grabbed her stuff then left quickly. However, she left behind that little device. I pocketed it and went home. Mostly I forgot about it after that.
Years went by and I worked on my writing. I managed to get a book deal and released several best sellers. I stayed indoors as much as I could though. Being in public now still makes me very uncomfortable but sometimes as part of my contract with the publisher, I will need to do a managed public event.
I was in Japan, watching TV in my hotel because I was doing a number of these events.
That was when I saw my first advertisement for this product. It was the same thing I had taken from the woman in the bar. It was a time travel device! Those people had made commercial time travel and they had ruined my life! They kept me a prisoner my entire life because of profits. I can never, ever, forgive these people”
Mr Lord’s testimony ends, the judge calls a recess and the court is adjourned for the day.