Author Topic: 07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell  (Read 1829 times)

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Offline Dray

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« on: December 01, 2008, 01:00:38 PM »
07.25.2127 - A Girl In Hell

Although the scene around her was a living and breathing canvas of incredible tranquility, Shannon could not even see it through the shroud of fear that clouded her vision.

The trees, flowers and other flora that were so apparently abundant around her hadn’t received more than a passing look from the ten year old. The songbirds, singing to a clear blue sky morning, received not even a smile for their praising of the day. She shivered in the shade provided by the canopy of tree branches above, even though the rising sun promised a very warm day. And beyond the edges of the tailored and trimmed landscaping that decorated the courtyard, was the most elaborate of architecture found in the entire Kingdom. But the sculpted granite columns, huge stain-glassed windows and myriad of artistic elements simply poised in her ignorance.

Shannon would have thought herself in Heaven, if she didn’t already know that she stood at the precipice to Hell. The small girl was atop the tallest structure in Safe-Haven, the Church of Kaine, and awaiting a trial that could end with the execution of her parents. A sentence that would be wrought based on Shannon’s own testimony, as she had been a key witness to the alleged crime.

A small circle of white sand formed a clearing within the grass of the courtyard. Shannon sat upon a featureless bench of black and white marble at its center. The Council of Five sat opposite and above her on tall thrones of the same white and black marble, each of theirs however, were ornately crafted from a single piece of marble, and, along with the appearance of being wrapped in a leafy vine, included a small set of spiral stairs wrapping the column.

On the throne to the far left was Cyric Longbow, leader of the Warden Council and, according to Jena and her other short list of friends at the orphanage, her only hope on the council.

To his left was Mindera Michaels, an old lady who not only controlled the mining guild but was the most ornery of the council members, and therefore no help.

At the center was High Priest Fresenius himself, his throne just a bit taller than the pairs that flanked his left and right. He would be the true judge, jury and executioner on the Council, for it had been told to her that he indeed controlled Safe-Haven.

To the left of the devil sat Mark Jamerson, Master of Commerce and to his left, Shannon’s far right, was Leroy Jenkins. Leroy was a Colonel of the Outer-Rim Defense, and along with Mark, was of no known help to her.

The three Judges of the House Guard of Kaine stood in front of the pillars and were all in their full plate-mail armor uniforms. Shannon had no idea which figure was that of Judge Nathaniel Criss, but she was sure he wasn’t the man at center. The man at the center looked to be at least seven feet tall!

Offline Wildfire

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2008, 07:47:43 PM »
‘Be Brave’ Shannon thought. It was a notion that had come to her so very often in the last ten days. She sat before the intimidating figures and tried to smile but couldn’t. Her time at the orphanage was completely miserable and was made even more so by the beast Shanteel.

The trees loomed over her like hungry vultures and the shade that was cast by them kept the warmth of the day away from her. It was as though they were in league with the court that sat before her and mocked what little hope she had left. They were just trees and had no opinion of her at all but she sat in the shadows of tyranny just the same.

She thought to herself what she had said to the judge, ‘Kaine knows the truth. Though my parents may go to prison their hearts will always be free…as will mine’. As if to accentuate her point she fingered the golden silk ribbon tied around the picture she drew for her mother during her stay at the temple. The picture was of a right peaceful day she had spent in the park with her folks. She hoped it would have the same heartwarming affect on her mother as it did her. In looking at the looming court above her, she wondered if they would let her mother have the picture.

Shannon eyed each of the council members and the judges. She wanted to tell them that her parents were good people and did what anyone would do. It didn’t seem as though they would listen. They had made up their minds and were going to do what they wanted regardless. Could they be trusted to judge fairly? Would they know her father had given years of blood to defend this very temple? Would they even care? Judgment may be blind but that may only prevent them from seeing the truth. “Who watches the watchers?” she thought.

Before she even knew she said it she demanded, “I want to see my parents. I want to give my Mom the picture I drew for her.” The manners in asking never even crossed her mind.
Wildfire

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Offline Dray

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2008, 09:31:06 PM »
Seven men and women seemed to tense, but none of them even for a moment looked like they wished to respond.

The eighth did.

"What if the members of this court do not submit to your request child?" asked High Priest Fresenius in a smooth tone.

Offline Wildfire

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 06:06:33 PM »
Shannon wasn’t sure if that was the answer she expected but it lent no less an opportunity to remark on some recent events. Perhaps it would even cause them to question the ethics of those they commanded. She could only hope.

Slyly she responded, “Then I’ll know that the only thing that makes this court different than the bully beast in the orphanage and the spineless guard that put a dagger to my throat are the robes they wear.”

She thought herself rather clever for insulting them without insulting them. She had grown confident since her moments of truthful revelation. Anything bad that they did to her now would only serve to fuel her vendetta.
Wildfire

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Offline Dray

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 12:01:41 PM »
The High Priest and the Judges didn't even flinch from her backhanded insult. Cyric stifled a smile and the other councilors shifted uncomfortably in their seats.

Fresenius didn't miss a beat, "you would be best to mind your tongue in this court as you would within Shanteel's office young lady."

"Your request will of course be denied, we can't have you sending messages to your parents through art now can we?" Fresenius said matter of factly.

Cyric looked over at the High Priest as if the man suddenly went mad.

Offline Wildfire

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2008, 06:19:05 PM »
Shannon was furious. ‘I wonder if they’d beat me as Shanteel does the other kids if I didn’t mind my tongue’ she thought. She wanted to actually ask them that but thought better of it. Her words might well get her parents in further trouble.

The court masters first comment didn’t bother her nearly as much as the second. She couldn’t let that slide without remark. She had such strong hopes for at least some sympathy from them. “The only message in my picture is love. I want her to have it so that she can look at it every day and know that I love her. I can see that love is not something this court knows anything about.”

Shannon felt as though she had nothing to lose. All of it had been taken now. Shannon’s eyes started to blur with tears of sadness, anger, and despair. ‘No…don’t let them see it” she scorned herself. She closed her eyes briefly and breathed deep. She concentrated on pulling back her tears…to control that aspect of her mind that would allow only her anger to be seen. She knew well that she could cry later.
Wildfire

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Offline Dray

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2009, 12:53:25 PM »
“Apparently”, Fresenius began slowly and as if he hadn’t talked in months, “your parents have betrayed your love with their acts of treason.”

All eyes stayed on the lone girl as she sat on the black and white marble bench.

Offline Wildfire

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2009, 07:55:19 PM »
Shannon wanted to punch the smug monster for speaking of her parents that way. She wished that she could tell him what she really thought but didn’t want her parents to get in more trouble. Her words had to be careful for fear of inadvertently proving whatever guilt they thought was on her folks.

As calmly as she could, Shannon replied with a trembling voice, “You don’t even know my parents…in fact, you don’t even know me. So don’t talk to me as though you do.” Shannon couldn’t help but mutter “monster” under her breath as she finished speaking.

She wanted this persecution to end. Walking the line between sadness, despair, rage, and hope was almost too much for her young mind to bear. The adrenaline in her nerves was almost uncontrollable and she simply wanted to burst.
Wildfire

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Offline Dray

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 12:52:00 PM »
Behind Shannon was a small building which simply housed one of the many stairwells of the massive temple below her feet. The iron door to this building opened, accompanied by the court’s officer introduction. Upon his words, Shannon turned around.

“Defendant Guardian Representative, Natasha Marks” the Officer announced and then retreated back into the building.

Shannon met the silver-haired woman’s brown eyes immediately, and found them to be kind. The woman, dressed in a brown dress robe that had some ceremonial tabard Shannon didn’t recognize, walked briskly to the bench Shannon sat on. Before even making it to her she was shouting at her judges, “since when is a defendant brought before the court without representation?!”

None of the seven men and women so much as flinched, although Cyric looked to Fresenius for a response, apparently not willing to take on the challenge for his superior.

“Why are you late Miss Marks?” Fresenius asked coolly.

“Why was my office notified of the change in schedule only a half hand ago Priest?!”

Fresenius cool demeanor quickly became a scowl of contempt. “You will address this court and my station as is proper Miss Marks, do you understand me?!” The tone of the declaration made Shannon’s body tense.

“I understand a lot of things,” the woman said with a smirk in his direction. She seemed un-phased by the man’s anger. She looked down to Shannon.

“Are you alright Miss Auvryndyr?”

Offline Wildfire

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2009, 05:01:58 PM »
Shannon recoiled slightly. She wasn’t sure who she could trust. This woman seemed nice enough but there was no certainty where her loyalties were. Was it in justice or persecution?

In a ruse of confidence, Shannon replied, “No milady. I’m very far from alright.”
Wildfire

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Offline Dray

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2009, 09:27:49 PM »
Miss Marks turned back to Fresenius. "Your Honor, I would like a short recess to confer with my client at this time due to the lack of being afforded the opportunity to meet her until this moment."

Her tone was short, and didn't lack a certain amount of venom at the High Priest, something Shannon had always thought was absolutely forebidden.

Fresenius, for his part, had reclaimed some of his demeanor, and did not further indulge the woman's obstinance. "I am afraid there isn't time for that Miss Marks."

"High Judge, call your first witness," the High Priest order the tall man at the feet of his raised pillar.

From inside the helmet, a powerful and booming voice declared loudly through the helmet, "The Court will now witness the testemony of Dakin Auvryndyr."

Offline Wildfire

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2009, 06:27:34 PM »
Shannon’s heart skipped a beat…twice. It had been almost two weeks since she last saw her father. She wanted to say so much to him. How it wasn’t his fault, how he did what anyone would do, but most of all, how much she loved and admired him.

Reflecting back, she wondered if she told him of her admiration enough. She wanted him to be proud of her no matter what. If she could impart any strength she had to her parents she would do so without question.

She feared that this would be the last time she would ever see him again, and suddenly became terrified. Time became the most precious thing in her life for there wasn’t much of it left.

The anticipation was eating her alive.
Wildfire

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Offline Dray

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2009, 12:45:03 PM »
As the door opened for her father’s appearance, Shannon was clenching her fists in anxiety at what she anticipated his condition would be.

She was pleasantly surprised as he stepped into the sunlight, for her father was well groomed, clean and lacked the cuts and bruises she expected to see. His shoulder-length brown hair hung loose but was combed, and although his smart-looking goatee was gone, his face was clean shaven. There was a smile in his eyes as he looked upon her, a look that said everything she needed to know in one instant, it was going to all be okay.

Behind her father as they approached the bench was his representative. He was adorned with the same ceremonial garb Natasha Marks wore, and he carried a brown leather briefcase with him that looked a bit worn around the edges. The man had a confident look about him though, and Shannon’s hopes dared to go a even a little higher after seeing her father’s eyes.

She wanted to bolt to her father in order to hug him and never let go, but Natasha sensed it and held her back, giving her a strong “no” motion with her head. It was the empathy in her representative’s eyes though that made her hold her ground.

The pair of men stood directly to Miss Mark’s right, partially blocking Shannon’s view of them.

“Your Honor and Council, thank the Father this opportunity to perform justice” began the representative with what sounded like a standard beginning.

“As discussed two days ago my defendant is prepared to accept all charges made against him before this court…” continued her father’s representative.

‘What?! Wait…’ Shannon thought confused. Then it dawned on her, the trial had already been in session!

“…with the condition pre-agreed by the council that the daughter, Shannon Auvryndyr, will not be subject to any prosecution in regards to the utmost limits of this transgression. He is ready and willing to lay himself upon the mercy of this court understanding with a regretful heart the error of his actions.”

Offline Wildfire

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2009, 07:06:48 PM »
Shannon well understood that her father had sacrificed himself for her. She would not be prosecuted due to her father’s and mothers noble actions. Had her mother agreed to the same terms? Had her father made the sacrifice for both her and her mother? Was it a decision mutually made by both?

She felt a sudden pang of guilt as though she neglected to fix this whole mess when it was in her power. What could be done now? Her eyes darted around looking for some sort of answer. Her heart was racing and her breathing became short. This was really happening and her father and, in all probability, her mother, were going to jail. Rage, fear, and uncertainty came to her in unbridled waves. Not knowing what else to do, she shouted, “No! Dad no! You’re innocent! They’re the evil ones who are wrong! They should be in jail not you and not Mom!”
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Offline Dray

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07.25.2127 - A Girl in Hell
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2009, 06:21:53 AM »
Very calmly, but with a loud enough voice to be overheard by all, Fresenius commanded "Miss Marks control your client".

Natasha who already had a hold of Shannon's shoulder snipped back, "What would you have me do to the ten-year old Your Honor? Club the back of her head?"

"You are out of order representative!" Fresenius replied angrily.

"Perhaps if I had time to acclaimate my client to this process prior to this charade she wouldn't be so disruptive right now!" yelled Natasha back.

Fresenius stood up from his throne and Shannon felt instantly tiny, fear washing over her.

Cyric interrupted what was about to be an ugly command from the High Priest. "I vote for a short recess so Miss Marks can do exactly that." Fresenius turned the venom in his eyes to the other Councilman, the only other man with real power on the roof that morning.

Cyric caught the look and turned back to Natasha. "Miss Marks, we are giving you one hour to confer with your client. When you return you both will have a more respectful tongue in this court, is that understood?"

The warning Cyric had given not to anger Fresenius again was quite clear.