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07.25.2127 - A Child's Goodbye

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[color=#00ff00](OOC: This is a continuation of 2127.07.25 – A Girl in Hell)[/color]
The myriad of stairwells, corridors, and passages became a dizzying frenzy as Judge Nathaniel Criss guided the attorney, Nataska Marks, and her charge, Shannon Auvryndyr, through the majestic cathedral. Shannon stared at the back of the Judges’ armored feet as they followed. Lost in her own thoughts, she ignored all the artistic creativity of the Faith of Kaine which was abundant around her.
They had just departed her parents’ trial. The remainder of which had left Shannon dazed and in emotional confusion. For it was after her attorneys’ warning that Shannon had expected to be challenged by Fresenius and his cohorts. She was terrified that they were going to throw angry words of false accusations and blasphemy at her while her father looked on in shock and despair. Instead, much to Natasha’s surprise (Shannon noted) the trial proceeded without her father’s presence. Instead, the Council woman Mindera did nothing but spout bloated legal jargon that no one in attendance seemed to pay any attention too. Even Shannon, with her acute linguistic capability, couldn’t manage to follow the archaic legislative words describing the entire case in minute detail.
Shannon actually became bored with it; an apathetic emotion that snuck up on her life a thief from an alley. Upon her discovery of the rogue she mentally shook herself as she stood listening to Mindera’s monotone voice. She decided to prepare an eloquent speech for this assembly, one that would allow her to convey her complete disappointment with the government and its leaders but didn’t directly perjure herself before the court. As she weaved the narrative in her mind, she had smiled at its brilliance. Finally, at the close of the trial, Fresenius had offered her one last opportunity to make an official statement before all in session. As they all watched she steeled herself for the moment of truth…
…but one last look at Natasha Marks reproachful glare shut down her tongue. Within her attorneys’ gaze was the warning she had made to Shannon in the waiting room, [b][i]‘Miss Avryndyr, if you can promise to refrain from speaking out of turn, I promise you that you will have a final conversation with your parents’[/i][/b].
“No…your…your Honor,” Shannon had replied to Fresenius. The word of his title burning in the back of her throat as a few tears escaped her eyes. This was the world’s justice, and beyond the torment of losing her parents the small girl also lost something even as precious, she had lost her faith in her fellow man.     Shannon sighed as a Quintescent Cleric came from an adjoining hallway and strode aside them on a parallel route to somewhere in the massive building. The smelled of odd powders and fumes from wherever his laboratory resided broke her out of her memories of just a hand ago. When the cleric turned down a side passage Shannon was thankful to be able to breathe fresh air again.
At some point Shannon lost sight of any of the large windows which gazed upon the splendor of the park outside. She wondered if they had completed their journey of the upper thirty floors and were now traversing the dungeon levels below. Sure enough they turned a corner and she recognized the passageways. She shivered at the memory of being lead down into this very same dungeon when she had been jailed during that first night after her parents’ arrest.     “Almost there,” said the Judge from inside his massive plate-mail helm.    

Shannon replayed the experiences and events of the last few days from the beginning in the infirmary up until now as she turned to march down the cold prison hall. She could see her mother healing her father. She thought of the moments her father fought the guards. She remembered conversing with the Judge, that she was now following, while in her cell. She recalled the beastly orphanage headmaster pitching her into a wall. She dreaded the moment she would say good bye.

Shannon felt numb from it all. It was as though her recollections were born of some surreal world and lived by someone else. The hope she had that was true came and went as quickly as bird flying to safety from a passer-by.

She continued to hold the rolled piece of parchment on which she drew a favorite memory for her parents to see. “Judge Criss, how much time will we have?” she asked, a hint of nervousness in her voice.

“Only a few moments child,” the Judge stated gently.

Natasha took her hand at that moment and gave it a squeeze. “Be strong for them Miss Auvryndyr,” she said. The three entered the last check-in point before the prison hallways.

(OOC: just giving you the one last opportunity before you see the two of them).

The moment Shannon dreaded was upon her. She knew it was going to arrive but her hope had also suggested that if it never did arrive then there was time for the situation to be set right. She quietly laughed at herself thinking that maybe if she put her hands over her eyes then the circumstances she was in wouldn’t see her. It was preposterous of course but part of her still clung to her seemingly deceased childhood.

All thoughts of what she would say escaped her. She imagined how the last meeting might be and none of those scenarios prepared her for how she felt right now. It was as though her mind was overfull and she just needed time to digest the emotions. How long would that take? For as long as she was alive she supposed.

Her fathers words echoed back to her once again, “Be brave” she whispered to herself rolling her drawing between her fingers nervously.

How ironic it seemed to her that she should be in a prison about to wish her parents well until she saw them again. The prison was made of callous stone and hard iron bars. It was not unlike the court council or the barriers she sought to overcome in her mind. The stone and iron would show more mercy to her it seemed.

Not wanting to think of the oncoming moment Shannon stated quietly, “Judge Criss, this is where we first met. Do you remember that? We shared a cell together…only you were there to talk to me. You, like my father and mother, weren’t a criminal.” Just after she asked her question Shannon realized that her question and the judges answer would probably only serve to fuel her anger. She needed that right now…at least she thought she did. She also hoped that he wouldn’t misunderstand her statement of ‘weren’t’ thinking she felt him to be one now. In truth, she wasn’t sure of the extent of his role in any of this.

OOC: I added the last two paragraphs as an edit to this posting.

OOC: Is Natasha, Shannon's lawyer for her trial, Leslie's mother?


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