Monday, December 17, 2012

Deadsponcelling Chapter 10


By Carly Robb and James Clair Lewis

Deadsponcelling Chapter 10

The Asian man at the center rose from his throne, and said, "I am the Supreme Judge of the Tribunal of the Order. You have been brought here before us for serious crimes, which could warrant the Death Penalty. Your lawyer, the Protector, Kali Yuga, has argued most persuasively on your behalf, and it is possible that you will receive leniency from this Court. Our sentence shall be swift and merciful, and our judgement shall be tempered with compassion. It is understood that all you have done, was done in ignorance of the realities and consequences for your many victims, and it is also known that you have fought in self-defense. Tara, I want you to know that you are in the company of your peers. All assembled here are dragon riders, and at one time in their lives, all of us have gone Deadsponcelling. Those of us who have realized that the worlds we traveled, were real worlds, and not merely dreams, have formed a Pact, a Sacred Vow. It is the Mission of the Order to protect the peoples of all Worlds in all Universes. Furthermore, it is our Duty to bring Order to all Realities. Tara, your case has already been pleaded, and is known to all assembled here. This is merely a formality now, but I ask you to speak to us, before I render your sentence," he smiled politely, bowed, and sat down.

Tara bowed to the Supreme Judge wondering how could someone have their case plead without notice, but she figured there were many laws here that weren't made known to too many people. "Your Honors... I'm sure that's the wrong term, but where I am from we only have one justice working cases, so if I get my terminology incorrect please forgive me. Since you are aware of the fact that confusion and ignorance drove me to the deeds that I have done, I wish to explain my actions." She drew a breath and tried to steady herself. There were too many people focused on her, on her actions. She wanted to run or to collapse in a crying heap, but she knew that those choices weren't going to be acceptable, better to pretend to be strong.

"When first I passed through the mirror it was instinct that drove me. I somehow knew that if I were to consume the brains of what I then thought to be merely creations of my dreams that I would gain needed knowledge. I never ate needlessly of knowledge. As for the first one of you to come after me, yes, I ran, what unarmed person wouldn't run from someone advancing on them menacingly? All other casualties I caused were out of fear and self defense. One cannot be expected to stand idly by, while being attacked."

She hung her head in shame. "Last night, I had a dream. I won't go into details, but it convinced me that I was wrong the whole time. My eyes have been opened to my wrongdoings. I have realized that none of my victims have ever been merely figments of my imagination; if I had known in the first place. none of it would ever have happened." She stopped to clear her throat. She knew that the next thing she said might cause a great deal of tension.

"But, your Honors, if I may state something that has been bothering me since my capture. I was not the only one who did not know your laws. Would it not be of better consequence, if somehow young Deadsponcellors were informed of the reality of their situation? Then taken peacefully under someone's care and taught what they should know? That, I will admit, was one of the reasons I kept company with those who I did. In my mind, those who do not come at me with weapons are not my enemies, those who give food and shelter cannot be bad. I have found that although in my reality I am a good judge of character, it does not seem to carry over to other realms. I see where I have gone wrong, and I throw myself upon your mercies."

Tara nearly collapsed, but ended up catching herself before her face hit the floor, ending up with her hands clasped over her right knee and kneeling with her left knee on the ground. A single tear escaped her control and she swore it would be the last one for this reason. She waited expectantly for someone, anyone, to speak.

The Supreme Judge of the Order rose from his throne, "Tara, rise now and face the Sentence of the Supreme Court of the Order. We have heard your lawyer's arguments, and we have heard your statement. We recognize your contrition. We understand your concerns. The myriad worlds of the infinite number of universes cannot be patrolled as you would suggest we do, with our finite number of Protectors. Hence, we render the following Sentence: You, Tara, are hereby sentenced to Life! Eternal Life!! Eternal Life as a Protector of the Order!!! Rise now, Tara! And receive the adulation of your Peers!"

Kali Yuga ran from beside the Thrones, and gave Tara a hug, and a kiss upon the cheek. All throughout the room, people began applauding, standing up, cheering! A chant began, deafening in its roar!

"Tara! Tara! Tara! Tara! Tara! Tara! Tara!"

Tara gasped for air. The 'sentence' and the cheering and everything were too much for her. She wasn't even sure if her mumbled "what the hell" was heard by Kali as she passed out in her lawyer's grasp.

The Judges quietly slipped through a door behind the Thrones. The cheering and chanting continued. Kali signaled to the guards who had brought Tara to Sentencing, and together they walked her out of the Tribunal Chamber. "I think that the apartment down the hall from mine will do. Let's take her there to recoup. I don't think she is in a partying mood right now." The din from the crowd quieted, and as they left and the air cooled a bit.

Tara came back around. She blinked a few times and looked at Kali. "You know, the way you were acting in the beginning, I thought you wanted me dead. What? Why? Oh, I don't know what I'm trying to ask, anyway. I was expecting death, but I get life. How can this be? I break what I believe are your most important laws and in return I get what I would call a highly exalted position." She shook her head. "You know, ever since I first came through that damn mirror I haven't understood anyone I've met."

"Well, Tara, we've found that the ordeal of a trial almost always brings people to their senses, shakes them out of any illusions that they may be holding onto. Don't you think that this great gift that we have, to be able to travel from world to world, universe to universe, across time, and, yes, even to cross over to other realities of universes and worlds; shouldn't that great gift come with a great Duty? Tara, you have come home. This is where you belong. Here among the Protectors, will you finally find the friends, you have always been seeking. Now, if you feel up to it, I know that there is a party being held in your honor. Music and dancing, food, drink, and many friends that you have yet to meet. You do not have to attend, if you are too overwhelmed by all that has happened. Everyone will understand, because we have all been where you are. In any event, tomorrow I will take you to Shadowdeath, and we will fly about the Citadel together on our dragons."

Tara looked at Kali, "I think doing something would be better than sitting around, but I would like to bathe and change out of these clothes though first."

"Certainly, Tara. I quite understand. Everything you will need is here in your apartment. I'll be back in a hour and a half. Then we'll go out to one of the parties," smiling, Kali left Tara alone.

Tara entered the spacious apartment and examined her surroundings. A large cast iron canopy bed stood on one side of the room, a wardrobe sat against the other wall, a writing table sat under a window that looked out upon rolling hills covered with wildflowers. She could see a few dragons flying around outside but not nearly as many as she had seen the day before. There was a large ornate mirror on the wall with the door. The slight chill in the room was cut by a stone fireplace on the same wall as the table. The marble floor was broken by a decent sized area rug. A tapestry depicting a dragon defending its injured rider from a pack of griffons hung on the wall opposite the fireplace. There was another door on that side of the room.She entered and found a large clawfooted tub and stopped looking around.

She filled the tub and looked around for bathstuffs. Upon finding them, she relaxed in the warmth of the tub and found to her surprise that the soap was amber scented with a hint of vanilla. She could at least meet the others with her signature scent. After successfully washing away the aches and grime of the past day she went to the wardrobe and found a long velvet royal blue dress embroidered with black and silver and tried it on. She looked in the mirror and wondered why everything she had tried on in the past few days fit like it was tailored just for her. She noticed a box on the table and upon opening it found a silver chain with a pendant made from an iridescent scale of a dragon carved into a Celtic knot composed of serpents, of course she immediately adored it and put it on. Also on the table was a chilled decanter of wine and a glass. She sat down and filled the glass waiting for Kali to return.

Kali returned a few minutes after Tara was ready, "There are several parties in progress in your honor. One is just a smaller gathering, and the others are larger. There is music and dancing, if you'd like that, too. What are you in the mood for? If you'd like, we could attend several of them, as they will probably be going on all night long."

"I think starting small and working our way up is a good idea, at least that way I'll get socialized a bit." Tara wasn't sure she was really up to going anywhere, but hiding on an occasion such as this would, by no means do any good, so she tried to be more excited than she really was. She figured a few drinks might change her mood. If not, at least she wouldn't care.

Kali led Tara down the hall to her apartment. The main room was huge. The walls were lined with couches and contained many maps and aerial photos. A full buffet table had been set up. There were knots of people throughout the room in full Protector dress garb. As they entered, the conversations quickly died out, as they all looked to the door expectantly. "Tara, it is with great pride that I introduce to you my Wing of Protectors. I think you will recognize several of them. Here are Metis, Adrastia, Amalthea, Thebe, Carme, and Io, they were the Guards who tended you in the holding cell, and who led you to the Sentencing." Each gave a bow as they were named. "Over there are, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, and Leda. And further away are Himalia, Lysithea, Elara, and Ananke. And finally, these two gentlemen approaching us with wine are, Pasiphae and Sinope." Kali addressed her Wing, "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the newest member of our Wing, Tara!" Everyone began to applaud. There were a few cheers, and raised glasses throughout the room.

Tara nodded at Ganymede and Sinope, graciously accepted her glass of wine, and sat on one of the couches.

Ganymede sat beside Tara, "I'm sure you have traveled to a lot of different worlds, but have you ever traveled to the other realities?"

Tara pondered this question for a few minutes. "Well, the future isn't set in stone, so yes, I suppose I have."

Time travel involves different universes, but the other realities involve places where the laws of physics are completely different. These worlds are not those of people, as we know them, but creatures that you hear of in mythology live there," said Ganymede.

"Well then, yes, I have, once, it was beautiful," answered Tara.

"Ganymede, I see you're already moving in on the new lady. Tara, would you like something from the buffet? Meet some more members of our Wing? Come, let me introduce you, " Europa shepherded Tara away.

Tara smiled at Ganymede and said to Europa "Of course, thank you." She stood and joined her.

"Hi, Tara. Would you like some more smoked salmon?", Metis proffered Tara a plate. "I hope you won't hold my having been your jailor, against me."

Tara's stomach rebelled just thinking about smoked salmon. "Thank you but no, I don't think I could keep it down." She looked over the buffet and decided to stick with a salad for the time being. She wanted to make sure she could keep food down.

Metis gave a little bow, "I can get you something to ease your stomach, since it is still bothering you." He turned and went into an adjoining room.

Callisto stepped up to the place where Metis had been standing a moment before, "Tara, would you care to dance?"

Kali glared at the men in the room, "Gentlemen, please. Can't you see that Tara is a bit overwrought?"

Europa laughed, "Men. They only have one thing on their minds."

Tara smiled politely at Europa's comment and said, "That's the truth." She then looked around for an empty seat so she could eat her salad without dropping it all over the place, making a total buffoon of herself.

Metis returned from wherever he had gone to, "Take this with your salad, it will make you feel better in a few minutes."

Tara smiled at him, "Thank you, Metis, you've been a great help."

Metis answered, "I just want you to feel good, and be ready to fly Shadowdeath tomorrow."

Tara replied, "Just seeing him will make me feel better than I have since arriving here."

Metis turned to Kali, "Kali, would you mind, if I took Tara to visit her dragon for awhile?"

Tara said, "Oh, Metis, thank you for the offer, but I can wait until tomorrow, really, I can. It's just that I worry about him sometimes, that's all."

Kali joined the conversation, "Tara, it will be alright if you want to go for awhile. Who could know more about missing your dragon than us?"

Tara answered, "If I go for a little while it will turn into all night. I can wait."

Europa stated, "I can certainly understand that. I hate being away from my dragon for more than a few hours."

Tara nodded agreement with Europa and looked at Kali. "Um, Kali, I have a few questions for you if you don't mind."

Kali responded helpfully, "Certainly, Tara. What would you like to know?"

"If that mirror was blocked, why was I able to pass through it in my dream?" asked Tara.

Chapter 1

Chapter 9

Chapter 11

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