Janna sat on the floor inside of Drake’s cramped workshop. Her legs were crossed, her eyes closed. She wasn’t ready to go back home yet. She didn’t fee right. Most of the places she’d been to had little civilization. She had beaten people to pulps, maybe even killed them. Her outlandish habits, literally the habits she picked up outside of her lands, had gotten her into trouble. She wasn’t sure what to do, but she had a strong urge to hide her mistakes.
So that’s what she had done.
In the small city of Baracus, fights were common. Duels happened daily. But they were sanctioned duels. If two people wanted to duel, they simply channelled the Servant of Duels, and then the duel would be protected. The combatants would be unable to die, and would receive healing from any mortal wounds after the fight.
But outside of the Solune Kingdom, outside of the North Metch Lands, the East Metch Kingdom, the Plainkind Desert, the Djeb and even the Lussa City, in the smaller, more remote parts of the planet, people didn’t duel. They relied on their natural survival skill and the passive protection offered by the Servant of Conflict. That’s why Janna was in trouble now. She had did an absolute number on someone. It was just outside of town, in the middle of the day. This gnarly looking guy had approached her. He was looking for a fight, and she gave it to him. His entourage followed soon after and she dispatched them one by one, two by two. She used her swords, her fists and her la. In her own thoughts, she beat the shit out of them.
But after the adrenaline wore off, after the battle high left, she realized, this isn’t how things work here. Janna immediately did what she could to stabilize anyone who she had put on the brink of death, then she channeled the Servant of Tendrils. He was one of the younger Servants and served time and consciousness, and more specifically, timelines. Janna removed herself from their thoughts. They would remember only that they challenged someone and lost.
Drake opened the door.
“Come on, we better get going.”
“Yeah.” Janna stood up, “Back home.”
In Murdock, Chloe had become very invested in Law and Poetry. It’s one of the six divisions of government, for whatever reason, poets often act as lawyers in the Solune Kingdom. Many scholars, and even citizens have wondered why. The reason, Chloe quickly found out, is that poets know a little about everything, and they study and write about humans all the time.
Chloe was not a poet, but she was studying to become one. It was frustrating for her because until now aside from reading, she had been entirely self taught. Classes were dumb, and Chloe hated all the structure. It took her an entire semester at the University to get a hang of everything.
She had never been told what to study, what to read, and when to do it all by. Chloe had never written a test. It took a lot of adjusting.
Now, though, she was blazing through her courses. Chloe was a genius, and once she knew what was going on, she blazed through it with ease. She aced all of her tests in the second semester. She was just finishing her final one now, and soon would graduate as a poet, in addition to everything else she’d learned in the past.
Chloe was going home after classes one day when her older sister met up with her. Natasha was a very tall, straight faced woman. She was also the captain of the guard, and she was currently in uniform, a grey jumpsuit with a light blue pinwheel on the right shoulder, and a rank ribbon on the left.
“Hello Natasha, how was your day?”
“Not important.” Natasha replied, “Janna’s coming back.”
“Oh!” Chloe beamed, “That’s great, isn’t it?”
She added the question because Natasha’s expression remained severe.
“Not quite.” She said, “She has quite a list of misdemeanors and maybe even some felonies.”
“What?” Chloe was taken aback. What had her other sister done?
“She might have to be detained upon her return. Not quite the warmest welcome, but I think she’s prepared for it.”
“What did she do?”
“Well, I don’t know for sure, but her exploits outside of the kingdom weren’t pretty. She’s been one of the biggest sources of power for the Servant of Conflict for many months now.”
“Eh…” Chloe was a little lost, “How do you know that?”
“I asked Alice. Technically she still runs the Conflict temple in this city, and she’s been keeping me updated.”
“Oh. So that means…”
Natasha knew Chloe was supposed to be some sort of genius, but she sure asked a lot of questions. Her ditsy demeanour really wasn’t representative of genius. Better this than the overconfidence that geniuses have become known for though.
“It mean that she’s been stirring up a lot of trouble. A lot of trouble.” Natasha said.
“Oh no… Didn’t she go to find Zeallott?”
“Yes, I know not if she failed or succeeded. Our brother has done far worse than she though.”
“Really?” Chloe looked away. She already knew that much.
Zeallott had become unhinged long ago, that’s why the King exiled him, exiled his own son. Chloe was sort of sad, but she was very young at the time. Janna on the other hand, was older. She knew Zeallott, they were very close. Chloe always wondered why Janna decided to hunt him down. Why not send someone else? If she had succeeded, it must have been a painful experience.
“Look, I have a feeling our father will still consider her as heir no matter what she’s done. You were not yet born, but back in the days before we had a kingdom wall, the Solune were in constant battle with the East Metch. Our father fought for this land relentlessly, and of course committed many counts of war murder.”
“Well…” Chloe had knowledge of law from school now, “War murder isn’t quite the same. The enemy is the only one that would punish you for that…”
“Right, but if Janna has committed murder outside of this Kingdom, she may have done it in similar circumstances. The reason Zeallott and for that matter Venus ring so high on Conflict’s contributors is because they mobilize large groups. She may very well have been fighting a war with her man there.”
“Drake. His name is Drake. And he’s a Solune Agent, you should know his name.” Chloe said.
The two walked together through the kingdom until they reached the castle, where Natasha went back on patrol.
“I will see you tonight.” Natasha said.
Janna stood outside the capital, Murdock. She took a deep breath in, then out again. Drake began to talk, but she stopped him. She just stared at the walls. The walls surrounding the city, and the walls of the castle, jutting out in front of her.
“I wonder how long it will take before I am arrested.”
“Well Natasha runs the guard now, so probably not long.” Drake said.
“Yeah. We’ll see.”
I noticed this was a lot of exposition. Sorry, I like exposition, but I know it’s bad writing. So, I put that hook at the end.
I only have a vague plan for this, but I hope it turns out okay. I think it will, you can see the pieces of the plot converging right now, can’t you? Janna is the accused, Chloe the lawyer/poet. The second part has been written!