“What I would like to do is deal with all these minor affairs such by number instead of by indecent. There are only so many verdicts you can reach for things like verbal assault, and the range of severity is very small.”
Kain nodded. He wasn’t particularly happy to be glossing over details, but it was really in the hands of the poet to decide how to process things like this, and her proposal seemed reasonable.
“Right. Ah, we have about four counts of assault.” Chloe started.
Kain wrote something in his notes. “Okay.”
“Then there’s the battery. Give me a moment.” Chloe read quickly through the descriptions of sixteen events.
Among the reports, there were some more vague suspicions of crime. She decided to start with those and move her way up.
“Okay, so it seems that some of these events are unconfirmed. I’m certain of about two of the unconfirmed events, as I’m familiar of how the accused reacts to aggression. The other three appear to be either mistaken or malicious over-reporting.”
Kain’s eyebrows lifted, “Malicious over-reporting?”
Chloe had thought this was normal.
“Ah, yes. I’m certain that there was one person, likely a Solune Agent who had some sort of grudge against Janna. I’ve had similar events reported multiple times from separate locations. Additionally, I’ve had events that didn’t make logical sense with the other information, and things that are starkly uncharacteristic and even impossible to accomplish.”
Kain’s brow furrowed, “Can you please come up here and point a few out?”
“Yes. These are my notes, so I will mark a few notable examples.”
“No. Mark them all.” He replied.
Chloe took her fountain pen and found all the unusual reports, marking them with a plus symbol. Then she brought the scroll to the front of the room.
Kain looked them over then said, “This is quite suspicious. We will need more information before I can make a judgement call. Who is the leader of the Agents at this time? Is it still father? I mean, is it still the King?”
“Ah, no,” Chloe said, glancing behind her quickly and then turning back, “You’ve missed two leadership changes. It went to mum for a bit, and now Natasha is in charge.”
Kain was surprised that Natasha was running both the Murdock guard and the Solune Agents at the same time, but that gave the thought of a rogue Agent further credibility.
He said, “Natasha, examine this and tell me if you have any idea as to who might be plotting against the Janna Rhye.”
Natasha nodded silently than stood, towering over everyone in the room. She strode to Chloe with two only long steps and stared down to her. Chloe looked up at her sister and handed over the scroll. Natasha looked through it, then nodded.
“This was probably Nashir. She had exited the Agents in the past to live in the Djeb, but I allowed her back in half a decade later. She is stationed in the North right now. Additionally, you missed one of her reports.”
Natasha pointed to one of the murder cases. Chloe’s face contorted, and she rushed to mark it too.
“We cannot use these accusations in trial.” Kain stated, “Please continue your argument, and then have Natasha go over your list with hers. Find out if this Nashir has reported anything else. You do have record of who sent the reports, do not you?”
Natasha nodded, and then took her seat. Chloe followed.
“Ah,” She fumbled to reorganize herself after the upset.
Janna looked over, entertained. She had had her suspicions that the list was a bit too long, but she was also aware of her own violent tendencies and that didn’t keep track of much. Janna crossed her arms and leaned back, then immediately leaned forward again.
“What is it?” Her poet, Chance, asked.
Janna had her arms crossed over her chest.
“Don’t worry,” She said, “I’ve still got ten months to go before you really need to worry.”
She would have to remember not to stretch her upper body too much now that her body was slowly becoming that of a mother’s.
“It will be quite an experience in lockup.” She said.
Chance shrugged. It seemed that Chloe had figured herself out with a bit of help from Natasha, and now she was standing again.
“Ah,” Chloe said, “So, ah, we’ve cut out much of the battery as well. Specifically, we have about three small cases that I’d like to gloss over, and then we have four that were reported at the same time in the same area that I’d like to ask Janna about.”
Kain nodded, scribbling, then motioned. Janna and Chance stood up as well. Natasha didn’t bother.
“Ah, this was only about four years ago,” Chloe said.
Janna thought back to what she had been doing four years ago. She crossed her arms in thought, and then quickly uncrossed them again. Then she remembered. There had been a skirmish outside of a temple for the Servant of Death.
Death and Tendrils had a vicious love-hate relationship. They were lovers in an endless quarrel, and as a follower of the Servant of Tendrils, she often got caught up in his mess.
“Yeah…” Janna said, “That one was messy. To be honest, I’m surprised so much was cut. I’ve brawled with lots of people. I mean, I get into fights at least once a week.”
Chloe shook her head, “A lot of your fights only leave bruises and ruined exoskins. That kind of thing is normal in the north, it would be unfair to try you for that.”
“Well in that case, I know exactly the two things you’ll be after me for,” Janna stated blandly, “And this one’s almost as bad as the murder. Oh, and I hope you have it marked as a double homicide.”
Chloe looked at her pleadingly. She was hoping that all this cutting would reduce her sentence below the ten month mark so that she could be a mother to her child. Natasha and Kain, however, looked to Chloe with grave expressions.
“You had better add it in.” Kain stated. “And Janna, tell us about this assault you were a part of.”
Janna nodded. “This one was definitely my fault. I mean, Tendrils told us to go scare off the Death followers from the temple so that he could have some sort of upper hand in power for a bit.”
“But really,” She continued, “That was a period in my life where if you weren’t more specific, I could be a little extreme.”
Drake nodded knowingly, and then the room got dark.
“Oh no.” Kain said.
The windows had been set up like timers, only letting the sun in for a few hours at a time as it rose and set. It was to ensure that the courts got breaks, all public meeting rooms operated like this. It was one of the few true daily timekeeping devices in the Solune Kingdom.
“I guess it’s lunch time. I will see you all in about a sixth.”
Then Kain and everyone else stood, and went to exit the room.
I’d like to apologize for all the issues with formatting. It’s either WordPress or my browser, but for whatever reason, if I hit enter to move a sentence down to a new paragraph, it will just copy the sentence into the next paragraph instead. I had to fix this issue in the last post, and it’s really poor that I left it in such a messy state when I published it. If you see this issue in other posts, please point it out.
Further, if the issue persists, I’ll have to start drafting in Microsoft Word or the Grammarly standalone or something.