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Agathon Eustathios

0 · 397 views · located in Mythical Crimes Council

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Absenthia


So begins...

Agathon Eustathios's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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Catherine sighed as she adjusted the collar of her black suit and shifted slightly in her seat in discomfort, the proceedings for the morning before her required testimony were taking forever and then some. She had really not wanted to be there, but saw that it was likely that the Council's patience was running short with her avoidant behaviors and lack of response to any summons. With the portal that had been part of headquarters destroyed, getting to small pocket dimension that Council ruled out of had been a challenge. While Catherine debated potential escape, the door to the main chambers opened, and it was her turn to go before the Council.

The chamber's previous occupants did not look happy as they left, and whatever judgement Council had handed down was likely not in their favor. But that seemed like it was something to almost expect, lots of denial of certain cases, like bindings and probation. While she was well connected, that didn't stop Council from taking every opportunity to make her life a living hell. Catherine just hoped that this was only a request for testimony in person, and not another ploy for some form of control over her or the Fae courts.

"Ah, Ms. Dumitrescu or should we address you as Lady McBride?" One of the Councilors asked as Catherine stepped into the chamber, the large carved wooden doors closing smoothly behind her with a dull thud. "Dumitrescu is fine Councilor." Catherine stated as calmly as she could, while looking at the Councilor who had addressed her. She couldn't remember who he was, then again Alexander made it a point to avoid most social events with these people, and a few seats had changed over since she last had to be physically present in their chambers. Although the derision and mockery in the voice did lead her to suspect Tarrenfall, a member of the fae court who had been her greatest criticizer. "Well then Ms. Dumitrescu, would you be so pleased as to tell the Council what happened to burn the building to the ground?" Another Councilor now spoke. Turning her attention towards the man, she noted that Eustathios was still present. Sighing inwardly, she steeled herself for any new and bizarre questions this man could come up with.

"Of course Councilor Eustathios." She replied with a nod before glancing down at her notes. "At approximately 9:00pm, local standard time, I was alerted of a fire in the building. But I was reassured that our suppression system would have it quickly put out, in addition to any help other officers would provide. I was not present immediately as I had pressing personal concerns to attend, and as many of us know my nephew, and one of our consultants was terminally ill at that time."

The fire had swept through the building so fast, that their suppression systems hadn't been able to keep up. Eventually they had had to call in the local fire department to at least get the fire out before it spread. "It is my belief as well as that of others that the fire was magical in nature, and began within our archives where the fuel was plentiful." Catherine continued as she shuffled a few pages around. "It was not until 11:00pm that night that I was able to return to the building to see what had happened."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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“How much advance notice should we give them?” Agathon asked June. “Just pull.” She replied as she thumbed through a thick stack of paper detailing each party in the case in exhaustive detail. “Alright… But..” He started to say then shrugged. Why was he even questioning if this was a good idea, they had decided on this system to deal with individuals who were likely to not show up if summoned. So they would just illicit a gentle little pull on them, encouraging them in a way; except instead of gentle it was a process where they were unceremoniously dumped into the middle of the Council’s main chambers, regardless of where, or what they happened to be doing at the moment.

Stretching out a ring bedecked hand, Agathon pointed towards the center of the sun, moon, and stars motif on the chamber floor. “Gratia Chronos, Opto te veniat!” He commanded, concentrating and centering the spell on it’s intended recipients.

They knew, of course, that a summons was to occur at some point, however they had doubted it would be so soon after they had been informed that they would be expected in court. Besides, it was a special occasion for the two, given it was an anniversary, or sorts. And so, they had spent much of the day celebrating it, culminating in a very private and very nude celebration. Certainly, neither had anticipated such an act being interrupted by a very abrupt summons.

Taro and Bel appeared on the floor of the chamber, a sheet drawn over Taro’s back, Bel under him, and both having very clearly been rather busy beforehand. Taro remained crouched over his husband his stomach rolling with nausea as he stared up at the council. Eyes narrowed he remained where he was and looked them over, rather glad they had still be in the foreplay stages of their age.

“…Kasimir. I would not normally command you so, but fetch some sort of covering.” He ordered casually, remaining over an incredibly flustered Bel. Bel hid his face in his husband’s chest, refusing to even look to the council members or acknowledge they were there. This was the height of impropriety and he could hardly believe they hadn’t given some sort of warning!

Kasimir sighed and looked down on them, having a good idea of how this case would go. Still, he rather doubted they would get far without this taken care of and he leaned back, summoning an aide over to send to get a pair of pants from the locker room for the couple. “Consider it done, Lord Ra. Someone will be here shortly with pants for yourself and Lady Isis. Forgive me Lady Isis, I don’t believe we have any skirts available.”

Bel nodded and spoke, his voice muffled. “It is understandable.”

“I hope you two have been enjoying yourselves…” Agathon glowered at the two vampires in laying on the floor. “Because there are some very questionable charges being brought against you.” He said as he stepped down from his seat and approached the pair, boots clicking softly against the polished floor of the chamber. He held no sympathy for creatures such as these, and found them without remorse for anything they did. If he had his way, there would be such laws in place to tightly control these rouge courts the vampires so cherished.

“You know I love a good gay sex scene as much as any other girl.. but really did you think we wouldn’t do this to you?” June asked leaning with boredom against the edge of her bench. “And you call yourselves Ra and Isis, pft. Some gods you pair are.”

“Hereditary titles, Councilor Blackwater.” Taro assured them. “From the time the Dragon Court was stationed in Egypt.” He offered Agathon an entirely too toothy smile. “And we are, Councilor Agathon, thank you for your well wishes. It’s good to hear such kindness on our anniversary.” Bel sighed up at his husband as an entirely too amused Molly arrived with sweats for both vampires, and politely held up a screen for Bel to change behind. The man slipped out moments later dressed in sweatpants and hurried his husband behind it with a whispered word.

Then he gave June a beatific smile. “We usually prefer warning before enjoying ourselves before a crowd, Councilor Blackwater, but if it’s something you enjoy, I’m certain we could come to an arrangement.” He brushed off the pants, waited for his husband to finish, the took the sheet they had arrived covered in and folded it with care. Molly stepped back, more amused than anything else, and disappeared back into the backdrop, waiting the next call for one of the aides. She had volunteered for this duty for the fireworks alone. Bel looked the tribunal over. “I believe the charges concern my fledgling, do they not? Surely this issue doesn’t actually require the council stepping in.”

Taro stepped behind his husband and glared to Agathon, having heard of the other’s opinions on his kind. He was not impressed, but then again, it could hardly be expected for him to be. Agathon was a fool, in the vampire’s eyes. Kasimir cleared his throat, not really wanting the attention, but knowing he ought to speak up.

“Unfortunately, Lady Isis, this situation does require it. Mr. Hammerstine was turned against his will whilst dying of cancer. Then he was held, once more against his will, while his family and friends mourned his passing. Both alone are illegal actions, ma’am.” And that was just the start of the stack they had against the duo. Ra and Isis had not followed the law well at all in many a decade.

June returned the vampire’s smile, but it wasn’t a friendly one. “No thanks, neither of you have what it takes.” She said bluntly as she shifted back into her seat. “Tall, pale and pasty just doesn’t do it for me.” June added as she observed the pair without much amusement. She generally kept her opinions to herself, but this was one of the times when her distaste was likely to get the better of her.

“You have been charged with the transformation of another against their will, reaching beyond the borders of life, enthrallment of another, not to mention the subsequent drugging, kidnapping, and torturing of a Warden who happens to also be the granddaughter of her majesty Tatiana.” June informed the pair acidly. She didn’t give a damn about any sort of hereditary title, these two had been allowed to run rampant long enough.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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“And you have proof of these accusations?” Isis said simply. “While I will admit to the turning of my youngest son, I would submit it was a return to his natural state. His turning occurred faster than any other I had witnessed.” It had been downright bizarre, truth told, and had been partially why they kept Brandon caged for so long. Still, reaching beyond the borders of life was a rich accusation. Bel’s head was held high, despite that he was clad only in a pair of grey sweatpants. He would be their spokesperson for that. Taro, while sweet in Bel’s eyes, did not have the level head to speak in a courtroom.

“We have seen no evidence of reaching beyond the borders of life, unless you count our being vampires against us, for we are admittedly neither alive nor dead. Does the council, upon which sits a vampire, now hold our nature against us?” He didn’t mention Catherine’s kidnapping. That had been a matter of discipline and likely a poorly thought out matter as well.

Kasimir rolled his eyes. “You know well that isn’t what we speak of Lady Isis.” His eyes narrowed on her. “And we are not turning this into some sort of farce either, any more than the two of you have already managed. We are not here to debate the nature of a vampire, but to judge your actions to your fledgling, the community, and a valued Warden of the council.”

“There is proof, and testimony to come.” June replied coldly as Agathon resumed his seat not too far away. “And as my esteemed colleague here says, we are not here to debate your very nature, but to determine your punishment for your actions.” She reiterated as she nodded to Agathon. “But by all means, feel free to make fools of yourself. I could use some entertainment.” The man said as he settled into his seat, but not before pointing at the emblem of the sun on the floor. “Surge sole Occidente sic exaltatus fueris ut hic.” The mage muttered under his breath as a large orb rose from the floor behind the pair. “Here we will see the truth of your statements, Gods save you if you lie.” He said to the pair with disdain. Agathon was fairly certain that the two were only sorry that they had been caught in their actions, and more than likely expected a slap on the wrist.

“We will not lie to the court.” Bel spoke truthfully. They may dodge questions artfully, or answer misleadingly, but they knew better than to lie. “I assure you, you have our cooperation.” He held tight to his husband’s hand, not liking the orb, or the latin that had accompanied it. This was looking to be significantly more serious a trial than he had thought it would be. Bel was beginning to understand this would be no slap on the wrist all. Taro stepped forward and opened his mouth as if to speak only to freeze at the withering glare his spouse sent him. They hardly needed his ego in the way right now. Besides, if he played it right, it was possible Taro and he could be sentenced separately. That meant one might survive to tend to their family and care for their children. “But please, my child, is he okay? He has been skilled in avoiding us, and a mother worries for her son.”

June snorted derisively as she heard Bel’s claim, “The likelihood of us telling you where your.. fledgling is is very unlikely.” She said blithely. The two weren’t trustworthy, just about everyone on the Council had agreed that much. “Do you Lord Ra and Lady Isis swear before the tribunal that you will tell us the truth of your deeds or else suffer the consequences?” June asked before giving a nod to Agathon who called for another aid. “Be as patient as you can...” He said to the aid who had now been tasked with representing the pair against the claims of their misdeeds.

“Also, we will be detaining you for the remainder of the trial, so I suggest you find a way to put your affairs in order for now.” June informed the pair without much ceremony. If she had had her way, the pair would already be six plus feet under, housed in lead and silver lined coffins with sealing runes engraved into the surface.

Bel nodded in agreement. “It will be done, of course. Arrangement had already been made.” Though not in the case of death of course. The general feeling before the trial was that they would, of course, be set free. Catherine would not have dared testify without her nephew’s safety assured, and Brandon was much the same in that manner. They had seen no sign that Catherine had found her nephew either, so had assumed they were safe.

It appeared that was not so. Still, he supposed they would have to swear. ‘I do so swear.” Bel spoke, and gently nudged his husband so the man would reply the same. It would not due to bruise her beau after all.

Grumbling, he nodded. “I do so swear.” He agreed. “We had expected the detainment. It appears standard.”

June nodded, “Then let’s proceed.” She had known some time ago that there had been an issue with the Dragon Court, Alexander had mentioned it in passing, with some amount of concern evident for his wife. However, June suspected that there was more to the story than Alexander even knew and had set about to do her own set of digging.

Catherine had been wise to cut off communication with her nephew, even going as far as to tell no one that he had been found and alive. But somehow there had reached a point when the Warden had made a decision to try to trust the Council, instead of holding them at arms length while trying to do her job. While June could sympathize somewhat with the other, she could still never quite understand most of the issues at had; as she had been a late comer to her seat on the Council after an unexpected vacancy had placed her there.

“Should we the Council, find the both or one of you guilty, your sentence will stand for the next three centuries. Your court will be disbanded, and you will be placed in a silver and lead coffin, sealed within, and buried until time has largely forgotten you, or you will be left in a sunward facing chamber, chained to the wall just before dawn.” It seemed cruel, even for the vampire’s standards, but the Council was known well for it’s draconian policies. It didn’t tolerate assault and kidnapping of one of their servants.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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That was incredibly harsh, and Bel couldn’t help but sink back against Taro, eyes wide and he leaned against his husband. Taro’s arms came to wrap protectively around the other, even as he knew which would, ultimately, be the best. A sun filled chamber would be a mercy in comparison to the coffin and it’s torture, and he had a feeling there would be no talking their way out of this, no matter how clever his sweet Bel could be. He glared to the council, and held his husband close.

“We would see the evidence against us.” He said simply, holding Bel close. He knew the plan had been for him to remain quiet, but it was clear his Bel was horrified. Not even they would think of a sentence as harsh as that coffin. Sure they punished harshly, there was no doubt in that, however such a prolonged torture would be heinous. Bel hid his face against his husband, and thought it over. He had turned Brandon, and it was his hand that had touched the Warden. He had no doubt that he would get the worse of the two punishments, and he did not consider it to be the death via the sun.

Lex made himself visible from behind the curtains. Resting casually against a pillar next to Molly. “Bel… Taro… Or do you prefer Rah and Isis? How GOOD of you to bless us with your presence, and in your sunday best no less. Did I hear one of you two chowder heads asking for evidence of your misdeeds against my wife and nephew?” Lex noticed Kasimir standing ready to clear his throat. “Sit down or get knocked down.” He pointed a finger at Kas without orientating to look at him. His attention turned back to Isis and Rah. “Isis did you not come to my residence in Dallas, via an unsanctioned teleportation orb no less to deliver the message that my wife had been taken captive as assurance that I would come and negotiate on behalf of the council…. For her safe return?” He left the answer to stand in the air awaiting the response.

Kasimir sat down and watched Lex tear into the two with no small satisfaction. That didn’t change the fact that he leaned over to June. “Didn’t we stick a silencing spell on him because he’s so close to the victims?” It must have broken. Oh well, this was going to be fun to watch.

Molly placed a hand on Lex’s shoulder, quietly, trying to keep him from carrying out the punishment without a trial. This was the vampire’s one chance at a defense, after all.

Taro stared at his husband and took a step back, looking the smaller vampire over. “Belial.” He murmured. “You did not inform me of this. I do not condone that action at all.” He made very clear, voice quiet, disappointed. It was clear he had not paid enough attention to his spouse’s actions in some time. “What happens under our roof, I trust to you, and you went too far. And now to… I would have an explanation, husband.” Bel was in trouble with more than just the council for this one.

“I thought we did…” June said to Kasimir with a mildly annoyed sigh looking over at Agathon; apparently the mage in all of his wisdom had forgotten to silence Alexander, and if he had his way this trial wasn’t going to go anywhere. “Stand down Councilor Summers, it is not yet time to judge them.” She said returning her attention to the matter at hand. “However…” June remarked glancing over at a very nervous Bel and increasingly shocked Taro. “This is new evidence, and requires thoughtful consideration.” Agathon spoke from his seat across from June and Kasimir. “It is unusual to send such things, as they are untraceable by most magics. Please, we are more than eager to hear why you did this.” The mage said gesturing for Bel to go on. It appeared to him that there was a great deal of animosity between the pair by now; and while that was not the Council’s intent, they would most certainly seek to exploit it.

Isis held his head high as he looked over the court. “I did.” He said simply. “I know the lay of the land. Brandon is my son, my fledgling, the first in a long time. Despite being Mother, I have only sired one other. I lied to my husband repeatedly about my son’s control, so that Taro would not release him from his suite. It was a believable lie, given his past, the poor child. I drugged the Warden as well. It was well deserved give how that abomination treated my husband, and I issued the punishment for it. Perhaps I went overboard, but she clearly recovered.”

Taro watched eyes narrowed when Bel stopped his glare deepened. “Keep speaking, Belial, you foolish man. Answer Councilor Summers question. Did you kidnap his wife, yet again?”

Bel’s chin rose. “She’s only a dhampir. She ought to have been killed at birth. I delivered the message, however I wasn’t able to find her to kidnap her. It hardly matters, habibi.” Taro raised an eyebrow and backhanded Bel hard enough the other went flying, but did not otherwise respond.

Alexander remained calm, secretly glad that Agathon had bungled the silencing spell. Never a fan of magic himself, he was adamant that it not be used on him or others normally. “Wrong answer!” He said rocking back on his heels. “It’s been proven so many times in the past that the likes of you are untrustworthy; and as much as I’d love to see both of you burn in Hades… which might be a nice place for you, I don’t know. Because, there’s no telling what you’ve implanted in the mind of my nephew, much less wife.” Alexander remarked blithely and shrugged. “For all we know you’ve planted the seeds of madness in their minds, which let’s be honest is no easy feat considering.” He added gesturing wildly. “After all we all know of your distaste for Warden Dumitrescu…” Alexander finished before taking his seat. He had said his piece, and was likely to be silent for the rest of the trial.

However, there was still the matter of whether or not Bel was telling the truth. “Is this true Belial?” Agathon asked skeptically, unsure if Summers was off on another tangent again or if there was some truth in what he had had to say. It was hard to tell with that man sometimes.

Molly slipped over to Lex’s side and placed a hand on his shoulder, looking to him in concern, before stepping back to the wall once more. Kasimir watched the two being tried and sighed. “I would advise you answer, Lord Belial.” He murmured, voice quiet, knowing the other would hear.

Bel stood and wiped a bit of blood from his chin, then rubbed his jaw. Taro had held back, not breaking the bone, but only just. It ached now, even to open his mouth. “...It is true.” He answered, and then nodded to the orb. “Wouldn’t that tell you if I lied? Though I haven’t planted anything in either mind. Both had formidable shielding. I could not get past Brandon’s on his death bed, the little fool. I have never made it past the warden’s, and only even attempted that once.” And had learned not to try again. “Consider me guilty on all counts, if you must, though spare my husband.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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Taro looked to his husband and sighed. “You little fool. There will be no sparing either of us. If we are lucky, we will be sentenced to die. If we are not, we will be sentenced to madness. Regardless, my desert rose, you have brought our death on our heads and our court down around our ears.”

Agathon sighed, “Yes, but we prefer that the account come from your own will, rather than us coercing you more than needed.” The mage was not impressed with the man that stood before him, and would have dealt a swift and harsh judgement having been allowed. But, fortunately for the pair the Council had to reach a decision amongst itself. “But this also begs the question.. if you managed to spirit away Dumitrescu… where is she?” And why hadn’t Alexander said anything, unless he was hoping that Bel was kicking a hornets nest, meaning they wouldn’t have to have this trial. “If I understand correctly, you were unable to penetrate her shields or her nephews, am I correct?” June asked plainly. “But you have also told us a lie followed by a potential truth. So what are we to believe? That you kidnapped the good warden? Holding her someone until you could dispense with the formality of this trial and get back to whatever you had in store?”

Bel’s eyes narrowed. “Once again, while I attempted to, I was unable to locate her. I have never been able to penetrate either one’s shields, or has the council forgotten than both are powerful psychics in their own right?” He snarled, clearly furious. “If the good councilor cannot find his own wife, perhaps he should check his marital bed.”

Taro raised an eyebrow. “Bel. Hold your temper. I am certain the council can hear you well enough without anger in your voice.” His husband was acting foolishly all over again. Taro stepped in front of him, and drew his chin up so Bel was meeting his eyes. “Calm yourself, my rose. Think of little Maria. She always cheers you, doesn’t she?” That provoked a small smile from Bel, as he forced himself to calm down, to breath and to not let the council work their way under his skin.

June looked to Agathon who frowned before gesturing for yet another page to come close, “Fetch them, take as much time as you need.” He whispered, knowing how difficult this next phase would be. “We have not forgotten, we are simply having difficulty with.. the details you have provided us. Things however are now clear as we move forward.” June spoke calmly, not so much as raising an eyebrow at Bel’s outburst. It was clearly evident what the vampire had plotted, and his carefully laid plans now seemed to be coming undone to be laid bare in front of the Council.

“So far the Council charges you with kidnapping on two accounts, enthrallment and reaching beyond the borders of life. Is this clear enough for you Belial or do I need to make it plainer?” June drawled, making it all too clear who was in trouble. “You however Taro, while largely unknowing of your husbands complete actions, unfortunately are still considered accessory to the fact.” She added looking down at the pair without any sympathy. Vampires were almost always positive that they were god incarnate, that they could do whatever they pleased.

“Before we sentence you, we will hear testimony. Are you certain you wish to continue representing yourselves in this?” Agathon questioned.

Bel glared darkly at them and opened his mouth only for Taro to raise an eyebrow. He may have let quite a bit slip, but he was paying attention now. “Not a word, my rose. Lately, when you open your mouth, only foolishness pours forth.” He warned, and then looked to the council. “I understand. We must both pay the price for our actions and inactions. We will continue to represent ourselves, councilors. Please call the first witness.” Though he dreaded who it might be. Surely Brandon and Catherine would be among them, and he had no doubt there would be more than that.

Kasimir sighed and nodded. “So be it then.” He glanced to where the first witness would come from. This was not going to be pretty. When they discovered Rahal had spoken against them as well as Brandon there would be trouble, he was sure of it.

Agathon just shook his head, the fall out from this hearing would likely be felt for a very long time. If only because every time Bel opened his mouth that he was able to firmly plant his foot right in afterwards. “As my colleague Councilor Klein has said, so be it, but I cannot say I recommend it.” He said as he waved for the page to escort the first witness forward.

Rahal stepped forward and to his spot, not able to look to his parents. In contrast to the two, he wore a suit, his long hair neatly pulled back into a ponytail laying on the nape of his neck. The mage would not admit how long managing that took each time, if he used a modern elastic. Instead, a ribbon that matched his hair color and blended in near perfectly held his hair in place. The mage was without his usual jewelry and accessories, and, while he did look younger than he ought to, he was largely without his usual signs of his position in life, either his ‘princehood’ that came from being his parents son, or his hard earned title of battle mage.

He didn’t want to testify against his parents, but he knew he must. Some thing’s were more important than family loyalty, even if his hear broke to see the two vampires there, clad in sweat pants of all things. Did they even own sweat pants? Regardless, he was here, ready to actually be called by his name, and not his title, which, frankly he preferred. Death Tyrannius Rahal was, frankly the most ridiculous name in existence, and he really, really, hoped that they stuck to calling him Rahal after he was sworn in.

Kasimir nodded. “Death Tyrannius Anusib-Rahal.” He greeted, though he had to quickly smother a grin at the ridiculously pretentious name the poor human in front of him bore. Rahal’s eyes narrowed on Kasimir, wondering very much where the man had found his actual last name. “You stand before this court as a witness to the charges laid against Belial and Taro of the Dragon Court. Will you take an oath that you will speak the truth in front of this court?”

“I will. And please, please call me Rahal or Ty.” He swallowed and repeated the oath after Kasimir. “I swear by Heka, Thoth, and Ra of Egypt to whom I am sworn, that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

“Of course Rahal, now please tell the court of the situation involving Brandon Hammerstein and Warden Dumitrescu.” June said mildly, as she motioned for him to sit. She saw that he at least took the situation seriously, and was even surprised that he had gotten up enough courage to testify against his own parents; that in of itself had to have been extremely difficult. “Please take you time.” Agathon instructed the other mage, intent more on regaining control over the chaos than allowing the two vampires to run amok again.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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“Of course.” He hesitated a moment, and swallowed, then began to speak. “I first heard of the new fledgling a few years after he was turned. He wasn’t to see anyone outside of my parents, we were told. Supposedly, his blood lust was ferocious and he struggled to gain control. wasn’t until recently I realised who it was.” He fell silent and glanced to his parents. Taro nodded to him, letting him know it was okay, and the man drew strength from that.

“Brandon didn’t want to be a vampire. I had taught him control of his magic, when he was a little boy. He never wanted to be a vampire, and always made that so clear.” He said quietly. “Shortly before his death from cancer, his files had been leaked to the public, and suddenly, he needed protection. The White rose court agreed to let him die in peace.” He fell silent. “There was a court function. We have so many of them, I couldn’t tell you which. The only unique thing was that Catherine was there. She...she let me know who the fledgling was.” He spoke, quiet.

“I was shocked. Father would never turn a sick man, I know that. He will not turn me, for fear of what my magic may do. There is no way he would turn a necromancer.” He managed a smile. “I lost control of my magic. Chaos magic is volatile, as I’m sure the council knows. In moments of emotional distress, it tends to lash out. Father came to reprimand me. I was to report to him for training in the morning. He invited Catherine to watch.” He remembered this all too well. “Se said she didn’t want to watch him torture me.” He shrugged. “Father’s training sessions were always meant with vampire bodies, not human ones, in mind.” Torture was an apt word.

The mage swallowed. “So he gave her 20 lashes in private later. He initially simply ordered her to her rooms though, and I’m not sure what happened. I just know she came to me for healing.” He shrugged. “Her nail beds were badly damaged as well. I don’t know who all took part in it. Catherine wouldn’t say. I don’t think she would have allowed me to heal her if she wasn’t in quite so much pain.”
“And is this a normal occurrence within the Dragon court, Rahal?” Agathon asked him. “What I mean to say is, is it a normal thing for your father to discipline others, including yourself in such.. harsh ways?” He said trying not to lay blame just yet. It seemed unusual for the Warden to speak in such a way as to risk a potential political alliance such as the Dragon Court, especially when she had been raised to take her father’s place with the fae at the very least. This puzzled the Councilor greatly, something did not add up. “Also, could you please tell me why it was unusual that the Warden was present?”

Rahal fell silent, and then nodded. “Yes. I mean, it’s not like he usually draws blood. And it’s never anything I couldn’t handle at least. But father never did more than lashes, or having to train.” That was it, that was all. “Father’s training was...harsh...but I was a better mage for it.” He had survived it after all.

“As for Catherine, she was rarely present. She didn’t like being at the court. It wasn’t...well, it’s very different than the fae court.” He shrugged. “And mother and father ruled with an iron fist.”

The councilor nodded and made note of this, “Thank you Rahal.” He said dismissing the mage. What was going on in that court? It was understandable for a monarch to rule with such an iron will, even the fae had their hard and fast limits on things; as odd as that seemed. They of all would know what would happen should no rules be enforced. “I am now beginning to get quite the picture of the Dragon Court.” Agathon scowled. What he saw was a place outside of the bounds of the rule of the Council, and that they took full advantage of the fact that they didn’t acknowledge them either.

“Your court so far does not paint itself in a very favorable picture gentlemen. It appears to be a place where you yourselves decide the rules and have little concern for others outside of what they can provide you.” He remarked motioning for the next witness to be called.

Rahal nodded and slipped back to the back. He passed Brandon on the way and squeezed the clearly nervous man’s shoulder. Molly gently escorted Brandon to the front and remained with him, not leaving his side for this. Kasimir watched for a moment, then nodded, allowing this. The young vampire no doubt would be glad for the support.

“Brandon Alexander Hammerstine-Lessard.” He greeted quietly. “You stand before this court as a witness to the charges laid against Belial and Taro of the Dragon Court. Will you take an oath that you will speak the truth in front of this court?”

Quietly, Brandon spoke. “I will.” He repeated after Kasimir, uncertain and nervous, tension clear, and clearly worried. “I swear to God, that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” His voice was quiet, and Bel couldn’t help the cry wrenched from him at the sight of his fledgling. Taro looked on in concern.

“Should the court address you as Mr. Hammerstine or would you prefer Mr. Lessard?” June asked noting Molly’s concern, nodding her approval. Brandon would most likely be able to think clearly with some amount of support during his testimony, given the fact that he was facing his sire and sire’s husband. “However you would like us to address you, the court wishes to ask you how you were first introduced to the Dragon Court.” She said glancing down briefly at her notes before looking across to Brandon.

The man seemed so very nervous, and so very anxious to be there; while they had offered him anominity, he had seemingly insisted on testifying without those protections.

“Hammerstine.” He said, quietly. “Please. Lessard is only there for...for legal reason to do with the estate I inherited.” That had taken ages to purify and de-trap and clean up. Still, he hesitated, and Molly squeezed his shoulder gently.

“The first time I was ten and accompanied my- I mean, Sanina Lessard to the court. The Lessard family had business. I was entertained by Milo Rahal while I was there. After that, I didn’t see them again until I was dying of cancer.” He swallowed. “For a bit, it looked like I might survive, human, but I took a nosedive at the end.” He shrugged. “My file, from MCU, was leaked, somehow. Despite having had my records sealed, it became known that I was...that I had been, at one time, Parson Lessard.” He said, voice quiet. “The court contacted me, offered to change me. I said no, and accepted an offer from the White Rose court to watch over me until I died, to keep me safe.” He shrugged, uncertain.

“I chose when to do. Machines were keeping me alive, at that point, and it was clear I was going to die. So I did so on my terms. My last act of magic was to shoot a bolt of necromantic magic at my heart, to stop it. Before that, it was to put down my familiar.” He swallowed. “When I next woke, it was in a suite of rooms in the Dragon court. I had been turned.”

June nodded as Brandon spoke, detailing his end of the story. “After you woke up Mr. Hammerstein, what was that like?” She questioned, more than familiar with the entity known as Parson Lessard. Before a slot on Council had opened up, and her name had been put to vote for the position, she had been his caseworker; primarily handling most juvenile affairs for the MCU and a seeing to it that the kids either received the help they needed or were placed in a facility that could offer it.

“As you know, Council’s security for sealed records is quite good, especially when it comes to yours especially. Would you happen to have any idea who would have leaked the records to the vampire courts or why?” June added, taking her time with Brandon. It was difficult to ascertain what his mental state was without the help of a psychic, and generally said psychic they would use was indisposed. Council made sure that individuals of rare and particular talent were used for more than just one move on their proverbial chess board.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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He hesitated. “Honestly? Mostly, it was boring.” He shrugged, uncertain. “There wasn’t much to do. I was left alone, except for lessons. If I messed up during them, I was punished.” He hesitated. “Sometimes I was lashed. Sometimes I was simply left alone, and hungry.” It had been mind numbing, for the most part. He fell silent. “Belial was not cruel. Taro wasn’t. But any attempt to leave was met with...increasing resistance.” He shrugged, not comfortable. “It progressed from wards to magical cuffs to always having one in my room, until I stopped trying.”

As for the records, even thinking of those was incredibly upsetting and he wrapped his arms around himself. “I don’t know who did it. Whoever they are...whoever they are I hope they are caught and sentenced to death.”

“You said escape was met with increasing resistance, can you tell us what that was like? Did you eventually succeed?” She asked him noting his discomfort, but pressed on anyway. They needed to at least reach some form of resolution, even if it wasn’t what everyone desired. The urge to side with the prosecuting parties was strong, but the evidence wasn’t exactly in their favor either. However, Brandon had admitted to being turned by whom he hadn’t said though.

“We ask because for a period there was a lot of unrest from the Dragon Court of a missing fledgling, one who as others claimed they had been told did not have their hunger under control.”

“I have better control over my hunger than any fledgling they had ever seen before. Belial sang my praises on that, at least to me. Then he’d go and tell Taro that I was out of control every time I fed!” That was more upsetting than it should be. “I have had control over my hunger since I was 11 and trapped as an Everchild before whatever...whatever magic undid that curse.” He jerked forward and Molly swiftly moved in front of him, hugging him to her. Brandon clung to his old babysitter, breathing heavily as he tried to get himself under control.

Kasimir watched with some concern. “...let’s give him a moment.” He murmured to the other two. “He is a victim in this tragedy.” He murmured and kept an eye on the two vampires being tried. Taro looked distressed, eyes on Brandon whom he had seen as a son. Bel was looking steadily more angry and obstinate.

“Of course.” June nodded to Kasimir. She was more used to speaking with those who had been the criminal, not the victim of the crime. “Take your time Mr. Hammerstein.” She said to Brandon, looking over at the young man held in check by one of the Dallas branch’s sergeants. June was surprised that Bronson had shown up, given it wasn’t a mandatory event, but then again the woman had grown rather close to the family over the years. “Continue whenever you’re ready.” June added gently, reassuring him.

Meanwhile Agathon observed the pair of vampires where they stood, watching the pain and horror flit across Taro’s face while Belial’s expression grew more sour by the moment.

After a moment Molly moved back, and red eyed, Brandon continued. “I tried for three straight years.” He said and then sighed. “Then gave up and played the dutiful son until they relaxed enough to remove the guard on my suite. I was able to escape then. I probably was the missing fledgling.” He acknowledged and closed his eyes. “I can’t think of any others it could be.” He admitted. After a moment he sighed.

“I went into hiding then, sought out my aunt and laid low until it was safer.”

“Thank you Mr. Hammerstein.” June said, dismissing the man. “Look into having a guard posted on his property..” She whispered over to Agathon who simply nodded in agreement. They had been concerned with the fall out from this entire incident, and after hearing many of the details had been right to be so. “As far as I have observed, everyone’s story lines up, and be thankful they have hardly said a cruel word of either of you.” June remarked looking over at the vampires. “They have simply stated the facts, and have been as truthful as they are able.” She added finding herself beginning to have some sympathy for Taro and whatever mixed up situation he had found himself in. Humans and other creatures, mortal or immortal seemed to have a special talent for creating complicated messes.

“Next witness please.” Agathon stated motioning to his page to escort Brandon back and bring the next in.

Milo shuffled in, looked to his parents and flinched. “Mother… Father…” He murmured and Belial choked at this and then hurried to the stand, reaching out to Milo. Milo swallowed and nodded at them, then stepped back from the edge.

“Milo Rahal, you stand before this court as a witness to the charges laid against Belial and Taro of the Dragon Court. Will you take an oath that you will speak the truth in front of this court?”

Milo spoke, his voice strong, accented thickly with an Egyptian origin. “I will.” He repeated after Kasimir. “I swear to Ra, to whom I am sworn, that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” He did not waver, and Bel watched with wide eyes. Taro seemed to be most effected by Milo, and the minute the swearing in was finish, spoke, rapid fire. "Ya beny, mada tef'eleyn hena? Aequitas we Maria yemken an yekwen fey werth besbeb heda!" Son, what are you doing here? Aequitas and Maria could be in trouble because of this!

"Ana asef alab, weqd d'ewet, wana lem mesa'edh tet'emh, b'ed kel shey', heta eda ma rayet akhey alasegher.” I'm sorry Father, I was called. I did help feed him, after all, even if I never saw my youngest brother. He spoke, rapidfire to his father, looking his father in the eyes as he apologized for his part in this trial.

“Yeghefr lh ya abeny. Kel shey', kel yeghefr lh da'ema." Oh my boy. All is forgiven, all is always forgiven. Taro promised reaching out, only to drop his arm to his side. Milo wiped at his eyes.

“Taro, men hew heda?" Taro, who is this? Bel broke in, looking between Milo and Taro in confusion. He didn’t recognize Milo, except as a minor member of the court who had been tagged to help out with Brandon.

Taro was silent a moment before he answered. "... aben heqwey." ...the son of my loins. Milo was his child by blood and by siring. While he wasn’t one anymore, he had been born a vampire.

"Milo, can you tell the court what happened?" June asked motioning for Agathon to say out of this next round of questioning. They had been switching off, taking every other witness, but this time she wasn't about to let the sour faced mage take a turn at the helm. He seemed intent on causing more upset than anything. "And please, take your time." June added

Milo nodded. “Shortly before my Maria, my daughter, was born, Father asked for my aid with a fledgling.” He said and hesitated. “Belial...Belial had turned him, I was told, and Father always trusted me to be discrete.” He always had. “He asked me not to ask questions, but to simply procure meals for him regularly. He thought fresh blood would help with the fledgling’s blood lust.” He was quiet a moment or two. “I only ever caught glimpses of my newest brother. I didn’t know him before, and didn’t realize what was wrong.” He said, uncertain. “We weren’t to talk, not really. Brandon was heavily isolated.”

“Of course, discretion is important.” June agreed as she urged Milo to continue. “You say that you didn’t realize what was wrong, what makes you say this?” She asked. That was an interesting thread to pull on, and perhaps it would lend itself able to shed some light on the whole sordid situation that Belial had created for himself.

Milo considered what to say next. “Father had no fledglings that were not independent. I was his youngest child, other than Ty, who is human of course. I was born dhampir.” He admitted, voice quiet. “I had never see Father or Mother with a child, and the step from dhampir to vampire was not a large one for me or for my now deceased twin. The only fledgling I have ever known is my own husband, and he spent some time in isolation himself as he grew used to his abilities.” Milo shrugged. “I assumed it was by choice, or for his safety.”

This was an interesting turn of events, one that was certain to generate a great deal of discussion at a later date. “This is all very interesting, thank you Milo. I have no further questions.” June said with a nod of dismissal. “Now Belial, how are you feeling about your earlier statement? That all dhampires should be killed at birth?” She asked mildly amused at the discomfort that this would likely bring for the vampire. However, she did not expect an answer either way as Agathon was already eager to get all of this over and done with.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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June suspected that he’d already made up his mind, but could very likely change it with the next round of testimony.

Milo lingered a moment to speak with his father, reassuring the other he loved im dearly, before he was gently ushered away by a page. Bel glared after Milo and then up to June. “It has not. Milo, whom I did not even know was born a dhampir, was clearly an that my husband needs to explain...soon preferably, given, apparently, an affair occurred.” Taro shrugged, not feeling too guilty over this. After all, it had given him two wonderful boys, a son in law, and a granddaughter who he spoiled rotten.

“A pity.” June remarked, seeing that Bel’s answer was exactly as she had suspected it would be; the vampire was completely and utterly unrepentant. While she had no intent on breaking up their relationship herself, it seemed that they were doing a good job of self destructing in the Council’s main chambers themselves. “He seems like a son who is very devoted.” She mused before motioning for Agathon to call the next witness. If the pair had been keeping track there was one individual who had yet to speak before the Council as both witness and victim, the Warden who had been involved in the entire mess from the start.

“Warden Catherine Nadya Dumitrescu-Hammerstein, you stand before this court as a witness to the charges laid against Belial and Taro of the Dragon Court. Will you take an oath that you will speak the truth in front of this court?” Agathon questioned, addressing the woman who had entered and taken her place without much ceremony in front of the council by her full name and title.

“I will.” She answered calmly despite the turmoil she felt just below the surface. “I swear to you by the guidance of Gaia and Chronus whom guard the veil, that I will speak to the court the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” She finished before taking her seat.

Catherine had not wanted to do this, and had tried to see if there was a way to manage things outside of court, but unfortunately her position didn’t allow it.

Kasimir watched her for a moment and then spoke up. “Warden Dumitrescu, could you tell us when you first became aware that Brandon had been turned?” They would start with that. After all, it had come before the torture, according to the rough timeline they had assembled. He was interested in hearing her answers. Then again, he could admit to himself a fascination with her that didn’t bode well for the dragon court’s leaders.

“I had returned briefly from her majesty Tatiana’s courts where I had gone after the death of my nephew, Brandon. At the behest of the Council I was to answer inquiries into the fires that had destroyed the headquarters in the Ellum neighborhood in Dallas. I had stopped by the old site trying to recollect to the best of my knowledge as to what had happened.” She began not terribly eager to relieve those memories or feelings again, especially in front of the Council and her torturers. “I don’t know how he escaped, I don’t know why he was there, but he found me.” Catherine explained looking across the chamber at Bel and Taro. “I could have sworn that it was a cruel trick.. A ploy maybe, as I haven’t made many friends within this profession, and I had been there when he… passed. But it wasn’t.” Catherine explained, returning her attention back towards the Councilor’s seated on their bench.

Kasimir nodded at this. “And you believe he sought you out? Is this when he informed you who his sire was?” He asked, trying to be gentle. This couldn’t be easy and Catherine was a victim here too. Though that she thought someone would use her dead nephew against her so was was also not far off the mark, given some of the cases thrown her way.

“I believe he did, but I don’t know what help I would have been able to provide at the time, and yes he did inform me as to who his sire was. I can’t say I was happy to have him returned, living or undead. He had stated many times throughout his illness what his wishes were to both myself and his uncle.” She answered slowly. Catherine kept reminding herself that she wasn’t someone who was testifying as an expert, instead she had been victimized by the crime itself. Putting herself into the place of the victim felt humilitating and degrading, worse than anything else she had ever experienced.

“Thank you, Warden.” He murmured and considered what next to ask. “Can you tell us about the events that occurred the night you were tortured?” The fact that he had to ask that was difficult enough and he was not happy about it. As far as he was concerned, Belial would get the coffin, as a much worse sentence than death.

She nodded silently as she pulled her thoughts together, “That night… the Dragon Court had a gathering, the first I had been to in years since Brandon’s death. I had not gone with the intent of confronting anyone or doing anything, as that would have been unwise on my part. I had appeared out of deference and instruction from her majesty that it was worth keeping channels open, even if I could at times find this court… distasteful. The fae can be predatory, and are not above using mortals or others for their own gains at times, however the vampires always seemed more intent on flaunting their power over their next meal or their belief that they were gods among men.” Catherine began, suppressing a shudder at the thought of the vampire courts. She had done everything she could to find a way to avoid them, to not have to play their brand of crude politics.

“That night… I showed up, I spoke with many people, Rahal, Taro and Bel included, about a rumor I had heard circulating about a missing fledgling. I was mildly curious if anything, but not terribly interested. Speaking with Rahal, I told him that I thought I suspected that the fledgling was my nephew, and he grew briefly angry at that thought.” She explained remembering the priceless tapestry that had very quickly burnt itself to ash in the wake of the mage’s anger. “Taro or Ra took notice and informed Rahal that there would be punishment… I couldn’t condone it, even if this was considered the norm. We had an exchange of words and he dismissed me to the rooms that they had so graciously provided.Understandably I was frustrated, and angry,” Catherine continued.

“That night they had had their usual.. Ugh.. feast laid out, and Bel or Isis had tried to entice me knowing full well that it’s rare that I even.. Instead I opted for wine. I had only had two glasses, but by the time I reached my rooms I was beginning feel disoriented.” She could very clearly remember the hallways lurching, and floor spinning as she had made it to her room. “After that I blacked out.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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Kasimir nodded and watched uncertain. This next part would be hard, but if he acknowledged that, it would only upset Catherine greatly. Perhaps a brief tangent, rather than cutting to the meat of it. “Thank you Catherine. You said Rahal grew angry. Why would this attract lord Taro’s attention?” Simple anger wouldn’t suffice after all.

She sighed briefly, “Taro grew angry because while had the fire been intentional.. He likely would not have cared. This.. was unintentional. Magic released wildly, without control, especially Rahal’s specialty, chaos, can be dangerous and unpredictable at best.” Even she knew how dangerous the lack of control could be, especially if one let their emotions get in the way. “Many of us who are at the higher end of the proverbial food chain know the inherient dangers in loss of control.”

“Yes, the court is familiar with the after effects of Rahal losing control…” The mage’s drunken spell casting was a nightmare and a half to clean up after and they were all glad he rarely got drunk. Had he been a drunkard, they would have bound him tight. “Thank you for the clarification.” He murmured and then continued on. “Can you tell us what happened when you woke up, warden?” He didn’t really want to ask that, but knew it needed done.

Catherine grimaced at the request, she hadn’t thought things through this far. It seemed rediculous that she hadn’t, but her experience with witnesses and Council trials was limited. “When… when I woke up, I was bound hand and foot… to some cruel device in a dark and windowless room. For a time, I drifted in and out of conciousness.” She said swallowing hard and taking a breath before continuing. “I sat there? Hung there? I don’t know how long before he came in… he.. He.. then tore away my… my clothing and began to whip me.” Catherine said quietly as she struggled for words, clenching and balling her fists in her lap where she sat.

Kasimir nodded, trying to remain stoic. “Did anything else occur? Take all the time you need.” He murmured, trying to be gentle. He wouldn't push her, if she didn’t want to say more. She had been pushed enough tonight. He felt bad even asking, given they had a the evidence they needed to prove that more had occurred.

She kept reminding herself that she had been through worse and than worse had happened before. “Yes… he asked me if I knew where his fledgling was, if I had some how convinced him to leave his precious mummy’s side.” Catherine said vehemently, glaring daggers towards Belial. “And when I said I didn’t know? He continued to whip me, each time more violently than the last. The thing is, I had only briefly spoken with Brandon, I didn’t know where he had gone… what he’d intended to do.” She then drew a deep breath, trying to force calm on herself, trying not to remember the anger of the situation. “Eventually he grew even angrier with me, calling me a lying whore, how I was useless, a disgrace, and how I should have been killed as a child.” Catherine continued steeling herself for the next part. While Broadmoore had been a horrible place to be, at least little in the way of physical harm had ever come to her.

“He then wrenched my arms down and held them in place, asking me again where Brandon was, telling me not to deny it… I said I did not know… for each… he removed a nail..” She said, her voice wavering, remembering the excruciating pain and humiliation that had been inflicted.

That was more than enough of that. He didn’t want to hear an ounce more of the torture, and from the reported injuries there wouldn’t be much more. “Thank you Catherine. Can you tell us if Lord Taro was there?” Or was it only Belial? That was what it sounded like.

Either way, this was harder than he thought to listen to, and he was unsurprised to see Molly now by Lex to hold him back if needed and keep him, for now, quiet at least. The woman hadn’t been required here, but it was good she had come. If nothing else, she seemed to understand how the victims would respond.

“Belial was the one who determined how he could drug me,” Catherine said thickly, voice heavily accented. In her opinion neither one were terribly innocent, and both had played their parts in this whole debacle. She had avoided their court out of fear that something like this would happen, to herself, or someone close to her. Now it had, after an attempt to play nice politically, to assure the pair that the Seelie Monarch was willing to extend her confidence to the pair as potential allies; especially since the court was quite cloistered in it’s nature. “And Taro was the one who tortured me…”

Kasimir fell silent. After a moment, he nodded. “Thank you Warden. Sergeant Bronson, could you escort the warden to the back.” He said, voice flat, even. He would not show his anger in any other way. Molly nodded and silently approached Catherine, ready to walk with her to the back when the other was ready.

She knew better than to hug and touch, though once Catherine was away from the council, she likely would give the other a brief hug regardless.

Catherine stepped down from the stand and left with Molly. One of the Council and MCU’s longest serving officers who had likely seen the worse of the worst, had been very much subdued when she had taken the stand. Her choices of clothing had been somber and serious, with her hair neatly styled; but that largely been an attempt at trying to get through what she’d have to sit there and recount.

“What say you now Lords Taro and Belial?” June questioned as she watched the chamber doors close behind Catherine and Molly. “I don’t believe my Warden, much less the wife and daughter of a former Councilor would lie on the stand.” She said eyeing the pair with great disdain.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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Taro held his head high. “While it is true I lashed her, I did not torture her. It was a simply punishment and once over, I left. Bel was to release her.” He met their gazes head on. “But I see that we went too far.”

Bel glared at them. “She’s a dhampir! Warden, adopted daughter of a councilor, it hardly matters.”

June frowned seeing as Bel and Taro would likely be singing the same tune throughout the entire case and proceedings. “The Council will now convene to discuss the current matter at hand. In the mean time, you will be sent to separate holdings until such a time as the council and it’s court deigns necessary to retrieve you.” Agathon spoke before sending the pair off much the same way they had been brought in.

Kasimir watched them leave and sighed. “Both deserve the full punishment, as far as I’m concerned. However it’s clear, for the most part, Lord Taro was negligent...except, it seems in the beginning of the torture.” It was a complicated case. “We also need to keep in mind the power vacuum that would occur should both be punished. We’ll need to beef up local MCU offices thanks to this case.”

“Agreed, however one has to remember that Brandon still has the potential to possess a psychic bond to his sire. Unless there is the potential to sever that without damage, then punishment to the full extent of the laws isn’t wise.” Alexander said speaking up for the first time since he had lain into the pair of vampires that had stood before the Council. “He’s right, and you’re right about the power vacuum.” June spoke as she nodded in agreement. “As much as I want to make them pay for the harm they’ve inflicted, we need to play this very carefully. For now I recommend sentencing them to at least fifty to a hundred years in Broadmoore, they can handle and keep those two separated easily.” She added while Agathon simply nodded. “Coffins are difficult to manufacture for what we’ve threatened… however there are other methods.” He said as he steepled his fingers in thought.

Fifty to one hundred years in Broadmoore was tantamount to being sentenced there indefinitely, given the conditions. Kasimir considered this. They would have ended up in Broadmoore after the coffins anyway, due to insanity.

“Broadmoore may be the best choice in this case. In the mean time, someone can work with Brandon to check for any potential psychic connection and break it.” Carefully, of course. Besides, it was likely a good idea to keep an eye on the young vampire, given his past and his connections.

He would rather the coffins regardless. “Still, there is the power vacuum to consider as well.” It was a dangerous thing, leaving the vampires to fill in the gap. Taro and Bel had ruled for centuries at this point. He didn’t know how long it would take for a newcomer to arise in power.

“And whom do you suggest Kasimir? Because in case you haven’t noticed.. We haven’t employed many psychics in the last few decades.” June commented plainly. She’d seen the records, few if any individuals were willing to apply or even undergo the training required. Instead they’d opted for more private sector or civilian jobs, preferring to blend in with many of the mundane. “The power vacuum.. Will be difficult to deal with, you’re correct. We can however force them to name their successors.” Agathon pointed out. “By naming their successors, we eliminate a good deal of the chaos.”

“We have time in finding someone.” he said firmly. “Even if we have to search the private sector to do so.” and he suspected that they would. June was right. When it came down to it, the only two psychics he knew of were victims of the two vampire lords.

“We’ll have them name successors then.” He agreed to that notion well enough. It was a good one and he supported less chaos. “And that should help lessen the chaos. There will still be in-fighting, but at a much lower level.” Which was good. MCU and the council didn’t need to deal with the amount of chaos the vampires could cause with ease.

“We’re in agreement then.” Alexander said with a brief nod. He wanted this over as much as the rest of them. “Time is something we have with this one thankfully.” June added knowing that one way or another that this psychic bond Brandon possessed with Bel would get severed. Thankfully they would be working with something other than a normal human’s life span. “All in favor of forcing Taro and Belial to abdicate and name their successors, as well as imprisoning both within the confines of Broadmoore, say aye.”

“Aye.” Was the answer from most everyone, Agathon, June, and Alexander included. The vampires would not be put to death, but they would most certainly wish they had been.

They had Kasimir’s aye as well. The solution felt lacking, but they were right. Brandon, never the most mentally sound of boys, did not need to undergo psychic backlash. Look at what happened with Sergeant Bronson, after all. The better part of two decades had passed and she was still mildly unstable at times.

“Good. Now should we call the pair back or?” June asked leaving the question open ended. Even as the more junior of the group, she knew her stuff and usually took just as much enjoyment as the others in letting the guilty hang themselves on their stories and lies. “We’ll have to sentence them sooner or later, as much as I know you gentlemen dislike it.” She wasn’t sure if that was a truth or not, but decided to err on the side of caution, hoping it was.

June gathered that Alexander would like to see Belial and Taro suffer, if only for the harm they’d brought to his wife. But, the immortal seemed to play his cards close, never really revealing what his next thought or move would be.

“Call them back, Agathon.” Kasimir said simply, not the one to work the spells that allowed the court to handle prisoners and the like. He may have the spells committed to heart by now, just from sheer repetition of hearing them, but he never used them himself. “We’ll sentence the pair and get this over with.” He needed a stiff drink after this trial. He hated listening to descriptions of torture, hated it more coming from the woman he could admit to himself at least, admiring deeply.

Agathon nodded as he uttered the words again, pulling the pair of vampires back into the court. “Lords Taro and Belial of the Dragon Court, the Council has now reached it’s decision.” He said as soon as the two appeared in much the same place as they had before. “As was stated earlier, should Council find you guilty, your fate will not be kind.” Agathon continued as he pulled a slip of paper out from beneath his vest and clearing his throat. “The Unseen Council here by orders you to name your successors and abdicate from the roles of Lord Ra and Lady Isis.” He announced. “In addition, the Council also finds you guilty on all accounts of infractions against the law; reaching beyond the borders of life, enthrallment of another, and assault on an officer of the Council. For this, you both will be imprisoned, separately, within the confines of Broadmoore until such a time as Council deems it necessary to release you.”

An eternity in the madhouse. He knew well what being sentenced to Broadmoore was. It was a life sentence, and vampires lived a long time indeed. There had only, to his recollection, been one person who had escaped that place and she had outside aid. No one came out of that place, and they were well suited to handling even powerful vampires. Quietly, he spoke.

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Character Portrait: Catherine Dumitrescu Character Portrait: Rahal Character Portrait: Molly Bronson Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Brandon Hammerstine Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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“Karim Oshidary.” He answered. “He would make a good Lord Ra, and has enough power to hold the court together.” Karim cared about the dragon court enough that he would ensure it remained into the next generations, and he had the power to back up his claim. Still, he was not the most powerful vampire in the court. The others simply were not leaders, not truly.

Belial looked to Taro, not happy. “You are accepting their sentencing?”

“We have no choice but to accept, my rose.” He said simply. “And I have no doubt that it was only this, and not death for the sake of our children.” He murmured, and pulled Belial close. “Behave, darling. Behave or it will be worse.” He warned the man firmly. He kept Bel against him as he looked up to the court, knowing they may not be allowed to remain so close in Broadmoore. No matter that Bel had certainly brought their lives down around their ears, he did adore his husband. “Traditionally, the new Lord Ra chooses his Lady Isis. However, it is my suggestion that Samira be chosen. She had the power to back up Karim, and a head for navigating social waters smoothly.” Bel sighed and turned and buried his face in his husband’s chest, clinging to him.

“Karim and Samira will be good leaders.” Bel admitted. “They don’t have our tempers either.”

June groaned inwardly at the announcement, this was either going to be a success or utter failure. Her bet was on utter failure knowing the temperament of the Dragon Court. “Very well, so be it.” She said with a nod to Agathon who had remained for the most part strangely silent throughout this whole thing. In all likelihood, the mage had his own thoughts and opinions about how this was being handled, and how he would have taken care of it himself. “I will say this and only this, a final death is too good for either one of you. You have willfully chosen to journey down the path that lead here, either by ignorance or simple stupidity; and I hope that your stay in Broadmoore, while it may not be enjoyable, that it encourages you to think.” The mage spoke coolly. This whole trial had been what amounted to a three ring circus, and he never wanted to see either one of them in the Council Chambers again; either for good or bad.

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Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Kasimir Klein Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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The letters had appeared sometime in the night, and while most of them dismissed them as the work of a mad man, at least one Councilor was suitably concerned. June read the letter again, trying to grasp what the man meant. No one had possession of the person he desired. "That man is crazy." She muttered tossing the letter aside before reaching for the phone on her desk. The veil would be fixed soon, far as she knew the fae were working quickly towards that. "Who ever said we had this Matu person." June said to herself as she thought for a moment.

She did however know of Nadya, but that didn't mean she had possession or really even controlled girl. This was going to be a problem, as it appeared that there was some amount of cultural misunderstanding going on.

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Character Portrait: June Blackwelder Character Portrait: Alexander Summers Character Portrait: Kasimir Klein Character Portrait: Agathon Eustathios
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Had it only been on one door, he would had dismissed this. Unfortunately, the sharp eyed councilor had noticed it on more than one, and had heard the whispers. Most of them would dismiss it, but even one mad man could cause entirely too much danger. To that end, Kasimir sought out June, whom was likely the only councilor to feel similarly. As often as they clashed, at least they agreed on some things.

He knocked on the door and opened it, standing in the doorway and holding up his copy of the letter. "I take it you received a note as well?" Everyone else had.