Court In Session

Posted by Devil's Advocate on March 18, 1998 on WoT Alliance BBS
Category: WoT Alternate Reality

Part One:

The scene: a courtroom. Ariella, robed in black, is acting as judge.

Ari: Order in the court!

There is silence.

Ari: The first case before us is that of Egwene2 vs Moridin. Bailiff, are all witnesses present?

Darkhound: Yes, Great Mis - your Honour.

Ari: Counsel for the prosecution?

Sundara: (from the right of the courtroom) Yes, your Honour.

Ari: Counsel for the defence?

Mangore: (from left of courtroom) Yes, your Honour.

Ari: Are all jurors present and accounted for?

Smoke Ashalen }
Demandred }
Daniel } (jointly)
Kiriath } Yes, your Honour.
Dreen Barnel }
Tajan Sedai }

Ari: Moridin is accused of bonding Egwene2 against her will and without her consent. You, creatures of the jury, will decide his guilt or innocence. Counsel for the prosecution, you may begin.

Sun: I call Egwene2 alíVere.

Egwene2 takes the stand.

Sun: Egwene2, are you in truth bonded to Moridin?

Eg2: I am.

Sun: Without your consent?

Eg2: Yes.

Sun: Would you say that this has caused you personal distress and inconvenience?

Eg2: Yes (breaks down and weeps) He keeps appearing and disappearing in my head - I canít do any work, or concentrate on anything, without being distracted! Heís driving me crazy!

Sun: Can you point him out?

Egwene2, without looking, points straight to Moridin

Eg2: Heís there.

Sun: Thank you. (to Ari) I have no further questions.

Ari: Counsel for defense, do you wish to cross-examine?

MK: (glowers at Sundara) Yes.

Ari: Proceed.

MK: (glowers at Egwene) You are Egwene2 alíVere, Sister of the Dark?

Eg2: Why, yes. You should know that, Mangore. Did you ever get your hut rebuilt?

MK: I'M asking the questions!

Eg2: Whatever you say...

laughter and a murmur of ĎMangywangyí from the spectators

MK: (glowers at everyone) You claim that my client, Moridin, bonded you against your will?

Eg2: I thought I already said that.

MK: Can you prove that HE bonded YOU, and not the other way around?

Moridin grins.

Eg2: Why - I - uh...

Sun (stepping in quickly): That should be evident by the fact that it is Egwene2, and not Moridin, bringing the case before us!

MK: Maybe. Maybe.

Mangore has scored a point. The spectators murmur appreciatively.

Sun: (under her breath, scowling) Unless, of course, she found the goods sub-standard...

MK: (ignoring her) I have no further questions.

Egwene2 steps down.

MK: I call Moridin, High Servant of the Great Lord, to the stand.

Moridin steps up.

MK: You are Moridin 'Death' High Servant of the Great Lord, acting Naeíblis, and leader of the Brotherhood of the Dark?

Mdin: Well, we had to dissolve the Brotherhood.

MK: But the rest is correct?

Mdin: Yes.

MK: Did you bond the Dark Sister Egwene2?

Mdin: Yes...But I was acting under orders.

MK: So responsibility rests not with you, but with your superiors?

Mdin: Yes.

MK: (smugly) Thank you.

Sun: (angrily) I object, your Honour. ĎPassing the buckí can hardly be considered a valid defence.

MK: On the contrary, there is precedent. For example, the well known case of the ĎGerman Soldierí conducted by my former associate, Duram Laddel Cham...

Sun: (sweetly) Better known as Beílal - the balefired.

MK :(glares) Clearly shows that the defence is valid. Moridin can hardly be blamed for obeying orders.

Ari: Objection overruled. Counsel for the defence, do you have any further questions?

MK: No, your Honour. I do not.

Sun: I do, your Honour.

Ari: Proceed.

Sun: (to Moridin) Whose orders were you obeying?

Mdin: Those of the Great Lord, of course.

Sun: (ironically) Of course. You are, after all, the Dark Oneís foremost servant. You would certainly obey any orders he deigned to give you.

Mdin: (smugly) Of course.

Sun: And suppose he ordered you to jump off a cliff - would you still obey?

Mdin: Why - I - uh...

Eg2: (whispers to Sundara) Thatís the oldest cliche in the book!

Sun: (whispers to Egwene2) It worked, didnít it?

MK: (glowering) That is completely irrelevant!

Sun: Maybe. Maybe.

Sundara has scored a point. The spectators murmur appreciatively.

Ari: You know, this is starting to sound familiar...

Sun: (smiling) I have no further questions.

Moridin steps down.

Ari: Jurors, make your choice.

The Jurors speak one by one.

Smoke: (firmly) Guilty.

Dem: Innocent.

Smoke glares at him.

Daniel: I abstain.

MK: You canít abstain!

Daniel: Oh, all right. Guilty.

Sundara stifles a laugh.

Kir: NI! NI! NI!

Ari: Wrong universe, Kiriath.

Kir: Oops. Sorry. Guilty.

Dreen: I must yield to the pleas of the fair Egwene2...Guilty.

Tajan: Guilty as hell! Heís male, isnít he?

Loud boos from everyone - no one likes a Red

Ari: Bailiff, count the votes.

DH: (after some very complicated arithmetic in his head - well, he could hardly write with those paws) Five to one, Great Mis - your Honour. Heís guilty. Your Honour.

Ari: (sternly) Moridin, this court finds you guilty of heinous and unspeakable crimes, to wit, bonding the Dark Sister Egwene2 against her will. You are hereby sentenced to an eternity - listening to Kiriathís puns.

Mdin: (in horror) No! Not that! ANYTHING BUT THAT!

Moridin is dragged away screaming. Ariella bangs her gavel.

Ari: Order in the court!

Silence.

Ari: There will be a brief recess before the next case is heard. (The spectators start to file out.) By the way, Darkhound, what is the next case?

DH: Demandred vs Smoke.

Ari: Oh, this should be good...


Posted by Devil's Advocate on March 20, 1998 on WoT Alliance BBS

Part Two:

MK: Well, yes. Ahem. As it happens, I DO have a last-minute witness I am sure will shed some light - or rather darkness - on the matter at hand. Your Honour, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my distinguished opponent, (he glares at Sundara, who returns the look with interest) may I present my final witness - the Dark One.

A shadowy figure appears in the witness stand...


Posted by Devil's Advocate on March 27, 1998 on WoT Alliance BBS

Part 3:

From the shadowy figure who has just appeared in the witness box.

DO: WHO DARES DISTURB ME? (focuses on Ari) WHY HAVE YOU CALLED ME HERE, TWIN?

Ari: As it happens, I didnít - this time. Since youíre here, though, what should I do with this hung jury?

DO: HANG THEM.

Ari: I already made that joke.

DO: WELL...

Ari: I think I phrased it better, though.

DO: OF COURSE, STEAL MY JOKES. JUST LIKE ALWAYS. I DO THE WORK AND YOU GET THE PRAISE FOR IT...

Sun: Ahem. I hate to interrupt this little demonstration of sibling rivalry, but didnít Mangore say something about a witness?

DO: (glaring, and if youíve ever seen a deity glare...) WHO IS THIS UPSTART?

Sun: Sundara, Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah, Ariellaís sister - which I suppose makes me your sister as well - and counsel for the defense in this case. Thatís Mangore over there, counsel for the prosecution, and heís the one who summoned you (vicious grin).

DO: OH, IS HE NOW?

MK: Well, yes. I, uh, need you to act as a witness.

DO: A WITNESS. TO WHAT?

MK: To the fact that Smoke and Demandred...

DO: SMOKE ASHALEN? AND DEMANDRED? (starts fading away) NO WAY. IíM NOT GETTING INVOLVED IN THIS ONE AGAIN.

The Dark One vanishes.

Sun: Looks like youíve lost your witness, Mangore.

MK: This isnít fair! This was supposed to be a dramatic trial culminating in the appearance of the Dark One, who would then settle them matter once and for all! What went wrong?

Sun: You brought your witness in too early. Thereís still ten pages to go.

Mangore swears under his breath.

DH: I would just like to point out that Iím the only one who has characters that are actually aware they are part of a scene, as evidenced by the Aiel and Trollocs and the poodle that kept falling on Randís head in 'Lans Stag Party' and I object to Devilís Advocate plagiarising my ideas. Thatís all.

Smoke: Not to mention that Devilís Advocate is now cheating by putting in out-of-character jokes to make this post long enough.

Sun: Just who is Devilís Advocate anyway?

There is a pause as people start wondering this same thing. Hurriedly, Devilís Advocate revises Devilís Advocateís plans for the rest of the scene to exclude out-of-character jokes before people start thinking too much about who Devilís Advocate might be. Because, of course, itís obvious if you think about it that Devilís Advocate is, in fact...

All: GET ON WITH IT!

Ari: (sighing) So the last-minute witness fizzled out, another page has been filled up with what amounts to useless scribbling...

Devilís Advocate sulks.

Ari: ...and the jury is still hung. Any suggestions?

Eval: (bows deeply) May I speak, your Honour?

Ari: Yes?

Eval: Lock Smoke and Demandred up somewhere together, let them sort it out.

There is another pause as the court absorbs this suggestion. After a moment, Ari smiles. Sundara smiles. Mangore smiles. Smoke blushes hotly. Demandred turns red. Everyone else starts laughing.

Ari: What an...intriguing... solution. (considers it for a moment)Why not?

The laughter of the court intensifies, as does the colour of both Smoke and Demandredís faces.

Ari: (smiling) Smoke, Demandred, I really think you two should have some time alone together to think about this. Tell me - Darkhound - isnít there a room at the top of this building? With barred windows, and a stout lock on the door?

Smoke: (scowling) Naming no names - but I think someoneís been reading too much David Eddings lately.

Devilís Advocate looks innocent.

Ari: Possibly, possibly. Well, Darkhound?

DH: There is such a room, Your Honour, only - itís occupied at the moment.

Ari: Occupied? By whom?

DH: Kiriath, your Honour. And Moridin, once he finishes jury duty.

Ari: Ah, yes. Iíd forgotten about his sentence. (considers) Well, I suppose we can let Moridin off further punishment. (pauses as she realizes the pun she just made) Sorry, that was an accident. Send Kiriath back to his gleeing, and put Smoke and Demandred in there instead. Moridin can go free.

Moridin looks profoundly relieved. Ariella turns a smile on him that raises some doubt about their respective definitions of 'freedom'. The more observant members of the court - and those who know Ariella and Moridin well - exchange amused looks.

Ari: (to Smoke and Demandred, with an airy wave of her hand)Weíll see you later, then. In, oh, about a day? (to Mangore and Sundara)That should be long enough, donít you think?

Sun: (fighting down a smile) That should be plenty of time, your Honour.

MK: (smiling and not bothering to fight it) I agree. They couldnít possibly need more time than that.

DH: (smirking) To do what?

MK: (innocently) Why, to talk it over, of course. What did you think I meant?

DH: Well, I can think of several -

Ari: (arching one eyebrow) If I may interrupt this little exchange of innuendo - is that room free now? Thank you. Smoke, Demandred, do you know the way? Or shall I send someone to escort you?

Dem: (resignedly) I believe we can find the way, your Honour.

They leave the court together.

Ari: (smiling) Any more cases?

DH: No, your Honour. But there is one thing...(he whispers something to Ariella)

Ari: Oh yes, Iíd forgotten. Mangore? Sundara?

Sundara and Mangore turn to face the audience.

MK: One more matter remains for this court to address. Although it is of the greatest importance, we, due to being characters in this story and not readers of it, are unable to resolve it. Therefore we turn it over to you.

Sun: To you, gentle readers, must fall the task of deciding who is the creator of this story, who the mad genius behind this parody of a courtroom? And so we challenge you, who read these words now, to guess, to tell us...

All: Who is Devilís Advocate?


Posted by Sundara on April 09, 1998 on WoT Alliance BBS

I was going to leave it at part 3, but since the opportunity presented itself...

Part 4:

Prologue

The scene: a luxuriously appointed bedroom. Ariella and Moridin have just entered, laughing and talking, when a cloud of black smoke rises from the floor. In a thunderous voice from the middle of the cloud:

I AM STRAWN!!! I AM THE LORD OF THE DARK!!! I HAVE SPOKEN!!!

Ariella flicks a finger, and the black smoke dissolves into nothingness. She turns back to Moridin. "Now, where were we?"

The scene: another luxuriously appointed bedroom. Smoke and Demandred are relaxing, sipping wine, and gazing into each otherís eyes. A cloud of black smoke coalesces before them:

I AM STRAWN!!! FEAR MY WRATH!

"Donít interrupt," Demandred snaps before channeling a wind to blow the cloud out of the window. He and Smoke return to relaxing, sipping and gazing.

The scene: yet another luxuriously appointed bedroom. Sundara and Eval are lying on the bed, wearing relatively little, and clearly about to proceed to more serious activity, when...

I AM STRAWN!!! I SHALL CONQUER!!! YOU ARE ALL MY SLAVES!!!

Two lightning bolts are hurled simultaneously. The black cloud emits a squeaking sound and hurriedly vanishes. Sundara and Eval return to their interrupted activity.

The scene: the gardens at Shayol Ghul. Egwene2 is hunting for somebody to share her luxuriously appointed bedroom. A black cloud appears in the air before her - although keeping a wary eye out for more lightning bolts.

I AM STRAWN!!! I SHALL RULE THIS BBS WITH ALL OF YOU AS MY SLAVES!!! KNEEL TO ME OR DIE!!!

Egwene2 tosses a fireball at it, but it seems the cloud is in a persistent mood - or just too stupid to know when to stop.

I AM STRAWN!!! YOU WILL ALL WORSHIP ME, OR DIE HORRIBLY!!!

Egwene2 solves the problem by opening a gateway and propelling the cloud through it with a few more well-aimed fireballs. That done, she sits down to think, wondering what to do about this intruder.

Suddenly, an idea occurs to her, and with a truly vicious grin, Egwene2 goes in search of her youngest sister Sundara, otherwise known as Devilís Advocate...

The Trial

Once again, the Great Hall of the Sistersí palace has been turned into a courtroom, and Ariella presides as judge. The rest of the Dark Sisters are seated nearby, while the Chosen, Light Warriors, and indeed everyone on the BBS have turned up to watch the amusement promised to them. They wonít be disappointed.

Ari: Hear ye, hear ye. The defendant, Strawn, is accused of numerous crimes, among them being attempting to impersonate Shaiítan, threatening denizens of the BBS, and generally making a nuisance of himself. These are grave crimes indeed, but it is only right that he should have a fair trial.

Muttering from the audience.

Ari: Unfortunately, there is no one who is willing to defend him.

laughter

Ari: Strawn, therefore, will have to speak for himself. The case will be prosecuted by my youngest Sister, Sundara, whose skill in legal matters you all know well. It will be up to you to decide his innocence or guilt - and please remember, (heroically keeps a straight face) that this _is_ a fair trial. (pauses to recover from the effort). Let the defendant, Strawn, stand before the court.

That now-familiar black smoke rises from the ground and coalesces into a cloud above the witness box. Strawnís appearance is greeted by hisses and boos from the audience.

Ari: Sister?

Sundara stands and glides to the centre of the courtroom.

Sun: Who are you?

I AM STRAWN!!! I AM THE LORD OF THE DARK!!! I AM THE RULER OF THE UNIVERSE!!!

Sun: Letís try that one again... Who are you? In one word and with no exclamation marks.

STRAWN - The cloud attempts to say more, but chokes on its words. Ariella and Sundara exchange grins.

Sun: (sweetly) Thank you. Tell me something - Strawn, did you say? I hear you claim to be Shaiítan. Now that must be a false charge. I canít imagine that anyone would be stupid enough to say such a thing.

I AM STRAWN!!! I AM SHAIíTAN!!! I AM THE GREAT LORD OF THE DARK!!!

Sun: (shaking her head sadly) This is worse than I thought. Strawn, weíre only trying to help you. We canít do that if you wonít cooperate.

I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP, FOOLISH CHILD!!! I AM STRAWN!!!

Sun: So I gathered. But you do need help, Strawn - or should I say Herbie? The cloud quivers with shock.

WHAT?

Sun: Herbie, I said. It doesnít have quite such a ring, does it?

YOU WILL DIE FOR THIS, GIRL!!!

Sun: I donít think so. Watch, all of you. See this imposter as he truly is!

Sundara channels, and the cloud of smoke explodes, revealing a pale, weedy, stunted adolescent boy hunched at his computer, wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a pocket protector.

Sun: (coolly) Meet Herbie. All through his childhood, he was made fun of by his classmates, teachers, siblings, and in fact everyone. I think you can see why.

laughter from the audience

Sun: As a result, little Herbie developed a massive inferiority complex. He became obsessed with power, and began to entertain fantasies about being ruler of the universe, with those who scorned him reduced to slavery. At thirteen, he discovered the Internet - the perfect way to live out all his fantasies. About the same time, he began to read the Wheel of Time series. The result was Strawn, the so-called Great Lord of the Dark.

Herbieís eyes are bulging out of his pudgy, fish-pale face. When he speaks, it is in a shrill, frightened voice very different from the thunderous tones of Strawn.

Herb: You canít do this!

Sun: No? I thought I already had. To continue, then. When he was fourteen, his parents discovered his affliction, and sent him away for treatment. Truth be told, they were glad to be rid of him. Unfortunately, the institution he was sent to was connected to the Internet. Every night, Herbie sneaked out from his room to post to the Wheel of Time BBS. Eventually he was caught and sent to a hospital with no Internet access, from which he soon ran away. Desperate to continue his fantasizing, he took to breaking into computer stores every night in order to satisfy his addiction. It was in just such a store that he committed the crimes he is now accused of: impersonating Shaiítan, threatening BBS regulars, and general annoyance. What have you to say, Herbie?

Herb: Itís not true! Itís all lies! I am Strawn, Great Lord of the Dark! (He appeals to the audience.) Canít you see sheís lying? Do I look like I have an inferiority complex?

Due to the audience being too busy laughing to say anything, there is no response.

Sun: (sighing) As prosecutor, I should press for the harshest punishment - but look at him. He canít even tell his lies from the truth. Come, my brothers and sisters, canít you find pity in your hearts for this misfit, this outcast from decent society? Does he really deserve torment for all eternity?

Ari: What do you suggest?

Sun: A simpler, more humane way. Look at him, sister. The greatest cruelty would be not to slay him, but to let him live, deranged and whimpering. Even death would end his torment only until the Wheel spun him out again. Balefire him. Release him from his madness. Both he and the Pattern will be better off.

Ari: Thatís the first time Iíve ever heard someone make burning from the Pattern seem like the most merciful punishment - but under the circumstances, I suppose it is. Very well. What do the rest of you say?

The cheers and applause are deafening.

Ari: It is agreed, then. Strawn, or Herbie, or whatever you wish to call yourself - you are hereby sentenced to death by balefire.

Herbie collapses in a dead faint.

Ari: Now, it only remains to carry out the sentence.

Sun: (eyeing the audience) Somehow, sister, I donít think youíll have a problem finding volunteers...

Sundara the Devil's Advocate



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