| DARKSIDE: The United States of Anarchy; "Un-Pleasant Valley."
[Version Control : Original.]
[Disclaimer: This text is intended for adult audiences, if you are
not of age to view it, be somewhere else. This series of
explores the darker aspects of the human experience, if that might
offend you, then you were warned, and it isn't my problem. -- KTM]
Anything can happen in the Multiverse. Even a world that
is much like ours, but which somehow... isn't. A world that is a
magnet for the blackness in the dreams and souls of humankind. A
world known as: The Darkside.
The World's economic system depends on a delicate
interlocking system of mutual trust and financial debt. When
those bonds shattered, the governments and monetary institutions
crumbled. Even the most idealistic civil servants left their jobs
when their families were gripped with hunger. The Survivors of
the Chaos would come to call their nation the United States of
Chapter 13. "Un-Pleasant Valley." -- by KTM.
'Benjamin shall ravin as a Wolf:
In the morning he devours the prey,
And at night he shall divide the spoils.'
KJV - GEN 49:27.
Janelle knew it was a nightmare, but she didn't want to awaken.
She feared her reality would be even worse. She dreamed she was at
her wedding, and she stood before the candle lit altar, trembling.
On the wall was a lurid and nude figure of Christ nailed to heavy
beams. Blood ran in narrow rivets down from the Savior's wounds, to
drip steadily on the floor.
She wasn't the only one getting today. Brenda, a
pretty from school, stood beside her along with two barely
pubescent girls. They each wore white gowns were cut much too low on
top, and were extremely short of skirt in the front. In their hands
they held dead dried flowers full of prickles and barbs.
From the darkness surrounding them shuffled a in cleric's
garb. The priest was sallow skinned and his jaw hung slackly. It
wasn't until he faced the that they could see the massive head
wound that made one of his dull eyes wobble in the fractured socket.
He raised a fouled and ragged book and when he mumbled words from it,
maggots spilled from his cracked grey lips to the stained pages.
A growl behind them heralded the arrival of the groom. His
head was that of a drooling wolf, and he was covered with coarse fur.
Before he took his place beside them he stopped before each one to
examine them. He pulled up Janelle's white skirt, and she understood
Brenda's gasp as she found they wore nothing underneath. He roughly
parted her legs and shoved a large hairy digit up inside her. The
fat talon thrashed in her as the beast rubbed and stimulated her
clit. Satisfied that she and the other were virgins, he licked
his finger, and stood beside them before the zombie priest.
Janelle saw something move in the shadows; the phallus of the
crucified figure was engorging with lust. Looking up to the face,
she locked eyes with that of the Christ; he was alive! The nailed on the cross seemed to have been turned on when he had seen
their naked cunts. He leered at Janelle's chest, and when she looked
down she saw her were now bared for all to see. It seemed
beyond obscene that he should desire her, as he hung there bearing
all the classic wounds of Jesus. It was his life's blood that was
pooling beneath him on the floor. Distantly, she wondered how long
it would take him to die.
The players in place, the ceremony began. The undead priest
mumbled something from his book, and then looked up at the groom.
The beast growled his assent. More mumbles, and the dead looked
at the cringing brides. They stared back blankly, until a
threatening snarl from the Wolf and a harsh gesture towards the
priest caused them to nod quickly. It seemed to be the right answer,
because the priest said something to the Wolf, and it slathered each
of them in the face with it's long tongue. Then the dead thing gave
a final unintelligible pronouncement, and tottered off.
The Wolf herded them to another room for the reception. A line
of fallen angels waited to congratulate their bestial Master on his
marriage to his chosen. In a dream-change, as Janelle passed a
mirror, she saw that she had wings. She was an Angel! Not like one
of the twisted creatures toasting her torments, but a true heavenly
angel, damned to an unholy union with this monster, along with her
She didn't know how she, an Angel, had come to be trapped. The
nightmare reception went on endlessly, but neither she nor the other
brides were eager for it to be over. If the reception were over,
then it would be time for... the honeymoon.
Sooner than any of them wanted, they found themselves alone
with the beast in his lair. In fearful fascination, they stared at
the pink weapon growing out of the shaggy tangle at his groin. The
creature chose Brenda, and dragged her to the pile of furs that made
up it's bed.
His hairy paw slammed her backwards onto the furs. He spread
her legs brutally and hunched eagerly between them, aiming his cock
at her virgin hole. He stabbed into her deeply, making her scream.
Nostrils flaring at the scent of her innocent blood, he began fucking
her with bestial intensity.
Janelle could see that something was going wrong. Brenda was
doggedly fighting the monster raping her. While his cock flashed in
and out of his 'bride's' cunt, his arms tensed with the effort of
holding her flailing arms. His fanged jaws drooled at her neck, as
he warned her to be still and accept his sexual attentions.
With a howl of triumph, he jetted his sperm into her, and his
grip momentarily loosened. Brenda's hand lashed out and smacked him
on the sensitive snout. There was a yelp of pain, a reflexive snap,
and more blood poured on the furs as her ripped out her throat.
The younger screamed. The monster looked disappointed,
but since there was fresh meat laying slack in his hands, he took
advantage of it. Janelle turned them away from the sight of his
feasting. Sated on flesh, with his muzzle blood-caked to the eyes,
he turned back to them. His red-stained cock rose from its sheath
again, and he gestured for Janelle to come to him. Hesitantly, she
approached, quivering with fear. She saw no traces of Brenda, except
for the gory stains on the furs. He had devoured her completely.
He pushed her down to the matted furs, as his long tongue
cleaned the off his muzzle. A warning rumble from him made her
cringe. She was a coward. He pulled off her slutty excuse of a
wedding gown, and leaned down to lap at her as he pressed his
cock to her tender entrance.
Savagely he thrust it into her, breaking her hymen immediately.
Janelle thought she would die as he rutted his hardness into her.
She could feel every bump and ridge of him as he repeatedly slammed
his shaft to its root inside her. She could smell the blood on his
fetid breath, and taste it when he lolled his tongue deep in her
mouth. She moaned in despair as his filled her.
She submitted to his lusts out of sheer terror. He accepted
her submission, and made her act the whore for his pleasure. She did
whatever he demanded, even crouching on all fours so he could doggy-
fuck his bitch while he reached around to maul her tits. From this
posture, she was sure he looked entirely the to her fellow
brides. He gripped her hard as he came in her again.
Bored with her, he threw her off the furs to make room for the
younger girls. Janelle curled in a ball, trying not to hear their
cries and screams as their 'husband' ravished them as well. Her
spiritual torments racked her more than the torn flesh inside her.
She was an Angel, but Brenda had been braver than she. At least
Brenda died before she surrendered her honor.
Suddenly Janelle felt a hand grasp one of her wings. His lust
slaked, the beast stood above her with his talons curled like knives.
"I see what you are now," he growled huskily. "You will never fly
away from me."
'Never... never... never...' The words echoed in her head, as
his hand slashed down to cripple her forever, denying her the only
chance she had of freedom...
Her wings were confined, and she couldn't help but to struggle.
Male arms embraced her, and a sleepy voice tried to comfort her.
"Janie, Janie. It's ok. It's just a dream. You're ok, Janie.
In a cold sweat, she scrambled out of the linked sleeping bags,
and stood, beating her wings as if to assure herself they were still
undamaged. She realized suddenly that at least that part of the
horrid dream had been true. She did have wings. She may not be an
Angel, but she was winged.
A tousled head of sandy hair poked out of the bags, as the she'd pulled away from sat up to watch her. She didn't seem to feel
the cold, though she only wore and a long shirt.
"Claustrophobic, love?" he asked.
"Sort of," she said, her voice shaking. His name was Josh, she
remembered. He wasn't one of Ben's Testifiers. She shook in fear at
the thought of them, especially of their leader, Benjamin, her...
"Are you cold? I hope you're not going flying dressed like
that?" he said. "It may be Spring, but it's still pretty cold. If
you want to fly, let's get dressed, and we'll fly together."
"No. No, it wasn't like that," she said to the telekinetic.
She sat gingerly on the edge of the downy bags, her white wings only
about half furled. "I had a horrible nightmare," she continued. "We
were forced to marry Benjamin again, only, in the dream he was...
this wolf-monster, and he *ate* Brenda!" Her voice had an edge of
hysteria in it.
Josh took her hand. "Instead of her committing suicide, like
you told me?" he said gently.
She nodded. "I felt like such a coward," she said. "She never
stopped fighting him, but I just caved in." She shook her head as if
to clear it. "In the dream, I had the wings right after the
ceremony, instead of later."
"Dreams are funny that way," he said. "Things that happen in
the real world are twisted and changed. As for Brenda, you lived,
and she didn't. That's what matters. So why don't you lay back
down? I'll hold you in my arms and chase that big bad wolf away."
She put her face in her hands. "It doesn't help. I keep
looking over my shoulder, expecting Ben and his 'Seraphim' flunkies
to come out of the woods to get us. They'll kill us both now, you
know. You, because they kill any not one of them, and me for,
well, adultery. With you.
"Adultery," he snorted, "what a joke. You'd have to be legally
wed before you can be adulterous, and that requires your consent.
I'm sorry, but I don't consider 'Marry me, or else' to be consent.
Whatever he called it, Janie, it was just an excuse to rape you. God
damned Testament Fundies."
"You mustn't blaspheme!" she said on hard learned reflex.
"I'll God damned well blaspheme any God damned time I want to,"
Josh said, playfully. She looked at him in shock and then gave him a
ragged smile. She'd seen whipped in the Testifiers Camp for
saying 'gol-darnit' because it was slang for the blasphemous 'God
Damn'. They followed biblical laws very closely in the place so
inappropriately called Pleasant Valley.
They were only a dozen or so miles away from the valley, and
Janelle knew she was still on edge. "We've got to get further away,"
She pleaded with him.
"Not until morning," Josh said. "We need to see where we're
going. I've got an idea, though. We can go to the Empire."
"The Empire?" she said. "Oh, Babylon, that's what they call
"Really?" Josh said. "Yeah, that fits. A degraded Empire
ruled over a by a corrupt with delusions of godhood. Well, look
at it this way, Janie, he isn't likely to be a bible thumper. In
fact, he should get pretty upset about a bunch of hardcore Christian
Militia types who decided to re-enact... whatever the hell that verse
"Numbers, Chapter 31, verses 17 and 18," she said
"Yeah," he said. "That's right; 'Kill all the males, and all
the women who have known men. Keep only the untouched virgin for yourselves.' That's how you wound up in their hands. Anyway,
Janie, they didn't see where we went, and we changed course once we
flew out of the Valley. We're almost 20 miles outside the valley,
and under heavy cover. They have to search on the ground, and in the
dark. First thing in the morning, we'll get further away from here.
A lot further. Now come back here. We both need our sleep."
"Thank God you found me, Josh," she said as she climbed back in
the linked bags, and snuggled into his arms. She didn't know what
she'd done to deserve the flyer, but she was very thankful for it.
Her God was a gentle and loving one, quite unlike the fierce warrior
God that was worshiped in Pleasant Valley.
"I'm glad I found you too, pretty Angel," he said as he loosely
embraced her. He soothed her until she once again fell into a fitful
sleep. His jaw firmed, and he resolved that he'd petition the
Emperor himself to wipe that sick society out of existence. He'd
love to see that bastard Benjamin get his. He slept lightly, keeping
partly alert for any sign that by dumb luck they'd been found. He'd
get some real rest later, when they were far away from here.
He woke her just before dawn, and they packed. The Spring
morning was very crisp, a holdover from the harsh winter that was
just ending. Their breath billowed visibly in the air as they took
off flying to the South East. They were far from Wyoming by the end
of the day. In the days to come they made their way as directly as
they could to the Dark Palace. . .
'Raise up a Wicked against him,
And let the Accuser stand at his right hand.
When he is Judged, let him go forth condemned,
And let his plea be in vain.
May his days be few; may another take his office.
May his children be fatherless, and his a widow.'
NAB - PS 109:6-9.
"...and that's our story, Mr. Black. These assholes are
dangerous, and if they're left alone, they'll be a hazard to every
community that's left around them. You've really got to do something
Robert looked over at Lady Web. He'd already formed his own
opinion, but he wanted his truth-teller to verify Josh Master's
words. She nodded to him and said, "He believes what he has said is
true." She turned to the winged girl, "Is this true?"
Janelle Richards hung her head, and said softly, "Yes, ma'am.
Every word of it."
Charity came up the and embraced her. She projected an
empathic impression of understanding and sympathy. Janelle's fragile
control broke down at the unexpected compassion, and she burst into
tears, burying her face in the southern woman's shoulder.
Josh looked stricken, like he wanted to comfort her, but didn't
think he should interfere. Zeke clapped him on the shoulder. "It's
ok, fella. Charity will make her feel better. It's what she does
best." Josh just nodded to him.
"Captain Jenners," Robert called, asking for the he'd made
Legion Liaison. "Mobilize the Western Regiments. We have a mission
in Natrona County, Wyoming." Jenners saluted crisply and left to
carry out his orders.
Robert addressed Rebecca and the members of the Power Team who
were present. "You know this last winter and the Collapse caused a
lot of deaths... at least until I brought in emergency supplies. I
don't like the bandits that have been preying on my communities, but
usually they're trying get something to eat. But this...!" Robert
growled. "Killing people because of Religion. It's just... wrong."
He smiled at Rebecca, "Yeah, you heard me right; it's wrong. I
don't officially back any religion, and I won't give any leniency to
Christianity or any majority religion." His smile quirked. "It's
something else to put into the Imperial Laws file," he said to his
"Yes, sir," she said. "I've written it as; the Imperium is a
respecter of no religion. Individual religions will not be given any
legal weight, no matter how much it may be in the local majority."
"You always did know how to make me sound good," he laughed.
Then he got serious. "The Legion will surround the target and
prevent anyone from leaving," he decided. "I'd like the Power Team
to accompany me into the valley's heart to rescue the victims. Then
we can mop up the bad guys."
On the major roads, elite units of the Legion approached
Pleasant Valley in armed readiness. The guards on duty were unaware
until those elements attacked. The gunfire alerted the rest of the
Testifiers, and a report soon reached the Seraphim leadership.
Most of the ran to the perimeter to reinforce the guards.
Benjamin and his lieutenants gathered to discuss the situation, and
decide a course of action.
"We have two... make that three main options," Gabriel said.
"Three?" Michael said. "What's the third?"
"We kill the enemy," Gabriel said, "we kill ourselves like the
heroes of Masada, or we get the hell out of here." His head rocked
as his leader cuffed him.
"Flight is not an option," Benjamin said in his gruff voice.
"Besides the sheer futility of trying, we will not be shamed before
God. We will prevail, or we will die."
"It's a sin to commit suicide," Uriel said. Their spiritual
adviser, Reverend Browne nodded his agreement with that.
"Correct," Ben said, "and I'm no Jim Jones. If there is no
chance of victory, we must ensure our wives and children don't fall
into dishonor at the hands of the enemy. But we will die fighting,
taking as many of the godless bastards out as we can." The ominous
rumble in Benjamin's voice promised he would personally kill dozens
of the enemy. "We should be ready for anything. Prepare the cups of
peace, and make sure we have plenty of ammunition."
"As you command, sir," Raphael said. "I'll get the weapons."
"And I'll get the kool-aid," said his brother, Israfel.
"Azrael and Sariel," Ben said. "You gather our families.
God's Grace put them into our hands, and it's up to us to keep them
from harm at the hands of strangers. He will hold them blameless for
their act of obedience to a command to drink."
A report came from the contested edges of the Valley. "There
are whole regiments out there, sir. They have soldiers with packs
that let them jump twenty to thirty foot in the air," said the
"There's only fifty of us, Benjamin," said Michael, "against
hundreds, maybe thousands of them? They're better armed, too. I
don't think we can win."
"God has turned His face from us," Benjamin said. "We have
grown slack in our worship, and he tests us as He always does his
Chosen people. We must not fail Him. It is our duty to kill as many
of them as possible."
Gabriel hesitated, and Benjamin easily surmised his problem.
"You're thinking, 'what right have we to make this decision for our
women?'. Need I remind you of First Corinthians, chapter 11, verse
3, and Ephesians 5:23-24?" Gabriel shook his head sadly. "Good. Go
and administer the drink," Benjamin commanded. "It's for their own
"Yes sir," Gabriel said. He went to reluctantly perform the
duty commanded of him.
Away from the shooting, the Power Team came through a black
gateway in the air behind the buildings. Last of all, Robert stepped
through, and let the gate collapse behind him.
"The women are our fist priority," he reminded them. "Let's
get them under protection immediately. We'll get the surviving later. Now, move out!"
With the Team's training and experience, it didn't take them
long to find the large building where Gabriel prepared to administer
the poison cup the many score of women and children. Some of his
subordinates were on hand to encourage any who seemed reluctant
to follow a firm order.
"We can handle this," Teke said. "It's just the three men?" he
said to Charity. She nodded. "I can open those locked doors, and
Blur can knock them out."
Robert agreed. "Do it, and then get Charity and Lady Web under
cover in that building. Joanne, you can link us while we're not in
eye contact now, right?"
"Yes sir," she said. "As long as you don't stray too far."
"Outstanding," he said. "Teke, you and Blur return when that's
done, so we can nab the remaining fighters."
The plan went smoothly. The unconscious Gabriel and his were secured, and the empath and the mind linker locked the doors
shut again. Before the Seraphim knew what was going on, they were in
Benjamin knew who Robert was instantly. "The Anti-Christ,
himself," he hissed defiantly. "You shall not undo the Good we have
"On the contrary, Benny-boy," Robert drawled, "I intend to undo
as much of your works as possible." The remaining Testifiers were
brought in under heavy guard. Robert ordered the divided into
three groups. The first was Benjamin, the leader. In the second was
his seven lieutenants and their Reverend advisor. Everyone else who
remained of the fifty Testifiers were in the last group.
As medical and counseling personnel came into the valley to
assist the women and children, Josh and Janelle arrived to watch the
end of the Nightmare. A bench was set up outside, and Robert sat at
it, with Rebecca at his side as an Amicus Curiae, or 'Friend of the
He addressed the women first. "Anyone who wants an annulment,
or a divorce, can go over to the Clerks and make a simple statement
of, 'I was never married,' or 'I divorce my husband', and your
annulment or divorce will be recorded. I don't believe in putting
legal complications that enforce a religious code of social conduct.
So I'm going to make divorces and annulments very easy."
Rebecca leaned over to Robert, as the women went to take care
of the legal rituals. "Aren't you making it too easy? What about
fault divorces, deadbeat dads, property division, or custody issues?"
"Fault or no fault, a divorce is a divorce," he said. "A
marriage takes the willing consent of both parties to exist. Once
one of the parties withdraws, the structure crumbles. Ultimately,
it's a personal arrangement that doesn't belong in a court. Other
related issues can be resolved in the minor courts. Property
division and alimony can be handled in Civil Arbitration, and Court will handle custody problems with an eye on what's best for the
minor children. 'Divorce Court', per se, is history." He gave her a
smile. "But we can argue about the rest of this later, Rebecca."
"Don't think that I won't, Robert," she said with a challenging
"I know you will," he said. He checked with the counselors
who'd worked with the children. Surprisingly, only one case of child
abuse had occurred in the valley, (if one defined 'child' as being
under twelve). The perpetrator had already been put to death for
that sin, by Benjamin. Any other abuse they reported was being
classified as rape, the same with the girls, because it was all
done under the label of 'marriage'.
A few women had chosen neither to have their marriages annulled
or to divorce the they'd married. A spokesman for them asked
Robert what was to become of their husbands. "You're about to find
out," he said. He called the largest group forward, and then
appointed his court officers. "Who Accuses these of wrongdoing?"
Josh Masters stepped forward. "I will, if you let me."
Robert nodded. "Who stands as their Advocate against these
charges?" he asked.
There was some hesitation. Rebecca was about to speak up, when
Zeke Peters stood up from the rough benches that made up the
observers area. "Once I went to prison for somethin' I didn't do,
mostly 'cuz my public defender didn't give a damn. Everybody
deserves the chance to have someone on their side."
"Interesting decision, Zeke, but accepted," Robert said. "You
both should know I have always given more weight to testimony
verified under direct mental contact than to unverified testimony. I
will look at everyone's general reactions, but anyone who really
wants to convince me and has nothing to hide can consent to have
their minds monitored as they give their spoken testimony." Rebecca
frowned, and leaned over again, whispering urgently.
Zeke frowned as well. "You won't require that?" he said. "The
fifth amendment is still a good law, you know."
Robert sighed. "No, I won't require that. And my advisor has
pointed out that I, as the... the Justice, can't serve as the truth-
teller as well. Lady Web? Will you link lightly with me, and use
your truth abilities to verify the words of those who agree to the
scan?" He smiled his thanks as she came forward. The haired
woman sat at one end of the table that served as the bench.
Robert tapped the Rod on the table. "Ladies and Gentleman.
This is not a Court of Laws, as in the America," he said. "Nor
is it a Court of Fact, as seen in Star Trek. This is a Court of
Truth. Here we wield Truth as a weapon, to pare down events in such
a way as to yield the result of Justice.
"Both such courts attempted to determine guilt by imperfect
procedures, and often failed to find the truly guilty. The Truths I
seek will be made of deeds, intent, and circumstances." It was a
speech he had been waiting to give. He'd thought over those words,
perfecting them, and looking for the right time to deliver them.
"This Court is in Session, I am the Presiding Justice." He
looked over to the Legion MP's. "Bring over the first group."
Thirty-six of the original forty-two lesser members of the
Testifiers survived to stand trial. "Accuser," Robert said. "You
have compared the reported events against my Codex. What are the
"I accuse these of participating in mass-murder, sir," Josh
said, "to a point approaching genocide in it's severity, apparently
for religious motivations. I accuse them of grievous destruction of
property, in the total razing of several communities in the
surrounding area. I also accuse them of innumerable rapes, under the
guise of marriages that you have already ruled to be false."
"Thank you, Accuser," Robert said. "Advocate, what is the
response of your accused?"
"Pretty much they don't want to talk to me," the said. "They refuse to recognize the validity of a court of the
damned. The few of them who'd say anything, said they were doing
God's will, and they thought the marriages were real."
"Well, unless God is testifying," Robert said, "keep his name
out of this. Will any of them speak in their defense?" The
telekinetic spoke to them, then shook his head with a sigh.
"Witnesses, Accuser?" Robert said.
"Take your pick, your honor," Josh waved at the observing
"You may address me as 'Justice'," Robert said. "Choose one
from each of the devastated towns to establish the events that the
accused are charged with. Will they agree to verification?"
"Yes, Lord Justice," the Accuser said.
He produced the first witness. The six with the courage
to talk testified under Lady Web's truth tell, and more were willing
to speak after they finished, when Robert tapped the Rod again.
"I've heard enough," he said. "Please reserve the new witnesses for
the next case. I pronounce summary judgement. I declare you guilty,
and sentence you to ten years of supervised labor, rebuilding the
towns you destroyed." He waited a beat. "I will consider an appeal
from anyone who'll speak on his own behalf. No? Very well, next
The seven Seraphim, Benjamin's Lieutenants, and the militia's
cleric Reverend Browne were brought forward.
They were accused of the same base charges, with the additional
charges of ordering the murders, and administering the severe
'corrections' to the women and children violating the strict bible
based laws of the community. They also refused speak, or even to
give their real names, instead giving the names of the Archangels
that they had adopted.
"After the verified testimony of more of the women, Robert
passed his judgement. "I find you guilty as charged. You will be
split up, with no more than one of you per state. You will serve
twenty years hard labor at whatever projects the Director of
Corrections of the state assigns you to. I invite you to appeal?"
He sounded frustrated at their martyr's stoicism. "Fine. Bring the
The very presence of Benjamin made Lady Web recoil. Rebecca
was extremely glad that this hadn't gained the Rod. The artifact
purred it's acknowledgment of a kindred spirit. It was a critical
moment, the silver haired woman knew. This could undo all the
gain Robert had made, as he matured from the lustful savage she'd
first met [USAN 5].
But Benjamin made a mistake. As he lifted his ice blue eyes to
Robert's, he tried to 'push', with a strong and subtle coercive
ability he thought was a gift from God. In reality, his power had
it's roots with Robert's initial activating pulse over half a year
ago [USAN 3]. He tried to dominate Robert outright, and that didn't
work. A more subtle attack might have succeeded, once; but this
crude attempt was like a slap in Robert's face.
"On no, you don't!" the Dark growled. "I'll deal with you,
personally. You have a power. The power to sway opinions and
influence minds. It didn't work with me, so now I'm going to see how
much you are responsible for all of this." Benjamin's face paled and
broke into a sweat as Robert's dark eyes bored into his.
"This society and it's actions were mostly your idea," Robert
said. "While it's true this Christian Militia had spoken of such
ideas as a Bible-based society, there is no indication they would
have gone this far without your manipulations. I'm removing your
influence from them."
Most of the and some of the women put their hands to their
heads in confusion. "This requires a thorough re-evaluation," Robert
said. "I'll review the other cases later, but in light of this
information, I'll probably reduce their sentences, or even acquit
some of them."
He gave a hard smile. "But you, Benjamin, I find you in Truth
the most guilty person of planning and executing this sordid scheme.
I hereby sentence you to death, to be carried out immediately. And
since I won't ask anyone to do something I will not do myself..."
With that, Robert rose, and burned the cult's leader to ash where he
stood. The Rod hissed in his hands, and he had to mentally wrestle
with it momentarily, reasserting his mastery of it.
"The other cases will be rescheduled for review later," he
said, sounding suddenly weary. "This Court is adjourned." This time
he struck the Rod firmly on the table, cracking the wood.
Janelle looked in shock at the blackened place where her
erstwhile husband had stood, and burst into tears. Josh held her in
his arms. "Oh Josh," she said, "is the nightmare really over?"
Stroking her soothingly, he nodded, "Yes, Janie, I don't think
there's any doubt of that. The Nightmare is finally over."
To be Continued...
[Note #1) This chapter maybe expanded with more from "The
Testifiers", which deals with the things that could happen if a
group decides to live by the scarier side of the bible. -KTM.]
August 1998 -- Darkside: United States of Anarchy Part 13 of 20.
Series Continues after #20 in Darkside: Imperial States of America.
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