Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WIP Wednesday – To Protect and Service: Ravenous Virtue

“I protest the circumstances I was brought here under.  I was misled by this man – or whatever Daagiis is – into handing over my freedom in exchange for my life.  Since you are a judge, I expect you to allow me to open an inquiry into the matter.  You will recuse yourself as the determining official in this case, handing it over to someone who can be objective about the matter.”

Raven half expected him to laugh at her.  No, she totally expected him to laugh at her.  Instead, Vendeen set his goblet on the table and crossed one knee over the other.  He folded his hands over his thick, muscled thigh that was shown to just as good advantage as Raven’s.

He gave her a very serious, considering look.  “I see.  May I hear your concerns regarding this case?”

Well, at least she would be able to bitch about the issue, if nothing else.  “Daagiis presented himself to me as a fellow ... Earthling.  In my dimension, just to be clear on that point.  I had no idea I was being vetted for a position of slavery.”

Vendeen held up a hand, cutting her off.  “Let’s cut to the chase, Raven, as any objective judge on this station would.  We don’t do a lot of nitpicky details here; we simply look at the crux of the matter.  To that end, did Daagiis ask you if you would like to pursue justice on this space station?”

Oh shit.  Major problem.  Raven barely kept herself from clenching her fists.  “Yes, but I thought it was a joke!  He knew I didn’t take it seriously.”

“That may be.  Still, what might have been and what is are very specific things.”  Vendeen regarded her with those fathomless black eyes and spoke with cold command.  “You will speak the truth and nothing but the truth.  If you knew then what you know now, including the fact you would be indentured to me, would you have still agreed to come here to save your life?”

Raven’s mouth popped open before she could think the question over.  “Yes.”

Horror slammed in her gut.  She gasped.  “Hey, wait a minute.  How did you make me say that?”

His voice conversational again, Vendeen said, “The collar is connected directly into your brain matrix.  It is programmed to allow Daagiis and myself to command you, and I have ordered you to tell the truth.  You have no choice but to do so.”

She spluttered, “But ... but truth isn’t always black and white.”

He arched an eyebrow.  “For my purposes and in this situation, it is.  Now answer my next question:  would you accept your circumstances as they are to capture and bring to justice this man Wills, known to us as Taambaa, who escaped his due punishment?”

“Yes.”  This time she did clench her fists.  He’d done it to her again.  “Damn it, this isn’t fair!”

Daagiis’ tone was light.  “No one guaranteed it would be.”

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