Friday, July 13, 2012

Speechless: The Way Part 3

The Price of Justice

Rynth watched me with rapt attention as I communed with the tap water. I placed my hands in a triangle at my forehead. The stream of water coming from the tap I had found in the security room curved upwards. A head and arms formed from it and it made the same gesture with liquid hands at its chest.


“Namaste, Magistrate. I am glad to see you escaped from the purge earlier.”

“I thank you for your kind wishes and am equally glad to see you purified of so many toxins.”

“It is appreciated Magistrate. I know you are not here for pleasantries. What do you seek?”

“I seek Jack Lorenz and the one he has abducted.”

“I am everywhere and nowhere Magistrate. I know where he is. What will you do when you find him?”

“He will be captured and taken back to the shoreline for trial. He will almost certainly be found guilty and executed. If he threatens the lives of any other between now and then, he will be summarily executed even before his trial.”

“Do you wish his death?”

“With a ferocity that burns unlike any I have ever known. He is treacherous and full of lies. His existence is wholly without honor and must be removed if this world is to be made clean.”

The figure nodded and spoke once more.

“You are near to where he hides. He has recently washed the filth from these sewers off of himself in a shower less than half an hour from here. The next purge will not come for another hour. I will part the sludge so that you may see your path.”

“Thank you wise one.”

“Do not thank me, for I do believe that you wish to see what lies before you. I have simply answered your query. There are too few of your kind left.”

“We Judges will fight to the end to purify this world.”

“Not Judges. Those with honor.”

The watery figure went limp and fell back to the ground in a normal stream. It dribbled through a drain in the floor as I turned off the tap and was gone.

“I had no idea you were a water speaker Magistrate.”

“No one else does either. It is a talent that would remove me from my position and place me among the Consulars. I do not wish for that Rynth. I do not want to have my ability to travel swiftly to points of injustice removed.”

He nodded and opened the door to the sewer. True to his word, the water entity I had spoken with had managed to part the sludge just wide enough to provide us a walkway. It stretched down the tunnel as far as the eye could see.

“Come Rynth, we must hurry before our prey eludes us again.”

As we raced down the tunnel, I could still hear the water whispering to me.

"They are waiting for you. I do not know how, but they have learned of your arrival. Will you turn back?"


"Then ready yourself."

“Rynth, there will be guards waiting for us.”

He slung his harpoon rifle off of his shoulder and I drew both The Darkening and Illumination. As the humans came into sight, they began to fire. Rynth and I dodged apart to either side of the tunnel. Rotten humans and their machine guns.

“O water, you have aided me so greatly already this day. May I ask your aid once more?”

"How may I aid you Magistrate?"

I leapt into the air and sliced open the green water main above us, water exploding outward.

“Grant me a wall to assault my foes from.”

Without any further whisper, the rush of water molded itself into a rippling wall before us, fed directly from the line itself. The wall surged forward, spanning the entirety of the tunnel.

“Rynth, now!”

We charged forward behind the wall of water. The humans’ bullets smashed helplessly into the wave and were crushed by the pressure. The wall crashed into them, knocking them onto their backs. As they scrambled for their weapons, I was upon them. My blades bit into their necks and between their spines, severing their heads from their shoulders. If they would rather death than a trial, so be it. Those who opted for death in battle deserved to die cleanly, even if they hadn’t lived so.

“Magistrate, watch out!”

A human descending from a hole in the ceiling had a shotgun leveled at me. His grip went slack and he dropped his weapon as he fell himself. A human sized harpoon has sprouted from his chest.

“Thank you Rynth.”

He only nodded and made his way to the corpse. Rynth checked to ensure there was no pulse before looking up the ladder.

“Clear the room.”

He nodded and loaded an explosive tipped harpoon next. With a hiss, his rifle fired it up and into the hole the human had descended from. Several screams rang out as it exploded above. Rynth quickly scaled the ladder and poked his head through the hole.

“Room pacified Magistrate, but not all are dead.”

I sheathed my blades and climbed the ladder as well. The explosion had rocked the tiny room and blown the doors off of the two adjoining rooms. Several humans lay dead, clutching their weapons. One still fumbled for his pistol in the corner, even with the tendons in his arm severed by shrapnel. A piece of steel had embedded itself in his neck. Pure luck was all that had kept this one from death. I knelt next to him.

“Where is Jack Lorenz?”

His lips curled and tongue flopped. It was obvious he was trying to spit at me but motor control was failing.

“Where is he?”

“Not here.”

I closed my eyes and cursed wordlessly. That was what I had been afraid of.

“Where did he go?”

“Won’t tell.”

“Where did he go? I’ll make the suffering stop. Just tell me where he went.”

The human’s eyes met mine and the corner of his mouth twitched violently.

“He punched me for cussin’ at him before he and the lady got cleaned up. Never gonna wash that jaw again.”

Before they got cleaned up? Angela.

“What has he done with her?”

There was a high-pitched giggle.

“Nothing I wouldn’t want to do myself. Still want to stop the suffering?”

I was shaking now. The creature had no limits. Murder. Abduction. Rape. Angela. Poor sweet Angela.

“Where did he take her?”

“To get some gumbo.”

In that moment, I finally knew where they were going again.

“Thank you for giving me an answer.”

A giggle burbled up out of his throat again and didn’t stop. It rolled around in his nearly dead mouth and trickled out his lips a drop at a time. I drew Illumination and removed his head. The laughter stopped short.

“Rynth, see if you can contact The Tribunal. He’s heading for Pier 451.”

Rynth nodded and began searching the other empty rooms for radio equipment. I knelt in the center of the room and breathed slowly to try and collect my thoughts. I had yet to make my blood offering to the water for its aid. That would have to wait though. It would have to wait until after I had pushed some of these images from my mind. Angela bound. Lorenz having his way with her. It was too much to bear.

I will find you Jack Lorenz. I will find you and you will suffer. I fear that no one among The Judges will be able to punish you as horribly as you deserve.

But I will try.

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