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ALONE ONCE AGAIN

The day softly mellowed, and the cheery new morn brought with it both happiness and dreadfulness. T. G. Taft sat back in his beautiful custom-made chair in his custom-made office, and stared at the wall. Something was bothering him, and he could not figure out what it was. Suddenly Bob XXIII buzzed in on the intercom. "Someone's here to see you, sir!"

"Hey, where's my secretary?" Sceamed an angry Taft.

"She did not feel too well this morning, sir. I am taking her place."

Taft grumbled to himself. "You can't find good help nowadays." "Sir: The visitors..."

"Oh, Send them in." Taft snarled. Through the doors of his office came a Quische, with a set of siamese twins on top of it. Taft was quite startled to see them, especially the Quische, since it was in the form of a Sworshk. "Sir, you are hereby invited to serve as attorney persecuting one Adena, the Enchantress of Furanose." Announced the twin on Taft's left.

Taft jumped up. "What'd she do?"

"She is accused of killing one Iffley, the Wizard of Bandoc."

Taft slowly grinned, and then laughed meanly. "Will Blue be there?"

"If you are referring to 'Blue' Ledic, he is the defending attorney."

"Excellent. I gladly accept."

"Very good. The ceremony will take place on Aldery, in one week from today." With that, the group left.

T. G. Taft slowly walked into the courtroom, and a herd of applause surrounded him as he entered. It felt great to be hailed as he had always worked to be. He looked to his right and to his left: There were newly installed Guardsworshks, a few Guardplimpkins; there was Bronson Randolf, sitting near the exhibits. Jonathan Pierce was there, along with his characters, and then... of course... His eyes settled upon the front left: On to the being of the defendant, Adena, the Enchantress of Furanose, and her newly acquired husband. Yes: Her new husband. A snarl came to Taft's face, and then a smile slowly arose as he began to think the power that he now had.

Suddenly a man came from behind him. "Mr. Taft. I am Constable Nai, and I would like to thank you for attending the proceedings. You, sir, will sit in that seat over to your right."

"Mr. Nai, who are the jurors? I think I've seen them somewhere before."

"Why, from Left to Right, That's Mr. Mejasno, Mrs. Snemajo, Mr. Senajom, Ms. Onamesj, Mrs. Nomasej, M. Asenojm, Ms. Jesanom, Mr. Esonajm, Mrs. Ojeamns, Mr. Mnosjea, Ms. Sjoanem, and Mrs. Esamojn.

"And who is the Judge?"

"Judge Jamesno, of course. But please: Be seated." With that, T. G. Taft took his seat on the prosecuter's bench, and opened up the briefcase that he carried with him. He glanced over at the defendants, where Adena was crying, and Blue was trying to comfort her. Just as he snickered to himself, Blue looked up at Taft, staring into his large eyes. Taft took advantage of this opportunity, and stared right back. Then he laughed.

"All rise, please." All imediately rose, and Judge Jamesno took his seat on the bench. "I've read over the case, and it seems to be open and shut: But nonetheless, Mr. Blue will have a shot at defending the defendant. Will the prosecuting attorney please state the case?"

Taft stood up. Glancing over his shoulder to laugh at Blue, he called his first and only witness. "Constable Nai, will you please take the stand?"

As the constable took the stand and was swore in, Mr. Taft began. "What leads you to believe that our wily defendant, Ms. Enchantress of Furanose, who, I might add, is married to that stiff-necked blue-livered Archimedes Ledic, killed one innocent, pure, and helpless Iffley, Wizard of Bandoc?"

"Objection!" screamed Blue. The judge stared at the tiny creature that had interrupted the great Taft and screamed "Overruled! Go on, Mr. Nai."

"Well, there I was; I found that poor helpless body, lying there so innocent, and there right down its innocent little heart, there was a partially melted ice dagger."

"An Ice Dagger! If it pleases the court, I would like to mention that that 'lady'"--he pointed at Adena--"once before killed one of my own characters, one innocent Bob XVII, with such an evil weapon as that." The audience gasped, along with the judge and the whole jury.

"Objection..." cried Blue.

"Overruled!" screamed the judge, "And shut up!"

Taft snickered evily at Blue and went on. "What did you find next, Mr. Nai?"

"Why, Exhibit A, of course. It was sitting only a foot away."

"Ah, yes. Exhibit A." Taft walked smoothly over to it, glancing at Blue as he did. "What exactly is this?"

"It's a holograph type of machine." Answered the Constable.

"A holograph? You mean, like produced by Exhibit B, The Amulet of Wisdym?"

"Exactly."

"The Amulet of Wisdym belonged to who? I mean, only days ago?"

"Why, her, of Course."--He too pointed at Adena--"Adena: The Enchantress of Furanose."

"Your honor," Taft smiled, "the prosecution will now rest its case." As Taft skimmed across the floor to his desk, he turned to snicker at Blue. Instead, he found Adena's tear laden face staring at him. He turned quickly away.

The judge looked up and rested his eyes on the defense stand. "Mr. Blue, as if you had a chance, you may now present your defense.

"Very good, Your honor. For my first witness I would like to call..."

"Oh forget it," Judge Jamesno cried, "It's useless anyhow. The jury will now make its decision, and Court will resume in one-half an hour."

Taft happily walked out of the courtroom, shaking hands with the congratulating audience. As soon as he was outside, he found himself walking next to a small pleading man.

"Listen. What do you want? My Island? My Note? Me? Please don't take Adena..."

Taft laughed in his face. With that, the man ran off crying. Taft sat down next to an old oak tree, and closed his eyes as he began to more fully enjoy himself. Suddenly, as his mind rested more and more, a strange feeling entered his head. What was that? What was that that seemed to be nagging him, right underneath his skull? Hmm. maybe he should see a doctor after all this is over. It was then that a voice came from behind him. "Mr. Taft." It whispered.

Taft jumped up, startled to find out that someone had sneaked up behind him. "What do you want!" He screamed.

"I want to talk to you." It was Susan Smith III, and she had a scared look on her face. "Something's bothering you, and I think I know what it is."

"That's funny," thought Taft, "How did she know?"

Susan paced once and stared at The great author. "Why are you accusing Adena?"

"Because... She's guilty."

"Oh, come on. Deep down, you know that's not true: You know that this is all a sham..."

".. .then just why am I doing it, smarty?"

"Isn't it apparent? It's simply this: You want to win. I mean: It's obvious, isn't it? You really want to win. That has always been what you have always wanted: You want to win. Winning. Think about it. That's it: You don't care if your powerful or not, just as long as you win. And let's face it: The Ledic Marriage to you was a loss; Blue was the victor and you were the loser. And Blue is why your doing all this. That's what this whole court scheme is to you: This is your chance: Your chance to beat Blue. Your chance to kill his wife and make him cry. And you love having the power to do it."

Suddenly a light in Taft's head popped on. "Of course, that's why I..."

"T. G., you must stop it! You can't kill an innocent girl because of your lust for revenge!"

"But I must win... I must win... How can I win if I don't kill..."

"Because Blue..." murmu1red Susan, and then she whispered something in his ear.

"All rise."

Judge Jamesno sat down on the bench and prepared to ask the jury to give their verdict. Suddenly T. G. Taft stood up. "Your honor, I have one more witness to call to the stand."

The Judge stared at the attorney and stammered, "No, I think that will be enough."

"Please. I think that this will have much to do with the case." After a long stare at him, the Judge gave the okay. "This better be good." He mumbled to himself.

"I would like to call Susan Smith IV to the the stand, please." Taft looked over at the defense stand and grinned at the now blushing defense attorney. After taking her oaths, Susan was asked a couple of things by Taft.

"Can you please assert for us that Adena, the defendant, was with Iffley the night of the murder?"

Susan looked at her boss for a puzzled moment. "No sir, I cannot. In fact, I can do just the opposite: Adena was with Blue at the time of the murder."

The audience gasped. Taft sarcastically spit out the next few words: "How do you know this?"

"Why, because I was on Phire Island the time of the murder. I saw everything from the marriage to when the police came."

Doing his best at acting innocent, Taft stressed his next words. "Why were you on the island?"

"Because...

Taft turned his head from Blue, where he had been watching him sweat, to stare at Susan. "Go on."

"Because... well... he"--She pointed a thin finger at Blue--"had asked me to come last week." Blue became very nervous and began wiggling in his seat.

"What did he want you to do?"

"I didn't know, at the time... I'm not sure he did... But after she had left we... It was only momentary... passion..."

The room gasped, and Adena jumped back from her husband: That husband who was wiggling beside her. Blue put his head down in his face and mumbled something to Adena. All she could do was sit there, numb.

Blue started talking louder. "It was only because I... uhhh... She seduced me. It was late at night... And she seduced me... I still love you more than her... I promise it won't happen again... Oh please..."

Adena looked up at everyone in the room, stunned to find everyone staring back at her. Still acting marvelously, Taft began to talk. "I did not know that Susan was there! I am afraid that I have lost the case, and the prosecution now has no recourse but to drop all charges." Mumbling began to take place in the audience, but the smiles were evident as all eyes settled upon Blue.

Adena kindly thanked the judge and got out of her seat. She walked over to the exhibits, took her amulet and reached for the belt. Bronson, though, sitting near the belt he desired grabbed it before she could and rushed out of the courtroom. Adena showed no signs of emotion; she merely began to walk to the back door, not looking at anybody or anything. Blue, seeing that his wife could be well walking out of his life, rushed up from his seat and ran after her.

Adena turned around to see him running toward her. "Stay away from me!" She screamed. She took off her ring, the ring that Blue had given her when they became engaged, and threw it at those big, blue, crying eyes.

"Honestly, dear," Blue cried, "I... well... I was seduced... but... I love you..."

"Shut Up!" Adena screamed, turning toward the door. But before she could leave she heard some last few words, coming from Susan Smith the IV:

"What is she worried about? At least her baby isn't going to have blue blood."


 © 1984, 

L. Charles, D. Conrad, A. Duncan, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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