Chapter 18 (Part One - Before the Banishment)

The word court is such a simple word, not ample enough to describe the spacious ampitheatre held in the very centre of Sodom.  It resembled a small roman colliseum with its arches and rows of sandy stone benches sloping up the walls of the round forum.  In the centre of the court stood a wooden box opposite to an semicircular row of wooden benches.  

Making a triangle stood the judges box where Balthazar seated himself.  He waited for the bustle to cease before speaking.  This pause gave him the drama he desperately craved, this was to be the historic and legendary trial for which he would always be remembered.  Titivillus himself would not be able to do justice to the minutes of the trial, this was a momentous occasion for all Demonkind, and here he sat, the referee, the umpire to the gravest game of cricket ever to be held.  Balthazar was loving every saccharine second.

Behind the defendents box four stood a single bench for the arresters to sit, in this case occupied by Lucifer, Satan, Beelzebub and Abaddon.  Six members of the counsel sat on the benches opposite ready to pass judgment.  Belial had noticed that Aim was missing from the jury, in his place sat Aaron.

Balthazar stood up in the musty hazy court and began.

"All demons, I your humble servant have come to pass sentence to the defendant should he be found guilty of the charges set before him.  The Jurors attending are the honourable Aaron, The Lord Caleb, the honourable Beleth, the honourable Deville, Earl Morden, and the honourable Draconis."  At his words the old court was deathly silent, no movement, not a whisper was heard.  If somebody let rip it would be heard by a deaf demon on the opposite side of the echoey court.

"The defendent today is the General Belial.  The charges before him are as follows.  The willful murder of Lieutenant Timon of the Belial order, and the willful murder of acolyte Aamon also of the Belial order.  The following Demons are listed as witnesses.  The honour..."

"There is no need for witnesses Balthazar I do not deny the murders, I committed the so called crimes with a clear conscience."  There was a murmur at the sound of Belial's voice, necks craned to try and analyse the look on Belials face.  Just a subtle indifference with a simmering anger was evident.

"A clear conscience.  That implies a deliberate act, you meant to kill both of these outstanding demons?"  Balthazar kept emotion from his voice.  He could have asked for nothing better than an admittance of guilt.  He would have preferred an epic battle of wills and words until the demon Belial broke down in angry tears crying his guilt.  But this would do.

"There was nothing outstanding about these Demons."  Belial scathed.

"But were they not of your order?"  Balthazar asked simply.

"But not of my mind, nor any mind that considers themselves righteous enough to be called Demon.  They were partaking in an act despicable and rueful, acts that are beneath even you snake."  Belial felt the temperature in his throat rise, he would not go quietly for Balthazar.  He intended to wound, and the 'arsenal of words' forum was now open.

"I would remind you that you are in the court..."

"I would remind you that this court you have rigged to condemn me would also condemn Aamon for torturing a surrendered Angel.  They would condemn Timon for attacking a member of the fallen, you have forgotten all of our laws in your gross miscalculations.  But then you intend to gain from all this am I right?  You would take my seat at the table and make an impact on the war finally am I correct?"  Belial was warming up, and a faint euphoria was giving him momentum.

"This is how the mighty Belial, Master Demon of lies would worm his way from judgment, by passing the blame onto others.  Never a thought to take responsibility for his own actions."  Balthazar was wounded, but addressed the court with a forced irony.  His intended sarcasm did not drag even the mildest titter from anyone watching.  The Demons were all stony and silent.

Belial looked up at the crowd opposite him, on the front row he saw Aim sitting with his hands clenched on the stone fence before him, a watery anger boiling up in his eyes.

"I take responsibilty for the slaying of the aforementioned parasites, to which I am rightfully suspected of killing.  I will accept the judgment which you will pass, but don't mistake my admittance for weakness, I will have mine for Astaroth Balthazar.  Eventually that will come back around."  Belial still stared at the quivering figure of Aim.  He felt sympathy for the red haired counsellor.  He was loyal to the fallen and to Demonkind.  There was never any love for Balthazar where Aim was concerned.

The acrid smelling, and acidic silent courtroom was rapt with interest at the exchange below them.  They had all rumours of Balthazars involvement with Astaroths untimely murder.  The quizzical eyes of all the demons bored into the uncomfortable Balthazar.

"If you have nothing of consequence to add may I sentence you?"  Balthazar drew a dramatic breath, but before he could utter the words hanging on to his tongue Lucifers voice carried across the court.

"Whatever judgment you force upon Belial, I will share."  The court became a quiet frenzy of whispering as the tall demon strode to Belials right side.

"As will I.  Belial saved my life when he killed Timon, I owe it to him to face his sentence."  Abaddon walked to the left side of Belial.

All eyes flashed to Beelzebub and Satan who had remained seated with faces of horror and bewilderment.  It was Satan who broke the trance first.

"I will face this with Belial too."  He strode and placed his enormously muscled frame next to Lucifer.

"And I will follow.  We will remain together as the condemned fallen."  Beelzebub stood next to Abaddon and stared long and ferociously at Balthazar.

"You will share his sentence?  What is one fifth of an execution?"  Balthazar grinned, his dreams had come true in four sentences.

There was a loud simultaneous gasp amongst the onlooking Demons.  Someone uttered a loud 'NO' and the distinct sound of weeping emerged.

Aim stood up and bellowed loudly.  "How do you intend to execute these men Balthazar.  There is no Demon here able to match their combined strength."  Aim stepped over the fence and strode to the centre of the Court.  "You know full well the weight that the prophecies of these Demons carry.  As your first act as ruler of Hell, for you know full well that is now your position, how many Demons lives are you willing to discard so foolishly?"

Balthazar weighed up the exclamation in his mind.  There was always the worry that these Demons would rip all his soldiers limb from limb in a vengeful bloodlust, where did that leave him?  Would they then turn to him to satiate their need for bloodletting?

"Then they are banished forwith from the realm of hell, and will be hunted by Demons and Angels alike, and there will be no mercy for the fallen hereafter."  Balthazar strode from his podium and disappeared down the long tunnel exiting the court.
The End

18 comments about this story Feed