Facing The MusicMature

When I came to, I was in a place I recognised. I had taken enough victims here myself. The walls were unpainted concrete and solid silver doors punctuated the corridors which created a labyrinth below the Council rooms. I could hear guards outside talking quietly.

"....The Shadow, beats me why Zelthar is keepin' her like this. The Council's furious at him. Though I heard they're takin' her down to the catacombes tomorrow. Damned grateful I'm not on that rotation. That mask won' protect 'er from whats down there."

I shuddered, recognising the voice of a guard who was a known gossip down here. I had eavesdropped on him enough times to know his information was generally accurate. The catacombes meant only one thing for me; punishment.

I waited for the next day helplessly, trapped by the door-which I knew to be impenetrable. There were no windows, nothing to tell what the time was outside. The guards' conversation moved to inconsquential things until morning.

"Mornin' Councillor." The gossip sounded as respectful as his Cajun accent allowed.

"Bring her to the halls." Zelthar's voice was barely audiable through the door. I knew he was gone when the door cracked open. The pair said nothing to me as they pulled me off my feet, up to the Halls I remembered. Wealth seeped through every aspect of the house, and the Council Halls inside were designed to intimidate. While I was no longer intimidated as I once was, I was still silent. From listening to the guards, I knew that Zelthar had my swords. I knew how to escape. I just had to survive the hearing without revealing my face.

I was stood alone, in an empty expanse of floor while the members of the Council were ranged high above me. I picked out Zelthar instantly, sat next to an empty space now. Others I vaguely recognised, but the names escaped me. I was looking at the most powerful vampires in the entire world for the second time. Some of the spaces I knew were down to my 'activities'.

"You are formally charged with the crimes of murder, theft, breaking and entering, grevious bodily harm, intent to kill, conspiracy to treason, treason and bribery. You have been found guilty by this Council and sentenced to execution. Take her to the catacombes." The Head Councillor barely even looked at me as he read out the sentence in a mechanical voice.

I was stunned. The Council had already decided. I had never heard of this before. I was almost at the catacombes before I remembered I had gotten exactly what I wanted.

The End

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