Both once honored and a pillar of the new nation but now infamous, Watchstum's finest yet disgraced investigator hunts for the most wanted criminal. Set in an alternate 1800's universe Trade off The Final Words is the first short story in the Trade Off series.

Trade Off

The final Words

“It is only the dead who have seen the end of war.”


Act I

“The evidence is all in line and the verdict is as clear as crystal.” one of the 7 masked judges stated from the Bench that towered over the accused party.

    “We The Arch Court of the Delegation of Wachstum finds the defendant guilty of all charges.” The crowd started to mumble amongst themselves with their eyes fixed to the chained degenerate that kneeled before the 7 Arch Judges. The trial was no trivial matter, the decision was more than certain from the beginning. The steel chains restricted his arms and legs but it was by his own will that he kept his head down.

    “Order in the courtroom.” one of the judges demanded, the case was closed but Court was not over.

    “You. A Generation One Investigator and a veteran of the Common Army. We have a unique punishment for you.”

    “You are like your father a highly capable warrior and through your own skill you became Wachstum’s finest investigator.”

    “For years you upheld the law with zeal and put an end to cases that not even the Inquisitors of The Empire Alis could solve. By far you are the best at what you do.”

    “Your skills and prowess in the field of crime investigation are too valued to be lost.”

    “In honour of that you are to be given an early retirement.” the entire courthouse looked up at the Arch Judges speechless with what they had just heard but not the defendant. He knew there was more.

    “As expected Mr. Fertig you know your sentence is not that simple.” one of the judges said when they noticed he did not rejoice.

    “Before we force you into retirement you must redeem yourself and bring meaning to the deaths of your comrades. This will be by far will be the most painful challenge in your life. Physically that is.”

    “Your sentence; take the life of Wachstum’s most wanted criminal and exchange it for your own.” the courtroom once again filled with noise. Every man sent to hunt down criminal never came back in one piece.

    “Order! Order!” the court house was silent again.

    “Mr. Fertig, your alternative sentence; to be executed where you are.” the defendant lifted his head and looked at the Judges. In his mind he would never reach redemption but there was one thing he could do to sleep at night.

    “I will give meaning to their deaths.”

The End

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