The Tower's Labyrinth

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Chapter 6

The news would spread around town, in their main, technologically advanced headquarters like magic through the eight o’clock live news: Warrenshire’s love birds on ‘honeymoon’ in tower, The trial of asinine Ancient Archer Jay, and the birth of a Modern class in Baronburg’s blood. The news anchors were about to give their predictions and the odds for Leonidas, Delilah, and Borgus, the new-bloods. The pretty lady smiled for the camera, fluffed her hair, and watched the countdown reach zero. Her co-anchor appeared next to her, in a black pin stripe suit, holding a Muddles head as he smiled.

“Good evening, folks. We have a special guest tonight with us!” He spun the head through its hair towards the camera.

“Well, we can see that Kieran. Can I ask who the special Muddle is today?”

“Borgus’ dad, Stacey. Bought it off a knight for a buck!” he laughed.

“Ha, I see you got a nice souvenir, but I hope you remember to recycle it.” She cleared her throat. “Now tell us about the clearings!”

It didn’t take long for Kieran to detail the blood bath in Baronburg. It was similar to Warrenshire; the song stopped playing leaving the people stunned by the speakers. The only difference was they had lights instead of torches, and worked at desks instead of out in the fields. Stacey listened intently as the viewers gasped and laughed.

“… And then Borgus jumped in front of his father, while humming the song. He knocked the Knight of his horse folks! Can you believe it?”

“Wow, exciting, that means he must be a stage 6." She muttered. What happened next?”

“I guess this muddle, or should I say rotten one, tells it all Stacey. They rung up Borgus like a chicken and brought him to the tower.”

“It looks like we got someone to watch out for. I’m placing my money on Borgus.” Stacey laughed. They chatted until the evening special. Finally, they switched to the segment about Jay.

Jay awoke in the courtroom as the camera zoomed in. The judge and jury were standing above the glass case and they were looking down at the offender. He could hear their mutterings, and the cacophony from the spinning blades slowly drawing towards his body. Facts were sorted through with disdain, and pros and cons were measured. Stacey, the news anchor, reported it all with a euphonic voice.

“Jay seems to have crossed the line, Kieran. The judge and jury have on funny smiles, and the blades are spinning faster.”

“He really shouldn’t have helped the new-blood, Stacey. It seems it will be a code black for sure.”

“You’re sure right there, Kieran. Look the Judge has decided, and the jury seems pleased.”

“Well, before the curtain closes in the courtroom. Let’s give Jay’s backstory. Will you do the honors Stacey?”

“I have something better. I brought a special guest tonight.” She waved him in. “It’s a ranger friend of his who will give us the scoop.” The man she was talking about walked on top of the pleasant cobble stone floor nervously fixing the emblem of the Ancient Rangers onto his cheap three-piece suit. He had yellowish tie dotted with small red ink blots that resembled blood. He walked up to them and smiled over at Kieran.

“Wow, it’s sure great to meet you!” Kieran, in his excitement, slapped his knee. “Please have a seat and tell us about Jay. Your names William, right?”

“Yes, glad to do it sir!” His baritone voice began as the camera’s pan reached him.

William detailed Jay’s beginnings, from his cruel parents, to his acceding of his station. He detailed everything he knew about him, it was his five minutes of fame, and commented on his amorous penchant for females.

“He always had a thing for pretty bimbo’s, Mr. Kieran. One time he even helped tried to help a Harlot stuck in the 7th floor docks. I pulled him back, warning him about it, and screamed the destiny mantra in his ears.”

Stacey and Kieran laughed. “You mean that mantra!” They all began reciting it together.

“You cannot help a fledgling fly, or else they’ll never reach the sky. It’s a shame, but the stock is low, and we must not save what has not yet flown. Do not give mercy, or care about a shred of their hair, if you do we’ll never beat the malevolent beasts that lye waiting in the lair.”

“And what happened to the bimbo after? Did she put him under her spell?” Stacey put the microphone to William’s mouth.

“The bimbo fell before he could make it in time.” William giggled recalling it all. “He looked like someone stuck an arrow up his ass the rest of the day. He’s just too soft of a guy for the service.” William sighed and pointed at the screen. “Look at him. He doesn’t even feel sorry for saving her.” William began dusting the lint on his green suit and sat back and spun in the reclining chair. Stacey and Kieran then turned around as the craggy Judge tapped the microphone. The adjudicator looked down at his speech and began.

“It seems Kieran didn’t have our interest at heart but has also not overextended to the point of his contracts liable conclusion as his attorney so aptly argued. He has spoken of appreciable evidence, no arrow was fired, and only advice was offered. On basis of this shitty loophole, found by his litigator, we will let fate decide by coin toss. Heads will send him to the lair, and tails will start the blades. Jay will now pick a side.”

The Judge got closer as the executioner waited by the console’s joystick. Jay began hyperventilating, and screams started pouring out from his mouth. The cage’s glass top shook from his pulls towards freedom against the clanging of the steel chains. The judge stared downcast, stone faced, and pushed the mic towards Jay’s dried lips.

“You’re in luck, Jay. Your attorney found a loophole. Pick a side heads or tails.” The judge squeezed his gavel in his palm.

Jay sighed. “I confess to all of it! I helped her, alright, but she had me under her spell!” He screamed. “Please let me out of here! I’ll never help a fresh-blood again!” Jay hoped looking into the camera.

Back at the studio.

“Well, you heard him here folks. He seems to have learned his lesson, William.” She sighed patting her face. “Such a shame that we can’t do anything about it. He’s such a handsome man, right ladies!”

The staged audience cheered.

The judge on screen looked at him with a trace of pity. “Since you admitted your guilt I will allow you five minutes longer to think of your decision.” He placed the coin on the top of the encasement. His black robe dragged against the floor as he left the room. The lights dimmed leaving the sounds of blades turning echoing through the courtroom and Jay to his thoughts. They went to commercial.

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