"Oh god, I was just going to teach him a lesson....not fucking murder him!" Shalee screamed hysterically as she looked to the blood splattered across the dungeon cell wall.
In the center of the room hung the limp corpse of Adde Helecton, former Amarrian Militia pilot who had turned traitor over the past few months.
He had shown up at the Keep earlier, speaking of wanting redemption, saying that he was sorry. She didn't believe him, thinking he was there to make a mockery of the Knighthood and her beloved militia.
It was the last straw.
In an act that showed little mercy, she had the guards arrest him and drag him down to the dungeons below the Keep, a place seldom used, if ever. Eran followed her, ready to help. A few other Knights followed as well, some protesting, others urging her on.
She had Adde chained by the wrists, arms suspended above his head and asked him if he would consent to lashes. She told him he needed to suffer, needed to feel pain, to carry the marks of what he had done physically.
He had agreed.
Minutes later, Invelious had entered into the cell. She and Eran got into an argument with him over Adde's capture and before she could order his removal, he pulled a gun to Adde's temple and pulled the trigger.
"It's not murder," he said as he calmly put away the weapon. You can't really murder one of us now can you?" He pointed to Aldrith. "It was also protection, for us. The political spin on this would be immense. At least this way Adde wont remember shit."
Aldrith Shutaq agreed, "Yeah, how do you think it would have looked if he went crying to the IGS with a bunch of lash marks screaming,'The Knights did it!'"
"He asked for it," she said quietly.
"Exactly," Invelious countered.
"Ever stop to wonder why?" Aldrith said.
"No. To entrap. The only redemption is on the battlefield." Invelious said. "Eran is proof of that."
"Yep. He'd have to fight for us again." Aldrith agreed.
Shalee pulled her cloak off and laid it on the floor. "Whatever. Just help me get him to the incinerator." As gently as possible, she undid the handcuffs, guiding the body as it fell.
"How did you get the gun by security?" Aldrith asked as he leaned a bit to look at the splatter mark on the wall, looking slightly impressed.
Invelious watched him, "Years of service with the Ministy of Interal Order will teach you a thing or two about weapons concealment."
"Noted. Don't do that again though, nearly wet myself. And I was going to stop it myself, by the way." Aldrith said.
"I wont, and I promise," Invelious said.
She wrapped him up as best she could then grabbed his feet, leaving Invel to carry the head...or what was left of it. They moved down the corridor towards the end and tossed him into the flames.
"Sillyness... Shalee and Eran have so much pent up anger is ridiculous. Acting like anmials... really," Aldrith muttered as he watched Invelious and Shalee dragging the body away.
After they disposed of the body, Invelious left, leaving Shalee to clean the cell. She hosed it down with icy cold water, watching the water turn red from blood. Bits of brains hung up on the drain, clogging it. She shoved them down with the toe of her boot.
"I'm really getting way too used to this..." Aldrith said as he watched her from the cell's entrance. He gave her a judgmental glance, then sighed. "Hope you're proud of yourself. I honestly think you just wanted to whip someone. But hey... I've been there."
"He asked for it. I wouldn't have killed him, but he needed to be taught a lesson. We are far too easy on traitors." She towelled off her freezing cold hands.
"Doesn't matter. Torture is torture," he countered.
"Yes and murder is murder and betraying is betraying." she said with annoyance as she tossed the towel to the side, her ice blue gaze scanning across the holding cell critically.
Aldrith said, "A traitor can only teach himself. Especially a capsuleer one. What did you expect was going to happen? You make his back bleed and he suddenly understands everything he's done wrong? If only it worked like that..."
"No but he would feel the pain. He would carry with him the memory of what he'd done. But whatever, it doesn't matter now."
"He'd probably have just stuck another knife in our backs and called us all cruel, evil bastards. Have you ever been tortured, Shalee?"
She flicked her gaze to him, her expression cold, saying nothing.
Aldrith smiled a little at Shalee's look. "If you have, you'll know what you mean when I say it's very hard to forgive one's tormentor, no matter who they are or if you have consented or not. The very fact that person is even capable of torture makes them irredeemably evil in the sufferer's eyes. Like Vincent. Like Reimei. And like Verone."
"You're not one to preach to me. You are capable of much evil too," she said with a hint of defiance.
He laughed, "So is everyone else, you know. Point is not to fall to it. I've been trying. We all should be trying. Since the whole Amaterasu ordeal I think I've been doing a fairly decent job. I've only bopped Verone in the head once and I accidentally got Vincent shot."
Shalee threw her hands up in the air and sighed, "Why didn't you kill him? When he came here you should have killed him...I wanted you to," she said in a hushed whisper.
He gave her a droll look. "But I didn't want to."
She frowned deeply. "You should have."
"Even the devil has his purpose. Verone needs to be resisted in spirit, and that's what I tried to do that night. Damn... I nearly shook that evil shit's hand. Ew."
Shalee sighed again, seemingly having lost the mood to talk about him. "I don't care."
He glanced at the bullet hole in the wall. "This world really is confusing sometimes. Who to punish.... who to forgive... who to hate... who to love..."
She nodded, "Yeah. Everything is confusing."
"It all seems rather stupid in the end though, knowing we could have peaceful lives if we just gave up on this pod idiocy and disappeared to some nice planet with a warm sun and lots of trees..." He smirked. "You know Mitara is getting us a bloody mansion on Oris to 'retire' to."
"No not yet. I sure as hell want to sometimes though. And once it's all too much, I'm sure I will. This is not a happy life, Shalee. I don't think God ever meant for humans to have as much power as we do."
"Of course he didn't," she agreed.
"All this power and none of the responsibility... it creates devils like Verone out of people such as us."
"We have too much power and theres no repercussion for evil." She looked at him intently, "That's why I think we should take matters into our own hands..."
"Shalee, the idea you had to punish evil here, tonight, in these holding cells would have required you to become evil yourself. People are not redeemed through suffering unless they bring it on themselves. Hence why I wanted that Adde child to do it himself."
"It was to teach him a lesson."
"He would have taught himself the lesson if he was really repentant. I've done it, actually...back in the Ordo I did some... questionable things. I used that flail almost every week..."
She shrugged, "I've done it too."
"Then you understand."
"If you say."
"What then, you whipped yourself for fun then? Or were you just going through the motions or something?"
"Of course I meant it, Aldrith."
"Well there you are. So, I have another question. When you were about to whip that traitor... are you sure you didn't want to whip yourself?"
"Of course I didn't."
"Are you certain? You are not burdened by any guilt at all? Or anger?" he asked.
She shook her head, "No I don't feel any guilt." Glancing towards the incinerator, she whispered, "Anger, maybe."
He nodded slowly, "Yes, and you have good right to... but that is not something you should bring with you when you bestow a punishment, otherwise it just becomes simple vengeance."
"Are you finished with your lecture?" she asked impatiently.
He grinned at her impatience, "I need to get podded soon; all of my hairs are turning grey because of you..." he muttered as he ushered her towards the exit, locking up the dungeon behind him.
Mercy's Keep Security Files
Location: Dungeon, Cell 1