27 August 2011, Daemon installment 259 I Am Not an Alleged Countess
For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.
The day of Aksinya’s ecclesiastical trial has arrived. Aksinya is seated in the Chapel…
After a few minutes, Inquisitor Esposito entered. He did not sit. He nodded toward Aksinya. Moments later, the Archinquisitor Gallo came in from the door at the side of the altar. Everyone stood. The Archinquisitor glared at Aksinya then bowed to the altar and immediately began an ascension prayer in Latin. He led the court in a general confession and absolved them. He led them in the Apostolic Creed. Then he sat down and signaled for everyone to be seated.
The Archinquisitor brought out a paper, “Alleged Countess Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna…”
Aksinya interrupted, “I am not an alleged Countess. I am the Countess Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna.”
“You are not allowed to speak until you are called upon.”
“I am not an alleged Countess. I am the Countess Aksinya Andreiovna Golitsyna.”
“Little girl, you are already prejudicing this court against you.”
“That may be so, but I insist that you address me by my proper title.”
“Your identity is one of the questions before this court, but if you fail to hold your tongue, I will have you bound and gagged.”
“That is your prerogative, but I also have the right to be addressed properly by this court.”
The Archinquisitor turned to Inquisitor Esposito, “Instruct the Fraulein in the proper decorum of the court.”
Aksinya glared at him, “This is the first issue before the court. If you can’t identify me properly then what kind of trial can this be?”
“I warned you once, little girl. I will have you bound and gagged.”
Inquisitor Esposito stammered, “If it pleases the Archinquisitor, the promotor fiscalis should first establish the identity of the accused.”
I set the scene for you–now it’s time to let the characters move around in the scene. Already, Aksinya and the major players are there. Many are, as yet, hidden–they will all be revealed.
So the defender enters first. This is the priest whose job is to defend Aksinya against the accusations of sorcery. We know he will be worthless.
The accuser and judge, Archinquisitor Gallo comes next. He leads the group in a morning prayer (that is a type of service). He already is unhappy to have Aksinya present. He doesn’t want to absolve Aksinya–oh well.
The first question is Aksinya’s identity. The demon, Asmodeus, intends to take away the very person of Aksinya by bringing into question her identity. This is not as odd as you might imagine. The point of many ecclesiastical trials of the nobility was first to allege that they were not nobles. The reason: real nobles would not do such evil things.
You see, the first issue to Aksinya is her identity. She will not be cowed. This is more important than she understands. The Archinquisitor threats Aksinya like a child–listen carefully to his language. Do you remember what the demon called Aksinya–little girl?
Aksinya will not be treated like a child. She insists on the right to be addressed by her proper rank. Aksinya is correct–if they can’t identify her, then everything else is moot. The defending inquisitor makes an important point. He may not be very effective or helpful, but he seems honest to some degree. He, at least, reduces the excesses of the Archinquisitor. Tomorrow, Aksinya’s identity.