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Johnson's Dream: Tribunal;

April 23, 2010

You aren't sure as to the particulars as to when you realize that it is happening, but somewhere in the wavering standstill of time as you stare listlessly at the tiles of the Chantry ceiling, you have a palpable, acute, and wholly unreasonable sense of fear. Your body floats about three feet away from itself as you realize that somebody is waiting for you outside your door. Opening it, you walk out into the circle of the assembly and, with lamb-like obedience, sit in you attributed seat. The sudden presence of so many strange and imposing robed figures seems in no way out of place. Your apprehensive dread from before finally comes into focus. You are in the central seat of a tribunal.

The presiding Lord makes half-sentences/half-shrieks as his mouth opens and closes to read the list of accusations. You are entirely uncertain as to what they are, but you know that they are all serious grievances against the foundational ideals of House and Clan and that you are relatively certain that you are guilty of them without having memory of their action or knowledge of their names. The faces of the hooded watchers surrounding the trial shift in and out of your vision as you attempt to focus on them. Robes turn to cassocks here and there, and everywhere just out of the periphery of your vision, there seemingly sits a priest amidst the magi. The Lord judge gestures to you angrily to make your rebuttal.

For some reason, you know that any argument for your innocence can only be made if you complete the move on the chess board that suddenly and inexplicably sits before you. An opponent of androgynous waxy features that half reminds you of Larissa and half of Professor Lyons corrects you with each move you attempt to make, pushing each piece back to it's starting position. Within your mouth you feel a crack as your teeth grind together, and bits of enamel begin to break free of their holdings. The taste of bile, gun smoke and decay floods your palate as you try desperately to find a legal move. As the figure restarts your attempts over and over again, you feel a sense of impending panic as the crowd begins to throng closer to watch you. There's a crack from behind as he or she replaces your last pawn, and you feel a cold sinking feeling from your chest. In a bizarre mental double vision you can see the resultant wound both internally and externally as the musket fragments begin to burrow into your skin, forming gray slag maggot-like embolisms as they burn their way into your blood stream and eventually into your heart. Your body is trapped in burning paralysis as the figure gives a Cheshire cat grin and clears the board.

You awake in a cold sweat, heart pounding. It's 1878. Her father is out of the town on business and you've stolen a moment to sleep by her side. Scandalous for sure, but you bribed the help well enough. It's morning and her hair should be catching the sunlight when she turns her curved form languidly back over toward yours. Relieved that the dream is over, you lean against her to steal a kiss. To your dismay her body is cold, and turning her face towards yours, you see a familiar set of half bloodied gash marks which near to separate her neck from her body. Her eyes start once toward you before lying still, dead and glazed in their sockets.

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