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    C. Henderson
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Sacrum - 28. Chapter 28: An Angel Boy

Cecilia waited for the elevator doors to open while staring at her phone and double-checking that she had indeed received the correct message. She opened her email once again and read the same subject line she saw pop up on the screen just five minutes ago: “Emergency Hearing, Department of Justice, Room 113.” She’d never had this many emergency hearings in such a short span of time. What a highly unusual time it was to be a court reporter, she thought.

She quickly made it to her small desk, straightened out her typing machine, and took a seat. The court was almost empty, which wasn’t unusual for emergency hearings since they were so last minute. She noted with displeasure that the culprit of the hearing was once again Commander Arani Deadnus, who sat next to the State prosecutor, Mr. Fishley.

Deadnus wore all black, which was typical for her. Her face bore an expression of excitement, as if whatever was about to happen was surely going to please her greatly. Cecilia quickly turned her head away—for some reason Deadnus always gave her the heebie-jeebies.

Looking to the other side, she was happy to see Edward Graham. She smiled at him, but he didn’t seem to notice her. For the first time in his career, he appeared nervous, and Cecilia wondered what the reason behind it could be. Graham was a natural in court, so it was strange to see him anxiously glance between the papers on his desk and his client.

When Cecilia turned her eyes to the client in question, she felt her heart melt a little. He was a beautiful sight to behold. He had blonde hair and blue eyes and his face was a mixture of boyish charm and a type of sensuality, probably due to his shapely red lips and the lovely contour of his face.

There was something sweet about him—an innocence and frailty of sorts. It was as though he’d been untouched by the ugliness of the world around him and kept under a glass cover for all these years, until he somehow found himself at this hearing. He was, Cecilia thought, the most angelic looking vampire she had ever seen.

He sat next to Graham nervously fiddling with his fingers and biting his lip, until the door opened, and Judge Carter appeared.

It was at this moment that Cecilia heard an audible groan coming straight from Deadnus’ mouth.

“I thought I requested a different judge,” she whispered viciously to Fishely, who shook like a leaf in the wind next to her. Judge Carter cleared his throat.

“You don’t get to ‘request’ judges, Commander Deadnus, that is not how the law works.” She remained furiously silent. The judge continued, “Now, what is the emergency this time, pray tell,” he asked, disregarding the papers in front of him, and looking at Fishely.

The State prosecutor stood up and began with a shaky voice.

“Your honor, we are here to request a court order to transfer the defendant, Daniele Aleksander Marchesi, out of Baritone High School and into a secure State approved medical facility,” he said, and the blonde boy next to Graham looked positively terrified.

Judge Carter’s face was impossible to read. “On what basis?”

“We have received unsatisfactory reports from the school nurse, which I have submitted to you in full, and it is our intent to put the defendant under full-time supervision.”

The boy glanced over at Graham, as if he was the only person who could save him. But Graham sat quietly, looking almost as nervous as Fishely—but not quite.

Judge Carter continued, “Speak plainly please, your roundabout talk is hurting my head.” Fishley looked embarrassed.

“I apologize for the confusion, your honor. What I’m trying to convey is that the medical staff at Baritone have concerns regarding the defendant’s health, and as he is about to become a State employee, we would like to work those concerns out before he turns of age.” Graham gave an audible snort of disgust and shot Fishley and Deadnus a look of pure contempt.

Judge Carter replied. “Fishley, I consider myself to be someone possessing a decent amount of intelligence, and I’ve been a judge for many years, so explain to me why, for the love of God, I am still not comprehending what you’re saying,” Judge Carter said, sounding tired and annoyed, and Fishely seemed to deflate on the spot. “What health concerns are you talking about? I’ve read the reports in front of me, the defendant seems to be in perfect health.”

Fishley took a nervous glance at Deadnus, who sat next to him looking agitated. “Commander Deadnus, do you care to clarify for me? Perhaps it’s been a long day and I’m missing something obvious,” the judge said sarcastically.

Deadnus got up to speak.

“The defendant is a Special. We’re not happy with his progress. We would like full-time access to him so we can monitor,” she stated quickly and simply, then smiled.

Edward Graham shot up.

“Your honor, my client passed the Specials Summit without a problem, while others failed. I don’t see Commander Deadnus requesting for any of them to be locked up in some medical ward.”

“Is that right, Commander Deadnus?”

“He barely passed,” she replied with annoyance.

“Please don’t waste my time. You either tell me what’s going on here, or I will dismiss this nonsense right now,” Judge Carter snapped back, raising his voice. Deadnus seemed taken aback at someone speaking to her in that manner.

“Very well then,” she replied, nodding her head vigorously as if preparing for battle. “I believe that the defendant was in a conspiracy with his late mentor, Vinicius Valentini. I believe he had taught the defendant about the theory of rebirth,” she said, and Cecilia let out an involuntary gasp. Judge Carter appeared shocked, but Deadnus continued undeterred. “And I believe the defendant is trying to carry out his late Mentor’s wishes.” Edward Graham was absolutely speechless, as was everyone else in the courtroom.

“Are you saying what I think you’re saying, Commander?” Judge Carter asked slowly.

“I’m saying that I think the defendant is trying to become reborn,” she replied, and Cecilia could hear the amount of disgust she placed on the last word.

Graham continued to sit in silence, staring at the judge in shock and horror. Meanwhile the blonde boy sat in disbelief and uttered an almost silent, “What?” at the accusation.

“Mr. Graham, do you want to say anything? These are incredibly grave accusations,” the Judge said. Graham finally seemed to get a hold of himself as he got up and straightened out his tie.

“Your honor, these accusations are absolutely preposterous. Let’s accuse him of having contact with U.F.O.’s next, I mean why not?”

“Don’t make fun of me, Graham!” Deadnus shouted, getting out of her seat. “You know very well what Vinicius was capable of. It’s not outside the realm of possibility.”

“Silence!” The judge bellowed. “Do not speak out of turn in my courtroom, Commander Deadnus.” She looked boiling with rage but sat back down.

Graham continued in a soft yet outraged voice. “Your honor, I beg you to see reason here. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that anything such as ‘rebirth’ even exists. It’s a wild theory, and certainly has nothing to do with my client, a high school student who’s worried about completing his math homework and spending enough time with his friends. What he’s being accused of…these are the utterings of a complete lunatic. If anyone needs to be placed in a medical facility, I think it should be Commander Deadnus, because she’s clearly unwell.”

“How dare you!” Deadnus said in the deadliest voice, making the hair on Cecilia’s arm stand up.

“Don’t get smart, Mr. Graham,” the judge warned. He looked at Deadnus. “Do you have any proof of this?”

“Your honor, he is State property, I shouldn’t need proof. I am requesting that I should be able to decide where he is placed.” Graham laughed out loud in anger.

“That’s not what this hearing is about,” he snapped.

“I should be in charge of him!” She yelled.

“Do not shout in my courtroom, Commander Deadnus, or I will have you thrown out,” Judge Carter warned, and she looked offended at the suggestion. “Who is Mr. Marchesi’s Proxy?” He asked, looking at Graham.

“Ms. Melinda Moretti. She is waiting outside in the event that you’d like to speak to her.”

“I would indeed,” Judge Carter replied.

“A human? She’s going to decide what I should do with my Special?” Deadnus snapped.

“Silence,” the judge replied, ignoring her.

The court’s security officer brought in a timid looking woman, who seemed to be nervous in the room that had only vampires present. However, she did raise a smile upon seeing the blonde defendant, and he weakly smiled back at her.

Deadnus looked on displeased.

“Ms. Moretti, are you the Proxy for the defendant, Daniele Aleksander Marchesi?”

“I am,” she replied proudly.

“And how do you feel about Commander Deadnus’ proposal to move him to a medical facility?”

“Oh, what does she know!” Deadnus complained from her seat.

“Don’t make me ask you to be quiet one more time, Commander Deadnus,” the judge said. Moretti straightened her head and looked more certain of herself after hearing the insult.

“Dani should stay at his school where he is safe and protected. He is still very young, he needs stability and a routine, which his school provides him with. His medical reports indicate that there is nothing wrong with him. Your honor, his Mentor chose me to be his Proxy, and I take my responsibility very seriously. I know that the decision is ultimately yours, your honor, but as his Proxy I vehemently oppose having him moved anywhere outside of the safe walls of Baritone High School.”

The judge nodded.

“Thank you Ms. Moretti, that is all,” he replied. She nodded and once again smiled at the blonde boy, who mouthed a grateful, “thank you” at her. The court officer escorted her out.

The judge seemed torn. He looked over at Graham.

“Mr. Graham, you do realize that in just a few months the defendant will be of age, at which point Commander Deadnus will be within her right to transfer him over to any facility she pleases,” he said. Graham seemed upset but spoke in a measured tone.

“We haven’t gotten there yet, your honor. My client is still just a student looking to finish the remainder of his school year amongst his friends and teachers, not in a medical facility where he does not belong. There is nothing wrong with him.”

“Can I say something?” The blonde boy spoke, making everyone turn and look at him. Graham shook his head, but Judge Carter had other plans.

“It is your fate we’re talking about. It seems fair that you have a say in it. Go ahead,” he said.

The angelic boy stood up, still looking unsure but determined to say something it seemed.

“Judge,” he started.

“Your honor,” Graham quietly corrected him.

“I’m sorry, your honor, I’ve never been at a hearing before,” he said nervously.

“That’s quite alright,” the judge replied kindly.

“Please, I don’t want to go to any facility. When I was transferred to Baritone, I didn’t know anybody. I was alone. But I have friends there now, friends I care about. And I have Mr. Graham, who’s become like a mentor to me,” he said, and Graham seemed touched by the sentiment. “Vinicius never talked to me about any theory of rebirth. I don’t understand why Commander Deadnus thinks that,” he said in earnest, and then with a breaking voice he added, “She took my dog recently. She took him and I don’t know what she did with him. But I would like my dog back,” he said, looking at her with the most heartbreaking expression.

“Is that true?” Judge Carter asked.

“No, he’s a liar. It wasn’t his dog. The dog belongs to The Protection League and will be euthanized.”

“You are cruel beyond measure,” Graham chimed in, looking at her with utter disgust. She, in turn, appeared pleased with herself.

Judge Carter seemed exhausted by the proceedings. He took a deep breath, then made his decision.

“In light of all this, I dismiss the order of transfer. The defendant will remain at Baritone High School until he turns of age,” he said in a decisive tone.

Graham exhaled in relief, meanwhile Deadnus whispered something seemingly nasty into Fishley’s ear, as he seemed to sink further into his seat upon hearing it.

Cecilia then watched as Graham hugged the blonde vampire for a long while. “It’s going to be okay,” she saw him whisper.

What a wonderful vampire he was, she thought to herself, as she put a cover on her overworked typewriter.

On his way out, after yet another win, and keeping the sweet blonde defendant close to his side, the attorney flashed his easy smile at her and mouthed a “thank you Cecilia.” This small gesture made the whole emergency hearing, and staying at work late, completely worth it to the smitten court reporter.

“My pleasure,” she replied, and watched the two of them leave together.

Copyright © 2021 C. Henderson; All Rights Reserved.
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This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Chapter Comments

Deadnus fears the Rebirth and is implying her involvement whether directly or indirectly in the demise of Vinicius.

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2 minutes ago, J.El said:

Deadnus fears the Rebirth and is implying her involvement whether directly or indirectly in the demise of Vinicius.

Great observation. Let's hope Dani caught on to it as well.

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Edward to the rescue again. Honestly, Deadnus does act like an escapee from the looney bin. Too bad the judge couldn't get Neo back too. Time for a rescue mission?

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2 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

Edward to the rescue again. Honestly, Deadnus does act like an escapee from the looney bin. Too bad the judge couldn't get Neo back too. Time for a rescue mission?

Thank God for Edward. And yes, we need a Neo rescue mission! 

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1 minute ago, C. Henderson said:

Thank God for Edward. And yes, we need a Neo rescue mission! 

Does Deadnus by any chance resemble Margaret Hamilton? For some reason I keep hearing "I'll get you my pretty" in my head every time she shows up.

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I wonder what Rebirth is about that it inspires such fear and hatred.  Deadnus' reactions are Graham's best weapons in court.  I hope that Dani can escape the clutches of Deadnes and the State.  This is just one more thing to push him to Vincent's side.  Maybe more information about Dahlia will help him gain the insight needed to break free.

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Dahlia was erased from history. Rebirth was erased from history. I wonder if they are linked?

It seems Deadnus has a history of abusing her authority, and we see a documented history of her throwing out unfounded accusations against minors with absolutely no evidence. Even in a corrupt government, surely there is a legal way of removing her from her position. No government can exist without the consent of the governed. Those with the power to replace her - even if corrupt - surely see the optics of her antics and how that could be a problem for them. 3/5 of the specials would never work for her under any circumstance. Surely that carries some weight, even if they are seen as simply angsty teens with government property stamped on their heels?

My final thoughts are of Dani. Is Dani rebirth? Or, at the very least a catalyst for the rebirth process? Vampires don't get sick. Humans get sick. Has the awakening of his powers sparked the awakening of rebirth within Dani?

 

Very good chapter. I look forward to the next. 

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1 minute ago, raven1 said:

Deadnus' reactions are Graham's best weapons in court. 

Indeed, she makes his case for him!

2 minutes ago, raven1 said:

Maybe more information about Dahlia will help him gain the insight needed to break free.

Yes, we have to find out more about her and why she's important.

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2 minutes ago, raven1 said:

I wonder what Rebirth is about that it inspires such fear and hatred.

I feel like she is scared that her immortality and thus her power would be stripped away from her by forcing her to revert to human. 

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Quote

Dahlia was erased from history. Rebirth was erased from history. I wonder if they are linked?
 

Ahhh yes, I wonder! We shall find out.

Quote

It seems Deadnus has a history of abusing her authority, and we see a documented history of her throwing out unfounded accusations against minors with absolutely no evidence. Even in a corrupt government, surely there is a legal way of removing her from her position. No government can exist without the consent of the governed. Those with the power to replace her - even if corrupt - surely see the optics of her antics and how that could be a problem for them. 3/5 of the specials would never work for her under any circumstance. Surely that carries some weight, even if they are seen as simply angsty teens with government property stamped on their heels?

You're right, if enough people did something about it, she would be out of power. It seems she's not the only corrupt player around though. 

Quote

My final thoughts are of Dani. Is Dani rebirth? Or, at the very least a catalyst for the rebirth process? Vampires don't get sick. Humans get sick. Has the awakening of his powers sparked the awakening of rebirth within Dani?

That's a great hypothesis. Could be! I can't say any more!

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4 minutes ago, Aaron728 said:

I feel like she is scared that her immortality and thus her power would be stripped away from her by forcing her to revert to human. 

That's 100% absolutely why the idea frightens her. It will become more clear as we dive into her history in future chapters.

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If Deadnus wants to control Dani in any fashion? She's going about it utterly stupidly. Using fear to control someone who can potentially disintegrate you with a thought is ineffective. If she continues how she is? All she's gonna do is get a bunch of people, possibly including herself, killed when Dani actually comes into his powers.

Honestly? Deadnus is just an idiot. She's been an idiot the entire time. Almost no action she's taken for the entire story has been practical, functional, or even remotely intelligent. She's basically just been an asshole for no real reason other than to be an asshole.

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6 hours ago, Nightlit said:

If Deadnus wants to control Dani in any fashion? She's going about it utterly stupidly. Using fear to control someone who can potentially disintegrate you with a thought is ineffective. If she continues how she is? All she's gonna do is get a bunch of people, possibly including herself, killed when Dani actually comes into his powers.

Honestly? Deadnus is just an idiot. She's been an idiot the entire time. Almost no action she's taken for the entire story has been practical, functional, or even remotely intelligent. She's basically just been an asshole for no real reason other than to be an asshole.

Good points 😂

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7 hours ago, Nightlit said:

If Deadnus wants to control Dani in any fashion? She's going about it utterly stupidly. Using fear to control someone who can potentially disintegrate you with a thought is ineffective. If she continues how she is? All she's gonna do is get a bunch of people, possibly including herself, killed when Dani actually comes into his powers.

Honestly? Deadnus is just an idiot. She's been an idiot the entire time. Almost no action she's taken for the entire story has been practical, functional, or even remotely intelligent. She's basically just been an asshole for no real reason other than to be an asshole.

I am going to be the contrarian. I suspect that Deadnus is well aware of what she is doing. She stated that Vinicius was an enigma of whom would likely hide something significant. She likely believes that Dani’s ability to transform energy was not given to him casually, for she likely believes that it was intentional and deadly. 
 

She is petrified of the rebirth, which is why she wants to keep Dani under close observation. If she detects any abilities related to rebirth, she will have him eliminated before he reaches full potential. 
 

The irony is that the ability to transform energy also means the ability to absorb, transfer, or remove energy. In essence, he could achieve the effects of rebirth upon others simply by removing energy - essentially stripping them of their enhanced abilities. Separately, it is possible that Vinicius provided Dani the ability to trigger a rebirth in either himself or in others based on his gifts.

Edited by J.El
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1 hour ago, J.El said:

I am going to be the contrarian. I suspect that Deadnus is well aware of what she is doing. She stated that Vinicius was an enigma of whom would likely hide something significant. She likely believes that Dani’s ability to transform energy was not given to him casually, for she likely believes that it was intentional and deadly. 
 

She is petrified of the rebirth, which is why she wants to keep Dani under close observation. If she detects any abilities related to rebirth, she will have him eliminated before he reaches full potential. 
 

The irony is that the ability to transform energy also means the ability to absorb, transfer, or remove energy. In essence, he could achieve the effects of rebirth upon others simply by removing energy - essentially stripping them of their enhanced abilities. Separately, it is possible that Vinicius provided Dani the ability to trigger a rebirth in either himself or in others based on his gifts.

Actually, you are missing my point entirely. I agree with everything you said, it's just irrelevant. Deadnus' mistakes are unrelated to her goals, other than being contrary to her achieving them. They are political in nature. She's going about it in a way which all but guarantees that she'll fail unless she gets very lucky. She's making enemies, she's arrogant, and she's letting that arrogance dictate her actions, even when it should be clear to any reasonable person that said actions are not going to lead where she wants to go. For example: As the leader of the protection league? She should be aware of vampire law. And yet, it keeps slapping her down in very basic ways. I'm sure there are more legal methods she could be using to get what she wants, and yet she keeps doing the same thing, despite that it's not working. And not only that? But she's destroying her political capital in the process. She's showing everyone who she is, and there are obviously enough vampires who aren't afraid of her, that this is going to destroy her in the long run.

Edited by Nightlit
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1 hour ago, J.El said:

I am going to be the contrarian. I suspect that Deadnus is well aware of what she is doing. She stated that Vinicius was an enigma of whom would likely hide something significant. She likely believes that Dani’s ability to transform energy was not given to him casually, for she likely believes that it was intentional and deadly. 
 

She is petrified of the rebirth, which is why she wants to keep Dani under close observation. If she detects any abilities related to rebirth, she will have him eliminated before he reaches full potential. 
 

The irony is that the ability to transform energy also means the ability to absorb, transfer, or remove energy. In essence, he could achieve the effects of rebirth upon others simply by removing energy - essentially stripping them of their enhanced abilities. Separately, it is possible that Vinicius provided Dani the ability to trigger a rebirth in either himself or in others based on his gifts.

Also very good points! 👏🏼

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10 hours ago, Nightlit said:

Actually, you are missing my point entirely. I agree with everything you said, it's just irrelevant. Deadnus' mistakes are unrelated to her goals, other than being contrary to her achieving them. They are political in nature. She's going about it in a way which all but guarantees that she'll fail unless she gets very lucky. She's making enemies, she's arrogant, and she's letting that arrogance dictate her actions, even when it should be clear to any reasonable person that said actions are not going to lead where she wants to go. For example: As the leader of the protection league? She should be aware of vampire law. And yet, it keeps slapping her down in very basic ways. I'm sure there are more legal methods she could be using to get what she wants, and yet she keeps doing the same thing, despite that it's not working. And not only that? But she's destroying her political capital in the process. She's showing everyone who she is, and there are obviously enough vampires who aren't afraid of her, that this is going to destroy her in the long run.

Her actions are perceived to outside observers as “mistakes,” but to her, they are reasonable. Most authoritarians reach the stage in which paranoia guides their decision making. This usually occurs toward the end of their reign as they perceive power slipping from their grasp. Moreover, due to their isolation and constant adoration from advisors and followers, they are lulled into a false sense that they can do no wrong. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

Although democratic in theory and at its inception, the Protection League has morphed into an authoritarian regime with some checks (habeas corpus). To keep followers in line, brutal displays are typically used to strike fear into the masses. A case in point, she needs the Specials to do the work of the Protection League, but she wants to keep them under tight control, so she had them partake in brutality as a way of letting them know that what they did to others can be done to them if they cross the League.

She is primarily focused on Dani because she fears him the most; the other Specials are nice, but he is the one of which she herself has stated. She suspects that he is significantly more powerful than Vinicius of whom they could not control. As she feels her power slipping (insolence from Dani), she will continue to be outlandish until even her most loyal advisors and followers turn against her. This pattern is common, which is why most authoritarian leaders are usually eliminated through similar brutal means used against others. 

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4 hours ago, J.El said:

Her actions are perceived to outside observers as “mistakes,” but to her, they are reasonable. Most authoritarians reach the stage in which paranoia guides their decision making. This usually occurs toward the end of their reign as they perceive power slipping from their grasp. Moreover, due to their isolation and constant adoration from advisors and followers, they are lulled into a false sense that they can do no wrong. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Uh... what part of something being "reasonable" to a person makes them smart? In fact? All that tells me is that she's dumb. What you think is reasonable has no bearing on what's ACTUALLY reasonable. And even if absolute power DOES corrupt absolutely that still doesn't change anything. Part of being able to make intelligent decisions is being able to make decisions from a point of view other than your own. Being able to think about things as objectively as possible, and that includes being as aware of your own biases possible.

In a sense? You just made an argument for my point. You are right, I assume, in the sense that she probably does think that she's being reasonable. But that's just FURTHER sign that she's being an idiot. Because the facts that are RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER? Say otherwise. And "trying to do the same thing even when it isn't working" is, in some people's eyes, the very DEFINITION of stupidity.

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4 hours ago, J.El said:

Her actions are perceived to outside observers as “mistakes,” but to her, they are reasonable. Most authoritarians reach the stage in which paranoia guides their decision making. This usually occurs toward the end of their reign as they perceive power slipping from their grasp. Moreover, due to their isolation and constant adoration from advisors and followers, they are lulled into a false sense that they can do no wrong. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

Although democratic in theory and at its inception, the Protection League has morphed into an authoritarian regime with some checks (habeas corpus). To keep followers in line, brutal displays are typically used to strike fear into the masses. A case in point, she needs the Specials to do the work of the Protection League, but she wants to keep them under tight control, so she had them partake in brutality as a way of letting them know that what they did to others can be done to them if they cross the League.

She is primarily focused on Dani because she fears him the most; the other Specials are nice, but he is the one of which she herself has stated. She suspects that he is significantly more powerful than Vinicius of whom they could not control. As she feels her power slipping (insolence from Dani), she will continue to be outlandish until even her most loyal advisors and followers turn against her. This pattern is common, which is why most authoritarian leaders are usually eliminated through similar brutal means used against others. 

Yes to all this 👏🏼. Excellent points! She is not in her usual state of mind at the moment. She's displaying major signs of paranoia and letting the "correct" way of doing things go as she perceives a threat which she fears is greater than her power.

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13 minutes ago, Nightlit said:

Because the facts that are RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER

She's in a great state of paranoia at the moment. She's not capable of looking at the facts in front of her with a rational mind. Everything in her head is disordered due to her fear of losing power.

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