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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Drums of War - 8. Tribunal Trouble

I would like to say the Tribunal was just a formality. I would like to say the Tribunal could see Gene and the others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially the missionaries. I would like to say it all went smoothly.

It didn't.

I knew Minnie and Rhava were on our side. We only needed two others from the Tribunal to vote in our favor to keep them from receiving any form of punishment. Nothing is ever that easy. The missionaries were set free without even being questioned, which was the best part of all of this. The duo ran over to Zeke who gave them both hugs. He didn't know Crestin Miller, the other missionary, but he knew Jordan Hawkins well enough. When Zeke put himself between them and the Tribunal, he made an obvious statement that they would have to go through him to even think about laying a finger on the boys should something go wrong.

The Tribunal was questioning each person separately if they felt it was necessary. One member from each pack was questioned, and they all invariably answered with the same reasoning from being in the territory: Missing pack members with all the trails leading into this section of Saskatchewan, Canada. All of the reports put the disappearances around the same time. Within weeks of each other, Homestead, the smaller packs of Rock Valley and Sioux City, Iowa, and the bear tribe from Worthington, Minnesota, had all lost members. These times matched up to the missing persons from Equis and her sister tribe Swan Camp out of Manitoba, Canada. It was all too neat to be coincidental. The Tribunal acknowledged that much.

When Gene was called forward to speak, two of the Tribunal sneered at him. I knew there was some beef between him and them, but I hoped it wouldn't matter. “Please state your name and your affiliations.” The speaker was an older man. So old, in fact, that I couldn't put an age to him. He was far older than Aunt Minnie, and I think she was the next oldest and in her eighties. A passing thought was I hoped I looked as good as her when I turned eighty.

Eugene Ignatius Alexander Marvin Cassidy Johnson. I once belonged to the East Coast Pack but am now the Lunais Liaison for the Lycan Council to the United States.” His voice didn't give much away. “I am also affiliated with Homestead as Security Adviser, having helped trained half of their hunters and enforcers, four of which are seated just over yonder, if you need to have verification.”

Officer Johnson,” began the eldest, using Gene's Honorific as a member of the Council, “Could you state your purpose for being in the territory?”

It has all been documented with the Lycan Council, Eldest, but I shall paraphrase. I was consulted by several other packs for tracking down missing members. I took personal leave from the Council for these since, unfortunately, they didn't see a few missing people as reason enough to investigate.” Not the best of news, but if the Council sent out people for each missing person, they would have no forces for actual emergencies. “It wasn't until a few Mormon missionaries went missing that anyone seemed to take notice, and by then, Jonathan Davenport of Homestead had called me in to aid a few of his men in the search.”

Why would he call you in personally?” asked one of the Tribunal who had sneered at him. I didn't like his tone of voice at all, but Gene seemed unphased.

Jon and I have known each other for a decade. He knows my background and I'm pleased to say his son sees me as something of an uncle.” He gave me a grin, and I stuck my tongue out at him. Formal meeting or no, he was right. He was family to me. “I was to start my search at Homestead's northern border and see what I could find. I found a faint trail that lead me to within a few miles of Equis Camp. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what happened after.” That put a nasty twist on the man's face. Why didn't he like Gene?

I wasn't the only one to notice, either. The Eldest, Minnie, and Rhava all noticed the man's lack of propriety when dealing with Gene. I mean, it was fucking obvious. I wondered why Gene was putting up with it at all. Such blatant animosity could be cause to have the man removed from the Tribunal proceedings.

What did you find before you were detained?” asked the Eldest, his glance at the rude speaker silencing him for the moment.

All of the disappearances can be linked to Lycans from the east. How far east, I cannot be sure, but they are Lycans, not Skifters. Multiple types as well, since I saw wolf, bear, and weasel tracks, as well as the swaying tracks left by a serpent.” Gene's findings made me blink.

Lycan snakes? Holy shit balls! Why had no one told me about those yet?

Are you sure of your findings?” asked the hostile man.

If I may speak, Honored Eldest,” came Colton's voice before I could say anything. When given permission, Colton stood. “I'm Latrans Lunais, and I can confirm from my own search that Lycans are responsible. It would take me some time longer to get more information, but I can tell you that it was Lycans from the east, maybe even as far as Quebec.” Once he was done, he sat. He did glance at me to make sure it was kosher to have said anything, and I gave him the briefest of nods.

The Eldest nodded a bit. “As no one can doubt the abilities of the Latrans, be they Lupus or Lunais, I will accept both findings as valid.” He was quiet for a moment. “What would your actions have been when finding we held some members of the American packs?” He asked Gene.

Asked why and reported back to Alpha Davenport and the Council of my findings. Since they were not harmed in any way save for being annoyed by the sound of falling water for all eternity, it is in my opinion, and would be my recommendation to the Council, that no actions be taken against Equis Camp.”

Were you not a Hunter once for the ECP?” asked the hostile man. Why didn't someone shut him up?

I was, some years ago,” Gene replied easily.

You were taught many things about questioning, correct?” Gene nodded, his face impassive. “Including how to lie convincingly.”

Why, yes. I'm a teenage girl named Petunia, and I just love One Direction.” His scent never shifted to say he wasn't a teen...where had he come up with that bullshit?

No change in scent. How can we trust any of his testimony?”

Because I haven't said anything about you, Anthony. Keep your own tone civil, and I won't be forced to tell the truth about you.” That came out with the most venom I had ever heard from Gene. The look in his eyes was also one I would never want to be the target of. I would probably kill myself to save me from whatever tortures Gene could come up with.

Do we need to take a moment?” asked Minerva, her own tone warning. Everyone flinched when she spoke. Grandpa could use that tone, too, if he wanted. It stopped everyone and made them think of every sin they may have committed. If it was genetic, I couldn't wait to be able to do it.

I don't believe it will be necessary,” said Gene with a final look at this Anthony guy.

You may sit with your friends and family, Officer Johnson, while we deliberate,” said the Eldest and the seven Tribunal members got up and walked some distance away, all sound and scent of them vanishing. That was some potent wind magic.

So...spill,” said Zeke to Gene as he sat down. “What's with Anthony McShithead?” The eternal gossip wanted all the dirt.

Gene grinned and shook his head. “As I know I won't get any peace until I tell you something, I will say this. He was once a fellow Hunter from a small pack that was absorbed by the ECP while Travis's predecessor was Alpha. Their alpha had died rather mysteriously, but no other alpha could be found to take the position since the last four alphas all died from questionable circumstances. Anthony tried to keep the pack together and appeared to be trying to place himself in as Alpha, but certain questions were raised about his activities leading up to the deaths.” All of us were listening with avid attention. Not only was it some seriously juicy gossip, but it was Gene telling a story.

With too many people not supporting him, Alpha Lawrence was approached to take in the pack since the ECP shared a border. He accepted. Anthony was rather vocal about his opposition to this. I can confirm two facts. One is Anthony hired a few Lycans to try and 'persuade' the others to follow him. The second is his hired goons were the ones that turned Travis Andrews, thus setting up the line of succession for the ECP. The mysterious death of Alpha Lawrence one year later made Travis the alpha, and I was on the investigation team. While I could not prove Anthony had a direct hand in it, I can say his brand of seditious talk was on the lips of those who did.”

I know my scent went cold. My glare swept over to the Tribunal group, and I could see Rhava was looking right at me, gesturing for me to keep calm. How did he know I was about to charge over there and rip Anthony's fucking head off his shoulders and shit down his neck? Then I looked over to Marcus who was sitting a few seats away. “What are they saying?”

His mouth quirked a little, but he spoke. “I was wondering if you would ask me that. I can relay Rhava's thoughts if you like.” I nodded. He moved over next to me.

* * *

Rhava, could you make us private?” asked the Eldest.

Of course.” The barrier to stop scent and sound went up. Marcus, can you still hear me?

I can.

Then remember everything said or not said, and let Cousin Dylan know if he asks.

I shall, beloved.

It seems to me that all involved were innocent of harming this camp,” said one of the other Tribunal members. “Why the missionaries were even taken is beyond me.”

My brother wasn't taking any chances. They were treated far gentler than the rest.” Rhisi never takes any chances. Only if he thinks he will succeed does he act.

True, my heart. Marcus replied.

Missing group members is reason enough to track them, but should they not have informed us they were coming?” asked another member.

All of them were taken outside our territory,” Minerva stated, “so no permissions were needed. True, they were very close, but still not within our lands. Questioned at the border would have been correct procedure, and I don't fault Rhisi for his behavior, but can we pass judgment on those who have done nothing wrong to us?”

At least one of them can be,” mumbled Anthony.

Ah, here we go. Enter the idiot. Marcus just laughed at that.

Member Anthony is right. Officer Johnson is known to have been in special forces and even on some black op missions. It would not be out of the question should he have ulterior motives.” Member Trudeau's statement was plain.

Have you any dealings with Officer Johnson?” asked the Eldest.

Personally, no, but he was assigned to a border dispute some twenty years ago. His reports, if believed, had him getting into and out of a rogue gang's lands without being seen or detected with all the information on the real cause of the dispute.” His tone was even. “I don't say this in condemnation, only to say it is not out of the realm of possibility.”

Even with the brief statement of the Latrans?” asked Rhava. “That boy couldn't lie if he wanted to.”

Anthony was about to comment when the Eldest spoke up. “You are correct, Member Rhava, about the coyote's lack of falsehood. I am willing to accept Officer Johnson's reasoning for being here since the members of the Homestead delegation didn't even flinch when he said he had been contacted by their alpha.”

They would vouch for him. He said it himself they were close.”

Why is this sniveling mutt even on this Tribunal? Minerva asked of Rhava, which Marcus heard loud and clear.

Teacher mine, Gene just told Dylan and crew why he doesn't trust Anthony. Rhava relayed that bit of news, and it made Minerva's eyes narrow.

They are very close. He was their teacher, as well as being a close family friend of Alan, Jonathan, and Dylan Davenport. I find it interesting that you don't trust him, Anthony, since it is widely known your actions led to the infection of no less than two humans, and the potential death of several alphas.” Minerva's gloves were off, especially when Anthony glared at her. “You even think of trying to cast that spell, mutt, and I will fry you.” Her voice held the tone of inescapable death.

Both of you will calm down,” said the Eldest firmly. “Minerva, those are very serious accusations.”

And true. Officer Johnson was the investigator who brought the facts to light. While the deaths of the alphas were not proven, evidence showed that Member Anthony had a hand in it. If nothing else, inciting and sedition could be proven. Which is why he was exiled from the ECP and even the lands of the Lycan Council.” Minerva had altered her tone to be civil and even, stating fact without emotion. Her gaze hadn't altered one bit.

Anthony, you are excused from this Tribunal hearing,” said the Eldest. His neutral expression belied the tension along his elderly body. When Anthony didn't move, the Eldest flicked one finger and Anthony went flying, landing some two hundred feet away. “Now, we will need to ask one other person to abstain from the vote.”

I will,” said Rhava. “To keep a simple majority, I'll abstain.”

Why? Asked Marcus.

Because Minerva and the Eldest are going to vote in favor. The only two undecideds are Member Trudeau and Member Featherdance. Marcus could see why Rhava stepped out. Trudeau was known to look at facts and show very little emotion. It was the main reason why he was on the Tribunal.

Thank you, Member Rhava, although it may decide the vote.”

With one so obviously against removed, one who is so obviously for must step out for balance and fairness.” Rhava was looking toward Anthony as he just lay there, still stunned from the spell.

Wise of you, young one,” said Featherdance from Swan Camp. “With the evidence given, shall we vote?”

A vote has been called,” said the Eldest. He held up a black leather pouch. Inside were seven stones that could be changed by magic to show the vote either way. White stones were for, gray for abstaining, and black for against. “Cast your vote.” Each voting member channeled a bit of magic into the bag. When they were done, the Eldest dumped the contents into his palm.

* * *

I saw Marcus flinch a bit, but he nodded, “Share with the class, Marcus,” I said, nudging him.

He looked over to me. “I cannot see the verdict. Rhava has blocked it from me.”

I growled a bit. What use was a spy when the spy withheld information? I glanced over at Anthony as he picked himself out of the dirt and jumped in front of Gene when his hand came up. The bolt of lightning just fizzled out in front of me, completely harmless. Score one for the curse scar...which brought its score up to one. Two other spells just vanished a few feet from me, and by then Phuong had joined the fray.

Ever see anyone get struck by lightning? Well, in this case, it looked a lot like a cartoon. I could momentarily see Anthony's skeleton, his hair stood on end, and his body convulsed while sending off smoke. One bolt should not have done that, but I wasn't complaining. It did get the attention of the Tribunal, and Aunt Minnie's spell burned the clothes off his back. Something in me knew he would not be healing those burns. Ever. He stayed down this time.

Everyone okay?” asked Rhava as he rushed over. “Marcus? Phuong?” He checked them both over for injury and pulled them both into his long arms when he found them whole. “What did you hit him with?”

Her innocent look was totally fake. “A spell I learned from a Norseman. A storm shaman. He called it 'Thor's Hammer,' and I think I see why. Also...brought up some groundwater under his feet. For added oomph, you understand.” She gave me a wink. Totally awesome.

Rhava just gaped and pulled her into one steamy kiss. I thought she was going to hit him with Mjolnir, but she just wrapped her arms around his neck. I felt a hand fall on each of my shoulders. One was Gene, silently thanking me for stopping the spells. The other was Marcus, having to use me to keep him from falling over from the overflow.

Damn, her lips are soft,” he whispered, and I just laughed at him. “Were it anyone but you laughing at me, Dylan, I would have to hurt them.” But I understood. I had three perverted sex fiends in my head, he had one who at least shared his love for the same gender he liked.

The Eldest motioned for one of the other Members to go check on Anthony, then he cleared his throat. “While I understand youthful passion, can we get on with the proceedings?” Rhava pulled away, and I could see three faces flushed red. “Thank you. Will all involved please stand for our decision.” Phuong hastily sat, looking cool and calm save for the flush in her cheeks. Rhava sheepishly took his place with the Tribunal. “The final decision of this Tribunal, with four votes for and three abstaining, is you have all been found innocent of crimes against our Camps.”

Copyright © 2018 Fantasyboy69; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Excellent chapter. Don't mess with people you don't know. You will get hit with a "hammer" 

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I was so afraid you’d leave it at a cliffhanger and make us wait for the next chapter for the verdict!  Thank you so much for not torturing us. 

 

I can’t help wondering if Anthony has something to do with the disappearances. He’s definitely an unscrupulous, arrogant, dumbass.

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I am soo in love with this series. All the characters, the way you describe them. Everything. Just amazing. Can't wait for what's coming, because it looks like very interesting things are coming.

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On 8/25/2018 at 10:40 PM, centexhairysub said:

I think we all know, who we hope is behind this; can't wait to see some ass kicking in the future.

I know who I hope it is and his demise is long overdue. 

 

On 8/26/2018 at 9:13 AM, Hellsheild said:

Cooked usurper is a nice dish served with eggs Benedict Arnold and salad with Caesar dressing. 

Even better when it is extra crispy. 

 

Thanks for the new chapter. 

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I’m glad that Anthony was removed from the proceedings of the tribunal, I don’t think he should have been there at all as his actions showed us after he was removed and then had himself a bit of a nap compliments of Minerva. I appreciate the way the tribunal listened to everyone who was being questioned about the reason for their coming to Equis territory, when Gene was questioned he was almost a goner because of Anthony.  After Anthony was removed and Rhava said he would step aside from the vote and that way the vote would be even. In the end all were cleared of all charges. Great chapter I’m glad that Dylan held his anger towards Anthony as he was told that would be a bad idea even if it was for the right reason. On to the next chapter to see what they find and who’s responsible for the disappearance of the different pack members.

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Interesting trial, but I definitely agreed with the verdict.  Phuong just earned herself two husbands.  That should stir up things at home.  The only problem is whether they can go back with her.  They both seem important to their own pack.  I wonder if their children would be pegasi.  

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