Reza: The Changing of Jazadeem
They fell into place to surround the secret chamber. Ezdras had already placed force shields at each entry so that no one could make their escape. Voices could be heard in the distance, laughing. It sounded as if a grand event was taking place. The signal came to their panel that they were in place and ready. They rushed forward, entering in force. People began to scream and run. A few tried to fight. Aidan and Reza moved quickly to the center ring… and there he stood. The Sulkar. The sight of him made their blood run cold, a long ago nightmare back to haunt them once again. He stood center circle, his nude body a silvery gray. Blood had been used to draw the symbol of the Sulkar across his chest. His clawed hands, bloody. His arms out stretched, his stance wide, head held high as he looked directly at them. His expression was one of defiant humor. They moved quickly towards him…and then in the blink of an eye the specter appeared, cloaked the Sulkar in darkness, and was then gone. Udan Du’mason, son of Sheda, Swela of the Sulkar, was taken by the specter…out of harms way. Ezdras and the Varda-Condra had entered in force and the spectators to the ceremony…the crime, were trapped. No one but the Sulkar had made their escape.
The crime scene was shocking. The enormity of the atrocity, the monstrousness of the crime was staggering in its brutality. Aidan and Baj-rei, Hiro, Vichon and Reza walked towards it. Aidan felt the bile as it rose in his throat. Baj-rei spoke to him.
“Go son, she’s not here. Find her. You must hurry.” Aidan moved quickly out of the main arena, where the ‘event’ had taken place. Watching the scanner and searching with his mind for Sasha. Baj-rei’s eyes closed for a brief second as he spoke his words to the Maaz-ra-dune, a prayer, that what he thought he was seeing was just an illusion, a mirage, anything but the truth told by his first glance. The circle of power had been invoked. Inside, two pyramids lay mirroring each other. They stood without words as they beheld the ruins of the ritual that was laid out before them. Baj-rei held his breath. Vichon gasped. Hiro and Reza stood deadly still. Two women, they lay nude with their feet bound to one another’s at the dividing line of the pyramids…spread eagle, arms tied out stretched. Sophean was easily recognized. Her eyes stared off into the darkness. Her body looked to have dozens of fine shreds running the length of it. Scratch marks, rips. Bite marks could be seen in dozens of places all over her body. Blood and semen pooled between her legs, the rise and fall of her chest barely seen. Shock had set in. The other woman not recognized at first…Desanya Mia of the Condra. Baj-rei choked on fury as he tried not to turn away. Vichon began to take a step forward, stopped by Hiro. Her head had been removed and was lodged high between her legs, stuffed into her mouth, were her ovaries. Her left hand held her heart, her right hand held her womb. A symbol, a warning…a deadly promise.
Baj-rei turned to step away. His eyes caught on the people standing in custody, surrounded by Ezdras, people who had come to bare witness to this atrocity, people who had come to participate in this grotesque horror, this nightmare. He searched their faces, recognizing a few, his mind still teetering in disbelief. Hiro spoke softly.
“It is the circle of power used by the Sulkar for their ritual ceremonies. They have left the Dueya-non, a visual record of the ritual. A message. We will need the witch Ezsa-Anue to open it to us…or it will not be safe.” He nodded to Hiro and then to one of Ezdras, she moved immediately to comply. He motioned to another of Ezdras, she came forward and he spoke softly, close to her ear. Baj-rei ordered all to be held in custody while Ezdras prepared to open and transport them to the Peinta-quinton…a prison not used for nearly five hundred years. All would be confined and would be examined to discover the extent of the damage from the implant and to acquire the prisoners’ memories. It had to be determined rather or not this implant created this behavior or stimulated behaviors already there, also to discover the extent of each person’s participation in these crimes. Banusar was among them. Reza saw and singled him out. Banusar did not see it coming. The power that picked him up and tossed him into the circle stunned him. He scrambled to his knees to see Reza standing over him. Reza spoke loudly for all to hear. He spoke without passion, blunt, perfunctory as he slowly circled Banusar.
“You have been charged with crimes made against our Lady Beddia, the worst of these crimes being the murder of soul and of spirit. You have brutalized and subjugated others for personal pleasure. You have made spectacle…entertainment of this brutalization to aggrandize your… self, for the purpose of self empowerment at the expense of the innocent. You have used fear to dominate and control. You have stolen the spirits of the innocent for the sake of perversion. You have taken unto yourself a brutal and demonic Master and have abandoned your gentle and kind Mistress…the one you swore your solemn oath to protect with your life. Your word bond has been betrayed to us…your sovereign rulers, the Varda. You have executed and shown severe abuse of both station and power as one of trusted council and have worked to undermine the peace and tranquility of our Eden Beddia…I am here to accuse and to sentence you for these abuses…for these crimes.” His pace around the Councilor had become menacing. His sword pointed at him with every word spoken. Banusar was already gasping from fright. Baj-rei, Vichon and Hiro stood outside the circle and quietly watched as they knew what Reza would do next. He would take his revenge for Leeanan. Reza continued.
“I have seen in the mind of another, your love of the spectacle for the purpose of titillation, we will not break with this penchant of yours…disrobe Councilor so that I may pass judgment.” Banusar was now shaking,
“My Lord, please have mercy, I”
“Disrobe Councilor I will not speak it again.” Banusar began to drop away his robe. The trusted robe of Council. He was nude underneath. The blood of the innocent had dried on his body. He had participated in the atrocity that had happened here this night.
“You wear the robe of a station of trust and you have betrayed this trust on so many levels councilor.” Reza now turned to a more personal tone. He was now looking directly at the Councilor. His sword moved so swiftly it was not seen only heard as the whoosh rushed by the Councilor. He looked to see a thin red line across his chest, slowly the blood appeared. It began to drip down his chest. He let go a cry of fright.
“Please my Lord. My mind was captured. I did not know what it was that I did. I am innocent. He used me. He” Reza continued dispassionately.
“I have seen innocence Councilor…and as I am no innocent, it is easy for me to recognize. And you…are not it. I too am evil councilor, but I used that evil to uphold my sworn duty to my Lady Beddia and her people. I kill…those who wish to exploit and plunder her. I…am her appointed executioner.” His sword moved again, another slice appeared across the councilor’s chest. He fell back onto his haunches and screamed.
“Mercy my Lord… Mercy please.” He was now crying. Reza stepped closer, his sword moving to the Councilor’s throat.
“Tell me the names of those to whom you have shown mercy, at one of your…masters… events… Banusar, if you can. Who have you graced with your mercy? To whom have you shown your compassion? Name one innocent that you have helped to save from the horrors and atrocities that we have witnessed here on this night? Give me a name and I will give you mercy.” As Reza had walked around the Councilor, his sword trailed lightly around the councilors’ throat leaving an ever so thin slice that had slowly begun to bleed. The drip, drip, dripping of the blood onto his chest drew his attention, He screamed in panic clutching at his throat. Reza gave him no time to answer.
“You have beaten, battered and brutalized those of innocent spirit who had trusted you…for this I sentence you…” Reza bumped against him causing him to reach to brace himself against the fall. Before his hand could reach the ground, the hand that had beaten Leeanan, had been severed from his wrist. Banusar fell onto his back clutching the bloody stump that pumped a spray of blood to the rhythm of his heart. Screaming, clutching to stop the blood from rushing…Reza continued.
“You have committed rape. A capital crime, and for this I sentence you…” It was so swift, the blade so sharp, he did not feel it. But the visual horror of it stopped his screams as he looked to see his penis lying on the ground in front of him. Blood gushed, the Councilor swayed from the loss of blood, shock was setting in.
“And for your crime against our Lady Beddia to bring corruption and brutality and war to her door, as you have acted as a gateway and a conduit to the destruction of our codes and laws…I sentence you to… Death.” He turned to face all of those held in custody that had stood watching in terror. His blow was swift. The councilors head was heard as a thud, as it hit the ground, his body went limp. Blood pooled around him. Sobs were heard from the darkness as the Ezdras began to herd the prisoners out. Baj-rei stood with eyes closed. He remembered the brutality of the Third Moon War, and that of the Harmonics War. He had witnessed something from a beloved son that he had never seen before. He was both proud of and sad for his son that this had come to him. No man should ever have to behave in such a way. His son had become Leeanan’s avenger. But only one of these criminals lay dead. It was time to move forward. Reza’s eyes scanned the crowd. He spoke loud and clearly for all to hear.
“Where is Councilor Kern?