Gyovanth in the Courts of Hove
In due time, which was just under two weeks, Gyovanth did appeal to Ythac, demanding all his last treasures back (including the magic rings that Roroku had taken to inaccessible Kyspert), and a quite astounding variety of quite astounding punishments for the Expedition members and me. Ythac, as one might expect, told him to take the last clause out and petition me instead. “Or you could demand that Jyothky’s scales be pried off and she be immersed in a bath of caustic slug-leeches. She wouldn’t actually care about the physical part of that. You might be able to persuade her it was a beauty treatment or something. She needs that. She’s so matte-black and feminine.”
So, after another week, Gyovanth presented me with a list of crimes committed against him, and a list of demands. I read them carefully, in the Banners-Far-Above-The-River Potato Shipping Warehouse, and gave them to Pofku, an elderly bachelor drake who knows more about draconic law than most of us. “Oh, good, you’re not including me in the charges any more.”
Gyovanth stared at me. “You know about that?”
“Silly monster! Of course I do. I have been attending this case with considerable care,” I said.
“Are you sure you’re not biased — not unfair?”
“Oh, I’m sure I’m biased and unfair. All I can guarantee you is judgment that doesn’t keep me up at night. You will hate it and consider it biased and unfair, I’m sure. I will flatter myself that I have done a good job if very few other dragons consider it biased and unfair.”
This vague nod in the general direction of justice did not please him much. But he knew he was not going to get a better one.
He started with, “This divorce you have vomited forth upon me. I did not and do not consent to it.”
Pofku nodded. “Not required. Not expected. Unilateral by one spouse.” Pofku was not actually a very good lawyer: he never says a sentence when a single word will do. Gyovanth complained. Pofku had brought books and tomes, and showed Gyovanth certain relevant passages.
I crossed several items off Gyovanth’s list, as based on a fallacious legal argument and thus without merit.
Gyovanth’s second point was, “Your drakes cheated me. They suggested that, if I paid, I would be allowed to stay on the expedition. Then they tossed me — me! — out anyhow!”
So I asked, “Did they actually promise that you could stay?”
“Yes, they certainly did!”
So I got out all my transcripts of the conversation, from three nyxylith users, and compared them to Gyovanth’s transcript. Predictably, my three didn’t include anything close to a promise, and Gyovanth’s did. I checked with Tultamaan and Osoth, who were unambiguous. “Well, then. From this evidence, I have to conclude that you misunderstand and misremember the offer. Would you like to give me more evidence? You could bring in a witness from the expedition. You could repeat your testimony without veriception blocks. You could try to persuade Tultamaan or Osoth to testify without veriception blocks. That’s all I can think of, but if you have any other ideas, you may propose them.”
Gyovanth drummed his claws on an old potato bin. “There are no untainted witnesses. Dropping my veriception blocks would be ignoble. Tultamaan and Osoth would find a way to hide the truth despite veriception. I cannot press this charge further.” By which I understand, he’s approximately lying and knows he can’t get away with it.Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.