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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A New Novel, Part 218 You Have Been Accused of Sorcery

10 May 2011, A New Novel, Part 218 You Have Been Accused of Sorcery

For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.

Aksinya is in the street before her house.  Two men are removing all her goods from the house, and she is surrounded by police officers and priests.  The policemen have just told her she is under arrest...

“Under what charge?”
At that moment, the two priests stepped up to them.  They stood close behind Aksinya, but not too close.  Aksinya stepped back a little and rotated so she could address all of them together.  The taller priest had a thin and nervous face.  His eyes were piercing.  He wore a thick woolen cloak over his shoulders, but that didn’t hide the collar and dark robes under it.  The other priest was dressed similarly, but his face was less tense and a little rounder.
The tall priest sniffed and jerked his head up.  His German was tinged with a heavy Italian accent, “Who are you, officer?”
“I am Captain Gerber and this is Sergeant Nagel.  We are here to arrest the alleged Countess Golitsyna.  And you?”
“I am Archinquisitor Gallo and this is Inquisitor Esposito.  We are also here to arrest the alleged Countess.”  The Archinquisitor sniffed, “Is this she?”
Captain Gerber frowned, “She has made that claim.”
“Then it is simple.  We will take the Fraulein into our custody.”
Aksinya snarled, “Inquisitors?  Take me into custody?  What do you mean?”
Archinquisitor Gallo sniffed again, “It is always the same with these people.  They never imagine they have done anything wrong.”
Aksinya ducked her head, “I know I am guilty of much wrong, but I would like to know exactly what I am accused of.”
The Archinquisitor let out a slight smile, “Well that’s refreshing.  This should make things easy.  The main charge against you Fraulein Golitsyna, if that is your real name…”
“Of course it is my real name.”
“Hum, as I was saying before you rudely interrupted me.  You have been accused of sorcery.  That is the main charge.”
Aksinya’s hand rose to her cheek, “The main charge?”
“There are many others.”
“But I am Orthodox… You have no jurisdiction over me.”
“You claim to be a member of the nobility.  You have been a student in our Catholic schools.  You have made claims within the framework of the Austrian aristocracy.  Your actions have affected members of the church and its leadership.  We are allowed under the laws of this empire and the Catholic Church to accuse you and try you.  This is well established in law.  We also possess authority above that of the secular authorities.  Captain Gerber, you may have her following our trial.  For now, we will take the Fraulein into our custody.”
Captain Gerber wasn’t so easily cowed, “This is highly irregular, Father.  I need to check with my superiors.”
“You may check all you will, but I have both a secular warrant and an ecclesiastical one.  Inquisitor Esposito, the documents please.”

     The Inquisitor brought out a case with papers, riffled through it, and pulled out an official looking document with church seals on it.  He pulled out another with the seals of the Austrian courts.  He handed both to the Captain.

Did you wonder if things could get any worse for Aksinya?  Father Dobrushin told her not to leave the Ecclesia.  He didn't have any idea this would happen, but the logical flow is spectacular.  The police were watching for her.  The priests were watching for her.  And these aren't normal priests--these are inquisitors.  Did you wonder if there were still inquisitors in the Catholic Church--well, there are.  I'm am not taking any liberties at all here.

Note, in the scene setting, I describe the priests to you.  I use the priests to introduce you to the policemen.  We will see them again--yes, we will.  Likewise, I use the policemen to introduce the priests to you.  Isn't this a fun use of showing and not telling.  If you watch, they all ignore Aksinya.

Aksinya isn't happy with being arrested by either group.  Listen to the Archinquisitor's response, and more telling, Aksinya's.  Aksinya has come to terms with herself--do you remember why she came here in the first place--she wishes to accept her just punishment.  The Archinquisitor treats Aksinya like a thing or a child.  I intentionally made him to not be nice.  Inquisitors just can't be nice--it's not allowed.

Aksinya has a good point, but she is Orthodox and the Archinquisitor is right--all the things he mentions gives them authority to try her under the Catholic Church.  The Orthodox Church might have something to say about it, but do you think they will ask?  By the way, none of this is made up.  This was established law at the time.  This law was similar in all Catholic nations.  All the laws and legal procedures I will show you in this book are 100% accurate for the times.  The inquisitors have all the documents they need to take Aksinya into custody.  Now, think of this.  Even if Aksinya can somehow get out of an eccesiastical trial, she still has to face some kind of secular action--the police have a warrant for her too.  At this point, we don't know what it is, you might guess.  Tomorrow, Aksinya is taken into custody.

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