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.
The day of Aksinya's ecclesiastical trial has arrived. The first question is that of Aksinya's identity. She has announced her true name and that makes her a Russian Princess...
“I am a Romanov Princess and a Countess and I insist on being addressed properly.”
The Archinquisitor stood, “Inquisitor Esposito, are the Bockmanns here?”
“Yes, Archinquisitor. They begged not to testify unless absolutely necessary.”
“It is necessary. Right now. Bring Freiherr Bockmann into the courtroom.”
The inquisitor bowed. He went to the door, and after a few minutes, Freiherr Bockmann reluctantly entered the chapel.
The Archinquisitor sat in his chair, “Swear the Freiherr in.”
The Inquisitor held the Gospel book before Freiherr Bockmann, “You do swear by Almighty God, the searcher of hearts, that you shall speak the truth as you know it to this ecclesiastical court. And this as you shall answer to God at the great day.”
The Freiherr looked uncomfortable. He mumbled, “I do so swear.” He kissed the book.
The Archinquisitor took a deep breath, “The question, Freiherr Bockmann is the lineage of this girl. Whose child is she?”
The Freiherr turned toward the Archinquisitor, “I did not wish to testify in this proceeding at all.”
The Archinquisitor glared at the Freiherr, “This is a simple question, and we must know the answer to if we are to proceed.” He pointed at Aksinya, “I ask you again, whose child is she?”
The Freiherr wrung his hands, “She is the daughter of my sister, Princess Nina Vladimirovna Golitsyna, nee Bockmann and the Grand Duke George Alexandrovich Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov.”
The whispers began again, “She is a princess.”
“Quiet!” The Archinquisitor’s eyes snapped open wide, “You swear to this?”
“It is the truth.”
Aksinya smiled, “Archinquisitor, I insist that you address me as Princess. That is my right.”
The Archinquisitor colored and stood, “I ask your pardon, Princess Aksinya.”
The rest of the courtroom stood.
Aksinya didn’t lower her head, “Am I not owed an obeisance?”
The Archinquisitor bowed. The courtroom bowed. Aksinya stood and stepped onto the platform. She moved to the Archinqusitor. She put out her hand. The Archinquisitor dropped to his left knee and touched her hand. Aksinya continued, “It is not proper for you to sit above me, Father. May I take your seat?”
The Archinquisitor glanced at her then lowered his head. He choked out, “You may have my seat, Princess.”
Aksinya sat in the Bishop’s chair. She smoothed her soiled dress, “We may now proceed. Please continue, Archinquisitor. I am ready to hear your accusations against me.”
Alright! Aksinya finally gets a victory. Through all the novel, weren't you ready for her to win something. Not only did we learn her true background, we discovered a lot that we didn't really know. Do you remember the points about Aksinya's mother and her father. Everything that happened before now makes sense. Every statement Aksinya made now can be traced to her previous life. You can read out her life story--I don't do it for you. I gave you all the hints and all the history--everything comes together in this singular moment. If you wondered why Aksinya is the way she is--there it is in living color.
Now, you do realise this is a pyritic victory. Asmodeus had a purpose in degrading and making a fool out of the Archinquisitor. Not only that, the Archinquisitor will certainly desire Aksinya's blood much more now. The battle has come from a cruel man attacking a semi-child to a cruel man attacking a princess. The court realizes this, but the cruel man can't hold back now. The Archinquisitor must find Aksinya guilty--if he doesn't, he will likely stand trial for bringing such accusations against a princess. Do you see the subtle undertow that lurks just below this scene.
Aksinya does rub it in. She has won a victory, and she can't help herself--this is her personality.
The words and the protocol of the trial are accurate. Aksinya's claims and actions are accurate. She takes the Bishop's chair and insists that the Archbishop show her the respect she is due. Note the irony at the end of this piece: Aksinya sat in the Bishop’s chair. She smoothed her soiled dress. I don't want you to forget what she looks like or what is really happening around her. This is a deadly business that will harm many. The first round goes to Aksinya, but the outcome of the race is fixed. Notice, that she is in charge--for now. Tomorrow, the trial continues.