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 on trial in Wien, Austria. Aksinya was deposed and the court took a break. Aksinya and Father Dobrushin discuss the case. The presiding judge is preparing to call for the first witness....
“In the seminary, like most universities, we study theology. Post graduate work is in law, theology, or medicine. I studied law. One of the reasons the Orthodox Church sent me here was to help in the legal matters for refugees.”
“There is a further problem that will come up in the court.”
“Your immigration status.”
“Am I not legally here in
“You are and you are not. The red Russians sent a letter to the court requesting they extradite you for the murder of your family. The extradition is not part of this trial, but will become an issue at sentencing or your release. The white Russians wish you back to help rally the war effort. The same issue concerns your sentencing or release.”
Aksinya pouted, “I do not wish to return to
“I understand that. Where do you wish to go?”
“I don’t know. Beyond this trial, I have no purpose at all—other than to be rid of the demon.”
“Yes, we shall see about that.”
The spectators began to return to the courtroom. They hurried to their seats. Right at the specified time, the judges’ doors opened, and the Lay Judges then the Professional Judges entered the courtroom and took their seats.
Judge Richter shuffled his papers for a moment and made a decision, “We shall hear particulars about the theft of the house and goods first. Call the owner of the house, Herr Tauber as the first witness.”
Herr Tauber was an elderly and balding man. He wore a tight black suit with a split white cravat. He was thin and nervous. He sat tall with his buttocks perched primly at the front of the witness chair.
Yesterday, we learned more about Father Dobrushin. He is a lawyer whose job is to aid Russian refugees from the civil war there. Father Dobrushin brings up an important matter. Since he is an expert in immigration law, he is obvious privy to the information and knows what it means. This is a deliberate foreshadowing. I am introducing the idea to you. You realize the worst event that could happen to Aksinya is to be returned to Russia. In the hands of the red Russians, she will be tortured and murdered. In the hands of the white Russians, she will face eventual defeat and then torture and death at the hands of the red Russians. The demon couldn't ask for a worse end.
I remind you about the demon and the contract in the comments Aksinya shares with Father Dobrushin. When the judges return to the courtroom, the judge has decided to hear the case of fraud first. I define the first witness to you. Tomorrow, the first witness testifies.