The Highest Suit


dema_icon.gif lynette_icon.gif

Scene Title The Highest Suit
Synopsis Lynette is called before a fickle court of cards, dealt by Dema.
Date November 23, 2010

Pollepel Island

Lynette's quarters.

Blink blink. For an instant, Lynette Rowan sees the dim morning light creeping into her world. She catches one gasp of consciousness. In that instant, she has a choice, to stay awake, or to drift back into sleep, to catch whatever dream it was she just stirred from. With her luck, the dream was likely darkly tinged. Escape is an option to be seriously considered, no matter what chores or duties await the newly appointed councilwoman.

But, as it just Lynette's luck, the choice is taken away from her almost the moment it presents itself. Just as her head breaks the surface of sleeping, a firm hand grips her ankle and pulls her back down, down into the unfathomable, black waters of unconsciousness. Back into sleep she's drawn with a force too strong to easily come from within, a vehemence that, in the haze between true sleep and true waking, is hard to locate.

A Court of Cards

"Order! Order!" The booming voice of the presiding King of Clubs echoes out from behind his great raised bench. Behind him is draped the quartered flag of the Four Nations, a gathering of symbols : <3 - <> - c3< - <3< . Out in the gallery, a mass of citizens shuffle about in their seats, sliding between each other and settling into four ordered sections, achieving the desired order just as the King lays his mace-like gavel down hard upon his bench. Dark skinned, with a ash-colored wig upon his head and ashen robes draped over his shoulders, his features are smooth, minimal, but marked with a tiny mustache of light grey hair.

"The prosecution," pipes up the Knave of Spades, pale blonde hair slicked back from a high, smooth forehead, "wishes to call it's key witness. The Knave of Diamonds!" There is a comically loud gasp of surprise from the assembled, falling into murmurs of anticipation as a pair of Deuces move to open the courtrooms doors and usher the witness in…

Lynette turns around as the doors open, looking in at the court room with no small amount of surprise. she seems unaware of her own diamond-themed ensemble, from the red of her shoes to the jauntily places diamond clip holding the blonde hair back from her face. She's just a little too worried about being guided up into the witness chair at the moment.

Reddened lips part to speak, but with a single glance up to the King she closes them again, opting instead to give the court a warm, pretty smile. Trustworthy knave? It could happen. But other than that, she waits to be questioned.

The Knave of Spades, hair as slick and smooth as mink's fur, slides up to the witness's bench, leaning forward and smiling with small, neat white teeth. His eyes, a jet back, leer at Lynette unabashedly, head inclined away from the King who watches on with and impassive, grey-blue stare. The prosecuting attorney slips his hand into the pocket of his black velvet jacket and produces a single playing card, sliding it in front of Lynette. On it, drawn in stylized card form but unmistakeable, is a girl in profile with flowing red hair, a sword jutting up behind her, a small chess piece clutched in her hand before her.

"You are… friends with the defendant, th Knave of Hearts, are you not?" the dark knave says, almost casually, as if they're all friends here, really, "you saw her the night before she disappeared? Absconded one is tempted to say…"

"Objection!" growls a new voice, low and rumbling, from the defendant's table. A great, broad man with a ashen skullcap rises to his full and impressive height. There is a hint of familiarity in his considerable dimensions, and his face seems more clear, features more defined, than those of the other assembled cards. The defending attorney, the Knave of Clubs - the defendant's seat next to him empty - turns his deep set blue gaze on the presiding king. "Leading."

"Sustained. Strike 'abscond' from the record," the King says, causing the Knave of Spades to make a sour face, one that he immediately tries to salvage into sweetness. "My question, without lead, still stands."

Leering, it seems, is alright with a witness; while it gets a lifted eyebrow, there's also a crooked, sly smile on her face.

That smile goes away when the card is placed before her. Lynette looks it over, and although the objection gets her to pause, and a glance over toward the other attorney, she turns back to the card and the Spade questioning her. "I know her." Friends may be a stretch at this point. "I saw her in passing before she went into a coma, but I haven't spoken with her in quite a few weeks." She lifts her gaze up toward the King, though, her head tilting. "She's really a sweet girl. Just… clumsy, is all. What's happened to her?"

"Oh, she is implicated in a very grave crime. Treasonous crime, in fact. An offense to all four crowns," the Spade avers, turning his back to Lynette in order to better exhort the audience in the gallery. This same turn, however, brings him around to face the grim features of the Knave of Clubs, causing the Spade to spin on his heel, right back to Lynette. "Suffice it to say, we are trying her in absentia and, as precedent reveals, that rarely bodes well. A defendant unable to defend themselves doesn't often stand much of a chance, now do they?"

"Is the prosecution intending to ask any questions?" the King inquires, impatience running like a taut piano wire through his voice. The Knave of Spades dips his head in contrition and leans against the witness stand and appraises Lynette with his dark, greedy mustelid's gaze again. "So you deny having any contact with the defendant after the night of her ever so convenient disappearance? This," he lifts a single hand to form airquotes, "'coma'. Or alleged coma, we might better say. Your ignorance is, I admit, surprising in a young woman of your seeming intelligence."

"Treasonous? What in the world could she have done that's treasonous?" Lynette looks over to the defense, her hands going to her hips as she eyes him. "And why aren't you doing your job, huh? She's not supposed to have to defend herself, that's what lawyers are for." Duh, geez.

Looking back to the Spade, her brow furrows some as he goes on. "I said I saw her. I didn't stop and chat with her, but we go to the same parties," she says, dryly. "And we all were too busy then to do much socializing. Her included. She was working hard. We all were. And believe me, her hands were missed when she went under." When her eyebrow lifts this time, it's with far less amusement than before. "And your ego is surprising, for a man of your lack of prowess."

The dark Knave gives a tall, keening laugh, one echoed rather horrible by the cards in the gallery, a chittering chorus of menacing giggles and snickers and chuckles. They swell, and seem to multiply, forming a swarming of sound around the head of the prosecutor who gives the Knave of Diamonds an utterly uncalled-for smirk. "I'm a Spade, darling," he says, tone half sneering and half suggestive, "my ancestor was the Knight of Swords. I can meet any challenge to my prowess

"And don't forget, we can always try you in her place. A knave is worth a knave in any suit. I mean, besides the highest suit," his neat white teeth seem suddenly sharkish. The laughter in the gallery becomes interspersed with avid, voyeuristic whispers. The perspectives of the courtroom seem elongated, angles sharper, sloping lines longer. Things are getting bad in some fundamental way.

"Enough!" doesn't come from the elder club. It's the Knave that's stood up to confront his matching value, and to defend another same. He addresses the judge. "Defense demands a cross examination." The King nods, "I'll permit that," though where was he just moments ago? The Spade slinks back, stepping with a coyote's gait, retreating, slinking, but still hungry.

"Knave of Diamonds," the lesser club says, moving over towards the witness's stand and clasping his hands behind his back. Very familiar, he is. Towering and club-like in his massive way, he still moves with a certain delicacy and exactitude. "His conduct is poor, but the Knave of Spades' knowledge of the land is not. I do not believe the Knave of Hearts is guilty, but I do believe she is missing, and unless she can be found and allowed to defend herself, her chances are not good." He looks up at Lynette, deep set eyes touched with imploring. "You may not know where she is, but do you know who might? Who else is looking? Anything to help us find her in time."

"I'm not questioning you ancestor's prowess. He was a sword," Lynette says, holding her hands up and spreading then rather generously apart, "But you're just a spade," and this time, she draws them together again, with far less space between them, and she gives a mockingly sympathetic, "Aww." And she laughs at his threat, her hands dropping to the railing in front of her. "Oh yes. I can see that." And she looks up to the King, to note, "I am completely guilty of insulting this man's penis size. I do hope that's not a crime against the state."

Of course, she gets only the call from the other Knave, and she looks over at him with a somewhat sheepish expression. Whups. "She's not guilty. She's just a girl. Her only crime is maybe the ignorance and over confidence of youth, but nothing serious." She sighs lightly, shaking her head a bit before she refocuses on that familiar face. "Her sister might know. Or her boyfriend. I'm sure her boyfriend is, at the very least, looking for her."

The Knave of Clubs dips his head in agreement. "Only she can prove her own innocence," he says, "the court will need to speak to these others. Do you- have their cards?" The broad shouldered Knave extends a hopeful hand, palm upwards. The Knave of Spades, meanwhile, lounges in his chair and watches with a serpent's lidded eyes. "All this will do is unveil a vast conspiracy. Bring them all, please. We'll root out this corruption no matter how they may hide or protest."

Lynette's gaze slides over to the Spade, irritation flaring at his addition. "You know, you were a lot cuter before you got all soapbox in here." And perhaps his attitude is why, as a handful of cards are pulled out to look over, one of them is slipped protectively back into her pocket before two are handed over to the Club. The Queen of Hearts — Delia's older sister Lucille — and the Ace of Spades — Jaiden. The boyfriend, presumably. "They should be able to help you. Just… I know she and I hit a rough patch, but just… find her. Please."

The Spade cranes his neck to see which cards are being handed out, what names are being named. The appearance of an ace of his suit, however, makes him blanch. That sour, pursed look returns, like he just bite into a lime. Not so eager for the witchhunt now, it would seem.

"This will help, I promise," the lesser club says, taking the cards and holding them both up, one in each hand. His eyes move from painted face to painted face. "Defense releases the witness," he concludes, at length then, leaning forward to murmur to Lynette, his cardish, courtly accent lapsing into a less stilted Russian one, "I am sorry for this. I must do things this way, to gather all the threads."

The King slams his gavel against the bench. "Witness is dismissed. I am calling a recess. Both attorneys, meet me in my chambers in ten minutes." The audience in the gallery begins to stir again, rising and shifting from seat to seat in a pointless shuffle, one occasionally flickering out the door.

"It's okay," Lynette says, when she sees that blanching, "He's a nice guy. He's just… watery." What? "Just… I care about these people," she reaches up at the change in accent, her hand resting on his cheek as she smiles softly up at him, "Take good care of them. And her." When the King calls for them to join him, Lynette gives him an encouraging pat. "Knock 'em dead. Especially that cocky son of the bitch." And with that… heartwarming farewell, she steps away from the witness chair, heading for the doors again.

Her hands clutch around the card she didn't hand over, a flatter representation of a more male Ryans that she curls protectively in her hand as she sweeps out of the courtroom.

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