The murder trial started today. There is no sign of it stopping, actually. My descendants will find that most murder trials in the 1860s take under a day to decide. This is fast on record to be the longest one in the New Tveshi State. The courts drafted a lawyer for the assassins because no lawyer in Tveshė would take the case. They flew in an Iturji just out of law school who is very pregnant. Le has armed guards around lim at all times because the protests outside look like they could turn violent at any moment.
Adviser Tenes says that this looks like Tveshė after the Occupation ended. Le also says that four murders in the late 1600s each took nearly five days to decide because the evidence was so messy. Gods, could you imagine five days for a trial?
The paste has made the healing so fast that I hardly need the wheelchair, but I am still wobbly, and the wheelchair prevents me from moving my torso too much to compensate. The doctors and I argued for some time yesterday about when I will start physical therapy. I won’t miss a minute of the trial. I can’t.
Nobody checked my wheelchair for weapons. That is absolute insanity given the gravity of the situation. What if one of the protesters got into the courtroom with a gun and fired at the defense attorney?
Everyone outside had signs calling for the Regent to order their execution without a trial. Such things were commonly done before the Occupation. We can’t do that, though! The Atara Government Federation will file a complaint against Tveshė via the International Congress if we do not give these people a trial.
This entire thing is a sham. Who would give those who assassinated a world leader a fair trial?
Our Fadehin deserves quick justice, not five days plus of deliberation. Gods, I hope that this comes to a speedy end and that the culprits receive what they are due. If anything, the verdict should take less time to deliver. I don’t know why that is not the case. There is clear culpability. Those idiots from Atara are wasting all of our time.
Perhaps this is taking so long because the default sentence for conspiring to murder a member of the royal family is death. Nobody cares as much when it’s just going to result in an individual rehabilitation plan in the penitentiary. Unless someone fails rehabilitation, le’ll be out in under six years.
I have never actually seen the process for doing murder testimonies before. They gathered all of these ahead of time — mine included, given on 46 Poråkol, and I will not repeat everything I said because you can locate that testimony in the court archives. They’ll all be there.
The video testimonies are played on screens in the open courtroom. While one’s testimony plays, one is veiled so the court cannot watch us watching ourselves — which will distract them from the deliberations. The process is not like the minor offenses court at all, where they just have the prosecution and defense interview witnesses who are kept behind a screen with voice amplifiers. It’s — it’s very different, and more time consuming, perhaps not effective this way.
The videos ensure that the prosecution and defense cannot interrupt each other, which admittedly happens often during the minor trials. Maybe video isn’t so bad. Witnesses may be called up to verify testimonies and expand on something that was said — hence the veiling — but that seldom happens in these cases. All who testify take oaths, and the pricked index finger is shown to the camera.
Kitesrati accompanied me into the testifiers’ section of the courtroom. We wore our gyena knotted with our hair wrapped up in it. Kitesrati wore a deep indigo one that was sheer enough for me to see ler many small braids beneath the surface. Le did a spa treatment, and ler black skin is almost shining today. Le may have chosen deep indigo to complement ler amber-yellow eyes. Le’s … attractive, yes. A very attractive person. It must feel so strange to have a fiancée who fucked a traitor, even if I did it for the right reasons. Things will be awkward for a while.
I can see Kitesrati as a senator because le was so patient with me on our way, and if there is anything that pays in politics, it is patience.
Regardless, our matriarchs have started the marriage negotiation, and I am trying really hard. It helps that Kitesrati understands these circumstances and has thus not requested sex. Regent Thassañi asked me to bring lim here because le believes that having my fiancée present will deemphasize my connection to Akah Sehutañi. I need to watch my presentation in public.
My one concern is that Kitesrati might not achieve what le wants. The Kohjenya will take care of me. My successes and failures were bound to theirs through the blood ritual Matriarch Mohata told me to do. Kitesrati will not know about it until after the marriage ceremony. We will have to bring it up delicately. One of my fears is that if my involvement continues to escalate, Kitesrati and I might not grow close. I don’t need to be married in the end. I could see courtesans for sex. My hope is that I can make Kitesrati a companion. I had to fall in love with someone and betray lim for the Kohjenya to approach Matriarch Mohata about an alliance. What would le have to do to join me? To know things?
The state kept the accused in their cells for their protection given the crowds. The courts hired several people to go out among the demonstrators and seed those rumors, which will hopefully deter armed discontents. Later today, I heard from Kati that the real reason is that the police intercepted a plot to rip the assassins apart by hand after overwhelming the guards at the edge of the courtroom. That’s not even a humane death.
Most of the testimonies didn’t shock me. Sehutañi and ler co-conspirators denied that they had any official ties to the official Daybreak political body. Three of them showed remorse for not killing the Fadehin in the blasts, which made the deaths unhelpful.
Several knew that their plans had been compromised to some degree. They decided to progress anyway. Sehutañi was among them. After le clarified what le meant by compromise, both le and the interrogator fell silent.
Sehutañi broke the silence and said, “This wasn’t about destroying Tveshė. This was about sending a clear political message to world leaders: You are not immune. It means more now that everyone knows that our plans were compromised. You cannot stop a tidal wave. We know what is best for civilization, and the gods provided us the path forward. This has always been the case.”
“So, what you are saying is that you moved forward with this plan of attack — this extremely heinous action — because you wanted the murder to set a precedent?”
“No government on Ameisa is legitimate. No country on Ameisa can govern itself. This is what I know, not because anyone told it to me, but because my eyes were opened, and I have seen the light,” Sehutañi said. “Why do you think the police had no intelligence? We were good. I know now that I was responsible for the leak. My performance could have been better. We owe all of the rest to our good fortune, that it still happened despite me.”
“By the leak, you must mean the woman who gathered intelligence on you. What can you tell us about your relationship with Akah Nitañi, the Niksubvya?”
“We had a relationship. I hadn’t dated anyone from Narahja before. Being single when one is older means that one has fewer choices. I wouldn’t have eyed someone this young unless I had to,” le said. “Especially not someone from Narahja. My family wanted me to date. I thought that it made me seem less suspicious. It was important, at least during the plot, for everything about me to seem as normal as possible.”
“You deliberately used the relationship as a cover?”
“Yes, exactly.” Le paused and smiled. “I know that Akah Nitañi will watch this in court. What I need to say to lim is that I did feel something. I bared pieces of my soul to lim that had nothing to do with the assassination. The request in the Necropolis was real.”
“This is a warning for talking out of turn,” the interrogator responded. Papers rustled. “I have more questions.”
“You will have me answer them until you have gleaned everything you can from me, and then you will kill me. The cycle will continue,” le said. “Let’s talk about something else. Literature, for example. Or Seven, for fuck’s sake. Let’s talk about Seven.”
“This is your second warning. Next time, you will receive a shock.”
The cycle will continue. Does Sehutañi have younger cousins? How can one know that their fascination with lim won’t lead to the same obsession? Is that how Sehutañi started?
Sehutañi cannot send a message that world leaders are vulnerable. What le has done is provoke a revisiting of the laws that led to this unfortunate situation. We will roll back the legislation and have a country that is more wholesome and safe for its residents and its leaders.
I am so angry with Atara for intervening.
This trial should never have happened. The assassins will have time in front of people to say things. It has filled people with so many dangerous ideas. I cannot voice these thoughts to my family.
Just because I am a quarter Atarahi doesn’t mean that I agree with them.
Just because Sehutañi and ler sister committed two heinous crimes doesn’t mean that their entire family is bad.
We need to make sure that Kuresa citizens are protected because the majority of them are good people. I don’t know what to do about the others. How does one save children in a toxic extremist family? Heivenau, for example, Jikuvė’s son. How does one save that child Heivenau?
I am going out to socialize with monarchical advisers. I am so exhausted. Maybe Adviser Tenes will do most of the talking. Le’s such an argumentative chatterbox. This is really too much.