Part 33: The Prosecution
: So, Sparrowson, how confident do you feel about this trial?
: ... I should get an assistant.
: Ah, the doors are opening.
: Alright, settle down, everyone, settle down. Is the prosecution here?
: Sparrowson, present. The prosecution is ready, your honor.
: Excellent. Are the jury all present?
: And it is to my understanding that the defense is representing themselves today, correct?
: That's... that's your cue, madame.
: Now, now. We have a procedure to follow, madame. Lets do this right.
: Ugh. Fine. Yes, I, Leonie Beaumort, am here.
: Very good. Now, defendant, you are being accused of three crimes.
: First, you are charged with the murder of Séverin Cocorico, the well-respected and benevolent prosecutor who worked for this very court.
: Benevolent prosecutor? What a joke of a phrase.
: Silence, if you please. Second, you are charged with conspiring to incite a rebellion.
: And we shall have our rebellion.
: I said, silence! Order, order!
: Your third charge is for the murder of Dame Caterline Demiaou.
: Sure. Why not.
: Your honor, I have no doubt that the defendant is guilty of her first and second charges. In fact, I myself bore witness to the murder of Séverin Coeorico. I could even deliver a testimony of the events.
: That won't be necessary. I confess.
: Silence from the defense, please! Continue, prosecutor.
: As I was saying, those two charges aren't to be contended. In my mind, theyre clear as day. But I would like to address the third charge in this trial session. The bombing of Chateau Criniére. The murder of Dame Caterline.
: I plead guilty.
: Plead whatever you like, madame. I don't believe that you played any part in the attack. You were in jail at the time of the incident. You couldn't have possibly had the means to even issue an order to a lackey. To help me uncover the truth, I call the investigative officer, Inspector Volerti, to the witness stand.
: Inspector Volerti, please approach the stand and recite the oath.
: Just what are you playing at, Monsieur Sparrowson?
: W-what am I playing at?
: This was to intended to be a straightforward trial. Why are you dragging this out with needless pedantry?
: I'm securing justice.
: Is that what you call this nonsense? Justice? Fine, but you're wasting everyone's time, if you ask me.
: Whatever. Let's get this over with.
: I, Inspector Juste Volerti, swear to speak without hatred and without fear, to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
: Excellent. Onto the questioning. Now, Inspector. Why do you believe that Madame Beaumort is behind the bombing of Chateau Criniere?
: Is it not obvious? Because she has a crystal-clear motive.
: The Madame wants a rebellion. By killing a prominent bourgeois figure in a dramatic manner, she stirs up tension between the classes.
: A motive? That's all your going by?
: Obviously not. I have evidence too.
: You... you have evidence that Madame Beaumort was behind the bombing? Real evidence? You didn't tell me about this before the trial.
: I didn't think it would be necessary to tell you. How was I to know that you would drag this out?
: Enough bickering, you two. Inspector, present your evidence
: Sic, no point ending that sentence.
: Very well, your honor.
: It was crudely fastened to a pillar, around fifty meters from where the explosion occurred.
: You will all burn for your sins...
: That message is no doubt intended as a declaration of violence. A warning of what's to come.
: As you can see, the poster was damaged in the explosion and the ensuing fire. The signatures at the bottom are nearly unreadable.
: Despite this, it is evident that two names fit the space perfectly. Those names are...
: F-Fontaine and Pierro? The two bar dwellers? I mean... I knew they were rebels because I saw them in the catacombs with my own eyes... but do you really think they did this?
: Of course. No other names fit the gap, and it is far too much of a coincidence for it to be anyone else.
: ... It's true... I can't think of any other names that cleanly fill in the gaps...
: The Inspectors evidence appears to be pretty convincing, prosecutor. Are you done with your direct examination?
: No, your honor. No, I'm not. There is no way that that poster was written by Fontaine and Pierro, and I intend to prove it.
: Youre welcome to try. But make it snappy, Monsieur Sparrowson.
: Let's take a closer look at this poster...
: That burned edge, along the bottom...
: What about it?
: It's somewhat convenient that the fire burned away just the signature, but left the rest of the poster intact. Perhaps it was deliberately defaced.
: Vandalism, eh? An interesting notion.
: But considering the poster was found attached to a burning building, maybe we should presume the obvious: the burning was accidental.
: That torn corner, in the upper-right...
: What about it?
: Doesn't it look a little odd? Almost as if it has been removed deliberately.
: That seems more than a little speculative.
: Not at all, Inspector. As it happens, I know for a fact that the poster was torn. I have proof!
: Inspector, lets talk about the crime scene where you found the poster.
: As I said, it was crudely fastened to a pillar, around fifty meters from where the explosion occurred.
: Did the police find anything else?
: Like what?
: I don't know. Some sort of manifesto. A missing limb. Anything out of the ordinary, really.
: No. Aside from this poster, the body of the victim, and the wreckage of chateau, the police uncovered nothing of interest.
: I see.
: Which pillar, exactly?
: I don't know. Some pillar on the east side of the chéiteau, near the middle of the Colonnade. Does it really matter?
: Inspector, you called the central message of the poster a declaration of violence.
: Indeed. You will all burn for your sins. The message appears clear-cut to me.
: Its possible that were interpreting it wrong. Maybe this isnt a threatening message of violence at all.
: Oh? So what is it?
: Some sort of metaphor or religious message, maybe.
: Perhaps. But violence is violence and a threat is a threat.
: We can dissect the words on the paper, but the writer's murderous intent is obvious.
: Yeah. I guess there's no doubt there...
: Maybe the message has nothing to do with the attack on Chateau Criniere.
: Inspector, you say that Fontaine and Pierro made this poster. From the couple of times I've met them, I've come out with the impression that they are idiots. I can't imagine that they would be competent enough to pull off an attack like this.
: A man doesn't have to be competent to follow orders, Monsieur Sparrowson.
: Our current theory is that Madame Beaumort issued precise, encoded orders of how the attack was to be carried out.
: (There is no way that's true...)
: There are other possibilities. Maybe Pierro and Fontaine had no part in this attack.
: They are fugitive rebels associated with Madame Beamort, and their names fit the burned signature.
: But its within the realm of possibility that another person was involved, right?
: Do you have someone in mind, prosecutor? Or are you just picking at a theory?
: I do have someone in mind. Actually, I have even more than that. I have evidence that another person was involved with the Chateau Criniere attack!
: A note, you say? Let's have a look.
: Sparrowson. Believe in yourself.
: ... What is this sentimental rubbish?! Some sort of self-help pamphlet?
: Ignore the contents of the note for a moment, Inspector. Focus on the shape of the paper.
: The shape? Well, it appears to be a torn corner of paper. Probably ripped from a larger sheet.
: Wait! This tear...
: You see it too. The torn edge of the note matches the torn corner of the poster. What conclusion can we draw from this? I posit that the person who wrote the note is the same person who designed and wrote the poster.
: Thats a reasonable claim. But I don't see anything to indicate who wrote this note. It's unsigned.
: It doesn't need a signature, Inspector. I know of only one person who would leave a note in a place like that.
: I don't want to throw anyone under the horse carriage. Especially this person. But, well, in my opinion, the only person who fits is-
: Mon Dieu! What was that?!
: An explosion! It came right from outside!
: No doubt about it. Beaumort, did you arrange this?
: What? Me? No, I have no idea what's going on.
: For pity's sake, spit it out, monsieur!
: FIRE! There's a big fire!
: Here? In the Palais de Justice?
: Not just the Palais de Justice. The whole island is ablaze! Its crazy! We've got to get out of here right now!
: Okay, you heard the rabbit. Everybody clear out! Court is adjourned.
: I'm not through with you, Beaumort. Spit it out. Are you behind this fire?
: We need to go, Inspector.
: Don't lie to me, lioness. Is this your plan? Is one of your lackeys trying to break you out? Is this the start of the rebellion proper?
: You're acting ridiculous. Im telling you, that explosion had nothing to do with me.
: ... You're telling the truth, aren't you?
: You honestly played no part in the Chateau Criniere incident, and you honestly know nothing about this fire.
: Seriously. We have to go, Inspector.
: Right. Let's go.
: Wait! Sparrowson! Undo my shackles. Please. You aren't going to seriously let me die here, are you?
: Of course not. Sit tight, I think they keep a spare set of jail keys around the judge's podium, somewhere.
: Sparrowson. For what it's worth, Im... I'm sorry for killing that prosecutor. Cocorico.
: But Im starting to think that what I did... Well, it wasnt justice. I don't think it was, at least.
: Ive found the key. Take it. Undo your chains and youre free to go.
: You're letting me walk?
: You know that I'm going to take this opportunity to flee the country, right?
: Sounds good. Try Britain. Or maybe America? I hear America is nice.
: ... Why are you doing this? I thought prosecutors were all about punishing the guilty.
: I dont know much about being a prosecutor, Madame. I've only had this job for four days, after all. But I do know that Cocorico wouldn't call a person burning to death justice, even if that person were guilty. I'm just following his example.
: Youre following Cocorico's example?
: I don't know. I hear people can change. But we dont really have time for this discussion, Madame. Because, you know. Fiery imminent death and stuff.
: Right. You lead the way.
: Actually... I'm meeting the Inspector out front. So you may want to take a back exit. The Inspector would see us both hanged if he knew what I just did.
: I understand. Then we probably won't meet again, so I suppose this is goodbye.
: Indeed. Good luck, Madame Beaumort.
: And to you, Sparrowson. You are a first-rate lawyer.
: I'm... first-rate?
: Good. You made it out safely. Any problems?
: No. No problems at all.
: Excellent. It looks like the rabbit was right. Buildings are on fire from riverside to riverside.
: We need to get off the island right away.
: Hold on, Inspector. There's something important I need to tell you..
: Save it. Our safety takes priority.