Before the Judge Once More

“That’s what happens when someone stands up to the big men with sticks, in my experience.” Eli goes in for a handshake if they deem it appropriate, if not, a salute.

“I can’t say I’ve heard a word of you or from you, but renown doesn’t precede skill or effectiveness. Edward Sane, you said your name was? Elias Lowe, at your service.”

“If you have to ask, you’re either baiting an answer or you’re the most unobservant person in London. That’s saying something, my bodyguard was born without eyes.”

Eli doesn’t visibly react to Edward using his own utensils without his permission, nor does he comment on the silence of the room. Perhaps it’s all in Edward’s head, but perhaps it most certainly isn’t.

“Most detectives have to rely on more than witness testimony, they have to piece together an answer from te clues they are presented with. You, friend, have the air of a detective. So, looking at the pieces before you, what do you see?”

“Pride? No. It takes a monster to find anything worth pride in taking a life. But yes, one hundred and ninety people were killed. But that isn’t the end of the story, go on.”

“Life would be so much easier if I could say that any one person deserves death. No. At the end of the day, they were human beings like myself and everyone clawing their way in the congested streets of Spite.”

Eli pauses for a moment to light up his cigarette. “It was politics, military strategy and economics. They were leeching the life from all the businesses in spite and preventing growth, encouraging violence. But you know that already. I don’t deny any of my crimes.”

“You say I’m not strong, yet this stronghold has resisted attacks night and day for the past year and a half. You say I am not charismatic, yet the people have followed me to Hell and back, figuratively.”

“And you say that I am to ‘let myself be killed’. Hm, how very heroic. No, I do not fear death, but I do not plan on offering myself on a platter to my enemies. It seems you’ve gotten some very incorrect information, but believe what you want. People always do.”

Eli stands, arms folded behind his back. He regards Sane with the same expression as when he entered, an unreadable mixture of what might be curiosity and what most certainly is caution. “Now that you’re done posturing as if you can tell your ass from your elbow, will that be all?”

“Ah yes, why should the diseased commoners of another district bother the unfortunate, decadent artists who want for nothing in life? We are London, all of us. We can only be as good as our lowest class and the disgraceful treatment of those disenfranchised from society cannot be disowned simply because one lives in another part of the city.”

Eli opens the shutters and bids Edward to regard the bustling heart of Flowerdene. “Do you not feel the pain of others? Have you blinded yourself to how others live their lives, having to eke out a living just to survive another day? Perhaps you truly cannot, but know this: these people are Londoners just as you are, and if you insist on looking down on them even as you defend those that get to do what they love for a living, then you will find no heroism in my deeds. Only a fool goes looking for heroism in revolution. We are the villains we have to be, not out of choice…”

“If a clod is washed away by the zee, London is lesser for their absence. Each man’s death diminishes me, for I am a part of mankind. Therefore, when next you are stricken with zealous indignity and you hear the bell toll upon the more, send not to know for whom it chimes. The bell tolls for thee.”

(( heavily paraphrased for “Meditations upon Emergent Occassions” by John Donne ))

“Look around you, do you see a throne? This wasn’t solely my work! I didn’t do even ten percent of this on my own! This is the work of the people of London, from all walks of life, not just the poor! I was given the position of caretaker of this haven by The Seventy Seven brave souls that sacrificed their life to see change finally come to London. Things cannot go on this way, things have to improve. We need to stand up for ourselves and refuse to be trod upon any longer.”

“Save me your snark, citizen. Do not forget that you are within my home.” Eli’s voice sharpens for the first time. Dark shadows are under his eyes and he appears to be nursing a nose-bleed. Somehow, these simply weren’t evident when he entered, but they now reveal themselves.

“Look, I have things to do and I don’t have time to entertain you. Reveal to what purpose you’re here and we can talk business, elsewise, I’d politely ask you to leave until you’ve found your feet.”

“Besides, you aren’t exactly a pleasant person to talk to, in all honesty. So, what do you want?”

“If I bowed to threats, disbelief and misinformed reprobates playing missionary, I would never have made it here, would I?” Eli turns his back to Sane and knocks on the window pane, Emblem enters and holds the door for the guest, eyes cold as stone as they regard them.

“You are wrong, plain and simple. You have been incorrect on more than half of the assumptions that you’ve made and, more than anything else, you’re rude. Emblem will see you to the gates. Don’t return.”

(( Who’s been down-voting my comments? I hope I haven’t offended anyone personally, I was just playing my character. His beliefs don’t even remotely mirror my own, I shouldn’t have to remind people that this is fiction. ))

Well, I still have trouble seeing how “standing against crime lords who are harming your neighborhood” is even remotely evil, so color me confused as well :P

I’m very very sorry.

To be clear, this was a dialogue between Edward Sane and Elias Lowe in the heart of Flowerdene Rookery. Professor Sketch has since deleted his posts.
edited by The Absurd Rogue on 9/16/2016