The Mech Touch Chapter 1237
1235 The Prophets Will
Ves nursed his aching head as he sat alone in a waiting room in the courthouse building. Protector guards were placed both inside and outside the room in order to keep him apart from anyone else.
This protection was quite necessary, because he just shocked the entire Protectorate!
Now, he was paying the price. He expended quite a bit of spiritual energy when he got caught up in his extraordinary rant.
He didn't mean to say all of that much to the Ylvainans! He just wanted to use their blind faith against them in order to turn black into white and get them to lay off on stealing and destroying one of their relics.
Instead of doing that, he went far beyond the pale and exorcirated the entire Ylvaine Protectorate! Not only did he admonish the Poxco Dynasty, he also torched the other two dynasties whose backing he depended upon to go free!
How could he be so stupid to directly disparage his own backers?!
"It's because I wasn't myself back then." He whispered to himself.
Some of what he said reflected his inner thoughts, but the bulk of it definitely came from Ylvaine's spiritual fragment. During the time it rode in his mind, it had observed enough to the Protectorate to develop a very good idea on its strengths and shortcomings.
It turned out that the spiritual fragment had bottled up a considerable amount of fury due to all of the shortcomings it found in the modern Protectorate!
The fragment's fury blended with Ves' fury, causing them to become way more indignant than before!
Ves regretted that he had lost control over himself to such an extent. The reckless abandon that the spiritual fragment showed was both a reflection of its absolute faith and its nonchalance towards its own safety.
The Ylvainans didn't know the fragment existed, and even if they did, they would never be able to bring themselves to kill something that had been derived directly from the prophet!
What this meant was that it didn't matter how far Ylvaine's spiritual fragment went. It wouldn't have to suffer the consequences of its actions!
Due to donning the spiritual fragment as a mask, Ves adopted some of the fragment's recklessness. That and other traits caused him to act way beyond the pale, so much so that Ves was already itching his hands for his System comm and the Amastendira.
Should he make his escape now or later before an enraged mob of Ylvainans wanted to tear him apart?
"Maybe it won't come that far."
While Ves definitely went too far, he succeeded at what he set out to do. Who would ever look at the prophet's nutrient pack wrappers the same after this day?
It was too shameful for the Ylvainan Faith to continue to idolize such worthless pieces of trash! While they still held a lot of historical value, they were too absurd to be used as vessels of worship!
"What would Ylvaine want?"
He'd probably laugh or scorn the practice. It was one step away from putting his excretions on a pedestal.
As Ves struggled to decide whether he should make a move to free himself, the door to the waiting room opened. A Protector guard captain motioned him to stand.
"Two hours are up. The tribunal is reconvening. Please follow me back to the courtroom, Mr. Larkinson."
""Very well. Lead the way."
Though Ves felt remorseful and exhausted, he tried not to show any of his feebleness right now. Presenting a strong and confident image to the judges and the public would help give the impression that he was still the man who dared to confront the entire Protectorate!
As an excessive number of guards surrounded Ves as they left the waiting room, he wondered whether the trial would still continue. Two hours was a rather short time to digest what had happened. Perhaps the judges wanted a quick end to this abnormal situation.
Whatever the case, Ves wanted to put this ordeal behind him as well, preferably alive and free.
A few minutes later, he finally returned to the courtroom.
Surprisingly, the judges and the authorities hadn't vacated the gallery, nor deactivated all of the recorders broadcasting the tribunal proceedings to the rest of the state.
When Ves noticed the reaction of the average Ylvainans, he quickly found out why.
"Look! The speaker has returned!"
"Mr. Larkinson! Please enlighten us more! Bestow us with your wisdom!"
"You idiots! Why are you idolizing this foreigner?! He's a blasphemer who has led everyone astray! He should be shot this instant!"
"What are you saying?! The Bright Martyr must not be taken away from us! He is the first person in centuries who has been possessed by Ylvaine himself!"
"That's nonsense! There's no proof that Ylvaine has descended! The foreigner must have released something in the air to hypnotize us all! We are all being deceived!"
"The Bright Martyr is an enlightener, not a deceiver!"
"Bright Martyr! Bright Martyr! Bright Martyr!"
The handful of skeptics in the gallery were quickly drowned out by the sheer amount of people chanting the moniker they came up with for the foreigner who had touched the very essence of their faith!
When Ves heard them call him by this name, he almost collapsed on his feet. Why the hell did he suddenly become the Bright Martyr?! He wasn't even a real convert to their faith!
Yet as Ves sat down at the counsel table and turned to regard the gallery, he saw that many of the people there saw him in a profoundly different light!
Witnessing his earlier state up close was a lot different from watching the proceedings from a broadcast! The sacred aura emanating from Ylvaine's spiritual fragment affected them directly in person, causing them to experience its profound conviction at close range!
Some of the enthralled Ylvainans had raised their comms in order to rewatch his earlier tirade. The prior effect wasn't there as Ylvaine's spiritual fragment was no longer radiating its aura. None of the footage that recorded his speech could ever fully convey the spiritual aura and pressure he exerted on everyone.
It was a unique moment that could only happen once. Ves already knew that these kinds of shenanigans couldn't be propagated through recordings. When he previously watched the product reveal for the Aurora Titan, Ves did not sense much of the extraordinariness of the show models."
However, he did find out back then that a remnant of the remarkable impression still remained. Those who witnessed the event live would be able to recall some of their sentiments at the time from memory.
Those who hadn't witnessed the event as it happened would not feel much different. The effect was weakest on these people.
Even so, Ves managed to charm a lot of Ylvainans earlier, so much so that some of them even started calling him the Bright Martyr, which was very crazy to Ves! How could a single rant put him in the same company as the Grey Martyr and the other esteemed followers of the prophet?!
In any case, the fanatic support exhibited by the people in the gallery made it difficult for the authorities to remove them. The fanatic Ylvainans were convinced they witnessed the birth of a new Martyred Follower! They wouldn't miss such a pivotal event even if the entire galaxy was burning down!
When Ves finally turned his attention away from the gallery, his lawyer looked at Ves with a very odd expression.
"Mr. Larkinson.. what happened earlier.. have you been really touched by the prophet?"
Ves groaned. "Not you too. Shouldn't you be focusing on representing me rather than entertain some superstition?"
"Forget about the tribunal! I was sitting next to you during the entire time you stood up and addressed us all. I could feel it in my bones that you were different at that time! I'm convinced that you were possessed by the great prophet! It is an incredible honor for you to become his chosen vessel!"
"Goddammit!" Ves palmed his face.
His counsel kept mooning over Ves until the judges finally entered the courtroom and took their places on the bench.
"This tribunal is convened." Judge Kelber Kronon spoke in an odd tone. It was as if the judges were the accused, while Ves was the actual judge! "I believe that many of us are in turmoil due to the drastic revelations that Mr. Larkinson has spoken. While it might be prudent to postpone this tribunal, the rules must still be followed. A single outburst, no matter how remarkable, should not be a reason for us to descend into anarchy."
This was typical to the Kronons. They were the most rule bound out of all of the Dynasties.
High Inquisitor Kelly Ixef Poxco spoke up next in a slightly shaky voice. "Before we issue our verdict, we would like to emphasize that even if this is an extraordinary day, we are still Ylvainans. No matter how many questions you are harboring, the Attendants of Ylvaine will always be there to ease your doubts. Please speak to your fellow Ylvainans and visit your local churches if you are in need of spiritual guidance. Together, we will all grow stronger in our conviction!"
That was a bit milder than Ves expected. He would have thought the high inquisitor wanted to take the opportunity to push back against Ves, but perhaps the current climate didn't make that wise.
Judge Okin Fillis spoke up last. "Whether you are taken in by Mr. Larkinson's outburst or not, please do not dismiss his words just because of his origins. Sometimes, the most insightful criticism comes from those who are looking in from outside. If the prophet's grace has touched him, then this may be an indication that Mr. Larkinson may have a point. Otherwise, why would the great prophet descend on a Brighter instead of an Ylvainan?"
Ves liked what Judge Fillis said. Each of the judges expressed their own sentiment on what happened. As a loyal Curin, Judge Fillis made sure to put Ves in a good light.
High Inquisitor Kelly Ixef Poxco spoke again. "We do not see any use in letting the tribunal proceed any longer. My colleagues and I have already decided our judgements. In the interests of transparency, we will reveal and explain each of them in turn. Judge Fillis?"
"Mr. Larkinson should be acquitted on both charges." Judge Fillis stated. "I should not have to explain my reasoning for the inquisition's charge that the mech that Mr. Larkinson has designed are blasphemous. As for the charge of sacrilege, it is of my opinion that Mr. Larkinson has acted with good cause and mayhap divine providence. A nutrient pack wrapper, even if it belonged to the great prophet, is worth nothing compared to the enlightening we have received!"
While the reasoning of Judge Fillis sounded a bit dubious and way too inclined towards divine meddling, Ves nonetheless breathed a sigh in relief while the gallery erupted in cheers.
One judge let him off at least. Even if it was the only judge which he was sure would acquit him from his charges, it nonetheless put him at ease now that his guess was confirmed!
Judge Kelber Kronon struck the gavel in order to quiet the gallery. "I have deliberated on the charges, and I agree that the second charge is groundless. Mechs are mechs. Not a single surface of Mr. Larkinson's design contains any sacrilegious elements."
Of course the judge wouldn't buy the nonsense the inquisition tried to sell.
"However, by his own admission during this tribunal, Mr. Larkinson is guilty of sacrilege! No matter whether it is appropriate for Ylvainans to worship a nutrient pack wrapper, that does not change the fact that it is a revered relic of inestimate historical, cultural and religious value during the time of its theft! Whether Mr. Larkinson acted due to divine providence or not shouldn't change anything! The law is the law, and even if Prophet Ylvaine came back to life and stole the holy relic in person and set it on fire, we would still find him guilty!"
This judgement completely shocked everyone! The entire gallery immediately erupted into boos and objections!
Meanwhile, Ves felt a chill in his heart. The most neutral judge, the one he placed all of his hopes upon, had declared him guilty! He was only one step away from a guilty verdict!