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Jul 06, 2022 10:02 PM
wen ning's trial
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Quina is right. It doesn't hurt at all. It is just like drifting off to sleep. 

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And now Ninio is sitting in a room with seven other people at different desks: a bluebird, a whirling ball of gears, an angel, a devil, a hulking brute with bulging veins on his arms, a dignified man in a suit, and someone taking notes. 

"Do you know your name?" says the dignified man. 

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"Yes, sir. Ninio Bianchi." 

He hadn't really thought about the fact that a trial meant important people paying attention to him. He shrinks. 

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"Do you know where you are?"

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"The Boneyard. I'm being judged."

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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"Does it sound to you like we are speaking in a language you understand, using words that you are familiar with, at a speaking speed you can follow?"

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"Yes, sir."

People are paying attention to him and they are going to go through all the details of his entire life and they are important and Ninio is pretty sure that Hell doesn't have more torment than this. 

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"Do you understand that you had, while alive, the capacity to take actions, and that those actions had effects on the world and on other people?"

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"Yes, sir."

he is a little skeptical of this hypothesis

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"Do you understand that the purpose of this court is to determine your alignment and which afterlife you are assigned to?"

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"Yes, sir."

He wishes Quina were here. He has never gone through anything this horrible without Quina being there before. 

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The devil: "I think the big thing we're seeing here is that the petitioner has actually never done anything."

The gears: "That's hardly a point in favor of Hell. He didn't do much of anything, but he followed the laws and the instructions of those around him to the best of his ability. Lawful Neutral."

The devil: "Can we just take the standard arguments about any Chelish person as read-- he traded in souls, he helped stone a heretic, he willfully benefited from slavery--"

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Having six serious important people discuss his flaws as a human being is the worst thing that Ninio can imagine. He wants to cry. He doesn't have eyes to cry with.

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"FLESH!" says the brute. Everyone ignores him. 

The bluebird: "we do not take those arguments as read--"

The devil: "Zon-Kuthon vs. Costel, -5325 AR. The fact of growing up in a Lawful Evil society does not reduce personal responsibility for Evil committed."

The bluebird: "Zon-Kuthon vs. Lajariutza, -5257 AR. Making it harder not to hurt people makes it more revealing of the petitioner's personal character when they refrain from hurting people."

The angel: "As you can see, the petitioner several times claimed to have lost his rock, despite knowing that this would lead to him being hit in punishment, and was consumed with guilt about causing heretics to die whenever he did participate in an execution."

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That's... that's not the right way to put it. The angel is talking like it's something brave that he did, to pretend to lose his rock so that he couldn't participate in the execution. But that's not right at all. Ninio doesn't know much about Good people, but he thinks they're supposed to have some kind of noble, heroic motive. Killing people just made him feel sick.  

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The devil: "Why are they allowed to work together?"

The bluebird: "Heaven vs. Na--"

The devil snaps, "I know about Heaven vs. Nahum and I still think that precedent was wrongly decided! If Abaddon doesn't help Hell get souls, it's totally unfair for Heaven to get help from Nirvana."

The angel: "If Evil has trouble cooperating that's not Good's problem."

The bluebird, sweetly: "Oh, I didn't realize Asmodeus cared about being fair now."

The brute: "FLESH!"

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He feels a shiver through his spine at the bluebird speaking heresy, even though it's from Nirvana and they definitely do that. 

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The judge: "I realize most people in this room hate each other but can we try to have a polite, productive trial, please."

The brute: "FLESH!"

The angel: "You will also observe here kindness to animals, as we see in the following representative incidents: feeding his dinner to a stray dog, trying to rescue a broken-winged bird while knowing he would get in trouble for it, claiming not to have seen a cat that some other children were torturing which had escaped."

The devil: "Are we really going with 'he fed his dinner to a stray dog'?"

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Honestly, Ninio has the same question. 

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The angel: "Like you said, he didn't do much."

The gears: "I'm with Hell on this one. It's a bit much to make a judgment for Good off occasional kindness to stray animals. --It's also a bit much to make a judgment for Evil off buying food farmed by slaves and using paper money and stoning a heretic, especially if he mostly didn't do that last one. I don't see how you make a case for anything other than Axis."

The brute: "FLESH!"

The devil: "I bet if I spoke demon that would be an insightful point."

The angel: "can we get him expelled, Maelstrom vs. Abyss -12,526, usually glossed as 'you can't be at the trials if you're not even trying to behave.'"

The judge: "yes."

And now there is no more brute. 

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What... was that guy doing there. 

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The devil: "I still think we should preemptively ban people from the Abyss unless someone has testified for them."

The gears: "That's not fair. All afterlives have an equal chance to send a lawyer, and we don't put those requirements on any other afterlife. The same rules should apply to anyone."

The devil: "Except that the Abyss has infinite demons, at least one of whom will decide that they want to show up at any trial and yell 'FLESH!' --Or at least enough to be annoying."

The judge: "Is this on-topic?"

The devil and the gears looked sheepish. 

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...he really thought that trials would be more professional.

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The bluebird: "I'd like to bring up my argument for Neutral on the Law/Chaos axis, if you please?"

The judge: "Go ahead."

The bluebird: "As you can see in the highlighted incidents, while the petitioner usually followed the rules, he consistently has a pattern of disobeying rules when the greater Good would be served by disobeying them. This is a characteristic Neutral Good pattern."

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"I didn't."

Ninio didn't realize he'd spoken until everyone was looking at him.

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"Yes?" the judge said, not unkindly. 

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