Gwynivara walked up to the building with total confidence, she had assumed this role a million times, but she hoped that the others would find a way to make themselves appear less awkward! They expressed more nervousness about realistically portraying janitors and cafeteria workers than using their incantations to rescue Emorick from his captors! Gwynivara had done so many custodial jobs that strolling in with the uniform on felt like second nature to her, but in the back of her mind, she worried more about how the other rebels would show up! She wished that they could have all arrived at once, but that would have been realistic. They had to slowly trickle in just like folks would for any other workplace, which complicated their plan even further since she had to make sure that everyone had gotten in and found the right spots without becoming too conspicuous to the rest of the staff. She also knew that Rafeneita would have people on the inside, and while she had no clue who they were or what they looked like, she especially didn’t want to do anything to rouse their suspicion! She tried not to think of everything that could go wrong at this point, she just took a deep breath and hoped for the best as she approached the courthouse.
A guard stood by the back door, and even though her heart pounded wildly from the weight of it all, she maintained a cool demeanor and gave the guard a cordial nod as she entered the building. He returned the gesture, and just as she had conjectured, the guard didn’t ask for an ID or even bat an eyelash about her presence in the courthouse! That gave her some relief- if everyone else followed suit, then they could all get inside without a fuss! As she began walking down the halls, she could hear Kierram’s voice behind her giving the guard a curt hello. She loosened up a little bit- so far, so good!
She didn’t make eye contact with anyone as she made her way through the hallway, but it seemed like most of the people there had a lot on their mind and didn’t pay much mind to a person who blended into the background. She knew that whoever Rafeneita’s lackeys were that she probably would have shown them a picture of their targets, so she hoped that she didn’t run into them before the trial even began! Fortunately, she made it to the restroom without incident! Once she got into a stall, she ripped off her janitorial uniform, and she didn’t realize how hot she felt until she took off that extra layer! She took a quick glance at her skirt suit in the mirror, and once she established herself as believable, she headed out of there. She passed by Niqun as she left, and while they couldn’t stare at each other long enough to communicate, they both had a sparkle of comfort about them just to be able to see each other safe and well!
When Gwynivara entered into the courtroom, she saw that most people gave Emorick a wide berth. She thought part of the reason probably stemmed from their vitriol towards a soldier accused of treason, but she also guessed that the attendees got warned about his condition. Her theory got confirmed after she took a seat behind Emorick. After she sat down, his attorney turned around and warned her, “Just to let you know, my client has Venenatus Sanguis and may produce a manifestation from the emotions of this event. You’re welcome to sit there, but just be aware that you may end up in the line of fire.”
Gwynivara queried, “Is he wearing gloves?” She peered in his direction, and while she checked out his hands, she caught a glimpse of his facial expression. His skin still looked somewhat sallow, so she knew he hadn’t completely conquered whatever ailment put him into a coma. He very determinedly fixated his gaze on the empty judge’s bench ahead of him, but Gwynivara knew that he knew she was there. He had a very hardened fire in his eyes, and she could tell that her choice had upset him. Her feelings did not get hurt by this, they prepared themselves for him to vehemently object to this plan due to entirely selfless reasons. He would never have approved of this plot, but once he learned all of the facts, they knew he would forgive them for this risk. He was angry with her right now, but it reassured her that he at least knew they set something in motion so that he wouldn’t get blindsided when it happened! She regarded his lawyer, “I’ll take my chances!”
José joined her in the front and sat to her left. Shortly afterwards, a man in a dress military uniform sat to her right. Unlike José, this man looked directly at her, his cold eyes flashing at her in warning, and Gwynivara had no shadow of a doubt that Rafeneita had sent him there! She didn’t know whether her people used that disguise to get into the building or if she had infiltrated the military, and she sincerely hoped that it wasn’t the latter case, that wouldn’t have boded well at all! She didn’t let this man intimidate her though, she would not permit failure when the fate of humanity depended on their success!
“All rise!” the bailiff commanded. The man in the military uniform partially blocked Gwynivara’s view of Emorick, but this didn’t deter her at all. This guy clearly had no idea just what the Rebels were capable of! “The honorable Judge Jareth is now presiding!”
“You may be seated!” Judge Jareth permitted as he took his seat at the bench. “We’re here to court martial Lieutenant General Emorick Conley. Will the defendant please rise?”
His lawyer informed Judge Jareth, “Your honor, my client is unable to physically do so due to health reasons.”
Judge Jareth didn’t seem particularly phased by this. “Very well. Lieutenant General Emorick Conley, you’re being charged with abandoning your post in order to commit high treason. How do you plea?”
“Your honor, I plead not guilty!” Emorick stated firmly, which generated a disbelieving laughter from the crowd.
“Order!” Judge Jareth banged his gavel. “Counsel, please proceed with your opening-.”
Before he could finish his sentence, a loud uproar sounded from the back of the room! Rebekah, Cody, Naama, and John all held up anti-glove protest signs and repeated a lot of the sentiments they heard Rialowe’s supporters utter. They yelled loud enough that the bailiff could hardly hear Judge Jareth order him to have the disrupters removed. As he made his way over there, Gwynivara tried to stand up, but the man in the soldier’s uniform grabbed her wrist and attempted to pull her down. José shed his gloves and sent a spark of light over to him. He succeeded in freeing Gwynivara, but the crowd took notice of this and gasped. And, with that, their plot had officially begun!
All of the Rebels except for Gwynivara and Bernadette did an incantation to create smoke. Gwynivara and Bernadette created balls of light, and as the room became hazy, they still had the ability to see. They made a beeline for Emorick, and the other Rebels followed the lights. Kierram and Riley grabbed Emorick by his arms as Rafeneita’s plants found them and tried to fight back. The Rebels who did not have anything in their hands outnumbered them and easily kept them at bay. Bernadette and Gwynivara led them out of the exit that Judge Jareth entered the room in, and John let out one more strike before shutting the door behind him.
As soon as they stepped out into the hallway, they were met with bullets! A number of military police shot at them, and the Rebels could hardly keep up! Gwynivara wanted to retrieve their guns as they had done in their escape from the FBI, but she had to concentrate on the bullets already flying at them. Her head frantically raced as she tried to think a way out of this, and then suddenly, a red haired man led the Great Dismal motorcycle cops out of the courtroom with shields! As the motorcycle cops returned fire, the red haired man instructed, “Go! We don’t have much time!” The Rebels did as he suggested and made their way out of the back door.
“Go to the street!” the red haired man shouted as he ran behind them. The Rebels all headed in that direction, and the motorcycle cops came shortly afterwards.
“Where are we…?” Gwynivara started to wonder, but when she spotted the manhole ahead of them, she understood completely! They borrowed a church van, but the place they parked it at got totally blocked off, so she felt eternally grateful that a backup plan showed up!
The motorcycle cops surrounded them completely as a group of police officers emerged from all side. As the gunfire resumed, Gwynivara and the other Rebels shot incantations too since bullets were able to slip through their barricade. They slowly made their way to the manhole, but Gwynivara didn’t know how they would get it open without accidentally getting shot. Plus, she knew it would be foolish to jump into the sewers with the police watching, they would just follow them! She desperately prayed for some kind of distraction…
She instantly regretted making that wish! As soon as she had thunk it, the red haired man abruptly dove in front of Emorick, and a bullet entered into his back! Rebekah shrieked, “Daddy!” as he fell to the floor, and everyone ceased their fire for a moment. Obviously, the police hadn’t considered their ages as they fired upon them, and it evidently crushed their souls to see a child’s heart break over one of her parents!
“Chief Forsythe!” Gwynivara knelt by him to check on his status, and she grew as white as a ghost to see so much blood spewing out of him! “You saved us!” she told him gratefully.
“I knew you’d be there! I had to…” His speech grew weaker and weaker as he croaked out, “Take care of Rebekah for me!”
Rebekah wailed, “Daddy!”
With his last remaining bit of strength, Chief Forsythe pled to Rebekah, “Get the cure out!” He took one final breath before he became motionless, and Rebekah sobbed uncontrollably. Everyone who watched the scene couldn’t help but weep a little! After a moment though, the police inched their way closer to them…
All of a sudden, a giant gargoyle swooped in and roared at some of the police! The police had no choice but to fight the beast. With everyone’s attention swayed in that direction, José and John got the manhole open. Kierram and Riley got Emorick into the sewers. Gwynivara stood guard as the rest of them made their way into the sewage system, watching both what the Rebels did behind her as well as what the beast did before her. Rebekah didn’t want to leave her father’s side, so Bernadette and Cody had to force her to vacate the vicinity. The creature grew closer to her, so Gwynivara created more smoke and slipped into the sewer. As she began to put the cover back on, she saw it about to strike some of the police officers. She created a fireball and shot it at the beast, who roared in pain as it stumbled to the ground! They still needed to kill it, but she felt confident they could hand it now as she recovered the manhole just before the smoke evaporated completely.
Bernadette had to muffle Rebekah’s mouth until they got to a safe distance from the scene. Their adrenaline kept them moving for quite a while, but soon, all of the incantations they did as well as all of the running caught up to them. Much of their energy rapidly left their bodies, and Gwynivara had to brace herself against the wall to keep from collapsing. Rebekah wanted to keep crying, but she became too drowsy to muster up the vigor to do so. Unexpectedly, a demonic-looking beast crawled feverishly on the ceiling towards them, and John responded quickly, creating a ball of light to take it out. Rebekah sorrowfully apologized, “I’m sorry, I keep creating beasts!”
“Don’t worry about it, kid! I would’ve done the same thing if it happened to my dad!” Kierram assured her before turning to his father, who just stared at them in total astonishment until…
“Why did you do that?” Emorick bellowed. “Why did you gamble all of your lives just to save me?”
Kierram asserted, “A good soldier never leaves a man behind! They would’ve killed you for treason!”
Emorick’s volume lowered a bit, but he still sounded furious. “I’m not worth sacrificing the mission! You should have kept your focus on finding the origin and getting the cure!”
“We did!” Gwynivara pulled the cure out of her pocket and showed it to Emorick. “It wasn’t enough though! The origin, an alien woman named Rafeneita, has corrupted parts of the government! Not only do they not believe us, but she’s tricked them into spreading it! We can’t get the cure out there without your leadership! I tried! I led our officers into capture, and while I was able to get most of them out, I lost track of of a few of them. My last plan got her father killed! If I don’t have your help, I’ll probably just lead more people to their deaths! Without you, we’ll never make it through this alive! The entire human race will get wiped out! The Rebellion is yours, and we’ll never make it without you! We need you! The whole world does! Rafeneita has loads of military experience, but my strategy skills are too undeveloped for something like this! We need you to rejoin us or the earth will never get saved!” Gwynivara bowed her head in shame.
“Gwyn, look at me!” Emorick gently requested, and she readily complied. “I didn’t put you in charge because I thought you would always make the perfect decisions. I put you in charge because you had the drive to make big things happen! Some bad things went down, so learn from that experience, but don’t dwell on it! The Rebellion did well in your hands, and if I didn’t come back, you would have prevailed in the end, I know it! You did a lot of right things too, be proud of that!”
Gwynivara smiled graciously at him. “See, this is why we need you!” He softly grinned at her sentiments.
Bernadette questioned Emorick, “Since you said you’re back now, what’s our next move?” The decision came to Emorick in an instant…