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The Lone Ninja

by Casey Gilman

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The Final Chapters: Mechanical Magic

Trial and Error

"Get walking, scumbag!" a Doma Sentry had a sword to Clyde's back, and was pushing him onto a wooden platform, resembling a stage. The platform was just in front of Doma Castle, and faced the town that had formed in front of the castle. In front of the platform, stood the entire population of Doma, all ready to decide the ninja's fate. Normally, the king, in this case Cyan Geremonde, would decide the fate of criminals. And at first Cyan had done this. Shadow had confessed to robbing Doma's train, and Cyan sentenced him to work during the day, and to sleep in prison at night.

Unfortunately, all the prisoners of Doma had been freed last night. Even more unfortunate, was the fact that all evidence pointed to Shadow as their liberator. Cyan didn't know how to handle this: Shadow had been his ally in saving the world. But he was also a well-known ninja assassin, and a train robber. He felt the decision was too great for any one person, so he decided to hold a trial, so many people could take part in determining Clyde's fate.

Shadow was seated in a wooden chair on the right side. In the center, Cyan sat, acting as a judge. The left seat was now empty, but Cyan had decided that any witnesses to last night's crime could sit there, and tell the people what they had seen. The witnesses had been pre-selected by Cyan, and were standing on the ground, near the platform. This was the first time Cyan had done something as unique as this, so he was a little nervous as to how smoothly it would go.

"Silence everyone!" Cyan attempted to quiet the crowd down,"As you all know, the man to my left, and your right, is Clyde Arrowny. He robbed Doma's train of one million gold pieces, a little over twelve years ago, with the assistance of another man, known as Baram. He also has gone under the name of "Shadow" for the past eleven years, and is known under that name as an assassin. Last night, all of Doma's prisoners were freed. We are unsure who committed this act, but a lot of the evidence points to this man. We will now here from the witnesses to last night's crime. Samuel Watson, please step onto the platform, and be seated."

Samuel, one of the night guards of Doma Castle, climbed two stairs, and onto the wooden platform. He seated himself to the right of Cyan, on the left side of the platform.

"I was standing on the balcony that surrounds the second story of Doma Castle, pacing back and forth, and keeping a sharp eye out for trouble. Also with me, was Kelvin Toran, the other night guard. Out of nowhere, a small object flew at us, and landed on the stone floor between us. I think it was greenish-yellow, but it was dark, and it happened very quickly. The object began emitting some sort of white vapor, which made me unconscious in a matter of seconds. After I was awakened, the prisoners had long since escaped. I'm not certain but the object could've been some sort of ninja weapon, or tool."

"You're not certain?!" cried a man from the crowd,"Of course it was a ninja weapon! Clyde Arrowny is scum!!"

The man's outburst started a small uproar in the crowd. People began to shout curses at Clyde. Clyde just sat there, with his arms shackled, staring at the wooden floor. He desperately needed to convince the people that he had changed, and that he was innocent. Even worse, was the fact that the man who was guilty was getting further away each second. He would probably be impossible to find now.

"Silence!" cried Cyan,"Control yourselves!"

The crowd quieted down.

"You may step down, Samuel. You are next Kelvin Toran," declared Cyan.

Kelvin's story was pretty much the same as Samuel's, because he had been standing in almost the exact same spot as Samuel.

Next, was Herman Johnson, the prison guard.

"I was standing in the prison hallway, when suddenly I felt hungry. The prisoners were all asleep, and I hadn't eaten much that day, so I thought it would be okay to get a snack."

"You left the prisoners unguarded?!" cried Cyan,"If you had stayed, this whole incident might not have happened! As of now, you are relieved of your duties as prison guard, and will spend three months in prison! Guards, please escort this man to a his new cell."

Two guards walked onto the platform, and escorted the man away.

"That still doesn't prove that Clyde didn't do it!" one man cried from the middle of the crowd.

"Because of him, there are insane criminals running loose!" cried one woman,"I have two children. What if one of those maniacs gets their hands on them?!"

The people in the crowd began to shout again, and Cyan silenced them once more.

"The key witnesses have told you what they saw," said Cyan,"Now it is time to hear Clyde's side of the story."

'Here goes nothing,' thought Shadow.

He stood up, and began to speak.

"Twelve years ago, I took part in one of the greatest train robberies in history. I was young, foolish, and greedy. After Baram was wounded, and captured by the Doma Authorities, I finally started to realize that what I did was wrong. I still didn't do the right thing, though. I hid the money, using only what I needed to get by. I thought that if I ran away, I could forget about my crime, and start over. I wound up in a small town, and fell in love. About a year later the love of my life died. Again, I was a fool and ran. I thought that maybe if I fought the Empire, I could forget about what had happened, and atone for my actions. I still needed money to live, though. I couldn't bear to look at the money I had stolen, so I needed a way to earn it. I was a good fighter, and had become a master of ninjitsu; the art of the ninja. I became a hired assassin, killing people that others had a reason to hate. I thought if someone had a good reason for someone else to die, that it was okay for me to kill them. I finally realized that almost everything I had done my whole life was wrong. I wound up joining the Returners, and helped save the world from the Empire, and Kefka. It was then that I realized that I couldn't run from my past anymore. I came here and confessed. I've changed, and I'm changing my life around."

"On the night of the break out," Clyde continued,"I awoke when a gigantic man punched a hole through the stone wall. He wanted all the prisoners to come with him, and he began to free everyone, by ripping the barred doors off of their hinges. I quickly donned my ninja outfit, and gathered my weapons in an attempt to stop him. When I attacked him, he punched me to the ground and knocked me unconscious. When I awoke I was accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I know I've made some bad choices over the course of my life, but I've changed now. I didn't do this. I am innocent."

Clyde sat back down.

"A man that could punch his way through solid stone?!" cried one man in the crowd,"Sounds a little farfetched to me!"

"He's trying to insult our intelligence!" cried another.

"You're sick, Clyde Arrowny, and I hate you!!" one young woman charged through the crowd, and jumped on the platform in front of Clyde. She made a fist and was ready to punch him. Clyde quickly swung his right arm up in front of him, to block the punch.

"He tried to hit that woman!" cried a voice from the crowd.

"He's GUILTY!! KILL HIM!!!" cried someone else, as the woman was escorted off of the platform by a guard.

"GUIL-TY! GUIL-TY!" the crowd began to chant.

"I want him dead!" a woman cried out over the chanting.

'These people are savages,' thought Clyde, as a boy scaled a rock at his head. Clyde was having a hard time controlling himself. He could easily slip out of his shackles and he could probably use his ninja skills to escape. But he really was trying to change.

"Silence!!" cried Cyan,"Calm down!!"

The crowd finally became silent once more.

"Anyone else who tries to attack Clyde will be jailed!" cried Cyan. He was beginning to wonder if this whole idea had been a mistake.

"I came up with this idea so you people could decide Clyde Arrowny's fate. It is obvious that you have found him guilty, and you want to punish him by death."

Cyan wasn't sure if this was right, but he had made an agreement to let the people of Doma decide if Clyde was guilty. He felt that if he backed out on an agreement, especially one involving so many people, he would dishonor himself. Also, a lot of the evidence did help to prove that Shadow had committed the crime. So what he was about to do had to be right, didn't it?

"Clyde Arrowny has been found guilty of freeing every prisoner of Doma Castle. But he also has to lead us to the money that he stole from Doma's train. We will set out tomorrow at daylight, and after Clyde locates the stolen Gold Pieces for us we shall return here. Clyde will be returned to his cell, under the watch of three guards. At daylight on the following day, Clyde Arrowny will be executed, by hanging, at this very spot."

Clyde's heart sank, and the crowd began to cheer.
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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