Planning an Action
“We should confront him.”
“If we do though, he might switch and we don’t want that.”
“But Leviath knows things that Arios doesn’t.”
“Only because he is a…a… what was that term again?”
“I believe it was ‘uncooperative alter,’ Lumiale.”
“Thank you, Luva-sama.”
“He’s only uncooperative because no one is trying to talk to him.”
“Will you all just shut up! I’m working on calculus here.”
Zephel sighed and went back to his problem though he didn’t really see the point of knowing the constant rate at which a spherical tank empties. Besides, they were the ones intruding on his space of Luva’s library with all this noise and ruckus. He had wanted to stay out of this whole mess, but it just wasn’t to be. For the last two hours, Lumiale and Oscar had been researching and then bickering over what do based off their newfound knowledge.
“The only way we can establish that he was switched at the time is to show that Leviath is still there. If we do that, we have a start for an insanity defense,” Oscar reasoned.
Turning around one of the legal books, Zephel took a look at the open page and did some mental calculations. “Yah, but it says here according to a survey by the Interstellar Psychology Association that insanity defense only works in between .04 to .26 percent of cases. Those aren’t the best odds.”
“But it’s the only real chance we for him to be judged as not guilty. And it’s the truth,” the Water Guardian argued back.
“Wait, you said that you weren’t close enough at the time to get there to help her. So, how do you know that he was ‘switched out’ or whatever?” Actually, playing the prosecution could be fun if no one’s live was in your hands.
Lumiale frowned. “He doesn’t even remember committing the crime. If the defendant didn’t know what he was doing because of a mental disorder, then he is not guilty of the crime,” he recited from what he had read.
“Feh, ever think that he may be lying? I mean he has this split-personality history that could easily be used to get out of any sticky situation.”
Stress could push even sweet people like Lumiale to their limits, but he was doing his best to stay calm. “Arios had no motive to kill her. Leviath apparently did. That is the crucial difference.”
“Zephel, you were just complaining about not being able work. Stop debating with Lumiale and get back to your math,” Oscar prodded.
With a snort and several mumbles, the Steel Guardian returned to his books and equation.
“You should also apologize to Lumiale,” Luva chided.
“No, it’s okay. It’s good practice. Anyway, we still have to work on figuring out what his switch trigger is,” his deep blue eyes went back to the stack of books and papers.
“Did you see or hear anything at all that might help?” Oscar asked.
Again, he ran through his memories of the night. Only one thing stood out as a possible clue. “Ellis.”
“What’s an ‘ellis?’” Zephel inquired while chewing on his pencil.
“I don’t think it’s a ‘what’ so much as a ‘who.’ I heard him yell it just as he…” he shook his head.
“Then we need to find out who this Ellis is,” the Fire Guardian leaned back in his chair with a hand upon chin.
Lumiale sighed, “That’s part of the problem. If…she, I assume, has some meaning to Leviath and brings him out then who knows what could happen.”
“Do we any other options for investigating?”
He glanced aside. “There is one. We could talk to the Knights.”
That brought Zephel back into the conversation, “Those bastards? Are you serious?”
“They know more about Leviath then any of us. There are no other real links to his past besides them.” He reasoned.
“No way! I don’t care what they know, they’re nothing but dirty bastards, the whole lot of them. Did you forget the kind of shit they did?” To emphasize his point, he rolled up his sleeve to reveal the set of scars over his upper left artery.
“I know, I know.” The words were shaky and his hand drifted over his right forearm where his own scars were. He had been lucky that they had only needed to let his blood twice. Some of them had many scars like Zephel from all the tries. For nothing but the final ingredient in a spell.
“Then why do you want to get them involved?”
“It’s better than the alternative.” Just the idea of the Emperor still gave the Sanctuary residents shivers.
“We should use all our options though,” Oscar suggested. “I’ll ask for permission to travel to Saiph to give them a visit.”
“And I… I will ask Arios directly.” Lumiale decided with much deliberation. “We also are going to need a more credible witness to his illness.”
“What about Marcel?” the young Guardian put forth. “He protected Collet when they were abducted. If anyone has seen whatever dark side Arios has, it would be him.”
Luva furrowed his brow. “He’s not in any condition to testify, Zephel, you know that.”
“He is right though,” The Water Guardian admitted. “We should at least look into it.”
Oscar leaned forward on the table. “Best to have Randy do it then. He’s been Marcel’s main link to the rest of Sanctuary.”
“I guess we have a plan of action then,” Lumiale closed one of the books ceremoniously.
Time for a little psychology lesson. So, basically investigating exactly what DID (dissociative identity disorder) is. Writers love to use it as a nice plot device but it is a serious condition in reality. I’m just brushing the surface here but there will be much more about DID throughout the series. And yes, those are real statistics about the use of insanity pleas. In most cases where the plea is used, it only works because the prosecution is willing to agree.
And hey, here we get the Knights (better known as the Clones) involved! Ah, I’m happy to have the chance to write them. Actually, including them is one of the most “AU” actions I’ve done. They all died at the end of Tenkuu no Requiem, but I figured that it would be much more interesting to keep them alive. The planet they’re being held on, Saiph, is the name of the hilt of Orion's sword. I just thought it had the best name for the Angelique world.
The blood-letting is a reference to the collecting of blood that Leviath had to do for the spell that put the Knights in the Guardians bodies. I took from the medieval art of bleeding to get the locations which were indeed almost all along the arms.
One stupid note – the equation for the constant rate of emptying for a spherical container is actually an awful piece of first-year calculus. I did it for a project and trust me, it’s not pretty at all. Poor Zephel.