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Trial for Atrocity

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  • Trial for Atrocity

    I don't hang around the stpries area much, but a minor incident in a game I'm playing gave me an idea for a story.


    “Sir Lanceabit,” the judge said, “You stand accused of military atrocity in the first degree, namely that you did, on or about the year 1010 AD, murder a band of slaves going about their lawful business. How do you plead?”

    “I plead not guilty,” the Korean knight replied.

    “Prosecution, present your case.”

    The prosecutor then explained how the slaves in question were working on a road through a wheat field on some flood plains outside the recently annexed city of Beijing when a band of Korean knights swept in and captured them. Rather than simply sending the slaves back to Korea, as would have been considered perfectly civilized behavior, Sir Lanceabit and his men murdered them.

    Then Sir Lanceabit took the stand, explaining how the attack on the slaves was in retaliation for a recent, unprovoked attack by the Iroquois against Korean troops who were returning home after participating in the Grand Alliance that the Iroquois themselves had invoked against China. He argued that because of the preponderance of Iroquois troops in the area, the slaves could never have reached a Korean city and that killing them was a matter of strategic necessity.

    Then it was the prosecutor’s turn to cross-examine. “Sir Lanceabit, is it not true that Korea violated its commitment to the Grand Alliance by making peace with China while the other allies were still at war?

    “Yes,” Sir Lanceabit replied reluctantly. “But the war was already all but over, so what was the harm?” He added defiantly.

    “The harm,” the prosecutor explained, “Is that under Section 142 of the Iroquois Military Code, Breach of Alliance is an offense punishable by any penalty up to and including annexation by military conquest. Our Chief and Council of Tribes chose to invoke that clause and order the annexation of most or all Korean cities on our continent.

    “Further, Breach of Alliance has been determined to be an offense by the High Firaxians themselves. The only penalty that the High Firaxians demand is that nations that break an alliance must be considered untrustworthy as a result, but they do not forbid nations from imposing additional penalties.

    “As for the claim that the war was all but over, nothing in the terms of the alliance allowed nations to exit early once China was mostly defeated. We have maintained our state of war with China in order to honor our commitments in spite of significant protests from some of our people, and we expect our allies to do the same. The legitimacy of our war against you is not in question.”

    The prosecutor then shifted to the next subject. “You say that murdering our slaves was necessary as a matter of military strategy. I now enter into evidence this power graph showing that Korea has no hope of resisting us militarily. In addition, I enter into evidence the fact that the most advanced military units that Korea knows how to build are knights and musketmen, while we have cavalry, infantry, and artillery. Finally, I enter into evidence the fact that the Iroquois have forty-three bands of native workers and dozens of slaves from previous wars with the Zulus, Aztecs, and Chinese.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by nbarclay; February 21, 2004, 20:51.

  • #2
    “So tell us,” the prosecutor challenged. “What meaningful impact could you possibly have expected the murder of a single band of slaves to have on the current war that makes it justifiable in the name of ‘strategy’?”

    Sir Lanceabit tried to formulate an answer, but he couldn’t. Any other nation would understand that strategy is a matter of policies and doctrines and that soldiers, from the lowliest private to the highest general, are expected to follow the policies and doctrines set forth by the High Firaxians without even considering whether they make sense in a particular situation. But he knew that such thinking was entirely foreign to Iroquois minds, that they believed in adapting strategies to fit specific situations rather than blindly following one particular formula. In his less orthodox moments, sometimes Sir Lanceabit even wondered if that might be part of what made the Iroquois so deadly, but he never dared voice those thoughts lest he be court-martialed by his own people.

    In any case, while arguing that following standard doctrine was “good strategy” as a matter of definition would make perfect sense in a court in any other nation, it would never be accepted as a valid argument in an Iroquois court. And try as he might, Sir Lanceabit could find no way in which eliminating even a dozen bands of enemy slaves could make a meaningful difference to Korea’s fate. The fact that three Korean cities had fallen during the brief time he was awaiting trial, and nine bands of Korean slaves had been taken to replace the one band his men had killed, made the futility of his unit’s actions even clearer.

    “Do you even have an answer?” the prosecutor continued mercilessly.

    “No,” Sir Lanceabit conceded, “or at least not one that your people could understand.”

    “No more questions,” the prosecutor said.

    Sir Lanceabit was excused from the witness stand, and the defense rested. After closing arguments, the judge wasted no time in deliberation before issuing his verdict.

    “Sir Lanceabit, I find you and your men guilty of military atrocity in the first degree for the murder of innocent slaves. You are hereby sentenced to death, sentence to be carried out as quickly as our artillery and cavalry can form a firing squad. May the High Firaxians have mercy on your souls.”
    Last edited by nbarclay; February 21, 2004, 19:25.


    • #3
      Hello, this is great.

      I hope you feel inspired like this again real soon
      Gurka 17, People of the Valley
      I am of the Horde.


      • #4

        Yes, let us hope for more like this.
        Read Blessed be the Peacemakers | Read Political Freedom | Read Pax Germania: A Story of Redemption | Read Unrelated Matters | Read Stains of Blood and Ash | Read Ripper: A Glimpse into the Life of Gen. Jack Sterling | Read Deutschland Erwachte! | Read The Best Friend | Read A Mothers Day Poem | Read Deliver us From Evil | Read The Promised Land


        • #5
          nbarclay, you should definitely consider writing more often. That little piece was great, very original, and an excellent concept.

          I really enjoyed that thanks
          A proud member of the "Apolyton Story Writers Guild".There are many great stories at the Civ 3 stories forum, do yourself a favour and visit the forum. Lose yourself in one of many epic tales and be inspired to write yourself, as I was.


          • #6
            Good stuff, nbarclay. Like Chris said, you should write more for us.
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