PANTHERA and LEOOn Trial For Treason (part 1)
by Bevie James
Panthera sat quietly, waiting for the tribunal to enter the room. Which three would it be to decide her fate? There were some who would jump at the chance to condemn her. Others would show understanding. The problem was, Panthera knew she was guilty. She had let Pelage go free. But holding her in her arms had brought back memories, and when Pelage begged for mercy Panthera had not been able to refuse. Now she would pay the price for that loyalty. That love.
Two guards sat at her elbows. One she knew. Loparith. He was from the People of the Wolves. They had played together when they were young. Loparith was strict about rules, but he was also loyal to friends. The other she knew only by name. Conuru. She was from the People of the Vultures. While Panthera knew nothing of Conuru, she did know that those who melded with vultures were quick to take offense.
Her judges would be three. That she knew. And one would be from the People of Cats, which was Panthera’s people. And Pelage’s. She was at least to have one friendly face in the room. But who would the other two be? And whoever represented her own people would not likely be in charge.
The door opened and Panthera, Loparith, and Conuru rose to their feet. Panthera smiled as the first judge entered. It was Panteskus. He was related to Panthera through her mother. He was also akin to Pelage. At the least he would prevent this from becoming a kangaroo court – even if the head judge were from the People of the Quokka. Seeing the second judge was enough to take Panthera’s smile away. It was Simthara, from the People of the Apes. They were not friendly toward Panthera’s people. It looked like it was going to be a monkey trial after all.
The final judge, the head judge, was Ursa Drake, from the People of the Dragons. In fact, a small dragon sat perched on Ursa’s shoulder. It was a winged creature, as opposed to the worms some had. The worms were less ferocious than the winged dragons, but they were more insidious. The winged dragons were more dangerous, but they were open about what they were doing. Panthera sighed. It could have been worse. With Simthara present, the head judge could have been an Ophidian.
The three judges went to their table and sat, Ursa Drake in the middle, Simthara to her left, and Panteskus to her right. Panthera quietly noted the positions. That Panteskus sat to Ursa Drake’s right meant he would have greater say than Simthara. She had lucked out in that regard. But Ursa Drake would have the final say. When the judges had sat they nodded to the accused and her guards. Panthera and the others sat down. Ursa Drake turn her head slightly toward Simthara. “Please read the charge, Simthara.”