Trial of Kristi: The Roman Empire Strikes Back
It came to pass that the Unholy Roman Emperor, Tiburon, installed Plinius Pilatius as prefect of Gotham. This did not please Pilatius. He was already making a good living selling what he called “core-building” exercises to the idle rich. Acting as Tiburon’s prefect of Gotham would lessen the time he had for his profitable business. Nevertheless, he could not refuse the Unholy Roman Emperor.
Tiburon was a typically arrogant emperor who would brook no threats to his power. He insisted that the preeminent goal of all of his prefects, including Plinius Pilatius, should be to protect the emperor’s core power.
Pilatius saw Kristi as a threat to himself and to the person voted most likely to make his life miserable, Emperor Tiberon. Increasing numbers worshipped her as a sage and a prophet. With a sage and prophet around, many citizens saw no need for an emperor, let alone a prefect.
What’s more, it affected productivity. Many people spent inordinate amounts of time trying to just touch the hem of her garment. And, in the case of some unenlightened, insensitively macho men, more than the hem of her garment. Consequently, they had little time for productive work. This, in turn, affected tax revenues.
This would not do.
Plinius Pilatius ordered his guards to arrest Kristi. The charges were:
- Insulting all but one of the infinite number of Gods by talking to and claiming to speak on behalf of only God One to the exclusion of all of the others.
- Blasphemy for not completely believing in God One, let alone any of the other Gods.
- Using the word “idiot” when referring to her lawful husband who, by the standard uncivil marital contract, was her master, albeit an idiotic one.
The Trial of Kristi
Tiburon had also heard of Kristi and her successful sage and prophet activities. He too worried that she might usurp his powers if left unchecked. Tibetan did not trust Pinius Pilatius to do what needed to be done. He sent paid agents provocateurs to Gotham to turn the Gothamites against Kristi. They did their job quite effectively by casting aspersions on her cooking and housekeeping abilities.
As a result of this agitation, a mob formed at the courthouse ahead of Kristi’s trial. They were rooting for the prosecution. Despite their feigned antipathy toward Kristi, most of the local townsfolk, particularly the menfolk, secretly admired her because she was incredibly smart, had invented or discovered all sorts of labour-saving and life-saving devices and potions, had done a better than average job of prophesy, and, more importantly, had a stunner of a figure. In truth, they would have agitated strongly for her acquittal had she been a better cook and housekeeper and more subservient to her husband.
Kristi asked the court to allow her to represent herself at her trial. She figured that, because she was the smartest person around by a multiple higher than most Gothamites could count to, that was her best chance for success. She was turned down.
The law of the land stated that, to ensure that the accused received a fair trial, the accused must be represented by council. The law also stated that, in fairness to public defenders and their livelihoods, that council must be a public defender appointed by the court. By some strange twist of fate—fate in this case being named Plinius Pilatius—Kristi was assigned an attorney who wouldn’t have been an attorney at all had he not been turned down for a position of village idiot because he was not smart enough.
All things considered—all things being that Tiberon and Plinius Pilatius both wanted her convicted and neither of them had any qualms about ordering the execution of any judge or jury that delivered a verdict that displeased them—the outcome of the trial was inevitable. She was convicted after a 37-minute trial and 27-second deliberation.
As was the custom with convictions of people who displeased both Tiberon and Plinius Pilate, the righteous sentence decreed by the court was death.
A Chance for Pardon
Each year, in honor of the anniversary of the opening of the largest brothel in Gotham, it was customary for the Roman prefect to grant a pardon to one condemned criminal. Pilatius offered the people of Gotham a choice between two condemned criminals. The first was a murderer, rapist, sodomiser and pub owner named Barabaddass. The second was Kristi.
Egged on by the agents provocateurs and not wanting to suffer the wrath of Tiberon or Pilatius, the crowd called for Barabaddass to be pardoned.
“Sure,” they concurred, “Barabaddass is a mass murderer of epic proportions. And he’s raped half the women in Gotham. And he has violently sodomized all of our farm animals against their wills. But his pub serves the best ale in the Greater Gotham Area. He therefore deserves to be pardoned for his service to Gothamites.”
Thus, Barabaddass was pardoned and Kristi’s death sentence was confirmed.
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