Liberty Force on Trial

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Transmission on Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:51 am

Max preened his nails vainly whilst Athena spoke. At least she'd gotten the story right, he mused to himself. Still, there was a risk that the plan would fail. He'd exploited cannier foes before, but the main risk came from Andrew.
He glanced casually to the man, smirking sardonically. What must be going through his mind now? Not that Max cared, of course. He merely hoped that Andrew's time in Britain had taught him when to shut up.
Tapping a hand on his jacket pocket, he cast a glance at the accuser. He'd have to find out who he was, some time soon. Of course, killing him would be completely out of the question. At least, in court.
Time to wait and see.

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Brightwel on Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:18 pm

Things well and truly were starting to get interesting.

"I see, I see... so, essentially, Ms. Dawnlight, you sat idly by and allowed Mr. Scott to feed a court of law false information, unwittingly as it may have been. Were you planning on calling forth Mr. Hart if we had accepted that story, I wonder? I have to say I'm also curious as to why, rather than admit all this earlier, Mr. Hart has decided to only confess to all these crimes now when, let's face it, it would be the most convenient for the people he apparently hates. And I haven't even got started on the things you didn't make quite clear... if Mr. Hart's actions were coincidental, and nothing to do with Annamary's kidnap, then what was? I'm certain there are a plethora of reasons, but alas we are in court, where all the facts are needed."

"I'd also like to point out the fact that you 'did not want to drag local authorities
into the confusion' I'm afraid to say, Ms. Dawnlight, but that isn't your choice to make. These were crimes perpetrated on US soil and as official heroes, you have to work with and enforce the law, whether you like it or not. Regardless of your good intentions, you are not above the law and you do not get to nitpick when to play with and involve it."

"You are right however, that we cannot charge you for the actions of a former member, nor is there any particular piece of evidence that can be used to incriminate you. As such, I think we can move on for no-"

Smith did not get to finish his sentence however, as a phone suddenly began to beep. Several members of the jury looked to their own handsets, but it was Smith himself whose mobile was making the noise. In less than thirty seconds, he had whipped the phone from his breast pocket, gave the person on the other side of the line a few acknowledging "Mmhmms," smiled, and put the phone away.

"I was going to say that we move on. It would seem however, that we have someone else to attend the stand, one that has just been captured and is being brought here as we speak; a minor suspect in this case, the criminal, File."

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Echo 13 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:58 pm

Didn't see that one coming.

Athena tapped her arm, expression neutral.

"File was captured? Hm. How...convinient."

She looked up at the judge.

"Well, I see no reason to object to hearing File's testimony."

Unless he's bought the jury out already, then they're more likely to listen to us than a known criminal. And if he has, then this is pointless anyway.

"While we wait for him to arrive, I would like to clear up a couple of facts from the so-far discussed matter, if that's alright."

"The first is going back to the matter of disposing of the Forged Conclave technology. I believe that although Mr Smith mentioned "myself and several other members" being capable of destroying it safely, there are only two members in our team who could truly be sure of destroying everything on that ship completely- myself, and Megan, hero alias Shining Valkryie. However, both of us were unavailable at the time, for reasons I do not intend to go into in an open courtroom, although you may consult Vanguard on the matter, should you have proper clearence."

"As for allowing Mr. Scott to give false information, then the fault was my own. It was under my instructions that he was not informed, and as such I am responsible."

"And finally, as for the matter of not informing the authorities- again, it was under my instructions, and as, legally, I am the highest ranking member of Liberty Force present on Primal Earth, any relating charges are, again, my responsibility."

"As for Mr. Hart's reasons, I believe he will have to elaborate on them himself, if he wishes too."

"That's that cleared up, I believe. Thank you, your honour."

With that Athena sat down, and resumed waiting.
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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Transmission on Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:50 am

If the sudden development had made an impact on Max, he didn't let it show.
"Need I remind you that I was, at one point, one of the leading tactical minds in the British military? The 'coincidence', as you call it, could just as explicably be the siezing of an opportunity on my part. And as to why I have experienced such a dramatic change of heart towards the subject?"
He paused for effect, slowly turning his gaze around the courtroom as a smug sneer crept onto his face.
"I hardly intend to stand idly by whilst some two-bit lawyer proclaims that my work is a result of the gross incompotence of a team of heroes."
This time, he elected to simply talk above the murmuring crowd. "The reputation will do me good, suffice it to say, particularly in my recent career change. And the delicious irony of swooping down to rescue those who scorned me previously... well, it was too tempting to pass up."
With a faint creak, he clenched a fist, the dark leather straining at the action.
"And as for this File fellow, well, we shall see what he has to say for himself."
Nodding curtly with satisfaction, he shifted his position to sit upright and rigid, and began to inspect Athena, Andrew and Smith with hawk-like eyes.

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Brightwel on Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:25 am

Smith looked at his watch casually.

"I'm sure File will be here shortly. Meanwhile, let's go over what we've just been told. Ms. Dawnlight, I thank you for coming clean with these matters, but you must realise that by admitting to them, truthfully or not, you may well be taking the fall for your comrades. Depending on the jury's and Judge Harrison's decision of course, you could very well be arrested and imprisoned for a considerable time. I simply hope you aren't just trying to protect your friends if they really are guilty of these charges."

"And Mr. Hart. I have to say your motives for this crime are somewhat confusing. You still haven't explained exactly why you had these thugs steal, kill and torment. If you wanted revenge on Liberty Force, then why on Earth are you now trying to protect them? If you didn't want Liberty Force to be held responsible for your work, then why did you have your men impersonate them in the first place? Surely, you didn't have all those people killed and crippled just so you could then boast how very clever you are in court? What's more, it was Athena Dawnlight who called you to the stand. You weren't captured, or even suspected in this case. Did you two arrange for this crime to happen? Please, for myself and all here, get your stories straight and in a fashion we can understand"

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Transmission on Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:40 am

Max waved a hand dismissively.
"As anticipated, you completely misunderstand my intentions. Quite understandable. You see, I hired the men I disguised in an attempt to discredit Liberty Force in a manner which would leave me unincriminated. I can only presume they elected not to take notice of the event, in the hopes that it would have no impact. And yes, I desired vengance on the group. I wanted them to know how it feels to be degraded like that. But for god's sake, they're still heroes, broadly speaking. What kind of a man would I be to stand idly by as they face the executioner?"
Grinning perhaps a tad sadistically, he began to flex his hands.
"And, of course, the fact that Liberty Force was both outwitted and rescued by the one who they cast out seemed so fitting. Yet, I remain a man of honour and values. This whole fiasco has escalated too far, and I intend to recieve the attentions of the honourable judge today."
He tugged on the tip of his beard, looking thoughtful. "And as for Athena... well, as surprising as it may seem, we departed on relatively good terms. I admire her as a combatant and an ally. Not a person, by any stretch of the imagination, but I digress. As was announced earlier, she has been rather indisposed as of late. Considering that she was aware of my focus on Liberty Force, she would have known even after such a departure that I would be at least aware of what ocurred. And as such, we met prior to this hearing and I confessed my actions to her."
With that, he leaned back in his seat, smiling warmly and clapping his hands together.
"And, well, here we are."

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Brightwel on Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:39 am

Smith allowed the jury and judge a moment to absorb what had just been said.

"i agree with you Mr. Hart that, 'This whole fiasco has escalated too far' Clearly then, your rather odd plan for revenge was not quite the work of the genius you claim to be. Personally, I'm not entirely convinced. For someone out of the blue to come forward and take the fall for the whole thing, with nothing to win and quite a lot to lose. Hopefully File will be able to shed further light on the whole thing, he should be here very soon I think."

The prosecutor took a moment to crack the mucles in his nech and fingers.

"Until then, are you sure there isn't anything else you'd like to tell us, Mr. Hart, Ms. Dawnlight, Mr. Scott even? Perhaps why you couldn't just hold on to those Conclave weapons until Ms. Dawnlight or 'Megan' became available? How do you feel about a leader who hides information from her colleagues and puts her entire team at risk in doing so? The real reason why you're willing to be put away in the Zig for many years for people who betrayed you? Is it a cry for redemption, Mr. Hart? Or one for attention? Maybe you feel that by saving Liberty Force from the consequences of their disregard for the law, you'll finally be able to earn the affection of...who was it... Lady Babel, perhaps?"

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Transmission on Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:41 am

Max's eye twitched. He didn't know where the man had gotten that information, and he damned sure wasn't going to let it lie. But how? A slow smirk crept onto his features.
"I have done many bad things in my life, Mr. Smith, but this is by no means the worst. Call it a matter of honour that I choose to resolve this, if you like. And if it happens that I am bent on some quest for redemption, then surely you should be approving my decision to confess, hm?"
He tented his fingers.
"But first, a question, if I am permitted." He didn't wait for any kind of response.
"Perhaps you would care to tell the court how you came to acquire information regarding my 'affections' towards Lady Babel? They were never acted upon, certainly not publically, and it was a fact that a sparse few of the team members themselves knew, let alone the discerning public. So, please, if you wouldn't mind saying how you acquired quite secretive knowledge from a heroic organisation? I am confident that you have some sort of perfectly innocent reason for your inexplicable knowledge, Mr. Smith. Prove me wrong."

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Brightwel on Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:38 am

Again, Smith stretched to try and alleviate his muscles before tapping the table in front of him and unveiling a earpiece previously hidden by his hair.

"Quite simple, Mr. Hart. That is exactly what we at Oracle Inc. do. Consider us a group of detectives, good ones at that. As soon as I heard that you were to attend the stand, I texted my staff and had them dig up all they can. According to them, some nice individuals in the British government were kind enough, for a modest fee, to give us copies of the 'L.O.R.D' footage, I believe they said? Being experts, they naturally viewed said footage and, according to them, there was a chance that you had feelings for this 'Lady Babel', based on body language, dialogue etc. etc. Of course, it was an educated guess at best, but you yourself have just confirmed it, have you not?"

As casually as ever, Smith put his phone away.

"Any other questions while we wait for File? Mr. Scott? Ms. Dawnlight?"

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Echo 13 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:07 am

"A small one. But before that, I should elaborate that when I said myself and Megan were indesposed, our teamates did not know how long it would be for. The circumstances meant that it would be risky to simply "wait", given the resources that the Forged Conclave have been able to call on in the past- or, indeed, the possibility that another group, such as Arachnos or The Legion, could have claimed them."

Athena stood, staring steadily over at Mr. Smith.

"Onto the question. Feel free to answer off the record- it's a simple one, really. What's your angle?"

She quickly continued to avoid being replied just yet.

"And please, do not give me some trash about altruism, being concerned citizens, etcetera. I am sure that I am not the only one in the room who has had enough dealings with the likes of Crey to know an ulterior motive when I see one."

At that she gave a slight glance over to the jury. She knew that at least one or two of the more experienced meta-humans would be picking up on it, too.

"The charges against Liberty Force are not without cause, I admit that. But that's not all there is to it, is it, Mr. Smith?"

With that last sentence she turned back to the prosecution, eyes flickering an odd silver for a moment.

"Your bearing and manner do not reflect one who is acting in the interest of public safety- not that alone, anyway. I can think of numerous ways to explain this, some of them innocent, some not. Please. Elaborate, if you will."
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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Brightwel on Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:08 pm

The prosecutor frowned as if Athena had just said something very stupid.

"'Ulterior'? Whatever makes you think that my motives are ulterior? I admit quite freely that public safety isn't my top priority,"

His frown turned into a slight grin.

"Though it doesn't seem to be yours either. Anyway, I'm a businessman, Ms. Dawnlight. I'm being paid to do this and the information we're permitted to access to help our case may also be useful in future dealings. It's quite simple, like you said. And like you also said, the charges against Liberty Force are not without cause, so it's really quite irrelevant what my exact 'angle' is, so long as I'm done what I've been asked to do, that is, prosecute Liberty Force for being the vigilante, law-ignoring group that they are suspected of being."

Soon after Smith finished, a slight commotion could be heard from outside the courtroom and a policeman hurried in. "Your honour, the criminal 'File' is here, as requested. Shall we show him in now?"

Smith turned back to smirk at the defendants. "If you've got anything else to say before we bring Mr. File in, I suggest you do it now."

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Thunderar on Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:33 pm

Andrew had many things to say, but not like this, not now and certainly not in front of Smith.

He looked again at Max, there was still a hero inside of him whether he chose to see it or not, but if that was true, if he really was still on the side of good, did that mean Liberty force was really that bad?
Andrew was certain Max hadn't committed the crimes he was now confessing to, it was too neat, too coincidental, the very crime Smith had accused them of suddenly had the mastermind right in front of them ready to confess....No, he wasn't that naive.

He turned his gaze to Mr smith for a moment.
He was part of a company that gathered information...'useful in future dealings'? What did that mean...
He brought his attention back to the Judge
"Nothing further to say from me your honor."
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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Echo 13 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:50 pm

"Two last things. First, it appears you misunderstood my question, Mr. Smith, or possibly that I phrased it wrong- English isn't my first language. I was not referring to you personally. You're a lawyer, I presume, and so I doubt you have need of anything other than what you're paid to do. I was referring to Oracle Inc. as a whole. It seems to convinient that it is only your company which is pressing charges."

"Second, I request a brief, 5 minute recess before File comes to the stand, your honour. I believe we will all benefit from a short time to collect our thoughts."
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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Brightwel on Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:56 am

Smith smiled once more and took several papers from his jacket pocket.

"Who ever said anything about me and my company being the only one to press charges? We have here, let's see... Crey, several citizens of Croatoa, Rhode Island Shipping; the owners of that super tanker you sunk, even members of the families whose relatives were killed in retaliatory strikes by one 'Scarlett', the list goes on. Me and my company were simply elected to reprsent them as a whole. Correct, your honour?"

"Mr. Smith is right. Oracle Inc. was hired and elected by all of those parties, as well as several others, to represent them in court."

Smith turned to face Athena happily.

"See? And yes, and have no objections to a recess. Take ten minutes if you must. Please your honour, go ahead."

Judge Harrison promptly banged his gravel

"With both parties in agreement, this court will now take a ten minute recess. Members of the jury, you are forbidden to make verdict during this recess."

With a recess now official, the jury all went to take their breaks with Smith joining them, but not before giving the defendants a little wave.

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Transmission on Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:43 am

Rolling a shoulder as he stood up, Max stalked nonchalantly over towards Athena and Andrew, leaning an elbow on the bench. He was smiling warmly as ever.
"Well, this could have gone considerably better. The man may have admitted to bribery, and I can probably whip up a few contacts to get some Civil Servant agression towards him, but short of that, we know nothing of this man."
He looked up and cast a glance around, making sure that nobody was listening in.
"We must go on the attack. Accuse him of persecuting heroes, fraud, anything we can come up with. It must be righteous and it must be emphatic. Aside from that, all I can forsee us doing is hoping the this File fellow is selfish enough to go with it."
He discretely slipped a hand into his inner jacket pocket, giving the two a sly look.
"Still, if we find ourselves in a corner, just give me a signal."

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Thunderar on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:24 am

Andrew narrowed his eyes at Max, He wasn't sure what he had in his jacket, but he could guess.
He gave a quick glance at Smith, keeping his voice low.
"He's a representative, he may be a bad guy but these charges aren't his idea, Liberty force has wronged people and we need to answer for that, no-one is above the law, not us..."
He looked down at Max's jacket for a moment then directly at him.
"And especially not you. There's no exception, not while I'm around."
With that he gave a look at Athena as well, just in case she was in the same mindset as Max.
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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Transmission on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:37 am

"Above the law. Hm."
Max straightened up, standing to attention.
"Andrew, you must realise that the greater good lies in risk here. Should we fail, then Liberty Force will be... what? Dismantled? Arrested? God alone knows. We have to sieze the initiative and show them that whatever wrongs they have done, they are more than counterbalanced by their actions. Hell, it's probably the most functional group in the damned country."
He shifted his left side away slightly, shielding his pocket.
"A lot of this venture lies in your hands, Andrew. And all that I ask you to do is play along and don't do anything stupid. I know full well that is within easy reach of your capabilities."

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Echo 13 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:02 am

Athena leaned back in her chair, arms behind her head.

She sighed.

"Max has a point. I honestly cannot see things ending well if we keep playing defensive."

She pinched the bridge of her nose.

"The problem is, I don't know if we have any counter charges to use. Plenty against File, but against Greasy over there? Not so much. And I do wonder what File handed himself in for."

She opened her eyes and looked at the two.

"Because there is no way he just got "caught", just when it was inconvinient for us. Still, the jury should listen to us, not him. We'll play by the rules, for now. If you see an oppurtunity for a turnabout, take it."

"Worse comes to worse...If the situation has become absolutely unacceptable- and I mean unacceptable, as in, we're about to be arrested- then Max...make sure we get something positive out of this, okay?"

She closed her eyes again.

"I am getting way too old for this..."
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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Transmission on Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:20 am

Max bowed his head slightly.
"It matters not what we argue about, merely that we do so. But we will run out of ammunition eventually, so we must hope for the best. Foul play is at work, and I intend to cut it down."
He straightened again, giving a lopsided grin as he leaned on the bench.
"And I can assure you with the utmost conviction, it will not come to arresting. Not whilst I am able, in any case."
Leaning in conspiratorially, he flicked a glance to the jury, talking out of earshot.
"Should you feel the need for me to act, either of you, simply scratch your nose. Do not make a grand gesture of it, but remain discrete. We shall see what happens then, hm?"
He leaned back to a standing position, a sly smirk plastered over his face as he slipped his hands into his outer pockets.

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Thunderar on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:20 am

Andrew looked between the two, obviously they had more planning for this than he had, that just made it all the worse considering what they were talking about.
"If Liberty force does more harm than good, maybe its better off dismantled...but I agree there's something not right about the situation, especially now this 'File' characters involved."

He paused for a moment, tapping his finger on the desk as he thought about the situation. Court room drama erupts into battle? A weird thought to cross his mind but oddly enough, at this point, a believable one.
"I'll go along with this, but there are lines I won't cross. Try to keep that in mind."
He leaned back in his chair, ready and waiting for File to show.
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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Transmission on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:46 am

Max shrugged emphatically and gave a curt bow. "As you say."
He strolled back to his seat, leaning into it and folding his hands in his lap.
Alright, Max. Remember what they taught you. Surface thoughts only. Don't give anything up. Not one iota. Bury it down. Deep.
And there he sat, not thinking about what to do.

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Echo 13 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:14 am

Athena stared at the cieling. If her files were correct- which she hoped they were- then File could make things difficult. And if the power supressors weren't working correctly...or if someone had turned them off...

She was probably being paranoid, but she wasn't going to take any more risks when it came to mental matters. Not after last time.

Mara. I need you.

She felt a part of her mind flare up.

Yeah? What's up, 'Thenes?

Keep an eye out on this plane. If someone comes looking, then open the door.

Well, since you asked so nicely...

Athena tried to come up with a retort, but the fragment had already moved on. She'd just have to trust her.

Preperations sorted, Athena leant forward and laced her finger, leaning on the desk.

Time for round two.

---

((Note that Athena's commique there shouldn't set off any sensors, as it literally only existed in her head.))
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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Brightwel on Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:13 am

The gavel was smashed down once more.

"I am now calling this court back in session."

The jury and Mr. Smith each returned to their seats.

"Bring in the suspect."

The court doors were flung open and standing there was a scruffy, blonde haired man. He had cuffs around his hands, his legs were loosely chained together and a hi-tech looking metal band had been placed around his forehead, presumably some kind of suppressor for his mental powers. Two police officers flanked his either side and lead him to the stand, where they remained to guard him. Throughout the entire process, File looked little more than bored.

"I'll start, shall I?" the prosecutor asked. "File, do you know why you are here?"

The criminal did not even look at the defendants. "I'm guessing that Liberty Force has been charged with the bank heist and desecration of that tomb, to which I'm also a suspect? Mr. Hart's presence however would suggest that things have not went as simple as Mr. Smith may have hoped, he's woven some sort of false tale, perhaps? On a side note, he's probably planning something drastic and illegal, if you'll notice the blank expression as opposed to the stupid smirk he normally wears? He's trying not to give anything away, but in doing so, gives it away. Or possibly it's reverse psychology. Who knows?" A long yawn escaped his lips. "Anyway. Care to tell me what it is you've been telling people, you three? Then, if they're really nice, or just offer me something, then I'll start to poke holes in it."

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Brightwel on Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:03 am

As Mr. Smith, the courtroom's typist and the judge recounted Liberty Force's claims to File, the villain simply sat and occasionally yawned, clearly not impressed.

"Well, I can tell you all right now, that they're lying. Shock horror, am I right? I don't know about poor little Thundey, but Dawnpants and 007 over there are feeding you so much bullshit you could open a farm. Fertilizer and all. Anyway, I just so happen to know all this because I was the one who caused this particular little mishap. Fun story too, because as it turns out, Liberty Force didn't have to get involved at all. Sure, I had little Mary kidnapped. Why? Because I had a teeny, tiny feud to settle with Casper- I mean Alphaea. Sure, Mary is team Liberty's pal, but I didn't specifically ask them to do anything about it. They would have got her back either way, something I think I made pretty clear."

The confession sent the jury into a loud murmur that Smith allowed to settle before speaking.

"Well, if what Mr. File says is true, then the implications for Liberty Force are quite severe. It would not only serve to show that your group is a team of illegal vigilantes, rather than official heroes and it would mean you would go so far as to lie in court. For your sake as a recognised supergroup, I hope you can counter these claims."

Once again did the eyes of the courtroom swerve in the defendants direction.

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Re: Liberty Force on Trial

Post  Thunderar on Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:19 am

Andrew looked at Athena for a reaction.
Of course she would deny it, and of course File could be lying. He was a villain, discrediting a hero group? Why wouldn't he do something like that!
Lies, all of it! Untrue, a false claim....of course who he was thinking about right now, even he didn't know.
Why was this so hard? To think Athena and his former team mate, Max, could be telling the truth. There are some members of Liberty force he'd fight tooth and nail for, no matter the evidence, they gave their word, he would believe it. But these two? Max had fallen far since leaving Liberty force, and Athena? Lies, secrets, the way she treated life and death like a game....to her it was.

He leaned forward, leaning on the desk, choosing to remain seated.
He wasn't going to answer File, this was all Athena, if she had lied, he wasn't going to defend her. Not now, Liberty force would answer for any crimes it had committed, for any wrongs it had done to the people of Paragon.
By the courts law, or if needs be, by his own hand.
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