"I didn't want to do it, you do know that, don't you Skaros?" The King was stood almost completely motionless upon his balcony, gazing out across the land with his back expressly towards the Spymaster. "But the people, and the condemned himself gave me no choice. And if we are not servants of the people then we are nothing, are we not, Skaros?" The Spymaster was silent for a while. He had always devoted himself to understanding completely both people and their King, and where he did not yet know, was determined to root out the hidden secrets by which he could; but there was something in his Majesty's countenance today that he couldn't read, no obvious key to the strangely placid stance of his usually proud King. He seemed to want to talk, but without his usual direct meaning... "You saw me offer him an alternative to execution. And he chose not to die by my hands, but using his own fists in one last fight with the baying crowd. Everyone got what they asked for, in the end. Was that not the case Skaros?" Skaros nodded, "Yes my Liege. I saw it all, just as you described.", wondering who exactly the King was trying to persuade? Skaros himself was not convinced, and still felt compelled to query; "But where was the Justice in offering him a moongate inches from the guillotine? Are we to give every murderer their freedom at the last second?" Was there the slightest suspicion of a flinch from the King? "In this universe, Bladderstick was unwelcome, unloved and utterly unfunny. Perhaps in every universe he would be seen the same. You saw I presume the farting rubber chickens that were take from his body, after it had been pummelled into leaving the land of the living?" Skaros scowled. He had, and had not found it's flatulence amusing in the slightest. "But Justice," the King continued "if I understand the Virtue correctly, must have the hope of redemption, the chance of change. A little bit of chaos even in the courts of law, dare I say. So I offered him a random gate into a random new world, where people might perhaps find his sense of humour more acceptable." "Would they really?" muttered the Spymaster "I find that highly unlikely" "Indeed. It would be an infinitely small chance indeed. Yet he did not take his chance Skaros, he did not indeed, and so now he is gone from all worlds. Still..." The King was still keeping his back towards Skaros, making it impossible to be certain of his expression; his voice gave not a clue as to his mood or any hidden meaning to his words, so Skaros decided to stay within the realm of his official duties. Of those he could be certain. "None the less my Liege, we cannot turn a blind eye to the undesirable violence committed by the crowd that day. We expect such thuggery from criminals as he, but the people were not just indecently willing to call for the head of Bladderstick, but grossly and forcibly took it off themselves. Twice over it seems, as they proceeded to banish his ghost with considerable relish too. Such indecent abandonment of the sacred Virtues, let alone the actual law of the land, cannot be so easily brushed aside, can it, Sire?" The King did not immediately answer. Instead, he turned and, never looking directly towards Skaros, sat down by his chess set and began fiddling with a piece... the white King, he noticed. "I am entirely secure in my powers, and entirely secure in my will, Skaros." he said eventually "And I am King of this land, whose will it was that Bladderstick be humanely executed if he so chose, I did not require Bladderstick to be lynched that day. You will I expect be observing the people you suspect of breaching my wishes. If you can prove they broke the law in doing so, then you must bring them to Justice too. " "Where ever and whoever they are?" said Skaros The King still did not look up, but quietly placed the piece in his hand onto the chess board. "Yes. Indeed, I fear this may have to be the case. Go to it, Spymaster." From deep within the mysterious folds of his robe, there came the cracking of the Spymaster's knuckles. "Absolutely, my Liege. I shall get onto it right away!" Skaros was almost to the door when he thought he heard something else. Not a whisper, and his ears were well trained in hearing the things people thought they had said only to themselves, oh yes he heard all those comments... but something even his ears couldn't quite make out. Something he thought, people can't say even to themselves, the inner voice that has no lips or lungs but peals louder than the greatest of church bells. Something you'd keep your eyes fixed in one spot to avoid addressing. But what was it? He turned to face the King again, but the King had his back fixed towards the door once more... and Skaros couldn't see where his hands were now. "There must be Justice done!" Skaros swore, and sidled out of the door, towards his tower from which he could once more call out his loyal investigators.