Blackjack Wayward

An egg-salad sandwich.

That’s how long it took the jury to find me guilty on all charges.

After both closing arguments, the judges gave the jury a series of instructions, and with that, the case was over. A dozen armored guards with shock staves escorted my attorney and me into a holding cell, where I ordered an egg-salad sandwich and an iced tea for lunch. As soon as I had taken the final bite of my meal, a bailiff entered the room and informed us that the jury returned a verdict. My lawyer’s reply was classic:

“Fuck them,” he said, knowing that such a fast verdict, based on over 1,300 charges, could only mean one thing: Guilty on all counts.

The jury found me guilty for everything I had done, and for a few of the crimes my former companions Cool Hand Luke and Influx had committed in the weeks leading up to our ordeal, days and weeks before we had met. The jury found me complicit to conspiracy charges for crimes I hadn’t even known were occurring. They were thorough like that.

I was also found guilty of murdering Influx, Cool Hand Luke, Dr. Retcon and his daughter, Dr. Evelyn Walsh; and of killing the real bad guy of the whole affair, Dr. Zundergrub – who I knew was still alive. The jury even convicted me of killing Mr. Haha, who was a robot and not alive to begin with. They also got me for first degree murder charges for two dozen heroes that died on Hashima, including those that Baron Blitzkrieg and his bunch killed; for hundreds of oil rig workers – even though their blood fell squarely on Zundergrub’s hands; a dozen German anti-villain commando; and even Gentleman Shivvers, who was a cold-blooded bastard in his own right.

It didn’t matter to them that I was the actual hero of Hashima, that I had saved the world from Dr. Retcon’s insanity. No one cared. They had me sit for their circus trial and take the blame for everything.

The whole thing was stacked against me. When they read the charges at the start of the trial, the judge insisted the court reporter read them all. It took three days, despite my attorney’s protestations and willingness to stipulate to them all. When it came time to read the verdicts, once they were finished humiliating me, the judge allowed the charges to be divided into six categories, to speed up the proceedings. They read the guilty verdicts, set a date for sentencing six months in the future, and sent me on my way.

I wanted to rip out of my manacles, to throw a few bodies around, and say my goodbyes by redecorating the courtroom with entrails, but they had anticipated such a move and had almost fifty armored guards in court that day. I was surrounded by a forest of gunmen, in case I got any funny ideas.

But I did say one thing.

My attorney didn’t want me to take the stand and I took his advice. In his words, there was nothing to be gained; this was a done deal. I just had to assume the position and take it. I wasn’t allowed a final statement, written nor verbal, so I figured I’d do my own. I spent all night thinking up of some nasty villain shit to say.

“You haven’t seen the last of me,” I said, firing off the most menacing glare I could manage, but the judge chuckled and stole the last word from me.

“I most certainly think so,” he said, strolling off with a satisfied grin stapled on his face.

After that, things went faster.

They