This story is set in the Buffyverse, a posession of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, Inc. No intent of copyright infringement is intended. It's set in the present day. Explanations at the end.
by Eric Jablow
Cattia sat in her Belle Harbor home, waiting for disaster to arrive. She clutched at the locket around her neck, a large ruby and aquamarine set in pearl on its face. Red, white, and blue--it suited her. Would this be the last time she wore it, or would her master take it away?
Suddenly, she heard a rumbling noise from upstairs. The front door slammed, the windows shook, and the curtains closed by themselves. Cattia closed her eyes in pain as a tall demon lord walked down the stairs into her living room.
"Cattia, stand before me." Cattia rose from her couch and bowed her head. "Cattia, it is not the policy of the Demons of Justice to directly harm people through their wishes. That was selfish of you."
"I know, Lord D'Hoffryn."
"My late Anyanka was selfish and perverse; I exiled her, and now she is dead, simply as Anya."
"What will you do with me?"
"Give me your locket."
Cattia drew the locket from around her neck and handed it to D'Hoffryn. The Demon Lord looked at its face, opened the catch, and looked inside. He stood for a minute looking at the picture,as Cattia's heart raced, and then he closed the locket and placed it around Cattia's neck.
"Ah, but that was elegant. Where did you get the idea?"
She remembered what she did the day before.
Everyone stood as the Judge Archer MacDonald took his place behind the bench of the San Diego courtroom, and then the bailiff announced, "Sentencing hearing, People of the United States versus Yusuf Al-Ibrahim."
Judge MacDonald said, "Are both sides ready?"
"The People are ready."
"The Defense is ready."
"The defendant shall stand." Yusuf Al-Ibrahim remained in his seat until a US Marshal went behind him and dragged him up by his collar.
"Mister Al-Ibrahim, you have been found guilty by a jury of your peers of five counts of soliciting money on behalf of terrorist organizations, three counts of giving money yourself, and four counts of giving men military training with the intent of fighting US Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. And, since you are a citizen of the United States, the jury has covicted you of the highest charge of treason, since you actually levied war on the United States of America. I feel that the jury's judgement is correct. You know the range of penalties for the charges you have been convicted of. Have you anything to say before I issue sentence?"
Yusuf Al-Ibrahim shouted "You have no right to sentence me of anything. This is unjust."
"Counselor, your client is not helping his cause." The defense attorney shrugged.
Al-Ibrahim continued his rant. "The evil of the United States shall soon fall. Soon the crusader's armies shall be struck down, and soon the its generals shall go down in ignominious defeat." He continued similarly for the next five minutes, and then stopped, all run-down.
"Are you done, Mister Al-Ibrahim?"
"No. You can do what you want to me. I am in your power. But I wish never to see or hear of the evil United States of America again." As he said this, in the back of the courtroom, Cattia clutched her locket, her face transformed for a few seconds into her demonic visage, and she whispered, "Done."
The Judge stood up and said:
"Mister Al-Ibrahim, the purpose of any criminal sentencing is three-fold: to deter others, to rehabilitate the criminal, and, frankly, to punish. We don't want private vengeance. In your case, you have shown that there is nothing to rehabilitate. This leaves deterrence and punishment. Now, no one has actually died because of your actions; the money you solicited and you gave has been confiscated, and the men you trained were captured in the US and in Pakistan before they went into battle. This was not a capital case.
"However, your actions could have led to many deaths, and had your side won, you would leave the world enslaved to your particular religious ideology. To deter others from taking your path, I now sentence you to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. You shall spend the rest of your unnatural life in a prison cell, unable to wage war on anyone, let alone win.
"I further impose these special conditions. You said that you wish never to see or hear of the United States of America again. I am inclined to grant your wish. Mister Al-Ibrahim, you shall be taken by federal officers and be placed onto a plane. You shall be flown outside the United States to a special prison. You shall be placed under a special regime when you get there; you shall never again see or hear anything about the United States of America; all books, magazines, and newspapers shall be censored to remove all references to the United States and her people. The same applies to everything you listen to. People will only be allowed to visit you if they swear to maintain these restrictions. This flag is dead to you now; look at it once more, because you shall never see it or any part of the United States again."
The Judge turned to the Marshals guading the prisoner. "Marshal, block the prisoner's ears, and blindfold him." The marshals improvised ear plugs out of paper towels, and then blindfolded him with a cotton bandage. "Take him away." Five marshals dragged the prisoner out of the courtroom. The judge rose and walked out.
Cattia left the courtroom, walked into a women's bathroom, spoke a Word of Power, and teleported to her home in Belle Harbor.
"What can you say, D'Hoffryn? I read a lot. It seemed appropriate."
"It was. Try not to do it again, Cattia." Lord D'Hoffryn turned, took a step, and disappeared.
Cattia opened her locket and looked at the photograph inside; she then walked to the wall and looked at the larger-sized framed version. "They shall all pay for their crimes, Donald. Each and every one of them. I shall have my vengeance. Everyone who takes the side of your murderers shall suffer." Cattia, born Cathy O'Toole, widow of NYFD Lieutenant Donald O'Brien, sat back on her couch and cried.
This story is dedicated to the 343 men of the New York Fire Department murdered on 9/11/01. The vengeance was taken from the story, "The Man Without a Country," by Edward Everett Hale, on line at http://www.bartleby.com/310/6/. Belle Harbor, Queens, is a neighborhood popular with NYC's fire and police departments.