The assembled crowd jeered as Sabit admitted her guilt. Chants arouse from angry throats, calling for her blood. Dessine, the chief hunter, had been well-loved. Many would rather see the Sisterhood itself crumble to dust than to see her killer go unpunished.
Meriama raised her good hand high, appealing to the crowd for silence. When the angry shouts had quieted, the head of the Sisterhood spoke. “Sabit, you claim that no sorcery forced your hand in this bloody affair. In the interest of justice, the Sisterhood must know if there was some other cause. Can you call forward any other Sister to speak for you? Anyone who can explain what drove your actions?”
Meriama’s features implored Sabit. As head of the Sisterhood, Meriama could not call upon herself to testify that Dessine was trying to murder when Sabit intervened. However, if Sabit called upon her to testify, she would speak the truth.
Like a strategist planning a battle, Sabit weighed her options as the silence hung heavy in the air. If she asked Meriama to denounce Dessine’s actions, she would certainly do so. The head o the order would pronounce some token sentence and Sabit would be free to rejoin the Sisterhood.
She looked out over the faces. Would the Sisterhood ever accept her again as they had so recently? No. Dessine’s most loyal followers would surely accuse Meriama of favoritism and betrayal of the Sisterhood’s own laws. Even if they did not dare to speak such feelings in public, the private whisperings would surely grow into factions within the group. Sabit’s innocence would come at a high price: planting the seed of another Dessine to rise and split the Sisterhood asunder.
Sabit turned her gaze back to Meriama as she spoke. “There is none here I would ask to speak for me. I offer no defense of what I have done.”
Wayfarings of Sabit: Sisterhood of the Lioness is copyright (c) 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every weekday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon: https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller or http://ipressgames.com/fiction/