Court of Blessers

The impressive marble exterior construction and realistic wooden interior furnishings lent the Court of Blessers a look similar to a real world courthouse. That appearance was immediately offset as visitors entered the building, finding themselves surrounded with bizarre and, frankly, noisy navis. Voices in obnoxious sing-song responded to voices in melodramatic bellows. It felt more than a little akin to stepping into the Red Queen's court due to the nonsense of it all.

Countering all of this and blending in well with the scenery, a woman in armor made of some mineral similar to marble (but presumably not) and vanished brown wood stood near the front. Her hair was black and very short cut and her face was a mask, hiding emotion with narrow, perfectly black eyes. Despite the setting, she was clearly Electopian-designed rather than Netopian.

The lady at the front greeted people in a clear but frightfully monotone voice. "Welcome to the Court of Blessers. I am the judge. I am Jury," she announced. The crows seemed confused for a moment. "I am the judge and my name is Jury." Several people went silent with apparent satisfaction. "We are here today to witness the trial of one MarriageMan, a Blesser for one year. He is charged with misuse of the powers granted to him by my society. As always, I follow my guiding, blessed oath, which I swore on the day of my initiation: to judge each trial I conduct with an audience of navis who will provide not only evidence, witness, and testimony, but also the emotional input of which I am incapable. Hear hear. Court will soon be in session. Witnesses will be seated on the front left row. Visitors may take any other available seat. The defendant and prosecution will soon arrive."

Anyone arriving at this point would have to walk through the center aisle. They would also not be able to see the front seats until they were closer.
In another beam of light, SplashLady found herself in front of the courthouse, which she looked over. "Wow, that's a pretty classy looking courtroom. ...Speaking of class and courtrooms, you oughta call May sometime, Sabrina. I'm sure she and CourtMan are worried about you, since you haven't been keeping in touch!"

"I know, I know...wait, how do you know about CourtMan? You've never even met him before..."

"Don't forget, SplashMan and I can pull from each other's memories, so long as it's something we don't mind sharing. Too bad it'd be super late in Netopia right now, I bet CourtMan would love to see this!"

"And May, too. I'll send her an e-mail after the mission and tell her to call me when she gets a chance. That sound good? And it'd better, because that's going to be one awkward call..."

"Just make sure you do it, okay?" With that, the mermaid Navi entered the courthouse, where any semblance of law and order instantly vanished with all the commotion. This WAS supposed to be a courthouse courthouse, and not some vacation spot for some king's Navi, right? She looked around for a minute, a bit confused, until she noticed a Navi that actually looked like it belonged in the place. After listening, while still a bit confused (seriously, who named a judge Navi Jury?), she started to head down the center aisle, trying to see if she could somehow spot any clues as to why she was even there as she headed for the witness seats. Probably not, but it couldn't hurt.
Things started to become a little clearer (or perhaps just more confusing) as SpashLady saw her fellow witnesses seated at the front. Several faces were unfamiliar and a few seemed like Neo-Shogun Army officers. More importantly, SplashLady noticed the mafioso, FireYaku, sitting with her arms crossed next to a very uncomfortable looking PhotoMan. Her old business partner was unhelmeted and dressed in an unfamiliar black suit with a yellow star at the breast pocket. Probably a perk from his new job or perhaps a necessary uniform.

He looked up to see her; as he did, stars nearly sprang into his eyes, although he'd never get down that cheesy grin his employer used, even if he could mimic the other aspect. "SplashLady, it's good to see you again. I had a feeling you might make an appearance. I've been collecting your royalties, but you never e-mailed to collect. I can offer you a portion now though," he suggested, then hastily produced a data packet.

((SplashLady gets 800z))

After a moment of pause, he realized that she might need a seat just as much as the money. It also didn't seem to occur to him that she might be remiss about that photo getting into the hands of the News Server's reporters somehow. "Please, have a seat," he offered, scooching over to give her a place. Thankfully, he'd been sitting far away from FireYaku, so he didn't bump into her when he moved. "Do you know why we are here? I haven't a clue." Despite his enthusiasm at seeing now friend again, his face wasn't showing a hint of a smile, as usual. His expression was amusingly similar to that of the judge.
Hmm...not a whole lot of familiar faces here. Er, scratch that. Not a whole lot of familiar friendly faces, since somehow SplashLady suspected FireYaku wouldn't be all that happy to see her again. Er, hang on, who was that next to her? Oh hey, PhotoMan! She sure was running into him a lot lately. "Hey, PhotoMan! They brought you in too, huh?" Before she could say any more, she was presented with a small amount of money. "Wow, that didn't take long. I didn't think it'd be that quick, or else I would've e-mailed you by now!"

With that, she happily sat down next to the photographer Navi, which could only be explained by her having no knowledge of the News Server interview. "So, you don't know why we're here, either? To be honest, that's one of the reasons I'm find out just what's going on. How about you? Why'd you come? I don't think they'd allow cameras in here..."
"Yes, well, there's going to be more than that in a timely manner. A lot more, if you ever chose to model for me again," PhotoMan responded, reminding her in a rather forward way how much he appreciated the opportunity. "I'm here because I was listed as a person of critical importance to the procedure. I'm not sure I could have spared the time otherwise... I've been quite busy."

"As for cameras, I hadn't thought about it. Nobody said anything to me... well, it would be rather difficult to stop every navi in the court inclusively from using an internal mechanism like that, so-" the navi continued, until he was interrupted by the entrance of two additional navis.

The first was an extremely large man with fully red eyes framed by thick white eyebrows and a tremendous beard. His head was otherwise bald with very pale flesh. He was broad shouldered and barrel-chested, dressed in a preacher's robes but with huge golden shackles around his wrists and ankles. The gloves covering his oversized hands were the same gold color but with diamond tips on the knuckles. "MarriageMan, tbd defendant, bass arrived. He will be providing his own representation," the judge announced.

"Next is the Prosecutor, WarHawk. She has been appointed to represent DragonierMan and PhotoMan in this trial. The witnesses will understand that only a Blesser can provide representation in the Court of Blessers," Jury continued. The woman, WarHawk, was dressed in a human-fitting, blue, three-piece suit with a yellow tie. Her hair was brown and rather tremendous with a sort of wind blown look. Her face, with blue eyes and a sort of proud, set jaw, made her seem relatively normal in comparison to other Blessers... but her eyes glared at MarriageMan with killing intent. Her body was pretty well suited to filling her blazer.

"Both parties, please have a seat at the front and recite your oaths," the judge beckoned.

The old man reluctantly took his seat, returning the prosecutor's death stare. "To ensure the wellbeing of women in relationships with men," MarriageMan offered. Sounded like he had a sort of old fashioned idea of marriage.

"To ensure that battle is done against those who would otherwise escape from a necessary conflict," WarHawk countered.

"Hawk, this is a farce! You deal with wars and violence! Modify your blasted oath!" The big guy growled, shaking with rage.

"Look who is talking!" the other scoffed, raising her hands in a way that really would have looked more natural with talons or wings. Perhaps she ordinarily had thaw things. "I'll take the battle wherever it needs to be! Your oath is the whole reason you got into the mess you're in!"

"Order," the judge demanded in an amazingly loud but very flat voice. Both of the Blessers shut up. "If tbd prosecution would, please explain the situation."

"Yes, your honor. The defendant has abused his powers; not only has he committed gross crimes against innocent men, but he has also injured the women he swore to protect. He has violated both basic decency and his oath and deserves, at minimum, to be stripped of his title and merit, if not to be handed over to the NetPolice for incarceration."

MarriageMan continued to regard her hatefully, but kept quiet and folded his hands.

"The witnesses called for are all present, with the exception of DragonierMan, who another witness, Arch, claimed could provide no witness that would not be redundant to her own. At this time, do the witnesses have any questions for the court?" Jury continued.

"I am confused as to why I'm being represented by the prosecution. I've never met this defendant," PhotoMan spoke up, sounding amusing patient (and quiet) compared to WarHawk or MarriageMan.

"This will be explained in short order once the prosecution speaks," Jury offered. "Any other questions?"
Before SplashLady could ask any more, two more Navis, one of which apparently being MarriageMan himself. Looked like his relationship with the other one was...less than pleasant. If someone got up and stood between them, they'd probably get stabbed to death by the daggers they were shooting each other.

...Wait, PhotoMan hadn't even heard of MarriageMan before? And yet he was being represented by the prosecution? That was...kinda weird, unless there was a lot more to it. On the other hand, her woman's intuition was telling her something was up. And when did a woman's intuition ever fail? Never, that's when.

All right, question time. Well, now was as good a time as any to ask an incredibly basic question..."Er, excuse me!" The mermaid Navi stood up, trying to sound simultaneously friendly and respectful. "I have a question. ...Exactly what IS the Court of Blessers?" Her heart started to race, now that she'd actually asked. She didn't really want to look like an idiot in front of a crowd...
With only one or two exceptions, the other witnesses (PhotoMan included) made faces that showed they didn't know either. Jury herself nodded, keeping her hands crossed in front of her on the podium. "A valid question. We Blessers often work in covert ways such that society hears little of us. The Blessers are an organization of navis who gain tremendous powers from BlessMan in exchange for taking a strict oath to use those powers in the service of upholding that oath. The oaths must be approved by BlessMan himself. We only recruit by referral," she explained, saying a lot but having trouble drilling down to the point SplashLady had asked for. "This court is an establishment I maintain to uphold my own oath, which I explained earlier. BlessMan has asked me to put it toward the service of resolving issues related to Blesser society, such as this trial against MarriageMan."

"A mockery! By allowing Hawk to do this you're breaking your own oath!" MarriageMan growled, nearly spitting. WarHawk regarded him with increased loathing, as if that type of insult was especially out of line. "She knows nothing of my work or the good I have done. How could she, with such a vile occupation as she's chosen. So far removed from love, which I protect!"

"Order," Jury demanded, perhaps later than she ought to have. "I should explain... this is the first time such a trial has been conducted." That seemed suspicious, given that the organization seemed so exclusive and were essentially playing with super powers. "That may explain some of the atmosphere and why you've never heard of this court before. Any other questions?"
SplashLady quietly heard the judge Navi out, even though at first it made no sense. But, basically, it seemed like they got power from someone called BlessMan, but only if they swore to uphold...something. Considering what MarriageMan and...what's-her-name apparently swore to, though, it sounded like it could be anything you were passionate about. At least, that's what it seemed like to her.

"No, I think that about covers it..." SplashLady proceeded to sit down, apparently satisfied with the explanation. ...Wait, this was the first trial EVER for...breaking the oath, or whatever? That say the least. Yep, her intuition was going crazy. But, there wasn't a lot to be done about that, so she sat back to pay more attention to whatever was next.
"Very well. If all questions are resolved, please turn your attention to the prosecution's representative. The prosecution will give their opening statement," Jury concluded.

Warhawk thanked the judge, then circled over to the audience. For the first time, it became apparent that there was no dedicated group if jurors. "My witnesses will provide testimony today that will prove the defendant's guilt. He has betrayed his oath at its very definition, but beyond that, he is a bigot, a stalker, a home invader, an incompetent-"

Amazingly, the prosecutor read one accusation off after another without the judge making any motion to stop her. MarriageMan held our his hands in an outraged motion, doing his best to indicate that she was breaking procedure. Finally he spoke up: "Dammit, Jury, bang that blasted gavel!" he ordered . Surprisingly, she did so, looking startled and obedient. "She can't just rattle off all of that baseless slander! Ask her to call a witness or provide some evidence!"

It was becoming increasingly obvious that BlessMan had not blessed any of them with any knowledge of proper judicial procedures. "Very well. My first witness is Arch, of the Neo-Shogun Army," WarHawk restarted. The golden-armored subordinate took her place at the witness' seat. "Arch will speak to the events of the past, where a sex party planned by her friend, Dee, and she, was intruded upon by MarriageMan. Violently!" She seemed confident that she had given Arch a great intro.

Arch certainly didn't seem to think so. Her mouth hung open in disbelief for a moment, then closed into a resolute but embarrassed frown. "I did not plan a sex party! We invited DragonierMan over for dinner at Dee's house, not sex!" she exclaimed.

WarHawk and MarriageMan both looked surprised. Then WarHawk became angry, presumably because she had been derailed. "Would you please activate the .GMO you wore at that time? I believe that will substantiate my claim that it was, in fact, a sex party!" she demanded.

Arch went red-faced, then shook her head. "It... it's only an apron!"

"Only an apron? Sounds like something from a sex party!"

"No, I mean... hrrrrgh, fine!" Arch huffed, then activates the .GMO. A yellow apron appeared over the rest of her armor, making her look silly, but more decent if anything.

"... MarriageMan, is this correct?"

The old man looked surprised, turn shook his head. "Not at all! The outfit she had on represented a certain degree of... dedication and service. I immediately attributed it to her wish to please DragonierMan sexually."

"The court demands that you replicate that outfit exactly so that we may continue, Arch," WarHawk barked. "If you do not, you will be held in contempt of court!"

The NS officer looked pleadingly to the judge, who frowned back. "If two Blessers say you are lying, I cannot dismiss the request. Please follow through," she requested.

There was an awkward silence as everyone decided between turning their heads, watching, or peeking through the gaps of their eyelids while Arch stripped off every bit of her uniform, leaving only the apron. "See?! No panties! It was a sex party, as I earlier posed," WarHawk announced triumphantly. MarriageMan nodded. It was like the two of them had come together against her somehow. Arch held the apron down with her hands for modesty's sake.

"... SplashLady, I am beginning to feel discontent about our reason for being here," PhotoMan gulped, trying not to stare at the shapely blond girl in the apron while he talked to his friend.
Hold on a just hit her. There was no jury to speak of. Pretty weird, considering this was occurring in Netopian Net space. At the very least, it was pretty obvious by now that this wasn't really linked to the legal system. Good thing CourtMan wasn't around after all, or else he'd have a total fit.

Oh, and since things clearly hadn't gone off the rails, it was time to discuss sex parties. As much as she wanted to scream 'WHAT?!' at the top of her lungs, SplashLady managed to keep her composure, remaining quiet even as the yellow Navi donned an apron, then nothing but said apron. ...Well, sorta. The latter made her question exactly why she and PhotoMan were there. Also, why she wasn't closing her eyes. She wasn't into that. Well, if she did close them, she might miss something least she didn't have to look specifically at the Navi.

And she wasn't alone in that regard. "Um, yeah, I think we've got a serious problem here, PhotoMan..." Oh man, if she had to testify about THAT, she'd probably die from sheer embarrassment. Though, on the other hand, if FireYaku was here, maybe it was about that part of the mission instead? Testifying about operating a helmet camera would be much more preferable for her. And probably PhotoMan, as well. FireYaku...well, she was probably toast, but two out of three wasn't bad, right?

"Hey, what's the problem? What happened that you're so nervous about?"

"Oh, know, since it's such a nice day, I bet it'd be great to just take a nap against a tree or something!"

"Yeah, it would. Too bad I'm not tired."

Oh, this was NOT good. And if Sabrina overheard this, she wouldn't let her live it down for a long time, to boot...but there was little else to do but keep watching the trial...
Luckily, the lack of proper court procedure extended to the Blessers not reprimanding the witnesses for talking amongst each other. PhotoMan saw that SplashLady understood the situation as well as he did and ducked down in his seat a bit, like he was trying not to stand out. Not even a shapely blonde in a naked apron would hold his attention right now.

The nonsensical trial continued. "And is it true that the defendant was found by DragonierMan inside the unprepared dining room, watching the sex party participants and influencing their actions using the powers granted to him by BlessMan?" WarHawk prodded.

"Y-yes... except for the part about the sex p-!" she responded, but the prosecutor cut her off, not wanting to start that dance again now that the events were established.

"As the night continued, do you feel as though the two of you girls were in any way violated or threatened by DragonierMan?" WarHawk asked. When Arch gave a shaky "no," MarriageMan popped up out of his seat and pointed his finger.

"Objection! I believe that, like many women in abusive relationships, Arch is simply unaware what she is entitled to view as unwarranted advances. Let us first realize that she was made to produce the entire dinner while naked! This included exposure to heat from the flames produced by the house's open stove. I will further posit that while she was diligently attending to that task, he groped her unclothed buttocks! Do these sound like the actions of one who does not deserve punishment?!"

"Is this true!" WarHawk asked. When Arch nodded, she looked taken back for a moment, then reset her confident smile. "And yet you didn't punish DragonierMan, did you? Instead, you shot Arch!"

"It was a mistake and I loathe it, truly! I cannot apologize enough!" the old man groaned. "But it was the unfortunate circumstance of her turning a weapon to me as I set my trap for DragonierMan. I wished to punish him for his behavior, but when she reacted, the cannon went off."

"That does sound like what happened," Arch admitted. "But we didn't want him punished!"

"Noted and dismissed. The spouse's desire is inconsequential to her rights in the scope of MarriageMan's oath. Proceed, WarHawk," Jury interrupted. It sounded like in this court, just about everything was going to revolve around those oaths.

WarHawk's eyebrows were twitching with anger. She realized that in the eyes of the judge, she had just shot herself in the foot; Arch's answers had made MarriageMan's actions seem relatively justified. MarriageMan smiled for just a moment beneath his beard, then posed his own question: "so it wasn't a sex party at all? He was grabbing your exposed hindquarters as you prepared him dinner by yourself in extreme heat! Brash and irresponsible... unbeffiting of a husband!"

"Yes, but he's not my husband! He didn't even ask me to dress that way, it was Dee!"

"But why did he not offer you a coat or a helping hand? He is unfit for the love of a woman and I punished him for his abuse, as is my oath!" he barked, seeming to again dismiss that Arch did not think of DragonierMan as her husband.

"Let us move on. Please call the next witness, MarriageMan," Jury demanded.

"I summon PhotoMan to the stand," he murmured, eyeing the navi with spite. PhotoMan shook in his boots as he rose up and approached the chair with his flat expression. "I will now prove to the court the Justice of my motivations. PhotoMan, know that you are the next of my targets. Once this asinine trial concludes, I will bring down the hammer of righteousness so hard that I may just ruin your ability to love a woman ever again."

"Please refrain from threatening the witness and continue," Jury interjected, although far too late. It looked like PhotoMan was going to pee his pants.

"PhotoMan, I have summoned two women with which you have held intimate relations to the court. Could you name them for me?"

"W-With due respect, Sir, I-I am a gravure photographer," PhotoMan offered. MarriageMan's face showed that he didn't understand. "I take photos of girls who consent to those poses and wardrobe."

"Consent! What a shield for the cowardly. You justify your depravity with their misguided consent?! What is important is their inalienable rights, not what they perceive their rights to be!" the big navi roared. "You physically abused one and photographed the act. The other you had sexual relations with right on the beach and photographed as well! Those didn't appear in your publication, but they got into our hands just the same. Might I add that this sexual debauchery was executed in the style of beasts, not proper, God-fearing missionary!?"

PhotoMan seemed speechless, as did WarHawk. Fortunately, FireYaku didn't. "I was not abused in any fashion! The idea that I allowed myself to be coerced into that spanking is ridiculous. I did it for my own honor!" she protested.

"And why is that?"

"... As I recall, it was because I was told it would be the right thing to do by that woman," FireYaku responded, pointing to SplashLady.

"Names, please," Jury questioned. After FireYaki gave her both, she turned her eyes to SplashLady. "Is this true, SplashLady?"
SplashLady froze as PhotoMan was summoned to the stand...not good, not good. However, as things proceeded, she could feel a white hot anger starting to flare up inside of her, which was impressive for a water based Navi. Just who did this MarriageMan think he was? Once she was addressed, she stood up, knowing exactly what she wanted to say. "First of all, I'd like to say that I do NOT appreciate my friend being threatened like that, MarriageMan. Lay a hand on PhotoMan, and you've got to answer to me! Understand?! I also don't like how you're implying that me and FireYaku are just a pair of bimbos! We both thought things through, and in the end, we both decided to do...those things we did! And to answer the question, yeah, that sounds about right to me."

In the real world, Sabrina simply stared as she heard out the witness change and resulting outburst. She seemed pretty calm, as she took a deep breath...

Nearly the whole court room gasped, PhotoMan included. It was one thing to hear the dubious Blessers talk about the alleged saucy activities of their witnesses and another entirely to hear it from the horse's mouth. Even FireYaku seemed shocked. PhotoMan seemed moved to the point of tears, then blinked and added a clarification in a small voice. "Ah, er, I didn't put it in... Not that I... well, that is-"

"She's right! Nobody treats me like a lesser navi and gets away with it! We'll see who gets pounded once you're out of this court room. If you dare to talk down to us women again, I'll beat you down right now, court room or not!" FireYaku spoke up. She seemed pretty genuine, although it was also possible she just didn't want the court to have to discuss something that ought to only come up behind closed doors.

"Girls, there was a time shortly ago where I would have yielded to your requests in an obsequious manner. Well, no longer! I will do what's best for women, even it they do not recognize it as such. My oath is towards your overall good, nor your short term desire," MarriageMan returned, showing his teeth in anger. He seemed very displeased that SplashLady had not denied the allegations.

WarHawk took the opportunity to intersect. "Hold it, you old bastard!" she barked. "That argument really only works for a girl who's jumping into a relationship or working too hard for a guy, right? What if we could prove that these two are lovers, just enjoying a little recreational sex? What type or the location even doesn't matter if this is just a casual entwinement."

"Nonsense!" he groaned. The judge, however, nodded in agreement.

"Alright, first things first. If we can prove that the two of you are willing to go doggystyle in a public location, that will help break away his case. He will be nothing more than a jerk going after two consenting adults in a mature and living relationship! Can you two assume that position for me?" WarHawk asked, her eyes shining with a vigor that showed she really believed it was a great idea.

"Yes. If the two of you are willing to do that... and will both proclaim that you love each other as you do it, then the court will be forced to concede that MarriageMan's aims were misguided in this instance. You will also have, regardless of this case's outcome, ensured protection from MarriageMan and his 'punishment.'" Jury said all of this with a flat expression that showed none of the excitement felt by the rest of the court.

PhotoMan sure wasn't objecting to the arrangement. He glanced at SplashLady with a mixture of hopefulness and apology... and maybe something else he wasn't saying.
"N-Now hold on just a sec!" However, SplashLady's (admittely somewhat weak) protest was in vain, as the court went back and forth on something she never wanted to dwell on again. Her anger was definitely building, however...and soon, it was intense enough that she was perfectly willing to do potentially reputation destroying things just to make sure that MarriageMan got his. Never before did she meet a Navi that she hated so much in so short a time. "...Sabrina. I'm cutting off audiovisual contact for a bit. I don't want you seeing this."

The operator wasn't sure which was freakier: that she was making this request after being put in such a bizarre situation, or that it was done in a cold monotone, extremely unlike the Navi. "A-All right...just, don't do anything overly stupid, okay?"

A click signaled that the connection existed purely digitally, and that no sights or sounds would be fed to her operator...not that either of them wanted that to happen. Without a word, she grabbed PhotoMan by the wrist, and proceeded to drag him into the middle of the courtroom. With a determined look usually reserved for the most serious of NetBattles, the mermaid Navi removed her skirt, revealing the lower half of her wetsuit, and got on her hands and knees, with her rear end pointed upward towards PhotoMan. "All right, let's do this!"
The audience gasped again, but watched in captivation, like an observer to some cataclysmic train crash, terrible and overpowering. With similar feelings, PhotoMan allowed himself to be dragged (he was such a lightweight that and might be able to even if he resisted). The navi's black hair gleamed with perspiration as he looked down towards the treasure he'd once risked his job and safety for, his hands trembling.

Slowly, he placed a hand on each haunch, then moved in closer. Soon, SplashLady was feeling his heartbeat in an indirect way as that surprising extendo-lens went to work extending, though it was already pretty well there. As he'd almost landed it back to that familiar position between her buttocks, he drew back and groaned. "I can't, SplashLady. Not like this," he gasped, not bothering to cover the area where his tent was pitched.

The audience gasped again. MarriageMan crossed his arms with a smug grin. "Hard to drag her into such dirty deeds while others are around to see your crimes?" he inquired.

"No, it's not that. You see, SplashLady, there was something very important that I needed to tell you at the beach that day. I was trying to say... to confess... that I love you," he sighed deeply, although both hands were still clasping her hips. It had to be one of the weirdest confessions in history. "And yes, that aspect is wonderful and inspirational as when I was first drawn to you. But it isn't just that any more. You've protected me from critics and aggressors, guided me towards success in my career... given me inspiration and saved me from the pit of depression that my life as a set photographer had cast me into. I need to make it up to you, starting now. Even if... you don't share my emotion. I don't want to force you to do anything else that you don't want."

The crowd gasped, like it was a running joke or something. MarriageMan seemed, for some reason, to have his attention focused on someone in the crowd. FireYaku and Arch were both huddled close together, red-faced. WarHawk looked on from her chair in utter confusion. The judge's face was blank.

"So if you want me to do this, I will. But if you don't, I'll show my love any way you want me to. I'll fight MarriageMan if I have to," he professed, pressing one hand to his breast pocket. From where she was situated. SplashLady could see two reflections on the floor. The first was the judge, showing the rare emotion of surprise. The second was the prosecutor, vigorously shaking her head no and making a cut-throat motion. Either she thought this was bad for the trial or she was worried PhotoMan was signing a death warrant. "Just tell me what I should do, SplashLady," he urged her, doing his damned best to keep himself at a respectable distance as the object of his affections lay with her top down and bottom up in front of him.

MarriageMan, seated just in front of SplashLady at his defendent's desk, glared at her challengingly. His few tufts of hair were frazzled like he had been running his hands through them. His gaze seemed to challenge her to say something if she dared.
SplashLady felt the...third tripod leg as it brushed against her, giving her those same feelings from last time...but then, the utterly unexpected happened: PhotoMan reneged. And the reasoning made her nearly lose her arm balance. "I...I..." A bunch of thoughts darted in and out of her head, as she noticed the others' reactions, and heard the photographer Navi's heartfelt words. How should she put all this...?

"I...well, I think you deserve for me to be honest with you. I...can't really say I truly love you. But, even though we haven't known each other for that long, it feels like I've known you a lot longer...and I really do care for you. I guess it's more like I love you like a close friend? You've always been considerate to me, no matter what, even in an instance like this. Sure, you have your weird moments, but who doesn't? And that's why...I really want to do this now. At first, I just wanted to do it because I think MarriageMan is one of the biggest jerks I've ever seen, and I thought it'd hurt his case. But now, I...I want to make you happy. I've done things with you that I didn't think I'd do with another Navi for years...this can just be another of those things!" The Navi bent over a little more, raising her rear. "Let's do it! Go all the way if you want, I don't mind! And it's not like I don't get any enjoyment out of it, either!" Unsurprisingly, her face was a bit red, but oddly, her embarrassment came more out of letting her feelings out, and not so much a matter of what might be about to happen in front of a courtroom full of witnesses...
Any momentary disappointment the photographer had felt at learning his love was one-sided was soon washed away by a feelings of friendship, duty, thankfulness, and possibly horniness. "If that's what you want, then it is the least I can do, my friend," he answered, wrapping his fingers more securely around the curve of her waist. With her permission, he energetically resumed the position, showing clearer excitement than before.

With no further inquiries, he set directly into motion, grinding up and down vigorously. The court took was so quiet that she could hear his occasional subdued grunts along with the squeak of his leather shoes against the marble. The sound effects made it possible to imagine that the two of them were playing basketball rather than doing what they were doing.

"T-This could really use some mood music or something..." Arch murmured , trying in vain to avert her eyes. Nobody could really manage to do so.

PhotoMan had spared the audience removal of his pants; apparently, dry humping was plenty stimulating for him. MarriageMan screwed up his eyes then began to grit his teeth. WarHawk crossed her arms with satisfaction. "See? This is the second time and there is clear consent from both parties," she boasted, although it sounded ridiculous, her talking over the action.

"He's misled her!" MarriageMan barked.

"But they're not even in a relationship! They're just uh... what do you call it... friends with benefits?" she chuckled, flipping her hair back as she spoke. "Unless you count that as a relationship under your oath... but marriage is important to you, right? And these two clearly have no intention of being wed."

"It's not traditional for navis to marry... I defend an unspoken marriage!"

"But it's a one-sided love! No way that fits your definition."

The case seemed to be proceeding well, as it sounded like MarriageMan was going to have to drop his pursuit of PhotoMan. In the mean time, PhotoMan clearly had something on his mind... he might have felt a little challenged by what WarHawk was saying. Even once he had accepted SplashLady's feelings, rejection of any kind was a bitter pill to swallow. Perhaps out of pride or perhaps lust, he leaned forward, putting his relatively lanky body further over her own. He had moved from a rub to more of a dangerous thrust, although they were still seperated by his slacks and her wetsuit. Unable to resist, he pressed his head against the cusp of her shoulderblades and wrapped one hand around each of her breasts.

He clenched shut his eyes and went for it as passionately as he could, to the amazement of all and horror of some. Jury cleared her throat and spoke up. "Alright, I believe we get the picture. The court will dismiss MarriageMan's claim and ensure your protection against him. Please take a seat," she requested, sounding a little weak.

PhotoMan either chose not to stop or didn't hear her; he continued tthrusting while squeezing both breasts simultaneously. In many aspects, he was pretty mechanical and efficient; apparently, this carried over to his sexual maneuvers.

"Gentlemen!" a loud and impressive male voice called out from the back of the court. PhotoMan still didn't stop. "My court, please, grant me your attention!" A giant halo moved trough the crowd. That was probably BlessMan, but PhotoMan didn't give a flip.

Jury, MarriageMan, and WarHawk were all bowing their heads now. SplashLady didn't have a lot of choice in the matter unless she wanted to break free or change positions.
Pretty much the entire world ceased to exist to SplashLady as she felt PhotoMan's...zoom lens. Just like before, her buttocks tightened, and all she could do was focus on the rhythmic motions, both those made by him, and one made by her...not even the continuation of the proceedings, or the second Navi's sudden grab, could stop it...

Suddenly, however, a voice echoed through the chambers, and managed to pierce even the barriers around the mermaid Navi's ears. The words alone managed to snap her back into the courtroom, where she noticed a large halo moving around. "What the-ack!" Surprised by the sudden development, her hands slipped on the floor, causing her to fall flat down onto the cold surface. She then looked up, trying to figure out where the angelic ring had gone. Whoever it was, they had some serious gravity.
Like something from a comedy movie, SplashLady's sudden motion sent her partner flying over her with the final thrust. He landed in front of her in an awkward leapfrog position, being careful to stop himself with his hands at the last moment. The last thing he needed was to smash junk-first into a marble floor. "I-I have no idea," he gasped, scarcely able to believe his moment had been cut off so anti-climactically... Or had happened in the first place.

The navi SplashLady was looking for made his way to the front, shining light across the court room. His body was a man's, clad in a white navi suit and lean in physique, but his body was encircled by golden rings at various locations, including a shape like a skirt around his lower body. His head was covered by a white, stand-alone hood. From inside that hood shone a golden light, obscuring everything but his teeth. It was questionable as to whether he even had any other facial features.

Most notably, he carried a long, golden scroll partially unfurled in one hand and a short scepter in the other. The scroll appeared to be filled with names, at a glance.

"My friends and good witnesses, this has been an edifying experience for me. When I first ordained the opening of Blesser's court, I had no notion that I would ever see the trial of one of my oldest friends, MarriageMan. It sounds like your judgment has been clouded, Old Friend. Bitterness guides your hand, not justice. You cannot fulfill your oath in that state," he proclaimed.

MarriageMan trembled but kept his head lowered in a servatile way.

"And WarHawk, I understand your feelings as well. But even still, I wonder if all of our vision is not perhaps clouded? MarriageMan has not always pursued vengeance with such a hateful disposition. We should not strip him of his title or punish him. Rather, let us end this trial, take him aside, and study his history. We will learn the cause of his transgressions!"

MarriageMan's head rose and his eyes lit with anger. "You're calling me mad!?" He looked like he wanted to throw in a "how dare you," but couldn't do it due to his position.

"Unfortunately, I believe it so. Worry not: our personal Blesser psychiatrists are trained professionals with the benefit of my blessings. They will cure you quickly and painlessly," he suggested. MarriageMan clearly wasn't going to let that happen without a fight; realizing this, BlessMan lit up his face and released a tremendous golden light. In a flash, MarriageMan's golden accessories broke and his form shriveled to that of a weak old man. He began to moan, but seemed unable to say a thing. "I'm truly sorry to strip you of your powers, but it is only for a moment. We'll have you back soon, good as new."

WarHawk grinned, then grasped one hand around her foe's arm as it hung loosely from his priest's robe. "Well, problem solved! I'll get you guys your bonuses in a second, after I go deliver this jackass," she chuckled, taking some grim satisfaction in her command over the formerly powerful navi.

"SplashLady ... PhotoMan ... I apologize for any discomfort," BlessMan continued, smiling from wherever his face was in that weird hood. "You've both shown great conviction. I know! How would the two of you like to join the ranks of the Blessers and receive my fabulous power?" he inquired, placing both hands on his scroll with the certainty that they'd accept.

Again, Jury's bowing head was reflected to SplashLady on the floor. This time, however, a greater sort of alarm than earlier was obvious. She couldn't even muster the courage to shake her head; all she could do was mouth one word:

"Sorry, PhotoMan...that guy really surprised me!" Unfortunately for PhotoMan (at the very least), SplashLady's apology did not translate to 'okay, let's keep going, as she stood up and pulled her skirt back up. Still, she offered him a hand to help him up. That would've just been mean to leave him to speak.

Aside from that, her attention was completely on the angelic Navi making his way forward. He did have a presence...wait, were MarriageMan and the others...bowing to him? So, was The head honcho himself was here? She stood there quietly, and watched as he more or less ended the trial right then and there, complete with the depowering of MarriageMan. Well, THAT didn't come in the Navi readme.txt file. No way that wasn't BlessMan in the...uh, flesh? Light? Light flesh? ...Whatever, not important.

Of more importance was his proposal for them. Jury's reflection concerned her a bit, but honestly, it had no impact on her final decision. "Thanks for the offer...but I'm going to have to decline. I'm perfectly happy just serving my operator. And besides..." The mermaid Navi's face twisted slightly, as though she was trying to decide whether or not to continue. "...Well, it might sound a little cliche, but I don't think power is something that can merely be 'given'. It's something you 'acquire' for yourself. And how? By having friends! And I don't just mean Crosses, either. They can teach you a lot about yourself. For instance, thanks to PhotoMan, I feel more comfortable in my own body than I probably would otherwise!" To emphasize the point, she placed her right hand behind her head, and her left hand on her hip, to momentarily assume a stock 'sexy' pose, before dropping it. "And my best friend, my operator...if she didn't always watch my back, I wouldn't be surprised if I'd have been deleted by now, with some of the stuff I've gone up against. She might be a bit of a self-centered brat sometimes, but there's no human I'd rather have for an operator! And maybe because of that, one thing she's taught me be true to myself. And so, to do that, I just can't accept your offer, Mr. BlessMan. I hope you understand."