Leg Post 68 continues where Leg Post 67 left off with Aman Tabiz and Pirithous now the prisoners of The Furies in Hades. As Pirithous complains about the situation he is given ever-increasing reprimands added to his criminal record by Alecto, leader of The Furies. They are led to a flaming lake that leads into the River Phlegethon. They watch as a soul is judged before Aeacus, the judge, and the jury. Rhadamanthus Wright acts as the defence attorney while Minos Edgeworth is the prosecution. When the man is judged guilty, he tries to run but is quickly caught by the Furies and marched down the flaming river and into a portal to Tartarus. Aman is brought to the front of the queue. Memory spheres are used to project the memories of Aman's past victims, this includes two jury members - Hercules, who Aman and Pirithous murdered in Leg Post 64, and Orion, who was murdered in Leg Post 65. Aman states that he is not Greek, nor a follower of the Greek Pantheon, and therefore cannot be judged in Hades. Though Aeacus is loathe to release Aman, he must do so. Pirithous thinks he will likewise be freed and is brimming with confidence as he is up next. His list of crimes in life are sounded out but Wright makes the same assertion that he cannot be judged, similar to Aman. However, Pirithous is not only half-Greek he has always known that he would one day be judged in Hades, making him a believer. Again Wright makes an objection and is able to make the case that Pirithous is not yet dead and may one day change his religion, meaning he would be unable to be judged in Hades. On these grounds Pirithous was almost released but Edgeworth comes back to the charges against Pirithous made in Hades itself, the long, and silly, list kept by Alecto is read aloud and the jury quickly finds Pirithous guilty. Though he cannot be sent to Tartarus he is confined by torturous snakes that bite him and trap him in place for all eternity. Aman must then leave Hades and he goes straight for Thebes.
The Furies led the two intruders away. The three of them were wearing a police uniform of navy blue with little caps on their heads, that looked more like an air steward’s hat, and have tall, knee-height boots. All three are wearing short skirts, though, which surprises Pirithous.
Pirithous: “Aren’t you dressed a little… sexily to be police?”
One of them, who identified herself as Alecto, whipped out a notepad and started writing something down.
Alecto: “Making disparaging remarks against police officers is a minor crime here in Hades, Mr Pirithous! I’ll be making a note of that!”
Pirithous: “But-but it was just an observation!”
Alecto: “Observations are also a crime in Hades! I’ll write it down.”
Pirithous: “Fucking hell.”
Alecto: “Swearing is a most serious offence. Added to your rap sheet now.”
Pirithous: “Seriously? For God’s sake!”
Alecto: “Invoking a rival religion! That is a grave, grave crime.”
Pirithous: “Aman, I think I’m buggered!”
Alecto: “Actually, we’re Greek. So sodomy is a-okay.”
Pirithous: “Thank God! I mean—Hades! Thank Hades!”
Alecto: “Too late! I heard it!”
The men were guided across the barren landscape. So far as they could tell, everything looked the same so it was impossible to know where they were even going. Hades had gone but The Furies were ever present. As they went they saw more uniformed women around the landscape, other Furies.
Finally a crowd appeared before them, gathered around a lake. The lake, however, was burning as though it was coated in a layer of oil. The fiery lake ran into a flaming river that ran away to a distant point where they could see what appeared to be a massive hole into a world of darkness that swallowed even the flames of Hades. They were ushered into a line of people and as they watched, they realised this was a courtroom.
A man approached the dock and stood there, beneath the judge. The judge was seated behind an incredibly tall podium so that he could look down at the culprit. The judge was Aeacus, the builder of the walls of Troy. He appeared just as he had when he was killed by the fire-breathing dragon that fateful day a decade ago.
On either side of the accused were two desks and behind each desk was a man. On the right was the prosecutor, Minos Edgeworth. He wore a snappy red suit and had lank, black hair that hung around his pale, angry face. On the opposite side was Rhadamanthus Wright who was wearing a smart, blue suit and had his black hair slicked back.
Edgeworth: “The culprit is a convicted serial murderer. His fate is clear!”
Wright: “Yeah!? Can you prove that, Minos!?”
Minos Edgeworth presented an illusory display of each murder that the criminal had committed. The display came from a sphere of memories that had been taken from each victim as they were murdered and amassed to attest against their attacker before the victims were sent on to their own afterlives.
Wright: “Oh… that’s unfortunate.”
Edgeworth: “I rest my case!”
Wright: “Well… he… loves puppies!”
Minos Edgeworth grinned sinisterly and wagged his finger at his rival.
Edgeworth: “Always ill-prepared, Rhadamanthus!”
The illusory displays shifted to show the criminal eating puppies!
Wright: “That’s… a kind of love, right?”
Aeacus: “Jury! What say you?”
Up in one of the tall stands, though not as tall as the judge, was a group of people all watching the proceeding with keen interest. Several well known heroes were there, many of them the humans recognised. The jury conferred and then passed their verdict over to the judge.
Aeacus: “And so, I find you… G U I L T Y!”
There was cheering from the spectators and The Furies started to urge the man down the river of fire.
Criminal: “No! No! I won’t go! No!”
He suddenly bolted.
He ran as fast as he could but Furies suddenly swarmed the area and tackled him to the ground. He cried out in anger, then in despair and then cried for his mother, as he was led along the flaming river.
As the man reached the hole at the end of the river, something indescribable reached out and scooped up the soul and sucked it into the portal to Tartarus. The man’s screams of horror echoed as a warning to all others.
Aman Tabiz: “We must be released!”
Alecto: “Intruders into Hades aren’t allowed to just go free, not until you stand trial for your crimes!”
Aeacus: “Bring forth the next soul.”
Alecto pushed her way along the line to thrust Aman Tabiz to the front of the cue.
Alecto: “This one was caught snooping about Hades.”
Edgeworth: “That alone is a crime. Will you plead guilty, stranger, and save us some time?”
Aman Tabiz: “I am not guilty!”
Edgeworth: “Then you wish to drag this out. Very well! I am reviewing your life as we speak and… ha ha…”
He gave a sneering laugh.
Edgeworth: “Members of the jury… you will be quite astonished by this particular criminal record!”
Wright: “This doesn’t sound good.”
A memory was projected and one of the jury members jumped to his feet.
Hercules: “Oi! That’s my memory!”
Edgeworth: “Indeed! You will recall the poison shirt? You will remember how your wife was falsely executed for the crime of your death?”
Minos looked pointedly at Aman Tabiz.
Edgeworth: “We have the rule criminal mastermind behind that.”
Hercules roared and tried to leap out of the jury box to accost Aman Tabiz. Aman stood silent and composed.
Edgeworth: “Oh. And would you look at this one?”
A new memory appeared and another jury member jumped to his feet.
Orion: “That’s mine! It was he who killed me? Made me try to slay my family?”
Pirithous: “Are they all up there!?”
Pirithous muttered from behind Aman with some frustration in his voice. It seemed that Pirithous always expected to be here at the end of his life anyway, so he was merely agitated and not so much afraid.
Edgeworth: “Need we continue?”
Wright: “Well, actually, it appears our Aman Tabiz, as his name is, holds a lot more than just this lifetime that he is currently leading! In the past he was—”
Aman Tabiz: “There is no need to speak in my defence, Mr Wright.”
Wright: “But dude, there’s a lot here to balance out these crimes. A hundred lifetimes of material.”
Edgeworth: “Hundred? What’re you talking about?”
Aman Tabiz: “It doesn’t matter. Whatever I have or have not done, or even what I deserve. You have made a mistake here.”
Edgeworth: “And what, pray tell, is that mistake?”
Aman Tabiz: “I am not Greek. I am not a worshipper of your faith. I cannot be judged here.”
Wright: “Ho ho ho! Good point! We’re so used to getting our own souls, we didn’t stop to consider that an intruder to Hades might not be one of our followers! He’s absolutely correct, Minos! Your honour, we must release this man immediately.”
Hercules: “No! He must pay for his crimes!”
Orion: “He cannot be allowed to avoid justice!”
Aeacus: “Unfortunately, Mr Wright is wright—I mean, right. Alecto, as much as I am loathe to allow such a villain to go free, we must release him. I hope that you are judged accordingly upon your future death.”
Aman Tabiz: “I don’t expect that day to come any time soon…”
Alecto growled at him and shoved him aside. She snagged Pirithous and thrust him forward instead but she is surprised to find him grinning like a lunatic. He stood confidently before the podium, having seen Aman freed instantly.
Edgeworth: “And of course we have his accomplice in your deaths and the deaths of many. Theft, murderer, extortion, assault, perjury—actually, it might be a shorter list if we read off what he hasn’t done! In fact, he even stole candy from babies!”
Even Aman glared at Pirithous for that.
Pirithous shrugged with wide, innocent eyes.
Pirithous: “It was chocolate mint! I couldn’t help myself!”
Edgeworth: “Puppy kicking!”
Pirithous: “Well, now, in my defence it was barking all night long. I couldn’t sleep at all…”
Edgeworth: “Kitten kicking!!”
Pirithous: “It kept going to the toilet in my garden and eating the fish in my pond!”
Edgeworth: “Squirrel kicking!!! Honestly, who even thinks of kicking squirrels!!!”
Pirithous: “Who doesn’t hate squirrels? Come on! That can’t just be me?”
He looked around at the frowns.
Pirithous: “Apparently it is just me.”
Edgeworth: “I think the jury can make a clear verdict with this one.”
His shout was so loud that everyone was almost blown over.
Edgeworth: “I wish you would stop doing that!”
Wright: “But it’s my catchphrase!”
Edgeworth: “It is not a catchphrase! Just—”
Even Pirithous fell from his podium and had to be propped back up by a couple of Furies.
Edgeworth: “Stop it! You have no objection here!”
Wright: “But if Aman Tabiz can be released… why are you grinning at me?”
Edgeworth: “Tut tut tut. The clue is in the name, Rhadamanthus.”
Wright: “The name? His name? Pirithous? Piri… it’s a Greek name. Bugger.”
Pirithous: “But that doesn’t make me a worshipper! And I’m only half-Greek!!”
Edgeworth: “Aha, you cannot lie to us. Now that we’re onto your game, we can sense your belief. I will admit you may not strictly worship the gods, but you believed in them.”
Pirithous: “I wouldn’t say believe… I mean, I knew… I knew I’d come to Hades when I died… Damn.”
Wright: “Okay, okay. Wait a minute. Hold on. He’s not actually dead yet!”
Edgeworth: “So? He soon will be!”
Wright: “Aha! Buuuuuut, he could change his mind on religion before he is supposed to actually die.”
There was a moment of silence and Rhadamanthus couldn’t help but give a cocky grin, knowing he was onto something.
Wright: “See? Right? Before he dies, he could become a worshipper of, say, the Egyptian gods. Like his mother. Or he may worship the gods of Arabia. Or China. Or the Celtic Pantheon. Or Christianity!”
Aeacus: “What in Hades is Christianity? I can’t keep up with all these minor religions these days.”
Wright: “I think my case is closed, Your Honour. This man cannot be tried until his affirmed death!”
Aeacus: “I suppose you’re right. As loathe, again, as I am to admit it.”
Edgeworth: “Now, now! Hold your horses!”
Wright: “I don’t have any horses!”
Edgeworth: “What? Shut up, Rhadamanthus! I mean, hold on a moment! He can stand trial! He may not be tried for the crimes in his lifetime but he can be tried for the crime of entering Hades and all subsequent crimes committed herein!”
Pirithous: “No! So close! Come on!”
Aeacus: “Aha! He is a believer in our ways, after all. And he did commit the crime of coming here.”
Alecto: “And he has a significant list of crimes he has committed while here, Your Honour! Disparaging remarks against officers, making unwarranted observations about Hades, swearing like a lout, invoking foreign gods, crimes against fashion, untied shoelaces, looking at me funny… the list goes on.”
Pirithous: “You have got to be kidding me?”
Alecto: “And now accusing authorities of making jokes! You are going down, sonny!”
Pirithous: “This can’t be happening!”
Alecto: “Telling officers what they can and can’t do!”
Pirithous: “Please! Just stop!”
Alecto: “Begging like a worm! You should quit before you dig yourself a deeper grave, as they say.”
Edgeworth: “We may not be able to punish him to Tartarus, but he can be punished.”
Aeacus: “Will the jury confer?”
The jury spent just a few seconds in discussion and came to a unanimous decision and hand the note to the judge.
Aeacus: “As expected. Pirithous, you are found G U I L T Y!”
Pirithous: “No, not now! You bastards!”
Alecto: “You’re only making it harder on yourself, boyo!”
And then Pirithous calmed himself. He knew why he was getting so worked it. It wasn’t because he would face punishment, he always believed he would. It was because he was to be punished before he could feel what it was to be a good man and live a good and honest life. He wondered if that would have made a difference at this court had he died the normal way many years into the future. Probably not. He would have been bound for Tartarus anyway. But maybe he could have gone knowing he was not all bad. That he had done something good in his life. He thought of Hippodamia and how lovely she was, but more so he thought of the boy Polypoetes – his Spud. The boy needed a father. A father that would teach him to be better than himself. He had hoped to be that father. That would have been his legacy – giving the world a fine, young and, most importantly, good man. Spud wasn’t his by blood but he felt such an attachment that even now, separated by all earthly bonds, all he could think of was how he failed the boy.
The Furies led Pirithous away and they wouldn’t allow Aman to follow. They didn’t go far from the River Phlegethon before snakes burst from the ground and wrapped around Pirithous, trapping him in place. Then, maliciously, they started to bite him. Sometimes they would wait for him to relax before they bit him again, other times they would relentlessly bite for hours at a time.
Aman couldn’t watch his friend being tortured. It was a strange feeling for Aman to experience something that repulsed him so much. He had seen so much death, he had been responsible for it also. But to see continuous suffering was a terrible sensation that welled within him. Alecto and several other Furies forced him away and, eventually, he was banished from Hades with a sudden blow.
He landed back in the mortal world and immediately set out for Thebes with determination in his heart.