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The Fugly Girl Incident: Chapter Five

  Chapter Five: Verdict “Have you reached a conclusion?” Scully asked, the tiny figurine in his judge’s wig swaying to-and-fro as he turned to look at the jury who had just returned. It had taken the twelve teenagers almost two hours to reach a decision. The majority of the time had been spent gossiping about the revelations they had heard. “What conclusion have you come to in reference to Prince Moonstone?” Scully asked looking at the foreperson, Marke, Prince of Limbo. “We’ve concluded that Bishop is innocent of the accusation that he insulted Lady Primrose, your honour,” Marke replied, confirming Scully’s private prediction. “We believe that Prince Moonstone was simply agreeing with Lady Primrose in accordance with his grandmother’s instructions.” “Thank you,” Scully said, making a note. “And what of Lady Primrose? What conclusion have to come to regarding her?” Marke hesitated for a moment looking at the other members of the jury before he replied. “We have concluded that she is gu

Quinn and The Quasars: Chapter Nine

 


Read: Chapter One
Read: Previous Chapter

Quinn looked at Asger in desperation and confusion, “That bottle. It’s mine. I brought it to the station.”
Asger blinked, “What did you say?” he asked incredulously, recoiling from Quinn. “You brought this bottle to Adhara? Are you sure it was this specific bottle?”
 
“Yes, I’m certain Quinn said with a nod. There’s no way I could be mistaken, that bottle is a priceless family heirloom.”
 
Asger paced backwards and forwards in the room as he questioned Quinn on the unexpected turn of events, “Oh my I-Am,” Asger groaned, running one large hand backwards through his silky, snow white hair. “If the bottle is so priceless why on Niflheim would you bring it to Adhara?”
 
Quinn was speechless for a moment as she looked at Asger. She had never seen him so panicked before but it was understandable after all the situation did not look good. Thinking back to how she had come to be in the unenviable position in which she now found herself, Quinn remembered exactly what had occurred. About a year earlier whilst The Quasars was in the final stages of planning their first Alliance wide tour, Quinn had been approached by one of Serpentine’s cousins, Prince William of Hapi. William or Bill as his friends and family called him had been interested in the Tears of The Abyss poison for it’s potential as a beauty aid. Despite his princely duties and important destiny as the future sacrificial victim to The Cordelion, Bill had made it his life’s goal to make the Alliance beautiful, one ugly person at a time. As one of Quinn’s lifelong friends, Bill had mentioned that he needed to get his hands on some Tears of The Abyss for some experiments he wanted to conduct into using the potent poison as a de-aging formula.
 
By some strange co-incidence at around the same time, a request had also come through to Quinn from another friend, this time a young Gaian-Bim woman called Penelope Greyson, asking to examine Queen Maris’ famous bottle for her dissertation on The Gifts of I-Am, five mythological objects that were said to have been bestowed by I-Am himself on the five original planets that had later founded the Alliance. Though Quinn had been unsure of how the bottle played into the ancient myth she had agreed to have it transported to Adhara so that Penelope could study the bottle and Bill could have access to some of the poison. Quinn could not have imagined when she was trying to be helpful just how much her helpfulness would prove to be her undoing.
 
Quinn quickly relayed the story of how she had come to transport the bottle to Adhara whilst Asger listened in attentive silence. When she was finished speaking Asger asked, “So you’re saying that both Bill and Penelope knew that bottle was on Adhara?” Quinn nodded thoughtfully, it was true. Both of her friends had known that the bottle was on Adhara because they had been the reason for her bringing it there.
 
“That means either of them could have killed Stripes and framed you for the murder!” Asger exclaimed excitedly, the expression on his face showing that his mind was working quickly trying to come up with some theory that would explain what had happened.
 
“I don’t think so,” Quinn replied with a sigh, “Neither Bill not Penelope have any reason to do this to me, they’re my friends. Why would they want to harm me like this?”
 
The excitement drained out of Asger’s face as he looked at Quinn, “I have no idea,” he said. “But there must be something. I know you’re not the killer so it means someone has done this to you. We just have to work out who that was. I promise I won’t stop until I find the person,” Asger said forcefully.
“Thanks,” Quinn said smiling at Asger. Speaking to her former sweetheart had put Quinn’s mind at ease. At least as much as it could be in the circumstances. She had forgotten her earlier trepidation about her situation and her personal appearance and although things looked increasingly bleak, she was starting to relax a little. Asger had hired the greatest legal mind in the Alliance and believed in her innocence. To Quinn this was somewhat refreshing. It was so much more than the nothing Serpentine had done.
 
Asger smiled at Quinn and once again laid his hand on hers. He was on the verge of speaking when the door of the cell burst open and Quinn’s fiancé Serpentine strode into the room carrying a large bag. In a flash Quinn had slid her hand from under Asger’s and her smile was replaced with the same anxious expression she had displayed when Asger had first come to see her.
 
Serpentine cleared his throat and pretended that he had not noticed the intimate gesture, as Asger stood up to greet him. Asger’s planet was in the Alliance’s second tier and unlike Serpentine, he was not the heir to his father’s throne, so it was Asger’s duty to welcome his social better into the room, even if he hated Serpentine for being Quinn’s betrothed.
 
Serpentine gave the formal response to Asger’s greeting and then turning to his fiancée he said, “Quinn, we’re needed at Pearl Palace. There’s been a break in the case.”
 
Quinn’s eyes flared open in surprise, whatever she had expected Serpentine to say, it certainly was not this. “Really?” she asked looking at him hopefully. “What is it?”
 
Serpentine smiled, favouring the moment. For the first time Quinn was looking at him with hope in her eyes and right in front of her beloved Asger too. “I don’t know but apparently whatever it is will prove your innocence once and for all.”
 
Quinn’s make-up smudged face broke out into a huge smile and she quickly stood up and hurried towards the door. “Wait a minute,” Serpentine called, “Don’t you want to get changed first? Meri brought this bag of clothes for you to change into,” he explained, lifting the large bag he had been holding so that it was clearly visible. Meri was Quinn’s handmaiden, a personal attendant who went everywhere with her mistress. As soon as Quinn was arrested, Meri had packed up the clothes she had been setting out for Quinn to change into and made her way to security headquarters.
 
“I came to bring these clothes to you and to escort you home. Your mother has gone on ahead,” Serpentine continued. He had no intention of mentioning that he had insisted that he be the one to take Quinn’s belongings to her as soon as Skully Golgotha had turned up stating that he had been hired by Asger to defend Quinn. Serpentine had been at school with Asger too, and although they had never been close friends, Asger was a friend of Serpentine’s cousin, Ophedian so the two had spent some time together in amicable rivalry giving Serpentine a chance to learn exactly what the Niflhiemer was like.

Quinn turned back from the door, “No,” she said shaking her head with annoyance. “I’d rather just hurry up and get this fiasco over and done with, besides, if we’re going to my home anyway what’s the point of getting changed here? I’ll wait until I get home.”
 
“As you wish,” Serpentine replied curtly. He had been only been thinking of Quinn’s best interests but she had been only too quick to embarrass him in front of her former sweetheart. The fact that Princess Ula Quintilica had been arrested for murder was bad enough, but Quinn had been arrested almost as soon as she left the stage. She had, had no chance to change out of her sweat drenched stage costume, nor any chance to remove her smudged make-up. Serpentine had imagined that Quinn would thank him for bringing her change of attire so that she would not been embarrassed even further when they left the Security Headquarters. Perhaps if Asger had not been there Quinn would have been more receptive, but Asger’s seductive influence was clearly warping Quinn’s mind.
 
“We need to get to Pearl as quickly as possible,” Asger said moving towards the door. “Whatever can clear Quinn’s name is of paramount importance.”
 
“Indeed,” Serpentine replied, smiling at his rival. He watched as Quinn opened the door and was greeted by her maid and the female officer who had been waiting to take her to change clothes. Asger had directed his comment at him but it had been done for Quinn’s benefit, Serpentine was sure of it, he had agreed with her after all and even gone out of his way to abbreviate the name of her home to show his familiarity with the family. It had been a sly kick in the teeth to Serpentine.
 
The Varunian prince looked up from his reverie and saw Asger watching him, “Shall we go?” Asger asked with a friendly smile.
 
“Sure,” Serpentine said, returning the smile but no sooner had Asger turned his back and followed Quinn out of the room, than Serpentine’s eyes narrowed into slits.

Note: The spelling of the name Asgar changed in this chapter because my sister, the original creator of the character informed me that I had misspelt it. Apologies if this has caused any confusion.

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