"Archimedes Crowe," boomed a deep voice from the bronze mesh of the speaker. "You are hereby charged with the murders of Geoffrey Maxwell Bolton, Rank 10 Operative at the Ministry of Magical Research, Lucas Damien Anderson, Rank 7 Operative at the Ministry of Magical Research, Rosemary Katherine Blair, Rank 6 Operative at the Ministry of Magical Research, and Darryl Conrad Wolfe, Security Officer at the Ministry of Magical Research. How do you plead?" The room was empty aside from the young man in the chair that sat in the corner. The only other things in the dismal cell were the benches rising up in front of him, accusing him. The gray painted walls somehow made the room colder than it was. Even so, he was sweating. This was all wrong; he hadn't meant for it to go like this, obviously. Nearly any outcome he might have imagined would have been better than being stuck here. What made it worse though, was that unless he pled guilty, which he wouldn't because he wasn't, the benches in front of him would soon fill with angry Mages to preside over his trial, eager to strip him of his magic.

"How do you plead?" He jumped in his seat. Lost in thought, he had almost forgotten about the speaker hanging from the wall next to him. Now looking at it, he could almost imagine the face of the Minister of Criminal Magic spitting the words into a speaker. What was he supposed to say? He should tell the truth, but who would believe him, his word against that of a Rank 13 Operative of the Ministry? It wouldn't matter that Savage hadn't personally witnessed the disaster at the Ministry. Marcus Savage, one of the highest ranking officers in the Ministry of Magical Research, other than the Minister himself of course, murdered those people? Impossible. They would trust him without a thought to what would seem like the raving protestations of the guilty.

"HOW DO YOU PLEAD?"