"For the traitor, death! For the revolutionary, death! For those who deny the lawful rule of the triumvirate, death! For Markelle, death! Deal with it!"- Magistrate Taylor
The sentence of Markelle
It was not long before discontent leaders began to foment rebellion among the oppressed laborers. At first, threats and the occasional beating by Sophia Rex and the Praetorians was sufficient to suppress the uprising. However, with each punishment, resentment of Alex's regime grew.
Alex knew he had to act, so he began to filter his rulings through the triumvirate rather than dictate them directly to the populace. As expected, the laborers directed their hostility towards the ruling magistrates. Graffiti began to appear on buildings in Bonanza City. One laborer, Markelle, was caught tearing down signs supporting one of the triumvirate's most recent edicts. Rather than flee as the Praetorians approached, Markelle shouted, "Death to tyrants! Death to the triumvirate!" and stomped his feet on the torn signs.
Magistrate Taylor admonishes the town for sedition.
Taylor, the most outspoken of the triumvirate, was apoplectic at the affront to her power. Alex counseled a severe punishment for Markelle in the hopes that this would finally spur the laborers to open rebellion against the triumvirate. Sophia was confident the Praetorians, though outnumbered 3 to 1, could defeat the laborers in open battle.
The triumvirate convened and in short order assembled the town to hear their judgment. In a vitriolic screed against insurrectionists that was met with gasps and mumbling Taylor castigated those who might attempt to subvert her rule. The speech ended with the pronouncement of Markelle's sentence: death by slow strangulation. To add to the horror of the moment, the sentence was to be carried out by Greg and DK, two laborers known by Alex to be leaders of the insurrection.
The sentence was carried out. Markelle lay dead in the street. In a matter of hours Alex had his open war. He sequestered the triumvirate in the General Store as Sophia and her Praetorians marched out to meet the mob. The two armies clashed outside and within the Arcade in what became known as the Battle of the Arcade. Armed only with rakes and sticks, the rebels pressed in on the Praetorians, pushing them back towards the Arcade in bloody hand-to-hand fighting.
With a signal from Sophia the Praetorians retreated inside. The mob, led by Greg, paused to regroup before entering the Arcade. They had only a moment to wonder why it was empty before the bundles of dynamite planted by Nathan blew them to pieces.
Meanwhile, a smaller group of insurgents led by DK assaulted the General Store. Jared was the only man guarding the General Store. DK offered to let him go if he surrendered. Jared smiled and attacked. He gave the insurgents no quarter, wielding his weighted fighting staff with brutal effectiveness. Two died, the survivors fled into mountains.
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