Adagio 20 – The War Crimes of Trav Dalgoda
One could coherently argue that Trav Dalgoda was history’s most evil murderer. 997,463,756 died in the initial blasts from the Tesserah. One and a half billion people would end up dead from the incident and the lethal fallout of its aftermath; earthquakes… or rather, coventryquakes, out-of-control fires, landslides, and radiation all caused casualties, both immediate and long term. It is no wonder it took seven Earth years to bring the incident to trial and condemn Dalgoda as an ultimate villain, perfidious skank, odious killer, and all-around really bad guy… officially.
But it must be pointed out, the reincarnated Trav Dalgoda was never punished for the crimes. Not even a slap on the wrist by a nun using a metal ruler. Nothing.
There were a number of reasons for this. Hard-to-argue reasons that actually made some legal sense.
First of all, Dalgoda was not in possession of his own brain. It was proven through testimony by talented Psions that the Tesserah itself was a powerful mind-controlling psychic influence, and undoubtedly had control of Goofy Dalgoda’s rather limited intellect and all of his motor control.
Secondly, it was pointed out, in no uncertain terms, that Trav Dalgado had already paid for the crime with his life, having been beheaded by his lover, Dana Cole.
No prosecutor was able to prove that Trav Dalgoda’s head was not legally dead when Dana Cole, together with one of the intelligences left in the Crown of Stars, a device obviously impossible to understand being from a tech level so far above anything fully understood by Imperial or New Star League scientists.
It was also not hard to prove that the reanimated Trav Dalgoda, more Synthezoid or Metalloid than living being, was not the same person who fired the fatal blasts from the starship bearing the evil Ancient device known as the Tesserah.
I have to admit, I myself have often questioned the correctness of the verdict. Trav’s war crimes could really not be wholly laid at the feet of the evil inherent in the Ancient device itself. After all, the other Ancient devices that the Aero Brothers and Trav brought to light were not in themselves evil. The artificial being known as Frieda proved quite beneficial to the New Star League. The device known as the Hammer of God was used to create cities and starships and space ports that brought the web of interstellar travel to the New Stars. Certainly, the starship Megadeath proved to be one of the most important starships ever created, and as the creation of the Ancient intelligence known as Frieda, was itself an Ancient artifact of sorts.
I further believe that when the artificially reanimated Trav Dalgoda fathered two children rather dubiously with Dana Cole, who may have used some cloning tricks in the process, those children may have also given an insight into the possible criminality in Trav’s genes.
One-Eyed Jack Dalgoda was a viciously greedy and obnoxious young mountebank, capable of chicanery well beyond the dreams of your average criminal or con man. And that girl, Daisy Duckling Dalgoda, was one of the most infamous gold-diggers and criminal masterminds I ever encountered… by the age of ten no less.
But I get ahead of myself too far in the story. I haven’t survived this little history yet at this particular point in the telling of the tale.