Author’s Note: This is the first fanfic I’ve made with someone else’s assistance.
And this is also the first Daphne/She-Ra fanfic I’ve done as well.
I hope you the reader will enjoy it.
All characters are owned by their respective owners.



   In the fall of 2006, the season had ended in the USCFL. As it now became a custom, Five’s A Mob Legend quarterback Daphne Blake returned to her home in suburban Atlanta. Daphne and her husband Fred Jones and their three and a half year old son Fred Jr. was about to settle down for family time. Daphne spent the day registering Fred Jr. for nursery school and was dead tired from also getting caught up with her personal life after a grueling football season.

   Just as Daphne had popped in a movie into the DVD player, there was a knock at the door. Daphne was up and told Fred that she would answer it. As Daphne opened the door, she was surprised to see an old friend, ally, and rival from the USCFL for it was She-Ra Princess of Power paying Daphne a visit.

   Daphne said with a surprised look on her face and tone in her voice, “She-Ra this is a surprise! What are you doing here?” She-Ra replied with reserve in her voice, “I’ve come to pay you this visit for something major is happening right now, and it involves both of us.” Daphne then said as not to make her neighbors suspicious, “Please come in and we’ll talk about it. I noticed Swift Wind came with you or more like he brought you here.” Daphne took a peek out the front door and said, “Swift Wind, good to see you again. Please fly over to the backyard. I can explain about She-Ra, but I don’t know how to explain about a flying, talking winged unicorn.”

    Swift Wind understood and complied with Daphne’s orders. As he flew into her back yard, Daphne said, “Swift Wind if you’re hungry, my backyard grass is your dinner table.” Swift Wind thanked Daphne for her offer and made himself at home. As Daphne closed the patio door, Daphne said jokingly, “Swift Wind’s doing me a favor. I was planning to mow the lawn tomorrow. Now She-Ra to what do I owe this visit?”

   Before She-Ra said anything, she asked Daphne if Fred and Fred Jr. could leave the room for what she had to say was confidential. As Fred and Fred Jr. left the room, Daphne began to get upset by her friend’s unusual behavior and said, “She-Ra you’re acting strange. Stranger than you were aboard that cruise ship last year”. She-Ra said, “I’m wanted by the FBI.” Daphne replied with a weird look on her face, “say what?!”

   She-Ra handed Daphne an Atlanta newspaper with her picture and Daphne’s on the front page. The color in Daphne’s face went away and looked very pale for she had read that she and She-Ra were both wanted for the murder of Verona Dimpsey aboard the Pacific Princess Cruise ship the previous summer. Daphne handed back the paper to She-Ra and said nervously, “I think I’m going to be sick.” Daphne ran to the bathroom in the hallway on the ground floor where She-Ra heard Daphne getting sick like she said.”

   She-Ra didn’t fully understand why her friend got sick all of a sudden and said, “Daphne either you’re pregnant again, ate something that didn’t agree with you or this is how you stay so slim.” After Daphne came out of the bathroom, she said with an angry tone, “Bag it Blondie! You came over here to deliver such devastating news and you’re making ridiculous remarks! She-Ra you’re supposed to be intelligent, what’s up with the dumb blonde act?”

   She-Ra replied, “I don’t know Daphne. I haven’t been myself since I came home to find the Feds casing the Coliseum.” Daphne said now with concern, “She-Ra the Feds were hanging out at your stadium? What happened next?” She-Ra replied, “My brother told them that I was out of town and had no idea when I would return. Most of the others conferred with him.”

   Daphne asked, “Now He-Man is in on this too?” She-Ra replied, “No he always tells the truth. I haven’t been home since the season ended in July. After the final game was played, I wanted to go to Florida and pay Gil a visit. I promised him we would always stay in touch. Once I arrived in Miami, he read in the paper about my being wanted for murder. He also told me that he would back me and you up for if you remember he was at Verona’s mercy too. Daphne for the first time in my life, I’m scared, really scared.”

   Daphne didn’t have much of a response to what She-Ra had said. Daphne knew whenever Shaggy or Scooby got scared a Scooby Snack would always do the trick. But since there’s no such thing as a She-Ra snack, Daphne was dumbfounded in what to do about this crisis. Then Daphne said, “She-Ra, the FBI has a big office in Atlanta, in the morning we will both go over there and get to the bottom of all of this. I promise you we will get through this together.”





   Daphne invited She-Ra to spend the night in her house while she made several phone calls. Among them was to her father in Coolsville. Another was to Virginia to inform He-Man that his sister was safe and sound. He-Man wasn’t available but his girlfriend and ally Teela was and she agreed to pass on the news. And finally Daphne phoned Seattle and informed her coach Lisa Carlson about the situation.

   Lisa asked Daphne if there was anything she could do but Daphne told Lisa that she would keep her informed if she can. Daphne didn’t sleep well that night but as for She-Ra, she slept as if she hadn’t for weeks and that was mainly the case.

   The next morning, there was a knock at the front door. Daphne went downstairs to answer it. At the door was Daphne’s father’s attorney and general counsel for Blake’s Bubble Bath Inc, one J. Henry Fitzgerald. He had come at her father’s request for he had heard about what happened before Daphne called him. Moments later, She-Ra awakened and Daphne introduced her to Mr. Fitzgerald.

   Mr. Fitzgerald was pleased to meet The Princess of Power and said, “My youngest daughter collected all of your action figures back in the 80’s. And she never missed a single episode of yours.” She-Ra replied, “Thank you sir. I would like for all of this to end as quickly as possible.” Mr. Fitzgerald said in confidence, “That’s what I’m here for. Daphne, your father agreed to also have me act as She-Ra’s attorney on this case.” Daphne replied, “I’m glad to hear that Mr. Fitzgerald. It’s not everyday that a super hero is tried as a murderer.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald said, “Actually my dear, it’s you who’s wanted for murder and She-Ra as an accomplice.” As the three sat down in the dining room, Mr. Fitzgerald wanted to make sure he had all of his facts straight.

   “Well ladies,” the lawyer told both women, “As I understand it, this alleged ‘murder’ occurred in international waters between Seattle and Honolulu. That being the case, the passengers and crew would then be subject to the laws of the nation whose flag it was flying, in this case Gibraltar. Gibraltar is a territory of the United Kingdom meaning the case would be heard in either Gibraltar or England.

   And I’ve done some checking. Vernon Dimpsey, Verona’s father, filed the complaint with the British Consulate in Chicago. They assigned an investigator with Scotland Yard to look into the case. My guess is that warrants will be issued for your arrests shortly and both of you will be extradited to the UK to stand trial.”

   Then Mr. Fitzgerald asked, “Is there anything else I should know about at this time pertaining to this case?” She-Ra said, “Actually there is Mr. Fitzgerald. When our group was in Boston during our goodwill tour last year, Daphne was kidnapped by Verona. I have the ability to sense when others are in trouble. I found Daphne bound and gagged in a suburban Boston home. That sort of pissed off Verona.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald said, “That’s interesting, go on.” She-Ra continued, “That’s the beginning. In Rhode Island, Bart Simpson nearly got killed off a rocky bluff while skateboarding at a seaside park. I examined the board and discovered the axles were tampered with.” Mr. Fitzgerald got really interested and told She-Ra to continue. “Then about a month later in Las Vegas, I helped Daphne win a small fortune at the crap table. I was there mainly for “eye candy” as Daphne put it.

   Three days later, I was approached by two security guards. At first I thought Daphne or I was in some kind of trouble for winning so much at the crap table. The one guard named Kyle, I didn’t get his last name told me that his sister was a big fan of mine back in the 80’s like you told me today about your daughter. He asked me out and showed me the sights of Las Vegas. Kyle’s partner thought I was some kind of showgirl because of my costume. Kyle pointed it out to me at a show in another hotel where we had dinner.

   When he dropped me off at Caesar’s Palace where we stayed, I found out the next day by his partner that Kyle was killed by a drunk driver in which he died of his injuries that day I heard it on the evening news. Mr. Fitzgerald’s curiosity peaked at that point and asked She-Ra to continue. “Then as we were aboard The Pacific Princess, I was still devastated about Kyle’s death. He was a nice young man who still had his whole life ahead of him. Then Daphne found an old friend of hers named Gil Lopez.

   Daphne and Gil were talking for several minutes before she introduced him to me and The Smurfette who was with me and Daphne at the time. Gil’s eyes lit up as we were introduced as were mine. Gil and I became an item shortly afterwards. I was in love with him, and he was in love with me. He was on the ship as a performer and we spent time together when he wasn’t working.

   One night after a show, he was abducted. I even accused Daphne of trying to take him away from me. I bashed in her cabin door. Later, Daphne found Verona on the Promenade Deck. I arrived minutes later behind Verona as she and Daphne were exchanging words. She abducted Gil and I wanted to fight her to get Gil back.

   Daphne insisted on battling her because she was her enemy, not mine. Daphne even dressed in a costume similar to mine but in purple. Daphne and Verona agreed that if Verona had won, Daphne would be her prisoner, and if Daphne won, Verona would let Gil go and turn herself in to the ship’s crew.

   Daphne and Verona let it all out in front of hundreds of passengers, crew and the group we were with. Daphne got one good kick in and sent Verona packing over the side of the ship and drowned. Mr. Fitzgerald, Daphne isn’t a murderer. She should be commended for putting such an evil woman out of commission like that.

   As for me, your daughter will even tell you this, I would never harm a living thing even if they are evil. So what do we do?” She-Ra asked Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald answered, “My advice to both of you is to turn yourselves in, if they haven’t already arrested both of you, and to waive extradition proceedings.”

   Daphne then asked, “Mr. Fitzgerald, I thought you just practiced corporate law. Are you sure you can represent us in this matter?” Fitzgerald laughed, “Ladies I assure you I’m licensed and qualified to practice in all areas of the law, including criminal. And I have argued cases in British courts on behalf of Blake’s Bubble Bath, so I am familiar with British law. I’m certain I can provide you with proper counsel”.

   “Mr. Fitzgerald”, She-Ra inquired, “Since I’m known as a superhero, and as far as I know, neither my brother He-Man nor I have any weaknesses, I can escape from any jail or prison they can incarcerate me in.” If you attempt to escape or run,” Fitzgerald answered, “that would be considered circumstantial evidence of your guilt, which would make their case stronger against you.

   My advice to you is to play by their rules. If they incarcerate you, stay put. That way, it’ll make it easier for you to prove your innocence and clear your name. Don’t worry I’ll be here when you need me every step of the way. I’ll see to it that your rights are protected here and in the UK. And I’ll do my very best to see that both of you ‘beat the rap’”.

   Daphne and She-Ra seemed pleased with what Mr. Fitzgerald was telling them. Then Mr. Fitzgerald said, “And with the extra information you gave me She-Ra, you should have no trouble in court.” She-Ra replied with some relief, “I hope so.” Daphne then said, “We were about to go to the FBI office downtown, but now that we have spoken to you, we can wait until tomorrow.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald then replied, “I’ll be right with you. Get a good night’s sleep. If either of you need anything, Fred should get it for you. Now I understand She-Ra that you have a flying unicorn, where is he at the moment?” Daphne answered the question and said, “Look out in the backyard.” Mr. Fitzgerald said, “She-Ra in your best interest and not to make Daphne’s neighbors suspicious, he should fly back to Virginia.”

   She-Ra replied, “He will leave after midnight tonight and not to arouse suspicion like you said.” Mr. Fitzgerald grabbed his hat and briefcase and told Daphne and She-Ra that he would wait for them the next day at the FBI office. Later that night, She-Ra did what Mr. Fitzgerald told her to do and sent Swift Wind back to Virginia.

   She-Ra informed Swift Wind to have the Sorceress contact her if she needed to. And most importantly, She-Ra told Swift Wind to tell He-Man not to attempt a jailbreak as she would play by the rules like Mr. Fitzgerald had told her. She-Ra said goodbye, but the real question was if the goodbye would be forever.





   After She-Ra said her goodbyes to Swift Wind and flew back to Virginia, she and Daphne tried to sleep that night but couldn’t because of what was waiting for them the next day. Shortly after dawn, Daphne and She-Ra drove into the downtown area to the FBI office. Mr. Fitzgerald was waiting outside the main entrance for them.

   Mr. Fitzgerald had the opportunity the previous day after his meeting to talk to his youngest daughter and asked her if she remembered anything about She-Ra that would help him in this case. His daughter remembered a lot and told him about the sword She-Ra carries with her. Mr. Fitzgerald asked She-Ra to give him the sword to put in the trunk of his car until the meeting that morning was over with.

   She-Ra complied and as she gave him the sword, Mr. Fitzgerald took a quick look at it and was impressed by it. It was exactly as his daughter described it. Once inside, Mr. Fitzgerald told the receptionist what his business was and a security guard escorted him and the ladies to the head of the Atlanta office, a man named Barry Lancaster. A man with the FBI for over thirty years and had a reputation of being tough but fair.

   Mr. Lancaster said, “Now then Mr. Fitzgerald, I was handed this case personally by my superiors in Washington. And I have orders to arrest Miss Blake and how do I address this other person?” Mr. Fitzgerald replied, “She is known simply as She-Ra sir.”

   Mr. Lancaster then continued, “To have Miss Blake and She-Ra extradited to England for trial. But I have authority to delay this order for one week so Miss Blake and She-Ra can wrap up any final personal matters upon leaving the country. Ladies you have until noon one week from today to report to the FBI office in Washington and placed under arrest and flown to England. Do I make myself clear?”

   Both Daphne and She-Ra understood everything that was said to them. Mr. Lancaster said to Mr. Fitzgerald, “Since you are assigned to be their attorney in this matter, you are personally responsible for them as of right now. If anything should delay this “grace period”, I shall have you arrested for obstructing justice. Do I make myself clear sir?’

   Mr. Fitzgerald replied with confidence, “Mr. Lancaster, I have spent my entire life dedicated to justice you have my word that they will be in Washington at noon one week from today. But She-Ra lives in Virginia and I will accompany her there as will Miss Blake.” Mr. Lancaster said, “Good, you are free to go for now. Good luck to you all.”

   Daphne wasted no time to get all her affairs in order. But that was what she was doing before this started, she got everything under control in two days. Daphne said goodbye to Fred and assured Fred Jr. that she would be home and soon. Daphne has never lied about anything she wants to keep her promise especially to her son.

   As for She-Ra, she had a lot of business to wrap up. Daphne and She-Ra went with Mr. Fitzgerald to Virginia and help She-Ra out. She-Ra was not looking forward to this because she wouldn’t know how her friends and especially her brother will feel about her after she tells them what was truly going on.





   It took Mr. Fitzgerald less than a day to drive from Atlanta to Richmond. Daphne and She-Ra sat in the backseat talking quietly amongst themselves. She-Ra was not looking forward to this at all. She was afraid that no one would support or stand by her once she arrived at The Crystal Coliseum.

   Once at the stadium, She-Ra was greeted by her brother He-Man. They hugged each other for several minutes while Daphne and Mr. Fitzgerald looked on in the car. Mr. Fitzgerald said in amazement, “I think that’s the first time I have seen a brother and sister love each other as much as they do. I haven’t spoken to my sister in over twenty years.”

   Daphne replied, “I can top that, I’m an only child. I envy She-Ra for having a brother so loving as He-Man”. On the way over to the stadium, She-Ra had thought about something long and hard and said to He-Man, “I need to see the Sorceress immediately brother. I have to tell her something really important. I’m going to ask her to strip me of my powers.”

   He-Man couldn’t believe his ears as was Daphne and Mr. Fitzgerald. Daphne asked, “She-Ra are you sure about this? I don’t think it’s necessary.” She-Ra replied, “Daphne it is. For me it is. If we go to prison, I will have to be like everyone else. But if we are found innocent, she can reinstate my powers.”

   At that moment the Sorceress appeared before the group and said, “She-Ra please come forward. Who is this stranger?” She-Ra replied, “This is my attorney Mr. J. Henry Fitzgerald, Mr. Fitzgerald, this is the Sorceress. This is the woman who made me and He-Man who we are today.”

   As Mr. Fitzgerald met the Sorceress, he said, “I wasn’t aware of She-Ra’s intentions of her being stripped of her powers. But if I may say this in your presence, She-Ra and Daphne are both in my opinion innocent of the charges against them. From my own investigations and the information I’ve collected, the prosecution has a very weak case. Most of what happened was circumstantial at best.

   I’m acting on both of their behalves and I can assure you, that She-Ra’s good name will be cleared as will Daphne’s. I guess she feels that if she is imprisoned, she won’t be able to escape. Since She-Ra and her alter ego are now two separate individuals, changing her back isn’t an option anymore. However, stripping her of her strength would be a wise idea at this time.”

   The Sorceress agreed but although disappointed in She-Ra, she was convinced of Mr. Fitzgerald’s words that She-Ra would be cleared of all charges. At that moment, The Sorceress put her hand on She-Ra’s forehead and removed her physical powers but not her mental powers. The Sorceress felt that she still needed to be in contact with The Princess of Power.

   She-Ra tried a test to see if her strength was taken from her. She-Ra attempted to kick in a brick wall and nearly hurt her leg in the process. That was all the proof she needed. Her other powers were still intact like for example her ability to heal the injured and her telepathic powers. And She-Ra also gave the Sorceress her sword until the crisis has or if it ever will pass.

   Daphne’s mind was going a zillion miles an hour. She thought it would be a big mistake. If anything were to happen, She-Ra would be as helpless as a cat up a tree. But She-Ra said it herself that no jail or prison could hold her if incarcerated. The Sorceress was satisfied by She-Ra’s decision and remained cordial with She-Ra until it was time to leave for Washington.

   All of She-Ra’s and He-Man’s friends were supported and if asked, would testify at her trial. Mr. Fitzgerald promised to advise The Sorceress of any developments as they happened. Over the next three days, She-Ra prepared for her possible final trip. Daphne assisted as much as she could. At the end of the third day in Virginia, She-Ra was also ready to proceed on to Washington and what would happen next.





   Mr. Fitzgerald made sure that Daphne and She-Ra got to Washington on time. Once in Washington and at the FBI office, Daphne and She-Ra were officially placed under arrest and Daphne was charged with murder and She-Ra with accessory to murder.

   The FBI agreed to waive the extradition to England as the accused agreed to go peacefully. They’re flown on a commercial flight chained to their seats from Washington’s Dulles Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport. From there they’re transported into the city and thrown in a holding cell until their court appearance the next day.

   Accompanying them on this flight was an agent from Scotland Yard, a matron (in case one or both of them had to visit the restroom on board, this matron would accompany them), and Mr. Fitzgerald. En route to Heathrow, the girls and their attorney exchanged some small talk.

   Fitzgerald was at the Go for the Gold game where Dick Dastardly delivered his infamous “cheap shot” upon Daphne. Fitzgerald reveals that while his law degree is from Harvard Law School, he did his undergraduate work at Michigan State University at the same time Magic Johnson was playing his college ball there. One of his biggest thrills was to see Magic and Larry Bird (of Indiana State) play against each other for the men’s college basketball national championship in 1979.

   Once in court, the Crown Judge rules that since the incident occurred in international waters, the Crown Court didn’t have jurisdiction per se over the case, but the matter could be brought before a maritime court on board the ship with the ship’s captain presiding and the Crown Court Judge acting as a legal advisor. Any verdict reached by such a trial would be binding under British law, and any sentence handed down would be served in British prisons, if need be.

   The ship’s captain stated that before Vernon Dimpsey brought his complaint, the matter over the catfight between Verona and Daphne was over and done with, as far as he was concerned. He was only reluctantly going along with these proceedings. He then states that the Pacific Princess was currently in Liverpool undergoing maintenance and minor upgrades, which would be completed any day.

   The “shake down” cruise could be used for maritime trial, and any spectators who wished to attend this trial (up to 250) would be welcomed aboard this cruise for a nominal price. The Judge then read the charges against Daphne and She-Ra, one count of murder for Daphne and one count of accessory to murder for She-Ra, and asked if both understood the charges. Both said they did.

   The Judge then explained the possible sentences they would face; 15-30 years for Daphne and 8-15 years for She-Ra. The judge sets bond for both girls; 25,000 British Pounds for Daphne (Or about $50,000 US Dollars), and 12,500 Pounds for She-Ra (Or about $25,000 US Dollars). Daphne being a millionaire in her own right, agreed to get the money by the end of the day, which was acceptable to the Court.

   The Judge explains that both would be confined to the city limits of London until it was time for the trial, once set free. They were instructed not to discuss the case with anyone other than their attorney. When it was time for the trial to begin, both were to travel (by overnight train) to Liverpool and board the ship, which would then weigh anchor and set sail for international waters (southwest of Ireland), where upon the trial would be held.

   The captain explains that when aboard, the women would have free run of the ship, but would be given quarters segregated away from any prospective witnesses as much as possible. The two were then remanded back to their holding cell until the bond money arrived. Two days later, the two women attended jury selection, which took six hours to select a panel of twelve jurors and two alternatives.





   The trial would be held in one of the ships dining halls, which was converted into a courtroom. At the front of the room, the ship’s carpenters had constructed a raised platform of 1 X 6 boards to which was nailed sheets of half-inch plywood topped with carpeting. The sides of this platform were covered with wood paneling. This platform, running widthwise across the room, would serve as the “bench” area.

   The bench itself was a buffet table, topped with a microphone-equipped podium for the captain, who would sit behind this table, along with the Crown Judge. To the right side of the bench, from the point of view of the captain, was the witness chair, which had a microphone set up next to it. Behind the bench, on a flag stand, was the British flag, the Union Jack.

   Looking out into the “courtroom” from the captain’s point of view, on the left side of the room was a roped-off area with fourteen chairs; this was the “jury box”. Directly in front of the bench, yet another microphone was set up; this was for the attorneys when they were making their presentations. Behind this mic stand, looking further out into the room and to the left was another buffet table with a chair; this was the prosecution table.

   To the right was yet another table with three chairs; this was the defense table. Behind these tables, rows of chairs were set up for the spectators attending this trial. The first row was reserved for the press. Among the media attending this trial were the likes of the BBC World Service, CNN, ESPN, Fox Sports, ABC News, the AP, The USCFL radio and television networks along with newspapers from Miami, Atlanta, Washington, New York, Seattle, London, and Liverpool.

   For some strange reason, the Richmond paper couldn’t get press credentials, but another paper in Virginia, one out of Roanoke did. The captain and Crown Judge had ruled that no live cameras would be allowed at the trial, but they did allow live microphones, so the USCFL Radio Network provided live gavel to gavel coverage of the proceedings to its 200+ station network, many of which did just that. (Because of the time difference, the USCFL network provided the coverage on a tape delay basis, since otherwise the trial would occur during the middle of the night in the states; 5 hour delay in the East and Midwest, and 7 hour delay on the West Coast.)

   When assigning quarters for the trial participants and spectators, the defendants and both attorneys were assigned space on one deck (meaning they had the deck all to themselves), the jurors on another, the prospective witnesses on yet another and the members of the media and the spectators on yet another deck. Daphne and She-Ra were told avoid contact with the jurors and prospective witnesses, and also instructed to not discuss the case with any one but Mr. Fitzgerald. Otherwise they had free run of the ship.





   For nearly a week, Daphne and She-Ra spent their days walking through the streets of London. Daphne as she normally does spent her time shopping. She-Ra spent most of her time helping Daphne with the bags. But this was no ordinary shopping trip. Daphne needed new clothes for the trial. Daphne also wanted to get She-Ra some new clothes for the trial as well.

   At first She-Ra felt that her normal costume was appropriate enough. But Daphne knew the judge wouldn’t understand a tall, attractive woman appearing in a court of law half-dressed. She-Ra’s normal costume is revealing to say the least. But Daphne had a good point and got She-Ra some new clothes anyway just in case. 

   Mr. Fitzgerald got word that the Pacific Princess was finished with its maintenance and was ready to embark. The next day, Mr. Fitzgerald, Daphne, and She-Ra boarded a train for Liverpool. From there, the ship set sail and stopped once it hit international waters. The ship went twenty-five miles away from the British Coast and out of the boundaries of the Irish Sea.

   The next morning, the trial was about to begin. A good crowd was on hand to see the proceedings. The media was ready with notepads and tape recorders. Daphne and She-Ra both were as nervous as a pair of long-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs. Mr. Fitzgerald looked calm and was ready for anything. Vernon Dimpsey looked confident as he felt that he would prove Daphne and She-Ra guilty of his only daughter’s death.

   The prosecutor named George Hardcastle was ready to get the proceedings started. The USCFL radio network was finished wiring the courtroom with microphones to get all the action. Then at the stroke of nine o’clock, a man entered the room looking like a Beefeater appeared and said as loud as he could, “Hear ye, here ye, all rise. This court is now in session, captain and judge has entered the courtroom”.

   The Judge then said, “Please be seated. Good morning ladies and gentlemen, this is a case between the people of The United Kingdom VS Daphne Blake who resides in Atlanta, Georgia USA and She-Ra Princess of Power who resides in Richmond, Virginia USA. At this time, I will hear opening remarks from both attorneys.”

   At that moment, Mr. Hardcastle got up and said, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m George Hardcastle prosecutor for this trial. This is more or less an open and shut case. A grieving father brought this case to trial for the defendants’ two young, attractive ladies had a jealous row with the deceased. We will prove that they planned to murder Verona Dimpsey in an attempt to keep her quiet. It worked as Verona has been forever silenced.

   The murder happened a little over a year ago aboard this very ship. Even the captain sitting next to the Judge had dismissed this after Verona was killed. Miss Blake delivered the fatal blow due to watching her co-defendant do the same on videotape. Hundreds of spectators watched as they fought it out on The Promenade Deck. Nothing was done to stop Miss Blake from fighting the deceased. You may be asking yourselves, ‘What part did She-Ra play in all this?’ Well, I am going to tell you right now. The evidence at this trial will indicate that She-Ra told Daphne, ‘Go get her, Lucky.’ These four little words both implicated and incriminated her. Super heroes like to dedicate their lives to upholding truth, justice, and the American way. Did She-Ra adhere to these ideas in this case? Hardly, the evidence at this trial will show that She-Ra instead engaged in a manifesto of lies, injustice, and violent death. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it is your civil duty as subjects of the British Crown to find these Americans guilty of murder in the second degree and be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Thank you.”

   Moments later, Mr. Fitzgerald stood up and said, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I’m J. Henry Fitzgerald defense attorney for this case. The only thing that I agree with the prosecution about that this will be an open and shut case, only difference will be that my clients will be found innocent.

   These co-defendants both have a reputation to fighting injustice in their own ways. Daphne Blake makes up one fifth of America’s most successful mystery solving team and She-Ra is a super heroine who has spent years fighting evil doers with more powers than Superman. Both took part last year in a goodwill tour put together by The United States Cartoon Football League or USCFL for short. In 2005, the league celebrated its Silver Anniversary season with this tour.

   This tour was going relatively well until they reached Providence, Rhode Island where Bart Simpson was nearly killed in a skateboarding accident. She-Ra discovered that the axles on the skateboard were tampered with. Then in Boston, Massachusetts, Daphne was kidnapped from her hotel room and held captive by the deceased. She-Ra and the rest of the group found Daphne in a suburban Boston home bound and gagged.

   While in Indianapolis, Indiana, an old friend of Daphne’s was badly beaten by a man paid by the deceased to attempt to do Daphne harm but failed. In Las Vegas, Nevada, She-Ra was nearly killed in a car accident in which her date that evening lost his life. The deceased paid a man to get good and drunk, drive and deliberately struck and killed the innocent bystander who dropped She-Ra off at Caesars Palace just ten minutes before.

   Then onboard this very ship, Daphne found an old friend who she introduced to She-Ra to keep her company while at sea. But She-Ra fell in love with the young man. There was a jealous confrontation, but with the co-defendants and not with the deceased. Then Miss Dimpsey abducted the young man after a show he was commissioned to do while on board.

   Daphne found Verona on The Promenade Deck and confronted her. There was an exchange of words and both agreed to settle it by fighting for the young man’s freedom. Daphne only intended to rough her up a little bit but under no circumstances kill the deceased. Miss Dimpsey went overboard and died on impact with the water. 

   Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the true injustice here was Verona’s unbelievable acts against my clients. The prosecution may make Verona look like an innocent victim, but in reality was the guilty party in question. In fact, the deceased engaged in a pattern of lies and deceptions long before she even met the defendants. I will introduce several witnesses who will testify to such, including a young man who was framed for cocaine possession just for his wanting a date with her. But She-Ra had nothing to do with her death and Miss Blake was only defending herself. After all is said and done here, you will agree that Verona’s death was in self-defense only. Thank you for your time.”





   After the opening statements, Mr. Hardcastle was instructed by the Judge to call his first witness. Mr. Hardcastle called Vernon Dimpsey to the stand. Mr. Dimpsey approached the witness stand, took the oath to tell the truth and was told to be seated.

   For the questioning of this witness, Mr. George Hardcastle will be identified by “Q” and Mr. Dimpsey by “A”.

   Q. “Please state your name for the court Mr. Dimpsey.”

   A. “Mr. Vernon Dimpsey.”

   Q. “You’re father of the deceased, am I correct?”

   A. “That’s correct.”

   Q. “Please tell us a little about your daughter, Mr. Dimpsey.”

   A. “Well, uh, she was always a very smart girl. She always got straight A’s in school, always interested in science and forensics. When she was nine years old, I wanted to get her a Barbie doll for her birthday, but she wasn’t interested in that. She wanted a science set, so I went out and got her one. And the year after that, I gave her a forensics set. W-why, she’d go out and do forensic pathologies on dead birds and cats in the neighborhood.

   Q. “And as she got a little older?”

   A. “She kept saying that she wanted to be a forensic scientist, wanted to attend Princeton or the University of Michigan to study forensic pathology. Her head was always buried in books, or she was doing research online. Hardly ever dated, went out to movies or dances, like other kids her age.”

   Q. “You mentioned she hardly ever dated. Did she have a steady boyfriend?”

   A. “Not really. There was a really nice kid who was interested in her, one I would approve of taking her out. Jim Crowder was his name. Was the star wide receiver for the high school football team, straight-A student like my daughter, attended our same church, a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and worked after school at our local Tastee-Freeze. I can’t say enough nice things about him.”

   Q. “Did your daughter ever go out with him?”

   A. “No I can’t say that she did. She kept saying she didn’t have time for ‘dumb jocks’, and just went back burying her head in those books of hers. I kept saying, ‘Give him a break, he just wants to take you to a movie or something,’ but she’d always say, ‘I’ll go out with who I want to, Daddy.”

   Q. “Did she ever get in trouble, Mr. Dimpsey?”

   A. “Yeah, she did. In her senior year, she apparently used her science kit to make a stink bomb, which she planted in Jim Crowder’s locker. Well, I got a call at work to come to the school that several students had seen my daughter picking the lock on Crowder’s locker, and the principal was going to suspend my daughter for doing this. This was after she was accepted into both Princeton and Michigan. Of course, both schools withdrew their acceptance as a result.”

   Q. “Did you punish your daughter for doing this to Mr. Crowder?”

   A. “Yeah I did. When I got her home, I not only grounded her indefinitely, but I also tanned her little behind.”

   Q. “I beg your pardon?”

   A. “Let’s just say I played the bongo drums on her butt, Mr. Hardcastle.”

(That remark brought a bit of laughter from the spectators in the courtroom.)

   Q. “I also understand that not long after that, this Jim Crowder fellow got in some kind of trouble. What do you know about this, Mr. Dimpsey? And was Verona involved in this, in your opinion?”

   A. “It was only couple of days after my daughter got kicked out of school, Mr. Hardcastle. I was heading to work that morning when I heard on the radio news that Crowder got arrested for possession of cocaine. Our local cop stopped Crowder for a burned out license plate light, searched his car, and ‘found’ the cocaine. I almost wrecked my car when I heard this news; I couldn’t believe it. The prosecution had the trial moved to a neighboring county on a change-of-venue, and the jury there convicted him, and sent him to prison for five years.”

   Q. “You still haven’t answered the last part of my question, Mr. Dimpsey. Did you believe your daughter was involved with Mr. Crowder’s having cocaine in his car?”

   A. “I questioned her about it. She claimed that she didn’t know anything about it, that she was surprised as everyone else. Though people I know told me that they seen my daughter near his car on the night of the drug bust---“

FITZGERALD: “Objection, Your Honor! Hearsay.”

THE COURT: “Sustained.”

Q. “Since your daughter was denied a career in forensic pathology, what did she decide to do for a living?”

A. “Well, she then enrolled in sewing and dress-making classes at our local community college. With the money we saved to send her to the university, she used it to open her own dress shop instead.”

Q. “No further questions.”

THE COURT: “You may cross-examine Mr. Fitzgerald.”

(Fitzgerald will now be the “Q”.)

Q. “You have my deepest condolences Mr. Dimpsey. But I must ask you this, had Verona ever been examined by a doctor for any mental problems?”

A. “No.”

Q. “At any time in her life, did Verona try to be the “Top Dog” so to speak?

A. “No.”

Q. “How did Verona meet the co-defendants?”

A. “In 2003, Verona met and worked with Miss Blake and her Mystery Inc. friends as they were trying to solve a mystery. Verona turned out to be the one who was the bad guy and sent to jail. I got word from the prison warden that Verona escaped and was on the run. I taught her better than that. As for the blonde, Verona obviously met her onboard this ship or before that, I’m not sure.

Q. “No further questions.”

THE COURT: “The witness may step down.”

   Throughout the course of the day, Mr. Hardcastle called two other witnesses to the stand. One witness was a former teacher of Verona’s and the other a former classmate. Among the questions Fitzgerald asked of both witnesses was if they had ever recalled Verona being in any sort of fist fight. Both testified that they couldn’t recall Verona ever using any sort of physical violence, just sarcasm and verbal abuse. There was time to call one more witness before adjourning for the day, and it was a witness that Mr. Fitzgerald wasn’t expecting.

MR. HARDCASTLE: “I would like to call Lisa Carlson to the stand.”

MR. FITZGERALD: “Objection, Your Honor! Miss Carlson is a witness for the defense.”

MR. HARDCASTLE: “I’m calling Miss Carlson as a hostile witness.”

THE COURT: “Objection overruled. Miss Carlson, please take the stand.”

As Lisa came up to the witness stand, sworn in and was seated, Mr. Hardcastle was indeed hostile towards her.

Q. “Please state your name and occupation.”

A. “Lisa Janet Carlson. Head coach for the Five’s A Mob Legends Football Team of the United States Cartoon Football League.”

Q. “How do you know the co-defendants?”

A. “Miss Blake is a member of The Five’s A Mob Legends football team and She-Ra is a quarterback and captain of a team known as The Masters of Power.”

Q. “You witnessed the death of Miss Dimpsey correct?”

A. “Yes I did.”

Q. “Isn’t it true that you designed the costume Miss Blake was wearing when she killed Miss Dimpsey?”

A. “Yes it is.”

Q. “And isn’t it true that you heard She-Ra say to Miss Blake “Go get her Lucky?”

A. “Yes I did, but---“

Q. “No further questions.”

THE COURT: “Your witness Mr. Fitzgerald.”

(Fitzgerald is now the “Q”.)

Q. “Miss Carlson, what were you about to say when the prosecution cut you off like that?”
A. “I was going to say was that She-Ra wanted to fight Verona but Daphne wouldn’t let her. Before the fight, Daphne and She-Ra had a fight of their own. She-Ra accused Daphne of introducing a young man named Gil Lopez to her and then Daphne trying to take him away from She-Ra. She-Ra got mad, grabbed Daphne and threw her to the ground. Daphne should’ve been furious but she wasn’t because I warned her that putting a person like She-Ra with a person like Gil Lopez wasn’t such a good idea. It seemed like it was at first.

   She-Ra wasn’t thinking too clearly because of her being in love. It was her first time having a relationship with any man, she was just inexperienced. When Daphne’s mind was made up to fight Verona, She-Ra only said that to wish Daphne luck.

   In the animated world, Daphne was known as “Danger Prone Daphne”, but on our team we called her “Lucky” because she brought us good luck not bad. Daphne was injured in this fight too and spent the last two days of the cruise in the infirmary. I never knew Daphne to posses that kind of strength. I made her the costume because if she was to be the hero, she should look the part. I made a costume similar to She-Ra’s but in Daphne’s colors of pink, green and purple.

   But at no time did I or anyone else talked Daphne into a fight with anyone. But Daphne was determined to beat a nemesis that was a thorn in her side. But not in her wildest dreams would Daphne kill anyone.”

Q. “Thank you Miss Carlson. I have no further questions at this time. However I reserve the right to recall Miss Carlson during the defensive phase of this trial.”

THE COURT: “Request granted. I remind the defendants that they are not to discuss this case with anyone but their attorney, and to avoid all contact with prospective witnesses and jurors if at all possible. Jurors, do not discuss this case among yourselves, and avoid contact with all other parties in this prosecution if at all possible. We are adjourned for today. We reconvene at nine o’clock tomorrow.”





   The surprise calling of Lisa Carlson to the stand as a hostile witness was devastating to Mr. Fitzgerald, Daphne and She-Ra. Daphne and She-Ra were not upset about what Lisa had said. But they were upset that Lisa’s testimony came too soon in the case. After court was over, the two women and their attorney ate dinner together but no one was really in the mood to eat heartily.

   Just before they wrapped up their meal, a knock at the door revealed a crew member with a note to Mr. Fitzgerald. The note was from Lisa asking him to join her for a drink in a lounge on another deck. Mr. Fitzgerald agreed to meet Lisa but after midnight when most of the ship was asleep. Mr. Fitzgerald quickly wrote a message stating that he would agree to meet Lisa after midnight on another deck and handed the message to the waiting crew member.

   Daphne asked, “What did that crew member want Mr. Fitzgerald?” Mr. Fitzgerald with a sigh replied, “Lisa Carlson wants me to meet her later tonight for a drink in a lounge on another deck. I told her that I will meet her and find out what she wants.”

   She-Ra then asked, “Should we go with you?” Mr. Fitzgerald replied sternly, “No! You two must remain here as it might be considered as witness tampering. I’m risking her as a credible witness by seeing her you two should try to get some sleep if you can.” Daphne then said with concern, “Can you let Lisa know that She-Ra and I aren’t upset with her.” Mr. Fitzgerald replied, “That I will do for you ladies.” It’s almost midnight now, I’m going below deck, see you in the morning.”

   As Mr. Fitzgerald met up with Lisa, Daphne and She-Ra had the entire eighth deck all to themselves. But Lisa asked to meet Mr. Fitzgerald on the sixth deck where most of the deck was where the witnesses were staying and almost all of them were in their cabins sleeping except Lisa.

   The bar was empty except for Lisa and Mr. Fitzgerald. A bartender came up to them and asked what they wanted to drink. Lisa ordered a white wine and Mr. Fitzgerald ordered a scotch on the rocks. After the bartender brought back the drinks and left the table, Lisa said in disbelief, “I can’t believe the prosecutor called me as a hostile witness.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald replied, “I can’t believe it either Lisa. But I was asked by Daphne and She-Ra to tell you that they aren’t upset with you. But they are stunned as well. It puts me behind the eight ball so to speak.” Lisa said, “I took an oath to tell the truth. What else could I do? I hope this doesn’t make them both look bad.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald said with confidence, “I believe Lisa that maybe what you said might not be as bad as I first thought. Did you really make a costume for Daphne that looked like She-Ra’s costume?” Lisa replied, “Yes I did. I only made the costume in the event Daphne and Verona squared off. Verona wanted a piece of Daphne believe me. Daphne was only trying to defend herself. Since Daphne is no fighter, I thought if she looked like She-Ra, then she would feel like a redheaded She-Ra.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald said, “I believe you Lisa, but what still concerns me is that I thought Daphne had more confidence since she joined your group twenty years ago.” Lisa replied, “She does have more self-confidence but not enough still to defend herself. But like She-Ra, Daphne has always outsmarted her foes with her mind than with her fists.” Superman uses his muscles but She-Ra and He-Man both used their minds first before they used their strength.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald finished his drink and said, “I should get back to check on Daphne and She-Ra. Thanks for the chat and drink.” Lisa replied, “You’re welcome. But please return back if you can and I might have some more information for you.”

   Lisa remained in the bar for another two hours before turning in for the night. Lisa thought long and hard to figure out what her next move was to be before she was called to the stand again. But Lisa still felt that what she said on the witness stand still seemed damaging to Daphne and She-Ra’s cases.

   Once Mr. Fitzgerald returned to the cabin to check on Daphne and She-Ra found them both sound asleep but noticed twitching in Daphne’s face as if she was having a bad dream. She-Ra didn’t look that way but she also was having some kind of dream as well. She looked as if she had a smile on her face, dreaming of the time she had last year was Mr. Fitzgerald’s guess. But when morning came, Daphne and She-Ra could only imagine what else could be said by the prosecution.






Both women only had to wait until court resumed the following morning to discover the next surprise Mr. Hardcastle had in store for them. He called one Jenny Sanchez, a native of Colombia, and an aspiring Latin singer to the stand.


(Here, Hardcastle is “Q.” and Jenny Sanchez will be known as “A”.


Q. “Please your full name for the record, please.”


A. “Jennifer Sanchez.”


Q. “I’ll cut right to the quick, Ms. Sanchez. Did you know the deceased?”


A. “Yes. She and I are, were best friends. We’ve been best friends since middle school.”

Q. “Do you know Gil Lopez?”


Q. “I do.”


Q. “How so, Ms. Sanchez?”


A.      “I auditioned for his band.”


Q. “And…”


A. “Mr. Lopez was very polite, and thanked me for auditioning, but he didn’t need a female vocalist for his combo right now.”

Q. “Where did this audition take place, Ms. Sanchez?”


A. “In San Juan, Puerto Rico.”


Q. “Did the deceased know Mr. Lopez?”


A. “Yes, he did. In fact, they were lovers.”


There was an audible gasp in the courtroom. Daphne’s, She-Ra’s, and even J. Henry Fitzgerald’s mouths hung open in total disbelief. The prosecution’s motive for doing this was clear; they wanted to show that Verona’s death was a result of a jealous row between her, Daphne, and She-Ra, and not Verona’s provocation, as the defense was claiming. Daphne turned to her attorney and whispered to him, “What on Earth do we do now?” Fitzgerald turned to the redhead, and said, “Don’t worry, we’ll impeach this witness on cross-examination.” Still, Fitzgerald was taken aback by this turn of events, unsure of exactly how he’d counter her damning testimony. (Impeaching a witness means to have caught the witness making prior inconsistent statements; in other words, changing his or her story on the stand.)


THE COURT (Banging the gavel): “Order.” After the murmuring had subsided, “You may continue, Mr. Hardcastle.”

Q. “Thank you, Your Honor. Now, Ms. Sanchez, when did the deceased and Mr. Lopez start having this ‘affair’?”

A. “Since the fall of 2004.”


Q. “How did Ms. Dimpsey and Mr. Lopez meet?”


A. “When I went to San Juan to audition for Mr. Lopez’s band, I took Verona along with me, us being best friends and all. The two laid eyes on each other, and it was love at first sight.”


FITZGERALD (Out of desperation, trying to keep out Ms. Sanchez’s damning testimony): “Objection. Leading and suggestive, calling for a conclusion, and hearsay, and I move to have all testimony concerning Ms. Dimpsey’s relationship with Mr. Lopez struck.”


THE COURT: “Overruled, and the motion is denied. You may continue, Mr. Hardcastle.”


Q. “Thank you. Ms Sanchez, I understand you have photographic proof of Ms. Dimpsey and Mr. Lopez being together. Care to enlighten us on that?”


A. “Certainly. When they were recording that album, they had set up Mr. Lopez’s conga drums for a photo shot for the album art. Gil asked Verona if she’d like a momento of their newly found friendship. The result is this picture I will now show you.”


At this point, Ms. Sanchez produces a manila envelope and pulls out of it a glossy 8 X 10 photograph. She hands it to Mr. Hardcastle, which he then shows to the spectators and the jury. It showed Mr. Lopez drums, and sitting on one of them was Verona, dressed in a skimpy white bikini. Standing next to the drums and the skimpily clad girl was Lopez. Again, there was an audible gasp in the room. This was more than Daphne could take. She stood up and shouted for everyone to hear: “THAT PICTURE IS A FAKE! EVERYTHING YOU SAID UP THERE IS A BLATANT LIE, MS. SANCHEZ AND YOU KNOW IT!!”


THE COURT (Banging the gavel repeatedly): “Order! Ms. Blake, you will sit down and come to order, or I’ll have you removed, and confined to quarters for the rest of this journey. I shall not warn you again, Ma’am, do I make myself clear?”


DAPHNE (In a meek voice, and almost in tears, ashamed of her tirade): “Perfectly. I-I’m sorry, I-it will never happen again, I p-promise.”


THE COURT: “Apology accepted. Jury, please disregard Ms. Blake’s remarks of just now. Mr. Hardcastle, you may continue.”


Q. “Thank you, Your Honor. I ask that this photograph be entered into evidence.”


THE COURT: “Granted.”


Q. “Did the deceased and Mr. Lopez continue dating after that?”


A. “They did. As far I know, they continued seeing each other until the day Verona was killed.”


Q. “I have no further questions of this witness at this time.”


THE COURT: “Mr. Fitzgerald, do you wish to cross-examine?”


Fitzgerald indicated that he would cross-examine. He now will become known as “Q”.

Q. “Ms. Sanchez, that photo you showed us, when was it taken?”


A. “October, 2004, I believe.”


Q. “Taken at the record company in San Juan?”


A. “Yes, it was.”


Q. “Who took that picture?”


A. “I did.”


Q. “Using what kind of camera? Film or digital?”


A. “Digital.”


Q. “Did you ever date Mr. Lopez yourself?”


A. “Once. I found him a very nice gentleman, and I was in awe of his stature as a bandleader, but I didn’t love him.”


Q. “I see. No further questions.”


HARDCASTLE: “No questions.”


THE COURT: “The witness may step down.”

After that, the prosecution called only one more witness; the ship’s physician, who testified as to Daphne’s injuries that landed her in the infirmary for the last two days of the cruise. He also testified that several spots of blood found on the deck matched the blood types of Daphne, Verona, and a ship’s maintenance man who cut his wrist while cleaning up the glass from the window the two women crashed through while fighting. The prosecution then rested its case. The jury was excused for the rest of the day while both attorneys argued motions before the Court. Among the motions Fitzgerald brought forward, he asked the Court to declare a directed verdict of not guilty for both defendants. That being denied, he then asked for a mistrial. That motion was denied as well. Finally, he then asked that certain statements made by the prosecution’s witnesses and certain evidence be ruled inadmissible. That, too, was denied.  Fitzgerald really had his work cut out for him now. Before the surprise testimony of both Lisa Carlson and Jenny Sanchez, he felt confident that the Court would dismiss the case for lack of evidence. After the double whammies that Hardcastle had dealt the defense, there was now a very real possibility that both defendants could get convicted. Now it would take all of Fitzgerald’s training and experience, plus some crafty legal maneuvering to get Daphne and She-Ra “off the hook”.





   After two very surprising testimonies by Lisa Carlson and Jenny Sanchez, it was more than the people close to Daphne and She-Ra could handle. In both Miami and Seattle, Five’s A Mob members both current and legendary emailed Mr. Fitzgerald to let him know of their displeasure. Several members of both teams wished to be subpoenaed to at least be character witnesses for Daphne.

  In both Coolsville and Richmond, yellow ribbons appeared not just around oak trees, as in the Tony Orlando song, but also around utility poles, lamp posts, railings, and sign posts, among other things. And speaking of the song, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Old Oak Tree”, radio stations in both cities began playing it three or four times a day, the disc jockeys dedicating it to Daphne and She-Ra. Signs appeared in store windows and marquees, proclaiming the defendants’ innocence. Protestant ministers and Catholic priests alike began praying for the accused, asking that both be found innocent in the name of the Lord.

  Daphne’s mother Elizabeth was rushed to a hospital for an anxiety attack, the stress of reading and listening to these vultures rip her only daughter apart caused her such grief that it made her sick. In Atlanta, Fred was listening to all of this but could do nothing about it because of his marriage to Daphne. But he was furious at the fact that he was hearing of how Daphne killed Verona because of jealousy.

   As for She-Ra, the feeling was mutual in Virginia, several members of The Masters of Power team also wanted to be called upon to be character witnesses including He-Man. Since He-Man is She-Ra’s brother, he would know better than anyone else that she doesn’t get jealous. But he wasn’t aware that She-Ra did in fact get jealous but of Daphne and not Verona.

   The other team captains who took part in the Goodwill tour in 2005, also wanted to voice their opinions in court as well. As for Mr. Fitzgerald, his assistants stayed behind to further research certain details about the case and get more witnesses to testify. They got willing participants from the Mob, Masters of Power, and Daphne’s father also agreed to testify.

    In an unprecedented move, more than six hundred people who were on that ship, saw or heard about the fight between Daphne and Verona and wanted to testify that Verona wanted the fight and got what she deserved and agreed to testify.

   After the ship’s doctor was called and the Prosecution rested its case, Mr. Fitzgerald got more than he bargained for but was ready to take the initiative and begin the defense’s case. A dingy brought out to The Pacific Princess, over one hundred of the witnesses subpoenaed by Mr. Fitzgerald’s staff with more to come.

   A supply ship soon followed with extra food and supplies to take care of the extra passengers. And as for Daphne and She-Ra, they were beginning to feel that this was more than they could handle. Neither one felt that they did anything wrong but in reality, had doubts themselves. But once Mr. Fitzgerald began his part of the trial, they would have their day in court and truly defend themselves.





   One thing that the defense had over the prosecution was exhibits. Not one single piece of evidence was brought in by the prosecution except that picture Jenny Sanchez showed. The picture was in Mr. Fitzgerald’s opinion doctored, but Mr. Fitzgerald had exhibits galore. He called Lisa Carlson back to the witness stand as his strategy for her had changed. Lisa was now to be a character witness as well as a witness to what she saw onboard last year.

   The Judge reminded Lisa that she was still under oath as Mr. Fitzgerald began his questioning. (Mr. Fitzgerald is “Q” and Lisa is “A”.)

   Q. “How long have you known both defendants”?

   A. “I’ve known Daphne nearly fifteen years, but I don’t know She-Ra personally.”

   Q. “Daphne filled a void within The Five’s A Mob organization is that correct?”

   A. “After I graduated high school in 1985, I spent three years as a Merchant Marine and went to college for four years and studied to be a teacher. Once I returned to the team in 1992, that’s was when I first heard about Daphne’s arrival in Miami and how she was stuck in limbo.

   Q. “What do you mean stuck?”

   A. “My husband and the team’s doctor both explained to me of how Daphne came to the real world with little or no possibility of sending her back to the animated world. Once I got to know Daphne a little better, she too explained it to me but she wasn’t clear as to how it happened or why. But the team’s doctor found a way to send her back and she went back in 1998.”

   Q. “The Mob’s doctor gave Daphne this knowledge to her before returning?”

   A. “That is correct. Daphne gave this knowledge to Velma so she could perfect a device to allow Daphne to come or go at anytime and stay as long as she liked. I’m not a scientist, but I find it very interesting that Daphne has this ability.”

   Q. “In the time that Daphne did spend with your group, what was your feelings about her?”

   A. “I think very highly of her. Daphne is one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Polite, courteous, caring, generous to a fault, always willing to help out, I can’t say a bad thing about her.”

   Q. “If I call other members of your team to the stand, will they more or less say the same?”

   At that moment, Mr. Hardcastle objected to the question for it would be hearsay, but the Judge overruled and allowed the question to be answered.

   A. “I believe that if my friends and teammates were called up here, in their own words would tell you how much respect they have for her.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald brought into evidence a jersey worn by Daphne for Go for the Gold XLII in which Lisa had designed herself.

   Q. “Now then Lisa why did your team in last year’s championship game wore a jersey like this since it’s not your team colors?”

   A. “We played Daphne’s old team The Hanna-Barbera All-Stars for the title. After we had a regular season game against them and booed Daphne off the field, as the head coach, I wanted for the team to back Daphne up and be in her corner. So I designed this jersey for that very purpose. The design resembled the outfit most of Daphne’s fans are used to seeing her in.”

   Q. "You said in your testimony during the prosecution’s phase of the trial, that you also designed the costume Daphne wore when she killed the deceased. Why exactly did you do it?”

   A. “Daphne asked me to design a costume similar to She-Ra’s but in her colors just in case she did have to confront Verona. After her friend Gil Lopez turned up missing, She-Ra accused Daphne of taking him away from her and she grabbed Daphne and threw her to the ground in this very room last year. She only wanted to prove to Verona and to the others in the group that she wasn’t as helpless as her fans have seen her to be on television.

   I never thought that way, but Daphne always had that shadow of doubt hanging over her head. After her kidnapping in Boston, Daphne felt that if she did meet Verona again, she would show her that she wasn’t afraid of her and could defeat her. But I was as shocked as everyone else when Daphne kicked Verona over the side of the ship like that.

   I only made the costume to give Daphne a boost of confidence but not to kill. Daphne wouldn’t harm a fly, ninety-nine times out of a hundred she wouldn’t have done this or even thought of this, but if you get someone mad enough, they will fight back. I know Daphne is sitting there with a million thoughts in her head right now thinking how she could’ve done such a thing. I’m sure that she’s very remorseful and if she could, would’ve handled the situation differently.”

   Q. “One more thing Ms. Carlson, if She-Ra had fought Verona instead, would the outcome had been different?”

   Again Mr. Hardcastle objected to the question for it called for speculation since Lisa wasn’t familiar with She-Ra. The Judge sustained this objection and Mr. Fitzgerald had no more questions. (Mr. Hardcastle is now “Q”)

   Q. “Do you make or design costumes for a living?”

   A. “No, like I said, I’m a teacher by profession and a head coach. I designed the jersey we wore in last year’s championship game for moral support and I made the “She-Ra” costume for Daphne to boost her confidence. They were both coincidences nothing more.”

   Q. “Ms. Carlson, did Miss Blake had any feelings towards the male members of your team other than a professional relationship?”

   A. “If you mean was she fooling around the answer is no. Daphne was like one the guys with the male members and was one of the girls with the female members. Daphne had only one man in her life and she eventually married him, we all knew who Daphne was and even if she did, we knew that no other man would have pleased or satisfied her. She was a friend to all of us.”

   Q. “Why did it take Miss Blake so long to marry?”

   A. “Adult fans of her show all think that she and Fred were lovers but it was never shown. After all it was a show for kids. It’s the same in She-Ra’s case too. I took a look at her TV show during this voyage and I saw the exact same pattern. We helped Daphne and Fred to finally realize how much they truly mean to one another and the result was their marriage.”

   Q. “Isn’t it true that you and your teammates weren’t invited to the wedding?”

   A. “Yes it is, but…

   Q. “That’s all Ms. Carlson no further questions.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald wanted for Lisa to finish her answer and asked for a redirect. Lisa finished her answer by replying that Daphne gave the team a copy of her wedding video so the team could always see and remember what they did for them. Lisa also explained that they got married in a small, dignified ceremony with family and close friends. Daphne’s father even explained that he would’ve wanted the team there, but it was customary to have small gatherings such as the ceremony Fred and Daphne had. But all Five’s A Mob members didn’t feel jilted or upset by the decision.

   Mr. Fitzgerald ended his redirect and Lisa stepped down from the witness stand. Mr. Fitzgerald called two more witnesses for both defendants. Another Five’s A Mob member also testified and backed Lisa’s claim that Daphne was a true, down to earth friend. And a witness for She-Ra testified that she would never hurt anyone even if they’re evil and uses her mind to outsmart her opponents. The Judge called an end to the day’s proceedings and would reconvene the next morning at nine o’clock.

   That evening, the appetites of Mr. Fitzgerald, Daphne and She-Ra had greatly improved. Lisa came up to their table and asked if she could join them. Mr. Fitzgerald didn’t mind and allowed it since Lisa was done as a witness. Lisa told Daphne and She-Ra both that she hoped that her testimony for the defense would help the situation. Both Daphne and She-Ra felt confident that it was good damage control. She-Ra wasn’t upset with Lisa for saying that she doesn’t know her personally.

   It was true. By the time She-Ra came onto the scene in the USCFL in 1987, Lisa was still in the military and couldn’t watch the show even if she wanted to. But Lisa only knows of She-Ra by observing her on the field. But for Lisa, watching She-Ra’s show on videotape helped to give Lisa a better understanding. Lisa left soon afterwards and said that she would remain in the courtroom as a spectator and pray for a not guilty verdict.





   Over the course of two days, more witnesses testified on Daphne’s and She-Ra’s behalf. The videotaped testimony delivered by The Sorceress was objected to by the prosecution. Mr. Hardcastle claimed that the Sorceress was some kind of weird circus performer because of her being dressed in a “bird suit”.

   Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out to the Judge that the Sorceress is powerless away from The Crystal Coliseum and would have to take the form of a bird if she did go away which was why her testimony was videotaped. The Judge overruled the objection and allowed the testimony. Velma testified in person for Daphne and hers was among the best by far. The reason for all of these character witnesses was Mr. Fitzgerald’s strategy of making Daphne and She-Ra look like a couple of good natured persons for which they are.

   Then Mr. Fitzgerald got to the heart of the defense by calling James Crowder to the stand to bring his take on what happened with him and Verona. (Mr. Fitzgerald is “Q” and James Crowder is “A”.)

   Q. “Please state your full name for the court, Mr. Crowder.

   A. “James Raymond Crowder.”

   Q. “Now Mr. Crowder, please tell us about your relationship with the deceased.”

   A. “Well, I knew her from school, a good student, not very friendly, though.”

   Q. “Not very friendly huh? How so?”

   A. “Well since her and me were so much alike, I thought we’d make a nice couple, you know, two science nuts. But she kept giving me the cold shoulder, you know kept calling me a ‘dumb jock’ and such. But towards the end there, she started ‘warming up’ to me. Just before ‘it’ happened.”

   Q. “Please explain about ‘it’. Are you referring to the stink bomb she is alleged to have planted in your locker?”

HARDCASTLE: “Objection.”

THE COURT: “Overruled. You may answer the question.”

   A. “Yeah, that. One morning, her and me was talking, it seemed like she really wanted to be friends with me. Anyway, between third and fourth hour, I go open my locker and POOF! There’s this dull flash, and puff of smoke and everything starts smelling like rotten eggs. Later I learn that---“

HARDCASTLE: “Objection, Hearsay.”

THE COURT: “Overruled.”

   Q. “Go ahead, Mr. Crowder.”

   A. “Anyway, later I learned that it was a stink bomb, and that Verona was the one who made it and planted it in my locker. She got kicked out of school for it, too.”

   Q. “And I understand you got in a bit of trouble yourself a few days after this happened. Care to tell us about it?”

   A. “Certainly, two nights later, I was working at the Tastee-Freeze. Anyway, I got off work, got in my car and start to drive home. Well, I haven’t gone two blocks when our town cop pulls me over. He said I had a burned out license plate light. He also said that it was police policy to search any car driven by those under 25 years of age. I gave him my okay to search my car.”

   Q. Which is---“

   A. “An ’86 Ford Taurus. Anyway he looks through the car, and just when I thought he’d find nothing and send me on my way, he comes up to me and shows me this metal Bon-Ami box. He opens the lid, and there’s a bag with some white powder in it. He goes, ‘Well, well, what have we here? Looks like we have ourselves a little cocaine here don’t we?” He then goes, just like that cop in the old Dodge commercials, ‘You’re in a heap of trouble, son!’ I say I never saw that before but he doesn’t believe me. He cuffs me and reads my rights, and throws me in jail. The news puts the whole town in disbelief, so much so that the DA decides to have the trial moved to a neighboring county where the people don’t know me. Well, the jury there convicts me, and I get five years in the joint.”

   Q. “What happens after that?”

   A. “After a while, there’s this new evidence; these witnesses come forward who testify---“

HARDCASTLE: “Objection. Hearsay.”

THE COURT: “Overruled. You may answer.”

   Q. “Go ahead, Mr. Crowder.”

   A. “Anyway these witnesses testified that they saw Verona near my car at the Tastee-Freeze just before I got off work that night, and that my car door on the driver’s side was open. That was enough to win me a new trial, and I got acquitted.”

   Q. “Thank you, Mr. Crowder. I have no further questions.”

HARDCASTLE: “No questions, Your Honor.”

THE COURT: “The witness may step down.”

   Before court adjourned for the day, Mr. Fitzgerald called one last witness by the name of Harvey Powell, the Chief of Police, and Crowder’s arresting officer, to the stand. “Again Fitzgerald is “Q” and Mr. Powell is “A”’.

   Q. “Please state your name for the record Mr. Powell.”

   A. “Harvey Powell and I am the Chief of Police.”

   Q. “Are you the officer that arrested Mr. Crowder for possession for cocaine.”

   A. “That’s correct.”

   Q. “Please describe the details of this arrest, Mr. Powell.”

   A. “On the night in question, I received a tip that Mr. Crowder had in his possession, a quantity of cocaine. This informer stated Mr. Crowder had offered her some, she refused, and then came and informed me. I then---“

   Q. “Sorry for the interruption, Mr. Powell, but I’ll ask you who this ‘informer’ was in a minute, Mr. Powell. I guess I kind of like to keep people in suspense. But for now, please continue with the details of the events that led to Mr. Crowder’s arrest.”

   A. “After receiving this information, I proceeded with my routine patrol, keeping a careful lookout for Mr. Crowder, and/or his car. Just before eight o’clock, I observed his car at the Tastee-Freeze, so I parked on the street, and waited for a while, to see if the ‘suspect’ would appear. I didn’t have to wait very long, for about 8:03PM, the ‘suspect’ walked out of the Tastee-Freeze, got into his car, and drove off. I followed, driving behind him for about two blocks before pulling him over.”

   Q. “What reason did you give for this traffic stop?”

   A. “I told him he had a license plate lamp burned out.”

   Q. “Did he have a license plate lamp burned out?”

   A. “No, sir.”

   Q. “Well, then, why did you stop him if his license plate light wasn’t burned out? Was it because of the tip you received?”

   A. “Yes, it was.”

   Q. “Please continue with the details of this arrest, if you would.”

   A. “After stopping him, I informed the ‘suspect’ that we had a departmental policy that any car driven by a person under the age of 25 was subject to search. I explained that we had this policy to look for things like people driving under the influence, illegal transportation or possession of alcohol or other contraband, uninsured motorists, and the like.”

   Q. “Did Mr. Crowder consent to such a search?”

   A. “He did.”

   Q. “And what did you find when you searched his vehicle?”

   A. “I found a metal Bon-Ami box under the driver seat. When I opened it up, it had a clear cellophane bag inside which was filled with a white powder. I did a quick field test on this powder, which tested positive for cocaine. I then placed the ‘suspect’ under arrest.

   Q. “What did this ‘suspect’ say when confronted with this find?”

   A. “That he never saw it before, and didn’t know where it came from, sir.”

   Q. “Now, for the sixty-four thousand dollar question. Who told you that---“

HARDCASTLE: (Knowing what was coming and trying to keep out this damning bit of testimony) “Objection! Leading and suggestive.”

THE COURT: “Overruled. You may answer.”

   Q. As I was saying, who gave you the tip about the Mr. Crowder having cocaine in his car?”

   A. “Verona Dimpsey, sir.”

   Q. “No further questions.”

Now Mr. Hardcastle cross-examines Mr. Powell. Mr. Hardcastle will now become “Q”.

   Q. “I only have a few questions for you, Mr. Powell. Were any fingerprints found this Bon-Ami box?”

   A. “Only mine. There were a couple of smeared smudges, which indicates that an unknown party had ‘wiped’ the box after placing it in the car, to obliterate any latent prints.”

   Q. “So, you’re telling us here, that Mr. Crowder’s fingerprints were never found on the box, am I correct?”

   A. “That’s correct.”

   Q. “No further questions.”

FITZGERALD: “No questions.”

THE COURT: “The witness may step down.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald called one more witness before the court was adjourned for the day. A passenger who was onboard the ship last year saw the fight between Daphne and Verona. This passenger had given the court a videotape of the fight. When the Judge attempted to play the tape, the tape was messed up as it may have been a result of poor tape quality, a cheap camera or the sea air damaged the tape and found the tape inadmissible.





   Two more days had passed and nearly a dozen passengers testified that they too saw the fight between Daphne and Verona. They also had videotaped the fight and all of their tapes were ruined somehow. This was beginning to frustrate Mr. Fitzgerald. Then his next witness was one everyone had waited to hear from as he called Daphne to the stand.

   Daphne went to the witness stand, sworn in and was seated. Again Mr. Fitzgerald is “Q” and Daphne is “A”.

   Q. “Please state your name and occupation.”

   A. “Daphne Blake Jones. Mystery solver, magazine reporter, quarterback of the Five’s A Mob Legends football team.”

   Q. “You still use your maiden name when you play football correct?”

   A. “Yes, it is a policy of The Five’s A Mob Gang for the female players who are married to still use their maiden names to avoid confusion.”

   Q. “What were you, She-Ra and eight other members of the USCFL doing aboard this ship at this time last year?”

   A. “We were all on a two-month, cross-country trip that began in Miami after the Go for the Gold Game and ended in Honolulu, Hawaii, the cruise was the next to last leg of the tour. At this stage of the trip, we all had to keep our eyes peeled and beware of anything as Verona was trailing all of us since Boston.”

HARDCASTLE: “Objection your honor, calls for speculation.”

THE COURT: “Overruled.”

   Q. “How and where you first met the deceased?”

   A. “Late in 2004, my Mystery Inc. friends and I took a trip to see Fred’s uncle in a small town in Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan. Fred’s uncle told us about a creepy lighthouse keeper scaring away any ship to come in with supplies for the merchants. And a ghost ship said to have contained treasure.

   We began to investigate and that’s when we met Verona. She made an impression on all of us. Shaggy and Scooby were impressed by her investigative skills, Fred seemed equally impressed, Velma didn’t like her too well because Verona was showing her up and as for me, she gave me a pair of long underwear made of imported fabric that saved me from a fall from the old lighthouse.”

   Q. “At first you liked Verona?”

   A. “Yes at first. But then she turned out to be the one in a mask, scaring ships away and allowing her shipments to come in without delay and thriving. She owned a dress shop in that Wisconsin town. I think that after we busted her, she wanted revenge on all of us including me. But I didn’t think we would run into her again so soon and in Boston of all places.”

   Q. “You mentioned you nearly fell out of that old lighthouse. Did the deceased push you off the top of it, or exactly what took place?”

   A. “Well, Verona, I believe it was her, appeared, made up as the ‘light keeper’s ghost’. She cornered me, and backed me out onto an outside catwalk. I fell off this catwalk, but the long underwear snagged on something, suspending me in midair, and kept me from falling onto the rocks below. Fred and Velma managed to pull me to safety.”

   Q.  “Were there any more perpetrators involved in that case?”

    A. “One. A boat rental shop operator, ‘Crusty McPete’, I believe his name was, was in on it. Verona caught him. As it turned out, he was in cahoots with Verona all along.”

   Q. “I see. Returning to Boston now, what exactly happened to you when your group was in that city?”

   A. “After Bart Simpson had a near death experience in Rhode Island and I helped to save him, he followed me around like a friendly puppy. But I would have done that for anyone. On the second day we were in Boston, someone broke in to my hotel room, and kidnapped me. I couldn’t see who did for that person was wearing a mask.

   I was blindfolded, stuffed into the trunk of a car, and taken to a remote home in the Boston suburbs. If it weren’t for She-Ra’s ability to sense others in danger, I might have still been there. Once the blindfold was removed, and the abductor removed the mask, it was Verona who kidnapped me.”

HARDCASTLE: “Objection, speculation.”

THE COURT: “Overruled.”

   Q. “Now Daphne, what about this ship and what happened while you were onboard?”

   A. “While onboard, we were to treat things as business as usual. During this tour, we signed autographs, posed for pictures and that sort of thing. On the third night aboard, we all dined with the captain at his table. After dinner, The Smurfette and I were walking along the Promenade Deck enjoying the nice but chilly evening. Actually, Smurfette was hitching a ride on my shoulder.

   Then we spotted She-Ra staring out at the night sky and looked pre-occupied. She was still upset with what had happened to her in Las Vegas and the security guard who took her out on a date that ended with him getting killed. Then an old friend of mine, Gil Lopez came up from behind me and asked us if we had the correct time. When I told him that none of us were wearing watches and that was when we recognized one another.

   As we hugged each other he began to twirl me around, I forgot Smurfette was still on my shoulder and almost went overboard herself, but She-Ra was there to catch her. We got into talking for several minutes when She-Ra and Smurfette cleared their throats and I introduced them to Gil.

   When he met She-Ra, it was almost like love at first site. Gil asked me to join him for a drink, but I declined because I’m married. So I whispered in his ear that She-Ra was single and available. He asked her and she went with him and didn’t see her the rest of the night.

   The next morning at breakfast, She-Ra came to our table like she was in some kind of trance and minus her tiara. I knew at that moment that she was in love with him and I was really happy for her after what she experienced in Las Vegas. Lisa didn’t think that with them being together was such a good idea. At first it was going good for them both. Gil came to our table to return She-Ra’s tiara to her and said that he would see her later and kissed her on the lips.

   On the fifth day of the cruise, She-Ra had the idea of asking crew members if they had seen Verona onboard. The head chef claimed to have seen her but he wasn’t too sure for they were many passengers that fit her description. Then we all came to the conclusion that Verona was a stowaway. Three days passed and I or anyone else didn’t see She-Ra until the morning of the ninth day when she came to our table all upset. She-Ra claimed that Gil was gone.

   She-Ra accused me of taking Gil for myself, grabbed me and threw me to the ground as hard as she could.”

   Q. “Weren’t you mad or at least upset with her for doing that?”

   A. “I should’ve been, but I had it coming as Lisa put it. In other words, I shouldn’t have been a matchmaker. I wasn’t mad but my butt hurt a bit. Lisa told me about a costume she had designed for me if I met Verona again and took me back to my cabin. The door was bashed in and off its hinges. I realized She-Ra had done that and no one else could’ve done that to a door.

   I went into the bathroom and put the costume on and it fit perfectly. Lisa even gave me a brown wig as part of the costume. When we went to the Promenade Deck, we found Verona heading to a buffet table to get food for her and maybe Gil and I told her to hold up.

   We exchanged words and Verona was her usual sarcastic self. She-Ra came up from behind Verona and stood there, waiting for the right moment. Then She-Ra said to Verona that I don’t make deals but she does. Then Verona turned around and spoke to her. She-Ra then came over to me and apologized for her attitude towards me and still wanted to fight her.

   I told her that it was my fight and mine alone. I know that She-Ra was in such a frame of mind that all it would’ve taken was one hit and Verona would’ve taken a flight to Alaska without a plane. Verona and I agreed to this fight and if she had won, I would’ve been her prisoner and if I won, she would turn Gil loose and turned herself in.

   Then we fought, we went through the glass window of the Promenade Lounge. I wasn’t cut too badly but Verona looked like she went through a shredder. She grabbed a big shard of glass and attempted to slit my throat. I pushed her off me and she crashed against the railing. She was fuming and I was taunting her to come for me if she wanted a piece of me. She charged at me and I gave her a karate style kick that sent her screaming over the side of the ship, the screaming stopped when she went into the water. Everyone looked at me with such a stunned look on their faces.

   After I realize what I did, I myself collapsed to the ground. I didn’t faint or get sick, the kick zapped all my strength and when a doctor looked at me, I was bleeding more than I thought and it also contributed to my collapse.

   Q. “Was Gil found?”

   A. “After the fight, the captain wanted to confine She-Ra to her quarters for kicking my cabin door in, She-Ra could think with such clarity at that point and she could again sense where Gil was and found him in a cargo hold in the belly of the ship.

   Q. “What happened after that?”

   A. “She-Ra and Gil visited me in the infirmary where she had apologized again for what she did, she took off her tiara and placed it on my head. I took it off and handed it back to her and I said that it wasn’t necessary. I did what any other red blooded American would’ve done in my position. Gil was grateful to me for defeating Verona.”

   Q. “One final question Daphne, what was your relationship with Gil?”

   A. “Gil and I have been and always will be friends. Gil knows that Fred is the only man for me. He was happy for my marrying him. Gil didn’t know that I got married until I saw him onboard last year.”

   Q. “Thank you Daphne, no further questions.”

Now it was Mr. Hardcastle’s turn to cross-examine Daphne. Mr. Hardcastle is now “Q”.

   Q. “Is this you treat people who show any kind of kindness towards you? Kicking them off the side of a ship like that?”

   A. “Like I said Verona was out for revenge on all of Mystery Inc. for sending her to prison.”

   Q. “Isn’t it true Miss Blake that you copied She-Ra’s fighting style when you kicked Verona over the side of the ship?”

   A. “Yes it is. She-Ra uses a 360 degree style kick. She-Ra normally uses this to kick in walls or the robots she used to fight on TV but never on people. I saw her use this move, and in the heat of the fight, used it on Verona.”

   Q. “Are you sure that you collapsed because of what you did rather than your injuries being more serious than you thought?”

   A. “I said before, I thought when we crashed through the glass, I wasn’t cut too badly. But after the fight was over and the doctor looked at me, I had collapsed from the kick and a loss of blood. I had cuts all over my body and lost more blood than I realized. Verona lost a lot of blood too and there was a pool of it in the Promenade Lounge. Some people bleed more quickly than others, I learned that day that I don’t bleed quickly.”

   Q. “Now then, how long have you known Mr. Lopez, Ms. Blake?”

   A. “Since about 1984.”

   Q. “How did you meet Mr. Lopez?”

   A. “At a party my Father was throwing for some business associates of his company.”

   Q. “Where was this?”

   A. “At our home in Coolsville.”

   Q. “What was the function of Mr. Lopez at this party?”

   A. “He was an entertainer and a bandleader.”

   Q. “I see. Did he play an instrument, sing, or both?”

   A. “He played the drums. Conga drums to be exact. And yes, he did sing, in Spanish.”

   Q. “A Latin band, I take it.”

   A. “Indeed. ‘Musica de la Salsa.’”

   Q. “Okay, Ms. Blake, was you attracted to Mr. Lopez in any way, physically or mentally?”

   A. “I was attracted to the rhythms, the way the drums sounded. And, yes, I must admit, he was physically attractive to me.”

   Q. “Attracted to the rhythms you say? How so?”

   A. “The beats were so exotic, they, uh, let’s just say I felt them throughout every bone in my body. So much so, I couldn’t resist dancing to these rhythms.”

   Q. “Fascinating. Moving on, how often did you see Gil Lopez after you first met him?”

   A. “About once or twice a year or so.”

   Q. “Where did these meetings take place?”

   A. “Sometimes at our home in Coolsville, sometimes at clubs and night spots where his band was playing at.”

   Q. “Did you ever speak with him?”

   A. “Yes I did.”

   Q. “What was said during these conversations?”

   A. “How I enjoyed his music, how it made me want, uh, drove me to irresistible dancing.”

   Q. “Okay, let me ask you, do you now, or have you ever had any romantic feelings towards Mr. Lopez?”

   A. “A little. I’d say it was more like a school girl crush.”

   Q. “When was the last time you had contact with Mr. Lopez, prior to the ‘Pacific Princess’?”

   A. “In 2002, in a little Latin nightclub in Illinois. Gil and his band were playing there.”

   Q. “Was this in Chicago?”

   A. “No this was in a small town in Central Illinois, about midway between Chicago and St. Louis.”

   Q. “Did you still have this ‘school girl crush’ towards him at that time?”

   A. “Y-yes, I did.”

   Q. “While in this Illinois town, did you say anything to him, or do anything with him?”

   A. “I spoke with him, told him how I enjoyed his music, and danced a little with him.”

   Q. “Ms. Blake, in all the years you’ve known Mr. Lopez, were you ever alone with him?”

   A. “Yes sir, I was.”

   Q. “What did you do when you two were alone?”

   A. “Talked, maybe danced to some tropical Latin music.”

   Q. “Ms. Blake have you ever slept with---“

FITZGERALD (practically jumping out of his chair, shouting): “OBJECTION!! Irrelevant!”

   The Judge ordered a sidebar, and at the ensuring sidebar conference at the bench, Mr. Fitzgerald tells the judge: “This line of questioning is utterly irrelevant! We’re not here trying the love lives of these defendants; we’re here trying the murder lives of these defendants.”

   Practically everyone in the courtroom heard Daphne breathe a sigh of relief when the judge sustained Mr. Fitzgerald’s objection. He then told Mr. Hardcastle to refrain from questioning future witnesses about their “bedroom” habits.

   Q. “Now, I’d like to go back and talk about what happened in that old lighthouse in Wisconsin. You told us that you believed that it was the deceased that forced you out on that catwalk, am I correct?”

   A. ”That’s correct.”

   Q. “Then it you told us that there was one other ‘perp’ involved, am I right?”

   A. “That’s right.”

   Q. “Now I want you to listen to what I’m about to ask you real carefully. Can you tell us beyond all reasonable doubt, and to a moral certainty, that it was Verona in the ‘ghost’ outfit when ‘it’ forced you out on that catwalk? You can’t, can you?”

FITZGERALD: “Object, Your Honor. He’s badgering the witness.”

HARDCASTLE: “I am not!”

THE COURT: “Objection overruled. You need to answer the question, Ms. Blake.”

   Q. “I’ll repeat my last question. Can you tell us beyond all reasonable doubt, and to a moral certainty, that it was Verona in the ‘ghost’ outfit?”

   A. “N-no, sir.”

   Q. “So, you’re saying that it could have easily been this ‘Crusty McPete’ fellow, or whatever his name is, am I right?”

   A. “I-it could have been, yes.”

   Q. “No further questions of this witness.”

   Mr. Fitzgerald asked for a redirect. The Judge granted the request. (Mr. Fitzgerald is again “Q”.)

   Q. “Daphne one thing I forgot to ask you, when She-Ra said to you ‘Go get her, Lucky’ what do you think she meant by that?”

   A. “I think that all she meant by that was that she wished me luck before the fight started. But I heard what Mr. Hardcastle said in his opening statements that she implicated herself. How about the captain, crew, passengers, and the members of our group, they did nothing, they too should also be implicated. But just me and She-Ra. She-Ra did nothing wrong, nobody else did anything wrong. I’m the one who had the fight, no one else.”

   Q. “One more thing. Do you think it mattered who was in the ‘ghost’ costume the night you nearly fell out of the lighthouse?”

HARDCASTLE: Objection. Speculation.”

THE COURT: “Overruled. You may answer the question.”

   A. ”Not really. Verona was the one who was behind the whole scheme, so even if it was the boat rental guy in the ‘ghost’ get-up, she was the one who bears the ultimate responsibility for what happened.”

   Q. “Thank you again Daphne, no further questions.”

THE COURT: “The witness may step down. We will reconvene at nine o’clock tomorrow. Court is adjourned.”





   After dinner that night, She-Ra looked like she could chew nails. The prosecuting attorney was trying to make Daphne into an adulterer or more or less like a slut. Daphne saw the expression on She-Ra’s face and said, “She-Ra, I know what you’re thinking but you’re wrong. I like Gil but as a friend only, I like his music that’s true, and it does put me in a trance when I hear it. You saw it for yourself last year. But I have never, ever slept with him.”

   She-Ra replied, “I was right about you Daphne. You wanted Gil after you had introduced me to him, tried to soften him up at my expense, and then the time was right, take him back for yourself. If I had my strength, I would---!“ Then Daphne interrupted her and said, “Do what, throw me to the ground? Remember She-Ra the Sorceress stripped you of your strength. Right now, you couldn’t fight your way out of a wet paper bag with a rusted razor.”

   This infuriated She-Ra and they began a fight of their own, Mr. Fitzgerald came in just in time to break it up. Then he shouted, “Ladies, please stop! This isn’t getting us anywhere! She-Ra listen to me carefully, Daphne is a happily married woman and is a mother to a three and a half old son.

   I’ve known Daphne since she was old enough to walk, and once she knew she was in love with Fred, no other man mattered to her. She introduced Gil to you so you would get out of the depression you fell into after what you heard about in Las Vegas. You and Daphne are in the fight of your lives, but not with each other! If either of you wants to be declared innocent, you must cooperate and work together! Now I want you to apologize to one another.”

   Realizing that Mr. Fitzgerald was right, She-Ra swallowed her pride and offered Daphne her apologies and Daphne accepted. Instead of a handshake, they hugged each other and promised from that point on to work together. Mr. Fitzgerald went over his plan for the next witness and how to handle it. Before they turned in for the night, Daphne and She-Ra exchanged some ‘girl talk’.

   They were talking about their hopes, dreams and fears for the future. But both agreed that if found innocent, their hopes and dreams would be lived together as a team.

  In the meantime, Mr. Fitzgerald found an interesting message on his satellite phone’s voice mail. His staff had called and mentioned that a young woman had been incarcerated with Verona and escaped with her; indeed, she was the one who planned and executed the prison break. This woman’s name was Shego, a regular femme fatalle, and now a second string defensive end for the Disney All-Stars. She was imprisoned for taking part in a scheme hatched by her “boss”, one Dr. Drakken, who planned to take over the world by distributing cyber-enhanced “diablo” toys in kids’ meals from the Buenos Nacho restaurant chain.

   These toys would respond to a special radio signal, transforming into awesome, robotic weapons. Of course, this plan failed, and both were sent to prison. However, Drakken was released on a legal technicality and returned to his secret lair, while Shego remained in the joint with Verona. After the escape, both Shego and Drakken were offered spots on the Disney team under the USCFL’s FORE program, which stood for FOotball REstitution, which is a sort of work release initiative, where any monies players earn above their basic expenses would go towards compensating their past victims.

   Dick Dastardly, the Hooded Claw, and Gargamel had all gone through this program, and now both Shego and Drakken were enrolled in it. Very interesting, Fitzgerald thought. For one thing, he thought, the testimony thus far indicated that Verona wasn’t much of a fighter, that is, until she faced off against Daphne. She seemed to hold her own against Daphne, even going on the offensive, that is, until Daphne’s kick sent her plunging to her death.

   Someone must have taught Ms. Dimpsey how to fight, and that someone must have been Shego. Fitzgerald then returned to Daphne’s cabin and asked her if she personally knew anyone on the Disney team. Sure, she said, Mickey Mouse. He witnessed the fight along with everyone else. Fitzgerald then asked Daphne to call Mickey on her satellite phone.

   She did, getting his voice mail. She left a message asking him to return her call. He called back a half-hour later. Daphne handed the phone to Fitzgerald whom then spoke to the Mouse for a good twenty minutes or so. At first, the conversation centered around what Mickey saw in the fight. After determining that Mickey had little new to offer concerning the fight, the conversation then turned to Shego, what he knew about her, and to how to contact her.

   Shego and Drakken lived in a secret location unknown to him, but all players had to list a permanent address with the Disney football office. Mickey would call the football office and get back to them with the requested information. He did just that twenty minutes later. Fitzgerald thanked Mickey for his help, called his office back in the States with the information. He wanted a subpoena delivered to Shego as soon as possible.





   Up until now, She-Ra appeared in her normal costume. And up until now, nothing has been said to her about it. But when court reconvened that morning and when Mr. Fitzgerald called She-Ra to the stand, the Judge said, “Before She-Ra takes the stand, she must dress appropriately and not like a 200 pound hooker.”

   She-Ra got up from her seat and said, “I object your honor! I don’t weigh 200 pounds.” Daphne then said, “She-Ra, he’s not talking about your weight, Pounds are British money.” She-Ra breathed a sigh of relief and then asked, “What’s a hooker?” Daphne replied, “Well remember what you and Gil were doing last year? Well a hooker gets paid to do that.” Then She-Ra said, “Now I really object!”

   The Judge pounded the gavel and insisted upon order in the court, most of the courtroom gallery were laughing their heads off from She-Ra’s ‘jokes’. The Judge said, “I warned Miss Blake about outbursts and now I warn you She-Ra. You have fifteen minutes to return to this courtroom dressed appropriately or I will confine you to quarters, is that clear ma’am?”

   She-Ra complied with the Judge’s request and returned to her quarters with Daphne’s help. Daphne got She-Ra a decent looking outfit for her that fit perfectly. She-Ra insisted however to still wear her tiara and cape upon returning to the courtroom. Daphne saw no problem with that.

   When She-Ra returned back into the courtroom, heads had turned as she was the model of professionalism. She-Ra was then ready to take the stand. She was sworn in and told to be seated. Before Mr. Fitzgerald began his examination, he asked the court’s permission to read a brief bio on She-Ra to give the jury and others in the courtroom a little better understanding about her.

   Mr. Hardcastle didn’t object and the judge allowed it. Mr. Fitzgerald explained about She-Ra’s kidnapping at birth, growing up with an evil organization on a distant world. How her brother found her and made her alter-ego see things differently which also backed up the Sorceresses’ videotaped testimony and told She-Ra’s dimensions such as height, weight, age, etc.

   After he was done, Mr. Fitzgerald began with his questioning. (Mr. Fitzgerald is “Q” and She-Ra is “A”)

   Q. “One thing I did fail to mention in your bio is that your mother is from Earth, is that correct?”

   A. “That’s right, my mother is from Earth and the United States, she crashed landing on Eternia and married my father. Who’s king and that’s why I’m a princess. And since my mother is from Earth and the United States, it also makes me half Earthling, half American.”

   Q. “Now then, She-Ra, if you are from a distant world, why are you here on Earth?”

   A. “For almost the same reason Daphne spent thirteen years in the real world with the Five’s A Mob Gang, a phenomenon that can’t be fully explained. My brother and his friends also came to Earth in the same manner.”

   Q. “When did you first meet the deceased?”

   A. “In Boston, Massachusetts after Daphne was kidnapped.”

   Q. “I know that this is hard for you to answer, but what happened in Las Vegas?”

   A. “During the tour we were on, we had received word of taking a full week in Las Vegas for nothing more than rest and relaxation. When Daphne attempted to check into Caesar’s Palace, her credit card which was tied in to her expense account to The Five’s A Mob Gang was declined. Daphne bankrolled the entire trip with it until that point.

   Daphne called the Mob’s accounting office in Miami and was told that she overspent on the card and demanded full reimbursement. Daphne used a credit card of her own and it worked. She gave me the card to fill the vehicle we traveled in which was Optimus Prime of the Transformers with diesel fuel. When we returned back to the hotel, Daphne had an idea to win enough money to repay the credit card account and pay the rest of the way with cash.

   Daphne disguised herself as a blonde and wore a flashy evening dress. I accompanied her into the casino and to the crap table and made the other gamblers lose their concentration with a couple of blondes who looked ‘hot’.”

   Q. “Did you use any of your powers to somehow work the dice in Daphne’s favor?”

   A. “No, I was there for mainly ‘eye candy’ as Daphne put it. When Daphne got her chance to play, it was my understanding of the game to roll a seven, for more than an hour, she rolled seven after seven and quit after a double or nothing roll in which she wound up winning over three million dollars. To ensure that no one recognized me, Daphne asked me to remove my tiara and cape. For all anyone knew, I was a showgirl off duty but in costume.”

   Q. “What happened two days later?”

   A. “I was walking through the lobby heading towards the front door, when I was approached by two security guards. One of them recognized me but the other didn’t but went along with his partner. I found out their first names they were Kyle and Michael. But I didn’t find out their last names. Kyle told me that his sister was a big fan of mine back in the 80’s. He couldn’t wait to tell her that he met me personally.

   He asked me out and I saw no harm in it and I accepted. Kyle showed me the famed Las Vegas strip and all the lights at night, it was a sight to see. We ate dinner in another famous casino and saw a show. It was there that he pointed out to me why his partner thought I was a showgirl their costumes looked similar to mine.

   After dinner, he dropped me off and thanked me for a wonderful evening, I enjoyed myself too. I wanted to see him the next day because we were leaving for Los Angeles the day after that. Michael found me and that’s w-when he gave me the horrible news of Kyle’s death.” (Breaking down in tears after that.)

Q. “She-Ra, would you like a few minutes to compose yourself?”

A. (Continuing to cry) “Yes I think so.”

THE COURT: “This court stands in recess for ten minutes.”

   She-Ra was still devastated by what had happened to Kyle, it took longer than ten minutes before she could continue with her testimony. Mr. Fitzgerald asked for more time when the Judge pointed out that it was close to lunchtime anyway and would resume in ninety minutes. But after lunch, She-Ra was fully composed and ready to resume her testimony.

   Q. “She-Ra I realize how much this pains you to relive this, but you must tell me and this court what happened to Kyle?”

   A. “Michael was also stunned by what happened. He said to me that Kyle was killed by a drunk driver just ten minutes after he dropped me off. He was killed instantly.”

   Q. “I’m so sorry to hear that, did you have any feelings towards him”?

   A. “He was a nice, young man barely twenty-five he had graduated college and was looking forward to begin a new career in show-business.” I liked him and I did want to see him again, but never got the chance.”

   Q. “Did Michael tell you anything else”?

   A. “Yes, he told me that the drunk driver was in the hospital in critical condition. Later that night on the evening news, I learned that the drunk driver died that afternoon from his injuries. They mentioned Kyle’s last name but I was too grief stricken to get it.”

   Q. “Now She-Ra, tell us about what happened here aboard this ship”?

   A. “By the time we got to the ship heading towards Honolulu, I was still depressed by what had happened in Las Vegas. Daphne and Smurfette saw me on The Promenade Deck looking out at night’s sky. Both tried to comfort me and helped me to cope what I had heard and witnessed. Daphne promised me that she would find me someone to keep me company if it would the last thing she’d ever do”.

   Q. “Why would Daphne make such a promise in the first place?”

   A. “When the group was in Virginia, my brother He-Man told me of the news that our group and our evil counterparts decided to live in peace and be a real unified team. Once this was put to paper and signed, there was really not much call for someone like me. Then I told Daphne that maybe I should take a cue from my alter ego Adora and find a boyfriend. Daphne helped me to try to accomplish this.”

   Q. “And when you met Gil?”

   A. “Daphne pointed out to me just how attractive I am and told me that any man would be lucky to have me as a girlfriend. I always knew that I was attractive, but not just how much. After I met Gil and we spent that first night together, he invited me back to his cabin where we spent all night talking. I was more attracted to him by the minute.

   “The next night, I decided to make Gil mine by making love to him. He liked what he saw and couldn’t say no to a princess as he put it. I never felt such pleasure and I didn’t want it to end and neither did he. We went like this for three nights until he was abducted.

   I accused Daphne because I wasn’t thinking clearly I apologized from the bottom of my heart. When Daphne confronted Verona, I only told her to “Go get her Lucky” because of what Verona said about Bart Simpson, Kyle and Gil.”

   Q. “She-Ra, one last question, at any time did you teach Daphne how to fight or show her any of your moves”?

   A. “No, but Daphne was teaching me the finer points of mystery solving for which this was, and I taught her how to be more confident in herself, everyone in the USCFL watches their opponents game film as well as their cartoons. Daphne watched me do those moves long before any of this was going on.”

   Q. “No further questions.”

THE COURT: “You may cross-examine Mr. Hardcastle.”

(Hardcastle is now “Q”.)

   Q. “Isn’t it true that in addition to Mr. Lopez, you wanted to “do it” with this security guard”?

FITZGERALD: “Objection! Irrelevant!”

SHE-RA: “Your honor, I will answer this question. Yes, I wanted for Kyle to always remember me and I didn’t get to.”

   Q. “Isn’t it true that your alter-ego has a boyfriend by the name of The Sea Hawke”?

   A. “Yes it is. The Sea Hawke chose Adora over me when it comes to love, but said that I was fun to fight alongside.”

   Q. “Isn’t it true that you refused to help Bart Simpson when he was dangling from a cliff in Rhode Island?”

   A. “Yes and no. Yes at first I was mad at him for the way he treated Daphne on the way up to Rhode Island from New York City. And no for once I saw that his skateboard was damaged because of the axles, I rushed over to the rest of the group and helped them.”

   Q. “And isn’t it true that you wanted to “tattoo your bootprint to Verona’s chest” after you learned of what Verona allegedly had done?”

   A. “Yes, but---“

   Q. “No further questions of this witness”.

   Fitzgerald requested a redirect to allow She-Ra to finish her answer. She-Ra explained that she was mad that day about Gil’s abduction and she did say that in anger, but didn’t follow through with it. Fitzgerald ended his redirect and She-Ra stepped down from the witness stand.

   Court adjourned for the day. After court, Fitzgerald received word that the subpoena was delivered to Shego, and that she would arrive at the ship within 36 hours. However, there was one catch; she wanted something in return. In fact, her exact words when handed the subpoena were, “What’s in it for me?”

  The next day, Bart Simpson, The Smurfette and two other members, who were part of the entourage that toured the country, all testified that Daphne and She-Ra stuck together like glue and backed up their stories. The two next witnesses would prove crucial to the defense’s case.





  Late that evening, Mr. Fitzgerald got word that Shego had arrived at an airstrip in southern Ireland (the nearest land to the ship), flying her own aircraft, and that a dingy was bringing the woman to the ship. She would arrive shortly after midnight.

  The moment Shego boarded the ship, Fitzgerald, aided by strong coffee, set to work, getting a preliminary interview with her. The woman appeared to be very young, probably still in her teens. She had long, full, jet-black hair, and was dressed in a slinky green and black skintight bodysuit. She was beautiful, but had a devilish look to her. Her attitude throughout the interview matched her looks.   

   The answers she gave to Fitzgerald’s questions were laced with sarcasm and crude jokes. Shego also liked to use the word “wacked” a lot, especially when describing Dr. Drakken’s plans. She also admitted to at least three unprosecuted crimes involving possession of contraband and theft of services while imprisoned, for which she asked for immunity.  Immunity, Fitzgerald told her, can not be simply handed out by attorneys like lollipops.

   Attorneys must petition the Court for immunity, which then will either grant or deny the request, based on the merits of the arguments and supporting evidence. He told her he’d see what he could do, though.

  Court resumed at 9 a.m. sans jury, spectators, press, and defendants while Fitzgerald argued the immunity request. Mr. Hardcastle had no objections, so a deal was reached with the Court. Shego would testify truthfully, and in full, to what transpired while her and Verona were cellmates.

   In return, any questions about crimes committed by either her or Dr. Drakken, other than the crime that landed her in prison with Verona, before or since, would be inadmissible. Any statements Shego would make admitting to crimes committed during her incarceration with Verona could not be used against her in any court of law.

   In addition, any statements Shego would make implicating Drakken in any crimes during the same time period could not be used against him. The Court was less than pleased with Shego’s costume, though. The Judge told her that when testimony resumed, she’d had better be dressed more appropriately, or she’d be found in direct Contempt of Court and confined to quarters. Shego promised to find something less revealing, which seemed to satisfy the Court.

   At 10:15, Court resumed, with Shego wearing the same bodysuit, but now had a mid-thigh length black pull-on sweater with the word “SHEGO” emblazoned in green block letters over it. Still, Shego decided she’d have a little fun with these proceedings. When the Court attempted to swear her in, she went, “Yeah, yeah, I know the whole song and dance routine.

   I’ll tell the truth. I promise.” The balance of the morning went like that; it was like a tooth extraction for Fitzgerald. He often had to ask the same question three or four times before Shego gave him a usable answer. Hardcastle objected frequently, the Court sustaining many of the objections. Still by the lunch break, Fitzgerald had managed to lead Shego through the events that led to her imprisonment, namely Drakken’s plans to take over the world by staging a hostile takeover (in the most literal sense) of the Buenos Nacho restaurant chain.

   Then using cyber enhanced diablo toys distributed in kids’ meals, Drakken would attempt his conquest. She went on to describe how these toys would respond to special radio signals to transform themselves into gigantic robotic weapons, how the plans were defeated, and how she wound up in prison as a result.  

  After the lunch hour, the topic turned to what took place while Shego was incarcerated with Verona. (Again Fitzgerald is “Q”, but now Shego is “A”.)

Q. “Okay, Shego, please tell us what happened during the time you were incarcerated with Verona Dimpsey.”

A. “Well, the guard tells me that I would be sharing a cell with this one chick, see? I tell the guard that I’d rather have solitary confinement, but he goes like, ‘Look, Miss, this is prison. You’ll dance where we tell you to dance, and with whom!’”

Q. “So how did you two get along?”

A. “At first, we kept to ourselves, not saying much. I think it was because we were scared of each other. I guess she was more afraid of me than I was of her.”

Q. “And when you two finally began speaking to each other, what was said.”

A. “The usual. Like, ‘What are you in for?’ I told her that I was in for taking part in this ‘wacked’ plan for taking over the world, until two teens and a naked mole rat thwarted it. And she tells me that she got busted for dressing up as a lighthouse keeper’s ghost and scaring away her competition. She goes on and says it took these four ‘meddling kids’ and a mangy dog to stop her.”

Q. “Did Verona ever want to get back at these ‘meddling kids’?”

A. “She sure did. She tells me that once she gets out, she’d hunt them down and ‘teach them a lesson they’ll never forget,’ namely by kicking their butts.”

Q. “In your opinion, could she have---“

HARDCASTLE: “Objection. Speculation.”

THE COURT: “Sustained.”

Q. “Okay. Well, then, let me ask you this. Did you teach Ms. Dimpsey how to fight?”

A. “Yeah, I did. We’d practice during exercise and recreation periods. Verona was a fast learner, I must say. By the time of our escape, she could at the very least, hold her own, even against someone like me.”

Q. “Now, please tell us, in your own words, some of what else transpired while you were incarcerated with Verona.”

A. “Well, about two weeks into my incarceration, I learned through my own lawyer that Drakken got off on a technicality and returned to his lair. I said, ‘I wish there were some way to contact him.’ Well, Verona had this AM-FM-MP3 player and says to me, ‘You know, this thing could be reconfigured into a cell phone. If I only had something to barter for the parts I need.’ After a minute or so, she goes like, ‘And I know exactly where to get the barter!’ And so the next day, here she is with a carton of menthol slim 100’s cigarettes.”

Q. “Cigarettes?”

A. “Yeah, cigarettes. In prison, cigarettes are like gold. You use the cigarettes to trade for things you really want. The more cigarettes you have, the more money you have.”

Q. “How did Verona get her hands on cigarettes?”

A. “She tells me she had this uncle who ran a tobacco shop, and that she can get her hands on all the cigarettes she wants. I guess this uncle paid off a guard to smuggle the cigarettes in to us.”

Q. “Did you smoke any of the cigarettes, Shego?”

A. “Me smoke? Pulleeassee!”

Q. “Did Verona smoke?”

A. “No. She just used the cancer sticks to trade for the parts needed to convert her MP3 player into a cell phone.”

Q. “What did she trade the cigarettes for?”

A. “An old calculator for one thing. Then she acquired an old pager and a set of miniature screwdrivers. Using these parts, she quickly turned the MP3 player into a crude, but effective cell phone. And she could still play songs on it, by the way.”

Q. “And who did you call, using this ‘jerry-rigged’ cell phone?”

A. “Dr. Drakken, who else? Verona would first ‘crack the switch’ with the cell phone service provider, so we’d be able to make free calls anywhere in the world. Then afterwards, she’d crack the switch again to erase the calling records.”

Q. “And what was said during your conversations with Dr. Drakken? I remind you that both you and Dr. Drakken have full immunity from prosecution for any incriminating statements you make here.”

A. “That we hatched an escape plan, and that I would springing a new found friend as well, namely Verona.”

Q. “Did you talk about anything else while incarcerated? Mainly any boyfriends on the outside?”

A. “Not really. The only ‘man’ in my life, my boss, Dr. Drakken. I kept telling her about how brilliant, yet wacked he was.”

Q. “And Verona?”

A. “She told me that she didn’t have any use for boyfriends, that they were nothing but trouble. But I did notice she had a Chippendale’s calendar hanging on the cell wall, so I guess she was physically attracted to men.”


  Shego, Fitzgerald thought, if I weren’t a married man, I’d kiss you on the lips. Shego’s answer was powerful evidence that Jenny Sanchez had fabricated her story about Verona and Gil Lopez having an affair. And if Jenny’s story was fabricated, then so must be the “love photo” of Verona and Gil together. He couldn’t wait to call Jenny to the stand as a hostile witness. As things turned out, he didn’t have to.


Q. “So then came the ‘great escape’. You kept your promise and let Verona escape with you, am I correct?”

A. “That’s exactly right. I ‘sprung’ her as a token of my appreciation, mainly for making the cell phone for me.”

Q. “Did you ever see Verona again after this prison break?”

A. “No. We went our separate ways after that.”

Q. “I understand you got arrested again in a town named Middleton shortly afterwards. Care to enlighten us on that?”

A. “I was busted for being an escaped fugitive. Drakken also got busted for helping me and Verona escape. Two days after our arrest, Mickey Mouse and a USCFL player representative appeared at our cell. Mickey had this ‘Get out of jail free’ card, as asks us how would we like to get out of jail? I said, ‘Sure, what do we do?’

   He then goes like he had these two spots open on the Disney All-Stars defensive unit, and that he’d like to us to fill them. He then tells us about this ‘football restitution’ program they have where we’d play football, but they take all the money we’d earn and give it to our ‘victims’. I said sure and Drakken did likewise.”

Q. “I see. No further questions. Your witness, Mr. Hardcastle.”


  Now Mr. Hardcastle cross-examines Shego. He is now “Q”.

Q. “I’ll be brief here, Ms. Shego.”

A. “Pulleeassee! Just call me ‘Shego’. No need for the ‘Ms.’ biz.”

Q. “All right then, Shego, are you absolutely sure Verona never mentioned any boyfriends on the outside?”

A. “She did mentioned that there was a boy, Jim Crowder, I believe, that tried to ‘make it with her’, enticing her with cocaine.”

Q. “And?”

A. “She told me that she wanted no part of him or his cocaine, and then went straight to the town cop, snitched on him, and got him busted.”

Q. “And she never mentioned anyone by the name of Gil Lopez either, I take it.”

A. “That’s absolutely correct.”

Q. “I see. No further questions.”

FITZGERALD: “No questions.”

THE COURT: “The witness may step down.”


  Shego didn’t stick around to see how the rest of the trial turned out. Upon completing her testimony, she asked for a dingy to take her back to her plane in Ireland, and then took off for parts unknown. But Fitzgerald was quite pleased with Shego’s testimony. She had helped him punch a big hole in the prosecution’s case.




   Two more days went by and another dozen passengers testified that they saw the fight and videotaped it. Again, tape after tape was somehow messed up. More than twenty videos and all of them were no good for one reason or another. But the thing that puzzled Mr. Fitzgerald and the Judge was the Sorceresses’ testimony was videotaped and it came out clear as a bell.

   One reason may have been that the tape was just days old and second it arrived in an airtight container. Before Mr. Fitzgerald called anymore passengers to the witness stand with videotapes, he wanted to be sure that the tape was in an airtight container.

   His next witness didn’t have to worry about a videotape and called Gil Lopez to the stand. Gil was sworn in and was seated. (Once again Mr. Fitzgerald is “Q” and Gil was “A”.)

   Q. “Please state your name for the record, Mr. Lopez?”

   A. “Gilberto Alfonso Lopez.”

   Q. “Have you ever seen Ms. Sanchez before?”

   A. “Yes, I have. She’s a very big fan of mine, and she auditioned for me once. I told her that I didn’t need a female vocalist at that time, but I thanked her for the audition.”

   Q. “Did you date her?”

   A. “One time.”

   Q. “Are you still friends with her?”

   A. “Yes.”

   Q. “Now, I understand that you never seen the deceased before the night she taken you at ‘gunpoint’ to the cargo hold. That true?”

   A. “That’s correct.”

   Q. “Now this photograph.” (Fitzgerald shows Gil the photograph introduced into evidence earlier.) “Did you and the deceased ever pose for this picture?”

   A. “I did, but she never did. In fact, I know the album that artwork is from. I have a copy of it in my quarters. May I go get it?”

Fitzgerald then asked the court for a fifteen-minute recess as to fulfill Mr. Lopez’s request. Mr. Hardcastle had no objections, so the request was granted, on the condition that both attorneys go with Mr. Lopez, so to insure that this potential piece of evidence wouldn’t be tampered with. Lopez retrieved the CD in question, and thus court resumed.

   Q. “I ask that one, this artwork be introduced into evidence, and two, if there is some sort of photo lab on board, the picture be blown up to the same size as the other exhibit.”

The captain said that indeed, they just happened to have a photo lab on the ship and since it was nearly lunchtime, a ninety-minute recess was granted, as well as the requests to have the photo introduced into evidence, and to have it enlarged. After lunch, court resumed.

   Q. “Mr. Lopez, I will now show you both photos.”

Mr. Fitzgerald showed both photos to the spectators as well as to the jury. Both was identical, except the album art read: “La orquestra de Gil Lopez: Baile a los Tabores,” which translated into English: “Gil Lopez Orchestra: Dance to the Drums.” And the album art was sans a bikini-clad Verona sitting on one of the drums. It was apparent that Ms. Sanchez or someone else had taken the album art and manipulated it to add the half-naked Verona that made the “doctored” photograph that Ms. Sanchez had.

   Q. “Okay, for the record, I’m going to ask you one more time: You are certain that you’d never seen the deceased before the night she had taken you prisioner, am I correct?”

   A. “That’s correct. The one time I do recall meeting Miss Dimpsey was the night she took me to the cargo hold. She had a gun or a piece of pipe shoved in my back and I’ll never forget the words she said to me in a disguised voice, ‘If you and the super slut knows what’s good for both of you, you’ll come quietly Mr. Lopez.’ Those words still send a chill down my spine.”

   Q. “I have no further questions.”

HARDCASTLE: “No questions.”

THE COURT: “The witness may step down.”

   Q. “The defense rests.”





   No sooner did Mr. Fitzgerald rested the defense’s case, a note was handed to him and it claimed to call one last witness who has a videotape of the fight and what was said crystal clear. The videotape was in an airtight container.

   Mr. Fitzgerald: “Your honor, I want to reopen the defense’s case and call one more witness, A Miss Cheryl Munson of the rock group Landfill to the stand.

   Mr. Hardcastle: “Objection your honor, we weren’t aware of this witness.”
   Mr. Fitzgerald: “I was just informed about this witness moments ago.

The judge went ahead and allowed the witness to come forward. Miss Munson was sworn in and told to be seated. (Mr. Fitzgerald is once again “Q” and Miss Munson is “A”.)

   Q. “Please state your name and occupation.”

   A. “Cheryl Munson, lead vocalist for the rock group Landfill.

   Q. “Why did you come forward today?”
   A. “I was onboard this ship last year performing for the teenaged passengers.”

   Q. “Do you know either of these defendants?”

   A. “I don’t know them personally, but I’ve seen them both on television in the 70’s and 80’s.”

   Q. “I’ve called more than twenty witnesses who had videotaped the fight between Daphne Blake and Verona Dimpsey and all the tapes were damaged somehow. How can your tape be any different?”

   A. “I keep all my videotapes in air tight containers that are also waterproof and protect the tape from anything magnetic.”

   Q. “You indeed capture the fight on tape?”

   A. “Yes, I was taping my friends on the Promenade Deck. I caught the exchange of words and the fight that incurred soon afterwards.”

   Q. “At this time your honor, I will bring this videotape into evidence as Defense Exhibit Z.”

The judge allowed the tape to go into evidence; it was put into a VCR and unlike the other tapes that were dismissed and the tape was showing everything perfectly with crystal clear sound. Here is what the judge, jury and spectators saw and heard.

The group that Daphne was leading came into the picture from the left and Verona came from the right.

Daphne: “Hold it right there Verona!”

Verona: “Well, well if it isn’t the poster child for clumsiness and her band of misfits. What’s with the brown hair Daphne, afraid you’ll be recognized in that get up?”

As Daphne mentioned about her wearing a brown wig and dressed in a purple version of She-Ra’s costume. The video also showed She-Ra coming up from behind, stood behind Verona and waited.

Daphne: “Verona you are nothing but a troublemaker. I’m the one you want leave my friends and Gil alone.”

Verona: “OK Blake what are your intentions?”

She-Ra: “Daphne doesn’t make deals, but I do!”

Verona: “Well look who decided to come up for air from the love pit she made for herself. OK She-Ra I’ll listen to you, what you plan to wager.”

She-Ra: “You leave Daphne, Gil and my friends alone. You want revenge on me for freeing Daphne in Boston. I have a score to settle with you for what you did in Las Vegas.”

Verona: “How do I have anything to do with that?”

She-Ra: “I know about that drunk driver, and I also know you sabotaged Bart’s skateboard in Rhode Island. I wouldn’t be surprised that you also had something to do with Daphne’s miscarriage in Utah.”

Verona: OK Slut-Ra I admit that I did sabotage Bart’s board and I paid that driver to get drunk and attempt to bump you off. But I had nothing to do with Daphne’s miscarriage, in fact I actually felt sorry for her when I heard about that.”

Daphne: “Was Gil in on this too?”

Verona: “Blake you’re so predictable that you should be one of those TV psychics. Your introducing that bimbo to that Latin hunk was sheer genius. You cut out a lot of work for me. He wasn’t working for me and I wouldn’t have known that you knew him.”

The tape showed She-Ra coming over to Daphne.

She-Ra: “Daphne let me at her I’ll rip her to shreds.”

Daphne: “Now you’re beginning to sound like Scrappy.”

Verona: “I’m waiting ladies. You two can swap recipes later, what are you going to do?”

Daphne: “She-Ra, I’m not upset with you. I’m just as responsible for this as Verona. Lisa was right about my having you and Gil together. I didn’t know that you would fall in love with him. If you want, I’ll handle this but I may not come out so good after it ends.”

She-Ra: “It’s you I should be apologizing to. I acted like a jealous girlfriend back in the dining room. And I’m also sorry for breaking down your door like that. Now I’m beginning to understand about love and relationships. I should’ve have known that Gil was in some kind of trouble. I also hope I didn’t hurt you or your feelings, by the way, nice costume.”

Daphne: “I forgive you but there’s nothing to forgive, I had it coming, and Lisa warned me about it. I also should have seen that you inexperience in relationships would get us in this fix, but we are in this fix together. But I still feel that I should fight her. She’s my problem and mine alone even though she’s caused us all grief. And by the way this was Lisa’s idea.”

The tape shows Daphne removing the wig and handing it to Lisa.

Daphne: “Verona it’s now between you and me. No one will assist either of us in this fight. If I win you release Gil and turn yourself in to ship’s security. But if you win, I’ll go with you to wherever you have Gil stashed and be your prisoner. No one here will follow us I give you my word. I’m ready when you are Verona.”

Verona: “OK Blake it’s your funeral and Gil’s too.”

The tape shows She-Ra and security, clearing the deck so no one else gets hurt.

She-Ra: “Thank you for taking this risk, go get her Lucky!”

The tape showed both Daphne and Verona preparing themselves for the fight of their lives. The tape also showed Verona throwing the first punch and missed, then Daphne coming with a right low and hard. Then it showed Verona grabbed Daphne and body slammed her to the deck. As Daphne got up she grabbed Verona and both crashed through the glass window of the Promenade Lounge.

The tape then showed Verona’s grabbing a shard of glass and attempting to go for Daphne’s jugular vein.

The tape then showed Daphne beginning to weaken as the sharp tip of the glass coming closer to her neck. Then Daphne got her second wind and took her foot and threw Verona off her and crashed against the railing. The tape showed Daphne giving Verona the “come here” signal saying, “Verona if you want a piece of me, come and get it!”

Finally, the tape showed Verona charging towards Daphne like a bull seeing red and Daphne kicking Verona that sent her over the side of the ship and screaming on the way down and the eerie silence that followed the splash Verona caused upon entering the water. The tape ended after this and it didn’t show Daphne collapsing from the aftermath of the fight. But more than twenty passengers testified that Daphne indeed collapsed after the fight ended.

   Q. “Your honor, in light of this videotape, I again request a dismissal of these proceedings.”

THE COURT: “Mr. Hardcastle, do you have any objections?”

HARDCASTLE: “No, your honor. No objections.”

THE COURT: “After seeing this videotape the evidence is crystal clear that Miss Blake was indeed defending herself and what was said by the deceased, clearly proved that she was bent on revenge. Therefore I have no choice but to drop all charges against the co-defendants and this case is dismissed. I thank the jury for your services, Miss Munson may step down and this court is adjourned.”





   Once the Judge dismissed the case against Daphne and She-Ra, the courtroom burst into cheers and applause for those standing behind the pair. Daphne and She-Ra were carried out of the courtroom as if they had won the championship. Someone thought of a Gatorade shower but that would be going too far. Mr. Dimpsey approached the ladies and offered his apologies for bringing this trial against them.

   Daphne told Mr. Dimpsey, that they understood for that their fathers would’ve done the same thing in his position. Mr. Dimpsey asked Daphne if he could find a way to pay his last respects to his daughter. Daphne agreed and asked Lisa to borrow the Mob’s private jet to fly over the site since The Pacific Princess marked the place Verona entered the water with a buoy.

   Once back in the States, Daphne granted Mr. Dimpsey’s wish and flew over the vast waters of the Pacific Ocean. The buoy was spotted by the pilot and lowered the plane as not to disturb the site. Mr. Dimpsey tossed a wreath of flowers overboard and landed in the water. Mr. Dimpsey asked Daphne why Verona’s body couldn’t be recovered. Daphne explained that Verona entered the water with such force that she sank like a rock in a pond. The waters of the Pacific were so deep that an attempt for a recovery effort would’ve been impossible.

   Both Daphne and She-Ra felt bad for the man, that they agreed to help him out anyway they could. Upon returning to Virginia, the Sorceress restored She-Ra’s physical powers and with those famous words “For the Honor of Greyskull!” She-Ra was back to normal. She kicked that wall in that she couldn’t before and it felt good to her.

    As for Gil Lopez, he and She-Ra gave their relationship another chance. And this time, they got the blessings of She-Ra’s teammates, and the USCFL commissioner. Daphne and She-Ra spent any free time they had together whenever possible. Whether She-Ra was riding the streets of Atlanta with Daphne or Daphne was hitching a ride on the back of Swift Wind with She-Ra, they became the best of friends and between those who cared about them, Mystery Inc, The Five’s A Mob Gang and The Masters of Power became closer because of it.

   Mr. Fitzgerald returned to his duties as general counsel of Blake’s Bubble Bath once the trial was over. Even so, he remained available to both Daphne and She-Ra if they ever needed his services again. The Captain of the Pacific Princess was back to his duties commanding one of the most famous cruise ships of all time and Mr. Hardcastle continues to practice law in London.

   And best of all, Daphne or She-Ra wouldn’t be tried for the same crime again because England also has a “Double Jeopardy” law where a person can’t be tried for the same crime. Daphne and She-Ra made an interesting combination and the trial brought before them, brought them closer and they work great together as a team.


I would like to take this moment to thank Mark Portwood who allowed Mr. Hartman and I to use his “Cheryl Munson” character. To John Likeglass, we thank him for giving us the idea of having trial done at sea. And especially thank Thomas Hartman for his contributions to this story as well as advice and insight. And most importantly thanks to you the reader. Mr. Hartman and I both hope that you enjoyed reading this story every bit as much as we put it together.


This story is dedicated to the memory of GillianB whose kindness and assistance in my writing skills that this story wouldn’t have been possible.