Ava was exhausted. She’d been through the hour-long timepiece seven -- yes, seven -- times now. No matter what angle she took, no matter how she argued with the knight (or the priests, when she made it to the trial), she couldn’t convince them to convict the nanny. She couldn’t convince them that their creepy friend was innocent -- because, obviously, he wasn’t. Her grandfather had shown them that with good intentions, she assumed, but he’d unknowingly created this infuriating Unchangeable.
But this had to be possible. If her grandfather hadn’t interfered, the nanny would have been convicted. And she was! That’s what actually happened in real time, after all. So getting it back had to be possible. It had to be...didn't it?
“How can you be so sure?” she asked the priests yet again. “The man is your brother in the faith. What cause would he have to kill a child? He’s a man of the cloth, for--” She stopped. She’d almost said “for God’s sake,” but last time she’d sworn like that they’d promptly thrown her back in her cell.
The head priest seemed to sense her near-utterance. “We have an eyewitness,” he repeated.
“Who isn’t here!” Ava cried. At the exact same time, the slimy excuse for a defendant said the same thing in Italian. He nervously plucked at his eyebrows and gave her an appreciative look. It made her nauseous.
“How can I convince you?” she finally asked. She was beginning to feel desperate. What if she was stuck in here? What if it was impossible? Could that even happen? Could a timepiece be broken beyond repair? She’d just assumed that there would always be a way, but now an icy wedge of fear inside her scoffed at such naïveté.
“I am already convinced,” the priest replied firmly. He rose to leave, and signaled to the knight to take her away.