[Mock-Fiction] II - Memento Mori

Note: Please read the Formal Notice movella. It should be on the list on the right hand side.

The sequel to 'Requiescat in Pace'

Cover by Secrets Unfold

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3. One - The Timelord

Death is really something. It is everything humanity ought to be, but isn’t: punctual, unpredictable and noble. It is the one truth that is destined to happen to all of us, and there is no escaping it. It is inevitable. And yet, most either pretend it isn’t there or end their own lives in impatience. Very few accept it.

~ Midnight Rogue

 

 

Liam looked around the place as they entered the inner sanctum of the Fortress. Beacons lit the walls, the flames licking and flickering mischievously, and lighting the dark walls and hallways. Many people in white robes had passed by them wordlessly, but not without passing a scowl or a dirty look at the prisoners.

Thorn in their side, indeed, thought Liam.

Rogue opened a large wooden doors, and stepped aside for the prisoners and Richard to enter.

 

Entering, she closed the door behind her, and stood to aside, near a large open window. The room was lit blue. Louis looked around. There was a gathering of about ten people [excluding the prisoners], the most prominent being a man standing on a makeshift stage. He was very tall, and age was causing him to bald. He had tanned skin, and a beard speckled brown and white, a mouth that seemed to smile often but now wore a sombre expression, and soft brown eyes that could console with flecks of green that could just as easily become harsh. His eyes held years, perhaps thousands of them, of experience and Machiavellian cunning. He wore heavy armor, and not the medieval or Roman kind. It was bulky metal futuristic armor, navy in color, and fire-arms could be seen in every place possible – mounted on his shoulders, in his metal cuffs, on his calves and on his heavy metallic belt. A metal plate around his neck read: Vesp. He could have come straight out of Halo. In his hands were two items – the Staff and a skin-colored ball, the Apple.

 

Two of the Pieces of Eden.

 

Lodovico had been after them for years, and here they were in the hands of one of the Brotherhood. Seated next to the human-killing-machine was a girl perhaps three times younger than him. She had pale skin, and golden brown hair and soft brown eyes. She wore a poker face, and her garbs were similar to Rogue’s. The choker around her neck read: D. S. Jess. In her hands was a second Apple. The girl was his heir.

Louis and Liam stood agape [Justin was shivering out of his skin] – astonished and speechless. Vesp paused a moment and then spoke, “Step forward,” he said, his strong, gruff voice ringing around the chamber. All three prisoners stepped forward – standing single-file in a straight horizontal line – and then found that they could not move.

“Who are you?” asked Louis, terrified.

 

Vesp stepped down from the platform, his heavy steel boots sounding on the floor, and inclined his head, “I am Vesp: Timelord and Dimensional Shunter. Otherwise known as ‘Dr When’, ‘Second ruler of Gondor after the Return of the King’, and/or ‘the Wizard of Oz’,” he paused for effect, “Do any of you know why you’ve come?”

“Never…” quivered Justin, whilst the other two shook their heads.

“Rogue,” called Vesp, “Do the explaining before we commence.”

Everyone turned in the masked woman’s direction. She was looking out of the window intensely before she turned and addressed the prisoners.

“You’re here because the Bureau felt the need to test you idiots, when, really, they know you’re going to fail and they want to have some fun with you; instead of allowing me to kill you with one blow,” said Rogue in one breath, and then she looked at Vesp, “Explanation good enough?” she asked.

Vesp raised an eyebrow, “No,” he said calmly, “Been taking bitchy pills, have we?”

“They called Masyaf Hogwarts!” she retorted, “That’s worse than bitchy pills!”

Vesp smacked his forehead and sighed, “Richard…?”

 

Richard cleared his throat and spread his hands, “Mr Payne, Mr Tomlinson, and Mr Bieber. Members of the Wrong Direction – you have been brought here on account of the numerous injustices you have all done. You are responsible for the spread of STDs through your associate Niall Horan, countless unjust deaths and violations at the hand of Harry Styles and his men, and drug abuse promoted and sold by your train-wreck of a friend, Zayn Mailk. You three, specifically, have been brought here on account of having done nothing except challenge the Emperor’s power – you’ve promoted immorality, yes, but you have done very little individual harm. We shall run you through a… test of sorts; to see if you are worthy members of the Brotherhood,” Richard glanced across all three faces, “Comprende?”

“And then he accuses you of racism…” Rogue muttered to herself.

The three prisoners looked at each other, confused.

Bieber said, “If I was your boyfriend…?”

 

Richard stared at him, Rogue stepped forward, “You’re a disgrace to the name of rebellion,” she said in the same accent-less voice she used on All Souls’ Day, “You are the third wheel on the bicycle. It was only a matter of time until one of us was destroyed – so we took the initiative. We went underground. We hoped Mr Smith would take the hint and sweep you off the face of the Earth, but his assassins were too amateur,” she paused, leaning against a wall and folding her arms, “Our assassins took out Mr Horan and Mr Styles, and died in the process. Mr Malik – who had an unfortunate case of extreme brainlessness – was killed by Smith’s men. In a train station. Whilst trying to sell drugs to them. We decided to take you all out, and our man would have killed Malik too, if he’d boarded the damn train first. All Souls’ Day was meant to be the end of your line; but a decision was made by the Bureau. Mid-fight. They wanted to test you. Show you mercy. See if they could recruit you to be something more useful than you already are,” she turned her back on them all, “Take it or leave it – my advice is you refuse the test and ask for some other form of execution. This will not be easy.”

 

Now it appeared the prisoners had understood. But there was no way any of them were going to take execution, if there was a way out. The test couldn’t be all that hard, could it? If there’s a test, then there must be a way to pass it. And the masked woman could just be trying to scare them…

“I’ll take the test,” said Liam quickly.

“Fool,” murmured Rogue.

The other prisoners agreed also, though Justin was a little uncertain. But he couldn’t appear weak in front of the others [even if it was clear he was insane]. They’d been over-rated and he had hated it. So he joined them, gulping as he nodded his head and refrained from saying ‘Never’.

 

“Very well,” said Vesp, still irritated by Rogue’s far-too-harsh-to-be-a-warning speech, “Jess, tell them how this works. I will prepare everything,” he stepped onto the platform once more, and tinkered with the Staff and the Apples.

Jess rose from her seat and said, “The test will be as follows,” she had a soft girly voice, that seemed to giggle every time it rang in someone’s ears [Well, Louis’s ears anyway]. Jess continued, “Each of you will be given the choice to take a red pill or a blue pill. Once swallowed, you will be held in purgatory. Limbo. The red pill will take you back to an ancient history or into an inevitable future. A reality. The blue pill will take you into another dimension, a parallel universe, a non-existent fantasy. One of your most desperate desires will test you. Whilst in Purgatory, a member of the Bureau will decide your test.”

“This,” spoke Vesp, now prepared, “will be done using the Pieces of Eden – ancient relics since the beginning of time. If you survive, you will be instated into the Brotherhood, cleared of all charges. If you die – regardless of which dimension or in what age – you will be most certainly dead.” Vesp paused to let the message sink in, “Do you accept?”

All three nodded without delay, though Rogue’s warning rang through all of their ears at the same time.

 

“Then let the trials commence,” Vesp held out his hand.

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