[Mock-Fiction] III - In Amore et Bellum

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

Protest piece. Third in the series after 'I - Requiescat in Pace' & 'II - Memento Mori'. Enjoy x

Cover by Secrets Unfold

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16. Epilogue - Diagnosed

“Are you sure she’s okay?” asked Richard.

“She’s fine!” said Myra for the very last time. She rolled her eyes and faced him, “Look, why don’t you go and ask her yourself.”

Richard hesitated, “I’m scared she might jump out of her box and attack me.”

Myra smacked her forehead, “Richard, you just came back after 3 months in Bengal. Go and say hello to Rogue. She’s a little shaken, but she’s herself. The mercenaries are back to being themselves too. Now, go!”

“But she’s feral!”

Myra grabbed him by the collar, “Listen to me, Richard, you are going to go and say hello to Rogue, or I’m going to attack you.”

And that made up his mind.

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

 

The barracks had been restored to its scruffy self. The mercenaries were stacking up all the finery that the imposter had bought in a huge pile – presumably for a bonfire. From what Richard had heard; Rogue had given them a long break. She was surprised when none of them decided to go home. They all stayed. They all still trained. And Rogue went to see a psychiatrist. And then she kicked his butt.

 

Richard passed by Rogue’s study and was about to knock when he heard singing:

Home is behind, the world ahead;

And there are many paths to tread.

Through shadow. To the edge of night;

‘Til all the stars are all alight.

Mist and shadow. Cloud and shade.

All shall fade.

All. Shall… fade.

 

“If she isn’t depressed, then I’m definitely going to get attacked,” said Richard before he knocked and opened the door.

“Have you never heard of knocking and waiting?” asked Rogue. She was sitting at her table will a sketchpad open, a number of unconnected lines scouring the page. The room had been restored to the comforting chaos that it had once been. Rogue looked at Richard, irritated, but her eyes distant. They were obsidian black voids – as soulless as they would be behind the mask that now lay on the table beside her stack of books. Her lip had been reconstructed, and a thin white scar should out blatantly where the incision had been made. Rogue’s long, dark hair was pulled back into a loose plait, which made her hair look puffy. She was wearing a too-casual long t-shirt and faded jeans, puffy white socks covering her feet. No make-up. No jewelry.

 

Richard picked the sketch-pad up, “You trying to replicate psychotic Picasso?”

“No,” Rogue replied, “I’m trying to remember what the psychiatrist looked like when I’d given him two concussions, a broken nose, and four bent-back fingers.”

Richard glanced at the picture, “He ended up looking at like a bunch of lines?”

“I’m not going to dignify that with an answer.”

 

“What the hell the poor guy do?”

“Poor guy? He said I had bi-polar depression, border-line schizophrenia and that I was getting too old for fighting! Then he gave not one, not two, but five bottles of pills. One was Prozac and I can’t remember the retarded names of the others. I really don’t get doctors. Every time I tell them I cannot swallow pills, they just hop me up on them.”

“Hold on, you broke a guy’s nuts because he gave you pills.”

Five. Freaking. Bottles. Of. Suicide!”

“You nearly killed him.”

“Do I have to say it again? Five bottles! Suicide! What? Do I have to spell it out for you?”

 

“Look, I don’t need to be a psychiatrist to tell you you’re upset.”

“Richard?”

“What?”

She pointed at the sketchpad, “Lines. Of course, I’m upset! I freaking monkey could tell me that.”

“But that’s what the doctor told you.”

No, the doctor called me crazy and gave me crazy pills that I can’t swallow.”

“Right. And everyone has a right to go She-Hulk on that one.”

 

“Oh, shut up, Richard!” Rogue stood up knocking her chair down, “You weren’t the one who was imprisoned by one of your worst enemies! You weren’t the one that got tortured by someone who was mean to be dead! You didn’t have to go back to the place of your birth just to see it get ruined by a bunch of traitors!” tears streamed down her face, “You weren’t the one who had to sit by a friend and watch him die! You didn’t have to bury him! Or discuss how death would be with you! You… you weren’t the one that had to deal with so many emotions that you didn’t even know you had! You aren’t the one who can’t have children because you’re so scared that you’ll wreck their lives and get them killed! You aren’t the one who’s hidden all your insecurities behind a mask! The shrink didn’t want to know anything – he was too concerned with his bloody ink-blots and his pointed goatee and his 101 Ways of Telling a Patient They’re Crazy! Yes I kicked his butt! Hell, I practically mopped the floor with his face! But the ignorant bastard deserved every last bit of it!”

 

Rogue leaned against a wall and slid down into a crouch, crying into her hands. Richard raised an eyebrow. He didn’t know how to react to that.

“Rogue…”

“Go. Away!”

Richard sighed, and sat beside her, “I’m not going to do that. Listen, I understand you’ve been damaged, but–”

“You don’t,” Rogue sniffed, “But it’s fine. This isn’t depression; I’m just sad. I’ll get over it.”

Richard stared at her, “See; that sounded very bi-polar to me.”

Rogue stood up, “Do I have to kick you out the window to get you to shut up about this?”

“No,” Richard, “But how do you just ‘get over’ this?”

“The same way I got over everything else. Childhood. School. High school. I never went to university, but I’m pretty sure I would have survived that too. Everything seems hard in the beginning. You just have to be harder, and you’ll get by,” she strode up to her bookshelf and plucked out an item, “You might want this.”

 

Richard held the golden laurel in his hands, “Where did you get this? A Piece of Eden?”

“Malik used this to get into our reality. You’d better keep it safe. And keep an ear out for anything strange – Malik kept referring to himself as ‘we’, and I doubt he meant it in royalty. He may well have brought back the WD, and they are the pudgy loungers that we had here. They’re far more careful.”

“Well, we could always just feed them to the Nazgul in that other dimension.”

“Why in the other dimension? We could just feed them to Squishy?”

“Squishy?”

Rogue nodded, “Vesp was cleaning up those dimensional footprints and he brought back a ‘Get Well Soon’ gift. An albino Nazgul, it’s tiny and loves carrots.”

“…And you named him Squishy?”

“Yes.”

“What is your problem, woman?”

Rogue shrugged, “Sarcasm, irony, cynicism, stoicism, sophism, etc. Take your pick.”

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