[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


6. Four - Purgatorio

Rogue didn’t remember being so scared in her entire life. She was feeling as if she’d missed a huge chunk of information she ought to know.

Duh! What? A little fear and you’re already going brain-dead? Calm yourself, woman! said a voice in the back of her mind.

But Rogue couldn’t be calm. She didn’t have her mask. She didn’t have the five German mercenaries that had been with her when the ambush had been sprung. She didn’t have her sword. She didn’t have anything, and she was going out of her mind.


The room she was in was dark, and the stench was a mixture of urine and more vulgar coppery smell. She’d been relieved of all her weapons and her white robes. She was just in her loose black trousers and a brown chemise. No shoes. No socks. Rogue was tied to a chair, which she could have easily gotten out of due to the amateur knots, but what was the point? Untangle yourself from a chair, and then what? You were still in prison. Rogue closed her eyes, just as the metal door creaked – a shaft of light blinding her momentarily – and then a figure blocked out the light. He stepped in, shut the door, and turned on the lamp he was holding.


Rogue gasped.


“You…” she began, ridiculously confused, “You’re supposed to be dead.”

“Good to see you too, Miss. Midnight Rogue,” said the Queen’s Guest.

Rogue shook her head wildly, but then gulped down the awe and panic, and sighed coldly, “Last time I heard of you, you got hit by a train,” she said, “And it looks like you’ve lost a good few pounds in the process.”
Zayn Malik grinned at her.

This is impossible, she thought, He’s dead! They scraped bits of his dead body off the platform! He made a huge mess of himself! This can’t be–

She stopped there.

There’s no point in recounting what you thought happened. This is happening. He’s alive. You’re not sure how yet, but he is.


“Well, there are ways of getting around Death, surely you know that?” he said.

Rogue frowned at him, “What are you talking about?”
“Let me give you a little hint, eh? Since you seem so curious about it. This concerns an old friend of yours… the Dimensional Shunter.”

Rogue’s eyes widened, “But… no, Vesp would never do that.”

“Vesp, is it? Whatever; not important. He didn’t do anything as such. It’s more about what he didn’t do. An easy mistake to make; now that I think about it.”

Rogue bared her teeth, and tried to bite Malik’s face.

“Feisty,” Malik laughed, “I’m starting to like you. Let me explain: You sent one of my friend’s, Little Louis Tomlinson, into another dimension where he was chased by a Nazgul, harassed by Gollum and eaten alive by orcs. Oh, don’t make that face! I don’t care. The guy’s completely useless from where I come from too. But when you sent Louis there, your friend left something we Shunters call ‘Dimensional Footprints’.”

Rogue’s mouth went dry. She knew were this was going.

“Little Tomlinson wasn’t sent to our realm, but we tracked those footprints using this,” Malik held up a laurel. It was gold and it glinted in the lamp-light.


A Piece of Eden!


“Your pretty face has lit up seeing this,” Malik said, “But not with happiness, I see. Fear, I think it is. Great for me; terrible for you. But anyway, once we’d tracked these Footprints, we traced them back here. You see, in our dimension, you lot were erased by Ol’e Lud Smith and we, the WD, rose to power,” he paused, “Well… not exactly. We were never a happy bunch, you see. So, instead of wasting our efforts screwing up our Smith, we decided to come here and screw up yours.”

“Who’s ‘we’?” said Rogue.

Malik laughed, “The look on your face! Priceless! What do you care who ‘we’ is? I’ve been given leave to speak with you, and frankly I can’t leave without a couple of other things,” Malik smashed the lamp into Rogue’s face.

“They said I couldn’t kill you,” he said, and Rogue shut her eyes, trying to blot out the pain as shards of glass pricked her skin coupled with the blistering of fire, “But they didn’t say nothing about torture.”



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The guard finally gave up on Rogue after she head-butted him in the face. The bowl of food he was trying to feed her smashed on the floor, the contents splattering on the walls. He shook his head, sighed, and walked out. He wasn’t all that bad. Sentimental and sympathetic, really, if Rogue was being rational. Frankly, it was the only thing that kept her from snapping the guard’s neck with her legs.


Rogue ran her tongue along her bottom lip, finding the gap. She winced at the chemical taste of anti-septic and the metal taste of blood. Half of her bottom lip was gone; the white of her teeth and pink of her gums visible. The side of her face that had been smashed by the lamp burned furiously. Rogue was hanging in her cell by chains, her feet dangling from the ground by, perhaps, only 15-20 centimeters.

But Gravity was not merciful.

Rogue looked up, her eyes blurry, and saw the chains binding her hands, cutting into her flesh. The chains ascended up into the ceiling.


Rogue sighed coldly, not wanting to reminisce all the things Malik had done to her. He’d talked a whole lot.

She’d be executed publically in three days.

She was on the highest floor of this prison.

No one had ever escaped from here.

The Brotherhood was in chaos.

Her absence was unnoticed.

The five German mercenaries had been killed in the fray.


Rogue’s mind was still foggy – she couldn’t quite remember everything that had happened on the day she’d been captured – but those five soldiers, specifically, had always been there for her. Their deaths were the hardest news to hear. They were part of her family. And now they were gone.


Requiescat in Pace,” she said, looking up at the ceiling, tears stinging in her eyes, “May your ascent to Eternal Salvation be swift, no doubt I will be joining you soon. But for now, I’ll abide a little longer in this Worldly Hell,” she paused, as water streaked down her cheeks, and stung her mutilated mouth, “I’ll do what I can. You will be avenged. Justice will be served. They will not break me. Not now, not ever.”


Her words were empty, in a way.

There was no way out of here.

There is always a way out.

But the pain was too much. She couldn’t cope with it.

No pain would be bestowed on a person, unless they could handle it.

They’d fed her food filled with sedatives! She could practically smell it.


It couldn’t be!

They’re only working because you believe they’re working.


Rogue nodded. There was a way out. She gritted her teeth, and looked up. Her hands were numb. She opened and closed them a few times, and the blood rushed into them. She examined the ceiling. It was covered in huge square slabs of terracotta. There was one square that looked strangely more separate from the others.


She nodded. There was no other way. This was a cell on the top floor of this building. That means above this… the roof!

Rogue twisted around and faced the wall behind her, planting each foot firmly on the cold wall. Then, slowly, she began to climb up the wall using the chains.


Urgh, Rogue bared her teeth, frustrated, Gravity is a bitch!


Her foot slipped several times, and her wrists groaned in pain.

Pain is good. It reminds you you’re alive.

Stupid survival instinct.

Shut up, and keep climbing.

When Rogue had reached the top, she turned around to face the trapdoor. She stared at it for a while, examining it to see if there was a catch.


Why would there be?

Rogue took a deep breath, and lashed out at the door with her foot.


That is not how you kick!


Rogue climbed out of the trapdoor – her mind yelling Amateur! all the while – pain shooting up her leg.

Like you weren’t in enough pain already!

Stupid, stupid survival instinct.

Shut up, you! There’s someone else up here.

Rogue looked around, and there, behind her stood a guard. His back to her – standing by the parapet.

How could he not have heard her?

Who cares? Get rid of him!

Rogue looked at the chains binding her hands and nodded. It would be an easy kill.

No. He didn’t have to die.

What? Are you going to turn invisible? You know you can’t do that!

Rogue could knock him out.

This is no time to be all virtuous! Kill him and be done with it!

There was always room for morals.

Stupid, stupid consciousness!


Rogue strode up to him, slowly, and wrapped the chains around his neck, cupping his mouth with one hand. He struggled at first, but then slowly passed-out. Rogue knelt beside him. That’s why he hadn’t heard her! He had egg-plugs in.

“Tut, tut,” she said aloud, “Puritan guards should not be listening to Tagore. The man was burned at the stake for heresy, after all.”

She took the daggers on his belt, his purse brimming with money, and the hooded fleece he wore beneath his uniform. She stuffed the daggers and purse in the drawstring bag he’d had on, and slung the bag onto her back. She wore the fleece, pulling up the hood, the cold night air instantly dampened by the warmth of the material. She took the guard’s boots, and looked at the guard’s bayonet in distaste whilst she was putting them on. She took the long-gun-with-a-knife-attached-to-it reluctantly, and stood by the parapet.


Rogue breathed in the dense Bengal air, ignoring the strange smell though conscious of the air going in and out of her lungs. She was free to go. Her mangled mouth smiled.


Justice will be served.

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