[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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11. Nine - Phone call

Rogue slept well that night. She had time to take a shower, and felt clean as she put on her clothes. She checked the cupboards [all of them] and found them bare and empty. She shrugged, and wore the same clothes she’d been stuck with for the past few days. She came out of her room and found Dann in the dining room, playing some awkward form of charades with Uncle Shauheed. The house-keeper rose as Rogue entered.

 

Bou-ka,” she said to him.

Ammar kham asse,” he regarded Dann, “Bangla mat-tho farre na?”
Rogue shook her head, “Ji na.”

The house-keeper shrugged, “Khethleer fanni gorom asse. Cha khayyo.”

Rogue nodded and Uncle Shauheed left the room. She poured herself a cup of tea and took a seat opposite Dann.

“I hate you,” he said immediately.

“Why? What did I do?” said Rogue, with a smirk.

“You two were talking about me again.”
“He just asked if you spoke Bangla or not, and I said no,” Rogue sipped her tea, “Stop being so sensitive, Dann, he’s not so bad. My grandmother would have given you a full-on Bangla lecture if she found out I had a nephew that couldn’t speak their native language.”

“Even though she knew I didn’t understand?”

Especially because you couldn’t understand. All you’d hear is a mixture of singing and yelling.”
“Screamo punk-rock then?”
Rogue nodded, smiling, “Without the music.”

 

“So…” said Rogue, “You sleep well last night?”
“Yes, except it was so hot under that mosquito net.”
“I’d completely forgotten about that,” laughed Rogue.

“You didn’t get bitten?”
“Of course I did! All over. But I slept like a log,” she said, looking out of a window, “The last few nights have been pretty rough for me.”

Dann nodded, and tried to avoid the awkward subject, “So, what’s the plan of action today?”
“I’m not entirely sure yet…”

“Go on.”
 

Rogue leaned forward, “Well, there’s a cellphone in the bag I took from the guard on the night of my escape… I can use it to call a friend from the Brotherhood, but…”

“But?”

“The phone is probably tapped. They’re probably listening to every line they can to find out anything about my whereabouts.”

“And they don’t know you live here?”
“People don’t know my real name, Dann,” Rogue paused, “Which reminds me – my house-keeper’s said my name a few dozen times already… have you caught onto it yet?”

Dann stared at her, “No.”

Rogue laughed, “I love my house-keeper.”

Dann shook his head irritably, “The plan.”

 

Rogue became serious again, “That’s it. Should I do it or not? If the phone is tapped, and I’m sure beyond a doubt that it is, then the two of you will have to leave.”

“And go where? I’m not taking another ride in that cab again!”

“I can send you to Borhat, the place of my maternal heritage. Uncle Shauheed will be able to get you in, and I can meet you there.”
“How will you get there if this place starts swarming with soldiers?”

“I can find my way. And if not, then I’ll take a cab there.”
“So you want me to just leave you on this mission, which borders on suicide, and go to your cousins in Borat?”

“Borhat. Yes, I do.”
 

“What if you get caught again?”
“I have a chance of getting away… but you, Dann…” Rogue paused, “I couldn’t take it if something happened to you.”

“And you feel that I can sleep easy if something happened to you?”
“Plenty of things have happened to me for the last fifteen years, you’ve slept easy all that time.”
“Yes, well, this is different. I can’t leave you here, completely unarmed and–”

Rogue shook her head, “I’m not unarmed. I can make my way out of a fight. You need to leave, Dann.”

 

Dann stood up, “Don’t make this phone call.”

“Dann?”
“You said you’d give anything to return to your normal life, Midnight – take that opportunity now! Forget the phone call, forget the Brotherhood! Live your life. No more killing, no more dying, and no more getting hurt.”

Rogue paused, her mouth dry, and said, “I… can’t do that.”

“Why not?”
“Because…” she paused, struck by the words. Rogue stood up, “Because I picked this path. I pledged allegiance to the Brotherhood, and I’m not going to stray from my word. It’s like that song goes: I don’t back up, I don’t back down. This is  my normal life, Dann.”

Dann shook his head in disbelief, “What of this all fails? All your efforts, wasted? Your life’s purpose, futile? Hmm?”

Rogue pointed at him, her finger shaking. She wanted to say that justice always prevailed in the end, but no. Justice prevailed only after bloodshed, sacrifice and it took time. And time is the thing that kills us, if not anything else. Rogue gulped and said, “Then… then I’ll die knowing I tried to make a difference, Dann.” She breathed, and Dann saw tears in her eyes.

“Midnight…?”

“You… you’re going to call that cab, and you’re going to get out of here,” she said, sniffing, “And if I don’t get to Borhat by nightfall, don’t expect to see me again.”

She turned and walked off.

 

 

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

 

 

There were no stairs to the second floor of the building. Rogue’s father had said, one time, that it was a defensive measure. She understood the comment now. Rogue climbed up onto the second floor, and unslung her drawstring bag. She took out the cell phone and stared at it, Dann’s words floating around in her head.

 

Your life’s purpose, futile.

 

Her shoulders sagged, her mind caught between a want and a need. She needed to contact Marshall… but she didn’t want to. This rebellion business played with her emotions. She’d had hopes and dreams before she’d gotten all caught up in it. She dreamt she’d work in a garage, fixing cars and motorbikes, leaving work to go somewhere she called home. To family. To children of her own. And she’s had to sacrifice all of that, for the fear of them not being safe.

 

And now?

Job title: Mercenary. Assassin. Cut-throat killer.

Home: Military barracks in the middle of an anarchistic desert.

Marital status: Married to job.

Children: 800-1000 mercenaries.

Level of safety: An absolute zero. Perhaps even bordering on -1.

 

It all seemed a little sad in comparison. She bowed her head a little, the survival instinct kicking at her brains, saying: Throw the damned thing away! Listen to everything Fairface just told you! You’ll be safer that way!

Rogue nodded. She’d be safer. But it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

Damn you, you bloody stupid consciousness!!

Shut up, survival instinct.

What Rogue had said to Dann was the right thing. This was her path, and if she strayed from it, she’d regret it for the rest of her life.

 

She’d be safe, but not from herself.

 

Rogue got up, grim with determination, and climbed onto the roof. She punched in a number, and as the tune rang she saw a car pull away from the main road.

Good, she thought, Dann and Uncle are gone.

 

There was a click, and Richard picked up, “Hello?”

“Listen,” she said, “I haven’t got much time. Where are you right now?”
“Uh, hello? Who is this?” Richard’s voice was slurred, “Is that you, Rogue?”

“Of course it’s–” Rogue paused, “Dear God, Richard, are you drunk?”

“Hell yes!”

Rogue smacked a palm into her face, “Pass the phone to someone who’s sober.”

“No-one’s sober on this ship, cutie.”

“What the hell did you call me?!” Rogue yelled into the phone, “Wait… you’re on a ship? Vesp’s ship?”

“Yes, you should have seen the sea battle!”

“Sea battle? Is everyone alright?”
“Two mercenaries died, but we won!”

Rogue’s heart sank, “They… how many of them are there all together?”
“Well, let’s see,” Richard paused, “One, two, five…”

“No, no!” Rogue breathed sharply in frustration, “Listen! Richard.”

“But–”

“No! I’m only going to say this once. You’ll meet me at one of the docks in Chittagong. You got that? Chittagong.”

“Is that in China?”

“Just,” Rogue held in the frustration, “Just remember the name. Chittagong. Vesp will know where it is.”

“Alright.”

 

Rogue turned off the phone, and prepared to leap into the nearest tree. But just then she saw soldiers kick open the front gate, and step into the front yard. There were five of them. She waited for them to get into the house. She heard voices. And then gasped.

Dann.

He hadn’t left. Rogue’s heart raced. There was laughter, and then two sharp cracks ripped through the silence. Rogue gritted her teeth, furious tears seeping out of her eyes. She was tired of running. She jumped off the roof, landing in a crouch. She ripped out an axe that had been left lodged in a tree stump.

 

Now was the time for vengeance. Now was the time for justice.

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