[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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12. Ten - Unlucky No. Seven

Emperor Lodovico Smith was not happy.

 

He sipped his tall glass of iced mango juice, as he watched the city of Calcutta in the afternoon sunshine. He grimaced, wondering why he’d ever wanted Bengal. Only about a tenth of the population above the poverty-line; the rest: diseased, disabled, starving, orphaned, widowed, and/or homeless. The only thing he seemed to like about the place was the determination of the working population – they tried so hard to make money. Bengal could be useful as an industrial asset, but the UAF was already flourishing under Smith’s reign.

Smith had no need for an economic boost.

Still, the wildlife here was impressive… perhaps he could take a few samples and fill the circuses scattered all over the UAF with them. It would keep the people happy.

 

The door burst open behind him, and the Emperor turned slowly to greet the sight. Queen Prithy Choudary stood, disheveled, and locked in the arms of two guards.

“What is the meaning of this?” she rasped, bewildered.

Smith set down his glass, and spread his arms, “Good to see you too, wife, dearest,” he smiled sardonically.

“Lodovico!”

Emperor Smith to you, darling,” he said, “Please, take a seat,” Smith gestured to the couch opposite. The Queen sat nervously, but the Emperor remained standing.

 

“Explain yourself,” she said hoarsely.

“I need not explain anything,” he replied calmly, “But I’m assuming you have a good explanation for your… plans.”

The Queen stared at him, “What are you talking about?”
“Oh, so it’s that game you want to play, is it?” Smith narrowed his eyes, “Why have you taken, without any instruction from me, measures into your own hands, hmm? Why is the Midnight Rogue running around Bengal causing me strife? Why is she killing off the guards that I’ve so generously given you? Why do you bring me this shame?”
 

The Queen’s mouth parted, unable to speak.

How did he know all of this? she thought

“On whose orders did you capture that nuisance?”
“I… I did it for you.”

Smith laughed, “For me?” he laughed again, “For me?”

“Yes… members of the Brotherhood are sailing this way now to retake their mercenary. Masyaf is left open for attack.”
“Open for attack? You’re a more stupid woman than they give you credit for!” Smith snapped, “Masyaf is never left open for attack. The Brotherhood are weak, but they aren’t stupid. They must have thought the same thing, sailing here. Whining: ‘Ol’e Lud took Rogue so that he’d leave us unarmed. He’ll attack us at our weakest’. You did this for me? You made me a coward before my enemies! Rogue’s death will do nothing for me. Nothing! I kill her, and the Brotherhood will pounce on my Empire like a cornered lion. Don’t open your mouth, you fool of a woman, I’m far from done,” Smith leaned forward, bearing his teeth at Choudary.

 

“And why have you gone to the trouble of making allies with my enemies? The heathens and the outcasts?”

The Queen’s eyes widened, “I didn’t–”

“Oh, don’t pull that rubbish on me!” Smith slapped her, “Throwing Cowell to the Tardis! Using Malik to torture Rogue! What else did you have planned, you witch? Resurrecting the other members of the WD? So you can stab me in the back when I least expect it?”

“I would never–”

 

“Spare me your begging, I have no need for it!” Smith snapped. He sighed, composing himself, and picked up his glass of mango juice, “I’m done with you. You’ll be burnt at the stake in the morning. For all you’re worth, I should let the Midnight Rogue tear you to pieces. But I am afraid I cannot not grant her that courtesy,” he began walking toward the door.

“But… But Lodovico, I am your wife!”

Smith stopped, and turned his head, “You’re my seventh,” he paused, “Go figure.”

“No! No! I can make amends! I can make this right!”

 

“You are the Eve to my Adam. I cannot afford to be thrown out of the Utopia I have built. Not now. Not ever. You must be removed, or my Empire will crumble,” Smith walked out without a backwards glance.

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