[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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4. Two - The Queen and Her Guest

Calcutta was beautiful at night. The few dozen mansions stood firmly all around the Palace, and the tenement buildings succeeded them off into the distance. The small roads had few pedestrians at this time of night, and the lights that blotted the dark city were flickering off one by one. The sound of the cars and motorbikes were dying away slowly also, and soon the only thing that would be left to hear would be the crickets chirping rhythmically, disturbed by the odd howl of a stray dog.

 

Queen Prithy Choudary, soon to be known as Empress Smith, smiled as she engulfed the sight of her capital city at night. It was ten years since Bengal had broken off from the rest of the Indian subcontinent and had merged with East Bengal [formally known as Bangladesh]. She was supposedly the descendent of Subhash Chandra Bose, but that was a myth. The fact: Prithy had used her influence in Bengal – being known as a Bengali gentlewoman – to persuade the soldiers and the noblemen to separate from India. She was a diplomat, a back-seat driver to the core, and she’d succeeded in becoming a queen, and soon, an empress.

 

She sat on a couch an enjoyed the surroundings of one of the rooms in her Palace. It was said that the building out-shone the Taj Mahal, but then – who cared? It was a palace. Her palace. That was all that mattered. The ambiance was destroyed by the Guest seated opposite her. He was glaring at her, with some form of contempt or, perhaps, lust. She wouldn’t have been surprised either way.

The Guest eyed the Queen. She was gorgeous. Large brown eyes lined with kohl; long dark lashes; thin, perfectly-shaped eyebrows; flawless, beige skin; high cheekbones; full, pink lips that smiled in a cunning way; and long, silky black hair pinned up in an intricate set of curls. The Queen wore an expensive bottle-green sari, raw silk, a thick border heavy with a pattern wrought in gold. Gold finery hung from her neck, and gold bangles with green designs shimmered on her bare, hair-less arms.

Two uniformed guards stood at each end of the couch, bayonets in their hands and sharp daggers in their belts.

 

For a long while, the pair stared at each other – unable to break the silence.

 

“Expensive,” said the Guest.

“Indeed,” replied the Queen.

“The prisoner…” the Guest hesitated, “Secure?”

“Of course.”
“And the plan… will it succeed?”

“Certainly.”
“The Emperor…”
“What about him?”
“What’s his part in this?”

“He doesn’t know.”

“Your Highness?”

“He doesn’t need to.”

“But–”

 

The Queen raised a hand, and sat up a little straighter. She placed her hands in her lap, “The Brotherhood will be defeated. There will be disorder within their ranks. They will rot from the inside out. After that hindrance is removed, I will prove my worth to the Emperor. And when he least expects it,” the Queen ripped out a dagger from the belt of one of her guards and stabbed the whole blade into the coffee table before her. The table shuddered for a moment, and then a crack appeared. The fracture widened and lengthened, groaning with a tearing sound, and split in half – each piece falling sideways, “I will have an Empire no other Indian monarch has ever had. The UAF will be mine.”

The Guest gulped, “But the Brotherhood are strong, my Lady.”

Prithy put her hand on her coach and picked up an item. She stared at it thoughtfully.

 

“There is only one benefit,” she said, smirking, “in having an enemy that wears a mask…”

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