[Mock-Fiction] IV - Alea Iacta Est {Rogue's Story}

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

Yup. Just the one perspective.

Cover by Secrets Unfold

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14. 11 – The Summoning

The ground shivered, the dust of the desert land rolling, as the Nazgul overhead landed in the midst of the chosen ground of the summons. Here the rifts would be opened. Here Squishy would be sacrificed. Rogue tarried behind, dragging her feet along, and looked up at the pale white Nazgul. He had a soldier from the enemy camp between his lips, dangling by the leg. The soldier was screaming all sorts of profanities – which called the people out of their houses to gawk at him in amazement and disgust. Rogue saw Jess walk out of one of the tents, carrying certain items in her arms and Nina – her chosen apprentice – scurry out after her, finishing the final touches. Squishy threw up the cursing soldier and caught him in his gaping maw. A lump slithered down his long throat, a loud gulping sound audible enough to make the onlookers sick. He turned his head to his master, stretching his neck to nudge her with his muzzle.

She fell backwards and said nothing.

Squishy licked her face.

But still she said nothing.

 

Rogue got up slowly, patting the Nazgul’s muzzle, distracted. The Pieces of Eden were held in stands and on plinths. There was a wire attaching each to the other. It was like a network, a web of the world’s most powerful weapons.

“This is it,” she said quietly, holding the Nazgul’s over-sized face with both of her hands, “This is where it ends, Squishy. Where… you end,” the Nazgul noted the creases in her forehead, the quivering of her tilted lips. He snorted at her. She turned away slightly, and looked back at him, trying to smile, “I just hope… I hope it’s all worth it.”

“Rogue,” Jess was calling her.

“Jess?”

“The Anchors are coming,” she said, “I can’t have you too close to Squishy when we begin.”
 

Rogue nodded and looked at the ground. At that moment, everything felt too quick. The

way she let go of Squishy and the way he huffed at her again. It seemed too fast. She felt it should have been played in slow-motion.

She walked a little way off, as the Anchors took their places as directed by Jess. Rogue caught sight of Darim standing next to his father and Malik. She sighed, finding the air that escaped her mouth intensely cold.

“Ready?” Jess asked everyone.

They each gave a nod, Squishy screamed up into the sky.

Rogue turned to the endless ever-clear desert sky.

Tears were not tears if they stayed in your eyes.

 

A low hum began, the vibrating energy shaking the ground. The hum grew slowly louder; the ground shaking like an earthquake was taking hold. People came out of their shelters, out of the Masyaf Fortress, gasping at the sight.

Richard ran out of the fortress, wailing something like: “What is the meaning of this?” He caught sight of Jess, her hair flailing in the air, a blue energy crackling around her. She looked ominous, sorcerous. Richard wondered what on earth was going on. He had not authorized this.
Rogue heard the crash of pillars, the frightened groan of camels. The vibrations felled trees.

The people stood in wonder as small swirling wormholes opened up in mid-air, above the Anchors. The Rifts gradually widened, showing the armies beyond. The Nazgul screamed, its wings widening. The scream pierced the hears, the very souls, of every watcher from miles away. The scream was breathless, consistent. Rogue noted that it began to wane.

I had a dream my life would be, so different from this Hell I’m living…” she found herself mumbling, her eyes still directed skyward.

A troop of footsteps emerged, the numbers many, loud confused chattering began. The scream echoed on for a little while longer before there was a sharp silence, and the ground thundered with a loud thump.

 

Rogue saw clouds gather in the sky, almost by magic. As if they had heard of something big happening the desert they’d for so long forsaken, and congregated to take a look at what was going on. There was thunder. A pause. Small specks of fluffy white descended. Flakes of snow fell on Rogue upturned face. She closed her eyes, unable to comprehend the relishing she felt at the cold on her face.

Someone was reciting poetry:

Ah, but this waste-land should be so:

That the most fruitful o’ the land should gather.

‘Tis but a wonder. A merciful blow,

That forsaken land can never weather.

Look at the fruitful ploughed on this land,

And their hearts, which also rigidly stand.

That the heavens should cry tears of ice!

On the day that one of a cruel race

Committed the ultimate sacrifice,

And saw tears on his master’s face.

Hear ye, my people, note this: Hark;

This land never shall darkness mark.

For could such a dark beast be so loved

That all cry when he is removed?

 

It was a voice Rogue had never heard before. Rogue looked away from the sky, towards the hordes of armies in front of her. Something queer caught her eyes.

There was the Altair’s army, Ezio’s army, Boudicca’s army, Cromwell’s, Joan of Arc’s, Leonidas’s, Alfred’s, the Kingdom’s, the Agents… but also Elves.

Their leader caught her eye, “Greetings,” she said to Rogue, her voice still a melodious, poetic tune, “I am Shire, princess of Lothlorien. Your Nazgul summoned us.”

Shire was tall and lithe. She wore battle armor of gray and green – as most of her soldiers around her. There was a elvish sword at her side and in one hand she held an intricately-made shield. Her face was white and her locks of hair were like threads of pure gold.

 

Rogue pushed passed her, and all the other soldiers, to her Squishy. There were cries of wonder and shock as she did so.

There was a glimmer of life yet in his eyes.

“Elves?” she whispered to him, tears flanking her face, “Elves…”

Squishy lapped at her weakly, his eyelids drooping like hoods over his eyes.

“Oh, thank you,” she said hugging his face, sighing between her cries, “Would that I could have sacrificed the world in your place!”

He breathed in heavily, and breathed out one last time.

“No,” she whispered, the snow pouring now, “no, no, no…”

There were sharp crackling sounds, like ice cracking. Rogue looked up and stared – bewildered by what she saw. Squishy, bit by bit, was turning to stone. Rogue only had just enough time to close his eyelids, before they glazed over – grey rock. A statue.

A hand touched her shoulder – perhaps as a sympathetic gesture.

“Your pain is understood,” she heard a silky elvish voice say. Rogue was silent for a long while.

 

But it didn’t take too long for a deep sadness to transform into a seething anger.

 

Go a-way!” she screamed.

 

---

Author’s Note:

The following scene is not pretty. That taken into consideration, some of the words have been altered in order for the story to remain… relatively child-friendly.

---

 

Everyone drew back one step. As in the Bureau, she had gone mad. She saw red. A hoard of enemies. An air of danger surrounded her like a shroud. Her hands were balled into fists, her eyes flitting from one target to the next, roving uncontrollably.

Then there was that voice again in her head:

Didn’t I tell you? Wasn’t I right?”

Rogue fell on her knees, covering her ears with her contorted hands. A loud siren, an alarm rang sharply in her ears. And it wouldn’t stop. She screamed like her Nazgul, eyes squeezed tightly, unable to stop the ringing that had begun to hurt her head.

Go on, tell me I was wrong! You pathetic child! What do you have here but death, death and more death?

“Get the duck out of my head!” she yelled.

 

“Didn’t I tell you?” Rogue opened her eyes. It wasn’t the voice this time. It was Richard. “Didn’t I tell you I needed to sanction things?”

The ringing consistently blaring in her ears, she breathed through her gritted teeth and rasped: “Shut up.”

“Really, Rogue? After everything that just happened, I’m still the one in the wrong?”

Shire tried to pull him away, “Richard, perhaps you should–”

“No!” he snapped, “Ever since this silly business has begun, I’ve had my authority compromised!” he turned to Rogue, “Well, then, you got a witty remark to spare? Or perhaps an apology, since that would be more fitting?”

“Shut up, Richard!” she barked this time.

Richard was not moved, “Go on, tell me I was wrong.”

“I s-ai-d,” Rogue lashed out at him viciously, “sh-u-t the duck u-p!”
Richard was flung back, holding his head. By the sound of the thumping, his brain must have been bouncing around like a tennis ball that was hit by a cricket bat in an extremely small place. He knew Rogue disliked him, but he never thought he’d be assaulted by her like this.

 

She was on her knees again, gasping her throat with one hand as if too much air was flowing in and out of it.

Ah that this too, too solid flesh would melt…” Shire heard her mumble.

What did I tell you? What did I tell you? Why won’t you ever listen to me?” said the voice.

“I need to get out of here, I…” she got up and pushed passed the soldiers and everyone whoe was standing and watching in horror. Khadir, who had been notified by someone in the audience that Rogue was having an episode and thus had just arrived, held her by the arms and shook her.

It had no effect on her. Rogue looked as if she was stuck in a trance, but she wasn’t aggravated by his actions as she was by Richard’s voice. “Khadir, please…” she said to him in Arabic.

Sayidatee, you are not well…” was his reply, she was pulling out of his grasp, “Let me take you to someone who can help you.”

“No-one can help me. Let me go.”

He stared at her, worriedly, “No-one?”

La ahadun!” she shouted at him, her brows creasing, “Hadhihi mushkilatee! Mushkila-tee!”

He let her go.

 

“Are you insane, man!” said one of the by-standers. He was speaking English, “She’s going to kill anyone she sees!”

“No,” replied Khadir, his English thick with an Arab accent. He’d been learning bits and pieces on Rogue’s orders, “No,” he repeated, “Rogue will no kill.”

“This is no time to deal with silly infatuations!” barked Richard, who’d apparently recovered from his shock and horror, “We need to go and stop her!”

“She has broblem…” said Khadir, not looking at him.

“Precisely why we should–”

“…only she can fix,” he continued, without listening, “She will fix.” He shook his head and said to himself in Arabic, “Waylee, waylee ya Khadir! That you should let this happen! Waylee…”

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