[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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11. 8 – Return

The Bureau suddenly became over-crowded. Rogue looked around, surprised at first that the whiteness had disappeared so fast, but her surprise turned to delight very quickly. Rogue felt her previous injuries return. Her hand went instinctively to her forehead, where she found the bandage from when she had been kicked in the head by a horse. It didn’t dampen her mood, though – it felt correct, right, familiar. But the heavy bag of weapons [souvenirs] she had taken from ancient Masyaf still cut into her shoulders.

 

“Home,” she mumbled, “Home.”

 

She scanned the faces of different people, from different places, from different times, from different realities. Some made her ecstatic, some made her grief-stricken, some she was simply relieved to see. Emmie, Lia, the Abbess were all present – with a similar dazed look on their faces. They had brought with them their targets. King Alfred and Leonidas caught her eye. The several Dann Fairfaces and Adam Gilrays also. And, of course, the Assassins she herself had brought. The members of the Brotherhood that were present were apparently expecting this occurrence, [Jess had probably told them] and Enya and Sakura smiled warmly at all of them.

There was, however, one face that made Rogue roll her eyes when she set her gaze on it.

 

Richard.

 

“Oh,” said Richard, apparently nonchalant, “you’re back. Just wonderful,” his nonchalance quickly turned to seething anger, “Why the hell did you go in the first place!”

All looked at each other.

“I understand what he is saying…” Rogue heard Darim mumble behind her, “But it’s not Arabic,” there were similar comments whispered amid the crowd.

Well?” said Richard, practically having a fit.

Jess and Enya shared a look. Sakura just looked bored, expecting this reaction.

“It was necessary,” Enya said, as if she had explained this many times.

“I was not addressing you!” Richard snapped coldly.

“Great,” said Lia, also rolling her eyes, “He saved a lecture for us.”

“You could have been killed!” Richard barked.

“But we weren’t…” said Abbess Britney, quietly.

“You could have been, and then where would we all be, eh? No mercenray leader, no abbess, no geniuses! And that’s not the least of it– Hey! Rogue, get back here!”

 

Rogue turned back from the direction in which she was walking, a bored expression on her face, “Oh, I’m sorry. Was I supposed to wait until you were finished?”

“This is the least I expected from you!” Richard clenched his fist and stomped his way to her.

Not for the first time, Rogue wished she was just a few inches taller.

“Me? What did I do?”

“You left without consent!”

“But you weren’t here for me to ask your permission – which, by the way and in case you have forgotten: I don’t really need to take, as my army is technically separate from everything you ‘own’. I made it that way on purpose.”

“But you conspired! You took these members with you!”

“Richard, I’m currently at a disadvantage,” she sighed, and feigned a swoon, “I got kicked in the head by a horse about– Oh, how long has it been, Enya?”
“Three weeks,” said Enya promptly.

 

“Three weeks ago,” Rogue repeated with a nod, “and frankly you aren’t helping much in the ways of  healing severe headaches– Oh my God!” she slapped the sides of her face with her palms as if she’d just realised something, “It’s been three whole weeks?!”

“Yes,” hissed Richard, narrowing his eyes – sensing a change of tactic.

“Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear,” she paced the ground as if in serious worry, “what has become of my mercenaries? You’ve all probably turned them into prancing little primadonnas by now!”

Myra glared at her, “Offence taken.”

“Oh, bish bosh, Myra – you know how they are! They’ve probably decked out their high-backed chairs, little round gazebo tables and china tea-sets by now! And I swear, if I find a single one of them in a tutu…” the thought made her visibly cringe.

There was surpressed laughter bouncing around the room.

 

“My headache appears to have only begun,” Rogue sighed, “Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll excuse myself. Happy lecturing,” she said to Richard walking out of the door, and then turned to the others present in the room, “And Happy Richard-Lecture-Time to the rest of you. If there isn’t any space for you guys to hang around in the Brotherhood bunkers, I’m sure we can make space in the barracks about 21 miles away, due true north of here. Cheerio!”

 

* * * * *

 

On seeing the state of her barracks, Rogue was furious. What little furniture the barracks had, was broken. There was mess everyhwere – paper and food and drink – and the men were fighting amongst each other and guffawing at the top of their voices and drinking from large flagons. Everything was a merry chaos. Rogue hated chaos. The voices of the men were so loud, she could barely make her own known to them. With her jaw set, she made a bee-line for a long table at the far end of the hall. She shoved and pushed – quite on purpose – and as the mercenaries sqwauked in annoyance, their faces blanched on seeing her. The room had grown considerably quieter when she reached the table. She climbed on top of it.

The hall was silent.

 

There was no greeting. Rogue calmed herself, closing her eyes for a second, “I’m only going to say this once: I’m going to play deaf and blind for one hour,” she said in a quiet, angry voice, “No more. No less. If I see a hair out of place, you really don’t want to know what’s coming to you. All of you. And,” she pointed at them, “don’t think I’ll leave a single nook or cranny unchecked. Understood?” she waited for the stricken nods to follow. She paused, “Go.”

The men ran around in every direction, hurrying to fix whatever mess they’d created. They were crashing into each other in their hurry, running around collecting up the rubbish on the floors and wiping the walls.

 

After a while of standing there, Rogue swam her way through the tide of mercenaies towards the staircase and ascended to her study. On entering, she sighed in relief. Rogue hadn’t expected anything less of what her mercenaries would get up to. Men were like children. Enough said.

She glanced around the book-shelved room, glad to find it had been left untouched. Rogue put down her bag, and unpacked all the items  with a happy smile on her face. She’d just finished putting everything away – making a mental note of showing the ancient version of the Hidden Blade to Da Vanci to get it fixed – when there was a knock on her door.

Rogue’s lips straightened into a thin line, knowing what was behind that door. She stood there for a while, considering whether or not to open the door – but decided she’d get it worse off later, if she didn’t open the door now.

 

So that was it. She released the hound.

 

There stood Richard, his arms folded, one of his feet thumping up and down. Rogue heard crashing and pandemonium coming from downstairs as the mercenaries ‘cleaned up’.

“Come to help?” Rogue said it as if it were a suggestion.

“Not quite,” said Richard, through clenched teeth, “I can’t believe you went!”

“Well, it happened,” said Rogue, turning back into her study, “But it’s clear you’re a patronising compulsive, so fire away.”

“Really? Offending me?” said Richard, stomping his way after her, “After what you did?”

“What? You run off all the time on your own,” said Rogue, already finding the conversation increasingly boring, “I don’t understand why, when I or anyone else does it, that it’s such a big deal.”
“Have you forgotten, Midnight Rogue, that I am the Mentore around here?”
“No.”

 

“So why are you challenging my authority?”

“I’m not. You might have sway on a lot of people – though I find your methods a little, er, undesirable – but you have absolutely no,” Rogue looked at him, “sway on me.”

“You think yourself special, Rogue?”

“Of course not. I’m no better than any other rogue – but that is what I am. I am a Rogue. A mischeif-maker. No human alive can control me. And the conditions were agreed in the beginning. I am a mercenary. My barracks are separate from the Brotherhood. My mercenaries do not necessarily have to obey anyone of the Brotherhood faction, lest I specifically tell them to. Which also implies that I am not obliged to tell you about everything I do. I just do it every so often so you don’t get on my case – which appears to be rare on occasion and absolutely irresistable on occurrence. And, just to be clear: Have you forgotten that I am the one that re-laid the foundations of Masyaf?”

“That is irrelevant!”

“Of course,” said Rogue with a shrug, “Anything I say will be at this point.”

 

“It does not justify the fact that members of the Bureau sanctioned a dangerous mission without my preciding over it. I can’t believe you, of all people, let them do that!”

“Will you stop saying that? They forwarded an idea, and asked me to join. So I did. I don’t understand what you have a problem with. You weren’t there to sanction it and – if you haven’t already noticed – we aren’t exaclty on top of the world on the Wrong Direction matter!”

“You could have died! You all could have!”

“But we didn’t!” Rogue became very red in the face, “We didn’t die!”

“Typical you,” said Richard, “always thinking you’re invincible.”

Excuse me? What did you just say? Mr. I’m-Never-Here-but-always-pretend-to-be?”

“I am the leader here!”

 

“This is an anarchy!” Rogue yelled, spreading her arms, “This is anarchistic Jordo-Syria! There is no leader! Get over yourself, mate!”

“Perhaps you should get over yourself!”

“Really? Really, Richard? Very mature. So mature, both my grandfathers just turned in their graves!”

“What, now you think yourself above fault?”
“No, I just don’t understand why I’m to blame for something that I didn’t come up with, just something I participated in!”

“Because you, of all people, should have understood the implications of it!”

“We did! I did! But we’re in desperate times!” said Rogue, “And that would mean we’d need to take desperate measures! Our enemies are out there: left, right and centre – pulling people from other realities, planning how to destroy us. And you’re moaning about what could have happened but clearly didn’t?”

Richard smacked his forehead, “You’re hopeless.”

 

“Sure,” said Rogue, shrugging, she pointed at the open door, “Get out.”

“What?”

“You heard me.”

“But–”

“I’m hopeless, remember? Leave. Now.”

“You can’t just–”

Rogue said the same thing she said to Ezio, but with a heavier edge of ice in her voice: “Don’t make me hurt you, Richard.”Hpw

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