[Mock-Fiction] V - Fures Misericordiam

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

Aye. Tis me again.

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15. 13 – Dante

The back room that the attendant led Mariqah and Edward to was a large square room – containing little furniture, but several stacks of folders and piles of paper. There were shelves to the left and the right – all filled with books that were falling apart and books that were brand new. It was the most chaotic archive that both Edward and Mariqah had set eyes on. At the far end, in front of a large window, sat a man at his desk, his feet on the table-top and glass of thin red liquid in his hand. He had long rugged hair and a well-kept goatee – very dark in stark contrast to his pale skin. He had a white scar across his left cheek, and light blue eyes  that held a sense of humour and a striking intensity. He wore a crisp white shirt, a red tie and a black suit – his dark shoes shining in the dim lighting of the room. On seeing them, he sat up, placing his glass on the desk, and brought his hands forward.

 

“Well, well,” he said, “Hasn’t it been a while, since I last saw you?” he spoke with a lisp.

Mariqah tipped her head to a side, pulling down her hood, and said, “When did I last see you?”

“Beats me, must be when you were having things set up here,” said Dante, laughing a little, “Welcome, welcome. And apologies for the incompetence of my workers. We haven’t the best of the best in London, ‘specially not in East,” he spread his arms, “I’ll have them bring you both seats, which leads me to my next question,” Dante eyed the large man in the leather jacket warily, “Who’s your… partner?”

“Normally, I’d tell you, but I prefer to build the suspense,” said Mariqah, sitting as two attendants brought chairs.

“Business first, then?” smiled Dante, “As usual?”

 

“Aye,” said Mariqah, “I need to set a course for Nassau.”

“Woah, hold your horses, Rogue,” said Dante, snapping his fingers and having an attendant bring in a tray carrying two glasses and a bottle of red wine, “Care for some?”

“No,” said Mariqah, “But Edward might.”

“Edward, is it?” said Dante, pouring a glass, “All the same. Explain why you’re not in your barracks in Masyaf. Why are you hanging about comfy-cosy over here, eh? And, Rogue, why are your mercenaries out of all firing-lines, sitting pretty in their barracks in Normandy?” he smirked, “You haven’t turned rogue on us, have you?”

“Will that never get old?”

“No.”

 

“I left last year after the Wars with the WD.”

“Correction: You went AWOL. Absent without leave. Ran away.”
“Aye, aye,” said Rogue, “But it wasn’t my own little conspiracy. I took a hint from a… friend. I promised him, actually, that I’d leave Masyaf and stay out of action for at least a year.”

“What ‘friend’, Rogue?”

“One you’d be happy to hear about – Altair Ibn LaAhad.”
Dante paused, “Altair, of all people, told you to leave Masyaf?”

“Aye.”

“Why?”

“Because I was going out my mind. Quite literally.”
“Are you aware, Rogue, that there’s a huge bounty on your head?”

“Well, that’s what I expect from–”

“Not from Simeon. From Richard.”

 

Mariqah paused. Even though Mariqah had reset the foundations of the Fortress at Masyaf, Il Mentore Richard was the leader of the Brotherhood – an organisation based in Masyaf, Anarchistic Jordo-Syria – that fought against the forces of Lodovico Smith (and now his son) and the allies of the UAF. Mariqah had worked under Richard for several years – as a soldier in wars, and a mercenary to gain funds and favour from outsiders. But last year, the tide had turned against Richard a little after he became less and less integrated with the Brotherhood and Mariqah had become an independent warlord of sorts. The members had begun to disregard him, and had all but lost respect for him.

Most of all, from Midnight Rogue herself.

But still – she hadn’t expected him to put a bounty on her head. She supposed that being close to the heart of her enemy had kept her from the fangs of that treacherous viper.

 

Richard has put a bounty on my head?” she repeated, slowly.

“Yes, he has. And a heavy one too,” said Dante, leaning back in his chair, “He reckons you’re trying to destroy him through exterior means.”

“The bastard,” Mariqah muttered, “Do you intend to hand me in?”
“Well…” Dante’s expression turned impassive for a moment, before it broke into a large smile, “Oh, please. Cut me some slack, Rogue! You’re among friends here.”

“That’s what they told me back at the Brotherhood.”

“I know, I know, but you appointed me here, and I, for one, intend to honour that decision by shutting up about meeting you in any time, any place,” he gestured to the wine, “Please, have a glass.”
“I don’t drink, Dante,” she said, dismissing his offer with a wave of her hand, “Period. So, give me a brief update. What’s the story in Masyaf?”

 

“All is not well,” Dante’s face became sombre, “Richard has used some iron-fist methods to regain control after everyone found out you were gone – after the mercenaries left their barracks. What’s more interesting is that Myra – who was due to marry Richard – left with your mercenaries. I made a few inquiries and found that Richard – get this – had been in a liaison with Abbess Britney for some time.”

“The Abbess?” Mariqah narrowed her eyes, “W… Wait, what kind of liaison are we talking here?”

“Oh, come on, lass,” said Edward, rolling his eyes, “Not every clergyman or clergywoman is as dry as your Father Samuels.”

“Woah, okay, um,” said Mariqah, “Proceed.”

“Anyway, they’ve both seized power and they’ve been making some serious arrests within the Brotherhood itself.”

“Arrests? For what?”

“Nobody knows. There was supposed to be emissaries going out from all the other locations: Bengal, Ethiopia, Britain, Nassau and Normandy; to have a lengthy audience concerning this – but the talks keep getting postponed. Top members have been charged and imprisoned: with what, though, we still have to hear. They’ve arrested Lia, GND, Enya and Sakura. Mitchel and Shire were charged, but not imprisoned. Though, all of Shire’s elves have been kept under house-arrest. And in the meanwhile, there’s been a  bounty on your head and on Rhiannon’s! It’s crazy!”

“Sounds like a right mess…” Mariqah mumbled.

Mess? It’s a bloody landfill! I’m going to Masyaf, scheduled or not, next week to see–”

 

“Alright, Alighieri, your turn to hold your horses!” said Mariqah, “You go there, and they’ll just slam a gate in your face too. That’s not the way you’re going to play this. Have patience. Let them see the wrong of their ways. Don’t interfere.”

“But–”

“Talks will get you nowhere, Dante. I know ol’e Dickey-boy. He’s not one who wants to listen,” she coughed, “But back to what I came here for – I need safe passage to Nassau.”
“Nassau…? Hmm, why?”

“Because,” she pulled off Edward’s hood, “This here is no ordinary Edward. This is Edward Kenway. The Edward Kenway. Now, before you go all fangirl over his arse, please – I don’t know how he got here and I need to send him back to the time he came from. Jess’ll know how – and thank God she’s in Nassau, otherwise I don’t think I’d’ve been able to reach her, with all these arrests!”

 

“Hmm,” Dante paused, and stood up, looking out of his window, “It will take a while to arrange, Rogue. And I’ll need funding.”

“I can give you that.”
“No. I can’t have the Brotherhood know that you’ve been here and that I’m protecting you. You’re an enemy in the eyes of Richard and Britney,” he paused, “Our funds have been running low since our gambling den got cursed with the presence of William Sedrick.”
“Eh?”

“He keeps winning. Everything. He’s bleeding us dry, drip by drip,” Dante looked at Mariqah, “I also happen to know that he’s a man for Simeon in Court.”
 

“Will you quit hinting and start saying?”

“Kill him for me, and in a month’s time I’ll have the funds to send you to Nassau,” said Dante, “On condition – that you come back to Britain and help me sort out the trouble in Masyaf.”
“My lads are in Normandy, did you say?”

“Yes.”

 

“Send them word from me. Tell them I’ll be joining them soon. But, be safe, a’right? No use in getting you into trouble,” she rose from her seat, “In the meantime – this gambling den. Going to need to look the part – get me a dress, the most uncomfortable looking shoes you can find, and one of those furry, animal scarf thingies,” said Mariqah, “And get this one,” she pointed at Edward, “a black waistcoat, a white shirt, a bowtie, a decent pair of trousers and some good shoes. I’ll leave all the sizes with your receptionist, send me the bill,” she turned to walk out.

 

“Where are you going?” asked Dante.

“To book a day at the spa. And God help me, you owe me bigger than Nassau for this,” she turned a little, “I’m sure you two will make good company for each other.”

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