[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.

Cover by Secrets Unfold

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27. 25 – Fate

Mariqah sat at a table at the Old Avery Tavern, silently scribbling her thoughts into her journal. Holding it up in her left hand, she took a long pull on a lighted cigarette and blew out from the corner of her mouth, as she wrote with her right. She heard someone ease into his seat opposite her. She looked up, curious, and then gave a small smirk.

 

“How long have you been sittin’ there, Ade?” she asked Adewale. She could see at the tables behind him, pirates nudging each other – smirking and laughing.

“Not long,” he said.

“Your friends think it funny, that you should sit with me,” Mariqah picked up the glass of (non-carbonated) lemonade sitting in front of her, and took a small sip, “Have you purpose for it? Or is it merely chance?”

“I… I had a question for you.”
“Aye, then tell it.”
He hesitated, “Well, I…” he made a gesture, “You’re skin… Captain Kenway tells me you’re a Briton. You’re a woman and yet a soldier-turned-mercenary, if he is not mistaken. How came it so, madam?”

 

“Madam?” Mariqah snorted, “Please, Ade, I ain’t no woman of any such quality and you ain’t one of my lads. Please, my name is Mariqah,” she paused for thought. Mariqah couldn’t tell Adewale the whole truth, that much was obvious… but she didn’t feel that entirely lying to him would be the correct way to deal with the situation either. Besides, wasn’t it the half-truth that made the best and worst of lies?

“It’s a story to tell, if ye have the time?”

“Much of it.”

 

“As for being British, my father was a Brit – some colonial master in the Indias. My mother, however, is someone I can fully credit into being the vixen that fooled my him into marrying her – myself being her means. Ah, she dreamt of being a respected White man’s wife, with wealth and prosperity. Only too bad that my father’s company crashed to pieces when we journeyed to England. I s’pose Fate has its way of telling everyone to know their place and stick to it. Had my good fair share of lacing m’family’s wallet with coin from the poor purses of rich men. Mine uncles taught me well, in that respect, and made me a fine fighter too. Soldiering came easy that way. It was never hard to trick a man. I disguised myself as a lad and signed in as a conscript after my mother died of scarlet fever. I was eighteen then,” she mused on the memory, “It was a hard time, but I didn’t want to look after her loathsome bunch of brats, what with my father pounding marriage on my head to some flimsy, stinkin’ rich dandy. Ran from home and found my place in a barracks. I turned mercenary after the Red Coats found out I was a woman who was too good at a man’s job. I was too far in to be ignored by then, and they booted me from camp. So I started my own army, and the going’s have been good since.”

 

“And your men take kindly to you?”

“Aye. The first few didn’t, but they got used to it,” she sighed, and cupped her chin in her hand, “now only God knows where my lads are and how many of them are left… After that shipwreck Captain Kenway saved me from, I don’t suppose too many. It makes me shiver to think they be at the bottom of an ocean, being ate by fish.”

“Well, you can always start again.”
“Aye, my name is something of a wonder in the East. Though, I don’t suppose you head that way much, like?” she shrugged her shoulders, “I’ll see if I can settle with piracy first, though. But… I’ve never had much love for the sea, or its people.”

He raised his flagon, “Aye, Mariqah, you be a pirate of the land.”
“To piracy, eh?” she clinked her glass with his and drank her lemonade.

 

Someone touched Mariqah’s shoulder from behind, “How much do you cost, lass?” said a deep voice.

She turned, holding her patience, “No amount of coin nor pretentious gentle-man-liness would get you a good night’s sleep out of me, Vane,” she said to the devilishly handsome face, “Man has yet to traverse my waters.”

“Pah, there’s only so much bartering I do.”

“Aye, so I’ve heard, from all the whores I’ve spoke to. You’re quite the haggler, aren’t ye?”

He laughed dismissively, “What’re you doing, talkin’ to that kind?”

“There ain’t never been nothing wrong with honest charity, mate.”
“Charity, you say?”

“Aye. Don’t assume all those pretty faces sleep with ye because they enjoy it,” she stood up, “They probably wouldn’t if Poverty didn’t press them to it.”

 

“I see you’ve finally begun to make some friends, Mari,” said Edward, as he passed by her the table, “And I see you’ve got your shirt and your boots, also. And now the Jackdaw has herself a latrine for your purpose.”

“Ahoy, Edward,” she took a sheet of paper from her journal, “Here’s your list.”
Edward held up the list, his eyes widening as he read it, “Devil curse me, Mari, this’ll cost me a fortune!”

“P’raps you should re-think beddin’ her then,” Vane muttered.
“It’ll be your money’s worth,” Mariqah assured.
He gave her a queer look, “These are Indian spices, Mari, and rare fruit in these parts.”

Mariqah took another pull on her cigarette dismissively, “Up to you, mate, I can put up with your iguana and your wild dog – but you’re the one that wanted a life of ease. And what’s money if not for spendin’?” she packed up her journal and put away her pens, and made her way to the veranda, Edward following her.

 

He pointed at the cigarette, “Ain’t that a danger to history, lass?”

Mariqah blew out smoke, “Have you heard what the lads have been saying about me? It’s humorous on a different level! They say I breathe fire – which is why I don’t drink rum for fear I might burst into flames! I think I’ve got m’self a reputation,” she laughed. Then paused, thinking: Cigarettes couldn’t have been too much of a stain on the course of history, otherwise the Matrix would have taken or changed them – like it did with her clothes and her money. But instead of explaining this, she said, “As for history,” she smiled at Edward knowingly, and brushed the stubble on his chin with her fingers, “I feel I may have already changed it – for the better.”

Edward furrowed his brows at her. She’d never spoken like this before, “We sail for Kingston, soon.”

“Aye, anything I should prepare, captain?”

“I’ve nothing in mind, ‘cept a landlubber such as yourself should try to keep the food and rum down on board. The boys don’t like mess.”

 

* * * * *

 

As the ship approached the port of the Jamaican city of Kingston, Mariqah sat up in the lookout’s post and flipped through her journal, idly reading passages from her past. It was refreshing, reading her own hand and seeing the drawings of her own making. She stumbled on a particular passage, however, and lingered on it words.

 

It was the lyrics to the Literal trailer of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag by Tobuscus – a YouTube wonder in her time. Mariqah skimmed through the words and sat back.

This was a problem.

She couldn’t interfere too much with the incident shown in the trailer, otherwise she’d feature in it. It would get her in a heap of trouble with the Council of Timelords otherwise, and could take far too much time to clear up. As the Jackdaw docked, she looked at the surrounding view.

 

Mariqah mumbled,

Nod at the boat and people die,

Everywhere, people die:

(That’s a callback),

she sighed, “Aye, Fate always takes a right piss on me.”

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