[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


40. 38 – Extinct

Leonardo stared groggily at the ceiling, finding it painful to move his head in the slightest. He’d lost blood on an extreme level and, had he not been brought into the infirmary immediately, perhaps he would’ve been buried by now.

He sensed someone open the door to his room, hearing the door creak open and then close with a small click, and then that someone sat on the chair by his bedside.


“Is this the part where you yell at me constantly like a little kid for not listening to you?” he said, believing he was doomed to such a fate.

“No,” he heard Mariqah say. It sounded as though there was a sob in her voice, “No, there’ll be time enough for that when you get better, lad,” she brushed back his hair and put her palm on his forehead. It was icy cold. Leonardo gasped in relief at the gesture, the icy cold soothing his burning hot head. “I will say this, though: You’re an idiot, Leo,” she continued, “But I reckon you’ve already guessed that much.”

“I’m sorry I did… what I did.”

“Aye, and you ought to be,” she came forward and sat on the bed, so that Leonardo could see her. Her brows were furrowed and there were tears in her eyes, “Bless you… ye could have died, Leo!”
“I… I’m sorry, Rogue…”

“What am I t’tell your father, eh? About this? And your mother, who wasn’t too keen on your departure anyway? I didn’t bring you here to die, lad. I brought you here, t’make a man out o’ ye. What were you thinkin’, man?”


“I wanted to see… to know…” he looked up a little, “to know what it was like to be a soldier, to be a hero… to be you.”
“It’s not much  fun bein’ me, is it?” she laughed lightly, “And what hero? What hero am I, lad? What do you know of me, to call me that?”

“I… I meant no harm by it, Rogue.”
“No harm, indeed! You make me blush wi’ shame at your flattery! The evil I’ve done, the evil I’ve caused… only God knows, man,” she looked away, a distant look in her eyes, “So many have died because of me.”

“But you’ve saved so many more, Rogue!”

“Perhaps. But it doesn’t justify my killin’s, mate.”


“Stop, please!” said Leonardo, “I’ve always looked up to you! Everything my father told me about you: all your feats and adventures… why do you destroy that for me, Rogue!”

“I’m destroyin’ a misrepresentation, Leo,” she brushed his hair with her fingers, “Would you not rather know the real me, rather than some fairy-tale your father created – perhaps more for my benefit, than for yours?”

“No… I like that you.”
“But it is not me. And, God knows, that me has either never existed or it is dead.”

“No! No! She’s still here! I’m lookin’ at her!”

Mariqah shook her head, grinning, “Ye poor babbie! Hush, will you? There’s few who can be called heroes, and believe me – I’m not one of them. You probably wouldn’t find them any more. Extinct. That’s the word.”


“Heroes… they can still come. And I’d count you among them!”


“Enough, Leo,” said Mariqah, patting down his hair, “Enough. Get some rest and sleep well. Don’t think too hard and don’t try to move too much,” she bent down and kissed him lightly on his forehead, before fixing his sheets around him so that he was cosy and snug, “Get better soon. And when ye do, Leo – you’ll be on probation and I’ll have ye moved to the lower tier for what you did.”

“I…” Leonardo began in protest, but then sighed, “I suppose… I suppose I deserve that.”
“Aye, there’s a good lad,” Mariqah smiled, “Good night, Leo.”
“Good night, Rogue,” he mumbled as she left his room.


* * * * *


Khadir sat idly in the mess-hall the next morning, reading a long script of errands as he chewed his breakfast slowly. He looked up when he felt that someone was approaching him.

He paused before saying, “You look nice,” in Arabic.

Mariqah stood before him, in a long tunic of green silk and tight black trousers. She wore a jacket of fine back suede, sewn in with white wolf fur. Her hair was loose around her face and shoulders, and her eyes were touched with kohl. She looked fresh and relaxed.

Mariqah shrugged, before sitting down in front of Khadir, “Well, I have to, today,” she tapped her foot tunefully to the music some of the mercenaries were making.


“Speaking of which…” said Khadir, switching to English, “I don’t like the idea of you and Seth going off together on your own to talk politics. He might not be your enemy, Mariqah, but he certainly isn’t your friend.”

“Oh, look at you being all jealous,” Mariqah laughed, “Seth is little to worry about, Khadir, you know that. Besides, for your benefit, we won’t go too far outta sight and earshot.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You’ll still be able t’see my intestines spill out onto the floor, gush with blood, and hear me scream in agony as Seth stabs me mercilessly and multiply with a pen-knife.”
“Good because, with that image in my head, I’m much more relaxed!”

“Khadir, you know how it is with politics. Ye can’t come.”

“You mean how it is with you, and your one-hundred-per-cent confidential policy?”


“Mariqah, you’re asking to get yourself killed.”

No, I’m askin’ for a better world – so that Seth butts out and lets me get on with stranglin’ Richard!”


Khadir sighed, “He likes you.”
“What are you on about?”

“Seth. He likes you.”

“Well… Well, of course he does. How can anyone not like me?”

“Please. That’s a trick question,” said Khadir, “I mean… I’ve seen the way he looks at you. Not a look that I like in particular, but still – he like likes you. I don’t want you going out there alone.”

Mariqah paused on hearing Khadir’s observation, not knowing at first how to respond. She waved it away dismissively, “Okay, Khadir, so the boy might have a thing for me. So what? What’s the worst that could happen?”

Khadir shook, “Subhan Allah! Why would you ever say something like that?”

“What you don’t honestly think he’s… that bad, do you?”

Khadir slapped his forehead, “Frankly, I’m more worried about him, than you.”


“Wait… what?” Mariqah gasped as she realised what Khadir was implying, “Khadir! You didn’t!”

He stuck his tongue at her, “Well, you’ve seen him! Big, tall, not half as bad the looker as his father or his brother. Why not chase that guy? He’s not blonde, sailor or stalker, like that other guy who follows you around.”


“That’s the one. Seth is a soldier, Mariqah, he’s your type. Your kind.”

“Why do I feel like you’re settin’ me up with him?”

“I’m not. I’m saying,” he pointed at her, “if talk strays away from political business, don’t let banter lead his business into yours.”
Mariqah puffed her cheeks, angry and embarrassed, “Khadir, you know me better than that.”

Khadir shrugged, “You’re a single woman. I had to say it.”

“Not like that, you didn’t.”
“You’re going alone, so: Yes, actually, I did.”
Mariqah stood up stiffly, “We’re watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Star Wars saga.”

“Oh, come on!”

“And they say I’m mean!” she walked away, and headed for the stables.


She found Seth sitting there awkwardly, patting the muzzle of his horse. He looked up expectantly as she walked by him, and opened the door to a cubicle with a grey mare stabled within.

“You alright with ridin’, Seth?” she asked, as she saddled the horse.

“Yes, I guess I am,” he replied.

“Let’s ride up these country hills then, eh? Normandy is a wondrous place.”

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