[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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42. 40 – Proposal

Seth sat on top of the windmill, seven days after his diplomatic talk with Mariqah, waiting for her arrival. He watched as the sun went down, the giant spokes of the mill blocking his view every so often.

 

He wasn’t happy. He sat with his knees tucked under his chin, unable to do anything but mutter his thoughts out loud.

Who is this woman? What kind of Devil is she?

To have me caught in the trap, and choose to let me go free?

It was her hour at last, to put a seal on my fate.

Wipe out the past and wash me clean off the slate.

All it would take was a flick of her knife –

Vengeance was hers and she gave me back my life.

 

Damned if live in the debt of a Rogue.

Damned if a yield at the end of the chase.

I am the law and the law is not mocked –

I’d spit her pity right back in her face.

There is nothing on earth that we share –

What brought on this dream, this nightmare?

 

And my thoughts fly apart. Can this Rogue be believed?

Can her sins be forgiven? Can her crimes be reprieved?

 

And must I now begin to doubt…

Who never doubted all these years?

My heart is stone and still it trembles…

The world I have known, is lost in shadow.

Is she from Heaven or from Hell?

And does she know…?

That by granting me my life that day –

This Rogue has changed me, even so.

 

I am reaching, but I fall.

And the stars are black and cold.

As I stare into the void –

Of a world that cannot hold.

 

Should I escape then, from this world?

From the world of Midnight Rogue?

There is nowhere I can turn,

There is no way to go o-n!
 

“Seth?”
 

He straightened abruptly, caught by surprise. He sucked in his cheeks, slightly abashed, before turning around to see Mariqah standing behind him.

Why is she so…? he shook his head, and removed the thought from his mind.

“Good evening, Rogue,” he said.

“Evening, Seth,” she replied, “Everything alright?”

“Yes. Everything is fine.”

She sat down next to him, “Have you made your decision?”

Seth paused, “Has… Have I out-stayed my welcome?”

“Well, given that you came here uninvited to destroy my fortress – however un-resourceful – I’d say you weren’t really… welcome in the first place,” Mariqah laughed, “But, alas, I’ve to get Richard’s head rollin’, Seth, and I can’t really do it if you’re neither here nor there.”

“O-of course,” he hesitated, “I… I have a proposal to make, actually.”

“Aside from the options I’ve given you?”

“Yes.”

“Then, proceed. I can listen.”
 

Seth put his head in his hands. He hadn’t planned on this. He’d hoped that his formidable rival would prove menacing and unforgiving – especially since it was Normandy he’d been given to attack. But… though menacing yet, Mariqah was anything but merciless. Her judgement was sound and her treatment of his men was pleasing. Fresh clothes, fresh food, no resentment (excluding the odd mockery) and certainly no danger – Seth could safely say that his men didn’t want to return to Britain.

And nor did he.

He knew, deep down, Mariqah’s reaction to his proposal – but he couldn’t go by without having it put down and asked.

 

Seth kissed her.

Gently at first but, when Mariqah didn’t sucker punch him in the nose, he kissed her passionately, caressing her hair and her neck. He felt her respond in kind, before shifting uncomfortably.

She pulled away, moving herself away from Seth for a moment, “This… this is not right.”

Seth looked at her, trying to keep her eyes locked onto his, “But it can be made right,” he said, “Marry me.”

“You what?” said Mariqah, confused.

“Think about it, Rogue. You marry me, and all our troubles will be ended. There will be peace between Masyaf and the UAF. The disputes between rich and poor will come to a close. Harmony, Rogue, imagine it!”

 

“Oh, what shite is this, Seth!” she barked, “What bloody shite! You live in a bloomin’ dream world like the rest of humankind!”

“You know some things will be resolved!”
“Aye,” she replied indignantly, “aye, on the surface it will. On the faces of people it might. But, good God, you honestly think for a moment there’ll be lasting peace, do ye? I was wrong. Idiocy, it runs in your family!”

“Rogue!” he barked, “For God’s sake, see it the way I do!”

“What I see, Seth, is you justifyin’ your urges with important-soundin’ motives!”

He paused, his mouth a thin line of denial.

“I will not marry you, Seth – Urgh, Good God!” she put her face in one palm, “why, dammit, is it always the young ones?”

“We are the same kind of people!”

 

“Aye. Just like Khadir said. We’re both soldiers. We belong together,” said Mariqah, in a sing-song fashion, “And I suppose we’ll both be knights in shining armour, casting away evil with Gandalf’s magic staff! Good Grief! We are worlds apart, mate! We have almost nothing in common!”

“You know me, I know you! Isn’t that enough?”
“Oh, you know me, do ye? Tell me, where was I born? How many siblings do I have?”

“These are unfair questions. The general public of Britain know the answers to these questions regarding me! But the general public doesn’t know you!”

“The entire world is callin’ for my blood, you Pillock, and they don’t know my name! Few, actually, have seen my face! How can you claim to know me? My horse could tell me more about myself, than you could!”

Seth paused, “Why do I get the feeling that you’re saying this for multiple reasons?”

“For one thing – I was alive and kicking well into my teenage when you were born. So I’ve a view of your royal arse stuck in my head.”

Seth looked away.

 

“And for the second thing – you’re a prince. And if you’ve taken on my advice of rollin’ Simeon’s dead body in the muck, that’ll make you a potential Emperor. You want to know how all the king’s horses and all the king’s men’ll react to you marrying a gutter-rat-that-turned-into-a-universal-fugitive?”

“I don’t care what they think.”
“Oh, it’s not about what they think, Seth, it’s about what they’ll do – you think the rebellion’s bad now? Just wait ‘til nobility joins the crowd: hiring the poor and mercenaries to fight for ‘em. That’s what’ll happen. And you know who’ll suffer the most? Do ye?”

 

“Ah, yes, you and your poor people speech, of course.”
Excuse me!”
“It’s all fine and dandy to feel sorry for those buggers, Rogue – but you know what? You were poor and you’ve risen up in the world. Frankly, if all these ‘poor’ people were to do what you did, I don’t reckon they’d have much to complain about.”
Mariqah stared at him, disgusted, “Definitely not marrying you.”

“What? Half of them blow their jack on alcohol and more than half of them are out of work, using the benefits and the charity that the rich hand out! It’s only fair–”

“Devil blind ye, you’re your father’s son, alright. And maybe even your brother’s sibling,” she scowled at him, shaking her head and moving away, “To think for a second that you were better than them! I can’t believe I let your lips touch mine!”

Seth recoiled, her comments stinging him, “Rogue…”

She stood up and pointed over the horizon, “Get your arse out of Normandy. All of you. You’ve until tomorrow afternoon to prepare and depart, ‘else there’ll be consequences.” Mariqah turned her back on him, and climbed down the windmill; leaving Seth to stare after her in regret.

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