[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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45. 43 – The Song of Angry Men

The camels in the barren waste-land of Anarchistic Jordo-Syria looked up, surprised, at the sound of melodious cymbals and drums crashing and banging, not to mention the marching and the disciplined silence on the lips of the military men – heading towards the great fortress at Masyaf.

 

The villagers from all round could see the approaching, like a shadow on the bright horizon, and they rushed to the relative safety of the fortress.

 

Ominously, the soldiers began to sing to their drums and cymbals,

Do you hear the people sing?

Singing the song of angry men?

It is the music of a people,

Who will not be slaves again!

When the beating of your heart,

Echoes the beating of the drums.

There is a life about to start –

When tomorrow comes!

 

 “Will you join in our crusade?

Who will be strong and stand with me?

Beyond the barricade,

Is there a world you long you see?

Then join in the fight,

That will give you the right –

To be free!

 

Do you hear the people sing?

Singing the song of angry men?

It is the music of a people,

Who will not be slaves again!

When the beating of your heart,

Echoes the beating of the drums.

There is a life about to start –

When tomorrow comes!

 

Will you give all you can give,

So that our banner may advance?

Some will fall and some will live –

Will you stand up and take your chance?

The blood of the martyrs

Will water the meadows

Of France!

 

Do you hear the people sing?

Singing the song of angry men?

It is the music of a people,

Who will not be slaves again!

When the beating of your heart,

Echoes the beating of the drums.

There is a life about to start –

When tomorrow comes!

 

The soldiers drew to a halt before the towering walls of the fortress. There was a pause before a woman screamed with rage:

Richard!” it was a horrible sound. Like a voice made from the tearing of expensive fabrics, “Richard!” she cried again, her voice echoing through the empty desert, “Rich-ard! Come out, you bast-ard! Show your cowardly hide, so that men may know it and, God damn, abstain from donnin’ it!”

She continued, calling his name and cursing him with several vulgar rebukes. The people of Masyaf, being so confinded and enclosed, shuffled in discomfort at the talk that the woman was throwing up with her terrifying voice. They wondered, for a moment, where Richard was.

 

“Oh, stop your God damn howling, Rogue!” called Abbess Britney, looking over at the horde from the walls, “Stop your disgraceful howling!”

“Aye! You strumpet! You’d know the meanin’ of dis-grace-ful, now, wouldn’t ye!” Mariqah cried back, “Where’s the viper that I’ve left behind, eh? The flippin’ coward whom I call? Where is he!”

“He’s busy!”

Oh, aye, he’s bu-sy, is he? What’s he busy with? Screwin’ a Cardinal?”

“That was not necessary.”

Seems pretty damn necessary to me, seein’ as he’s such a bleedin’ ambitious lecher! First takin’ a poke at sterner stuff he couldn’t hack – and then softer stuff that he couldn’t have! That in mind, it’s pretty duckin’ appropriate he should be after higher goals!”

 

“Enough!” said Richard, coming into Mariqah’s view, standing next to Britney, “Enough! I’ll not have you soiling the ears of my love like that!”

Your ‘love’s’ ears are plenty soiled already, mate!” Mariqah barked angrily, “I wonder how many times you’ve soiled ‘em, with your words and such! What I was doing, was purifyin’ ‘em! Now get out o’ that fortress, so I can make this quick and easy for everybody!”

“Do you take me for a fool, Rogue?”

Aye, that I do!”

Richard ignored her, “Well, there’s the old showup I knew and held dear!”

Shut your duckin’ gob and get down here so I can end this!”

 

“Still mad at me for the removal of that old coot? A eighteen-month-old grudge! My, my, it seems you really don’t forget, now do you?”

Vesp didn’t deserve the death that you marked for him! Nor did the rest of his family! You bast-ard! Not at the hands of the WD agents that you tipped off!” Khadir had to restrain her from clawing at the walls, “And to think, you had the bloody, duckin’ nerve to bury him the day they sent him to us in a cardboard box! It should’ve been you in that box – with your blood brimmin’ to the cusp and your organs floatin’ around – God damn it, it should’ve been you!”

“He spoke in opppsition to me! He dissented against me! Made me a fool before you! Cursed my intelligence in a vulgar manner! And you say that he is innocent! The treacherous words he spoke that day, you heard them yourself!”

You bloody idiot! You God damn, duckin’ knave, Richard!” more men came up behind Mariqah, to hold her back, “What I heard that day was a wise man advising a fool, no matter how vulgar! Had I been such an idiot, he’d have treated me wi’ words no less filthy! That man was like a father to me! The things he taught me, the courage he inspired in me, ev-ery-thing that you stand on now – was because of that man,” she gulped down a sob, looking away for a moment to blink tears, “and you rewarded him with a pitiless, merciless, dishonourable death! He should be cursin’ me now! For trustin’ a bloody snake like you!”

 

“Mm,” said Richard, sorrowfully, “’tis a pity. I’ve sorely missed you, Rogue.”
“Shut the duck up, Richard!”

“I mean it. I’ve missed your presence, I’ve missed your friendship. But you were ever on his side weren’t you? The faithful pup at a much bigger curr’s side. But fights never were a good thing to have, now were they? We’re all family here, Rogue, you know that as much as I do. I know that Vesp had some sort of friendship with you, and you’ll always blame me for his death (even, though I still think he brought it on himself). Well, just hate me for that. But let’s not fight. Let us resume our friendship. I’m offering a ceasefire, Rogue, for the best. I know you are smarting in pain at my saying this, but, deep down, we both know how much we miss each other,” he smiled sadly, “Even if you see me as the Devil that caused you the ultimate evil, can there not be some… Forgive and forget?”

“Oh, you are an ambitious one, ain’t ye?” she barked, “An ambitious one, indeed! You betrayed all Masyaf, you bastard! I can’t forgive ye for that! ‘Let’s not fight’ – I’ll give you a piece of my–”

 

“Alright, enough,” said Khadir. Mariqah gave him a sour look but stopped, massaging her throat with one hand. He looked up at Richard, “The Rogue demands an immediate surrender of Masyaf, or else you will be besieged. The penalties thereafter will be severe. For the betterment of the citizens of Masyaf and for the sake of sparing otherwise wasted lives – please, Richard, hand Masyaf back to the person who first conquered it.”

“Ah, this is what it’s about, is it? Land? Property? Wealth?”

Better that than your diseased loins, Dickey-boy!” Mariqah howled.

“I’ve my own terms to give you, Rogue,” said Richard, “as you might know, I have prisoners within my keeping. Prisoners who were as treacherous and vulgar as your precious Vesp. These include some of your friends and acquaintances alike. Sakura, Enya, Lia… I could go on,” he paused for effect, “You leave now and they will remain imprisoned, but unscathed. You choose to stay, however, and hover your obscenities over my walls and they will be publically hanged at sunrise.”

“That suppose to move me, Richard? Skulk! Instead o’ offerin’ threats, why don’t you get you’re coward’s arse down here and fight like the man you clearly are incapable of bein’!”

“Again, do you take me for a fool?”

A-gain! Aye, that – I do!”

“Make your decision wisely, Rogue, otherwise the consequences could be fatal.”

 

“I know there’re losses in war, Richard – and if that means the end of innocents, then so be it! That blame’ll not fall on me – however much I may regret it – it’ll fall on you! And if this ends with your head stuck on a pole at Masyaf’s gate, and each and every one of your organs and limbs hangin’ from every wall – as a sign to comin’ Mentore’s, as to what happens to truly treacherous bastards – then it’ll all be worth it, Richard! I’m done entertainin’ you!” she turned to the mercenaries, “Set up camp, lads! We’re ‘ere to stay, and ‘ere to win!”

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