[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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48. 46 – Fatality

Richard stood watching the enemy camp, unable to decide what they were plotting and planning. From where he was standing, all he could see was mindless happiness and merriment.

“Fools,” he muttered to himself, “what are they celebrating? And why would they be? They’re all going to die.”
A captain-guard came up beside him and said, “Quite the sight, eh?”

“Yes, soldier, it is.”

“What do you reckon that old vixen is pinning to her board, sir?”

“Nothing, presumably. She’s as an ape. All bulk and no brain. All matter and no mind. We’ve little to worry about.”

“You really think so, sir?”

“I do. Do you doubt my judgement?”

“N-no, sir.”
“Good. Have you checked on my dear Britney?”

“Yes, sir. She’s keeping well. Sleeping soundly.”

“And the baby?”

“Fit as a fiddle, in her mother’s arm.”

 

“Sir! Sir!” came a choked voice, “Richard, sir! The huts are up in flame!”

 

“What?” Richard turned on his heel to greet a distressed Dante, “How did this happen?”

“I suspect arson among the villagers! But quickly! The mere straw and thatch will burn and catch without delay!”

There were shouts of alarm, and cries of shock. The stench of burning wood and ash rose, accompanied by the harsher reek of burning flesh. Richard could see the rising tongues of flame, lapping at the enclosed village and sending up columns of smoke.

“Water!” he cried, “Get the water!”

Buckets were poured on, but the flames sprinkled out, as if taunted and strengthened by the liquid.

“It’s an oil-fire,” Dante muttered.

Richard hopped down the steps, trying to get to the scene, when one wall of his castle rocked back an forth, the sound of splitting stone and crashing ringing in his ears.

“What is this?” Richard cried.

“The mercenaries!” cried the captain-guard, “The mercenaries! They’re shooting at the walls!”

 

* * * * *

 

Mariqah stood in the back entrance, dressed in the livery and helmet of the Masyaf captain-guard, along with ten mercenaries and Edward in similar attire. She kept watch on the chaos, smiling grimly at the shock and panic of the people.

“Good old Dante. Good old Khadir,” she mumbled, thanking her good fortune.

“Should we make a move?” asked Edward.

“Not yet,” said Mariqah, weighing a heavy gun in hands. There were only tranquilizer darts in the barrel, but too much of the fluid to kill anyone, “Now,” she whispered, “come on.”

 

They entered the complex, stalking their way through the panic, unnoticed in their hurry.

They tried to keep eyes off themselves, however, by telling the villagers to stop panicking and keeping them away from the west-end. The west-end that held the prisoners, mind.

They got to the keep, and let themselves in, picking locks where the doors were secured.

She got to the main cells and regarded the guards that looked suspiciously at them. A mercenary shut the door behind them, barricading it with a few chairs.

Mariqah cracked her knuckles, and made a swift motion with her head. The mercenaries leapt on the Masyaf guards, beating them down with their fists and avoiding fatal conflict as much as they could. There were sharp cracks of bone, piercing howls of pain, and then soft grunts as their unconscious bodies were heaped to a side.

 

Mariqah looked into the cells, seeing that each prisoner was dressed in tattered rags, bound at the hands and probably gagged under the burlap sacks covering their heads. The blind, confused prisoners lifted their heads, waiting for an explanation or an order.

Mariqah took off her helmet, and shook her head, “This has got t’be the ugliest mask I’ve ever worn,” she said, smiling at the unseeing prisoners, “and it stinks.”

She went into the first cell and removed the sack from the prisoners head. She untied the gag and smiled at the prisoner.

“Rogue!” said Enya, as the mercenaries picked the locks on the rest of the doors, “We thought you weren’t coming!”

“I wasn’t goin’ to,” she replied, “But I had a change in mind, and plans. Is anyone injured?”

Enya nodded, “Some are worse off than others. I think Lia’s leg is broken and Sakura’s in no good state either.”

“I see…” Mariqah cut the cord binding Enya’s hands and looked behind her, “Lads, strip these guards of their uniforms! It’ll give our captives something decent to wear. Help anyone who can’t seem to walk.”

 

Clothes were thrown in front of cells.

“Get dressed,” Mariqah said, standing to leave, “I’ll pull the switch on Richard yet.”

She approached Edward, who was dragging the naked body of a guard, “What’s your plan?” he said.

“We’re to gag and sack these guards, stuff them in the cells, give Richard a piece of his own medicine. Then get out of here,” she took the naked guard from him and pulled him into Enya’s cell, propping him up in a seated position, and fixing the gag in place and adding on the sack. She carefully bound his hands with rope.

This was done with all the prisoners and guards. Mariqah fixed the last guard into place, when she suspected something going wrong. She held the man’s face in front of hers, and examined it. The eyes seemed to be closed in a pretentious–

 

Mariqah gasped as, in one swift movement, the guard pulled a blade out of her boot and stabbed her below her rib cage. He twisted the blade in, sawing upwards. Mariqah strangled the man, refusing to cry out, pressing down harder and harder on his Adam’s Apple. The man’s eyes bulged, he writhed slightly under her hold – forgetting about his weapon. His grip loosened, and his face became slack.

Mariqah sighed and fell back, holding her wound. Blood dribbled down her side, staining the straw that matted the prison floor.

“Madam?” she heard one of the mercenaries call, “Madam!”

Mariqah breathed heavily, words and colours becoming a blur of hearing and sight. All she could feel was the cold dagger protruding from her torso, and the warm stickiness of her own blood…

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