[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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49. 47 – Limbo

Khadir had been in a state of shock, when the prison-break team had returned to camp. First at the condition of the recently-freed prisoners, and then at the limp body of Mariqah in Edward’s arms. He’d rushed the pirate to the medical tent, where the wispy old physician stared widely at the injury that Mariqah had sustained.

As Khadir waited to be summoned, Edward explained as best as he could what had happened.

“Such good fortune…” Khadir muttered, “and such unlikely events…”

“She’ll be a’right, though?” said Edward, hopefully.

“I…” Khadir paused, “I can’t be sure. I hope and pray so, but…”

The doctor came out of the tent, a frown on his lips.

 

“Dr. Davies,” said Khadir, standing up in greeting.

“Lieutenant,” replied the doctor, “I expect you wish for me to tell you of the patient’s condition?”

Khadir did not reply.

“Ms Rogue is…” Davies hesitated, “I am afraid to say, she is in the Hands of her God.”

Khadir looked at the man in shock, “What?” he said.

“Her injury is such that one can only aid her by so much, before an inevitable occurs. She may or may not survive, certain things considered. I know it troubles you to hear this.”

“Give us details, man!” said Edward, standing up beside Khadir.

“Marrow has gotten into her bloodstream. There can either be a formation of a cist – thus saving her. Or she will develop a fever and die of it,” Davies explained, “It cannot be helped. Painkillers may reduce the pain experienced, but that is as much as I can do. Had we been in the barracks… perhaps I would have more means to provide better service.”

“Can we see her?” asked Edward.

“At this stage, I would not advise visitation. Ms Rogue requires rest and–”

 

“Oh, for God’s sake, just let them in!” Mariqah croaked from within the tent, “Rest and quiet, upon my grandfather’s grave! When was I ever given rest and quiet! And I’ll not have it now!”

 

Khadir and Edward entered the tent, seeing Mariqah laying on a bed, half-covered with linen sheets. She wore a simple tunic, and had her hands placed on the area where she’d been wounded. She looked groggily at Khadir.

“You got your wish,” she said, softly.

Khadir knelt down beside the bed and replied, “What wish?”

“You said I’d die if I went to free them. I think it’s happening.”
“Don’t say that, it wasn’t a wish.”

“I have to. It’s a highly likely possibility,” she turned her head slightly, too look at him, “You have to prepare for it.”

“Don’t bail on me, Rogue.”

“You really have learnt English,” she smiled, “It’s my time, when it’s my time. We all knew this day was coming.”
“Not yet, not now.”
 

“Is… is Myra coming?”
“She should be. I called your lieutenants. All of them.”

“Well… this is your war now. I suppose it’s only fair. You were here, when I was busy being… absent.”
“I’m not mad at you.”

“Of course you are. And denial won’t help you.”
“Mariqah, I…” he paused, “I missed you,” he said in Arabic, “that’s all.”

She replied in kind, “But you’re angry that I had to go and you were scared that I might never come back, na’am?”

La, no, I…”

 

“Oh, my God, Rogue!” Myra burst through the entrance, overtly-dramatic, as Davies squawked his disapproval.

“Don’t do that,” Mariqah said, “It doesn’t suit you at all, Myra.”
Zhou, Irwin and Kurt entered after her, saying nothing and keeping a respectful distance.

“Listen to me,” said Mariqah, “and Myra, dry up. Hysterics are for widows and sonless mothers – not you. Listen. Tell the lads of my condition, but Richard cannot know that I’m on the verge of kickin’ the bucket. He will take full advantage of it. Myra, in my tent there is a case. In that case, there are robes and the mask from my Masyaf days. Wear them… represent me, but don’t say a word to Richard, or anyone in the fortress. It might be a good idea to notify Dante, though. Khadir, you do all the talking. You take this war and make good of it.”

 

“We must head back to Normandy,” said Khadir.

Mariqah simply said, “No.”.

“Please, Mariqah! You are not well!”

“It’s all the same, Khadir!” she barked, and then recoiled in pain, “If I am to die, then I will die and no-one can’t prevent it! It’s the single inevitable fact of every one of your lives that is assured as soon as you are born! And, brother,” she tugged Khadir’s collar, “dear, dear, brother – I would rather die in the state of doing something right, than putting it off for my own well-being that may never be restored. Richard must be put down, like the dying dog he is.”

“But… your command…”
 

“The doctor is correct. You cannot run to me every time that something goes wrong. I’m giving you my trust, Khadir,” she put her head back and sighed, “My trust.”

“But you don’t trust anyone.”

She spoke to him in Arabic, “It’s a thing I’ve kept for myself since long before the breaking of my innocence. I have been selfish with it,” she looked at him again, stroking his beard gently, “But I grant it to you, Khadir. And, please… please forgive me.”

Khadir choked, and replied, “Ukhti, there is nothing to be forgiven.”

“Yes, there is. I’m sorry, that I left you behind to take up my life where I left it. I’m sorry. And, if I survive this, I promise it will never happen again. Not on purpose.”

“I told you. There is nothing for me to forgive you for. There never has been, there never will be – and there isn’t now,” he touched her burning forehead, “Allahu yashfeek.”
Mariqah paused, “Khadir, I have never seen you cry. And I don’t want to see it now.”

 

“I will make Richard burn in his own Hell for this,” said Khadir, standing up, “We all will. And he’ll only have himself to blame for it.”

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