Mar 06 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 7)

Posted by Mathias in Uncategorized

Evil lurks within even the good.  Good sprouts from even the most evil. None are so pure as to not have two sides. 

-Ran Hardwick, Blood Lord

Chapter 7 (33rd of  Elgatan 6198)

“So,” Cassandra’s voice cut, just as surely as the knife she pressed to her prisoner’s neck.  Chained to the dungeon wall, he hung there.  “I understand that you and your comrades are rebels?”  There was unimaginable malice in the young woman’s eyes as she put force on the blade. 

Her prisoner winced, unwilling to talk.  

This was getting her nowhere.  She turned away, gritting her teeth in frustration.    

The air was still, dank, and foul in the palace dungeon.  It never changed down here.  Cassandra cast looks at the assortment of devices collected by Lord Hedric, all for the purpose of inflicting pain.  She returned her gaze to the man strung up on the wall.  His wound was dressed, but the bandage was saturated red with fresh blood. 

Cassandra’s soft slippers brushed the ground as she started to pace in a tight line.  Her nightdress was stained with blood from earlier events.  But she did not care. 

Cassandra fiddled with the silver ring she had ripped from his finger moments ago.  He tried to fight her taking it, but she had won the battle. 

Studying it, she particularly examined the etching of an eagle over an inverted triangle on the inside of the band.  She smiled cynically. 

  Pitching the ring into the corner, it clattered.  She returned her knife to his throat.  “Where is your main encampment?  What is your current strength?” 

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” 

Cassandra scowled.  “I should have you killed for such insolence.” 

“Do you think I answer to you? Or Lord Hedric?” 

“I’ll get what I want out of you.  With the proper persuasion that is.  I’ve broken many nuts tougher than you.”  Cassandra grabbed a handful of his hair.  She slammed his head into the stone wall.  “Don’t think you can hide anything from me.”  She rammed his head into the wall again and turned away as anger began to consume her.  The sub-general wanted so badly to kill this man for what the rebellion had done to her father.  It took a godlike effort to restrain her will. 

“Why don’t you just kill me and get it over with?”  Marcus’ voice was such that she knew he was trying to goad her into action.  “What’s the blood of one more to the likes of you?  You’re the worst murderer of all.  So why hold back now?” 

Cassandra whipped about, Hellfire blazing in her eyes.  “I don’t murder those who don’t deserve to die!  I don’t take the lives of innocent people!” she exploded.  The prisoner tried to avert his gaze, but Cassandra grabbed him by the chin and forced him to look her in the eye.  The look was as though hell itself had erupted, and this woman bore its full power. 

She rammed his head into the wall for a third time. 

Her prisoner nearly lost consciousness from the force.  Only the pain of her grip kept him aware as she nearly ripped his hair from his scalp. 

Cassandra struggled internally, taking deep breaths, “Unlike you and your pitiful rebellion, I don’t kill those who cannot defend themselves.”  She released him and turned away as she fought to control herself.  She knew that he must be kept alive. 

“You’re psychotic,” the prisoner taunted. 

 Clenching her fists until her knuckles turned white, Cassandra continued to fight down the desire to kill this man.  “Don’t try to deny it.  I saw the results of your rebellion.  You killed my father and my mother.  By all rights, I should be dead too.  I know I can trust my own eyes, and I’ve kept a reminder to make sure I never forget.” 

There was a brief moment of silence, but in the end, Cassandra was finally unable to rein in her anger.  Her hand moved almost instinctively.  The weapon she held embedded itself deep in the assassin’s shoulder. 

“Murderer!” she shrieked as blood began to pour from the wound.  Her hair danced around her face, hiding her tears, but not her sobs.  She tore away, leaving the knife as the man screamed in agony.  

Cassandra forced herself to walk away, ascending the staircase leading out of the dungeon that had become known simply as ‘The Vault’.  None ever left this place.  Sub-general Nightwing saw to that.  Rebel prisons came here for one purpose – to die. 

Behind her, she could hear her prisoner’s torment subside into a shallow cry.  She knocked on the exit, her tears quickly replaced by a mask of false calm.  A guard on the other side opened the door for her. 

As she exited, she turned to give him an order.  “I want this one kept alive.”  She wiped the blood from her hands to her nightdress.  “He is not to die.  At least, not yet.” 

“Yes, m’lady.”  He shut the door behind her. 

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