73 ~ Molly

Jourd’Aradia, 1st Primera
4020, Third Age

Chaos ruled the streets. Fires burned on houses and gunshots rang out as the rebels attacked with their Second Age weapons. There was the high-pitched whine and blue fire from one of the lightning guns, and a building exploded into shards of wood. All around the sounds of New Year’s celebrations gone sour, rioting, the clash of rebel on non-rebel rang true, turning the status quo on its ear and stepping on it.

None of that mattered to Molly-Aradia. Her rebels had the city. They would win that fight. She was after Danika, and that was the only thought in her mind as she and her core team stormed the hacienda. For a relative value of “storming,” she thought as she thunk-stepped, thunk-stepped in the lead.

Most of the guards had already cleared the premises, reacting to the emergency on the streets, where they were dealt with by the rebel force. Molly, Lucy, Ewan and Jester ran inside, swords and guns brandished, looking for the Lady. She had to die or the revolution would be for nothing. And she wasn’t at the celebrations, that uncooperative bitch.

Servants scattered in fright but Molly ignored them while Jester and Ewan shouted words of reassurance. Any guards who resisted bore the pain Lucy’s steel caused. Any guards who surrendered were let live and rounded up by Jester and her lightning gun. She disappeared with her clutch of captives, taking them to the dungeons. They’d deal with them later. None of the guards was well trained, making their job incredibly easy. They’d banked on bad training but it was still a surprise. They cut through the hacienda like butter.

Soon they gained the third floor, where Danika’s suites were. Through a waiting room, an anteroom, and a receiving room they stormed until they reached the bedroom door. Molly shoved her shoulder against it. It did not budge, barred from the inside. She jerked her head towards it. “Ewan,” she said, a command in one word. The behemoth of a man came up and with one kick from him, the door was down in splinters. She knew she’d done well in taking him on. He was their brute squad.

Within the room Duchess Danika was…Molly nearly retched. A boy, no more than twelve, lay in the Lady’s bed, glassy-eyed with the vicious drug ailina, and Danika was….

“Get off!” Molly shouted, her voice raw with rage.

The Lady gave her a glare. “I would if you wouldn’t interrupt me.”

Molly made a sound of disgust and Ewan reached forward and pulled Danika up by her hair. She flailed, naked, in his grasp, kicking and screaming in a bid for freedom. He flung her to the floor and she lay there, stunned.

The boy in bed did not move, did not register anything in his blank eyes. Tenderly Ewan covered him with a blanket to afford him some modesty and gathered his unprotesting, rigid body up. “I’ll find the others,” he said to Molly, and then was gone.

Lucy and Molly moved to stand in front of Danika, who had dissolved into a snivelling mess on the marble floor. “Please,” she said, raising her hands in supplication and sniffling, “please let me live. I’ll give you anything you want!”

“You already have,” Molly said. “This rebellion was pathetically easy.”

The Lady let out a shrill, mad laugh, and Molly thunk-stepped back in surprise. “But you haven’t seen my final play!” the woman screamed, and giggled hysterically.

Molly frowned. “What do you mean?” she asked, and got no response except more giggles. Frustrated, she and Lucy both tried to get an answer out of the deposed tyrant, but they got no more from Danika than alternate mad giggling or hysterical sobbing. Molly threw her hands up in disgust. “Kill her,” she said, and Lucy was only too happy to oblige.

“Now what?” her lover asked, cleaning the blood from her sword tenderly. While others had jumped at the chance to use firearms, Lucy had opted for a more personal touch. Molly loved her more for it. Her lover would have made a fine bellica.

The rebel leader sighed now. “Ewan’s probably found the Seraglio at this point. Now we free the boys.” And Luis, she didn’t say out loud, but she did not need to. Lucy knew.

She headed in the direction Ewan had gone – another doorway – but the man emerged from the door, the catatonic boy still in his arms. The look on Ewan’s face made Molly’s heart skip a beat, but she forced herself to speak, unwilling to speculate. “Where are the boys?”

Ewan looked at the ground.

“Ewan?”

He set the boy down by the door. Hastily Lucy came forward to take the child. Ewan stayed silent, still.

Molly thunk-stepped over to him. “Ewan, where’s my brother?” she asked, her voice a hoarse whisper.

Finally he looked at her, pain in his gray eyes. “Aradia, I’m sorry.” He stopped, and Molly felt sudden fury grip her.

“Just tell me where my brother is!” she screamed at him.

Ewan flinched. “He’s…he’s with Muerta. They all are. I’m…I’m sorry, Aradia.”

But you haven’t seen my final play.

“No.”

But you haven’t seen my final play. The lady’s words bounced around in Molly’s skull until she shook her head violently to get rid of them. “No.”

“I’m sorry, Ma’am. He’s gone.”

NO!” Molly screamed, and somehow she pushed him aside and ripped the door open, thunk-stepping through room after room, searching. “Luis!” Another room, empty. “LUIS!” Another room, another, another, another…the last.

She threw up. Doubled over, she heaved at the sight, the smell….

Easily a hundred. Mayhap more. None of their parts where they should be. It was a carpet of bodies, and it was fresh, for the blood still glistened on the walls, in the crimson pools on the floor.

In the middle – a grand centerpiece to this masterpiece of carnage. Luis’ body – what was left of it, what whole parts remained, arranged grotesquely, next to Damien’s final form, the rictus of death on their young faces.

But you haven’t seen my final play.

She retched again, and then forced herself to look upon her beloved brother’s face, frozen in an expression she never wished to see again.

But you haven’t seen my final play.

From somewhere deep, deep inside her a scream of anguish bubbled up and rose through her body, her throat, to escape past her lips and reach the heavens and wherever Goddesses laughed upon her from above. She stood screaming until she could make no sound, until her throat collapsed from the effort, and then sweet blackness took her and she fell back, back, back, into the waiting arms of who she hoped was death.

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