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 Dousing the Firestarter

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White Queen
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PostSubject: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptyFri Jul 20, 2012 1:55 am

The file lay on her desk, surrounded by inkwells and papers scattered in a wide halo around it. It was evening by then, and the luxuriously thick curtains of her room had been drawn in preparation for sleep.

She did not plan on sleeping anytime soon.

The candlelight flickered uncertainly as she let out a shaky sigh, putting down the report that had been delivered by the yellow-uniformed officer.

What information she had gathered herself on her wanderings throughout Prospit concerning the highbloods had not been enough. Blank stares, nervous words, vehement denials had all been present when she had tried asking people she knew had been present during the bloody lynchings on the streets.

So she had the situation investigated. Her officers were faithful, and they would be able to do a much more thorough job of extracting information from certain individuals. She had recreated the scenes herself in her head, cobbled together from the bits and pieces of conversation she managed to coax from the wary citizens, and had found one thing that was consistent in most of what she had heard.

A Prospit Agent had been the one to start the flames. The report, the whispers, the purple-stained, almost spontaneous violence all sketched a picture of a figure in gold that watched with a smile as the masses tore the innocent to pieces. Clear betrayal.

Someone in her own court- someone who had been trusted and tasked with keeping the peace in Prospit- had purposefully incited unrest.

As Queen, she should have kept her composure and informed her husband. Let him take care of the situation.

Smile and pretend that she was still a Queen when in reality, she now had the power of a pawn.

How could she have done that?

She was beyond patience; beyond mercy. An Agent had dared to go against what they had strove to protect. They had dared to undermine and to threaten something she had worked so hard to preserve.

The Alternian War was her regret, the cause of sleepless nights ravaged with memories of guilt and shame, of you could have prevented this had you been stronger- the ugly scars of War that engraved itself in the form of the dead upon their history-

There had to be someone behind this. Someone was to blame.

And she had an idea of who exactly it was.

A quill dipped in ink was her weapon. Upon a piece of parchment, she wrote a summon:

Arkus Antioche, I request your presence in the Counselor's Meeting Room immediately.

-The White Queen

She sealed off the note with her personal crest, gave it to a messenger that had been waiting outside, and swept the folder off of the desk.

It was about time she had a talk with the Royal Ancillary.







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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptyTue Jul 24, 2012 10:00 pm

Arkus plunged the metal spiral deep into the bottles neck-flesh. It resisted at first, but gave way all the same to the corkscrew. After all, it was the corks nature to bow to the screw.

It popped free with a satisfying ka-tunk, and he took a moment to relish the fruity, almost bloody scent of wine as it drifted from the glass and into the chill air. He'd long since given up using goblets and wine-glasses; such frivolities were not fitting of a soldier, and the task of cleaning always frustrated him to no end.

He brought the rim to his lips, already relishing this first drink of the many he had planned for tonight, when a pounding on the door broke him out of his reverie. His head snapped over to the old oaken door, frustration souring his mood once more. Careful as not to spill a drop, he set down the bottle and stalked to the door. He swung it open silently, just wide enough to see through.

"Speak."

The messenger stuttered nervously, fumbling for the parchment she had been entrusted with. A glimmer of gold caught his eye; the personal crest of the Queen. Arkus snatched it away from the fool and slit the seal with a crooked fingertip, well-practiced eyes licking up the few words emblazoned within.

"Wot is it 'bout, sir?"

Without bothering to look up he struck her, his open hand cracking against her chitinous temple with a resounding smack. She fell to the floor in a heap, gasping with a mixture of pain and surprise.

"Not only is that none of your business...child," he said, as he folded the note carefully between his calloused fingers. "It is not your place to speak." Hard eyes followed her every move as she scrambled to her feet, standing at attention with a trembling urgency. "Am I understood?"

"Ye-yes sir."

He watched her a moment longer, displeased with her vulgar display of weakness.

"You are dismissed."

She scurried away with nary a backwards glance, her nervous footsteps echoing down the marble corridor. Arkus returned to his living quarters, tossing the parchment into the pile of assorted documents littering his end tables. Whatever the Queen wanted, it couldn't be good. He cast a lustful glance at his bottle, open and untouched, its vermillion liquid beckoning with its wanton flavor. He'd need his head clear for this. He'd need more than that; he'd need a bargaining chip.

He had the perfect bit of leverage.

He scooped a Royal Order from his desk, allowing himself a rare grin. He'd been hoping he wouldn't have to give this one up, but this was as good an ace as any to have up his sleeve. It'd taken him ages to get this damn thing signed.

Giving the bottle one last look, he tucked the Order into his tunic and slipped out the door.

It was unwise to keep the Royalty waiting.
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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptySun Aug 12, 2012 11:22 pm

She had just descended the stairs when she heard the messenger rush past her. Surprised, she nearly opened her mouth to ask what was wrong, only to have the girl barely toss a shaky curtsy towards her general direction before disappearing into the golden hallways. Troubled, she stared after her, one hand still on the golden railing. Had she caught a hint of tears in the young carapace's eyes?

More than likely. Arkus had never a sociable one, though he was charming enough when he wanted to be. His sharp tongue and dangerous demeanor combined with the fact that he had power worried her, but the King trusted him. She had to be content with that, even if she knew the truth.

The doors to the meeting room were heavy, decorated with elaborate gilding on the surface and finished off with an ornate handle on either side of the double doors. She depressed the latch and pulled it open with an easy, creak-less glide.

The lights flickered on as soon as she set foot inside the Meeting Room. The sound of her heels against the marble echoed across the expansive room. It was rare that she was ever in here, partly because she had no real voice in politics, and partly because some of the more conniving Counselors kept coming up with new ways to block her from partaking in the actual ruling of the kingdom.

She didn't sit, instead choosing to stand by the table with the file in her hand. After all, she didn't intend to keep him here for long.

She was here because she wanted Arkus to know that she was still the Queen. She wanted him to know his place as an adviser of the King- that even though they could find ways to control her husband, she would not and could not be stopped from trying to protect her kingdom.

And she would be damned before she let them even take that right from her.
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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptyWed Aug 22, 2012 10:39 pm

Once a soldier, always a soldier. The gold-gilded hallways, which he had found so ornate and beautiful as a child instead churned his stomach. Waste. It was all excess and waste. Gold did not belong engrained in the walls, it belonged in the pockets of the peasants who scurried like vermin on the far side of the planet. Yes, it was beautiful. Yes, it sent a message. But such lavish wealth poured into...into the handle of a door...it was repulsive.

If he had his way the palace would be stripped down to spartan holdings, the trimmings dumped unceremoniously into the economy. Turn practicality out of waste. Fat into meat. Sugary sweets into food of substance. The king would never go for it, of course. The king was "comfortable" in his throne of cushions. A vein twitched in his eye.

The Meeting Room was not far, and in a short time he was standing outside the disgustingly ornate door handles. It was symbolic, he knew. The Queen did not belong in this place, and by "requesting" his presence she was sending a message. She could fuss all she wanted; it wouldn't change anything. He slipped inside silently, akin to a serpent in the garden. A marble viper amidst golden flower, but deadly all the same. Ah, there she was...the little Queen. The kings leash-lord. The beautiful thorn stuck between his aching ribs.

He bowed, as was expected, glancing up with hooded eyes as he announced his presence.

"Arkus Anitoche, Royal Ancillary to the King, Commander of the distinguished 5th Company, at your...disposal, my dear Adelaide."

It was a barb, the informality. Nothing he could be punished for, but certainly enough to suggest he did not recognize her as authority. He straightened up, hiding his cruel smile. His eyes betrayed him, though. His eyes said it all. You are no king.
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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptyThu Aug 23, 2012 12:34 am

Against her will, her teeth clenched together in a silent snarl as she watched his every movement. Sinuous and arrogant. The mocking bow and his cold eyes were repulsing.

She had never felt such hatred before.

His emphasis on King infuriated her. He held no warmth towards her husband; could care less about him. She was sure of it.

The precious use of her first name hung in the air between them like a challenge and a shock to her. As far as she was aware, only the former King and Queen, along with her husband, knew it. She felt a slight sense of betrayal- her husband must have told him- but she could not blame him.

Arkus Antioche knew what he wanted, and what he wanted, he usually acquired.

She must calm herself; must tamp down the blazing hatred that had been ignited at his very presence. No one had ever had that much of an effect on her before, not after she had learned the art of hiding her emotions, and the fact that he could manipulate her so easily horrified her.

She had no doubt that if he could, he would burn Prospit- burn everything- and watch as the golden spires fell.

Enough. She had to speak. If she remained silent any longer- allowed her composure to slip any further- she would humiliate herself. However, a slight glimmer of surprise still made its way past her mask.

No matter. His informality would serve as her weapon. She would not have to disguise her words in frivolity and queenly manners- not that she planned to in the first place.

"Of course you are, Arkus," she said coldly. An unfeeling smile graced her features. "You are the Royal Ancillary, after all."

She could capitalize as much as she wanted on using his first name; after all, he was still her subordinate. The space between them was fraught with tension. Her heels echoed like gunshots against the marble as she slowly stepped closer. He was taller than her, his eyes narrowed, posture rigid and unforgiving. Clothing creased and lined, battle scars prominent against the gleaming white shell. She was not intimidated.

"You have been busy lately, haven't you?" A pause. Cut to the quick, to the chase. She hadn't felt this unsure about her words in years. Irrationality and emotion had a hand in that. "I have not seen you around the palace lately. How is your young charge, by the way? I hope he is well." She leveled her gaze upon him. The troll that she'd made him adopt had been her hope that he would associate and reconcile with the Alternian culture. It must not have worked.

Let him feign innocence if he wanted. She would not care as long as she won in the end.

The file was burning in her hands. She took a breath. The screams of the trolls. The riots in the street; the impassive figure in gold. He had to be guilty. The evidence was all here. She held it out to him. "Take a look."

On the chess board, she still held the power. She was just simply pinned down by her own pawns, cornered in so that she could not move.

She watched him as he glanced at the file. Take it and admit your guilt. Admit what you did, and I might still have mercy on you.



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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptyThu Aug 23, 2012 10:58 pm

His skin crawled as she quipped out word after word. Her wit was as sharp as ever.

"Busy? Why, of course I've been busy, with the running of a kingdom and what not. I'm sure you can understand that some members of the court play a vital role in our little empire. As for my young charge...well, he is a delight."

Trim the fat. Again, nothing overt, subtle hint after hint that said more about her than his tongue ever could. It tensed the muscles in his back, tightening them to draw-string levels of discomfort to hear her mention his troll. She knew it. He knew it. It was a sore spot, and one that he'd rather they didn't get into. These back-and-forths they had always left him riled, blood boiling beneath his chitinous skin and jaw locked in a defiant grimace. She gave as good as she got; they were equal, in fact. Yet he still couldn't help but feel she walked away victorious more often than not.

Let's change that.

He accepted the file with all the grace and dignity his station required, resisting the urge to snatch the papers from her hands.

You've done your homework, he noted, flipping through the neatly organized papers.

He picked a report at random, reading it with deliberate slowness before placing it back, out of order of course. He chose another, holding it up as if to see it better. His every move, to the casual observer, was natural, logical. But he knew to the Queen it would scream contempt. With a methodical precision he mixed the pages, his victimless crime not going unnoticed. Arkus picked another report, an eyewitness account from the slum district, and read it aloud, deliberately adopting the slurs and accent prevalent to the area in a mocking performance.

"Ah did see a man, standin' there all angry like. He was uh sayin' stuff an things an gettin' um all right riled. You, uh, gonna make sure he won't know ah was a sayin' this, wontcha?"

He paused, examining the name.

"Susy Crenshaw, Slum District."

He filed that name away for later.

He took a while longer, reading through the report carefully, content to make the Queen wait on him. After what seemed like an eternity, he set the well-shuffled and disorganized file on the center table, clasping his hands behind his back and turning to face his master. His face was impassive. The perfect mask. He knew what she was getting at, and he wasn't going to make her job any easier.

"This is very serious. Have you told your husband?"

Yes, have you told anyone of significance?

His eyes narrowed, gauging her reaction.
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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptyFri Aug 24, 2012 3:08 am

The moment he replied, she knew that he would never admit to his actions. Oh, well. She knew it wouldn't be easy.

He'd evaded the question. Nothing about the troll's well-being. She would have to try and rescue the poor Alternian. His words gave nothing away, but of course, she hadn't expected it to be that easy.

Displeasure radiated from the rigid posture of his back, the tense line straining from his shoulders to his feet. If it was even possible, the line seemed to draw even tighter. Whether or not he was either nervous or angry, she was unsure. He was hard to read, even more so since he did not trust her.

Without another word, he accepted the folder from her. He took his time flicking through the pages, and to her utter annoyance, began misplacing every single report she'd taken the time to organize. To any casual observer, it would seem like he was just absentmindedly replacing the pages in random order, but this was oh-so agonizingly deliberate, and he knew it would irk her. Her brow shot up as he met her gaze, a hint of sadistic amusement in his eyes.

No reaction slipped past her mask. Anything at this point would serve as a sort of minor win for Arkus, and she had no plans to let him do that anytime soon.

Even worse, he began treating the reports as a hilarious joke. His rough and grating voice, made even more abrasive by the mocking imitation of the witness, threatened to crumble her mask.

Thank Gog she had the foresight to substitute fake names for the real ones.

She'd started to wonder if this was such a good idea- maybe she should've just shoved an arrest warrant in front of his face and carted him off to the dungeons- when he finally set the ruined folder down onto the table, the very picture of studious concern.

Oh, you conniving bastard, she thought rather vehemently before catching herself, surprised at the amount of animosity in her thoughts. Two can play at that game. If he wanted a fight, someone would have to peel him off of the wall once she was done with him.

His question was innocuous enough, but to her, his concern was palpable. He betrayed no hint of his emotions, held nothing in his eyes, but the nervousness was there. Years of reading people had allowed her to see even the smallest of emotions, and despite the skill Arkus had at hiding his, she could still see right through him.

Her arms crossed as some kind of defensive posture- against what she didn't know- she allowed her features to fall into a nondescript smile, even though inside, she was planning on how to destroy his composure. People made mistakes when they were angry, or emotionally compromised. As low of a blow as that was, it was necessary for her to manipulate him for the best of the kingdom.

"I'm pleased that you worry so much for the well-being of this kingdom-

Sarcasm. A weak attempt at annoying him, but it would serve well enough.

-and it is such a troubling issue, isn't it?" She swept a gaze over at the file. "Who could have possibly have such power and voice to manipulate the crowd? Surely not a commoner. An aristocratic voice," she said. Close in for the kill? No, not yet. Make him feel the slow fire of worry. "Words so powerful and persuasive that the crowd would have done anything to satisfy it. I am, of course, worried about the integrity of those in my court. I'm sure you can understand as well."

Her tone was too neutral. She allowed a little of the black to seep over into her voice and briefly debated over whether or not she should lie about having told her husband about it, but decided against it. Lying would get her nowhere. "But no, he doesn't know. I wanted to check with you first. After all," she said, her scorn becoming apparent, "you are in charge of running the kingdom." She was impatient. She wanted him to appear nervous; she wanted to be able to savor the taste of having won once again in a battle of wits and lies.

"Make no mistake, Arkus," she nearly hissed, eyes narrowed with contempt. "Prospit is my home, and I will do anything to protect it."





Last edited by White Queen on Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptyFri Aug 24, 2012 6:52 pm

“You suspect someone in the court.”

It wasn’t a question.

He paused a moment for effect, content to draw out the encounter for as long as he wished. It was his move, after all. He could take as long as he damned well pleased. He closed his eyes, counting out ten, slow, agonizing heartbeats, ticking each one off with a minute nod of his head. Only once ten had passed did he open them, maintaining his mask of utmost concern. He took yet another moment to gauge her reaction, watching as she cross her arms and shift uneasily. You’ve got nothing, he realized. Soundlessly he glided forward, closing the distance between them and placing a protective hand on the file.

“It is good that you came to me, Adelaide.” He tilted his head, letting a small smile grace his features. Wrinkles, engrained from years of frowns, twisted unnaturally to accommodate the foreign expression. “I realize this must have been very hard for you-” Another subtle barb. “-but it’s alright now. I will take this report off your hands. We cannot have treachery in the court, and I will not rest until the culprit is where he should be.” At home finishing that bottle of wine, he amended silently.

You’re sloppy, he taunted silently. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

“I'm impressed. This is a very professional report! You must have stayed up all night working on it.” Every word, every little intonation, just screamed condescension. His smile didn’t change, but his eyes glimmered with a hint of triumph. “You should be proud of yourself. But now you can rest your Queenly head, knowing that this report is in capable hands.”

He lifted the file, shaking it for emphasis. It was so easy he could have laughed.

What had she expected to happen, to confront him with a vague report and brandish it with a sour temper, hoping he’d break down and sob for her forgiveness? Really, now, Adelaide, he thought, suppressing a chuckle, did you think it would be so easy? He kept his momentum rolling, stepping forward and crossing the person space boundary between “subject and ruler” to “equals in the court.” At this distance he could see the rage trembling in her eyes.

“Don’t worry; I’ll make sure the King knows everything he needs to about this. In the meantime, why don’t you entertain yourself? Perhaps pick up your needles, do some knitting, something constructive?” His cheek twitched in his strain to keep from laughing.
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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptySat Aug 25, 2012 3:18 am

She had made a mistake.

Standing there, taking the full brunt of his mocking words and their implications, listening to him belittle her work and everything she stood for-

Black colored her vision, and her mask shattered at the same time her hand cracked across his cheek with all of her strength. For good measure, she shoved him back as hard as she could, furious.

Gog, that felt good.

The rage was now liquid fire through her veins, her emotions on full display. Arkus was now staring at her in disbelief, one hand halfway raised to his cheek. He probably hadn't even thought she'd ever had the nerve to do that.

Like hell she'd let him take the file and destroy what little she had against him. Like hell she'd let him talk to her that way. She was the Queen, and he was only a subordinate. He would not and could not show her such disobedience and disrespect. If she was the Black Queen, she'd already have him executed for the amount of contempt he treated her with.

The file was safely back in her arms, her body trembling with barely restrained anger. "How dare you," she began, her voice raising above its usual authoritative tone into something much darker and rage-laden, "How dare you speak this way to me!" She wanted very badly to hit him again until he bled, to see crimson spatter across those damned golden chairs and tables. Without knowing what she was doing, her hand shot out to yank him down to her height, fingers tangled in the smooth fabric. His face was inches away from hers- she didn't know why he hadn't pulled away yet, but she didn't care as long as she got her point across.

A light-headed buzzing filled her mind, but she couldn't care, didn't care.

"I know who you are," she snarled, beyond mercy. "You may not care whether or not I'm Queen, but listen, you delusional, lying, filthy bastard, I will kill you if you continue to disobey me."
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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptySun Aug 26, 2012 5:23 pm

She hit him.

She-

She fucking hit him.

Astonishment gave way to rage, the thin sheet of frozen disbelief rupturing violently as ebony fury boiled its way through. His sword hung heavily by his side and his fingers twitched-

It would be so easy. So laughably easy. He’d shove her back against the wall, plunge his blade into her rotten, putrid flesh over and over and over, till her damn queenly blood ran in rivers from the rents he’d torn into her alabaster chitinous skin. His teeth clenched so tightly his jaw ached-EVERYTHING ached. His eyes just from staring at her, his skin from having her touch him, his nose from having to endure her stomach churningly sweet scent…

He’d never wanted to kill someone so badly

His eye twitched.

“Tell me, Adelaide. Do you know what a brothel is?” With an almost gentle touch, he carefully peeled her fingers away from his rumpled lapels one by one. “A whore house? A place of female business? A center for disease and sin?” Her fingertips were like little clamps, digging into his collar with a furious resistance. “It’s regrettable, then, that so many trolls find employment there since the migration.”

He freed himself, straightening up slowly. He towered over her like a storm cloud, brimming with unspent fury. His eyes caught the low light and glimmered, devious wrath sparkling from the black embers buried inside. “Did you know, my Queen, that rape is a common occurrence there? Be it far from me to suggest that trolls be involved in such vile crimes, but the fact remains.” He shrugged, a cruel grin stretching the scars on his face unnaturally. “It’s not a uniform distribution, oh no. Some of the girls are accosted over and over again, while others remain untouched. Why do you think that is?”

He let the question hang in the air, drinking in her bewilderment at his nonsequitor.

“It think it’s nature. Some…” His eyes narrowed. “…individuals cannot help their lot in life. They are a victim, helpless, horribly unable to stop their antagonist.” His meaning was overt. “It is their nature, dear Adelaide.” He paused, his grin widening to reveal his teeth quite nicely. It was a startling change. The grin faded and he tilted his head, watching her through his hooded eyes.

“…But you know this all already, don’t you? You’ve been busy, nesting in the Kings ear. You’ve been pushing him to come down harder on these perpetrators. To defend your little pet trolls from the big bad men who rob them again and again and again. Well, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know your little slice of legislation has passed with unanimous approval.” His hand dipped into his shirt and for a moment it looked as though he were to draw a weapon. Instead he withdrew a small sheet of paper, the royal seal emblazoned on the upper corner and the Kings signature scrawled at the bottom.

“By order of the King,” he whispered, offering the Royal Order for her viewing pleasure. “I am to oversee the hearings of those involved in such heinous crimes and judge their fates to be guilty. The victim and the violaters are to feel my judgement. I intend to allow no guilty party to escape their fitting punishment.” He was drunk on her confusion at this point, laying his cards on the table one by one by one.

“Sometimes a victim is as guilty as the perpetrator. After all, are they not involved in the crime? They cannot help being a victim, but by being one they enable the transgression. Were there no victim there would be no crime.” His eyes glinted triumphantly.

“It’s in their nature, after all.”
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PostSubject: Re: Dousing the Firestarter   Dousing the Firestarter EmptyMon Aug 27, 2012 12:11 am

He was going to kill her.

Every single second that passed by, her body screaming at her to let go but her mind too clouded by fury to concede defeat, let alone fear, was an eternity.

So when he finally touched her, it was like a shock of electricity. Her grip hadn't slacked a bit, but he easily pried her fingers from his shirt. She didn't want to let go.

The calm before the storm.

Voice like poisoned honey, eyes that rang too closely to blackening rage and triumph.

The calm only lasted for only ten seconds before he rose to his full height, towering over her like a catalyst to her death.

No, she was not afraid.

She was furious, her realization brought to a roaring fire in her mind.

But there was a sinking feeling in her stomach.

The King. She'd been asking for his help, to punish the wrongdoers before they could do further harm.

Callused hands drew out a piece of thick paper. The Seal, her husband's signature, the cold words printed in black on the paper. His triumph was complete.

He might as well have taken the sword at his side and run it through her chest.

He had been given control over the ruling of the trolls.

Her nerves were like fire, her blood like ice. She was going to shatter into a million pieces again, break like the night the King came back to tell her his decision to destroy a culture. So this was the price she paid for not stopping her husband from invading Alternia. So this was the price she paid for failing to protect the poor, damned trolls.

No, she was the Queen. There had to be a way to stop Arkus from doing this. How long had he kept the Royal Order with him? How had he known to keep it as leverage against her?

A tiny bit of satisfaction at his ingeniousness. No wonder why the Court valued him so much.

Her voice was still steady. Her revulsion towards his words had replaced the fury. She didn't know why he hated the trolls, didn't know why he was so determined to end them and to defeat her, but she knew damn well when she was powerless.

None of it showed. Her mask was back in place. Defeat always brought a feeling of blank creation with it. Acceptance helped her to retain control. She'd slipped and fallen completely.

"Oh, Arkus." A cracked smile, a reflection of her former self. No matter. She would make sure that this would remain in this room forever. It was the thought that every time he sat here he'd be able to remember his triumph that irked at her.

She was never going to admit it to him.

"Your first win. Congratulations."

Take in a breath. Feel nothing. Say the words and be done with it.

"A deal, then. A proposal of sorts. In exchange for my silence, you will never act on the Royal Order. It will never be distributed, and in return, this file will never be seen by anyone other than you or I."

God, she wanted to murder him. Words had never failed her this badly.

And so thus the pawn takes the Queen.

She had never been able to protect her husband against Arkus. The pawn had always been right in front of the King, waiting to strike, and it had already done so years ago.

She just hadn't known.

Checkmate.

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The Skaian Wars ::  Prospit :: Prospit's moon :: The White King and Queen’s palace-