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2/13/2015 7:05:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
False brothers

Rev waded through the forest, pushing past the web of branches and tall bushes. Behind him, his partner Phantom followed, tugging along their prisoner, Lady Elizabeth of house Mikal.

He took a glance back at Phantom, the old bear of a man. "Are we there yet?" He called out to him.

"Almost." Phantom grunted back, struggling to pull the prisoner forward. Lady Elizabeth had a rope tied around her neck. She wore a white ghostly dress that once belonged to a whore. Almost transculent so the brothers could feast their eyes on the treasures beneath. If only the treasures beneath were that wonderful to look at anyway. Lady Elizabeth had lost a lot of weight, under-fed, she looked as skinny as a tree branch. He cheeks were starting to hollow and her eyes had turned a light blue. Her black hair was matted with dirt, sticky and clumped together. All around, she stank of horse manure, from the prison she had been held captive.

Rev could not look at her for longer than a second. He could not bare to look at the red marks around her neck and her bloody bare feet. He could not bare to look at how badly the brothers had treated her.

But what could he do about it? Nothing. He was not superior to the brothers. He was equal, just like them.

"Are you sure we're going the right way?" He asked Phantom, looking at the towering trees that surrounded them.

"Aye. Our new camp should be a little more up north. Now quit asking me and keep walking." He grunted again, Lady Elizabeth walked limply behind him.

"So when can we get rid of her? I mean, how long till that b*tch has what the Lord of Darkness wants?"

"You mean a million dragons? Enough to conquer Debateros? Queen Zarroete should be done by now. Who knows? Maybe she changed her mind and broke the deal."

"So then what was the bloody point carrying around this baggage then?" He motioned his head towards Lady Elizabeth. "We've just been wasting our bloody time."

Rev didn't like how he was addressing Lady Elizabeth. Like she was just a useless sack of meat. But he did not want to show Phantom that this troubled him.

"Easy boy." Phantom laughed. "She ain't entirely uselss. Me and the other brothers are gonna have some fun with her later in the night when we reach camp. It's about time. The Lord of Darkness won't be there until a couple of days. And Queen Zarroete isn't visiting any time soon."

Rev was mute.

"You wanna come?" Phantom's voice was hollow, cautious. Even he knew how Rev felt about matters such as this. Rev could hear his partner's heavy breathing behind him as they continued walking past the trees.

"... The lady might tell on you. She might tell Queen Zarro. Then what would happen to us?" Rev tried reasoning with his partner.

"Don't tell me you're scared Rev boy!" His raised voice made Rev jump slighly. "No one is gonna believe this wench." He grabbed Lady Elizabeth's wrist in his hand. She did not resist. "If she tells on us, we'll say she's lying, obviously. Do you really think the Lord of Darkness would actually believe anything this wench says?"

Rev stopped dead in his tracks. He turned to face the man. Phantom was broad on the shoulders, he was wearing a deer hide and in his big hands, was Lady Elizabeth's arm, like a stick stuck inside two boulders. Lady Elizabeth looked almost dead, gazing at the floor. Her cracked lips seemed to mutter something incomprehensible.

"Phantom. Who are we?"

His partner was taken aback. "Brothers of the Lord of Darkness Revy. What you going on a bout?"

"Yes. But who are we really?" His partner looked confused.

Rev told him the answer. "We're egalitarians. We're equals. We believe in equality for all. And yet look at her." He glanced at Lady Elizabeth. "We're keeping a person prisoner."

The man showed a sign of understanding, and his face softened. "For a good cause. We're going to take back the kingdom. Destroy the monarchy."

Rev did not give in. He was half the size of his partner. But he showed no fear. Phantom owed Rev his life when Rev had saved him back in rat alley. He would never hurt Rev. "Yes. To take back the kingdom. But like this? We're basically keeping a slave here. And now you want to rape her!"

Rev's eyes glowed with ferocity. He glared at Phantom, a flame burning in his heart. Phantom looked shocked.

"You've never complained before. What's gotten into you Revenge?" His voice rumbled, deep with... something. Curiosity? Anger?

"I don't like pretending is all. Pretending that we're doing the right thing. Pretending like we're better than the rest of them! This whole brotherhood f*ckery is fake, Phantom! All of it is just a trick to the fools that we call our brothers! Even you-"

A hand smacked Rev across his ear. He staggered, but kept his footing. Barely. "Oi! What the hells was that -" But he stopped when he saw Phantom loom over him, with dark eyes.

"Keep yer mouth shut Revy. You've been a bloody siren this entire trek." Rev could not say a word. Fear struck him deep. He had his hand on the dagger by his hip. Eventually Phantom backed off, becoming his usual self again.

"Alright! Time to get me a hot bath and have a drink with the brothers. You can come too of course Rev boy" He moved past Rev with Lady Elizabeth dragged behind, whistling. For a moment, their eyes met and Rev saw into her empty blue eyes. He saw the despair.

Phantom was a couple of shield in front. Rev could not tell what the bear of a man was thinking. He felt hurt, betrayed, that his partner had hit him. But there was something else he felt. A sort of pity for his lost brother. Blinded by the mead, whores and privilege. Phantom was no longer the old man he had met in rat alley. Where he was a fair man with an iron heart. Where he had almost been a brother to Rev. The new brother to replace the one that Rev had lost years before.

He tried to remember his brother's face. But he could not even remember his name. He shook his head and stared at his partner's back.

He needed to do something.

But what? What was there to do? The brothers would not listen to him. Big old Mikey or Lordy would not have a care whether or not one of his prisoners were being raped. And Queen Zarro... Would she care? No, he decided. She would not. She did not believe in equality like Rev did.

There was only one thing to do.

The group reached the camp later that evening. Rev got into his own tent, resting on the barren floor, not bothering with the carpet. Outside, he could hear the brothers gathering, making a campfire and laughing over bottles of mead. He formulated his plan. Thinking it over and over. Night had come eventually. The stars plain visible, and here up in the north they streaked across the sky in millions. As if the sky was laden with a million million glowing dragons.

A few hours later, the brothers had gone to sleep and Rev was alone to his own breathing and his thoughts. He crept out of his tent, careful not to make a sound. He knew what to do.

He was going to free lady Elizabeth. And then leave the camp. He was going to abandon his brothers, his home and everything he lived for up until this point. Angel. Phantom. Big Mikey. The brotherhood.

Rev tried to keep his tears from flowing down his cheeks. With a sleeve to his cheek, he made way to the shed where Lady Elizabeth was kept in.

For once in his life. He would do the right thing.

End of Chapter 2
New episode of OUTSIDERS:
Episode 4 - They walk among us