"My name is Valerie Constantine. I'm a CIA agent from the United States government and I was hoping you can answer some questions regarding a man under the alias Yalung."
Citra scowled. She had no time for this, and how dare they enter her temple grounds! How dare Dennis even allow it! "Kill them." She ordered with a wave of her hand.
"Wait!" Dennis cried. Citra blinked in surprise when her warriors halted at his command. Her men looked confused, looking back and forth between Citra and Dennis. They remained hesitant, unwilling to unsheathe their weapons.
"What are you doing?" She yelled angrily, her blood boiling. "I said kill them!"
"Wait, wait! Citra." Dennis jogged up to her and pulled her aside. She ripped her arm from his grip, her face scrunching up in disgust. "Citra think this through. These people, they're different, you can't just kill them. Not only are they american citizens but they're government officials. I'm sure they're very important, and I'm sure their disappearance will go noticed. This is not some, criminal organization we're dealing with. This is serious, and we do not want to get on the radar of an entire country!"
"Then what do you suggest we do? Let them live?" She hissed. "I don't care where they are from, they're all the same! And I won't allow outsiders to walk out of my temple alive. How will that look to my men? I will look weak."
"You won't look-" Dennis pinched his nose, "Citra please. We've won one war, and now we're fighting a civil war. We don't need another. Please, think of your people."
That struck a cord. She was still angry, still wanted to see them die, but she couldn't risk it. As leader, the people's safety comes first. That's what she learned when she was a child, eavesdropping on her father and brother's lessons. "Fine." She huffed, "Then what?"
"Listen to what they have to say and once they have what they came here for they'll leave and no one has to die." He replied, relief evident on his face.
Reluctantly she nodded and turned her attention back to the group of foreigners. "Speak your purpose. My patience is thinning."
"Thank you for your cooperation. This won't take long, I assure you." Valerie held out a vanilla envelope to which Dennis took it and handed it to Citra."Yalung was last spotted in Bangkok and we have intel that he came here next to visit Hoyt Volker. I'm sure you already know who he is." The content inside was a detailed drawing of Yalung, more specifically Yalung's mask. Even they didn't know what Yalung's face looked like, and a tiny part of Citra held some pride that she did. "Have you seen this man before?"
"Yes." She answered, handing the stuff to Dennis.
"Can you tell me where and how long ago? It is vital we know his whereabouts immediately."
Citra placed her hands on her hips, "No, first you tell me why. Why are you seeking him?"
"That information is classified." The agent said.
"Hm." She hummed, "Then I can't help you."
Valerie's lips pressed into a thin line, "I don't think you understand the graveness of this situation. We must know where he is, and if he's on this island it is your responsibility to inform us."
"I don't serve you!" Citra guffawed in disbelief at the nerve of that outsider, and if it weren't for Dennis' words Valerie and her friends would be dead by now. Valerie herself looked just as irritated as Citra.
The auburn haired woman let out a frustrated sigh. "Look, lots of people are in danger. All of you are in danger, and if you don't tell us what we need to know then people will die."
"Valerie." One of the soldiers standing next to her said in a low warning.
"No Zaman! You haven't seen what I've seen. This is an unknown island, and that thing probably thinks this is a best place to colonize."
"You don't know that." Another person spoke up. He didn't dress like the others, but wore civilian clothing. "Subject appeared to have retained free will over its state of mind, unlike its previous cousins, albeit consciously though. Sub-consciously? That's what we.. need to worry about." His voice faltered when he noticed the rest of his companions staring at him.
"You talk too much, you know that Archie?" An unnamed soldier commented.
"So I've been told."
Citra frowned, crossing her arms. "What are you talking about? What does this have to do with my island?"
Valerie opened her mouth to answer, but Archie stepped forward, giving Valerie a pleading look. "Not your island technically. Well, yes, but the island is a convenient component. Not entirely relevant but significant. Do you understand?" Citra glared at him and Archie cleared his throat nervously. "Yes.. well anyways we think that it being here may trigger some deeply buried sub-conscious memories, and that is bad considering what happened to the last island."
"It?" She said, "What is it? Are you talking about Yalung?"
"Yalung, Mayura, same person."
"That is why we need to know where he is." Valerie spoke up, "He poses a threat to not only your island but the entire world and humanity with it."
"We think he does." Archie cut in, "If it contains some intelligence then it can be reasoned with."
"You can't reason with that thing." Valerie said, a haunted look crossing her face.
"I still do not know why you must find Yalung." Citra said. All she heard was nonsensical gibberish and no actual explanation.
Archie bit his lip, "Um, how to put this in a 'simple' way for the.. lesser intellectuals."
"Hey Archie let's try not to offend the people with arrows and spears pointed at us, alright?" The unnamed soldier snarked.
Archie's lips pressed into a thin line, looking like he wanted to say something. "As I was saying, Yalung has.. a flu, or the common cold you can say." Valerie snorted, and Archie sent her an annoyed look.
"A flu? You mean he is sick?" Citra concluded, searching her memory to find a time where Yalung seemed physically sick. She came up with nothing. Yalung was fine, more than fine. She can't say so now though.
"An infectee more like it." Archie corrected, "But don't worry. It's not contagious. The only way you can get infected is if it is administered through sub-dermal injection, which I'm sure hasn't happened to anybody on this island."
"Yet." Valerie uttered. "Now you know. So tell us where Yalung is."
Citra raised a brow at the woman's tone of voice. "He is dead." She announced. "I killed him myself."
The group didn't look ecstatic over the news.
"You.. killed Yalung?" Valerie repeated.
"Then you must know where the body is?" Archie said, the only person who looked excited.
Citra raised a brow at the odd request but answered anyways. "It's on the Southern Island, where Hoyt's compound is in the airport. You will find him underneath what is left of the radio tower. I will have some of my men escort you there only if you leave my island afterwards and do not return." Archie looked ready to protest, but Valerie nodded curtly in understanding.
Citra turned to Dennis, "Send some men to accompany them. Make it quick, I'm starting to change my mind." Her second in command clapped his hands and ushered the group outside. Valerie looked back, locking eyes with Citra. The agent didn't like her, and that was fine with Citra. But if they ever cross paths again disregarding the circumstances, she won't hesitate to lodge a knife down the outsider's throat.
Riley looked considerably better the next time she sees him. He's dragged out and left on the floor a mess. When he pushes himself up, he squints at the bright light. They're at the pond. Riley stood in the exact same spot where Yalung did, except before her was no agile deadly killer; just a kid who's way over his head.
Citra studies him, watches his face with extreme interest as he closes his eyes and perhaps take in the heat of the sun.
"Did I not say you would see the light soon, little bird?" She says it more in a patronizing way, something Riley picks up on with the way he's looking at her. Stubborn boy, refuses to say anything to her. Does he think his silence is an act of defiance? Either way it didn't bother her. It was more entertaining than anything else.
Their locked stare was broken when two more prisoners were dragged in, catching Riley's attention. The two newcomers looked worse than Riley, suffering from severe malnutrition, and they hid from the sunlight by cupping their hands around their faces. A wooden tribal club was given to Riley, and he looked at her confused. The weapon was called a Macuahuitl, perfect for bludgeoning flesh and if used correctly, perfect for breaking bones, even skulls with one precise hit. She enjoys watching realization hit his face. His eyes flicker to the two men and then to her in disbelief.
"I'm not going to kill them." He declared, throwing the club away. She smiled knowingly. It's so funny how she expected this from him, and he doesn't disappoint.
"I know you're not." She said, "They are." The two prisoners were handed similar clubs. Riley froze in alarm, his relaxed defiant persona completely wiped away. "I promised them they can see their families again if they did one thing." The two men settled into fighting stances, and despite their weak bodies they had a crazy look in their eyes, all fixated on Riley. "Kill you."
"WAIT! Wait!" Riley held his hands up to the prisoners, a frantic look on his face. "We don't have to do this." He said in a steady voice, "Can't you see? She's just making us fight against each other. This is just- some sick, twisted entertainment for them! But we don't have to. We don't have to give them what they want! We're not some, some fucking animals!" He turned to address Citra, fire burning in his blue oceanic eyes. "We are human beings! I will not be your fucking entertainment!"
The air was left with a heavy silence. Riley was red in the face, breathing in and out as if he just ran a marathon. It happened so fast, padding of feet and then Riley's knocked onto the ground dazed and confused. Luckily for him, the prisoner was weak, and had no experience in fighting or else there would be chunks of the kid's brain missing. Riley underestimated the length a person would go to be back with their family. Citra understood that all too well.
Regaining his bearings, Riley rolled away just in time as a club smashed down where his head was. It was a hectic game of dodge the sticks and try to stay alive. Riley was fairing pretty well on the defensive side, but she knows he knows it won't last. He can't keep dodging forever, and they weren't going to stop until he's dead. The only problem which even got her frustrated was that Riley was dead-set on not fighting back. The fool was still trying to talk reason into his attackers.
Why though? She can't wrap her mind around it. Around how this child thinks! It's either kill or be killed! That is the Rakyat way! That's what she has been told everyday of her life. There is no peace.
She was so focused on the fight she barely noticed Dennis approach her. "I have news about our CIA friends." He said, standing by her side, clasping his hands behind his back.
"Did they find the body?" She said distractedly, not really paying attention to Dennis because Riley almost got hit in the head again. He's quick on his feet, she'll give him that. "Well? Did they?" She asked again when Dennis didn't answer.
"..Yes. Yes they did and as promised they left right away. But do you see, Citra?"
"See that resorting to violence isn't the only solution. It all went peacefully and no one had to die. No conflict, no death, no hurting. It can be that way.. with the rebels."
Citra snapped her head to look at him, "Peace with the rebels? There is no peace with the rebels! They must all die!"
"But they have families! Children!" Dennis pleaded.
"They are not one of us. Only the Rakyat should live on this island, it is ours!"
Dennis looked hopeless, "But can't their be a way? Can't we live in harmony? If we only stop killing their loved ones we can work this out-"
A scream tore through the air, drawing Citra's attention back onto the battlefield. One of the prisoners was hunched over, grasping his head that had an indention on its side. Riley stepped back in horror, in his grasp a club, blood dripping from it. "I-I- I didn't mean to.. I didn't.." The man fell on his side dead, his eyes wide open staring at Riley. "Oh god. Oh god no. No, no, no." Riley looked like he was going to break down into tears.
"Yaaaaghh!" The other prisoner screamed fiercely, charging at Riley. She saw the change. That change when instinct takes over you, and the only thing you can do is let it control you. That's what Riley did. In one quick motion, he sidestepped, letting the attacker pass him and before the man could even turn around Riley swung and hit him in the back of the head. The attacker's eyes bulged out of their sockets, and he made this choking noise. Riley didn't try to dislodge the club from the back of his head, and instead let it go, which let the man fall face flat on the ground.
Riley stood there frozen breathing heavily, his hands shaking. And then he looked up at her, blood splattered across his haunted face. "Is this what you want!?" He screamed, and it was filled with so much anger and sorrow. He sounded like a broken man on his last straw. He waved at the dead bodies, tears slipping down his cheeks. "What do you want from me!?" A sob escaped his lips but he stood his ground. "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!?"
"Citra." Dennis whispered, "This is an opportunity. Riley is Jason's little brother, the rebels know that, and the villagers still remember all the good Jason has done for them. If we let Riley go he can convince some of the villagers to consider about a peace treaty."
"Silence!" Citra barked, standing up. "I don't want to hear anymore about peace and treaties! There will be none! There never will be! I will watch them all burn and when I'm done there will be nothing left but the Rakyat to rule!"
"NO!" Riley roared and ran at them, scooping a lone club from the floor. He raised it high, ready to strike, and he was looking directly at her! It wasn't the guards who got to her first, or the archers pulling back their bows. It was Dennis, the man stepping in front of her and tackling Riley to the ground, landing in the pond with a huge splash. The two men rolled around until the guards swooped upon them, beating Riley into submission until the boy went slack.
Dennis fixed his skewed glasses and glanced at Citra in hopes to find her looking back. But her sight was set on Riley. Because for the first time she saw murderous rage in his eyes.
He was going to kill her. The little bird wanted to kill the big tiger.
"Prepare the arena." She smiled, "He's ready."
"You know I had this saved for a long fucking time, it would be a shame to let this go to waste." Vaas opened a rectangle polished wooden box, and held up a neatly wrapped cigar. He brought it to his nose and inhaled deeply, exhaling with a satisfied sigh. "Fucking prime. Aye, smell this." He wagged it in Citra's face, but she didn't react, didn't even look like she noticed it. Her brows were scrunched together, worry plaguing her face. Vaas frowned and poked her with the cigar, catching her attention. "The fuck is wrong with you?"
She blinked and debated whether to tell him or not. Well it really wasn't a debate to be honest. If Vaas asked she answered. "It's Dennis."
"Ohh that fuckboy muchacho. Yeah I remember him. What, he bothering you or something?"
Citra raised a brow, "You care?"
Vaas scoffed, as if offended by her words. "Fuck yes I do! You're my little sister. It's my job to beat up boys who make you feel uncomfortable. Shit and I've been slacking for uh, how many years now?"
"Nine years." She whispered. Nine long years. He lit up the cigar and blew smoke at the ceiling.
"Fuck has it been that long? See I missed a lot of fuckboys that deserve a beating."
Citra shook her head, "There was no man but you Vaas."
"'Cept Jason, right?"
She bit her lip and looked away. Why did he always felt the need to bring the American up? She wanted to forget him, but Vaas is making that really hard to do.
"So what's up with Dennis, eh? Try'na be your baby daddy for another child? Likes his women already knocked up?"
She frowned, "No. He.. When I ordered my men to kill these people.. they stopped when Dennis told them to. They obeyed him, and when I repeated myself they looked at Dennis. As if they were looking to him for some.. some acceptance? They disobeyed me and that's never happened before." It actually should never happen. And secretly, a small part of her was scared. Mostly angry, but scared that she was losing something among her people, her warriors. And she really hated losing.
Vaas shrugged his shoulders, "It's bound to happen."
"What's bound to happen? What are you saying?"
Smoke flowed from his nostrils softly, "Insubordination. Usurp. He's stealing your throne."
"That would never happen." She said, "My people love me. I am their leader."
"And that is the fucking problem. You rule from love and respect. That shit never works. Hoyt knew that, fucker knew that very well." His face darkened at the mention of his old boss, and she couldn't imagine what was going through his head.
"Then how should I rule?" She asked.
"Fear." He replied, "Fear is what kept Hoyt's Privateer's feathers all ruffled and ready to bend and take it up the fucking ass. Fear is what I personally like to use. It's easy. Better yet, it's quick. That's how you keep motherfuckers in line. There ya go, life lesson right there. Your welcome." She examined Vaas, trying to picture him as the violent, psychotic tyrant she's heard rumors about. And it was true, his men did fear him. Everyone knew that. Everyone feared the Pirate Lord. They were scared of him. She was scared of losing him.
"Were you afraid of Hoyt Volker?" She asked quietly, peeking at him under lashes. Any emotion on his face disappeared, replaced with a blank slate. Even his eyes hardened, and his fingers curled without his notice. The air was so thick it was starting to suffocate her, and his silence was making her anxious. Finally, he cracked a smile and laughed.
"No. The only thing scary about that old fart was his taste in music."
Citra felt her eyes burn and she took his face in her hands, her lips trembling. "What did he do to you?" Vaas' response was to take another hit from the cigar and blow smoke in her face. It didn't deter her. "Do you not think I would know when my own brother is lying to me?"
"I always wondered how you did that. As a kid I thought you could read my mind. Got me all paranoid for a while."
"Vaas." She chided, knowing that he was just avoiding her question.
"Citrus." He mocked back, "You know I actually do like citruses."
"Stop it. Tell me." She commanded because inside, her body was breaking as her imagination ran wild with thoughts of Volker hurting her brother. Intimidating him. The very thought of it made her so angry that someone made her brother feel that way. Her skin prickled and she wanted nothing more than to hurt Volker. Bring him back to life to make him suffer.
He sighed and plopped down on his back, teeth holding the cigar. "It doesn't matter. The past is the past... Water under the bridge."
"It's horrible." She muttered, knowing in her heart that something wrong was done to Vaas.
"Nothing different with Dad." He said hollowly. Citra's breath hitched, and she curled up next to him, intertwining her fingers with his.
It was common for parents to discipline their children. Vaas made sure Citra never got hit. Maybe it was traumatic. Maybe it was child abuse. But to them, it was their culture. It was normal. Everyone did it. Pain is just an emotion.
And anyways, their father never made Vaas bleed. He was kind, yet strict. Like every other parent. Even Tane.
"So what are we gonna do with Dennis?" Vaas asked, taking a strand from her dreads to chew on it. Citra let him, it was something he did all the time when they were little kids. She joked it was because he didn't have long hair himself to do it with.
"We?" She echoed.
"Yeah. We. Nosotros. You and I. Tom and Jerry. Jack and Rose. Luke and Leia."
"Why would you want to help me?" Silly question, she knows but she knows that Vaas is just here to be here. She didn't expect him to care about her troubles.
"Because we're family and we gotta stick together. If we don't have each other's back, then who will? Anyways, I think I'm the only person you can trust right now. From what I'm hearing, you can't even trust your second in command. Speaking of the little shit, what do you wanna do? Kill him the old fashion way, or do it the Sonny assassination style."
"I'm not.. going to kill him, Vaas."
"But he's your competition. He's a threat."
"Yes but Dennis is.. has been a reliable ally."
Vaas looked down at her, "I smell bullshit. What is it. What did he do that you can't kill him?"
She pursued her lips, "He saved my life today. I don't forget things like that."
"So suddenly you grow a conscious because of that?" Vaas grinned.
Citra punched his stomach, "I need to think about this clearly. I can't be reckless. It may work for you but not for me."
Vaas snickered, "Yeah I know. You used to analyze shit all the time. Always so fucking cautious."
"And that's why I never had a broken bone and you did. Three times."
"Two. I twisted my ankle, not break it."
She smiled fondly at the memory. Closing her eyes, she let his presence fill her mind, pushing out bad thoughts of murder, Dennis, and a certain little blue bird with blood in its eyes.
The arena was prepped and ready in two days. This will be the first time in years since the Rakyat's last used this place, and it is overdue on bloodshed. Men, women, even children filled the seats to watch the show. The more important people sat closer to where the action was, a tarp hanging overhead to provide shade for them. Citra would be seated at the very front, but she was oddly missing.
Instead, she was inside the arena walls in one of the preparation rooms. The sacrifices had to be coated in pigs blood to attract the tigers, which she was doing so right now. Usually a servant would be doing this task, but Riley was special. She could tell the boy was hating every second of it, and when she got to his face, his eyes were dead-set trained on her. Red does make the color blue pop out.
"Jason was supposed to go to my pilot ceremony." He said after a while, his voice calm and collected. "He promised, but he never came. Brothers right? They just let you down."
She flickered her eyes to him, suspicious as to why he was sharing this with her. Dipping her fingers in white powder, she drew a tribal version of a skull on his chest.
"Are you afraid?" She said, curling a strand of his hair around her finger. She could tell all this was making him uncomfortable, but he smiled charmingly, as if none of this bothered him.
"I jump off of airplanes to get a thrill. You're gonna have to try better than that."
Her face darkened, a frown gracing her lips. Where did this new bravado come from? And he even sounded cocky. She withdrew like a snake and walked towards the door. Before exiting, she look behind her and said, "Try not to die so quickly. It would be disappointing."
"I won't disappoint." He replied. Blue eyes clashed against green ones, ocean waves crashing against green land. Citra didn't like this new Riley. Didn't like the way his smile hid something that only he knew. Mischievous little bird should stay in its cage. Now he's being let out for the hungry tigers.
She didn't exchange anymore words with him. It was time for the games to begin.
Returning to her seat, Citra gazed upon her people. Pride swelled in her chest knowing that she was the one who made it possible for the Rakyat to be joined here together as a strong, united tribe. She rose from her seat, and the crowd roared in cheers, stomping their feet creating a shaking similar to an earthquake.
"My people!" She boomed, raising her arms. The cheering died down to let her voice be heard by each and everyone. "We have one the war!" Applauding erupted and she waited for it to settle down again. It felt great, the air was alive with electricity and excitement hung in the air. "Now it is time to enjoy our victory!" She pointed towards the gates and it raised up, letting in thirty men coated in blood. They all looked alike, and it would be hard to spot Riley if it weren't for the white skull painted on his chest, and he was the only one to have it.
"Let us remember our fallen brothers and may the blood of these sacrifices quench their thirst for vengeance!" Riley was stuck in the middle. She didn't know if it was done purposefully on his part, but either way it was a smart move. The animals won't get to him so quickly. "Give them their weapons!" Handed to them were flimsy spears, rusting knives, and aging clubs. "Any who survive will live to see another day until the next games! BEGIN!" Double horns on both side blasted, and the crowd grew louder.
Citra sat down, never taking her eyes off Riley. Three gates opened, letting loose packs of dingos and boars and one chicken. As expected, the tight knit circle dispersed, all men running this way and that. Riley booked it too, and eventually started getting chased by a boar. Fools may think a boar is an easy animal to take down, but those sharp long tusks can pierce flesh as easily as a tiger's claws.
Focusing on Riley, Citra also noticed that Dennis was fidgeting in his seat. From the corner of her eye, she could tell he seemed anxious.. impatient. But why would that be? She didn't ask though, and waited to see what he would do.
The first wave of animals was over, only about eight men lay dead. Riley wasn't one of them.
"Send in the dragons." She said, and the horns sounded again, announcing the beginning of the second wave. This time komodo dragons were released. Fierce, nasty creatures they wasted no time on slithering over to their prey. It was at that time that Dennis left his chair.
"Where are you going?" She asked, making the man halt in his step.
"Oh, I'm going to check on the tigers. See if everything is ready."
She nodded, and he left rather quickly.
Komodo dragons were more tougher to kill, unfortunately the same could not be said for the humans. This time the death count numbered to almost half of the group, leaving about fourteen men or so. Riley didn't escape unscathed this time, sporting a bite mark on his leg. Fresh blood won't do him no good when he faces off against the tigers. Feeling generous, she let them have a period of rest before the next and final wave.
Curiously, all the men crowded around Riley. With the noise of the crowd and how far she was, she couldn't hear what he was telling the group. Whatever it was she didn't like it, and she waved her hand, signaling to start. The horns sounded for the last time, and the crowd grew louder with excitement. This is when the tigers are released. There are only three, but one tiger can take down about five men. Rumors had it that Jason once lead a single tiger to an outpost and let the animal do all the work. That goes to show how strong these majestic predators are.
This time, Citra stood up and went to the edge. Even from afar, she could tell Riley was looking straight back at her. He raised his knife towards her.. and tossed it away! The crowd reacted the same like her, surprised and astonished by his craziness. Foolish- crazy child! What was he trying to prove? That he won't fight for their pleasure? How stupid! He was going to die and all for what? His pride?!
The gates opened, condemning his death.
"Citra..." A weak voice sounded behind her. She turned around and gasped when Dennis stumbled inside and collapsed onto the ground. She went to him and cradled his bleeding head. He blinked lazily and mumbled, "Citra... the tigers..." Her blood ran cold, and she let her handmaidens take care of Dennis before throwing herself to the edge, gazing out at the arena.
The tigers.. the tigers weren't coming out. The crowd started to boo, but she could care less. Because Riley is still looking at her, and he was smirking.
Before she could do, or say anything, monkeys in the dozens emerged from the darkness of the gates. The sight was so bizarre that it left her utterly confused. That is until the monkeys started throwing grenades.
Chaos erupted faster than a wildfire. Confusion time was over, and the guards and any other warrior who happened to bring their gun started firing at the monkeys. Screams filled the air as a stampede of people tried to evacuate the arena. Following after the monkeys appeared trucks. Citra duck down as a spray of bullets flew in her direction. Crouching, she peeked over the edge to see the sacrifices climbing on board the trucks.
"Yes! Go my monkey army, go!"
For the love of all gods it couldn't be.
"Thank you Gilbert!" Hurk hollered in his goofy fashion.
If she weren't so pissed off right now, she would seriously wonder how that man-child is still alive! And just to spite her, he was the one helping Riley up into the bed of the truck.
No she is NOT letting Riley escape! He leaves when she allows it, either from her temple or from life itself she decides! In a flash, she hopped over the edge, and landed on the large steps below. Running she scooped up a gun from a fallen native and started shooting at Riley. But they were already driving out of there, and her bullets just hit the car, not the occupants.
She growled in frustration and threw the gun on the floor. The rebels escaped. Riley escaped. Riley won.
She was so mad her blood boiled. The warriors just standing there didn't help. "What are you doing?" She roared, "Go after them! Now!" They jumped and started running to where they stationed the cars. A part of Citra knew it was too late to, even by car but she was furious and she wanted to at least see them going after Riley.
Riley.. Riley Riley RILEY RILEY RILEY!
Dennis flinched at her violent outburst. "Citra please calm..." He trailed off, his eyes going wide. Citra huffed and frowned at the way he was looking at her.
"What?" She barked, this time more calmer.
He opened and closed his mouth, "N-nothing.. I just thought I saw.. No never mind."
She ignored whatever was going on with Dennis and said, "Spread the word Dennis. Tonight we are attacking Badtown!"
"Badtown!?" He gaped, "Citra you cannot be serious. That is suicide! We will lose so many men for no reason and we don't even know what to expect from that place!"
"I don't care!" She shouted, "I want Badtown in flames tonight!"
Gods just remembering Riley's smirking face made her see red. He knew. He knew. How did he know? How in the world did he know?
Citra froze, and cocked her head. "No?"
"No." He repeated, more firmly this time. "I'm sorry Citra, but I cannot allow this to happen. I won't let you."
Disbelief. Utter disbelief. She laughed, and when she looks at Dennis it's as if she's seeing him for the first time. "You.. you won't let me?" And that was when she realized, how was he talking to her? How was he standing perfectly fine talking to her. Wasn't he just minutes ago passing out from head trauma? And yes, there was dried blood on his head, but... something was not right.. something was not right..
"You went to check on the tigers." She mumbled, something horrible dawning on her.
"What?" Dennis asked.
"You went to check on the tigers." She said loudly.
Dennis gulped and licked his lips. "Ah yes, and that's when the rebels attacked. They got me in the head and I managed to come back to you to warn you."
"Why did you take the prisoners down to the dungeon." She cut him off. "The servants could have done that. That is their job. So why did you do it?"
Alone. He would of been alone with Riley long enough to tell him information.
"Traitor." She uttered, speaking more to herself than to this stranger. "You've betrayed me."
"Citra no, it's not what you think-" He tried to reach for her but she jumped back.
"You have betrayed me!" She snarled. This pain in her chest, she didn't know that it could be caused by Dennis. Dennis.
"I didn't betray you Citra!" He shot back, "I love you! I only did what was best for you!"
"Best for me?" Incredulous. How in the world did he think this is what's best for her? How could he ever think that?
"Yes! For you, for the Rakyat. Everything I have done, it was all for you!" Dennis grabbed her shoulders but she ripped away from him. "Citra please just listen to me!"
Gods she felt dizzy and sick, or sick and dizzy she didn't know. Her own second in command.... She gritted her teeth. A foreign feeling swept over her, taking away her emotions and leaving her oddly empty inside. "Why?" That was all she wanted to know. Why? He held her shoulder gently, and this time she let him.
"Citra." He said softly, "This war against the rebels.. it's not a war against the Rakyat. It's a war against you. All the rebels want is peace. Your people want that too but you won't let that happen. You let your anger cloud your mind, and it's hurting people. Our brothers are dying and it can all be avoided if we stop all the senseless killings. They fight because we kill them. Their mothers and fathers and children." He cupped her cheek, making her look up at him. "And because... I need to protect you Citra. You're just a woman. One with a child!"
Something... something deep inside her ticked.
"I love you Citra, and I know you may not share my feelings but I can't sit back and let you destroy yourself. You have saved me, given me a home and a family. Now it is my turn to save you." He leaned down to kiss her, but their lips never touched. She stepped back calmly.
"I'm just a women to you." She said. No yelling, or crying or angry fits. Just a simple statement.
"Citra you are so much more but.. Some of the generals are talking. It's not right. A woman with child to not have a husband. It is not right for the Rakyat to have a leader that is a.. woman. It's time for things to change around her Citra. The Rakyat is growing in strength and numbers. We need a leader that is strong, that can take care of his people and his wife."
She chuckled sadly, "And that is you, isn't it?"
They've all... they have all betrayed her. They were all against her... Right from the very beginning. She just can't win.
Dennis bowed his head, "I promise. I will love that child as if it were my own. You won't be alone anymore."
He just wants her for her body. Wants what he sees.
"I am... not a woman."
But nobody is listening.
When she looks into Dennis' eyes, what she sees back is her reflection. But she doesn't know who that person is.
If she's just a woman, then she'll do what she does best.
"Dennis." She cups his cheek and kisses him. When she pulls away, his lips follows hers. And when he opens his eyes, she knows she got him. "Do you want me Dennis?"
He nods his head, pure happiness on his face, his eyes twinkling.
"Would you do anything to have me?"
"Yes." He breaths, "Anything for you."
She stands on her tippy toes, whispering into his ears sensually, "Kill Riley." She draws away, brushing her fingers down his lips. "And then."
They all want her. Oh Jason... Jason.. You don't even know my father's name.
They aaaaalllll want Citra.
All the boys want Citra.
And she just wanted to be them.
"I'll be yours."
Dennis doesn't even hesitate. All that talk of peace, of no more bloodshed. All gone. It meant nothing because Citra's going to open her legs for you and she is going to love it. She's going to love you.
The sky turns dark when Dennis leaves, the new Rakyat leader leading his army to Badtown.
"Dennis. Dennis wake up."
Dennis cracks his eyes open to see Citra. She was sitting down, gently brushing his cheek.
"Citra.." He croaks, weakly cupping his hand over hers.
She smiles, "Did you do it? Is Riley dead?"
He freezes, and she could practically see the memories flood back into his mind. He squeezes her hand looking frightened. "Citra.. he's coming for you. He said that to me- to me- he, he let me live and he is- Oh god Citra he's coming for you!"
"I know Dennis."
It worked out so perfectly.
Dennis wants to stay awake, but exhaustion is taking a hold of him. "Citra.."
"Go to sleep Dennis." She says, getting up. On the other side of the bed, Vaas smiles cheekily at her and she smiles back.
After all, they are family. And family stick together.
Vaas is the first one to stab Dennis, followed by Citra and then it's just a frenzy of blood splatters. Dennis isn't even allowed a scream. He's dead before he can.
"Told you Citra." Vaas says, running his tongue up the bloody knife. "I got your back." Vaas looks way more excited than he should be, but hey, it's been a long time since he murdered someone the old fashioned way.
"I love you, Vaas." She says, adoration in her eyes.
When he looks at her, he looks at her. Truly. Deeply.
He's seen it all. He's seen all of her and he just grins right back.
"Love you too, sis."