(1310-10-29) Justice
Summary: Alcibiades Rousse makes the decision to hang the pirates captured upon the taking of The Ariadne, and suffers the effects of the resulting bloodshed after.
RL Date: 13/11/2018
Related: Takes place after Into the Fire
alcibiades 

Aboard The Myrmidon, formerly The Ariadne, formerly the Etoille du Soir


"Bring forth the first prisoner."

Alcibiades Rousse stands in his full sea officer's uniform, gold braid and solid blue. It is a hideously-elaborate contraption of clothing, something that Isabelle de Valais would never have designed or approved of. But these men are about to die. They deserve full ceremony.

The drummer stands by the capstan, his sticks poised. Jaime Daur, acting as First Mate until a proper sea officer can be found, gives him a sharp nod. Ratta-ta-tatata-tat. Ratta-ta-tatata-tat. Again. Again. The Rogue's March booms out over the empty seas as Myrmidon rises and falls. The day is exquisite, sun beaming down through cool air, sky a perfect robin's egg blue.

Two of Alcibiades's best seamen drag the first pirate out, drag him to the noose dangling from the yardarm of the mainmast. He doesn't bother fighting, the pirate. He walks with what little dignity remains to a man who has spent his night chained in a bilge and still reeks of filth and seawater. Shrugging off the restraining hands, the pirate leaps up onto the rail of his own volition, slips the noose around his own neck. He turns and looks boldly at Alcibiades.

"I'll see you on the ocean's floor, ponce."

And he jumps.

Alcibiades could respect that, the way he dies. He could wish that all the pirates were so bold. But no — only that first nameless man dies well. Rashida, their captain, fights silently the whole way to the makeshift gallows. He is a big man and might have broken free, had not one of the seamen punched him hard in the groin.

In the end, he dropped too.

~*~

Alcibiades dreamed.

He dreamed that he was in the midst of a sea of people, thousands of people, in the Place des Mains. He knew this place, knew its vista of open space, knew its smell and its sounds. This was the place. He was home, in Marsilikos. In his dreams, he knew he hadn't been home for decades. Hadn't been home since he murdered his father. A thing he hadn't done in reality, of course, but in the dream he knew that he had.

And he knew that this crowd was here for him. To hang him.

The noose was around his neck, but he didn't remember slipping it on. Had it always been there? Hemp. It itched.

He looked out into the sea of people and was somehow above them all, the fixture of all their attention, the great villain. He could see Isabelle out there, in the very front, watching. Her face was solemn and composed as she started swimming toward him, in the way of dreams, kicking and paddling through the air like water.

Alcibiades watched her get swept back, again and again, by the surging wave of humanity. He cannot move his arms, cannot move his legs, cannot break free of this hempen noose.

~*~

Alcibiades wakes up with a gasp, nearly dislodging himself from the hanging bed in his cabin. He does not have nightmares frequently, but today was nightmarish. Pirates deserve to be hung, it is true. But he will never, he hopes, learn to relish it.

Isabelle stirs — he hopes he hasn't woken her — and rolls over on top of him, dragging the blankets with her, snuggling into his chest with the warmth she has brought. Newly-warmed, in more ways than one, Alcibiades Rousse closes his eyes again.

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