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On the Greater Good

Set during the debrief of Matters of Trade

He had scrubbed every inch of his being. For a while he had thought he might never be clean again but after soaking in several bathtubs of rose water he was finally starting to feel like himself again. The far wall of the bathroom was adorned with a mural of the four Founders slaying a dragon. Woefully inaccurate, of course, the artist had decided to depict the Leader as a buxom woman for one thing, but he had a certain fondness for it in all its gaudy charms. If you looked carefully you could even pick out the fifth figure hiding in the undergrowth. He stretched out his slender body and languidly reached his left arm over the bathtub to refill his glass from the crystal decanter. He swirled the delectably dark liquid around the glass before taking a sip from it.

“Did you see that?” he said addressing the dark figure on the mural, “Wasn’t it wonderful how even in his moment of fear and pain his first thought was to try and protect me. Even though he despises me he was willing to dig through all that rubble to find me.”

He shuddered at the recollection of his own humiliating failure. There was nothing he hated more than the feeling of powerlessness.

“Devotion, isn’t it such a glorious thing? I shouldn’t be surprised, it’s the legacy of that great bloodline to produce such fine examples of humanity. It’s all about blood. Our very life essence defines everything about who we are. I don’t think he even knows his true potential. If only he would realise. Yes, blood is everything.”

He ran a hand through his long golden hair.

“Is that why you were so angry about what she did? Turning her knife against a member of her own family? Poor Penelope. She went too far, didn’t she? Even I can tell that. Ah well, I guess there is nothing more to be done now. You and I are alike in some ways. I suspect you know all too well that sometimes sacrifices must be made. If you want power then you can’t let anyone stand in your way. Acryn is practically begging for someone to guide her. The people call out to their gods to show them the way. They need to look to something better than themselves. She was so careless to forget how important her reputation is. I pity her now. You know he would walk through fire for her? I wonder… is she his weakness?”

He knew she couldn’t hear him, of course, but he enjoyed hearing his own musings nonetheless.

“You know how they say all those things about making hard decisions? That must be where you and I differ. Acryn needs someone who can act without hesitation and without regret. I cannot afford to let my ambition give way to any such weakness. My family needs me and Acryn needs me. For the sake of Lucian and Andrea, I want to see our house achieve everything it can. To bring them glory. That is what they mean, isn’t it? For the greater good.”

resources/fic/on_the_greater_good.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/04 19:35 by vickyh