After my previous story, The Indian Conflict, I decided to create a sequel, but it was rather delayed by the burden of studies and whatnot. So here, finally, is the long overdue sequel for my not-exactly-hundreds of fans. Enjoy!
P.S- I don't care if you're just skimming the story. I WANT feedback, even if it is to tell me that I don't space often enough. NOW you can enjoy.
P.P.S- I recommend that you read the first story before this, so it all makes a bit more sense. Only a bit, mind you. Um, and yes, now you can enjoy.
1- The Cypher
Antonio was growing tired of the Animus Program.
They were trying out the Animus prototype, and it was a success. The subject, an Assassin called Shiv, was relaying everything he witnessed to him. Everything the man spoke, he recorded. As yet there was no sign of the where abouts of the Indian Assassin base.
The first memory... they had come so close, only to be rebuffed at the most crucial stage. He wanted to snarl, but Dr. White had forbidden any loud noise. The 'patient', as he called Shiv, was is a critical stage. A few loud noises could very well cause a nervous breakdown.
All of his genetic timelines had been tried, but those which were important had been blocked somehow. According to White, this was due to some sort of 'memory code', the cypher of which he was researching. It was all to complicated for the frenchman, though. He was the weapon man. Tell him where to shoot, and he damn well would. But this..? This was beyond his comprehension. Let White do the tampering with his precious Animus, he thought, It'll be me the Templar Order will reward, in the end.
White huffed into the bland room, flushed and flustered. His tie hung loose around his scrawny neck, and his sleeves were rolled up. Antonio raised an eyebrow. White was always composed and neat in his manners, to the point of irritation. If he actually forgot tidiness, then something was up.
White spoke in his usual high-pitched voice, "You... you have to follow me sir!"
The french man followed without question. The subject was still strapped inside the machine. His swarthy skin was beaded with sweat, and his expression was of intense concentration.
His voice echoed through the machine's voice paths. He was mumbling, "No... they can't! He... I'll instead! I submit, submit!"
"I've broken the code sir." Said White primly. Antonio didn't bother to look at his gloating expression.
"Can you actually make him make sense of all this crap?" He said. Still studying the Assassin, he failed to notice the momentary look of malice on White's face.
He flicked a switch. The man stopped quivering and began speaking in a mechanical fashion.
And so do all things fall, thought Antonio as he heard the Assassin recount the remainder of the tale.
2-The Fall of the Eagle
The Rani of Jhansi, rebel warlord, and high ranking member of the Assassin's Order, swept through the warground. The British sepoys aimed and fired at her army, but they were out matched. She felt sorry for them; all they wanted was enough money to feed their children. Still, they had sided with the Templars, unknowingly. She was sure that even the English general who led the army was not a Templar; merely a pawn. He didn't deserve death, but then, she wondered, who did?
Her Assassin's robes had been traded for her trademark red Sarri, and her sabre was in her hands. By now, her recruit would have slain a fair number of templars; the more distractions, the better.
She swung her blade as a redcoat rode past her, the momentum of his horse and her sword causing it to almost cut his chest into half. She saw a local sepoy aim at her with his musket. She aimed and flexed her wrist; a bullet burst from her hidden-gun and rammed into his chest. He fell back sluggishly.
Two other rebels rode at her side. They cheered and rode ahead-
-only to be torn apart by cannon fire.
The Rani was flung from her mare like a ragdoll, landing heavily into a corpse. She hastily untangled herself and strove to see something through the black smoke. Two sepoys, she noticed, were once more prepping the cannon, a large cumbersome thing with two barrels. Still, cumbersome or not, it was effective. The charred remains of her two allies testified.
She reloaded her hidden-gun, and shot one of the Sepoys, the one about to fire the cannon. With the smoke in her way, she miscalculated and the bullet didn't kill him; instead it slammed into his arm, causing him to howl. It was cut short as she threw a knife, this time meeting her mark.
The other Sepoy saw his comrade drop dead, and dived for cover behind the cannon, nevermind shooting it. She decided to leave him; instead she picked off another sepoy yelling at him to shoot. The hiding Sepoy would be afraid to rise for the next fifteen minutes or so, she knew. And fear, she knew, was a powerful weapon.
She wondered where her comrade Adeel was, then remembered. Her former apprentice was leading rebel soldiers off to Dehli, to Bahadur Shah Zaffar. The old Emperor had sworn loyalty to the Assassins, distressed as he was by the control of the British. She shook her head. It wasn't about the British. It was about who manipulated the British. The EIC, the Templars.
Her revery broke as a wounded rebel dragged himself up to her. He propped himself on his good leg and pointed at the enemy lines. "Angrezi sardar aya hai." The British leader has come.
She followed his finger. A short, portly man in a red jacket was standing on a low hill, surveying the battle with tiny, piggish eyes. She raised her hidden-gun, and realized she was out of bullets. Glancing down, she saw the same was true for the throwing knives. She cursed. The only man who could provide them was two miles behind her, and she had to eliminate the general now. She should have restocked earlier, but no use losing time thinking what should have been done. What should she do now, was a better question.
She unequipped and broke her hidden-gun. She didn't need it any more, so no use leaving it behind for the British to puzzle over. She took out her hidden blade, a traditional wrist version. She strapped it on, hiding the brace under her bangles.
"Yahan rho," she ordered the injured rebel to stay. He saluted, and crouched.
She ran into the enemy forces, albeit unobstructively. She unarmed her self of her massive sabre and daggers, as well as the empty throwing knives sheath. As she cautiously raised herself over a hastily made trench, and came face to face with two redcoats.
She caught her breath. She had no weapon on her. Still, she was confident her story would work.
"Hey you! Yeah, you lass. Watcha doin' in a warground, you being 'n Indian an' all?"
She noticed his eyes as he appraised her. She answered in deliberately faulty English. "Sardar tell me to come his room."
The two soldiers laughed, and let her pass. She heard one say, "Well, old G'neral has a good choice, don't he?"
She smiled to herself. We'll see about that.
She walked to the man's chambers, head bowed. No one stopped her, though some muffled laughter.
The general was outside, but the chambers weren't empty. In one corner a young girl slept, shabbily dressed. She was Indian. The Rani noticed the scars on her back through the torn cloth, and black anger ran through her.
She ammended her thought. The general did deserve to die.
She woke the girl and asked her what she was doing here. The girl had apparently been the daughter of a Bengali noble. He had given her to the general as a gift, just to earn his favor.
The Rani heard heavy footsteps. She crouched, readying her hiddenblade. As the heavy general walked inside, she jumped and rammed her hiddenblade into his throat. He fell, gurgeling blood.
She gestured the girl, her name was Anushka, to follow her, and ran out. She ran as fast as she could. She saw a sepoy obstruct her path, and saw him recognize her as the Rani. She kicked him in the groin, and twisted the gun in his grip so that the butt hammered him on the temple.
After she had removed the gun from his loose grasp and loaded it, she and Anushka crept behind a barrel. Anushka's tearstreaked face looked at her with wonder. She smiled and patted the girl reassuringly.
A cry went out behind them. She reallized the corpse had been found.
As the guards ran to see what was going on, the two ran into the no-man's land. The limping rebel who had informed the Rani of the general's arrival now spotted them, and ordered the rest to stop fire.
She reached the rebel lines and heaved in exhaustion. She was growing old. The girl looked around her uncomprehendingly, and the Rani felt a pang of regret. She had just put the girl in the danger zone. If the british found her now, she was sure to suffer.
She heard gunfire, and realized that the British had just elected a new general. She peered at the hill with practiced eyes, and saw a nervous, but intelliegent looking red haired man flanked by around seven sepoys. The new general, she thought.
The british were coming forward now. A desperate attempt to finish the game? Maybe, but it didn't look desperate. More like calculated.
She looked at the afraid girl at her side, and the limping rebel, whos forehead was beaded with sweat. She was leading them into a slaughter. She should retreat.
No, she thought. These people should retreat. I shouldn't.
She looked around and saw her body guards, fifteen women in sarris carrying shields and sabres. She noticed nearly twenty fellow assassins in her army, and beckoned to these. The Assassins and the women, both came forth.
"You will follow me." they nodded.
She looked at one Assassin, and remembered his name. Rahim. He was nearly a master Assassin, cloaked in white robes. His face was dark, and eyes bright.
"Yes, my lady?"
"You will lead the rest in retreat."
He looked surprised. The few people in her army who knew english were telling others the meaning of her words. There were angry mutterings. No-one wanted to leave the English to their own devices.
She called them to halt. "Yahan rehna chahte ho to raho (Stay if you wish)" she yelled, "Ya yahan se nikal jao, take phir koi ladne kan din naseem ho (Or run today, so that you may fight again tommorow)."
And many stood their ground along with her. She told Anushka to leave and the two embraced. Finally, Rahim lead the army away as the British fired their guns to signal death.
The Rani's head was held up high. Tears ran down her cheeks but she made no move to wipe them away. This was it, she realized. Was all this real? Was all this true...? Was such barbarism permitted by the soul?
She smiled sadly. Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.
She lead the army in one final charge. The fiery sun rained tears of fire onto the bloody earth, and the two armies met.
3- Broken Bars
Ranveer swore lightly as he saw Shiv.
The young sikh looked down from the air vent in horror as his friend recounted the tales of a time long lost to his captors.
He felt Arnold, the British Assassin shuffle next to him. They saw the frenchman make notes of what the imprisonned Assassin spoke, while the scientist turned knobs and typed out commands into the large mainframe computer.
He wanted to take out his revolver and shoot down both right there, but he knew the risks. Any large sound and Shiv might just die.
Arnold patted him awkwardly on the back. He had no idea what to say to the man. Emotions had never been his department. He saw Shiv once more, encased in steel and speaking in a dead voice, like a modern mummy. He touched the scar on his cheek out of habit. The surface was still rugged, even after five years...
Suddenly he heard White. "We must give him rest, sir."
The frenchman looked back with open loathing on his face. "Why? We're so close to the battle it self! Why stop now...?"
The pale man cleared his throat softly. "The animus, you see, sir, is a very complicated machine, but the human mind is more complicated."
"I may have broken the memory code, sir, but I believe that the tension caused by that is still affecting his mind. We are lucky his mind didn't break completely..."
At this point, Arnold had to slap his palm onto Ranveer's face to stop him from growling.
Ranveer felt his muscles, massive as they were, tense. If anything happened to his friend, he swore to god he'd make this scrawny doctor pay.
The frenchman was apparently as tired of the doctor as Ranveer. "Shut up White, just shut up! I've had enough of you! I'm going upstairs for a drink, and if I see you follow me, mon cher, I'll stick my little knife there where the sun does not shine!" So saying, he stomped out of the room.
The doctor, White, cleared his throat in that highly annoying way of his before shuffling out of the room. He locked it behind him.
The two Assassins fell lightly into the white-washed room. Arnold saw Rajveer run towards Shiv, but called out a low warning. As the Indian turned furiously, Arnold flicked a knob and the lights within the Animus switched off.
"I just saved you from electrocution, Tiger," he said, calling the burly man by his nickname.
Rajveer scowled. He didn't like the man now any more than the first time they had met, around three days ago.
Arnold pulled a lever encased in rubber, and the glass doors of the machine opened. Shiv's metal bods folded away.
Rajveer lifted the weakened assassin with no effort, and soon the two assassins were dragging him as softly as possible through the vent.
- Sardar: Used in the above story as in leader, lord
- Sepoy: Local Indians who fought in the British armies for less wages than the English soldiers. Many turned against their masters in the War of Independence, on which this story is based. However, some still remained loyal to the British.
- Sarri: A cultural garment often worn by Indian women both then, and now.