The Seeds of Dissent
Chapter 1: The Seeds of Dissent
Summary: History is filled with examples of destiny, sacrifice, despair, sorrow, joy, and hope. This is one of them.
Warnings: Slash, Incest, Love, Romance, Adventure, Mystery, Action.
Rating: PG-13 [Could be NC-17 in the future]
Disclaimer: I own nozing! It ees all belonging to C.S. Lewis, yo!
Author’s Notes: Read the prologue before this. Return to my OTP P/E!
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‘I hear them coming for me. I leave this in the hope that one day someone will read my thoughts and understand the legacy I represent. A Narnia now faded into bittersweet memory.
Queen …’ Lucy began to write before she shook her head and scribbled out the word and simply added ‘Lucy Pevensie’.
Lucy stood up, prepared to be moved back to her cell. This was far earlier than usual. Rehkan’s celebrations were not even over.
She soon realized as the guards entered and led her in a different direction that today would most definitely not be usual. She turned to one of the guards, feeling a well of trepidation as she was led out of the prison and out into the open atop a large platform.
It did not take her long to figure out what was about to happen. She was about to be hanged. She was right after all. Rehkan had tired of her and now his last example would be to hang her as an example to any who might rise up in opposition.
King Rehkan himself emerged onto the platform as Lucy was noosed up. A tall, lean, muscled man with long blonde locks and deep grey eyes. If she did not know his heart so well, Lucy would have considered him stunning. Yet his cruelty and malice caused her to greet the sight of him with nothing but contempt.
Rehkan turned to the large audience as he pointed to Lucy. She was most definitely being made an example of.
“Here stands the last resistance of an old Narnia. As long as such relics are allowed to exist, our future is blighted. I have given you greatness and true civilization and with the death of Lucy the Valiant, the greatness shall never be threatened again! Let it be known to all who would seek to overthrow our glorious existence that they shall meet a fate such as this unfortunate woman.” Rehkan said, scowling at Lucy.
Lucy did not dignify Rehkan’s words with a response. She accepted her fate. She made peace with her past, with her failings and her experiences. In some way, she found the notion of death oddly appealing, for in her heart she hoped she would be reunited finally with her precious loved ones.
As the hangman prepared to kick out the stand from beneath Lucy’s feet, Rehkan stepped up to her. He kissed both her cheeks before he leaned closer to her ear and whispered something that none could hear but Lucy.
“Your brothers live.”
Lucy’s eyes suddenly went wide with disbelief and near horror before she began struggling frantically. She shook her head, sobbing in disbelief as Rehkan sneered wickedly. Satisfied with himself he stepped back and watched as the hangman stepped up behind her.
Yet much to Rehkan’s displeasure, Lucy suddenly stopped struggling. She stared at him confusedly before she finally smiled softly. She looked up at the sun and closed her eyes.
“Hope prevails …” Lucy whispered.
Angered by her change in demeanor and her fearless words, Rehkan yelled at the top of his lungs for the hangman to finish her. Lucy’s eyes remained closed and she held a face of unbreakable calm and peace. Gritting his teeth indignantly, Rehkan raised his thumb and turned it down. The hangman stepped up behind Lucy and kicked out the stand from beneath her feet, consigning her fate to history.
- - - - - -
When Lucy opened her eyes, she wondered vaguely if she was in Heaven, and if so, why it stunk of dumb animals. She then realized it was because she wasn’t in fact dead or in Heaven, but in a stable, on a bed of straw. She was surrounded by animals, and she could tell by the look of them that they were in fact dumb, and not at all the talking variety. Her head hurt, but considering she had previously expected to be dead, that was a minor complaint. Where was she?
“It’s alright, Child, you are safe.” A soft voice spoke as Lucy felt a dabbing of a wet cloth on her temple.
Lucy looked up, for the first time noticing a figure beside her. The figure was hooded and their face could not be seen. Lucy sat up and looked around herself, before turning her attention back to the figure.
“You saved me?” Lucy asked, overcome with emotion at the unfamiliar sensation of freedom.
“We saved you.”
“How?” Lucy asked, confused, “And who are you? Why did you help me?”
- - - - - -
“Die, Queen Lucy, die.” Rehkan said quietly, a half smirk on his face.
He stood facing Lucy as the life was choked from her slight frame. She was hanging now, much to the horror of many who watched. Many who still believed that the Great Lion would not abandon them or their former leaders to this fate.
Of course, Lucy’s fate seemed to be of much concern to many in attendance, including one particular hooded figure in the crowd. They remained anonymous at first, until suddenly their robe was thrown open and a magnificent bow revealed. Before Rehkan even heard the arrow fly, it had sliced through the rope hanging Lucy and she fell under the platform to a pair of centaur who caught her and immediately burst into a gallop.
The next arrow struck Rehkan in the throat before he could even raise the alarm with a cry of indignation. He staggered backward, blood spattering out of his neck as he was suddenly rushed by his loyal guard. He fell against a post, steadying himself as he stared into the crowd. Who would dare attempt this!? Everyone, it seemed. The entire crowd of beasts were aiding in the escape of the former valiant queen. Yet one figure, the hooded figure, remained steadfast, staring at Rehkan as he suffered a fate that was none too gentle.
“I killed you!” Rehkan gasped in disbelief as the hooded figure threw off their hood, revealing a figure that Rehkan believed long dead; Susan the Gentle.
“You failed. Obviously.” Susan said, staring defiantly at him, “But I won’t.”
She immediately took aim with her bow, firing as her own loyal rebellion, also long believed dead, now battled with Rehkan’s soldiers. Her arrows struck dead with every kill, yet none struck Rehkan, for he was protected by a line of rapidly falling soldiers. Yet still Susan remained where she stood, making a statement to those Narnian who would seek to serve Rehkan the Benevolent.
“Your Queen, in the name of the Lion, expects no less than your complete and utter loyalty. When the time comes, we will rise, Narnia, we will rise.” Susan said firmly, before she was plucked by a centaur and spirited away.
- - - - - -
“Susan!” Lucy gasped in disbelief as Susan removed her hood, revealing herself, “It was you!”
Susan’s face was scarred from the attack Rehkan made on her six years ago. An attack that had almost killed her. She had failed then to lead a rebellion uprising. She vowed not to do the same next time.
Susan shied away from Lucy’s gaze, mindful of the burned flesh of her cheeks and near unrecognizable left eye. Lucy covered her mouth in shock and horror at her sister’s state. She meant no harm by it, still completely overwhelmed by the fact that after years of believing Susan was dead, that she was in fact alive. Yet still the small gesture was enough to cause Susan to don her hood and rush away.
“Susan, no please, wait!” Lucy cried, jumping to her own feet to rush after her sister, “Please come back! I’m sorry! I love you!”
Susan stopped, still facing away from Lucy. Lucy grabbed Susan, sobbing and clutching her with all her might. Lucy had long believed Susan dead and to have her back after all this time was a miracle she would not give up.
“I’m so sorry.” Lucy sobbed, pulling Susan’s hood off and smothering her face in kisses, “You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful. I love you. You’re alive. You’re alive. I have you back. Please don’t let anything keep us apart. I love you.”
Lucy stroked Susan’s scars with her fingers and kissed them, tears streaking down her face. Susan’s gaze was still downcast, as if tentative about Lucy seeing her like this. Lucy had been shocked to see such horrible remnants of Rehkan’s evil ways, but it had no impact at all on her love for her sister.
“You are a goddess.” Lucy proclaimed, “You have saved my life, and with your return, you have saved my heart. You live, Susan, you live, and now we have hope. You have no idea how much. Thank Aslan for you.”
“Please forgive me for … taking so long to come to your aid, Lu. I … have been away and not myself for many years, recovering from …”
“I know.” Lucy nodded, “I know. But you’re here now. You’re here. And you’ve done so much already. You’ve come home to me. You’ve raised our people to fight our oppressor. You’ve come home to me. Oh, Su. I’m so happy. I’m so proud.”
Susan’s one good eye glistened with emotion, but still stared away from Lucy. She was not the woman she used to be. Yet she was still the sister Lucy loved and looked up to.
“The time has come, Lu.” Susan said, sliding her hood back over her head, “The time has come. The fight has just begun.”
- - - - - -
“I want them dead.” Rehkan growled, still wearing the bandages around his neck from Susan’s shot, “I want that dirty undead whore skinned alive! Find Susan the Gentle, have dogs rape her, cut her last good eye out, and then skin her alive before her precious subjects! I want her and every last follower she has, dead!”
He backhanded the servant dwarf trying to tend to his wounds, clearly angered. The rescue of Lucy, the revelation that the rebellion and its leader lived, and the attack on his own life, left Rehkan in a decidedly foul state. His kingdom was in jeopardy. He had to act before matters spiraled further out of control.
“Send Hunters out to find … Peter the no longer Magnificent.” Rehkan chuckled darkly, “It is time to end this charade. This whore Susan has risen from the grave, Helric. How is this possible?”
“I do not know, Majesty.” Helric said, “But I will be sure myself that she dies this time, with no hope of return.”
“She has made her statement and almost killed me in the process. For so many years I felt she was dead, gone, over with. And yet here she is, arisen, returned, come back to haunt me. She will soon learn that her brothers live, and this will only spur her attempts to usurp me.”
“But … how will she learn? In all these years no one has discovered the truth.” Helric asked, confused.
“Because I told Lucy, before she was supposed to die. Now she will tell her sister. When the population learns their monarchs are alive, they will rise against us. And so we must … break their will. Assign the First Cavalry to hunt the rebels. Send our best sky hunters to track down the former High King. I also want you … personally, to select a dozen younglings of mixed species and prepare them for public torture and dismemberment.”
“Majesty?” Helric asked, somewhat taken aback by this order.
“These rebels and their sympathizers must be made aware that I shall not tolerate any uprising or rebellious behaviour. By making an example of their younglings, they will see the scope of my resolve. It will neutralize their … seeds of dissent.”
Helric nodded, “As you wish, Majesty. It shall be done.”
- - - - - -
“What did you say?” Susan gasped in disbelief as she stared at Lucy.
“They’re alive, Su.” Lucy said, her eyes bright with the boundless hope that drew so many to her during her reign as the Valiant Queen, “Rehkan told me just before I was hanged! They’re alive!”
Susan staggered backward into a chair behind her, her eyes staring blankly at the wall behind Lucy. She could not believe what she’d just heard. She could not believe her brothers were alive. If they were, where had they been for the last seven years? Why were they not fighting the righteous fight against Rehkan and his oppressive regime?
“No, Lucy. They are dead.” Susan reasoned, “If they were alive, we would know. If they were alive, they would have acted by now. I would know, Lu. You would know. Rehkan was toying with you.”
“I know it doesn’t make sense, Su, but I believe it. This is the time. Your return, my escape, and now news that our brothers live? This is our time, our fate, our opportunity to free Narnia and reclaim her for her people. For our people.” Lucy said passionately, “I don’t know where they are or why they have not shown themselves to us, but I have to believe they are alive, somewhere. Perhaps they need our help as I needed yours. Please, Susan, we must act.”
Susan pondered Lucy’s words, still overwhelmed by her news, “I will have to think on this, Lu. Our window of opportunity to act now that we are revealed to Rehkan, is small. I must think before I can allow our rebellion to divert energies to a cause I am not fully certain is based on fact. Please understand, I would dearly love to believe our brothers live, and that we should turn our attention to our reuniting, but I must act in the best interests of those we serve in there here and now. I’m sorry, Lucy.”
Lucy was about to speak up again but Susan was already leaving. Frowning, Lucy turned away and stared out the small window of the humble cottage she and Susan had been hiding out in with trusted members of the rebellion. She wondered why Rehkan had told her that Edmund and Peter lived. She wished he’d revealed more of their fate, to give her something to tell Susan. Something to make Susan believe as she did.
“Oh, Peter. Where are you?” Lucy asked, staring up at the night sky, “Why won’t you show yourself to us?”
- - - - - -
“Capture the youngling jaguar.” Helric ordered his men, “If the parents resist, kill them. The High King wishes for a youngling sacrifice, and he shall have it.”
Soldiers surrounded the jaguar’s home, swords drawn. They’d come at night, with intent to catch the family unaware. Under cover of darkness, two soldiers rushed in, emerging with a youngling jaguar while her parents rushed out, roaring after. There was a brief struggle as the parents tried to save their child. One soldier was bloodied, before their comrades began beating the youngling in order to make the parents halt. It worked.
The parents growled, but eased back slowly, in the hope the soldiers would reconsider and let their youngling go. One of the soldiers sneered and started smacking the youngling about the face. Within moments, a growl could be heard. A growl that did not originate from the jaguar parents.
The jaguar’s ears perked up at the sound, their heads turned in the direction the growl originated from. At first, the jaguar hoped it to be the call of a lion. Perhaps the lion. It was soon discovered to be that growl of a black wolf. A wolf who moved like lightning, soon sinking its teeth into the shoulder of the soldier who struck the youngling. The attack was so fast, so brutal, that the soldiers barely had a chance to react. When the chaos was over, Helric and two of his men were running for dear life, while their comrades lay dead, ravaged and torn apart by the wild black wolf.
When all threats were gone, the jaguar reclaimed their distraught youngling. They remained frightened of the large wolf, staring at it with fearful eyes. The wolf regarded them with a glance, before it disappeared into the darkness from whence it came.
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To Be Continued
The mystery of Peter and Edmund's fate continues to be revealed as Lucy investigates, while Susan continues to lead the rebellion.
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