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05 January 2013 @ 08:23 am
FIC: The Windmines of Bora Bora - 11/11 - Epilogue  
Author: Osiris Brackhaus
Story Title: The Windmines of Bora Bora
Part: 11/11
Rating: R
Configuration: /
Warnings: slavery, despair, previous rape and torture mentioned, off-screen rape, frequent and graphic violence
Word Count: 1.300/36.000
Setting: 'Phoenix Empire' verse, see Phoenix Empire Timeline & Index
Characters: Ivan, Smelly
Summary: A short while after the events on Bora Bora, Princess Anita finds some maids chatting in the linen closet...

Note: Don't miss your chance to have a say on where the story continues - there a poll up on Beryll's journal!

“Oh my god, isn’t he gorgeous?” A young woman’s voice, hushed but brimming with excitement.

“And he’s from Yaiciz, can you imagine? Hasn’t he got the cutest frown?” Another woman’s voice, just as fluttering.

“They say here he was a gangboss. A real criminal.” This girl spoke shyly, her blush almost audible.

“Well, I sure as hell wouldn’t present him to my parents.”

“Of course not. Your mother might just swipe him for herself!”

All three women broke into half-suppressed laughter, the sound echoing eerily through the high corridors of the ducal palace of Yaiciz.

Princess Anita felt her left eyelid twitch.

What were those twats thinking? Gossiping during their shifts? Right in the ducal palace? How could they dare to be so disrespectful?! Those girls should be on their knees with gratitude for being allowed to serve the Duke and his family!

Another bout of girlish giggles broke out of the storage room, finally snapping Princess Anita’s last nerve.

“What the hell?!” Barging into the room like a vengeful goddess, Anita’s voice was a low, furious growl. “What is this impertinence?”

Inside the small storage room full of linens, the three servant girls turned around and almost died of shock on the spot. Their faces as white as their starched pinafores, they huddles together, the oldest one protectively pushing the younger ones behind her.

Scanning them swiftly, Anita almost bared her teeth with disgust. None of the girls wore collars, so a swift, wordless whipping was out of the question. Oh, how she hated commoners. First thing she would do as Duchess would be to completely abolish that silly notion of citizen rights, pointless and cumbersome as it was.

At least the girls looked appropriately frightened, she found.

“You have shamed this house your are working for,” she hissed through her teeth. “You will not be paid for this day.”

“Yes, Highness,” the oldest girl replied meekly, her head bowed to give as little offense as possible. “We are humbled by your leniency.”

Anita only snarled something unintelligible in reply. What had those girls been thinking? That she wouldn’t notice? Did they really think her that stupid? She was almost about to leave the linen storage again as she noticed something odd.

“What are you hiding?!” Anita barked, her hand grabbing the arm of one of the servant girls as fast as a striking snake and with just about as much mercy. “Give me that!”

With a startled yelp of pain, the girl surrendered what she had been hiding behind her back. A magazine, Anita found with mild fascination, a cheap, colorful magazine. Looking at the cover, she felt her bile rise again. A ‘Quest Log’, of all things. The primary imperial propaganda tool, extolling the virtues of those well-groomed Phoenix Knights, their retinue and their silly little adventures in all detail, saturating the minds of the common populace with the ridiculous idea that the Emperor actually cared for each and every one of his subjects.

“Really, a Quest Log?” she asked, her voice dripping with condescension. “Wasn’t there any decent propaganda of your own rulers to be found?”

For a second, the girls looked at her without comprehension.

“But Highness,” the youngest girl finally asked, “isn’t this a great day for Yaiciz? After all, it’s the first time that...”

“The first time that what?” Anita snapped at the girl who seemed to have swallowed her tongue all of a sudden. These imbecile commoners couldn’t even speak straight! “Speak, girl, or I’ll whip it out of you!”

“Sir - Sir Yaden has picked a squire, Princess,” the girl stammered, her hands crunching the fabric of her pinafore in her lap. “And it’s someone from Yaiciz! Isn’t that a great honor?”

“How great an honor can it be if I wasn’t informed?” Anita spat.

But her curiosity had been triggered, and she searched the magazine cover for clues. A Phoenix Squire from Yaiciz? Why hadn’t she been consulted? After all, she was one of the strongest psions on the planet, and easily the best fighter. The Emperor should feel honored if she even considered his request. But then again, the Emperor probably was too afraid to have someone with real power around him, someone who didn’t just do press conferences and movie premieres on his behalf. But what did she care? It was his loss, after all.

“There’s a centerfold poster of him in the magazine,” the youngest servant girl volunteered in a completely misguided attempt of smoothing things over. “I am sure he’ll bring great honor to our planet.”

“Yeah, right.” Anita grumbled. “Right after he’s done licking the Emperor’s boots.”

Mildly amused at the mental image, Anita thumbed through the magazine until she got to the middle and flipped out the folded poster to have a look at that quaint tool that was now ‘representing’ her planet in the name of the Emperor. The poster showed a young man wearing ridiculous red leather pants and basically nothing else, wielding two flame-wreathed sabers in a completely impractical stance, staring right at her with a cocky grin.

She was just about to say something patronizing as suddenly, her world seemed to tilt and fall out from under her.

Because, almost hidden underneath that cocky smile of his, the squire wore her brother’s face.

Her slave brother, that embarrassing failure who had fainted from trying to light a candle flame. The one she had personally seen off to the mines, never to return again. The one person she had been sure she’d definitely seen the last of.

“Who gave you this?” she barked, her voice almost breaking, shocking the servant girls even more. “Who DARED to do this?”

“We bought it, Highness.” It was the elder girl who tried to answer for the others. “I’ve bought it from the news stand right across the street from the main entrance, Princess, during lunchbreak -”

But Anita didn’t listen any longer.

The magazine still in her hand, she rushed out of the room, a cloud of angry white sparks trailing behind her.

How was this possible? Nobody ever returned from the mines! And why were they claiming Ivan was a psion now? Could he have escaped and aligned himself with the Emperor? Was he planning a coup?

Ivan was much too stupid for all this, she decided, so somebody else had to be behind this. Did the Emperor already feel Anita breathing down his neck? Or was someone else trying to have a puppet Duke at the ready for when they made a move? But why the hell did they make it publicly they had Ivan?

Thoughts were racing in Anita’s head as she rushed through the palace. She didn’t even notice that she left burning footprints on the polished stone floor, licking flames in pink and lavender. Her body was giving off heat so intense that the air shivered around her, and where her fingers touched the magazine, the paper was already trailing fine tendrils of smoke.

Finally, she reached the balcony above the main entrance and almost ran towards the balustrade. Across the street, she could see the newsstand the servant girl had been talking about, just a hole in the wall between a café and a jeweler.

A part of her was still hoping that this was all a joke, a nasty hoax initiated by someone she could just burn at the stake for his lack of respect.

But even from up here, she could see a whole pile of magazines resting on the counter just like the one she was holding in her hand. And almost everyone bought at least one copy, congratulating each other on the great publicity for the planet this news spelled.

The image of everyone on the planet laughing at her behind her back for failing to get rid of her retarded brother burned the last bit of decorum out of her. Like an explosion, the air around her suddenly superheated, a giant plume of pink and lavender flames rising to the sky. The magazine didn’t even have time to catch fire, it just combusted in a bright flash leaving nothing behind but glimmering white ash.

“IVAN!” she yelled at the top of her lungs, not caring whether anyone saw her or not. “I’m gonna kill you, you rotten bastard! Hear me? I’M GONNA KILL YOU!”


The End

Liliaethliliaeth on January 5th, 2013 08:38 am (UTC)
I love Ivan winning one over on Anita, without even being there*g*
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 5th, 2013 12:15 pm (UTC)
Good, good! The two of them will stay with us for quite a while to come, so if you liked this, there's still a whole lot of more waiting.

Thanks for commenting!
swirlsofblueswirlsofblue on January 5th, 2013 09:22 am (UTC)
Grins, yay for Ivan getting one over on Anita.

I've just recently found this journal and can I just say I really really love this universe you and your wife have created and all of the awesome stories within it. I've spent the last few days reading all the fic and it's astounding how brilliantly the characters and stories are brought to life and all the little interwoven details through different stories, much kudos :D.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 5th, 2013 12:21 pm (UTC)
Well then, by all means, welcome!

Thank you so much for your kind praise, and if you want more - only the other day we said that we have only written about 5 to 10% of the stories we have already developed so far. So there's going to be a lot more still to come.

Also, if you have questions (it IS a lot of stuff) or anything seems unclear or missing (cause we occasionally overlook something, too), please do not hesitate to bombard us with questions. We really like to talk about the Phoenix Empire verse, it's not our pet project for nothing.

So in short - welcome and thanks for saying hello!
swirlsofblueswirlsofblue on January 5th, 2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the lovely welcome, ooh good to know that there's a lot left to come, I will eagerly await future fics and bombard you with any questions I have :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 5th, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC)
Just go ahead, so far we have been answering all questions to full satisfaction of our readers... or at least, until they were buried under a wall of text collapsing on them. ^^
jouet89: guri szemboljouet89 on January 5th, 2013 11:11 am (UTC)
Wait, you can't end it here!
I have a lot of questions! For example what is Ivan now? A slave? If yes, then whose slave? A commoner? Maybe a Dracon again? Does the Emperor know that he is (was) a noble? Does Mr Emperor wants him to be a Duke of Yaiciz? And who called the demonists to Bora-Bora? Did he/she die? What's with the people of Pandora now, when Yaden isn't there to protect them?
And the most important: Why Anita isn't in a madhouse?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 5th, 2013 12:33 pm (UTC)
Okay, that IS a lot of questions. But we love questions, I think I said so before, didn't I?

1) Ivan is now Yaden's squire.
2) Yes. More about the legal standing of squires here: http://osirisbrackhaus.livejournal.com/24726.html
3) Yaden's.
4) No.
5) Still no, see above.
6) No. At least, I don't think so. See 'A New Life', which is probably going to start posting on Monday Tuesday, depending on the poll in Beryll's journal.
7) n/a because of 6). Also, even though Duke Ilahn of Yaiciz is old as a rock, he's still pretty fit and shows no signs of dying any time soon. But yes, we will see how this pans out. Actually I already answered that question, years ago, in comments elsewhere, and got badly modsmacked by my lovely wife for it.
8) I don't think we will ever find out, maybe the Verata cleaning crew will learn something.
9) No idea, see 8).
10) Yaden managed to calm the worst 'cramps' of his planet while he was still there, so now he only gets called home when things really get out of hand. But you are absolutely right, this part isn't finished and definitely not forgotten. Actually, if I remember right there will be a little bit of that in one of the next stories.
11) Why should she be in a madhouse? She's in a Dracon palace, that's pretty much the same. Or do you mean it as in 'locked up safely'? She's a pretty tough one to lock up, but we will be around to witness all her struggles until things finally got sorted out between her and Ivan.

Hope I caught all your questions, if not, ask again. ^^

Edited at 2013-01-05 12:48 pm (UTC)
BerthaBlueberthablue on January 5th, 2013 11:26 am (UTC)
IVAN WINS!!! I love how rageful Anita gets :D She deserves all the humiliation that comes her way.

And yay for Ivan being Yaden's squire!
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 5th, 2013 12:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah well, our darling Anita does have a teeny tiny bit of an anger management problem. She is the absolute master of making the wrong decisions, which we will be able to witness most flamboyantly in upcoming stories, so absolutely no compassion needed here. She really deserves every bit coming her way.

And YAY indeed. They really deserve each other, both as friends as well as cool psions working together, saving the world. What a luck there's so many stories with them still to come.

Thanks for commenting!
coronasunrise: Sign Postcoronasunrise on January 5th, 2013 01:52 pm (UTC)
Ivan is still a slave and Anita is fuming that he is still alive. Please, let option 2 win.

Edited at 2013-01-05 02:15 pm (UTC)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 5th, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
Well, it looks like it will. But as far as I can see, you haven't voted yet - Why?

But thanks for commenting, and I promise we will get A LOT of fuming Anita.
Milady OMlady_om on January 5th, 2013 01:59 pm (UTC)
All hail the ego and paranoia! :)

I so totally would love more of her as the POV character :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 5th, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
Hehe. Yep, that pretty much describes the center of Anita's many broken bits.

And yes, we talked about it, and there will definitely be more stories in Anita's POV, we're having way too much fun with her, too. So at least you'll be able to witness how she makes the biggest of her many big and bad decisions that will make everything only worse. *gleeful cackle*

And maybe even more, if inspiration strikes. Thanks for the encouragement!
Charischarisstoma on January 5th, 2013 02:13 pm (UTC)
Considering the Epilogue's ending am SOOOOO glad that I chose option #2, the next part of this.

Edited at 2013-01-05 02:18 pm (UTC)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 5th, 2013 09:04 pm (UTC)
Well, that's much better than you deciding you wanted option #1 after reading this. *grins* But I fear it'll be a little while until dear Anita gets her next appearance.

Thanks for commenting!
Charischarisstoma on January 5th, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
*shakes head at you* You and rynthjan and your love for your villains. *grins* Dear Anita indeed.
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 6th, 2013 10:05 am (UTC)
*pouts* There is going to be so many bad things happening to her - we can at least be polite when we talk about her.

And she IS dear to us - after all, there's no story without a villain, and she is a great one.
idolme922idolme922 on January 5th, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
YAY! I'd love to see that centerfold! My eyes flew through this relishing the perfect visual, the servants, the closet, Anita, the news stand, magizines combusing... perfect. I love your writing which I get lost in. Can't wait to read more and yes, I voted. The best part is that all of it will come along in due time.

Can't wait for more. *turns Beryll around and hugs you hard* :)
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 5th, 2013 09:14 pm (UTC)
Awww. *hugs back sweetly before wifey turns back again*

Thank you, dear. So glad you liked it.

And yes, I would so very much like to see that centerfold myself, one day. But alas, we have to be contend with what we have - though there will be a bit more on Ivan's new outfit in 'A new Life', so that's at least a little consolation. :D
debbiemethosdeb on January 5th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
loved it ,I really want Ivan to get his revenge on her ,she so deserves it,
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 6th, 2013 10:06 am (UTC)
Thank you! And yes, she deserves every bit coming her way. We will still have soo much fun with her.
hab318princess on January 12th, 2013 10:09 pm (UTC)
So hope she gets her comeuppance!

loved the story
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 13th, 2013 07:00 am (UTC)
She will, but it's still going to be a long way until then.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
spirit_dol61spirit_dol61 on January 24th, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC)
Yaden's discovery of Ivan's family heritage
Lord Yaden is not a fool. I think, neither are his superiors. While he is distracted, as he has come home to be reunited with his fiance, the PR team has begun their advertising campaign about Ivan. I think that is going to be the undoing of Ivan's secret to his Lord ...those who knew him before, beyond just his sister, will certainly recognize him before too long. How will Lord Yaden react to his squire then?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on January 25th, 2013 08:09 am (UTC)
Re: Yaden's discovery of Ivan's family heritage
You are right, Ivan is taking quite a risk here not telling Yaden up front what's lurking in his past. But there's two factors playing in his favor:
A) Most people who knew him won't recognize him, because he definitely isn't a shy boy or a frightenend, angry pet any more.
B) Those who DO recognize him will probably not make their knowledge public - would you speak up, reminding a Phoenix Knight that you raped his Squire or sold him into slavery in the very first place?

Rest assured, we are going to keep this revelation for the worst possible moment. ^^

Thanks for commenting!
Clodiametelliclodiametelli on March 29th, 2013 10:36 pm (UTC)
I've finally managed to catch up with this after getting behind with the saga when it first came out.

It was great to see Ivan realise his powers and grow in confidence in the course of his adventures with the disguised Psion. Hopefully, Smellie will celebrate returning to his true identity by having a bath!

A satisfying ending to the adventure - Anita faced with the very public triumph of the brother she tried to destroy.

Surely Anita and Ivan must meet again some day?
osirisbrackhausosirisbrackhaus on March 30th, 2013 06:29 am (UTC)
Oh, you can bet we will meet Anita again, and there will be plenty of bloodshed between her and her brother. After all, she's kind of one of our main villains for this season. :D

Thanks for leaving a comment, and glad you liked it!