martes, 4 de marzo de 2014


Act Two: An Offer, An Officer, And Ironies Of Life

The strong potation of the night 
Drowned all that might remain 
Of feeling; and his hand shrunk not 
While madness fired his brain! 

But now the charm hath lost its spell, 
The heated fumes have passed; 
And banished reason to her throne, 
Usurped, advances fast. 
“Yes, sir!”- replied Quatre to his commanding officer’s warnings, before the latter departed upstairs, towards his bedchamber, taking Noin by the hand. The newly appointed lieutenant and best man watched them both walk away, looking into one another's eyes, whispering to one another, and disappearing from his view.
As they left, Treize entered the hall with his usual confident gait.
“I see you’re rather concerned, Lieutenant. Why don’t you take part in the celebrations?”, the veteran officer asked Quatre in a warm, sincere tone.
“Excuse me, but I have orders to give and take. And I’m also quite a lightweight”, was the response he received, from a youth who was wiping the perspiration off his forehead. Indeed, the lieutenant had betrayed himself by explaining his own flaws. With such a light frame, it would take a single glass of liquor to strip the stripling of his reason!
“Aw, it’s just one shot! That wouldn’t kill you!” Treize guided the young blond to a table, and a sexy, nut-brown waitress showed up to serve them and took the order.
Though it was late in the evening, Quatre couldn’t but help being worn-out and thirsty, partly because of the heavy uniform he was forced to wear, partly because he had to stand up throughout the wedding that afternoon. Besides, Treize had been for countless years in the regiment and could teach him the ropes with that plain speech of his. So, when the waitress returned with the officers’ glasses of sparkling chartreuse, she received thanks from both of them.
“There you have it, Lieutenant. Drink first, ask questions later”, Treize advised the younger officer, as the latter put the glass to his lips. The level sank about half an inch as these words were spoken. Soon, Quatre, after the liquor had seared his throat, felt a warm surge spreading from his stomach all the way to his fair cheeks, as if he had swallowed a draught of liquid fire. A second sip followed the first one, and soon the glass was drained to the dregs.
“You can have mine, Lieutenant, if you please. I’m not in the mood” Treize handed over his own glass, and the liquor in it had soon disappeared in a quick throw down the stripling's throat. The other officer’s blue eyes were bloodshot, and his cheeks were lit with colour, flushing like bright flames. However, he didn’t stagger or show any signs of more severe intoxication.
Then, a waiter who resembled a male version of the waitress showed up to serve them and withdraw those empty glasses. He looked rather concerned.
“Quatre Winner? Shouldn’t you be on guard duty?”
“Let’s go, then!” the lieutenant addressed the waiter with unusual vehemence.
“An officer on duty must keep himself sober… Don’t you look somewhat intoxicated?”
“I’m not drunk!” Quatre seized Trowa by the collar with his left hand and pulled out his sword with the right one. The waitress who had previously attended to them rushed forth.
“A worthy officer, if he didn’t suffer from that despicable addiction”, Treize informed her. Catherine was alarmed and rushed in between the opponents to separate them. Upon defending her adoptive brother from the drunken officer, she sustained a slash wound to the left shoulder.
Soon the alarm was rung in the banquet hall, and a half-undressed Zechs made his appearance as Quatre was coming to and chanced to throw up, light-headed and half-conscious, on the floor. The wounded waitress was clutching her bleeding injury, her brother and Treize applying first aid.
“ What on Earth is going on?”, the commanding officer inquired. He first asked his right-hand man, who lay on the floor, coming to his senses. But Quatre’s memories of that evening were too vague for him to explain what had happened.
“Khushrenada?” Zechs inquired. And the response he obtained, in Treize’s usual reliable tone, was the following:
“I tried to warn the lieutenant not to drink strong liquor in excess, but I obtained the opposite result. Then, bereft of inhibition, he drew too close to Miss Bloom here, and a fight with her adoptive brother here ensued. She tried to make peace, but a flesh wound was what she received in exchange”.
Quatre was up on his feet again, standing face to face with his commanding officer’s steel eyes and firm resolution, to receive those cold, stern words in exchange:
“Quatre Winner... I love thee, but you can never be my aide-de-camp again”.
Treize stood back, listening to that exchange and watching Quatre turn pale and turn away from Zechs. So long, the scheme had succeeded, and he would soon be appointed his commander’s right hand. But that evening’s events would be put to more disastrous use.
Desperate, Quatre thrust his head on the table as he felt a pat on the back and Treize’s reassuring words:
“Are you hurt, Lieutenant?”
“Shouldn’t I be?”, was the reply the young blond coldly gave.
“The commander’s wife has power over him. If she helped you to make peace...”
“Thank you!” Quatre approached Treize and soon set off for the courtyard, where Noin and her handmaids Une and Dorothy, the latter his fiancée, were at the moment.
As Treize watched his victim confidently turn away, he thought of the next phase of the plan. Then, he set off for the bedchamber to encounter Zechs.

3 comentarios:

  1. Good hook at the end ;*
    Good chapter title ;*
    Roderigo is Trowa, and the barmaid is Cathy... Your casting so far is awesome.
    Chartreuse... that's pretty strong. And a chap Quatre's size with two cups of chartreuse under his belt...
    "An officer on duty must keep himself sober"...
    And that lovely hook ;*

    1. Verses that open Chapter II ;*

      The strong potation of the night
      Drowned all that might remain
      Of feeling; and his hand shrunk not
      While madness fired his brain!

      But now the charm hath lost its spell,
      The heated fumes have passed;
      And banished reason to her throne,
      Usurped, advances fast.

      Freaking redoubtable.
      The metaphor of ethanol as a usurper and reason as the rightful heir. ;*
      Even better than the ones the Bard used in the original Othello.
      The verses also parallel what will happen to the lieutenant, so they have a certain amount of spoiler content, but not dangerous. ;*