Thursday, June 09, 2011

Rage and Fear

Vienna, 21st September 1713

At his Vienna palace, Emperor Charles jumped from his armchair: -WHAT?? -Frightened by the news, Empress Elisabeth-Christina took her palm to mouth.

-Your Majesty, -the emissary replied- a troop of mercenaries and criminals have assaulted the Viceroys stagecoach by Carniola border.

-Has there... been any victim?

The emissary pressed his lips for a moment before answering in a serious voice: -Yes it has, Your Majesty. One lady in the retinue has been murdered.

For a moment, it seemed as if Emperor Charles would fall faint. He breathed deeply, closing his eyes; when reopened, these flamed with tears and anger: -I want a Garde de Corps full squadron at the courtyard, in five minutes' time. We're going in Carniola, and woe to these mercenaries!

Some minutes later, Elisabeth-Christina quietly stood at the staircase doorway, watching the departure of her August husband, dressed for war. Her eyes silently reflected the double fear that kept her shuddering in anguish. On one hand, she of course feared for the life of Lady Elisenda, who during the Barcelona years had dedicated to her a sincere affection; but on the other hand, she also felt an increasing, irrational fear to losing her husband's love at hands of her best friend -and nevertheless, a potential competitor. What if ...? Or if ...?.

[The proxy ambush scenario was finally played by Murdock & sons; their complete, thrilling AAR can be read at this weblog, in words of one of the stagecoach escort members. Wish they enjoyed the game!]


abdul666 said...

The news caused shock and shame in the Presipapal Palace here. The Prince-President feels deeply guilty not to have send an agent as a 'shadow scout' to watch over Lady Elisenda during her land travel: even without Gypsies at hand for help, a warning shot just before the ambush may have drastically changed the outcome.

Fiona was fondly remembered in our Maiden Fencing School as a gifted, passionate pupil and a lovely person: Auf Wiedersehen, kleine Schwester!

Hope Emperor Charles' extreme reaction and personal departure will not unduly trouble Elisabeth-Christina: politics are already complicated enough by themselves, and a worried wife is an easy prey for plotters...

Given her outstanding intelligence, her curious, naturally inquisitive and sharp mind, Lady Elisenda for sure discovered more of Monte-Cristan reality than most of our visitors -she was probably introduced to the mysterious Korai when studying at our Ecole des Demoiselles.

Then, by a tradition as old as the Corps, the Gardes de l'Etrier sing in German during their private ceremonies, and the French translation of their songs in more public circumstances, such as the funeral of one of them. Thus maybe, when she'll learn the fate of Fiona, will she remember this song, or at least its French version?

abdul666 said...

Did Sonia stayed in Galatea before meeting Lady Elisenda? Did she had the opportunity to dance for the coming of the si amorosa Regina Aurilhosa (the April Queen)? Hope the Church still allows the low class people to celebrate her? Then, maybe she had done it in Monte-Cristo -we too celebrate the Reina d'Abrieu (but, oddly, on march 15).

abdul666 said...

Fiona: Fins a sempre, Petita Bonica!

Hope Empress Elisabeth-Christina will not fear Lady Elisenda is a robadora de l'amor...

Soldadets said...

About Fiona, I must admit this result is some of a setback for my own plans -which consisted of assigning to her the office of field commander of Lady Elisenda's own Regiment...

Jordi and I are now discussing how to perpetuate her memory in an appropriate way. Fiona was not thoroughly known by population, so that this is a real restriction to eventual memory actions.

I was thinking that, if properly acknowledged, officers and troops of the Scottish Regiment still being formed at Rotterdam might decide to change their unit's name into IR14 Fiona McGregor... Only that they should be acknowledged first.

abdul666 said...

Quite fitting proposal indeed.