DISCLAIMER: Not mine, never was, never will be.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Originally written as part of an original fic I hope to publish, but somehow seems to fit with Kathrynís recreational time & her fascination with all things ancient, like Da Vinci.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Crimson Locks
By BBD

 

1

Her flowing locks of crimson hair cascaded down her back as she surveyed the bloody landscape. The fire burning in her pale blue eyes demanded attention from all around her. Why had they forced her hand? Did they not realise that there would never be a winner in this situation. She did not belong to either party; she was neutral. She was the one advocating peace and discussion when all around her were screaming war. Nothing could convince her of the morality of this victory. Nothing could convince her that she had completed the mission while keeping her heart, soul and principles intact.

The pale sheet of cotton wrapped around her body showed slender curves and long legs as the wind whistled around the glen in the late autumn evening. Her alabaster skin, devoid of the usual heavy makeup the women of her area preferred, pimpled with gooseflesh as the evening drew closer and colder. Raising her pale, cerulean eyes to the sky and casting her arms aloft, she cried, her heart torn asunder at the violence wrought on this day, "Lord, why must I be the victor? Why must my heart be the carrier of the souls of these people? Why must I be responsible for the pain & suffering these people have endured? Why?" Lowering her arms, she settled her chin on her chest and breathed deeply, aware of the pain in her chest but ignoring it for the moment.

As she raised her head, she raised her hand again and surveyed the carnage around her, and became aware of four things.

The air turning red; the sky turning white; the earth turning black; the rain plummeting from the heavens like God's tears trying to cleanse the bloody aftermath of the battle from the once glorious glen of tranquillity.

2

Turning back to the soldiers still surrounding her she demanded their attention in a quiet, clear voice, commanding the attention of all around her. "Clear the field. Bury the dead and get medics to tend to the wounded from both sides." At muffled complaints of leniency, she raised her voice and commanded once more. "They didn't ask for this war anymore than you or I did, there is no shame in mercy. Get them treated. Get them the same help you would if they were kin. Obey me now; or I will show you my ire!"

Soldiers hardened by many seasons of battle and used to obeying commands of their seniors jumped at once to do her bidding.

Only once before had she had to prove her battle ready ability to the troops and that instance had been fatal for the fool, stupid enough to challenge her. He had died with a sword in his throat less than ten seconds after raising his blade to her. Her troops never forgot her ability lest it cost them their lives as it had done their respected comrade.

Fatigued and almost delirious from the pain shooting through her shoulder she surveyed the carnage once more and felt the pain of death and suffering course through her veins like molten lava. The fire burned deep in her core as she considered the scene before her. The battle had lasted since sun up and had raged back and forth throughout the day. Each side had gained the advantage throughout the day; pushing the other only to lose their slender advantage.

Neither side had been able to force their advantage until she had entered the field of battle, showing skills never seen publicly by a woman. Women were not supposed to be able to fight; never mind fight as well as she did. The men attacking her died quick deaths as she carefully cut a swathe through the forward ranks and slowly the tide of violence and death turned to her advantage and gave her the edge she needed.

The cost: a near mortal wound to her chest.

3

Ignoring the pain in her chest and shoulder and the limpness in her right arm, she trudged towards the Command Tent to converse with the superiors: The men who had forced her into this battle for supremacy.

Casting her bloody sword, hilt first, onto the map table they were so studiously perusing, she quietly announced her presence with the calm, almost serene comment, "Will there be anything else my Lords or can I report to the medic to see to my shoulder injury?"

Gasping at the hypothermic cast to her complexion and the blood staining her once pristine white robe they remained silent. Seniority held no sway in the face of extreme brutality; all were disturbed by the bloody streaks of gore clinging tightly to her robe as it clung to her slender curves.

Finally finding his voice the most Senior Commander of the Army coughed and spluttered before replying coldly, "See to your wounds then report back here. You will be needed in case there are reprisals."

"At once my Lord," She replied curtly.

Ducking her head at the rest of the gentry ensconced in the comfort of the Command Tent she slowly trudged to the medics. Four steps outside the Command Tent she collapsed. Falling face first into the grime of the battlefield she landed in a mucky puddle of gore.

Several of her soldiers had been watching her entrance and egress from the Commandant's comfortable quarters with quiet curiosity at her abilities, bolted towards her as she pitched face first into the quagmire.

Unable to prevent her from hitting the deck they pulled her bodily from the slimy, bloody ground into which she had nosedived and lifted her carefully into their almost tender embrace.

Trudging through the disease infested mire they headed to the medics tent where she could receive the treatment she deserved as a hero.

Never before had they seen a woman fight so. They could not believe that the "weaker sex" were able to be so ruthless in the defence of their homeland. They could not fathom how someone who was a full head shorter than the smallest man in their ranks could take out an enemy so easily.

She had the grace of a ballet dancer they had all dreamed of and the ability of a prizefighter in his prime. This woman was an enigma. She undoubtedly was not the conventional woman of their time; she was exceptional.

She was their leader. They would follow her to their deaths.

The End

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