Napoleon had always awoken early. He just couldn’t stand the feeling of wasting time on sleep. When he’d been on campaign, he would sometimes wake just after midnight to pour over his maps or wake his aides to send missives.
Now stuck, he still found himself waking early, wandering through the castle, often ending up in the Harmony Susuki’s study, where he could easily spend hours reading through the various war reports that had happened since his death.
Typically, one of the women would find him, chin propped on his hand, staring unblinkingly at the diagrams of battles long won.
However, for once he was interrupted by something far more interesting: raised voices outside of the door. Napoleon leaned back in the chair, looking over at the door.
“Are you sure you want to do this, Jerome? You don’t-“
“I have to do this, Mags. It won’t take a genius to put together that Julia’s source is me. Since Miller saw Aspen they’re definitely going to know we had something to do with this if I stick around.”
There was silence. Napoleon, cognizant of the creaking chair, stood up and padded over the door.
“We’ll miss you. Everyone,” Jones said quietly. The tall negro was facing away from Napoleon, but he could see Jenkins face. The young man ran a hand over his face and sighed.
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Maxime was drowning in blood.
It was in his mouth, his throat. The very smell made his eyes water and churned his stomach. He was trapped wherever he was, standing in a warm pool of blood that he couldn’t avoid getting into his mouth.
He wanted to scream. But he didn’t dare open his mouth, for fear of all of it flooding it into him. Then, much to his horror, he could feel it creep up his face. Into his nose, leaking into his mouth past his lips and clenched teeth. It stung as it got into his eyes, warm and salty as tears.
He was fully swallowed in it before he finally decided to just open his mouth and let it happen.
Maximilien woke with a gasp.
He failed under an unfamiliar weight. Something was covering him from neck to feet and he couldn’t claw his way out from under it.
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Episode Twenty One – Dante in Hell.
A/N: Specially formatted extra-long episode! Aspen Strong: Secret Agent: The Movie.
This was such a terrible idea, Aspen thought to herself.
She was barely floating along, using just enough of a propulsion to gently drift towards the Bastille, which loomed ever closer. The red emergency lighting made all the blue controls on her panel pop, but only served to remind her that she couldn’t use any of them. If the Bastille detected any unauthorized ship coming towards them and inquired, it would ruin everything.
Such a bad, bad idea. Why didn’t I leave for Mars?!
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“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Kami said quietly.
“No, you’re not sure?”
Aspen sighed and rubbed her forehead. “No, I’m positive this is a terrible idea. The number of things that can go wrong is ridiculous. But I swore to Magpie I was going to go along with this.”
She was walking Kami and Harmony out to the transporter point. They were preparing to go pick up Cherry for the holiday break and then onto the interstellar travel depot to go to the Martian colony. The flyer was nearly prepared for its slow mission disguised a piece of junk. They had the information from Julia about the security rounds on the Bastille.
Everything was in place, but Aspen still felt a horrible sense of unease. She was sleeping poorly, expecting Chikara Haruka and Marie Rivera to break open the door of her condo and arrest her. Probably hide her on the Bastille like they did with Robespierre and leave her forgotten in the dark.
Aspen shivered and rolled her shoulders back, looking over her shoulder. Middleham was shrouded in mist, a light layer of snow and frost covering the stiffened and dead grass.
Kami touched her hand. “You don’t have to, you know. You can get out of here too.”
Aspen shook her head. “I gave my word.”
“Are we ready to go, love?” Harmony asked gently. “You’ll take care, Aspen?”
Kami walked over to the console with Harmony. She waved for a moment, face still pinched and then they were both gone. Aspen sighed and stood there for a long moment before finally about-facing to head back to the castle.
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