A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Four: Terror and Virtue. Part Three.


Rain was in her lab again.

She studied the package that had shown up in front of the lab. It was a plain brown paper package. She hadn’t ever seen one like it before. Rain couldn’t remember that last time she hadn’t just used replicator for whatever she needed. She ran a black light over it and discovered there were no fingerprints on it, at all. So someone had been careful it the wrapping and delivering it.

Rewinding the security footage revealed that a small and unmarked drone had dropped it at lab at about five in the morning.

She tapped her fingers on the counter next to her, staring intently at the package.

Common sense dictated that she throw it out. It could be anything from a bomb to poison chocolates.

However, common sense had never been Rainbow Miller’s strong point. She much preferred the unconventional paths of the risky, the unexplored.

She took a deep breath and carefully started to open the tape that held the package closed. After it was open, Rain held her breath, listening carefully.

The console next to her gave a beep, making Rain jump. She scowled at the offending machine, and punched the flashing icon.

*Call waiting. Zebadiah Jude Haruka.*

Rain bit her lip, a shadow of nervousness creeping into her mind. How had he found her? This lab was carefully off the grid.

The machine kept beeping, until Rain blew out a breath and hit the button.

“This is Doctor Miller. How may I help you?”

“Ah, Doctor Miller. I wondered if I had the wrong number for a moment.” Zebadiah’s smooth baritone filled the room.

“No. I was merely busy. With an experiment.” She emphasized. “I do need to get back to work, is there something I can help you with?”

“I think it’s something I can help you with. Did you get my package?”

She looked at the halfway unwrapped box. “You sent me this?”

“Yes. Have you opened it?”


“Open it.”

Rain looked at it with renewed trepidation. With a sigh, she gripped both pieces in her hands and in one quick moment, ripped it open.

It was carefully packed with molded black foam. In the center was a finger bone.

Rain looked at the console. “You sent me a finger bone? Whose finger is this?”

“Have you seen the news recently?”

“What? No, why?”

“Hmm. It seems there have been a terrible rash of grave robbing.” Zebadiah sounded as if this was a natural everyday occurrence. “Many ancient grave sites have been broken into.”

Rain went cold. “What do you mean?” Her heart raced.

“It seems like an interesting coincident. That bodies are being taken from graves, and a scientist is working on bringing people back from the dead.”

“I haven’t touched anyone’s body! Do you understand me Zebadiah, not one!” Rain snapped at the console.

“Of course doctor Miller. I never said you did.” He was silent as Rain paced across the lab in agitated circles.

“Why did you send me the finger bone?”

“Consider it a thank you present,” Zebadiah finally answered after a moment. “For the information you gave me in the museum.”

Rain sat down. “I’m I going to be arrested?”

Zebadiah laughed. “No, of course not. You can trust me. This is just a thank you for bringing such a wonderful diversion to my attention.”

“A diversion-!”

“Yes. That’s what this is, correct? A diversion, an entertainment.”

Before Rain could say anything else, Zebadiah spoke again. “So I just wanted to thank you. I’ve had very little to do since I was married to Chikara. I appreciate your contribution, and I hope you enjoy me gift in return. Goodbye, Doctor Miller.”

The console beeped at Zebadiah hung up.

Rain sat in silence for a moment, her mind struggling with what Zebadiah said.

“This isn’t a diversion.” She said to the empty room.

It isn’t? You aren’t doing this because you are bored? A small voice, shoved into the back of her mind spoke.

“No. I’m a scientist. I do it for discovery.”

Discovery. Like Darwin. Or Columbus.


Darwin died shamed. Columbus was a monster.

“Shut up. They aren’t diversions,” she hissed to herself. She stared at the finger bone before snatching it up at looking at it. It felt delicate, almost like that of a bird. It was likely extremely old.

She placed it on the DNA scanner. After a moment of being illuminated by green light the terminal blinked.

100% Match Found: Richard Plantagenet.

“Richard who?” She muttered. Typing it into the console came back with a quick blurb: Born in 1452, Richard III was King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485, at the age of 32, in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His body was found in 2012, under a car park.

She leaned forward, staring at the names, eyes squinted slightly.

Rain looked at the bone, fingers tingly. If you had a whole piece of a person, how much better and faster would a resurrection be? Not just DNA or someone else’s blood but a whole bone.

But wasn’t this what Zebadiah wanted? What he implied, saying that her experiments were a ‘diversion’? A flash of anger hit her like lightening. Rain wasn’t anyone’s tool. She could and would do what she liked. Why have the finger bone if she didn’t even use it?

It was for science.

“An inventor, a politician, and a king.” She muttered aloud. “Okay, you’ll do.”


Robespierre had just joined him in the kitchen when Rain bounded up the stairs.

“I’ll be in my lab. Leonardo, you are in charge. Eat something and sleep. Don’t make anything explode,” was all the explanation she gave before she was diving back down. Leonardo imagined her as a rabbit, hopping from place to place, and darting into burrows. Robespierre blinked after her.

“Does she do that often?” He asked slowly. Leonardo shrugged.

“I haven’t been around her very long. She had an assistant but they argued and she left.”

Robespierre frowned slightly. The scars must have pulled because he winced and relaxed his face back to his neutral expression.

“What did they argue about?”

Leonardo had gone back to his sketches, carefully examining the countertop to his left. When Robespierre leaned over to see, it was a detailed drawing of the germination of a seed, copied from the article Leonardo was looking at. Next to the sketch, he’d made notes, all in his slanted backwards writing.

“I don’t know, but if I had to theorize, I’ll bet that Kamala didn’t agree with what Rain is doing.”

“Doing?” Robespierre asked absentmindedly. When Leonardo looked up Robespierre was staring intently at the sketch. He smiled and shifted to Robespierre would be able to see it better.

“Bringing back men from the dead.”

Robespierre looked at him sharply.

“You think she’s going to bring back another?” The Frenchman demanded.

Leonardo nodded. “Si. I’d wager money on it.”

Robespierre sat back to think on this. “But, what is she going to do with us?” He asked at last, to the room at large.

“That, I do not know.” Leonardo answered.

A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Four: Terror and Virtue. Part Two.


Rain was flustered. After Leonardo’s easy awakening, she hadn’t expected Robespierre to freak out like he did. She also hadn’t expected the scar that marred his face, it looked ugly and like it hurt quite a bit receiving it. She’d forgotten that he’d been shot before he died. Rain wondered if there was a way to program it so they didn’t come back with scars.

She replicated clothing and helped Robespierre up to dress. He was short, with a nearly delicate frame. He kept squinting in light.

“I’ll test your eyes for your prescription next, don’t worry,” Rain assured him. Robespierre nodded, still quiet.

After she’d run scans on both eyes, and found he was almost blind in the light she replicated the glasses, tinted slightly.

“You aren’t wearing glasses in any of your portraits, or else I’d know ahead of time.” She said.

“I only sat for two,” he muttered, looking down at his hands and frowning.

It was then Rain noticed it. Alongside his bullet scar, there was one other Robespierre had.

On his neck there was a pale raised line that continued all the way around, like a grisly necklace. She stared at it for a long moment.

“Would you mind staying down here for a moment? There’s another person here, and I just want to warn him,” she asked. Robespierre looked up, and nodded slowly.

“Oui, I’ll stay.”

Rain kept her eyes on him as she walked towards the door. Robespierre was still staring at his hands as if he hadn’t ever seen them before.

Upstairs, Leonardo was exactly where she’d left him. It took several times of calling his name before Leonardo looked up.

“Ah, hello. All done?” He asked casually. Rain smiled. This was a man she could communicate with.

“Yes, he’s downstairs right now. I’m going to bring him up in just a moment but I thought I would just warn you he’s,” here, Rain hesitated. “He’s a little bit shaken, I don’t think his death was a peaceful as yours.”

Leonardo nodded. “Was he a solider?”

Rain shook her head. “Lawyer.”



Maximilien sat on the metal table, with his head in his hands. His fingers had brushed a rough patch of skin next to his mouth, and he cringed, mind shying away from what it could possibly be.

He’d died.

He had failed.

Max hardly wanted to think of what his death had wrought in France. Was there even still a France? Had England, Prussia and Spain carved up, put the chains back on the people, back into their miserable state?

His head hurt and tears burned just behind his eyes. He held his emotions back with self-taught stoicism that that’d been his companion since his mother’s death.

There was a soft swooshing noise, and when he looked up, Doctor Miller was walking back into the room.

“Hey, you can come with me now, okay? We’ll get you food, and I think I have another cot somewhere where you can rest.” She spoke softly, as if Maxime was a frightened child who she needed to comfort. Max frowned slightly.

Charlotte, Madame Duplay, and now Doctor Miller. Did every women he met feel the need to take care of him?

Regardless, Max nodded. “Oui, thank you very much.”

Miller smiled at him. “Alright. You can also meet your fellow resurrected historical figure.”


Leonardo was still in the kitchen, starting to wish for a window to see out of when Rain started coming back up, talking to someone out of sight.

“I’ll get you something to eat, if you want.”

She walked into the room with a shorter man in tow. He was blinking in the harsh, and Leonardo had recently discovered, electric light. (How curious! The same element that left trees split and fields on fire could now also be used to light people’s homes. He supposed this was a natural evolution, after all humans had been using a tamed fire for light and warmth for centuries now.)

Rain was still chattering away as she used the replicator to order a croissant and coffee, which she placed in front of the man who had done a sort of graceful collapse into the chair next to Leonardo. The two men blinked at each other for a moment.

“Here, eat, I’ll be right back.” She ordered. Rain darted out of the room, then poked her head back around.

“I’m sorry that was rude. Leonardo, meet Maximilien Robespierre. He’s from about 200 years after you.”

She left again, leaving a gaping silence.

Leonardo carefully marked his place in his notebook, and let it close and took a closer study of the man who was absent mindedly shredding and nibbling the tiny loaf of bread Rain had placed in front of him.

His face was heart shaped, with a small pointed chin and high cheekbones. There was a coin sized scar about an inch from his mouth. It splinted and looked like a star burst. It was very out of place on such a soft and gentle looking face. His rather frizzy coppery-brown hair hung around in a morose sort of way around his face, the same way it would on the face of a badly groomed tom cat.

His eyes were a sort of grey-green, a rare color to find, and easily the most notable feature. It was these eyes Leonardo was staring into.

It occurred to him that maybe he should have researched his new companion before Rain had unceremoniously brought him back.

Leonardo did an awkward half bow from where he was still seated and with a concentrated effort, said “Bonjour, monsieur Robespierre.”

The man still stared at him quietly and head tilted ever so slightly to the right.
“I- Buon giorno, signore.” His accent was odd, not bad but clearly foreign. Regardless Leonardo beamed widely.

“Ah, you speak Italian sir?”

Robespierre shook his head. “I was, before I-” His voice stopped and he dropped his face back to his plate.

“Before you died?” Leonardo finished for him, softly. He wondered how old the other man had been when he died. He didn’t look any older than Leonardo, but Rain had explained that she’d set his body to be a younger version than the one he had died in. So thirty? Forty? Fifty? Who could know, until it was confided in him?

Robespierre had covered his eyes with a hand, looking distraught. Leonardo reached out and slowly put a hand on his shoulder. The other man pulled away slightly, nearly flinching.

Leonardo touched all of his friends and if he was going to be stuck with this man for Dio knew how long he was going to make friends. He placed his hand back on Robespierre’s shoulder. The Frenchmen looked startled, gaze going from the hand to Leonardo’s face.
“I know,” he murmured right before Rain returned to the room.

“I’m glad you guys are already making friends,” she said cheerfully.

Robespierre nodded, still looking wary of Leonardo.

“Yes, thank you citizen-ness.”

“Citzen-ness?” Leonardo asked, bemused.

“I think it was a French revolution thing.” Rain whispered. Leonardo also looked interested.

A what thing?

“Has the form of address changed in France?’ He asked the other man. Robespierre gave a proper little nod.

“Yes. Or at least,” the gloomy look came back over his face. “It was supposed to. I do not know if it would have been kept after the Committee of Public Safety fell.”

Leonardo tilted his head.

“The what?”


As Leonardo and Robespierre discussed politics that had been dead for over a thousand years, Rain quietly moved away to one of the wall mounted screens, and pulled up the video feed for outside the building. Usually she did not bother to leave it on, but after Kam stormed away last night she thought it best, just in case Kamala thought to try and bring law enforcement back to her lab. There were no thugs outside, however sitting on the doorstep was a plain brown package.

Rain frowned.


Leonardo volunteered to give up the bunk in the spare room to Max.

“I don’t sleep very much, especially when my mind is as full as it is right now, but you probably should.” The inventor advised, once again gently touching Robespierre gently on the arm. He was extremely dubious of how much sleep he would be getting but vowed to attempt anyway, mostly to assuage his new companion.

He had a most unpleasant shock when going to use bathroom to wash his face for the night, and be quietly amazed by the running water, in hot and cold, and he looked into the mirror.

Max narrowly avoided shouting in alarm. For one sick moment he’d seen Danton’s face, broad, nose crushed into his face and scarred, before he realized that Danton had never worn green tinted glasses.

Max, breathing heavily, leaned forward to stare at the strange reflection.

It was him but very different from how he remembered his reflection the morning of July 9th 1794 when he had left his bedroom in the Duplays.

His cheek was knotted mess of scarring. The bullet had torn the thin flesh as it passed through and dented it, the caved in flesh a lighter color than his already pale skin. Several tendrils seemed to come off from the center, towards his lips, his eyes his chin, making it look vaguely star like. On the right side where the bullet had exited, several teeth towards the back were missing and there was another small scar pointing to where it had left his skin.

Maxime had never been vain, at least not about his appearances. Augustin had always been the one who followed fashions and chased women, not him. True, he’d been fastidious, but after a childhood of wearing clothing until they were filled with holes, Max had taken a special pleasure in dressing well. Respectability was valuable to a lawyer. However the change to his face was dramatic and shocking. His fingers trembled when Max touched the scar gingerly. For one moment he imagined he could still taste the iron of blood and mineral from his shattered teeth in his mouth. Max shuddered and his eyes twitched at the memory.

But perhaps the most damning was the small scar around his neck. Max traced it with his hand, feeling the slightly raised flesh go all around his throat.

Here it was: incontestable proof that Maximilien Robespierre had died on the guillotine blade.

He shook slightly through washing his face and cleaning his teeth.

There is nothing to do but go to the small cot that Leonardo had volunteered to him, curl up and not sleep.

A Fiction Agreed Upon. Episode Four: Terror and Virtue. Part One.

EPISODE FOUR: Terror and Virtue.


Paris 1794

It is a bright hot day in Thermidor. Regardless Maximilien finds that all the colors have become muted and blur together. He isn’t sure if it’s from the unceasing pain in his jaw, the blood loss or the fact his glasses have been long since lost. As the cart rumbles down the street and the screams around him increase, Max closes his eyes.

He keeps the closed even as rotten fruit, small stones and insults are hurled at him, many missing their mark, but a few hit.

A moldy orange ads to the stains all over his once fine undershirt, a rock glances off his shoulder and people scream tyrant at him.


If he had been none of this would be happening. It seems like a logical fallacy, to call Max a tyrant, when he has selfless served the people, lived and breathed and bled for them. He’d promised his youth and happiness for them.  

And now he will die for them as well.

Next to Saint-Just is utterly silent, even as the people jeer at him as well.

“Angel of death! The Angel of Death and his master!”

In the carts a head of them, Bonbon, dear brother Augustin, and Couthon both lay in the baking sun. At least they will not see the people’s faces, the sneering derision in their eyes.

The cart suddenly stops, but Max does not open his eyes. They are not at the Palace de la Revolution.

He can smell the sawdust, the summer lilacs. A dog barks somewhere and distantly Max wonders if Brount is safe? Is Charlotte? Will some kindly citizen keep them?

Max hopes so, since he has failed to.

When their father left, he’d promised his siblings he’d protect them.

He’d gone to Louis le Grand and Henriette had died in her bed.

He’d gone to Versailles and Paris to try and secure a better life for people like them, people without a family, and now he’s killed his brother.

Maximilien can only hope that his sister survives them. Charlotte deserves better. She’d always wanted was best for him.

He hopes the Duplays are keeping the windows shuddered, as they did for Louis Capet and Danton and Camille. He would not want them to see him, they were a good family of kind patriots who have done much for Max since has moved to Paris.

Has it only been five years? It seems like a whole lifetime ago.

He refuses to open his eyes to look, he does not want to know. He doesn’t want to see if Babet, whose son now doesn’t have a father, or Eleanor is looking at them.

Max wants to hide his face, but stubbornly keeps his chin up, refusing to accept the title that the people of Paris want to shove onto him. He won’t go to the guillotine with his head hung, like he can be shamed into being a ‘tyrant’.

That is not who Maximilien Robespierre is.    

The cart rattles to life again and on they march.

Maximilien knows he only has about thirty minutes left to live.

He mourns for Saint-Just, because Max knows that he will never mourn for himself. Antoine will stand tall and just right until the moment they force his head into the stock before it is removed.     

The Cart stops again. Max opens his eyes to the blur of muted colors. Time passes in dollops now. One by one his good and noble associates are forced off and walked up the steps to meet the madame.

First Augustin, who Max can hear moan and cry softly, his legs been shattered by the jump out of the window. Couthon screams as they force his body to the plank to tie him down.

Next to him Antoine straightens up when they grab him and force him off the cart. He looks up at Maximilien.

Saint-Just stares at him for a moment and it breaks something inside, so see how young, his friend really is, barely 26 years old, and has already done so much for the Republic and now will die at the blade. Max imagines there is something in Anotine’s eyes, some glimmer than he is desperately trying to communicate to him before the guards forcibly march him away but what it is slips away from Max, and he leans forward to gently brush his nose along his friend’s forehead for a last moment of friendly contact.

“Adieu, mon ami.” Saint-Just says, as if he is simply leaving the Committee for the night and not forever, and Max cannot see as they walk him away. There is silence, and then ‘thunk’ and screams from the crowd.

Then they come for Maximilien. He does not struggle as they pull him down from the cart. The world has gone strangely quiet around him, even though Max can see people’s mouths still moving, lazily like a dying fish’s. Through his blurred vision he can see the sunlight glint off the Guillotine. He is nearly dragged up the stairs, so eager are they for his blood. He stumbles slightly, his head spinning. With his nearly blind eyes, Maxime looks around at the people who have crowded around the guillotine. There are women knitting in the front row. Children are on their parents shoulders. People throw flowers and fruit.

This was what he wanted the Celebration of the Supreme Being to be like, Max thinks, a last flicker of irony going through his brain.  

He is shoved against the plank of woods, bounds quickly wrapped around him. He stares around blankly, and something like fire races up his spine when he thinks that Danton must have been strapped to this same plank before he died. And Camille, and Lucile. Louis Capet. Marie Antoinette.

Maximilien Robespierre. His jaw throbs as the muscles twitch.

Suddenly a pair of hands is grabbing at his face and ripping his bandages away.

He can’t prevent the scream that tears itself from his throat. It has been building there since he was young and has been too long contained, he thinks madly, his own screaming deafening as the plank is lowered and slid forward. This scream is what is under all his tightly contained convictions, all his primness, and virtue. This is what he is reduced to, a screaming voiceless animal, who is going to die in pain, alone.

Maximilien dies screaming.  


In the year three thousand.

Max flinched awake, immediately choking. His body automatically curls up to defend itself, every never alive and screaming to help him avoid death.

“Whoa! You’re okay! It’s fine, you’re okay!” Someone says to him and he moves away from the kindly hand placed on his shoulder.

Max gasps in air, even as he feels his throat constrict, and panics even more.

He doesn’t want to die.

If he can’t breathe, if he can’t breathe, he can’t speak and if he can’t speak he won’t be able to defend himself.

The blood of Danton chokes him!

“Relax, relax, your heart is going crazy right now, you need to calm down before you put yourself into cardiac arrest.” The words mean nothing to him, but the warm hand on his shoulder gives Max something to focus on. He is forced to sit up, his eyes struggling to focus on something, anything. He still has no glasses and the room is blindingly bright.

“Whoa, you’re face…” The voice, it sounds like a woman, mutters. “It’s okay, it’s okay, just breathe okay? Um, with me. In,” She presses on Maximilien’s chest and he takes a shallow breath in, feeling it end in dry sob. “And out.’

She forced him to keep breathing, patting his shoulder.

“I’m grabbing you some medicine, I’ll be right back okay? Just-just keep breathing.”

Max’s chest was caving on itself and he gasped, laying back down on the cold metal table he found himself on.

“Here, here, it’s okay. “ Something cold was pressed to his neck and within moments Maximilien was gasping in cold air, his lungs inflating again.

“There. Better? Huh, I didn’t know that you were asthmatic.”

Max squinted up at the woman, trying to bring her into focus. Her dark hair was free flowing and hung around her face like fabric.

“W-where am I? Who are you?”

“Stay calm. You’re on North America, in a city called Grand Forks. My name is Doctor Rainbow Miller.”

Max stared at her as best he could, his head spinning. He tightly gripped the edges of the table he was laying on and the cold seeped into his bare skin.

“H-how am I alive?” The words he meant to thank were of thanks, but they got lost and morphed on the way out.

She touched his shoulder again. The doctor sounded proud when she announced,

“I brought you back.”


Back, from death?

Max laid back down and closed his eyes, a headache getting ready to bloom behind them.

She patted his shoulder and he wanted to jerk away. The lights were blinding him and he was too cold.

“You’re going to be okay, Robespierre.”