"This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world."
"How did you find the play, son?"
"I found it highly amusing, Father. The humor content does not disappoint."
Murmurs of mockery rose among the other members of the upper-class society that have watched the play with them. Some brave enough even laughed. Al responded by a polite smile. The answer his son provided certainly was…amusing, to say the least. But he was a smart boy. Certainly, there was something else behind that answer.
"Looks like Al Jr. isn't as intelligent as you made him appear."
"He is aware that what we watched is a tragic play, is he not?"
Al knelt in front of his son and looked at him directly in the eye. "Would you care to elaborate, son?"
The boy smirked proudly at him. "Certainly, father." He tilted his head to the side, and the other guests noted, with shivers running down their spine, how eerily un-childlike it seemed. "The characters were certainly interesting, not to mention amusing. Imagine! Innocents dying simply because of the grudge of a jealous, little whore."
A few women gasped at the little boy's choice of words, but Al simply said, "Interesting analysis, son."
"Don't you think you should reprimand him for his language, Mr. La Flaga?" a particularly galled woman asked.
"Why so? Didn't John Proctor himself call Abigail Williams a 'whore'?"
One of the guests – a wrinkly, man old enough to be a great-grandfather – stepped forward. He was one of the most noted writers of the century. "Mr. La Flaga," he said, all the while looking at the boy's unforgiving eyes. "I think your son is too smart for his own good."
"A man may think God sleeps, but God sees everything…"
"He's been at it for days, sir," the tutor admitted exasperatedly. "The play has piqued his interest."
Al raised an eyebrow. "And his other studies?"
The middle-aged woman shook her head. "There is no cause for worry, sir. He hasn't neglected his studies."
Al leaned back on his chair and stared at the dull, white paint that decorated his study. After a moment's contemplation, he directed his harsh glare to the tutor again. "Permit him to his…devices. But make sure that he accomplishes his work first."
The tutor excused herself and exited the room without a word more.
"Salem witch trials, eh? What do you have in mind, little Al?"
"Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you."
The boy's cold, blue eyes flashed dangerously. "You deceived me, Father!" he spat the last word as if it was acid burning in his mouth.
Al felt the coldness, the hate, the anger, even though his surroundings felt like a burning furnace. He stepped back, only to meet the hard surface of the wall. He had no way out. The flames danced accusingly at him, providing a sweltering barrier between him and the boy. He tried to reach out his hand but the flames licked at it. Fire burned him and he winced, clutching the offended limb closer to his chest.
"Stop spouting nonsense, boy!" he shouted, fear barely creeping up his voice.
The boy smirked. The evil grin and the dancing shadows making him look not unlike an angelic devil. "Stop acting innocent. You are anything but innocent." The smile on his face, if it was possible, grew more demonic. "See this face that I have? Wasn't it yours to begin with? Do I look innocent now, Father?"
The smile was wiped off from his face and the boy snarled. "DON'T CALL ME THAT!"
"Why are you doing this?" The fear was evident now. Al was panicking, feeling death knocking on his doors. He coughed, his lungs asking for oxygen through the haze of smoke surrounding him.
"Why am I doing this?" the boy echoed mockingly. "I am simply giving back what you have given me. Who gave you the right to judge me, Father? Who gave you the right to decide for my life – to condemn me to a life of death! You and your kind, you are the evil ones."
The boy's silhouette began to disappear. Al did not know if it was due to his blackening sight or if it was because the boy was leaving him.
The boy's parting words were, "You failed the trial, Al La Flaga. And the penalty is death."
"There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships."
To pass judgment on humanity by penalty of death – that was his mission. The next few years, the boy decided to shed the remains of the past. He was no longer the son or the heir of Al La Flaga. He turned his back on the plans, on the future that his so-called father had lain before him. He chose to follow his own path, driven by his own motivations.
He was a man on a sacred mission.
With all that mankind was doing, their extinction was inevitable. But he could not wait for another hundred years for it to happen. He wanted to see it, in this lifetime, in this body. Someone could even consider it as a dying man's wish.
He was imminently doomed to die due to his unstable genetic make-up, and so the entire universe – the whole of mankind, deserved to die with him. He would gain power, the very power that every human lusted for. He did not desire it, but it would serve as the means to an end.
He would be known as Le Creuset.
The severe trial or ordeal that man would have to face.
Rau smiled. The name had a certain ring to it.
"Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own. I came into this village like a bridegroom to his beloved, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crowns of holy law I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up."
Mankind could not just make things easier for him. They couldn't just accept their fate lying down and just die, could they? Mankind just had to spout beings like Athrun Zala, Kira Yamato and, god-forbid, Mwu La Flaga just to mock him. Nevertheless, Rau was the crucible for mankind, and in turn those heroes would be the crucible for him.
Rau gritted his teeth in annoyance as he made his way on the somewhat familiar halls of Mendel Colony.
Didn't he try to make them see things his way? Didn't he try to make them see that humanity was evil?
Like Athrun Zala. Didn't his father try to kill him? And didn't the Naturals – his fellow humans – kill his mother? In cold blood, no less. Or Kira Yamato, perhaps. Just because he was born to be above the rest did not mean that his life would be smooth sailing. Others would try to pull him down and succeed. Didn't his own friend try to kill him? And even before his birth, thousands of lives were sacrificed in order for him to come into being. The world was not and never will be fair to him because his creators weren't fair to the world.
And Mwu La Flaga, of all people, should've understood his desire to end the human race. For wasn't Mwu himself a spawn of that devil? Wasn't he shunned by his own father just because he had his mother's blood? He, of all people, should have seen things his way.
But still they chose to fight. Fight for the human race that desired to kill each other. Protect those humans that had done evil to them.
Rau smiled. Experience was the best teacher, but some students were just too thick-headed.
"How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!"
They had seen his face.
The face which he tried so hard to hide. It was not his identity that he hid through his mask, but his face. The face of the man who had played with his life. The face of the man who was the epitome of human greed.
They had no right to see that face. He told them everything – everything about him and the world. Everything he knew. Because he wanted them to give up. To just admit defeat, curl up and die. But they fought. Relentlessly.
That brat, Kira Yamato, and the bastard's son, Mwu La Flaga, had seen his face.
Of all people to see the one thing that he felt shame over and hated the most, it just had to be those two.
Rau felt hatred – hatred matched only by the one he felt towards his supposed father.
"I think that be the Devil's argument."
Rau had tried to kill everyone but he himself was killed in the process. Rau died with a smile on his face. Was it a smile of relief? A smile thanking Kira for having ended his tortured existence? A smile because he was proven wrong about humanity's desire to continue on in search of peace and harmony? Or was there a darker meaning behind it?
Because the fact that Kira – the epitome of all that is perfect and good – had to kill him just to prove that humanity was good and kind and worth protecting.
Rau smiled at the irony of it all.
Author's Notes: The above quotations are from the play, 'The Crucible'. It is a play by Arthur Miller based on the Salem witch hunts of 1692. John Proctor and Abigail Williams are characters from the play.
Anyway, I read it Wikipedia that the name 'Rau Le Creuset' is actually a pseudonym. Rau's real name is Al Da Flaga, Jr. 'Rau' is an anagram of the Romanization of 'Al', 'Aru'. 'Le Creuset'is French for'the Crucible'. So, I did some research and voila, this came about. Also, I tend to use 'La Flaga' as Al's last name in my fics. I'm too stubborn for my own good…
Hope you liked it and that it actually made sense. Please review. I'm up for discussions if you want. :D
Miller, Arthur. 1953. The Crucible. First Ed. U.S.A.: Viking Press.