A Woman Lost
For: LittleGreenBudgie, for her birthday.
She'd read them all wrong, the Black Fang. The old Fang was like this army, he'd said, and she'd spent hours—days, even—trying to imagine the assassins as just people, people like him, like her, like Fiora and Rebecca, like Lord Eliwood and Lord Hector. The army sat around the campfire, talked and laughed at jokes, at the follies of their friends and comrades. Could the Black Fang really have been like…that? Like them?
Master Legault said that once upon a time, the Black Fang had been proud of what they did, had known they were doing right—not wrong. But what of them, now? What of the Black Fang, the organization of misfits? How many of them were evil? How many simply couldn't resist the allure of power?
And how many had tried to leave when they recognized corruption in their ranks?
The commander would teach them how to live, she remembered him saying. She wondered if he was one of them, one of the men who had learned to live thanks to Brendan Reed.
Brendan couldn't have been a bad man, then, she thought. But killing was killing, and it was wrong, even if crooked officials were their targets. A human life was…a human life.
She couldn't imagine what existence in the Fang had been like, all those years ago. It must have been terribly interesting, she decided. Lost men who had been found and given a new chance, a new start.
She'd spent her life pushing dutifully through the ranks of Pherae's military, and…for what? To prove that, as a woman, she could fight just as well as any man? No, that wasn't the only reason. She'd wanted to succeed, and she had. A high-ranking official in the military, she was, but she was still so very lost, herself.
What could she possibly know about life and love and—and honor? How many lives had she taken without giving second thought to the possibility of existing families of the men and women she'd cut down? But there she had been, questioning the Black Fang, their motives, their people. How was she any different, really? At least the Black Fang killed with precise reasoning—a corrupt nobleman, an aristocrat abusing power, men and women who took pleasure in hurting others.
She cut down soldiers who were only obeying the orders of their liege, girls and boys—they weren't even women and men, yet!—and soulless beings. Morphs, they called them, but they had eyes and noses and mouths—they looked human—and she wondered if, once upon a time, they had been.
Who was she to judge the Fang when she couldn't even convince herself that what she was doing was right?
They were saving the world, she told herself, so that made it okay. But did it really? Did saving the world mean it was acceptable to take the lives of people, people who breathed and laughed and lived just like Fiora and Rebecca, like Lord Eliwood and Lord Hector? She didn't know. She honestly didn't know. By the light of Saint Elimine, who was she to judge men and women who killed for a living when she was really no different?
I think that, until Isadora meets Legault, she is…perhaps…a little judgmental of the Black Fang and the people in it, not realizing that there was a time when the Black Fang was different—better. This is a far cry from my best work, but feedback's still appreciated if you have the time.