Sadiq marched through the halls. Marble floors and soaring pillars surrounded him. Grin widening under his mask, he took in his surroundings. Even the scarlet stains on the polished marble did not break his smile. If anything, they made him grin wider.

Pausing in the empty hallway Sadiq cocked his head at the noises coming from the streets below. The screams and clash of arms sounded outside and reverberated in the emptiness. Spinning on his heel, his white robes fluttering about him, he gave a loud raucous laugh. His laugh joined the screams of the dying and the sound of battle, adding his personal and particular flavour to the carnage outside, instead of just his national one.

Chuckling and wiping a tear from underneath his mask, Sadiq snapped his fingers and several Turkish soldiers stationed at the doors rushed to join their master. Striding forward he paused in front of a pair of giant double doors. Turkey gestured towards the door, causing the soldiers to rush forward. Eager to please this clearly high ranking individual (as to how high they may never know), they grasped the handles and slowly pulled the bulky doors apart.

Sadiq stood, hands clasped behind his back as the doors groaned open, seeming as though they wished to refuse access to the invaders, but open they did to reveal two individuals. One was a battered and tired looking man with cuts and bruises all over his exposed skin. He wore Roman stylised armour, had brown hair and was hugging a young boy around eight years old. The boy was hugging him back and clasped the man all the harder when he heard the door open.

Sadiq smiled wider and approached the pair; it was not a pleasant smile to see. Finally the man in armour looked up and grimaced. Attempting to stand he collapsed onto his knees instead, coughing harshly and leaning on the boy.

Sadiq stopped several feet away from the pair. "And so we come to the end of our game, I hope you learned as much as I did from this little..." Sadiq searched for the proper word but couldn't find one that fit, so instead merely resumed grinning and awaited a reply from the battered man.

The man seemed about to speak but instead merely coughed up blood. Sadiq waited patiently until he finished. Finally the armoured man spoke, though the effort clearly strained him.

"Finding great pleasure in this, *cough* aren't you, Turkey." Sadiq cocked his eyebrow at the man, letting his smile drop. Using the name of his nation instead of his human name, Sadiq couldn't really blame him. The time they had been friends had been long ago.

"Of course, it took a great deal of effort to conquer your former empire, but then, no empire reigns forever," he pointed at the bleeding man, "Byzantium." Sadiq grinned widely, relishing how the former empire flinched at his words.

"A lesson you would *Cough hack* do well to remember as well." Sadiqs lips twitched slightly at Byzantium's words. Dammit, he was better than that. Never show weakness, never.

"Listen to the final cries of your empire." Sadiq shouted, pretending he hadn't heard his nemesis, turning away from the two and facing a window. Screams and smoke wafted up past the opening, along with the smell of blood which permeated the air. "The end is nigh."

"What more do you want." Byzantium croaked, his voice harsh. The young boy clutched at the former empire harder as though the dying man could make it all the bad things go away. How the innocence of youth shatters, mused Turkey.

"Well, in addition to the satisfaction of watching you finally fall," Sadiq turned to the former superpower, pointing at the boy. "I want the rest of Greece." The boy cried out in fear and buried his head in Byzantium's chest. The fallen empire put his arm about young Greece and gave a strangled sob of sadness and defeat.

Sadiq watched it all, his smile turned to a sneer at the display of emotion from the two. Too much like his brother,Sadiq thought, referring to Byzantium's brother Rome. That's why he fell. I shall not make the same mistake. Sadiq stood impassively as Byzantium whispered comfortingly while he detached the child from himself and pushed young Greece away.

"A last request *cough hack* if I might" Byzantium whispered so softly that Sadiq had to lean forward to hear, "Sadiq." He started at that. This was a personal request then. He quirked an eyebrow, glad for the cover of the mask, it would not do to show his interest.

Musing over it for a moment, Sadiq stroked his chin as he answered. "Very well, ask and we shall see." Sadiq had already resolved to grant it if he had the ability. He owed his old mentor and friend, now nemesis, that much at least.

"Don't let the child see." Byzantium coughed up some more blood. Sadiq smiled softly, lowering his head to hide his expression within the shadows cast by his hat and mask. Soft, but an appropriate request considering the current state of affairs, Sadiq thought. He was glad the old man did not try to beg for his life. He would have lost all respect for the empire and despite the circumstances, he would have hated that.

"Very well then" Sadiq snapped his fingers to gain the attention of the Turkish soldiers gathered outside the door, "Take the boy." He indicated towards young Greece. The soldiers rushed forwards and grabbed Greece, dragging him outside the door while Sadiq drew his scimitar. A cry came from the throat of the young nation. "Hold him, hold him blast you or ill paint the walls with your blood!" Sadiq shouted angrily at the soldiers, he would not deny this last request because of the idiocy of these grunts. Sadiq pointed them further down the hall. When the child's screams were softened by the distance between them, Sadiq turned back to Byzantium who leaned against the far wall, wincing in pain.

"Thank you *cough* for sparing him this." Byzantium muttered through lips coated with dried blood. Sadiq shifted somewhat in embarrassment.

"It would hardly do for us to start our relationship with the sight of me killing his former guardian."

"Nevertheless, thank you." Byzantium slumped further against the wall, head lolling to the side and smiling softly. Sadiq approached until he stood directly in front of the soon to be former nation. He drew his arm and sword back.

"Farewell." Sadiq said softly and stabbed forward, piercing the Byzantine Empires heart in one smooth blow. The old man gasped in pain but only for a moment. He did not last any longer than that as Sadiq pulled his blade out quickly afterwards. Sadiq stared at the dead nation for a few moments, contemplating the stream of blood coming from the fatal wound he had inflicted. Stepping forward, he closed Byzantium's eyes and removed his cape before placing it over the corpse. An expression of regret was swiftly displaced by his usual smile as he turned away. The white mask covering his eyes was not the only one he wore at this moment. No matter how Sadiq felt himself, he was the Ottoman Empire, and he did what he had to do. Wiping his blade clean on a handkerchief he had brought with him, Sadiq exited the room without looking back and approached the Turkish soldiers.

"Ah, the little bastard bit me!" One of the soldiers shouted, wringing his hand. The complaining soldier promptly backhanded the young nation. Sadiq's eye twitched, though his mask hid it. He had not spared the child the death of his former guardian to have him beaten by the rank and file. Sadiq approached the soldier and stood behind him.

"I said hold him, not strike him." Sadiq shouted at the offending Turk, anger an almost tangible presence around him. The man spun around and was promptly impaled upon Sadiq's blade. The man opened his mouth to scream but only gaped, no words coming out and he promptly slumped, dead.

Pulling the blade free, Sadiq watched as the man fell to the ground. Casually wiping the scimitar on the soldiers' clothes, all the while ignoring the shocked looks of the other Turks and young Greece, he examined the blade. Looking up after ensuring the blade was cleaned, Turkey grabbed the Greek from the petrified soldiers. Sadiq strode out of the blood stained hall, dragging the squirming young nation behind him and into the death choked streets of Constantinople, now Istanbul.