ANOTHER CHAPTER! YAY!

This one was hard to write, i struggled with how to adequately get out of the pickle. I think it worked nicely.

The hardest part was trying to get Elias' lines down, he's in a bad place right now. Let me clarify.

Also, i found a beautiful picture that kinda sorta describes Antoine earlier, all scared and locked up in his room, with his inner self trying to get through to him: (fur affinity . net/full/2120149/) All credit to the original artist BrainCellAssasin.

He was dragged out of his simple lifestyle and made into a Prince, he was taught to betray his morals and look down on others, he left his wife to go to war, and he's perpetually afraid that his sister might take the throne instead of him. He's always trusted Antoine, and now he's being betrayed by him. He might not have the best of morals, but he's feeling pretty lousy on the inside.

Antoine on the other hand, has discovered that he's a sociopathic schizophrenic, who has a Psychopathic alter ego that tells him to kill people. He's lost faith in everything he's known, he now knows that his wife is holding him back, and that the only possible way to get rid of the voice is to start killing people. He almost killed someone that saved his life, and he saw Fisher die right in front of him. He's afraid to do anything, mainly because he's afraid of losing control.

Max, while not mentioned much, is an aging King, he doesn't want to give up the throne, not out of greed, but because he didn't feel that Elias or Sally is the right person to succeed him. He has faith in his son, but also knows that he's not the same general Armand was. He was also betrayed, by Julian, Ixis, and Amadeus, and so he refuses to accept outside help, especially that of Amadeus' son, who still has a part to play in this story.

anyway, enough character summaries. I'd like to say that those who have been reviewing have been a great motivation to me. I do try to use your suggestions, and i take your criticism to heart.

Also, this chapter is the start of something beautiful, expect the next couple of chapters to be thoroughly violent and awesome.


Normally, in a standoff, you don't want to act to hastily. The two former comrades stood about 5 feet apart, neither one willing to make the first move. Ant stood, arms outstretched with a sly grin on his face, confident in a favorable outcome, his inner self in control for the time being. Elias was rigid, his pistol gripped firmly in his hands, pointed directly in-between the eyes of his Lieutenant. On the outside, the Prince was stout and fearless; on the inside he was terrified and rattled. Elias' hand trembled as he delivered a line.

"D-Don't make me do this." Elias raised his voice, willing himself to hold strong. Every fiber of his being told him not to stand down, but his pride wouldn't allow him to.

"We're not making you do anything." Ant inched closer to the Prince. "You don't want to try anything, not with me."

"Shut it. I'm ordering you to stand down N-Now take a seat." He motioned with the pistol to a nearby chair. Antoine stayed where he was. "That's an order!" Elias stepped forward and pulled the hammer back on the pistol to accentuate his resolve. Ant found himself staring down the Prince, trying to find a small lapse, an opportunity to strike.

"We're not moving, Elias." The Lieutenant spoke calmly.

"For God's sake, just stand down!" Elias' frustration was apparent in his voice. "I don't want to do this!"

"Then Don't!" Antoine chuckled, his smart-ass answer meant to shake Elias, to make him make a mistake. "Let us go to the freedom fighters, let us get their help!"

"I can't!"

"Why not?" Antoine already knew the answer.

"You know why!" Elias didn't feel the need to explain himself.

"Is the throne so important to you that you'll forsake your countrymen?"

"Dammit Antoine, that's not what this is about! There are things going on that you couldn't possibly understand!"

"Like what?"

"I can't tell you…" Elias voice trailed off, he was thinking of how he could avoid spilling the beans.

"Oh, is it classified?" Ant said the last word sarcastically; he seriously doubted that Elias could have any ulterior motive. He hated being lied to, and his anger rose the longer the conversation continued. "Cut the bullshit, you just want to make sure that you get the throne, and you can't have your sister cutting in the line of succession!"

"Damn it Antoine, you're not listening to me. This isn't about that. You have to trust me!" Elias was lying through his teeth; trying anything he could to calm the beast in front of him.

"We don't have to do anything!" Antoine's inner self was about to hit a boiling point, ready to lash out in reaction to these lies. "We're going to get help, whether you like it or not!"

"God Damn it, just give me a chance!"

"If you're telling the truth, then lower the gun!" Ant motioned to the pistol. "If you want us to trust you, then you have to trust us first!"

"Yeah right, after all that stuff you said about 'not having control' and how you beat up those two doctors, why should I trust you? How can I even know it is you! You might not even be in control now!" Elias started to wonder if he should just take the shot.

"We assure you, we are very much in control of the situation." Antoine picked up on the Prince's idea, and decided to act. He took a long stride forward. Elias' hand twitched.

"Why won't you just trust me? Why can't you just go along with my plan?"

"We just can't…"

"That's not an answer!"

"Yes, it is! We don't trust you, we don't like you, and we don't care about your little problems! We just want to save the other men, the men you don't care about! We aren't going to let them die because you have an ego problem!" Antoine spoke from the heart, even though it was his inner self doing the speaking.

"Are you really that blind? If we don't stop them here, what's going to stop them from just invading Knothole? Those men are here to do a job, and by GOD they're gunna do it."

"What's their job? Getting annihilated for your ego?" Ant retorted.

"Stop simplifying things. This is a war!" Elias grew more and more enraged, completely willing to take the shot after the comments Ant just made. "We all have sacrifices to make, yours truly included."

"But we don't have to sacrifice ourselves for nothing!"

"For nothing? You consider your Kingdom nothing? If only your father could hear you now!" Elias wanted to hurt Ant, he didn't care that this was a life and death situation, he just wanted to hurt him emotionally. It worked.

"Don't you dare bring our father into this!" Antoine was appalled by the low blow. "You will never compare to him!" Even Ant's inner self had massive amounts of respect for the old man.

"And how is that?" Elias already considered himself better than that old fool.

"It's because you'll get us all killed! And it'll be all because you're jealous of your sister, and you're unwilling to ask for help!" Ant spat at the Prince. "You're pathetic! We hope you never become king!"

That was the last straw; Elias put his left hand on the gun, in order to steady it. "Antoine, I'm going to count to 3, if you don't stand down by then I'll kill you where you stand." His voice wavered, giving away his lack of confidence. Ant drummed his fingers, in preparation for his next move.

"One" Elias' trigger finger twitched, he restrained himself, trying to give the coyote a chance; even though he didn't feel like Ant deserved it. He took a deep breath and centered his aim, his pistol trained directly between the coyote's eyes.

"Tw-"In those few moments of time, an almost infinite amount of small actions occurred. Antoine's right hand shot downwards and grabbed the hilt of his sabre. It took nanoseconds for Elias' eyes to register the action, his brain computed what was happening, and sent a signal to his trigger finger, which took a few milliseconds. During this time, Ant's blade was making its way out of the scabbard, and into the air, slicing upwards. Elias's finger twitched, and the Pistol's hammer flew forward, and the pin struck the end of the cartridge. The small explosion dislodged the small piece of lead at the tip of the round and sent it flying through the barrel at around the speed of sound. But before the bullet could leave the barrel, Ant's sabre connected with the underside of the pistol, the force of the shot, combined with the sword's hit, pushed the pistol slightly upwards, causing the shot to miss Antoine's head by several millimeters, the pistol was then sent flying out of Elias' hand, and it discharged again after striking the floor, sending a round carelessly out of the tent.

Elias clutched his hand and fell to one knee, he was lucky that he didn't lose his hand. The pistol lay agonizingly close to him, but too far away to risk a move. He looked up at Ant, and began to laugh uncontrollably, he completely lost his cool. Antoine stood over him; his blade was inches from the Prince's neck.

"I told you not to try anything with me." Ant spoke nonchalantly. He blinked, and hobbled backwards, clutching his head. "Oh God." He shook his head and looked around, his eyes came to rest on the Prince, and they widened with realization. "I didn't m-"

Upon hearing the shots, guards rushed into the tent. About 20 of them were packed into the small space, trying to figure out what happened. Elias stood up, and screamed as loud as he could. "Apprehend Him!"

The guards complied, and soon they had Antoine subdued, caught in between two guards. He was blathering, repeating the same phrase over and over: "Didn't mean to, couldn't control myself" He said this over and over again, trying to get some understanding or sympathy from the guards.

"What should we do with him?"

Elias ignored the question; he walked right up to Antoine and punched him in the gut. "Damn it, Antoine!" He pulled his fist back, and punched him again. "We could've done this the easy way!" He pulled his hand back, and one final time, he smashed it into Ant's gut, knocking the breath out of him. The prince took a deep breath and straightened his jacket. He held Antoine by the chin, and lifted his head up to look him in the eye. "I'm not having you arrested."

"I-"Ant tried to speak; he tried to plead his case. He wasn't given the chance.

"Oh No, you're not going to jail. Not while I still have use for you." Elias spoke slowly, accentuating his disgust. "You still have a task to do, and I'll make sure to reserve you a spot at the front." He paused, and continued in a mocking tone. "But wait! I can't send a lieutenant to the front!" Elias's hand reached down and grabbed the patch on Ant's shoulder. He ripped it off. "Well I'll just have to send Private D'Coolette instead."

"No!"

Elias backed up and looked at the guards around him. "Escort Private D'Coolette to the barracks." He paused. "If he does anything, tell me." The guards dragged Ant out of the room, the coyote was screaming the whole time, blaming his lack of control for what happened. His pleas fell on deaf ears. "As you used to say, Antoine: 'Au Revoir!'" Ant was finally taken out of the tent, and Elias was left alone. He stood in the same spot for a few moments. He finally walked over and picked up his pistol, it now had a huge gash on the underside of the barrel, where it was hit by the sabre. He held it in his hands, and tried to understand what had just happened.


OH SNAP!

Ant got demoted!

Elias is emotionally crushed!

Another assignment for Ant!

And how about that crazy hit the gun with the sword scene! I love doing stuff like that.

Expect a lot more action in the next chapters, and a slight time skip.

More Stuff!

I'm so sorry Ant, i just have to keep screwing up your life! And don't worry Elias, it could be worse.

If you think i should be nicer to ant, say so! And if you want me to be meaner to Elias, too bad, i have other plans.

And expect more stuff about the 'mysterious stranger', keep guessing guys. There are only a few options, he was only mentioned, and he had no lines in the story, that's your hint.