Welcome! This is my action-packed sequel to Alice's Choice! Needless to say, you're probably gonna want to read that first, or else you shall be incredibly confused, believe me. At first, I was a tad bit wary of doing this for the fear of changing my readers' valuable opinions, but then I thought 'what the hay' and here we are. I'll try my best to steadily update, so thank you, and enjoy!
Disclaimer: NO. I still own nothing of AiW. Lewis Carroll, Disney, and Tim Burton do.
Inspirational Song: "James Bond" - Scouting for Girls
. . . . .
The rain was thick and the thunder loud as it rolled about the Outlands. The few trees that could exist there were arching dangerously in the high winds. The flyaway sand whipped at the calloused faces of the retreating army, the steps of the men-if you could call them that-all ungainly, due to the fact that they kept slipping and sliding in the mud-like ground.
Stayne thought, rather confidently, of course, that he was leading them in the right direction. Every few steps or so a lightning bolt would light their path. This would normally be beneficial to them, but not today, for the lightning came with buckets of rain as the angels poured it down upon them.
Did they deserve it, the angels' fury? Stayne couldn't answer that one himself. Not at this time, anyhow. He had just watched his rotten Red Queen's murder. No, he wasn't upset nor was he angry. She was just a pitiful and desolate child when it came right down to it.
No, he was angry at the fact that this army of trolls and monstrous creatures was now his to attain to and his alone. He hadn't even been able to do battle with the White Army, let alone conquer the whole of the land. He'd been forced to retreat and he could still hear the cheering of the giddy Whites behind him, although they were blown out of earshot miles ago.
Finally, they came across the trapdoor under the leafless tree. The door was rattling from the wind's strength, but it would hold, surely.
Stayne forced it open and leaped inside, and for once in his life, was thankful for the unnatural heat of the tunnels. As his fellow soldiers, no, as his troops clambered down into the hole behind him he made way for the area where the Red Queen had slept.
She'd had three of her strongest warriors dig her a place to sleep, the size of a large closet. She'd made, well, she herself had not made the bed, but she'd had someone go out to the wilderness for her and collect a large bundle of leaves and brushes for her to lay on. The creature might've lost its arm out there, but it had still gotten a good amount of leaves, so it received a well-earned pat on the back.
He'd slept in the tunnel outside of here, but the bed was now his.
He sighed, running a gloved hand through his filthy hair and turned around.
All of his troops were now in the tunnels and standing there, staring at him, probably awaiting orders.
"What?" he asked angrily. A few of them shifted their feet. "What do you want?"
"Well, Knave, lookie here. . . " said an unnaturally Sothern-sounding vulture. "That Red Queen of yers promised us freedom, yeh?" He looked around himself and a few agreed with him. "Well, Knave, lookie here cuz we still want that there freedom." He finished with a nod.
He looked around at all their faces. They were all agreed on this. Stayne wondered if they'd all talked this over or if it was simply a matter so plainly obvious that it didn't need discussing.
Stayne had just started thinking about leaving in the middle of that night when a red-eyed and thick-boned creature spoke to him. "Don't you think," he said in a low growl, "that you could possibly run away. We've got a night watch, Knave. And to be honest," he added, looking around at all his fellow miseries, "I think we could manage taking you on." A few cheers sounded and echoed throughout the tunnel.
Stayne swallowed uncomfortably. They were right. He could be the best swordsman alive, but he wouldn't make it out that way if he attempted a dash.
So what to do with the cretins?
He was sure that plenty of them secretly wished for him to try to leave, so that when he was dead, they could take over. Predictably, a fight would ensue and they'd all kill each other off. That seemed like a good idea, if you didn't count Stayne's death. But he did.
What if he promised to lead them out to a (nonexistent) battle? They'd charge and run and be so distracted by their bloodlust that Stayne could possibly slip out of sight. The Outlands were so vast and he was only one man, surely he could hide. . . away. . .from them. . .
. . . Hide?
Surely, Stayne wasn't losing his touch! Since when had his own thirst for bloodlust gotten so low? Instead of charging into nothing, why didn't he charge into something? He could train this horribly unorganized army into something great and use it to his advantage! He could take whatever he wanted and whenever he wanted with just the use of a proper army!
And what did Stayne want at the moment?
He looked down at himself, to the confusion of those watching, waiting, for him. Stayne was completely covered in filth. His layer of grime was so thick that even if Stayne rubbed some of the dirt off, he still couldn't get to the skin that lay somewhere underneath.
He wanted to be treated like a King, for that was what he deserved. He had spent the longest of hours being tortured. He had spent the longest of time being Iracebeth of Crims's lackey Knave. That should be considered torture itself.
There was truly only one plausible way of getting what he wanted. There was only one way to get back at anyone and anything that had ever defied him. Or, them, as he would soon tell his soldiers-to-be.
And that was Revenge.
He slowly started to grin, a wicked gleam in his eye. His troops recognized that gleam, for they had seen it multiple times before. Their new leader was already formulating the wickedest of plans.
. . . . .
Insanity: AND WE'RE BACK, BABY!
Rachel: This chapter was too short for my taste.
Insanity: Celebrate now, critique later.
Rachel: WOO HOOOO!