Second part - this will most likely be the longest chapter since Mindfang is, unfortunately, the only one of the Ancestors that we have a really clear, concise picture of. Hopefully I did her justice! : )
2: The M8rquise
If anyone were to ever ask her, she would proudly say that she had never been truly flushed for anyone before in her whole entire life.
Feelings were for weak minded low-bloods, the ones that took her no time at all to reach deep down inside their thinkpans and grab hold, whose feeeeeeeelings she played around with until she tired of them like flies caught in a spider's web. Red feelings were even worse because at least with black feelings you didn't have to really talk or do any of those stupid things matesprits – ugh, even moirails – did with each other all the time.
She and Dualscar never talked; they fought together, they fucked from time to time, they insulted one another, but never did they sit down and really talk to each other. She didn't keep Dualscar around for feelings jams and inane redrom dates – she tolerated his presence because he had something she needed, and when she didn't need him anymore she'd throw him out too like all the other worthless low-bloods and Gamblignants who refused to obey her. She was Marquise Spinneret Mindfang, Scourge of all the Seas, Head Gamblignant and Pirate Queen, and no one alive or dead could defeat her in battle.
Which is why no one is more surprised than she is when she alone is left standing, her ship up in flames and her crew lying dead at her feet, staring across the water at her mirror image.
The other troll is just grinning at her, watching from the opposite ship as the flames leap higher and higher up the mast, watching as the bodies on the floor start to cook under the intense heat as if she didn't just singlehandedly take every office, rank, and title to her name and crushed it beneath her foot.
But this is not what fills her with a seething rage that demands she make the other troll pay for what's she done to her.
It's the look in her eyes, the disappointment, as if the blue-blood had pinned her down like an insect under a microscope, and found what she saw there lacking. No one looked at The Marquise that way and lived to tell the tale, and she wasn't about to make an exception just because the other troll just happened to be her Descendant. In fact, if that strangely dressed troll hadn't decided to just show up and stick her nose in places it didn't belong, she would have already been nothing but a cerulean smear on the deck by now.
But she did show up, and they did leave together, hand in hand amidst a flurry of blue fairy dust.
Leaving her all alone.
She clenches her fists, the fluorite octet cutting into her palms, and tells herself it doesn't matter.
Eventually Dualscar finally makes his way back to her from wherever he was when they managed to get separated during the big battle, three deep horizontal lines carved along the bridge of his nose. She has never seen him look so pale before, so obviously shaken up, that she has to mask her uneasiness behind a laugh.
He doesn't say a single word to her the whole ride home.
When she arrives she is surprised to find a gift from the Empress Condescension herself – a slave, captured during that low-blood rebellion that's going on right now that she couldn't have cared less about. She knows that it is her blood color alone that has saved her; the Condesce rarely takes prisoners, much less low-blooded ones.
She pauses a bit in shock when she finally gets a look at her gift's face, aware of the tear marks still streaked down her elegant cheekbones. 'Jade tears,' she thinks as she turns her head this way and that, examining her features. The jade-blooded troll keeps her gaze focused demurely downwards, refusing to meet her eyes, allowing herself to be manhandled as she checked to make absolutely sure that this wasn't some cruel joke the Empress had played on her.
She can't help but be suspicious – why would the Condesce gift her with a slave of such rare blood color? – and yet, there is a troubled feeling deep down inside her that she knows is not caused by her totally justified paranoia. 'Why does this troll seem so familiar?'
"What is your name, jade-blood?" she asks, and the slave briefly lifts her head to respond.
Her voice is smooth and clear like running water, and she looks at you without fear or hate in her eyes before she bows her head towards the floor once more. 'Dolorosa,' she echoes in her head, dismissing her and watching interestedly as the other troll is led away by one of her Gamblignants.
She supposes she will do, for what she has in mind.
That night she is pleasantly surprised to find that the jade-blood remains untouched.
"So you've never done this before?" she purrs, running her hand seductively along the Dolorosa's bare thigh. Being of jade blood she was expected to remain a virgin, but by now she had probably been passed around by so many different hands that she wouldn't be shocked if someone had finally given into temptation and taken liberties.
The other troll doesn't so much as flinch.
"Yes," she says quietly, allowing herself to be stripped of her clothing piece by piece without complaint. She leers down at her slave before slowly brushing her lips teasingly against a pointed ear, enjoying the shudder it invokes from the other troll.
"Maybe we can take care of that?" she whispers softly, turning off the light and bathing the room in darkness.
She is amazed to find the whole endeavor a lot more enjoyable than she thought it would be.
A couple of days later, Dualscar decides to finally pay her a visit.
'It seems like my life has been filled with nothing but surprises lately,' she thinks as she sips daintily from her drink and stares curiously at him from across the table. Behind her, her new slave quietly brushes her long black hair with a fine toothed comb, gently untangling the many knots in her unruly mane. If she is listening in on their conversation she does not show it, seeming completely absorbed in the task before her.
Dualscar's behavior, she has heard, has been quite erratic as of late and it shows in the way he fidgets uncomfortably in his chair, the clasping and unclasping of his hands, how his gaze constantly moves across the room, alighting on one thing only to move on to another a second later. She waits for him to explain why he has decided to show up at her hive unannounced, but when it's obvious that he has no intention of saying anything she decides to stop beating around the bush.
"Dualscar, why exactly are you here?"
He actually jumps at the sound of her voice, and with a sinking feeling she realizes that he's not here for a verbal spar or a quick fuck. He looks down at his hands before slowly reaching up to brush his fingertips across the bridge of his nose, the purple scars still raw and puffy.
"I saw her that day. During the battle."
She frowns, annoyed at his vague answer, the way his eyes seem to be gazing at something far, far away.
"Who did you see?" she says, voice thin with impatience. He finally looks up at her sharp tone, eyes focusing in on her for what seems like the first time that day.
"Her. The Empress. She was there."
She freezes at his awed words; this is the first time Dualscar has ever mentioned the Empress in her presence, even though everyone and their lusus knows he's been flushed for her for sweeps. She finds the fact that the Condesce herself had shown up during a battle that began over a personal matter that had absolutely nothing to do with her or the empire so strange that she's actually speechless for a few moments trying to get her thinkpan to grasp the concept.
"Her Empress Condescension? She was at the battle?"
He frowns, before looking down at his lap once more and shakes his head. When he does finally answer, it's like it takes him a tremendous effort to speak, as if each word were weighed down by some invisible burden.
"Not exactly. When I fought my Descendant, she was…"
He pauses for a moment before continuing, hand wandering up unconsciously to finger his scars again, and suddenly it all makes sense to her.
"Her Descendant stopped me before I could do anything to him."
They are silent for awhile, the only sound in the room the soft sounds of a comb and the ticking of the clock on the wall. In the back of her mind, there is a teeny-tiny voice telling her that maybe this time she could be sympathetic for once, that she should overlook this pathetic display. But instead, what comes out of her mouth is this: "Is that all?"
He looks up at her, mouth thinning out into an angry line, his hand coming down to clench into a fist at his side.
"What do you mean?" he accuses, eyes narrowed angrily in her direction.
She is smirking back before she can even think about the consequences.
"Really now, all of this fuss over some worthless feeeeeeeelings you might have is probably the stupidest thing I've ever heard. It's a lost cause – it's not like she'll ever even know your name. Why don't you just give up?"
He turns as still as a statue before making such an anguished expression that for a moment she doesn't know if he's about to kill her or burst into tears. Her hand reaches for her fluorite octet just in case.
Instead, he stands up abruptly and leaves the room without a word.
She stays seated at the table, staring blankly at his empty chair until her slave quietly speaks up.
"Why do you do that?"
She spins around so fast she gives herself whiplash. The Dolorosa is sitting elegantly in her seat, hands folded in her lap, staring at her so calmly that she feels herself gritting her teeth in anger.
"What was that, slaaaaaaaave?"
She spits out the word "slave" like it was dirtier than the scum beneath the sole of her shoe, but the other troll's expression doesn't change."Why do you that?" the jade-blood repeats, staring straight into her eyes.
"Why do you say things that you don't really mean?"
All she can do is stare at her before abruptly standing up, disrupting the table in the process. The china breaks, spilling the beverages and snacks that had been set out for the both of them all over the floor. She looks down at the mess as if trying to discern some sort of answer to the Dolorosa's question from the broken pieces, before pivoting on the heel of her foot and walking out of the room.
"Clean this mess up," she says, retiring to the sanctity of her bedroom.
When Dualscar next comes to see her, he talks no more of feelings.
They scream insults at each other, viciously tearing at each other's clothes and pulling at each other's hair. They scratch and bite and slam each other against the walls until Dualscar has her by the throat on the bed.
He is sitting on top of her so that she can't buck him off, face pressed uncomfortably close to her own so that he can stare right into her eyes as he chokes her with both hands. There is something manic in his yellow orbs, something so terribly lonely and broken, that at first she doesn't even struggle as black spots begin to appear in her vision.
She'll never even know your name.
Just when she thinks that this might be it, that she will die here by Dualscar's hand, the door slams open so forcefully the doorknob leaves a hole in the opposing wall.
"What are you doing?" the jade-blood yells, eyes wide in shock.
The outburst distracts Dualscar long enough that she manages to free one of her arms from beneath him to smack him so hard in the face he falls off the bed. Her chest heaves as she takes in large gulps of air, her chitinous windhole bruised and aching. She watches as he makes no move to get up from where he lays sprawled on the floor, trembling like a wriggler. Out of the corner of her eye she sees The Dolorosa slowly approach him but he recoils from her outstretched hand.
"Don't touch me you filthy low-blood" he snarls, eyes wet with unshed tears, before he gathers what's left of his clothes and storms out of the room.
She stares up at the bare ceiling, still gasping, too tired to move and not sure that she could even if she wanted to. She feels the bed dip with added weight, feels a cool hand softly touch her forehead.
"Are you okay?" the other troll asks her quietly, and no, she's not okay, she really, really isn't, but she just nods her head without saying anything.
"Well then," the Dolorosa whispers as she closes her eyes, tangling their fingers together, "maybe I should stay with you just in case."
She falls asleep to the soft sound of her slave's blood pusher in her ears, and feels like something deep down inside her has already been healed.
Later, after the Dolorosa tends to her wounds, she finds herself spending more and more time with her.
She has the jade-blood accompany her on her expeditions out at sea, on her hunts for buried treasure, to lands previously unexplored. She tells herself that these are in no way dates that they are going on, that they are merely Outings (capital O) that she just happens to have with another troll whose company she's starting to realize she really enjoys. And anyway, the more time she spends with the Dolorosa, the less likely Dualscar is to pop up at her hive, which is always a plus. Lately all he does is sulk, which is seriously putting a damper on her black feelings for him. She's thinking about breaking up the relationship, but that would mean actually confronting him about it.
In the end, it is he that does the confronting.
"Why do you spend so much time with that disgusting slave of yours?" he tells her one day.
They are lounging outside on her hive's lawnring – or more like she is lounging while he broods moodily in his chair – celebrating another successful raid on an enemy hideout. The Dolorosa is out running an errand for her, so the two of them are completely alone.
She can hear the obvious jealousy in his voice and she smirks at yet another opportunity to tease the irritable seadweller.
"Why does it matter so much to you who it is I choose to spend my time with?" she says, relaxing back in her chair and closing her eyes. 'Really now, it is just way too easy to rile him up,' she thinks.
She frowns when she suddenly feels a shadow pass over her and she opens them again, glaring at Dualscar who has decided it would be a good idea to stand directly in front of her, blocking the light from the two moons she had recently been basking in.
"Because I am your kismesis and your superior, and therefore you must do as I say," he replies sternly before she can yell at him to move out of the way. "And I am saying that you need to cease your dalliances with that low-blood this instant."
She feels a muscle in her cheek twitch and it's like all of the irritation of the last few days spent in his presence wells up inside her, twisting itself into a very real, very platonic, hate.
"You know what Dualscar? Maybe you're right – maybe I am inferior to you. In fact, maybe I should just go and start spending all of my time with the other low-bloods since I'm so low on the hemospectrum myself?" she says in an irritatingly jolly tone, cupping her chin in mock thought. He opens his mouth to say something but she barrels on, ignoring him.
"Wait a minute! I have a better idea! Why don't I just fill a quadrant with that worthless slave? You know, since I'm so worthless too – "
"That is not what I meant."
She watches a prominent vein in his forehead begin to throb in anger and it's like her mouth and her thinkpan have been disconnected from each other because she just keeps on talking and she can't even bring herself to try to stop because she starts to realize for the first time how utterly sick he makes her feel, his face, his mannerisms, his voice –
"—and after all, we've gotten so close to each other over the past few weeks we've spent alooooooone together – "
"You will stop this childish behavior at once," he hisses so menacingly that for a moment she thinks that he'll try to choke her again, but she just keeps on going and it feels so good to finally let all of this out, all of this anger she has kept inside of herself for so long –
"—and it's only natural for two trolls to start a relationship if they like being around each other and holding hands with each other and fu – "
"—because I can't keep doing this anymore!" he yells so loudly that a group of cawbeasts resting in a nearby tree are disturbed, taking to the sky in a big black cloud.
She finally stops talking at the outburst, just staring silently as he deflates before her eyes, a hand reaching up to cover his face so she can't read his expression.
"I can't do this anymore," he whispers after a few minutes, so quiet and sad that she has to strain her ears to hear him. She sees what look like purple tears drip down his chin from underneath his hand and for the first time since they met over half a sweep ago she has nothing left to say. She watches as he turns around to leave, his fists clenched, shoulders stiff, and knows this will not be the last time that she ever sees him again.
When she is absolutely sure that he is gone, she gets up and slowly makes her way to her bedroom. She opens the secret compartment in her bureau and pulls out a pure white orb, holding it for a moment in thought.
Nowadays she rarely does so but from time to time she still talks to Him through it, for the company if not for the guidance. Today she only wishes to See and feels her left eye begin to hum as she stares deep into the cue ball, sees something coming up to meet her in the void.
They are the same images she always sees when she consults the cue ball; herself with another male troll with large wings, talking with each other, making love, that same hand which had previously held hers skewering her through the stomach with a large javelin.
Normally, these scenes would have given her a weird sense of comfort, a confidence that only those who know their own future possess. But today she feels none of these things when all she sees is the same dull brown instead of the jade green she secretly yearns for – only a burning hot rage that completely consumes her vascular pump. She lets out an ear-piercing howl before hurling the orb at the wall, watching as it creates a large hole in the plaster before falling down, not a single crack in its pristine surface.
She stands there panting for what feels like sweeps before eventually walking over and picking the orb back up, shoving it into a random drawer to be forgotten until a later date.
When all is said and done – when both her kismesis and her matesprit, her left eye and left arm, have been taken from her – she finally opens the drawer one final time before leaving forever.
It doesn't take her long to locate him, knowledgeable as she was about how information was obtained and sold in Alternia's underground market, and even as injured as she was nobody dared to mess with her after the bloody mess she made of both Redglare and His Honorable Tyranny. The sweaty blue-blooded fool quickly assembles a new appendage for her, witnesses her screams as he goes through the slow process of attaching the new arm and assimilating it into her nervous system.
In exchange she listens to him whine about his exiled state, the stain on his name that will never wash away; but when she really presses him about the female that he risked his life for she sees the triumph in his eyes, the tenderness behind the wall of regrets. She sticks her new hand into the pocket of her coat, fingers the cool white orb for a few moments before taking it out and handing it over to him, asking him to take care of it for her.
When she finally departs she has already decided she has had enough of regrets.
The night Dualscar finally comes to take his revenge and spills your jade blood across the sheets you dream of the sea, of a young girl with bright blue wings, of a hand held tightly in yours.