White Queen to Black Knight Chapter 07
She keeps Moet Et Chandon
In her pretty cabinet
‘Let them eat cake’ she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Kruschev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation you can’t decline
Killer Queen, Queen
Dinner was delicious, but the company was somewhat combative at times. Bruce and Alina were back to arguing over what she should wear to photograph the Joker and Harvey Dent, or rather Two-Face. Bruce had let his fear take over his more persuasive skills and was busy demanding various things from shoes to how she wore her hair or makeup. Alfred thought to Alina’s credit she let Bruce do his controlling thing, looking for things she could agree with him on, and stayed silent. Alfred knew she would compromise where she could or wanted to, but Bruce was not going to get what he wanted this way. Bruce was now strenuously pacing the floor, making everyone in their small family crazy.
Alina’s sex filled voice she used often, and often unfairly, stopped Bruce in his tracks. “Let me speak, Bruce. You have done everything but swing from the light fixtures your testosterone levels are so high. It is my turn. 1) I will wear my hair back in a tight knot. I will not use clamps or sticks. I’ll make it work with rubber bands which will shred my hair, your precious hair. 2) I will wear green fatigues tucked into my army issue boots. I will have nothing in the pockets. I will wear a fatigue green belt. 3) I will wear a man’s black t-shirt with an unspecified logo on it. It is long sleeved and I will pull them up to my elbows. No tattoos will show. 4) I will wear a minimal amount of makeup.” Then with a voice that brooked no further discussion Alina said, “Take it or leave it.”
Both men immediately agreed to her terms. Alfred wasn’t even part of the argument but still found himself agreeing, which Alina found cute. Bruce was very pleased that he was getting more than he had even asked for. Neither man gave her the credit she deserved. She looked to Bruce asking him to sit. Alfred cleared the table quickly and she asked him to join them. She had pulled out one of her books and turned to two specific pictures and turned the book around to them so they could see the two pictures side by side. Alina began to explain. “The two of you refuse to recognize my skill, my capabilities, my strengths, and my intelligence. You want to paint me into one of your eye candy arm pieces you wear periodically. I can do that too, as I think you have already realized. But I can do so much more. I have been sent here to be the other half of you, my White Queen to your Black Knight. I was groomed for it from ages ago, and now when you need me the most, I have been sent to you. You already know I can best you at least 2 out of 3 of our games earlier. I can make your manhood come to full sail with a whisper. But there is so much more that you have no idea of. I want to give you an example of what I am capable of, and why I understand safety, and that I do understand my beauty is both a weapon and a serious hindrance.” Bruce was still a little embarrassed about her full sail comment, but when she brought her finger to the picture to draw his attention, he listened closely. The man in the picture gave him chills even through the photograph. He tried to imagine what it must have been like being near him. “This man was named Kone. He was an extremely evil man that “owned” a large part of the Congo. He terrified almost an entire continent, would find the most torturous ways to kill others for his amusement, even his own people were terrified of him. Still, he allowed me to take his picture. An American photographer wants to take his photograph for an American magazine. His ego practically exploded. The outfit we agreed on for tomorrow is what I wore when I met with him, although I wore a tank top instead of a long sleeved shirt. He saw and feared some of my tattoos, as he should. They were protection marks from those who protect. To harm me would bring armies down on his world. He knew this. I did not have to explain it to him. So I took his pictures. And then I asked to take pictures of his “craftsmanship.” This picture is of Ken Norton, Special Forces of a very special kind. He had been captured and left behind because he was one of a team acquiring a dumbass politician who took priority. His team would come back for him, but perhaps not before he died. Kone had cut this once beautiful man to pieces, and yet left him intact. There was not a place on his body, he was naked so I know, that had not been cut, skin sheared off, or otherwise damaged. Flies covered his body and those flies had laid eggs in his open skin. The maggots were literally eating him alive. I am somewhat telepathic, and he was very telepathic. He told me how to get a hold of his team and what to tell them. I told him I would not leave him until they came for him. I would be hidden, and would not act until they were there, but Kone was a dead man. He wanted me to just send the message and go, it was too dangerous, but I could not. So I sent the message, was told less than 16 hours. When I told the voice on the other end I didn’t think he had 16 hours, it became much less. Somehow they folded time and got there in 8. I could feel the telepathy going on, but only could catch glimpses. Ken could still talk to me that way and counted down the hours, while I listened to his screams. He insisted that I wait to take out that monster until his team was right on top of us. Otherwise, we might both die. That sniper rifle downstairs, I killed Kone with it from a mile away in the rainforest. I sat in that damned tree with all kinds of shit crawling on me for more than 8 hours until his team came. Ken’s team took out the rest of the camp and got him on the helo and took off, picking me up in a clearing to just get me out of there. We talked sometimes telepathically, but mostly everyone was concerned about Ken, including me. He had told them all what I had done for him and their graciousness was truly humbling. I did get this t-shirt in the mail with a cryptic message. ‘Been there got the t-shirt’ sort of thing. Those men whose mind’s I touched kill people in the name of good. They are battle scared and even battle weary, but ultimately they are good even if some of them doubt just like you do. Several of them have women who have been mated to them, no one knows how, but it is the love of those women that keeps them on the right side of choice. I believe I killed Kone in the name of good. I know I fight on the side of right, of good. When I go to confession, I confess my sins, but I am not sorry for the people I have killed. They were evil terrible men and did not deserve to live. Is it my place to judge? I don’t know, and maybe I go to hell with all my targets. God is a little wishy-washy on the subject, ‘Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord’ or is it ‘An eye for an eye?’ Religion is a topic for another day.”
Alina sighed, took a drink of wine, and finished her story, “Not all the stories behind the pictures are this dramatic, and I did not kill all the evil men I met. After all, sometimes it is better to know the evil you have rather than the unknown evil that might replace them. Iraq is a good example, but Afghanistan has turned out better. Anyway, I appreciate that you are both concerned with my safety. But after the Congo and Kone, the Joker or Two-Face will be egotists, killers, planners, chaos inducers, even maybe insane. But they are not this kind of evil. Bruce, this is why I have been sent here. You make every evil challenge about you, about Batman. Is Batman evil like those he seeks? Do you have the right to place judgment on others? I struggle with those questions too. But my answers seem much more cut and dried than yours. The world is so much broader than Gotham. We have to struggle through the questions, and find the answers we need to make every situation not be a gigantic crisis of conscience. It doesn’t have to be.”
The silence in the kitchen was deafening. Alfred silently finished cleaning around them, looked at Alina with sadness at all she had seen and yet he had a pleased sense of purpose for her. He walked over to her, closing the photograph book that Bruce had not been able to remove his eyes from, picked it up and handing it to her with a kiss to her forehead. “Your photographs, what I have seen so far, are inspiring and terrifying. You, Miss Alina, are also terrifying in your beauty, your intelligence, and your power, and inspiring in your capability to love, to save, and to do the right thing. Welcome to our home. Good night all.”
Bruce automatically wished Alfred a good night and watched him pass through the doors to his own significant quarters. Alina looked at Bruce across the table, not sure if she should be afraid she had scared him too much, or perhaps she had just freaked him out with her story. He watched the expressions cross her face and knew that for once perhaps the first time since she had arrived she was no longer quite so sure of herself. He pushed his chair back, and took a couple steps towards her taking her hand gently to encourage her out of her chair. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, tucking her under his own shoulder, bending to place a gentle kiss on her temple, and together they left the kitchen.
A/N: Ken Norton are characters from books by Christine Feehan, Deadly Game and Conspiracy Game. Two excellent books, great series, Ghostwalkers rock! I took what Ms. Feehan had written across a few books, inserted my OC in and made up the rest. It is purely based on her inspiration.