“You’re going to fail, and you’re going to die,” said Montagne.
The Dark Lord’s sword stopped just shy of Montagne’s neck. “You have no weapon,” whispered a cold voice from behind the mask. “No armour. No army behind you.”
“It’s not me who’ll kill you, sport,” Montagne laughed. He clapped the Dark Lord’s lobstered pauldon. “If I were a betting man, I’d say you’ve got a nasty little case of rebels infesting your empire.”
The Dark Lord’s entourage of masked elves closed in, spears bristling forth. Their master held out his hand. The elves stopped.
“What do you know of the rebellion?” the bodiless voice asked, like the sound of an errant breeze against glass that nonetheless speaks your name. “How did you get past the guards?”
“Doors are my specialty, friend.” Montagne removed the curled pipe from his lips and blew smoke into the Dark Lord’s mask.
When the Dark Lord spoke, the smoke didn’t stir. “Are you with the rebels?”
“Now listen here, sport: I see myself as a bit of a rebel in a sense, but I’m not one of your rebels, no sir. The rebellion you’re fretting over–well, some might call them underdogs. But if you knew what I knew, well, friend, you’d be more inclined to label yourself an underdog. Kings–my apologies; emperors–don’t last, in my quite expansive experience. Now you wouldn’t have heard of old Damocles, I suppose. Well, that’s neither here nor there.
“Here’s the trick: the rebels always win in the end. I expect you were a bit of a rebel yourself in a time before once-upon. But that’s backstory, I’m afraid, and this is now. Your rebels are destined to win. You’re stuck on a path–a loop, if you will–which you’ll never stray from without outside intervention. Sure, you’ll get a few licks on those rascals, though I have reason to believe an old friend of mine is going to try and keep that from happening. At any rate, the end point is the same. You’re going to lose. But I can help you win.”
The Dark Lord touched the deathly cold steel of his sword to Montagne’s neck. “Who are you?”
Montagne put his pipe back in his mouth and held out his hand. “Lucas Montagne, old sport. Charmed to make your acquaintance. I’d give you my card, but I’m afraid it still says I’m a meta detective. And I left that business quite a long time ago.”
Day 354’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Meta Detective,” “The Emperor,” and, “Maybe this time.”
Gavin Hume needs an adversary. Meet Lucas Montagne.