Year of the Scorpion
by Luna

Chapter Seven (Epilogue) : Scorpion's Sting
Revenge --? as if it were a cure
for heartbreak.
-Heinrich Heine, "Revenge --?"

With spring came deadly consequences of what had transpired in the winter. Kirine's treachery was discovered when the Empire used the false information she had given them. The result of their ill-conceived threats towards Lorima was the destruction of part of Northtown. The Emperor had threatened to take Mandala, believing the kingdom powerless to stop him. He found out otherwise when they launched missiles at Northtown, decimating a large part of it.

The Scorpio mansion was badly damaged, though it remained somewhat intact. Most of the roof caved in, and debris was scattered all through the halls.

It was already abandoned, though. Kirine and Slade had moved out almost immediately after her return from Mandala, and were living in a just-completed mansion in the huge forest between Tasnica and Pandora.

They had also begun to train their own army, of thieves and con artists. However, they had yet to think up a name.

"I still think it was a good name," Slade grumbled.

Kirine shook her head. "It stank, and you know it." She was listening to some old recordings of music her brother had composed. Besides being a soldier, he'd dabbled in music.

"What's that?" Slade asked as a jazzy piece she hadn't heard before came on.

"I don't know." She looked at the sheet of scribblings she'd found with the recording. "Hmm, I can't make this out. Looks like ....something about scorpions, I think." Her eyes lit up. "That's it!"

"What's what?"

"The name of our army, silly! The Scorpion Army!"

"Scorpion Army?" Slade looked skeptical.

"It's perfect! Don't you see? Your last name is Scorpio! And this, it could be sort of our theme music!"

"Theme music?" He looked amused.

"Laugh if you will," she said, glaring at him, "but you must admit it's a good name."

He considered it. "It does have a nice sound to it."

"Then that's that. We're the Scorpion Army." She grinned.

Their good humor didn't last long. Revenge was the only thing on their minds. Revenge for how they'd been hurt by the Empire. There wasn't much they could now, but they knew someday someone would get the revenge they wanted.

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