“What is that wrench up to now?” The Queen Melkyre asked her most loyal lady-in-waiting, Snowing Ice.
“It’s not my fault that she’s ignorant, Melly,” Lady Ice said impatiently. “Don’t yell at me about it.” Ice had privilges that no other had– as a favorite of the Queen’s, Lady Ice got away with much more than any other would have ever been able to.
“What did she do?” Melly asked again, ignoring what the Lady Ice said and tapping her foot impatiently. Ice stood and looked at her for a moment.
Queen Melly wasn’t your average queen. She had never been a fan of such trivial things as ball gowns and tiaras. She preferred her ripped jeans and plain dark tee shirts. There was more room for combat– she was not a young and naive princess, but a fierce Queen, and she wasn’t going to let a poofy dress risk that.
Lady Ice, dressed in her own fabulous gown (for she was fond of them), unfolded a piece of parchement and read aloud. “Well, the worker that we have in the West Atlantic wrote, ‘The Lady Queen Coffee Beans, of the West Atlantic, has been seen entering the home of the Mercenaries numerous times. It is said that she is thinking of hiring them. The assumed target is the Queen Melkyre; Melly for short.’ It’s basically saying-“
“I know what it’s saying, Ice!” Melly snapped. “Who are these Mercenaries?”
“The Mercs?” Lady Ice asked in a voice that had a hint of surprise. The Mercs had been around for ages. Surely the Queen had just forgotten about them? “Seriously, Melly, you were supposed to be briefed back when the Mercs first started operating, a little after the war began.”
“Two hundred years have passed and still I wasn’t made aware?” The Queen hissed, lowering her voice and leaning in closer to Ice.
“I don’t know!” Ice said in the same cold tone, raising an eyebrow. She was really tired of being treated as a child by this woman. “Ask your Military Commander!”
“Well, what do they do?” Melly asked in a malicious tone.
“They’re unbiased killers. Any kingdom can hire them– they don’t discriminate.”
“You mean to tell me that there are trained killers that could be targeting any of my kingdom and no one bothered to tell me?” Melly hissed, staring at Ice with intent to kill. Lady Ice rolled her eyes and smoothed out her dress.
“Maybe he did tell you, but just forgot?” Lady Ice suggested, her tone mocking.
The Queen laughed.
Behind her back and out of earshot, Melly knew that her subjects called her “The Robot Queen”. She didn’t mind the nickname. They called her that because she was perfect.
She didn’t make mistakes. She didn’t forget anything, she was a good Queen, even if she was a bit cynical and heartless. In her mind, it was better to be cold rather than be too involved in the personal lives of her subjects. It would cloud her vision of the future that she wanted for them, a future without the war that had plagued them for two hundred years.
“I’m the Robot Queen, remember? I don’t make mistakes.” She sighed dismissively, not worrying. “That so-called Queen isn’t trying to hire someone to kill me,” she said, making it clear that this was final. “She’s too ignorant. Trust me, Ice, dear. The thought hasn’t even crossed her mind.”
She knew that no one in the West Atlantic trusted the “Queen”. To them, she was only Lady Fee, and Lady Coffee, if they were feeling respectful. She wasn’t a Queen in their eyes. There was virtually no respect. Not nearly as much as Melly demanded. She couldn’t imagine allowing her subjects to call her anything but “Queen”. Even “the Robot Queen” was respectful.
It had to be.
Melly knew that Lady Fee was still a child– she had no right to be on the throne of a powerful society like the West Atlantic. That was shown merely by the fact that she refused to form an alliance with Melly’s kingdom, the Northern Atlantic.
The Queen Melkyre had been trying to convince the Lady Fee’s court that she was in need of an alliance ever since the war had begun, almost 200 years ago now.
If they had only been smart enough to join forces, the war could have ended years ago. But stubborn, childish “Queen” Coffee continued to refuse.
Melly didn’t understand it, but it was something that she supposed she was being forced to live with. She had offered to watch over the Western Atlantic kingdom until she thought that Coffee was older, wiser, more fit to rule. They had declined, and that had been the end of it.
She knew that now that Coffee had tasted power for these last two hundred years, and there was no way that she would give up her rule now.
Shame. Queen Melkyre would really love to save the world.