Episode 13-The New General
September 3rd, 1898
Altair sat motionless in his cell. His wrists were chafed from the chains that held him to the floor. His unmoving eyes were solemn and grey. Even though he was still, his mind moved a million miles a minute. He kept running through the previous events in his mind. The pain of Anna’s death, the comfort of Elaine, the disgust towards Sirius, the hatred of Apex, and the satisfaction of breaking the jerks neck. He smiled, remembering lashing out with his feet onto Apex’s unexpecting shoulders, and moving his feet in a twisting motion, dropping Apex to the floor and then watching the life leave his eyes. Altair looked over in the corner of his cell. Two empty wooden bowls were stacked in the corner, two days since he had been literally thrown in the cell. Altair smiled and laughed in his head. It was September 3rd, his birthday. It had been 20 years since his father taught him how to fight. He was ten at the time, but it felt like yesterday. He remembered his tenth birthday. Coronado had made him a necklace out of stone and leather. He wore that necklace every day until it finally broke when Altair was 15. And Sirius had made him a pie and sewed him a blanket that went on his bed. Altair thought about how through the years, Sirius had never failed to give him a birthday present. No matter how mean Altair was to him, he would always come back to give him a gift on his birthday. Last years was a rope that was over 50 feet long, and that Altair used until the day, well, until the day Anna died. No present this year, Altair thought. He should return the favor someday. Maybe he should pass on what he learned, even though Altair had no idea what that meant. Teach him how to fight? Tell him how to shoot a crossbow? Maybe show him how to use a rope as a lasso? Altair had no idea. Maybe Sirius isn’t that bad after all, thought Altair. Altair chuckled and drew the numbers 3 and 0 on the dusty floor with his finger.
“Happy 30th, old boy” Altair whispered to himself. He sighed and leaned back against the stone wall, thinking about what he had seen when he was knocked out. “Pass on what you have learned”. He repeated those words in his mind over and over again. Altair’s train of thought was interrupted by the sound of movement. He looked up and saw General Bane strutting over to him. Bane smiled and spoke softly to him. “Hello there, my old friend.”
Altair snarled and spat at the ground. “I am no friend of yours.”
Bane sighed and shook his head.
“Do you not remember all those battles we fought side by side? All the training missions we went on together? Remember?”
Altair glared at him. “Things have changed, Bane. Our friendship is done.” Bane pulled up a stool and sat on it, the only thing separating Altair and him was a iron bar door.
“Oh but Altair, you and I are far from done. I mean, how can you be my second in command when you and I are not friends?” Bane questioned, sincerity in his eyes. Altair chuckled a mocking laugh.
“Ha. Me, work with you? You’ve got to be out of your mind. Why would someone like you want to hire me? I just killed my previous General, what’s stopping me from killing you?”
“Apart from these iron bars, nothing much. But that’s what I like about you. You have power, and you are not afraid to use it. You have been a loyal soldier in the past, and although you’ve had a rougher time lately, I think we can fix that. You are a superb soldier, without a question one of the best here. You’re obviously the perfect choice.”
Altair stared at the floor and thought for a moment. After a couple minutes of silence, Altair looked up and spoke. “If I say yes, can I come out of this cage?”
Now it was Bane’s turn to think. “Not immediately, as you DID just kill one of us. But I definitely think that you would be wiped of your criminal record once the administration approves it, which I know they will. They know how much of a worthy fighter you are as I do. But yes, you will. I couldn’t do all my work with you in the cage here, could I? So, what do you say? Would you like to join me, be able to help command our army?”
Altair got up and locked eyes with Bane. His voice rang out cold and clear. “I’d rather rot in this cell for eternity than join you. You’re no different then Apex. You’re just a cold-blooded killer, and you’d most likely backstab me first chance you get. I’m sure you want revenge after what has happened.”
“Funny, I could say the same things about you. Well, I see you’ve made your choice.” Bane’s face suddenly shifted to a more chilling expression. His cold voice spoke “No point in trying to argue with a madman. Your execution is in a day.”
Altair was disgusted. “A day? I thought it was on the fifth!”
Bane sneered and spoke “Your snide attitude has lost you a day. Enjoy your final hours, Altair.” Bane stood up and threw the stool aside. He shouted as he left. “Next time be more friendly to your elders! Oh wait, there won’t be a next time. Shame.” Bane laughed cruelly as he strutted out of the prison. Altair was left with, for the third time, shattered hope and almost no time left to live. He shuddered to think about his execution. He would most likely die from sadness before they killed him. Oh Anna, how I wish you were here right now. And Sirius, I wish I could tell you how sorry I am. How sorry I am for being the worst brother ever. A single tear fell down Altair’s cold cheek. Would he ever get to see his friend again? Only time will tell, He thought.