More story in between rounds, this one being our first (chronological) sighting of the Joker thus far. What will become of the Resistance? We already know they don’t make it to the King alive.
Or do they?
Big Two stood alongside his Butler before his employees, associates and other supporters of his cause - now a sprawling resistance of incredible diversity. There was not a Diamond in sight, just the way he liked it. Well, aside from Canasta in his new cyborg body. It was a marvel of modern mechanics - a piece of equipment that might even hold up against a Decimator. But hopefully it wouldn’t come to that.
He mustered up a combination of Clubs and Hearts magic to amplify his voice, and cleared his throat.
“Gentlemen, it’s a red-letter day! For too long have our rulers oppressed us, fed us lies to keep us complacent. For too long have we let them slave us to their will! We are the people of Chicane. We are the power of Chicane! We have rights, and the beaurocracy threatens to take it away! It’s time to remind our ‘superiors’ who keeps this continent afloat. Who allows us all to live another day on this rock. Who allows them to tread all over us, as if we were only dirt!”
He paused. “And who will never let them do so again.”
The resistance cheered, a deafening bellow that echoed for miles through the cavernous depths. Two resumed his speech, thrusting his index finger upwards.
“Above us is the castle of Spades, the home of our first oppressor. To do battle in the belly of the beast against the greatest Spades mage to grace this continent, is an honour like no other. And we shall not rest until the bastard is no longer. Tonight we rise up, rise up and kill the king!”
Another cheer. The man looked up at the cavern roof, and raised his other hand. His Club tattoo glowing once more, the roof tore itself down and formed into a staircase, leading up into the bottom floor of the castle dungeon. With a twitch of his fingers, the cells were opened.
The guards looked down at them in horror, at Big Two standing before his army. And with another twitch, their blood was spattered across the walls.
One last cheer, and then the ragtag army charged up the stairs into the bowels of the castle.
“They’re very brave.” Said Two’s butler, stepping up with his master. “It’s as if they have nothing to lose.”
Canasta chuckled behind him. “That’s because they do.”
Big Two reached the top of the steps, and with a thought returned the staircase back to its original foundations.
“Or maybe, just maybe, they’re finally seeing how alive they really are.”
Far away at the edge of Chicane, a ring of incredibly beautiful light shot up like a wall around the continent. It was believed that the Ace of Clubs forged this wall as an impenetrable defence against the beings below the clouds. Regardless of its origin it was spectacular, and its beauty provided a backdrop for the agricultural workers residing in the outer regions of the city.
One worker paused from picking crops to acknowledge a noise he was hearing. It sounded distant, almost like a glacier breaking apart.
Turning towards the sound, he realised what it was.
The wall was cracking.
Before he could call his fellow workers, the wall shattered and shards of blinding colour shot across the countryside. Everywhere the lightning-fast rays hit, fire began to spread with incredible speed.
Soon, they were all surrounded by beautiful, deadly flames. The workers looked up through the smoke to see an incredibly bright light above them. A silhouette formed within its glow, looking down on them. It pointed at them, and the white magic began to accelerate the flames. An an instant they were engulfed.
The pale, deformed creature hovered above the inferno. It looked around the landscape, searching for any magic that could be inhibiting its vision. For the moment it could not see the spire, but the next best thing had caught its eye: a castle on the horizon. One adorned with the image of a spade. Its twisted, toothless grin widened further than its already freakish length. And mustering the ivory magic once more, its silhouette shot toward its new destination.
Chicane’s days were numbered. And soon, they would be no more.