February 1, 1587
The prisoner was on her knees, bound in chains of silver. She was tall yet pale. Blonde and beautiful, in a simple white dress.
At a casual glance, she did not appear to be a threat that merited the presence of two armor clad knights. Even so, they stood watch over the woman as Edmund Grindal, the Archbishop of Canterbury, carried out his interrogation.
“Speak your name, creature,” the archbishop commanded.
The woman lifted her head, timidly. “But you know me, my lord.”
“I will have your true name,” the archbishop said.
“Lady Beatrice,” the woman said. “The house of Rutledge has been a friend to the church, vicar. Why you do this is beyond me.”
From her throne, Queen Elizabeth observed the spectacle. The monarch’s face had been painted milk white, sans for her red lips, which matched her towering red hair. She wore an elaborate dress of gold, replete with ruffles and frills.
Queen Elizabeth’s most trusted advisors watched with her. To her right stood the scholarly Sir Francis Walsingham, the queen’s principal secretary and master of espionage. His face was very grim, matching the severity of the occasion.
Famed explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, on the other hand, breezed through life with reckless abandon. He fidgeted with the earring in his ear as he observed from the queen’s left.
“This is most improper treatment for a noble woman,” the Queen said.
“Indeed,” Sir Francis replied. “Yet I assure you, Your Majesty, the Lady Beatrice is no mere mortal woman.”
The archbishop reached into his pocket and retrieved a vial of water.
“Do you know what this is, creature?” the archbishop asked.
“Now that you mention it, I am rather parched,” Lady Beatrice said.
“Hold her,” the archbishop commanded.
The guards obeyed. One grabbed her shoulders. The other put his iron clad mitt underneath her chin and held her face up.
“I do not care for this shameful display, Sir Francis,” the Queen said.
“Hold fast, Your Majesty,” Sir Francis said.
“Do we ever get to see this bitch’s tits?” Sir Walter inquired.
The archbishop held the vial over Lady Beatrice’s forehead and slowly tipped it.
“Speak your true name,” the archbishop said.
The prisoner remained silent. The archbishop allowed a single drop of water to fall on the lady’s forehead. When it landed, it immediately burned its way through her skin, causing her to cry out in pain.
“How is this possible?” the Queen asked.
The archbishop turned to the monarch. “Holy water, Your Highness. Blessed and sanctified this morn.”
The wound quickly healed, but the archbishop flicked another drop, causing the prisoner even more pain.
“This stops when you reveal your true name,” the archbishop said.
Lady Beatrice winced. “I don’t know what you’re insinuating but…”
She was interrupted with another drop, this one on her cheek. “Arrrgh!”
The holy man opened his bible.
“A reading from the Book of Mark,” the archbishop said as he cleared his throat. “‘And so, they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces.”
The Queen whispered to Sir Francis. “She’s clearly bound by chains.”
“Silver chains,” the spymaster replied. “The difference is palpable.”
“My boredom is immeasurable,” Sir Walter added. “Make with her tits already.”
The archbishop carried on. “No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him.”
The archbishop stopped the reading and dripped another drop onto the lady’s face, once again resulting in a scream and a quickly healed burn.
“Reveal your name,” the archbishop said.
Lady Beatrice had grown annoyed. “The Faerie Princess of Dunshire.”
The archbishop was not amused. Drip. Burn. Scream.
“‘And crying out with a loud voice, he said, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me. For he was saying to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’ And Jesus asked him, ‘What his your name?’”
The archbishop splashed a whole streak of water across the prisoner’s face this time. She cried out in agony.
“What is your name?!” the archbishop cried.
He flicked the holy water into the lady’s face again. “What is your name?!”
The third flick did it. The lady’s eyes turned blank and blood red. She opened her mouth and a pair of sharp fangs popped out.
She looked up at the archbishop, cocked her head to one side and said, ever so sweetly, “My name is Legion…for we are…many.”
The Queen looked on in disbelief. “Holy fucking shit.”
“Holy fucking shit indeed,” Sir Francis said.