True Love

FAO: General White
Priority: High


First, Sir, let me apologise for the delay in the sending of this report. As I’m sure you’re aware, we’re being hit pretty hard on Beaumont, and our prisoner has taken up much of what little time has been available. I am pleased, however, to report the unreserved success in turning “The Beast”: he’s one of ours now.

The process has not been without its complications, however. I’m sure by now you’ve heard the rumours, so allow me to address them directly. It is true that I have married him. I understand this might seem a suspicious move, to put it mildly. To explain why I have taken this unorthodox step, some background into Adam, and the procedures we used to secure his loyalty, is required.

You are no doubt aware of his noble background. Lacking a father, records indicate it was his mother who took charge of the initially successful attempt to repel an invasion by King Cole. It appears that during the brief détente between Beaumont and New Constantinople, Rose was made a goodwill ambassador to the planet, and she and the young Adam became friends. This early association has proved both an asset and a hindrance, as it has left him with a frankly baffling affection for the Rose Reds which, though it has been useful once or twice (not least in the instance of his capture) we are only recently reaching a point where he is willing to engage them with violence, and even then only to ensure my personal safety.

I suspect, and you will pardon the psychological flight of fancy, that Rose was the only person, prior to myself, to show Adam any kindness he perceived as genuine. Growing up in noble halls, he would have been surrounded by courtiers vying for self-interested advancement; quick to turn if not satisfied. Combine that with a distant mother attempting to keep a besieged world from falling apart and the ambitious Suitor who was ultimately his downfall, not to mention his later experiences on the streets, and you may begin to understand the mindset of a man who has never not been defending himself.

We have little information on the Suitor, but it appears that, viewing Adam as threat to their ambitions, they had him abducted, scarred beyond all recognition and abandoned in one of the most desolate corners of the world to die. Ironic that, achieving his ambitions of power, the Suitor was one of the first to die in the second invasion, the initial field test of the Rose Reds.

Adam, of course, survived, but his experiences in the wilds and his now frankly repulsive visage had changed him into the man not unreasonably referred to as “The Beast”. His physical strength and ferocity, combined with a noble’s training and education, allowed him to quickly work his way up the ranks of the assorted criminal gangs of Beaumont, and it seems that, within a decade, he managed to become the head of one of the most extensive illegal networks on the planet.

It was his overt Crown sympathies that brought him to our attention. While most underworld figures are happy to either work with or beside resistance operatives, The Beast was not. Whether due to misplaced affection for the Rose Reds or some sense of gratitude to the Crown forces for the very public and very painful execution of the Suitor, his criminal network dedicated itself to rooting out resistance operatives. We lost a lot of good people.

In the end it was remarkably easy to capture The Beast. After cutting down a Rose in front of him, we took advantage of his rage to entrap him. It still took a dozen of our strongest to hold him, though, as reports of his strength have been, if anything, understated.

Conversion was a drawn-out process, but not a complicated one. As you may well imagine from his background, The Beast has fought quite literally tooth and nail throughout his life, and simple torture was going to be ineffective. What proved to be exceptionally effective was a combination of torture (from our more experienced operatives) and kindness (from me).

By setting myself up in a nursing role and tending to his wounds, both physical and mental, I was able work on his will directly. The Beast was almost pathetically grateful for my ministrations, to the point where I honestly believe that no-one since Rose has treated him with anything other than fear and hatred.

The gradual building of a rapport, increased intimacy, and small but significant demonstrations of trust brought him closer and closer to rebel allegiance. After a year he declared he loved me, at which point I decided to put his loyalty to the test.

You must understand, sir, that the decision to allow my own capture was not one I undertook lightly, and had I failed in my task of converting The Beast I was more than willing to die for such a mistake. Yet I had to be sure that my efforts had been successful, that his full and total dedication was ensured.

In the end he killed over a dozen Rose Reds to rescue me, so I would count it as a success.

Thus we come to the point of my marriage. I have, to one degree, failed: Adam has no real loyalty to the cause. He does, on the other hand, have an almost fanatical dedication to me personally. There was really only one course of action to take if we are to ensure that he remains a resistance asset, and one that I have duly taken.

In truth, I cannot deny a certain level of affection for The Beast, one that makes marriage not at all unappealing. There is an openness and honesty to him that is most refreshing when working among spies and bombers. I am, as you are no doubt aware, originally from Marmontel, and there are virtually none among the pale folk of Beaumont who do not treat my ethnicity with some suspicion. All except The Beast, that is, who on first meeting avoided the slurs I was am accustomed to from prisoners. Instead he observed that I held my hand as if accustomed to a pistol’s weight.

He is not as foolish as he sometimes seems, and I sometimes wonder if he sees through my ploys. Even if he does, his love and his loyalty are genuine, as has been proved on numerous occasions. Perhaps someday I shall love him back, but war is not place for such ruminations.

With The Beast’s resources at our disposal, I would estimate Crown forces on Beaumont will reach a point of instability within the month, and I hope my next report will confirm this estimate.