"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within." - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The man who fights against his own country is never a hero." - Victor Hugo
"An empire toppled by its enemies can rise again. But one that crumbles from within, that's dead. Forever." - Helmut Zemo
It was surprisingly easy to lure them back to the Island.
Historia almost couldn't believe it, actually. Both in how utterly simple her task had been to complete, and at the utter audacity the rest of the world (or what was left of it, at least) had to send the very people that had doomed Paradis for peace talks.
(In private, Historia applauded the world for it. It told her all she needed to know of their true wish for 'peace.')
Even more to her anger, the damned Alliance, as many of Paradis had taken to calling them, had agreed, as if they had forgotten how many Eldian lives had fallen by their hands. A fifth of the Island's entire population gone, and even more after that, when Marley invaded again. Eaten, stomped, shot, or turned into Titans themselves and turned against their brethren. Did they think that suddenly becoming the heroes of the outer world would change that? Did they think the people had suddenly forgotten the Fall of Wall Maria? The tragedy that had befallen Ragako?
The only thing Histria would ever thank them for now was that they killed Floche (she had actually felt somewhat sad when shed heard that- Floche had been a true ally, surprisingly, and had advocated for more political power to be returned to her) and most of the Jaegerist hierarchy in their mad quest to stop Eren from saving them (a quest that had succeeded somehow. She would be asking Eren why the moment she stepped into the afterlife), leaving the way clear for her to assume control of the state, something that she immediately did before the chaos could set in. Hans, the Jaegerist that had been assigned to her to act as her husband, had been a great help in that, constantly relaying messages to the government she had set up.
Historia would admit that, in times like these, Rod Reiss and the Kings of the Walls before her had the right of it. It was much, much easier to control people who had no idea they were being controlled.
She, of course, still appeared to the public from time to time. Giving speeches, advocating loyalty to the Crown, and generally building up Paradis' fanaticism in the Jaegerist cause. It served her as much as it served the people who thought her only a puppet, in truth. They kept her safe, and she ruled them with as much benevolence as she could for her increasingly militant people.
Because, at this point, there were only two things Historia wanted. Only two things the Queen of the Walls cared about.
The first… was that she wanted her child to be safe. She wanted her child be protected. She wanted her child to live a long, peaceful life.
Armin had robbed them of that dream.
Oh, Historia knew what the world truly wished for. These peace talks, this mummer's farce they insisted on playing... It was only to buy time. Time for the world to rebuild its cities, its armies. Time for them to seethe in their hatred for this island she and her child called home.
It wouldn't be today. It wouldn't be tomorrow.
But, one day, the world would come for them, and there would be nothing Paradis could do. The Walls were gone, and with them the bluff of a full Rumbling and all the defenses they provided. They had no Titans to bargain with. No navy to stave them off (though they had very thoroughly questioned the Hizurese that had remained on the Island, seeing as Hizuru itself was flattened. No air force to rain fire from above, no anti-air batteries. No way to protect their (in comparison to the outer nations) feeble military might off their island. They would be forever stuck maintaining a defense that would inevitably fail.
And that brought her to the second thing she wanted.
Vengeance on the ones who had doomed her child's future to be that of war and destruction. Vengeance on the people she had called friends, once.
She had known where Mikasa was for two years now, eking out a living in Shiganshina. Historia had let her be, for the friendship they had once shared, but the Ackerman's reprieve had come to an end, now.
Historia might have been worried when she sent word for Chancellor Klausse, her intermediary in the government and the official head-of-state, to order the arrest of Mikasa two days before the ambassadors were set to arrive, but the power of the Titans had been rend from the world, and with it, the Ackerman abilities.
Mikasa was no more special than the rest of them now.
And it had showed, because a day later, Hans had told her that the arrest had been a success, and that her former friend was now housed in a comfortable cell to await her court-martial.
Historia had thought maybe to visit her for a moment before dismissing it. They would see each other soon enough.
Then, at last, word came that a ship and been spotted on the horizon, en-route for the docks.
The ambassadors had arrived.
A/N: Guten tag, everyone.
So, for those of you who are following my other AoT fic that I update every month or so, you probably know that I did not like the ending at all, and that I said that I wouldn't write anything about it.
Well, apparently I was lying to myself when I said that, because, hey, look at this! Here I am, writing something I never wanted to because I have to get this out of my head and move on. Ugh.
Not to worry, though. This is, at most, a two-shot only. I don't have the time to actually make this a full-on story, nor do I want to. That would involve me writing forward into the future and about Paradis' eventual (because it is eventually coming) demise, and that is something, as an Eldian sympathizer, I'd rather not do.
So, um, yeah. If you came here expecting happy thoughts, I'd recommend you head for the door. I'm not going to lie to you, there's gonna be Alliance-bashing. Hopefully done realistically for reasons I'll rant about in the next and last, chapter of this, but, well. My feelings for a good chunk of the Alliance are represented quite well by the quotes.
But, well. It is what it is.
Until next time.