EDITED AND RE-UPLOADED ON A LARGER CANVAS TO SCALE
The Red Aces fav.me/dcft69a
The Queen of Hearts acts more as an Ace in her queendom. She rules alongside nobility that she keeps under her careful watch. She is known for her love of card games with a peculiar type of card, Noble Cards. Each card in her deck is the name of the richest families as well as some upcoming families with influence. But the odd part is how the cards only seem to be of now old and disappeared families. To disobey the queen is certain death for an entire family. The card game is simple, the richest family wins. And each living family also holds a card of shiny black metal with the name in goldleaf. Thought to be an heirloom but merely they allow the queen to listen in to dissent which her organization (The Red Aces) exposes and silences. When she lays out a card she can see the family and monitor anyone criticizing her views. For her to truly win this game of power she must siphon the life energy of an entire family, wiping them out but imbuing the cards with energy. Beneath the porcelain masks are said to lie a monster. When will this so called queen be stopped?
Monsieur Uller of House Uller received a summons to visit her Royal Highness the Garnet Queen. He walks up the gate and is let in by the guard noting his monogrammed hat with a golden "U". He walks past the courtyard and to a mahogany door. He is let in by two imposing guards each with a heart-shaped masquerade mask over their faces and long fitted red and gold robes holding halberds. He bows respectfully and enters the palace foyer. The royal herald greets him. “Bonjour Monsieur Uller, Her Majesty is in the Rouge Room, follow me please." The herald guided Monsieur Uller with a skipping gate. He opened the door.
"She shall be here soon Sir." The herald closed the door with a bow and Monsieur Uller entered the red and gold room. It was quite dark sans the sunlight from a skylight oculus in the ceiling in the central dome. In the middle of the room was a single red table and a dainty chair with writing on it, "Wait here please."
As soon as he had sat down, Her Majesty the Queen entered the room from the shadows. He bolted up and bowed accordingly as she motioned him to stand up straight and sit down at the table. The queen wore a beautiful dress consisting of a layered ruffled skirt, a tight corset of crimson and gold, and a ruff around her neck of delicate hearts and spikes. Her waist was pulled so small that she had a wasp waist, yet she seemed not to mind the strain. She had no skin showing as none had ever seen her bare. Upon her arms were delicate white opera gloves that came up to her puffy sleeves and her visage was a porcelain mask attached to a cowl that covered her entire head and neck with a dainty gem as the crown on the top perched carefully. Her face was an intricate painting of ruby eyeshadow that glistened like a star with thick golden eyeliner on the top lid and a ghostly white on the bottom waterline. She had no nose, just a garnet shamrock or "club" symbol. Her eyes were soulless voids, literally just holes. Her lips were painted red and her cheeks rosy. She had a peculiarity about her. Her face was so heavily made up that had she not spoke one would assume she were a talking helmet.
The queen pulled out a deck of black heart-shaped cards with names inscribed in gold and placed them on the table between Monsieur Uller and herself.
"Monsieur Uller. Do you know why you are here?" She asked.
"No, my queen, but I am here to answer the call." He answered.
"I brought you here to keep me entertained, to play a game and answer some questions. I have heard rumors Monsieur. Rumors of your family. Now, you would not defy me, would you? Because I'd hate to hear of your name besmirched by treachery from one of my best Red Aces." The queen said slowly and half seductively and scarily as she clutched Monsieur Uller's chin.
Monsieur Uller gulped, "No, Your Majesty."
The Queen showed Monsieur Uller the cards. Monsieur Uller noticed the names were not just of living families but were names going back as far as 300 years ago to now dead families.
"Are those--?" He asked and was interrupted.
"Oh yes, Monsieur. The game is simple, the card of the richer family wins. Double if they were of the Red Aces, and of course I do lack some. Oh pity. My U's are lacking. I do believe it would be fun had I your family name now would it?" The Queen grinned ear-to-ear.
"Excuse me Your Majesty? The heirloom? Our Noble Card has been in our family for five generations tying us to the queens of this land." Monsieur Uller said worried
"Precisely. Such a shame, what a big head gone to waste. I know! It'll look great on my mantle!" The queen laughed.
The queen motioned to a dark corner in the room and clapped, a servant came shortly after to bring something off the shelf from under a dome. The young servant boy sat the black dome in front of them both and backed away quickly to his post down the adjoined hall. The black dome had a magenta and black checkerboard cloth over it.
"Here, this! This will finish our game and your family's fate!" She removed the cloth. "You're the eyes!" She grinned.
Monsieur Uller stood up and his heart fell. Before him in the tall dome was a weird half flesh half paper and stone abomination of a mask eerily like the queen's face, and it lacked eyes. Next to it was a blank Noble Card.
"You know I've always wanted grey eyes, and this card with this mask is blank. I like to hand make and label all my masks you see. But I cannot finish this without those gorgeous orbs in your head or your family name! Oh, such a pity you were my best Aces... But perhaps this will finish my game. And you will be immortalized in this craft. Hee hee." She raised her hand and the exits were sealed.
"Now to do this I must remove my own mask." She turned around and smiled with her back facing him as Monsieur Uller froze, back up against a pink column. With a bit of rummaging she removed her cowl and dainty crown. Long ruby red hair fell below to her feet. When she turned before Monsieur Uller saw her face he blacked out and faded away. The formerly blank card read, "Uller." The queen won a new mask and a new card for her game, more power, and more control with the powerful completely oblivious. The queen called her herald with her back turned to him, hands behind her back, mask off, and looking out a window—
"Yes, your Majesty?" Asked the herald.
"Inform the Red Aces. And tell the Uller Business, they were found to be of lower suits and are no more. Oh, and one more thing... Have the Red Aces leave more pamphlets in the mail and at the main square. I cannot deny my citizens their safety.” The stern queen finished.
Her propaganda was working, her organization the Red Aces, an elite coalition of nobles loyal to her and unknowingly revealing and smashing the rebellion family by family... The Ace of Hearts is about to win the pot: the people's lives.