Fandom: TURN: Washington's Spies (tv show) Genre: drabbles/flash fiction; introspection; missing scenes / alternate scenes Timeframe: mid-Season Two (1778) Characters: Anna Strong; mentions of others Notes: I wrote these on a whim after binge watching the show. I really love Anna's character, but I wish she had more agency. Alas, given the time period, I think any more agency would really challenge the historical accuracy (from what I understand, great liberties have been taken with her character already). It's rare that I write something completely canon compliant, but I think this is pretty close. The show weaves such a tangled web, it's really hard to distill the relationships and situations in a few words. I apologize if these don't make a lot of sense without knowing the show. Companion Major Hewlett was, to Anna’s great surprise, not a bad companion. When she had accepted his invitation of friendship, she had hoped, but not really expected, that he had enough honor that he would not threaten her virtue. It seemed that her hopes were fulfilled, he made no improper advances on her, and he even treated her with genuine kindness and respect. In a world without the war, she might even have come to call him a true friend. What a silly notion that was—how could there be a world without the war, when the war was the world? Avocation His interest in astronomy fascinated her. He could talk about stars and constellations for hours on end. She didn’t mind his lectures, but it always made her think there must have been much less to do in England, if people had time to name every pinpoint of light. In America, the earth provided plenty of work; there was no reason to gaze toward the stars. He was excited now, as he told her about some movement in the heavens. She smiled politely. He might have been an astronomer, if he hadn’t come to America to crush everything she held dear. --- Responsibility Anna slipped into the stable and approached Major Hewlett’s horses. His beloved Bucephalus was gone, but he still cared for the others and Anna had made it her responsibility to ensure they were cared for in his absence. She stroked the velvety muzzle of the nearest horse as her mind wandered. She’d hoped to hear from Caleb by now, hoped for confirmation that her letter had reached Washington and Abe would soon be free. She looked into the horse’s eye and had a sudden thought. She was sick of waiting. Maybe it was time to take matters into her own hands. Agency She could mount up and ride to see General Washington herself. He wouldn’t say no if she implored him in person, would he? After all she’d risked for him, he would have to grant her an audience. She would tell him what happened, explain everything. Then he would have to act, and act quickly. Anna’s eyes flitted around the stable, coming to rest on a saddle leaning against the wall across the aisle. She took a step towards it. She could do it, she had to. She couldn’t stand to sit idle one more day while Abe rotted away in prison. Reality Anna stopped short. Someone would surely notice her leaving and try to stop her. But maybe she could evade them. She reached for the saddle. Hesitated. She hadn’t ridden a horse since she was a girl, would she even remember how? She would figure it out, it couldn’t be that hard. She touched the leather. Even if she got out of town, she had no idea how to get to Washington. The forest was dangerous, even to those who knew their way. She backed up, the saddle still on the ground. She couldn’t possibly make it, not on her own. --- Alone Anna Strong had no allies. Abe was held prisoner far away. Caleb was silent. Before, she’d known there were Rebels in Setauket, even if they were hidden. Unseen, they’d been a comfort—if war were to suddenly erupt, she would have someone to run to. She could pick a side, declare her loyalty once and for all, and there would be others who stood beside her. But no longer. The others had fled. She had too, in fact. But the thought of leaving Abe alone had been too much and she had returned. Now Abe was gone. She stood alone. Reputation Her reputation was in tatters. Still married to a known Rebel. Gossip of an affair with a suspected Rebel. All the while being courted by a British officer. And now kicked out of White Hall, with nowhere left to go. She was trash to the townspeople, they scarcely even made eye contact with her. There was one person in all the town that did not despise Anna. The bitter irony was that he was the one man Anna despised above all others. How sly of Mary to know this. How cruel of Mary to turn that knowledge to her advantage. Nothing Mary was insistent—desperate—as she pleaded to Anna. Didn’t Mary realize that, as desperate and hopeless as Mary found herself, Anna was ten times moreso? She did. Of course she did. Anna had nothing. Nothing. But, she supposed, that meant she had nothing to lose. Still, what Mary suggested was abhorrent on a level that could hardly be described. Anna would do anything for Abe. Anything but that. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing to lose. The words churned in Anna’s mind until all she could see was one option. If there was only one, it wasn’t really an option, was it? Devil Abe was chained in a dark cellar. He was starving, he was sick, he was injured. He cried out in pain and no one comforted him. It had been a long time; his hope was nearly depleted. Anna blinked and swallowed hard, the image almost too much to bear. Resolutely, she approached the door—the threshold to hell. She paused, losing her nerve. She started to turn away, but then she saw Abe again—beaten, bloody, suffering. Every muscle in her body screamed for her to run in the opposite direction. She lifted her hand and knocked on the demon’s door.