Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Scout's Oath - Chapter 22

< Chapter 21                                                                                                   Chapter 23 >
Our hero searches the Aerie for the missing Queen of Mordan!

As I neared the end of the passage, I heard voices.  They  came from behind a closed door, one without a little window cut into it.  The men were involved in some kind of bantering discussion.  I couldn't afford the time to figure out what was happening behind the door.  Even if the queen wasn't in danger, the other airship could arrive at any time.

I opened the door and strode in, my gaze sweeping the room.  Five men sat around a table to my right, dice and wine before them.  To my left, a sixth man stared at the queen, tossing a knife from hand to hand.

The queen's arms were spread wide, tied to iron rings.  Another rope hobbled her feet.  Slashed and cut clothing was piled on the floor, leaving the queen wearing only her shift and the underclothes beneath it.  She stared at the far wall, ignoring all within the room.

Time to make my play.  "What is the meaning of this?"

All heads turned my way.

"Who are you?" asked the one with the knife.  The others rose, drawing swords.

I continued with my act.  "I'm the man our employer sent to insure the prisoners' safety.  Give me that knife and get away from her!"

I held out my left hand, continuing toward the man.  He looked to someone at the table.

"Your word don't cut it around here," someone at the table said.

Within reach of the knife wielder, I drew my sword and slashed the blade from his hand.  He retreated toward the table.

"Who am I?" I said.  "I am David Rice, personal guard to Her Highness, Princess Callan of Mordan.  Surrender now or die!"

So much for subtlety!  Has our hero taken on more than he can handle?  Find out in Chapter 23, coming Friday!