Excerpt From Episode 1: My task is now in motion. It is Ekdikisi and I cannot fail. That is good for me. That is bad for him. They say it is a sign the gods are with a person when the first phase of their endeavor is a success. As I approach the Great City, I have decided to start to chronicle the events that would follow from now. It is quite simple for an undertaking so elaborate. It is in three stages and I have accomplished the first. Find him, reunite with him and kill him!
Read Episode 1: CLICK HERE
Howard Dwight of the Great City Border Battalion, Northern Gate, was having a perfectly normal day. He woke up at the sixth hour of the day a bowed to his north; to the direction of the throne of the Emperor, had a wash for the fun of it, drank some oak-bark beer, yelled at a couple of recruits laughing their armour off to whatever obscene joke they had just heard and settled down to work at the border, if it could be called that. The damned migrants never came this way. Even with the current heavy influx of hundreds of young men from all over the Allied Kingdoms, they had not screened a soul since the last full moon and it was hardly surprising.
The Northern Gate of the Great City is something of a legend in itself. It is said to have been reinforced by every Emperor that ever ruled the Great City. Only it withstood the plundering of the Great War and is said to be home to the meanest men in all the Allied Kingdoms who answered to no man but the Emperor himself. They were perhaps the reason why the Rulers of the other Cities kept the alliance. Any attempt to rebel would ultimately mean having to deal with the men of the Northern Gate. That made for quality nightmare material.
Howie the “Showie” as Howard was jocularly called resumed his duty. By noon he would be relieved of shift and would then visit the buttery for some of that splendid beer again. It felt to him like exactly the kind of drink he needed to sit down to after such boredom of guard duty and complain about everything except the beer. He couldn’t complain about such an excellent beer as the one he had earlier in the morning but he would complain about everything else. He missed the Great War and longed for some action. Boredom and oldaAge do not mix well. In a few years he would be required to retire and that was just too bad, he considered himself one of the finest soldiers in Allied Kingdoms. It wasn’t his fault he never got promoted beyond these borders. His luck was simply against him and he had had his way with that fine virgin during the Great War. Well, she had it coming, the little brat. Always swinging her waist while she brought him relief food. How was he to know she was a virgin? How was he to know she was the Emperor’s tribute? It was by sheer luck he had escaped with his head intact but he had served thirty-six moons of solitary confinement. Promotion be damned!
It was almost noon and time for his shift to end when he saw a youth being screened from the 50 yards perimeter boundary that had been setup before the wall. Anyone who tried to start something there was simply a dead man walking as the archers had enough time and space to turn them into a porcupine before they got close enough to the gates. Apparently satisfied that the only things that the migrant had to cut with was his teeth and fingernails, they passed him and he began to walk slowly towards the gate. He looked intimidated. Good. Howard could do with someone to pick on.
“Halt!” he bawled on top of his coarse voice, fixing the lad with a stare that would have bored through the Emperor’s finest armour. It seemed to have worked because the boy swallowed hard and blinked furiously.
“State your name and mission,” continued Howie. He was thoroughly enjoying himself.
“My name is Pete. Pete Rosenberg of the Lesser Yorkshire and I’ve come to compete in the Annual Jousting Tournament.”
Howie sighed as he fished out the register to file the piece of information he had just been given. He was once exactly like this. Eager to enlist in the tournament and wishing to the gods that he be enlisted in the Army of the Emperor. He looked at the kid and softened a bit. He was good looking. Too good looking for a lad in fact. One of those soft pretty boys from the middle of nowhere who would have spent hours daydreaming of how fancy they would look fancy in the armour of the Emperor’s Army. As he handed him a name tag bearing his name and mission, he noticed the boy had a waist so feminine that it reminded of the girl from the war and his fingers closed in what was unmistakably a few coins. The lad smiled weakly and said “The Gods bestow me your luck, Sire. Thank you for being so kind and you can get yourself some fine beer with that token.” Howie beamed delightfully. He liked this kid. Hours later, behind the walls of the Great City, Ekdikisi settled herself in the motel room she had just rented and began to write again.
Read Episode 3, CLICK HERE
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