James: The worst danger

I only trusted Rebecca as long as I could see her; what she did when I wasn't looking was anyone's guess. So, for that reason, I naturally doubted every word that came out of her mouth, but that didn't mean that I could ignore what she had said. Even if her words just had a sliver of truth to them, that was reason enough to investigate further. If Rebecca was telling the truth, Eliza and her team of spies had to be forewarned as soon as possible.

But, I couldn't go running to Eliza with what little I knew. I had to find out more, so I decided to pay a visit to Captain Kirkpatrick. I was never able to get to him, though. The area in and around the army base was abuzz with activity. I tried to stop a lieutenant to ask him what was going on as he ran past me. Without even looking to see who I was, he brushed my hand away, continuing on his journey undeterred.

As I approached Kirkpatrick's office, Hiram was leaving, shutting the door behind him. I quickened my pace to catch up to him. "What's going on?" I asked, slightly out of breath.

"Haven't you heard?" He answered with a question and then continuing in mock sarcasm, "Oh, I guess you don't hear much in court, do you?"

"Well, I heard that there is a new weapon that might be used soon." My reply was enough to halt the both of us.

He shook his head. "I suppose we need to work on our secrecy. That wasn't suppose to be common knowledge."

Placing a hand on his shoulder, I asked, "So, it's true?"

"Well, yes," Hiram replied, "we are gearing up for battle as we speak." Waving one hand in a wide arcing gesture, he continued, "As you can obviously tell."

"Obviously," I whispered, the only reply I thought appropriate. "What is this new weapon?"

"You don't have enough clearance for that!"

"Aren't I training to be an officer?" I asked, which didn't seem to phase him. So, I continued, trying another tactic. "Besides, if the battle is soon, what harm can I do? Iberan forces will soon know, anyway. Shouldn't I know before them?"

Hiram let out a long sighing breath before speaking. "I suppose you are correct." After a pause, he continued, "An alchemist stumbled upon a formula that when ignited with fire or a spark of some kind explodes. This loud, fast burning powder will not only take the Iberans by surprise but hopefully hurt a few in the process."

I smiled despite my inner disgust. "How exciting!" I lied, and it seemed to work, for Hiram slapped me on the shoulder, smiling himself. "What can I do to help?" I asked, continuing my ruse.

"You are just in time my friend. There are a group of infantry that need escorted from the barracks to the transport rendezvous. Do you know where both of those are?"

"Yes," I lied again. "I will get that done for you right away. Anything I can do to help." Without a further word, Hiram was on his way, soon around a corner and out of sight. I contemplated my situation for a moment. To keep whatever cover I had established intact would require that I at least attempt to fulfill my assignment, but weighing the likely scenarios in mind, it seemed that the last thing I needed to worry about was my precious cover. So, instead, I made my way to Eliza's residence.

Her servant greeted me at the door. I skipped the normal pleasantries. "I need to see Eliza right now!" When the servant hesitated, eying me with a frown, I added, "The Iberan army is about to experience the worst danger it has ever had to face." As soon as the words were out of my mouth, Eliza poked her head around the door, practically pushing the servant out of the way.

The End

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