Tied to the DeserterMature

Kanam smiled as Soris Vandeel entered his lavish sitting room. It was yet another sign that the Radiant God was working today. Kanam expected at least a few days for the man to visit, but he had come in just a few hours. Sadly, it would be nightfall in around two hours. Such was the way of things in Jana, though. Balance must be maintained.

“Herald Reoter,” Vandeel said as he bowed deeply. Kanam did not understand such pleasantries, but accepted the respectful motion of the captain. It would not do to deny someone their ways.

“Please, Captain,” Kanam replied, “Take a seat anywhere you like.” Kanam pointed to the chairs lining the wall instead of being in the center of the room, as the sitting room served two purposes. The first of those purposes was a meeting place for groups to speak with Kanam, but the second purpose was for younger children who came to take lessons. The later was something Kanam enjoyed thoroughly. What better way to help Fetona than to teach the next generation?

The captain sat in a seat closest to the door and relaxed a little. Was he there on instinct, like a warrior guarding a gate, or was he there so he could escape if he needed to? It was a curious though, but one Kanam did not give any more attention to. Instead, he simply took a seat a few chairs down from Vandeel. Personal space was something to be respected as well.

“So, for what reason have you come, Soris Vandeel,” Kanam said slowly, his voice full of the intended warmth it usually carried. He wasn’t like some of the Divines who acted nice and friendly, then attacked, – Kanam truly wanted to be friendly with everyone! – but Vandeel seemed to retreat slightly.

“I had assumed you wanted to see me, Herald,” Vandeel replied, his long dark hair hiding part of his face now, “Or was that letter simply informative?”

It was a challenge, to be sure, but Kanam did not want to fight. “It was both, I simply wished to see if you had anything you wanted to talk about after knowing a little of the truth.” The captain sat in silence for a moment, apparently lost in thought, so Kanam took the opportunity to truly examine the man.

Soris Vandeel was no small man, as he stood almost a head taller than the average person and had muscles obtained from all his training to make him seem even larger. Despite this, he gave off a very small presence. To Kanam, he looked like a confused child rather than a skilled officer of the Fetona Security Force. As for his face, it was easy enough. Soris was seen as harsh and calculated, but really the man was overly cautious and even lazy, yet honorable. It was easy for a Herald like Kanam to see. Yes, this man would be trustworthy.

Finally, he spoke.

“What can you tell me about the Deserters?” The captain asked, pushing his long black hair behind his ear and staring at Kanam intently. Such authority! Maybe Vandeel should have been born a Herald, or even a Divine.

“As I said in the letter,” Kanam replied with his warmest of voices, the Deserters are the people that inhabited the lands before us. They killed themselves off with war and deserted the Trinity Gods, thus gaining their name. They were thought to be extinct when the original world was destroyed.”

Vandeel was nodding. “I get that, what I was getting at is how do you know this Sish is a Deserter? There is no proof they still exist, and wasn’t he born in Fetona?”

Kanam shook his head. “I have no knowledge of where it was he appeared from, but I am sure it wasn’t from a citizen of Jana. His anger and looks prove that much.”

Vandeel looked confused now. Was he picking up on something? “How does anger and looks play into this? Forgive me for doubting the Trinity and you, Herald, but I am not certain there ever were deserters.”

Of course he would believe such things. There was a certain affinity with the Gods when you had a powerful Will. It allowed you to act and feel like the Gods, so if there was truth in words or speculation, Kanam and the other Heralds would know. It was this very fact that led to the discovery of that force called electricity. It was often the reason the Herald’s counsel was sought.

“I have not the knowledge of how many or where, but I do know they exist, captain,” Kanam said with a smile. He attempted to stand, but fell back down, beckoning the captain to come and aid the aging Herald. It had been a long life, but the end was coming, of that Kanam was certain. He would need Lamere to find the Lost God before then, though, so death would have to wait a little longer.

“Careful, Herald,” Vandeel said as he steadied Kanam. Such a dutiful man he was. Lamere was the only one who compared.

“I am fine, now I feel as if you have one more question, captain.”

The captain nodded.

“Then speak it and I will answer,” Kanam commanded softly.

“Why do you think I am the one who can help you to capture Si- I mean, the Deserter?”

Kanam stared for a long time at Vandeel’s rough face. He was clearly worried, but about what? “I do not know,” Kanam admitted after a moment, “But I feel as if you have to be the one to bring him around to the truth of things. Jim Randus has tried, but he is a target of hatred for the Deserter. I can only see that you are tied to him. That is why I called for you.”

The End

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