Two weeks had passed since the incident at the Randus’ mansion occurred and Soris was feeling better. The boy named Sish – a Deserter and the Fifteenth according to the Herald Reoter – had broken Soris’ arm and fractured a few ribs. He had just gotten better with the help of some herbs from a local medicine woman.
Soris tested his arm once more before finally dropping the sling to the ground of his single room home. Around him was the clutter of his past – pictures of his parents and his late wife, objects associated with childhood, and even a blade from his day as a regular officer. Despite the comfort of knowing he had had two weeks away from duty, SOris still felt the lingering pain of guilt.
How could he ever forget that now? Sish had told him of the innocents slaughtered under false charges, and the Divine Jim Randus had even confirmed it! It was true that there had to be death in order for new life to come about, but there had to be another way!
Soris shook his head and got up to dress. He should have felt annoyed at having to go to his duty as captain, but he found himself grateful for the distraction it would bring. Work always did that, despite Soris’ habit of being lazy at every moment he could. It was the only good thing about being a Captain; he always had work and problems to forget.
The day proved bright and sunny, a perfect day for patrolling. Outside Soris’ house, he saw many people walking and talking about the peace. The rebel boy’s capture had been publicized and was another ‘victory’ for these people. Soris didn’t see it that was, seeing as they lost many men – fourteen dead, to be pricise, and more than fifty injured – and taken two rebels. Nevermind the fact that Sish might be the savior of Jana! It was a mess, not a victory.
Someone passed by, a large box containing groceries floating behind them. The small woman was someone with a Greater Will, at least. SOris ignored him though. It wasn’t as if he was jealous of those who could actually use Will usefully, but he hated the flaunting of Will. Didn’t they see that no amount of Will would keep them strong and fit? In order to train the body, you had to use it. Soris saw his lack of will to be a blessing, not a curse.
Soon, Soris had made his way to his own Bunker, small as it was compared to most others. He was greeted by Grentle and a few other officers, who were ready to patrol. The last time Soris had seen Grentle was when they had discovered the missing food. Despite its disappearance and the danger that presented, the rebels had not done the same thing to any other storehouses. The Divine over that storehouse had not made a comment, of course, as his father was Grave Rim, leader of the rebels. Had they worked together?
The large man greeted him with the usual grunt and nod.
“Anything to report?” Soris asked him, not giving any of the officers a chance to congratulate him on recovering, like some looked about to do.
“Always official, aren’t you?” Grentle replied with a smile, his way of saying he was relieved. The man was never the most affectionate of people. Really that was what Soris loved about the man. “Anyway,” the large man continued, “the rebel boy that was captured is being kept in Herak’s Bunker and guarded by the Agents. We haven’t been told anything else.”
Soris nodded. That was good. Herak was the General of all Fetona Officers and his men – the Agents – were trained harshly, unlike the regular officer. Where a regular officer would cower, the Agents would delve in. They were said to be the toughest of all security officers, but Soris doubted it. They could beat any regular officer, surely, but Grentle and Soris might be able to take them.
Still, they were the best to guard someone as dangerous as Sish. Even if he tried to grab them with his Will, they had air pockets placed unnaturally in their arms to protect against it. Yes, Soris could at least rest in knowing no more officers would die.
“Alright, men,” Soris shouted, gaining the attention of all of them. Nash was there, and a younger lad named Rain, as well, but other than those two and Grentle, Sish did not recognize the others. New recruits to replace his lost ones, then? They did look young. “We are heading to patrol the southern border of Fetona and then to the Plains of Achilles!”
One of the lads looked confused. “Apologies, sir,” he said formally, surprising Soris, “But I have never heard of the Plains of Achilles.”
Was he an idiot? “I didn’t say…” Soris trailed off, realizing what he had said. Achilles? What sort of name was that? He had meant to say Lordra, the near invincible warrior who had fought before Fetona was created. He had died from blood loss after being shot in the heel with an arrow. It was said to be his only weakness, as other arrows never connected.
So why had Soris used Achilles instead of Lordra? Well, it didn’t really matter. “I meant the Plains of Lordra,” he said, his voice stern and making the lads nearly jump. Grentle grunted a laugh and followed as Soris walked off.
They had left the horses behind, so it took a while to get to Stanton Gate, and then onto the Plains. This was normal, though. Soris preferred walking to take longer and so he could keep his mind full of darker thoughts. It was a pity he would be gone for a few days, but with the supplies they would pick up before leaving and the plentiful animals waiting to be hunted, there would be no starving. And the extra work would help strengthen his men. Despite his hatred of working, Soris kept his body healthy and strong, so he would make sure his officers did the same.
But, Soris would never leave Fetona that day.