Saturday, April 2, 2016

The King's Challenge #261 and #262

TKC 261 and 262

Leaving the four bodies behind, Damin and I drag our two captives to a clearing. While we are tying them to trees loud crashing sounds reach us.

Someone is coming, this time without subterfuge.

“Lord Makar!” someone hollers.

Commander Gennerin. I make a face at Damin. The commander’s timing is off. Damin and I now will not have the freedom to question our prisoners, at least not in the manner to extract swift answers. He mutters under his breath, nodding thereafter. He understands.

“Here!” I shout.

Soon the man himself enters the clearing. With him are two soldiers, and Kay. One of those soldiers is Corporal Allin from the shuttle, and another appears to be a recruit. Never have I seen a man so nervous.

Kay murmurs, “This is Ross. He helped us make sense of the situation when we attained the plateau.”

Soldier Ross salutes.

“At ease,” I mutter, transferring my focus to Gennerin. “You spoke with Iniri?”

Nodding, the older man strides in to glare into the faces of the two tied men. “Speak!” he spits out.

Of course there is no response.

Kay shifts his attention between me and Damin, and then moves to Ross. “Find the bodies of the others and bury them. We do not need questions at this time.”

“What is going on?” the young man asks, clearly out of his depth.

“Traitors,” I say. “Do as Kay suggests. Shallow graves will suffice, or cover them well with rock and branch. Allin, you as well.”

The corporal glances at his superior, but Gennerin is fixated on the two captives. He inclines his head and gestures to the young soldier. The two vanish into the trees.

“Damin,” Kay says next, “we do not have time for long-winded questioning. Others will come soon, wondering where the Makar and their commander is. Delve, Damin. Get it done.”

Gennerin snaps around to stare at Damin.

“Let him do it,” I tell the man. “Damin is a true Delver. Unlike Hal, he has years of experience already.”

Gennerin steps aside, saying not a word.

The captives begin then to gibber, glancing at each other in terror.

“Usually a Delver sees images,” Damin murmurs in a cold voice as he saunters closer. “Symbols that reveal emotions.” He halts before the man closest to my position. “It happens without prompts from me and I have needed to learn to shut it off.” Damin lifts his left hand, fingers wide. “Usually it is achieved without effort on my part, but when I employ touch …”

“We will talk!” the soldiers shouts.

“… every secret is revealed,” Damin states, ignoring the outburst. “And it becomes more than mere images.”

I know my eyebrows hike up, and Kay glances at me in surprise. We did not know Damin could use touch. Then again, he may be seeking to intimidate; perhaps touch has nothing to do with his ploy.

“We will talk!” the other screams.

Commander Gennerin sucks at his teeth, no doubt wondering what deeper secrets these men possess. Whatever they are, those cause the terror.

“Damin,” I say and, when the man glances at me, “touch?”

He blinks and nods.

Ice races through my veins then. If that is true, Damin is aware of my hidden secrets also. Swallowing, I murmur, “You are a dangerous man, my friend.”

“Moravin is our leader!” one man screeches out. Shoving at his bonds, he continues, “We planned this on Makaran! Moravin suspected you may be alive and sent us to negate your influence.”

“Your father is weak and therefore now is the time to change!” the other adds.

Fire displaces ice. “Damin,” I grind out, “touch. Find out what is wrong with my father.”

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