Lead vs Fantasy 2-4

2-4 Lèse-majesté

 

At 8:30 in the morning, the Captain had already been dressed and ready to leave for an hour.  He always got up at the same time, did some simple calisthenics, and prepared for the day.  He couldn’t not be a regimented man.  Some things couldn’t be left in the past.

Looking in the mirror, the Captain couldn’t help but frown at how easily some other things were.  Looking back at him was a man wearing the same crisp black fatigues as ever.  In spite of his impending meeting with San Ranto’s prime minister, the Captain felt no need to dress up.  Somehow he’d managed to leave behind all pomp and circumstance years ago.  Now, he was truly a mercenary.  Just a very punctual one.

After one last look over his appearance, the Captain turned to leave his room.  Then he crossed the small hallway of the hotel and gave three sharp knocks against the opposite door.  He heard some faint grumblings from inside.  Then there was silence.  The Captain gave another three knocks.  Then, after waiting a few seconds, three more.

The ninth time he struck the door, a muffled voice from inside the room called, “I’m getting ready!”

The Captain waited patiently at the door as he listened to some rustling noises and faint conversation from inside.  Then, after five minutes, Edge emerged from the room.  As with every morning, Edge’s face was covered in a mixture of sullen frustration and exhaustion.

Looking past Edge’s grumpy face, the Captain glanced over the small lump in the bed.  “Last night, after you left, Champ took the Newbie’s measurements,” the Captain called into the room as he withdrew a small sheet of paper from his back pocket.  “I’ll just leave them on the floor.”

After the Captain threw the paper into his room, Edge closed the door behind him.  The Captain could only purse his lips slightly at Edge’s thoroughly wrinkled fatigues.  He couldn’t do anything about that, but at least he could pat down some of the bedhead.  As the Captain ran his fingers through Edge’s hair, Edge scowled a bit.  However, he said nothing.

Looking over Edge’s untended appearance, the Captain wondered if he would never be as much of a mercenary as Edge.  Either that or maybe a part of Edge would never stop being a gutter rat.  The Captain scowled at himself for that thought.  It was unfair.  Edge had proven himself time and again.  He was a good kid and a damn fine merc.  He would always put his comrades above an innocent stranger, but the Captain couldn’t fault him for that.  Plus, Edge was the last of the originals left.  That would always be something special.

Rolling his shoulders under the Captain’s gaze, Edge asked, “What’s up?”

The Captain cleared his throat uncomfortably and responded, “Nothing.  Something’s made me strangely sentimental today.”

Edge nodded his understanding as the two started down the hallway.  “Losing a member and gaining a member.  Both make you think.”

That was true.  The Sable Stallions had been dealing with some bad luck recently.  Five Newbies over the past year and a half.  That was certainly bleak.  Four unavoidable tragedies.  The one from last spring wasn’t exactly tragic.  Trying to sneak into Cauliflower’s sleeping bag unannounced.  The kid was practically begging for death.  He should be grateful it ended with only a light crippling.

Exiting the small inn, the Captain’s train of thought was interrupted by a low mutter from Edge.  “That’s rare.”  That was all he said, but his tone carried with it a mixture of curiosity and disdain.

Following Edge’s gaze, the Captain saw a beautiful man with raven hair who stood half a head above the rest of the crowd.  As the man walked, he held his nose up at the gathering morning crowd, like he was looking at ants.  Every step made his thick hair shift slightly, revealing and again concealing his long, pointed ears.

“Rare indeed,” the Captain observed as the two ducked into the crowd, careful not to meet the eyes of the man as they passed.  It was best not to get involved with them.  They generally didn’t care what happened to those they considered beneath them.

As they headed in the opposite direction of the man, they kept looking back until he was out of sight.  Once the man had vanished into the crowd, the pair looked at each other.  “Seems like we’re getting one omen after another,” Edge observed bitterly.

“It may be best if we spend tonight on the road,” the Captain agreed, pursing his lips slightly.  He’d wanted at least one more bath before being forced to settle for hot towels again.

Edge nodded at the Captain and the two continued through the streets.  As they walked they didn’t speak much.  The ramblings of the crowd quickly grew too loud to hold conversation.

After walking for around twenty minutes, the pair finally arrived at their destination.  It was the center piece of the city, just like almost every city.  The castle.  Built purely for utility, it was an imposing fortress of large stone bricks.

Ever since the bunkers had been constructed, however, its existence had become more symbolic.  Now it’s every lord made their own renovations to leave their mark on the place.  The three turrets at the top, once used for shooting down monsters with arrows, now held three large, marble statues.  A woman and two men.  Supposedly, they depicted great heroes from the past.  Though, the Captain had little knowledge of such people.

Shaking his head at the clashing imagery, the Captain walked up to the large, wooden gate.  At one point, the grand door had been made from some ancient oak boards that could stop a charging ogre.  Now it had been remodeled.  It’s reassuringly sturdy form had been shaved down so that a fresco of knights battling dragons could be carved into it.

Ignoring the attempt at art, the Captain and Edge approached the right side of the gate.  There stood a young soldier in a pristine blue and red uniform.  He was guarding the smaller door that was most commonly used and stood ramrod straight as he glared at the pair.

“We have a meeting with the Prime Minister,” the Captain called out when they reached the soldier.

The soldier looked them both over suspiciously, his eyes lingering over Edge’s disheveled form.  When their eyes met, the soldier quickly looked away, showing a bit of nervousness.  Then he cleared his throat and straightened his back again, asking, “Do you have any proof? Identification?”

The Captain held out the completed request form, which the soldier snatched up quickly.  The soldier looked over the form carefully for around three minutes.  Then he returned it and looked at the mercenary association cards that the pair both presented.  He again carefully studied the documents, but refused to meet either of their gaze as he did so.

Once the man was satisfied that they weren’t frauds, he reached behind himself and retrieved a bulky, black radio.  He reported into it.  Then, about ten minutes later, the small gate opened from the other side.  A man in an elegant, black tuxedo stepped out and looked over the Captain and Edge.

The tuxedoed man instructed the pair to follow and they did so.  He led them into the castle proper.  Before they could take in the lavish entrance hall with its lush, crimson carpet and elegant statuary, they were led into a side corridor.  From there they were led through a network of stone brick hallways.  Each was made uncomfortably narrow by the insistence that they be lined with portraits and ancient arms.

Eventually they came to a non-descript mahogany door at the end of a particularly long hall.  Unlike the front entrance of the castle, this wing seemed to have retained some of its utilitarian heritage.  The wood of the door was undecorated and reassuringly sturdy.  It fit perfectly with the stone hallway, but clashed horribly with the scattered decorations.

Upon reaching the door, the man leading the pair knocked three times.  He was given a fast response by a flustered male voice.  “Yes, what is it!?”

“I’ve brought two mercenaries to see you,” the tuxedoed man answered, his voice dripping with disdain as he hurled out the word “mercenary.”

As the man spoke, the Captain felt Edge shifting slightly beside him.  The Captain turned to look and found Edge had his eyes firmly shut and was gently smiling.  The sight gave the Captain a smile of his own as memories of long days of training washed over him.

Ignoring their personal drama, the man on the other side of the door responded.  “Oh!  Yes.  Do show them in.”  At that command, the tuxedoed man opened the door and waved Edge and the Captain into the room.  Once they had entered, he closed the door behind them and departed.

Taking in the office, it was small.  Too small.  The tiny room was dominated by a large desk, almost completely obscured by paperwork.  With just that furnishing, there was almost no space for the two, simple chairs set out in front of it.

Upon seeing the Captain and Edge, the room’s owner stood up and showed a broad smile as he said, “You are the, um, horse people, yes?  The ones who went to check on the um…” The man broke eye contact for a moment to shuffle through the papers on his desk.  “Rumia village, I remember.”

The Captain gave a wry smile and said, “Yes, that’s us.”  It was the Captain’s first time meeting the Prime Minister, but the man gave off a surprisingly friendly atmosphere.  He was bald and a little plump around the face.  Though, the faint bags under his eyes and the state of his office hinted that he was more one to over work than over eat.

The Prime Minister held out his arm until he could give both Edge and the Captain a well-practiced handshake.  As he did so, he said, “Sorry for the commute.  Even though I got moved to this office a year ago; I still get winded just traversing the halls.  I suppose I have a talent for earning people’s ire.”  As he spoke, the Prime Minister’s tone was lively and joking.  His eyes, however, were not.

With handshakes done, the Prime Minister continued.  “At any rate, I’m glad you could come out here.  I try to make a habit of meeting with the more renowned mercenaries in the area.  Since you already had this job, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for a face to face.”

Listening to the man prattle on, the Captain smiled and waited patiently for his cue.  While the prime minister seemed nice enough, he would rather not spend his time exchanging pleasantries with a man whose country he was about to abandon.

After a few minutes of talking, the Prime Minister looked down and seemed to notice something.  Then he threw his hands up and said, “I’m so sorry.  I have a tendency to get distracted like this.  Please take a seat.”

Edge and the Captain both sat down in the chairs the Minister pointed out.  Then they looked across the desk to the, likewise seated, Prime Minister.

“So, how did it turn out?  You have good news, I hope.”  The Prime Minister asked, his face brimming with hopeful energy.  After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, the Prime Minister’s smile collapsed and he said, “It was bad, wasn’t it?”

The Captain took a deep breath at that increasingly sorrowful face and gave an even answer.  “The village was destroyed.  It won’t recover.  You could send some people to look for salvage, but I don’t know if it’d be worth it.”

The Prime Minister nodded slowly and lowered his gaze to his cluttered desk.  “I see.  I suppose that was to be expected.”  Then the Prime Minister lifted his head again and asked, “So, what did it?  I’ve heard there are some manticores up near the northern border.  Or was it a wolf species.  They can get nasty, can’t they?”

At that question, the Captain paused for a moment.  He wondered if such a bizarre testimony would be accepted, whatever his reputation.  He reached into his pocket and felt the reassuringly hard scales and claws hed brought.  Then, as he placed his evidence on the desk, the Captain answered, “It was a group of lizard men.”

“I see, I see,” The Prime Minister responded, nodding his head and picking up one of the scales to roll through his fingers.  Then he froze.  “Lizard men… That’s weird, isn’t it?  Isn’t that weird?”

The Captain simply said, “Yes.”

The prime minister squinted at the two mercenaries and demanded, “Why are there weird monsters in my- our- the territory?  Is it a migration?  Do they do that?”

“They don’t migrate,” the Captain answered quickly.  “The best explanation we came up with was that they got lost while trying to make a new village.”

“Lost by how much?”  The Prime Minister asked, staring into the Captain’s eyes intently.

“…By several hundred miles.”  The Captain responded slowly, turning his eyes to the wall.  “Several dozen hundred, maybe.”

“That doesn’t sound right.”

“It’s the best we have.”

The Prime Minister collapsed back into his chair and let out a sigh like he was trying to jettison his soul to safety.  Then he turned his head back towards the Captain, allowing the rest of his body to stay limp.  “From your professional opinion, will I need to send out people to subjugate these… lizards?”

“We believe we killed them all,” the Captain responded, looking past the minister to recall the mound of azure bodies.

“Thank you for your work,” the Prime Minister said, bowing his head deeply and waving his hand towards the pair. “I suppose there were no survivors, then?  From the village, I mean?”

“We found sixteen survivors,” the Captain answered, his face breaking into a smile for the first time in the conversation.  He hoped it was a smile of virtue and humanitarianism, but he was sure it was more out of pride.  His people had done well.

“Fifteen,” Edge corrected from beside the Captain.  “The Newbie doesn’t count.”

The Prime Minister looked to Edge, who had opened his mouth for the first time since they entered the room.  Then straightened his back and regained his smile as he said, “Well that is good news.  Where are the survivors?”

“We left them with the guards at the gate,” The Captain answered, furrowing his brow at the question to which he didn’t have an answer.  “I assumed they were sent to one of the camps.”

A light of recognition shown in the Prime Minister’s eyes and he started rifling through the mass of paper on his desk.  “I believe I heard something about something like that.  Yes.”  After a few seconds, the Prime Minister seemed to give up for now and then he said, “Well, there was some strangeness this time, but monsters are all strange.  That can’t be avoided.  Was there anything else?”

“There was,” the Captain responded slowly.  Then he turned to look at Edge.  It was time the lad took more charge in the political stuff.

The Prime Minister followed the Captain’s gaze expectantly and Edge glared back at the Captain.  Then he took a deep breath and started to speak.  “One of the lizards was weird.  It was too big, too wide, too strong.  It was unnatural.”

The Prime Minister frowned at that statement.  Then he waved a hand and declared, “Well, even monsters have heroes I presume.  If there are extraordinary men, there must be extraordinary lizard men.”

“The thing’s scales deflected bullets and it regenerated,” Edge continued, his voice taking on an insistent tone that came dangerously close to confrontational.  “To kill it, the Captain burned away the skin with a flame bolt and then I planted a C4 charge in its chest.  Less than that didn’t work.”

Those words made the Prime Minister freeze in mid dismissal.  His eyes went wide as he muttered, “It survived an offensive arte?”

“It survived two,” Edge declared, leaning in and not shifting his gaze.  “It recovered completely from the first.”

“How old was it?”  The Prime Minister demanded in a hoarse voice, his gaze now shifting between Edge and the Captain.

“Not that old,” Edge answered grimly.

“That’s not normal at all.”  The Prime Minister began nibbling on his knuckles with no thought to his surroundings.  Then, after a few seconds, he started to ask hopefully, “Do you-?”

Before he could finish, the Captain answered, “We have no idea what it was.”

The Prime Minister resumed chewing on his clenched fist.  Then he began muttering to himself in a tone he seemed to think the others couldn’t hear.  “News of this will get around.  He’ll hear about it eventually, then I’ll never hear the end of it.”

The Captain and Edge both spent several minutes pretending the room was silent.  Then the Prime Minister straightened up and spoke, “I believe his majesty will want to speak with you.  I’ll call someone to direct you to a room where you can await an audience.”

“Wait for how long?”  Edge asked coldly before the Captain could stop him.

“It shouldn’t be more than an hour,” The Prime Minister responded, absorbing the slightly disrespectful tone with the elegance of one who has earned his station.  “His Majesty has some free time today.”  The Captain pretended not to hear the Prime Minister mutter, “As he always does,” at the end of his statement.

With no other option, the Captain agreed to the arrangement.  The Prime Minister picked up a small brass bell from the only clean corner of his desk.  Then he rang it three times.  A few seconds later, the door behind the Captain opened and revealed a slim, young woman in a cheap black dress.  The girl’s face was blank, but her big, brown eyes seemed to take in everything of the room as she awaited her instructions.

Ignoring the Captain’s probing gaze, the Prime Minister instructed the servant to show his guests to a waiting room.  The woman then wordlessly motioned to be followed and the pair obliged.  Once again, they were led down the narrow stone corridor.  This time, however, it was a short walk.  The woman opened the sixth door down from the Prime Minister’s office and showed them inside.

The room they were led to was lavish.  Randomly so.  Whoever designed the room wanted it to show quality, not so much be of quality.  Each piece of furniture and decoration seemed to reek of expense.  The Captain was certain that the dyes alone would’ve cost more than their rover.  Still, he was certain so much purple, red, and yellow was not meant to dominate one room.

After proceeding inside, Edge and the Captain took seats facing each other on the two elegant couches in the middle of the room.  Seeing that the guests were somewhat comfortable, the servant woman left the room and closed the door behind her.

Edge followed the woman with his eyes as she left.  Once he was confident she was out of earshot, he said, “That woman, the way she moves is weird.  Too smooth.”

“Oh, has she caught your eye?” The Captain asked suggestively, trying to cut some of the tension that was already hanging in the air.

Edge just looked at the Captain blankly in response.  He was not in a joking mood.

“I don’t think the Prime Minister wants us dead,” The Captain declared, turning his eyes towards the door the woman had left through.

Edge turned away from the door at the Captain’s words and instead examined the ornate suit of armor to his right.

Looking at Edge’s foot, swiftly tapping against the carpet, the Captain attempted some conversation.  “It seems like they really want to be show offs, but don’t know how.  Doesn’t it?”

“You think the king’s actually gonna want to meet us?” Edge asked, almost before the Captain could finish his statement.

“Couldn’t say,” the Captain answered with a shrug.  “I’ve never met the man myself.”

“I didn’t sign on for this,” Edge informed the armor bitterly.

“Neither did I,” the Captain responded.  In truth, while he didn’t have the same reservations as Edge, the Captain would also rather not spend the afternoon engaging in pompous ceremony.

Before Edge could reply to that statement, he was interrupted by a light knock on the door.  Then, without waiting for an answer, the servant woman entered.  She was carrying a silver tray with a tea set and a selection of delicate triangular pastries.  Once again saying nothing, the woman placed the tray on the short table between their seats.  Then she left the room once more.

“I hate this,” Edge spat out venomously, as soon as the young maid closed the door.

“We have to do it if we ever want to take jobs in San Ranto again,” the Captain explained, grabbing a pastry from the coffee table.

“I know that,” Edge responded, narrowing his eyes at his Captain before mimicking his movements.  “That doesn’t mean I can’t hate it.”

“We’ve done this before,” the Captain declared before taking a bite of the soft snack which was more earthy than sweet.  After he swallowed the mouthful, he added.  “It won’t be that bad.”

“You’re using that as your example?” Edge asked, leaning forward in his incredulity.  “She was an inch away from extorting us into becoming knights.  How is that at all reassuring?”

“It all turned out fine,” the Captain answered, turning his head to look at the portrait behind himself.  It was of a young woman with long dark hair, wearing a crown and holding a scepter.  To capture her… uniqueness must have been quite the trial for its artist.

For fear that continuing to view the portrait would make him say something illegal, the Captain turned back and met Edge’s gaze.  “Nothing’s going to happen, Edge,” the Captain declared earnestly.  “If he tried anything, then it’d be an incident, and not just with the association.”

“I know that,” Edge responded, looking away sheepishly.  “It’s just that dealing with these people makes my bones itch.  They’re almost as bad as elves.”

The Captain gave Edge a reprimanding look.  At which Edge quietly repeated, “Almost.”

Before the Captain could bring up another conversation, they were again intruded upon by three knocks on the door.  Instead of the woman barging in, however, they were followed up by the Prime Minister’s voice.  “His Majesty will see you now.  Come with me.”

Upon hearing that, Edge and the Captain hurriedly left to follow the Prime Minister and his maid down the halls.  After around fifteen minutes of brisk walking, the Prime Minister stumbled up to a set of well carved double doors.  He stood in front of them for a moment as he collected his breath.  Then he opened the doors and strode inside.

The Captain and Edge went to follow, but were stopped when the maid held up her arm.  The three of them just stood there in the hallway for about five minutes.  Nothing happened and no one said a word.  Then, the maid seemed to be satisfied.  She opened the doors back up and waved the two men through them.

Once inside the grand throne room, the Captain did his best not to let his gaze wander.  The pillars of marble and armed guards which lined their path and the extravagant red carpeting passed by in his peripheral vision.  So did the image of Edge slowly examining the room from beside him.  However, the Captain did nothing to acknowledge any of it.  For this kind of thing, staunch as starch is the proper way of things.

The Captain walked down the carpet with his back straight and face forward. His eyes took in what was in front of him, but he didn’t allow them to specifically alight on the man in the luxurious robes on the golden chair.  When the Captain was a few strides away from the Prime Minister, who was standing before the throne, he stopped.  Edge quickly followed his lead.

“Well then, speak.”  A demanding voice came from the throne.

With that instruction, the Captain allowed his eyes to meet with the king.  The first word that came to the Captain’s mind was fat.  Not plump, fat.  He almost looked like a fleshy slime.  Like he would melt into his excessively expensive chair at any moment.   Draped across his corpulent form was a thick robe that looked to be made of a dire tiger’s fur.  On his head there was no crown.  The Captain suspected that a couple mere mercenaries were not worthy of the effort of wearing it.

Before he could gather the king’s ire, the Captain ceased his observation and began speaking.  He told the same story he gave the Prime Minister again.  At first the king didn’t even bother looking at the Captain.  However, as soon as lizard men were mentioned, he straightened his body and leaned in to hear the story.

“It was those aurorian snakes!  First our iron mines and now this!  They’re doing it to show off their strength after their last loss!” The King declared, slamming his flabby fist into the arm of his throne.

“Your Majesty, How would Auroria get lizard men to attack us?  Even a completely new type?”  The Prime Minister responded desperately, holding up his arms in the hopes of calming his king.

“You fool!”  The king cried, saliva flying from his lips.  “Don’t you remember?  Twenty years ago, when they first attacked us?  That bastard had hired a specialist who researched monster taming.  People even said they were looking into mutations.”

Those careless words from a fool shot a bolt through the Captain’s core.  Mutation.  That was her legacy.  It certainly didn’t have anything to do with anything, but…

The Captain shook his head forcibly.  He couldn’t let himself be distracted by idle thoughts.  During an audience with a king, that was the recipe for an international incident.

“Those were just rumors,” the Prime Minister rebutted hoarsely, not noticing the Captain’s complex expression.  “Besides, you already killed their king and his chiefs of staff.  Surely they couldn’t-“

“They must have found a way!”  The King’s shout drowned out the Prime Minister’s reasoned voice.  “They always do.  They’re always scheming something!  Ever since I first took the throne, they’ve been testing me!  No more!”

As the king spoke with increasing ferocity, Edge stared up at him in blank amazement.  When the king caught onto the gaze, he swung his head around and shouted.  “What!?  Do you agree with this coward!?”

For a second, Edge froze at the abrupt admonition.  Then he shook his head and began to speak, slowly at first, but as he grew used to the words, his pace increased.  “No.  No.  I was just surprised.  I didn’t expect you to come to the same conclusion I had.  Of course, your observations are the most astute.  Your Majesty.”

At the last word, the Captain could see Edge’s eyes twitch out of barely contained irritation.  The king, however, had already turned a smug look towards the Prime Minister.  “See?  Even the dogs you brought have better sense than you.”

Edge and the Captain could only give the Prime Minister an apologetic look at that.  The Prime Minister returned a frown, his eyes full of understanding.  Then he said, “Your Highness, I think we should allow the gentlemen to leave before we speak any farther.”

At first the king looked as if he would disagree on reflex.  Then he snorted and gave a nod.  The Captain and Edge were shoed out of the room as the war council was gathered.  Like that, the futures of two countries were arbitrarily decided.

Once they were on the streets again, the Captain turned to Edge and said, “See, you can do it if you try.”

“Whatever,” Edge replied, not meeting the Captain’s gaze.  “Not like I want to ingratiate myself to that bloated mental patient.”  He spent a few seconds considering what had just occurred.  Then he turned towards the Captain and happily asked, “Hey, how ‘bout a bet?  I’ll bet you Auroias isn’t behind this.  I’ll give you favorable odds.  10,000 to 1.”

The Captain looked into Edge’s eyes critically and asked, “Why would I just hand you money?”

“It was worth a shot,” Edge responded with a shrug.

From there the two walked back to the Mercenary Association.  If anyone else had finished their duties, that was where they’d be.  They entered the familiar bar at around one.  Even in the early afternoon, the room was half-full of drunkards and idlers.  That was the nature of the work.  Bursts of up time and a lot of down time.

After the assembled men had finished evaluating the newcomers, the room returned to a dull hum of revelry and argument.  Looking around the room, the Captain spotted Lotus.  She was sitting alone at the table they’d used the previous night.  The frigid atmosphere she was exuding seemed to keep even the drunkards away.  Edge naturally went to sit with her and the Captain turned right to check for jobs.

As could be expected for a lazy afternoon, the job counter wasn’t busy.  Correspondently it was staffed by one man who seemed to be in an argument with a pale, bald man who looked nothing like a merc.  It was his clothing, mostly.  Too expensive, and frankly too washed, to be a mercenary’s garb.

When the Captain got near, he heard the tail end of the conversation.  “I’m sorry, sir, but every job has to be properly vetted before it can be posted for general acceptance.  It’s policy.”

“Can’t you do that, then?”  The bald man demanded with a hoarse voice.  The toe of his shoe incessantly tapping against the counter.

“I don’t have that certification,” the clerk answered with the insistent patience of one who has repeated the same line ten times.  “The only people who can help are either sick or on leave.  You’ll have to wait at least a day.  Maybe two.”

“I can’t do that!”  The bald man shouted.  When he realized he’d raised his voice, he turned a half-heartedly apologetic face to the room behind him.  Then he cleared his throat and said, “If I don’t get this shipment to Narabesque by the end of the week, they’ll cut my pay.”

“I’m sorry for that, but there’s nothing I can do for you.”  The clerk responded, trying his damndest to show sympathy.

“Can’t you-?”

“I can’t.”

With that declaration, the clerk turned his eyes on the Captain, who was waiting behind the bald man.  The man followed the clerk’s gaze and seemed to give up.  As the man slowly trudged away, the Captain stepped forward to the job counter.  Instead of beginning his business, however, his eyes naturally followed the bald man.

The team’s number one goal at the moment was to get out of the country before it was locked down.  If no jobs were being approved today, then there’d be no jobs to take them away.  They’d be crossing the border for free.  Plus, there was also that.

“Narabesque…”  the Captain whispered to himself absentmindedly.  That was too much coincidence.  The Captain had never been one to spend much time pondering metaphysics and the universe.  However, if God was showing you a great big arrow pointing in one direction, there was no reason not to follow it.

With that thought, the Captain followed the bald man out of the association and chased him down before he could turn the corner at the end of the block.

 

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2 thoughts on “Lead vs Fantasy 2-4

  1. Pingback: Lead vs Fantasy 2-3 | Dakotah Sicking Web Novels

  2. Pingback: Lead vs Fantasy 3-1 | Dakotah Sicking Web Novels

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