“...and the disruptors?”
Teige looked up from where he kneeled at the councils feet, rubbing his left eye with the palm of his hand had become almost a nervous tick, and he did it again now. Chain mail rattled loosely over his scarred wrist and seeing the twisted flesh exposed several members of the council looked away, expressions of disgust twisting plainly on their faces. Tiege smiled silently to himself, the crows feet just forming at the corners of his blue eyes crinkling anew. After a second the sparkle faded. His look turned grim. The disruptors, the disruptors, the disruptors, didn’t they understand it wasn’t as simple as just walking into an empty storehouse and prying the lid off a few crates. The disruptors were protected, guarded. Systems far better, and far older than the standard two guards to a door routine had been assigned to the ancient ruins which held the weapons. Already two teams had been sent, two of his best teams, led by men he had picked personally. Strong, smart, battle hardened men. Neither yet to return.
“They are en route as we speak chancellor.”
“En route. . . your sure?” The chancellor, his majesty Roswald Farrier Denner, spoiled brat, chauvinist, coward, asked in his deep booming voice. For a second hidden speakers squealed as his voice was amplified time and again to reach the people at the backmost portions of the huge amphitheater. Everyone winced, more than a few raised hands to their ears, pained expressions stamped clearly on their faces, but then he reached forward and adjusted the narrow metal cylinder that waited on the worn surface of the table before him. Moments passed and at last the room died to silence as they waited for Sgt. Tiege’s reply. For many this was akin to watching the images of the ancient motion box, a contraption as mysterious as the thin metal housing that waited at the three of the council members lips. The last of the motion boxes had died three years before, no one had heard of another since.
“Positive Maitre Chancellor. As a matter of fact, I leave tonight to meet with the transports and see of their safe return myself.”
“See that you do.” With a wave of his ruby studded wrist Roswald signaled that Teige should dismiss himself. The other wholeheartedly agreed. The council chambers were huge, but cramped, sweaty, and bureaucratic. He hated the dealings of the government. He was a warrior, the whining and sometimes brash, childish arguments between members sent a sharp stab of pain through his head on the rare occasions he was forced to address the council. They were a bunch of weasels. Spoiled, high society brats who had inherited their positions from their fathers. The days of a voted governments were passed. The council had become too powerful, the Chancellor himself more of a king than a peoples ruler. The councils word was Law. Only surpassed by the voice of the Chancellor himself.
Teige brushed the thoughts aside, rose to his feet and strode through the narrow isle that opened before him. The government rulings were none of his business. He was a soldier. His job was to protect the people. Not to question those that ruled them. Even the Chancellor himself had no rule over the Guard. No final say at least, he amended. As long as their ways were in agreement the Guard had no problem following orders. If someone stepped over the line though, that invisible thread between benevolent ruler and malevolent dictator, it was their job to cast them down. To cast them out. No laws had been amended as of yet to turn the Guard from a servant of the people, to their jailors. Tiege silently thanked that. Even in these hard times most still had a sense of honor. If things ever came to that, he was afraid he would become a deserter. A turncoat. He would leave. There were lands west. Lands were people still lived by the gun. Where a quick wrist was needed.
In the hall beyond he halted, leaning heavily into the eroded stone of the wall. Cold sweat broke over his body and he shuddered with chills. From a pocket he removed a thin red capsule and slid it between tight pressed lips. The skin of his cheeks were draining of color, his palms damp and clammy as he swallowed. He gripped his shivering body and willed it to be at peace, begged it, when that didn’t work, commanded it. After a moment is was so.
Behind him the Chancellors voice rang over the smooth marble walls. Calling out to the people for silence. Ordering the other members to be at peace. Over the roar of the crowd he could hear a heated argument breaking between Calem Werts, the seer of public funds, and Bauer Blue, commander of the Blue Guard, the most highly trained regiment of soldiers in Camain.
Teige pushed himself loose from the wall, feeling worn stone give release of him almost reluctantly. Myre and Jolin had already left, the remainder of Bleck’s Guard would be waiting with fresh horses. They would leave tonight, as he had promised the Chancellor, but not to meet up with the returning transports. They left to find them, and the disruptors. The disruptors above all else. The codes and blueprints were ready, prepared copies of the originals hidden in a vault deep beneath the council chambers. The same copies that had accompanied the two previous teams.
Slick white marble sped past his footfalls as they became more hurried, as his strength returned. The Guard would be waiting, the horses still fresh, a warriors quest awaited them. And beyond that, the legend that was the disruptors. Too bad no one remembered what they were.