The Sun Door Part 3
by Joe Solmo
I reached Poole’s office without incident and I could hear shouting inside. I recognized Brakken’s voice arguing with Poole and someone else, I listened more closely and heard Chase’s voice. I knocked, the masochist I am.
“Enter!” came a gruff voice from the other side of the wooden door, I pushed it in took a step inside. Chase was standing near a fireplace with a drink in his hand while Poole sat at his desk. Brakken’s face was red from all the shouting he was doing.
“Marsh, just the man I want to see,” Chase said in his gravelly voice. “Where are the two strangers now? Did they flee the scene of the crime?” he asked.
“Worse, I left them with Dead-Eye and no booze, they will suffer enough,” I retorted. That statement earned me nasty looks from both Poole and Brakken. “Sir,” I added after Chase cleared his throat.
“These men did nothing while the prisoners attacked my men and then my person,” Brakken said rubbing his throat with his hand. It was still red, I wasn’t sure if it was from the initial attack or if the magi kept rubbing it to keep it red.
“Is this true Marsh?” Poole asked turning to face me.
“Sir I told Brakken to take it easy, the strangers were just looking at the Sun Door to…”
“To bring in an invasion force, no doubt!” Brakken said loudly, interrupting me.
“No really, they don’t remember seeing the door from the other side, they don’t really know what’s going on any better than we do. They just want to go home, and some clothes. They have asked to speak to you Chase, about their release,” I said.
“Well, they weren’t prisoners before, but after this attack, I can’t see how we can release them now, the Jombi don’t like us being here to begin with, but if we let two violent criminals out they will really shit,” Chase said with a sigh.
“They should be locked up!” Brakken said. Poole nodded his agreement.
“What do you think I should do with them Marsh?” Chase asked me. Yes I said that right, he actually asked me my opinion for once. I thought about it for about three seconds.
“I think you should talk to them sir. Once you do I’m sure you will see they are no threat and you can release them. I can bring you to them right now if you want. I could use the extra hands carrying alcohol down to Dead-Eye,” I said.
Chase thought for a minute about it.
“You’re not going to do what this degenerate says are you? Who gives the orders in this army anyway?” Brakken said very angrily.
I think that comment was what turned the tide in Chase’s head. He whirled on Brakken and ripped him up one side and down the other, I wish I remembered everything that was said in the office because I haven’t smiled like that in a very, very long time. When it was all over Brakken slammed the door on his way to the kitchens to help stoke their fires as I lead Chase down to the Sun Door room via the makeshift wine cellar we had here in this temple with a story for Dead-Eye.
We arrived, wineskins in hand, and I couldn’t tell which Dead-Eye was happier to see, me or the wine. Drejnin stood when we entered, but Serius was seated in my seat and playing with Dead-Eye it seemed.
“Who’s winning?” I asked walking around the table.
“Not I,” Serius said shaking his head at the small amount of coins he had left to bet with.
“Where did you guys get coins?” I asked afraid of the answer.
“Those coins are what is left of your coins. Dead-Eye said you wouldn’t mind sharing it with us since we were new in town,” Serius said. Great there goes the last of my pay. I knew I should have sent Dead-Eye to Poole’s office.
“Drejnin, may I present Chase, he is our leader,” I said remembering what I was doing finally.
“I am pleased to meet you Chase. As you heard I am Drejnin and this is Serius. We have come through the Sun Door and did not wish to cause any harm to your people. I apologize if the tension got out of control,” the large man said and bowed.
“I heard both Brakken and Marsh’s report on what happened and I wish to put it behind us for now, but if more of my men get injured then there will be a problem. Now, on to a more pleasant topic, what can you tell us about this place you come from, or about the Door itself?” Chase asked.
“Not much, I am afraid. Most of our memories are a blur. We are not sure if that is an effect of the door or from something else entirely. Like I said we wish you no harm. We ask only to be let go out the front door. We will find our own way in this land,” Drejnin said.
“So you don’t know where you come from or what the place was called, and you can’t make the Door work?” Chase asked.
“That is correct,” Drejnin said.
“Then I ask you to sit tight for a few days while I mull this over. Give yourself time to heal up, although I hear you have already healed beyond anything we expected. I will be in touch,” Chase said and headed for the door. In a flash Drejnin was blocking his path, this could be bad, two alpha males facing off.
“We are growing stronger every minute, our wounds are nearly healed in another day we should be back to normal. I will not be a prisoner here. We have done nothing wrong. I just wanted to make sure you knew my full intentions. We will wait only a day for you to return. If you cannot give us a compelling reason to stay then we are leaving, end of story,” Drejnin said with menace. It felt as if the room dropped twenty degrees and grew darker, even Dead-Eye shivered and he was usually oblivious to the world outside of a wineskin.
Chase opened his mouth to talk but no noise came out. He tried again, and again nothing. Then he spun on his heels and marched down the hall. After four steps the pace quickened quite a bit. Drejnin just scared the one person I thought was immune to fear. I wondered what have we gotten ourselves into as I turned back to the table and snagged a bottle of port I had swiped from the cellar next to the one that held the cheap shit they give us enlisted guys.
I was awoken sometime after 6 bells by the next shift coming in. Drejnin and Serius were still there at the table and seemingly sober even after the sheer volume we packed away last night. The new guys didn’t know what to do with them. They just stood at the entrance with their hands on their hilts, eyes wide open. Rookies, they needed to spend more time with some old hands like us, to teach them the ropes.
I poked Dead-Eye in the ribs hard to wake him from his stupor. “Get up, lazy,” I said to him. One of his eyes opened looked around and closed, he snored right after.
“I saw your eyes open!” I said and gave the legs of his chair a kick and watched as Dead-Eye fell to the floor. This time he woke. He turned to face me, so angry he was huffing. Then without a word he headed out the door. I’d feel bad if I didn’t know he wouldn’t remember it in a few hours anyway. Drejnin and Serius stood as well.
“No you guys don’t have to go,” I said collecting what coins I could from the table. “Our shift is over we are going to get some sleep.
“But did you not just sleep?” Drejnin asked.
“Yeah,” I said running my fingers through my hair. “That was work sleep, it doesn’t count, and it’s not very restful, since we are at work.”
The two strangers exchanged glances with each other then sat down at the table and motioned for the new shift to have a seat. With head pounding I headed back to my bunk with a well-deserved sense of a job well done.
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