Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Novel - Day 33 - 2,215 / 30,417

Kiri found that moving through the town was slow. She knew most of the people would be sleeping but there were many more patrols and quite a few were just milling about, preparing for the march on Capital City. More than once she almost crossed paths with soldiers. She slowly made her way cross town. She moved along the back of a building, keeping close to the side.

“Don’ move.” a voice said.

Kiri froze and started to look around until she felt the point of a sword under her chin. Kiri froze. A soldier walked into view.

“What are you doing?” the soldier said, “Don’t you know you’re out after curfew?”

Kiri didn’t respond.

“Come with me.” the soldier said.

Kiri started to fight, reaching for her sword; the soldier knocked her in the side of the head with the hilt of his sword, sending her to the ground. He quickly bound her hands behind her back. “Damn townspeople.” he muttered.

“Get up!” the soldier said as he grabbed her arm and pulled her into a standing position, “You need to be put in lock up. Maybe that will teach you to stay in when you are supposed to and to not fight with a soldier of the Envahir.”

The soldier pushed Kiri in front of him. Her mind was racing to find a way out of this situation; but, she couldn’t find anything which wouldn’t bring the whole town down upon her. Especially with her having the disadvantage of having her hands tied. The soldier led her to a makeshift jail which was simply the overhang of a roof which had bars attached to it, to keep its occupants from leaving.

“Got another one for ya!” the soldier said to the guard standing watch in front of the jail.

The soldier shoved Kiri up against the bars and pushed his arm against her neck, holding her in that position while he untied the cord that bound her wrists. He shoved her into the jail, kicking her through the doorway. Kiri tumbled sprawling onto the straw covered floor. Kiri tried for the door but the door was shut before she could even turn around.

The soldiers walked over to stand next to the fire which was a little ways away and talked for a short while. It wasn’t long until the soldier who had captured Kiri had left, leaving the guard alone on his watch.

Kiri looked around; it was dark and smelled musty. Straw was thrown on the ground which did little to cover the dirt and even less for warmth; in the far corner was a pile.

“There has to be a way out of here.” Kiri said to herself. “Come on, think, think.”

“I know that voice.” someone said.

“Who’s there?” Kiri asked as she saw the pile in the corner move.

The figure came closer and moved into where there was some light.

“Miller Johnson?” Kiri asked, “Is that you?”

“Yes, yes it is. I thought I recognized your voice Kiri. How did you get here? We thought you were –“

“Yes, I know, you thought I was dead. I’ve heard it before.” Kiri said. “They captured me and now, I’ve got to find a way out. Who knows we are here?”

“Nobody, they put you in here and they forget about you. If you are in here, you are of no concern to them; there is only one way out and that is when they drag your dead body out of here.” Miller Johnson said.

Kiri continued to look around for a way out and was trying to come up with new ideas. “Why did they put you in here?”

“I tried to speak out against them. They tried to use their tactics on me.” Miller Johnson laughed, “Ha, those tactics won’t work on me. I don’t really care what people think of me, I’m too old to care. I’ve plowed the farm long enough to know that people will make up their minds about you and no matter what happens, you can’t change that.

I also don’t have anything or anyone in this world that I care enough about that they can hang over my head. That’s how they do it you know, they find what you care about or fear that others will find out about and they hang it over your head; trying to get you to dance the jig they want you to dance. Well I won’t do it damn it and they know it! They didn’t like that they couldn’t control me but they didn’t think I was a real threat, so they through me in here.”

“What were you saying against them?” Kiri asked.

“I was just trying to tell people to stand up against them and to fight for their town before everything was lost. They let me go for a while; I think they believed that I was just some senile old man. Once I began to tell everyone what I knew about them and the things I would hear; they began to take notice and I was locked up rather quickly. It’s a shame too because I believe that I was beginning to get through to some of them.”

“What did you know about them? What did you hear?” Kiri questioned.

“Ah, it’s old news now. It was just that once they were done with this town, they were going to march on Capital City.” Miller Johnson said, “It wasn’t so much that I knew they were going to do this as it was a hunch. I guess I weren’t that far off the truth.”

“No, I guess you weren’t. But what is so special about Capital City, why the big push to take it over?” Kiri said.

“The Envahir is an army without a home. Actually, rumor has it, that they do have a place where they hide out but, I believe that they are tired of hiding out. There forces are growing larger. They want to take over a country so that they can be recognized as a real army rather than just a band of mercenaries. When The Envahir accomplishes that, they can then develop their country to support themselves and grow their army large enough so that they can take over other countries. Voler wants to be the first of The Envahir to take Capital City.”

“What? I thought Voler was The Envahir.” Kiri said

“Oh no. Voler wasn’t much more than a two bit thug. He was captured by the Envahir and they were prepared to kill him but, he had fought back and the Envahir found his skills to be useful; so he convinced them to let him hand his small band of cohorts join the Envahir. He quickly rose in the ranks and became strong in the Envahir. But Voler wants more, much more. Voler plan is to take Capital City not for the Envahir but instead for himself. Once he has control of Capital City, he will use it to take control of the Envahir. He will then be strong enough that he couldn’t be stopped.”

“What if Voler’s plan fails and he can’t take control of Capital City?” Kiri asked.

“If Voler can’t take control of Capital City, his plan falls apart. He doesn’t have the power then to take over The Envahir and they will see what his plan was and he will be exposed. The Envahir would not let him live. If for some reason, he was able to take Capital City but couldn’t take over The Envahir, then it would not be a complete loss. The Envahir would still have Control of Capital City and Voler would just wait for his time and build followers loyal to him and in time he would rule The Envahir.”

Kiri was about to ask other questions when Miller Johnson pulled her into the shadows.

“Shhh.” Miller Johnson whispered, “You don’t want to be noticed.”

Kiri noticed that another soldier had arrived and was talking to the guard who was watching their jail. The guard was standing at attention while the soldier was talking.

“I said that you were relieved. Is that understood? Or should I give you a punishment for disobeying orders?” the soldier asked.

“No Sir!” the guard said as he saluted, turned and ran off.

The soldier paced near the watch fire for a while. He then slowly walked towards the jail. He stopped and looked through the bars.

“Kiri?” the soldier called.

Kiri stepped forward, out of the shadows, Miller Johnson pulled on her arm urging her not to go. Kiri saw the soldiers face in the dim light from the watch fire.

“Epier?” Kiri asked.

Epier didn’t say anything or make any motion, he fumbled for a key and quickly unlocked the door.

“But I thought you said…”Kiri began.

“Never mind what I said. You’ve got to get out of here.” Epier explained.

Kiri strated out of the cell stopped and reached back in, grabbing Miller Johnson and pulling him out. Epier looked at the old man but didn’t say anything. Epier then put his weight on the door frame and tried to bend the door.

“Thank you.” Kiri said as she began to leave.

“Wait!” Epier said.

Miller Johnson was struck with fear that they had been double crossed.

“Hit me” Epier said.

“What?” Kiri asked

“Hit me! It has to look real. I’ve got to look like I lost a fight. Otherwise, he’ll know.” Epier explaied.

“Epier I can’t do that” Kiri said as she saw a pole come swinging towards her; smacking Epier in the side of the head, sending him into the jail bars, splitting open his head. Epier’s body collapsed on the ground.

“Friend or no friend, I’m not passing up a chance to hit one of them” Miller Johnson said, dropping a pole to the ground. “Come on, someone will find him and when they do, we’ve got to be away from here.”

Miller Johnson and Kiri ran behind buildings and hid in shadows to move through the town.

“You go on, find a safe place and keep out of trouble. I’ve got other work I need to do before I move on.” Kiri said.

Miller Johnson nodded and left without a word. Kiri turned and continued through town. Kiri found the house she was looking for.

“If they’ve been moved, my freedom could be short lived.” Kiri thought.

Kiri found a window where the shutter wasn’t pulled tightly shut. She peaked through, seeing some light, she waited until she saw what she was looking for. Quietly, she tapped on the window. No response. Again she tapped on the window, she saw the people inside looking at one another. She tapped again. The light was dimmed and the window shutter was opened. Without a word, she climbed in through the window, the people inside helping her. They closed the shutter and opened the cover on the light.

Kiri looked up and saw the shocked expression on Sam and Ted’s faces.

“Howdy boys.” she said.

“Kiri, what…”

“How did you…”

“What are you…” they said.

“Guys, I don’t have much time but, I do need some help.” Kiri said, “I didn’t know who else to turn to. I remembered how you were saying that there was a conspiracy and I figured that you two may be the best ones to help.”

Kiri explained to Sam and Ted the plans that Voler had to march on Capital City and his plans for the town.

“What I need from you guys is some way for you to tear down the defenses here after they have left to march on Capital City. They will be taking as many of their forces with them as they can. They will fortify the town with barricades and they will only leave behind what soldiers can be spared to hold this town and run it as a prison, or destroy it if need be.

I need you guys to organize the townspeople. Do not let anyone else in the town, we don’t want them walking into a prison. Besides, if you can organize those on the outside as well, you can put added pressure on the guards which will help them to crumble. Once you have everyone organized, make life hard on the guards; divide them and then start a revolt. Turn the tables on them and take back control of our town.”

“What if the soldiers come back or they send reinforcements back?” Sam asked.

“If Voler sends reinforcements back from Capital City then, we have most likely lost the battle and lie dead or imprisoned somewhere. I would suggest that you do what is in your best interest; but act quickly because Voler would not show any mercy.” Kiri said.

“But where will you be?” Ted asked.

“I will most likely be in Capital City, defending it against the Envahir. I must go now. Can I count on the two of you to do what I ask?” Kiri asked.

“Yes, most definitely” both Sam and Ted said.

“When we pull this off, the beer’s on me.” Kiri said.

Kiri closed the cover on the lantern, peeked out the window, opened the shutter and climbed out the window.

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