Knome: The Forbidden Zone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 37 (v.1) - Chapter Thirty-Six

Submitted: August 18, 2018

Reads: 52

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Submitted: August 18, 2018

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Fort Thaingor (Knome)

 

The blaring siren and flashing lights caused Teric to stop and retreat back into the utility room closing the door. Jasen and Kore startled by the warning signals, had already reentered the utility room and fell to the ground.

“They know we’re here now,” Teric said.  He cracked open the door as the siren began to fade away.  The hall was still empty except for the bodies of the soldiers strewn across the floor.  The flashing light periodically illuminated the hall exposing Teric’s handiwork.  He closed the door again.

“What do we do now,” Kore asked.

“We proceed as planned,” Teric replied.  He pulled his scabbard from his back and fastened it to a hook on his belt.  He untied the cord on his scabbard and wrapped the cord several times around his belt, tying it tightly.  He sheathed his sword into the scabbard, resting his left hand on the hilt of his sword.  He then took his right hand, grasping the hilt, he pushed down hard on the hilt and then he drew the sword quickly out in front of him.  Jasen and Kore nervously watched.  Sheathing his sword, he knelt down to Jasen and Kore.

“Let’s sync our prox devices,” Teric advised.

Teric lifted the tight glove membrane from his wrist, exposing his skin and the small device attached to it.  He extended his wrist to meet the extended wrist’s of Jasen and Kore.  They each pressed a small button on the device at the same time and then watched the small display to confirm that their action caused the desired operation.

“If you reach a ship, don’t wait for me if I’m out of range or if you’re being pursued,” Teric commanded.

“Alright,” Jasen said.

“I’m going to let you leave first,” Teric said as he stood, “Look, don’t be nervous or draw any attention to yourselves, you’re going to make it.”  Teric slapped Kore on his back.  “Got it.”

“Sure,” Kore said nervously.

Teric cracked open the door again, still seeing no one in the hall, he opened the door wider and ushered Jasen and Kore out.  As Jasen and Kore walked down the hall they suddenly froze at the sound of on coming boot steps.  Half a dozen soldiers entered the hall, running when they saw the bodies on the floor.  They ran past Jasen and Kore who were still frozen in place.  Jasen tugged on Kore to move forward.

“Help us,” came a call from one of the soldiers checking the bodies of the fallen.  Jasen slowly put his hand on his blaster, but before he could do anything, Teric was in the hall in a flash.  In the strobing light, Teric sword was a blur as he fell upon the men who did not even have time to draw their weapons.  With a few strokes of his sword he had dispatched half of their number.  One of the soldiers managed to draw his weapon and fire it.  The bolt bent into Teric’s blade and he slashed at a soldier who did not have a chance to draw his weapon as Teric separated his hand from his arm.  Another bolt escaped the soldier’s blaster and was quickly absorbed as Teric advanced on him sending him back his blaster bolts.  The final soldier was retreating down the hall.  Teric quickly sheathed his sword, and just as quickly he drew his blaster and fired, dropping him to the ground.

“Get going,” Teric yelled as he holstered his blaster.  “Go!”

Jasen and Kore obeyed advancing down the hall.  As they entered the Gap, they turned left, running as fast as they could upon hearing the sound of approaching troops.  As they advanced they came upon the utility room.  Entering, they walked to the back of the room finding the door to the access shaft. 

Teric had followed Jasen and Kore at a distance to make sure they made it to the utility room.  Once they were in, Teric turned in the opposite direction, drawing his sword at the sound of advancing soldiers.

----

The room fell silent in response to Anya’s scream and all eyes turned toward the object of her shriek.  The Priest was struggling to loosen himself from the painful grip of Korah’s guards.  Each guard held on to one of Wilhelm’s wrist, trying to bring his arms behind his back. Korah heard her sister’s scream, but she did not flinch.  She was not going to be out maneuvered or deterred from exposing Anya’s fraud.  Korah grew impatient as she watched her formidable guards struggling to detain a feeble Talian priest.

“Hold him,” Korah called to her guards.

The guards began to press in against him, forcing him against the wall to keep him from flailing and to prevent his mobility.  One of the guards twisted Wilhelm's wrist hard and he grimaced from the pain and began to relent so as to end his torture.

“Stop them,” Korah heard her sister yell.  Fearing that some effort might be made to keep her from completing her task, she grabbed on to the hood of the priest, pulling it with all her might as she raised the dagger and slashed repeatedly at the hood.”

Anya was horrified. “No,” she screamed. She was now running with several guards following her.  Yuri too was following her, still shocked by the unreal situation happening before his eyes.

“Korah stop,” Anya pleaded.

Korah was panicking under the pressure as the hood would not give way under her slashes.  She sensed that she was about to be restrained so she adjusted the blade and drove it in to the hood tip first hearing the rip of fabric.  Wilhelm screamed in pain as the tip of the blade entered his neck.  The hood became soaked in his blood while the guards continued to hold his arms behind his back.

Anya froze. “Papa!”

“Korah, stop, what are you doing.” Yuri called out as he reached her and began grabbing for her arm.

Korah did not respond to anyone, she began cutting away at the hood, ignoring Wilhelm’s cries, avoiding her father’s grasp.  After cutting a significant amount of the hood, she ripped at the hood as it completely separated from the rest of the robe. Korah then threw down the hood and the dagger. Breathing heavily, she watched as Wilhelm freed his arms and clutched his neck as blood seeped between his fingers.  He groaned in pain.  Korah stood satisfied with her work.  She had exposed the fraud.  This man was not even a Knomen.

The hall fell silent but for the gasp and groans of nearly every soul as every eye remained riveted on the spectacle before them. Anya, reaching Wilhelm, grabbed a nearby cloth and pressed it against Teric’s bleeding neck.

“Help him,” Anya called out as she put pressure on his wound.

Korah turned towards her father.

“See father, I knew it. He’s a fraud,” Korah said proudly.

“What is wrong with you,” Yuri spewed.

Those words stunned Korah.  She thought her father would be happy that she exposed Anya’s fraud, but her father’s words gave her pause.  She began to look around the room.  Shocked and stunned expressions met hers.  She perused every face, the Duke’s, the Ambassador’s, her father’s.  Then she watched Anya frantically working to save the man’s life.  She looked at her bloody hands. Then the weight of the spectacle she created began to confront her. What is wrong with you?  Her father’s words echoed in her mind.

“Father,” Korah called.

Holding a bundle of cloths upon Wilhelm’s neck, Anya cried in his arms, kissing him.  Yuri watched as the mystery of this man began to unravel in his mind. The man looked familiar to him. Ignoring Korah he walked closer to his daughter and the man she was passionately kissing.

“Anya, darling,” Yuri touched her to get her attention.  Medical staff arrived and began to treat Wilhelm, breaking his embrace of Anya.

“Anya,” Yuri called to her again.  She turned, her dress covered in Wilhelm’s blood.

“Anya, is this Wilhelm,” Yuri asked.

Anya paused, trying to refrain from bursting in to tears.  “Pa, he came for me.”

Yuri observed Wilhelm’s battered face, wondering what this man went through to be with his daughter.  He was deeply moved.  He must have stowed away on the Corbellis as the reports have said.  But how did he get to Knome.  Whatever he went through he did it for the love of his daughter.  Yuri’s eyes began to mist as he observed his daughter.

“He came for me,” Anya repeated dropping her head to her hands weeping.  Yuri held his daughter, kissing her hair as she wept in his arms.  Korah felt sick, nearly vomiting. Her eyes began to fill with tears as she watched her father comforting her sister.  What is wrong with you?  Her father’s words continued to pound in her mind.

“What is wrong with me,” she uttered, too low for anyone to have heard her. She watched her sister, the pain she had caused in her.  Korah felt like a monster. She began to cry, but did not want anyone to see her crying so she turned and ran from the reception hall, followed by her guards.

The Grand Duke watched in silence.  His expression had not changed from the beginning of the spectacle to its current state. Curiously he observed his bride passionately kissing another man.  He wondered who this man was.  Clearly, he was not a Knomen. He did not have to wonder about Anya, it was evident she was in love with the man.  But there was something about the man that bothered him and it had nothing to do with the obvious passion his future wife had for him.  No, it was something else, something deeper that seemed to irritate him.  Simon began to walk closer to the man.  As Simon walked passed Yuri and Anya, they stopped embracing and began to follow Simon, nervously.  Simon stopped directly in front of Wilhelm just as the medics completed their work.

Yuri was in shock by what he saw.  Anya too was in shock, as was everyone.


© Copyright 2019 James Washington. All rights reserved.

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