The doors to the large, towering building were opened as the prisoners were hastily escorted in under the cover of the night; the light was growing brighter, however, and the members of the Guard could only pray that none of the citizens had noticed the arrival of the Rebels.
One Guard in particular, the one who was holding on to the redhead female, thought that this entire thing was ridiculous. What could a group of 20 or so Rebels with no background in fighting or war tactics do against the full might of the Seleucian army? He shook the thought from his mind. What did it matter to him that most of his morning consisted of capturing the Rebels?
Another thought forced its way into his head; what if there was more to the story than what they were told? The Guard sighed. It wasn’t the first time. He didn’t much care to protest. The only thing irritated him was the fact that it was the middle of winter and he was freezing when he could be sitting at home with his wife. Instead he had to interrogate the redhead—for who knew how long.
Once the 24 Rebels were brought in, one was singled out instantly. He was average height, average-looking, and nothing about him would have set him apart from the others were it not for the cold, apathetic look upon his face. He was inhumanly distant, as though some part of him were missing. His Key hung around his neck, and it was easy to spot the problem; his Key, his Eternal Soul was unusual. The top was formed by clock cogs, silver without any luster. Wings were spread out from behind the cogs, two sapphires on the side. Sapphire, the stone of Destiny, the stone of the Fate that had been destroyed by the man who was wearing it.
It was as though he were mocking the same Fate he had killed. The key was silver and black, half-and-half, as though his soul was only part human and
part…something else. His eyes were a cool grey, like chipped ice on one’s heart should they meet another gaze.
Serian Rice, President of Seleucia, approached this man without the hesitation that the other Guards had exhibited. Serian contrasted with this man, whom he addressed simply as “Solomon”. Serian said not a word apart from this, but grabbed Solomon by his collar and brought him to his feet. Solomon stood his ground, unafraid, as Serian assessed him. Serian gave a smirk and released Solomon.
He turned to face the Guard. “Bring him into Interrogation Room One,” he said, tugging off his gloves and handing them to one of the Guards. The Guards obeyed,
knowing better than to question the orders of Serian Rice.
Solomon Grant spit out a mouthful of blood onto the cold, metallic table. It had been several days since his arrival; he could not tell how many, exactly. He had already lost track, seeing no sunlight for days and having been neglected he was in a poor state of mind. Serian himself had overseen his torture, something the President of Seleucia had never before done in the country’s history. Serian was standing in front of Sol at the moment, a look of reluctant admiration on his face.
“A man cannot resist breaking down for so long, Solomon,” Serian said in his measured voice. He tutted and sat down in the chair opposite Solomon. “Fortunately, I am not an impatient man. I have the time. The question here is, do you, Solomon?” Solomon remained silent, though he had no strength left to meet Serian’s gaze. He was breaking, he knew, as did Serian. Serian seized this as an opportunity to push until Solomon was broken once and for all.
“I’m going to make this easy for you; easier, at least. Seleucia will never go 'easy' on those who plan to destroy her…Solomon, why don’t we start with when you murdered Wilden Grace.”
Solomon flinched. It had been a long time since he heard her name, and it pained him still as much as it had the moment…Solomon went deeper inside himself, hiding within his mind. They could not reach him here, it was impossible. They had tried to break him by not allowing him to sleep; little did they know, he was an insomniac and couldn’t sleep whatever the circumstances.
Serian pressed on, his voice somehow penetrating the bubble that Solomon had wrapped around himself. “Wilden, do you remember her? She was a babysitter, even babysat for your family, I believe. Well-known in these parts for her gentle nature. What made you do it, Solomon? Could you not stand her innocence? Or was it for your own gain; was it so you could destroy Fate? That must have been your plan all along…”
Solomon could not take it any more. He pressed his hands on either side of his face, covering his ears and attempting to block out Serian’s prodding. He knew in his heart what had happened, and nothing could convince him otherwise. But if he could only speak, if only he could tell Serian the real story, then maybe he could be completely sure. He was in a poor state of mind, after all…
Serian tried to contain his enthusiasm. Solomon was breaking; all he had to do was push him even further, push him until he was broken and recounting the details of the plot to Serian. He knew exactly what would push Solomon to that point, too. “And you left her there in that meadow for her parents to find. You escaped only to find another girl to leave for dead. Vivien, I believe her name is. Such a beautiful redhead,” he said, watching Solomon carefully and allowing a tone of desire to creep into his voice.
He continued, closely watching Sol's face for a reaction.“She fought torture well, Solomon. But once she learned that you were the one who was behind all of
this, she broke. I watched her cry, Solomon. Crying over you. Saying she never wanted to see you again. Of course, she won’t see anyone ever again, but that’s beside the point. It’s all your fault,
“Enough!” Solomon cried out, voice weak and raspy. He hadn’t had anything to drink in days, his energy was fading. “I’ll tell you the truth, the entire story! Just, stop telling me your lies!” He said, much to Serian’s satisfaction. Serian simply smiled and motioned to the Guard outside to bring in a glass of water and a meal for the prisoner.
The Guard brought in a plate of gruel and a glass of water, which slipped out of Solomon’s grasp. He was shaking, too weak to hold the glass himself, forcing the
Guard to bring another glass in and hold it as Solomon drank. Once Solomon had eaten his fill, not too much, of course, no one wanted him to be sick, he began to feel stronger.
“Now, where were we….yes. You were going to tell me the truth. From the beginning, I remember.” Serian leaned back in his chair and waited patiently for Solomon to begin.
Solomon looked up for the first time in days and replied, “Yes, from the beginning. And what do you know, like all things, this tale begins with love. Love, sweet love and yet so bitter. Man would do anything for love, wouldn’t he? Once I was just like any other citizen, blind to the idea of free will, blind to the prospect of Fate. But then I met Wilden and I knew, for once, man was about to create his own Fate.”
© Copyright 2017 Laura DeWinter. All rights reserved.
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