Interrogations (episode 5)


Minuet stood in front of the door where the Kelrand captives were located.  Bryant had debriefed her on his mission, he put special emphasis on the unintended captives, and that the Hos’lathi had manufactured the cave.  Her concern grew as the story unfolded; she wanted the removal of the snipers to be a simple and decisive matter, one that would put an end to the conflicts on her border.  Now, everything grew more complicated.

Before she opened the door to her captives, she channeled her vital energy from her Truth shakaa into the crystal wrapped bracelet.  Her arm twinged as her energy flowed into the topexx and then back into her.  She created a feedback loop enabling her to detect when someone lied.  Once she felt the flow settle into her, she asked Bryant to wait in the hallway, and she walked into the room, dismissing the guards.  “Greetings, gentlemen my name is Commander Minuet Wyndam and it seems we have a bit of a situation here.  My Protector tells me you aided the snipers in their assault against my team.  Please, enlighten me as how you came to be where you clearly should not be.”

“My pardons, Commander Wyndam, my name is Mr. Jasper Walkins and my associate is Mr. Lancing Throp.  We were on our own mission, which you and your team did sorely interrupt.”

She stared at Jasper as he sat calmly in his chair, with a slight air of smugness.  Obviously, he believed he had the upper hand.  She felt no twinge from the bracelet.  She recognized the man’s accent as coming from one of the Northern cities, outside of her territory.  “And who, pray tell, did send you on this mission, Mr. Walkins, and what were you contracted to do?”

“My contract, which I won’t see the payment clause fulfilled now,” Jasper said with regret, “was to negotiate a ceasing of hostilities against our caravans.”  She felt the bracelet twinge her upper arm.  “See my lady, most of the caravan traffic under siege is protected by Mr. Grimtok’s Blackthein Commandos.  We were put under contract to further his interests in this matter.”

“What exactly are Mr. Grimtok’s interests again?”

“Why to prevent the skirmishes from coming farther north and further impacting his business dealings.”  Twinge.

“Thank you, Mr. Walkins, you have been most informative.  I am sure we will have all this cleared up shortly, and then Mr. Throp and you will be set right.”

***

“I don’t like it, Captain.  He’s lying about his involvement, and may heaven’s wings help us if Grimtok the Destroyer is involved.”

“What’s risky is that you’re using a hazardous artifact again.  No one remembers how to operate them with any safety; they were created so long ago.  You could be beset by any number of side effects.”

“Your concern warms my heart.  I have been studying these artifacts since I was small.  I assure you that, other than the fact that you can’t keep secrets from me, there will be no side-effects.”  She smiled at him, as he gracefully bowed his concession.

***

Minuet walked into the room with the two fae men, and dismissed the guards here as well.  She introduced herself and found their names were Zaor and Vander.  Zaor wore a blue coat, and brown pants, over the coat was a green belt embroidered with leaves and vines.  She enjoyed the artisanship of their clothes, such attention to detail; she could almost see the wind rustle the leaves as he moved in his chair.  Vander wore a simple brown tunic and leather pants held up by an intricately woven belt that had no beginning and no ending; it lay on his hips as if it belonged nowhere else.  She spent several minutes talking to them about Hos’lathi life, slowly bringing them around to the fact that she knew a good deal about their society, a good deal more than most Kelrand cared to know.  Throughout the conversation, she felt no twinges from her bracelet.  By the time she started in with the real questions, she was sure she had convinced them she had ties to several important Hos’lathi leaders.

Minuet Serial 5d

“What brought you two to the caves?”

“I work for the Circle of Prosperity and have been assigned to find new trade routes.  My compatriot, Vander, is a member of the Circle of Agriculture and assigned to survey the cliffs and ravine for damage caused by Kelrand carelessness.  We keep a watchful eye on all such places where our borders meet.”

For the first time since she entered the room, the bracelet hidden under her sleeve twinged.  She was on the right track.  “To my mind, being so close to our borders you would need the approval of someone from the Circle of Faedom; they are charged with the protection of your borders are they not?”

Zaor merely nodded his head.

“Who within that Circle did grant you power to carve a cave into the cliff side and rain arrows down upon passing caravans?”

“There seems to be a misunderstanding here, no carving was done,” twinge, “and no rain of arrows either.”  Twinge.  “We were on scouting missions as I said.”  Twinge.

“Who authorized the scouting mission?”

“Why, Milak Swiftwind, Chief Defender of the Reaching Branch Forest.”

Minuet waited several heartbeats for the twinge that never came.  Why in the Forked Way’s Path is Milak a part of these attacks?

 


Aj here and I hope you enjoyed this episode.  This is my first time working with dialogue and yea I definitely can see where I can use some work.  How do you think I did?  If you were in Minuet’s place what questions would you have asked?

Next Episode:  TBD – episode 6 will be posted on 30 July 2016

Previous Episode:  Reflections

First Episode:  Rainfall

 


This episode was originally posted on the Space Monkeys Down Patreon as Beating the Drums of War:  Interrogations.

Beating the Drums of War: Interrogations
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