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The Pits Of Jhelom (part 5)

Discussion in 'The Hooded Crow Inn [Fiction]' started by Trillin, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. Trillin

    Trillin Guest

    The Pits Of Jhelom
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​
    The Escape, Chapter 5







    They waited, clad in stolen armour and weapons, silent and waiting for the shouting guards to pass them by. News of the escape had been contained by the guards, but the guard at the exits had been doubled, and everyone was suspicious. The meagre entertainment provided to placate the crowd was failing, and Thanatos could hear their unhappy words throughout the halls. He turned to the four behind him.

    “Stand tall, arrogant. Walk with one hand resting lightly on the top of the hilt of your sword. Do not grip the hilt, it is a sign that you plan to attack. Should a guard look you in the eye only as you pass, greet them with a curt nod. Say nothing, do nothing that will draw suspicion, or we will all be lost. If we are separated, head west and meet at the graveyard.”

    Thanatos’ words seemed to steel his fellows’ resolve. All four straightened, their faces going blank, confidence showing in their eyes. A shame. They listened so well, could follow orders obediently so far. It was unfortunate that he would not be keeping them as his underlings. The appropriated sword felt heavy in his hands. He ached to spill more blood with it.

    The patrol passed and the group rounded the corner. Thanatos in the lead, two behind him and the last centered and walking in back. They walked together, through the corridors, past gossiping guards and unsuspecting slaves. Through the damp, headed for the light. They headed for the exit, could see the peasant-lined streets and anonymity beyond. One more obstacle. The heavy guard searching for his troupe, searching for him in order to satiate the hungry crowd now throwing near rotted fruit and ale into the arena in protest.

    He approached, making as if to pass without interaction at all, but was stopped by four stony eyed men blocking his path.

    “There are prisoners loose on the grounds, what business have you in the street?” Suspicion flickered in the leaders eyes, but Thanatos carried on with confidence.

    “Orders. We are to check the surrounding area for signs of the prisoners’ escape into the street.” Thanatos let the words pass his lips with ease, meeting the guards searching gaze with his own fortitude. He could feel the men behind him, however, begin to grow uneasy with the length of time it took to receive an answer from the scrutinizing guard.

    A moment too long, the hand of the youngest among them, covered in cold sweat, shifted to grip the hilt of his sword. The scrutiny of the guard stopping them flickered to the hand and back to Thanatos’ face, and realization dawned.

    “ ‘TIS THE FUGIT-” Began the guard, but his words were cut short by the blade of Thanatos’ sword piercing his lungs. The guards remaining advanced on Thanatos’ small group, brandishing their weapons, pure determination in their eyes. Thanatos began hacking at the men in front of him, parrying blows of their swords and dodging between his foes. The men behind him fought as well, though Thanatos could tell they had begun to tire.

    “Kill them, we cannot let them alert the others!” Thanatos grunted to his team as he flicked his wrist, spreading the flesh of his opponents neck.
    A cry of pain and Thanatos turned to see the man who had initiated this confrontation topple to the ground. His fingers groped at the gaping wound in his chest, attempting to staunch the flow of the hot red lifeblood leaving him at an astounding rate. One less loose end to tie up. Thanatos smiled and shoved his sword to the hilt into the next guard in line. He held the man upright, drawing his sword back ever so slowly, relishing the flares of pain in the mans face as every inch of steel left him. Soon the others finished off the remaining guards, but the shout, though it had been cut off, had alerted many more to their location, and Thanatos could hear the pounding of metal heels approaching.

    “The meeting place!” He shouted. He bolted into the street, removing his helmet and tossing it into the crowd. Sounds of frustration and angry calls resounded behind him. The others were following. This was acceptable to him, it would mean less hunting should one of them have decided not to show up at the cemetery. The group, now down to three, bobbed and ducked through the streets until they arrived at the cemetery. The guards had not been able to follow, had been to far behind to see which direction they had headed, and so Thanatos had some time before the search spread wide enough to include the cemetery.

    Thankfully the cemetery was deserted, as few ever dared enter at dusk. Thanatos made his way deep into the forest of stone markers, slowly removing the deceased guard’s chest piece and bracers. He stood silently, watching the others recover from the sprint. They came to stand before him, one on either side.

    “It worked…We’re free! But…where do we go from here, Thanatos? What is the plan?” One man spoke up, his breathing ragged.

    Thanatos did not respond, merely stood, gazing between them, silent. His silence must have made them uneasy, as his fellow prisoners turned to each other, the question in their eyes.

    As their collective gaze returned to Thanatos, surprise coloured their faces. The steel of Thanatos’ blade glinted in the dim light. One man’s hand came up, as if to stop the onslaught, but the blade cleaved through the flesh, spine, tissue and sinew of the necks of both men before either fully realized the betrayal. One single, fluid motion. Perfect. Thanatos was pleased. Warm blood sprayed his chest, and the body of the reaching man continued to fall. The palm of the outstretched hand slapped his chest, carving an ivory trench in the blood collecting there. No loose ends.


    to be continued...