2: The Thief

2: The Thief

I chased a young Riley man through the streets of the working district. I was gaining on him, my unusual height gave me a decisive advantage in chases. He would round one, maybe two corners, and then I would be upon him.

I remembered that I shouldn’t be chasing criminals. I wasn’t a guard any more, but this had become second nature, I had been doing it for a couple of centuries and it was automatic. If someone runs, leap on them and pin them to the ground. This, however, was the first time I had wanted the ability to run faster.

We rounded a corner.

Go faster! My legs didn’t have the necessary muscle needed to follow the command. I sighed between breaths. I had never trained any part of her body to be anything better than good enough, and I was very cross with myself because of it. I realized this error during my first couple of days off. My mind had wandered, coming to the conclusion that my body wasn’t good enough.

The thief rounded the second corner. I was certain that I would catch him the next time he was in sight, but after turning the corner herself, I realized I was wrong. The thief was scaling one of the few three-storey buildings in the city. It was a government warehouse, and I knew inside was a maze of large metal and wooden containers.

The thief was at the second storey now. I knew I didn’t have the muscles needed to climb either. It was at that moment that I made an oath with myself. An promise to train my body. Never again would my physical state stop me from doing anything ever again. I spat and tried to solve the problem with my mind. I closed her eyes.

Knock him down.

I reached at my side for my day-baton, but realized it was not there. I knelt down, took a fist-sized stone from the ground and hurled it at the climber. It hit him in the head and he fell to the ground.

I ran to him and immediately checked his lifelines. Pulse was there. Eyes functioned, they even looked at me. I ran a mental diagnostic checklist. As a Captain, I had learned a lot about medical care.

The man vomited.

After a few short minutes, I concluded that he had become concussed, and not from the fall. I had given him a concussion. Was it his fault for running? Probably not. I sighed and lifted him up. My arms could do that at the very least. I had been forced to carry a lot of criminals and wounded people in the past.

The man vomited over my shoulder.

I broke into a sprint, and again was disappointed at my speed. I took him to the clinic, and a nurse looked over him.

“I concussed him with a rock. He is not to leave, he is a criminal.”

The nurse knew me, we had met before. He nodded. I don’t think that he realized I was no longer the Captain. It did not matter. I left and went to the tower to find Alice. She would have to deal with this thief.

Then, I would head to the castle and find my father. Surely by now he had all the papers together and I could start working again, as the Agent leader.

*

“Mariça will be returning soon. Until she returns with her report, I must remain.”

I nodded.

“So, once Mariça returns, then I take over.”

“Yes.”

I nodded. I am patient, although not by nature. I did not mind waiting an extra day, on top of the two that had already passed. I wasn’t sure what to do with free time, I had had never developed any hobbies. I decided to go to the tower and see what had become of my thief. I exited the throne room and entered the loud foyer.

The castle was a sort of indoor community centre, the foyer a town hall. Even now, I could hear a foolish man auctioning something off. Usually he sold his shoes, something he seemed to have a limitless supply of. Now he was barefoot and I could hear him shouting. It seemed he was trying to sell pocket lint. I heard someone place a bit and laughed to myself.

“I was not aware that you laughed at such things,” A male voice stated.

I turned to see Vinth. He was the Captain of the castle guard. Once, long ago, he had been my Vice-Captain.

The right side of my mouth pulled back into a frown, “yes Vinth, even I have a sense of humor.”

He seemed hurt at this. I shrugged it off and exited the building. The Tower of Taxation and Enforcement was very close, all I had to do was round the castle to the back. The Solune Royal castle was placed in a very odd location.

The city had a protective wall surrounding it, and the castle was built into the northern walls. Even more unusual was that the main exit brought you out into the field north of the city, meaning you had to walk to the gates and exit the city in order to visit.

Behind the castle was the six Kingdom Halls, but I had only ever visited the tower of Taxation and Enforcement, although soon I would frequent the tower of Law and Poetry, as well as the tower of Academics and Health.

On her way to the hall, I noticed a young woman, no older than twenty, being led through the town by two Solune men. Her wrists were bound with rope. They moved at high speed through the city, but the woman seemed unhealthy, possibly starved.

I kept an eye on them, following them from a great distance. I had done this many times, and this group seemed entirely unconcerned about being followed. At least, the men did. The woman kept eyeing a specific location. What was odd was that the location changed occasionally. They passed the tower, and so did I. I would have to check up on Alice and the thief later.

Finally, I realized something. The woman was staring at a specific location for a reason. I followed her gaze and saw the fearsome outline of Mariça walking along the long wooden bridge that crossed between the six towers. She was trailing them too. I had a feeling that I would have needed backup, and so I was glad that she was there. She did not notice me, but that did not matter. We were both headed towards the same place.

Broken Teeth

Involuntary Arbitration, 1: Jump

1: Jump

“It was a mess, an absolute mess. Wasted hours, people slacking off, criminal acts done right under our noses. I cut hours but not pay. I increased productivity. I even added temporary and part time positions. But I can do no more here, and so I am stepping down as Captain of the guard to pursue other ventures. I am moving on, and I hope you will forgive me for it.”

“Her Majesty Sir Natasha Glass Rhye has spoken.” A tall man said, gesturing at the speaker.

The crowd clamoured. Natasha was speaking at the primary venue for both artistic and governmental exhibitions.

Natasha herself was a beautiful but plain woman. She had been the Captain for only two years, and even now she wore the pale grey jumpsuit that was her uniform. The thick embroidered ribbon on her arm showed her rank. Natasha kept her hair shoulder length as a sign of devotion to her occupation, and even now she was considering letting it grow. She had dark hazel eyes, too yellow to be considered brown, and her face was long and stern, fitting of her authoritative position.

By now the crowd’s clamour had agreed upon one thing. They were shouting something in unison, and Natasha tuned her ears in attempt to decipher it.

“What now? What now!” They chanted.

Natasha smiled, a rare occurrence for her. She said, “I will take the next few months off, my long accumulated and neglected vacation days. Afterwards, I will begin the education and qualification process to become a certified poet and then a magistrate.”

Poets had a duel function in the Solune kingdom. A regular poet was a jack of all mental tasks. A certified poet used their wide knowledge base to help overcome disputes as a third party. In this kingdom, qualified poets also functioned as lawyers. A magistrate is one who manages and writes laws.

The citizens of Murdock cheered and clapped. Natasha bowed, turned, and stripped off her jumpsuit. Her baton clattered on the wooden stage. Everyone became silent as she turned back to them, dressed in a frilly white top and pale green knee-shorts.

Natasha wore plain-clothes quite well, and from the sounds of the respectful clapping, it seemed everyone else agreed. She bowed, and then jumped off the stage and sat down in the crowd next to her sister, Chloe and her mother, Gwenhime. The tall man beckoned at someone else, another woman in guard’s clothing.

This woman wore black plate armour over her uniform. She had heavily tanned skin. Her hair was a bright sandy strawberry blonde. The crowd cheered again, much much louder than before. The guard waved from her podium at a short dark haired man in the crowd, who waved back bashfully.

“Vice-Captain Alice May Däwngale will take Natasha’s now vacant post.” The tall man said. He took Natasha’s uniform from the ground and tore the ribbon off. It was velcro, so this was neither difficult nor violent. He stood and walked to Alice then took her ribbon off and replaced it.

When the ceremony was done, Alice shouted, “Three cheers for the new city guard Captain!”

The citizens obliged her.

The tall man, still standing beside her, told Alice the following, “Your primary task is now to find a Vice-Captain,” he winked and then continued, “You wouldn’t want us to have to pull Finch out of his Academic work would you?”

He hadn’t spoken loud enough for everyone to hear. There was, of course, no microphones here, and all speech-makers had to use stage voices. Finch, the short dark haired man, had heard. He blushed.

“No, of course not!” Alice jumped, a bad habit of hers. She was so heavy that the stage shook and creaked.

“You have one month, dear Plainkind.”

“Yes, your majesty!” She said. Alice then turned to the crowd, “The King has informed me that I am to find a new Vice-Captain within the month!”

She pointed to the guards sitting near the back. All of them were there except the four currently on patrol. Even the night watch watched her with tired interest.

“You had better show me your best selves so that I don’t have a hard time deciding!” She hopped again, and again the wooden stage took nearly three-hundred pounds of force. The Plainkind people were very heavy as they were primarily comprised of thick bones, thick skin, dense muscles, and even weighty brains.

Natasha watched her excitable ex-Vice-Captain with vague amusement. Alice had a way of lightening up nearly any situation, and Natasha would miss her company.

Hours later, her father, the King, approached her. He said, “You will have to run the Solune Agents for a term. I know you were intending to rest before you began your studies, but there are oddities amiss and they must be dealt with. I would myself but as you know the East Metch are trying to push democracy upon our Kingdom and I will not have it.”

Natasha nodded. This was her duty as Prince.

“It will make for a fine transition.” She said.

The King nodded and apologized, then left.

The Solune Agents, mused Natasha. They were the secret agents, or secret police of the Solune Kingdom. They weren’t a secret to the Solune, but to everyone else. Natasha had always been impressed that an entire population could keep such a grand secret.

“What an adventure this will be,” She said. Then she promised herself that after this she really would take a much needed vacation.

The next chapter will soon follow,

Daniel Triumph.

Involuntary Arbitration, 1: At the Brink

1: At the Brink

“I have to be careful throughout the process. I can’t afford to ruin this. If I fail, nothing’s going to break the fall. I’ve no family, no home, not that they would let a traitor or failure live.”

Laila nodded. He dipped his rag into the grey sludge and continued greasing the wall of the hideout.

He said, “So, what is this process? What’s your plan? Can I help?”

Alexandre put a hand in her dark hair. It was just long enough to cover her eyes. Occasionally, she would take refuge behind the black mop.

“I don’t think so, but I’ll consider you as a pawn in the future.”

Alexandre’s manner of speech was inherently offensive. She was always like this. Laila wasn’t sure if it was on purpose, but this was the reason that only he had become friends with her. Only he realized that her passive jabs were mostly unintentional. Laila, and their leader Orion, would likely have killed or exiled her by now if he hadn’t known.

Orion wasn’t an inherently evil person, but Alexandre figured that he was so close to it that she wouldn’t mind it if she had to kill him in order to make her plan work.

“So?” Laila prodded.

“Right. The process.” Alexandre nodded, “I’m going to overthrow Orion and take over. Then, we’ll wage war against our ally gang. If all goes well, they’ll kill each other off and I can leave. I can be free once more with my…”

She trailed off.

Laila stopped oiling the wall and watched her. He said, “Your mother?”

She turned to him, her face awash with surprise, and also anger.

“How do you know about my mother?”

“You told me a while back. You said the only reason you joined was because your mother was in an ally gang.” He replied.

Laila hoped that she would remember and calm down. She did not.

Instead, she asked him, “Did you tell anyone?”

He shook his head and raised his left arm. At the wrist it became a stump, capped with metal to keep it clean, and also to weaponize it. They made him do a task that nearly required two hands as a follow-up punishment. Now that he had a fault, he must be tested to ensure he did not become a weak link.

“I’m the outcast here. I have no one I could tell.”

Laila was a lean man of East Metch descent. He had shaggy black hair that attached to an unkempt and full beard. His skin was tanned and brown skin, his large eyes were dark.

“So, how did you lose your hand? I never asked.” She hadn’t.

“Oh, nothing much. I was one of the people who failed Diesel Dirge’s raid on Baracus. We were collectively taken out by a Plainkind girl. A very small Plainkind girl. This,” He raised the shining stump, “was my punishment. Dezallldwinn enjoys torture, and he’s also the one in charge of punishment.”

Alexandre was certain now. She would take these three gangs out one by one, person by person, starting with the leader of her gang, Orion.

“I’ve half a mind to behead this Dezallldwinn. Right after I’m done with Orion.” Said Alexandre, “So, how did they do it? It seems like a fairly neat cut, it doesn’t look like they used an axe or something like that.”

Laila shook his head, “No… The Lussa have discovered something called current energy. Something about subatomic particles that move through wires. I don’t know. But, he has a power saw, a disk of metal with teeth. It spins at high speed.”

He was staring at his stump intently now.

“And they cut it off like that? Clean with a saw?”

“Clean?!” He stared at Alexandre in horror as he remembered, “I told you he likes torture! He cut my hand off bit by bit. He me until he had cut through the wrist bones a few times and hit the arm. My fingers were turned to bloody red coins, that’s how much he cut!”

“Well that settles it,” She hissed, “This month, I will become leader of our gang. The month after, I will assassinate Dezallldwinn. You should come, it’ll be fun.”

She shoved her fist into her other open hand determinately.

Alexandre Dirge was similar to Laila, but she was taller, with pale, moon-coloured skin, and grey eyes. She was not an East Metch, but a Riley. She watched Laila carefully as he finished smearing the grey sludge onto the side of the wall. It was cool outside, the night was falling and the tide was already receding.

Alexandre intended to either kill or overthrow the leader. She had a process, but she now realized that it would take far too long, years most likely. Her mind raced as to condense it.

“I need to get on his good side.” She said.

“Aren’t you already?”

Alexandre shook her head, “Not good enough. I’m a south.”

The three gangs had a fairly straightforward hierarchy, named after the four poles. West was the lowest. Laila and other recruits were wests. South was the second lowest, the standard. An east was someone that Orion liked. Orion Sheer, Hinter Sheer, Diesel Dirge, and even Dezallldwinn were norths. The only thing higher was the Prince, who was called Venus, but they never saw him, not even once.

“I’ll become an east, and then a north soon enough. Just you watch.”

Laila nodded. Any time Alexandre set her mind to something, it became an inevitability. He had no doubt in his mind that she would soon be the new gang leader. And he was almost right, but the it wasn’t just soon. The whole ordeal happened within days.

Daniel Triumph.

Table of Contents

 

 

Broken Teeth

This serial has been cancelled.

Preview

Chronological Order

In Progress

Below are planned releases. This section changes a lot, as it is only a plan and I love changing my plans as I write!

Alexandre “Jutt” Dirge

Natasha Glass Rhye

  • 1: Jump
  • 2: The Thief
  • 4: Terrific Fatal Mania, Prelude
  • 6: Redeemer of Souls
  • 7: The Schizophrenic
  • 8: Coils Deep
  • 10: All but One

Old Drafts

Want a Different Story?

Alice and Finch

Evidence

Other works

Second Post

Well, I was awful proud in my first post, which, summed up, went something like this,

I aim to improve as an artist and as a content creator, bringing value to people while also developing my skills. 

This post is a little more about changes… Or rather planned changes.

Before I started this website, I was working on my first novel, currently codenamed: Natasha. I’ve posted about it a couple times already. It’s the first novel that I planned on actually completing, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s written a few thousands of words only to either bin it or forget about and lose it.

I don’t want that to happen to CN: Natasha. The problem is that I can’t seem to focus on it. Right now, during the infancy of my blog, I’m getting caught up with making sure to post every day. I figure it must be all this longform writing. So, once I’m done the Evidence series, I think I might just stick to one shots, and maybe excerpts from the novel until it’s done.

Oh, and I’m also working on the Alice and Finch sequel. It will tie into the next draft of CN:Natasha very cleanly. And I do mean cleanly, see, Finch was a character before Alice, he was the Vice-Captain of the guard that Natasha became the Captain of. I’m not sure why I decided to write about his past, but in CN: Natasha, Finch revealed that he had been taking occasional classes during his time off, but he had stopped recently, so he was always an academic at heart, even when I crafted him as a guard Vice Captain. That’s something I find interesting actually, that whenever I add a piece to the never-ending puzzle of Dawngale, it always seems to fit endlessly. Sometimes it feels more like discovering and documenting than writing.

Anyway, so that’s the plan. Evidence, then Alice and Finch, then I slow down on longform content on the blog while I work on CN: Natasha.

Daniel Triumph.

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