Book 2 Chapter 10

The road was long and winding, but he cared not, his burden was light, nigh ethereal, and as such it did not bother him that he had to carry it. Behind him were the muffled footsteps of the silent engineer, the lone companion to the noise of his own mind.
Within him his thoughts raged, screaming for dominance, demanding every inch of his attention, accusations warred with doubts and mis-beliefs on equal footing.
Facts, normally a safe haven in such a situation, held a grim position over the battlefield of his mind.

For the fifth time the engineer coughed quietly, and for the fourth time it had been louder than before. Still he ignored the invitation to converse, rather he desired to dwell in silence than having to give voice to his thoughts now. “Sir, it, it was not your fault, you know that right? ” His mind reeled at her words, rearing up like a wounded beast kicked upon it’s sore flank, nearly he let fly his words of anger and self loathing, but bit it back, literally. “Sir? You’re starting to scare me,,,did you turn of your receiver? Is something broken?” His world seemed to collapse, just a little further. His mouth filling with a strong coppery taste. He swallowed before finally answering. “My, equipment, is fine.” It was brief, too brief, he knew it was, he knew full well he had to re-assure the engineer that no mistakes were made, he was fully aware it was his solemn duty to give her an explanation, or offer some comfort. Yet he did not, could not at this moment contemplate any way to do so.

Meanwhile back in the main assembly hall Sir Ton chose his path, forcing himself to remain upright, and above all, to not pass out. Gwenn34’s incessant raving apologies however were not a great help to his endeavors.
Nonetheless the Knight managed to set a few steps forward, before a most astute Sir Bron managed to subtly intercept him and guide him into a chair, where the last thing he heard was Gwenn34’s voice as it cut through his mind. “Something is horribly wrong,,” Something sure was, after all he was losing his consciousness, not that he managed to finish the thought.
Sir Bron sighed as he sat himself opposite to the acting Commander, Shaking his head ever so slightly as once more he struck up a conversation about nothing, the whole affair being but a formality, a way to keep the civilians from panicking, no Knight would fall for the charade he was committing himself to. But then again, they had all seen the trembling gait that Sir Ton had displayed, they had all witnessed  how he had sat him down. And, he had to remind himself, they all knew the protocol for a fainting commander before civilians. Still it bothered him that he could not have his fellow be examined or even treated.

The hallway was silent, even the footsteps of the Knights did little to alleviate the near physical pressure of the silence. The order of the Road being uncharacteristically quiet, as they moved towards the medical bay. Ten minutes ago their jokes had stopped. The last jest had been of the grand mechanic, Sir Ingles himself, and although it they had all chuckled no-one had found it funny. “Spriggot” He had croaked. “Do you know the difference between myself and the calendar?” her reply had been a simple, no, to which his reply had been “The calendar still has days left.” at first none of them had dared reply, not realizing that he was trying to go out as he had lived, “Ah,,you guys are killing me,,,laugh already will you? Talk about a tough crowd.” They all chuckled at that, but more to humor him than anything else, it had been his last joke.  Still Dame Spriggot led the procession onward, convincing herself she would find that damned medical bay if it was the last thing she did. No-one made complaints, they all knew her pain, because they all felt it themselves.

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