Book 2 Chapter 14

Thirteen games, as many defeats, Sir Harding shook his head as he came to terms with his recent streak of ill fortune. “So you are not an illusion, and have in fact been practicing.” He had muttered mostly to himself, not really considering the other might have heard him. “Indeed I am quite real, and have been phracticing, excuse me.” A rasping cough wracked the Knight’s frame before he continued. “Now on to the questions I had, why are you in the stocks, what did hyou do? ” Sir harding had to look up to meet his old (apparently not dead) friend’s eyes. “I broke the chain of command, I was a fool, and right in front of the tower.” At the last part he saw the eyes of his friend harden, steel sneaking it’s way into the otherwise understanding and patient gaze. “Hyou mean ahcting cohmander Ton, formally of the tower. One of the proud few, adviser to the Knight commander himself?! ” The static was back in his voice, and the table groaned under the pressure Sir Balin’s gauntlets were subjecting it to. “Have hyou lost hyour mind? Hyour lucky he did not execute you on the spot!” The statement made no direct sense, not until Sir Tiberos Harding thought back to the moment, he had done as he always had, he had attempted to take point, claiming veterancy, Sir Idver had pushed him to the wall, because he had denied him his rank, then the tower had raised a weapon at his face, but tat wasn’t entirely right, not if he saw him as Acting Knight Commander Ton of the tower, because in that case his act could be seen as mutiny. as the thoughts finally started to make sense to him Sir Harding’s face turned pale. “Lucky bastard aren’t you? ” The malice was now gone from his friend’s voice, but something bothered Harding still. ” Balin, what did the tower mean when he said, Or I shall consider thee as I have once Arthur? ” The monstrous form of his friend shrugged. “I know it not, but I can probably find out, people talk, I hear things, hyou know how it goes, for now, one more? ” Sir Balin reset the board, his motions stiffer than before.

Carefully Sir Tor rounded the corner as he read his etiquette guide, “Humm apparently wrapping you in a rug is not the best way to treat you? Who would’ve guessed. Oh still unconscious I see, well good thing I checked the book now.” Oddly enough she seemed more, charred, than before. “Let us just set you down here, and mayhaps I can…” He stopped and stared at the grimy face, red skin showing amidst the scorch marks. “Clean you up, I guess.” Carefully, or at least as carefully as a huge overly trained clumsy power assist armoured Knight with no clear idea of being careful could manage, Sir Tor started unwrapping his most unfortunate cargo. And in doing so he conveniently forgot to remind himself to check how severe her charring was, or what the proper way of unwrapping an unwillingly wrapped victim was.

The room seemed unusually dark, and smelled of dirt and iron. She knew that it was a dream, that she was sleeping, yet still Dame Miriam Spriggot turned her head, and looked at where she knew Sir Ingles would be, sitting in a comfortable chair smoking cog knew what, just for the sake of looking decadent. Slowly her gaze focused on his face, the cocky smile as he removed the tube from his mouth. “Well, that’s another fine mess you got us out of eh?” The words made no sense, but in dreams they did not need to, they only needed to afford the minimal level of comfort.”No thanks to you I might say,,” her own voice sounded weak, like she was the one who was supposed to have died. Funny really she remembered this conversation, he had gotten stuck doing a field repair to a mobile command, and she had risked everything to get him evacuated, nearly getting herself killed in the process. “How was I supposed to help?” She finished for him, she liked doing that in this particular dream, “After all I had my hands quite full with being saved.” A frown slid over his face, a frown that seemed almost pained, “Actually I was going to say I was too busy kicking the bucket, like say two thirds of our order, rough guestimate that.” Reality had deemed her unfit to have nice things even as illusions, still this was her dream she would deny reality as much as she could. “Sir you are in far better shape than I am, now please no black humor, the day is bleak enough as it is no?” She tried to get up, only to find herself restrained. “Well you see Miriam, I died, and you’re having a horribly one sided conversation, I mean no offence I am very flattered you chose me as your imaginary friend and all that but really you should stop talking your scaring the survivors. Well what goes for survivors these days, slim pickings and all that.” Dame Spriggot did not answer him, instead she stared at the manacle which held her to the bed, the myriad tubes leading into her wrist, some clear, others a deep crimson, seeming to connect her to the very wall of the med bay, as behind her a cold voice spoke through a slight static haze. “Welcome patient designated 5461, it is good to register you as conscious, I am medical protocol Holm, and I shall be your fully automated emergency physician this day.” For a moment there was silence, for a moment it seemed no one member of the order of the road was even breathing, until quiet sobs broke the oppressive silence. it was Dunnhain who cracked. ” We are at the mercy of an auto-doc ! “

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