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TotTSM – Part 7

Scheduled for release on Monday, July 11, 2011

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Tidings

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  The PALACE!

 Voren couldn’t believe it. One couldn’t mistake the huge royal crest mounted high upon the wall. Nor the endless intricate tapestries either. Dumbstruck, Voren stood there frozen stiff with panic and alarm. What did he do?! The safest thing would be to duck in back through that door again and retreat through the tunnel..

  But you’re inside the Palace.. It makes sense. You’ve walked for gods know how long, burned the life out of your torch, the Palace was in this direction when you figure it. They must have forgotten about that door. And that storage room, can’t imagine they’ve been using it much. You’ve got to be in the belly of the thing… His reckless brain argued.  And ever stubborn, Voren could not yet bring himself to turn around and duck back out through that tunnel. For some reason he came this way, let the gods show him what it was then..

  This is incredible.. I wish… Well, it doesn’t matter WHAT I wish or hope for, eh? Even if I told someone about accidentally wandering into the belly of the palace, they’d never believe it. No more than they would believe it wasn’t I who conjured up that storm..

  Good point. Voren sighed then; having come to the conclusion that he’d become quite good at arguing or talking to himself. I ought to get a pet.. Become one of those crazy wood-dwelling folks… Adopt a foal of some sort, keep it in the hut..

  Now wandering down the corridor to his left, making very sure to memorize the way he was going so that should the need arise, he could escape.

  Let us hope it doesn’t come to that.

  Several more minutes dragged on as Voren braved the palace corridors. Each step as silent as the last; his breaths shallow and quick, almost as fast as his heart was beating it felt like. A flicker of torch light to his right cause him to jump, and that same breath hitch in his throat.

  Just a shadow… calm down…

  He turned then to his right, deciding to head down yet another passage way. All of which were evidently  vacant.

 “Boy.. I really must be in the ‘belly’ of the palace. Everything feels deserted..” he whispered, about to start laughing when he turned down another hall and bumped into a soldier. A poorly dressed one, but an unmistakable soilder. For a moment their eyes locked; Voren once more frozen with fear for what felt like an eternity.

 “‘EY NOW! What are you doing here?!” the man hissed, grabbing VOren by his arm.

  “Please, sir. I… I just.. got lost is all. You see I’m n-new here and–“

  “Likely story! Right this way if you don’t mind.” He snapped, yanking that arm he held, much to Vorens displeasure. He would’ve drawn his knife just then, if three more soliders, fully dressed in their gear came running down, evidently having heard the first ones shouting.

 “What have you got here, Corpis? Another wandering scoundrel?” asked one of them. From beneath his helmet Voren could make out a bit of mud colored hair.

  “Found ‘im wondering down the hall there. Looks like he’s up to no good. Looking for the coffers I bet.”

  “Coffers?” Voren blinked. “N-No! I was just looking around. Honestly, I’m new here an–” A rather sharp smack to his face then made him see stars.

  “Well, what do we do with him now?” Another one asked, lifting their captives chin with his fingers. A sick sort of gleam in his eyes. Voren had never seen that kind of look from another man before. It made him sick to his stomach and set an icy cold river of dread into his blood. One that was only amplified when his gaze shifted to the other ones, and each of them had that same look.

  He’s going to… All of them are going to…. swallowing hard, Voren tasted bile.

 “‘Ave we got time to ‘ave a go?”

  “I aint no F’crah, but I’ll ‘ave a go at ‘im. Teach ‘im a lesson ’bout sneakin’ into places..” the third snickered. A hand already down his pants, working his sex into a state of arousal.

  ” I don’t see why not. No one is bound to miss us for a while yet..” In a flash Voren was whipped around and bent over, though he fought mightily. The sound of  someone’s pants unfastening caused his head to leap into his throat.

  This is insane! This can’t be happening! Someone help me.. he pleaded, knowing any second that persons member was going to be thrust inside him. It made him sick.. All over the floor in fact when he felt one of them spit on his entrance.

  “HEY! What the hell are you four doing?!” An older woman’s voice called out, and instantly he was released. Voren had never fastened his pants so fast, nor so tight before.  That done, he whipped around and drive the hilt of his dagger into the first soliders stomach, and a second before they backed up and started to retreat, the woman, a maid or someone from the kitchen it appeared.She was fairly tall. With greying blond hair and hazel eyes. Her eyes were adorned with crows feet, and her mouth possessed the lines around them which told of a person who smiled or laughed quite a bit. She stood; an impressive, intimidating figure, with a rolling pin, beating each of the soldier’s across their heads.

  “Are you stupid?! What has this poor boy done to you?! GO back to your duties ‘fore I tell the master! And don’t ever pull this on anyone again!!!” she screamed, another thump bestowed on their noggins as they raced down the adjacent corridors and silence once more reigned.

  “You, young man. What’s your name?” she asked,

  “Voren.”

  “How did you get down here?” Studying him with a critical eye.

  “Through the… the room .. The door… a tunnel..” he panted, pointing down the hall.

  “Well then, you best get back to that hole and be gone ‘fore they come back. I wont be around all the time to protect you, Voren.” Her stern countenance soon gave way to one of warmth and sympathy. “I’m sorry for what they tried to do.. It’s not right. I have nothin’ against same-sex peoples sleepin’ together, or evenin’ marryin’ once this decree is sighed, but.. rape is rape. Don’t matter who or how. Anyway, you be off. And if you find yourself back in here at some point, my quarters are just down this hall,” pointing with her right hand. “Look for the small oak door with the big boar engraved on the front. MY name is Ori.”

 Nodding his thanks, Voren sprinted down the corridors he had entered through. All the while silently cursing himself for being too damn curious, going where he knew  he shouldn’t have, and for being so stupid enough to think he could’ve wandered throughout the whole thing without coming across someone. Just his luck that it would happen to be four of the most perverted, evil soldiers this city had to offer.. Practically throwing himself back into the room, Voren yanked open the old metal door he had come into the storage room through and then slammed it shut when he was on the other side. Heart still thundering like a canon, he turned the thick metal beam across the door itself so that no one could yank it open from the other side.

  Now without a torch, Voren was left to grope back through the dark, but he did it in record time and grace, all things considered. Back outside, by that old city wall, Voren panted, doubled over until he cold catch his breath.

 “What was that..? What… what just happened?” he sobbed, making quick work of the rest of his chores before locking himself away in his little forest hut for three days.

 Sadly, that was not to be the last of the strange tidings. After that initial shock, Voren ventured into the palace twice more to visit with Ori. She was a nice enough woman. Let him use her bath and fed him whenever he was there. Two weeks after his last visit however, these strange people suddenly converged on their city from the capitol itself. Voren didn’t know what to make of them, save they made his skin crawl, as those soldiers had.. Within weeks they had virtually taken over all goings on in the city. From the mail, to the shops, to the palace itself. Voren hadn’t felt confident enough to venture inside since the flurry of ‘Edicts’ were issued upon the citizens. Curfews, new taxes, fees and penalties for various infractions.

  “I wish I knew what to make of this…” he muttered one day as he sat in a tree close by the city gates. ‘Inspectors’ had begun making rounds of the city walls. Every half hour on the dot. Each time they would scan the road ahead, and when they saw nothing, or it turned out just to be an over laden supply cart as the one which was coming dangerously close to tipping over today, then they would make a face, turn and resume their duties. “They’re searching for something- no. Some ONE.. But who and why. It’s the same at every gate..”

 Out of the corner of his eye, Voren caught a flash of white. Whipping his head around he quickly determined it was a young girl, walking down the road in her evening gown. She wisely kept to the trees and under brush the closer she drew to this place, a fact which seemed to save her life. He called to her, approached.. She was nice enough, and very pretty.

 He’d managed then to convince her to come with him, when another round was made by the Inspector. Jumping forward, Voren cupped a hand over her mouth, the other around her waist and pulled her to the ground until the figures eyes scanned over their position, noted nothing of interest and disappeared once more.

  “I know you don’t believe me now, but you’re in danger, and not from me.. Come on! I’ll explain everything in a minute. Come. If they find you,” gesturing to the gate tower, “then you’re in danger. Let’s go. This way.” wrapping a hand around her wrist, Voren yanked Kaeda along until they came to his little forest hut, the door to which was bolted shut once they were inside.

  “Why are you here?” inquired Voren with a sigh.

– – – – – – – – –

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