Sozo set the pen to the page for the fifth time, but again no words came. As he waited to stand trial for the past week, he’d been writing down the misfortunes that were his life since Blood Bay, yet today his mind was elsewhere. He sat in the visitor cell a door away from the main dungeon, speculating on who his visitor was. He had a good guess that it would be Lt. Harris Lottamen. As both a Mythron spy and the only person who knew that Sozo had sailed on the flagship of an Enalican fleet, it seemed only logical that he would be sent to interrogate the grer while there was still a chance. After all, he was scheduled to meet the judge today.
On the caravan Sozo had convince himself that Lottamen was just a cruel pirate, because he had given the pirates important information against Mythron. It wasn’t just a way to build his cover either, that information cost Mythron their entire city of Taddren. So was he playing both sides? Sapping as much out of them as he possibly could? That sounded like Lottamen. Sozo laid aside his pen and paper, leaning back on the cold stone wall as the warden stepped through the double doors.
The warden’s coiled whip and the hard rock walls were reminders of his rigid confines. Deliverance rarely reached this far, but perhaps deliverance was the next thing through the door.
Keys jangled in the heavy lock and the cell bars screeched ajar, Harris Lottamen ambling in. He kicked away the other wood stool, as he began with a condescending tone, “You’ve come a long way. Through trials and sufferings, but only to be captured by the very people who exterminated everyone else from your fleet.” Sozo didn’t reply, silently gathering his thoughts, so Lottamen poured himself a drink and continued, “Look, you have a choice. We can do this the easy way, where you tell me everything you know about Enalica and James Benit, or you can join your old crewmen into grave.”
Sozo shook his head. Rising slowly from his stool, he pointed a finger at Lottamen but spoke coolly, “Why don’t you tell me about James Benit?” He raised his voice to make sure the warden heard, “Namely how you traded him details of Taddren’s defenses for a private island.”
Lottamen choked when he heard this, and spilled his water over his recently pressed coat.
He composed himself and laughed. Though the sweat breaking out on his forehead contradicted him, he denied everything, “That simply preposterous! Who in their right mind would believe that?”
“The judge,” Sozo answered, “once they interrogate Ort Sirisen, who was your informant in Taddren. James told me, if you’re wondering, and I’ll be happy to tell Mythron about their dirty agents.”
“You won’t be telling anyone, vermin!” Lottamen drew his sword, just as he had on the day of Blood Bay. This time, however, Sozo was ready, his hand already clutching his stool.
He leaned back, jerking the stool between himself and the blade. It dug deep into the wood, yet he absorbed the impact and let the opportunity to retaliate pass.
Lottamen yanked out his sword, then swung down at the grer’s right side. With a quick turn, Sozo sidestepped the attack but again spared his vulnerable foe. If he wanted to get out of this he couldn't make the slightest offence, not as a prisoner.
At last, the warden grabbed hold of Lottamen’s coat and heaved him away, “We can’t kill him, not yet anyway.”
Sozo moved a half-step closer, and sneered, “Now you’ve done it for yourself, Lottamen, practically confirming my words. Now they’ll have to check out my story!”
The warden’s grip tightened, but Harris protested, “Let me go, I’m the interrogator! I wasn't going to kill him, merely doing what I must to get information.”
Nodding, the warden started to release him. In an instant, Lottamen broke free, twisted around, and cut the man down with a slice across the heart. Sozo leapt back in shock, “How could you!”
The lieutenant leaned over and seized the dungeon keys, “You say nothing about this and I’ll get you out of here.”
“No,” Sozo saw that he was now in the position of power, “you’ll get us all out. Those from this quadrant at least.”
Lottamen bit his lip, but acquiesced, “Fine.”
He led the way past the bloodied guard and into the passage, stuffing a key into the door to the main holding area of this small dungeon wing. Sozo stayed at his heels, he couldn't let the turncoat out of his sight, and scooped up the whip as he went. After all that had happened between them, it was hard to believe that he’d pulled one over on Lottamen. He couldn't shake the feeling that he still held the short end of this exchange.
Nonetheless, Harris worked at a frenzied pace. He pushed into the holding area the moment he found the right key, then rushed to the first cell. As the barred door swung wide he ordered, “Come on, let’s move.”
Familiar faces emerged. Dothel and others from the caravan, along with a new ally. Harris unfastened the cuffs binding the strongest of them, as he commanded, “Get to your weapons and tear down the last support, you’ll never break through that door!”
The prisoners nodded and began hacking away at the solid wood pillar, while Lottamen opened the second cell.
Brad hurried out and grabbed his battle ax, an old bearded man bounded forth with new life, and then someone that Sozo had presumed dead ambled out.
“Joshua!” Sozo was stumbling over himself to greet his comrade, “What are you doing here?”
“I’ve been here. They just moved me from the opposite wing hoping you would give them information that would help them finally break me. Now what’s going down, I thought you were a goner…”
Standing at the window of the passage door, Lottamen cut in, “No time for chit-chat, guards will be here any minute!”
A beastly voice, deep and rumbling, echoed from the back of the cell, “Let me smite that pillar!”
Held to the wall by heavy chains that wrapped many times around it, the minotaur was a frightening sight.
Sozo glanced at Joshua who nodded, “Do it.”
One by one the chains fell away until only the cuffs remained. The minotaur waved everyone away, then flexed his muscles and snapped his final constraints with a great snort. He reared back and charged, the pillar cracking where the others had weakened it.
The room shook, cracks spread across the ceiling, then it all caved at once. A sudden breeze, proof that they’d broken through, cleared the dust enough to see. The floor was buried beneath two feet of debris leading out into the green of the outside world. Coughs and cheers alike rang from the group, victory.
“Stay together, it’s the only way we’ll live!” Joshua yelled as he rushed out with the others. There were too many Mythron outposts here to make splitting up worthwhile. They would inevitable face soldiers, and they would need their numbers.
Sozo hung back, watching Lottamen disappear deeper into the building. However, he put away his uncertainties for the moment and helped the minotaur to his feet. As they retrieved their weapons, Sozo asked, “What should I call you?”
“Call me servant, because you are my new master. You are master to us all now, and what you do with that power will determine your days.”
Quoting Makok the Dwarf
I can't wait for more! Great job! Question though, (I might not have been paying attention earlier) how did Sozo get his scythe back?
The next episode should be out shortly!
Sozo had his scythe on the caravan. When the knights and barbarians captured him and the others from the caravan they also took their weapons. Things were still being sorted out with the large influx of new prisoners, so they left the weapons in the prison, convenient storage.