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Chapter 9: Thump, THUNK, Thump

 
Caedmon glances over at the commotion from time to time, but keeps to his
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vigil on the wall.

Alelip turns to face Ken, and asks very slowly, "And what do you think it is?" His face, illuminated in the torch light, suggests that he already knows the answer to the question, but he waits patiently for Ken's response.

"A secret passage," Ken breathes, taking one more glance down. "It's just like in a children's story. All the castles have passages like this, where the nobles sneak away to avoid catastrophe when their fortresses are under seige."

The lieutenant answers the door after a couple more moments. He has thrown on his uniform coat and trousers but is obviously not fully dressed. "A tunnel, you say?" He frowns thoughtfully, glancing up at the towers and making a note of the hour by the position of the stars. "Keep it under wraps for now. I have the off squad busy with setting defenses, they can't be bothered to check this out and your squad needs to remain on the walls. Once the area around the watchtower is full of suitable impediments, the off squad can investigate." He seems either distracted or in a hurry--or just perhaps a bit sleepy--for he doesn't summarize with a crisp order or formally dismiss Marin, but rather closes the door as soon as he has said his piece.

"Ok, something is really going on here" thinks Marin frowning as the door closes without dismissing her. "The Lieutenant is no heavy sleeper and always likes to be ready, he wouldn't change completly to sleep, not in this situation..." Seeing that she was alone in front of the door and is was mostly silent outside, she carefully inches a bit closer to the hinges of the door, where was a small space between it and the stone wall and holding her breath tries to listen what's going on

With a light pace, she returns to the Corporal and salutes somewhat distractedly. "Sir, the Lieutenant says to keep this for ourselves for now. Once the off squad is ready setting defenses they will be sent here to investigate"

Frowning more at the sight of the tunnel, she turns again to her superior "Sir. I don't like this... we have an off member on this squad so I'm asking permission to investigate this" she finishes in a serious voice. While she waits for response to her solicitude, she makes a gesture to Leo, telling him that she wants to talk to him

"And I need time to see what's going on with the Lieutenant... I don't lke that also"


Alelip looks at Ken, frowns as he confirms his suspicions, and says, "I was afraid you were going to say that."

He then turns towards the area where Marin left to go to the Lieutenant and says, "Well, keep an eye on it, and Ken, go circle around the fort and keep an eye out for movement."

Curious as to where Marin had been ordered off to and as to what they were all looking at Caedmon inquires on the situation from the
Ken? Alelip?
next person who passes by his station as he maintains his
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watch over the darkened landscape that surrounds the tower. Caedmon begins to sing a folk song under his breath to help keep him alert and ready throughout the night.

Ken nods glumly, disappointed that he doesn't get the chance to go down right away. He resumes his circling of the fort and mentions the finding to the others in the squad. "Sounds exciting, but the Lieutenant doesn't want us exploring right away," he tells Caedmon.

Rives listens to the exchange from his position watching out from the wall for signs of the gnolls. He was enjoying the solitude and silence along the battlements nearly as much as he enjoyed his time with the horses. Still, he was somewhat curious about what Leo had found.

Back home there were plenty of "secret" passages. But really they were just paths for the servants to take so they stayed out of sight and out of mind from the master of the house. His mother told him that keeping out of the way of the master was a wise idea. He never questioned that.... but alone on the battlements he began to wonder why. He wished his mother was here to ask her...

Rives shakes his head. No reason to dwell on the past and what cannot be. He was stuck out in the middle of nowhere with a rag-tag collection of men and boys committed to killing... something... What was he doing here... With a sigh, he refocuses his mind and eye on the surrounding terrain, hoping desperately not to find anything.

Alelip listens to Marin report in, and while doing so, seems to be evaluating something in his head. As Ken loops around the outer wall, he reaches a decision.

"Ken, take Cademon's place and send him over here." He then turns to Marin and says, "Take my torch; you're going to get your wish and go exploring with Cademon."




 

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