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Neopedia : The Commander

Queen’s Chambers, Sakhmet Palace

The doors fly open and General Dacon gets to his feet at lightning speed. He isn’t the young commander he once was. Time has made some of his movements stiff and painful but his senses are still as sharp as ever. Especially when it comes to worrying about the safety of his Queen Amira. And right now, he senses something sinister.

General Aharoon, the new commander of the city’s armed forces walks in.

General Aharoon:General Dacon! Please, relax. We come bearing no ill will. In fact, we hope to be out of here in minutes if the Queen complies with us. It’s a lovely day outside. No offence but I wouldn’t wish to waste it cooped up in here.

Queen Amira is staring blankly outside the only open window in the room. Days have started to blur and merge with each other. She turns to look at the soldiers who have marched into the room and seem to be staring at her.

General Aharoon: Didn’t wish to pull you out of your reverie, my lady. I am here to ask you about the royal hidden treasury. Just tell us where it is. Give us any keys we might need to access it and we will leave you to your day dreams.

Amira tries to keep a calm composure. She doesn’t want this arrogant and disloyal member of her own army to see the turmoil his words have caused her. It all comes back to her. The uprising, the house arrest, and from the very little that she has been hearing lately, the atrocities that the soldiers are committing on the people of Sakhmet. On her people! And now he has the nerve to ask her about the hidden treasury.

Queen Amira: I don’t think I understand what you mean.

General Aharoon: Oh, I think you do, Queen Amira. I think you do very well. Let’s not play these games. Let’s make it easy for the both of us.

Queen Amira: What you are asking for is impossible.

General Aharoon: Forgive me for bringing this up but you do realise the consequences of denying my request, don’t you, my Queen?

Queen Amira: You mean you will choose violence like you are doing outside the palace?

General Aharoon: So news does travel even through top-notch security! I don’t want to brag but you will find that my ways are rather effective. Do you want a taste of them?

General Dacon: Careful, Queen Amira is still your Queen.

General Aharoon: I am running out of patience here. Just give me the keys and tell me the way to the treasury. NOW!

Queen Amira: Or else what? Do as you please and so will I.

General Aharoon: Very well. General Dacon! As your new commander, I order you to arrest the Queen!

General Dacon: I don’t take or-

General Aharoon: Times have moved on, old guy. You are no longer the commander of the city’s armed forces. You are talking to the one who is! Now, either you do it or my soldiers will arrest you both and put you in the cells. Choose wisely, Dacon. You don’t have time.

General Dacon looks at Amira and then at the four soldiers of the Queen’s personal guard that await his command. He feels like it was only yesterday that he would have had his whole army leap to his defense when threatened by a usurper like this and now, all he has left are these four and even they don’t look sure. He then looks at General Aharoon and feels anger rising from every fiber in his being. Not for the first time that day, he finds himself longing for the fabled Blaze. Though he has heard stories about how it was stolen from the family ever since he could remember, recently, he has found himself thinking about the sword more and more often.

He snaps out of his reverie and finds everyone looking at him and awaiting his decision. He takes a deep breath and nods at the personal guards and at once, the four of them move in towards Amira and circle her. Dacon follows them.

General Aharoon: Smart move, Dacon.

General Dacon takes a step towards Amira and the new commander relaxes his stance. In an unexpected display of speed and agility, General Dacon leaps at General Aharoon and his soldiers. General Dacon’s men are close at heel, mounting a surprise attack on the visiting soldiers of the Sakhmet army. A duel ensues and after what seems like a long time, General Dacon and his soldiers succeed in throwing the others out of the palace gates and bolt them safe from inside. Amira looks stunned.

General Dacon: Go to your rooms, Queen Amira. The new commander will be back soon and with a much larger force at his disposal too. I have some things to do before that.

Queen Amira: What things?

General Dacon: It’s a long shot but I haven’t got any other recourse left.

General Dacon orders one of the guards to bring the palace magician to him at once. He needs him to send two messages outside. One to a close member of the Queen’s family and the other to a crook…