... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 Happy Eventuality? -Toshiro

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Eloaene

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Join date : 2012-09-20
Age : 33
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Happy Eventuality? -Toshiro   Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:47 pm

Late Turn 494
Part 5



Weariness was heavy upon him and even his commanding officers were beginning to take notice that Toshiro was beginning to lose the battle with that deep-seated Heart of his. For Turns he’d tried so hard to uproot the feeling in his heart in order to protect himself. In the end, he wasn’t protecting himself at all. The longer things went on that way, the more Toshiro felt hollow inside.

Toshiro had spent Turns involved in near-constant fighting -where nearly every day seemed a fight for survival. Being as young as he was, life had already taken a heavy toll on him. For all he’d been through, the Toshiro had become more like an emotional invalid.

There was a dull, apathetic haze in what used to be lively Walnut eyes, that was constant. Now they only bore any spark of life when he was forced to fight to survive. The passion that had been with him when he first joined the Guard seemed to have been drained from him.

Truth be told, the Guard still needed his skills, but they didn’t want him to continue working in his current state. Even his superiors recognized that it simply wasn’t healthy. If they didn’t let him take a leave for his health, there was the risk of a serious emotional and mental breakdown that could put his own life and the lives of others at risk. A funny thing to say, when every day posed any number of threats.

There was also another issue on hand that Toshiro had yet to be made aware of, that had prompted his being summoned to meet with One of his Squad Commanders.



Toshiro had been back in Southern Telgar Hold for several days, giving he and Kesa time to rest from the long journey and all the trouble they’d encountered at the farmstead. He’d wondered at the reason why the Commander had agreed so readily to put her up in one of the Inns that’d been appropriated for secretive use by the Guard. It was often that Toshiro stayed there instead in any formal barracks, because that is where many private meetings amoungst Guard officials were now held, in order to evade the detection of Rebels. It was often the result of those meetings in secret that his next targets were determined. So, seeing that he reported directly to a higher chain of command because of his access to sensitive information, it was ideal for him to remain close when he was able.

Kesa could work at the establishment anyway, and earn her keep. Considering it was a safe house for Guard activity, it should be relatively safe for her there, even if Toshiro had to leave Southern Telgar Hold again. But, somehow, Toshiro got the feeling that the Commander had another reason up his sleeve -which he may want to address on a day like today.

Returning from the gather square, having picked up a few supplies in favour to the women who ran the Inn, Toshiro dropped the satchel of items off with Kesa, quietly making sure she was doing alright before he left her, going to visit with his superior.

Making his way up the stairs to the upper level, Toshiro politely announced his entrance, moving to take a seat at the table situated in the middle of the largest of the upstairs rooms, for meetings. Nearly every room in the large Inn had been arranged to suit the guard’s particular needs, leaving only a few for workers and travelers to reside in. It didn’t bother the Inn keep because at least their pay was constant and the Inn was somewhat safeguarded from the unrest that plagued much of the rest of Southern Telgar Hold.

“Sir. I’m here at your request.”

The Commander was nodding, motioning him casually to come in and be seated.

Taking a seat beside the Commander, who was at the head of the table, across from a second officer, Toshiro folded his hands and leaned forward over the table onto his forearms. He didn’t speak until spoken to after that, becoming quiet -or talkative as usual.

“You’re probably expecting an update on Sozo, but I haven’t anything else to tell you right now. Even if I had, it’s been decided that the case is being given to someone else. I can tell you honestly that I know the case won’t be handled as well as if you continued on with it, but it must be done.”

It was obviously to Toshiro’s surprise that they were passing off his assignment related to the Agent to someone else, but after initial astonishment, he worked to hide it. “Is there a reason?”

“There is. The Chorong have discovered you. They know you are a dangerous weapon to be used against them as long as you are left in our control.” The Commander sighed wearily, “So, since we’ve been keeping an eye on them as best we can, I suggested it might be beneficial for everyone to keep those dirty Rebels on their toes by hiding you away for a while.”

Meeting Toshiro’s eyes with a steady, perfectly serious gaze, the Commander further explained, “They want to see you dead, Toshiro. You’ve done too much in service to this Hold, and they know it. It’s unlikely they’d try to buy you out from under us. It’s easy to see you’re very devoted.

“Anyway, I took the liberty of creating you a new identity.” Watching Toshiro’s expression, the Commander smirked, “Don’t give me that look, it’s just for now.” The man was chuckling at that. “Everything you need will be provided. We have you a place to live in the country, out of reach of everybody; I just hope you know a little about how to farm. You’ll be sent your regular pay while you live there, and I’ll keep you up to date with periodic letters. Just keep yourself alive and enjoy the rest. Think of it as a well-earned, paid vacation.”

Toshiro didn’t really know what to say to that, but he couldn’t turn the Commander down either. Of course, the Commander was typically the kind of man whose particular charisma made it difficult to say no to, anyway. And he knew it, frequently working it to his advantage -in a friendly way. Toshiro had never seen him the type to be battle-hardened, even though he was. The man was too pleasant and warm-hearted for all of it.

So, before Toshiro had time to consider it, because he hadn’t the need to, Toshiro nodded, agreeing to the ‘mission’. But keeping himself alive and out of trouble? Toshiro wondered if it would be his most difficult mission yet. That brought a bemused smirk to him. “Sure. Give me the location and I’ll pack my things.”

Pleased by the willingness as always, and pleased even more that Toshiro would be able to take all the burdens from his shoulders at last, the Commander smiled in return. “Good then. I will have the details to you shortly and you can be on your way in the morning.”

With that, the two were nodding agreeably, but then the Commander spoke up once more, almost as an afterthought, “Oh, and one more thing, Toshiro, before you go. The girl you call Kesa. I did a little research on her. It’s as you say. She is the daughter of a farm family who were recently slain by the Rebels. It’s unfortunate, but it works out that you decided to care for her. I had a new identity made for her as well, and had documents drawn up for the two of you to be officially wed. So, Congratulations.

“It’s part of your new identity. She will go with you; you’ll be a husband and wife whose family were run out of their farmstead by filthy traitors. If anyone asks.”

Since it was somewhat Toshiro’s own suggestion, the Commander didn’t think Toshiro would mind the whole marriage thing. As far as the rest of it, Toshiro had sacrificed enough in service to his Hold, so it was a merciful decision to release him from duty for enough time that he hopefully be forgotten by their enemies. The young man would finally be able to rest and regain some part of that humanity which they had taken from him.


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