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The Song of Steel

Book One - Chapter 13

By W.R. Logan


Copyright 2004 W.R. Logan

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The cry thundered in her ears.  As it echoed through the halls, the sound multiplied making it sound like an army of ork was caged in cells.  The sound of flesh bouncing off steel followed the roar.  Her three tormentors jumped at the commotion but then relaxed as they realized the bars held.


“Sounds like your friend is awake,” the one they called Bones said to her.


It was easy to see where he got his name.  The man was tall but ghostly thin.  His chain shirt hung loosely on his undersized chest and flapped freely around his arms.  The large bony knobs at the bend of the man's arms seemed to match the ones at his wrist.  The leather belt that held his sword wrapped twice around his waist and hung low on his hip.


“None too happy either by the sound of him,” added Imp.


This one too showed physical signs of his name.  He stood shorter than Brianna. His face was much too compact for his features making his nose look off centered.  The ears extended far beyond the sides of his head.  They looked like little sails waiting to fill with air.


Height must be a sore subject for him, she thought as she noticed the way the man spiked his hair to appear taller.


“He will calm down when he hears the sounds of pleasure coming from you when I have you,”  Imp promised.


“If your manhood matches the rest of you,” Brianna commented, “then the sounds will be of disappointment.”


The Imp’s eyes narrowed and he pulled the whip from Nate’s hands.  The little man gave her six hard lashes before he stopped to catch his breath.


That is a weakness that I may be able to use, Brianna thought after the sting had died down.


The back of her shirt was ripped and torn from the lashes.  She could feel the wetness of her blood soaking into her pants.  The pain was not as bad as it had been at the beginning of the beating.  The lashes had grown less frequent when she learned to control her screams that fueled the men’s blood lust.  Now, they were content to casually beat her and make promises of how their manhood would please her. That disturbed her more than the thrashing.


She may have had a chance for escape if she had stayed with her sister.  Or she could have foiled the plot all together if she just paid more attention to the voices in council.  She had seen nothing and was easily fooled into leaving her father’s side.


When a castle guard had come to tell her that a message had come from the ork, she had rushed out to retrieve it.  Her father asked her to go but she should have refused.  She should have reminded him that she was his guard and that they were at war.  Instead, the woman converted back to the little girl, happy to please her father.


By the time Brianna had noticed anything out of place, Ronan guards surrounded her.  She had fought her way through them, killing or wounding many.  The half-elf made a path all the way to the castle entrance and could have made it back to the throne room if not for one folly.  Trust.


Darious of Ronan had come walking out from the stables.  His face filled with anger as he saw the guards fighting her.


“What is this,” he yelled, “Put down your swords.”


“We don’t take no orders from you no more,” a guard told him as he sent two men in Darious’ direction.


He fought his two attackers till he stood back to back with Brianna.  The man had seen Brianna and her sister use the tactic hundreds of times in tourney.  Feeling him against her back, Brianna felt safe to concentrate on the men in front of her.  When the white stars filled her eyes and a dribble of blood ran down the back of her neck, she realized her mistake.


“You call yourselves soldiers,” Darious yelled,  “You can’t even take down one girl.”


“She wasn’t going nowhere,” one of the guards argued.


“A string of you littler the court yard,” Darious observed, “The gods forbid if this one had reached her sister.  Get her to a cell before she regains her wits and finishes the rest of you.  There is one more in the stable put him in a cell and keep him safe.”


Darious was a traitor to the king and she was fooled by his act.  But what act was she fooled by?  The man sold his vote to the highest bidder at every chance he got.  Everything that he brought to the table was something that benefited him in someway.  He did not care about his people or justice or anything else that was right.  She wasn’t fooled, just dim-witted.


He father was always telling her not to judge someone from their outside appearances.


“What a man may show you on the outside,” he would say, “doesn’t always reflect his true self.”


When she saw her father again, she would remember to tell him, “Sometimes, if it looks like dung, it just might be dung.”  She loved her father dearly, but his effort to always see the good in someone often blinded him to the evil they were capable of doing.


The three men ripped the rest of the cloth from her back.  They examined their work closely all claiming credit for the deepest of her wounds.  The feel of the vile men’s hands on her back made her retch.  She could smell the odor of their unwashed bodies over the metallic scent of her blood.  The bile seeped up to the back of her mouth.  Her head being her only weapon, and it having so few ways of attack, she used it.


The biggest of the three, Nate, was looking over a wound on her upper left shoulder when she turned her head.  His eyes meet hers long enough to see the satisfaction in them as she released the contents of her stomach into his waiting face.  The man fell back wiping the gunk from his eyes.


“You filthy little tainted moll,” he bellowed.


His friends burst into laughter at him.


“Ha,”  Imp laughed as he jumped up and down, “Sharing dinner with the lady, are ya now.”


“Naw,” Bones put in, “His face is so ugly she couldn’t take it no more.”


The two giggled with glee, slapping each other on the back with each foolish pun.


Nate grabbed Brianna by her hair and pulled her head so far back she thought her neck would snap.  His narrow squinted eyes made him look to be deep in thought at all times. This was an illusion.  Brianna had known the man long enough to know even the simplest of thoughts would be beyond him.


Unglar had begun his battle cry once more.  The bars of his cell shook with fury.  But the bars were of thick iron designed to keep even an ork inside.  He would not break free to save her.  Knowing that he wanted to, was a great comfort to Brianna.


“Careful now Nate,” Imp warned, “If that big ork gets out, he might throw you through another wall.”


“Ha,” Bones added, “Slept for an hour he did.”


“Shut up,” Nate screamed, “I told you, his horse kicked me.”


“Funniest looking horseshoe print I ever did see,” commented Imp.


Nate looked down to the long straight line that dented his breastplate.


“You are going to pay for that,” Nate promised Brianna.


Apparently, he chose to ignore the hole in his lie rather than spend the time to think up a new one.  The mark on the breastplate was the print of the “Goblin Splitter” and were he not wearing Elvin armor, the man would be dead.  A shame he had taken the time to equip himself from her father’s smiths.


Nate reached into the bucket that sat near the wall.  He lifted his hand to her face to let her see the salt running between his fingers.  A malicious smile found its way to his thick lips as he ground the handful of grit into her cuts.  Her pain reached a new level of torment and her scream reached a new pitch to match it.  The intense screech overshadowed the raging half-ork just a few feet down the hall.


“They’ll be hearing that one all the way to the throne room,” Imp said.


“To Ronan, I’d bet,” Bones corrected.


“Now you’ve had the pain,” Nate spat at her, “It’s time for the pleasure.”


“I’m first,” Imp interrupted bouncing up and down again. “You said the one who made the deepest cut and that was me.”  He hoped over to Brianna. “See, right there, that one is mine.”


“You did say deepest cut gets first,” Bones reminded.


Nate slammed Brianna’s forehead into the wall and backed away from her.


“Not like it’ll take you more than a minute,” Nate conceited.


Imp hurried over to Brianna’s side bouncing like a child waiting for a treat.  With excited hands he undid his belt and exposed the full of his manhood.  He rubbed it gently against her leg until she could feel it get stiff.


“What do you think now, bitch,” Imp questioned.


Brianna turned her head to face the little piece of man that stood to her left side.  He brought his face so close to her, she could smell the foulness of his breath.  She felt the warmness of his skin pressing on her.


Just as he was about to put his lips to her, she said, “I think nature can be cruel.”


Her arm had swung around the tiny man’s throat wrapping it in the chains on her wrist.  Brianna had taken some slack in her hand as she was chained and held it during her beating never letting it go.  Once the chain locked in place it could not be pulled loose.  It had been all she could do to keep hold of the chain and wait for one of the fools to come close enough for the kill.


The slack in the chain rolled forward squeezing the air from Imp as it went.  Bones and Nate ran to his aid, neither being intelligent enough to hit the release on the weights.  They pulled at the chains only tightening the grip on the man’s neck.  Imp let his arms fall to his side done resisting death.  His eyes rolled back in their sockets exposing only the whites as his kicking came to an end. 


Brianna’s wrist trickled blood down her arm. The metal binding had cut a deep gash from Imp’s struggle for life.  Her hand was held tightly in place behind the dead man’s head making it hard for her to tell how bad the cut was.  The severity of her wounds did not concern her much at this point.  She was going to die in this hole.


“You killed, Imp,” Nate said in disbelief.  Brianna wished he had made deepest cut.


“Run her through,” Bones encouraged.  “I don’t want no tainted whore no ways.”


“I am going to put this dagger in your belly and let you bleed out,” Nate threatened drawing the small blade.


The room grew dark.  Brianna wasn’t sure if it were just her eyes or if the torch had gone out.  As her eyes adjusted, she realized that a shadow had been cast into the room from the door.  A very large shadow.


Nate and Bones were a little slower to see what caused the darkness.  Bones was the first to turn to the door and see the ork.  Foam lathered his mouth like a mad dog.  His eyes burned red in the dark of the cell searching for vengeance.  Bones stared into those eyes and saw his demise in a most painful manner.  Brianna heard the dribble of fluid as the man’s blatter failed him.


Unglar lifted the man with one hand.  He turned and chucked the bony man across the hall.  Bones hit the wall with a loud thud.  One of his knobby legs broke in the collision. A large blood spot marked his point of impact on the wall and slowly drizzled down to join the puddle that gathered around the broken heap than had been his body.  Bones did not move from where he fell.


Nate stood as white as a ghost.  Any delusions that the man had of being able to defeat the half-ork was as smashed as the wall Unglar had knocked down with him.  He stood there in the pool of urine holding the dagger in his hand.  He had no courage left in him to try and use it.  Tears began to well in his eyes.


“I was just doing what I was told to do,” Nate explained, “I ain’t the one you want.”


Brianna didn’t even think the half-ork knew the man was speaking.  But that didn’t stop him from continuing to beg.


“Please, don’t kill me,” he pleaded, “I can help you.”


Unglar gripped the man by his breastplate and slammed him into the wall with such force that Nate lost hold of the dagger.  It skipped across the floor to settle beneath Brianna’s feet.  On the second slam, the straps of the breastplate broke and allowed Nate to fall to the floor.


Nate gave no resistance when the half-ork lifted him by his shirt.  Fear kept his sword in the scabbard.  His tears ran freely down his dirty cheeks.  They cut streaks in the black dirt that had clung to him from the floor.  He would find no mercy from Unglar.


“Wait, Unglar,” Brianna said.


Unglar tossed Nate back to the floor and turned to face Brianna.


“Get me loose,” she told him.


The half-ork turned the release on the weights to her chains.  The dead Imp fell to the floor with his manhood still exposed, limp and useless, as it had been in life.

His face was frozen in horror as a reminder of his gruesome end.  Nate’s blubbering increased at the sight of his fallen friend.


“Mercy,” he called,  “please, I beg you mercy.”


Brianna freed herself from the bindings picking up the dagger as she went.  Her back still burned from the salt.  The big ogre was too stupid to know that the salt was used to cleanse the victims wounds and prevent infection.  It had already helped her blood to clot.


“Please, I am sorry, m’lady,” Nate begged in his most respectful tone, “It was Darious that bid us to do it.”


“Shshssh,” Brianna soothed, “You said you could help us.”


Nate saw his deliverance in Brianna’s eyes.  She was the daughter of King G’Leaze, the Forgiving, as the small folk called him.  His tears began to slow and his breathing came more easily.


“Yes, I will,” Nate promised.


“Where are my father and sister?”


“Darious has them in the war room,” Nate divulged, “Long with all the council that voted against surrender.” 


Brianna smiled at him sweetly.


“I will take you there,” Nate offered.


Brianna ran her finger along Nate’s chest seductively. 


“I think I am still owed some pleasure,” she purred.


Nate was stunned by the suggestion.  His mouth fell open and his eyes widened in excitement.  Then, as a dagger took a bite in his stomach, the excitement turned to hurt.  She twisted the dagger leisurely in a complete circle drinking in Nate’s bellows.


She left the dagger hanging out of the dying man as she pulled his sword from his belt.  It was  poorly balanced.  The sword was not of the same quality as the royal armor he was wearing but it would have to do, at least till she found her sword, “Dragontail”.  The sword’s name made her think about Puffer, her shoulder dragon.  He had taken flight during her fight in the courtyard. Several times, his flames had covered her rear from attack showing no fear for his own safety.  His protection had ended just before Darious had shown up.  If he had hurt Puffer, he would die on her blade.  That she vowed to any of the gods that maybe listening.  Her almond eyes gazed down on the slobbering man at her feet no longer hiding her disgust.


“Oh but you Ronan do know how to please a woman,” she sneered as she left him in the filth of the cell. 





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