The Plagued Oasis: Part Four

Nick Martins, Staff Writer

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The wagon train reached its destination. The capital of the northeastern district, Djaca. The streets were vacant, town square was covered in sand due to a sandstorm, and the dark morning dawn made everything seem more ominous. The buildings were simplistic in design, as the soldiers soon realize Djaca’s inn didn’t even have enough rooms for a cell. Some of the spectral like townspeople came to greet the seemingly endless amount of cells. Tabia, the scout, and Sudi got off their horses.

“Go away! You are not welcome here! We requested for Raad’s men not yours wench!” The villager said in a raspy voice. Suddenly many who shared the same feelings began to cry out. A group of protesters formed quickly, mainly consisting of elders.

“Calm yourselves! Raad himself isn’t in his best position! Surely we should prove ourselves before we are sent home back to Kade,” Sudi said. One of the elderly villagers gave Sudi a repulsive look. Then the villager looked at the scout and back to Sudi.

“You have already proven yourselves! You bring an enemy to an already distressed capital! I know Idman uniforms by heart. I’ll have you know I served in the twenty-four year war! Nothing comes good out of an Idman. Nothing!” The villager yelled.

“I’ll have you know, this man is destined to die within an hour. I just took his request to live longer to see the sunrise,” Tabia said.

The protesters began circling around Tabia. A few younger men made their way through the crowd of angry elders. Sharing the same attitude as the feeble lemons in the crowd they attack Tabia. They grabbed a hold of her wrists and began punching her stomach and face. The first wagons closest to Tabia all jump off swiftly and attempt to de-escalate the situation. The scout draws Tabia’s sword from her holster on her left leg. The scout grabs an old man and held the blade by his throat from behind. The other lemons let go after the old man screams for help.

“Nobody needs to get hurt! Everyone stay a lengthy distance!” The scout yelled. The men surrounding Tabia approach closer to the scout.

“Why don’t you release our friend before you get hurt.” one lemon said. The scout kicked the old man he held hostage forward onto the ground. Then cells from the first few wagons create a barrier between the scout and the elderly. The lemons pile on top of the soldier’s shields and attempt to get the scout. Suddenly young men and women started running out of the sand covered houses. They start yelling at the elderly to stop and to get back into their houses. All of the elders obeyed except one. His family members weren’t anywhere in sight.

“Listen you hermit! Go back to your house!” Tabia said.

“Not until he is executed,” the old man pointed to the scout, “I served in the largest war this oasis has ever seen. And I didn’t serve to see his kind here.”

“Well old man, he earned his life to live,” Tabia said.

“So bet it. One more mistake General Zahra and I’ll send Kha’em my regards,” the old man said walking away.

“Well that was quite a warm welcome from the towns folk,” Sudi said sarcastically.

“Agreed,” Tabia said, “Men! Back in your wagons. We’re setting up camp further down the road, past Djaca.”

“In the dunes General?” Sudi questioned.

“Indeed,” she said.

The sand dunes were formed in such way it looked like waves in the ocean. The tip of the sun began to shine and cast its light across the sea of sands. The men were already placing their shades down to protect themselves from the boiling sun. Tabia and Sudi started setting up their tents along with the other lesser generals. Some of the smarter cells began forming a roof on the wagons they came in, using their cloth shades that come in their field satchel. Suddenly the sun had risen completely. Cells gathered around the scout on top of the dune. He was gazing at the sun as if he were hypnotized by it.

“Your time has come scout. I hope you enjoyed your sun.” one soldier said.

Tabia pushed through the crowd and grabbed the scout by his arm and dragged him toward her tent. The soldiers followed her. Tabia stopped at the entrance of the tent whilst the scout was told walk inside.

“Men, if I granted him his last wish, I shall be the one to take his life.” She walked inside and sat down next to the scout. General Sudi commanded the men to start expanding the territory of their camp. The cells dispersed and Sudi guarded the entrance of the tent.

“Listen. You’re wish was granted and now your time has come,” Tabia said.

“I understand. All walks of life have to face death at some point and if my time is now so be it,” the scout said, “Yet I have another request General if that’s alright with you.”

“Of course scout anything,” Tabia said.

“Give me a name please. Place that name on my obelisk of remembrance,” the scout said.

“Ozier,” she said, “Ozier will be your name.”

“Make it as painless as you can general.” Ozier said.

Tabia stood up and grew her sword from her holster. She swung back and forth near his neck for practice three times. On the fourth she swung with full force but purposely stopped midway through.

“I can’t. I simply can’t. I’m just weak,” Tabia said.

“You’re not weak. You are a General, the highest position next to the emperor. If you made it to that position on your own you can surely take the life of the enemy,” Ozier.

“I can not take the life that saved mine,” she said, “Do you see the bruises and bumps on my face, any longer and I think that would’ve been the end for me. Not to mention you are more valuable than any of my other men.”

“How so?” Ozier questioned.

“None of my men would have saved me. They don’t appreciate my presence. I hear whisper, they want these repulsive rumors to spread to tarnish my reputation,” she said.

“They’re just being manipulated by their profession. War changes a man and makes them do what they normally wouldn’t,” he said.

“Why are you acting so caring toward me Ozier?” She began to cry.

“This is my last moment in this plane of existence and if I could alter the state of any man, woman, or child in a positive way I think it would be the for the best,” he stood up and hugged her. She began crying in his shoulder.

“You have earned a right to live Ozier. I can not take your life. You are a good hearted person,” she said.

Suddenly a soldier ripped his way through the tent and began shouting. Grabbing everyone’s attention, a swarm was huddled around the hole in the tent. They began shouting traitor. Sudi pushes through the crowd with his shield. When he reaches the ripped hole, he violently yelled and punched his shield several times. Creating an aura of awkward silence, he begins to question Tabia in an angrily fashion.

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The Plagued Oasis: Part Four