The Plagued Oasis: Part Two

Nick Martins, Staff Writer

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Kha’em had woken from his slumber. He turned his head to his right expecting Akela to be there asleep and yet she had vanished. Laying there in his bed he looked up into the ceiling. As if he were confined to his bed with chains on his ankles and wrists he was simply motionless. His room was hand carved from sandstone. It had advanced styles of architec seemingly impossible to make for this time in human history. The furniture was made out of resources from the oasis. Mainly wood was used but in the fashion that it was used was yet again just as remarkable as the architecture of the room itself. Red silk shades hung the master bed. It wasn’t woven so tightly, you could sense a breeze flow through them and see straight past them for miles. The bed sheets were also made out of silk, slightly more dense than the shades but not so thick as to sweat obsessively in the heat.

Guards walked in escorting an informant in with an atmosphere of urgency. As if under a hypnotic spell, Kha’em didn’t address the new guests inside his bedroom nor did he care.

“My great and most powerful emperor. The Fidu and Iasbaha formed an alliance. Nothing alarming at the moment, but scouts have reported campsites in the dense forest of oasis near the southwestern districts. Not only that my great and most powerful emperor, scouts have reported in saying the Idman empire plans to attack our crops in the Northeastern districts. How shall you’ll have Aczen respond sir?” The informant said it in such quick succession and with one breath. Kha’em snapped out of his current state of distraction because of amazement. Kha’em got up from his bed and began to pace back and forth.

“Yes I see. These foes are rather ambitious to break the temporary pause of war. Alright. See to it that Raad and his men go to the Southwestern portion of Aczen. Tell Raad to start building a wall of defense and no matter how threatening the situation might be, let the enemy strike first,” Kha’em said.

“But sir, Raad is more experienced in handling the Idman empire rather than the Fidu and Iasbaha,” The informant said.

“I know of Raad and his experience with the Idman troops yet, Tabia would collapse under pressure in the southwestern districts with the Fidu and Iasbaha. Her age barely qualifies her as a woman,” Kha’em said, “The difficulty with this problem is we have a poor solution to it. With the passing of the generals of Utet and Tau last season in the skirmishes for the more territory in the Western and Eastern districts we only have two generals left.”

“Aye sir, we are outnumbered,” The informant said.

“Outnumbered yes, outsmarted, never,” Kha’em said. The informant chuckled slightly. “This is no laughing matter. Why are you still in my presences go do your job and inform the generals!”

The informant ran through the palace. He ended up in the armory located in the basement of the palace. Raad sat in the mess hall. His back was turned to the doorway. No one else was there besides him. Like every room in the palace it was carved out of sandstone with the furniture made out of mainly wood from the oasis. The informant was at the doorway attempting to say something. One of the guards escorting the informant punched his right shoulder blade. This helped the informant cleared his thoughts.

“Raad. You have new pressing assignments.”

“Speak,” Raad said, “I do not the patience to sit around and mope all day.”

“Raad you will report to the Southwestern districts and build a wall of defenses. Scouts have reported strange activities from the Fidu and Iasbaha. This is of course following the new alliance they formed. We gained this information through a spy in the royal palace of Fidu. No matter the situation you must build that wall and only attack when they strike first.” the informant said as Raad was walking to the doorway. “If you’re not up for the job Raad we could send lesser generals.”

“No sir. I think occupying myself with chores and a possibility of war will help cloud my thoughts.” Raad said walking out of the doorway and down the hall to his room.

“So be it then. You know your mission,” the informant said as Raad was walking away. “And Raad. Time will heal the wounds between you both see to it that you change yourself for her liking. And if you change to much then it was not meant to be in this life but possibly the next.”

“Thanks informant.” Raad said.

The informant and guards walked to Tabia’s quarters. He knocks on the door gently. There was a loud sigh and it was followed by silence. The informant knocks once more. He was met with a ‘go away’ from Tabia.

“Tabia it’s one of the Royal informants please open up.” the informant said.

“Good morning informant. Where am I needed?” Tabia said saluting when she opened the door.

“Northeastern districts. We had our scouts in the early hours before dawn to conduct research on the enemy and it appears the Idman empire plans to attack some time in the near future. You need to take your army there and make secure the farmlands aren’t damaged. Another thing, make sure they strike first so that we comply with the temporary pause of war. If you see any enemy scouts you are to take them as war prisoners. Kha’em wants no casualties of any kind,” The informant said.

“Will do Informant,” She saluted him, “For Aczen!”

“Ah yes. For Aczen!” The informant saluted awkwardly before Tabia, the guards, and the informant himself all walked their separate ways.

Behind the palace is where the armies trained viciously. The dusty courtyard is where they were tortured, beaten, and crafted into relentless killing machines. There were roughly one-hundred trainers for the three-thousand men that served. Blood and sweat covered the men across the courtyard. This was showed as a sign of strength in Aczen culture.

Tabia walked onto a balcony overlooking the courtyard. Guards on her left and right blew horns. The courtyard became motionless. They all looked over to the balcony. The trainers started yelling at the men to get into formation. Tabia’s army was plentiful in numbers and to the right. The small remainder was Raad’s army.

“I need my troops ready by nightfall Supreme Sergeant Sudi” she yelled.

“Yes Ma’am,” he paused and took a deep breath, “Alright men!! You heard General Zahra. To the showers and medic bay if needed.”  Tabia nodded and General Sudi in return.

Tabia walked inside the Palace. Raad with his head down bumped into Tabia.

“Watch your footing, oh…” Tabia walked away confidently and immediately. Raad walked onto the balcony. Guards unenthusiastically walked to his side and blew their horns.

“General Sudi. I need my men by nightfall.” Raad said under his breath.

“Sir, I am going to assume you want your men by nightfall similar to General Zahra.” General Sudi said. Raad walked into the palace and back down into his room. Looking down at the floor he bumps into walls, furniture, people.

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The Plagued Oasis: Part Two