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Ms.Ezra

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Ms.Ezra

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“Fair 'nough. Personally, I prefer the sea or the wilds. Less laws to rein ya in.” Anne admits just as the wagon arrives at the plaza. It is mostly deserted for now, but people have come and taken up spots near the central tower, and a group of twenty White Guards standing in wait with their captain.

Anne hops out with cutlass and weapon holster in hand leaving the rest in the wagon for now. She grabs the bag with Mary's useless(for now) pistol inside and slings it around herself before putting on her holster and cutlass about her waist. Her eyes scan around and find the sign for Old Abe's Tavern down the way. “Ah-ha!” She exclaims and Korlen, anticipating her to ask for it, comes by her and hands off a small bag that jingles. Looking like it was Christmas morning, Anne opens it and her eyes light up. “I'll be back boys, need my medicine.” Anne holds the bag tight and heads to the tavern down the road.

Korlen watches her for a second, shaking his head. “I hope I don't regret that later.” He waves over at the waiting Guards and they come forward.

“Men at the ready, sir.” The captain salutes and the others follow.

“Sergeant.” Korlen addresses Benji. “I defer to your opinion of how best to place this squad to better prevent the enemies' modern weapons from committing another tragedy upon our people.”
 

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Ben wasn’t surprised at all by Anne’s preferences. She may have been transported to another world but the Irish hellcat stayed true to her pirate nature, however people viewed her it didn’t matter. The Filipino wondered what drove Bonny to a life of piracy, exactly. Having dealt with black market smugglers and bandits he had a few guesses, but that thought can be saved for a later time. Once they entered the plaza, the guerrilla got off the wagon and briefly watched Anne head for the tavern.

Pity the poor bartender that has to take her order. With that out of the way Ben next discovered himself with new white guard solders. A whole squad of them he noted before Korlen spoke. Taking out the cigarette from his mouth Benjie took a long careful examination all around the plaza itself. What he saw, troubled him greatly. Turning back to the commander he said

“Commander you’re going to need more men for this. There is plenty of exposed space here that can be exploited by the enemy. Make sure that any high point like a top widow or tower is either occupied by sentries or watched. There are some firearms can kill a man from a fair distance as you would with a longbow.”

Sighing, he added.“I would also recommend you have some people check any wagons for suspicious items. Keep an eye out for anyone in hooded cloaks or other heavy garments that could conceal modern weapons. Your main squad should be positioned to protect your King wherever he speaks at. Especially, with energy barriers like the Red Shield has, they seem to work well against bullets.”

Dropping the cigarette down on the pavement Ben squshed until it was nothing.

“In the event an attack does take the place the people need to scatter to get out of the line of fire quickly as possible. Also be sure to hide some fighters in reserve nearby to assist in a counter-attack but within a spot that won’t be clogged up with fleeing citizens. We wouldn’t want to show all our cards yet. Preventing an attempt would be unlikely, our priority would be to contain the situation and keep the king alive.”
 
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Ms.Ezra

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Korlen and the others listen intently to Benji as he expertly informs them how their numbers as-is are inadequate for the task. When the Stranger is done, Korlen orders the captain “Send for three more squads from the barracks, immediately. And inform the Red Shield, they are needed at His Majesty's side.”

The captain nods his understanding and salutes before going off to fulfill those orders. Korlen now addresses the squad present point at all hight points around the plaza. “This squad will patrol this plaza. I want to stand, up there-” He points up at the government building at the center of the plaza “-and look out, and see in all these open windows one of you on patrol.”

The squad gives their salute “Yes, sir!”

“Onward, to your calling.” Korlen says to them and the squad disperses in pairs to begin patrolling the immediate area of the plaza. Korlen speaks to Benji, but keeps surveying plaza. “Myself, you, and Red Shield will be beside the Royal Family. Anne will be down here, and I will ask her to catch and hold any who may try to attack from below in the crowd.” He scoffs “Assuming she will follow orders, of course.”

Meanwhile, speaking of the redheaded devil herself...

Anne enters Old Abe's Tavern all smiles, swinging the small bag of money from her index finger and the leather rope which ties it closed. There are only four in the tavern at this hour, one of them being the bartender who knows somehow that this woman is not like his usual clientele. Anne hops onto a stool, nearly making it buckle with the force she unintenionally puts on it out of sheer excitement, slaps down the bag.

“What'll this get me?” She asks putting down the bag. The bartender comes over, opens the bag, and say “Hmmm. A scoundrel would lie, tell ya this is worth a bottle.” The bartender is an elderly white haired man who looks like St. Nicholas. “But I ain't no scoundrel.” He points with his thumb behind him at the door maked 'Storage Chamber' and says “I got a few large pine boxes of drink back there. Most are worth about his much, and one is yours for the taking if ya like for all this.” He jingles the bag.

Anne cannot belive her luck. She almost wants to ask the bartender to repeat himself, but when it comes to booze she hears it clearly without fail. “Aye, people in York sure are friendly” She states grinning ear to ear.

The bartender lets her into the storage chamber then, and Anne is truly having a hard time choosing. There are, as promised, several pine boxes about the size of an adult human coffin here. They're labeled on the sides to be read, but not knowing what 'Orc's Nectar' or other names mean she's at a loss for which to choose. “Hmmmmm....choices choices..” Anne muses aloud as she stands in the middle of the chamber weighing her options.
 

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The resistance fighter nodded in approval at Korlen acted on the suggestion and even improved on it.“I’ll back you up on Anne. The important thing is to persuade not order her around in this case.”Ben had a feeling the Irish firecracker wouldn’t much stomach of the latter unless there was no other choice since she prefers being her own captain. In addition it occurred to him that he would be standing close by to actual royalty.

It nearly caused Benjie to chuckle in reflection but restrainted himself.

Me, a fisherman’s son standing close by to a king, who would’ve thought. If I’m being honest, I don’t feel much loyalty to someone simply because they wear a crown. All the same I owe these people a debt, and we share a common enemy. Won’t let the scum collect their prize today. Not without a fight at least.

With that in his thoughts Ben fully intended to help defend this place against any attack. A moment later the segreant remember another detail and he remarked to Korlen.“Hope you have some preparations against magic attacks commander. Last night was a painful lesson in that regard believe me.”
 
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Gands

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Not even Eternity
Can hold Houdini!

Harry remembered being in a hospital bed. There was a lot of pain involved. A burst appendix the doctor told him, followed by an infection. Damned painful he remembered. He had floated for a timeless period, dreaming perhaps ? As usual he dreamt of his Bess. In his dream she was trying to contact him.

Slowly he began to wake up from his dream. The feeling was still timeless and very dark. There was at least no pain, none whatsoever. There had begun very recently a feeling of hunger though. His hands explored his surroundings. Wood, simple wood, pine perhaps, relatively soft. He checked his clothing for things... He did find a pocket knife. He started to work at the clasp holding the lid closed with his pocket knife. Even as he did so, he wondered how it was he had pockets and a suit when the last thing he remembered was being in the hospital.

It didn't really take long, he was an expert at escaping confinement after all. Rather quietly too he would add when he told the tale later. He tested the top of the box..no resistance. But, then he heard voices from nearby. A woman and an older man, discussing the purchase of alcohol. He sighed, nothing to be done for it.. an audience of two.

He lifted the lid quietly and climbed out.



"Excuse me ! can either of you tell me how far I am from New York ? "
 

Ms.Ezra

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"Alas, we have no ready deterrent for magic." Korlen sighs and shakes his head "Only the more ancient and reclusive races know the secrets of magic. Or so we have been led to believe. Had I more notice, I could have called for help in that. Perhaps there is a Stranger the Red Shield knows of with some gift to help us." He grunts dismissively "No time to dawdle over what we wish we had. We must do what we can with what we have." Korlen beckons for Benji to follow as he makes towards the government building at the center of the plaza. "Come, a better vantage for further planning. " He points up at the high tower of the building.

Korlen leds Benji through the building (mainly the center for permits and various other documents administered by robed intellectuals) and up into the tower. It's a circular affair with a wide open balcony affording a commanding view of the plaza and surrounding area. Korlen stands at the balcony, checking all windows for those he had just ordered to take their posts. He nods as he does see they are indeed being seen patrolling. Korlen asks "What are your plans for after these upstarts are dealt with? I only ask because as commander of the White Guard, I must always be on the lookout for talented soldiers. Be they born of our world or not." He says implying an invite but not actually extending such a thing.

Back at Old Abe's....

Anne is just deciding to give Orc's Nectar a try, since it was free for her anyway, when said box inexplicably opens seemingly by itself. Anne's hand goes to her cutlass, and the bartender for a nearby hammer. Upon seeing a gangly man emerge from the box, both stand dumbfounded looking at him. "New York? Were you drinking my stock?!" The bartender asks indignant. "There be only one York, and you're in it."

"What he said." Anne concurs with the bartender taking her hand off her cutlass. Odd question, odd clothing...could only mean one thing. "Yer a dandy man, in a damned different world." She approaches him and sighs, looking about him for something. "Yer a handsome one at that, but I was more in the mood fer what was supposed to be in there." She looks aside at a case of 'Captain Gasto's Brew' on a shelf and taps it. "I'll be havin' this one then barkeep." She opens said case and pulls out a large brown bottle. She pops it open with her barehand, leans back on the shelf and has a long swig. That done, she takes it off her lips and wipes them clean before speaking to the man again "Captain Anne. Don't know if ya know me, don't rightly care." Anne flexes her right hand, but doesn't feel the same strength as she has before. Figuring it, whatever it is, needs more drink she has another long swig while Houdini speaks.
 

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Harry Houdini

"My name is Harry Captain Anne. It is my priviledge to make your acquaintance".

He looks down at his clothing and cant deny being in finery. Further looking around the room, he has a hard time placing it or her as anyplace he has been or seen. She rather looks like a movie sailor or pirate.

"Forgive me madam, I dont remember coming here. Last I remember was very sick. This looks a bit like a bar though."

He checks his pockets, finding small things like pens, matches and his pocket knife.
 

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Typical, just typical. Ben thought with quiet frustration. Of course during most of the war, he and his fellow guerrillas fought against a brutal enemy who outgunned them repeatedly, until the American military returned in force. Like Korlen stated they will have to make the best with what’s available. When beckoned Segreant Defilino followed the commander to the central building.

He nodded when told they’re going for a better view to further strategize. Minutes later the two stood at the balcony, examining their surroundings. Benjie was using his pair of binoculars, searching for anything suspicious in his line of sight. In the next moment Korlen caught him off with a question and implied a possible offer to join the White Guard. Ben put down the glasses and paused, giving it consideration.

“That would be a generous offer but right now I’m more focus on the task at hand to be honest commander. When this is over I’ll give you a proper answer.”Said Ben before bringing up the binoculars again to keep looking. Quietly he mused over the possibility. There was no way to get back to Earth as the insurgent already known by now.

While Ben was more than willing to fight but to enlist with a new unit, different in so many ways made him hesitant. For one he didn’t know much about these people yet. They were allies yes but the way Korlen acted earlier was cause for concern and it sounded like Anne’s cat people are going to need help. On top of that I don’t relish the idea of becoming a private all over again. He thought jokeily, before drifting back to the other factors.
 
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Ms.Ezra

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"Fair enough, fair enough." Korlen replies. Below them in the plaza, carts arrive bearing the additional troops Korlen has ordered. They are given their marching orders, and disperse appropriately. "That is a quality we admire. Focus and discipline. We recruit the best of our native brethren, but our Kings have also charged us with finding and training the soldiers and warriors among the Strangers who come here. Provide them with homes, and most importantly, a new purpose as a warrior."

Korlen turns away from the view to Benji "That is what some have the most trouble with when they are here, you understand. I have heard stories of how they came fresh from battle, even thought they had died, and could not simply settle into the easy life. Some were the worst of your world and only continued their savagery. The worst caused so much atrocity The Red Shield Guild was founded to prevent further tragedy. And they have proven successful." He says with some admiration but then scoffs "You may not like their manner of doing things however. More scribbling words and drawing than real combat."

-----------------------

"On the money there. This is my bar." The bartender pockets the bag of gold Anne had given him and scowls. "Now if you please, get outta there so I can have get back to business." He motions for Houdini to get out of the box with both hands and ushers both out. Anne finishes the bottle and sits down at the bar where she'd originally sat. She tells the bartender first "Mark that one Anne, and I'll be coming around while in town, take what's left with me when I go back home." The woman burps, looks over at Houdini.

"If ya were sick.....then ya probably died." She gestures around them. " I 'spose ya would call this The Afterlife. Not just this bar." She waves at the door where people are seen passing by through the glass "There's a whole strange strange world out there. Stuff ya only read about like....a unicorn. My...." Anne struggles with the right word for what Yuzuki was to her. "...travelling partner...she had a unicorn. Beautiful creature." Anne laughs and feels the need to specify "The unicorn mind ya. Yuzuki is....was....a fine lookin' woman though."
 

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Harry Houdini

He listened to the woman Anne as she was in her cups discussing the afterlife. Well, if this is the after life, and her idea of heaven, being drunk... and this is a bar with a bar owner.

Harry searched his pockets.. not much money. He noticed the bar owner handling a bag of coins. Harry decided that at least for him, this was neither heaven or hell. That being said, he felt very much alive and somewhat younger than what he remembered at home. He already missed his Beth. So, out he needed to go and find what he could.

Without talking much more to drunk pirate lady, nice as she seemed to be, he walked out the door of the bar. He moved to one side and just watched the passers by. They seemed dressed like their were in the medieval age. Looking around, he noticed guards, wearing armor, like the knights of old.

He walked slowly towards where he thought the crowds seemed thickest. There were a lot of guards, passing him in the street were two whole wagons full of them. Well, he had to start somewhere he supposed. He walked slowly towards what he perceived to be the center of town, where all those armored men were gathering, dressed in his best tuxedo...

Ms.Ezra Ms.Ezra Nomad-22 Nomad-22
 

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Korlen had a convincing argument, that was for certain. Even so the Filipino continued to spy through his glasses for anything suspicious in the area from their angle. Detecting nothing so far, Benjie’s mind latched onto the latest reveal the Guard commander gave about the soldiers/warriors from earth. It made him uncomfortable, though he hid the feeling visibly behind a neutral expression.

Hate to think that any enemy bastrads I killed ended here up, causing trouble on my account. Makes perfect sense, that these kings want to recruit talented strangers for either Red Shield or the White Guard. It’s a way keep watch over potential troublemakers and make them useful at the same time. We had a similar policy with bandits in our area in the Philippines, either they stop being outlaws or join us or they die.

The mentioned savagery committed by other strangers concerned Ben. It’s no wonder people from earth are held with the considerable caution and he suspected with hatred as well. Hitler is going to make things even worse. Why all of people did he get a second life? Or me for that matter?

Just then he spotted a figure in the crowd that stuck out like sort thumb. Through the binoculars Ben noted it was a Caucasian male in a dark tuxedo and the face... Realization suddnely came to the islander he finally spoke to Korlen.

“Commander another stranger has arrived, heading this way. I believe I know who it is, and he’s not the type to follow Hitler. Need to get down there and see to him.”

Saying that, Benjie proceeded to rush back down from when he came. Once downstairs and outside the segreant calmly strolled toward the new outsider. Once was a few feet away from him, Ben, then asked in English.“Harry Houdini I presume?”
 
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Gands

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Harry Houdini

Harry was taking it all in, walking in and through the crowd. Being a New Yorker, this really wasn't so much of a crowd, but it was unusual. At least as far as he could tell, English was the chosen language here. He did very much stick out due to his tuxedo, but no one as yet had bothered him.

It didn't take long for a young man with darkish skin to appear out of the crowd to great him. Harry bowed deeply with a smile.

" Indeed sir, the one and only. "

Looking around as he talked...

" I do have a couple of questions for you though, first can you tell me your name ? Second, by your accent that does sound familiar and the nature of your look, you are from the same... well.... world as I am ? I encountered a woman with a tri corner hat who was very busy trying to get drunk in the bar there * pointing * I woke up in a box, that seemed to be used here to contain alcohol. Last I remember I was deeply sick in the hospital. That woman tried to tell me this is the afterlife... a point I am not as yet willing to believe. "
 

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"Oi! Where do you think you're going?" Anne calls after Houdini when he leaves the bar. Anne grumbles and gets off the stool to follow the man out. As she does she becomes aware that along with the swaying swagger of her walk due to her drunken state, she feels her strength again. The woman stops in the street to flex her hands and arms. "Yes, there it is again!" She declares bumping her fists together and resuming her pursuit of Houdini. She catches up with the man just after he is approached by Benji and skids to a stop beside him. "Lookit what I found browsing for me booze, Benji." She slaps Houdini on the back lightly "A dandy man!"

Back up at the tower, Korlen doesn't concern himself with the prospect of the new Stranger. He looks down at the trio contemplatively then moves his gaze back around to the plaza. He sees a group Red Shield members coming, their attire making them stand out from all the dark greens and browns of the general populace. He decides to let Red Shield have at this newcomer first.
 

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This was the third famous/infamous person Benjie knew he had encountered so far. The guerrilla had heard stories about the Great Houdini, along seeing a poster and few photos before. Looks younger than I thought he be. Upon asked by a series of a questions by the illusionist, Ben with offered handshake quickly replied.“My name Benjie Delfino and yes I’m from Earth, the Philippines to be more specific.”

He was about to give further answer about the mention of Anne, when the lady herself showed up. The Filipino suppressed a chuckle at what was said. Calming down Ben remarked.“It seems you both have met each other more or less. Now sir whether this being the afterlife I’m not sure myself. Looks like another reality to me.”

Deflino paused, uncomfortable at such confusion. Gesturing to the Irish spitfire Ben went on.“Mr. Houdini, Anne here is an actual pirate from the eighteenth century and I’m a resistance fighter from nineteen years after you...were gone. Quite a long story in all honesty.”
 

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Harry Houdini

Harry took a deep breath and wore a smile.

" That's good to know Benjie Delfino, Anne. While this is not where I would expect myself to be, I am unquestionably here aren't I. I suppose for the moment, I will ignore what should be and concentrate on what is. This version of me is younger that I was when I last remembered too. "

He looks around again, then back to Ben.

"This place has a lot of beauty though doesn't it. What is our immediate situation here then, there seem to be a lot of armed... people about. Should I expect a dangerous situation ? "

Then he turns to Anne with a little grin.

" I am sorry for walking out on you in there Miss Anne, I thought you were done with me. I am not especially a fighting man, it's true. I was in my life a stage performer. Successful in my own way. "

Ms.Ezra Ms.Ezra Nomad-22 Nomad-22
 

Ms.Ezra

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When Houdini looks at Anne again, the woman feels that strength she'd been ecstatic about leave her again. Her buzzed brain wasn't about to put the two together just yet however; she thinks only of how annoying it is for her to feel it come and go like that again. This could be a problem if she were to need that strength and it decides somehow and for some reason to not work. "No worries Harry. Didn't give ya the warmest greeting. I was more concerned with my drink." Hearing him mention how he is younger than he recalled himself being before, Anne feels her face. "Funny. I feel about as young as I was before I went overboard. How bout you Benny? You have some more wrinkles before you came here?" She asks Benji. Her eyes peer behind Benji when she sees the distinct red of a certain uniform in the crowd.

"Ah, perhaps he has an answer." Anne raises her hand and waves over at the group in red. "Oi! Over here!"

Odalwa and four other Red Shield Guild members see and hear Anne, and come up to the three. Their demeanor is more serious than the night before. No shoulders are slumped, or tears visible, but they carry with them a somber air. "Good afternoon, Captain, Sergeant." The man says to the two he knows first before he looks at Houdini. "And...another?" He says with some concern in his voice he chooses not to voice at this moment.
 

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“Afraid so Mister Houdini.”Benjie answered upon asked if there will be trouble. The resistance fighter was trying to figure out how explain it when both the celebrity and Anne brought up the fact they were slightly younger than before dying or disappearing. Touching his own face, he commented.“I don’t feel any different.”

Suddenly he remembered about last night Hitler was younger as well. That can’t be random Ben thought. In that moment however Odalwa arrived on the scene with some of his subordinates. Delfino’s heart became heavy at the sight of the Red Shield members. He experienced what they’re were exactly going through right now.

Sighing, Ben spoke up to Odalwa, gesturing to the recent arrival. “Sir this is Harry Houndini. He is a great stage performer back on Earth.”

The sergeant would’ve added the man was an American until reminded about Albert. Houdini will have to defend himself against any question the Red Shields will have for him.
 

Gands

Edgesquire
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both
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sci fi, modern magical, horror
Harry Houdini

Harry watched the men and women approaching him. There certainly was the sword of doom hanging over their heads. But his new friends seemed to treat them with respect.

" Good day to you and yours Sir. I am in fact Harry Houdini. I am afraid I am not much of a fighter. I have only just arrived. If you expect trouble, for the sake of my new friends, I'll do whatever I can to help. "

Harry takes off his Tuxedo jacket since it does seem warm to wear it in the heat of the sun. He has his eyes directly watching Odalwa. There was not one bit of fear or intimidation in Harry. Respect, concern and rather a bit of wonder at the drastic change in his position. But Harry, or Erik to his family, had a firm grip on who he was, who he had been to let this bizarre change of scenery knock him off his pedestal.

For a moment, he took stalk of his new friends. One, a rough but friendly woman who would seem more comfortable in a fight than watching one of his stage shows. The other, a warrior, Asian man who spoke very good English. Well then... what the hell, it may not be the afterlife... but with all things, Harry will put forth his best effort.
 

Ms.Ezra

Lady of the Day
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“Stage performer? Interesting.” Odalwa reaches out to shake the hand of the newcomer while introducing himself. “I am Odalwa Zande, Senior Operative of The Red Shield Guild, York branch.” Odalwa then says “Welcome to York, capitol of the Kingdom of Gatecia. Normally when meeting a new Stranger to this world, we would take you to the Guild Hall and interview you, Mr. Houdini. However we cannot take time for that right now. The Royal Family is arriving soon, to address the people. It is my understanding from our briefing with Commander Korlen,” He nods at Benji “You have the privilege of standing beside the Royal Family. Commander Korlen has placed much trust in you for that.” He then looks at Anne. “While he asks that you be on the lookout for any assailants who may try to escape after attempting to take the life of our sovereign. He feels your strength, as it's been described by us, will be sufficient to subdue most.”

“Good thinking. I'll try not to crush any unlucky whelp I happen to catch.” Anne flexes her right arm standing behind Houdini.

“Now as for you.” Odalwa puts his gaze on Houdini. “If you are not a fighter, I think it would be best to act as Anne's shadow for the time being. From her interview, she was quite the fighter before coming here. You may be safest with her.”

Anne leans forward on Houdini's shoulder, smiling at him. “No better hips to be joined to Harry. Let the strong woman take care of it if things so sideways.”

Odalwa chuckles, amused at Anne's demeanor. The others smile just a little as well. The moment of levity passes when Korlen arrives.

“The Royal Family is forthcoming. Red Shield and Sergeant, with me. Anne, wherever you please.” He tells all assembled. Anne stops leaning on Houdini and snaps her fingers. “Come come Dandy Man. Let's have a walk and a talk.” Anne laughs “I'd say watch for anything unusual, but that be difficult for us, eh?”

Odalwa walks beside Benji, says to him “Follow our lead Sergeant, and you will not offend.” Around them the crowd has begun to gather but none step in front of the entourage. They come to the entrance of the building where six White Guards stand one either side, holding the white rose banners of the kingdom. Korlen motions for them all to stand in front of the entrance, himself and Odalwa in front of Benji and the others.
 

Nomad-22

Edgepeasant
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Well it seems Houndini will be spared from an interrogation for the time being. Of course Ben’s attention turned fully to Odalwa when told he was being assigned close to the royal family and at Korlen’s recommendation no less. The guerrilla couldn’t say he never had the experience of standing beside actual royalty, the very idea was weird in all honesty. Well I am curious about meeting them. Benjie thought, surprising himself.

He nodded an affirmative to Odalwa in reply. He looked on as Anne and their new companion Harry were assigned to one another. A pirate and performer walking together. Sounds like a joke. He grinned at the Irish spitfire jested about the situation.

Once that was out of the way, Ben followed the Red Shield members as directed. As they did so the segreant tried to mentally prepared himself for what’s to come. Ben knew he had only limited ammunition left in his carbine and pistol with his trusty blade. It was fortunate that Anne along with the White Guard and Red Shield were present. They will every able body for this task.

Standing behind the commanders of those two orders, Benjie waited silently for the Royal Family to appear.