Gideon: Chapter 5: Aftermath
by Ryan Miller
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Continued from Chapter Four - Poor Teodor.
To start at the beginning see Chapter One - The Last Target.

Gamelion 23rd, 2021

Teodor lay on the grim black slab of the crucifix, while the surgeon did his work. Needles were plugged into his arms, and leather restraints bound him the cross-shaped table. A chaplain stood nearby, chanting the Litany of Repentance over and over again. The words rung off of the cold brick walls and stung Teodor’s ears.

He had been sentenced to Enervation – a drug induced paralysis that doesn’t permit sleep. He would be fully aware of what was going on around him, and never able to pass time more quickly by sleeping and dreaming. It was the highest sentence that the court could hand down – higher even than death. It was designed not only to punish the offender, but to punish his family as well.

There was a loud clank as the portcullis was raised, and in strode Constantine. He was wearing his judicial vestments and ceremonial flintlock pistol. He gave the surgeon a dismissive gesture, and soon he was alone in the cavernous room with his nephew.

“Uncle,” Teodor strained, “you’ve got to do something.”

Constantine wiped the sweat from the boy’s brow. “You killed the governor. Word has reached the four corners of Gideon.” He shook his head, out of shame and sorrow. “Even we are still subject to Gideon’s laws and punishments.”

Teodor closed his eyes, wishing this was all just a bad dream. It only reminded him that he wouldn’t be dreaming any time soon for a long time. “Why Enervation? Surely I should at least deserve the mercy of a quick death.”

Before Constantine could respond, the surgeon returned. “My lord, we have no more time. The succorer I gave him will soon take effect. I must complete the procedure soon.”

Constantine sighed, then waived him over. The surgeon pushed a metal plunger down Teodor’s throat to guide the tube that would help him breathe. He looked over at his uncle, a tear dripping down the side of his face. Constantine met his gaze and said “The Praetors sentenced you to death.”

Teodor’s eyes widened in confusion.

“I used my power of censure to change your sentence to Enervation.” Teodor would have flinched at this, but his body had already gone limp.

The black limousine slipped slowly along Balcescu street, at the head of a huge funeral procession. Reveeka sat close to the window pane, with veins of rainwater leaking down the outside. Thousands of citizens lined the street, holding up crescent-moon standards, even though a steady rain poured down on them. Reveeka’s eyes glazed over as the long black car drove past them.

She was furious at the position Uriel had put her in. A month ago, she had all the power in Gideon – wife to its governor and lover to its crime lord. Now, because of her son’s brash actions, her future was suddenly uncertain.

It didn’t help that he was nowhere to be seen. All morning she had endured the question – where is Uriel? Why isn’t he here? He had been hard to find since his father’s death, and none of his bodyguards seemed to know where he was most of the time.

Just then, her train of thought was derailed by the sound of shouting as her car slowed to a halt. They were in front of her manor, and some sort of commotion was going on outside. Guenter suddenly opened the car door and sat down, his huge frame almost comically highlighted by the relative smallness of the car’s interior.

“My lady, there’s been a breach, and we need to move you to sanctuary 06.” He said something indecipherable on his handset, and the car started to move.

“NO!” Reveeka shouted. She was tired of being handled and protected. She opened the door and was on her way up the stairs before Guenter could do anything about it. A small group of her house guards were gathered at the front door, and she soon saw why.

A single bullet dangled on a string, nailed to her door. She pushed the guards aside and snatched it off, rolling it around in her hand. It had a star-shaped glyph etched into its soft lead, a glyph that Reveeka recognized. She angrily unsheathed her sleek silver handgun, locked the slide to the rear, and chambered the round. She was determined to return it to its rightful owner.

It was late afternoon when the sun finally broke through the quilted miasma of the dark clouds above. Sunlight suddenly streamed into the small sanctum, through the golden-hued stained glass star glyph.

Elisabeta knelt at the obelisk beneath the window, as the sunlight illuminated the ancient texts carved into its sides. She traced them with her fingers, searching them for some knowledge that might guide her. Her armor, strapped tightly to her frame, provided her only comfort. She was unsure if forcing this encounter was the right thing to do, but she had run out of time. Her son was immobilized in the Bastille, and her daughter was missing. She needed some answers.

Never one to be late, Reveeka strutted into the sanctum, her boots clapping loudly against the tiled floor. Elisabeta spun around and reached for her weapons, just as Reveeka reached for hers.

“You would dare spill lead here?” Reveeka was taunting her. She knew that Elisabeta’s religious fervor would give her an advantage. Narcissism was paying off, once again.

Elisabeta still hadn’t drawn her guns, but met Reveeka’s gaze. “You’ve taken my son, and you know where my daughter is, and before you leave here you are going to tell me.”

“Oh no,” Reveeka said, pulling the hammer back on her pistol, “You don’t get to tell me what to do. You owe me.”

Elisabeta squinted in confusion. What was she cooking up?

Reveeka pulled her pistol slowly from its leather sheath. “You killed my brother.”

To be continued...

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Dreamblade Store Demos
Dreamblade Fiction: The Visit
Gideon: Chapter 7: A Deal with the Devil
Gideon: Chapter 6: A Death in the Family
Dreamblade Fiction: Cathedral of Thorns
Gideon: Chapter 4: Poor Teodor
Gideon: Chapter 3: The Governor’s Son