Men of Bronze

Chapter VII

backs. I was first, being brought up to the others upon the shoulder of the man whilst the other soon followed with Jarvis, still lifeless, in tow. A man stepped forward, old and grayed by age and dressed in a large grayed robe, patched together with all sorts of cloths and fabrics over the years. He reached into a pouch tied around his hip for a small jar no larger than his fist. Inside the jar was a dark purple liquid still not made clear in the suns giving and open light. He opened the jar, dumping its contents over Jarviss face and within a second Jarvis awoke spitting and sputtering as he gagged on the liquid, some of which had made its way up his nose.

Like having been struck by lightning Jarvis shot up, he seemed shocked to find himself out of the mountain and surrounded by the people I had assumed to be tribals by their garments. The children poked and prodded Jarvis for a moment before being shooed away by the women of the group. The old man looked to us both and with a nod of his head he drew the others to him. They left east just as quickly as they had arrived and made no effort in speaking to us. I was rather perplexed by the situation but grateful none the less.

”Who were they? ” asked Jarvis.

”I thought you would know. ” I responded.

”How in the good Kings name did we get up here; and what ever happened to the man who was trying to kill us? ”

”The cave collapsed and I assume he was able to climb out with the bronze-man, or he was crushed by the falling rocks. Either way those people saved us and we owe them our lives. ”

We made our way east down the mountain, walking back to camp and beyond to the narrow valley entrance where we found Cambry and Amelia still waiting for us. We where still covered in the dried blood, sweat, and dust from the day before.

”What happened? ” asked Cambry.

”Wheres officer Derek? ” asked Amelia.

”He didn make it, ” said Jarvis for me. ”We can explain the rest on the trip back to Dunn but for now lets just get somewhere safe so we can get Deckard here a healer. ” And with that we made the trip back, Amelia was broken by the loss of our officer and I was treated as soon as we reached Dunn. I reported what I had seen in regards to the large tin hand in the cave and the situation with the hijacked bronze-man but neither was taken seriously by the medic or city official who had come to see me.

We all received medals of the Kings honor for our service in the eastern mountains which felt little deserved with only a few days of service. Derek and Franke were buried together in the capitol with full honors the same day as us receiving the medals, only their funerals were private matters attended only by their families and such. I would be unable to serve because of my injury and decided to return back to my farm where I found it as I left it. I would spend my remaining days planting crops and fixing the pump, only a little richer and with a new story to tell the passing traders and soldiers.

The End

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