Hybrid, Chapter 7: A New Beginning?

  • "Where in the name of the eight have I been?" he echoed back softly to the important-looking man sitting opposite, then, to himself, "'Lieutenant' then, am I?" 

    "What? Speak up man: I don't have time for your craziness!" the man barked in reply, commanding, impatient. 

    Dazed, confused and frightened, bedraggled, dirty and bleeding, Flavius slowly took in his new surroundings.

    The room he sat in was...solid. 'Solid', yes: that was the word. Stone walls, stone floor, stone ceiling. Solid. Weapons, armour & shields lined the walls; two very large armoured & heavily beweaponed men stood guard at the only doorway, and an equally large and similarly clad woman stood nervously nearby. 

    A large long-table, festooned with maps, plans, markers and scribbled notes, was the room's centrepiece, and it was on opposite sides of this that Flavius and the man sat, facing each other.

    Looking down at his hand - his strangely hairy hand - he noticed that it held a silver goblet. He lifted it to his cracked and bloodied lips and drank gratefully, gulping greedily until it was empty. A taste so sweet!

    "General Tullius, Sir!" the woman said, her voice loud with worry, "I think it unwise to loosen his shackles. This...man...is dangerous."

    General?! General...Tullius? thought Flavius, as he realised just who he was now dealing with. 

    The General airily dismissed his subordinate's concerns with a wave of his hand. "Make yourself useful and get him another drink!" The woman reluctantly complied.

    "Watch him!" he heard her command the guards.

    "Yes: where have I been?" Flavius repeated, hesitantly. "General, Sir...I was, uh, hoping that you could tell me."

    Tullius sighed. 

    "All right, Flavius. You do remember your name don't you? Just tell me then what you do remember."

    "I will try, Sir. To be honest, what has happened to me doesn't make much sense even to me, let alone anyone else."

    "Fine: just tell me what you know." Even in his confusion Flavius could sense that Tullius was not a patient man.

    Trying to gather his raddled senses, he haltingly continued, slowly and painfully dredging his recent past up from his dulled memory.

    "I remember being in the - your  - Imperial army: a Lieutenant, I believe?"

    Tullius nodded.

    "We were...yes: on patrol, when we were ambushed - by Stormcloaks, I think. I remember a large mace and a large Nord, then - nothing. I came to after I don't know how long, surrounded by rotting corpses, with no sign of our attackers. My armour was dented and my helmet split in two. I presume they left me for dead and continued onwards.     

    "And I was somehow...different, Sir. I had no memory of anything, not even - then - my name. All I knew was confusion, and rage - uncontrollable rage. You know the phrase "Seeing red", Sir?"

    Again Tullius nodded.

    "Well I now understand what it means. When fury consumes me I literally see nothing but red. When I regain what senses I have left I have no memory of what happened, and usually only a lot of blood and a pile of dead bodies as my only clues.

    "And then of course," holding up his large, hairy hands, "there is...this."

    Noticing that one of them was holding a now full-again goblet he again gratefully drained it dry.

    "Yes...that" the General echoed. "Would you care to explain?"

    "Very much so, Sir. I am afraid however that I cannot."

    "I see.

    "That doesn't help us much does it, Flavius?"

    "No, Sir," Flavius perspiringly croaked in reply.

    "The bandits, then. What of them?"

    "I suppose, Sir, they must have found me wandering in a confused state, and then, uh, 'taken me in'. You have to understand, Sir, I had no memory of home, of who I was, where I was, why I was. They offered me food and shelter, of a sort, and I took it. And I didn't have much choice, Sir. I was kept in chains: they found me...'useful'. In their raids, Sir. 'Our hairy berserker', they used to call me. They would goad me, then release me on their targets, then when I came to I would awake to - well, as I said."

    "I see."

    A heavy silence seemed to descend upon the room. 

    The General sat, immobile and impassive, deep in thought, while Flavius waited nervously. 

    After some time the General again spoke. 

    "It appears, Flavius, that you perhaps are more to be pitied than judged."

    "Thank you Sir! I - "

    "Wait! I haven't finished. I believe that a man must be held accountable for his actions, irregardless. That means, Lieutenant, that you still have a debt to pay.

    "I have, however, decided to spare you from the Executioner's Axe."

    "Thank you Sir!" Flavius blustered.

    "You might want to rethink your thanks, soldier. I have a special task for you, one that is uniquely suited to your 'skills'.

    "Now pay attention."

    As the General continued speaking Flavius began to realise that he badly needed another drink....

           To be continued (hopefully)....


    Chapter 6 (Andrew)

    Introduction and Table of Contents


  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  December 28, 2015
    Thanks! I'm already plotting a story for Short Story month.
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  December 28, 2015
    I'm really glad to see you back, Idesto--I mean Zombidesto! I missed your writing a great deal.
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  December 15, 2015
    Damn! I missed a trick there!
  • Andrew Shepherd
    Andrew Shepherd   ·  December 15, 2015
    Me likey!
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  December 15, 2015
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  December 15, 2015
    'Here's my prediction for the next chapter: "Where have I been? I quit! I joined the Stormcloaks to become what I was meant to be: A Bear! Rawrg!!!!!! [Eats the general] '
  • Idesto
    Idesto   ·  December 15, 2015
    Thanks. What was your prediction, out of curiosity?
  • Exuro
    Exuro   ·  December 14, 2015
    So my prediction in ch.6 was slightly off. Nice set up.
    Glad to have you back, even if you're a zombie now. [Places some Sujamma in a circle of protection, Muwhahaha]
  • Ctfgaming
    Ctfgaming   ·  December 14, 2015
    Yep I have some interesting ideas for chapter 10. Also great chapter Zombidesto.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  December 14, 2015
    Yes, Xeelus, I remember now. Then myself, then Caleb.