Patrol Abroad Chapter 2

By Captain Gaul

“And the execution is in four days. Do not let him escape!”

“Any special requests for this one’s death?”

The chancellor glanced over at Gaul. He grinned. “Yes…make it quick.” When Gaul turned to look at him, he continued: “It is, after all, the least I can do.”

“You’ll pay for this, chancellor, I swear you will.”

“What are you going to do, Nicholas? I outrank you, even when you had a title.”

“You’ll answer to God. You don’t outrank him.”

The chancellor sighed. “No, Nicholas, I won’t. I am an atheist, remember? You’re one of about four Undeis (Christians) on the continent. So give my regards to your God when you see him in a couple of days.” The chancellor turned to one of the guards, and said: “Rescind my earlier order. Make it as slow and painful as you like. Above all, have fun with it.” The young man grinned; he had, after all, remembered Captain Gaul as his training commander, as a very stern, brutal sergeant.

The biggest guard raised his sword, and prepared to strike the captain. “Hey, it’s all right, I’ll go quietly. No need for excessive violence.”

“But captain,” the guard said as he prepared for a much more terrible hit, “brutality’s really the only fun you have in this line, right?” The flat of the blade came down, and Gaul fell to the ground in a heap.


The chancellor stepped out into the night air. He relished the thought of the violence the captain was undergoing. It served him right, the self-righteous jerk.

His core being suddenly corrected his thoughts. *No emotion, Randini. Never emotion, just cold, calculated, movements.* That’s right. Captain Gaul’s attitude and behavior had nothing to do with this triumph of political assassination. The fact was, he was prominently ranked, he was honest, and he came deadly close to getting King Guardia to grant him permission to investigate the chancellor’s finances, as well as some of his ‘extra-curricular’ activities abroad. It had taken one set of careful planning to get rid of the King for several months, both to keep him from granting permission and to keep him from blocking the chancellor’s attack on Gaul; it had taken the chancellor a whole five months to arrange the attack. *It came so close to failing, too…if you hadn’t stopped the girl….*

He paused, hearing a noise on the wind. It sounded like…crying. He looked down, and saw Princess Nadia talking quietly to Li Robbins, trying to put her at ease. Poor girl. Maybe, he thought, it would be more merciful to end it for her now. Her fiancee doomed to die, no prospects in this country, no money left, after the fine he had issued. He picked up a piece of ironwood from the decaying bridge, and looked again at the girl. He was three hundred feet above her, and it was such a clear shot. And then no one could testify to Gaul’s innocence anymore….

It was so easy. He didn’t even realize what he did until he heard Nadia scream a minute later. Not wishing to be seen red-handed murdering someone, he quickly dashed across the bridge into the tower.


Gaul didn’t hear the scream; he was still unconscious. Whenever he started to stir, his guards would come in, kick the snot out of him, and leave. This went on for three days, until the prison manager ordered them to stop, for fear that he might escape.

Gaul spent the final day before his execution meditating. Prior to his service on the regular Guardia Patrol, he too had once worked in the towers. Those were not exactly the sort of times one wrote home to mother about. The only dishonest act of his career was bribing the assignment manager in clerical administration to get him off the execution crew a few weeks early. Even the carnage of an imp riot out of control was nothing compared to what the guillotine staff got to see on a normal day. The resistance, the fighting, the pleading, the weeping, the surrender, the end—it made him sick to think…that the behavior which had made him sick would soon be his own.

Escape was not an option. He had been disarmed on his arrest, and he hadn’t been rearmed since then. He was too battered to fight the guards in unarmed combat, and besides, the guards knew better than to engage a fighting prisoner anyway; after Crono had escaped, a new training program had been created for prison guards.

Suddenly the wind stopped blowing. He recognized that instantly as strange, because the wind always blew past this tower, very fast. It hadn’t let up since the tower was built. Why should it let up now?

What little light in the dungeon was present turned purple. A purple mist floated through the area, stopping by both of Gaul’s guards. Each of them fell to the floor in an instant. The mist came through the gate, and gathered in front of the captain. The figure who stepped out of the shroud was about the last he expected to see.


“Gaul, I’ve got a deal for you. You help me, I get you out of here—now.”

“You…need MY help?”

“I don’t NEED it in the slightest…but I sure could use it. And you could use not having your neck cut. I consider it an even trade.”

“Sounds fair. You wanna hurry? I swore that was the prison manager I heard coming down the steps.”

“It was. Step into the mist, we’ll discuss this in a more suiting environment.”

Gaul did as instructed, and Magus followed him in the mist. The purple cloud floated out the window, and suddenly the wind started again, carrying the mist far off.

A few minutes later, the prison manager stumbled down to the cell, to find the groggy guards collecting their senses and the prison chamber empty.


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