"For Guardia!" Chapter 9

Dishonorable Discharge

By Master Odin


The judge racked the bench with his gavel. "The Court of Porre calls forth the accused, Commander Norris."

A man in his late twenties approached the bench and stood at attention. He was of average height and build and in his late twenties or early thirties. His blonde hair was parted on the right and hung down the left side of his face past his ear. He wore a blue ceremonial Porre Army uniform. Over the uniform he wore a black, short jacket with a red insignia on the left breast. On his left hip hung an empty gun holster.

"Commander Norris, this court finds you guilty of treason. Do you accept this verdict?"

"Yes, Your Honor."

"Now, for your sentencing. Normally, the punishment for such a crime is death, but due to your otherwise loyal service, you are granted a dishonorable discharge. You are to be stripped of all rank and insignia of the Porre Army. You are then to be deported from the Zenan Mainland to El Nido Archipelago. Do you understand the punishment?"

"Yes, Your Honor."

Two soldiers, wearing similar attire stepped up to Norris, one on each side, and saluted him. The one on his left similar in build to Norris. He had short black hair and brown eyes. The soldier on Norris' right had a more solid build and was a little taller. He had blue eyes and his head was shaved. "Commander, it is with great displeasure that we must carry out this order," the man oh his left said. The other agreed with a nod.

Norris looked to the soldier on his left. "Lt. Modan." He then looked to the soldier on his right. "Lt. Traven, it has been an honor serving with you." He returned his gaze to the bench and gave his last order, "Carry out your orders."

The two lieutenants saluted Norris. They began their duty by removing Norris' black jacket and threw it to the side. They then started ripping of all of his medals and badges. With that finished, they completed their duty by ripping off his uniform shirt, leaving him in a T-shirt and pants. Norris then saluted the judge before the lieutenants led him out of the courtroom.

* * *

Norris stood at the dock, waiting to board the ship to Termina. The Black Wind had gathered to send him off. Lt. Modan and Lt. Traven stood in the front of the crowd.

"Commander, we­" Lt. Modan started.

Norris put up his hand to stop him. "I am no longer your commander."

The lieutenants smiled. "Norris," Lt. Modan began again, "We have a gift for you before you are deported."

Lt. Traven handed a somewhat large package. It was soft. "You should probably wait until you arrive in Termina to open it."

Norris smiled as he took the package. "Thank you." The whistle on the boat sounded. "It is time for me to go. Take care of yourselves and always watch each other's back."

The Black Wind snapped to attention and saluted Norris. "Just remember," Lt. Modan said, "we will always be your brothers. Call on us if you are ever in need of assistance."

Norris smiled as he returned their salute and boarded the ship.

* * *

Norris entered the inn in Termina and rented a room for the week. He went to his room and sat down on the bed. He looked at the package his friends had given him. It was wrapped in brown paper and tied with a string. He carefully unwrapped the package and unfolded the leather material that it contained. He could not help but smile as he looked at the red insignia on the black leather jacket, the sign of the Black Wind.


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