by Stonewall

The following is an excerpt from the records of the Office of Information. Interviews of this type were summarized for the Council of Elders, and the original placed in the case file for further study as more data became available. It is in the usual Oof I interview format, ie; questions in italic, answers in bold, direct trranscription of standard record device. The original document was in case file GARRETT. The entire case file, including summaries and extracts, is classified MOST CONFIDENTIAL.

Excerpt follows.


Subject Ursa is a retired Serjeant First Rank of the Army of the Royal Presence. He may still be located at the address described in the Interview of Subject Farley (Addendum 42-B). Subject Ursa is considered by this Interviewer to be Reliable (Code 2). Subject Ursa is a male of average intelligence and health.


Well, if Farley sent you here, then I guess it's okay. Sit down here on the stoop. I can face the other way if you like...I guess I can figger why people don't like to look me in the face, these days. You kinda surprised me, wearin' that hood thataway. The only fellers wear hoods anymore are Southside punks and the...well, other fellers I seen, time to time.

Farley tells me you once worked for Lord Bafford.

Yeah, for a little while, before the big break-in.

How did you come to work as a private guard, being in the Royal Service?

Listen, young feller, a man's got to feed his family, even if his family is no more than a scrawny cat and the, um, ladies that followed the camps around. The Army pay was just a few coppers, and these big fellers paid in solid gold. I been a soldier all my life, and it was always that way. They talk about how bad it is, and preach agin it all day, but most of my outside jobs was lined up by officers of the Army. There's more thieves in The City than honest men, and the private guards was worthless. The merchants and Wardens had to hire soldiers, cause they knew it was true.

Tell me what happened at Bafford's.

Three guys broke in and stole him blind, cause...

Are you sure there were three?

Yeah, cause they wrenched up the North Gate. Don't tell me you believe that wild story about one feller pullin that job? Listen, I was there. That gate goes three hundred pounds, then there's the counterweights, cause There's a remote switch. No way one skinny taffer's gonna lift all that.

Some of the guards report the individual came in through the water system.

And I report that's a load of crap. Listen, son, I been a soldier all my life. I know how to do a report, and this how it happened. Bafford got took cause he hired City guards, and didn't care how they were trained, cause he wanted them to stand straight and look pretty when his poufter friends came by. And that Captain of the Guard, Hanran, listened to him. All the guys out front, except for the archers, was just empty suits of armor. And crusty-lookin old soldiers like me got put in the basement, down in the wet. I was patrolling the basement that night, and nobody passed through there. The North Gate was standing wide open, cause that's how they got in. They split up and killed one guard, konked out four more, stole everything but the commodes, and left the same way.

What about Cicci?

What about him?

His report states he was clubbed form behind. That would make five.

Cicci showed up for work half drunk, so I told him to watch the basement stairs. I found him an hour later, passed out in the storeroom. He just told that story to cover his ass. A lot of the City guards was drinking that night, cause Bafford and Hanran was out of town. Hell, old Titus, up in the North Corridor, he was practically falling down. I told Hanran to put William in the stairwell to cover the North Gate, but Bafford wanted archers at the Main, like the damn Provincials was gonna attack, or something.

I haven't seen a report from this William.

William is my brother. He's dead.

The guard killed in the throne room was named...

William got killed later. At Mister Constantine's.

Your brother worked for Constantine?

That's Mister Constantine. The Boss.

Can you tellme..no, wait, was William there...did he...

Easy young feller, don't pop your gums thataway. I can tell you all about it. Hell, I was there.

First, tell me about...Mister Constantine.

He's my girlfriend's boss, and a helluva nice guy. I usta not think that way, but after I was hurt, he gave me money cause I was kicked out of the Army. See, I was hurt when his sword got stole, and the Army says it was 'in direct violation of standing order' to even be there, so I got the boot. Chryssie and I were pretty tight by then, so he gave us money, and let her have time off to take care of me.

Please tell me how you got the job.

Oh, and it's please, now? Well, if it's stories you want, all I got is stories, and this is a good one. After the Bafford thing fell apart, I went up north for a while, and William got in at Ramirez's. William was a good archer, one of the best in the Army, he could have been an officer. Well, Ramirez pissed off this two-bit taffer, Gary, and Gary robbed him blind and fed him to the Burricks, so...

Serjeant Ursa, we will have a long talk about Garret in a moment. Right now, please tell me about..Mister Constantine.

Another please? It's my lucky day. Anyway, what I was telling was, Mister Constantine built this big old house, and contracted with an officer to have all Army guards. He paid cash, up front, big money, solid gold. Captain Yee took a big cut, but it was still way more than any wage around, and Mister Constantine only wanted the best. William got in, and when I got back, he got me in too. I only seen The Boss a time or two, he's a big feller, got a look, like he's lookin right through you. Laughs at everything, but it's not a happy laugh, it's a laugh like a mean drunk makin fun of a crippled dog. I ain't seen him in a long time, and since he's been so good to me and Chryssie, I respect him a lot. Tell the truth, I'm still kinda scared of him, though.

And there was a robbery?

If they was one, they was a dozen. Every part time thief in the city wanted in that place. We sliced up so many, the crime rate dropped by half. That house is filled with traps and guards, all because that damnable sword.

What was special about it?

Hell, nothin! It was just a sword, and I've seen a million of 'em. It was old and kinda beat up, but the Boss wanted it watched, and you bet your sweet ass we watched it like a hawk. That thing killed my brother William, and it damn near killed me.

The sword did this?

No, you idjit...look, here's what happened. Me and william was on the third floor, patrolling, checking on the sword about every ten seconds. Things was quiet all night. William liked to drift over close to the tunnel, cause we could hear the girls working out in the garden, giggling, sometimes. We never saw them, but we knew they was there, and it drove William crazy. Me, I learned a long time ago what a woman is interested in hangs from your belt and nowhere else. William hadn't been taught that the hard way. Oh, I tried tell him, but he was just a kid, and he was walking towards me and ... the arrow... it was just there...he was looking right at me...and he opened his mouth, like he was gonna say something...and this arrow...it just appeared...in his mouth! It was real slow, it was real fast, I don't know, it took him in the neck, from behind, and he was smiling, and about to speak, and when his mouth opened, the arrow...came out. He was still smiling, and I watched the light go out in his eyes, and it took about an hour, and he fell, and that took about an hour, but he was duh...dead already, and it took about a eyeblink, but he was just a kid, and he was about to tell me something, and he..was..smiling..but he was al..already..dead. My sword came up...and that's when I hit the mine...and the pin popped, and I watched the fire come up, and I thought I could out run it...it was so slow, it crawled up my left leg, and up my arm, and William was still falling, and it crawled across my face, and then I was falling. It was a death race to the floor. I still don't know who won.

(here the SRD was placed in pause mode: approx 90 seconds)

(garbled) Garrett(garbled) Chryssie, okay?

Well, when I came around, all I see is these two beautiful hands, and she had moss under her nails, and I'm thinking, What kind of angel has dirty hands, but that's all I could see, cause of the mine. It took a week before I got all my sight back, and by that time, she was my woman. Mister Constantine told her to take all the time she needed with me, cause he was about ready to make a big move, and he needs all the strong arms he can get.

Thank you, Serjeant Ursa.

Don't rush off, young feller, Chryssie will be home in a bit, and she always brings a roast or something, she cooks 'em with mushrooms. She's a great cook, but she won't cook vegetables, I guess cause she's a gardener. I miss my pertaters, though, I been a soldier all my life, and lotsa times all we had was pertaters.

Interview terminates.

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