Brother at Arms
The Gathering of The Law of Shrenlin just ended and Brother At Arms (BAA) Joshet felt rejuvenated. He had just been Sanctioned in The Law and now officially a full BAA in the honor faith exclusive to the militia arms of the various rebel groups fighting the Confederation.
At only 19, Joshet is now one of the youngest in the Bes Corinil Barracks, the local chapter of The Law, in the rebellious hotbed of Peadraj Prefecture. Ever since joining the RCFC, he had always wanted to be a BAA of The Law. After seeing how the faith protected his fellow militia in their attacks on Confederation strongholds in the Northwest. When he first joined 7 months ago, he was terrified of performing his first liberation act upon the last remaining Confederation-backed shipping interests in his assigned area encompassing the warehouse chorems along the sloughing Yeln River of Es and Semsamor districts.
Once these chorems were busy with trade from the far reaches of the megalopolis and the far-flung colonies beyond. Es, Samsamor, and the other river districts of Timpopo, Nysuta-Timpopo, and Yeln-Jyre were the gritty economic powerhouses supplying necessities and luxuries to the Extreme Northwest. Money flowed freely, and the river and surrounding canals were teaming with ships and barges laden with the finest products of Gwij. Most of the guilds controlling the trade were based in the wealthier prefectures of the East. When rebel groups, like Johset’s RCFC, intensified attacks on the Confederation a decade back, these guilds quickly pulled out of the region. Many of their captains refused to dock there for fear of loosing their ships to rebel pirates or worse, their lives. Today, these districts are among the poorest in Peadraj. The locally owned importers were hardest hit since goods stopped flowing. Despite the dramatic downturn in the regions fortunes, it still remains the most pro-rebel area in the entire city-state. The blame was easily assigned to the greedy eastern shipping guilds, which were in the deep pockets of the Confederation.
“Brother Joshet!” Cadet Kelrit shouted outside the entrance to the Barracks.
Joshet stopped and turned around, still huddled in his light jacket. It was a chilly evening with a wet fog covering the docks.
“Brother Joshet, we are not quite finished.”
“What’s that?” Joshet was tired and wanted to get back to his militia stable.
“I’m sorry for not telling you earlier,” Kelrit was still shouting since Joshet did not yet move towards him. Cadet Kelrit was Joshet’s “Educator”, a second year Member of the Barracks assigned to teach Joshet the intricacies of his new faith. “You need to come back inside for a bit.”
“O.K.,” said Joshet trying not to show his impatience of wanting to get back to his group.
Joshet finally turned full around and walked back into the Barracks with his not-as-yet former Educator. He was just happy to be out of the chill for a while. The Barracks had two personalities. The outside looked like any other of the rundown warehouses along the still waterfront. But inside, the place of worship was anything but rundown. Every thing seemed to have a brilliant polished shine.
Joshet and Kelrit entered the main alter, where most of the ceremonies take place and where he had just finished his Sanctioning. At the other end of the gold and green trimmed room was the head of the Barracks – the Mijir. When Joshet finished his Sanctioning, he was glad not to be in front of that stern face with hypnotic blue eyes. The Mijir barely said a word during the ceremony, but Joshet knew by the way the other BAAs and Cadets were standing to the side that the Mijir was going to do most of the talking.
The man leading this Barracks was dressed in a dark, almost black, buttoned jacket and black tapered pants. The jacket sleeves ended in muted gold extensions covering all but his fingertips. They looked almost like gloves with the tips cut off. Joshet noticed them and came to the conclusion that Barrack Mijirs were not required to participate in any of the frontline actions. Those sleeves would be a quite impractical. Them man’s face looks as if he has seen many battles, but Josh knew his modern history; there had been no major conflict in the megalopolis in over 400 years, since the War of Annexation. Did The Law do that to him? Joshet wondered.
“Brother Joshet,” the Mijir said cupping cupping and uncupping his right hand signaling the newly Sanctioned underling to come closer. Joshet obeyed and saluted with his left arm bent with his hand balled into a tight fist held parallel to his torso and his head facing left in the opposite direction of his fist. “The Law will lead our Sharahan Tur and disciples to the heels of our savior in honor, Shrenlin.” He remained in the salute position while reeling off praise to their honor god.
“Before you go back to your stable, I want to you do one thing.”
“Yes, Mijir,” Joshet said with no question in his voice knowing that to ask questions is a serious sign of weakness in The Law and cause for serious punishment,
“Make a kill.” The Mijir showed no expression and only stared at his new recruit.
For what seemed like minutes, Joshet did not know what to do. He could not ask a question or even raise his voice in a questioning manner. He was still in salute posture, the palm of his fist started to sweat and his shoulder to ache.
“Yes Mijir.” It was all he could say.