Chapter 18 - Race to the Finish
Sergeant Rikervic was an ambitious man destined for great things. He was a sergeant in the Seleas Duchy’s city guard and had just received his newest assignment. He was taking over the guard detail that protected the Duchy’s objective in the Grand Competition. Rikervic stood tall as he surveyed the area. No would get past him. He was here to stop the rest of the teams once and for all.
Being situated on the coast, the city of Highland had an extension and elaborate sewer system that minimized flooding during the area’s violent stormy season. It was through this maze of tunnels and conduits that the last successful team had found their way into the objective site. Rikervic had laughed when the Duke rewarded the previous sergeant’s failure with permanent sewer duty. No team would be afforded that route again.
Rikervic learned from his predecessor’s mistake and deployed his men in two man teams to cover every entry point into the warehouse, including the sewer grates. He had assigned himself alone to the front entrance of the building to ensure he would personally meet and greet anyone, especially the duke, that might come by and check on things. He had finished checking in with his team leaders when he spied the beautiful girl walking his way.
Wow. What a looker. Haven’t seen anything that good in quite awhile. This must be my lucky day.
Rikervic considered himself a ladies man. He was tall and handsome in his guard uniform and never failed to attract the attention of women in the bars he frequented. He fantasized about the glory from this latest assignment and the bevy of girls that would drool over him when they heard. Now this beauty was walking his way and even from this distance, he could tell she was striking.
He studied the girl as she came closer hypnotized by the undulating sway of her hips. Her footsteps slowed until she stopped a few feet away from him. His gaze traveled her entire length, taking in every inch of her womanly curves and long raven hair.
“Is it allowed to talk to an elite guard on duty?” she asked, demurely lowering her blue-violet eyes.
Rikervic nearly choked at her question, but regained his composure, standing straight and wearing his most commanding smile.
“Of course you may,” he replied puffing his chest out. “But, even if it weren’t, for you, I’d make an exception.”
His gaze never waivered from her face as he tried to gage her reaction to his compliment. Her return smile said it all.
“What can I do for you?” Rikervic asked, leaving the question opened for any kind interpretation.
Dyla coyly played with her hair and looked directly into Rikervic eyes.
“Umm, I don’t normally talk to strange men, but when I saw you standing here in your uniform, looking so tall and handsome, I couldn’t help myself.”
Rikervic preened and his smile nearly split his face.
Now here’s a woman worth getting to know, Rikervic thought to himself.
“I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time, you look so busy,” Dyla continued. “I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble with your boss. Maybe I should come back later.”
“No worries little lady, I am in charge here,” Rikervic replied, standing just a bit taller, if that were possible.
He crisply snapped to attention and gave her a slight bow.
“Sergeant Rikervic, squad leader in the Royal Duke’s city guard, at your service.”
“Oh my, you are in charge here. I didn’t realize you were so important. I really should go and come back later.”
“No, no, not at all. Please stay. You’re timing is perfect, I’ve finished checking on my men.”
“How wonderful,” Dyla replied, stepping intimately closer to Rikervic. “You simply must tell me more, but if anyone should see us . . .”
Rikervic thought for a moment and realized the girl was right. If this was heading where he thought it might, then standing in the middle of a thoroughfare was no place to conduct ‘business’.
“Well, why don’t move to the doorway so we can escape any prying eyes.”
Dyla smiled and nodded accepting the offer. Rikervic drew her into the doorway moving in front of her to block any retreat.
“Now let’s see what you’re all about,” he whispered in her ear while his hand traced the skin of her open neckline.
“Oh yes, let’s see.”
Quick as lightening, Dyla smashed her knee into his groin. Rikervic doubled over in agony and instantly knew he’d been made a fool. He reached up to his lapel and pressed his alarm transmitter. At the same moment, Dyla smashed her elbow against the back of his neck, rendering him unconscious. The alarm activated momentarily, but Rikervic’s hand fell away as he collapsed in a heap.
Dyla watched the Sergeant crumble to the ground.
“Men,” she scoffed, “so predictable.”