* Mystery POV*

He sighed, slumping further into the shadows.

How had he managed to destroy his entire life so completely? Less than a month ago he had the perfect life; an amazing job with the kings own, a loving family, a strong, independent and beautiful lady who had allowed herself to be courted by the lowly sergeant. One night, one night was all it took for his Utopia to be destroyed. All because he couldn't keep it in his pants.

The lady had friends all over Tortall, some of them in high places. The days after were hell for him, her friends in the Own, his own squad in particular, were malicious. They all wanted one thing, revenge. Revenge on the one who had hurt their lady. One week to the day later the knight commander called the sergeant to his quarters, a further ten minutes passed before the now ex-sergeant exited the commanders office.

He traced a finger around his axe nervously.

It had been hell trying to get a job when the whole of Tortall knew him as the one who broke their champions heart. It took two weeks, a disguise and an alias to get a job, and just like that he had one. A job protecting the Yamani ambassadors. A job protecting the parents of the lady whose heart he had broken.

A sudden jolt knocked him out of his trance, the boat shuddered and rolled alarmingly the actions accompanied by ominous creaking and frantic screams and urgent commands yelled in Yaman. The man lurched to his feet before falling back onto his arse with a splash. Wait, water? Something was seriously wrong. The mercenary got up and out of his room before being thrown into a wall as another wave wracked the man then staggered down the corridor to his employers room. Where he found not only the ambassadors but the oldest grandchild of the couple.

" Neal! What's going on up there?" shouted the older man

" No idea, was about to ask you the same question milord." 'Neal' replied

" Would you mind going up to the deck to inquire as to what seems to be the problem?" Inquired the lady

"Not at all ma-am."

'Neal' made for the door then staggered as the boat pitched more violently than ever before, a moment of near silence, then the floor flew from under 'Neal's' feet.

Years of combat experience prompted 'Neal' to brace himself, half a second later he was glad that he had as himself, his employees and all of the opulent cabin's furniture encountered the roof at high speeds. His arms shielded him from the worst of the shrapnel and splinters, Lachran, the boy, wasn't so lucky.

'Neal' felt a sinking feeling in his stomach, and then he realized; it was no feeling - the boat was actually sinking!

Water began to drip through the tarred planks of wood, each drop reverberating through the cabin with an ominous plink, plink, plink.

'Neal' swore profusely and then let his leadership instincts take over.


" You're ready? You all know what to do? Because we won't have much time."

The other passengers nodded and 'Neal' nodded grimly.

"Alright then," he hefted his axe " Let's get to work. On three? One. Two. THREE!"

And with that 'Neal' pushed his axe upwards with all his might, the timber crackled.

Again and again he repeated the process, until on the fifth swing his axe penetrated the wood and water gushed through the rupture. 'Neal' pushed at the hole widening it as much as possible, shredding his hands in the process. He took one last breath of air, and then the water pushed the last of the air out of the ship.


I'm sorry, I know it's a cliff hanger and I'm SO SO SO SO SO SO SORRY about the wait, I'll explain why tomorrow ( I promise) but I want you to have this tonight.

Also if you think you know who 'Neal' is hit me with your best guess :)

Also I know Lachran is older in cannon this fits my purposes better :/

Merry Christmas