The Master chuckled as he stepped over the old, fat watchman on the way out of his cell. Really, these primitives were far too easy, even on this improbable world...

"Excuse me. Are you engaging in a jail break?"

The Master looked up to find a very large, red headed watchman blocking the stairway. He looked him over, and found he had a Captain's badge.

Well, this was a stroke of luck. The fellow could get him not only out of the area, but supplies as well.

"You will take me to the nearest stable, and provide me with a horse and weapons."

The man stepped forward and seized his shoulder. "You will return to your cell, sir."

"You will obey me! I am the Master..."

He cut off as the man lifted him off the floor without effort and strode forward, back into the cell blocks. They arrived back at his cell, and the man set him gently back inside, shut the door and locked it.

"What is your name?" said the Master.

"Ironfoundersson," said the man. He stepped forward, and looked into the Master's eyes.

The Master looked back with practiced aplomb, never shifting expression... but knew what he was looking at. Damn it all.

"The Commander asked me to tell you he knows what kind of man you are," said the man. He paused, then pulled a paper from behind his breastplate and looked at it for a moment. He tucked it back behind, then looked back up.

"He seemed sympathetic."

The Master could see the layers of insinuation of the fellow's superior, even beyond the young man's frankly honest mien. "His superiors don't like the competition, I take it?"

"I couldn't say," said the man, shifting his helmet and scratching the side of his neck. "Just the same, sir, I do recommend you remain in your cell until the trial."

The Master sighed inwardly, then smiled. It really was so rare he even had a hint of a challenge... "Very well, Captain, I will behave. You have my word."

"Thank you," said the man. He turned and walked back down the corridor.