Silence echoed across the desert near the King of England's camp in Acre. Guardsman watched the distance warily for any sign of attack , while others slept unaware of the dangers in their tents. Yet in the Kings tent,Richard the Lionheart slept fitfully - for that night he was plagued by memories of the past. Suddenly, jerking awake wildly the war hardened man buried his head in his hands and started to sob ; unaware that his favorite Knight was fitfully sleeping as well. _ In Sherwood Forest, Robin of Locksley - also known as Robin Hood - Earl Of Huntington and member of the King's Private Guard fell out of bed as he awoke from the same nightmare. Unaware that Much was watching him, the outlaw shivered and stood fearfully. Glancing around quickly, he disappeared into the forest to be alone for awhile as he pondered the meaning of his dreams.
Once Robin was far enough from camp, but close enough he could call for help if needed- he against a cliff face to think. Unknown to him, the King was doing the same thing in Acre- yet Robin decided it had to be done, so breathing in slightly he relaxed just enough to go into a flashback. [Flashback]
^God Wills It!^ was shouted across the camp in Arabic, as a man on horseback cut down Knights near Robin's tent. Opening his eyes, the bodyguard grabbed his bow and quiver , while yelling at Much " The King ! The King is under attack! Much! Get the guards!"
Racing out of his tent, Robin dropped to one knee , knocked an arrow and loosed it into the man on horseback. Suddenly he felt a red hot pain in his side and looked up painfully to see another man riding away from him. Collapsing in agony, Robin heard " Master! Your hurt!" Shaking his head, the Knight snarled " Much - the guards! " ; then ran towards the King's tent.
Once there the Knight ran inside to see the man who had stabbed him, standing over the injured King Richard - sword in hand and ready to deal the killing blow. " Your Highness! " Robin yelled and swung his Saracen sword, blocking the deadly swing to the King's head. The man turned and charged at him instead , swinging his sword wildly as if in a blind rage.
Catching him off guard, Robin lashed out with a foot and kicked the man's knee; then sliced his forearm with his sword. Realizing he was beaten, the man shoved Robin aside - hitting his injury purposefully and ran out into the night.
Swearing, the King's guardsman pushed himself up and over to the King's side where he stayed until the rest of the Guards arrived ten minutes later. [End Flashback] Frustrated Robin buried his head in his hands and let darkness claim him, as his exhaustion from fighting the memories took over. _ Three hours later he still hadn't returned to camp, so the group of outlaws set off in hopes of finding their leader. About two hundred feet from camp though, Allan A Dale heard a groan and turned towards the underbrush.
There lying under a bush against a cliff was Robin and it looked like he was very unconscious. Crouching next to the older man, the other outlaw murmured " Robin?" to try and wake him up. The reaction though, was very unsettling as instead of waking slowly as a normal person would- Robin's fist flew and caught the younger squarely in the face.
Jerking back, Allan moaned and called " Robin! Wake up! John! Much! Help me here. " Almost immediately Much was beside him and crouched next to his ' Master'. Shaking his head the servant sighed and said " He's completely exshausted! We have to get him back inside."
Carefully the two outlaws lifted Robin into the hideout and onto his bed. " How long do you think he'll be out?" Will asked quietly. Glancing at the man, Much shook his head saying " It depends on how many nightmares or flashbacks he had before this. And what he did afterwards."
Nodding Djaq smiled at the worried outlaw and said " We understand, Much. You take care of him. We will take care of the villagers and Sheriff." Glancing back and forth between the merry men and Robin for a moment, Much finally sighed and nodded quietly. _ Three and a half weeks later there was still no change. It seemed Robin had gone into a coma or self induced sleep of some sort. Worried, Much chewed his lip thoughtfully as he glanced between the others and Robin.
Finally grabbing a quill, some ink and parchment he started writing a letter to the King in the holy land. When he was done he said " Djaq, I'm going out. Would you mind looking after Robin for awhile?"
Confused the woman nodded and he left, but not after he grabbed his cloak. Ten minutes later he was standing in Nottingham's post office watching as people paid for pigeons to deliver their mail.
Inching over to a cage, Much opened it quietly and pulled the bird out. Hiding it within his cloak he slipped out of the town and back into the forest, where he tied the letter to the birds ankle and said " To King Richard in the Holy Land." Glancing around again to make sure no one was around, Much released the bird into the air and watched it fly away. _ His Royal Highness, King Richard Platagenet the Lionheart sighed as he looked out over the desert. All of a sudden, one of his guards called out " Sire! There's a message for you!" Looking up quickly, the King of England caught the confused expression on the young guards face. ' But why?' The king thought, quickly; ' Unless its not a Lord writing to me?'
Walking over to the man with both the bird and letter, Richard nodded his thanks to the man; then took the parchment. Then turning around, the King made his way back into his tent to read the letter by himself.
Sitting down at the desk, he gently opened the seal and unfolded the letter. Then began to read: Your Royal Highness, My name is Much, and I was Robin of Locksley's manservant. It is with much sorrow that I write to you with worry for my master, Robin. He has been experiencing nightmares from the Acre incident and will not speak of them ( I know very little).
Also, my master has almost completely stopped eating and hardly speaks to anyone ( If he does it is to command them). This latest incident with his nightmares has proven the most difficult, though. If his Majesty will bear with me, I can explain. About three weeks ago, he had another nightmare - as he usually does, yet this was different. He seemed almost violent when waking from it, as if struggling to get away from something or someone.
I know he went for a walk after that - he usually does- but we couldn't find him in the morning until eleven thirty. When we did , he seemed unresponsive and when Allan A Dale tried waking him , Robin lashed out at him. He has not woken since ,sire. Your humble servant, Much.
Swearing colorfully, Richard grabbed a quill and parchment to compose a short note to the lad. When finished he picked up the pigeon again, tying the note to its leg and said " To Much in Sherwood Forest." Then he let the bird go and watched it make its way towards England. _ In England an outlaw slowly unravelled the note from the pigeons ankle a read the short note : Send him to me, King Richard . Smiling he set off towards camp to prepare Robin for travel.