Somewhere in the distance, a dog barked.
"Not now, Precious!" On one end of a long scroll tube was a blue-haired man dressed in dark clothing, and on the other end was a large, black dog. The two were clearly engaged in some sort of impromptu tug-of-war, much to the dog's delight and the master's chagrin. "Believe it or not, I'm trying to do some work here!" The man struggled against the dog's powerful grip for a moment longer before muttering some indistinct words under his breath. At the completion of his mumbling, the dog found himself suddenly impacted by an unseen force, his jaw pried open and his body pitched off his four legs into the air. Moments later, the animal landed safely in a doggy bed shoved into the corner of the room, resulting in a softened thud. More startled than wounded, the dog barked again before curling up on a large pillow.
"Thank you. Sorry about that, but I don't have time to play right now." General Hakaril Silvar popped off the end of the scroll tube and dumped its parchment contents onto his desk, shoving aside several layers of other papers, glass tubes, corks, bags of catnip, and other miscellaneous items. An archaelogist could probably conduct a very interesting study by examining the strata on Hakaril's desk; there were at least as many layers of garbage piled up as there were in most historical dig sites, and some of the objects lying around in his office were at least as old.
Hakaril unfurled the scrolls and began to skim their contents. Reviewing reports from the city Guard was one of his least favorite duties, and he typically endeavored to finish it quickly so that he could move on to more interesting things. Most of the reports were tragically uninteresting.
"Pickpocket arrested on 7th street...slum drunk incarcerated after attempted arson...local mage questioned regarding protection racket...how the hell can the guards stand to do their jobs when even reading about them bores me to tears?" Hakaril sighed. This mundane bullshit was the kind of thing he wished he could pawn off on somebody else. Unfortunately, he had a responsibility to at least review
reports, even those outside of his department.
"Responsibility" also happened to be one of General Silvar's least favorite words.
The General yawned as he came to the bottom of the list. "Oh, a murder. How fascinating. One less taxpayer to throw money into the royal coffers...wait, WHAT!?" Nearly dropping the parchment from shock, Hakaril traced a line under the entry with his finger. "Suspect in custody after cooperation with authorities...currently being investigated by..." The mage blinked, then abruptly cast the parchment to his desk as he stormed out of the room with his face twisted into an expression of disbelief.
Precious uttered a confused whimper at his master's sudden change of behavior as the door slammed shut.
Minutes later, Hakaril was standing outside Shakti's cell and staring at her as if she had suddenly started spewing pudding out of her ears. The guards had been roughly dismissed, run out of the room by a shouting General who was clearly not in the best of moods. As none of his subordinates were interested in testing the General's bluff about cleaning cell block H, any possible pairs of unwanted ears were long gone.
Hakaril stammered momentarily and pointed a finger at Shakti accusatorily. "You...you...what the fuck did you DO?" <p>