The Paidon children had been taken to the fort’s office. Captain Nikau and Colonel Kuron entered as Lacedaemon’s men were leaving.
“They’ve been tied down in the chairs,” Lacedaemon grunted as he walked passed Captain Nikau.
“Thank you,” Captain Nikau said simply. He entered the office with Colonel Kuros.
The girls were grunting and pulling on the ropes as the two men entered.
“Knock that off,” Colonel Kuros demanded. “You’re not going anywhere. Tell us who sent you.”
The nearest girl stopped long enough to spit at Colonel Kuros’s feet before continuing to struggle.
“Why you stupid little…” Colonel Kuros snarled, taking a step towards the girl.
“Colonel!” Captain Nikau cried. “Stop!”
The girl glared up at Colonel Kuros.
Colonel Kuros turned to look at Captain Nikau. “Do not give me orders Captain,” he hissed.
Captain Nikau shrugged. “Suite yourself,” he said. “But I don’t think you’ll have any luck questioning them like that. Look at them: they’re covered in scrapes and bruises. They’re warriors in their own right. They won’t break easily.”
“Then what do you recommend?” Colonel Kuros asked.
“Offer them something,” Captain Nikau replied. “Make a deal with them.”
The girls stopped struggling and stared at Captain Nikau.
“You have nothing that we want,” one of the girls snarled in a thick accent.
“Really?” Captain Nikau asked innocently. “What about your lives? Do you want those? Because right now they are in our hands.”
“You can only kill us,” the girl hissed back.
“Oh, we can do much worse than that,” Colonel Kuros replied. “But if your lives mean so little to you we’ll gladly take them.”
“Son of a pig!” the girls screamed. “You are nothing but filthy swine. You can do nothing to us.”
Colonel Kuros rushed over to the girl and slapped her hard with the back of his hand. “I will get the information that I want. And when I have it I will make you regret crossing me.”
The girl began to laugh.
Colonel Kuros turned on his heals and began walking towards the door. “Let’s go,” he said to Captain Nikau.
“That was a mistake,” Captain Nikau said once they had gotten a few feet from the office.
“How so?” Colonel Kuros asked.
“Now they have a reason to hate us,” Captain Nikau replied.
“They already hated us,” Colonel Kuros replied.
“Yes, but they had no knowledge of us,” Captain Nikau said. “We could have convinced them we’re their friends. We could have turned them to our side.”
“Do you really want traitors on our side?” Colonel Kuros asked.
Captain Nikau shrugged. “I thought we were just after information,” he replied.
Colonel Kuros snorted. “They’ll still give it to us,” he replied.
“They would have given it to us freely and honestly,” Captain Nikau said. “Now it certainly won’t be free, and we can’t guarantee that it’ll be honest.”
They entered the mess tent and walked over to where General Stratagos was sitting.
“How did it go?” the general asked before sipping his spoonful of soup.
“Badly,” Captain Nikau replied.
“Oh?” General Stratagos said.
“The girls provoked Colonel Kuros,” Captain Nikau said. “Now they hate us. They’re so full of anger. I doubt they’ll ever give us a straight answer. We ay kill them before we have the truth.”
“Enough!” Colonel Kuros cried, slamming his fists on the table. “They will be made to talk. We will have the truth.”
General Stratagos put his spoon back in his bowl. “I fear the Captain is right,” he said. “They will take the truth with them to the grave as things stand now.”
“They will not!” Colonel Kuros cried.
“Silence!” the general snapped. “Colonel Kuros, you will not go near those girls again. Captain Nikau, please go back to the girls tomorrow. Interrogate them by yourself. Do what you must to get the truth from them.”
“Yes, sir,” Captain Nikau replied.
Colonel Kuros stormed out of the tent. Captain Nikau shrugged, then stood up to grab his own bowl of soup.