Collin drew his sword, a deadly curved piece from the East colonies, as he charged his enemies. Several of his men were up instantly at the sound of his warning shout, others less so. The hooded figures continued to flicker, popping up on one side of the room only to disappear and reappear somewhere else. Yet they still didn’t attack. He stood now, in the chamber with Keeter by his side. “Can you see them, Keeter?”
“What are they, ghosts?” His man waved his knife in front of himself, nervously.
“I’m not sure.” Collin hated to admit ignorance, not only because it made him look weak, but also because it sparked fear in his men. By now all of his men were awake and up, huddled in several small groups with their backs pressed against each other, knives and swords drawn.
“What should we do?” Keeter glanced towards Collin expectantly.
“Oi! As commander of the VolunScali and Captain of this crew I, Collin Daybreaker, demand to speak with your leader!” Suddenly the apparitions vanished, and the stone chamber grew eerily silent. Collin’s eyes darted back and forth, searching for anything. “Show yourselves!” He yelled, intoning as much authority and confidence as he could. The sense of foreboding was mounting. All eyes were on him. He knew they were unequipped to contend with such a force. Then, in a blaze of blinding white light, the room was filled with the same apparitions. Each held a sword several feet long, drawn to the neck of one of his men and ready to strike. Collin gulped, feeling warm metal pressed against his neck, unable to process how strange it felt under the duress. They were no longer disappearing, and Collin doubted he needed his special goggles to see them anymore.
It seemed like an eternity passed when in reality it was but a few moments. There was one more blinding flash, and then a tall, hooded figure stood in the center of the room. His sword was as long as his body, and his white hair wrapped around his head and down his chest, reflecting the cold moonlight. He raised his sword, and Collin had an awful notion that when he lowered it they would all be dead. He struggled for something intelligent to say, something that would save his men. “Stop! Please, stop! We meant you no harm! We were just passing through!” The man made as much notice of Collin as anyone would an ant. Then, by a silent command, each hooded figure pulled back his blade, ready to strike, his men remained still, somehow immobilized. “Stop! Stop in the name of Araganus Christus Vendas!” The whole room froze as each hooded figure slowly turned toward Collin. The man with the white hair cast a burning gaze at Collin, walked up, and threw back his hood.