Honour Among Thieves



“What we’re doing is very fucked up”, Sybil exhaled as she said this to Gray, her breath visible in the fog that enveloped her and the rest of the company. “We used to protect these people, they don’t deserve this sort of punishment. We should be killing our contractors instead”. Gray stared at her under the dim moonlight, her hair jet black, the fog around them like a veil, he could still see in her face that she was clearly upset, yet that didn’t take away from her beauty one bit, “Justice doesn’t feed my men, Syb, we really don’t have a choice”. 

He lifted his arm, his hand open, palm displayed in the air, the entire company allocated an arrow on their bowstrings and readied them. They aimed at the group of the so called rebels, now standing blindfolded and afraid, most of whom seemed too young, the eldest being probably about 20 winters old. Gray closed his fist, the men and women of the company let their fingers slide from their bowstrings, the young rebel’s bodies made a single, dry thumping noise as their bodies hit the floor. He knew most of them, he and Sybil used to guard the walls of their village, several times they’d engage in meaningless conversations, or perhaps they weren’t, yet to him it seemed as if most things now were like so. Meaningless. They disappeared under the night, left the bodies for the crows.


 On their way back, a thin film of snow covered the field, the trees’ branches, seemingly nude without their leaves, were powdered in white. Syb was afraid of how they’d follow his orders, Gray’s company used to be, at least in majority, made up of sell swords, knaves and rogues. Now they seemed to be machines, morphed from vagrants to professionals, as Gray would call them. The change wasn’t easy or immediate by any means. At one point, two of the younger recruits raided a merchant’s caravan. They murdered the merchant and violated his wife. They proudly bragged about this in the barracks, the word unavoidably spread, Gray found out, and hanged them both at the base of operations’ yard, in the gallows to make an example of them. “We aren’t bandits, we’re businessmen, and whoever smear’s the company’s name will have the pleasure to experience the same fate they suffered.” After this event, the entire company grew silent, most would keep to themselves, as for the little commotions that happened every once in a while, they ceased to exist. Be it from respect or fear, Gray got them all to get in line. 

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