Castle Auelius - Part 2

About two thirds of the way up the wall on the right side of the drawbridge, there was a small window. Inside a small room was a guard who controlled the drawbridge. He would lower the bridge, watch to make sure nothing happened, and then raise it when the guards had changed. If anything happened, he would raise the bridge and sound the alarm. That would be bad.

Casandra and Echo team waded across the foul smelling moat, out of view of the watch window. Once across, two members positioned themselves on each side of the drawbridge, pressed up against the wall so that they would be difficult to see. The other two stood under the window, and hoisted Casandra up onto their shoulders. Even with her arms raised above her head she was still a couple of feet below the window. As the drawbridge began to lower, the two soldiers placed their arms over their heads. Casandra carefully balanced herself, one leg at a time, on their extended palms.

When the drawbridge clanged down, Charlie team opened the portcullis of the barbican and four of the team, in the Duke's tabbards, appeared in the doorway. As soon as the replacements exited the castle, Casandra flexed both feet and the two soldiers simultaneously squatted and then straightened up, launching Casandra up high enough to grab the bottom of the window with her left hand. She quickly pulled herself up even with the window and sprayed mace into the face of the startled guard inside. The blinded guard fell back with a cry of pain, just as two flash grenades blinded the guards on the drawbridge.

Members of Echo and Charlie teams quickly subdued the guards on the bridge. Charlie team carried them back into the barbican and lowered the drawbridge, while Echo team quickly secured the gate. Meanwhile, Casandra squirmed her way through the window, with barely sufficient room despite the fact that she wore only a bodysuit. Once inside she subdued the guard and raised the drawbridge. She quickly washed the mace off her own face and then the slumbering guard's, using a barrel of fresh water in the corner of the room.

Casandra joined two of her force and went in search of the kids, while the other two pairs headed for the rooms in which the Prince and Princess were held. The three of them moved swiftly down deserted hallways toward the most likely of the three locations. On two separate occasions they had to dodge guards, but no one saw them. They arrived at the first of the locations, a storage room in the basement, but found no sign of the kids.

As they headed toward the next possible location they could hear two guards coming toward them. The two soldiers hid around the last corner while Casandra scaled the wall at the point farthest from the torches. With her feet on one wall and her hands on the other she braced herself against the ceiling. The guards did not see her black form as they came around the corner and walked along the corridor. As they came beneath her, she dropped in a beautifully executed manuever intended to simultaneously connect her elbows and their ears.

Unfortunately, the guard to her right was only stunned by the blow. Casandra quickly covered his mouth with her left hand and slid a gold stiletto out of her boot and placed it against his throat. "Where are the two boys being held?" she asked as her two soldiers came up to take care of the bodies.

However, rather than answer her question, the guard bit down, severing her pinky. Casandra grated her teeth, but did not let out a sound as she cold-cocked the guard and then savagely kneed him in the groin as he fell. As the soldiers disposed of the bodies in an empty room, Casandra walked over to the nearest torch bracket, removed the torch and cauterized the wound, with a grimace, but no sound.

The three continued up the corridor and soon reached the second possible location of the two children. This one was an unused bedroom on the third floor. Looking around the corner using a mirror, they noticed two guards outside the door. Casandra quickly contacted the other two teams to prepare to breach the other rooms, while her two soldiers circled around to the other end of the corridor. When everyone was in position, Casandra gave the signal.

© 2004 John Eisinger. All rights reserved.