Agent Finds a Warrior (Chapter Three - Story Time, page 1 of 5)

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I only had a little of the pizza, while I watched her devour the majority of it. She was quiet and pensive looking as she ate. She looked like she needed cheering up. I glanced at a clock above us, there was enough time.

I leaned forward across the table and engagingly asked, "Want to hear a story?"

Her eyes lifted to mine and I saw curiosity gleam brightly in the smoky brown depths of them, "What kind of a story?" She asked slowly as interest lightened up her downcast features.

She really was a gorgeous woman. I was getting myself in deeper, but there was no hope for it.

"I know many stories. Come up with a sub genre type story and I'll try to pick one out for you."

Her eyes now positively glowed, "For real?" She asked excitedly.

I nodded thinking again to myself how different Maria was from whom I thought she had been.

"Hmmm, I want something old and Robin Hoodish."

I put my elbows on the table and leaned forward conspiratorially toward her and watched her eyes get big. I began my tale, "Our story began a very long time ago in a kingdom that has since been swallowed up by the sea. The kingdom of Artaxoriana was a prosperous one ruled over by a wise king. It was a tumultuous time in the world, where small kingdoms fell all the time, but such was not the case for Artaxoriana. Since its inception by its king it was a place of well-run order, for her king adhered to the old ways and was just and righteous. For 300 years this king ruled and governed his people well. Time caught up to him and he made plans for his departure from this life to the next. He wanted all of his children to be left with something. He had several wives and had accumulated over the years in excess of 100 children. He planned to give something of value to all of them. The youngest son fearing that his inheritance and position of prominence would be least of all, chose instead, to ask his father for his blessing to leave the kingdom and venture out and make his own way and be prosperous on his own terms. All he asked his father for was his blessing. His father gave him his blessing and the son left, but he didn't get far. Two days later traveling along the seacoast he was picked up by pirates and turned into a galley slave. The king died and the son he appointed to rule in his stead was murdered by some of his brother's who ransacked the kingdom. Many atrocities were committed. Four brothers by one of the old king's wives rose to the forefront and eliminated all the other sons of the king as well as his daughters, who they abused horribly before they let them die. The brothers mother came of a different belief than the old kings had been and she had warped her sons with the unclean tenets of her faith in the dark arts. She believed her blood was of pure divine origin. They went so far as to keep the purity of their blood that all four brothers jointly married their one sister. The kingdom was thrown into ruin and chaos. Outlying towns were raided and traders left off trading with the kingdom, because of how they were treated by the ruling brothers and their sister. Several kingdoms banded together to attack Artaxoriana in order to end the rule of the brothers, who were bringing instability and economic loss to the whole region. The attack failed and the other kingdoms were brought under harsh submission. Help for the situation came from an unlikely source. Pirates. Without the heavy trading income, which brought trade ships for the pirates to prey upon they had no rich game anymore, because of the four brothers harsh mismanagement of the kingdom and of the surrounding kingdoms. The youngest son managed to escape the life of a galley slave to become a pirate in order to save his life. He was as his father had been and soon the pirates of the galley looked to him as their leader. Instead of attacking what few remaining trade ships were left they protected them in exchange for enough to get by on. The youngest son had a bigger idea though. He took the initiative to solicit other pirate ships to do the same. He even married a pirate queen in the process. Instead of just protecting the remaining trade ships that made their way around the surrounding kingdoms they began to use the pirate galleys as trade vessels as well. They aided the surrounding kingdoms to build back up in this way for which in return the youngest son asked only that food be given to the starving people of Artaxoriana by the surrounding kingdoms. They did so and as news spread that a son of the wise king yet lived the people rose up and the army switched sides and heralded the arrival of the youngest son of the old king at the head of a motley band of pirates turned kingdom savers, with his beautiful pirate queen by his side. The four brothers and their sister were removed from power and within fifty years the prosperity of the kingdom was restored aided by the pirates that now protected the trade routes themselves, who in turn were made fabulously wealthy by the protection tariffs that they charged. There you go, was that Robin Hood enough for you?" I asked, as I leaned back into my seat and away from the table.

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