Note:

Some character's names are changing from their original denotation.
Crag = Krag
Teej = Tej
This note will be removed when the changes are applied to all entries on this blog.
text marked with italic tags are meant to be in italics and will be so in the final, publishable draft.

Chapter 8

    “Excuse me sir, do you mind coming outside with us,” said the paler of the two soldiers.
    “Certainly,” Crag replied.  He preferred to be outside, more room to move.
    The soldiers motioned for Crag to go in front of them.  He followed their direction, stooping and turning a little sideways to get out of the door as the patrons of the store watched.
    Crag carried his bags with him at his sides.  He wasn’t about to give up his armor if he could help it.
    The paler soldier asked, “Could you please remove your hood, sir?”

    Crag shrugged and pulled the hood off of his bald, brown head.  His face, short nose, protruding jaw and gigantic bottom canines revealed fully to the officers.
    “It’s him,” the darker of the two soldiers said.  “This is the guy those parents saw at the playground.”
    The paler soldier pulled out a small black metal object and pointed it at Crag.  Crag looked at the object and dropped his bags.  The soldier said, “Get on the ground now.”
    Crag laughed and swatted the object out of the soldier’s hand.  Before the darker soldier could respond, Crag laid him out with a huge fist to the face.
    The paler soldier punched Crag in the chest.  Crag grabbed the officer by the neck and tossed him into the glass wall of the store he just stepped left.  Humans around Crag gasped at his power and his facial expression.  He didn’t feel particularly angry, but he felt a battle cry was warranted.  He inhaled and was about to bellow when he felt a hand equal to his size cover his mouth.
    Crag turned violently with a punch, but the other creature blocked it and held up a finger to his lips.  “Wait, orc, no battle cries.  We must go.  Come.  Fast.”
    Crag grabbed his bags and followed the other orc quickly.

~ * ~

    The other orc led Crag quickly and quietly out of the downtown area.  With two man-beasts their size tromping through the crowd, people moved whether they wanted to or not.  The orc turned down a much less busy alley way, then another turn down another alley.  Finally they reached a set of stairs.  The orc climbed the stairs to the second landing.  The orc opened his door and motioned for Crag to enter.
    They were greeted with three other orcs sitting around a table with small pieces of stiff paper in their hands saying things like:
Orc 1: “I tap one red mana and 20 of any mana and cast a 20 point fireball.”
    Orc 2: “Counterspell.”
    Orc 1: “Your mother is a human.”
    Orc 2: “Your father is a coward.”
    Orc 1: “I’m going to beat you to death.”
    Orc 2: “You and what army?”
    Orc 1: “I’m an elite member of the Rock Shadow clan.  I need nothing, but my fists.”
    Orc 3: “Calm down you two.  Besides, I win this battle.  I attack the both of you simultaneously with 30 1/1 human soldiers.”
    Orc 1: “On my honor as an orc, I shall not lose to human soldiers.”
    Orc 2: “Look, we have a new orc amongst us.”
    The three orcs stood, laying their cards on the table.
    The orc who led Crag from downtown introduced himself, “My name is Teej of the Stone Crusher Clan.”
    The name of Orc 1 was Arj of the Rock Shadow clan.
    Orc 2 introduced himself as, Urr of the Blood Feather clan.
    Orc 3 was Thok of the Arrow Stone clan.
    “What is your name, traveler?” Teej asked.
    “I am –” Crag began.
    An old voice interrupted Crag.  “He is Crag of the Rock Shadow clan.”
    Thumping and shuffling sounds came from an approaching orc with long, braided hair.  Crag looked intently and saw....
    Crag’s mouth opened unintentionally.  “Father?  Is that you?”
    The old orc nodded.  “Yes, it is me.  It has been many years, my son, but I would always recognize my blood.”
    The old orc shuffled towards his son.  His son stepped toward his father.  Crag held his left hand up and his right hand down.  Goor mimicked him and they pressed their arms together clasping each other’s forearms tightly and genuinely elated
“Father,” Crag grunted.  “How I have missed you.”
    Goor grunted.  “I have missed you too, but I see you have grown into the warrior I always knew you would.”
    “Asus taught me well,” Crag said.
    Goor smiled and nodded.  “Asus, I knew would take over the clan.  He had intelligence beyond the normal orc….  And you took over the clan when he could not hold it?”
    Crag said, “Yes, father.  We even built a city, the grandest city on Torxania, we called it Cheeyeeglu.”  Crag could see small droplets of water dripping from his father’s eyes.
    “I am proud of you my son.”  Goor smiled.  He guided Crag to the living room where the other orcs cleaned up their table and brought out stools.  “But I must ask, how did you get here?”
    Crag sat on the stool closest his father.  “The Grand Wizard Set returned and threatened our way of life.  We went to battle and he sent many of us from the battlefield.  I landed here.”
    The father nodded.  “That is what happened to me when you were still a pup.  I felt dishonor for abandoning you like that, but I have not been able to find a way back to our world.”
    Son put his hand on his father’s arm.  “Feel no dishonor, Father. I know you would not have abandoned me on purpose.  The Grand Wizard’s magic was just too powerful.”
    “Never,” his father grunted.
    Crag turned to the other orcs.  “Is this what happened to you four as well?”
    Arj nodded.  “I was in the battle with you, Chieftain.  The lightning enveloped me just after we charged.”
    Crag sighed.  “I wonder what happened to the other members of our clan.  When I came into this world I cut a human in half who was trying to assault a human woman.  I didn’t realize it at the time.  I was still running from the battle and….”
    Arj laughed.  “I ran into a tree and knocked myself unconscious.  At least you got a kill in this realm.  Teej had to stop me from killing more than a couple humans here.”
    Teej put both hands on his hips.  “Without me you would be in a human jail and there is no way of knowing what would happen to you there.”
    Arj said, “I would kill my way to their leadership and escape.”
    “Or be shot with their thundersticks,” Teej reminded.  “Remember Urgh.”
    Crag asked, “What is a thunderstick?”
    Teej said, “The humans call them ‘guns.’  They are vile, cowardly weapons which humans wield and fire small pieces of lead at their opponent.  The lead moves so powerfully it can pierce even the strongest armor.  Urgh tried to fight the human police, but they used their thundersticks and he fell.  We had to steal his body from their metal catacombs so they couldn’t cut him open and examine him.”
    Crag shuffled uneasily on his stool.
    Teej said, “We have arranged jobs at a group of local entertainment huts.  You can join us if you like.  Humans require money to live in their homes.”
    Crag nodded.  “If that is what must happen then I will.  Though I was once Chieftain, I am not above you here.  Let me know how I can best help the group of us.  Unless we can find a way out of here we may be stuck here a while.”
    Goor said, “I have been here many years as you know.  The years move slower here than in Torxania, thus much of my memory of our home is lost to me, but maybe we can find a way back one day before I join the great chiefs.”
    Crag touched his father’s arm.  “I will do my best to help this happen.”

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