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Locked N' Loaded is the second chapter of my fourteenth fanfiction, "The Stage". In this chapter, the Lancers and Reapers get many new recruits. Harold starts seeing things, which is not fun. Let's get this shit started. 

Locked N' Loaded 

After James left my house, I went down into my cellar to get some vodka. I then sat down at my desk, and started drinking. Suddenly, I saw something flash before my eyes. I fell backwards, while spitting vodka all over the place. My breathing got very heavy. 

Harold: What the fuck? What was the hell was that? 

I got up, wiped off my coat, and picked up my chair. I put down the bottle, and it happened again. This time, however, I could see the vision clearly. I saw Lydia. She looked disappointed at me. I then heard her voice. 

Lydia: What are you, Harold? What have you become? 

Hearing her voice caused pain in my head. I grabbed my head, and dropped to my knees. I yelled in pain. She spoke to me again. This time, her voice sounded angry. 

Lydia: Why, Harold? Why couldn't you save me? Save us? 

The pain in my head increased, but suddenly stopped. I let go of my head, stood up, and almost immediately fell backwards. My breath was heavier than ever, and my heart was beating out of my chest. 

Harold: Lydia? I'm sorry. 

I stood up, and left the house. I got on Shadowmere, and went to Fort Wellington. I found Henriett, and told her that we needed to talk. We went to the chapel, and locked the doors. She had a smile on her face, which wouldn't last very long. 

Henriett: What do you need to talk to me about? 

When I spoke, my voice sounded terrified. 

Harold: I was at the house. I saw something. 

Henriett: Are you okay, Harold? 

Harold: No. I'm anything but okay. 

Henriett: Stay calm. Take your time. Tell me what happened. 

I took a few deep breaths, and spoke very slowly. 

Harold: I went home earlier, and James was waiting for me. We talked, and I returned something that I stole from him. When he left, I got myself a drink, and sat down at my desk. (Deep breath) Something flashed in my eyes. I saw Lydia. She told me that she was disappointed with me. I don't know what happened. 

Henriett seemed very concerned by this. 

Henriett: I don't know what to say. 

Harold: You don't have to say anything. Ever since the Moon Presence came, everything has just gone to shit. Plague, Amelia, Elena. They would still be alive if the Moon Presence didn't fuck everything up. Could my life get any worse? 

Henriett: There's nothing anyone could do about that. 

Harold: I know. 

There was a knock on the door. 

Hajvarr: Hey! Open up! You have to see something. 

Henriett and I got up, and went outside. There were 35 new recruits, ready to join our ranks. Arminius came up to me. 

Arminius: Well? It worked. 

Harold: It did. (Laughs) How did that pretty whore that you call a partner convince people to join us? 

Arminius: (Evil laugh) The same way she convinced you to share her bed.

Harold: Yeah. That works. 

I got ready to speak to the recruits. 

Harold: Listen up, everyone! There are a few rules here: First: I'm in charge around here. You do what I say, when I say it. Second: If you have a problem, talk to Pale, who... (scans the area)... doesn't seem to be here currently. And third: No fighting each other. Obey those rules, and we will get along just fine. A few more things. You pay the iron price. You are responisble for taking care of yourselves. Lastly: I don't want to see anything that looks even a little bit like a weapon drawn inside the main building of this fort. Keep your weapons sheathed at all times. That's all. You are dismissed. 

They all departed. I assigned 20 of them to Ptolemy's group, since he has fewer people than my group. Ptolemy gave his recruits uniforms similar to the outfit that I wore during my time as a soldier. I let my recruits wear whatever they wanted. Henriett went home, but I stayed at the fort. Arminius joined me, and Samantha was with him. I gestured for them to sit in Pale and Henriett's chairs, and they did. 

Harold: You two did a good job at getting people to join us. Well done. 

Samantha: Did you doubt me? 

Harold: No. If you can convince me, then you can convince anyone. 

Samantha: Very true. 

Arminius: We should go. 

Samantha: I agree. Farewell, Harold. 

As Samantha walked away, I couldn't resist looking at her rear end. I got a small smile on my face. 

Harold: Damn. 

I returned home, and saw that our windows were fixed. I went inside, and Henriett was sitting at the table, reading a book, and had her feet on the table. She didn't hear me come in. 

Harold: Feet off the table! 

She jumped, then fell backwards. I burst out laughing, and she threw her book at me. 

Henriett: Harold! Not cool! 

Harold: That was perfect. 

It was getting late, so we went to bed. The next day, the visions continued. 

Credits 

This story is slowly building up to the conflict. That is my intention, at least. Tell me what you think in the comments. 

When Lydia said “save us”, she was talking about her and her child.