After watching him walk away, Grik turned back toward the men before him. He glared at Jerrett, next in line, motioning him forward. “Your application?”
The Oathtaker handed over the single page form indicating his desire to join the guard.
The officer took it, scanned it quickly, then wrote on it. He looked up. “Jabari?”
“That’s right, sir.” He and Marshall had discussed using false names while in Chiran. They knew that there were people living there with more Oosian sounding names. Jerrett even remembered Velia telling him of a man by the name of “Freeman,” who’d accompanied Lilith back when she pursued the infant twins. It was a consequence of the transfer of people between the two empires over the years. Still, the Oathtakers wanted to fit in as smoothly as possible and so, chose to use names with a more local sound to them. Jerrett resorted to one he’d used in the past: Jabari Creed.
Grik’s eyes narrowed. “You’ve served in the guard before?”
The Chiranian looked closely at the Oathtaker, paying particular attention to his tattoos and shaved head. “Step closer,” he ordered.
“Show me your forearms.”
He put his arms out.
Grik lifted his chin. “Closer.”
Jerrett stepped nearer the man.
The officer examined his tattoos. “Interesting.”
“Your tattoos tell an interesting story.”
Jerrett knew the full meaning of his tattoos. The symbols told the obvious story of death—but also of something more. When, as a young man, he left his old life behind, he’d made changes to his body art. The renderings now hinted not only of death in the broad sense, but of death to self, and of service to a greater cause—that of life and freedom.
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