p. The truth. There was only truth for every being, deity, and creature. Anything with sentience tried to hide the truth from themselves. Even people the most intelligent people, like his wife and son who couldn’t understand his desire to uncover the truth behind every case. Its true, sometimes his work got him and his family in trouble with the Thieves Guild back in the Old World (or worse). He did feel terribly about that. But the truth is something that has to be in the open. Truth will bind you if you don’t find it, and set you free if you do. Truth is the Great Enslaver, and yet, it is the Great Liberator. Because of this, Inspector Iknol could not stop his search for the truth. He only wished his wife and son back in the Old World could understand that. But he musn’t be distracted by that. His new job as one of three Inspectors of Spirel City would keep him quite busy and away from such unproductive thoughts, he hoped. Inspector Iknol studied to examine his literature about Spirel City, Procella and his contract for the third time.
Mid-voyage, Inspector Iknol decided that he would take it upon himself to do rounds of the ship. You never know when trouble could brew. He paced by mothers try to calm their babes, sailors making raunchy jokes, nobles, and men who looked dirt poor. He passed a man who was huddled in the corner, about to take a bite out of a large loaf of bread. Inspector Iknol drew his pepperbox pistol, pulled down the hammer with his thumb, aimed it at the man’s head and in a deep, flat voice said, “Hold it.”
Fear infused the raggedy man’s eyes and then man looked up from his bread, his feast interrupted before it could begin, “What? Hey, what are you doing?”
Inspector Iknol simply stared at then stated, “That bread isn’t yours. You will come with me and return it to it’s owner.”
“N-n-no! This is mine! I brought it with me aboard the ship!”
Pathetic fool, Inspector Iknol thought, and said, “It isn’t yours. For starters,” Inspector Iknol bent over the man and carefully smelled the bread, “it doesn’t even smell like you. I highly doubt you use the faint hint of roses to make your odor even slightly more pleasant.”
The man was gaping at Inspector Iknol, who continued, “Secondly, you’ve been clutching the end of the bread too tightly. You took it from someone and you’re unconsciously afraid that someone might take it from you…or try to take it back.”
The man became red in the face, embarrassed at his useless attempt to hide the truth, “That doesn’t prove nothin’!” he shouted.
p. Inspect Iknol smiled. Just slightly, but it was visible, “And finally, you left a trail of bread crumbs that leads all the way back to a mother whom I suspect is still frantically searching her things for that bread.” He motioned with his other hand toward the faint trail of bread crumbs, “let’s you and I follow the trail to her, shall we? Then you can tell the truth, return the bread, and no harm will come to anyone” Inspect Iknol’s “smile” disappeared and his stare became more scathing.
The raggedy man stood up, legs shaking, and began to follow Inspector’s Iknol’s instructions. The Inspector kept the man in front of him as they followed the trail. Halfway there, the man turned on Inspector Iknol and fell on his knees, a begging and weeping mess, “P-p-puhlease, ser! I lost all my food gamblin’ with them sailors and have nothin’ left…I haven’t eaten in two days! Have mercy, please!”
By what? Giving you food? By letting you keep the bread, you disgusting wretch?
Inspector Iknol stared down at the raggedy man with cold eyes that sapped the hope from the poor soul, “I don’t care. Return the food yourself or I will take it from you by force. Your choice.”
The man’s weeping turned to whimpers and their march to return the bread continued. Once that was done, Inspector Iknol brought the man to the captain of the ship, who made him swear that he wouldn’t steal food again, or else, Inspector Iknol insisted on adding, his life would be forfeit. The Inspector thought that the captain was being a little too nice, but that wasn’t truly his concern anymore. The crime had been solved, the truth revealed, and he felt that high he got from successfully resolving the case (a bonus that there was no bloodshed). Though it was only a slight high, as the case hadn’t been difficult.
Some weeks later and Spriel City was in view and Inspector Iknol was ready. After that incident, there hadn’t been anymore trouble on the ship. And that bored him. And it bothered him that it bored him. Boredom was a weakness, a sign of a lazy mind that should be working.
The little “smile” returned to Inspector Iknol’s face. He knew that the boredom would be over for a long time, and soon.