Anna sat in the war room, contemplating the maps and soldier miniatures laid out on the table in front of her. She idly played with the miniatures as she waited for a certain someone to enter. It's been a few days since Kiran and Matthew's encounter, and Anna saying she's worried about Kiran's current depressed state is an understatement.
The door opened slightly, and Sharena poked her head inside, “Commander? You needed something?”
“Sharena,” Anna sat up and gestured to her, “Come in. We have much to discuss.”
Sharena pulled up a chair and sat next to Anna, “What’s this about?”
Anna picked up two miniatures and placed them in front of Sharena, “You know about the situation between Kiran and Matthew, correct?”
Sharena lowered her head, “Yes, I do. I mean, they seemed to get along so well, and now...”
Anna nodded in agreement, “If Kiran doesn’t get her act together again soon,” She knocked over one miniature, “The army’s doomed.” Anna put a hand on Sharena’s shoulder. “I know that you’re concerned about Matthew as well.” She stood up from her chair and put her hands on her hips, “So, that’s why I have a plan, and I need your help.”
Sharena rose from her chair, “Of course! I’ll do what I can. What do you need me to do?”
Anna huddled with Sharena, “Okay, listen carefully. Here’s what we’ll do…”
“Anna?” Kiran entered the war room. To her surprise, the room was completely empty. Kiran glanced at the clock, “Anna did say to meet her here at noon, right? She should be here by now.” Kiran searched the room, “Commander? You in her--Mmph?!”
A damp cloth was clamped over Kiran’s mouth and nose by a person behind her. She raised her arms to pry the hand away, but the person used their other arm to hold them at her sides. Kiran wriggled as best she could out of her attacker’s grip, but it was no use. Her mind clouded up, and her all her strength started to fade away. “Mmph…”
“Sorry for tricking you like this, Kiran.”
As she faded out of consciousness, Kiran could have sworn she recognized her attacker’s voice.
Matthew knocked on Sharena's bedroom door, "Sharena? It's Matthew."
"Come in!" Sharena called out from the other side of the door, "The door's unlocked."
Matthew walked inside, and Sharena greeted him with a bright smile on her face as usual. "Thanks for joining me for lunch." said Sharena. "Want me to get you a glass of water?"
Matthew nodded slightly and pulled up a chair, "Sure, thanks."
Sharena walked over to the other side of the room, grabbed a water pitcher from the shelf. "Matthew, I'm really sorry about the other day," Sharena said as she poured the both of them a glass of water. "I shouldn't have brought Kiran up."
"It's fine," mumbled Matthew as he stared at nothing. "You didn't know."
Sharena walked over to Matthew and set the glass in front of him. "Thank you," he said. He sipped the water as Sharena continued the conversation.
"You know, you and Kiran are my best friends, and I want both of you to be happy. I can't bear to see the both of you so sad."
"Uh… yeah. I-I know," Matthew tried his best to concentrate, but he could hardly keep his eyes open. His muscles started to loosen, and he rested his head on his hand, "Sh-Sharena? What… what was in my drink…?"
"Sorry, Matthew," Sharena smiled sadly and whispered, "But please promise me you'll cooperate when you wake up, okay?"
"What… are you…" Before he could finish his sentence, Matthew slumped over the table out cold.
Kiran groggily opened her eyes. She tried raising her hands to wipe them, but she quickly realized her wrists were bound together behind her back.
Panic rose inside her and sobered her up from her unconscious state. She scanned her surroundings. There were wooden crates of varying sizes stacked all over the room. A row of small windows lined up on one wall near the ceiling. Must be a storage room. Kiran thought. The next thing Kiran noticed was that she wasn't alone; she was tied back-to-back with Matthew who was bound, gagged, and unconscious. He’s here too? But why?
Kiran tried to get his attention, “Mmphmph…?” It was then Kiran realized she was gagged as well. She struggled, hoping to loosen the ropes wrapped around her and Matthew and cried for help as she did so. Kiran groaned as her entrance grew wetter from her struggles. Dammit, Kiran! She swore at herself. Now is not the time!
A groan came from behind Kiran and she felt slight movement. Matthew slowly raised his head and his eyes shot open. He tried moving his arms and legs and surveyed his surroundings just as Kiran did moments earlier. He turned his head and raised his eyebrows when his eyes met Kiran’s, “Mphmph?”
Before Kiran could do something in response, the door to the room opened. Anna and Sharena walked inside. Kiran and Matthew let out confused, muffled cries in unison.
“Mornin’, you two,” Anna waved. “I know, I know. It’s weird that you guys are tied up like this.” Anna and Sharena approached Kiran and Matthew, kneeled down, and removed their gags.
"Wh-What's going on?" Kiran questioned.
“Sorry, but we were concerned about you,” Sharena said. “So, the commander came up with this plan to maybe clear things up between the two of you? If we told you what we were up to, who knows if you would've complied?”
Kiran and Matthew looked at each other. Both of them didn’t know what to say.
“Alright, so here's the deal," Anna leaned down to make eye contact with Kiran and Matthew. "The sooner you kiss and make up, the sooner we’ll untie you,” Anna winked. “Alright?”
Matthew nodded, “Okay.” Kiran hesitated for a moment, but nodded as well.
“Great!” Anna stood back up. “We’ll be waiting right outside. Holler if you need us.” She gestured to Sharena, “Let’s go.”
Sharena nodded to the commander and stood. She turned to Kiran and Matthew, “I’m sure you two will figure it out.” She the followed Anna out of the room and shut the door.