“Well, my name is Julian,” the man introduced himself, smiling. “And these men, think of them as a private peacekeeping force.” He stepped closer, inspecting the mask worn by the second woman. “Oh, my,” he said. “How long has she been trapped in this thing?”
“Too long,” Gale said.
“This must be removed at once.” Julian motioned to a couple of the men. The woman stiffened. “Please, my dear,” Julian said. “They intend to help you. I believe we can get that dreadful thing off without any further discomfort to you.”
Deb looked over at Gale.
“Well, they seem sincere,” Gale said. “They could have hurt us already if they’d wanted to.”
“Do you know her name?” Julian asked as Deb followed the Knights away.
“Deb. She’s a reporter.”
“And what is your name, my dear?”
“Gale Merrick,” she answered. “Doctor Gale Merrick.”
“I see,” Julian said. He paused, looking her over. “Well, doctor, we should have your own injuries attended to, and then I should think you’d welcome some new clothes. And some food and water, no doubt.”
“Your men already gave us some water,” Gale said. “And yes, if you have anything I can wear.”
“Of course,” Julian said. “First and foremost, we shall see to your physical needs. Then, I think, we should sit down for a nice chat.”
“Thank you,” Gale said. “I didn’t mean to seem ungrateful. We’ve just had a bad time of it as of late.” “I am sure,” Julian said. “But you may rest assured, you are safe now.” He offered a sad smile, looking away. “As safe as any of us can hope to be, at such a time as this.”