Khesh held up each of the order papers, comparing them. He thought It was a fair copy of the signature, but the new paper was a little too crisp looking. He huffed. He put the old torn original down on the makeshift desk and crumbled the new copy in his hands. He smoothed it out, laying it again next to the original. “Better”, he thought.
“Use dirt” said Thag, abruptly dropping a clump of earth from the barracks floor onto the counterfeit. Khesh shot Thag an angry look. Thag waved his hand in a circle. “Rub dirt.”
Khesh rubbed the dirt across the paper. The relief granted by its prior abuse stained it to almost an exact match of the old orders.
“All you wax and inks” said Thag, pointing. “..still need dirt.” Thag continued talking, and walked out of the barracks into the night “Have wound, put dirt. Have fake paper, put dirt. Want hide, put dirt. Dirt make plant. Dirt make…” his voice trailed off.
Khesh sighed. Thag always seemed like he was saying more than he was saying, and it made Khesh’s head hurt.
Tomorrow they would try and get themselves assigned as part of an escort for some slaves. New recruits hopefully. If these papers work anyway. Khesh put the old bits of paper from his soldiering back in the bottom of his bag. He used the old orders and bits of wartime communications to add authenticity to the new papers they used to travel freely. ‘Some of these names might not even mean anything anymore’, he thought. We need some new papers.
Putting away the inks, he cleared the desk and swept the dirt from it with the back of his hand. He was getting better at this forging thing. He grabbed a handful of dirt from the floor and considered it. He dropped it into the bag, a little jealous that Thag’s oversimplifications almost always panned out. “Use dirt” he said to himself.