This part involves more interaction between Karlyn and Deya, against a back drop of a ‘coming storm’
Libratery : The closest equivalent in our world would be a Convent. However the women of the Libratery have their own agenda and ‘restrained’ parallels with The LifeGuard. Hence the Morgevan Convention in whereby ‘devoteds’ of ‘certain’ talents can be ‘transferred’ to The LifeGuard.
Devoteds: Nuns (sort of)
At Custodian Meradat’s rather unnecessary proclamation the mixed company had quit the site of their meeting and moved southwards for some while reaching another copse which by the general consensus of the LifeGuard was suited for the night.
Beritt settled against a tree and set about the long and bothersome intricacies of despatching a detailed report of events to back to Captain Dekyria and the unavoidable request for permission to accept a custodian as commander. After the custodian had gone through a quick ceremony of Hopeful Purification over the oculatorette, he and Erzns had agreed the message should be minimal and prompt, but carried out in secrecy. So she was obliged to work by a moonlight made variable by skittering clouds, sourly thinking herself lucky they’d not expected her to put a blanket over her head to cover the dim glow of the screen.
Beritt had thought it the wind through the branches, but when the upside down face appeared, she discerned the noise was all down to the young woman she’d patched up earlier.
“You like trees then?”
In her two years, three lunations, one decan and nine days in the LifeGuard Beritt had a sufficient experience with the eccentric and disturbed. Since this one frowned at her unruffled question, Beritt concluded here was a girl that simply liked to unsettle people. And judging by the way she alighted in a deft drop and roll, also somewhat athletic.
“Yeh! Trees is safe, no one can sneak up on you when you’s perched high. And their friendly too,” she made cradling motions with her arms “Hold you snug and secure, if you know the branches. And they’re great places to sniff out what’s going on in the stormhiggle,”
“Yeh that!” the girl shuffled over to Beritt, and hunched up, hands around knees. “So you do the fiddling with dire devices then?” the question being accompanied by a mock hideous face.
“Yes, that I am. Medician and currently in my spare time working at Assessment and Evaluation. And that’s all I can say,”
“Oooh secrets!” she extended one hand “I’m Karlyn Nahtinee, and have been chosen by Custodian Meradat to help him track down some Jordy wobbler. As you can see, he’s causing all sort of problems!!”
“Medician Deya Beritt,” they shook hands “And I’m guessing, just guessing from what you’ve said we might be on the same business. But as I alluded to before that’s up to Sergeant Erzns and your custodian to sort out,”
Beritt them returned to scowling at the mirror’d screen, then became aware of the reflection of a wide-eyed inquisitive Karlyn peering over her shoulder.
“What’s them squiggles mean then?”
Beritt was about to make a terse statement to the effect that she was not very sure when there came a summoning from Erzns. He was standing of course with the custodian, who actually had been very mature and co-operative about being examined for injuries by a mere medician and a woman at that.
“Yes, of course LifeGuard. Quite correct. Attend to your duties,” he had said and sat down, the perfect patient. Slight graze to the skull, and something of a minor sprain to the ankle. Other blemishes and scars indicating he had seen worse. Nothing that her mediphsic box couldn’t attend to. He’d even allowed her to go through the lecture on possible demonic injuries without correcting or objecting.
Realising that whether she liked it or not Karlyn was in her wake, Beritt approached, saluting, slight bow to the custodian. Erzns of course did the initial questioning.
“Reported in medician?”
“Yes Sergeant. No reply though,”
“She’s got the squiggles though,” Karlyn volunteered, Beritt noted Trex and Norvan just would have had to have heard that wouldn’t they? “There were these four like circles of light,” extravagant finger gestures began. “And then they went into all sorts of skinny oddly lines, some tangled, some dancing about,” the gestures continued after the words ceased, since no one was replying she felt inclined to add “Very pretty they were too,”
“From what I was told, I think it was some sort of interference caused by rogue Astatheia,” Beritt then turned to Karlyn “Stormhiggle,” she said, pointedly; the effort was wasted.
Meradat stepped forward, despite the five handspan difference in height Beritt did not feel loomed over, just seriously addressed
“This would indicate your officers might see it prudent to contact us. We must act alone for the present. I so I shall assume command as the burden requires,” Erzns showed no indication of arguing, Beritt correctly assumed he had had previous experience with custodians, and by the ease of his statement, she guessed, again correctly, this was not the first time Meradat had been in this circumstance. She took some pleasure in some troopers’ sudden sour looks. The custodian meanwhile was directing his attention at Karlyn, who was more concerned with the overhead passage of a moth, until Beritt nudged her in the ribs.
“Custodian’s looking at you,” Beritt said
“Thank you Medician,” he said
“Ass-sniffer,” Karlyn said; to Beritt.
“Clear you mind young woman of impurities!” he announced “In view of the circumstance of the conjoint nature of this task, you will now need a title, so that the LifeGuard may address you properly,”
The term ‘squirrel-head’ occurred to Beritt, but since no one was asking her medical opinion on the girl’s statement of mind, she kept it to herself.
Meradat meanwhile made a solemn passage of his right hand from the centre of Karlyn’s temple to her brow, then splayed index and middle fingers in opposite directions.
“As instrument willing of the Lord God, I entitle you Tildelte Nahtinee,”
“’Til what, who when?”
“It’s an ancient northern word for ‘alloted’. Means the Good Lord God has set you a task,” Meradat looked quizzically at her “I was a novice devoted in a Libratery for two years, before being selected by The LifeGuard under the Morgevan Convention,” he made further sounds of approval then took Karlyn’s right hand and placed a small staff-shaped iron medallion.
“Wear this in realisation of the journey you must take in The Lord God’s purpose. And The Lord God remain with you medician,” he added. Karlyn made obvious comic sniffing sounds but was led away by the custodian for further instruction in the solemn procedure of her duties.
“Well you got him on our side medician,”
“Thank you sergeant. But I don’t suppose that’s of much comfort is it?”
“Not on this jaunt medician. Not on this jaunt,”
“Your assessment lieutenant?”
Bleymore was not really sure if Captain Dekyria was being sympathetically serious or gently mocking; there again Bleymore had to admit to himself he might have been putting too much thought into the statement, and so resolved to answer questions in the literal.
“The message confirms that the file encountered an intrusion from the Fourth Realm, but dealt with it. The beings which came through must have been very minor creatures to be despatched so quickly. The opening would therefore have been one which was made by either some rare natural event, or by the unforeseen consequences of someone’s action. Based on our previous information, it has to be the latter. The town of Prendaelyn would still be the most likely source,”
Dekyria stopped watching the swirl of foam on his coffee.
“Thank you Lieutenant Bleymore. Now what about this custodian and his rather odd assistant? Medician Beritt is very particular about mentioning her. She seems to have some sort of unusual ability. Any chance of that pair being targeted by someone or something which sent those creatures?”
“Err…I’d venture the opposite. If this custodian is of the sort that hunts down Jordisk he’d have gained an affinity with Ethereal tydes and the girl has her linkage. Apart from hunting down the same target as the LifeGuard, they would have displayed a certain kind of pack instinct to head for a potential trouble spot,”
With each part of his explanation Bleymore watched Dekyria’s casual expression turn more thoughtful, calculating and grave.
“You’re good lieutenant. Very good,” Dekyria gestured with his coffee “And, let’s not forget you did the self-same thing,” leaning on his chair he stood up, expectant faces regarding him “There’s a war coming guardsmen. Expect the worse and it won’t be so bad,”