This is Chapter Fifteen (part 2)
Mostly Karlyn & Beritt only more on ‘plot’, ‘technical’ stuff and build up
The ‘men’ had gone out on scouting, leaving the ‘girls’ to stay at home to observe, one up a tree and one leaning beneath it with an oculatorette. At least that’s how Beritt saw it and was a little surprised Karlyn had not been annoyed about that slight nod to domesticity. But she had she own problems.
She could not make contact. Crocked thing!!
Beritt was still not clear just how this oculatorette worked; all she had been given a half-day’s hurried instructions, one pamphlet and the occasional message sliding across its screen were not up to the standard a medician expected. More the equivalent of ‘Oh a quarter of the leg hacked off? Just put something on it to stop the bleeding,’
And what the High Holy were they going up against? For ferrkit! The lads had been lucky to put down demons with those falconades and then the custodian had said those weren’t proper demons and small stuff. Well suppose they came up against the ‘Proper Demons’. Fine if you were one of Erzns’ hounds, they would reckon a ride through the Five Hells as a jaunt, while custodians did this as a matter of course and Karlyn was tending to swagger about her own victory. But whereas medicians carried powders to kills fleas and rats, Beritt didn’t reckon those were quite up to the requirements. If things got really Fifth Hell, she might find herself having to stick close to the elidian girl.
As if hearing a summons, the girl alighted from her latest tree, soft footed and far too damn close.
“Hi Blondie” Beritt supposed she was stuck with that, but if any of Erzns’ crew tried to call her that… “Any luck yet?”
“What’s your nose telling you?” she replied,
“Nothing new, same ol’ oil and sea. But this time I’m going to be ready for any uglies that that any hell can throw at me,” without any warning, much less explanation or request Karlyn then lifted up left leg edge of Beritt’s trousers “So where did you get your classy tattoo of a tree from?”
Beritt swatted the hand away.
“Never mind! The file will be back soon and I don’t want them catching sight, it makes them unsettled,”
“Your legs aren’t so bad,”
“No! The tattoo! It’s worn by women in the LifeGuard, only we’re not supposed to, but we get away with it,”
Karlyn edged in closer.
“Secret society?” she hissed.
Happily, for Beritt, there was the sound of distant hooves.
“There! Told you! Now let me battle with this cussed machine and you go and talk to bees, or something,”
“The bees have told me all they have to say,”
Beritt looked up meaningfully.
“You mean that don’t you? You do talk to bees,”
And then being perverse, Karlyn remained annoyingly silent, choosing to stand up and walk about kicking twigs.
And the mirror’d glass seemed intent on behaving the same way. Naturally Beritt gave way to understandable frustration shook the device and swore with so much vehemence as to draw Karlyn back, hands on Beritt shoulders, and leaning over her.
The blankness gave way to a storm swirled myriads of colours, devoid of shapes other than the swift flow of flooded streams in random directions, some colliding creating new shades, defying any sense threatening to cause confusion upon the spectre.
“What the frib’ Blondie!”
“Lady Green Vixen; Captain-Sister-to-Us-All!!” despite her plea and solid efforts to make any direction, the images continued in their chaos; now shot through with blood red, explosions of lurid orange and a growing back ground of night. The display taking place just as Meradat and the LifeGuard arrived; Karlyn promptly scrambling to the custodian.
“You’ve gotta see this guv’!!”
Meradat now fatalistically attuned to her ways did not comment directly to Tildelte Karlyn but strode over to where Beritt was working the gems with frantic glances to the pamphlet, and resultant words of exasperation at the lack of any useful guidance. He stood, thoughtful for a while.
“Can you dismiss that device from continuing its display Medician Beritt!”
Since this was phrased as something of a command, Beritt ignored whatever protocols she’d been told by Dekyria, and tugged loose from the left side of the oculator a deep azure gem, at which point all conjunctions and contacts with The Astatheia ceased, the mirror’d surface taking on a rather sullen dark grey. Meradat thus satisfied addressed the small congregation.
“Firtsly, let us be clear. There are no such things as views into The Future. This is known only to The Lord God. But the capricious Stommigheid takes its own malicious delight in vexing us with lurid warnings. These are not to be dismissed, for with diligent caution and faith in The Lord God, even this untrustworthy circumstance and be brought to serve,”
‘Nice to know,’ Beritt wisely kept the words to herself. The custodian was in full flow.
“The confusion of colours indicates much unwise activity with The Stommigheid. The lurid reds, oranges and night-shades reveal that those of violent and ill-intent are drawn to its maw and will bring woe upon that town. We must therefore be quick, ride there in teams of two, meeting at an agreed location, then hunt down the miscreant and extract them before destruction falls upon that unhappy place,”
“Does that mean; we can’t even burn down a titchy bit as a warning?”
Karlyn complained to Beritt for some time afterwards that it had been a reasonable question and she’d not deserved scowls and silence.
Beritt made sympathetic sounds, her attention was mostly focused on being party to the conversation in Erzns’ file, which basically went along the lines that if ‘we’ have an inclining about what was going on in that town, then so would ‘others’, so look sharp and expect folk who know their business. This was fine if you knew this sort of business; Beritt didn’t, she took a smidge of comfort from Erzns saying ‘Stay Close’.