The hunters are moving in on their quarry (whoever that might be)……
Meradat was about as satisfied thus far as he could be, bearing in mind the possibility of more demonic intervention, the unknown factor as to who they were in pursuit of and the likelihood of others being on the same trail.
As a plan in terms of simplicity and execution all had over gone very well. Thanks to a detailed LifeGuard map, they had identified a hostelry of central location and of enough capacity to afford cover. They had entered Prendaelyn in pairs as was common of itinerant males. He ensuring Karlyn stayed under his supervision. Once in the town, he had ensconced himself in a corner of the Grand Welcome‘s main bar room and having ordered then sampled the fayre decided the name was as he had suspected quite inaccurate, though he had tasted worse. Karlyn and trooper Trex indulged in the roles of appreciative audience to some naturally shameless dancing girls. The pair acted as guards in the unlikely event he was in peril. Then each trooper entered either glaring as if looking for someone who would regret being found, shrugging and deciding to look for a better place, or weaving in and weaving out seemingly already having drunk enough. Once aware everyone was in place, firstly Trex and Karlyn threw coins at the girls who with practised caught and located them, where being a matter of ribald conjecture, then blowing kisses to the girls the two appeared to weave out. After a hundred with the air of someone who has not sampled worse fayre he exited.
Norvan moved out of an opposite door and rolled his eyes in one direction, then went the opposite way. Meradat went down the indicated alley.
There in a shed which appeared to be an adjunct to The Grand Welcome, the group, save Norvan was centred around Medician Beritt and the ocularette. The medician with much composure was ignoring Karlyn leaning over her shoulder and asking inane questions.
“I’ve found where the fuss is coming from,” she said, with an edge of hope in her voice “Near the dockside,”
“I could’ve smelled it out,” grumbled Karlyn.
“Walking about a rowdy night imitating the actions of a hound would draw attention,” chided Meradat “Your skills will be called for when it comes to closer proximity,”
“Can I burn something down then?”
She was quite ‘huffed’ that the sergeant and The Custoady did not even bother to reply to her but made everybody get ready to go on the hunt. Uh! They would blimpin’ well see when it came to real whichie hunting!!”
Migran nearly fell out of his chair, the two voices coming across out of his oculator. The conversation was broken up but there was enough to convince him they did not sound the friendly sorts and so there was chance he might have been making the wrong assumptions. He paled somewhat and felt his stomach lurch. There was no doubt about the discourse. Just off of the coast there came severe trouble in the form of raiders. Somebody was going to be shooting ordinance at the town, while some others would be coming ashore and looking for something. Since the whole conversation was being conducted through mechanical, then the probability would be that the something would be him.
Panic assailed him and with it a debris of thoughts and fear shook lose by the shock. Who could he tell? Who would believe him? And anyway what would be the reaction to him telling them about his illicit activities. He could envisage time being wasted while the agents of destruction moved in. Anyway Prendaelyn was hardly a fortress town, as far as he knew there was only one very old ordinance piece, and the town guard’s extent of capability was sorting out unruly market crowds, or desperate struggles with drunks, and this being a market day would ensure their capacity was stretched.
What could he do?
Trelli! He had to get Trelli! Sitting alone and forlorn in that dockside warehouse, she would be an ideal target, and….and….
…. While he was running there, he would…he would…. think of something else.
Trelli curled up even tighter in the blanket; the three large cushions and one pillow propped in the corner were a poor substitute for a bed, and not much in the way of warmth either, it being a very late winter or very nearly spring depending on whether you felt gloomy or cheerful. As far as she was concerned it was very late winter. And also far as she was concerned the only improvement in the weather would be if it were to rain very heavily and keep people in doors instead of letting them be cheerfully and loudly drunk outside and helping in keeping her awake. And if there was someone more stupid than a drunk it was Migran who had got her into this mess. No, maybe, truth be known she was even more stupid because she had known it was all not right and blasphemous and should have told someone.
From where she gripped the blanket faint glows of red and blue emanated.
This was not her world. This was a place where the wicked and the silly dwelt. At this a jolt of conscience stopped another bout of sobbing. She’d played her part in tax evading. It might have been only a little part, but even so. Maybe this was a punishment? Maybe it was the pathway to a hell, probably the First, where she would be constantly unable to do even the simplest thing, like pick up a spoon to eat soup, because that’s what The Stupid deserved.
She hoped if she cried enough, she would tire herself out and fall asleep.
Mietitore stopped at the rock outcrop, viewed the watchtower central to a man high stretch of wall which drifted out on one side to a higher tower and wall and on the seaward side to some craggy rocks. At once his military sensibilities were affronted at such a ridiculous arrangement. The building itself no more than thrice the height of a man marked the end of the town’s defences. He supposed, wryly that the authorities were assuming that the sea would stop any interlopers beyond this point. Apparently they felt main threat from hereabouts would be from men who were afraid of getting their feet wet, or sand in their shoes when the tide was out. He turned to his men, all versed in the art of scaling small locations, and also in permanently removing the risk of guards raising an alarm. While they did what they had to do, he pulled his cloak over his head and under cover considered the device and the sapphire light, which winked faintly on the central gem. He supposed he would have to make do with that! Still judging by the horizon, the dawn was another six thousand off, which should be time enough to locate what or whoever the cause was and get them way while that captain played about with ordinance.
And hope those pirates knew what they were doing!