Patchwork Warriors # 34

Chapter Eighteen…..

(Whoever heard of a plan that went right….)

New phrases to the Glossary ‘Spoolshes- Latrine.

 

 

Beritt kept her head down, and hunched while weaving slightly. She hoped no other passing group of drunks would want to know what she was carrying. There was no doubt with crew about her could see off any group at least three times their number, but she would be stuck in an affray trying to keep that blasted machine intact. Everyone else was having no trouble keeping pace; the Custodian had gone striding ahead with Norvan in tow as delegated, titular escort. Karlyn was skipping like something demented. NO one was worrying about her and the extra load, the whole weight seemed very symbolic.

“Hey Beritt. You’re starting to look like a proper trooper,”

Trex got the traditional vulgar response of a flipped top of her thumb to the tip of her nose, but accompanied by a grin.

Proper trooper; yeh for the present that would suit fine.

 

Mietitore ran up the steps of the watch tower, two of his men were rolling the corpses of three unfortunates to one side, allowing him access to the door to the walkway. From this vantage point the town looked very much like any other. The burning of lights indicating ale, wine and coin were yet to run out. Grasping the device firmly he swept it before him in an arc, watching for the sapphire, as the light flickered across five gems, before settling upon one; thee central one of the five to the left. Keeping his arm steady, he crouched down and peered along the line. The location suggested the docks, possibly a warehouse area.

One of those who had despatched the watchmen raised the issue of someone coming to check on the watchtower. Mietitore looked to the town and his dismissive sneer was enough of an answer.

 

Curator Jerble had nearly dozed off. Whereas this was the docks temple and in theory the one which should be witness to and arbiter of much associated violence and petty villainy; truth be known no one bothered to bother them much. Translator Pettla had made it quite well known that he felt The Good Lord God knew all and whatever happened was His Way and all that mortals should do was pray and give Him thanks; providing this was done at the times specified on the notice board. This was most convenient for the translator.

So Jerble was quite surprised by the furious hammering upon the temple door and the demands for access by an obviously out of breath person, taking hold of his cudgel, for one could never be sure, he carefully drew back the door a hand span.

A frantic face appeared.

“Let me in! Let me in! It’s vital!!”

“What does an honest soul want at deep night?”

“It’s vital I tell you!!”

The irony of this time being on the other side of a frantic request for access was quite lost on Migran. With sudden fear fuelled strength he shoulder-shoved the door and forced the curator back, who inadvertently stumbling over a chair resulted in lying on his back. This unfortunate circumstance was of little concern to Migran who was frantically looking about for a bell rope.

“The alarm! Ring the alarm! Pirates are coming!!”

Jerble being a man of modest composure and reasonable wits pointed out if this was the case then the watchtower men would have begun to sound their own alarms. Migran didn’t take any noticed, calling out that there was no time to lose, his haste and frantic concern for Trelli causing him to look about in all directions at such a pace that by the time Jerble was fully to his feet Migran was scampering to a bell rope, leapt upon it as if he were a man nearly lost at sea, and began to swing and pull demonstrating to skill whatsoever. Jerble’s own attempts to haul him off, only serving to increase the sway and tempo of the bell

In spite of his best efforts to craft a reasonably quiet life Translator Pettla was quite suddenly woken from his sleep, which was as much a shock to the visiting wife of a currently away on business merchant. He also moved quite quickly, in his case speed fed by a mix of anger at being disturbed and concern at possible scandal. Temple bells being rung at deep night attracted attention and he had assured the lady there would be no attention. Finding his curator at one swinging and wrestling with some hysteric in a battle for possession of a bell rope added confusion into the mix.

“Curator Jerble! What is this!”

“A madman, your enlightenedness! He is babbling!!”

“There is no time to explain! Ring the bells! Alarm! Pirates!!”

Added Migran.

To the confusion.

 

Trelli sat up in a dither. Her tear heavy ploy had worked. She’d not been aware she had been asleep until the temple bell woke her up. Shaking off the dream-fuddled idea that it was because the local ecclesiastics were coming for her, and pulling about a blanket for protection, she stumbled towards the nearest window. There were a few lost night revellers about, pausing into their inebriations to consider why some fool of a translator was ringing his bells this time of night, while candles at windows suggested some locals were awakening to the sound. One drunk swayed in her direction, peered and then pointed; at once she dropped out of sight, wrapping her hands into her armpits and whimpering…stupid-stupid- get your gloves, too light! Holding her breath, as if it would help, she waited for some cries of alarm in her direction, but as the clamour seemed to revolve around the bells, she hoped the drunk was either being ignored or had decided he needed to have less of the strong wines.

No sooner than she felt assured, than she noticed the gloom in the room was being softening into shades of red and blue. After a shriek of alarm, she scrambled into the blanket, wrapping her hands deeper and deeper into its folds. The light was getting stronger! What the Little Hell was she supposed to do now? Walk about for the rest of her days in a blanket? Except when she took it off to strangle Migran! Short on logic she crawled over to the window which looked out to the sea; heart hammering, mind swimming.

 

At the sound of the bell Mietitore’s group dropped to the sandy approach to the main harbour.

“I don’t see no watchtower signal lights,” someone said.

“And this no place under the pious thrall of those girls out the librarteries either. So this is no call to devout prayers. Someone has set off an alarm!” Mietitore held up the device; the sapphire light was still pointing to the warehouses “This is going to be so much fun from now on!”

His men were versed in that savage turn in his voice, from now on woe upon anyone who even stumbled in his way.

 

“In The Name of the Lord God!”

Trooper Norvan reckoned that when this custodian said those words, they were more of an announcement rather than an oath “Those are temple bells! This is obviously not a devout place given to quarterly calls to prayer!” he nudged Norvan, who in consequence stumbled “To the temple trooper. There are events within events this night!!”

“And the plan goes down the splooshes and thuds hole,” was Norvan’s response “Same as it ever was,” then sprinted after Meradat, who he reckoned seemed possessed on some homing instinct to temples as they were at the traditional tent shaped structure in short time. Meradat on sighting the gathering crowd, naturally swerved to an alley adjoining, kicked in the backyard gate and without much loss of pace seemed ready to do the same to the back door; this was not necessary as it suddenly drew open, revealing a hastily dressed woman. She promptly squealed, and tried far too late to close the said door, a lost cause and so was obliged to fall backwards as firstly Meradat strode in subjecting her to a fierce condemnatory scowl, then Norvan who grinning knowingly winked and tipped his hat.

“Y’ll look back on this one day and laugh about it,” he added and set off after Meradat.

Who drove through the temple domestic space scattering light furniture, pushing or flinging doors open until he reached the Solemnity, which was anything but. The very dishevelled translator and his distraught curator hanging grimly onto the bell rope intent to stop the ringing, while a figure was seen scrambling out of a window. Meradat had no doubt there was a nefarious reason for the exit, but concentrated on the more immediate.

“Translator!” his pronouncement echoing as he drew forth his custodian’s badge “I am about the Lord God’s business here, which I had intended to conduct by stealth! What is the reason for this ringing of bells?” he advanced fists clenched “Would it be in relation to my task. Are you raising an alarm to warn those foes of the Lord God!!”

Whereas the translator could only work his mouth, the curator used to making excuses for his nominal superior managed to interpose himself between the two representatives of the Good Lord God.

“Honoured Custodian! We were trying to stop the work on this wild young man, who has just fled! He was raving about dangers and woes!!”

“He is Migran, the younger son of a merchant of some repute, Master Hendrechan!” the translator added, anxious to move the blame.

Norvan had gone to the window, peering out, crossbow first.

“Something scuttling in the shadows to what looks like warehouses!”

The translator perceived some debris of circumstance and clung to it.

“Ah! The Hendrechans’ have warehouses there! He must have some sort of hidden and proscribed device which has gone awry!!”

He was also adept at making up his own excuses and deflections.

Meradat frowned, ordered trooper Norvan to pursue, he would follow; before doing so he turned full face upon the translator.

“When I have concluded my business. I will be back to discuss the issue of a woman trying to flee your abode,”

The translator was about the babble something when the men were distracted by a distant deep sudden sound, coming from the direction of the sea.

Patchwork Warriors # 33

The Patchwork Warriors: A Glossary.

 

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