OK, here’s the next part. This one is tricky because I have to talk ‘tech’ about how ‘things’ work; it seemed easier to concentrate the whole aspect in a ‘tech’ atmosphere. So here it is to be read now, or some time later, or saved and read as one whole book at some later, later, later time. Hey! It’s all cool.
Migran hovered in his own doorway, apparently transfixed in surprise or horror; which one it was hard to say, as his expression kept lurching while anger fitted into the mix. Trelli dropped the lid in surprise without being swift enough to get some fingers out of the way, the resulting pain adding a fuel to her own shock, resulting in an unexpected small fire of indignation.
“I might ask you the same Master Migran!” she blurted back. In her time in the orphanage the devoteds had been intense in teaching that if you knew it was wrong you should say so and not fear the consequences; the old lessons coming to the fore she strove on. “I knew you were up to something! Telling me those papers were to do with tax laws when there was not a jot of legal piffle in them! I don’t know what this is Master Migran, but it smells wrong and is probably worse!!”
That said, she sat back, nursing injured fingers between opposite side and arm, but keeping her disapproving scowl fixed on him.
Used to being lectured by father, advised by mother and cheerfully joshed by his brother, Migran was somewhat taken aback at his last refuge of supremacy being in a state of rebellion. Thus chagrined into immobility he remained exiled upon the borders of his own domain, and so reduced to pleading for some sort of acceptance or comprehension.
“Trelli! Let me explain things to you!” since she didn’t snap at him he felt he could step into his own room and close the door. “It’s not as bad as you might think it is! It’s all very simple really!”
Trelli remained scowling and despite his squeak of protest once more lifted the lid of the desk and peered in and promptly set an accusing and troubled look upon him.
“Is this one of these stormingdiddle things?”
“The Stommigheid,” he replied trying to inject a level of injured dignity and ending up sounding peevish “The authorities teach us falsehoods. It is not foolish or dangerous, it is a wondrous gift we can use!”
He advanced, she stiffened, closed the lid and seemed intent upon repelling him from any attempt to reclaim his property; he halted and tried to sound reasonable.
“I have worked for three years crafting this, from scraps of information and bits and pieces I came by. It’s an oculator. I can use it to scan the Oakhostian, listen in on others using their devices; give father and my brother an edge in the business. Of course it might take some explaining so I will have to be cautious,”
“Cautious!” she’d never felt so bold to speak back so, but if tax fraud was not bad enough, here was Migran fooling about with forbidden things “Do you think this” she rattled the desk lid “Is being cautious! Folk get found out y’know. The Custodians will get called in! You need to stop this now!!”
Suddenly possessed of the irrational idea that a small maid was wont to have a hammer somewhere about her person and was going to take it to his oculator Migran found his own sort of boldness, which since he wasn’t actual that bold came out in a more furtive way.
“Well who are you going to tell Trelli? Are you going to admit to breaking into my room and rummaging through my belongings? You might get the grim sympathy of a Custodian for doing the Good Lord God’s work, but there will be no one in this town who would trust a servant prone to sneaking about the place. We all have secrets y’know,”
Trelli at being threatened so suddenly lost the last shred of proprietary and jabbed her butter knife in his direction
“Don’t you threaten me Migran Hendrechan!! I’m not doing your rotten ol’ paperwork anymore!” she snatched into the one draw and pulled out the copy of “The Lustful Revenge of the Scorn’d Princess N’Y Hishleal of Old Roder” waving it with all the force of a battle flag. “And as for this-this!” she threw it down on the floor, and randomly kicking the said volume sent it skidding under his bed. Not familiar with the concept of irony she saw nothing amusing and was set to storm past him. As he was still of a dither and stuck halfway betwixt door and desk, she ended up, close and staring up at him “So you’d better change your ways and your notions Migran Hendrechan !” he shook, there was sarcasm in the normally placid voice
There was a pause, a quizzical expression from Trelli and she looked down, gasped, making a sound half way between a snarl and snort
“Do you mind stepping to one side!!”
Having suffered the social shock of once being reduced from Master Migran to Migran Hendrechan twice short succession and because of her waving of the butter knife at him he obeyed.
Thus she rushed past uttering sounds of outrage.
Leaving Migran a bit puzzled at details of her exit, but then he became very aware of his own aroused physical state.
Trelli had never had that effect on him before, and her in such a wild and angry mood too!
He slumped on his bed confused and wishing for impossible things to turn up and put it all right.
Dekyria was letting their guest, captive or acquisition; call him what you will continue to doze, hunched up in a corner of the captain’s domain. Currently Dekyria’s attention was upon the reports from his Owls.
Each one had observed a series of bright pinpoints of white light moving swiftly from left to right across the bottom of the mirror’d surfaces of the oculators. Further examination suggested they were all the same event. This was noteworthy as each of the file were observing different regions of the central southern coastal lands. An event which imposed on all oculators should in theory be a large, and thus in the physical sense likely to be not just disruptive but also destructive. So something very small, but very intrusive, without being disruptive?
Alternately maybe not yet disruptive.
There were people at Drygnest who studied theory and possibilities and were wont to quote surviving snatches from or speculate upon the legendary tome ‘Numbers Where There Are None’. Dekyria was sure they would have been enraptured to have witnessed this. While he?
Just had to guess, wonder and watch.
His attention turned upon the sleeping figure.
“Now. Can you explain this. Or are you part of it?”
His previous experience gained on in scouting was coming to the fore. The constant seeking for signs of the foe’s activities, then evaluating those in their intentions.
This Bleymore’s arrival was not the first sign of possible trouble, there are been more than the usual amount minor and careless Jordisk stuff. Single dabblers in varied locations, no communications between them, and the general picture seemed to be one of observation; carrying its own dangers as evidenced by Bleymore. Whereas his Owls kept furtive and painstaking watch through various forms of cover and deceptions, these inexperienced Jordisk were wont to go blundering in, presumably for the excitement of seeing something forbidden. This in turn suggested there was something forbidden making itself known, which indicated The Zerstorung was restless stirring up these forbidden somethings. The latter being fairly mild stuff, ancient blasphemous symbols true or false, rotting and wayward wrecks of physical attempts to travel between realms. An inexperienced person would not know how to actually view The Zerstorung so complex were the pathways. Again, Dekyria was back with Bleymore.
And Medician Arketre Beritt’s surprisingly incisive and empathetic action.
He could not help but wonder if in such a situation something was being stirred within her. All folk had a potential to respond to the Astatheia; some more than others.
With all these indications, he could believe there was the threat of an immediate foe. From this he had to ask himself, was the foe making a deliberate strategic attempt to advance, or was in taking advantage of an opportunity?
So Dekyria set his men upon a seeking out the signs of the true foes.
And as expected ….
The journey was difficult.
Whereas this new journey of discovery had been interesting and with some satisfaction, neither Dekyria nor his small command were content with the knowledge that they were possibly witnessing a series of echoes.
Echoes from places which had no locations, and were thus spontaneously appearing. This would have had some grim reasoning if there were the signatures of Zerstorung indications. These latest ones had a purity to them. After a day of thorough sifting and checking, the results remained stubbornly the same. Fileman Zanten possessed of a certain whimsical humour had suggested they might have to give consideration to existence of little pixies after all. Dekyria might have found this slightly amusing if he had been unable to rid himself of wondering if that were possible?
Leaving out the suggestion of small fairy folk Dekyria had discussed the sighting with Major Gellgrachen. The latter anticipating Drygnest would immediately request more information on the nature of such sighting, told Dekyria he should give the matter priority and pursue with all available resources.
“He’s still afflicted with shock and unsettlements to his being Captain,” Beritt reported on being once more woken up and placed in a cold corridor by Dekyria “He should be afforded a time to feel at peace,” She would have liked that for herself too; making sure troopers were free for illnesses and well as repaired from injuries was a busy business, as was making sure every possible healing potion, salve and so forth was available for anyone not just for the LifeGuard but for any circumstance deemed Applicable.
“Would that we were a sanctuary for weary bodies, minds and souls Medician. However, Master Bleymore’s return to comprehension and so able to be of assistance is necessary,” Beritt was about to reinforce her considered opinion, but Dekyria put more emphasis into his Captain’s face and voice. “We have our orders from Major Gellgrachen. Do what you can with all haste Medician,”
Beritt’s feeling was that it was a translator or one of their own military versions, an andliga and not a medician who was required. But she kept her opinion to herself. And since this was obviously going to be one of those priority things in future she was going to sleep with her socks on.
So Bleymore’s fourth day under LifeGuard custody started in the last thousand of the Deep Night Watch. His nervous restlessness and clipped uncertain manner of speech both settled at Beritt’s approach. Her brief friendly routine of asking after his health, polite request to stare into his eyes, place two fingers on his upturned wrist and count; set her hands lightly on his temples, and count, ask if he’d slept, then an inconsequential chat about the springtime while she mixed up a harmless looking drink which he took willingly.
She hoped she’d got the mixture just so. The Captain would not be pleased with a sleeping Master Bleymore, just a very relaxed one.
And there was the slight change. She was of course friendly; solicitous in fact.
“Perhaps Master Bleymore, now that you are used to us and our ways, you might find having a chat with Captain Dekyria would be of some use in lifting the burden of your fears. He’s very understanding and experienced. I’ll get you your breakfast so y’all have a think about that,”
By the time, she returned with the bowl of porridge made tolerable with a spoonful of jam Bleymore managed a smile which Dekyria reckoned to be partly of gratitude but mostly due to her efficacy at mixing her potion.
Once out of the room Beritt gave way to a long yawn.
“Never mind the medician,” she muttered “It’s a well-known fact they don’t need sleep, all part of their fribbin’ training,”
“She’s very kind,” Bleymore said a quarter way through the meal. Dekyria took advantage of this change from the previous litany of short, nervous and oblique statements of fear and warning.
“One of the best medicians I have ever met,” Dekyria was truthful in this “We had an incident mid-winter,” he paused, intentionally “A flaw in a device. There was an explosion. Tore open a man’s leg from ankle to thigh. She was there like a hawk, staunching blood, administering soporific, speaking with authority to the man and anyone she needed to assist, even managed to sew up the leg. Then sat with him for four days unless called away. He’s stuck with a hell of a limp, but he’ll live,”
Bleymore managed a slight smile
“A device? Would that have been an Ethereally charged device?”
‘Call it what you will, just speak to me Master Bleymore’
“I could not confirm that,”
“There is much danger with The Ethereal, as long as it’s natures and origins remain unclear. It’s why my chosen preference was for observation,” and returned to the breakfast, Dekyria bided his time, watching his own oculator, which was currently not showing much of interest. He had been hoping for a convenient appearance of the new lights, but of course that would be asking for an unheard of collaboration from the Astatheia. Just be glad of the fellow talking and carry on with his meal.
But after a short time, pressed by his own concerns Dekyria felt time to move the conversation on.
“I can agree with that,” and made much of staring at his mirror’d waiting for the man’s reaction. Eventually emboldened by Beritt’s meal and soporific, Bleymore carefully edged closer.
“May I?” he asked.
‘And we have a start!’
Dekyria agreed; just the simple pattern of pale waves of light green indicating a certain amount of very minor activity about a hundred myles away.
“It’ll be another observer,” Bleymore offered “Possibly spying on someone else working for a lord or higher noble, maybe?” he sniffed “They’re being a bit obvious,” he pointed to a shade of blue at the top of the wave “That will be the target. Also, obvious,”
“Agreed. We’ve been keeping any eye on them, just in case it’s a fabrication for a subversive exchange of information,”
Bleymore fidgeted, lacing and unlacing his fingers, glancing from one direction to another, before he drew a little closer to Dekyria, an index finger pointing to the mirror’d surface, his voice low, cautionary.
“You see on the lower area a thin line of orange which transmutes finally into the green?” Dekyria hadn’t noticed, one of those activities it takes a fresh pair of eyes to catch. “In my experience that suggests a pressure, one being caused by the influence of the demonic Zerstorung. Not a rupture yet, but this careless activity could wear away the boundaries, y’see?”
“Really Master Bleymore? Would you say that’s a new development? Because it’s not one we’ve been alerted to?”
“Aspects change. That much I know,”
“Then thank you for your commentary,”
The man smiled briefly then shied away back to his table and the remains of his meal.
“I dare not stay too long at a screen. They might see me. They know of me, you see. This is why I fled here. The closest of sanctuaries,”
And he turned his face away to the wall.
‘Scraith! Sometime soon we’ll need you again Beritt. But timing. Timing,’
Karlyn comfy in her perch, twitched and opened one eye. The night was still, clear and clean and Dawn’s early smear would not be far off. His Sterness Meradat was awake and consulting one of his tomes Fair enough. So just what was the buzzing about, it wasn’t bee-time yet.
She had the oddest notion about them pixie folk being mischiefs and flitting their wings in her nostrils.
‘Fine way to wake a girl up’
And uncurled to alight, another day’s travel ahead. Then just before alighting, sat alert into the gloom.
‘Somethings happening, or happened, or will happen…Oooh fun!’
Dragged from a bothered sleep Trelli first thought the furtive noise at the door was Tumble the family’s self-important cat insisting, as was his wont, to some sort of nocturnal attention from her, his personal servant, but then there was a hoarse, desperate, pleading whisper which could only be Migran.
“What you want?” she hissed, too tired, cold and cross to be civil.
“Trelli, I must show you something,”
The doughty and indefatigable Cook Murtha had lectured Trelli at great length and with much disparaging about the inclinations sons of Households. Afore that, the devoteds of the Libratery orphanage had explained to those girls leaving childhood of the natures of men and women. And neither source would have counselled her to be opening her door, but seeing as how she was still furious at Migran, she felt inclined to give him another taste of her displeasure.
“You get back to your room right now! Otherwise I shall raise my voice and call out ‘Oooh Master Migran cover yourself up! What do you intend with me!!’ And then you try and explain that to your mum and dad!!” the memory of that parting interlude still very clear in her mind.
Migran winced, some of his associates did seem to be allowed to be ‘affable’ to their serving girls, but his parents ever solid, honest and upright in everything but the family business had made it quite clear when Trelli had arrived that there would be no ‘taking advantages’. There had been more than one long lecture on morals and responsibilities. Anyway, until these past days Trelli had been the only one in the house who had not treated him in a manner suggesting he was someone to be cossetted from a world that might gobble him up. She’d almost been a sort of friend-ish person. He could not afford to lose her respect and, well he had best not think about anything else! He did so wish to explain things to her though, so risking damage to his nose he edged his face into the gap between door and frame.
“But Trelli, it’s the oculator. It’s working better than ever, it’s at full capacity. When you see how wonderful it is at full extension, it’ll take your breath away!”
And promptly wishes he hadn’t phrased it quite that way. But there was a simply a ‘humph!’ and a terse instruction to wait while she put on shoes and coat to at least look she was about some sort of duties.
One candle was doing its best at illumination, yet Trelli’s attention was taken by the pale glow from the mirror’d glass set in the metallic box now upon on Migran’s desk. From the glass came a steady soft pale light, itself a background to a variety of shapes in a myriad of colours; each moving from one edge of the glass to the other, and thence to move off to another edge; the vibration she had previously felt now an audible steady hum.
“I’ve been investigating for some time,” she did not appreciate his whispering over her shoulder, far too close, but the sight of a construction once outside of her imagining now working stifled all manner of objections. At this silence Migran’s own confidence returned, fully certain he could win her support and assistance back “There have been patches of light and flitters of shapes, the occasion sound. Now tonight, I followed the code on that document you saw, I was really careful and delicate with the tuning,”
“Tuning?” she echoed, having assumed that was something to do with music, only to have Migran take hold of her arm and gently direct her to the desk.
“No, it’s all to do with the way the oculator is worked. There are protocols and standards. See that line of twinkling gems below the screen. Well those are gems which are attuned to the elemental tides, currents and strings which make up The Nanonsphere; it’s the place where all the energies and abilities come from to make this possible,” he eased her down on the chair; Trelli transfixed somewhere between fascination and horror gave way to the urge to know something more about this threat “You see those metal discs, three on each side, well those I can use to focus on a particular subject; right now you are seeing everything the oculator is party to,” he reached over her and turned the top right disc right ways, in response circular shapes began to fade, until only squares and oblongs occupied a green background, he turned the next disc leftwards, the shapes stretched until they resembled lines moving horizontally jagged and sudden interruptions breaking up their flatness “And now, listen carefully”, he worked the bottom disc and from a distance Trelli could hear small voices made harsh with crackling and hissing, scaring her with the feeling that people had been shrunken and trapped in there. Sensing her tense, Migran placed one hand on her shoulder “It’s alright. It’s alright. The oculator is letting us listen to other people using their own communication devices,”
Trelli eased at the touch, then remembered it was A Touch and shrugged his hand off.
“But it’s all strange,” she dared not raise her voice above the whispering “It’s like standing on the edge of the sea cliffs in the wild winds. You feel you could jump and fly, you nearly might, but you know it’ll be wrong,”
Migran was not ready for a lyrical argument and Trelli truth be known was not sure where that sudden eloquence had come from. Far off she could hear waves playing out their song on the rocks, somewhere a gull was voicing out it feelings suggesting dawn could not be all that far away.
“I don’t know Master Migran,”
Why did that return of deference chill him?
“I just don’t know. I suppose you’ve done something some might think is clever, but it scares me. It’s not a good time to talk about this anymore. These things are best talked about in daylight. I gotta go now. It’ll be time to get up soon,” and swivelling from his chair, moving so fast he could only feel a brush of her arm, she was out of the door.
He looked to the still open door, to the chair and back to the screen, hands clenching, teeth set tight.
And no thoughts about how he was going to sell this to his parents and brother.
Instead after closing the door, he returned to his desk.
“I will fly Trelli. You’ll see. I will,”
The interlude between the Deep Night and when in accordance with LifeGuard regulations, Daytime commenced was by custom one of muted sound and careful tread as those heavy with the need for sleep exchanged places with those hauling themselves out of that realm. As this only involved eight persons who all valued the quiet more the better to concentrate, or not become agitated all went smoothly.
Dekyria supposed he should have made some time for a rest upon his own bed. However, he disliked the involved business of removing the leg, and of course knowing he would have to put it back on and there was the attendant discomfort. In any case, he reasoned he should be about because that most serious Jordisk work or blasphemous efforts using similar devices would be conducted under the cloak of night. So, as he saw it dozing over his oculator in this time of emergency was the responsible approach. And in truth he was actually dozing when the door opened a second and more resolute way
“The Good Lord Be Praised. He hath guided us through yet another night!”
Everyone supposed Beritt was simply acting out of custom from her days as a devoted in a Libratery. Beritt told herself this was the case and not out of sheer grumpiness through lack of sleep and so making sure everyone else was awake too. Anyway, medicinal ministration had to conducted no matter whichever whatway folks felt. Thus, announced she eased into the domain with her usual two haversacks cross-slung about shoulders and chest, while carrying a large pot of coffee as her bribe. With a brief salute to Dekyria she then moved about the desks in a smooth routine of the past three days. Special circumstances. Special orders, she’d been told.
“There you go. Coffee,” she poured some into the nearest mug. “Now head back, and eyes wide open!” sometimes that required a sharp shove to the chest of a trooper not swift enough, as from a slender glass bottle she tipped two drops into each eye, unsympathetically replying to complaints about the stinging. “And there’s your headache potion,” she would set down a thimble sized clay mug “Y’all know the rules. Only if your head pain is causing your vision to go askew, an’ if it’s not better in a five hundred come an’ see me,”
Jeden and Pauler who had been the watch of the Deep Night made the natural pleas for coffee and were told they needed sleep and so had carrot tea. Pauler, ever hopefully he could win the argument stated the common opinion that whereas Beritt brewed not-bad coffee, her carrot tea tasted like cat’s piss. Beritt simply retorted she couldn’t be held responsible for what he drank off-duty or for what reason but wouldn’t advise it.
When Bleymore’s arrival and words had indicated a higher level of observation Dekyria had approached Beritt to voice his concerns about the effects intense and long episodes at an oculator would have upon his owls. He had been pleased and impressed she was swift with a solution. His concerns for his men were contradiction to any willingness for treatment upon himself. Beritt approached him; always cautiously. She set down the potion for headpains and filled up his coffee mug with all due respect to his rank, and then, in tones usually timorous waved the slender glass bottle and its pale blue liquid.
“Cap’n. Sir. If you’d please, sir,”
There was no possibility he could apply this himself without a comic spillage. He could avoid her fussing about his leg and just order her to leave the salves with him. At least she had the sense to be swift and functional.
Grateful that little bit of daily difficulty was over Beritt turned her attention to the recumbent Bleymore, still sleeping in the cot brought into the domain for this purpose. He felt safer with like-minded men. She was about to ask Dekyria if she should wake the man now, and also if it might be best to stop administering the soporific when trooper Pilor who had benefitted from half a night’s sleep and thus somewhat alert called out.
“Everyone to your oculators! Those white lights are on their way in!!”
All thoughts of long interlude with the coffee were swept away.
“Wake up our guest Medician!!”
“As you wish Captain,”
This was delicate. Bleymore’s usual style of waking being sudden, wide-eyed and fearful; to actually wake him risked a lashed-out arm to the face. Thus, this time Beritt approached with all caution and lightness of touch. Truth be known Dekyria’s patience was being tested. Being two days short of sleep and with the stump of his leg troubling him more than usual was affecting his judgement. If the man did strike out at Beritt then Dekyria would be forcibly telling Bleymore that anyone who had spent time with The Astatheia should be prepared to face up to the presence of The Zerstorung.
Meanwhile amongst all the activity Beritt went about her task, arm’s length away and hand resting upon, then gently squeezing his shoulder.
“Master Bleymore all is well,”
Whereas she had seen many forms of fear, she was not too well versed in the sort caused by footling with The Astatheia. To her relief his response was a blinking of the eyes. He did seem to have some trouble in recognising her, the fug cleared soon.
“It’s Medician Beritt?” to which she nodded, and managed the smile she kept for the afflicted, while he looked over her shoulder at the LifeGuards, then placed one hand upon her shoulder, to ask in a hoarse tone “Is anyone dead yet?”
“Of course not,” she said with a laugh, a nervous laugh, he sounded as if he knew things peculiar “This is a LifeGuard outpost, all set for Astatheia, well Ethereal if you like,”
She proffered him carrot tea from the small urn; he seemed glad, but she reckoned more like a distraction, he sipped, did not grimace then looked over her shoulder at figures, faces made pale storm green from the light of their machines, their Captain moving from one to another. Bleymore sat up, now he was squeezing her shoulder “Creatures lurk at the edge of my sleep,”
Folk going on about things from The Zerstorung stirred more of Beritt’s religious tenure.
“Y’all have faith in the Good Lord God Master Bleymore…Ouch! That sir is a strong grip y’ have there,”
“Sorry,” Bleymore withdrew his hand and getting up stepped into the business going all about them, leaving Beritt sitting on the edge of the cot, and making the best of the carrot tea and chewing on a snatch of leathery meat, a sort of breakfast. Dammit! The carrot tea did not taste at all as bad as Pilor claimed
Bleymore had joined Dekyria, glancing at each ocular and listening to the troopers, picking with increasing anxiety at his clothing.
“Your opinion Master Bleymore?” Dekyria asked, finding the fidgeting very distracting.
“I fear everyone is looking at what they should not!!”
In Beritt’s experience Dekyria was mostly patient, and usually amicable just so long as you didn’t persist in bothering him about his leg, but she guessed all this alarmancy and urgency were no doubt combining with the pain he must be suffering in that leg, because he was getting that pinched-faced eye-glaring look and he wasn’t taking kindly to a civilian telling him his job. She swigged down some carrot tea and swiftly interposed, between the men, soft smile in place.
“We’re LifeGuard, Master Bleymore. We are the constant arm and watch of the Grand Oaken Throne. Our sole purpose is its defence and maintenance. We are expected to go where we should not, and when we are there; we do rescue, or we make fortified, or, to the incautious and evil we will strike down,” she paused for a slight warm smile and took his hands in hers “In this we are quite insistent sir,” a brief laugh “So trust me, and let’s walk and see what it might be which concerns you,”
While Dekyria was slowly inhaling, a sign he was trying to calm down Bleymore appeared to be studying her, she felt he was peering at her, as if she was a new phenomenon. Goggled at by men for simply being a girl of the for sight of seeing a woman hand deep in the business of healing wounds was not new, whereas being considered as something irregular in the World was…unsettling. Although, ironically, he seemed to be quite…settled?
Beritt walking backwards led him to the spare oculator
Dekyria and his men did not know how she was managing to convince someone to walk to his apparent worse fears. Bleymore found against all rational notions and experiences that he was trusting this young woman.
Beritt for the life of her wondered just how she ended up saying the things she did whenever she was, in practical terms, over her head. She just had to assume it was all down to LifeGuard Medician training.
Since she could feel the man’s hands becoming clammy with sweat and his expression slipping back to agitation, Beritt looked over her shoulder towards the screen.
She now had a chance to look longer upon that dark green, reminding her of secluded leafy bowers back home in Jayleen County and dear Trayon, who her brothers would have killed if they’d known what used to transpire in those leafy bowers. The reverie broken by the passage across the bottom of the screen of a moving line of lights sparkling white bordered with the pale blue of her home’s forget-me-nots.
“Oooh. Pretty,” she said, without any fear or pause for thought and set her attention back on Bleymore “What is there is be afraid of Master Bleymore?” not showing any concern Bleymore’s shaking of his head and gnawing of one finger she continued her accent deepening “This reminds me of mah home; stars on moisty nights, when the mists played blue gossamers all around o’them,”
“Don’t look anymore!” he pressed on, calling out to the room in general “These are pinpricks in the reality that we know! Through these can seep things evil and predatory,”
“Stay your posts!” Dekyria snapped out the order, when he spoke so none of his file dared do otherwise.
She had a stab of worry she might have dragged him too far too fast, only to be bothered by a slight itch to her left ear, she idly scratched then popped another sliver of tough meat into her mouth. Some confidence and clarity returned.
“I am sure you have seen things Master Bleymore that give you cause for concern. But y’see there are certain consistency in Nature. Now I have had to look at many a wound gone bad and the results of a fever which has taken on a decaying hold. In them there are many bright and twinkling colours but none of them look even the slightest bit pretty. This seems to me, anyhows a possible affinity between us and this, err..Ethereal y’ call it?”
Bleymore nodded, now looking slightly perplexed and just idly chewing on his finger.
“To mah opinion it would seem, to me, what I see, if it is pretty, then it is,” she shrugged “Natural. Oh by the way Master Bleymore that chewing on your finger could cause damage,” she rummaged into a bag hanging from her belt and offered him a slice of dried meat “Try this, it is nutritious and is good for agitation,” while his mouth worked for an answer she placed a piece inside.
There was a silence, Bleymore began to work the stubborn stuff while looking at Beritt who looked back, appearing quite calm and confident.
Her heart hammering; she’d not made anything up, but how often did truth and sincerity not work in this world?
Bleymore relaxed, slumped into a chair, vacantly chewing.
“Fascinating,” he said his gaze shifting between Beritt and The Oculator
Dekyria’s file waited for their Captain to make some statement; they received his own brief shrug and they all went back to watching as Bleymore tentatively followed Beritt’s lead and pulled a chair over to where she sat down looking at the oculator of Dekyria’s desk, tracing a finger just above the surface.
“Pinpricks of what and how?” she asked.
Bleymore was about to say something all of a hurry, then peered intently at the screen; this interlude between the two intrigued Dekyria. Was Beritt actually leading Bleymore?
“Odd. I do think I was wrong,” Bleymore said then shook his head “No, more than odd. It’s Temporal!”
Beritt didn’t take much comfort from Dekyria’s casual open-handed gesture for her to take the lead with Bleymore.
“Temporal? What’s time got to do with it?” Bleymore and Dekyria initially winced at the edge to her voice, only to notice she was intent on the oculator and not any person.
“Those faint blue outlines. If you look carefully you will see they are moving in left wards direction around the points of light,” she squinted, nodded agreement, kept quiet “A blue which does not move indicates a potential of energy not yet realised but one shifting in a leftwards indicates an irreversible future event,”
On hearing that and somewhat to Beritt’s relief Dekyria strode into the conversation.
“Pardon my presumption Master Bleymore, but I was given to believe there cannot be an irreversible future event because the future is a constant prone to flux,”
“This would be true for events which are classified along the lines De’Jerns’s Categories of Import. But Themderharn pointed out a flaw in not taking into account Events Miniscule,”
“But surely those are the very ones which can unhinge any predictability?”
“Indeed. But only when aligning them with the correct Assessment of Connexion. If you place them in isolation, then because they are acting on their own temporal space the ascribed miniscule inertia will ensure only one outcome. Thus, when dealing with Ethereal matters, these events can send an echo indicating the event must and will take place. Therefore, this small Future in one very small particle of place and time has therefore taken place,”
Beritt experiencing another circumstance which was taking place over her head in the literal and the allegorical let the pair rattle on. She’d got Bleymore relaxed, not afraid of the whatever the pretty was, and chatting away to the captain. So as far as she was concerned her job was done.
“Excuse me Captain and Master Bleymore. I have to attend to the preparation of potions and salves, no doubt some fool will turn up with an injury that they had no business inflicting, and there may always be a member of the sanctioned population arriving unannounced,”
Dekyria dismissed her with a vague wave, which she found mildly irritating. Since the whole lot were now goggling about Bleymore’s desk like spell-bound school boys, she took it she was quite forgotten. Thank you Medician!
Outside she slumped against a wall and exhaled upwards causing her fringe to levitate, it was something of a trademark sign of relief or incredulity, she also closed her eyes and began to whisper a swift prayer of thanks for not having inadvertently caused a ruckus; her devotion was interrupted.
One hand on her shoulder, she started. Moving with speed with a wooden leg was one thing, being stealthy was quiet another!
“You’ve been invaluable medician. Bleymore is speaking sentences of sense and information. Your work with him is-“
‘Frib sake don’t say genius. Not when I’m making it up as I go along’
“True empathy with a sufferer. Well done medician. Well done,” the hand lifted and clapped down on her shoulder, which already sore from one grip sagged a bit under the impact, she smiled, weakly “But remember. This cannot be disclosed Beritt. No part of it, to anyone, not without my say-so. Nothing Beritt,”
There was a curious pause, and then he turned, on his good leg and was off upon his own business, leaving Beritt to repeat the exhalation, and to tread wearily away to catch up on some of that day’s routine mixing of potions and salves.