Mar 29 2019

Daughters of Fate (Chapter 13)

Posted by Mathias in Daughter of Fate, Fantasy, Novels, Projects

To those who sail the seas are known the Currents of Gaili. In the days of old, a sorcerer set sail to explore the world. But he was an impatient man and the journeys were too long for him. The sorcerer called Gaili summoned forth powerful winds with a wave of his hand to speed his journey. To this day they still roam the oceans, speeding ships on their way.

– Writings of Tavis Noir

Chapter 13 (11th of Taru-Des in the year 6198)

Sheala burst into the back room of the Red Moose. After sprinting for nearly a mile, she leaned heavily in the doorway as she tried to catch her breath.

“Reane,” she worked the words out between gasps, “what are you doing?”

Reane did not even look up from the book she was reading. “What’s it look like?” She turned the page gently to avoid tearing it. “What are you in a huff about?”

“I figured you’d already know. And the last place I expected to find you was here!”

“I always do my reading here.”

“Reane, there are soldiers in town asking questions about you and that weird looking passenger of yours.”

Reane brought her gaze up from her book, half surprised. “What?”

“What word didn’t you understand? Really Reane, I know that when you read you like to shut down all of your telepathic abilities. But I think that if I had abilities like that I would never turn them off.”

“You try reading sometime with half a dozen other people’s thoughts running through your mind,” Reane complained as she stood. “You’re certain about this?”

“You know I don’t spook easily.”

“Alright, alright. Just calm down.” Reane took a second to open her mind to the outside world. Everything flooded in and Reane had to work to keep her mind separate from all the noise. “I’m not getting anything clear. There’s too much interference.” But she did sense an increased level of anxiety among all the minds she touched. Something was definitely up.

“Well, while you sit around trying to decide what to do, I’m getting ready to disappear for a while. Sooner or later someone’s going to open their mouth and tell these troops that you and I hang around together. And that puts me at risk.”

Reane looked around, forcing her mind to not be sucked into the same frenzy that Sheala was obviously in. Panic would get her nowhere. She tucked her book under her arm. “I think it would be best if you came with us to Fimmirra.”

“Uh-uh, no way. We’ve had this discussion before, Reane. I’ll be damned if I’m going to set foot anywhere near that place.”

“Sheala, you think people don’t know your haunts? If Hedric’s army wants to find you, and you’re inside The Empire, you’re as good as caught.” Reane walked past her friend and into the main room of the tavern. “Get your stuff together and meet me at The Oracle.”

“Reane!”

“No buts, Sheala. You know what The Empire does to rebels and those that help them. Especially if it’s that General Whats-her-name.”

“Nightwing -” Sheala grumbled. She’d only heard the name in passing. But what she had heard was not pleasant or good.

“Your suspension from the guild means that you’re on your own. If you get caught, plan on spending the rest of your life in prison. Just relax. I’ll get us out of this one.”

“Boy, I hope so. I’m too young to spend the rest of my life paying for a mistake you made.”

“I didn’t make a mistake,” Reane corrected. “You always told me that you’d hate for life to get boring. Well, think of this as another adventure.”

“Believe me, Reane, the last thing I need is another adventure.”

*I’m surprised at you,* Reane’s voice entered her mind. *There was a time when you would have reveled in the thrill of being hunted.*

*Running from thieves is one thing. Running from The Empire is another.*

*Like I said – an adventure.*

Sheala fumbled with the key to her room at the Silver Urn, a fleabag of a flop joint on the docks where she kept up residence. When she chose to stay there.

She could live better, but she liked being reminded of her past. It was the first and only place she had ever lived since coming to the city years ago.

The key slipped through her nervous grasp and clanked to the wooden floor. She didn’t know if it was the fear of the soldiers poking around the city, or the fear of getting on Reane’s ship and the destination it intended. But it was indeed fear that caused her concentration to suffer.

“Damn.” She threw her hands down at her side in frustration and resolved on a more direct course of action.

Leaning back, she planted her foot squarely into the door. Her kick sent it and splinters of partially rotted wood sailing into the room. The rusted hinges snapped and everything landed with a crash.

Swinging aside a lock of hair that fell in her eyes, Sheala did not stop to admire her handiwork as she stepped over the debris. She had triggered the tripwire and the jar of acid over the door. It was now sizzling on the floor and turning the wood a dark brown. The stink was foul as she stepped over it.

Items were everywhere. Which was just the way she had left it. She knelt down and removed a pair of loose boards beside her course mattress. Disarming another trap that she had previously set, she reached into the cavity between the floor and the ceiling of the room below.

Her hands grabbed hold of an already packed knapsack. One she kept ready for just such an emergency as this. Slinging it over her shoulder, she adjusted the weight evenly on her shoulders.

Turning, she began to hurry out the door but stopped suddenly as she remembered something. Shoving the clothes that covered her dresser to the floor, Sheala pulled open the top drawer. Removing the false bottom, then disarming a third trap, she plucked out several pouches filled with coins.

Sheala moved aside several pieces of junk until she found, buried and nearly forgotten, the silver pendant given to her by her father fourteen years ago.

She didn’t know why she remembered it now. Only that she had. And she was not about to leave it behind. It was the last thing she had to remind her of him.

Stowing the relic in her pocket, and the coin purses in the pack, Sheala left her room without another thought. She scurried to the end of the hall and the open window there.

She leaned out to check the back alley three stories below. It was clear.

Voices started coming up the stairs. “The innkeeper told us she lived here,” one spoke.

Another responded. “The Sub-general said to bring in anyone connected to this rebel alive, but be ready. I’ve heard this one might be a tough nut. Some highfalutin member of one of the local thieves’ guilds.”

Taking a final look at the ground below, Sheala reached out and grabbed the drainage pipe running along the outside wall. Swinging out, she heard the metal creak and groan with her added weight.

Making it to the ground swiftly, she adjusted the pack on her back again and looked up one final time. Then headed to the dock to meet Reane.

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