Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sins of the Sister, Part 4

I shouldn't have been surprised at the news Kileg was involved, given the dream, but I was. I found him in the courtyard with Den'a and the three young Joanites. Kileg was in hunter's leather and a wolf's pelt cloak, his unstrung bow in a scabbard on his back and a solid, wide blade at his belt. Den'a was covered in her shroud, and the Joanites had been outfitted as acolytes. There were also two saddled horses and a hitched wagon.

"I was not expecting you to be here. I dreamed about you last night."

"I hope it was a good one?" Kileg winked, grinning wide underneath his bushy beard as we grasped forearms in greeting. "Old Nostra came to me last night and asked I accompany you as far as the edge of Mortuary. Says nobody is supposed to know, not even you until this morning."  He glanced at Den'a. "This one says there will be no danger. Don't know about you, but there's more to this, so I think I'll stay with you until it's all over."

"I dreamed of No Man's Land, and Selia..."

"That definitely is not a good one. Any idea what it means?"

"I don't know...I'm hoping whatever it is we're doing will reveal it to us."

"Also, I'm also not sure where you go these three from." Kileg grimaced at the three youths. "I'm afraid they won't be much good in a fight, unless it's against ancient Squat women. Still might be too much for them."

I looked the three Joanites from the previous morning over. They each wore a smock bearing family and clan symbols over leather jerkins and had been given austere but serviceable short swords. The girl looked anxious and excited, but one of the boys was sullen. He had a fresh bruise over one eye and a cut on his face. I looked at Kileg, who shrugged nonchalantly.

"Keep an eye on that one, I think," Kileg said. "He was thinking he's the boss of the other two earlier, trying to stir something up."

I pointed to the girl. "You, I need to drive the wagon. The two of you will be with the prisoner. You don't take your eyes off him for a second, and the moment he so much as twitches wrong you yell at the top of your lungs and get out of the wagon. Nobody talks to him, taunts him, touches him." I looked at the second boy, motioning to the one with the bruises. "You, if that one gets mouthy, stab him. This is your chance for redemption in Joan's eyes. Do you understand?" All three of them nodded.

"It's just like the old days, no?" I said to Kileg.

"Not really," he replied gruffly. "Very curious how you got mixed up in all of this. Too bad about Nyeda..."

"When we're done with this, we definitely need to catch up." By that time, the jailer and guards had come up from the cells, bringing a shackled Robbo with them. He was in ill-fitting but fairly clean clothes, and had been scrubbed such that his skin looked a little raw. Bandages covered his hands and the worst of the cuts and burns on his face salved. He did not look up or make any noise as they got him into the wagon and chained his shackles to iron rings set in the wagon. The two boys clambered up after him. Kileg helped Den'a onto the bench next to the girl, who had taken the reins.

"Let's get this over with," I said as I swung into my saddle.