Symone called in the favor that day. She had taken care of my father, and it was my duty to see to her safety when she asked. It was just that once. I didn’t realize the next time I would see her after that trip that she would hold the power...Notes from Balmora.
Place: Gyonar Channel
Planet: Vico, Colga Galaxy
“We still need to pick up that coin that’s here,” Symone grumbled to Fado as the group ducked down a hall, trying to find their way up to the transpoplane landing deck on the gunship. The alarm had not been sent out yet. The captain had apparently given orders to not be disturbed in his cabin for quite some time. Fado laid a hand on her arm. She stopped to look at him. “You were just…what happened back there…why are the coins that important to you?” he asked her. “Because I hate my uncle,” she answered as she moved on ahead. Fado hustled after her. “We all hate your uncle. He’s a tyrant, worse to the humanoids than you would think. You don’t seem to understand our ways, probably kept in your human courts, but he’s been just as cruel, if not crueler to us than you would think. What will these coins do for you that you still must go after them. Are they actually going to help you in some way?” Fado pressed. Symone sighed. “I’ve heard of these coins before. I’ve known of them before McAlister asked for us to find them. I know also who McAlister is in all of this. He helped my uncle dispatch my father and try to murder me. He was the pilot that ditched the transpoplane. Thankfully, due to either his ignorance, or my uncle’s fabulous ability to lie through his eyeteeth, I was able to hide my identity from the courts for years. McAlister, like the rest of the human world, and maybe the humanoids, believe that I’m dead. McAlister hired Isis, the mercenary, not Symone the lost princess. McAlister intends with these coins to overthrow the government and transfer the monarchy to his seat. With these coins, he very well might have the ability to do it,” she told the Sho’ren.
They had made it to the deck just as the rotors of a transpoplane touching down blasted a column of air down on the group, almost sending them flying from the deck. Fado grabbed Symone’s arm, keeping her from tumbling off. “What do you mean about these coins?” Fado shouted over the turbulence. “How will these overthrow the monarchy?”
“I’ll tell you when we get in the trans, it’s too noisy out here,” she shouted back as she waved to the pilot. The plane touched down and a side hatch lifted with a woosh of the pressure release. A short flight of steps extended out and the group rushed up, dropping their packs into the containment bins at the back of the ship. A buzzing wirred through the cabin as the alarm sounded for the hatch to seal and the cabin to pressurize as the rotors spun to lift off. The men slumped into their chairs, breathing heavily. A sudden dash of black cloth snapped down the aisle, startling them. A hand swung out and caught Symone at the throat, pushing her against the back wall of the cabin. She immediately swung down on the elbow, breaking the hold, she stomped down on a black shoe, jammed her hands up into a cloaked chin, and threw an elbow into the ribs of her adversary. Togoya was there to catch the wheezing body. Symone knelt by the body and jerked the hood up. Brown curly hair swirled out from the cloth to halo around a lean face and pale green eyes. “You know you could bring the whole megora army on us, Symone,” the man hissed. “Balmora, you owe me a debt, and this is how you are going to repay me,” she snipped back.
“Yeah, I know I owe you. Smuggling out my father from under the nose of your uncle, I owe you a debt, but this? This could get us all killed if the trans is traced,” he grumbled at her. She stood up and offered the man her hand. He grabbed it as she hoisted him to his feet. “Just get us back to Azure, under the radar. We’ll need a way out to Chima, the Fiws’s after this. Balmora, we’ve finally got an opportunity here to get the coins,” her eyes gleamed. “Oh shinma and bless the suns both, that is excellent, Symone!” he hugged her.
“Well that’s a flip of the switch,” Wain grouched at the man.
“Call him my brother’s keeper. His family has worked for the royal household as nannies and bodyguards for generations. Balmora was raised with my brother,” Symone supplied.
“Thanks to her position, she was able to get father out to a safe place without the emperor becoming aware. Switched a body, she did. Mother was devastated. We haven’t made her aware that father’s still alive. It’s safer for both of them that way,” Balmora turned to make his way back up to the front of the transpoplane. Another man was at the helm. The trans hurtled across the sea as it made its way to Azure.
“What exactly are we looking for? Do you have a clue?” Balmora asked the group at large. Gotre passed him a galatron screen that he had been keeping a running list of the clues on. Balmora grunted as he looked over the list. “Sounds like more caves,” he stated, looking up at Togoya and Symone. “We were afraid that would be the case. Hate those blasted things,” Honfu snuffed.
Fado grabbed a seat near the window and motioned for Togoya and Symone to take a seat. “Isis, Symone, whatever, what is so important about these coins?” He gripped Symone’s hand.
She analyzed him for a second before searching out Togoya’s eyes. “McAlister was in on the death of my father and my attempted murder. He was the one who helped my uncle execute the plot. McAlister wants these coins to use to overthrow my uncle and take the throne for himself.” Togoya nodded at her. “Have any of you had the opportunity to read over a book by the name The Twelve Doubloons?” she asked. Inevitably, they all shook their heads. “Its a book that documents the life of a scientist with close ties to Earth and the pioneers of the Subgalaxia possessed the last remains of the chryopreservation chemicals. He resided on Helena. On one of his trips to or from the capital, I never really paid attention to that part, he was transporting the chemicals and dropped them. He said that the chemicals combined with the planet’s elemental structure and sped up the changing properties of Helena. It went through its ten year seasonal shift to something like ten minutes. He took the new compounds to the mint and had them embedded into gold blanks. The scientist theorizes that these coins if brought together again could potentially exhibit its effects similar to Helena on another planet, the problem being that it might destroy the planet if it isn’t Helena. He dispersed the coins and hence why we are now looking for them,” she summed up the plot.
There was a general whir of mumbling in the cabin. “McAlister intends to get the coins and use them as a weapon against my uncle. Destroying a planet would terrify him enough,” Symone continued. She went mute, chewing on her lip. Her arm was trembling. She rubbed it with her hand, trying to hide the shaking. She knew in her head what was happening, but over riding the command system of the body was still difficult. She was going into shock. Now that she was no longer on adrenaline she was crashing. Her ears were beginning to ring and her limbs were feeling heavy.
Solomon, still reeling and looking a bit green around the gills, knelt down next to her seat and laid a hand on her hand, stopping her motion. “What happened on the ship, Symone?” She just stared at him. It was always like this, the shaking after…the incidents, at least the ones that she remembered. Otly laid a hand on her shoulder. “You don’t want to know, Solomon, honest, you don’t want to know.”
Solomon’s brows knitted at the Elivik. He glanced back at Symone’s hand that was quivering beneath his. He noted the blackening bruises on her wrist. His hands went to her face, cupping her cheeks. His eyes met hers, but he growled at Otly. “Speak, Elivik. What happened to her.” Togoya groaned, trying to interrupt them. “Oh, shut up Togoya, you two got yourselves into some stupid mess and ten to one you’re the one who got her into that mess,” Balmora quipped.
“Balmora, you don’t get it. I’ve never…” Togoya stared down in his hands. He could tell that he too was beginning to go into shock. His mouth went dry.
“Togoya, what happened to her? What happened to you? Talk to us kid,” Balmora pressed him. “I saw her that day after your uncle…” he trailed off as his face paled. “She… you guys didn’t… look this devastated when that happened,” he scrambled for what to say.
“Kail happened,” she whispered. Solomon stared into her eyes. There were no tears, but a fire burning in the depths. She was in shock, and she was blistering angry. Solomon looked to Otly, confused.
Otly’s stomach rolled. It just was too soon to talk about it. “Kail forced himself on her,” he answered the Canto. “How could he, you saw her take down Balmora. It’s not just something that switches on and off, Otly,” he asked the Elivik. “I don’t really know. He had Togoya strung up in a bad way, “he looked down at Symone.
“The shipman jumped Togoya, and Kail surprised me with a tranq…I woke up…” she trailed off again.
“I found her tied up with that chain she keeps around her neck and Togoya was spruced up like a holiday kisga. Kail had some type of electrode device hooked up to Togoya and would shock him any time Isis said or did something Kail didn’t like. It looked like he or the shipman beat on Togoya a fair bit too,” Otly finally supplied. “I burned the man with hot glass. I’ve never done that before. I never thought of using it as a weapon,” he mumbled. The group listed on baited breath. “I knocked him out, got her free and Togoya free and we came back to get you guys.
“Oh, Symone,” Solomon cooed. He could feel his heart breaking.
“We have to get those coins. We have to get them now. Kail told me that my uncle put up a memo on me to his followers. It’s open season on my cousin and me,” she told the Canto. “Don’t worry Symone, we’ll get them,” he tried to reassure her.
“I’m running things now, Wain,” she growled at the man. Wain sat there silently, not sure how to respond to what he had just heard. The girl just had the worst of luck. “We’re going to go to Azure and get the coins. They’re probably in the catacombs beneath the city or in a cave system just to the north of there. We’ll split the group in two and one set will check the combs and the other will check the caves, k? After we do that, I’m going to have Balmora take us back to Chima and out to the Fiws. There will probably, most likely, be a clue with the coin in Azure, but I know for a fact that there are coins at the Fiws. I have an idea, and I seriously need you guys to go along with it. I’ve bloody well had it with my uncle and it’s time to take him out. We need all the coins to truly scare him, but we also need some force behind us. This is going to sound odd and like I’m losing it, and whatever happens, follow with what I outline,” she told them. Her shakes had stopped and she had uncurled from herself. Her presentation of self was much larger than life.
Balmora took them to Azure. It took them three days of searching to find two coins hidden in the catacombs beneath the city. It was one of the least remarkable adventures in their search for the coins that there were not many notes in the journals.
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