I couldn’t believe it when I finally understood just who she was. A mercenary yes, that we knew. It wasn’t until we were on the water that we gained a slight appreciation for what she might mean to the empire. It was when I gained a true understanding though of just what her position was in the galaxy that I realized just how shallow my passing lust for her really wasThe Journal of Wain.
The group sat around a campfire for their last night at Yanters. It had been a hard battle and all of them suffered injuries. The most severe was Honfu’s broken wing. He probably would not be able to fly for a few months. Patch had tried to do what he could with healing herbs, but finally he came to the sad conclusion that the best way to speed up the healing process would be for Honfu to see a holosurgeon. Thankfully they had been able to find one in town that took the time out of treating so many other battle worn wounded to patch him up.
As the third moon waxed and reached the pinnacle of the sky, the group, all but Solomon and Isis, shuffled into their tents. Solomon had been elected as guard against any remaining rebel soldiers still loyal to the ex-governor. His post was until the third moon was between pinnacle and dawn. Isis sat with him for a time in the calm silence of the woods. She watched as the fire flickered and sent shadows racing along the ground. “So,” Solomon inched, “what made you so determined? Why did you get involved in this and create war – putting so many people in danger?”
She gave him a sad smile as she stood up and walked towards her tent. “I was involved the day I was born,” she answered him and disappeared into her tent. Solomon sat puzzled about what she meant. He thought back to the governor and how he and turned ghost white at something she had said. He thought back to how she knew so much about the emperor’s household. He thought back to her hands, the assassin’s scars. Pieces to a puzzle began to take shape and began to show a picture of who Isis really was. She couldn’t be…could she?
Solomon sat gazing as fingerlings of pink and green clouds encased the southwest horizon. The white sun had decided to show its shining face after a long dark night. Solomon had pondered the night away to find dawn already come and a little batfrog clinging to his pant leg. He went to brush it away. It croaked as it leapt from his leg and with a slick sound of leathery wings, flew into the dazzling morning air. “So, you’re still awake, I see,” a deep below caught Solomon off guard. In his fright, he turned and stumbled over a rock, sending him cascading to the ground. Leaves jumped into the air and the sweetly, damp smell of earth bit at his nostrils.
Fado sat laughing on a stump as Solomon righted himself. “Thanks for nothing, old man,” Solomon grumbled as he brushed mud clumps from his clothes and pulled twigs from his hair. The Sho’ren chuckled, “I only greeted you, but thanks for the show.” A smile beamed across his wrinkled face. “Well…good morning to you too,” Solomon mumbled. He poked at the fire, depressed, causing twigs to snap.
“Looks like the rest of the group has decided to finally join us, klutz,” Fado teased. Wain and Rew shuffled out of their tent and crashed on the ground next to the fire. Otly and Patch sat on a fallen tree, watery eyed and sallow faced. The Ipty brothers tumbled out of their tent, ready to greet the world, or at least have a rousing wrestling match right in the early morning. Last was Isis who looked like she had not slept for days. Wain pulled out the newest coin and added it to the collection.
With the coin that Mkle gave them was a small yellowed paper. On it was written in smeared ink,
Search the sky, search the sea, for on a taloned wing you’ll find the land in the snake’s golden glutted nest where eggs become diamonds and every rich man becomes poor and the poor only live the grand delusion of an enthroned emperor.
“Looks like we’re headed to Vico,” Fado grumped. Sho’ren typically were not very fond of water. They generally had a tendency of sinking because of their shear muscle mass. The Sho’ren was getting too old to be going on such monstrous adventures. Jousting, war, now ship-sailing…the red sun, he swore, was surely trying to kill him before he’d see his latest great-grandchild.
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