Chapter 7

Chapter 7

A Chapter by Johnzo
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Trede, Traz and Cassidy make their way out of Smisom, but barely. And we get a glimpse of Maej's real motive.

"

“We should have a clear shot from here.”  Trede peered out from a canvas sheet hanging as a backdrop to one of the store fronts near the landing tower.  “Now we just have to wait for Cassidy to show up and get on the carrier.” 

“Well and covertly done Trede.”  Replied Traz as he nodded his head.  “You’re knowledge of the back alleys here in Smisom made it almost easy to move unseen.” 

“You pick up a lot of that when you’re raised on the street-”  Trede cut himself off as he felt a tap on the shoulder. 

“Takin’ off again already, eh lad?” 

Trede turned, relieved to see it was just an old friend.

“Crimus!  Mior, what are you doing here?”

“I just thought if you were leaving town again you might want these.”  Mior handed over a loose assortment of papers, mostly contained in a notebook.  It was Trede’s ledger to keep track of his courier jobs. 

“Wow, yeah thanks Mior.  I guess I must’ve forgotten it.”  Said Trede.  He knew of course he hadn’t forgotten it, but in all the commotion of the previous night it hadn’t been safe to go back to his house for any reason. 

“You’ll never make it working for yourself if you don’t keep track a’things.  You could always try-”

“I know, I know, getting a real job with the Merkants.  You know that stuff’s just not for me.”

“I figured you’d say that.”  Said Mior smiling with a slight twinkle in his eye.  “So where are you two off to, mm?”

“To the great city of the central plains!”  Traz announced with excitement. 

“Ahh, yes Sedenza.”  Mior paused, “say you wouldn’t happen to know what went on north of town last night?  There’s quite a mess, wasn’t too far off from our street.  Seems like there was quite an incident.” 

“I…”  Trede froze for a moment as his mind raced to the previous night.  In all the running he had forgotten what Maej had said. 

Early in the coming morning there will be an incident here in town.  After that you may have a stronger motivation to leave…

How could he?  How could he have known!?  Trede wasn’t sure if this epiphany should make him trust Maej’s word or the opposite.  If he really knew, why didn’t he try to stop it?  What if he wanted it to happen… 

Traz piped in, covering for Trede still lost in his thoughts. “Yes there was an attack on the town, but the Marshal sorted things out.  All is well for now.”  Traz smiled with a somewhat forced nonchalance while elbowing Trede in the side.    

I’m sure he did.  And I’m sure it is.  Well!  Best of luck and stay safe.  Drop me a line if you’ll be gone a while, someone’s got to check up on you from time to time.” 

“You got it Mior.”  Trede said with a hint of guilt.  After all these years he had no idea why Mior put in all the effort to be there for him, but Trede was glad he did. 

“So long boys!”  Mior walked off between the back alley of the shops towards the center of town. 

Trede turned back to look out to the street leading up to landing tower.  There was no sign of Cassidy yet, and time was running close.  It had been nearly an hour since they all parted from the alley, and they still had to buy their passes and board the carrier.  “Not a lot of time left.”  Trede thought out loud.

 

 

“Time’s up Traz, we’ve got to move.”  Said Trede.  He knew he couldn’t miss this carrier flight to Sedenza, even if that meant leaving without Cassidy.  He looked out onto the dirt road.  “I haven’t even seen a scout for nearly an hour, let’s go.”

“Onward to the upward.”  Said Traz under his breath following behind. 

The two moved out, both scanning around making sure they weren’t spotted by the marshal or any of his scouts.  It was only a straight walk down the street less than a quarter mile, but if they were seen out in the open Trede knew there would be trouble. 

As they approached the tower, when Trede then saw a familiar form.  A man cloaked in black and red stepped out of the nearby shadows and approached him. 

“A friend of yours?”  Asked Traz. 

“No.  He’s a client.”  Trede muttered an aside. 

“You’ve chosen well Trede.”  Maej’s voice was solemn as he came near.  Maej handed Trede a small wrapped box, tied shut tightly with twine.  It was just small enough to be carried in the inner lining pocket of Trede’s gray jacket.  There was a bag of coins placed on top that was easily twice as much as Trede would normally get for such a job.  “As promised, here is the parcel and the initial payment.  You’ll receive twice that upon delivery.”

Trede tried to avoid looking surprised or impressed, he wasn’t sure if he could trust Maej yet.  “Where am I taking it exactly?  Sedenza is a big town.”  He feigned something akin to sarcasm, but it fell flat.

“There is a building, a temple of sorts you will find on the east side.  The address is written here.”  Maej hands him a small folded slip of paper. 

Trede hesitated, but then reached out to take the paper.  He noticed his hand was shaking a bit, so he took it and shoved his hands in his pockets.  He wasn’t sure if Maej had some other motive, and his foreknowledge of the mornings attack seemed too convenient.  The biggest thing on Trede’s mind though was getting out of sight.  He had to get to that tower before he was spotted.  “I guess I’ll be on my way then.”  Trede said while looking at Maej from the corner of his eye. His focus was still straight at the landing tower. 

“One more thing Trede.  Keep close care of the package, it can only be opened at it’s destination.  This is very important.”  Said Maej with a convincing seriousness in his voice.

“Typical protocol, even for us freelancers, don’t worry about it.”  Trede replied. 

“This is not a typical delivery, or a typical trip for you Trede.  Guard it close.  And in regard to our previous discussion…” 

“Wait.”  Trede said holding up his hand, giving a nervous gaze in Maej’s direction.  He didn’t want Traz to hear anything about the things he’d kept secret for so long.  The things which Maej somehow seemed to know too much about. 

“I will merely say; in the city, your perception cannot always be trusted.”

“Is this how I’m supposed to find…”  Trede dared not even finish his thought. 

“There are people in the city who can help you in your search.” 

“How can I find them?”  Trede was staring down at the ground, not sure if really believed any of this talk, but desperately wanting to.

“They will find you after you arrive.  If you keep an open mind.”

Traz who had been looking on in quiet suddenly spoke, “Hello there good Cassidy!  You are just in time!”

Trede turned and saw Cassidy running towards them with her pack in tow. 

“You would not believe the time I had getting them to let me check out of the inn early.  It’s like they’ve never met someone in a hurry before!”  Cassidy was short of breath, but that did not slow her pace.  “Say, who’s that?”  She pointed to Maej who was walking and already several paces away. 

Trede looked on in silence thinking, The one person who knows what I really am.  All the darkness and fear.

“Until the next time Trede.”  Maej spoke and slightly waved his right hand without even turning back around. 

Trede finally answered, “A client…”  His tone was not convincing.  “Just a client.”

Not really caring about his answer, she just smiled.  “Well I guess we should be off!  We don’t want to miss this ride.” 

“Yes, off away all!”  Agreed Traz. 

“Let’s go.”  Said Trede, who seemed to have a renewed grasp of the moment. 

The three walked on towards the landing tower and paid their fare.  The carrier was being loaded by the cargo workers, shortly after that the captain would allow the passengers on.  For once there was someone acting more impatient than Cassidy.  Trede kept a watch on the road to the market place very carefully, seeing if any of Langhorne’s scouts had found them. 

“We’ve been lucky so far.”  Said Trede, his nervousness was breaking through his usually stolid demeanor.

“What do you mean?”  Asked Cassidy.

“Hmm, but there’s a friendly face.”  Traz could see a young man in the crowd near the edge of the market place.  He was pointing towards their location at the landing tower and appeared to be calling back to others.  It was the same scout that they met in the marketplace the previous day. 

“Crimus, we’ve got to get this carrier moving.”  Said Trede.   

The captain called out just as the scout began sprinting in their direction.  “Passengers are free to board!” 

Trede noticed that coming behind the runner, were two similarly dressed scouts and Marshal Langhorne himself. 

“Let’s go!”  Trede said in a frantic voice. 

“Whoa what’s the hurry?”  Cassidy asked.

“Opportunity awaits my dear, who could resist?”  Answered Traz, trying in vein to make light of Trede’s haste. 

Trede looked around, there were only a handful of other passengers, he got behind them as they filed on the carrier.  The marshal and his scouts were only a few seconds away.  Trede begin shoving the other passengers to get into the carrier. 

“Come on!”  He shouted.  Cassidy and Traz followed behind.

“Pardon us!”  Traz announced.  “Do not think us rude, just in haste!” 

No sooner had the passengers boarded the door was closed.  The thick wooden door made a slight thud and was latched closed by one of the carrier crew.  The captain yelled out the order to raise the carrier. 

Hold up!”  Langhorne’s voice boomed.  The carrier stopped its ascent. 

Trede ran to a window facing the road to see what was happening.  To his surprise he saw Maej talking to the marshal.  What is he doing!?  Trede thought.

Maej was standing in the path to the landing tower.  Trede couldn’t hear what they were saying, but he could tell the marshal was not happy.  Langhorne grabbed Maej by the shirt and seemed to be threatening him.  But it seemed like Maej just kept calmly talking. 

I was so close.  Trede thought for sure the marshal was going to make them lower the carrier.  Though what happened next was even more surprising.  Suddenly, the Marshal let go of Maej and signaled to the captain.  The carrier started to ascend again. 

“Ah!  There we go, no worries.  We’ll be off in no time.”  Said Traz smiling towards Cassidy. 

Trede just stared down at the scene in disbelief as the Marshal, his scouts and Maej grew smaller and smaller. 

“You mind telling me what was that all about?  I mean I know we were in a hurry but sheesh!”  While Cassidy spoke she noticed one of the other passengers they had pushed passed was glaring in her direction. 

“Nothing.  No, it’s fine now, we made it.”  Said Trede, a true sense of relief resounded in his words.  He took one last look out the window.  Langhorne was walking back into town and Maej was nowhere to be seen. 

“Well, let’s find a place to stash our bags before all the storing closets are taken.”  Said Cassidy as she hoisted up the shoulder strap of her pack. 

“Yeah, you’re right.  Let’s settle in this will be a long trip.”  Said Trede.  As the three walked around the carrier getting set for the trip Trede was lost in his thoughts. 

I’ve never had what you would call a normal life, but the past few days have been unreal.  First some mystic with green eyes launches me off a carrier.  I should’ve died but I guess I must be lucky… Everything since then on just gets stranger.  Meeting Traz, Cassidy and Maej.  Getting run down by the marshal.  But for the first time I have the possibility of some answers, but why does everything seem so clouded right now.  Why does the search for clarity bring so much confusion…

At that moment Trede heard the resonating sound of the air whale calling out.  The bassy hollow hum seemed to vibrate his very bones.  The carrier shook and lurched forward.  He knew they were away floating off into the air.  Trede exhaled as he felt at least some of his worry being left behind on the ground. 

It should be a quiet trip at least.

 

 

 

In the dead of night, Maej was running across the grassy plains miles south of Smisom.  To get from town to town anyone else would’ve take the trip by airwhale, but Maej preferred traveling at his own pace.  To go across the country on foot took an immense amount of strength and endurance.  He felt the challenge of crossing such varied and broken terrain kept him sharp.  The only light he traveled by was that of a half-moon and the stars, but it was enough.  He continued on at a sprinters pace as he reached the crest of a grassy hill overlooking a downward descent leading into a thick forest.  He stopped there on the hill and gazed for a moment into the stars.  Slowly Maej’s eyes fade from blue to red. 

After a few moments passed he seemed to speak a reply to the sky itself, “Yes.”  In a flash, Maej’s eyes revert to their natural blue. 

Maej knelt down and unsheathed a small knife from inside his cloak.  He began carving some symbols into the ground, churning up the dirt and loose rock.  He then stabbed the blade into the middle of the ornate markings and gently cupped his hands together.  He began to chant in a low barely audible voice while a red light began to grow from inside his hands.  The beams of light sparkled out between his fingers.  He then separated the light into two pieces, one in each hand.  With half the light still in his right hand he reached down and grabbed a handful of loose dirt and threw it up into the sky.  The red light stretched out like a widely cast net high into the sky, but seemed tethered by a thin string to the light remaining in his left hand. 

He waited still for a moment in the quiet of night.  Suddenly, a swirling blue light reached down out of the sky meeting and intermingling with Maej’s own light.  The blue light seems to be coming from the stars itself, but was accompanied by an audible voice. 

It seems things have gone well for you in the north.”  Said the voice.  There was no discernible direction the voice was coming from, but the clear whispered tone of a woman’s voice rushed by Maej’s ears as a slight breeze blew through the grassy hills. 

“Yes.”  Replied Maej.  “I have found him.  He is on his way to you now.” 

Good.  Did you tell him why he was sent?”  The blue light shimmered in the sky as it’s voice spoke. 

“No.  He does not understand yet.  But he was willing to move forward for now.”  Maej paused for a moment.  “Will you be prepared for him?”

I will be ready.”  Said the voice. 

“If he is what we are looking for… it will take much to contain him.”  There was genuine concern in Maej’s voice. 

I have never failed before.  Do you have reason to falter your trust? 

“No.  Of course I could never.”  Replied Maej.  “I will arrive shortly after.  Until then.”

Until then, my love.  The blue light in the sky spiraled down circling and shimmering around Maej’s body and disappeared in the breeze, as the wind suddenly changed direction to the southwest. 

“My love.”  Maej repeated, hesitating there on the hill as the wind subsided.  He then released the red light tethered to his left hand and it evaporated into the dark starry sky.  Soon there was nothing left but the half moon and starlight.  “We continue on as scheduled then.”  Maej spoke aloud, then grabbed his knife from the loose earth on the ground, sheathed it, then ran into the night. 

 



© 2012 Johnzo


Author's Note

Johnzo
Continuing on in the "first-draft" style. (probably some typos here and there) The last scene here gets me excited, how about you?

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the entire chapter was quite exciting, i loved it. I didn't notice any typos at first glance, but you've piled up the story like a box of puzzle pieces. Just wondering when we can start putting them together.
One thing i did notice about maej is that some how to me he's set off as a pretty old guy with stout shoulders. Imagining him running around like that looking like that made me start to wonder.
Aswell as the "my love" comment. very interesting.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 14 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




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[send message][befriend] Subscribe
<Closed>
the entire chapter was quite exciting, i loved it. I didn't notice any typos at first glance, but you've piled up the story like a box of puzzle pieces. Just wondering when we can start putting them together.
One thing i did notice about maej is that some how to me he's set off as a pretty old guy with stout shoulders. Imagining him running around like that looking like that made me start to wonder.
Aswell as the "my love" comment. very interesting.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 14 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 21, 2010
Last Updated on April 18, 2012


Author

Johnzo
Johnzo

Bridgton, ME



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For more info on my little world, visit: www.echowake.com -Latest post: 2nd Draft Preview My favorite stories are usually ones that have a bigger world behind them, a story behind the story that.. more..

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A Chapter by Johnzo