What am I doing!?! Bran thought to himself as he led the pair of girls down the last flight of stairs. You’ve got them out of the house, just turn them over, no one will blame you, and the clerics won’t punish you. His mind was racing, trying to come to some conclusion before he let them out of Greystone Tower and sealed his fate as a traitor if anyone found out.
He’d had to get them away from his apartment, that much was clear, some of the relics and items he’d stored in there wouldn’t get him much favour from, well anyone. So why did he still feel the need to protect the people who had caused so much damage to his home?
The trio passed the last pair of guards. Bran’s indecision was costing him, act now or worm your way out of the consequences to come. But it was too late, before he could do anything the older woman turned and looked at him with a thankful smile on her face and a tears of happiness, relief or both in her eyes as she turned and led the young girl into the maze of streets before them, disappearing from view.
Well Bran, this is one way to get yourself into trouble…
As Krysten reached the roof she could hear the footsteps of The Citadel Guard starting the same accent. She had two options open to her, make the six foot leap to the next building or stand her ground – the latter did seem more appealing to her current state of mind. Everyone she had known, confessed in and actually befriended in this prison of a city was either dead or likely didn’t have long left.
She considered killing one as a signature before leaving, something to remember her by – it’s not like they could punish more severely after ‘obstructing’ a cleric of The Watch. No, there wouldn’t be time, and more than likely they’d saved their best soldiers till last. Not that Krysten would have a problem dispatching them; her years of experience fighting in the wars had put her on an even par with a battle cleric. All it would do would simply eat into her fast diminishing head start.
She turned and ran, full tilt towards the roof’s edge. She heard the Guard appear on the roof and shout something but her focus was on the jump – she would have a long time to contemplate events if she miscued her timing.
Her steps were perfectly lined up, her right foot would hit the very edge and give her the final push off she would need, her concentration zeroed into that final step, blocking out the increase in volume from the Citadel Guard.
As if time was moving slowly she leapt. Vaulting over the five-storey drop there was no way she’d miss and her escape nigh as a sharp pain paralyzed her outstretched left leg. Shifting her body weight to pitch her momentum into a roll she hit the roof of the adjacent building hard and tumbled across its hard, stony surface.
Instinctively sitting up and looking to her leg she found an arrow, broken by the impact, in the back of her left thigh. Raising her focus across the rooftop to the Citadel Guard, she saw a familiar face holding the bow that had caused her crash, someone she had not seen for a long time. His aged and wearied face was looking back at her with what she imagined was the same puzzled and surprised look upon it as hers. “Tilla?” she mouthed to herself.
As she started to recall the aged soldier who she had fought next to when the world had started collapsing he motioned to nook another arrow. Taking this as her queue to leave she stood and moved as fast as her aching leg would carry her away from the friend she once knew.
“You!” Salvo barked at the young Citadel Guard who was heading towards the staircase, “The mother and child, where are they?”
“They wanted some fresh air to clear their heads, the apartment they were in…” He stopped as he saw Salvo’s face glaring back at him. Another arrow in a battle cleric’s arsenal was intimidation, a skill Salvo was using partly to hurry the incompetent guard up and partly because he needed to vent some anger at someone for being so stupid as to not see this coming. “I left them outside,” he finally resolved to saying.
“For your sake they better still be,” Salvo threatened as he ran to the door with Sister Gabriel in tow.
As they reached the main exit Salvo scanned their surroundings; the streets were still quiet, the night was starting to fill the cramped streets and more importantly, there was no one to be seen.
“I’m out,” Gabriel spoke softly to break the silence, “I’ll need time to rest before using my powers.”
“Then we’d better hope that they’ve not got far,” Salvo said as he dropped his shoulders, closed his eyes and started to utter an incantation, drawing upon the last of his inner strength. As he finished the chant the world was revealed to him behind his closed eyes. The stony buildings surrounding him were made of deep blue shadows and to his left, Gabriel was a brilliant beacon of white sunlight.
“See anything?” Gabriel asked as Salvo started to peer deeper into the distance. Inside the buildings he could see the dim light of life from their occupants. Some sleeping and others playing with their children, their colours varied from a dull white to a deep orange that Salvo knew represented their alignment in this world; good or evil, lawful or chaotic he could see where each any every one of them were placed upon Marqué’s spectrum.
As he looked past the immediate buildings into the streets below he could see two figures in the distance, one of a child’s size and the other the size of an average female. Whilst the taller figure’s colour was of a deep fiery red the girl was pure white, even more immaculate than that of Gabriel’s.
Confused Salvo opened his eyes, returning the world to its ordinary dull shades. “This was, they’ve not got far.”