Wow, folks, it has been a long time! Story Tuesdays have been neglected, by a very negligent author. 🙂 But I got to thinking about it today, so I’ve decided to post part six. Unfortunately, the gray text does not go well with my new background, so it’s all going to be in black. What a rotten shame. 😦
So, part six, in which things take a rather surprising turn…
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6. This isn’t an escape! This is a joke!
Azen awoke. For the first time in days, he had slept soundly through the night. Perhaps it was the knowledge that Mr. Komenk had his dagger, and if anything eventful happened, they would be safe.
Rarawsh wasn’t in the hull with them this morning. Instead of his friendly chatter, the silent emptiness rung loudly in his ears. It was kind of sad not to wake up to Rarawsh’s gabbing. To some people, the endless talking may have been annoying, but not to Azen. There was something comforting about it. Something in Rarawsh’s happy tones that seemed to say, “Everything will turn out dandy, Azen. Even if I’ve got whip marks on my back. Even if we’re probably doing something illegal. Even if the Merivather crawl aboard. Even if Mr. Kay does not treat you kindly. I will always treat you kindly. I’ll always serve you tea. I’ll always chat with you.”
Well, always except for this morning. Azen wondered where he could’ve gone.
Suddenly, he noticed how quiet everything was…Where was the rocking of the boat, the splash of waves? It was as if the sea had dropped out from underneath them.
Mr. Komenk’s eyes shot open, and he sat up. “Where…What…” He looked at Azen darkly. “We’re here.”
“You don’t have to make it sound so bad,” Azen smiled. “At least we’re off the sea.”
He got up and walked to the ladder, hoping that the door would be open. “You don’t know where ‘Here’ is do you?” Mr. Komenk asked, still very grim.
“Nope,” said Azen. “If it’s something terrible, I really don’t want to know.”
Mr. Komenk shrugged, and tightened his hand around his dagger.
As Azen looked up, the hatch opened, and a tall silhouette against a blue sky appeared.
“Azen, good morning!” came Rarawsh’s chipper voice. “Would you like tea up on the deck this morning?”
– – –
Azen was amazed that he was up on deck. But he wasn’t going to ask questions about it. He was enjoying some nice Kapital (Or Kayles?) tea, and the sea breeze was only a little cold. The sun was bright and warm, and the port was interesting to watch.
The Port of Nayvek had been ravaged by fire years ago. A raging fire started by a bad fish recipe had begun a chain reaction of flames and smoke and charred ruins, leveling all the wooden buildings. The remaining structures were all stone, and the city decided that it looked so good, that’s what everything would be build from in this next chapter of the Port’s life.
Azen ran his eyes over the odd town. Trees around the houses were either bright, cheerful birches, or sulking black carcasses leftover from the famous blaze. Industry was an obvious town ideal here. Little rail-cars went up and down the streets, accompanied by goat carts, horses, and people on foot. Azen even saw a couple woolly mammoths, a rare find these days.
“How would you like to go into the town?” Rarawsh asked, grinning. He could see the excitement in Azen’s eyes, and thought this might make his day.
Azen was taken aback…first he was let up on deck, and next he was given the chance to go out into public?!
“So what’s this all about, Rarawsh,” Azen tilted his head warily.
Rarawsh avoided his eyes. “I’m trying to get you away from Mr. Kay.”
An awkward pause.
“Why?” Azen asked.
Rarawsh glared at Azen. “Because I know why he’s going to Andora, and I know that you wouldn’t want to go.”
“But what about…”
“Oh, don’t worry about them beating me again,” Rarawsh said. “I’m going with you. Me, and Zwaaz. We’re going to have to leave Mr. Komenk behind, I’m afraid.”
Azen felt wronged on behalf of Mr. Komenk. “Why?”
“He’ll drag us behind,” said Rarawsh. “And, he’s not the most innocent person in the world. It’s his own fault that he brought this affair on his head.” He lowered his eyebrows. “I mentioned it a while ago, but I didn’t go too far in-depth with it. Mr. Komenk, in the past, was involved in smuggling weapons for a rebellion. Well, it wasn’t that long ago. In fact, he’s been smuggling weapons for years, and this was no exception.”
“He’s here on purpose…?” Azen leaned forward and wrapped a hand around his cold teacup.
Rarawsh nodded gravely.
“He was shot on purpose, to make it look like he was abducted?” Azen asked.
Rarawsh nodded again.
“…How can I believe this?” asked Azen. “Why should I trust you?”
Rarawsh only stared quietly, and Azen knew. Yes, of course he should trust Rarawsh. Rarawsh was the silent type, the type that knew everything but spoke nothing. And Azen felt that this was some likely truth about Mr. Komenk. Hadn’t he attacked Rarawsh when Avther Komenk was mentioned?
Azen decided to go for it. Lie or no, he bit.
“When do we leave?”
Rarawsh flashed a blindingly white smile (Azen’s eyes actually hurt a little). “Now!” Quickly, he stood up and ran to the gangplank. Azen followed quickly. What was this?! This was no escape plan, this was a joke! A dangerous joke!
Zwaaz was quickly at their side, smiling broadly. Zwaaz, as mentioned before, was the stockier of the two Sherasis, and they shouted to each other quickly in a swelling, proud-sounding language.
“Won’t they catch us?” asked Azen as they flew down the ramp onto the dock loud with activity.
“They went off to buy some things,” Rarawsh grinned. “Isn’t trust great?”
Wonderful, Azen thought. I’ve just escaped with a trust-breaker. I wonder how that will bid in the future!
Suddenly, Rarawsh squealed. Azen looked over to see him with a hand to his shoulder, and between his fingers, a feathered dart. A tranquilizer! Turning back, Azen saw Mr. Kay standing near the gangplank, with his gun raised. He had returned a minute too early! They quickened their pace, and turned a corner.
Rarawsh started to slump sleepily…the tranquilizer was setting in quickly. Zwaaz heaved the skinny Rarawsh over his shoulder, and they kept running. It didn’t slow them down a bit.