Far Away

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Chapter Twenty-nine

“Healer Magnus,” a monk called. “You’re needed at the clinic!”

“The clinic will have to wait. That poutice cured rott. Three lives were saved with the stuff already. I have to get more and get it fast!” Magnus called to the monk as he ran.

The young healer watched as Alice was dragged away. He followed behind at an appropriot distance. He needed to find out where that poutice came from and if the girl could make more for him. It was clear that she was in some trouble but he could not let an opertunity like this go away. He could save more people than he could meet in a life-time by replicating this plant. He could use the plant to create poutice.

Magnus’ mind was thinking fast: I could create and poutice and sell the poutice. I can promise the girl all of the profits. Surely, that will make her want to co-operatate if nothing else did. Greed opened a lot of doors... even ones that kindness could not crack. Magnus had seen the bottom rung of the city’s people and he knew that he would need all the help he could get!

“Find the girl first,” Magnus told himself. “Then, win her over with a spetacular plan!”

Magnus moved as quietly as he could after the men who pulled the girl along. The girl and her captures disappeared into a dark doorway, where Magnus could not follow. He breathed out a sigh of frustration and got ready to wait. He would have to talk to her when she came out of the building.

Magnus waited... he waited and waited....and waited...

He waited until after dark. The moon had risen to its’ peak when Magnus got ready to leave. He was streaching his legs when the side door opened and a dark figure came out. Magnus quickly dunked back into the shadows, waiting to see what the figure would do next. The figure was tall; much too tall to be the girl, and very strong. Every movement spoke of muscles and the balance gained from long fights. Still, Magus hoped that this man could give him some information.

The man moved to the rubbage dump at the end of the alley way. Magus saw with both excitement and dismay that the man tossed the plant; the plant that must be the poutice’s orign, into the garbarge heap! Magnus fought to stay still until the figure retreated back into the building before sprinting into the heap and digging out the plant.

He raced back to the clinic, covered in filth. Still, nothing could dampen the triumph of this moment.

“I hear that you are from Bounding?” Fred asked as he led them to the raider headquarters.

“The boy is,” Miko clarified.

“We know the raider leader Timothy. I have important news from him,” Dan declaired.

Dan tried to quell the nerveous energy serging through his viens. He was actually shaking with excitement. He was traveling with Miko to the raider’s headquarders to show them the newly completed radio. Oh, Dan was still tweeking with it here and there to fine tune all the little points, but largely it was done.

Dan wanted to jump for joy! Still, his father taught him to never count chickens before they hatch. Dan needed to wait until the raiders accepted his ideas and agreed to help before any celebrations could be held. He need to make sure that the raiders were on his side before he let himself relax.

“Right this way,” Fred said, directing them.

“Remember our agreement, kid,” Miko rasped. Fred nodded shakily in responce.

“Is there something you need to tell me?” Dan whispered to Miko.

“There’s nothing you need to worry yourself with, boy. Just concentrait on speaking with the raiders. They can be touchy and fickle. They can and will turn on you at the drop of a hat.”

“Any advice?” Dan tried to keep the nerveousness from his voice.

“Keep things simple.”

“You just want to make sure I don’t talk too much!” Dan accussed.

“Just tell them what they need to know, boy. If they turn on us it would be best if they knew as little as possible. Use information to bargain if you can.”

Dan nodded his understanding and quickened his step to follow Fred. Dan could tell that there was tension between Fred and Miko. Things had started out rocky between the two of them but there seemed to be even more electric tention than existed from the start! The two of them seemed to think that they were keeping things from him. And he let them think that they were keeping things from him.

He knew that Fred and Daga were not related. Fred had a terrible poker face and could not keep secrets! He knew that something was going on but the what was still in question. The question negged at him even more because he needed to concentraite on the meeting with the raiders. Dan seemed to get distracted easier the more nervious he got.

He was forced back on topic when the raiders led him into a grand room. The door was plain wood outside but the other side had introcit carvings of irises and flowering vines. The room was decorated with murals and pannels. Jewels sparkled from this corner and that. Luxery surrounded them. There was not even a mineute space that was not sparkling or guilded.

This did not seem like the typical rebel base. These raiders were not just common crooks and theives; they were wealthier than even the emperor! The treassures before them made it clear that the raiders were not just working for a small-time con. The raiders were succeeding in a line of work where everyone had failed for centuries. The raiders were richer than kings and bigger than guilds. If anyone could successfully take down the college elite, it was them. Dan knew that these really were the people that he needed to talk with.

“This is the council,” Fred whispered to Dan. “They do not normally talk to outsiders, but when they heared Timothy of Bounding’s name, they knew that this was a special case.”

“We are meeting today to talk about Timothy of Bounding,” a councilman remained them. “Anyother talk will have to wait for a later council date.”

Another man nodded to Dan. “Please begin,” he ordered politely.

“My name is Dan and I am originally from Bounding. I am a member of the Weavers’ Guild and I attended the school in Kingston’s largest city. I met a girl named Alice at the school and became good friends with her. I did not know it at the time, but I later found out that she is Timothy of Bounding’s sister. I got the two of us in trouble when I climbed down the city’s tree. Timothy helped get us out of trouble but the trouble seemed to follow us! Timothy was captured by the emperor’s men who were chasing us. A man named Raven has Timothy.”

“You say you are Timothy’s friend,” a councilman began, “but you have brought him only trouble. I am not sure I want you as a friend here.”

“He has information,” another councilman remarked, “and he gave us the information willingly. We need to countinue the trading of ideas.”

All the councilmen nodded.

“Take them to a guest room,” the first councilman commanded. “But do not let either one leave. Fred, we have more questions for you. Escort them to the room and then come back.”

Fred did what he was ordered to without comment.

“How long do they plan to keep us here?” Dan asked him quickly before the man left.

“Until they can validate your information.” Fred slammed the door as he answered but Dan could do nothing but stare after him with a confused look on his face.

“They plan on keeping us here until they can rescue Tim, boy. I’m not sure that they plan to help us. They will not be interested in your radio.”

Little did they know that Fred was telling the council about the radio at that very moment.

“I saw the younger man carrying a staff with an odd machine on the top,” Fred told the councilmen in front of him.

“You think that this staff is important or the machine?”

“I think that they think that it’s important,” Fred clarified.

“Have they shown this device to Tim? Do you have any evidence that they really know Tim?”

“Many of our raiders have heared Tim talk about his sister. They agree that her name is Alice. Dan mentioned that Alice helped him with the staff. Tim may know something about the thing and why Dan and Miko seem to treasure it so.”

“You will stay on base and keep up a repiture with our guests. Three squads will be sent to rescue Tim from the Raven. Our men have been watching him for some time.”

The council was adjorned.

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