Author: Yellow.Iguana PM
Four powers, one goal... but can they work together and through their differences to achieve it? Blanche, Miles, Maud and Edmund are gifted, and while their gifts have brought the four together; they may be the reason for their undoing.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,905 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 01-18-12 - Published: 04-22-11 - id: 2909549
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Enter." The King called, pouring over reports of the prisons.
"My King." A soldier knelt down on one knee and waited for the signal to rise.
"Report." Was the lazy response and the soldier stood immediately, feet together and arms down by his sides.
"My King, they have captured another. Apparently she has a fire power. They are holding her at the camp near the village Coppersmith, they will be transporting her by the end of the week"
"Good," He paused for a moment and looked up at the soldier. "So?"
"I... just thought you would wish to know of the progress."
"I have been reading these reports for over two hours. You think you know more than I?"
The soldier shuffled nervously and seemed to take a moment to gather his thoughts.
"Well, the news has only just reached us and will not be written..."
"You think I don't know that? You think I will be bothered by one more rat?"
"Of course not, my Lord. I apologize for the inconvenience."
The King barely looked up from his papers as the soldier screamed. The soldier did not believe in magic, he did not believe that there were forces in the world that had no explanation. That was his first mistake. As his leg was vaporized from his body with no sign of an external force, he simply collapsed into a begging heap on the ground blood gushing onto the wooden floor. Psychic then pushed open one of the main doors and entered with grace and elegance, paying no attention to the soldier, other than to push him off her slightly with her toes.
"My King, you called?"
"Yes, one moment." He turned his attention to the sobbing soldier, a pool of blood seeping from the stump he had left. Had the soldier been more prepared, he may have seen the ripple of something not entirely invisible race towards his limb, were he quick enough he could have saved his leg from the King's power. The King knew of his doubt, he had used this against him.
"Go and find yourself a job, rat. I don't want you bleeding on my floor."
The soldier continued to weep as he tried to drag himself to the door, and the King watched with a slight smirk on his face. He found this amusing and Psychic just stared ahead, unmoving. Two feet from the door the soldier collapsed, his chest moving quickly until it stopped moving altogether the flow of blood from his wound easing as his heart ceased beating.
"So," the King said, turning his attention away from the cruelty that he took comfort in. "I need you to do something for me."
When Blanche woke her head throbbed and her stomach churned slightly. She groaned and tried to sit up from her scrunched position. She fell back against a hard surface when her hands and feet could not do as she wished. Blanche felt confused at first, and her thoughts were sluggish. She took a momentary pause from her efforts as she tried to remember how she had come to be in this situation. It dawned on her as her eyes grew accustomed to the darkness that her wrists and ankles were bound. Slivers of memories began to wrestle for her attention; she had overestimated her own abilities and in turn underestimated her enemies. In future, granted that she escaped from here, she would have to take more caution in controlling her emotions.
She began to sit up once more and pulled against her restraints. They would not come loose, however as she sat up and shook herself from the stupor of unconsciousness she realised that, with a little concentration she should be able to free her ankles. To do this she leant forward, reaching towards the ropes with her joint hands, faintly aware that whoever had tied her would most likely be killed for their incompetence. Whoever it had been had tied her arms together in front of her, a fashion that left her fingers able to work at the knots at her ankles. As the rope slipped from her ankles she began to contemplate how to free her hands when she voices from outside.
"I came to alleviate you from your duty."
It was a soft voice and Blanche tensed; a small part of her sensed danger and so she leant back into the position she woke up from. Her head was uncomfortable, pressed against the ground and her back ached from the position it was angled at, yet she remained as she was and listened to the men outside from where she had been placed.
"I was told to remain here and allow no one past." Someone replied to the original voice, they sounded meek, a young boy perhaps?
"Are you disobeying a direct order from your superior?" The first voice threatened, so not a young boy, maybe a young recruit instead.
"No Sir, my apologies, Sir." With that the conversation ended and Blanche lifted her eyelids gently to reveal a silhouetted figure pulling back the opening to what she assumed to be some form of tent that she was in, and it revealed the starry sky for only a moment. If she was going to escape she would have to do it under the cover of darkness. Blanche refused to allow fear to consume her; she was in an army camp, quite probably the one she had seen while scouting the area.
A cold finger traced her cheek, from temple to jaw-line and Blanche involuntarily flinched away from the contact.
"Ahh, so you are awake." The voice murmured, and Blanche's stomach began to churn once more. This was not safe for her. She needed her hands free and she slowly began to move her arms together, pulling and pushing at the ropes should loosen them enough. A new urgency swept through her as the man touched her shoulder. She knew she was clothed however her shirt must have torn somehow, she did not remember.
"Blanche? Open your eyes, I want to see you." Blanche understood the request but could not find it within herself to comply. Complying would, to her, be like giving in; accepting defeat. And while she was still breathing she would not give in to him, this army, or even the King himself. Renewed determination ebbed through her veins and she subtly tugged at the ropes.
The man's cool fingers ran down her bare arm and lay to rest on her upper thigh. Blanche shuddered and the soldier released a soft laugh.
"Blanche I have never quite seen a woman like you. Beautiful beyond compare, incredibly so, and yet you do nothing but hide yourself within a man's clothing. You shirk your responsibility in doing such you know. You would make a fine wife to bear a happy man a lot of children."
His voice was careful, almost guarded and he began to lift her shirt. Blanche almost broke, but remembering herself she took a deep breath. Upon exhaling she kicked out, aiming for the man's head. He had been expecting a reaction, and managed to block the main force of her strike, however she managed to cuff him for he had not anticipated that her ankles would be free for such force and he fell back, dazed. Blanche sat up quickly, and with her arms still bound launched herself at the soldier's torso.
As she landed, her elbows dug deep into his throat, collapsing his airway and causing him to pitch himself forward, only stopping short when Blanche re-established the advantage and pressed her weight down upon him. He collapsed back down into the dirt, and without the ability to shout out, began thrashing around as he struggled for air. Blanche swung her right leg over his flailing body and sat upon his abdomen to prevent him from trying to escape. As she leant round to see if he still had a dagger at his belt he grabbed her shoulders and forced her forward. Blanche tried to stop by pressing her forearms to his chest yet he proved too strong for her and she became with five inches of his contorted face. His clear blue eyes searched her own brown eyes, silently pleading that she help him. It was in this instant that she identified him as the soldier who had originally claimed that he would catch her at the bar. Swallowing, Blanche used all of her strength to punch upwards; her knuckles coming into contact with the man's nose. She pushed bone and cartilage up and in as she killed him, feeling bone meet bone and beneath her his body went limp. Hot blood flowed through her entwined fingers, stinging against her cold hands. Slowly she removed herself from his body and continued to search for a knife or dagger of some sort. Trying to calm her breathing she found a dagger and began fraying the ropes that tied her. She wiped her hands on the soldiers clothes, and also wiped the handle of the dagger; no doubt the same that had been thrown at her in the bar.
When she was free Blanche stood, tottered slightly as the blood rushed to her head and then, regaining her balance looked around. She had been thrown into a store tent and wooden crates had been stacked around her. She knelt down and took her attacker by the ankles, and refusing to look at his disfigured face, began to drag him around the back of the crates and out of the view of the opening. If anyone cared to give the tent a closer inspection they would see the drying pool of blood where he had been killed, and also her absence, but for now, hiding the body was the best she could do.
Dagger in hand, Blanche cautiously pulled back the tent flap to reveal what lay beyond. She swallowed convulsively. She appeared to be in the centre of the camp and she had no idea how to navigate the tents. A quiet humming broke her concentration and she stepped back slightly into the shadows. A boy, no older than fifteen carried himself past her hiding place. He was twirling under the night sky, his arms raised up and a smile lingering upon his lips. It took Blanche a moment to figure out what he was doing, but as she recognised the tune he sung, she realised that he was pretending to dance with a lady. Biting her lip she waited until the boy had turned away from her before she sprung forward. Pushing his arms down by his sides she gripped his torso close to her with her right arm and her left pressed against the boys neck. The flat of the blade pressed against his cheek. She put her lips to his ear and just as he drew in the breath he needed to call out, whispered urgently.
"Be quiet and no harm shall come to you, please I urge you, both of our lives rest on you."
He paused for a moment and exhaled slowly; she released her grip on his neck but still held him fast.
"Who are you?" He whispered and, trusting that he wouldn't shout out or run Blanche released him and allowed him to turn.
"As of now that doesn't matter, however if you can help me escape I will answer your questions."
He nodded, and Blanche was glad that he did, she would hate to kill a boy. She nodded and pulled him by the arm into the shadows of the tent. He may be young be but he was nearly as tall as she was, yet she believed that the tallness was new to him; he appeared gangly and uncoordinated.
"Are there any horses left unguarded?" She whispered frantically while he looked around. His behaviour made her nervous but as he turned to run he grabbed her arm and pulled her with him.
"This way." He murmured.
Together they ran through a series of tents, sticking to the shadows for the better part of the escape, suddenly Blanche could see where this boy was taking them and she smiled. Straight ahead of her there was a clearing with a large log ground into the mud. Attached to the log were several horses, all appearing unguarded. The boy slowed as he looked around and Blanche was hesitant, she had never ridden a horse before and those who had, had been trained from when they were young. She had of course seen horses and dealt with them before, yet that was before she ran away, and those were not the same breed of animal that stood before her. She had dealt with draught horses, the stubborn type that refused to move when the thought came to them. However these beasts were stallions of some of the highest standards, and never before had she sat upon one.
The boy stopped several feet and looked at her expectantly. She nodded, and looked back through the dark tents, expecting any minute to be found.
"Which is the fastest?" She demanded and the boy silently pointed to a black mare with a slightly wild look.
"Right, saddle another and I will deal with this one." Blanche ordered and the boy stopped her.
"But Miss," he whispered, "Seneca there, she'd be a bit flighty with strangers."
"Is she now?" Blanche muttered not really understanding this riding speak, and pointed at the others. "Which one would suit a new rider in need of an escape?"
"That'd be Akasha." The boy replied, walking slowly to a bay in the middle. He tugged on the quick-release knot that held the horse in place and lead her to Blanche. The woman eyed the horse nervously, and she just stood obediently waiting for a new command. At least it seemed that he knew what he was doing. Blanche tucked the knife into the top of her pants and took the appropriately labelled saddle from the pile on the ground nearby, motioning for the boy to do the same. Gripping the saddle tight she swung it onto the horses back, placing it into position with faint remembrance. She took the bridle to the horses head and slipped the bit between the horse's teeth. She fumbled slightly with the buckles and when she looked up the boy was stood by the tacked Seneca and was awaiting her next command. Blanche scrutinized Akasha for a moment, pondering how she should approach getting into the saddle.
The boy slowly walked over and knitted his fingers together to make a step for Blanche to hoist herself up with. She scowled; this was not how she wanted to present herself to him. She was not useless. She accepted his offer however, for pride was of little value when it came to escaping and so she hoisted herself over and into the light saddle. The boy slipped her toes and the ball of her foot into the stirrups, and when she continued to push her feet in he held her fast and shook his head. She nodded in acknowledgement and left her feet as they were.
The boy ran to Seneca, and calming the beast with a palm on its shoulder sprung up into the saddle. Blanche watched carefully and sure enough as she took the boys weight her feet skittered for a moment before the boy grabbed the reins and pulled her into control.
"We need to avoid the sentries." Blanche whispered, she had no idea what had changed but as she thought, she realised that she was no longer a lone wanderer, she had company now. She wasn't sure if this unsettled her or not.
The boy pointed to the west where the tents thinned and gradually led to forestry. Blanche looked at him doubting him, believing that the trees would be an excellent place to hide a few soldiers for any unwelcomed surprises. The boy nodded.
"Captain Holacombe didn't believe it was necessary, no one would attack through the trees."
Blanche shrugged her shoulders and watched as the boy nudged his horse with his heels. She did the same and one of her feet slipped from the stirrup, however Akasha seemed to receive the message as she followed Seneca in a light trot. The disjointed movement left Blanche bobbing around in the saddle, and almost slipping off as she felt the imbalance of only having one foot in the stirrup.
As Akasha drew next to Seneca the boy grabbed Blanche and pulled her straight, and then leaning over the shoulder of the horse held the stirrup still for Blanche to regain. She nodded her thanks and looked for the trees that she knew lay ahead of the final tents.
"What's your name?" Blanche asked suddenly.
"Miles Oxenbrigg." He replied, looking at her warily.
"What?" She asked, looking at his expression curiously.
"Are you goin' ter kill me like you did that soldier?" his voice almost broke mid-sentence, though he held strong and looked her straight in the face for the answer. She admired that it was a good quality.
"Miles, if I were planning on killing you, why would I have asked your name? Or given you a horse to bring?"
He nodded slowly, liking how the logic worked in his favour.
"But why bring me along?" He demanded, his frustration seething into his tone, he was like her in that way, she suspected; he hated not understanding what others did.
"I can't ride, and I need someone to teach me." Blanche explained. In truth she wasn't sure why she didn't just kill him. Maybe it was his youth? She wasn't sure that she could murder a boy like that, or maybe it was something else, she didn't know.
"Miss, where we headed?" He asked, looking uncertainly into the forest that had stretched around the town, the one where they stood at the edge of.
"I left my supplies in there, we're going to retrieve them and come out of the other side." Blanche explained.
"Call me Blanche, not Miss." She added as an afterthought.
"But Miss, Blanche, there's wolves in them woods." He pointed out, his voice stricken.
"Well then Miles," Blanche said, nudging Akasha through the first of the trees, "Let us hope they are not hungry."
Miles nodded slowly, and then followed after her. Seneca tossed her head at the unfamiliar territory, but otherwise followed Akasha's lead with Miles murmuring comforting words of encouragement to her. After a walk in silence they reached a clearing, and Blanche tried to dismount. However her foot got caught in the stirrup and she was left standing, one foot on the ground, the other midair. She grumbled to herself and untangled her foot. She watched as Miles smoothly dismounted from Seneca. Leaning forward and swinging his right leg over the back of the saddle and horse, clearing the flanks. Blanche looked away when Miles turned to her.
"You 'ave supplies?"
Blanche nodded and retrieved them from an old looking rabbit hole. She opened the drawstring pack and took out some dried meat. She tore the strip in two and handed half to Miles, who then gulped it down in one bite. Blanche frowned. She had had a cousin this age once; he had eaten far more than the average person. They would need to hunt soon; she hoped Miles was keen on the idea.
Once they had remounted Miles hesitated at the thought of re-entering the forest.
"What's wrong ?" Blanche asked, immediately looking for danger and gripping her dagger.
Miles didn't answer immediately and looked into his lap, maybe kidnapping a boy hadn't been her best plan to date.
"Just say whatever it is you have to say." She snapped.
"Well it's gonna be dark" he mumbled, and Blanche stared at him.
"It's dark now." she stated bluntly, she could not believe her luck, of all the people in this god-forsaken country and she happened to bump into the only thirteen-year-old scared of the dark. Wonderful.
"No; well it is, but in there, there won't be no stars or th' moon." He said to defend himself from the woman's tone.
"Is this a problem?" Blanche asked, her cutting tone almost making him flinch. They were wasting time here and they needed to get a decent distance from the soldiers before they could rest. He was delaying and this wasn't placing her in the best of moods.
"My mother always told me tha' the stars and moon protected innocent people."
"Miles," Blanche sighed, pitying him for his naivety, "That is utter rubbish, but if it makes you feel any better, we are hardly innocent. I killed a man today and you helped me to escape a soldier camp and steal two of their finest horses. The stars won't protect you tonight."