Monday, March 10, 2008
In the distance a pack of dogs howled in unison. “I think they may be upset.” I said as I straightened.
Tastywaffles smiled warmly at me and jogged ahead to check the next turn and with his nod of approval Kammy grabbed my hand and pulled me after him. Sneaking around stealthily we carefully made our way to the only logical way out.
The pain didn’t go away completely. Every few minutes we would have to stop while I leaned against a wall to grip myself. No one said anything anymore and I pretty well figured out what was happening and it had nothing to do will any spell. It was clear we needed to get out fast. Terrified I wouldn’t make it my eyes showed the anxiously desperate panic that was gripping my heart as tightly as the contractions gripped my body.
“Last turn.” Tastywaffles said as he glanced back at me without making eye contact. “There are four spooks in the way and I don’t think we should take the time to try to send them back to their maker and I can not charm these things.”
“Let’s just distract them while Kammy helps her outside. They won’t follow us out there.” Zerokb instructed.
Kammy and I stayed around the bend while Tastywaffles and Zerokb turned the corner and shouted at the dark forms. They turned their eyeless faces towards the men and started plotting their worst.
One rushed the hume summoner and reached its tiny black arm out and slapped him. Zerokb cringed and shuttered as his eyes rolled back into his head briefly. Shivering the hume tried to straighten himself but he was clearly slowed by the dark effects.
The ghosts were shrieking angrily and lashing out at the two heroes their full attention set on ripping them limb from limb for having the nerve to intrude on their domain. Tastywaffles whistled and a hecatomb hound, possibly even the same from earlier, tore around the corner and came to their aid.
“I think now is a good time.” Kammy said. “Are you ready to run for the moon light?”
I nodded. I wasn’t sure how fast but exiting sounded good. I wanted out and now was an understatement. Yesterday would have been better. Even better I wish I had never been in this awful place. I should be in the care of elvaan midwives not in a forgotten part of a San d’Orian prison but dwelling on the bad hands dealt to me was not going to help. I shook my head as if to shake out the unhelpful sorrow and ran.
Gurok was just outside and when he heard and saw us running towards him he got up as quickly as a huge galkan paladin can manage. He just got to his feet as I crashed into him wrapping my arms around his waist and bursting into tears.
“Whoa now. Don’t cry. You’re out now and everything is going to be fine.” He patted my head nervously and gave Kammy a questioning look.
Peeking out I witnessed Kammy as she pointed at her belly and made motions to tell Gurok the baby was coming now. She spotted me spotting her and blushed cupping her hands over her mouth. “I’m sorry Alison.” She gasped.
I was about to tell her there was nothing to be sorry about but a contraction caught me off guard and I screamed as I crumpled to the ground. Gurok sat down with me and pulled me into his arms. “How in the world did you get her out like this? Someone could have told me and I would have come in and helped.” He was clearly upset.
“We needed you to keep a look out for soldiers just like we planned.” Kammy whined to Gurok. She whimpered to me. “I’m sorry Alison. I don’t know what to do.”
“I do.” Zerokb panted as he came out looking tired but none the worse for the wear. “I called Yamari and she said she could help. I don’t think Alison is ready for a long trip. I think the baby is going to come first whether it is good timing or not.”
“She can’t stay here.” Gurok barked as he picked me up and started walking south.
“I don’t know how much longer they can keep the guards ready before they get into serious trouble.” Tastywaffles muttered.
“Who?” I asked.
Kammy perked up. “I helped think of it!” she announced. Tastywaffles chuckled. “See we ‘borrowed’ things from the Orcs and everyone ever loyal to the Thumbmonkeys dressed as Orcs and captured near sighed old Palcomondau and his heartless friend Zovriace and tied them to trees. Those stupid old scouts never helped anyone anyways. Then they staked torches all over the woods to make it look like tons of troops were in there. THEN they marched out to the edge to the tree line and made tons of noise. They are dodging in and out of the trees and banging on shields in the woods to make it look and sound like huge hoards are just inside the trees outside the gates of snooty old San d’ Oria.” Kammy looked very proud. “Ok maybe I didn’t think of everything but I helped a LOT!” she smiled looking very happy with herself.
“We only have until the knights get tired of waiting inside the walls of the city for us to get clear. If they march everyone plans on warping away and leaving the knights there to scratch their heads and wonder what happened. Even if they are not the army of their glory days the knights still greatly outnumber us when united.” Tastywaffles explained.
“How far do you plan on walking with her?” Zerokb asked.
“As far as I need to.” Gurok said with a determined frown.
“You have about five minutes.” I whispered and Gurok nodded and walked faster as he surveyed the area.
“Beowulf you have to keep it up a little longer. I’ll call when we are clear and safe.” Tastywaffles said over a communication pearl.
“He knows not to use the linkpearl right?!” I said with alarm.
Tastywaffles nodded. “Yeah we’re only using friend pearls now. No linkpearl. Don’t worry about it. Yamari is here and is going to meet us in a sheltered nook in the rock near here.”
The baby didn’t take much longer to make her great entrance. My less than lady like vocalizations where drown out to the occupants of the city by the banging of drums, shields and whatever else they could come up with. By the end Gurok had blood trickling down his arm where my fingers had dug into his thick snowy white skin as he tried to be supportive. Permanent scars that would forever be a reminder of the day.
Yamari wiped off her little face and handed my tiny screaming girl to me. I looked her over and cried as I leaned against friends who were huddled near to see. As chubby a baby as I had ever seen she had fiery red curls on top of her head and her father’s perfect hume features. I held her close to my chest and the crying stopped as she looked up at me with steely blue eyes and wrapped her fingers around mine. “She’s amazing.” I said between tears.
“What is her name?” Kammy asked with wide mithra eyes full of astonishment.
“Hope.” I smiled. “My perfect little angel is named Hope.”
They allowed me a few minutes to hold her but clearly everyone grew anxious. “The soldiers are coming out to challenge the Orcs.” Tastywaffles said. “The Thumbmonkeys are leading them back to Fort Ghelspa but they are running out of time and the army is flooding the area. We have no time. You have to be gone.”
“I’m ready.” I said as I held Hope tightly in my arms.
Yamari bit her lip. “We need to teleport you out now but Hope doesn’t have the ability to teleport yet. I need you to let me take her and meet up with you right away.”
“Not a chance.” I said clutching my new infant.
“I love you. Trust me. You can NOT be spotted by them. They will not bother me. No one is looking for a hume baby. They would be looking for an escaped pregnant elvaan woman if anything. I’ll meet you within hours. Don’t worry.” She assured me.
“Ok Yams.” I said and I let her take my frail new baby from my arms reluctantly as my heart broke. I trusted Yamari with my life but my baby was harder let go. In an instant Kammy had teleported us away and the image of Hope faded.