Friday, January 25, 2008

Novel - Day 35 - 1,823 / 34,773

Kiri struggled to wake up Creance. He finally woke up. Groggy, he tried to understand what Kiri was saying.

“They know who I am and they have to know where we are. If they don’t, it wont be hard for them to figure out. We’ve go to do something and do it quickly.” Kiri said.

Kiri started to gather her belongings.

“I got help from the mayor and a couple of guys who I figured I could trust. I am trying to get these people to weaken Voler’s defenses from the inside; once the Envahir marches on Capital City they will take back the town. Anything we could do to improve our chances may help.

I hope that Epier catches onto what I asked the mayor to do and gives him some room to work. Otherwise, the mayor may fear that Epier will report back to Voler and be afraid to say anything or follow through with what I have asked him to do. Because I did not tell him that Epier could be trusted.” Kiri said.

“What are you having the Mayor do?” Creance asked as he climbed out of his bed.

“I wanted him to speak with the leaders in Capital City, explain what is happening, get them to prepare for the Envahir’s attack.” Kiri said.

Creance slowly got dresses as he listened to Kiri’s explanation of the night’s events.

“After that, I eventually ended up at Voler’s, trying to get what information I could. I was surprised and I fought with Lexa.” Kiri explained.

“That was the girl who was with you when you first arrived here?” Creance asked.

“Yes, I found out what had happened to her since she was taken from my bar before it burned. She told me about how Voler tortured her and she finally gave in and joined him. When I tried to leave, she stopped me and we fought. It was only by her being distracted that I could get the best of her.” Kiri said.

Creance’s face went white. Half dressed, he ran towards the door and outside. Unsure of what was happening, Kiri followed.

Creance looked around and yelled, “EVERYONE UP, WE MOVE IMMEDIATELY!”

Kiri saw lights come on and flaps open to hundreds of small tents which lined the field. Creance ran back inside as Kiri stood staring at the tents, until she realized that these were members of the Network and they must’ve arrived during the night while she was in the town.

Kiri realized that Creance had gone back inside. Kiri stepped into what looked like a war zone. Creance was running back and forth grabbing belongings and stashing them into bags. Blesser was trying to help but unsure of what to do.

“What’s happening?” Kiri asked.

“Voler and the Envahir know where we are. If your friend puts it together, they will change their plans and start over here before marching to Capital City. They could easily figure out where you are, Voler knows that I am with the Network; by now, with that sword, they know you are leading the Network. They may very well set out to wipe out The Network as their main priority.

The people who are in the tents you saw outside are a good portion of the members of The Network. They have been arriving throughout the evening. The plan was that we would gather here and then move on to protect Capital City. Now we have to move sooner, though we still have others arriving. Although, if we can arrive there before The Envahir; we may be able to place a number of our people on the inside.” Creance said.

Creance stepped outside, called for someone and a young man ran up to him. Creance spoke with the young man for a short time. The young man ran to his tent, grabbed a couple of things and ran off through the woods.

Creance came back in, “I just sent a runner to warn the rest of The Network that we had to move and have them meet us at Capital City.”

Creance threw some of the bags at Kiri and Blesser, “Follow me.”

They dragged the bags outside and a few hundred yards from the hut near a tree, Creance began to uncover a hatch. He took the bags and shoved them into the hiding spot. When Kiri looked at him, questioningly he said, “If they come, they’ll take everything and burn the hut. I’m trying to save everything I can. Remember, this is all I have.”

When they returned to the hut there were others there. Sallan was there with another man and two women. As they entered, Creance greeted them. He began to speak with them and then stopped abruptly.

“Kiri, would you join us please? This concerns you.” Creance asked.

Understanding that he would be intruding, Blesser excused himself and stepped outside. As Kiri approached the group, they bowed their heads and gave a small salute.

“Kiri these are some of the members of The Network’s committee or representatives of members. Sallan, you are familiar with.” Creance said.

“I was pleased to here how well your sword play went. I would like to hear more when the time allows.” Sallan said.

“This is Elaine, William and …” Creance paused, “and Marcia.”

Kiri shook hands with Elaine, William and Marcia. Marcia took Kiri’s hand in both of hers and said, “I have waited a long time for this.” Kiri smiled.

“There will be three groups.” Creance said, “Divide the people up in the best way you see fit. Elaine you will lead one group and William the other. The third group will be led by me, Marcia and Kiri. We will each leave via a different direction. We will position our groups in the areas we have selected. The six of us and any others of the committee will meet near the southwest of Capital City in two days to finalize any plans. The others who will be arriving later have been given these orders. If there are any changes, a runner will be sent. Are there any questions?”

Creance looked around at the small group. “We leave immediately.”

The group broke up and Elaine and William left, Blesser came back in, feeling that he was no longer intruding.

“I know that you haven’t had much time to rest but, we must leave now.” Creance said to Kiri, “ I promise that you will have time to rest soon enough.”

Creance handed Kiri and Blesser some clothes and a few other belongings. “Here, you will need these.” He also handed them a couple of traveling packs that were filled and had a small tent tied to them. They left the hut and Creance stopped and looked back into the hut, he shut the door, turned and started walking. With his sword strapped to his side and his traveling pack on his back he started towards the woods.

“Gather up! We move.” Creance called.

Quickly, about 20 people all with packs lined up near Creance and the others. Creance walked towards a path in the woods while Kiri and the others followed.

Kiri took some time to get adjusted to walking with the traveling pack strapped to her back. The walking was slow, especially in the dark. The trail was hard to follow. The only advantage they had was that there was a moon this evening. The moon allowed them to see the path or at least the person in front of them. Everyone had the responsibility to make sure they kept close to the person in front of them and keep the person behind them equally close.

They walked most of the night, only stopping a few times near a creek for water. They walked until the moon began to set and they were losing light. Everyone found a place to lie down and sleep. They did not spend the time setting up tents; they only covered up and went to sleep. A few guards were set to keep watch. Kiri found a fairly comfortable spot to lie down and as she began to drift off to sleep, she heard Creance and Marcia having a heated discussion.

The sun was already up when Kiri was shaken awake. Kiri sat up and looked around. She saw the woods surrounding them and saw others waking up and gathering their belongings.

“Here eat this.” Blesser said, handing her a piece of fruit, “I don’t imagine we will get much to eat while we are traveling but, from what Creance said, we should be at our destination this evening if we make good time.”

Kiri thankfully took the piece of fruit and enjoyed the meager breakfast. It wasn’t long before she had her pack back on and they were making their way through the woods. The woods began to open up and the path widened so that they could at least walk side by side at times.

“What were you and Marcia discussing last night?” Kiri asked Creance.

Creance looked at Kiri, appeared like he was going to say something and then said, “Now is not the time.” and walked away to avoid any more questions.

It was late morning when they stumbled upon two of The Envahir’s soldiers. The soldiers grabbed their swords and started towards Creance and Kiri. Kiri and the others dropped their packs and pulled their swords. When the soldiers realized they were grossly outnumbered, they turned and began to run away. Creance stepped forward and swung at one of the men, cutting open his side. As he spun around to see where the attack came from, Crenace swung from the other direction and took off the man’s head. The other soldier ran off into the woods, Kiri ran after him with Blesser on her heels. A few minutes later, they came back dragging an obviously dead soldier.

Creance called two men over and ordered them to search the area to see if these men were alone or if there are others. The men came back after a short while, reporting that these soldiers appeared to be a scouting party.

“By the time they are discovered to be missing, we will be far away from here. Remove their clothing and dispose of them.” Creance ordered.

They were moving again but, this time; it felt like Creance was trying to move them faster.

It wasn’t until much later in the day, near evening that Creance looked around the field they were in and announced that they would stay there. Everyone was busy erecting their tents and starting cooking fires. Kiri began to understand that not only were they hungry and tired; they were also trying to get everything set up before it was too dark. Kiri set up her tent and began to cook a meal.

The nest morning when Kiri woke, it felt much more like a normal morning.

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