Friday, May 08, 2015

Bonus Scene 6 - The Restorer

After Chapter 21

Wade's efforts to protect Susan when she's taken to Lyric


The transport pulled out, and I caught a glimpse of Susan’s face through the window. Terror creased her brow. The fear in her eyes was almost worse than when Tristan had first introduced her to us at Ferntwine. I paced. When would the next transport arrive? The schedule would be off because of the Council guard commandeering it.

Finally, I settled onto a tree stump, got out my whetstone, and sharpened my blade. Tristan drummed it into all of us that the simple disciplines made a guardian effective. The stone scraped along steel in a comforting rhythm.

Straightforward dangers are fine. It’s why I became a guardian. Innocent people need defending. I certainly don’t have the brains to be a builder or transtech, or the leadership to be on the Council, or the ear to hear from the One like the songkeepers. Put a sword in my hand and point me in the right direction—that’s all I need. But in the last few seasons, the situation in the clans had grown as muddy as the clay pits near Shamgar.

Turning my sword, I worked the second edge. First Tristan had disappeared and the Council had started asking questions. Then Susan had come along, igniting questions about Restorers—an idea partly exciting but mostly confusing, especially since she wasn’t what the clans needed and didn’t at all fit the sort of protector that the One promised.

Then more Rhusicans were allowed to roam about the clans. As if Kendra’s experiences weren’t warning enough. And somehow, one of them had even gotten his twisted fingers into my skull. I shivered and lifted my sword, sighting down the edge. Still straight and true. At least my sword was reliable.

Sometimes it seemed like the whole world was shaking to its very foundations. Too much going wrong in too many ways. And today one of the Council Guard had taken the Braide Wood Records. His explanation about consolidating them in Lyric hadn’t calmed Lukyan. I’d never seen the old songkeeper that upset before. I had run to warn Tristan, but that had only led Case and the others to him. Now Tristan had given me one simple task, and I’d already failed.

The sky moved toward a midday glow before the next transport pulled up. I bounded on board. I would have gotten out and pushed if my efforts would have helped move it faster. But I eventually reached the Lyric stop. The next challenge was to figure out where Case had brought Susan once they’d reached Lyric. They’d said the Council wanted to meet with her, so I strode quickly to the Council tower. I needed someone like Kieran. He could talk people in circles and confuse them enough to get past.

One of the Council guards was someone I’d trained with when I was a first-year, so I decided on a direct approach. “Well met! Haven’t seen you in a while. How has your posting in Lyric been treating you?”

He didn’t relax from his stiff posture at the door, but he grinned. “Not bad. How is everything back in Braide Wood? What brings you to Lyric?”

“An assignment from my captain. I need to find Case. Have you seen him?”

He gave a tight nod. “Yesterday. He’s here often. Haven’t seen him today, though.”

“All right. Thanks. Maybe someone inside can help me.” I squeezed past him without waiting for an answer.

Every time I’d been in the Council tower, my collar felt too tight and my boots too dusty. I ignored the slickly dressed, important-looking people moving along the halls and made my way to the Braide Wood council office.

No one had heard of Susan or the orders to bring her to Lyric. And the junior council member who talked to me made me feel like I was an annoyance who was wasting her time. Why couldn’t I have been given a straightforward assignment? Like patrolling the River Borders with Dylan.
Thinking of Dylan reminded me of Linette. She spent a lot of time in Lyric, preparing for the large Gatherings. She might have what I needed—some wisdom about my next step. I headed for the worship tower.

Lukyan would be proud of me. When I was a pup, he used to smile and tell us all, “When in doubt, go to the One.” I sure hoped the One, or at least his songkeeper, would have an idea about where I should look next.

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