Friday, May 15, 2015

Bonus Scene 7 - The Restorer

After Chapter 24


Below my window, bedraggled people from a variety of clans made their way toward the tower. Drumbeats carried from the end of the street. I would normally put in my appearance along with other prominent leaders. But everyone’s preoccupation with the gathering provided a perfect time to begin my greatest project—transforming the records.

I turned to Medea. “Wait here.”

She nodded vacantly, tracing her hands along the smooth limestone wall of my office, staring at something I couldn’t see. Had she heard me? Lately, I was often uncertain. While she possessed the power and brilliance of a hundred magchips, she was also as unreliable as a shorting connection.

Rationality flickered on and off and in her, but that only added to my fascination. Besides, my plans relied on her help, and her abilities were breathtaking to watch.

I shook my head and hurried down to the lower levels. All the more reason to make the changes to the records. That alone would finally free me to pursue my agenda to strengthen the clans.
Our clans were stuck—trapped—by extreme adherence to the outdated Records that kept us from competing with the nations around us in weapons’ progress. If those stubborn old songkeepers were more willing to compromise, I wouldn’t have had to take such drastic steps.

Surely the One who watched our clans also understood my choices. After all, He had appointed the Council to protect the people, and that’s exactly what I was doing.

My heart pounded against my temples as I made my way down the dark hall to the hiding place. So close at last. Seasons of planning and effort, and finally my greatest achievement as Chief Councilmember was within my grasp.

I paused to be sure no footsteps echoed on the stairs behind me. No one was following. I brought up the lightwall and stepped toward the alcove.

Empty. The Records I'd collected and hidden had disappeared.

Fear wrapped insidiously into my thoughts. Could the old stories be true? Were the Records really linked to the One’s tangible presence in some way? Had He taken back the Records I’d so carefully collected?

I choked back a laugh. Ridiculous. I forced my pulse to slow to match the throbbing drums that murmured in the distance. There was only one explanation, and it wasn’t a supernatural one. Tristan.

He’d been in Braide Wood when my men had arrived to take the records. He would have understood the implications. But would he have dared to disobey the Council’s orders for him to report to the River Border? Angry as I was at the missing Records, grim satisfaction built in my chest. Tristan didn’t deserve to be a guardian. I’d tried to prove that to the Council, but each effort had failed. But if he’d ignored their direct orders, I’d finally have what I needed to destroy him. Especially when combined with the evidence that addle-witted Susan had provided.

I took the stairs two at a time and rushed back into my office.

Medea spun slowly in the center of the room, her chin tilting up and hair spilling down her back. Her skirt flared around her ankles as she turned again and again.

“We have a problem,” I said.

She kept spinning, but a smile lit her face. “Oh, good. Puzzles are lovely.”

I touched her shoulder, and she slowed, finishing her turn to face me. “The Records are gone,” I said.
 “But we can use this. I’ll need your help at the Council meeting. Are you ready?”

She pulled a dagger from her boot sheath and smiled. “I’m very ready.”

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