Episode Thirty-Three: Taken: Scene 18

Because of that, I did not draw my sword, but swung to the side and grabbed her arm. Mike was shielding the kid.


“We’re not your enemy.”


“You came to take her away!” she screamed.


“No. We did not.”


It had been a mistake to follow the dog, I thought. Or not. We knew now that something was going on here, some new tyranny. Something dishonorable. “He took your husband.”


“He demanded so many warriors. Or he would…raze us.”


I released her. “We mean no harm to you or your child, and if we can get your husband back, we will. He has mine too.”


Which was loosely true.


“You are…not even one of us. Or are you?” She did not seem entirely sure on the matter.


“He has kidnapped the one I love. Nothing else matters.”


And she lowered her hand. “I…”


“Don’t help us. Don’t tell anyone we were here.” I smiled. “Well, you have already helped.”


It was a dark thing that was happening, but it was something they would not brook. Like a horse with too harsh a bit they would rebel. Rebel and run or fight?


The kid couldn’t fight. The mother probably should not. He had probably taken those who were in the best position to fight.


She closed her eyes. “Thank you. Whoever you are.”


“Not a friend. But perhaps an ally.” Which I could offer. We slipped outside.


“Just a scared kid,” I told Thruor. “Surtur’s resorted to conscription.”


“That’s good. It means their heart is not in the war. Or their heart is not in following him. Either way…”


“Either way we might be able to use that.” I kept my tone quiet, but grim. “Let’s keep moving. Before these people get into trouble for sheltering us.”


She winced, but nodded. There was a road to the capital.


We did not plan on taking the road, of course. It would be watched. But its course would help us navigate, on foot, through unfamiliar terrain.


I hoped…even prayed…that we would not take too long.


Would he start the war without me?


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