Episode Thirty-Four: Barriers: Scene 4

We endured a stiff dinner, with Kanesha speaking only when spoken to. I took a cue from her and limited my own conversation to asking for condiments to be passed.


This was making Surtur practically froth at the mouth, and not because he was a horse with a bit in it.


“I think we made him mad,” I asided to her as we were escorted back to our gilded prison.


“Good. I think…”


“I think he’s actually more attracted to you than me,” I quipped.


“Gods no.” Pause. “I mean, you’re right, but eww. And I’m not just saying that because of parts.”


I laughed. “Oh, come on, the parts aren’t as important as…”


She considered. “The hair…you’re right. But still eww.”


“I agree.” The dog had somehow got out while we weren’t there. I was glad. I didn’t want him locked up.


And it was not like I would be sleeping alone.


Or, given the message, sleeping. I still wondered how she was going to get past the forcefield.


Or if she was.


She had dwarves with her. I wondered what they could really do in a pinch, if pushed. True, most of the amazing things I’d seen from dwarves had been enchantments that took time.




She did have dwarves with her. So I suppose I should not have been surprised when midnight was marked by a rather loud kaboom.


I had no idea what they had blown up. I did not want to know. Once we’d been left alone I’d changed into practical clothing.


Unfortunately, they hadn’t left Kanesha her original clothes. She was in the simplest dress in the closet. It was, I thought wryly, a good way to slow down a martial artist.


But I also suspected she could hold her own in the dress. I tossed a belt buckle out the window.


“Forcefield’s still up.”


“Then we go the other way,” Kanesha said grimly, one hand on the hilt of her sword.


“You realize…”


“That I might not survive this. I trust you.”


I wasn’t sure I trusted me, but Thruor was in the area anyway.


We positioned ourselves on either side of the door, and I dang near beheaded the maid who came through. “Ladies…ack!”


“Don’t scream,” I hissed. “You aren’t my enemy.”




“I know. Is it safe here?”


She nodded. I smiled…and pushed her into the room as Kanesha grabbed her keys. Then we locked her in. Hopefully she had been telling the truth.


Maybe she had intended to tell us more, but I did not want to or need to know. We started to move down the stairs.


The guards had all run away, or rather to deal with whatever the twins had explodified. (It’s a word now).


I kept moving. We might be able to get a good way without a fight.


No, I was not going to wait for rescue.


But I heard his voice behind us. “This way,” Kanesha said abruptly and pulled me into a closet.




“I’ve been suborning the maids while waiting for you. They have their own passages.”


I laughed a bit. “Good work.”
And indeed there was a door in the back of the closet, no doubt for moving linens around.


“The guards…”


“Oh, they’ll check here. Eventually. But he won’t.”


I laughed. “Doesn’t know all the secrets of his own palace.”


“He doesn’t care.”


I was distinctly amused, but moved into the servants’ passage easily. It was narrow by giant standards.
We were not giants.


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