Nature Abhors a Vacuum
we do?” Nellise said nothing, and simply leaned heavily on Pacian. His old friend had
something to say on the matter though.
“We can't leave her here, not after what she just did for us,” the blond rogue stated.
“Do you think you can carry her?”
“I guess I can try,” Aiden replied dubiously. He glanced hopefully at Colt, who gave
him a level stare in reply to his unasked question.
“Yes, I can definitely try,” Aiden muttered to himself. He reached down and picked
her up with both arms, and was shocked at how light the girl was. Even in his weakened
state Aiden figured he could carry her for a while at least. Silently, the weary group
trudged off along the path into the deepening darkness, leaving the bloody remains of
their struggle behind them to be covered by the falling snow.
They struggled on through the freezing conditions, their path illuminated only by the
dim glow of Nellise's prayer of light. According to Colt, the fort was less than an hour
away under normal conditions, but given their injuries and the terrible weather, it was
probably going to take a good deal longer than that.
Roughly half an hour after the fight, Sayana stirred weakly in Aiden's arms. He
called for the others to stop while he tried to determine if she was all right, and
discovered a few moments later that she was indeed conscious when the wild girl
punched him in the face. There was no strength behind the blow, but that wasn't the point.
“Hey, take it easy,” Aiden protested, “my face may be numb from the cold, but it's
still the only one I've got. How are you feeling?” The tenseness left her body as she
slumped in his arms once more, trembling like a newborn calf.
“Sorry, I just reacted,” she whispered. “I'm so hungry… have you any food?”
“Not really, but we're almost at the fort and we'll have all the food we can eat there.”
She didn't reply, but instead slowly reached a hand up towards his neck. Aiden flinched
slightly, unsure what she was trying to do, but it became obvious she wasn't going to try
to hit him again. Her hand touched him briefly, and then followed the thin chain around
his neck and lifted it, revealing the piece of glass taken from the strange globe he had
shattered years ago.
“What is this?” she asked.
“Just a keepsake from something that happened to me years ago,” Aiden replied
dismissively, noticing the curious glances of his companions around him. Sayana touched
the glass with one finger, and to everyone's surprise, a faint glowing light could be seen
along the skin on the back of her hand, tracing a line along her arm and disappearing
underneath her animal hides.
Aiden was about to ask her about that when her hand slumped and she fell
unconscious again. The light along her arm disappeared, leaving the group puzzled as to
what they had just seen.
“I'd love to stand around in the freezing cold and talk about that,” Pacian muttered
sarcastically, “but Nel isn't getting any lighter. No offence.”
“Answers will come in the morning, after a hot meal and a good night's sleep at an
inn,” Nellise whispered, drawing the silent agreement of everyone else there. The
mystery of this strange girl would have to wait.