They weren�t being closely guarded. After Leein had recounted the events in the rail yard it had been deemed too dangerous to hold them against their will. Instead, they were guests and potential allies. They accepted the situation, they were strangers in the city and did not yet know enough to comfortably make their way.
The larger man, Aurile, had picked up the language rapidly and now spoke it with the precision of a highly schooled lord. The other two weren�t learning so fast, but had their own idiosyncracies. The small man, Fynn, studied everything, seeing the smallest detail. The woman, Shara, was poised and dangerous even when, as now, she lounged in the bay window watching the city go by.
�We are explorers.� Aurile explained.
�From the South?� Gerryl had taken upon himself the task of questioning the strangers.
�No, not from the South.� Aurile smiled.
�We have heard of travellers from the Silver Tower.� Shara understood some of the sentence. She turned and gave the conversation her full attention. In all his years, Gerryl had rarely felt as nervous as when he had Shara�s attention.
�I believe it is possible we are seeking the Silver Tower. We know exactly what we are trying to find, but cannot be sure how your culture refers to it.�
�You make it sound as if we are primitives.�
�Hardly. You are no more a primitive than we are the gods a primitive would worship us as. We are somewhat nervous, however, that you may have trouble comprehending our story.�
Fynn, who had been listening intently, stood and walked to the door. He said something to Aurile. �There appears to be a commotion in the building. You are about to have a visitor.� There was the sound of feet almost running down the corridor then the door opened just as Fynn stepped aside.
�Aylo! What are you�.� Gerryl cut himself off. Aylo was a good troop and would not come to the headquarters without fair reason. The younger man slapped a piece of paper on the table and stood back. Only then did he take in the room�s other occupants. For a moment he thought Shara�s stare was something other than dangerous.
�I do not understand the language that well, but�. This is an order to liquidate a whole neighbourhood.�
�Yes, and I believe they are serious. Boran will give his life when the discover he leaked it.�
Aurile had taken the sheet and was reading it. He turned to confer with his companions.
�It seems your assessment of him was correct.� Gerryl conceded, for what little comfort that afforded Aylo.
Aurile turned back from his conference. �We would like to help you.�
�Yes. It is not entirely altruistic. Perhaps, if we all see this through, you can help us.�
Yesterday’s Seeds, hot off the keyboard, so I apologise for any grammar mistakes etc.-
�Visibility is excellent. We should be able to see it soon.� Jay was brim full of excitement. She strained closer to the glazing for a better view.
There were enough ships down below, steaming in the same direction as they flew or arcing off on patrol patterns. Black dots of planes looped around something just beyond the horizon.
It resolved out of the grey haze where sea met sky. A cream coloured island high in the water with tall cliffs. Except that an island didn�t leave a wake.
A trail of disturbed water, at an angle to the prevailing direction of the waves, stretched back from the island toward them. A number of ships, made tiny by comparison, flanked the island. It was about the size of a military airfield, large enough that a skilful heavy bomber pilot could put down on it, though with a very narrow margin for error. There was a diamond pattern runway layout and block shaped buildings.
�Killer Wasp flight to Heavensent. Request permission to land.�
�Permission granted. Light wind from the North East. We have lit up runway two for you.� What they had actually done was raise flags at either end of the runway.
Reed switched channels. �Okay everyone. You can see the runway. We don�t want to disgrace ourselves do we? Land in number order.� He wanted to get down and investigate their new base. He was almost as excited as Jay.
Reed brought the Wasp down gently. The runway surface rumbled under the wheels. At the end he turned and taxied into the indicated bay. After another long haul flight they unfastened and climbed out stiffly.
There was only one person in their welcoming committee, but she looked as good as ever in a flight suit and with a recently acquired suntan. Serena saluted Reed, then broke with protocol to rush over and hug him. �I told them to recruit you! They made me wait forever.�
Reed put her down, his stiff joints weren�t ready to hold her weight. �Every step of the way here I have been waiting for you to pop up and explain it all.�
The second plane had landed and was taxiing over. Serena gestured and a second greeting party headed over. �Oh, hello.�
�You must be Reed�s new bombardier.�
�Yes, I replaced you.�
Reed felt like he was entering battle. Serena broke out in a huge grin. �Excellent. I had arranged shared quarters for you, just in case. Come, a walk around will loosen you up.�
No More AOL cds Personally, I use them as coasters. But these guys have a mission, collect a million of the annoying shiny things and return them to AOL.
I’ve actually been paid to spend the whole day surfing. This borderline cyberloafing is for a purpose, I’m hunting for funding for a hospital project.
Things I discovered-
I was almost as surprised to find that a Procter & Gamble exceutive hadn’t sold his soul to satan as I was to discover the company participates in animal testing.
The Guardian is controlled by a Trust set up to get round death duties that would have shut the paper down.
The Countryside Alliance really are scary. They’ve got data on all their ‘opponents’ that would make a Police state envious.
There’s a man in Cambridge with a huge collection of old computers so that when the first museum of the PC is built they won’t have to hunt out rare boxes.
Cocaine production is one of the largest causes of deforestation in the Amazon. Angus Deayton and John Leslie have got a lot to answer for.
It’s the tower blocks in Salford that make it rain in Manchester. Damn those scallies!
Apparently, Alnwick is the nicest place in the country to live. I’ve never been, so I won’t argue.