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Old Jun 8 2006, 08:05 PM   #24
Greenrider Tresa
The Contrary
Planetary Brain
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Northern Indiana
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Fan of: The Ship Who Searched
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Default Re: All At Once - Pern fanfic

Ly briefly told Tsi how Rashid had been rescued from his so-called uncle's clutches, recounting the attack on Balin with a smile that didn't reach his eyes.
Carefully hugging Rash, Tsi smiled down at him, tears blurring her vision. "Rash..." she said softly, a lump in her throat as she blinked back her tears, taking note of his injuries.

Rashid, looking up at his parents, smiled. "Don't cry, Mom. I'm fine," he said, knowing that that was a lie, but he didn't want his mother to burst into tears on his account. "Are we going home?" he asked, looking from one parent to the other, getting nods from both.

"Can I see Libby first?" he asked, before adding, "to say that I'm sorry."
Closing her eyes, Tsi nodded, saddened that her son would feel so much guilt for all this. If anything, it was Balin's fault, not Rash's. And she wondered if that meant it was also her fault, as she had initially suggested that Pyralis be nominated as Lemos' Heir apparent on his grandfather's death, displacing his uncle Balin.
Ly knelt beside Rashid, looking over his son for himself and stroking his hair. "Hush now, none of this is your fault. If anything, it's mine for not making sure Balin was out of the way in the first place," he said, trying to be gentle. He was angry at himself, not Rash. "Just rest quietly now."

Opening her eyes, Tsi looked at Norolan, stricken by his appearance. Here was yet another misdeed to be placed at her brother's feet. And Libby would certainly hold it against him that her husband suffered at his hands.

"How're you, Norolan? Certainly look as if you'd seen better days," she said lightly, a wry smile on her lips. "Know Libby's anxious to having you back," she added, smoothing back a strand of hair from her son-in-law's forehead, compassion in her eyes. "Think it's time to go home," she said, standing.

A senior guard approached the small group, but hesitated to interrupt until they were done.

Norolan closed his eyes, a small smile forming on his face. "I miss her very much. I think the only thing that's gotten me this far is the thought of her." He felt his lower lip start to shake. He looked up at her, then to Lysandre. "I'm sorry I wasn't able to keep Rash safe. I tried."

Ly leaned across Rash so he could touched Norolan's shoulder with his fingertips. "No, don't apologize. You coudln't have anticipated this, none of us could. I assumed Balin had gone off and drunk himself to death and who was to have known he'd get mixed up with this sort, planning vengeance?" He didn't know if Norolan knew about Gaheris, but the younger man did look as if he'd been done over by someone with a personal vendetta.

Norolan was so relieved they didn't hate him for all this. He glanced over at Rash and gave his brother's arm a touch, showing he was sorry for all this and would make it up to him somehow. "Have you found my brother yet?" He turned back to Lysandre. "And are there guards at Akhenaten? He's likely to go after it if he hasn't been captured yet."

Lysandre stopped to look around the room before answering Norolan, having failed to check for Gaheris's presence earlier. The guard who had been waiting for his attention cleared his throat. "Ah, that's part of what I wanted to say, Lord Lysandre. We haven't seen Gaheris anywhere, and we've checked all the caves that weren't flooded or blocked off."

Lysandre's mouth tightened. "Then he may have escaped. We'll have to keep an extra close watch until we know for sure." He looked back at Norolan. "Yes, several guards stayed behind to protect Akhenaten, as well as Skybroom, though most are here."
Norolan's face twisted in a grimace, and he sighed. "If Gaheris is found, I would like to deal with him personally." He touched his forehead, and winced when it pulled at his wounds. "Would only make me as bad as him, but I want to let him have a taste of what he did to me." He was at least glad there were extra guards at both Akhenaten and Skybroom.
"That is your right," Lysandre agreed, nodding. "And I know Tsi and Kiyia would like to mete out their own punishment to Balin, supposedly their brother. All I ask is they wait until after the trial." He gave Tsi an understanding look. Realizing the guard had more to say, Ly looked up. "What is it?"
"How do you want us to transport the prisoners? And where do they go?"

Ly didn't have to think long about that. "If they can walk, make them, but tie a rope around their waists to keep them together in groups, with at least one guard leading and one following. Injured get tied to runners," he said. "Skybroom has more space to hold prisoners, so we'll take them. Norolan?" he asked, inviting his son-in-law's opinion and input.

Norolan didn't need to take long to consider his response. "Yes, I'd rather they go to Skybroom." Norolan took a shallow breath. "I think we should go to Akhenaten to be treated," He indicated himself and Rashid; he really didn't care about Balin or Volen. "it's closer and.. I really need to see Libby."

Ly nodded again at Norolan's suggestion. "My thought exactly. And...I'd like to see Libby too," he admitted. "We'll delay the trial until you're recovered enough to participate. That gives me time to get the cooperation of a few of the other Lords."
Thinking, understanding, reasoning, willing, call not these
Soul! They are its actions, but they are not its essence.

Akhenaton? (c. B.C. 1375)
Egyptian King and Monotheist

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