Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Red As Any Blood--Part 37

Ryke stared rather worriedly at the port of Laodegan Town, where for some strange reason several recently constructed ships had been broken up and skuttled, blocking access to the port.  Even more worrying, a strange flag was waving from the walls.

Which struck him as being a bit bigger than they'd been previously.   This was... vaguely distressing.

Harban glanced at the harbor and clicked his tongue.  "Looks like we're too late."

Ryke regarded the ship's captain triumphantly.  "Oh, I'd say we're just in time."

Harban nodded slowly.  "Well, then, sir, may I ask how we're going to make landfall?  With the dock blocked off?"

Ryke gave a hearty laugh.  "I leave that sort of thing to those with expertise in it."

Harban frowned.  "By which you mean me."

"By which I mean you," agreed Ryke.  He smiled broadly at the man.  "Everyone has a role in the gods' grand design, after all.  You have yours, and I have mine."

Harban bit his lip, and nodded.  "I'll see what I can do."  He backed away quickly, making hurried motions towards his men. Ryke smiled to himself, and turned to regard Laodegan Town.  Opportunity was with him, once again, just as it had when he'd been arrested, five years ago.  The Gods pick out their champions, and I am one of them.  It seemed to him that a star was rising from the town, as if to presage his triumph...

That was when the fiery missile they'd launched landed just behind him. 

There was a great deal of shouting then, as the crew began to dump water on the burning pitch, Harban shouting orders to them the entire time.  As the flames began to die off, he glanced at Ryke.  "Those bastards are playing for keeps, aren't they?"

Ryke nodded. "And so am I, Harban."

Harban scowled at that.  "I... are you burnt, or singed...?"

"Not even scratched," said Ryke with a smile.  "I'm lucky like that."

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