Calamity Isis Mae Sensibility, Gina Wright & Panos Lambros
The fur pelts bunched and discarded littered the bed Panos and Calamity had risen from. The snowy world outside the bedroom windows continued to be isolating in the two hours which had passed, the curt symbols of power engraved on the glass ever an overt sign of Calamity's given dominion. The prince was quiet, watching the two girls with prideful silence. There was something he wanted to say as expressed by his face, yet he held it back.
The three of them could feel Jeon approaching, drawing closer to the royal bedroom. Panos stared at the door, pushing himself to his feet and adjusting his attire.
Calamity, able to stand again was fully able, albeit eyes weighed with the distant desire for further sleep.
Doctor John Smythe
Sharing the journey through the lengthy, intimidating masonry halls with 'Melvin', the doctor could begin a noticeable shift of status quo with men's voices echoing over one another from the floors below. As his steps brought him before the door the shouting continued, giving hint that whatever the problem was, it wasn't a brief affair.
"Something's not right here," Jeon scowled as he followed the Probe. "You could cut the tension with a knife."
As they reached the door, the Probe let go, turning to face Jeon and holding its right hand palm up as it pointed at it.
"So, this is it?" Jeon asked, some lingering doubts in his voice despite feeling the draw towards three figures that he knew were somehow behind this door, while stretching behind him he could "feel" Kevin and the King. His hand rose to knock on the door, but he paused, glancing down at the younger imitation of himself. "So how does one address a 'marquis', anyway?"
The Probe rolled its eyes, then knocked for him.
"Hello? It's the doctor!" Jeon called out. "Mind if I pop in for a few moments?"
Calamity Isis Mae Sensibility, Gina Wright, Doctor John Smythe, 'Melvin' & Panos Lambros
There was the sound of a bolt sliding, and then the door creaked open and half of a familiar face peeked out. The door swung back to reveal Gina, with Cal and Panos close behind. Cal was back on her feet, seemingly no worse for wear.
“Whatever you gave Cal, it worked.” Gina informed Jeon, sounding relieved, and Cal echoed the relieved sentiment with a grateful smile at the doctor; to her, still barely more than a stranger - but a stranger who had saved her from a terrible fate.
The Probe scowled ever so slightly. It was its nanite cocktail, not anything that Jeon had done.
Gina’s cautious smile turned to creases on her forehead as she registered the distant shouting.
“Have they found something?” she asked Jeon hopefully. “What’s going on?”
Panos, the young man eyeing the single adult in the room grabbed Calamity's hand with the new closeness of friendship. The fair prince's glossy brows raised while he listened to the commotion.
"That is not the help, those are the guards." the Lambros remarked in response to the overwhelming noises of men's voices and clanking footfalls.
Gina accepted Panos’ assessment with a nod. “Maybe they caught the Drac?”
"Are they coming up here?" Jeon scowled. "What's going on?"
Gina leaned further down the mason stair, trying to make out any voices among the commotion. The disorder of the sound was too difficult for her to hear anything clearly, but the guards were clearly moving urgently.
“Are you both okay to move?” she asked, glancing back at Panos and Cal. “I think we should see what’s happening.”
Cal nodded. "I think so. Panos?" she looked to the other royal. Her promise from the carriage ride flickered through her thoughts. It seemed her legs were healed now - but in her still weakened state, would she be able to fulfill it? While he took a moment to hesitate, Panos pulled his eyes to the nearby wall and nodded.
"Do any of you know why they're fighting the..." Jeon fumbled, then pointed at Gina, "...the Dracs? Who invaded who?"
"Does it matter right now?" Panos asked, a mild tone of skepticism flavoring his words.
“It’s not really a war.” Gina offered as they hurried down the stairs, “From what the adviser said, the Dracs just raid. If there was a real war the whole Drac nation would come down on us, which is why we were trying to convince the king to do something else...”
“From what I've gathered, this conflict has been going on a long time.” Cal continued. “They speak of the Draconians as though they're savage monsters, but if you'd seen what's within the dungeons of this fortress…” She shuddered. “I'm not sure who the monsters are. Maybe their raids began it all. Maybe they're retaliating because of what's been done to them.”
Cal stopped abruptly, the conversation calling forth a memory until now forgotten amidst the chaos. She grabbed Gina's arm, looking alarmed. “I forgot!” she said, “Rangel - the captain of the guard, he said the Dracs were planning a counter strike! We were going to keep the prisoner as a hostage, use him as leverage, but if he's escaped... If he gets back to his people, there's nothing to stop them attacking!”
There was a slap as Gina’s palm collided with her forehead. “That would have been good to know!” she blurted, twisting her fingers through her hair. “Oh jeez...we’d better find your captain right now!”
Some of the metal footfalls took more presence in the conversation as it drew close. Rounding the steps to Calamity's tower came three armored men. Confusedly they saw the gathering of people but brushed it to the side as they nodded to Calamity.
"Marchioness, the escaped Drac somehow helped an army of his bastard-folk inside our walls!"
"Maybe a portal, ma'am!" one of the other young men guessed aloud. At hearing this Panos' stomach knotted up. The first guard continued.
"They are in the first ring, our men are holding them back but innocents are in the crossfire. We've closed the gates to the castle. Sir Rangel is at the gate waiting for you. What are your orders?!"
Suddenly the fae-blooded teenager was thrust with the responsibility of her previous choices, and now a slew of new ones. On the exposed faces of the guards was sharpened focus and fear, intensifying their urgency for direction from Calamity.
“I... Uh..” Cal's face was stricken and white, panicked at the pressure thrust upon her. The girl struggled to process the information thrown at her, her heart pounding.
“The king, is he protected?” she said, sounding surer than she felt. Court matters and barking orders she could accomplish with ease, but of war she had no real experience. “Ensure he has a guard at once! And get as many innocents inside the castle as we can, there must be another way in? I will attend Sir Rangel... you three,” she turned to her companions, “You should get somewhere safe. This is my fault... None of you should die for it.”
Two of the three men briskly left in two different directions: one down the hallway ahead of them and the other from where the men had come from, going downstairs.
Gina’s expression wavered as she looked at Cal - wanting to argue, unable to do so in front of the guard. “As you wish, marchioness.” she said at last. “If there’s any way I can help, I will.”
"Kevin's friend Charlie carried me here through some sort of portal," Jeon said, glancing at the two. "I'm afraid I was unconscious at the time, but assuming the Dracs aren't using it now to get here, we could get the king and the others and take them through that back to the Capital?"
Gina nodded emphatically. “I’ll help you wake them up.”
"Melvin, do you remember where the portal that brought us here is?"
“You were in the kitchen when I found you.” Gina said, remembering Jeon laid out on the floor, and Charlie’s jovial explanation. “Just off the main hall.”
She looked to Panos, wanting to see if he would rather follow Cal’s suggestion or stick close to her side. She could hardly grudge him the latter. “Sir? What will you do?”
Panos crossed his arms, suppressing the rapid beating of his heart with a cool mask.
"Your army will be enough to push them out. It's only a desperate move from animal-men." The young man attempted to use his cutting words in a way to reassure Calamity. As his crystalline eyes turned away, the concern was evident however.
The Probe shrugged. Holding its hands in front of its face, it rotated both hands as if two doors were opening.
"Doors?" Jeon asked. "Back at the hall we left?"
The Probe rolled its eyes, then held up its hands in front of its face, this time palm out. It then lowered the hands until the palms faced the floor.
"A... drawbridge?" Jeon demanded. He looked up at the others. "Is there someplace where there's a drawbridge?"
Cal thought quickly, trying to remember if she'd seen a drawbridge anywhere within her... or rather, the real marchioness’ keep. "A drawbridge? I don't..." she stopped herself. She didn't recall a drawbridge anywhere, but in the presence of the guard, she could hardly say she didn't know if one was to be found here.
"Are you sure that's what he means? Boy?" she turned to Melvin. "Is it a drawbridge you are implying with your gesture, or something else? A trapdoor?"
The Probe shook its head. At least they didn't ask if it was blowing a kiss.
"Very well." Cal looked at the remaining guard. "Well?" she demanded, "What are you waiting for? Escort us there, first. I will continue to Sir Rangel when we have ensured my companions get where they need to go."
The man at her command furrowed his bushy brows as he stared down at her with great confusion.
Panos looked up to the man, then glared at the mute boy and to Calamity, She's making a fool out of herself!. Intervening, the prince grabbed Calamity's hand, squeezing it and grimacing. The urge to scream in fear and frustration was growing, but instead he urgently looked at his friend.
"Love, why do you not send them to the task and we meet with the Guard Captain?" He suggested with annoyance shot at Gina and now Jeon for the first time. Standing as he was, the guard shifted hips and cleared his throat.
"Marchioness, where was it you wished to go?" he asked with nervousness running through his voice.
"Marchioness," Jeon interrupted, "If I may? That bump you took may have left you a little confused. We do need to rescue the King and as many of his entourage while protecting their escape. Perhaps this man knows how they can get home so we can concentrate on fighting the enemy and calling up additional forces?"
Cal swallowed, her brow furrowed as the others spoke, each statement asking more from her, making her question herself further. She shook her head, trying to clear it.
"Guard," she spoke, still unsure of the right thing to do, but knowing she had to make a decision, "Take us all to the king. If you know of any way we can spirit him away, safely; inform my companions of it as we go. When I have seen them safely delivered to the King, we will continue to Sir Rangel. We have already had one invisible assassin amongst us; no-one should be wandering about without a guard at hand."
Plus, it would be quickly obvious I still hardly know my way around this place, if we go wandering off without a guard! she thought, regretting sending two of the three away so quickly, when they could have made unwitting guides.
The guard nodded obediently, though the steadfast impressions of his metal armor didn't outweigh the hesitation on his face. Turning quickly he led the party down the hallway straight ahead. Panos never let go of Calamity's hand, the blanched royal looking to his left and right occasionally as Calamity took the lead in their steps. The sounds from the lower floor thinned the further they continued and the steps of the men became fewer and fewer as they exited the castle.
"This is the safest place to be." the man leading said to Calamity, with a mix of overwhelm and nervous obedience.
"What stops them from entering?" Panos asked critically, taking the risk for Calamity to ask and thus saving her leadership.
"The gate, no one's going to get through it."
The way in which he said this had more confidence and matter-of-fact knowing, and Panos narrowed his eyes in on it. Placing a bet that things were hectic, and that he himself was far smarter than the man in armor, he wove a question to learn more yet not expose his ignorance.
"Is that what the Guard Captain says?"
"No marquis, but what I saw wouldn't be enough. They'd need more cold-blooded bodies to be butchered at the gate to get in."
“If they haven’t figured that out already they will soon.” Gina said as she hurried along with the others. “There isn’t any other way they could get in, is there? No-one’s seen them anywhere except at the gate?”
"No miss, less they cheat with more magic..."
"Perhaps they created their own gate," Jeon shrugged, glancing around. "Or they found another way in? An escape tunnel, perhaps?"
The Probe frowned at the doctor, then began scanning the area. If the attackers were cold-blooded, however, it was questionable what its sensors could pick up.
"So, how do we convince the king that now's the time he returns to the Capital?" Jeon asked, glancing around. Of course, if the King showed up alive in his palace, who knew what the Council would do to him? After surviving an attack here, he might decide to lay low for a while, again.
The guard leading the group kept silent moments after Jeon spoke, noticing no-one replied to the brown haired man the Zayan's questions were left behind. Coming into view within the expanse of a new masonry hallway ahead were three doors, tended by standing men with hands on their swords.
Three other metal-clad men were walking down the hallway of doors and around the corner of another hallway. Moving at a much quicker pace were humble aids carrying cloths, and buckets of water rushing from door to door. The man Calamity had sent off to protect the king came before the protected door on the left before the party.
"Our commander had already got things set for the king and your guests." he said with relief, the guiding guard looked back to Calamity herself, waiting for command.
One of the help, a middle-aged brunette, stopped as she noticed the arrival of these key figures. She was being followed by a young man no older than twenty with similar domestic attire and similar features, and together they hurriedly lowered their heads for the marchioness.
"Marchioness we've been told you wish to house your people being put in harm's way. Without Lady Lyina awake to heal them we will have difficulty..." Her faded-lined face looked hesitantly at Jeon. "Chatter says he's the man who healed the guests...we could use him.”
Panos turned his head to the side to conceal his irritation. Great, then separate us again. And they would lose the one adult among the collective of dazed teenagers. But, Panos knew if Jeon or Calamity resisted it would make things tense for both. Every one of Cal's decisions was going to create cause and effect with her power. Why is a woman in charge? he asked himself with a fluster of frustration.
Cal nodded, thinking quickly. She had hoped they would be able to remain together - but they were in the midst of battle now, and if they did nothing to help...
"Jeon, will you stay, and assist with the injured?" she asked. Their means of escaping this world, already unclear to begin with, were slipping further from reach, but if they just left without trying to help, wasn't that tantamount to causing this misery? At least here, Jeon would have the protection of the guards nearby. And once they had sorted out this mess... if they could, if they made it out of this alive... they would know where to find their new companion.
"Of course," Jeon replied, assessing the scene. "Of course, I wouldn't say no to...."
"We will attend the King, before I meet the Captain."
"...some assistance." Jeon sighed. "This is a long way from the shuttle." This remark earned Jeon a confused look as the domestic help stared at him with urgency.
Gina clicked her fingers, suddenly remembering. She fished around under her cuff and brought out the corked vial of smelling salts that Melvin had given her to use on the king.
“Maybe wake adviser Charlie up first.” she suggested to Jeon. “He’s got rank, he can help you get the others moving.” And unlike the others he’s not trying to kill the king. Probably.
"Excellent suggestion!" Jeon smiled wanly, surveying the crowd. "I'm sure he's around here somewhere...?"
Gina glanced down at Melvin, and hoped that the silent robot had more tricks up its sleeve than the walkie-talkie card that was currently up hers.
“I don’t suppose you can help us kill a bunch of Dracs...?” she murmured to the robot out the side of her mouth.
The Probe let its right eyebrow arch, then took a step back to stand closer to Jeon. What the doctor's connection was with these children it didn't understand, but absent orders from its masters, its duty was to protect Jeon and not let the Zayan out of its reach. If something happened to him, it would surely be stranded here. Besides, where was Jeon going to get all those ammonia inhalants?
These people are idiots. Panos' brows furrowed and he studied the guard and servants exchange of eye contact: Jeon and Gina seemed entirely oblivious.
"I am sorry marchioness." the homely brunette servant lowered herself with her opening words, "If it were possible, if the apothecary were able...awaking Lady Lyina would be absolutely helpful."
Though this name was brought up a second time in this conversation, the multiverse travelers had thus far not been introduced to a woman of that name. Panos thought about it carefully, but many details were jumbled by the trauma of one catastrophe following the next.
Using his lowered status once again, he helped the group, "And why is that? How will she help any more than an Adviser now if she's to be just awakened?" It was specific enough, yet vague enough to imply and search for what they would need, hopefully.
"Well, marquis," the woman hesitated, keeping her eyes down, "Mayhaps her healing magic would tend to her and others."
A flick of Panos’ blanched hair revealed his intense gaze upon Calamity while more decision making was set on her.
"Another healer, very good," Jeon said enthusiastically, nodding his head. It would be interesting to watch a healer at work, especially if they used magic. Maybe he could pick up a few pointers...? Of course, would any magic here work back home? "Good woman, could you point her out, I'm only recently recovered myself and I'm not very good with names....?"
One of the guarded doors opened and another servant came out. As he saw Calamity and the others he approached with a desperate smile, a cloth and a wooden water bucket at his side.
"King Kinglos' magician is beginning to stir." he said promisingly. He looked at Jeon, meeting eyes with the woman and young man briefly who nodded. "You must be the apothecary, it would be a great help if you gave him your care, sir." He bowed at the hip in submission of Jeon's class superiority.
"Maybe he could blow the fork-tongues to pieces." the group's escorting guard gritted his teeth, exhaling air to punctuate his statement.
"He needs rest," Jeon scowled, ignoring the guard. "Whatever knocked us out, he seems to have taken the brunt of it. With attackers in the keep, it's more important that we first revive this healer, Ms. Lyina? Yes. I could do with another set of hands, certainly. And tea, hot, with honey. She'll likely need it."
The young man who had come with the older relative hurried away at Jeon's word.
Gina squeezed her hands together. The castle was under attack and Jeon was talking about tea. Even she wasn’t that British.
This is an urgent emergency!
She gasped as the memory clicked. A woman with healing magic...she was suddenly sure she knew who lady Lyina was.
“The lady at the dining hall door.” she blurted at Jeon. “The blonde one, the one who said she’d healed the prisoner before we all got knocked out!”
She knew what she was looking for now - adviser Charlie in his silver and brown waistcoat, and lady Lyina with her blonde hair and pretty but tired face. She bolted from one archway to the next with the flask of smelling salts in her hand, shoving the heavy doors open and peering through just long enough to see if they were inside. Her path was initially blocked by the guardsmen who did not look down at her with trust. However as Calamity with Panos at her side approached the man opened it. Inside were the bare furnishings that the cold and dreary castle hosted for all its rooms. Lady Lyina lay on the bed with a woman sitting next to her.
"She is healing her." Calamity explained to the woman while Gina came up to the healer.
When presenting the smelling salts, the change in the blonde woman’s breathing told Gina it worked. Weakly pushing off some of the furs laying on top of her, the robed woman looked up at Gina with no recognition.
For a moment Calamity, behind her false stoic face, thought about this situation and decided to approach closer beside Gina. Panos, whose dislike of Gina was so potent, kept a few feet back with his arms crossed to keep away from the other teenager. Lyina's expression relaxed some at Calamity's sight, indicating familiarity.
"Lady marchioness. What happened?" the magic woman asked through a tired whisper, blue eyes searching the teenager through the candlelight.
Calamity hesitated, glancing at Gina to buy time. She decided that avoiding the question outright would be the best thing to do. "We are being invaded by Draconians. I need your healing now." She pressed a touch of leadership in her words, and the blonde woman was distracted enough to forgo her own question and begin to sit up.
Though Calamity still didn't know the layout of the castle and didn't know if the healer would heal the soldiers out in the field or the innocents caught in the middle of all of this. Either were just as 'innocent' in this case. Defaulting to buy more time, Calamity looked at Gina again.
"Would you bring her to the apothecary? I need to speak with the king." In this way she hoped Jeon would better direct the woman than she could.
"Everyone who was affected experienced a profound shock to their systems, myself included." Jeon said. "I've had a chance to recover, somewhat, but it'll help if when they're revived they can get some tea with honey in them, or failing that, a slug of brandy."
He paused to glance at the nearest guard. "You do have brandy or some sort of strong alcoholic spirits?"
The young woman with tan skin who had once been tending to the unconscious Lyina looked to Jeon, who could only find the guard outside the door, and he was unresponsive.
"O’doln had fallen..." The blonde woman gradually got to her feet, Calamity using a natural instinct to help the woman. She looked rather surprised but said nothing of it while she went on. There was a noticeable shift of tone in her voice as she spoke his name, one of deep concern and personal care.
"If I may, marchioness." She looked to Calamity. "See his condition and tend it?"
Panos wondered why everyone was obsessed with the wizard. It was best he kept down...
The black haired, fey-blooded Calamity shifted in her dress and recalled Jeon's words. His reasoning wouldn't work on a woman who could heal people with magic. She hadn't thought the woman would be focused on the red-haired man too.
"The king told us to keep his people safe." Gina broke in, taking an opportunity to divert the conversation. "The adviser, the cheerful one, Jeon says he used a portal to get here - could he use it again to get everyone back to the city?"
"The portal is one way." Lynia explained quickly, looking down and onto Gina while awaiting her answer from Calamity. "He would be able to return them."
'And expose us meanwhile' The pale prince bitterly thought.
Gina nodded firmly. “Then I’ll go wake him up.” Spying the guards at the doors, she looked at Cal and added for their benefit, “With your permission, marchioness.”
Calamity waved a hand tersely, turning on her heel to set her amethyst eyes on Gina. "Yes, go ahead."
Gina broke away from the group to resume searching the other rooms.
“Which room did you put adviser Charlie in?” she called speculatively to Cal’s servants, in the hope of speeding up her search. Taking her out to the hallway, the man pointed two doors down to the left.
As Gina disappeared, the young brunette man entered with a small bowl of honey accessorized with a wooden spoon. Hearing everyone speaking, he kept silent but raised the bowl for the doctor to take.
"Ah, excellent!" Jeon said, taking the pot of honey from the young man. "Lady Lyina will need this to keep her strength up, as will all the ones affected. Thank you!"
"Sorry sir, we will get the tea as soon as we can." the man promised the pleased doctor. Lyina, hearing her name, returned to focus and gradually stood up.
"Take the apothecary's help." Calamity instructed the blonde woman, using him as the distraction she intended. Walking away from the two of them, Calamity returned to Panos.
The blonde healer furrowed her brows, but nodded and set her blue eyes on Jeon, waiting for his assessment.
The Probe watched the newcomer impassively while secretly scanning him and the honey. There were assassins around, after all. There was nothing foul about the man or the honey, luckily.
"So, second order of business is to get someone to rig up a portal to return the King and his guests back to the capital while we do our best to help the defenders. Tell me, do you know what Lord Charles looks like? I could use a hand in finding him."
Lynia crossed her arms, worry growing on her face.
"Gina is already fetching him." Panos replied to Jeon, with a clenching of his bright teeth.
The healing magician nervously eyed Cal once, but it didn't stop her from heading to the door and thus away from Jeon.
"If I do not mend O’doln the guests cannot be saved." the woman said; her voice was filled with regret was going Cal's direct command.
Cal's teeth found the soft skin on the inside of her lip. Waking O'doln was a risk, but if they could not save the innocents here without him... with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, that they may live to regret what she was about to do; if they lived through this at all; she called after the woman.
"Very well, Lyina. Wake O'doln, inform him of my instructions. As many as can be saved, through the portal to safety. He should go make the preparations as soon as he as able. And you should return, to tend the wounded here, as soon as you have ensured he is well."
Now the princess turned to Panos, still ever aware of the responsibility she had to keep him by her side, and safe. "Now, we need to find the King, and tell him of our plan; get him out of here, too." It would not do for the King to fall, just when they had broken him of his drunken ways; not when she had damn near killed herself to do it. She nodded to the guardsman at the door.
"Lead the way. We will attend the King now." Lyina was very pleased, a quick apologetic glance at Jeon and the healer was quickly out the door. Having the doctor and the two royal teenagers follow the guard, Lyina quickly converged with them as their destination was shared: the guarded door next to them.
In this room the king was sitting bedside over O'doln. The man's pointed yet softly rounded ear was seen through his straight red hair as the magician twitched and shook in small movements.
King Kinglos and his security saw the important gathering of people and frowned at Calamity.
"All I have to offer him are my prayers." the man's regretful face held onto hers, his convictions beyond his bottle. Lynia ran over to O'doln's side, a hand to rest at the side of his face while she lowered herself next to him.
Panos observed the passionate look on her face. But his crystalline eyes returned to where they were glued - on O'doln. The long red hair pulled back to a memory all to fresh for Panos and his healed body. Against Calamity his hand held tighter.
"She is a lover of his, use her to keep him distracted" Panos nervously whispered into Calamity's ear. It would be in their best interest to keep him away from them - afraid of what the magical figure could do. His mind worked both in self preservation and crippling fear while he stared on. Cal squeezed his fingers in return, letting him know she heard his council.
"My Lord," she addressed the King aloud, "do not fear. Lyina is very capable - if there is a way to help him, she will find it. In the meantime, I have people organising an evacuation route from the castle. You should take it, My Lord. We will repel the Drac here, so have no doubt, but you should not be placed at risk, in the meantime."
The probe scanned O'Doln, noting his vitals. It was clear the drug was wearing off, as expected. How quickly he recovered from his treatment, however, it couldn't tell.
Glancing sideways up at Jeon, it wondered how the council would react. Would they accept that the situation had changed, or would they blame him for this 'failure'?
And how would it protect Jeon if they decided to go after him? It was only a probe assigned to watch over the Zayan castaway, it wasn't provided with the sort of weapons and defenses a combat unit would have.
Of course, a combat unit would never had to face something that could work magic.
"So how's the patient?" Jeon asked, his hands itching to see an eChart. "Been keeping him warm and comfortable, I trust?" Lyina had shut her eyes, beckoning into her palms a soothing white light bright enough to sharply pull attention which despite its brightness was tender to look upon rather than agitating. Her palms turned to O'Doln's chest and she leaned over, keeping her eyes on his face.
"It's startling, these monster men have never used a poison such as this. It is not fatal...it was their mistake" Panos' throat tightened. The entire situation was a staggering maze of suspense. Between the death by a thousand cuts that was their building suspicions in the castle and the encroaching warfare outside which was the easier one to deal with?
The king's eyes shifted over to Jeon a few times but looked firmly away. It was evident the man was displeased with the Zyan doctor. "No, this is the time to be here. Finally, with my people instead of always hiding" The black hair man nodded carefully to his rallying words. "I will be beside you young marchioness. Your leadership has always been the sharpest for this generation. I will rally your soldiers and you will defeat them and let those bastards know they will never come into Whitebar again"
'Was he an alcoholic or a martyring stupid idiot?' Panos had to speculate which was worse to deal with. Eyeing the magician nervously the young Lambros prince his jittery mind created many guesses as to what magic could do.
"A portal is open," Panos began with teeth clenched, "it wouldn't be difficult to think seeing our king would prompt them to bring something or someone from it to size the opportunity" he cast into King Kinglos' valor a possible and very painful pitfall.
"Mouthy," the king also found Panos to be an irritant, "O'Doln will know, I am lucky I keep him near me always" set in his newly adjusted ways, the royal man turned his head and attention onto the recovering magical man.
"You could stand to have a few more good people around you," Jeon observed, walking and kneeling at O'Doln's side, opposite of Lyina. The drone, with a faint scowl on its lips, followed him.
"Will it affect yer gift if I take hold of his wrist to check his pulse?" he asked the healer. "It lets me know how he's doing."
"Come to think of it," the doctor added, glancing at the Probe, "Melvin, have you a stethoscope in that pocket of yours?"
Cal was shredding the inside of her lip again, almost ready to simply fling her hands in the air and tell them all to do as they wished, and be damned for it! It seemed they were destined to be one step forward, two steps back on this journey... saving the king from assassination only to find he was killing himself slowly with his alcoholism, turning him to a better life only to see him determined to place himself on the front line of battle.
"I feel certain O'doln would agree with me, Lord," she said, her voice polite, just a hint of her frustration creeping from it. "No-one could doubt your bravery, or your commitment to your realm, but your people will be frightened, disoriented, when they flee here. They need you there to guide them, to let them know all will be well."
She saw the Advisers in bed together. A guard inside the room was watching them, for both were in a sad state. Kevin whose arse had been the subject of Melvin's quills lay face down with his head resting on his arms. Above the layers of blankets and furs he looked very uncomfortable and was keeping his face away from Charlie.
The finely dressed man was unconscious, breathing rhythmically, his black hair tossed in several directions in contrast to his dapper clothing. Kevin looked up to see who had entered.
"Tell him I won't forgive him." the cleanshaven late 40-something said with a huff, as if expecting Gina to be his messenger. "He shouldn't even have sent you, little girl." he said with hurt and offense caught in his voice.
I’m eighteen. Gina thought irritably, wondering what the king or Jeon had done that was so unforgivable. But she didn’t have time to waste.
“Sorry sir.” she said, forcing herself to keep her voice civil. “I was sent to fetch your colleague.”
She popped the cork on the flask again, and slipped a hand under adviser Charlie’s head to gently lift him towards the smelling salts. Kevin slapped at her wrist, knocking free the vial she held. Gina yelped in surprise as the vial went tumbling onto the ground. Cracking, its grainy contents spilled at her feet.
"And what is he needed for?" Kevin demanded an answer. As lame as he now was from his wounded backside, he still gave Gina a fight. The guard at the door watched the exchange with much more focus, and Gina could feel his eyes on her.
She bit back the urge to swear as the acrid smell of spilt ammonia tingled her nose and made her eyes water.
“The castle’s under attack, sir!” she snapped at Hedspeth. “They’re holding the Draconians in the first ring but we need a portal back to the city, and someone to see the guests safely through!”
Rebuked, Kevin looked down at Charlie.
"Getting him involved, is this a part of Jeon's foolishness? My dear apothecary could have used what you let slip onto the floor because he needs to wake up!" The councilman grunted in frustration. "Before you listen to anything he says maybe someone ought to check his health, his mind is out of it!"
Aware though she was of Hedspeth’s hatred for Charlie, something about his words began to nag at Gina. She began to worry that she had made a mistake.
“You should stay here sir.” she told Hedspeth, hurriedly. “It’s probably best that people don’t see you like this...”
Hoping that that would be enough to keep the injured, angry councilman out of the way, she rushed back out to rejoin the others.