Ch. 386. Turbulent and Calm Waters

Y’lanna hung onto the side of the boat as the crossbowman loomed above her inside the boat. He had the expression of a Dirt Joloth, a kind digging marsupial native to the Cerebral Moon, suddenly getting inundated with water — completely stunned and having lost sense of direction. However, when the crossbowman did find his orientation again, Y’lanna found the crossbow pointed directly into her face.

This was the first time she had seen a crossbow up-front. It was a relatively simple design in which potential energy stored in the strings could quickly and efficiently be transformed into kinetic energy which would be transferred to the bolt. A simple but still deadly weapon, at least without the proper protection. In her world, such a weapon would not penetrate the most basic and simple of personal shields, let alone make a scratch on combat armour if it did make it through.

However, those were things that she didn’t have, shields or armour, and the crossbow would tear through flesh, brain and bone. Even then, at home, basic medical treatment could have easily dealt with the injuries. Here it was another matter altogether. Which only seemed to remind her of the reason that she was here to begin with, her desperate act for freedom. She had many decisions to make and not much time to make them.

“You know…” Y’lanna started to speak hanging casually off the side of the boat with a crossbow aimed at her head as if it was the most natural and comfortable position in the world. “I was starting to like this place. I had met your crewmates, your captain, and I had thought La Danse Calinda had a grace and beauty all of its own; but if this is how you treat your commanding officer then perhaps he is better off without you. He is your First Officer. He and your crew are who knows where, probably struggling for their lives under the water, and all you care about is a piece of paper? A piece of paper that has surely been enchanted and that you have no idea what to do with, at least without your First Officer. Now stop this nonsense and lift me back into the boat. I’m soaked!”

She ended with a hard and authoritative tone as she spoke, transitioning from the random musings to going in for the kill, at least metaphorically. Weaken their resolve, make them question what they are doing, and then come in with a suggestion or direction, distracting them from their former path and reshaping it to one more suited to Y’lanna and her ally Thimble. Or was she Thimble’s ally? Semantics aside, the outcome should be favourable to both of them.

Lotye, even though the young Eorman girl had stayed quiet, had not remained unnoticed to the keen-sighted Selkie lookout, Ionas Farseer. He had to admit that her plan was better than his, even though they were trying to achieve the same thing. He had just approached it from a different angle.

His plan, despite not being able to fully explain it properly, was not to use the Calinda as cover for a fight, but as cover from sight. To remove the benefit of battlefield knowledge, knowledge of exactly where people deployed and how many were deployed. However as a better plan now existed, there was little point in attempting to explain or clarify his position.

The question was, what would the Ereonis brothers, say? They were the ones here with the most legitimacy. Political, miltary and magical legitimacy were fully encapsulated in each of the three brothers.

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