12th of Wealsun, 383ONT, 3:19am, City of Itocoztli, Bendu Island.
Thaden leaned over and threw up again. There was so little inside his stomach, but still his stomach felt like it needed to expel something and so dry heaving wracked his fragile little body. Fatigue overtook him and he slumped into the hay, getting a whif of the refuse from a previous occupant that sent him into another round of heaving and convulsions. Aury reached through the cave, trying to comfort her friend. His fur was soaked with blood and sweat, many wounds were still open, and sitting in that dirty cell would not be helping his health.
“We have to get you out of here” she declared. Over the past few hours they had been moved forward twice… it appeared there was a sacrifice every hour, and so they had some time yet before their lives were to end; but by the looks of things Thaden would not last that long.
“I’m se se se ssssorry…” Thaden shivered, his teeth beginning to chatter as he tried to speak “I ca ca ca can barrrrrly fe fe feel the weeeavvvvvve” the Guard Mouse curled into a ball fighting through the shivers. Aury knew Thaden well enough to know that this must be incredibly bad, he was not the type to play up an illness, not at a time like this. She cursed that the Iods had taken her Holy Symbol, she could not pray, could not regain her powers without it.
“Herupu ga mitsukaranai baai, Gādo Mausu wa sugu ni shinde shimaimasu” the Inoshishi said from his cage. He looked at the small boar, brown fur with two small white tusks, he barley fit in his cage.
“Do you speak any other language?” she asked, hoping that perhaps the board would understand her and give her some hope
“Mōshiwakearimasen, watashi wa rikai shite imasen” The creature said, giving her a shrug that a head shake. She sighed, she needed to get out, needed to get Thaden out… even if she could get out of her cell, and he out of his, they’d never be able to fight their way out of the city… and even then they were still on the island filled with giant fish and snakes and poison trees and let’s not forget about the lobstroaties.
“I wish I had my revolver” she said making a gun with her fingers and pretending to shoot the lock off the cage”
“Watashi ga watashi no katana o motte itara, watashi wa kono saibō o arashimasu. Kanashī koto ni, soko no tatemono no naka ni arimasu” Okamura said making a cutting motion with his hand at the lock, mimicking her gun one, and then slumping his shoulders as he pointed at the building across the road. Aury stared at him for a long moment
“Is your sword across the road?” she asked excitedly
“Watashi wa anata o rikai shite inai, gomen’nasai” Okamura said with a small head shake, she didn’t wait
“Ya Ya, you don’t speak common… Is your sword…” she made the cutting gesture he did “in that building over there?” she asked again pointing to the building across the way. She belatedly mentally kicked herself, she was doing the thing she always told Tar-Di not to do which was speak louder when someone doesn’t understand you. That aside Okamura seemed to perk up excitedly
“Katana” he said making the cutting motion
“Yes!” Aury said with relief coming to her, “Katana… Sword… Is Katana…” she made the cutting motion “…over there” she pointed at the building
“Watashi no katana to kiki wa soko no tatemono ni arimasu!” he said excitedly pointing at the building she did.
“OK” she said, clapping her hands together, “we are in business now” she rubbed her hands together excitedly, going through what needed to be done. “Step 1, get out of the cell, Step 2, get across the road and past the two Mantis guards, Step 3, fetch my revolver and my things and bring down some righteous pain on these assholes, Step Four break out Thaden and Okamura and collect their stuff. Step 5 conduct the world’s greatest escape while fleeing this wretched city, Step 6 get off this damned island and get back to the ship! Ok Aurelia… that’s not too bad, six simple steps, its more steps to bake cookies then what you want to do… this shouldn’t be so bad” she looked around her cell and took a deep breath, steeling her nerves she reached under the hay and began to feel around the floor of her cell “Gross” she groaned as her hands passed through something squishy, still she kept to her task until she found at last what she was looking for. A loose piece of flooring, little more than a splinter, but it would to. Carefully she worked at it with her fingers, prying and wedging, making sure it didn’t break too soon. At last she had a fiber of wood, maybe a tenth of an inch in length. She looked at it carefully and pulled at the seams breaking the piece is half lengthwise. They were frail, but the locks looked heavier than they were well constructed, hopefully these could work the tumbler on one. She turned to Thaden and spoke to him gently “Thaden…. Thaden… are you still with me?”
“mmmmmm I’m a a a a a alwaysssss withhhhhhh you Auuuurrrrrryy” the Guard Mouse chattered.
“Ok Thaden… hang in there… I’m gonna get us out of here” she said to him
“iiiiiii’llll calllllll ffffffffffffor help” he said deliriously
“You do that buddy, you just keep hanging in there… help is on the way” she said. Aury turned back to the lock peering left and right before focusing on the lock itself. There were so many Iods about that it looked like no one was watching her specifically… it appeared that the second her door opened however she would be in the thick of it. She took a few steadying breaths and then began to pick the lock. It took an agonising ten minutes, but at long last she her the gently Ca CHUNK of the lock opening up. “Ok Thaden, looks like we are in business.” She said getting her feet underneath her
“Aury” the mouse said, using a great feat of will to suppress his shivering for a moment “Please…. Hold onto this for me… whatever happens, make sure Thalion gets it…” the Guard Mouse reached into the rusty matted brown fur and appeared to reach into a wound he had been given. From inside the wound he pulled forth a tiny cube. His shivering hands held it out to Aury. Carefully she reached between the bars and took the little cube, it was warm and drenched in the blood of her companion, it had been inside of him. She looked it over before wrapping it and carefully stowing it into a pocket.
“What is it?” she asked
“I don’t know. Ssssssomthing must be done witttthhhhh it. Ssssomthing very important, at the ttttttttemple at the centre offffff thissssss island. TH TH TH Thalion mussst go… he isssss the only big I have metttttttttt. Who hasssssss tammmed a Waylen BBBBBBBBLADE…. Pp pp pp perhaps Cayley willlll hellllp him here assss wellll”
“What about you Thaden? Surely you can do all this? The weave, Waylen blade skills, Thalion doesn’t know what he is doing”
“It issss not my first ch ch choice…. Jussssst the only ch ch ch ch choice. Promise me Aury… whatever happpppppppensssss. You will get the cube TH TH Thalion, and tell him whwhwhwhat musssst be done” Thaden sounded weaker still. Aury figured it was easier to humor him then to argue.
“I promise, if you can’t do it yourself I’ll do it” she said
“gggggggoooood Kitty” he said, with just the barest hint of a forced grin “gggggo, heeeeeellp willlll be soooon” the Guard Mouse broke into an uncontrollable bout of shivering that brought haste to Aury’s actions.
The little Slyph looked out into the streets that her revelers occupied, waiting for her opportunity. They drank and danced and paraded up and down the concourse, their odd hypnotic song echoing through the night. The Slyph traced her steps, saw in her mind the success of her course, waiting for the music and timing to be right, then sprung into action.