More Talk with the Shifters

Whew, o hey, did you know this door sticks? I guess pulling up on it works. That was drama, eh?

Both Bella and Mick are hogtied and gagged. Bella pays close attention to Dane. Mick is curled on the floor of the wagon, staring straight ahead. He seems terrified.

Well, they are determined to go all the way back to turn you in for something. I’m sure they’ll let you go, I don’t think you’ve done anything.

Bella vigorously shakes her head

Duke Gannon came to town this week, I dont think they’ll even pay you much attention with all that going on.

Bella bends her head sideways listening to Dane

How’s it living with rats? They’re sure big, I like little Mousey better, less bitey too. You sure trashed this place changing, it was all clanging and crashing and then exploded in rats. Rats, that’s a bad name, you should call your self weregiantmouse, mice are cute, see?

Bella nods apparently agreement while Mick stares silently.

Bernard sure has the negotiation stuff all wrong, I can’t believe he knocked you down to convince you to give up, i have to remember to teach him the finer points of persuasion. And then you kept trying to run, what was that about? I guess I give up doesn’t always mean I give up. I’ll have to remember that one. Then you died, what was that like? And why all the lies, a little truth goes a long way.

Mick finally looks over at Dane. “Blaffle, blaffle, blaffle-blaffle-blaffle!” he exclaims through his gag.

Well get some rest, it’s a long ride. Why you keep looking at the floor?

Mick looks away from the floor.

One hour later…
Whoa, deja vu. See, I got this door down.

Mick now lays in the same position with eyes closed. He is obviously not sleeping as his face winces with each off-tune note from Alseera’s flute.

Sorry Bella, I had to side with my friends, we’ve been through a lot. You and I may share some ideas, but not enough time to trust you over them.

She shrugs and seems to nod.

It’s like Whurel was telling me the other day in the Lucky Leprechaun, they got better ale than the gold at the end of the rainbow. Anyway, Whurel was saying that the king and the duke were having a tiff, but the duke eventually conceded because he trusts his brother.

*Her attention is fixed."

You ever met a dragon? I met a copper one, I forgot to get his name though.

Her attention drifts away.

Pretty brave to take us head on, you know you were the one to give us our name? When we rescued the duke’s son? Why did you say no duke’s son was taken? Did he follow you home?

*She appears to forget her gag and tries to answer," Baffle,baffle,baffle!"

So anyway, we had to make a decision, fight you or give up Mick was the way I put it. The vote was 3 to 1 to take Mick to Seville. You would attack since we would not give up Mick, thus provoking an attack, thus requiring a preemptive strike. That hill was hard to climb. We had to go all beast on it, hehe.

She gives a rough sigh

What was I saying? O well, must’ve been a lie. So this headmaster thing, who is he taking orders from? You said he was making an army to take over the land, as a sworn protectors I feel we needed to know more. Knights warden, heard of us?

BAFFLE! Baffle, baffle.”

I can read you some stories later. So you are a rebel leader? Why are you leading goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears? Seems like a freedom fighter should be able to get some more support from those a bit more civilized. I know you said Avery were influenced by the headmaster, but surley not all of them? Couldnt you find some rebel elves? Rebel dwarves? It would make your plight more sympathetic. Or more information. This guy is bad is not really enough to pick sides over.

She slumps back slow as all this is being said, with resignation. She gives a last attempted speech, under her breath, which sounds like, “Ohhh, baffle.”

Maybe you can tell me more once we get you someplace more secure and take the gag off.

At the words “Gag off” she frantically nods.

I guess I’ll start separating out all this coin. O right, the book, we’ll start at the end; it’s my favorite part

Her eyes drift straight forward… defeated.



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