The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
Chapter 40: Discoveries
Eïr talks to Micah, Aldamir, the older fellow, and the young women who were
imprisoned with Charlie, her patient. The older man, Rickart, was in the
same cell as Charlie. None of them knew Charlie before their capture. Eïr
decides that having Rickart, looking healthy and free, hanging around when
Charlie wakes up, is the best she’ll be able to do.
The dwarves return to the city, and stop at Mom’s. They decide to explore the city, with their new, personalized compass. Taking the city pass with them, they follow the compass this way and that through the narrow streets. Soon, they are being trailed by a straggle of suspicious youths. Mannie and Bay decide that, at the next intersection, they’ll head for the main boulevard. They do that, but the road curves away from the central road, and they have to turn right again. There are more young men behind them now. In front of them is, at last, the main road. They reach it, and ever so casually stroll in the direction of the nearest officer of the city. The lads become sitting, lounging youths, not going anywhere.
As they walk closer to the palace, Bavör notices one man watching from the second floor of a fine building. Bay describes his position to Mandorak. Mannie looks at him. Yes, he is carrying a staff, and yes, he looks familiar. They walk on, and see another man carrying a serpent staff, and watching us. As they get closer to the palace, the compass now starts bearing more to the left. More and more men with staffs are watching them.
The two agree to turn left, check their compass, and work their way back to Mom’s. Meanwhile, they decide to make admiring noises about buildings or individual bits of stonework that catch their dwarven eyes. They are still watched. They turn off two blocks before the palace, and discover that the building on theirr right consumes an entire block. The compass shifts from 45º to the right to 90º to the right. At the end of the block, they can see the palace. Sarah could be in that first building on the left, or the second tower in.
They admire the trim on the building, with apparent script entwined with the decoration, and walk towards the palace, examining the trim as they go. They end up one block from the palace, and the trim continues to look much the same. The compass seems to point more convincingly toward the second tower. The dwarves return to the central avenue, while still examining the building. Therefore, they do spot the man at the narrow window before he steps back.. Mannie is sure he is not one of the men he has seen before.
Once back at the main boulevard, they head back in the direction of the gate, and the turnoff for Mom’s. There continue to be men with staffs watching. Mannie decides to look more closely at one of these buildings. As he gets closer, he nods pleasantly at the man, who has stepped back into the doorway. The dwarf looks around, but does not try to enter the building. As they reach the street they came out of, they spot more youths, but they don’t seem to be the same ones.
They continue on, and turn off at the street that leads directly to the crew ’s temporary quarters. There is just time to clean up before another fine meal.
Charlie regains consciousness, and says something in a language Eïr doesn’t understand at all. She tells Charlie that he’s been severely injured. Rickart and Charlie speak together. Rickart reports that Charlie feels better than he would have expected, and actually doesn’t feel much of anything. Oh dear. Eïr warns Rickart not to relay the information to Charlie that this is a bad sign, but just tell him that he shouldn’t move, that he’ll be fed soon, and that she will be sending for the principal healer on his case.
Carlotta agrees to prepare a meat broth for the patient. Eric prepares food for everyone else.
After dinner, Mannie and Bay check the link with Finwë. It is non-existant. They head back to the ship. Once there, they learn that the healer is needed. With Finwë, they return to the gate, where they ask for Khazad, who is not available. They then head to the correct temple of healing. Finwë asks for the healer by name. After a modest wait, the man comes out. He looks around, says something in his own language, and appears to be looking for something. He goes inside, and returns, carrying the same bags he had before. After speaking with a lad, he gestures to the three to follow him.
Eïr is feeding broth to her patient when the healer arrives. There is a multi-way lack of communication. It doesn’t seem to bother the healer, who just watches her feed Charlie. As she reaches the bottom of the bowl, the young lady, Willa, leads in Khazad. “You are in need of my services?”
Finwë explains, “Yes. Our patient has no feeling, and we need to communicate with the healer.” So Charlie talks to Rickard, who talks to the captain and Eïr, who both talk to Khazad, who talks to the doctor. The doctor examines the patient, poking and prodding. The doctor says, “This is not good, but it may not be the worst. When the rings of bone slide, they may cut, or just bruise. It is hard to talk to the tendons if they are bruised, but they may regrow.”
Eïr tries to explain that her healing ability is innate. The healer seems to understand. He heals because he has a gift for it. Their talents may be different. She agrees, and suggests that they both do their healing things together. The doctor decides that he should go first, but they both do… whatever it is they do. They do that. He suggests that she continue with food and healing medicines.
Finally, as he is leaving, he gives the encouraging news that Charlie is not devoid of all feeling, so that the problem is probably bruising, and not something more serious. He will return in the morning. Khazad also prepares to leave, but first we get a note from him, which we can show at the gate, which says that we wish his services.
Mandorak explains to the rest of the crew that he and Bavör have pretty well located Sarah, and that she is probably in a tower on the palace grounds. Finwë relays this to Khazad, “How did you hear this?” asks the translator.
Finwë shakes his head. “We are fay. We can feel her, and we know in which direction she is.”
You think she may be within the palace?”
“Or the palace grounds.”
“It is not usual for foreigners to be within the palace. It may be hard for you to find if this is so. You do have one more appointment with the walls…”
Mandorak describes the building we went around, and how we could sense her in that direction from there.
“You are correct. There is not much except the palace in that direction. You will have to proceed with great caution.”
“That’s why we are mentioning it to you. We were given a note for the Master of the Servant of Serpents. Who is he, and where can we find him?”
“He is in the middle of the City, far from the palace. It will be hard to explain what individual foreign child you are looking for.”
“Would a picture help?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Thank you for the help with our patient.”
“That is my work and I am happy to do it. When someone of the stature of the doctor needs my services, I leave what I am doing and come immediately.”
“Oh! We are keeping you from something. Please. Thank you for coming, but don’t let us keep you any longer.”
With disclaimers of his efforts, Khazad leaves.
©2002, 2006 Ann Broomhead. All Rights Reserved.