The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 82

Kayla looked terrified as she described the tortures and Mill couldn’t help sharing her discomfort.

“Just tell them what you know. Forget about the Omnia,” Mill told her, “You don’t have to protect them. You’ve done your duty.”

“I did tell them. Everything,” she said, “But they think I’m holding something back. They were asking about some attack from the Omnia. They were saying that the Omnia is trying to move its borders further winterward into the disputed territories and is destroying Fourth Order villages. I haven’t heard anything about it, and I told them so, but they just kept insisting and started torturing me to get me to talk.”

Mill clenched up as soon as she said this and he felt an unpleasant feeling rising from out of his stomach and his skin silently warming as a bright red flush spread across his face. After a moment of silence, he simply told her: “All you have to do is just tell them it’s true. That’s what they want to hear.”

“Why?” she asked, that expression of terror abruptly leaving her face, “Is it true?”

Mill thought carefully about his answer before he replied. He was tempted to admit to her it was a lie, with a smirk and a sly wink of “damn fools for letting me shovel that crap into their ears,” but he stopped himself before he spoke. He instead replied, “It is,” and said no more. Neither did he want to admit that he was responsible for this misinformation nor did he want to place the burden of lying onto her. If she believed it were true, she’d be more persuasive, and since this apparently was what her interrogators wanted to hear, it could only mitigate her torture.

“Really?” she replied, somewhat skeptical.

“You’re not supposed to know,” he told her, then repeating what he told Janake, “It’s a liability for people like us to know such secrets without reason.”

“But they did tell you,” she said, now taking on the tone of one interrogating a distrustful subject.

“I was stationed nearby where an attack was taking place,” he said, “And I know very little about all this, just the basic details.”

“What else do you know?” she asked, “They apparently trust with you much more than me. You must be a man of some importance.” She had a small coquettish smile on her face as she said this.

So, Mill told her the whole story of Lipmon as he’d experienced it. He told of Lipmon’s arrival from Still Creek, Mill’s hasty communiqué via the itinerants, his first attempt on Lipmon’s life in Orinda, his ride on the carriage to Waldoon and his failed second attempt in the palace courtyard. Beyond this the only fresh intelligence he had was that which he’d collected concerning Orinda politic prior to Lipmon’s arrival. He mentioned a few interesting tidbits that came to mind. Mill told the story in an engaging way and it seemed to amuse her.

She had begun to relax and find herself at ease with him, sitting on the ground with her legs crossed beneath her and leaning towards him to catch every word.

After his account was completed, he asked her, “Do you still want me to kill you?”

She replied with a smile, “No, not today. I think I’ll be alright.”

He joked with a sarcastic smile, “You sure? I could just squeeze your neck with my hands. You’d be dead in no time.” As he said this he touched her neck, in a somewhat flirtatious way.

“No,” she said, “You’ve already done enough.”

Then, much to Mill’s surprise she stood up and knocked on the door of the cell, shouting through the slit in the Fourth Order tongue, “Let me out!” Promptly a guard was at the door and Mill could hear the sound of him removing the door beams. She turned back to give Mill another smile as the door was opened and said, “Thank you,” in the Omnian language. She blew him a kiss and then walked out the door

Once the door was again closed and locked, Mill settled back on the ground with a now even greater feeling of discomfort in his stomach.

<-- Go to Part 81         Go to Part 83 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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