Chaos breaks out as Sh'Roth drops into the centre of the column... Cadfael already sliding from his back and screaming for a medic. The Colonel seeing Stranger being lifted from the dragons back adds his voice to Cadfael's.
"My God!" he shouts on seeing Stranger's wounds..."How the hell is he still alive?... MEDIC!!! Damn your usless hides... is there no one listening.... GET A MEDIC HERE NOW!!! SERGEANT!!! set a perimeter guard... we camp here!" he turns to Cadfael... "Would you request the dragon to remove himself... he is... erm.. rather in the way there"
"If the Colonel wishes to address me" the dragon rumbles "he may do so to my face... not pass messages on!"
The Colonel whips around "Then get your scaly hide out of my way" he bellows to the dragon... "Does that suit your lordship!"
Sh'Roth looks steadily at the man before him, then turns to Cadfael... "I like HIM!" he roars out a bellow of laughter, and takes to the skies.
Stranger lays on the ground... surrounded by mages and clerics. One turns to e-Berry... "He will live... though the Goddess knows how, he should be dead!"
Overhearing the words.. Cadfael turns and walks off the trail, slipping away unoticed... he stops near a small rill flowing from the highlands...
"That was too damned close" he speaks aloud..."I thought we had it wrong"
"But we had it right!" the woman steps from behind the shelter of a rock... "There is little point in worrying about what may have happened... she did well. I am more convinced than ever she is the one. To bring someone from that close... it is amazing really"
"God.. I am too old for this" Cadfael wearily sits upon the ground... "Maybe you should have taken up the task on Drago Prime"
"That was not what I wanted" she kneels behind him... massaging his shoulder, easing the knot of tension.."I want to be where I am... but... we caused the problem..." Cadfael turns to her, his eyes questioning.."Oh I know we had no choice... but we did create this... situation"
She stands... "Now... go back before you are missed, send Sh'Roth to me. He really must overcome this aversion to taking human form... it is causing problems"
"Sh'Roth is nothig if not a problem" Cadfael laughs... "if he is not making life hard for someone... he is not happy." he leans forward and kisses her... "Bye for now my love". He turns and returns to the now completed camp.
May 24th, 2003, 12:36 PM
It was curious up there, floating above his body. He watched with detached interest as they worked on his physical form. He saw Elda beside him, and he felt a warm glow.
He saw Cad walking away but paid no attention. He was focused on Elda, on the shimmer of her Aura. She had Power, a lot of Power. Did she even know it? Probably not?
Curious she was. She was a Dragon Lady, yet rarely let her Dragon self manifest. He had always wondered why. Was it fear, a lack of confidence? By the Goddess, her Aura was strong.
He watched the surgeons working on his mutilated body. He would have scars to tell many a lie about. Hamas had really worked him over. Oh well, he would have done the same thing. You don't wipe out a man's entire family without expecting payback.
That last stroke had done it. He'd had about thirty seconds to live when Elda reached him. My Beloved Lady. And good old Lizard Hide. Not the first time he's pulled my skinny feet from the fire.
He looked for him. What was this? Who was that he was talking to?
They did something on the operating table and he was catapulted back into his body, the sounds of clicking surgical instruments, quiet, sharp orders given and,
INCREDIBLE PAIN! "ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH"!!!
"Somebody restrain that maniac"!!!! He had a surgeon by the throat and they were scrambling, knocking tables over getting out of his way.
Elda was screaming at him to stop, the surgeon was turning purple.
May 25th, 2003, 12:02 AM
Cadfael hears the commotion long before he see the camp. He begins to run... throwing out his senses for any sign of danger, ... nothing. He then recognises the angry voice as Stranger's, and runs to the medic tent... he is greated with the sight of four men trying desperately to hold Stranger down, one is already sporting a broken nose, his blood spraying his companions.
Cadfael closes his eyes and drops into a deep trance, sending his mind into his companions conscious...
Stranger... pull ut of it... follow my thoughts Cadfael reels backwards as Stranger flings him from his mind. Drawing a steadying breath... Cadfael, thunders his thoughts at Stranger...
ILL NUCHOR!!!!... cease this NOW!!! By the power of the COMMAND WORD... SLEEP!!!
Stranger falls back against the cot, his helpers almost falling on top of him so sudden was his collapse. His face eases of all anger and pain... as he sinks into a restfull, natural sleep.
Cadafel slumps into a field chair... the headache already beginning to pound in his temples... "Oh goddess... I am geting to old for this!"
May 25th, 2003, 07:22 AM
The surgeon collapses, sitting on the floor, gasping for breath and rubbing his neck. He looks over at Cad and in a croaky voice manages,
"Do we really want to save that beast"?
Nonthelesss, he gets up while the medics restore order. Gingerly they approach the body, not real certain about stirring him up again. But Cad's spell has done the trick and they continue the tedious process of surgery.
"He shouldn't be alive. How did he survive this long"?
Stranger awoke groggily, in pain and dry-mouthed. Everything was a blur, the smell of alcohol told him where he was. A face came into view, and a tired smile broke on him.
"Heart of my heart", he whispered. He could feel her lips on his, her tears on his face. Reaching up he pulled her close.
"Ahhhh, I feel better already", He whispered in her ear. Her soft laugh was to him like the tinkling of wind chimes.
"Stop that, A"maelamin", she hissed. We're in a hospital! There are people all around! Stop it. You're too weak. Strangerrrr"!
Cad's voice came from nearby.
"Well, I can see you're going to live".
Elda took the opportunity to pull back and regain a bit of decorum. The nurses close by snickered and whispered. Cad looked at Stranger's bed sheet and walked out, lest he burst out laughing and embarass Elda. She was blushing furiously as it was.
"Yep. He going to make it", he said, chuckling.
In a week Stranger was up and walking, however gingerly. The surgeons had worked minor miracles, and Elda had stayed by his side constantly. Quietly working her Moon Magic, she healed him. He should have been dead, and failing that, a cripple.
But Elda was discovering an Ancient Power that lived in her, that she WAS. She was Magic, like all Dragon Lords.
The Colonel stood at his map table with Cad, watching Stranger go on the morning run with his Wolf Pack. They had hit it off, and he now worked out with them every day, regaining his strength.
Cad was impatient. Sitting around like this just wasn't his style. What was the Old Woman up to while they sat on their butts?
May 25th, 2003, 11:58 AM
Then the intel began coming in. Crathia was about a two week march North. There was a major city about halfway between, with a minor military force under the command of a local noble.
There were also several mercenary units bivouaced nearby, as the war in Crathia had escalated to major proportions, and they smelled work to be had.
Preliminary reports indicated Crathia was taking heavy losses and on the verge of collapse. There were also rumors, unsubstantiated, of strange units- warriors riding war beasts, flying units of griffons, and more. Much of it could be dismissed, but his reconn had seen a war beast unit at least.
The Old Woman had some serious firepower at her disposal. No field commander could be located, so they had to assume she was directing things. How, and from where, was the question.
May 27th, 2003, 11:21 AM
Stranger grew stronger, his body's natural healing power and the surgeon's work augmented by e-Berry's Moon Magic. He often found e-Berry sitting by his bedside, her nose buried in a thick, dusty volume of anicernt lore. He knew she was fascinated by the recent revelation of a healing power channeling through her. She was determined to learn all she could about her Dragon Mage powers, which had gone so long latent and untapped.
He would run his hands fondly through her hair as she studied. smiling at her intensity. He had known of her potential before she did, and was pleased to see her becoming aware of her own gifts.
May 27th, 2003, 11:31 AM
Watching her as she studied, Stranger's heart was about to burst. Just looking at her. He stroked her hair. Goddess, how he loved her hair.
He smiled at her oh-so-serious study.
"Mela en' coiamin" he said softly, Don't you know you don't need those books"?
She looked at him, puzzled.
"You ARE magic my love. It flows through you like a river, older than time. You are a DRAGON LORD".
He thought about it, She still seemed puzzled.
" Ah, A'maelamin, you need to talk to Cad. You need to spend more time as Copper. You ARE magic, Eldanuumea. Only we humans have to work magic. Talk to Cad, Mela en' coiamin. Talk to Cad".
May 27th, 2003, 12:05 PM
e-Berry thought about her flights as Copper under the tutelage of Cadfael as Cadragon. She could recall with vivid intensity the feel of her irridescent wings unfurling and stretching to full flight width, her talons uncurling from her torso, sharp and ready to trap unsuspecting small prey.
The whistle of the wind, the smell of the clean air high above the cloud layer, the shimmer of undiluted sunlight across the tips of the mountains.....it had been a long time since she had assumed the form of Copper and flown with Cad.
She knew Stranger was right, he was the one who could tell her what she needed to know. Meanwhile, she gazed fondly up at her A'maelamin, pleased to see how well he was healing. He would need every ounce of strength and soundness for the fearsome conflict that lay ahead.
May 27th, 2003, 12:40 PM
Seeing her watching him, he took a handfull of hair and pulled her to him, and kissed her, long and passionately. The nurses stared, the other patients stared. She didn't care. She returned his kiss.
May 27th, 2003, 12:49 PM
How little they understand, e-Berry thought. There is more than a promise of loving in my kiss. THere is a healing power which flows through my lips into my Beloved's body. I can feel the subtle, slow heat of it, stemming from my solar plexus and flowing like a healing current into his very veins.
She promised herself to ask Cad about ways in which to amplify this power.......but later.....after this kiss......