The Colony Chronicles-Pt.1-Alasdair
by, July 2nd, 2010 at 04:48 PM (934 Views)
Alasdair the Grey made his way from the small clearing quietly and quickly, making sure he wasn’t being followed. It wouldn’t do for anyone to find out what he was up to just yet. When he was far enough away, he opened a small portal and stepped through. The doorway snapped shut with a hiss behind him, its outline glowing softly in the night. On the other side, no trace of the portal remained, at least he hoped. The way things had been going, he couldn’t be sure. He warded the door so that a stray animal would not wander through it, and then turned to survey his surroundings. Instead of the copse of trees he expected, he now stood in a pasture. Sleeping cows dotted the landscape. A few feet away a bull eyed him once, and with a flip of his tail, dismissed him. In the distance a small farmhouse sat nestled between two giant oaks trees. A welcoming light shone from the porch. He started forward. Half way to the house, he noticed a vehicle heading toward the house from the opposite direction. Slowing his stride, he watched as it pulled into the driveway and parked. Female voices carried across to him. Kneeling in the grass, so as to not be seen, he strained to hear their conversation.
“Wait here. I’m not sure what kind of reception we might get.”
“He’s your grandfather, for crying out loud.” A different voice, impatient and worried.
“A grandfather I haven’t seen in 15 years.”
“Right, I forgot. Well, hurry. I don’t think Emily will stay passed out much longer.”
So there were at least three of them he thought, not bad odds. Not that he anticipated trouble, but it was good to know just what he was walking into. He already knew that there was likely to be only one person in the house from an earlier visit. The lone inhabitant of the farmhouse was a friend, but one he hadn’t seen in a very long time. His reception was in question also. Listening, he heard the knock on the door, and a few minutes later the surprised voice of his friend.
“Sophie? What’s wrong?”
“Hi, Gramps.” Alasdair heard the nervousness in her voice. He inched his way forward, careful to make no noise. His friend was distracted by the girl, but Alasdair couldn’t take any chances on being discovered until he was ready. A few bushes on the other side of the fence afforded him cover, plus the car blocked anyone from the porch seeing him. Tinted windows prevented him from getting a look at the passengers.
“What’s wrong?” The question was repeated, more forcefully this time.
“I need some help. Or rather, a friend needs some help. I didn’t know where else to go.”
The front door creaked as it was opened wider, and heavy, booted footsteps told Alasdair that his friend had stepped out onto the porch.
“Are you hurt?” Concerned had replaced the shock in his voice.
“It’s not my blood,” the girl rushed to explain. “It’s my friend. I need to get her inside.”
“How bad is she hurt? Can she walk?” Alasdair was surprised. Obvious questions, ones he would have asked, had been left unvoiced. Who is your friend? How did she get hurt?Why did you bring her here? Instead he simply moved down the steps of the porch toward the car, the girl following.
“She’s been shot. We can carry her, she’s unconscious.”
“I’ll get her. You two go inside. Sophie, get my medical kit, it’s in the upstairs bath. And grab a blanket from the closet for the couch. Don’t want blood all over everything.”
“Gramps, she’s too heavy…”
“Do as you’re told young lady. I can handle a hundred or so pounds. Now go get my kit.” His tone of voice left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he was in charge. Two sets of footsteps hurried up the stairs and into the house. “Get your ass over here Alasdair, I might need some help.”
Startled, Alasdair stood up. “How long…..”
“Since you opened that portal. Anyone with any kind of training at all would have felt you. Portals have never been your strong suit. You take her shoulders, I’ll get her legs. Be careful, she’s hurt.”
“I heard.” Alasdair reached into the back seat, and carefully pulled the cars occupant toward him. A pained moan came from the woman, and he saw blood on her shirt. Looking closer, he could see a soaked bandage covering her shoulder, underneath a torn silk blouse. She was small, so he scooped her up and cradled her head on his shoulder.“I’ve got her, Quentin. Get the door.”
He followed his friend up the porch stairs and into the living room. The couch had a blanket spread out on it and the woman’s companions were waiting anxiously. A small leather case was sitting on the floor. Quentin picked it up as he motioned for Alasdair to put the wounded woman on the couch.
“Who is he?” Both women looked at each other with alarm. “Gramps, who…”
“A friend,” Quentin cut her off, “a very old friend. I trust him and so should you. Now one of you tell me what happened to Emily.” He reached to unbutton her shirt. “What was she shot with?”
“How do you know her name?” Sophie asked. Alasdair looked at her closely for the first time. He had thought her to be young, a teenager, but now that he could see her clearly, he realized she must be closer to 30. Dark brown hair surrounded a pretty heart shaped face, with green eyes and a dusting of freckles.
“A .38, I think,” her friend answered Quentin’s question. “It’s just a flesh wound. There isn’t as much blood as it seems. That asshole of a husband of hers couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. He was shooting at me. I bandaged her up pretty quickly. It’s her ribs you need to worry about.” Alasdair turned his attention to the speaker. Standing beside Sophie, she turned to look at him and he realized he was looking her straight in the eyes. She had to be at least six feet tall, as he was 6’3”. And she looked to be pissed. The worry for Emily had been replaced with anger as she recalled how Emily had been shot.
“I should have taken that gun and shoved it down his throat.” He had no doubt she could have done just that. Her body was well toned and athletic. Icy blue eyes dared him to say something. Knowing better, he turned his attention back to his friend.
“Calm down. Gramps, her husband beat her. We think her ribs might be broken. When we got to her house, she was in a heap on the floor. Tasha was trying to get her out the door when he came back and started shooting up the place. Emily passed out from the pain, so we aren’t sure exactly what happened before we got there. She was hysterical when she called me. I couldn’t understand half of what she was saying, she was crying so hard.” Sophie stopped talking with a sharp intake of breathe. Quentin had gotten the shirt off and ugly bruises covered Emily’s abdomen and ribs. But along with the fresh bruising everyone had expected to see, there was the yellowed evidence of past beatings.
“Alasdair, could you help me?” Sophie and Tasha both started to protest. “Alasdair has experience with this sort of thing. I need you to trust me on this. He will not hurt her. If her ribs are indeed broken, he is her only hope unless we take her to the hospital. And I don’t think that is an option right now, am I right?”
“No, she definitely cannot be taken to the hospital. Randy has friends everywhere. Friends who owe him favors. He would find out before we even got the paperwork filled out. That’s why I brought her all the way out here. No one knows you, or knows we are related. This is the last place he will look for her. The last time I helped her, he threatened to hurt me too, if I interfered again.”
“This has happened before?”
“Yes, but not this bad. Usually, he just slaps her around, pulls her hair,that kind of thing. At least, that’s all she ever told me about. Now, I 'm not sure. She would come to my place for a few hours so he could cool off. I’ve been trying to get her to leave him for a long time, but she said he would kill her. I always thought it was just an idle threat, that she was exaggerating.”
“Well, let’s get her taken care of, then we will discuss what we should do next. Alasdair?” Quentin got up and motioned to his friend.
Alasdair exchanged places with Quentin, kneeling on the floor besides the couch.He placed both hands very gingerly on each side of her ribs, fingers splayed. Emily’s eyes fluttered open as a low, pain filled moan escaped her lips, and fear flashed across her face. Sophie joined him, and leaned into whisper into her ear.
“Shhhh, you’re safe. Just relax.”
He closed his eyes, and concentrated. Ignoring her pain and fear, he relaxed and reached out with his mind. He found the cracked, not broken ribs, and repaired them as much as possible. He had not been prepared to do a healing, something that took a great deal of energy. Energy that he had expended in opening and warding the portal. But he did what he could, and confident that there was no internal bleeding, or damaged organs, he withdrew his mind from her body. “She will be sore for awhile, but otherwise, she is healed.” Rising, he looked at Quentin. “Can you deal with the shoulder wound? I don’t think I have the energy to do much more.”
Quentin lifted the bandage and nodded. “It’s a superficial wound like Tasha said. It will leave a scar, but I can stitch it up myself. Sit down before you fall down.”
“That’s it? You put your hands on her ribs and now she’s ok? You really expect us to believe that?” Sophie stared at him in disbelief. Turning to her grandfather she said “And you still haven’t told me how you know Emily’s name. And Tasha. I never introduced either one of them. What the hell is going on here? I show up in the middle of the night, with a gunshot victim, and you don’t even blink an eye? And WHO is this crazy guy who thinks he can heal just by touching someone?” Hysteria edged her voice.
“Sophie, let me get Emily taken care of and I will explain everything. Everything.” Quentin said.
Just before he passed out, Alasdair thought, “Well, this is going to be good.”