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Rourke gave the signal for the return of his truth teller. She appeared almost instantly. Her face was pale and her eyes bulged. She must have some idea of what awaited her.


"Your services are no longer required. Because of your many years of service and my charitable mood I will allow you to choose between opening your veins or being sold into servitude." He looked away from her. He didn't care which option she chose. If she killed herself the servants would clean up the mess. He barely caught a glimpse of the light reflecting off from the dagger. In a heartbeat it was buried deeply between his shoulder blades. He guessed that it had probably found his heart.


"YOU! TRAITOR!!! You would raise yourself to Emperor? YOU? You should NEVER have been raised to HIGH LORD let alone EMPEROR!!! Now, you will no longer crave that which you do not deserve!". She removed the dagger and he began to really bleed...a LOT. As he fell to the floor he watched his former truth teller hauling Rosie away convulsing and vomiting. His final sad thought was that he never got to rename her... "Rose".




Daeve glanced at the massive heap in the corner. Boris had been a handful. His body was slumped forward and his broken neck barely supported his head. He might have still been alive had he not under estimated Daeve's strength. All of those years spent loading and unloading cargo had built his muscles. He looked lean but was quite tough as Boris had learned the hard way.


And Kerrie. Poor, lovely Kerrie. Daeve still regretted having to kill her. He had been so sure that they belonged together. Until he caught her with that... that... BOUNCER!!! She claimed that they were in love. BAH!!! The omens had promised her to HIM! Well, if she would not belong to Daeve then she would belong to no body. She was lovely even in death. Although, her face did look a little blue from being strangled with her own scarf.


Daeve finished his note leaving all of his worldly possessions to Master Greggory as payment for cleaning up his mess. Then he tugged the bed sheet that he had tied to the rafter to be sure that it would hold his weight. He stuck his head into the noose, said a prayer wishing good luck to all of his friends and relatives, then jumped off from the chair. He smiled when he felt his neck snap. That meant the end would come soon.




Jolly Jonnie stood on the edge of the platform that he had ordered built for this announcement. There was plenty of room so that most of his subjects within walking distance could attend. They would spread the word until everyone knew. Ellen Sedai knew how to amplify his voice so everyone could hear without him having to shout.


"Today is a happy day! After all of these years I have learned that Lonnie is my son by blood as much as he has been my son otherwise these past twenty years. His birth was accidental. Ellen Sedai did not tell us for our benefit. It matters not to me and I ask you to accept him as my son also.". The crowd applauded as Lonnie stepped forward for a bow before stepping back to his place. "Ellen Sedai and I are also happy to announce that we were wed by Captain Morgan during our return voyage!". She stepped forward and bowed to an even louder ovation then stepped back.


Jonnie was preparing to declare this a day of celebration when he felt a jolt of wind pushing at his back. The flags overhead were hanging limp but his was standing in the midst of a strong breeze. It grew stronger and Jonnie staggered toward the edge of the platform. He glanced back to see Lonnie with an evil smile on his face and both hands pointing toward Jonnie while twitching. Jonnie had never seen that look on Lonnie's face before. Lonnie pulled both arms to his chest then thrust them out in a pushing motion. Jonnie was hit with a massive blast of air that knocked him over the edge of the platform. He glanced down. His subjects would catch him. They would not let him fall to the ground. As he approached they spread out leaving him a clear path. He tried to catch himself. Both shoulder dislocated just before his face slammed into the sand. He felt his neck snap. In a flash Ellen Sedai was beside him. She sobbed that she could not heal him. He smiled at her then closed his eyes. "At least I won't suffer the slow death.", he thought.




That crazy old man Daeve was a LOT stronger than he looked. He and Boris had struggled for some long time while she screamed for help but nobody came. Just as it looked like the old coot might be getting tired he jumped off from a chair and wrapped both legs around Boris's head giving it a mighty twist. Kerrie heard his neck snap and his eyes bugged out. A few pointless gasps and Boris was gone.


Kerrie took off her silk kerchief and sobbed into it. She didn't see Daeve coming toward her. "If I can't have you then nobody will.", he mumbled in his strange accent. She didn't stand a chance against him. He grabbed her scarf and pulled it tight around her neck. She did try to struggle but it was no use. After what seemed an eternity of trying to catch her breath so she could plead for mercy she finally gave up. Strange that her final thought should be about how much money had actually been in that chest.




Karlee ducked down beside a rain barrel and pulled Irene tighter against his chest to try to protect her. The door to the ladder leading down to their room was now only a short distance away but it seemed like miles. The ship's Wind Finder was standing on the fantail waving her arms in a sweeping motion over her head. Each time that she stopped more lightning slammed into the masts of the Seanchan vessel that was chasing them. A woman wearing a chain on her neck stood in the bow of their enemy's ship making similar gestures with similar lightning bolts striking over Karlee's head. Having Irene clinging to him was the only good thing happening.


Timing the attack Karlee made a dash for the door. He pushed Irene down the ladder in front of him then quickly followed pulling the door shut behind him. That business up there was none of theirs. Realizing that if things went poorly he might never get another chance he decided it was time to bare his feelings. He took Irene by the wet sleeves of her dress and pulled her toward him. "I love you, Irene. I have for some long time now but didn't take time to admit it to myself let alone you.". He blushed and so did she.


"Well,", Irene began then hesitated as if searching for the right words, "I'm flattered. But,". There it was. The word that Karlee had so feared. He could feel his smile melting. Irene must have noticed. "NO! It's not like that! It's just that... well... I'm... I'm not... 'available'. I already have a true love in my life. Her name is Johenna. You know. The pretty chamber maid that I hired last year? You yourself commented on how lovely she was.".


Karlee sat down in a nearby chair and chuckled. That was just the way his luck had been running lately. Maybe he should have listened to that voice in his head that had told him to join the Dragon Reborn in the Last Battle. Oh, well. Maybe he still could when they got back from this "Dar" place. That was his last conscious thought. The ship split into two even halves across the beam. Water flooded in from both sides. A heavy beam fell from over head and landed squarely on top of him. He tried to cry as he watched Irene being washed through the side of the ship into the open ocean but he just didn't have the strength. He closed his eyes and exhaled.





The world was just WONDERFUL!!! Opel couldn't believe the recent run of extra good luck that she and her family had been experiencing! First, her family reunited then finding the perfect house at the perfect price. Then, her husband had learned that there indeed WAS a need for a blacksmith in town since the old one had up and left everything to join the Last Battle. He had even left his tools. Her husband had simply asked permission to take over and it was granted by the caretaker. To top it all off, the mayor of Cross Village had stopped at their home on his way to join the Dragon Reborn and told them that he would not be needing his coach any more. He was determined to walk "every step of the way" to the fighting no matter how long it took him. The man was obviously touched in the head but, hey, a free carriage is a free carriage!


And that's how they happened to be taking this family ride today. Her husband and sons were driving. She and her parents and her daughters were riding in style inside. The two free horses had no problem pulling them. They were all going to see how nice and tidy her husband had arranged the blacksmith shop. He was so proud! That's probably what he was daydreaming about when he pulled out in front of the cargo wagon at the intersection. Opel heard the wagon driver swearing and looked out to see his horses rearing. Massive beasts with huge heavy hoofs. Slow moving but powerful and steadfast. One of those massive hooves found it's way through the window that Opel was looking out. She had no time to dodge. It caught her square in the face. She actually was able to sob. Not for long but long enough to appreciate being able to. Then she died.




"Seventeen!", Yohon shook his head. "It took me seventeen times!". He looked around then walked on. He told himself to be careful. He promised himself to never gamble again. This could have been a DISASTER if not for today's good luck. And he realized that luck was all it had been. On the previous sixteen wagers he had only went further into the hole. Today's winnings would allow him to replace what he had "borrowed" from the coffers to place all of those losing bets. Almost. He would have to supplement it with some of his personal savings. "A hard lesson but well learned", he vowed.


It was almost dusk. The last race was a late one. Had he lost that one he would have been forced to flee in shame and never return. Now, if he could just make it these last few blocks he could replace the gold and nobody would ever know but him... and Suzie-Q. He was having an evil thought about eliminating her so that she could never reveal his secrets when he felt a burning sensation in his left kidney. He reached around and was cut on the palm of his hand by the retreating dagger. He felt the tug at his side and heard the sound of his winnings being cut loose from his belt. He fell to the ground and didn't know which he should feel worse about... losing the money or losing his life.




Dixie couldn't believe it. She had walked for miles in both directions. Nothing but SAND!!! It felt so GOOD that she had removed her boots and was walking bare foot. And WATER!!! She had read stories in the books about oceans and ships and such but she had always thought that they were works of fiction. Here she stood. Looking out at a REAL ocean! It was wet like water but it sure didn't TASTE like water! It tasted like every wetlander there was had all peed right where she was drinking! It didn't satisfy her thirst, either. If anything, it made her thirstier.


Still. She couldn't help being mesmerized by the sight. And the sound. And the smell and the taste. So, she kept walking. Bare foot. Day after day. She found a few fish that had been washed ashore. They smelled and tasted just as bad as the water but it was food. It wasn't the same as home but at least the sand reminded her of home. One day after several weeks of walking up and down the ocean she sat down. Her mouth was beyond dry. Her body ached. She longed for home. And food. And clean water. And her spear sisters. She dug herself a bed in the sand and crawled in. The next morning she had awakened from her dream.




OOC: Sorry for killing everyone off. It was turning into an "obligation". Hope you understand. I also hope that everyone enjoyed reading this stuff as much as I enjoyed writing whatever popped into my head. I'm sure I'll find something to write again sometime "lord willing and the creek don't rise".




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  • 5 months later...

Ellen Sedai, or "The Black Widow" as she preferred to think of herself nowadays smiled as she watched her son stepping gracefully through his sword forms. Some day soon he would take a place of honor along side her in the Last Battle. He would make a fine dreadlord. Perhaps her mentor Moghedian could hook him up with a male tutor. That was almost too much to wish for. Everything that he knew so far he had learned on his own. She knew that if he went to the Black Tower that she would never see him again. No. She had been patient this long... she could wait a little longer for everything to fall into place.


It seemed like just yesterday that she had been ordered to gain control of this hell hole in the middle of nowhere. Now, she understood. This small hamlet that she now ruled was strategic for controlling trade between the coastal cities of Ebou Dar, Illian, and Tear and the western ports from Tanchico to the Arad Domain coast and beyond. This area was known as the Shadow Coast and by jingles the Shadow would indeed control it. With her being the rightful dictator here, all was as it should be. Her plan was coming together nicely. It did sometimes bother her a little that it had been necessary to exterminate Jolly Johnnie because she really did enjoy his company. She missed his smile. Sometimes. But, work was work and her job took precedence over her personal feelings. Maybe when this whole nasty Last Battle business was done she might find time to live her life as she pleased. Maybe.

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