So in an effort to beat back a case of melancholy I wrote this for Z1, enjoy;


“More patrols. You know, when the horn sounded I thought we’d be under siege. The Zarconis haven’t even peeked out of the forest yet!” Kerul complained.

Zander glanced towards the smoking ruin of the forest. There were places that still smoldered, the smell permeated everything. They moved along the road that led beside the river, watching the other side. The silence was heavy, like something was waiting.

Zander shivered, tightening his cloak and stumbled over something stuck in the ground. He swore under his breath, gripping the oblong stick and yanked hard.

A loud crackling sound filled the air and across the river something flickered, then faded. Zander ducked behind one of the scraggly bushes and stared. Flickering in and out of sight was what appeared to be zarconis, constructing a rough wooden bridge.

“What in the hell?” Kerul hissed.

“Where did they come from?” Nadja hissed in Zander’s ear. She took the oblong stick from Zander’s hand turning it this way and that. The zarconis and the bridge they were building flashed in and out of view. Hayner reached over and grabbed the stick from her hand.

“You found this?” He asked, looking down at Zander.

“Tripped over it. What is it?”

Hayner turned it one way. The bridge and zarconis appeared. The zarconis seemed unaware of being seen. Hayner turned it the other way and they vanished. They looked at each other.

“A shield stick?” Bastien asked.

“There’s another one on the other side of the river I’d bet.” Valen said, frowning.

“They don’t seem to realize we can see them.” Bastien grinned.

“We should send a report back,” Hayner began.

“Now wait one damn minuet.” Nadja said, gripping his hand. “How long would it take? A couple of days? Then the city would dispatch a team and it would take time. The bridge might be done by the time another better equipped team showed up.” She took the stick and wiggled it back and forth.

“Nadja, last time we did something without orders,” Hayner pointed to the smoldering east bank. “They say there could be patches that will burn for years!”

“What would it take to bring that thing down? A well placed charge or two? Boom and it’s gone.” Kerul said quickly. “There’s really no more forest to burn down.”

“On that side.” Bastien quipped.

“And it’ll send a signal back to the city that there’s something going on, and we could continue upriver to see if there are any other hidden surprises.”

Hayner rubbed his face. “I shouldn’t be agreeing to this.”



Have a good Wednesday.

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