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The Name in Stone

   
Sam knew better than to delude herself into believing she was going to be of any help with whatever was going on in the city. Ruvria, Derek, and Toby were the people for that task and she'd be tagging along, but Sam decided not to complicate the conversation with that. All she added in comment was a, "yes, they are good people." Relaxing back into the chair, she regaled Kaiden with the high points of the journey: passing out up a tree, a few sights, and a brief description of Cold Harbor. She finished off with Sel's wedding and transport back to Shallon and then leaned forward again. "I heard that Adye might be around here somewhere. Have you seen her?"

Kaiden listened attentively, chuckling at some of the appropriate moments. The amusement seemed genuine, though the Commander didn't look particularly used to laughing, these days. At Adye's name, he frowned thoughtfully. "We get a few Knights drifting through now and again, though less these days than there used to be. The last time we truly saw the Avatar, I believe she was in the ruins - deep in the ruins. Chances are you'll find her, if you go deep enough."

He got up, grabbed a map from a table, and brought it over. Carefully, he spread it out for Sam, revealing a handsketched map of the ruins as they were now. "Adye's quarters used to be here, in the very heart of the old city. If she's still there, that's where I'd wager she is."

"Ah, coincidence, my old friend." Sam looked briefly at the map and then waved her hand. "I get lost too easily. I'll send Shelton over to have a look at the map in a little while, if that's alright with you." She paused to let him object if he really wanted to.

"Before I go, is there anything you need from me?"

Kaiden merely nodded at Shelton's name. "Nothing more than to ask that you let me know what you find in the ruins, and if you need anything more. If you want me to assemble the Commanders for a meeting or a debriefing, give me an hour or two warning, if possible. We've gotten spread out."

"Of course I'll let you know what I find. No secrets," Sam smiled and gave Kaiden a hug because it looked like he needed one. It was difficult through armor, but that mattered very little to her. She said her goodbye, gave him a salute, and then exited to go find
She's just going to say hello. It doesn't have to be played out, and neither does asking Shelton to go along into the ruins as tour guide. I doubt he'd say no. So, unless you feel it necessary to go through those, we can move on to Sam asking the others for their help.
Johan.

Johan was as well as could be expected under the circumstances. Somehow, he'd managed to get the husbandry shift, and was elbow deep in all manner of shit when Sam found him. He willing disengaged himself from the meeting he was having with several very frustrated stablers, and spent as long as Sam would let him talking about anything either of them could think of.

Besides what Kaidan had told her, however, he didn't have much more wisdom to enlighten her with. The horses were spooked, which was part of his current frustration. Their talk got cut short when one of the mules spooked, knocking over feed and causing a general equine maelstrom.

~*~

Shelton efficiently herded the group away and toward the south-east corner of the camp. A gloom hung over the Helminites, one obvious enough that Jasper kept his eye out for a follower of Jurek or Yuvale around. It'd be just like them to swamp an entire army of Helminites like this.

Still, nothing made him want to stop moving, or throw himself into a pit, or travel back north to Katar, so he assumed that whatever was affecting everyone wasn't as obvious as they'd be. Didn't mean he relaxed, though. Not even a little.

The tents they were shown to were the standard kind. Without even looking, Jasper knew several ways to compromise their security, or to increase it, which freed him up to be on the look out for dangerous holy people. And to keep an eye on Aurelia. The woman had been silent - both of them had - and Jasper wasn't fool or Jamean enough to think that silent women were a good thing.

"Some of you will have to bunk up for the night," Shelton said with a shrug, then glanced to the side. A grin broke over his face, and he tossed Sam a casual salute as she came up. "How's the boss?"

Johan had lifted Samantha's mood, whether he had been trying to or not, and Shelton always did the same. She smiled, "I've been better. I've been much much worse." She pointed to a nearby firepit with some seating around it. "We need to talk everyone. You too Shelton." Leading the way, and sitting down next to Ruvria, Sam quietly waited for the others to settle.

"I know we're all eager to get the Tobias/Dravin situation taken care of, but there's something going on here that requires... well, more insight than I have to offer. So, I'm asking for your help before you head back off to the tower. It's probably going to be dangerous, and I have no idea what we'll be dealing with. None of you have to say yes, of course, so don't feel pressured."

Sam shifted and leaned back a little to get more comfortable. "As you've been walking through the camp, you might have noticed that everyone looks rather run-down. Something is disturbing the dreams of anyone who stays near the city. That will include all of you if you don't leave before you sleep. There have also been some ghost sightings, and sometimes people don't come back out of the city. That's it. Not much is known about what's really going on. I'll be going in to have a look, and I'd appreciate your help if your willing." She paused there to let the others weigh in.

Aurelia grunted a little in thought. The Sria had been silent all day, lost in her own head. A lot had happened in the past two days and she still wasn't entirely certain what to do about it all. Or how to feel.

The challenge of the new problem that Samantha presented them with was interesting enough to bring her back. She glanced over at Ruvria. Sria were created to protect other Tazaoth and, for the time being, that meant her place was between Ruvria Tamar and danger. She could not volunteer unless Ruve intended to go, but that didn't mean she couldn't ponder the issue. "If dreams are involved," Aurelia began, "I'd look for followers of Ynai but, from what you're saying, I take it that none have been spotted so far."

Ruve tapped her chin. It was almost a relief to have another problem - other than Tobias - to work on. And nightmares and ghost sightings might sound trivial to an outsider, but if Helmenites - of all people - were so affected, she would be foolish to cast this information aside.

Of course, she knew ghosts didn't really exist. But she's seen plenty of things in the past that could have been called such by the uninitiated. Including those illusions in the town where they had first met Tobias...it seemed like eons ago. She had used the Othersight then, to help figure everything out. Perhaps she would be able to use it now?

And these were Sam's people. She would be a terrible person indeed if she didn't at least offer what services she could.

"I could take a...look around with you. See if something unusual...er. You know." She tried to glance significantly at Sam without saying anything more about Othersight. It might be merely reflex at this point, but old habits died hard. And she didn't need to add any complications here, anyhow.

"There are no reports of other worshippers around." Sam looked over at Aurelia, "I'll be calling my brother in on the dream front. It's possible the "ghost" claims are only hallucinations because of the lack of sleep, but it never hurts to have another pair of eyes." She wrapped an arm around Ruvria and squeezed. Her friend didn't want to go into details, and she didn't have to.

"Derek wanted to meet with Adye. She was last spotted in the ruins some time ago and supposedly has a dwelling within, so I'm sure he'll be joining us. For anyone who doesn't want to come along for the fun, you're welcome to wait out here." Sam was looking at Ravan, since he had no obvious reason to be involved, but she meant it for everyone. "I would like to go now, but if there is something dangerous in the ruins I don't want to face it in the dark. We'll go in the morning, if nobody has an objection, or better plan."




 

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