Heavy Burden

Myrande knelt down slightly and offered Kára a hand to help her up. Warily, Kára accepted it.

Then suspiciously, Kára asked “Myrande what?”

“I have only the one name, Captain, and I need no other.”

“Well then, if you’re not working for Saan Qorm, and you’re not trying to kill me, why did you attack me?”

“I think you’ll find that you attacked me first. I was only trying to subdue you.”

Searching Myrande’s eyes for truth or deception, seemed impossible to Kára. They were completely blank, and only left her wondering. What's more Myrande was right. Perhaps she had been too hasty in attacking. 

The legs of a chair soon scraped over the floor, as the Saravian man rose from his seat. Kára quickly faced him. Although the wind-blown dust still blotted the sun outside, it was much easier to see him. In the burgeoning light coming through the windows after such a short while.

He was far stockier than any other Saravian. His head was full of thick hair, red as blood, and just as slick. But his green eyes, unlike Rhode Tasmir’s looked greedy and sly. Then with a jerk of his head, he apparently signalled for Captain Hazana and Myrande to leave.

“Come, Miss Hazana,” Myrande grabbed Kára’s wrist to lead them out of the saloon. “We must speak in private.”

“Where?”

“It's not far from here.”

Where!?

“You’ll see.”

“Wait! No!” exclaimed Kára, who was suddenly belligerent. Though she had good reason to be. She wrenched her hand free of Myrande’s grasp. “Why? Why, why… should I believe a single word you’ve said to me?”

“Miss Hazana, we have little time for this. You need to trust me now.”

“No, tell me why, first! Tell me why, and tell me now!”

“You may remember that I didn’t kill you, when I easily could have.”

“Because someone hasn’t killed me I find to be a poor basis in which to place my faith in them.”

“Miss Hazana, please—”

“Let’s stick with Captain for now, shall we… ?” hissed Kára. She had her blaster aimed squarely at Myrande. This time, she was quick on the draw.

“That’s the other thing,” continued Kára, “that makes me especially apprehensive about you. How do you know my name? And what else do you know about me? Did someone tell you about me? Someone you work for? Who was it? Was it Jezper? Baltikan? General Stojj?”

“Oh, Miss Hazana…” said Myrande with a heavy sigh.

I told you—”

Without warning, the Saravian man, whom Kára had paid no attention, struck her in the back of the head with his bony fist. She crumpled unconscious, and he reflexively braced her fall.

“… If only you had listened.”

Ere handing over Kára’s limp body, the man smiled, looking for some expression of approval, and asked, “You wanted me to hit her, yes?”

“Yes. Well done, Roon. Hopefully you didn't hit her too hard.”

And as if she weighed nothing, Myrande flung the captain over her shoulder. She didn’t strain or shiver, and her knees didn’t even buckle. Myrande by all accounts was unburdened. Then very casually, she gave the man a small canvas sack in exchange for his service. The contents unknown.  

“You and your friend need nothing else?”

“No, that’s all. But remember, I was never here. Understood?”

Roon nodded, and sat back down again, guarding the secret entrance of the illegal establishment beneath their feet. And he did so ungraciously and without further acknowledgement.

Myrande then wrapped the scarf back around Kára’s face and put the goggles over her eyes, before carrying her out into the storm of sand.

The End

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