Chapter 39Mature

He didn’t know what kind or muddle headed thought the simpleton of a girl was thinking wandering out into the snow in those thin raggedy clothes, nor did he care. But the bothersome task of treating the sparrow girl fell on him.  “I hope they don’t expect me to cure your lack of wit” he chided his unconscious patient, raising the thin mattress to slide in a pair of small warming pans.  The young woman now held more the countenance or slumber than illness after she woke long enough to drink a hot herbal brew, Davrou had to all but force it down her throat after she spit out the first sip, decreeing it “muddy poison”. To her fortune, the gunslinger’s assistance seemed to have a calming effect of the girl, even in her minor delirium.  The Mercenary’s concern was an odd sight, Davrou thought, he had expected the man to leave as soon as he finished putting down his burden.

“Mild Hypothermia, if that, overall I’d say it was temperature shock. She’ll recover soon” He noted to the Mercenary, now lays casually on the next bed alternating between spinning his weapon and taking make believe shots, his eyes darting as if following the path of a ricocheting bullet.

“Great!” he called jumping to his feet, grinning after giving the girl a quick glance. “Barely blue at all and looks like she’s having so fun dreams. Good job, Doc” Lee told him

Davrou just nodded as he headed out of the sickbay, the gunslinger’s friendly personality was always an irksome thing.

“Hey, where you going aren’t you supposed to watch over your patients or something?” Shavanza called, hurrying toward the door

“Throw another blanket over her if you wish, she just needs rest. I can find something more useful to do than ponder about how the girl lost her common sense.” He added dismissively, leaving the Mercenary to mull over the retort.

 Opening the door to the ship’s deck, bracing himself against cold air that stung like shards of ice. Davrou drew the furs he wore over several layers of shirts around him tighter. His coat, battered and cut full of holes from his last incident, was useless in this ever winter. Looking at the thick blanket of white stretched out over everything, he had to give thanks to another of the Asterius’ wonders, the falling snow miraculously circumvent the perched ship keeping the deck free of snow. Every small secret he learned of this ship fed his curiosity.

“Head still floating?” called down the navigator’s voice and he worked his way down from the crow’s nest.

“More settled then yesterday, and I’ve had all the rest our dear captain would allow.” Davrou answered.

The man nodded, pulling a map free from his waist as grumbled at the snow clouds covering the sky before looking back at Davrou.

“You look well enough, studying these strange carvings again” he said, tapping on a design below his foot.

Davrou shrugged in response, as the Airmen walked away studying his map once more.  Another Observant one, he thought, turning to lean over the railing, his eyes straining upward trying to make out  the fallen fortress city that laid above, hiding  behind the wind and snow. He knew little of it, ghost stories and rumors, nothing more but his skin rippled uncomfortably whenever he peered up. Davrou dismissed the thought, retrieving his notebook to review what he learned of the ship so far. Best to keep his mind focused than ponder fireside tales. As though to reject his opinion, a strong wind rose snatching the small booklet away. Davrou lunged for the precious pages he wrote, nearly falling over before he caught himself.  Pulling himself back up, he watch determined to find it once it hit snow, but what caught his eye took the strength from his arms. A Warrior in full gear, leaning against his sword, the Iron blood insignia emblazoned against his chest as he wore a brilliant smile, goofily proud and excited.

“Thaelon?” he muttered, hitting the snow. He thrashed up to his feet as fast as possible, rushing his gaze back to where his brother was, then everywhere else, searching for and trace. He was gone. He let out a long sigh, he must have been more exhausted then he noticed. “First Falor, and now Thaelon.”

He took a few more deep breathe calming his mind before going to find the  booklet, it should not have been blown too far, and had more information than he would care to rewrite, he need to find that quickly and get more rest before anymore of his past ghost come back to haunt him.  Thaelon’s form appeared again as he took his first step, His brother’s back was walking away, the gleaming steel of plate mail standing out against bleak white.

“Thaelon!” the words cried out from his throat, ignoring his rationalizations. The figure didn’t give any response, moving further way.  Davrou told himself it was a trick of the mind, forcing his eyes shut to clear it away. His body didn’t hold the same reservations, his legs moved forward breaking into a half run calling after his brother’s ghost.  Gradually the distance closed to less than a stone’s throw apart.

“Answer me!” Davrou’s throat burn from the constant cries and cold air but he couldn’t turn back. Thaelon finally stopped, turning to greet him with the same grin as he waited for Davrou to catch up.

“Sorry… I’m so sorry.” Davrou muttered pushing toward his younger brother. “I should have been their”.

Thaelon just continues to smile, offering Davrou a hand.

 A deep guttural growl stopped him before he could return the gesture.  Floating gold eyes and large bared teeth greeted him as deep growl repeated.  The creature stalked forward  making it body barely more perceptible, A wolf  with fur as white as the snow it walked on and more massive than any he’d scene, larger than any horse yet its steps left no prints, its paw didn’t sink passed the surface.  With a sudden leap the creature lunges at Thaelon batting Davrou away faster than he could react. Al he could think to do was fling his blade at the creature side as he was tossed.

 He landed in snow for only a few seconds before he heard the sound or crack ice sending him falling below the surface. Shallow water and jutting rocks broke his fall.

“Brother!” He shouted in desperation but the shock of the cold water jarred him back to his senses. His brother was dead. Davrou's Mind felt as if it was lifted from a fog, was he going mad?The same lower rumbling growl echoed through the cave stealing anytime he had to convince himself of sanity. The beast had followed him down.

The End

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