“I want her healed by the time I return for her,” Lord Farquad grunted as he turned from Sarah’s stare at last.
“I’ll do my best...” Sarah began, but Jason interrupted.
“Of course, My Lord.”
Bowing he guided Sarah out of Farquad’s tent towards his own. She wanted to fight his seeming promise to the Lord that Miriam would be healed, but she felt how tired he was.
When Sarah awoke the next day, she realized she never went back to the women. They weren’t in the makeshift Pairents house, which was being dismantled. In fact the whole camp was being dismantled, except for one building. She suspected they were getting ready to head off to the road as soon as everyone was ported. Jason was directing people as he talked with the Grand-Pairents so Sarah continued her wanderings asking if anyone had seen Lady Miriam or Princess Allmarah.
Finally after some interesting exchanges with the Skathains, Sarah found them in a bath house with Harriet, Alara, and two other Skathians. Spit bath tent is more like it, Sarah thought to herself. Brianne slipped her feet into boots and offered Sarah her ladle and indicate the wooden board she had been standing on. Sarah didn’t have to ask to know what to do and she gratefully stripped to get a little cleaner then she was.
Scout Smith, Jason called her. Where are you? The Grand-Pairents are waiting.
In the bath tent with the other Ladies waiting for port I’ll let them all know, Sarah ginned as she washed her face.
Including Alithana Alara, Brianne and Hama? Sarah could almost picture his puzzled face.
He sighed. I should have known. There was a mental shake of his head. Well tell them to hurry up. King Demetrioso is waiting for us in Verdas.
“Hurry up, we’re being paged.” Alara looked at her slightly puzzled. “Sergeant Phoenix wants us in the God’s cavern. Everyone’s there except us.”
Sarah hurriedly finished scrubbing herself and redressing before following in the rest of them out. Lady Miriam caught her arm as she exited.
“Are, are we really going to be ported by the Gods to Vervell?” she whispered and Sarah nodded. “What, what if they don’t wish to port me?”
“Why wouldn’t they?” Sarah glanced at the nervous girl.
“Be, because,” Miriam swallowed as they stopped at the top of the stairs, “I, I think I am carrying hi, his child.”
Tears formed in the girl’s eyes while her lip trembled. Taking her into a tight embrace Sarah whispered, “It’s not your fault. The Gods won’t blame you for it.”
Sarah? Jason’s voice tiptoed into her mind. Are you and Miriam joining us?
Give me a moment, Jay. I can’t rush her.
As Miriam sobbed into her shoulder Sarah led her down, one step at a time, whispering reassurances. She could feel them being watched by the people down below. At last they reached the bottom and Sarah moved Miriam into a corner. Katherine came over with Brian, but Lady Miriam shrank away from the child, despite his gurgle of recognition. Looking to Sarah, Katherine began to ask a question, but Grand-Fayther Jesus spoke to the crowd.
“We will escort each person up the stairs. Lord Phoenix, if you will be the first. Princess Allmarah the Grand-Moyther will escort you next.”
And so the cavern emptied, but every time the Grand-Pairents approached them Lady Miriam refused to budge. No matter what the Grand-Moyther told her, she refused to believe the Gods would port her. Katherine left last with Brian and Sarah renewed her efforts to get the girl to move.
“Look,” Sarah was frustrated by her lack of response, “if the Gods don’t port you I’ll call them to task for it.”
“You, you wouldn’t dare?” Lady Miriam stepped back slightly
“Sure I would,” Sarah smiled as she slipped an arm around Miriam’s waist, “after all I am a pant wearing girl who’s climbed a Godwood tree to talk to them before.”
Sarah steered Miriam towards the stair. “Yup, in fact this whole porting idea was mine.”
“It, it was?”
“Yup,” Sarah grinned as they started up the stairs, “I asked Great-Grand-Moyther Eve in person.”
They stopped at the top of the stairs and the girl went stiff. Out of the corners of her eye Sarah could see the gathered crowd.
“Lady Miriam,” Princess Allmarah stepped from King Demetrioso’s embrace. “Welcome to Verdas, the capital of Vervell.”
Sarah didn’t react fast enough and the girl bolted past the Godwood.
I’ll take care of her, Sarah told Jason as she took off after her. “Miriam!”
Bursting through the Willows Sarah caught the girl’s arm as she leaned over the cliff. They were up at a dizzying height, water rushing below and Sarah brought the girl slowly back from the edge.