They were talking about a raid. Some group of heretics had burned a whole village at the stake, destroying everything after. No survivors. I recognised the name of the village and realised that it was the place I had been born. My childhood had gone up in flames. There was a babble of angry talk and confusion in the Hunter's rooms.

"So who's coming with me?" I yelled, getting the attention of the mob. Most of them tunred to look at me.

"Well, we're going after the bastards right?" I said, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.

There was a roar of approval. I grinned, seeing my usual team gathering supplies. It was a trek of about two days to the village and from there it could be weeks until we caught up with them. I swung my bow up onto my shoulder, the comfortabe weight of the quiver lying across my back and the leather straps worn smooth and soft with years of use. I checked my daggers, my sword and finally grabbed my pack, which I kept prepared most of the time, since I hardly stayed longer than a week nowadays.

"Aimee, are you okay?" A slim boy, the same age as me came up, speaking softly. He was our scout, Talon, and my best friend here. He pushed his sandy hair from his eyes, their deep mahogany even darker with worry.

"I grew up there, Talon. Those bastards have burned away my childhood. There were people there I'd hoped to see again. They are going to pay." I kept my voice low, but the fury I felt burned in my eyes. Talon put a reassuring hand on my shoulder

"I feel sorry for them then." He laughed. "Poor fools don't stand a chance."

I grinned ferally, laughing as well. The rest of the team gathered around. There was five of us in total. Talon, our scout; Larn and Bran, our swordfighters and Alex our healer, who could also fight well. I would be the tracker and would help Talon scout ahead. Scouts worked in pairs for life, parabati, and Talon and I had been parabati since we were 12. The youngest pair. We exchanged a few words and set off out the city on foot. It was late afternoon and we were high-spirited, joking and confident.

The End

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