Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A couple of days had passed and Star continued to make progress with her weapons. The stars left her hands more easily and certainly faster than a few days ago when Raina had goaded her into anger. Raina felt bad about that, but there wasnt time to pussyfoot around. If the ghouls attacked en masse or worse yet, if they were working with someone else it was very possible that Star could be left on her own to defend her children. Raina doubted that would happen, not with Wish and Pike always close by and the animals, but a person couldnt be a hundred percent positive.

Best to prepare and cover for any contingency... Rainas thoughts darkened as she watched Star and offered encouragement. Why do I still feel uneasy, even with all the preparations, the plans, the patrols... which have only managed to trap a few ghouls... whats going on? Its not just the eclipse and I dont think its just the ghouls...something or someone else....but what?

Rainas thoughts are interrupted by Star, who had moved to pull the stars from the target. She returns to Raina and asks, “Can we stop for today? My arms are tired... and Ru is waking up...”

"Sure. You're doing really well, much better than when we first started.” Raina puts an arm around Star as they head to the cabin.

Erik steps out onto the porch as the pair approach and asks how practice was going.

Mya flits by, her arms full of Calendula. She hovers slightly behind Star, “Look! More flowers... make ointment for friend..”

Star freezes and Raina with her arm still around her can sense her fear. What the Hel??

Erik asks, “What ointment and for who? I thought you just stocked your supplies.”

Mya peeks around Star, her eyes wide as saucers, then starts to cry. “Oh noooo... bad Mya. Rip tongue out... sew lips shut...”

Star turns, “Mya, please. I would do no such thing and you know it...”

Erik steps off the porch, “Princess... whats going on?”

Just then Keon steps outside and looks over the group gathered below. “What is all that caterwaulin'? You'll wake the bairns..”

Heaving a big sigh, Star reaches for Mya. They place the plants carefully on a step and Mya takes her accustomed spot on Stars shoulder, tears slipping down her cheeks.

“Mya sorry... has big mouth....”

“Its fine Mya, really it is. We would have to explain sooner or later anyway.” Star looks to Erik, her eyes flitting between brown and grey.

“Explain what?” Erik asks.

“I have a ff.. riend that I am hh... helping... in the woods...”

Raina squeezes her eyes tight, worry washing over her. Gods help us, what has she gotten herself into...

“An animal? Why leave one in the woods? You bring them all home with you. And who goes with you? You know I dont want you to go into the woods alone and unprotected...” Eriks voice starts to rise, worry for Star uppermost in his mind.

Star glances up at Keon, and Erik notices. “Did you know about this? What the Hel is going on?”

Keon shakes his head, “Nay, I am in the dark as you are...”

“I dont go alone... Pike comes and Trooper... Wish stays with the babies...” Star looks down, feeling like a traitor and tears are close.

Keons eyes go wide and he and Erik exchange a look. Both men realizing what incredible loyalty is freely given to Star.

“Okay... so what or who is it you are helping?”

Then the tears start in earnest and Star barely gets the words out. “His nn.. name is Ghaunt. He hides in the forest when his mistress bb.. beats him....”

“Ghaunt?! The name sounds...” Erik looks to Keon.

“Aye... Drow...” Keons eyes narrow, but he sighs, realizing Star has no prejudice against anyone or anything and she would help anyone that needed it.

Star throws herself at Eriks feet, “Please dont hurt him. He is only half Drow and wont harm anyone. The other half is fae, like me... please dont kill him....”

Confused Erik pulls her to her feet. “Princess, I never said anything about killing him...”

“Tannr will though. He said the only good Drow is a dead one. But Ghaunt is only half... please dont let him...”

Tannr and Tori approach, having walked from town. “Hey! Dont let who do what? Whats going on?”

Raina rolls her eyes, “Oh holy Hel. Here we go...”

As an explanation is given to Tannr, Raina can feel the anger building. She knows Tannr has no love for the Drow, any Drow because of something or many things that happened on the Unformed Plane. Tori senses it too and rests a hand on Tannrs forearm, seeking to calm him.

“Maybe we should go meet your friend...” Tannr suggests and immediately regrets his words at Stars stricken face.

“NO! You are going to hurt him. He's been hurt enough.”

Stars tear streaked face making Raina pull her close and whisper to her, “He wont dare or I'll kick his ass..”

Keon steps off the deck, “All right. Enough o' this. If this Drow intended to cause harm or follow Star, he would have done so already. Lets go inside and talk, supper is almost ready...”

As Erik and Raina slowly move towards the cabin Star pauses and looks up at Tannr. Her eyes are pleading and full of sorrow, not understanding Tannrs hate for an entire race.

Tori slips her arm into Tannrs, and leans close. Her words are soft yet urgent, sensing the anger in Tannr.

"Think Tannr... Do you trust Keon with Star's life? He is Unseelie. Do you trust Trooper to protect Star? He is a Hell Hound. Think of Nigel, the Nightflyer that helps protect the town, Patra, the fae that protects our homeless... A person cannot be judged by their race..”

The words sink in slowly and Tannr sighs. “I know it is... unreasonable... but after so many battles at the UP.. .its hard to explain...” He takes a step towards Star, “Forgive me for being such an ass, I didnt mean to upset you.”

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