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Run! My great escape!

Hey! My wound is gone! Someone must've healed it or something... unfortunately, I can't check myself for scarring because--

... and who do I see before me but my captors? On my left I see a cloaked man, taller than the other two which stand to his left. Flanking the center man on my right is a lightly armored man, quite young looking from what I can tell in the dim light. He's obviously a mercenary or warrior... the cloaked man is likely a sorcerer. For the middle man I had to do no guesswork. Narrowing my eyes, I sneer and snap at the threesome, "Why don't you come out of the darkness so I can see you??" The middle man chuckles lowly with something of a glint in his eye, as well as the moonlight flickering off his silverish hair, "... for a girl who claims to be such a powerful sorceress, you sure didn't put up much of a fight." He looks at me with a hint of discontent, eyes half-closed and plagued with disinterest. I, of course, don't appreciate being taken lightly, "You jerk! If you had just come on a different day, things would've been a HELL of a lot different!"

Judas, now clearly visible to me as he is only a few feet away (I'm strung up by my wrists here!), raises a hand to his chin and looks off to his left. He looks thoughtful, but who knows what evils he might be pondering over. I narrow my eyes... this usually doesn't bother me, but when someone thinks too long, they are wasting my time!

"Hey, what's taking so long?" Judas opens his eyes and answers carelessly, with a similar tone, "... that day, huh?"

With a dry grin and flattened gaze, a twinge of hate takes my voice, "Shut up!"

I huff and turn my head away from Judas and his group, closing my eyes. Judas speaks up; he's obviously not afraid of me hearing anything, which denotes a certain confidence I'm fond of... but this guy chained me up! He'll be lucky if I have a spit of respect for him when I get out of this dank, damp, rickety-rack church!

With that thought, I glance... Well, at least I think it's a church. Some old building with stained glass, for certain. And it stinks, too. Must, dust, and rust everywhere.

"Syrius," spoke Judas in a commanding voice, "... I leave her to you. Just don't kill her..." The cloaked figure stepped forth. Sure enough it was my newfound nemesis, all too giddy with the notion of having his way with me. It's not my fault that he was on the ship when I fireballed the deck! Hmph, his nerve! "Yes sir, hee hee... don't worry! Instead, I'll make her wish she were dead!" Judas stares for a moment before he rolls his eyes behind Syrius' back. He proceeds to walk away... and here I am left hanging with this lunatic waiting to do unspeakable horrors to innocent little me. I look again through half-closed eyes and notice that the young knight is gone as well. "So, little girl... how should I take my revenge? Do YOU have any bright ideas?" I turn my head slowly to face him with much animosity and disbelief. What's a clinic escapee gonna do to me?

"Well gee, I really don't know. Afterall... I am just a two-timing brat, aren't I?" My mother always reminded me of how my sarcastic way of speech would one day get me in trouble. Frankly, I wasn't worried then... nor am I now. If this is trouble then I'll be a dragon-half. "Oh, so you're going to play the smart aleck, are you, bitch?" He widens his eyes in an attempt to spook me, "Baaaad things happen--"

I interrupt.

"Listen here, scarface! My name is 'Rina,' not 'bitch!' If you don't know, then ask! It's better than assuming!"

"Oooohhoh, and I bet YOU didn't assume when you took me for one of those cutthroats you fried, eh?!"

I scowl and reply hastily, grinning wryly with mock in my glare. "You are a cutthroat; you're holding an innocent girl as a hostage!" I put up my best sob act... it was convincing enough to move an audience at a play I was in oh-so many years ago.

"... ... ..."

For the moment, all that resonates within the room is my false weeping.

"Yeah RIGHT! I've seen THIS play before... hee hee hee!"

Damn! I thought I had him there, too. I bare my teeth slightly in disbelief, and in absence of ideas, and look up to see him grinning. What an idiot... "I hope you die, you hear me?! If I wasn't chained up I would--*MFFGRFF*!!!?"

In case you're wondering what just happened, that jerk, Syrius, stuffed a large rag into my mouth. He accompanies disability with insult as he tells me to shut up, proceeds with a chain of name-calling that would otherwise be traumatizing if I were a lesser woman, and discovers my ultimate weakness:

... my extreme ticklishness.

With two feathers of dread procured from a nearby hat, he arms himself with a fate worse than... well, let's not exaggerate too much, but you can't imagine how much my sides hurt when he was through. I just fell asleep hanging.

So, the worst part was over. Not even my brother was that cruel... well, that's debatable.

... sooo sleepy. I would usually be in an unconscious state by this time, a state deeper than any Sleeping spell could hope to accomplish, if it weren't for my position: strung up by the arms with chains. Damn... they thought ahead. I really doubt it was Syrius' idea to use chains. I'll bet it was Judas' plan all along...

I start nodding off when I hear a slight step. I look up swiftly. "Who's there?"

A soft voice comes from the shadows, which are even shadowier than they were earlier: the moon had set and the torches, save one, were out. The voice says: "Quiet... don't you want to get out of here?"

I blink softly, about to reply, when a silver crescent cuts the very air and the twine that locked the chains around my wrist together. I drop to my side, clutching both my hands to my chest, with more than a little surprise. If I weren't as calm as I was, I probably would've uttered a cry and alerted whoever was on patrol. The voice addresses me again.

"Here. I think you'll need these." I turn my gaze to where the voice comes from and, like magic, my shortsword, dagger, and cloak all literally fall into my lap, making me give an 'oof.' The armor is light, but not when it falls on you. I see my savior's shadow motion for me to follow him, quickly. Thinking that anyplace is better than this dump with these people, I wrap my cloak about my shoulders, fasten the brooch, and buckle my belts while following closely. I'd luckily practiced getting dressed and geared very quickly since a young age, mostly because of my chosen occupation. More on that later... maybe.

The guy seems to be confident, for he knows his way around the chapel. It's a lot more expansive than I first thought... but gods was it a quiet trip. We didn't exchange a single word of unnecessary dialog throughout my escape, not within the walls anyway. I was becoming gradually more suspicious as he went along without hesitation. I wonder who this guy could be...

"... ... ..." There is a sound of heavy, sliding stone, grinding blocks against each other, and the wall opens up. Now that he even knows where the secret passages are, I have to know!

"Hey! You..." I address him in a hushed voice, "... who are you? Why are you helping me?"

The cloaked figure seems to take a glance back before he pokes his head into the passage, maybe checking for dangers or traps. It's possible, I guess... I keep my gaze on him until he answers my question, as momentarily disappointing as it may be: "We can't talk safely here... let's wait until we're out of here."

I pout while puzzled for a moment. It does make sense, I suppose... but I want to know now! NOW!

Walking through a catacomb whose walls are covered in moss and grime as I feel along (there must be a lot if I can feel the junk through my gloves), my rescuer leads us to an exit. It didn't look like the end to me, mostly because the outside was still pitch black, especially since the moon was gone from sight. But, I could hear the crickets and the toads, so I knew we were outdoors. The sky was overcast, like it was about to rain. Even though I was having my troubles, I could still cast, at least, Lighting. I get to the task when my companion grabs my right wrist sharply and shakes his head.

"No," he says, "If you cast that, they'll be able to see it from where they are. They have sentries on watch out here..."

I furrow my brow and look behind myself. There, balefully silhouetted in the dim refraction of distant light, stands a gothic structure. A chapel of some kind, for sure. And, sure enough, there were lanterns along the belfrys, doubtless signs of a watch. I'm glad that he stopped me there... They would've seen the light, awoke Syrius and the rest of Judas' goons, found me gone, and hunted us down.

We jump fallen trees. We throw broken brush to cover our escape route. We slide down hills and crawl up short rock faces, only to slide down another hill. At the bottom of that hill we came to a creek, and there, finally, we rested. He lets out a sigh... of relief or exhaustion, I can't tell... maybe both. I do pretty much the same thing, fall on my rump, and then to my back from there. "Whew... I can't tell you how glad I am to be out of that place!" I turn my head and smirk slightly at my partner... I hate to say it, but where was Kari when I needed him?! Useless dope... if I know him, he's probably off at a tavern, getting drunk off his heels and laughing about some stupid purple-haired girl who got caught by a chimaeric stoneman, a mummy with an ego complex, and a pretty-boy mercenary.

... and yet... I miss him. I hope I get to see him again. Well... time for 20 Questions! I turn to my apathic savior and give my thanks, and a smile, before asking him the details.

"Soo... I think now we're far enough to talk. Who are you and why'd ya' save me?"

I wait, and so does he. He takes his sweet time glancing to me... and then back at the creek. In the waning night, I can see a few details. His tunic and pants are off-white, like sand, and his cloak is the same color, except for its underside which is dark blue or violet. His cloak is buckled with a round brooch with a red stone in its center.

"I saved you to spite your captors..."

Wow! Now HE'S my type! Or, at least we think alike. Heh... I edge on, asking him more.

"Now I know why you saved me! How about telling me your name and letting me see your face now??"

He seems oddly familiar... if he would only give me a clear look at his face! Well, if you can't beat them, pester them!

"There is no need for introductions, Rina Erris..."

I give him a puzzled look. At least the guy knows who I am... I guess I am becoming famous! That's good, isn't it? Now I am about to ask him how he knows my name, exactly... I WAS, anyway. There is a malcontent setting in the air a split second before an arrow whizzes by my shoulder, as one does by my mystery man here. He jumps up and places his right hand on the pommel of his wicked-looking broadsword.

"Come out of hiding, Brahm... I know you are there."

I'm on my feet at about the same rate he is. From the wood behind us is a rustling and a rather musclebound man (I'm using the term lightly. 'Freak of nature' is more accurate) rises from his lowground. He grins and hefts his awesome battle axe, double-bladed, and places it on his shoulder. It's amazing to think that anyone could wield such a clumsy-looking thing, but he made it look like me using my shortsword. Physically, we're outmatched... He speaks up, his voice carrying an aire of extreme machoism along its tones.

"So here I find you, Judas. Helping the enemy is punishable by death, you know..."

I can feel my eyes widen, as involuntary as it may be. It's nothing I can help... to my astonishment, the very same Judas that had put me down yesterday had rescued me from imprisonment and torment not four or so hours ago. I look on and I find myself realizing that this 'Brahm' guy is not alone.

What happens next is anyone's guess...