Ashling – Chapter 37

Chapter Thirty-Seven

They were becalmed for a whole tow days, and I guess it is a good thing they left with so much time to spare. Even still, they are cutting it fine, but they made up some time on the third day, I wonder if the others will make it in time. They were in the salon, and Fian was describing to Daffyd the city under Tor and the Reichler Clinic. Kella comes over to Elspeth and notes how tired she looks. Maruman is sleeping on her lap, and Angia figured out that he makes the 13 that Maryon predicted. I wonder if 13 is an unlucky number for them? Talking of the city under Tor, Daffyd is surprised they found it by chance, but Fian and Kella think that they were meant to find it, because of fate. Elspeth is unable to keep her eyes off of Rushton, a solid change from back at Obernewtyn where she couldn’t bare to look at him. Elspeth has understood that she did and does love him, and now wonders how he survived feeling these same feelings when she seemed like she did not love him.

Fian continues to talk about the Reichler Clinic, and arrives at some brand new, intriguing information. After reading some plasts, they figured out that what they had found was NOT the Reichler Clinic, which doesn’t make sense because Elspeth saw the plaque that read ‘Reichler Clinic’ in the building. But it was only the reception centre, and no the real clinic, which was in the mountains. Kella asks if it was Obernewtyn, but Fian says that Obernewtyn or whatever building was there before, was the home of the Misfits, but the Reichler Clinic was where the Tecknoguild caves are. In these caves there were labs, which horrifies Elspeth, who thinks of the experimentation that Madam Vega inflicted on Misfits, and wonder whether the Reichler Clinic did the same. But Fian thinks otherwise, and doesn’t think Hannah Seraphim would harm Misfits, as she herself was a Misfit, or in her time, a telepathic. Everything was kept secret, and the reception was likely a front to present to the Govamen, and they would keep the real clinic hidden.

The Govamen were interested in using Misfits in wars, how exactly they would do that, they will have to find out. Then another interesting development, they have found that the building was actually built under the ground, and it was there not because of the Holocaust. The city was also originally built underground. It is odd to imagine a whole city hidden under the earth, and Fian reasons that they were hiding the Clinic, but why is there an entire city? They hope to learn more when they uncover the lower levels of the building. They have also learned (a lot has happened since Elspeth has left, what has it been, a month?) that there was a spy working with Govamen from the Reichler Clinic. Elspeth thinks back to the odd memory inside Iriny’s mind, where there was talk of the Reichler Clinic and the Govamen. She will also show Fian her tattoo when she gets a chance.

Freya enters, and this is very uncomfortable for Elspeth. Elspeth wants to find out more about this rival, and asks Angina about her. He tells her that really she should let her tell the story, so calls her over, much to the horror of Elspeth. Freya tells Elspeth of her wish to speak with her, and that Rushton has spoke of her often and she thinks that her own story is nothing like Elspeth’s. She tells her how she came to Obernewtyn, and it is probably the worst news for Elspeth, Rushton saved her. She was in Darthnor, and her father had offered to sell her and his horses. Rushton decided to buy both, and gave a large sum of coin to her father for them. Elspeth cannot believe that she feels flattered that Rushton bought her, she would have thrown the coin back at him! You can tell they are very different people. She did not know until later that she was a Misfit, though Rushton assured her that he would have bidded for her, even if she was not talented. He gave her a choice to either come with them to Obernewtyn, or leave with a bag of coin and live her own life.

Elspeth can see that she did not need to be convinced to go with Rushton, and Elspeth is jealous. Elspeth asks if she is a beastspeaker, but she is an empath, but isn’t picking up too many emotions all that well (which is good for Elspeth, as she would be emanating, intense jealousy and hatred). Angina tells Elspeth that Freya has an unique way of projecting emotions, which Dameon calls enhancement. She can increase any other talents’ power, which is a handy skill, and I’m sure will be used in the future. She can’t reach all people, those with mindshields, like her father, who was a violent man, and only kept her around because she could calm the horses. Uniquely, her talent works with animals as well. But it sometimes caused issues, when she was seen riding what people sold to her as wild horses, and they thought she was using the black arts. Fian tells Elspeth that Freya is in great demand with the novices, because they are smarter and quicker than usual with her around. Freya down plays this, and says that she is only really showing a person what they can do at their full potential, and it motivates them to get there.

She goes to leave for a lesson with Dameon, and she tells Elspeth of her envy that she can communicate with horses, whereas she can only transmit feelings. Later Rushton comes next to her, and says that he could love this calm life out in the ocean. Elspeth cannot share his opinion, and struggles to hold back her emotions. I don’t think she is making the situation any better, and is probably pushing Rushton further away. Powyrs interrupts and asks the twins to perform, at the request of the crew. Rushton asks Powyrs when they will arrive, and they were supposed to have arrived already, but will reach Templeport tomorrow at midday. Rushton wants to know more about Templeport, the only real town in Sador. Since the Sadorians are all nomadic, Templeport is their only settlement, and the Earthtemple which is in Templeport is their only structure. It is the only area which boats can land, as everywhere else is sheer cliffs.

Templeport now has some people from the Land and other places possibly living in tents, as the Sadorians do not allow them to build structures because of their religion. It is a religion deeply connected to the earth, and that humans are not important (a religion, I actually like). Some Sadorians are born as templeguardians, which is a great honour, as everything in Sador is done with guidance from the Temple. More Sadorians are by choice following the Earth Temple, compared to those in the Land forced to worship Lud. The Sadorians get their needs from the spice groves, and whatever they cannot get, they trade their spices for. There is water around the place, and there are isis pools in the desert. The Sadorians deal with anybody connected to the slavers in one way. They are sent out into the middle of the desert, and if they return, they are freed. I guess not many would survive, and only one, but he was left mad. The Temple cares for all the sick and ill, and also anyone who cannot keep up with the kar-avans. This is what the Sadorians call their groups when travelling. He can’t quite remember what the Battlegames entail, but tell them that the Sadorians are very social, so they should ask them.

He leaves to sort out the crew, and Fian comments that he must go and see the Temple otherwise Garth will kill him. Rushton says he will kill him, if he makes a fuss. Rushton calls a meeting to talk about the Battlegames and what they are going to do. When they are all in the salon, he gives them a pep talk. He wants them all to absorb everything as soon as they land, learn everything about the rebels and Sador. And they must analyse their skills in battle, to improve for a real war. He warns them that they are not to use their talents on anyone, until the games. Nothing whatsoever, no farseeking, empathising or coercing. He wants the rebels to feel as though they can trust the Misfits, and not be violated by their talents. He tells them that Daffyd has agreed to fight with them, since Dragon obviously cannot. Including Dameon and himself, that makes 10, even though it is unlikely Dameon will fight. Rushton tries to catch Elspeth’s eye, but she looks away. He asks to see her later. I wonder what he wants to discuss.

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