Tricky? ...are you there?"
Satorii remembered, as she ran toward Jeuno, the small purple shell she had discovered in her sack some time ago. She had seen others similar to it, being used like the linkpearl she once had. Fortunatetly, he responded and agreed to meet her in Jeuno.
The city was bustling as usual, but somehow he found her quickly -standing outside the goblins shop in Lower Jeuno. She nearly fell into him, she was so relieved at finally seeing a familiar face. Showing him the small ring, the whole story poured out of her; how she had made the ring for Oberons, the events leading to her being in Windurst with the stranger, and the return of the ring by a mysterious warrior who would not speak. Before Tricky had an opportunity to voice the concern rising in his eyes, another voice came from the purple communication shell.
"Satorii. Answer me now." It was Oberons, and he sounded strong -uninjured.
"Oberons? Where are you? Are you safe?" Satorii's panic began to ease, only to be replaced by a sense of dread.
"I am in San d'Oria. I want you to come to me here, now." His voice was strangely firm.
He would not explain what it was he wanted, or what had happened to him in the jungle, but his insistence on her coming to San d'Oria increased as the minutes ticked past. She assured him that she would come, with Tricky as an escort.
Oberons' communications became more snyde and biting as Tricky and Satorii prepared for their journey. While Satorii fretted and grew anxious to go, Tricky grew suspicious.
"We'll leave when we're ready Elf," Tricky said -his voice taking a dangerous tone. His eyes told Satorii that something was going to happen soon. He was right.
"Well if you insist on wasting time thus -I guess I'll come to you!" Oberons spat into the linkshell. Seconds later a cry of "capture them!" came from around the corner in the staircase they were on. San d'Orian guards rushed up from below them, as Oberons himself stepped down from the upper level.
"You are accused of treason against San d'Oria and communing with the Shadowlord, Demon!" Oberons pointed at Satorii as his eyes bored into her. She almost imagined they were aglow with demonic rage.
Tricky shoved her past Oberons, drawing his long dagger in the same sweeping motion. "RUN, Satorii!" He called.
Taking a stab at Oberons, who deftly dodged it, Tricky followed her and the two of them dissapeared into the crowd, eventually escaping to Saromaugue Champaign. In the heavy silence that followed, the two of them rode away in shock and disbelief.
Satorii was frightened, confused, and hurt by Oberons sudden accusations. Finally, as they neared Mhaura, a voice came over the linkshell -dry and horrible. "Satorii...."
"Satorii... I will find you both. He will be punished for helping you. Do you really want that?"
SHe tried to ignore Oberons' taunting. How had he become so hateful all of a sudden? It was one thing to shut her out -but this... This was unabated maliciousness.
He continued his quiet barrage of hissed threats, warnings, and dark promises into the evening.
"Meet me somewhere... alone. He'll be killed if you try to bring him. Meet me in San d'Oria..." Oberons whispered.
Finally she stuffed the shell into a garment at the bottom of her bag. Tricky, who was busy with his maps and navigating the terrain, explained to her that they would run to Bastok instead, hiding out with a friend of his who had some political clout. First, they would spend the night in Mhaura.
Entering the Sailor's Stay, Satorii saw the Windurstian flag and asked Tricky if the building was a consulate. He laughed jovially, taking her by the arm and leading her upstairs with a brief explanation. He brought food, and the two of them talked into the night. It helped her some, to talk about all the emotions she'd been dealing with. To discuss Oberons with someone else who knew him, and to reminisce about the few good things she remembered about Windurstian life.
Tricky was a welcome companion, and although they had only known each other a few months -she really cared for him. His amusement at her naivete, which made her furious from other people, actually caused her to blush and smile. She couldn't quite understand the feelings she was having -but Tricky was the one person she could trust right now. He had saved her life and her soul.
As the two of them settled in to sleep on the small bed provided with their single room, Satorii watched Tricky's chest rise and fall with a sullen dissapointment. He seemed to be falling asleep when suddenly his hand began to slowly roam its way up her side. She sucked in a breath and held it...
(to be continued -in a "friends only" post. =) )