*Sorry to be so late. I’m coming down with something, I think. ARGH. To be expected as the whole family has been sick for a week, except me. Apparently I’ve reached the end of my defenses.*
*You guys know we talked about doing a shared world. We went with a whole continent so that Dave can have his jungle and I can have my big city with diners. We’re working on a contract which we should have in a week or two (and yes, we’ll post it for your enlightenment although we haven’t decided yet if anyone not in the group can play. OTOH if it’s very successful, we’ll inevitably enlarge it. For now, here’s the eighth chapter of Elf Blood, book one of Risen Atlantis. And for now it is ©Sarah A. Hoyt 2014. All rights reserved. Do not copy, distribute or otherwise disseminate without the author’s name, and a link to this page. You do not have the right to alter it. You do not have the right to claim it as yours. For permission to do anything other than quote it for review or recommendation purposes, email Goldportpress@gmail.com. This is a work of fiction, all coincidence between it and real people place or events is assuredly imaginary.*
For previous chapters, see here.
When people press guns to your back, you don’t fight, particularly not when the people in question have an aura of power that you can see, standing out from them a palm, and not when you can smell in the air the “sense” that they’re hill people. Well, you don’t fight unless you’re sure they’re going to kill you, anyway, and I wasn’t sure.
Which is how I came to find myself tied and foot and flung down in the space between two seats, face down. This of course, in theory at least meant that I couldn’t see where I was going. It certainly meant that no one would see me being driven out of town by my kidnappers, and that part worried me a little, since it quite clearly didn’t preclude their disposing of me somewhere.
What gave me heart is that they clearly had no idea whom they were dealing with.
What I mean is, I was elf enough to know where I was going. It wasn’t exactly far seeing – one doesn’t do a complex spell with very high power people in the car – but it was enough for me to sort of sense the road. And the road we took headed straight out of Pomae.
Which wouldn’t have scared me half so much if I didn’t realize we were on the road to Mudhole.
At least tracking the way we were going gave me some distraction from what would otherwise have been hours of unmitigated boredom as the car wound amid buildings, and then through the High Hill gate, and out of town.
If you’re thinking I’m a poor spirited thing, not to have screamed or given any sign of distress, you’d be wrong.
You see, given the power of the people in the car with me, I could tell they could throw a damper over any attempt to attract outside attention before I could, and besides, there would be no point in trying to attract the police.
The three men in the car with me were large, perhaps a little prettier than they should be, were they pure humans, strong and highly magical. And one of them, at least, I’d last seen in the interrogation room at Ardghal’s family Hill.
I might be stupid, but I’m not that stupid. Somehow, I thought, since I doubted this was normal police tactics, even against people like me—somehow, at some point, the police force of Pomae had got infiltrated by elves. Perhaps elves who made them believe they were, like myself, half breeds. At least the gent sitting above me, his face impassive, hadn’t been letting his full power flow forth when last seen.
But it seemed churlish to hold his deception against him – though I did. After all, what good was it when half-elves were held out of civic life on suspicion of being too magical, while real elves could sneak through and past human defenses?
So I concentrated on knowing where they were taking me. After all, it might be optimistic, but I was hoping to come the other way under my own power.
The funny thing is that I was almost sure the car wasn’t a fairy steed. Unless they were indeed powerful beyond all knowledge and capable of controlling its power and the tell tale sense of its individual will. I hoped not. Elves shouldn’t have godlike powers. They’re already conceited enough.
The car slowed down as we went up a hill, and I felt the power emanating from it and was both scared and relieved. Scared, because it was elf power, and strong. Relieved because it was not my father’s hill. In fact, we were about fifty miles away from that, though I had trouble believing that my father allowed a hill of a rival to subsist that close.
Physically the place was a mansion, looking much the worse for the wear and set on heavily treed grounds. Behind us was a gate that presumably had opened to let us through but was now closed and locked. And a long gravel drive. In front of us the house, foursquare, painted white, built of stone, with stone staircases leading up to the door.
I was led up the steps by my captors, and into a hall carpeted in red, and up a stair case, and down another hall to a large room completely surrounded in ornate buildings.
The room was decorated in red – curtains, carpet and the plush sofa onto which I was flung.
A mirror opened revealing itself a door, and a man came in. No, not a man, an elf, whose power revealed him to be the king of this hill, however large and however powerful or weak.
For a second, confused, I thought it was Ardghal. Then I realized that though the two looked somewhat alike this elf was dark and his power was the ancient type.
I presumed this was Ardghal’s half brother.