The Unwanted Hero

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Here's an early update along with the reminder that tomorrow is the last day you can grab free copies of my published works. Just look up 'T.S. Lowe' on Amazon. ^.^ They're 'Erase Me' and 'Out of Duat.' In the meantime, enjoy another chapter with Kai!

He did stop by the bunk room so Ayah could be decked up in the blacks, and since it was more than obvious to the others why he ordered this, they all waited, and as they did so he wondered why they so readily fell into place behind him when he was the one who had put them in this situation in the first place. Assassin's of the Abbey weren't, by nature, quick to give their respect or obedience. But this wasn't respect. This was cold, metal strapped fear being held into place. He had melted the door. He had made the initiative. And when they had looked to him, he took up leadership like an old mantle.

He, after all, was the Captain.

Ayah returned breathlessly. The black made her look just as sick and pale as the rest of them. She had had the smarts to tie up her long hair, which the blond girl had taken a spare shirt and tied over it like a handkerchief.

"You know basic evasion tactics," said Kai, lifting the cowl tucked into the front of his shirt as the others did so. "Keep to the shadows. Keep your blade at the ready. Ayah," she flinched at being addressed by him. "That boosting thing you did back at the stadium. Think you can do it again?"

"S-Sure." She looked about with wide eyes. "For all of you?"

"For me. I'm the only one who's prepared, and I'd rather you not burn alive someone else."

She flushed beneath the stares of the others and nodded.

He did a good job minimizing his limp as he made it to the door at the end of the hall. He had to appear strong. They looked to him. He slapped what could only be the open button and waited with baited breath.

To be blinded by brilliant, noon-day sun.

It only took a few seconds before his eyes adjusted enough for him to squint at the scraggily foliage that was common to spits of islands. He gestured Tala around him, but he might not have bothered. The path to the docks spread out before him at a steep incline that ended in a beach of gravel.

"We go to those boats now, we'll be a big sitting duck waiting to be sunk," Kai breathed. "I don't know this area. Can we hide ourselves for an ambush?"

"Half of us can take cover in the trees. The other half I'm not so sure, maybe the rocks? And we shouldn't be too close—"

"But a barrage from every direction is our best chance to get the hit we need."

Ayah stepped out. "I can listen for him and let you know when he comes. I can make a lark call as a signal. Until then, everyone can search for a place."

Kai nodded and looked back at the small black crowd filling out behind him. "How does that sound?"

There were answering nods. Someone made sure to close the door behind him. Best not be too obvious. Kai noticed just in time that it was Emily, who had slipped in after Ayah to dress in black as well.

When no one objected, Kai gave the sign to spread out, and they did so in various directions. He needn't have worried too much about them staying close, because only a few seconds after jumping into the nearby woods with Tala did he come to another beach. The island was tiny; little more than a tree covered rock in the middle of the ocean. Behind them trailed Emily and Ayah, who walked most quietly of them all. In his own excuse, Kai had a stitched up leg making everything more difficult.

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