In response the GeeBee leapt up into the air, graceful as a cat; before Charmian could move he had descended and his hands reached out to grasp her upper arms, pulling her up with him.  She screamed, more with anger than with fear, and started kicking her legs, but soon had to stop that as they rose further and further up into the air.  She sucked in her breath and watched the trees grow smaller below her, remembering how it had been when she'd first been seized by the GeeBees--only then, there had been Tal Natha and X to save her.  She'd even had Drake along for the ride so she wasn't alone.  Now they were all gone.  What was she going to do when he dropped her off at Devil's Kitchen?

She sensed she would have to hold true to her word to Augwak, and go out fighting, though she suspected that wouldn't help very much...

Instead of thinking about it she shut her eyes tight against the stinging wind and waited for the end to come.

It came a lot sooner than she thought it would, considering how far away the lakeshore was.  She felt the wind slow and the grip on her arms loosen as the GeeBee descended, and her feet gently touched the ground--he let go of her and she stumbled forward, falling on all fours.  She barely heard him land behind her before scrambling to her feet and putting up her arms in a defensive gesture, getting ready to fight off however many other GeeBees she had to--

--only to find she was in the middle of a field, at the edge of the woods instead of at Devil's Kitchen, and instead of a horde of GeeBees a young man with a gun leaning against his shoulder stood before her instead.  He gaped and blinked several times, and from the looks of it, he was just as surprised to see her as she was to see him.

"Hello, fleshling," the GeeBee, standing behind Charmian, said.

Charmian gasped and ran away from him, toward the man with the gun.  She ducked behind him, grabbing onto his arm and glaring out at the GeeBee.

"I said back off!" she shouted.  "Or--he'll--shoot you!  If he has to!"

The man looked down at her as if she were crazy.

Charmian pointed at the GeeBee wildly.  "Shoot him!  Shoot the GeeBee!!"

"Pardon?" the man asked, obviously confused.

Charmian felt like pulling out her hair.  "AAGGHHH!!  Don't you see him?  He's right there!  Shoot him and maybe he'll go away!"

The man's look softened and now he just looked as if he felt Charmian were a little child who needed to be corrected.  "Ma chère, one doesn't go shooting at GeeBees.  It's pointless.  Like shooting at air, really."

"SO?  Maybe it'll scare him off!  Go on, do it!  He's pestering me!!"

The man turned to the GeeBee and addressed it.  "Monsieur.  Do you pester the young lady?"

The owlish eyes blinked slowly, almost like a cat's.  "I ask her where she comes from, where she wishes to go.  She claims to come from Sugar Loaf yet doesn't wish to return.  She is mainlander.  She refuses to answer questions.  So I bring her to you."

The man turned back to Charmian.  "He offers you assistance and you turn him down?  What sort of gratitude is that?"

"AAGGHHH!!" Charmian wailed again, letting go of his arm.  "You're ALL crazy!!"

The young man's smile grew and he touched his fingers to his forehead, bowing a bit.  "Actually, I'm Justin Dupries, of the Dupries family.  Most pleased to meet you, even if you're not."

This time it was Charmian who blinked.  "Huh?  Dupries?"  That name again!  Her tensed muscles relaxed.  "So...you're one of the people who live here...?"

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