Chapter 14

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The future is blind beyond our lives

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The future is blind beyond our lives. Darkness tells us that our end is near. And I see nothing beyond the next fivedays.

-Journal of Denera Matir

With a firm hand on her's, Brentai assisted Reane over the railing and onto the deck of The Oracle

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With a firm hand on her's, Brentai assisted Reane over the railing and onto the deck of The Oracle.

"Prepare to set sail," her blunt command blared across the ship to her crew.  Turning to her first mate, she added, "We've got trouble.  Big trouble."

With a quizzical look, Brentai informed his Captain of the state of the ship that was her pride and joy, "But we're still short on crew."  

"Can't worry about that." She looked about the main deck and the fewer than normal men moving about. After a quick count, and unless there were significantly more sailors below deck than there should have been, she realized how under-manned they really were. "We'll just have to make do with the men we have and leave the rest behind."

"Well, do you mind cluing me in on the sudden rush?"

"It appears Lord Hedric has a preexisting interest in our passenger after all." Reane saw no need to beat around the bush and was out with her reasoning.

"Sounds like there were already a few Imperial entanglements." Brentai snorted. "We should just leave him to the authorities. No reason to get the Oracle and her crew snarled up in this noose."    

"I've never backed out on a deal before." Reane wasn't having any of her first mate's qualms and wanted to make sure he knew it.  "Damned if I'm going to start now.  I have a reputation to keep."   

"What good's a reputation if you're behind bars in an Imperial stockade? Or dead?"  

The lookout called from the crow's nest, "Captain!  Lubber approaching!"

"Look's like our cargo has arrived." Reane turned for the railing and cast her vision down at Anthony as he traveled the remaining yards to the ship's ladder.  He looked up and back at her upon reaching where the ship was moored to the dock.

"Captain?" He called up to her, an over-packed satchel slung on his shoulder.

"Get on board!" she ordered.  "We don't have much time!" She turned back to Brentai, informing him of her plans.  "We'll wait as long as we can for Sheala, but I won't put this ship and crew in any more danger than I have to."

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