A day off was a rare thing.
Two days off was rarer still and star wasn’t about to waste a moment. She freed Samwise from duty at the docks and packed her old bedroll and an extra peg-leg and set out north of the wall even before the sun had rose. She had it half in her mind that she might find the pond Spires had mentioned and half in her mind that she might go find Maggie and spend a few days helping her watch the sheep.
Star had always found sheep to be very soothing and she wasn’t feeling fond of people, who seemed to notice the brightness in her eyes, the sheen on her face and the constant trembling in her hands.
The symptoms were certainly improving, but the process was even slower than she remembered and twice as painful.
So, not wanting to see anyone and with two days off, she might as well ride her horse out of the city and see what there was to see before winter set in.
Samwise was in a mean spirit, chomping his bit and skittering at the slightest provocation. Star wondered if there was something dead on the wind that was bothering him, but couldn’t smell anything, nor hear anything that might be cause for alarm. There was a brief strip of woodland, though, that she thought might be cause the poor horse alarm, as doubtless he had quite forgotten what a wood looked like.
She nudged him into a trot and he seemed slightly more amicable at the higher speed. Star spied something through the trees and her cat-like nature got the better of her usual common sense and she turned Samwise down a deer path. They came upon a field and in it sat a relatively small airship of remarkable design.
Then many things happened very quickly.
First, several men in uniform raised their weapons.
Second, someone shouted “Captain Macbain?”
Third, the sudden movement combined with the shout and, perhaps, with the looming airship, caused Samwise to back and then rear and (though star was an excellent horsewoman and had been riding since she was five) as she was not terribly well practiced with the peg, she was thrown.
Fourth, as she sailed through the air Star thought, “Captain?”
Fifth, upon hitting the ground her head struck a rock and caused the universe to unhinge.
Everything cleared for one brilliant second, she could ear Samwise fleeing in a panic and a completely unfamiliar face appeared over her, “By the builder,” the the woman said, “She’s alive.”
Which, as the blackness closed in, struck Star as very odd: she was almost certain she hadn’t fallen that hard.
((Thank you Mr. Spires for agreeing to let me hijack a bit and always being an inspiring chap to chat with. Star’s typist out of town until sunday or monday and her ability to access SL will be vague as she has bookstores, art museums and prisons to visit. Yes Tenk, I will be wearing flowers in my hair.))