Tales of Dark Mountain: Moonlight - Part Six
Part Six: Discovery
“What do you mean you can’t?” Alex cried, struggling against his captor’s grip.
“Exactly what I said,” Ral replied. “I don’t know how, but Scorgan has found a way to keep us from fleeing.” He looked down and clenched his fists, tears beginning to stream down his face. “We’ve tried before, and the ones who did were killed or terribly injured.” He looked back up and stared Tamack in the eye. “He didn’t do it until you escaped.”
Tamack looked stricken. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.
Ral looked away. “Take them to the prison. Now!” The Lirse once again began hauling them away towards the prison. The three companions struggled all the way.
They were tossed roughly inside separate cells, though the cells they were in were side by side. “Sorry,” mumbled a starry Shoyru. “It’s Scorgan’s orders.” With that, he and the rest of the Lirse walked to the entrance. Two of them remained there to stand guard.
Alex snorted. “That wasn’t what I expected for a welcome,” he grumbled.
“Why did I do it?” Tamack asked in despair. Alex looked over and saw him looking forlornly at the wall across the room. “Why did I leave? If I had stayed, they wouldn’t have been worse off.” Tears streamed down the shadow Shoyru’s face. “Why?”
Alex felt pity for Tamack stab his heart. He had never seen him so depressed. “You thought it would be the best thing for them,” Alex told him. “You left, yes, but it was to find help. And you found it, didn’t you?” Alex paused to let what he had said sink in. “You found us.”
“And we’re with you all the way,” Soria promised. Alex looked over and saw the yellow Kougra’s eyes shining. “I won’t let Scorgan harm the Lirse and Sorsay like he harmed my family.”
“Soria,” Alex began hesitantly, “what exactly did Scorgan do to your family?”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she replied, her eyes sad.
“We might be able to help,” Alex said, surprised with himself at his concern for her.
“I doubt it,” Soria replied. The surprise in her eyes echoed Alex’s thoughts.
There was a heavy sigh from Tamack’s cell. “Maybe, but we’ve got to get out of these cells first.”
“Maybe I can help with this,” came a new voice from across the room. Three pairs of eyes turned to look at a figure in the shadows in a cell directly across from Alex’s. From the shadows stepped a gold Shoyru. A red-orange sun was clear on his right arm.
“A Sorsay!” cried Tamack in surprise.
The Shoyru nodded. “And you must be the Lirse who escaped,” he said. Then he turned to Alex and Soria. “But I don’t recall ever seeing you before.”
“I’m Alex,” Alex said.
“And I’m Soria.”
The Shoyru nodded acknowledgement. “My name is Kiak. I was second in command of the Sorsay, until the Lirse captured me and brought me here. It was not long after you left, Lirse, that they took hold of me.”
“My name’s Tamack,” Tamack said, frustration edging his voice. Alex could see the rivalry these two bands of Shoyrus had against one another.
“Ok, Tamack.” Kiak’s eyes shone in the gloom. “It’s time to put past rivalries aside. We face a common enemy now. If we work together, we have a better chance of beating Scorgan than if we work alone.” He looked down and snorted. “After Scorgan is defeated, we can work out a more peaceful way to get the Lirse to stop their wrong doings.”
Tamack cocked an eyebrow. “What wrong doings would these be?”
“That the Lirse had found a power source that they would use to destroy the Sorsay.”
“What? But it was the Sorsay that were going to destroy the Lirse!”
Kiak looked frustrated. “Have you no recollection of the ancient tales? They were passed down for generations, clearly stating that the Lirse were going to destroy the Sorsay.”
“No, you’re the one who’s got it all wrong!”
“And they say we fight worse than siblings,” Alex said to Soria under his breath.
Soria smiled slightly at his remark. Then she added one of her own, so that the other three could here. “Well, it seems to me that there are two possibilities here. One would be that the story got mixed up over time and neither were really going to destroy the other.”
“The other would be that someone started rumors that the other band was plotting to destroy them,” Alex guessed.
“Right,” Soria said.
Alex snorted. “I guess that’s true.”
“What do you mean you guess?” Soria asked in dismay.
“Stop fighting!” Tamack snapped at them.
“We need to put our differences behind us and fight together if we want to get out of here,” Kiak chipped in. “Just as we need to work together to defeat Scorgan.”
Alex and Soria looked at each other. Though they never had been that good of friends, Alex knew that they would have to work together if they were to defeat Scorgan. “Alright, I’m in,” he said, turning back to Kiak.
“So am I,” Soria agreed.
“I’m not going to let you fight him alone,” Tamack said determinedly. “I’m coming with you.”
Kiak nodded. “So, we’re in agreement?” The other three nodded. “Good. Now, I’ve seen that one of the guards always has the keys. If we could get them to come over here, someone might be able to grab the keys.”
Soria sighed. “I wish I had my bow and arrows!” she cried in frustration. The guards had taken them from her when they had captured the three.
Alex looked thoughtful. “What if one of us just ‘disappeared’?” he asked, a smile playing on his lips.
Kiak glanced down the hall to make sure the guards weren’t listening. They were talking to each other, blissfully unaware that their prisoners were plotting some way to escape.
“Well, three of us have wings. So why not put them to good use?” Alex said, his smile broadening. The other’s faces began to show understanding of what he was getting at. “All one of us has to do is fly to the top of the cell so that we’re out of sight.” The top foot of the cells were solid rock, with no openings to see through.
“Then one of us calls out the alarm, and the guards come rushing,” Tamack said, nodding approval.
“Good idea!” Kiak cried. “Now, why don’t we put this plan into action?”
Alex nodded, and flew to the top of his cell. He pressed himself as close as he could to the ceiling. “Guards!” he heard Kiak call. “Guards, the blue Shoyru is missing!”
“What?” came the startled exclamation from down the hall. He heard the sound of footsteps as the guards ran down the hall towards his cell. “How could he have escaped?”
“I don’t know,” Kiak said. “I wasn’t watching for a while. When I turned back, he had disappeared.”
“I smell something fishy,” said the second guard. He heard the grating sound of the cell door as the guard unlocked it and opened it. He heard footsteps as the two guards entered the cell.
One, two, three! he counted mentally, before jumping down. He grabbed the keys from the guard closest to him before he knew what was happening. “You little sneak!” cried one of the guards.
Both guards drew swords from belts at their waists. Alex stared warily at them. “Give the keys back and get back in your cell,” the other guard ordered. “We were told to keep a very close eye on you, even more so than on the rest.”
The other guard hit his companion. “You shouldn’t be telling him that!” he cried.
Confusion flowed through Alex like a stream, but he didn’t waste time asking what they meant. In a heartbeat he had slipped the keys through the bars into Soria’s cell. The yellow Kougra hastily grabbed the keys and reached through the bars to unlock her cell.
“Come get me!” Alex yelled at the two guards. They lunged at him, but Alex was able to get away before they hit. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Soria open her cell and run over to Kiak’s. He really hoped she hurried up.
Alex dodged another of the guards’ attacks. “Just get back in the cell and we won’t have to hurt you,” one of the guards said, a desperate look in his eyes.
“Who says you’re going to catch me?” Alex asked. He caught a glance of Soria and Kiak running over to Tamack’s cell. He jumped out of the way of yet another attack.
He was beginning to feel nervous that he’d be sliced to ribbons when he heard Soria call, “Alex! Come on!”
Alex jumped into the air and flew to where Tamack, Soria, and Kiak were waiting for him. When he reached them, they all made a dash to get away. “The storage room first!” Tamack said, veering sharply to the right. The others followed. They stopped when they reached a locked wooden door. Tamack quickly unlocked the door and opened it. All four slipped inside.
The walls were adorned with a collection of items. “These must be what they take from the prisoners,” Kiak said quietly.
Tamack just nodded. He grabbed Soria’s strung bow and tossed it to her. He also handed her a quiver full of arrows. He gave a sword to Kiak, and chose a dagger for himself. He handed a sword to Alex, as well. “You do know how to fight with one, don’t you?” he asked nervously.
“I fought in the Battledome with one,” Alex replied with a shrug.
“It’s good enough.” There were shouts coming from down the hall. “We’d better leave soon,” Tamack said worriedly.
“You won’t be going anywhere,” said a voice. All four turned around to see Ral blocking the only way out.
To be continued...