ALT: If A Body Catch A Body...

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ALT: If A Body Catch A Body...

Post by Reinbach on Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:36 pm

"Why did you bring me here?" Molly demanded to know as she looked around at the canyons of Tahrongi. Her brother was busy building a fire, cursing up a storm and sometimes slipping into that goofy accent. He had a good pile of kindling, plus what little wood there was to be found in the surrounding area and had been striking his knife against a rock in an unsuccessful attempt to make enough sparks to light it. Finally he cursed one last time, accent as thick as ever, and threw the rock like a shot put.

"I said," Molly said, as if she were addressing a servant, "why did you bring me here?" Reinbach glared at his little sister.

"I thought you'd like to go camping," he said. "Take you out to do the fun things mom and dad never let you do."

"Camping's for boys," Molly reminded him. She looked down at the rock she was sitting on, and mentally groaned at how filthy it was. Her dress was getting dirty!

"Not true," Reinbach said. "I've been camping with girls plenty of times."

"Nuh-uh!" Molly glared at Reinbach, dissaproving of the lies he told her.

"Yuh-huh!" Reinbach said as he picked up a stick and two flat splinters of wood about an inch thick. "Lots of times!"

"When?" Molly asked defiantly. Reinbach had to think. He had never actually been camping in this timeline.

"In the army," Reinbach nodded. "There's some girls in the army."

"That's different!" Molly objected.

"There's some girls there did Kreigstanz, too," Reinbach added. "I camped with them. Don't you want to learn Kreigstanz?" Molly was silent. There was no way she could win this one, so she looked for a new way to attack.

"Why would you think I would want to go camping?"

"Why," Reinbach started. "Pissed 'cause you wanted to stay in San d'Oria?" Molly's face went red. It was absolutely true. She loved San d'Oria, and she loved being in the company of the royalty there. Being a member of the San d'Orian court seemed much more appealing than life as a senator's daughter. Reinbach sandwiched some kindling between the two flat pieces of wood and began sawing with the stick. "I'm sorry, Molly, but I need you where I can see you. I need to make sure you're safe."

"Safe?!" Molly stood up, ready to start shouting. Reinbach shot her a look that made her sit back down again. "What danger is there?" Molly asked, a bit of confusion in her voice.

"You don't even want to know," Reinbach said, sawing away at the now-smoking wood. "I don't entirely trust Queen Sabbiel, and President Sha'arhe's completely unpredictable."

"Why can't we go home, then?" Molly seemed almost desperate. If she couldn't stay in San d'Oria, she would prefer the comfort of home to camping in the desert.

"We just..." Reinbach searched for a way to explain it, but couldn't. He didn't want to tell her that he was to go to Bastok and help depose and murder their father. "Bastok isn't safe."

"Why?" Molly demanded to know.

"Because things are going to happen there. Maybe a war." Reinbach admitted, and Molly gasped. Finally a fire started in the kindling, and Reinbach blew on it to make it larger. He placed the burning kindling sandwich in the wood and it soon became a respectable fire. Molly was quiet a while.

"War with the beastmen?" Molly asked after some time.

"Most definitely. And maybe a war between the nations." Reinbach sat next to his sister and put an arm around her. Molly leaned her head against her brother. "I don't want you anywhere near that."

"Mom knew, didn't she?" Molly looked up at Reinbach for a second in curiosity. Reinbach doubted she did, but nodded.

"She did," he said reassuringly. "But she was going to take you to Aht Urhgan, and probably out to Arrapago Reef to live with the corsairs."

"Nuh-uh," Molly protested. She knew her mother was no pirate!

"Molly," Reinbach said sternly. "Don't be so naive." Though he couldn't admit it, he admired that she was so quick to defend their mother's honor. It was a sign of her innocence, and to be honest, probably more of an effort than their mother ever made. "She told me herself. I won't have you living among pirates." Reinbach wondered why when he had always been so eager to himself, but quickly put the thought away. "That's no life for you."

"Don't I get to decide that?" Reinbach looked down at his sister, trying not to show the swelling of pride he felt. Sometimes she surprised him with the things she said.

"You do," Reinbach said. "Mom had your life all chosen for you, though. She'd make you a part of the phratrie, and your fate would be sealed. I stole you away so you could choose." It was only half a lie.

"Anything I want?" Molly asked, smiling.

"I'll help you become anything you want," Reinbach said, crossing his heart. "I swear on the Papsque's silly hat."

"Not on your own?" Ouch! The little girl cut deep!

"My own, too," Reinbach chuckled.

"Then you're going to have to help me learn kreigstanz!" She broke away from her brother's arm and stood up, a hopeful look in her eye.

"I can't help you there," Reinbach admitted. "But I can teach you how to use a knife." He took his knife from his belt and held it out to her, handle first. Molly's eyes went wide as she looked the knife over. It seemed so big to her. She curled her fingers around the handle and held the knife up in the light, watching the light of the flickering fire and retreating sun in its blade. "A knife's a finesse weapon. You don't need to be strong to use it, which is why it tends to be favored by thieves." Reinbach doubted she heard him.

"You'll teach me to use this?" She asked.

"Just the basics. I'm more of a ranger than a knife fighter. That knife's called an archer's knife, and tends to be favored by rangers like me. I'll have to buy you a more suitable knife when we're in town. Here, let me show you some moves." Reinbach stood up, dusted himself off, and began giving lessons. After a meal of canyon rarab Molly practiced her new moves awkwardly, trying to work in what little Kreigstanz she knew. Eventually she wore herself out and fell asleep.

Reinbach watched over her the whole night to make sure she was safe, only vaguely aware of his own need to sleep. It was, he felt, a necessary sacrifice for her safety. He couldn't think of anything that wasn't.
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Reinbach

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