There was a hastily-called meeting of the Heads the next morning, to discuss the fate of the town. Wilom didn’t know what they could do about it now, and he told them so, despite the heartbroken look on Vicdra’s face. Apparently most of them had been investigated also. Nobody could risk being further involved.
Rytel was conspicuously absent. Continue reading
For the first time since he’d left the River, Wilom found himself wishing that Vanda had given him some way to contact her.
There was only one person who would still offer him a place to sleep.
Mr Treene. Continue reading
It didn’t hit Wilom at all as he was walking home, despite the new sheaf of paper in his briefcase: the lists of things he would need to procure and do before he reported for training. He probed at the idea like a sore tooth. Continue reading
This time, as Wilom approached the gates, there were more guards than usual. This was hardly uncommon – returning patrols often stopped by the gates to talk – so it wasn’t until Wilom got much closer that he realised that they were not chatting, and in fact, that they were all looking at him. Continue reading
Wilom went to visit the construction site with Vanda every day for a while – with the Pathways, it was a matter of minutes to get to and from the site every morning. Rickart had thoroughly taken over the site planning, and was so obviously competent at it that Wilom honestly felt a little useless. Instead, he joined Inushi’s heavy lifting crew. Wilom realised with a start that he’d never seen a soldier in any sort of action – he’d only ever seen them either sitting on the boat, or waiting idly. Inushi was wearing only her singlet and trousers, bracing a plank of wood upright as a few men and women up on the scaffolding got themselves in place to pull it up. Wilom admired her. She was efficient and capable, and had a knack for being part of a team while she led it. Continue reading
Wilom didn’t hear from Vanda the day after, or the one after that. They both needed time to think, but Wilom was starting to chafe at having nothing to do but think.
Just as Wilom was taking his shoes off, getting ready for bed, he heard “Psst!” next to his ear. Continue reading
Wilom regretted letting Vanda talk him into see the ferryman, but he didn’t turn her away when she came to collect him. He’d meant what he said. Vanda shouldn’t need to bully him into facing his problems like an adult, and he needed very badly to be done with this particular problem. Continue reading
Vanda and Wilom stood overlooking the construction site. Vicdra, true to his word, had managed to get people in to help him. He’d said they were mostly those they’d already found homes for but were unhappy for one reason and another. A few of them were under investigation or the threat of investigation. Some of them had been running from place to place to avoid being caught. Just enough ID to keep them on the move. Continue reading
Mr Treene’s next invitation came somewhat unexpectedly. Ever since he had given Mr Treene that gift – and especially since his visit to the ferryman – he had been rethinking that choice. At the time, it seemed clever. Now he was certain it was petty, and not at all sure it hadn’t been arrogant, too. Continue reading
Vanda was out somewhere — probably working for the lighthouse keeper — and Wilom had no desire to see anyone. The Heads still hadn’t sent the date for their next meeting. He didn’t fancy spending another day wandering around coffee shops and trying not to listen in to people’s personal lives. And he definitely did not want to see Mr Treene. Continue reading