A Slow Beginning
Buckingston slung his pack up and over his shoulder. He was very specific regarding his bedding, and as that had no place in the grand design, he could not store it in his gifted pack. Shame; the damn thing was unwieldy. Fortunately his mount would carry it with ease.
Earlier he’d given his farewell to Coltan. The man looked too gaunt yet. He had The Light in him, however. Why else had he lived from such constant leeching and punishment? He could see how the title of Tactical Officer had been earned, as the man had shown concern regarding the forces of the Citadel, and would probably have left the Sanctuary already to return had in not been the strict orders that the Caravan Master, Mossclaw, had given. Well, and the coin paid to ensure that the keepers of the Sanctuary saw that the man stayed put. His lips twisted in a wry grin as he headed to the stables, past the order’s “facilitators”.
Buck had seen what he came to see. That all was well, and right was being done. He’d not expected to find it that way. Too many campaigns and too many good men and women of the Alliance driven too hard for meaningless marks upon the tables of war. A waste. He’d also seen his share of those that faltered tossed out like garbage when there was plenty left in them. He whipped the strap sharply tight, and his mount whickered in startlement. He frowned, and took time to soothe and apologize through firm strokes down withers and welcome scratches. Now who needed a facilitator? He snorted at himself.
Still, he thought, it was a surprise. He’d not expected such care from a Kaldorei. Perhaps it was that she was a woman. His features reddened as he guided his mount out and onto the path that would lead down the mountain to a small gathering of huts and flight facilities, always good to spread coin.
He pulled up his hood, enjoying the distraction that physical discomfort brought. There was beauty in moving through the world in traditional ways, before the change. He blinked the snow from his eyelashes. His family had all been changed. He was the only one who it didn’t show on the outside. Luck, to have been sent out. Luck to have a wall that prevented him from standing with them, not that there had been time. Blind luck. Luck. Blind. He guided his horse around an outcropping. Still, what was, was. Light knows he would take it in stride.
Hopefully the Comma.. Caravan Master would be pleased with his report, and not attentive to the time taken to deliver it. His eyes swept the path before him, his mind equally sweeping, if in a different way. He had no business thinking on pleasure. His weight shifted crosswise to his mounts gait and his teeth felt it. A soft curse and a deep breath and he regained his mount’s rhythm, holding to that discipline for the rest of the journey to the flight master. A day later and he was lowering his pack, dismissing his mount, as all did in the field. Mounts were too valuable to risk.
He stowed his gear and headed up to the Hall. Most likely the Caravan Master would be there. He was not disappointed. What did trouble him, as his gaze swept the table, was the inordinate amount of paperwork in four piles before her. He snapped a salute.
The Caravan Master raised her face to him and for just a split second he thought he saw great weariness, before the lines reformed to almost blank hospitality.
“Buckingston. How is…” she paused infinitesimally, “… my Tactical Officer; does he begin to heal?” She rose and returned his salute before gesturing to the chair upon her right as she resumed her seat.
Buckingston strode forward and sat, trying not to look at the paper stack now sideways before him.
“He does well. His wounds still seep, but he can speak for short periods of time. He sleeps, mostly, then awakens highly annoyed.” Buckingston smiled, the corners of his eyes crinkling in memory. “He has always been that focused, I take it.”
The Caravan Master allowed the corners of her lips to quirk upwards briefly. “Yes. He would not stay had I not released Ilsée as well.” Her lips dipped as she asked: “You did not inform him of our trials here?”
“No Mam. I follow orders.”
She leaned back in obvious relief, the rings of her open scabbard across her back thunking solidly into the high chair back. “Well done. Thank you Buckingston. We assail the pockets on the same schedule as when you left. I would finally see you in them. You have the weekend days to recover from your journey.”
Buck did not need to be a master of interpretation to hear the dismissal. He rose, snapped a salute and turned swiftly to spare her the need to rise and do the same. Now to see whom else was about. He still needed to get to know everyone, and their temperaments and capabilities. Not that he was more than he was, but old habits, well, he’d prefer to keep those.
by Mossclaw on 2015-08-30 08:23:48
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