An hour later the fire was put out and everyone settled down for another rough night of sleeping. Tivoli wisely lay down at a discreet distance leaving us alone in the deep silence. I was glad for the darkness, I didn’t have to look at the glum faces of my cellmates. Toby was used to roughing it so he handed me his slim pillow and laid down on the threadbare blanket without complaint. I shifted uneasily troubled by the number of ways the so called plan could go wrong. What if they couldn’t afford to buy us from Gandolph? Who was the buyer anyway? Was this going to be an auction? What if Gandolph decided to keep us for himself? What if Tivoli and Daedelus were lying and they were slave traders? Where the hell was Daedelus? I agonized over the worst case scenerios in my mind endlessly as I fought to deal with an intermittant headache as well, damn it. I lay in the dark listening to others snoring and coughing. The air smelled of dirt, wood ash and sweat. I tried to stay warm under the thin blanket.
“What’s bothering you sweets?” I heard Toby whisper as I leaned close to him to get warm.
“I’m worried about how we’re going to get out of this.” I said barely audible. He sighed and shifted his weight.
“I have a few ideas.” he said it as a released breath.
“Oh do tell.” my voice taking on an impatient edge.
“This so called jail is a joke.” his tone edged in comtempt. “The main door doesn’t even have a lock, just a latch. Most of the guards appear to be clueless and their weapons.” he laughed as he said the word.
“I know, I noticed most carried staffs and not too skillfully either.” I joined in. I wish I had my katana with me. The long slender samurai sword would feel good in my hands, a perfect killing machine; the puny swords they had here were no match.
“So what’s your plan?” I could tell by his stillness that his mind was working, planning as his army training taught him.
“We slip the latch open with the flat end of a spoon I pocketed. We pass through the courtyard, there’s a tree that overhangs the enclosure. We climb up and over the wall that way. I saw a gate on the other side visible from the mens latrine.” That he had memorized the route did not surprise me. He always found his way out of the woods afterall.
We both had on dark clothes, had excellent night vision and were capable of moving soundlessly. He pointed out he hadn’t seen any soldiers on this side of the prison as it was a low security risk. I mentioned that the guards who were here, didn’t look too happy so they tended to stay as far away as possible.
“Of course if we wait to be sold down the river-so to speak- we won’t get a chance to try this out.” I said. Was he ready to do this now? It was the same challenge, to stick it out or leave. He stayed silent, considering the options. Deep down I knew he couldn’t resist the temptation to see where this was leading.
Toby’s great escape only solved half the problem. It occurred to me that these Hiron soldiers may be inept, but Tivoli and his Macedonian buddy appeared to be pretty shrewd. Shrewd enough to come looking for us and that worried me.
“Before we get out, I’ll break Tivoli’s leg for you, how’s that?” I promised.
“Deal.” he said flatly. We decide to wait til mid night.
As I lay there in the dark thinking over our decision, my mind began to drift. Shapes and shadows moved as I looked out through half closed eyes. I felt the throb of my headache with each heartbeat.
Suddenly a hand rested on my head, I shifted to see a man glowing bright blue in the darkness. I wasn’t scared, as I sensed no threat from him, especially since my headache disappeared the moment he touched me. Was I dreaming? A thump somewhere brought me to full wakefullness but the slender man remained, cradling my head in his hand.
Trust them, he spoke in my mind and I flashed on an image of Tiovli and Daedelus.
A warmth spread through me along with a famliar feeling I recognized immediately. He seemed pleased with my reaction and gently let go. He stood and slowly faded from view. The feeling stayed and I recognized it with an unexpected memory.
It was during my aikido black belt test. Ki flowed through me, making each move supremely natural and effortless as I glided through the manuevers with absolute certainity. I felt like I was floating. That feeling flowed into me once more. Calm, yet swift as a river. I emerged from my dream when Toby moved next to me.
“ I just thad the weirdest dream.” he said with a mixture of surprise and annoyance. “ A blue guy with a bald head just told me trust Tivoli and his ridiculous plan”
“Shit.” I muttered sofly.