The Spaces in Between

Spaces75x99Voting for episode 5 ended October 18, 2013. Readers voted for DeLarouge to tell Dron and Mi-Zhu-Quan he needs Gremlaw now.

Episode 6

“I need him ready to travel,” Duke Wattiern DeLarouge commanded, “Now!” Dron regarded the aristocrat dispassionately.

“He has just been through a harrowing ordeal, my lord.” Dron stated. Although Gremlaw heard the words and knew they came from the big man, he was unable to believe he had strung the sentence together on his own. DeLarouge regarded the mismatched husband and wife,

“Of what nature?” He asked. Mi-Zhu-Quan, still trembling after the swapping of memories with Gremlaw, stood slowly and told the Duke,

“It is of no moment. He can be enabled to leave.” DeLarouge frowned at the odd way she spoke before squatting next to Gremlaw and helping him to rise. DeLarouge led Gremlaw from Dron’s home and guided him to a closed carriage where a pair of armoured guards helped the youth aboard.

Gremlaw felt nausea rise as the carriage clattered along the city streets; DeLarouge studied the youth momentarily,

“You are due to board a ship headed north for the port of Salverdane,” the Duke stated, “Once there, you are to head to the Broken Mast, a tavern near the dockside and ask for Semmental. He has been keeping the area under observation for a while now and can bring you up to speed on the situation and some new information he has discovered.” Gremlaw sensed more than understood he was supposed to make some comment,

“Semmental,” he croaked, “At the Broken Mast.” DeLarouge nodded sharply as if satisfied.

Gremlaw had a few days aboard the so-called ship to cogitate on the situation he was in. All he achieved was the generation of a large amount of questions with no one to answer them. A city man, Gremlaw did well aboard the small ship as it coasted northwards on a gentle breeze, suffering no sickness whatsoever and earning the respect of the crew by scurrying up and down the rigging lines to assist them in their duties.

A stench arose from the seawater around Salverdane, the product of the large amounts of rotting fish offal and rubbish the populace threw into the sea. Gremlaw noticed the poor construction used to build the waterfront properties; thick wooden beams coated in tar to protect from the vicious effects of seawater. As far as the eye could see, black coated buildings formed the unpleasant little town. Gremlaw smiled as he reached the snapped mast of a ship which leaned against a building which appeared even more shoddy than the rest.

The young man entered the Broken Mast and scanned the room he found himself in. Rough hewn tables and chairs had been placed, seemingly at random, throughout the fairly large room. Most of these were occupied by depressingly poor sailors with scabbed hands and weatherbeaten faces. Not one of them took notice of the new entrant as he made his way across to the bar which was little more than a large chunk of driftwood perched atop some crates.

“Help ye?” A pockmarked man asked,

“I’m looking for Semmental.” Gremlaw told the barkeep.

“Take ye a seat, he’ll not be in for some while yet.” The man told him, “Do ye need ale or food?”

“Both.” Gremlaw stated as he sat in the darkest corner he could find to wait for his contact.

In Episode 6, readers voted that Semmental arrives soon after Gremlaw is served.

Click here for other episodes.

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