AN: Thanks everyone for the awsome reviews! Sorry I took so long, but falling off a loft hurts... a lot.
(not that you care, but I sprained my wrist & ankle, small concussion and were not sure if I fractured my fibia or my hand, never got an x-ray for it, because the swealing went down after a day or two)
I can type though... so hopefully I will keep on the ball w/ this.
It was Numair who stepped in; oddly both George and Sir Myles had remained silent. She would have expected some sort of response from the two of them, after what she had read, but they stayed silent.
This bothered Ana, but not as much as the spears pointed at her. These were not the spears from the Renaissance festival, or a movie prop, where the tips were blunted dull. These were deathly sharp, and meant to cut through muscle and bone in battle, and the men holding it knew how to use them.
She felt that if she moved too fast in any direction, she would be cut from top to bottom before she took a full step.
"This is not what Daine had been reporting from up north, this is smaller." Numair looked at his peers, expression unreadable. "This is something new."
Ana shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot, hoping and praying (to whoever was up there) that he didn't ask the next assumable question.
"Can it work?"
But, of course he did. Hell, I would ask the same thing. She thought as she nervously looked at all of the guards, then back toward Numair, not quite meeting his eyes, afraid to answer him.
Sir Myles moved his hand slightly and some of the men relaxed slightly. Alanna cleared her throat, and the rest did as well; all of them waiting for her to speak.
So she replied, "Y-yes. But it is louder than my gun, but a lot more so."
"Don't worry about that." Numair replied. She risked looking up into his eyes. Gone was the kind, worried expression that had been there ten minutes before, it had instead been replaced by a cold, unfeeling stare that penetrated her. Ana had to catch her breath before she could speak.
"I'll need a ramp, umm… a plank of wood? So I can move it from the wagon to the ground." Slowly she moved her hand and pointed as to what she meant.
Only one of the men moved to do as she requested, moving off to get something for her to use. Silence penetrated the air as they waited.
Nervously Ana clasped and unclasped her hands and looked around her, trying to judge her companions' state of mind. Sir Myles was curious, as was Alanna's. George's face was unreadable, and Numair's was still dangerously cold.
The men surrounding her were scared, perhaps more than she was.
These are brothers, and sons to someone, and here they are a mere few feet from a potential threat. Inside she risked a smile at the irony of her next thought. I'm the potential threat.
The man, a boy really, came back, his arms full of the rough cut wood he was half carrying, half dragging toward her.
She helped him set it up before climbing onto the wagon and then onto the bike. She was going to just turn it over and rev it before walking it off the ramp. But then she was confronted with an old smell, but one that she should not be noticeable, gasoline.
Biting her lip she tried to turn over the engine, and then, nothing. She climbed off and peered into the various metal parts, searching for whatever might be causing the problem. After a few seconds she spotted it.
A large puncture was at the bottom of her gas tank, obviously spilling the contents onto the ground.
"Who did this?" Her voice had an edge to it as she pointed at the hole. No one answered. "Who DID this?" She looked at all of the men, fixing her eyes on each of their own as rage began to boil within her.
"WHO DID THIS TO MY BIKE?!?"
Finally, the boy raised his hand, "It moved, toward me and I didn't know what to do, so I stabbed at it."
The anger that had been building exploded. "IT WAS MY BIKE! YOU KILLED IT! HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FIX THIS???"
Her surroundings didn't matter anymore; the fact that she was encircled by over a dozen dangerous spears didn't register. Only that her precious bike, that she had scraped and saved for, that she had worked her ass off for was broken, likely beyond repair. She was seeing red.
"DO YOU KNOW HOW EXPENSIVE THIS WAS??? WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND A NEW GAS TANK ON THIS MODEL! BULTACO DOESN'T EVEN MAKE BIKES ANYMORE!" She was about to jump on the boy and show him exactly how upset she was. Her muscles tensed and she took a step forward. But then there was a flash of purple fire behind her eyes and everything went black.
Ana's unconscious body hit the wagon's bottom with a soft –thud- and the soldiers stepped back, allowing the King's Champion to pass through to the girl's side. She lifted herself into the wagon and bent down next to Ana. She checked her pulse and then, satisfied she was fine, motioned for two of the men to gently lift and carry her away.
The remaining men took the wagon and broken bike into lock-up, being careful not to touch it.
George and Myles stayed behind to talk over Ana's exact words and what they possibly meant, as Alanna and Numair followed the girl and her bearers inside.
Neither mages looked at each other as they walked over the cobbled stone toward the castle.
"Why didn't you take her down?" Alanna said after a period of silence.
"I was afraid I would hurt her." Numair replied quietly. "I'm just glad that it isn't the same thing as up north."
Alanna glanced up at him in surprise. "How are you sure?"
"When we first showed her the drawings of the… creatures she didn't act frightened, but she didn't recognize them either. And her "bike" didn't have any traces of magic in or on it. I don't believe they are made in the same fashion." He said, looking down at the much shorted mage.
"Her gun though, that is dangerous. I think it could even puncture metal." She stated; her tone thoughtful. They were silent until they entered the main courtyard.
"She said she wanted to come with me up north." Alanna said, her expression blank, considering.
One of Numair's dark eyebrows rose slightly. "Really?"
AN: Bultaco was a real motorcycle company that redefined (if not recreated) the sport of motorcycle racing. It was shut down completely in 1979 (although the name was bought & used twice once in 2000, and again in 2001, both unsuccessfully) The remaining models are therefore rare, sturdy, and expensive. (Ya… worked in a bike shop for the last two summers)
AAN: btw, thanks to my awsome new beta! hearts to you!