Han was stuck. Byrne would be expecting him back at Mystwerk, and while he could leave with just what he had with him, Ragger was in the stable at Wein House. He couldn't go back there now, it was too risky. He needed to find a place to lay low for a while. So Han dallied on Bridge Street, slinking along the outsides of the lamplight and searching his brain for a place to stay the night.

"Han!"

Han spun around, palming his knife and falling into a crouch. His eyes flicked over faces, but he could not find the one who had called him. He jumped backwards, getting his back to the wall, and figuring out different escape routes as a figure emerged from the night.

The girlie trotted out of the darkness and called to him, "Do you know where Rebecca is?"

It was Hallie. That threw him off for a moment, but his resolve hardened. If this was a trap, he was not going to fall for it. "Get away from me Hallie." He waved his knife threateningly, but didn't advance. Hallie was a friend, and even if he felt betrayed he still didn't want to hurt her.

Hallie hesitated a moment, confusion and hurt showing in her eyes. Does she not know? Han asked himself, Or does she just not know if I know?

"What's this about Han?" Hallie asked cautiously, as if not sure if it was a safe thing to ask.

Han spat at her. "I know everything. When you see Byrne again, tell him not to bother, 'cause I'm leaving anyways."

Hallie blinked slowly, and Han sped into the darkness, circling around her. He moved in, and just before he was on her she spun around, glaring at him suspiciously.

"Wha-" she started to question, but fell over quietly when Han hit her on the head with the handle of his blade.

"Sorry Hallie, he murmured, "but I can't have you running off to Byrne before I leave." He backed into the shadows again, and started running to the stable. If Byrne was sending people after him, there were, there were no safe places. Not even his part of the library was safe, because Rebecca- No, Raisa had seen that too.

He had to leave, and he had to leave quickly. If he wanted his other knives and that map of the Gray Lady, he would have to move fast.

He sprinted back to Mystwerk and quickly scaled the uneven wall on the outside of his room, careful to avoid windows below his own. No reason to let anyone see him now. Han carefully pulled the window open, getting a grip on the space he always left open when he went out, just in case.

He vaulted into his room, hastily checking if his things had been searched through yet. Nothing was disturbed, but that meant they would probably be here soon. He snatched his knives and the map from their places on the cabinet, and was hesitating over taking some fancier clothes along with the ones he wore on the way here when the door burst open.

"Alister! Don't move and I won't hurt you." It was Byrne. Han knew he could get away from just him, but the question was if he had men waiting outside.

He took the chance and sprang onto the windowsill. Byrne was swiftly approaching behind him, but could he really survive a fall from the fourth floor. It was a risk, but he might be able to land in something soft, like that bush over there. His muscles bunched under him and he looked back at Byrne, who apparently thought he was cornered.

"Sorry, but I've never trusted a bluejacket before, and I'm not going to start now." Han leapt from his perch on the windowsill and flew through the air, getting ready to take the fall when a sharp pain ripped through his right leg. He momentarily fell unconscious as he curled into a ball, but awakened a short time later on the ground, hurting tremendously. He was barely able to drag himself into the relative safety of a small dip in the ground that was surrounded by bushes to take inventory of his hurt.

His right leg needed help. Badly. Not only was it bleeding horribly, but it also seemed to have been broken in the fall. He was bruised all over, but though they hurt, the bruises were not his immediate concern. His right arm was probably fractured, and his nose was broken, but all in all he had gotten off very lucky. It must have been how he was unconscious when he hit the ground, and so didn't have a chance to tense up.

Han stilled as soft footsteps approached. That must be Byrne, checking to see if I'm still here, he thought as quietly as possible. He didn't think Byrne could sense thoughts, but it was better to be safe than sorry. The footsteps stopped abruptly, and Han held his breath. If I survive this, he promised to whatever higher power there was, I will never jump from four stories up again.

His prayer seemed to work, because he could here Byrne kneel down and pick up something. Han's ears caught up on sound, but couldn't quite understand what he was saying. Something about missing something? Whatever. Then he heard the unmistakable sound of a sword sliding back into its sheath, and the realization dawned on him. He threw his sword at me! And I thought Byrne was nice, for a bluejacket that is.

He was still holding his breath when the corporal's footsteps faded into nothingness. He sighed in relief, amazed that Byrne hadn't found him. Me, getting lucky twice in one day? I'll pay for it later I bet. Still, Han was happy just to be alive. He slowly rose to a sitting position and grabbed a sturdy looking stick from the ground below. He gingerly got to his feet, trying to put as little weight as possible on his bad leg. Slowly, agonizingly, he made his way to the stable at Wein House.

Han glanced in the stable to see if there were any lights or tell-tale dark spots to reveal someone's presence before hobbling inside. He stumbled along through the dark, glad to have already known which stall Ragger was in, otherwise he would never find his northern pony. His senses were alert, and his left hand moved to his hidden dagger as he moved farther into the stable, even though he knew he could fight no one off like he was.

In Ragger's stall he encountered another problem. There was no way he would be able to bridle and saddle the northern pony with one of his arms fractured and the corresponding leg shredded. Even his bruises barely allowed him to lift his good arm above his head. He didn't like to admit it, but it was a miracle he had made it this far.

Then his brain noticed that his eyes had slowly been adjusting to a growing light, and he hunched down behind his horse. Voices murmured, and a stall door was opened and a horse was put inside. The uneven footsteps of the hostler faded, but one person was still there, and they were whistling bird songs. Not the calls of these southern finches and sparrows, Han was surprised to find out, but the familiar tunes of the birds of the Fells, his home.

He got caught up in these reminders of home, but got unpleasantly yanked back to reality when Ragger gave a friendly neigh to the new horse. The whistling stopped, and the person came to look down on him from the open door of the stall.

It was a clan person. That much was clear. It was a girl with dark curls that hung below her shoulders. Her coppery skin was roughly the same color as deerskin vest she wore. She had on Demonai garb, and a non-magical amulet hung around her neck.

"Hunts Alone," she whispered softly, "what have the flatlanders done to you?"


Yes, this is the end. I am never going to continue this. However, if anyone feels the need to continue this or use it as an idea for their own story feel free. If you do, I would like to read it. :)