Chapter 7: In which the Inn is visited by Uritch and Rena, Surry rams a train, and Uritch and Rena rescue Pause, who then takes her revenge on Layna and her men in the morning.
The Innkeeper took the girl in before the thugs had dragged Pause's body away. He hated the way those thugs ran town, but only when they do something inconsiderate like that. Killing travelers... how was He going to earn a living when any people are too scared to come to the town? He sat the girl down and got his wife, putting her to work trying to comfort the girl, whose eyes were devoid of life after her experience.
"We're getting her out of here on the next Linear Train. We can't let those punks have their way all the time." She had never been a fan of the Blood Meridian. "Come on, there should be a train in half an hour." She rummaged around before finding some tickets, they discovered that travelers would pay extra for the convenience of easily available tickets. They paid off a ticket seller to give them tickets that could be used at any time. "Oh hey there deary, just sit there and we'll get you some relaxing warm milk. Werren!"
"Uza! Wait! You are just angry, they won't hurt a fellow human..." He didn't want to fight them, though he never really agreed with them. "Please honey, wait!" He took the milk out of the fridge and stuck some on a heating pan. "Listen, they'll let her go!" The door was banged upon and he rushed over, adopting a look of imperturbable calmness. "Hello?"
He was knocked down by a long-haired male who was leaning on the door, knocking on it with his head. "DO YOU KNOW THE MUFFIN MAN?!"
The calmness left the innkeeper, it was a crazy spouting children's poetry! "Drury lane! He lives on Drury lane!"
Rena calmly walked in, lifting Uritch by the collar and setting him on his feet. "Sorry for that, I think he's talking about Pause. Have you seen a tailed, bulky female around here recently?" She said it with a smile, though the innkeeper could tell she was on the knife's edge of sanity herself.
"She just died! I think the punks down at the Public Pub! Eris lane! Just don't tell them I sent you!" Rena's barely calm smile widened into a Cheshire Cat grin.
"Well then, we'd better go save them then! Oh, here's an address a common friend gave us to send the girl, mk?" She dragged a giggling Uritch out with her. The innkeeper grabbed the falling note and ran over to his wife, who had heard what had gone on and was changing the girl's jacket to one less bloodstained. As they hurried to get things ready, they could hear the man's giggling.
"HOMICIDAL MANIACS COME IN THE NIIIIGGHHHTTT!"
-on the train next morning-
The Linear Train System is a world-wide transportation system that was created thousands of years ago and maintained by all nations under treaty. It was constantly expanded, if for no reason than to give the kids of politicians something to do that wasn't easy to screw up. Cameo's system was praised for its relative simplicity, it had straight lines (unlike Arcadia's which had loop the loops in some places and was compared to a roller coaster in 9/10 travel logs). Opal wasn't very close to Looze, but still within a day's journey. The train was comfortable, if a little run down. The prefecture that Opal was the bureaucratic center of didn't have enough money to repair the trains, while several of their bases and roads had yet to be rebuilt.
It was well staffed, and the innkeeper had bribed several of the female workers to keep an eye on the girl, who was finally showing signs of life in her eyes. It was going well, the train wasn't being stopped by bandits or pirates of any sort. The sky was clear and there were no Estellion Military airships about, ruining the scenery. People weren't feeling too good though, the pilot blamed the fish.
"You know what I said? Fish would cause people to be discomforted and gaseous! And there is nothing more uncomfortable than a gaseous fellow passenger this one time..."
"He farted so badly that the guy who was smoking next to him was lit on fire."
"Did I tell you this story before?"
"Last trip. Though that time it was beef."
His second in command twisted a dial, managing the friction heat on the track. They were surprised by Pause materializing in the cabin, then running through the door towards the passenger cabins.
"You know, that still isn't the weirdest thing that's happened. One time..."
Pause was worried about the girl's disruptive field that her body sent out. It was getting stronger, and, despite her being on a moving train keeping ahead of the girl's power, she could barely Rift Walk into it. Pause needed to get near her to find a way to protect the other passengers. She was also a little worried about that guy on the motorcycle Nanael's letter mentioned, he could be sent to kill her if she left the lab, or take her back, both were pretty bad.
And there he was, riding parallel to the tracks. Pause could feel the girl in the other cabin, whatever that girl did, it was growing stronger. She was crossing to another train car, when she saw the motorcycle guy turn sharply, going out a fair distance, he turned towards the train at a very acute angle. He was going to ram the train. Pause ran forward, kicking down doors in her path, ignoring the conductors and others who complained of the interruption.
She barely made it to the girl's train car booth, when he somehow ramped up, towards the train. Wasting no time, Pause shielded the girl with her body. "MAN AND MOTORCYCLE IS SPIRIT!" Cried the guy on the motorcycle, bursting through the window and wall. "Hey sister, how's it going?"
Pause kicked him out the train and ran with the girl.
-Flashback! Early that morning-
Pause woke up amid blood, some hers, some others. She coughed as her lungs properly began working. She saw white, and wondered if Xewleer finally let her die. No such luck, he'd stapled a note against her forehead, jerk. She got up, she was dressed in what she recognized as part of Rena's and Nanael's styles of clothing. She stretched, her muscles were a little restrained, but she wouldn't be weakened by it.
She pulled the note off of her forehead and read it.
"Hey Pause! It's Nanael, Rena, Uritch and Xewleer! We're sorry we couldn't come sooner, but Xewleer couldn't come close while that girl was here (don't worry, she's on a linear train to Opal). Uritch and Rena killed all those guys, but you'd taken a lot of damage... Anyway! Layna Raggik, (Xewleer says she's the local punk leader) lives up the street above a bar. Xewleer's really pumped you up after he healed you! Go get'm tigress.
Nanael was far to cheerful for her own good. Pause picked up her sword and strapped it on. She didn't intend to use it, though. She looked over the bodies, and noticed the computer. They had already taken pictures of her and were planning to post them on an image board. She punched the monitor and kicked the computer through a wall. This had quite upset her; there would be no mercy for Layna Raggik.
Layna was bragging when her door was kicked down, squishing several of her goons. "Wow, I thought you'd be alive, but I didn't expect you to escape." Today, she was wielding an exotic weapon that was a blade attached to the quarterstaff. It was heavier blade than naginatas or glaves, and was not long enough to qualify as a spear or halberd. The entire thing looked like it was made of one giant piece of metal with leather wrapped around it. "You're about to know the displeasure of Layna Raggik."
Pause laughed, it was entirely sane, but without humor. "You think you're a big shot? I'm over fifteen thousand years old, going on twenty thousand. I was born a warrior queen! I waged war after war foolishly seeking expansion while Immortal beings walked the earth and they slowly went MAD! My species died out in those wars and I am the last living member! You think you're special? I have fought beings of power, I have traveled to the core of this earth and the seven swells above and beyond! I am PAUSE first and chief moderator of Xewleer and you are nothing but a weak human who I am about to kill without any feelings of remorse!"
Pause charged Layna, who, to her credit, did not back down.