Chapter Ten - The Plan

Story so far:

Hannah is deep into an adventure in a strange world of lava, rock and cruelty. She has had to run for her life twice and has just survived running through a curtain of fire and water. Perhaps she is right, perhaps she is out of her depth, perhaps it is time to give up…surely not!

*   *   *

Kaspian was looking at her expectantly. Finally, he spoke, “have you finished?”
“What? What do you mean?”
“Have your finished? Your little ‘boo hoo I’m giving up’ speech”
She was speechless, no furious. This man didn’t know her. He didn’t understand anything about her. How dare he just sit there and judge her? He didn’t know, he couldn’t know, how strange this all was to her. How bizarre it all felt. He was still watching her. She scowled at him and he scowled right back. He was challenging her. Something rose up inside her. Stubbornly she nodded her head.
“Good” he said “Now, my plan is that we shin along the passageway here, do you see?” He pointed down to the map and in spite of herself she couldn’t help drawing nearer. It was very attractive, the way he pushed her, believed in her. Maybe she could do it. He was still talking, outlining his plan, his voice low and soft, excited as it darted across the map imagining scenes, filling in details, illuminating the path ahead. Confidence glowed through him and it was infectious. Before she knew it she was drinking it in, suggesting alternatives, spotting problems and always, always remembering the little Tikas who were so desperately in need of help. 

After hours of planning and thinking, they were through. Hannah had been over the map more times than she could count but she was there, murmuring the plan to herself as she tried to get some sleep. They would attack in several hours time. Kaspian was fast asleep, his head on the bare rock and his hand holding tight to the handle of a sword he had retrieved from one of the barrels. Even in sleep he was alert, ready, a warrior in his blood. Hannah didn’t have that peace of mind, try as she might she couldn’t doze off. Not now. She was terrified, exhilarated, nervous, shocked. She couldn’t even begin to think logically.  What if it didn’t work? What if they were caught? She calmed her breathing. They had a plan, soon it would all be over. She glanced over again at the sleeping face. The anger and concentration that usually furrowed his brows had melted away in the peace of sleep. She wondered what would happen if their plan succeeded and the Tikas were all set free. Would he show her round his world like he’d hinted? There had been a moment earlier when they had been planning when they had both reached forward to point to the same tunnel. Their hands had brushed together and a shot of electric heat burst up her arm. They had looked into each other’s eyes for a long time. A different sort of look. But then he had coughed and said that they’d better find some weapons. 

"A shock of electric heat burst up her arm”
                         - own photo - 

How she finally drifted off to sleep she didn’t know but she must have done because suddenly Kaspian was shaking her awake, it was time. He handed her a large rucksack he had fashioned out of the rough cloth from the barrels and hoisted his own onto his back. 
“Remember what to do?”
She rolled her eyes at him.
“Well, I never know with you” he said with a smirk, slinging a sword into his belt and several daggers into his boots. He had a bow already strapped to his back and the shafts that would pass for arrows sticking out of the top of the rucksack. Hannah grabbed up her own daggers, strapping the sharpest one to her inside thigh to keep it safe. It had a special purpose. She couldn’t risk it falling in the battle. She wound extra lengths of linen round her waist and when Kaspian wasn’t looking grabbed a second sword and stuffed it into her belt, hiding it in the folds of her trousers. He had said earlier that there was no point in her having one as she didn’t know how to use it but personally she felt it was better having one then not. At the very least she could hit things with it. 

Kaspian was already climbing up the wall to get into the first of the hidden passages getting them closest to where the Tika’s were kept and tortured. He stood on the threshold and watched her clamber up.
“You’re getting better” he said, “you almost managed to not over-balance”“I’ll take that as a compliment”He laughed and hoisted her up, “Well don’t get cocky, let me deal with the Mezards. Don’t go being heroic, that only works if you know what you’re doing.”“Why are you bringing me then? If you think I’m so useless.” she said, straightening up.“Because I can’t do everything at once.”“You amaze me” she said to his retreating back.

For Chapter Eleven - The Burning Cage - click here

© Isla Robertson 2017