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who stood over him.
"Come on, you. On your feet!" Sisay jerked him up by the
front of his robes and dragged him over to stand next to the
Kyren.
Gerrard bent and picked up one of the darts from the Kyren
blowpipes. He held it up to the Mercadian's face. "You know
what this is?"
The Mercadian turned pale. His lip quivered. Gerrard
brought the dart closer, until its point was resting on the
Mercadian's fat cheek. "Where does this corridor lead?"
Tears rolled down the Mercadian's face. He tried to turn
his head to look at the Kyren but was prevented by the
pressure of the dart. He opened his mouth, his eyes pleading.
The goblin's body twisted. A long-fingered green hand
slapped Gerrard's, driving the dart deep into the Mercadian's
cheek.
The man shrieked and fell to the ground, clawing at his
face. Tahngarth's blade sliced the Kyren's throat, spilling
lifeblood.
Gerrard leaped back, not in time to avoid a sharp kick
from the dying goblin. He turned toward the Mercadian, but the
man was already stiffening.
Sisay stared at the bodies around her. "Where in the Nine
bloody Hells were they going?"
Gerrard shook his head. "I don't know, but we need to find
out. Let's get these bodies out of sight."
"Captain," Dabis broke in, "what about her?" He indicated
the body of Chamas, lying still on the corridor floor. The
sailor had done his best to straighten her limbs and wipe away
the white foam that had gushed through her teeth.
Gerrard laid a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, but we'll
have to leave her with the other bodies for now."
Dabis swallowed and then nodded. He bent and tore a piece
of clothing from one of the dead Mercadians and spread it over
the young woman's face. Then he picked her up and followed
after the others.
The hiding of the bodies was a messy business, and none
spoke during it. When they had cleaned the site as best they
could, Gerrard removed the closest torches. With luck, no one
would notice the bloodstained rocks in the dim light.
Carefully retracing their steps, the crew moved stealthily
downward until they reached the bottom of the tunnel. They
crouched in a pool of shadows just beyond the passage's mouth.
It opened on a vast chamber suffused with a thin blue smoke.
"By Urza's Rack and Mishra's Ruin!" Gerrard muttered.
The crew looked out wonderingly on a mighty fleet of
aerial ships being assembled in the huge cavern. A mile high
and miles across, that enormous subterranean space was filled
with vessels-Phyrexian vessels. Workers moved along web-thin
causeways, building, repairing, testing, preparing.... Two
ships rose through a wide opening in the floor and moved
across the vast tunnel.
"What does it all mean?" Tahngarth asked.
Gerrard shook his head. "A lot of these vessels look like
Predator, the one that attacked us in Rath. Most of them are
bigger, but you can see they have the same general design
features. I'd guess this fleet is being built for Rath, for
Volrath's use."
"Why?" Sisay asked. Her eyes were hard as she heard
Volrath's name. "Why do they need a fleet this big?"
"Only one reason," the Benalian returned. "This must be
for the invasion of Dominaria. This is Volrath's invasion
fleet."
Tahngarth shook his head. "That does not make sense. Why
build a fleet in a place other than Rath? And why here, in a
place that is not controlled by Volrath?"
Gerrard rubbed his beard. "Perhaps it is controlled by
him." A chill moved through them all. "Perhaps it is."
"They brought Weatherlight through doors below," Sisay
said. "What if they brought it here?"
"Weatherlight is here," Gerrard said with sudden
certainty. "She calls to me."
Tahngarth said, "Then let's go find her."
"Yes," Gerrard said, pulling his sword. "Well find the
ship and do our best to create some mayhem on the way."
* * * * *
Karn stood on the main deck of Weatherlight and gazed aft,
toward the panting figure who hung on chains there. "Poor
Squee," Karn whispered mournfully to himself.
There was no sense speaking to the goblin. Squee had hung
unconscious for a day now. At least he still breathed, but for
how much longer? In his silent suffering, Squee was doing more
to save Weatherlight than any of his crewmates. Thrice, Karn
had fought toward the spars, hoping to save his friend, and
thrice been prevented by the guards that surrounded and filled
the ship. It was no use. Squee would hang there while he
lived-but how much longer would that be?
"Gerrard will come soon, Squee, and we will bring you down
among us. Gerrard will come soon."
A figure approached through the moored armada-but it was
not Gerrard.
"Volrath," Karn groaned beneath his breath. He turned away
from his suffering friend and descended through a hatch to the
engine room.
The cramped space was littered with tools. Oily rags hung
across the engine's enameled fuselage. Cogwork lay arrayed on [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]