Tuesday, 15 September 2015

When Drums Beat

Sister D'morenta and three guards sat around the now smouldering fire. In the darkness of the Tyburn night sky it was easy to see the platforms and the hi-ports, and the engine burns of ships coming and going. One of the guards stirred the pot and scooped another helping of penguin stew into her bowl and looked into the security feed.
"Still nothing. Ma'am, we're three hours behind schedule, we need to be out of here before the next security sat comes over."
Carmilla took the offered bowl and dipped her bread into it. She sighed as she blew on the stew and started to eat.
"Doesn't matter. If he's this late he's been compromised or captured. Regardless they can't pin anything on us."
"Unless they scan the pot."
They all laughed and ate heartily.
"What happens if they do come? If he's been tortured and interrogated?"
"Then we're dead. Simple as that. Hand to hand, they will eviscerate us."
"Aaaah, as long as I know. It's important how my soul looks when it reaches the True One."
Carmilla laughed and slapped the guard on his shoulder.
"Do not worry, it will glow! But regardless.... send the signal, then call the drop ship."
One of the guards pulled out a worn drum and started to beat the top, a rough tune which echoed in the darkness. Overhead a soft whine indicated the dropship was approaching.

Carmilla looked out over the edge of the cliff at the stations below them. So much to be done, and it had to be the thrice damned Dewiek who had come. Did they know? Were they aware of the secret the planet held? She finished her stew and dropped the bowl into the pot which the guard held and watched a moment longer. There was no sound of drums coming back that she could hear. Somewhere the line had been broken.
"There is no way they will know. We covered our tracks well."
"Ma'am?" One of the guards flanked her and scanned around.
"Nothing.... I'm tempted to stay, to hear when the drums beat... but I think it will be a long time."
"We are nothing if not patient Ma'am. The True One watches over us."
"Yes... that is true. Come, it's time to leave this place. For now."

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