The moon had just cleared the cypresses. Things were about to become less chaotic. I and 3rd Amitzas stood in the deepest shadows, right on the edge of forest dark. I despised this wilderness and considered allowing myself to long for a more orderly city.
The Spark of the Sun’s Ray is returning. From my vantage point I could see the road down the hill. My vantage disappeared around that bend but there was a water meadow below and a glimpse of road was visible before turning to climb this hill where we waited. We would see his motion as he came along it.
The Senior was waiting for us. The rest were waiting for my double squad to bring the Spark back into the fold. I did not need to check their positioning around the road. I knew that two of our squad would be in the trees to give them the best vantage. There were four, two and two flanking the road, and the last two were acting as men-back, ready to report to the camp. 15th Iakobas would report, once we’d made contact, running the deer trails leading to our camp. 15th Eforas would wait in hiding, should anything go wrong after that contact. We knew the straight route through the thick underbrush, rather than being confused in the tangled animal trails.
Our onyxine was a faded, rusty black. I made a note that this was actually harder to see in the dark. Both of us were somewhat thinner than optimum fighting weight, but that shall be corrected I am certain.
3rd Amitzas said “There are two upon the road.”
“Plan 2, then.” I said, just as quietly. He notified the rest of the squad. He was competent at sounding like various night creatures. I made a note to commend his work to the Senior.
The second man turned out to be one of ours. Joras. Excellent. Once the Spark rejoined us, we would need every Mahid to seize the Crystal Throne for the rightful Imperator.
We stepped out upon the road as Joras and the Spark climbed the hill. “Spark of the Sun’s Ray.”
I saw his fine blond brow rise, so much like his Divine Father. “A sufficient escort. Excellent,” he said quietly. Joras must have heard one of the squad move to raise his dart tube… he stepped in front of the Spark, his tube coming up to his face.
“Spark! Look out!” He managed to say before he was darted for his diligence. I could see the vanes of the dart standing out of the Spark’s cheek.