Mine (Cart)

1629, Fire Season, Death Week, Waterday Eve


While the group were staying with T’Dwarf, Maalira and Berra helped him with a problem, and Maalira was temporarily maddened. Session S5-O-03.


There are three hands pumping the little rattly mine cart-cum-car. Version X1138 and the one-armed Dwarf are doing the work. Berra sits on the flat bottom, staring ahead. She obviously has something she wants to say.

Maalira reaches across and taps Berra lightly on the knee. “What are you thinking about?” she asks.

“What happened to you back there?” comes the reply. “It was weird.”

“I… don’t know,” Maalira says. “I felt weird, like nothing mattered and I just wanted to push everyone away.” She looks around. “I hate being underground.”

Berra reaches her own hand out for the appropriate knee. “We should think about what to do if that happens again.”

Maalira nods. “It wasn’t nice. I don’t know why it happened though.”

“Did… you remembered who we were, right?”

“Yes, but not how much I… I mean, not that we were friends.”

“Igh. So that is awkward. I was wondering if I should have done what you said. Who was ordering me.” Berra wrinkles her nose, makes a wry face.

“I think I stood differently, didn’t I? You could watch for that?” Maalira also wrinkles her nose.

“But then what? I guess I just make up my own mind?” Berra looks only briefly confused.

Maalira giggles. “Ask what would Lord Eril do?” She looks thoughtful. “I wonder whether the rule of not harming White Ladies counts when they aren’t themselves? You could slap me and see if that makes it stop.”

“I could if I thought if it. But yes it does. I’m not going to hit you but I have to wonder about when to ignore you… how do you feel now?”

“I feel fine now. Like myself. Not prickly.”

“I meant are you alright.” Berra shrugs. “It all turned out alright only I decided to do what you told me which was what I wanted to. I could have stayed still.”

“I’m not sure I could have made you do anything you didn’t want to do,” Maalira muses. “You’re a lot stronger than me.”

“I know. But I don’t mean by making. There’s… never mind. Maybe think about what to do next. T’Dwarf got another favour from us.” It sounds like a deliberate change of subject.

Maalira frowns. “We haven’t figured it out yet though?”

“So, should we wait? Oh, you mean figured out what happened? I think it was to do with the spirit I fought.” There is a very short pause before Berra adds, “Perhaps you missed that.”

“I wasn’t entirely clear on what happened, no.” Maalira laughs a bit. “Maybe it won’t happen again.”

“Yeah. I killed it, I think. But dwarfs ain’t good at fighting spirits. I don’t think so, anyhow. Maybe that got everyone confused. Maybe more but the tunnel is blocked now.”

Maalira nods. “Hopefully we won’t meet another one like that. What do you think we should do next?”

“Let people know what happened, ask if we can help more, trade some kind of favour for what we did, go talk to Fazzur. I should ask if the Dwarf counts as a King of the Oslir but he probably doesn’t.”

Maalira taps her lips with one finger, eyes unfocused in thought. “What could we ask for, for the favour?”

“What do you want that he can do for you? Make it for you. You were in charge.” Berra swings her legs off the front of the cart to stretch them.

Maalira blinks rapidly. “I… don’t know. The spirit was in charge for some of it, and I don’t know what I need from them.”

Berra considers. “Ask him to owe you a favour. Or to make Mellia’s shrine bigger. Or is there any building you need doing? Or that someone else does that you could trade off?”

“Ooh!” Maalira’s eyes light up. “Yes, Mellia’s shrine! That’s perfect!”

“Then that’s definintelly a… a thing he can do.” Berra smiles widely.

After a moment she corrects her pronunciation. “I meant definitely.”

A moment after that she adds, “But we need to make sure he’s happy too.”

“Well, yes. I hope he will say yes.” Maalira squints down the passageway ahead of the wagon. “Do you think we’re nearly there?”

“It’s pretty close. Mind you, they ain’t pumping as fast this time.” Berra shrugs, and looks down at the lump of iron next to her. “Yeah, pretty close.”