The Broken Cage (Solstice 31 Saga Book 2)

The Broken Cage (Solstice 31 Saga Book 2) by Martin Wilsey

Book: The Broken Cage (Solstice 31 Saga Book 2) by Martin Wilsey Read Free Book Online
Authors: Martin Wilsey
and with only a few hand gestures, they moved off the path into a field of boulders.
    The tactical showed the men nearing them. The Fly heard the pounding of horse hooves now, as they approached. They overshot them on the path by only about thirty yards, before they doubled back.
    Tannhauser quietly backed into a shallow, dark crag after Vi, and threw his cloak over them both. They made themselves still.
    All the men, except the leader, dismounted and began searching for signs of passage. Three went to one side of the road and three to the other. The lead tracker moved directly toward Tan'Vi's hiding spot.
    “Poole, ETA?”
    “Two minutes, fifty-five seconds.”
    “I want you to stop, here.” She indicated a location on the map. “And, I will continue on foot.”
    She put on her black riot helmet and adjusted the neck armor before putting up her hood, hiding it all.
    “Poole, I want you to stand by. If any of them flee, I want you to run them down and bring them back.”
    She left the rifle in the spider. The trees were too close together for a decent long shot.
    She moved quickly, and quietly, from boulder top to boulder top in the lower gravity. She saw, in a HUD window, the moment they were discovered.
    A sword point drew them out. They were quickly disarmed, and relieved of their bows and packs, as they were dragged out to the path by their hair. The leader’s horse stopped, in the center of a group of large boulders with a flat space in the center. He spoke to them with harsh words Rand could not understand. Common Tongue.
    The six men made a half circle around Tan’Vi as they moved to their knees. The leader spoke again, and Rand realized he was asking Tannhauser questions. Tannhauser answered, and without a word, one of the men landed a vicious blow to Vi's face, dropping her to the ground. Without pause, he grabbed her by her braid and lifted her, dazed, back to her knees. Blood flowed freely from her nose and her mouth, as well as from a gash on her cheek.
    The man holding her up sheathed his sword, and took out his knife, as her eyes rolled up into her head. He held the knife under her nose, in a parody of a mustache; but, his threat was clear, answer or he will cut off her nose.
    When Tannhauser moved toward her, three sword points pressed into him, two in the front just below either side of his collarbone, and one low in his back by his kidney.
    The leader very slowly asked another question. Tannhauser answered quickly. He asked another question and Tannhauser hesitated a moment. Rand was sure it was because he didn't know the answer, not because he refused to answer.
    The leader nodded to the man holding Vi. He smiled widely at Tannhauser, as he slid the slender point of his dagger up her nostril and, with a flick of the wrist, opened a gash that bisected her beautiful nose with a fountain of blood.
    The scream Rand heard with her own ears was from Tannhauser.
    Her last leap was to the boulder next to the leader's horse. Tannhauser was the only one that saw her coming. His low angle, looking up, made it seem like she was flying.
    The leader never knew what killed him. His temple erupted with the first bullet before she had even landed. He was higher than all the rest.
    The one holding Vi was next. That round entered the back of his head, at a downward angle, exiting his nose in what Rand would, later, consider a bit of justice. That bullet continued on and destroyed the other tracker's left hip socket. Three more dropped dead, all from head shots, as they gaped at her, the prisoners forgotten.
    Tannhauser gaped at her, as well, when he heard the thunk of a crossbow being fired. A bolt, suddenly, protruded from the center of Rand’s chest. Tannhauser quickly scrambled for a sword, and was about to split the man’s skull, when he heard an impossibly loud voice say, “No. He is mine.”
    Tannhauser dropped the sword and fell to Vi's side, drawing her head into his lap.
    The tracker tried to get away,

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