Tuesday, June 27, 2017
I Love Dialogue from The Maker by Dellani
"If we agree," Wil stood looking at the far wall, not at his wife or the Sentience. "What guarantee do I have that they won't attack us once we free them from Surau?"
"You have my assurance, you'll all be safe from their attack."
Wil turned slowly toward her, measuring his words and gestures, evaluating each before speaking. "We had your assurance before that we would be safe, yet they tried to kill us. We had the protection of your sentinels when the giant spider tried to kill my pregnant wife. You'll have to pardon me, but I need more than that. I don't need promises and guarantees. I need to know that no one will hurt us after we aid them. In short, I need a hostage. Someone they care about."
"Wil!" Matilda was shocked. This was something she never thought she would witness, the deliberate incarceration of an innocent person by her husband.
Sentience spoke decisively. "You're right, Wilhelm. Only by having such a hold are you guaranteed their cooperation. They're a brutal, primitive people. They may insist on a hostage of their own, an exchange to be made when the mission is complete."
"No, otherwise the deaths of three people would have been avenged long ago. Revenge isn't something any of us can afford. We'll need allies to fight the Kahlea. Perhaps when the time comes, the Blue Devils will join us."
"Chimarria," she corrected.
Wil merely shrugged. "Tell them my terms and get back to me. Meanwhile, I'm going to bathe and eat something."
"Would you like to be in on the negotiations?"
Wil's visage turned cold and lifeless. "There are no points to negotiate. If they want my help, then give me a hostage, someone important to them. Don't let them lie, I'll test them. If I have to kill some of them to get their full cooperation, I will."
Sentience's eyes blazed. "They're my children, Wil and covered by my protection! We have certain rules here!"
Wil rounded on her, left index finger punctuating his words, his anger barely contained. "I'd gladly kill each of them if it meant I could get my people back. We're like family out here. They'll provide me a suitable hostage and I'll test them if I think they're lying. I'll kill that hostage in front of their eyes. I'll shoot down anyone who tries to harm my people. I don't care if they're the last of their kind, I'll wipe them all out. Those are my terms." He spun away from her.
Her voice stopped him briefly. "That spider you killed in the cavern, it was the last of its kind. With her death, came the extinction of an ancient people. She was defending herself and her young. Now that she's dead, her eggs have died. Do you want to be responsible for the end of another race?"
Wil drew a deep breath, exhaling slowly, he marshaled his emotions. "She attacked us when we gave her no call to. She tried to kill a defenseless woman who was with child. I'd happily exterminate her a hundred times to insure the safety of my family." He swung around again, speaking this last carefully and distinctly. "Make no mistake, to protect my people, I'd destroy this entire planet and everything in it."
"Does that include the Maker and me?"
Wil said nothing, jaw clenching, nostrils flaring. "That includes anyone foolish enough to threaten us. If that means the two of you, so be it." With those words, he was gone.
The Sentience watched him walk away, unmoving, her face serene. Matilda stared after him, aghast.
"I'm sorry, my lady. I haven't heard Wil speak like that in a long time. I don't know what came over him."
"Don't apologize, Matilda. Had he said anything less, then I would know he's not the man for this job. It's that kind of protectiveness and loyalty a man in his position must have. Leordovik had that same attitude and he lies in the Halls. It was built for him."
A brief silence followed as Matilda digested this information. "Will you bring him a hostage?"
"I'll provide him with three. The elders and priests of the clan are the most important to it. They can't easily be replaced for their apprentices have all died by Surau's hand. They'll come to secure the safety of their people."
"Will we be safe?"
"From the Chimarria, surely. From Surau, that is another matter."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
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