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Flynn's stomach felt like it had dropped a few inches. He had a bad feeling about this. He was about to ask Buddy when he'd last seen Cal, when Dylan opened his mouth and made things worse.
"I haven't seen her," his brother said, sharing a meaningful look with Lunarian, "she was supposed to be here for training earlier and she never showed..." Flynn turned and gaped at him.
"And you're only telling me this now?" Dylan shrugged, folding his arms across his chest.
"It didn't seem important until now," he insisted, looking between Flynn and Buddy, "we just assumed you'd reassigned her last minute or something. It happens." Flynn sighed and nodded, he had him there. There was probably a perfectly reasonable explanation and Cal had been sent off on a mission, or the king had needed something doing elsewhere in the castle. They could....wait...

"Lorraine!?" Flynn said, his frown giving way to a look of concern, "what on Shaman is Lorraine doing in the barracks?" He thought he felt his heart stop.
"Damned if I know," Dylan replied, trying and failing to suppress a smirk, "they're filthy." Shifting uncomfortably Flynn sighed. He did his best not to think about Lorraine, as a general rule. His last encounter with her had led to...well, it hadn't been good. He suddenly felt incredibly warm, his palms a little sweaty, and his heart picked up the tempo again. Right...right.
"Okay, here's what we're going to do. Lu, go with Buddy, find Denahi and see if you can find Cal anywhere in the castle or grounds. Dylan...you go straight to the king, tell the guards on the door I sent you, and tell everyone that Lorraine is here and I've gone to find out what she wants. Then, go back to my office and check the log book. If Cal's been reassigned it should be written in there. Once you've done that, come back outside and find me. You can play messenger, okay?" Dylan nodded and set off towards the castle at a run.
"Is that all okay with you, Buddy?" he asked the aja.

---

The walk across the lawn and around the jousting arena felt like one of the longest of his life. His feet felt incredibly heavy and uncooperative and it was a miracle he didn't trip. He didn't need to ask where Lorraine had gone. By the time Flynn arrived she seemed to have attracted quite a crowd. The barracks must have been empty.
"Alright!" Flynn shouted above the hum of curious voices, "I'm sure you all have other places you're supposed to be!" He suddenly found himself surrounded by a muttering of 'yes cap'ns' and gradually the crowd began to disperse. As they vanished, Flynn got his first proper look at Lorraine. She was standing...on the ground. What in Aura's name...

Flynn took a steadying breath and approached her, pausing a respectful distance away and lowering his head.
"Seba'iqer" he said as he glanced back up at her, "to what do we owe the pleasure?"



F L Y N N
CAPTAIN OF THE CASTLE GUARD

photo by Randi Hauskenat flickr.com





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