NORTHERN MARKETS-Season 2
Episode 71: Calm Before the Storm
Sagittari 29, 10:74 SEA time
January 13, 2:34 PM (Victoria Time)
The awesome invisible Electromagnetic barrier could only be seen by the changes in the clouds above.
The clouds over the south were gray and spread out, but the black clouds over New Saskatchewan were
gigantic and menacing looking. While the Sun’s light still beamed down on Border Town from the southwest side of the
sky, the giant black cloud formation drifted right into the EM barrier, and as if blocked by some invisible force,
the cloud spread out east and west along the border. The weather station outside of town issued a storm alert.
The weather wasn’t the only thing making the locals tense. An hour ago, a bulletin was issued for all of the people who can fight to come forward. Most of whom were Sasko mages or warriors of the Music class- a type of mage who
uses sound as a tool and weapon. Some other mages were here too.
At 10:89 (2:49 PM), a giant hovering land cruiser the size of of a yacht boat made its way into town. The boat was built from good old steel and was equipped with power crystals that converted magic into wind energy, and blasted air downward to keep the ship afloat. The huge craft was painted a camoflage pattern of greens, yellows, and grays.
The Yellow Flag snapped loudly in the powerful winds as the ship lumbered accross the flat plains towards Border town, passing southward into the sunlight from under the storm cloud’s shadow.
Dubbed the GrassLanderH, this was a military vessel, one of the thousands in the New Saskatchewan fleet. The occupants patrol tour brought them to BorderTown by chance when they got the distress call.
Deep inside the ship, a young bandit ensign was on communication duty when the morse code hit his Telegraph.
He hastily jotted down the dots and lines representing Morse code sounds, and passed it to his buddy who
translated the dots and lines into Saskwa words. He ran upstairs and handed the telegram to the captain.
The captain, a gray haired man well in his 50’s ordered the ship remain at the Alko farming village two miles out of town. When the Grasslander touched down by the grain elevator building, the side doors all swung open and a full company of wind mages, sound magicians, organic mages, bowmen, ninjas all jumped out and took over some guy’s truck for the quick drive into town.
Accross town, the fleet of trucks carrying Kerning City’s refugees slowly entered and spread out. After the shootout in Kashkun, the Kashkun Guard (as they’re called in English) rounded up all of the Victorians and brought them down here.
One pickup drove along Kubewano Street, carrying several people, including Owl and Azure. Everyone was covered in old robes and hoods to protect themselves from the lethal Sunlight. Even though they were still a mile from the barrier,
deadly rays could seep through. The truck stopped in front of a four storey Quonset building where Kashkuni and Sasko men armed with guns or staffs were waiting. Everybody climbed out as ordered and were marched into the building.
Turns out it’s a hotel of some kind. Rather than individual rooms, each floor was one big giant room divided into smaller sections only by curtains.
Owl sat with Azure in her arms. Az was still blindfolded and moaned in pain. On the way here, other refugees told her that mages set off solar bombs to blind the JA. As one guy put it, “them mages made this ball as bright as the sun, but that thing had here a black hole in it’s center. I reckon the black hole had all the rays the Sun makes that fry out your eyeballs. I saw them rangers after, they were clutching their eyes like they got stabbed, and there was blood coming out…”
Owl shuddered. She knew now about the shadow cloak that spared her that luminous assault, but Az wasn’t so lucky.
A bunch of questions ran through her mind:
The Saskos know about the JA now, will they send their warriors to fight them?
Will they free more prisoners?
Will they help the Kerning resistance group fight them?
She also wondered what was going to happen to the refugees. Kashkun doesn’t want them anymore; how will the Sasko people handle them?
Azure fell asleep in her arms, so Owl laid her to rest on the straw mattress by the tainted window.
Two men, both dressed in bandit’s combat wear, followed the cleric woman. All three of them spoke quietly but hastely in Saskwa. The cleric lady had long bright yellow hair with green strieks in it. She held her staff
[Woven with cemented long grass blades around a giant wheat stem with the wheat beard as the tip]
with both hands as she searched the place for that purple haired mage.
She found her, and pointed in her direction excitedly.
“So, you’re the everybody is talking about, leh” one of the yellow bearded men said in heavilly accented Singlish.
Owl just looked up at the Sasko men. What the hell did these guys want from her?
“What do you mean?” Owl asked.
“One-armed hacking wind mage take out Justice Arrow air force at Leng Si Lu and saved what’s left of Victoria refugees.” the man said.
Owl couldn’t deny it- they were looking right at the stump of her arm past her elbow, which was covered by her tree-rope robe.
“Yeah, that’s me… What do you want?”
“You told the refugee rebels and our comrades everything about the Arrow that you know. In Victoria, there is a high bounty for you, issued only by Arrow,”
“Did they get them all?” Owl demanded. “Did those mages and the guards get all of the rangers?”
The men and woman looked at eachother.
“No. Justice Arrow is angry. Our warriors issue a call to arms for everyone who can fight. We have video footage of your exceptional fighting skills at Leng Si Lu and we need your help.”
Owl thought. No doubt some spy person filmed the Justice Arrow’s genocide at Cold Death Pass. They got out before the JA completely destroyed the old Sino Army fort.
These guys knew who she was, and they wanted her to fight.
Owl recalled all people she used to know were killed. A new rage burned inside her as her memories re-surfaced after two months. She looked at the men and woman.
“Allright! I’ll do it!”
Leng Si Lu= cold Death Pass