Simisola looked over the wreckage of the guardpost. One of the soldiers must have set off the avalanche explosive before they were completely overrun, sealing the pass and killing the enemies who had not yet entered the post. Unfortunately the avalanche had also hit the guard house causing it to collapse in on itself. Some of the soldiers had survived and began to dig out the guardpost. One of them had brought word to the major outpost where Simisola had been visiting. She had insisted on going herself to help with the soldiers’ recovery.
“Ma’am, should we start helping with the digging project or help set up the tents?”
Simisola pulled her eyes from the wreckage. “Start digging out soldiers. We will collect both sides. If the invaders are still alive we will help them too. My healers and I will start setting up the tents.”
– – –
A small team scaled the side of the mountain. They had brought shovels with them and were digging out the path. Simisola was leading the team, certain that the soldier who had set off the avalanche was still alive, but trapped in the stone shelter.
“Look, all I’m saying is that it’s likely gone with the avalanche. Sure, he may still be alive in the shelter, but with that much snow hitting it he’s likely buried in the pass.” One of the soldiers commented, still clearing snow as swiftly as Simisola.
Another soldier paused for a moment and held some snow to his forehead. “It was under an overhang. It shouldn’t have been affected by the main brunt of the avalanche, but it would’ve been buried near the end. Trust me, that shelter’s still where it should be.”
“Stop talking and keep working. We need to get there as swiftly as we can.” Simisola yelled over her shoulder. “I know some of you have doubts, but this was a volunteer operation. If you’re here you must have some hope.”
“Yes, ma’am!” The soldiers and Simisola redoubled their efforts.
It was getting dark when they finally reached the overhang where the shelter was supposed to be.
“Alright. You guys dig out the shelter, while I set up some medical supplies.” Simisola pulled her pack from her back and started rolling out a blanket.
– – –
Simisola found herself overwhelmed with the wounds on the soldier. He had apparently been in the surprise attack and had gotten injured then made his way up to the outpost and set off the avalanche. She was sure that he was only alive by sheer force of will at this point.
The soldier’s eyes fluttered open briefly and locked in on Simisola’s. “Tell Kemp I love him. He’s my little br-”
Simisola’s eyes filled with tears as she closed the soldier’s eyes again. “I’m sorry, I’ll tell Kemp you thought of him up until the end.”
The soldiers that had been helping with the medical procedures and holding compresses backed away mournfully.
“Okay, get him on a stretcher. His family deserves to have his body. I’ll see about getting him a medal for his swift action.” Simisola wiped the tears from her eyes and began cleaning and packing up her equipment.
– – –
Simisola stood near the jester in the throne room of Prince Amir as the last piece of the stone was being put into place. She was distracted from the comment of Taika because the jester chose that exact moment to sneeze. In an instant she found herself pushed up against the wall she was leaning on and saw the jester thrown back into it. She quickly ascertained that he was not bleeding from the impact and started walking around the room, bandaging wounds and soothing the grieved. As she did so a dissonant tune started and she looked up to see the jester, tears streaming down his face, as he became the conduit for everyone’s fear and pain. Voicing that which many could not. When she turned to look back at her current patient she heard a whisper.
“My wife, did she make it?”
“I’m sorry, Stigr. I don’t see her.”
“Well, if she became that dust at least she went quickly.”
“That’s one way to look at it, I suppose.”
Stigr sat bolt upright and stared into the corner of the room. Then he felt light headed and slumped back down.
“What is it?”
“I thought I saw myself in the corner, but I’m probably just seeing things.”
Simisola turned to look and saw nothing. “There’s nobody in the corner. Maybe you should sit here and rest for a while. You don’t have any major wounds.”