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Syntax · Shadows

Prologue, Part One

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     It was in the dark winter of '64 that I began my observation of Joanna Tolson.Word had been sent of an impending prison break at the fascility where she was confined, and it became my singular duty to view her actions, but not interfere.I sat perched and cloaked, on a watchtower near the point where my sources had lead me to believe she, and others, were to make their escape.I glanced at my pocket-watch and noted the time for referance, and soon I could hear the soft patter of several persons heading in my direction.I turned my gaze around the muddy court-yard, peering through the light mist the falling water created.Sure enough, the young woman and three youths trudged towards the fencing, hurried and flushed in the cold air.Patrols of burly orcs made their way past the watch-tower, and the one I had taken it upon myself to rest on shook slightly as the two guards inside sat down in their chairs.
     How heavily secured the grounds were, and yet these four children were determined and most resolved to free themselves from their forced captivity.The Hemsworth Prison has all the appearance of a gothic castle, and a quite menacing one at that.Set deep in the most other-wise un-inhabiltable terrain of Northumberland it over-looks the ridged waters of the ocean and one is very nearly able to see Scotland through the constant presense of the mist and fog.As my file detailed, Joanna had been sent to this confinment not for any crime she may or may not have commited, but for the reason of her being an orphan with-out family nor friend to step up for her when her immediate family perished.For a moment I thought my observations would end so briefly after they had begun as the child, no older than thirteen years, paused amoungst the unkempt courtyard.She looked back at two of her co-horts then back to the six and a half metre high fence, her resolution seeming to waver.
     At this time the seeming leader of this fiasco turned and raised his hand.Quickly, I touched the ear-piece held snugly in my ear and heard the latter part of his speaking, "Step quick Joanna," said he, "this is our only chance!"
     His accent gave hint that he hailed from the very south-west of the Kingdom and was interred to a life on the streets previous to the Prison.Joanna sprinted to him and they both ducked deep to the ground, as did the other two, as the patrol made its way past the fence they aimed to escape over.As if on the heels of the guards, and quite haphazardly, the two younger of the youths bounded to the fence and propelled themselves over in such a manner, that they no doubt had enhancements.My recorder filmed it for later review and I felt most likely rather than high grade enchancers, they had procured temporary drugs to assist them.The other youth and Joanna sludged very much quieter than the previous and the boy put his hand on Joanna's shoulder.
     "Right now, it's your turn.Can ya make it?" He questioned his small friend.
     There was no pause before she answered, "Of course I can."
     It was the first time I had heard her speak, and could not place her home from the few words she said.Her medications were either fewer than the previous, or she had some other form of enchance as she needed a lift to propell herself over the crackling fence.Two sharp shocks of electricity fizzled as she crossed the top and landed in a roll on the other side.The remaining prisoner lept greatly over and I could see he was not purely human, for as he lept steadily past me, I saw the viens in his neck were pulsed and straining.All this and more I noted at the time, but still I kept my position on the watch-tower, able to see and hear them on the other side.No detection was made by the guards and though the other two youths had fled, the boy and Joanna remained a brief second and conversed, most inconvieniently I fancied.
     "I cannot see them anywhere, Daelus," Joanna said, lifting a hand to shelter her eyes from the spitting rain.
     The boy now stood full to Joanna, and was no smaller than 182 centimetres, quite taller than a boy of his apparent features should be, further verifying my suspicions.But he was not my subject of observation.
     "You expect them t'stick around?" said he, laughing quietly.I felt the watch-tower rumble briefly as the occupants moved around and the boy's ears seemed to perk of their own accord. "Don't worry, they will be fine, Joanna."
     Joanna turned to Daelus and put a hand on his shoulder, "Where will you go?" she questioned.
     "Anywhere but here, an' that's truth," he said, bounding into the night.
     She took a few steps, then stopped.Though I could not see her eyes in the night, I felt as if she wished to view her entire surroundings, but look back she did not, and headed in the general direction of some bare civilisation that made its home in this unsightly country-side.Her scent was strong in the wind, through the gusts of sea air and speckled rain, it would not fade too quickly.I lept from the watch-tower, tapping the device in my ear to return to normal volume.My cloak still held save for the strongest eyes to see the pattern of rain around it, but no guards such as these would care to glance with such dedication, for these orcish guards were only for strength and speed, and indeed, bred for such.

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