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Syntax · Shadows

Prologue, Part Five

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            "Cesily?" She questioned, blinking in surprise.

            "Are you alone, Joanna?" She asked, in a fervent voice.

            "Of course."

            Cesily shook her head, "I have big, big news for you, but I can't explain, here," she said, moving off the screen.

            A moment later, another sat down in front of it, but it was not a woman. The man before her was of the same faction of Eagles as Cesily, though his features were more human in heritage and obviously American. Joanna blinked again, in another wave of confusion.

            "She's a bit too giddy, I suppose, what do you think?" asked he in quite an American accent.

            Joanna continued her confused face and shook her head a little, "Making a guess on such a brief encounter is never a good course," she replied, slowly.

            "Ah ha," he said, placing a finger on his chin. "Cesily has told me of you, Ghost. A red shaman in training?"

            The petal thin and needlepoint wide camera hovering near the booth lost its flight briefly, before regaining itself as Joannas observer flustered in surprise at this turn of events. In the conference room, Joanna laughed delicately at his use of her street-name, "In training, indeed," she said, in agreement.

            He nodded and there was a brief silence before he continued, "The Eagles are taking Cesily back to the mountains; we have accepted her."

            "Hmm," said Joanna, sitting back in the chair. "And why now? You leave her out of your tribes for her life until now, and suddenly wish to see her re-join you? On the other hand, even join you, as she has not had the chance before. When you are taking her back, are you not taking her, indeed, for the first time?"

            The man grimaced, slightly offended by the words, "You don't know me, but I am Elder Waking-Feather, one of the oldest Were alive in the Eagle. I have decided that she will suffer no longer for the sins of her parents."

            Joanna resisted the urge to roll her eyes at reference to the 'sins' of her friends union; one a Were, the other an elf. She nodded pensively, "And you wished to tell me this why? Cesily could have easily relayed the information to me."

            The man sat back in his chair, revealing some of the eagle feather inter-woven in his hair, "You are Ghost," he began.

            "This you have stated already," Joanna spoke, half to herself.

            Elder Waking-Feather nodded, "You are also Joanna Tolson, are you not?"

            Sitting forward, Joanna furrowed her brow, "Cesily of course told you." She said, coming to that conclusion after a moment’s silence.

            "Ah, you mustn't be angry with her... it was necessary that I have this information from her, and she was very hesitant to tell me. She downloaded to you the information regarding Flies with the Dragons, didn't she?" He asked, letting his change of topic ease their conversation.

            "You know she did or you would not have mentioned that," said Joanna as her annoyance began to grow.

            The man on the screen sighed, "It's nothing to me, but to you, the documents inside will have a greater meaning if you pay more attention to them. They have significance for yourself and your brother."

            Joanna stood and folded her arms, "I am an only child, as Cesily would have you know, Elder," she said, greatly perturbed now.

            "Are you, now?" the Elder spoke as the screen flickered and connection broke.

            For a moment, Joanna stood in the silence of the room, her mind abound with all the questions that now sprang into her mind. Any thought of an excavation to-night had passed her and now her curiosity concerning the information almost totally occupied her mind. She opened the door of the room and placed a hand on the door to shut it, paused, then headed to the table where Mister Saint-Christopher waited.
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