Caught

10th October - The Roost - Late Evening

"Lina I made a promise." Connor said for the tenth time since leaving the Ladys Grace.

"I don't give a shit what you promised the old fool, that is your problem." Lina snapped. Connor had insisted on accompanying her back to the Roost to see her safe. Emma had fell about laughing when she heard that, but Lina did not find it funny. If it wasn't bad enough that the prick kept flirting with Emma whenever her back was turned, now it turns out he made some sort of promise to Eli to keep her on the straight and narrow. The arrogant prick! He could hardly look after himself.

"Well we are nearly back now, so I may as well head to the Cog for a drink." Connor shrugged as he continued to walk alongside her. She whirled with a growl and grabbed his jacket. Pushing him against a nearby wall hard enough to wind him she glared into his eyes. Did he look amused or scared? She could not decide.

"If you are going to kiss me, I should warn you I.." she did not let him complete the what ever whitty bollocks he was going to come out with as she brought up her knee with a satisfying crunch and left him to slump in that familiar world of pain known only to the male of the species.

A few moments later she was walking into the Roost yard and heading to the Cog. She glanced around at the Elesians standing guard, the Militia seemed to have been completely subdued here now. She was just thankful those mechanical monstrosities were elsewhere. The Tin Men gave her the creeps!

She pushed open the double doors of the Cog and strode inside to see three Elesians standing at the bar talking to the barman. To his credit when he saw her enter he did all he could to give her the impression that she should leave, that is to say he raised his eyebrows and glared hard at the door, but unfortunately that did as much to warn the invaders than it did her and they all turned to face her.

"Is this her?" one of them asked the barman.

"I er.. I." he gave Lina an apologetic look.

"Identify yourself." One of them ordered.

"Im the queen of Dusk, who the fuck are you?" As the words left her mouth she heard Emma groaning with utter disgust and in an unusual moment of clarity saw how perhaps she did not help herself, how perhaps her issues with authority were a problem that she should really try to grow out of lest they get her into real trouble and.. the moment was shattered as she then realised that she was in real trouble.

"Lina Kellgorian." one of them was saying, "You are under arrest for conspiracy against the Elesian Order. Hand yourself over peacefully and we will ensure that your case is dealt with in a fair and open manner."

She watched them as they approached, cocking her head to one side. One of them held some sort of stun batten like those used by the City Watch, another was removing a set of restraints from his belt. There came a soft click from the door and she stepped aside to see three more soldiers enter and between them a terrified looking Connor was pushed forward into the room.

"We found this one skulking outside." one of the newcomers said and Connor gave Lina a weak grin.

"My fucking hero." she snarled. Looking around she saw that they were surrounded, outnumbered and well and truly screwed. She exchanged a look with Connor and he groaned, seeing in her eyes what must come next.

"I hate you." he whispered and she gave him her sweetest smile before she turned and launched herself at the Elesians fists flying.
***

It was early morning when Lina awoke. She was inside a dark room, soft yellow light seeped through gaps in the walls. She could taste blood in her mouth and her head felt like it had been through a steam press. There was movement all around her she realised and she tugged forward only to find herself shackled to the wall with strong chains.

"Connor?" she hissed into the darkness. "Connor are you there?"

"He is still unconscious." came a woman's voice from the left. "They carried you in here about half and hour ago."

Lina strained against her bindings to no effect and swore violently. "Where the fuck am I?" she raged.

"The Green Docks." replied the woman. She was well spoken, a Highholmer by the sound of it and Lina fought the urge to be rude to her on account of that. She needed information.

"What are we doing here?" she asked.

"I suspect we are being sent to Graymire and from there..." the woman trailed off and Lina thought she heard the sound of crying then.

Her eyes were adjusting to the darkness now and she judged the room to be around twenty feet long. A carriage she realised, of course. A rail carriage. She could see huddled forms all around the carriage, she supposed chained up as she was. They were sending them all to the Delve. Oh gods no! A pit of horror opened up in her stomach as she realised the enormity of this. This was as good as a death penalty. She would never see Emma again! Oh gods Emma! She fought back the tears as she tried to calm herself.

"What is your name?" asked the woman after a moment.

"Lina." she gave the reply, "and you?"

"Serenity."

"I have to get out of here." Lina said almost to herself and a the sound of a man laughing came from the other side of the carriage.

"Whats so fucking funny?" she demanded of the darkness and shortly after a voice came back.

"Girl the entire thing is one big fucking joke." the man grated and there was something familiar about his voice. She had heard it before somewhere... somewhere... it went on.

"We are the lucky ones! sent down to die while the world above remains in torment and horror. It is all an ungodly Joke!"

"Josiah will you shut up. Just shut up!" Serenity raged at the man and Linas jaw dropped. She had heard that voice before but at a distance, at public events, and over the new radio machines. Josiah bloody Hazard, the First Citizen himself was here with her, sitting in the dark. He was being sent to the Delve.

Josiah was laughing again now and other prisoners joined Serenity in urging him to silence. Eventually he grew quiet and a semblance of peace returned to the carriage. There came some shouting from outside then and beneath her Lina felt the great machine of the train begin to groan into life. The carriage shook as he lurched forward and then the sound of the engine grew to a deafening volume as it propelled the great train forward.

"Lina?" came the voice of Conner then from off to the right.

"Connor is that you?" she called back.

"Lina where are we? Where are we..." realisation must have hit home as the sentence was cut off to be replaced by a wail of horror.

"Nooooooooo!" Connor screamed as the train surged forward toward their doom.

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