Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 10 - "Reflection"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

the Reflection

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Published: 2009-10-31 - Updated: 2009-10-31 - 1568 words - Complete

And so the chase continued for a little while longer, until the Triad III eventually pulled out so far ahead of the Reflection that the old man could only track them through a telescope.

At last, he put the thing away and reduced speed, telling them, “I am most sorry, my friends, but dey got away.” To find Justin glaring at him. Max looking at nothing in particular, his disappointment thinly veiled. Shades staring thoughtfully at the deck. Even Bandit appeared despondent at such an anti-climactic ending to the hunt. “Who were dey, anyway?”

“They called themselves the Triad,” Shades said.

“Their leader’s a Cyexian who calls herself Kato,” Max added.

“Her real name is Alexandra Aremac,” Justin cut in, then fell silent. Earlier, he had kept his power pistols out, but at this range it would just be a waste of ammo; so at last he put them away.

“Okay…” Shades wondered how Justin knew that, but decided to save it for later. At least until he remembered that name. He could still see it inscribed on the pages of the Book of Fate. Aremac, Alexandra. Holy shit…

“The other two,” Max continued, “were Chase Spencer and George, if those are their real names. George is like a…” Shades eloquently filled in the blank with idiot savant, “and Chase was the guy shooting at us.”

“Yeah,” Justin said, “and speaking of names…” He turned sharply on the old man, and demanded, “What’s yours?”

“A fair enough question,” the old man conceded, taking the three young adventurers in.

He seemed to be taking this a great deal more calmly than any of them would have expected. More so than anyone had a right to expect from someone who had tried to help having their lack of success taken out on them. As if things were not really as bad as they seemed.

“Justin, where are your manners?” Max chided. After all, this was his ship, and he could just as easily send them back to Centralict. “If you want to know someone else’s name, it’s only polite to give your own first.”

“Whatever,” Justin commented tonelessly.

“My name is Max,” he said, beginning the introductions. He patted his feline friend’s head, noting that the big cat didn’t seem to mind this fellow. “And this is Bandit.”

“Justin Black.” He spoke briskly, keeping his verbal distance.

“MacLean. Dexter MacLean.” Thankful that this man had turned out to be so patient and good-natured, choosing to reward his generosity with his true name. “My friends call me Shades.”

“And I am Hasahn Abu-Sharrah,” the old man told them, “and dis is my ship, de Reflection.” Deferring to Max, he asked, “So, Max, might I ask what it was dose Triad people stole from you?”

“I don’t know where to begin…” Max said, not liking the way Justin was glowering at him. Abu-Sharrah had tried to help them; he deserved to be let in on what he had involved himself with. Reaching into his pocket for the chain his medallion used to hang on, he continued: “They called it a Tri-Medal. Shades has one, too.”

“Had,” Shades amended.

Max went on to describe his medallion as best he could, and Shades elaborated on how his was of nearly identical design to Max’s.

“Tri-Medal…” Abu-Sharrah echoed thoughtfully, stroking his beard. “And both you and Max had dese things?” he inquired, amazed at such a remarkable coincidence, though moments like this tended to make him wonder if there really was such a thing, “but not you?”

Arms folded, Justin shook his head.

“Neither of us even knew what the hell they were before we met Kato,” Shades admitted. He was starting to get the impression that whatever these things were might not be unfamiliar to this guy. “I bought mine for fifty cents at some tourist-trap in West Glacier.”

“Mine was a gift,” Max said flatly, leaving it at that. And he wanted it back, it was about all he had left of his past. No one had ever done anything like this to him before, and in his own way, he was at least as angry about it as Justin.

“I see…” was all Abu-Sharrah had to say about it as first. He studied Max for a moment, unable to shake the impression that there was something very familiar about this boy. Figuring that if it was of any importance, it would come to him sooner or later— it always did— he asked them, “Did dey have any more of dem?”

“Just one,” Max replied. “Kato had it.”


“What does it matter?” Justin demanded. “Now that bitch has all three.”

“Because…” Abu-Sharrah smiled cryptically, “if dese ‘Tri-Medals’ are what I think dey are, dey have nothing without de fourth one.”

“What do you mean, fourth?” Shades asked.

Justin nearly gagged on that information.

“Dis Kato most likely assumed dat, just because whoever she learned of dem from called dem ‘Tri-Medals’ dat dere were only three of dem,” Abu-Sharrah explained. Likely on account of their shape, he reckoned. “According to legend, dere are four medallions like de ones you describe, though dere real names are long lost. I hear dey used to have one at de Centralict Museum, but de locations of de others were unknown.”

Shades, especially, noting the “used to” in there, recalling, as he did, that Kato never did tell them where she got hers from.

“What do you mean, unknown?” Justin demanded. Then fell silent, acutely aware that he had spoken. He shrugged inwardly. At least this was getting interesting.

“It is a little-known legend, dey were lost so long ago. What I have told you is about all even I know of it, and I’ve heard a lot of strange stories in my day,” Abu-Sharrah answered. “It is no wonder dey know so little, as well… Of course, de other three are only half of de puzzle.”

Justin groaned.

“De symbols you spoke of are of an ancient, forgotten language of a lost realm. De middle one is de key. It was said dat de other three could be placed against it to spell de names of de places where de treasure was hidden.”

“I get it!” Shades replied. Figuring that the obscurity of the script must have been why Kato pinned so much of her hopes on the Centralict Library. “Without the middle one, they can’t do anything with the other three medallions, right?”

Abu-Sharrah nodded.

Justin as well, with the grim satisfaction of knowing that at least the damn things weren’t doing Kato any good. Then he caught up with the other thing the old man said. “Wait a minute! Places? As in more than one place?”

Abu-Sharrah nodded again.


“Chill,” Shades muttered. “It’s not like any of this shit was even yours in the first place. What are you so pissed about?”

“Hey! She fooled you too!”

“And even though she lied about her name…”

“She said she didn’t like her old name,” Justin countered defensively. “As if a guy who doesn’t even use his own name should talk!”

“At least I told you my real name.”

“Shut the fuck up!” Justin shot back. “You’ve been trying to blame me from the start! You even attacked me back there, you bastard!”

“Oh. That.” Shades snorted. “You’re welcome.”

Justin simply glared at him.

“I’m sorry, man. To deceive your enemies, sometimes you must also deceive your friends.”

Justin decked him.

“I suppose I deserved that.”

He swung a second time, but Shades threw up his arm and blocked him, saying, “Don’t take me lightly. If you try that again, I will make you pay me back for the Card.”

And so Justin backed off, slumping in a corner and scowling at the others.

Max shook his head as if it really hurt, and Shades understood all too well. Only now Max was in his position, and he had stepped into John or Tom’s role in their endless feud.

While the three of them stood in silence, Abu-Sharrah cut the engine and started setting the sail to take advantage of the prevailing breeze. Max joined in helping the old man, using everything he remembered of sailing with his family as a boy.

“Maybe we should turn back…” Max muttered, finally breaking that awkward silence.

“You’re giving up?” Justin blurted incredulously, though not as heated as before, figuring that had to be a first for him.

“If I were you,” Abu-Sharrah suggested, “I would find something more fruitful to do with your time. Dose three sound like more trouble dan dey’re worth!”

Laughing in a timbre as silvery as his beard.

“I don’t know about that,” Shades said, pointing back at Centralict as the land thinned out on the horizon, nearing the vanishing point, “but if we go back, I imagine the authorities will want to have a word with us.”

Max nodded. So did Abu-Sharrah. Justin clammed up at the mere mention of the word authority.

“Then let’s keep following those bastards,” Justin said at last.

“Tell me,” Abu-Sharrah asked, “even if dey didn’t change course, how do you plan to do it?”

That took the wind out of his sails.

“Come inside,” the old man invited. “We will talk.”
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