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Orphans & Outcasts: Chapter Ten

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NORTHERN TOWER – private communication linkage –

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Illustration of Queen Zafiashid
Queen Zafiashid of the Misfit Pride

Jarvis shivered under the winter coat borrowed from Nixlye’s collection. It was not the chill of the morning air, sneaking up under his clothes, but the overwhelming influx of information regarding the new surrounds that brought on the quivering. The touch of the wind and the tiny particles glossing against his skin painted the world around him more thoroughly than the roar from the bustling harbour he could barely tune out. He opened his eyes. The mechanical lenses adjusted to the brilliant desert light in soft flickers, pixels shifting to realign themselves as colours recalibrated. Jarvis clicked his tongue. The visual view screen of his optical display took in the world at an alarming rate, and his Human mind still struggled to process the information. It made his spine ache from the overload of sensory data travelling through the nerves. Hopefully it would pass in time. The headaches were frustrating.

He shook his head, trying to clear the little red warning light from one side of his lens. It sat there constantly, an irritating little blip, a visual itch he could not get rid of. Whatever had the Key meant when it said the sector he was in was destabilizing? Had they not moved away from the sector where Bez-at:_Who_Lingers_by_Water was? Thus far every scan he ran came up with nothing to show. He blew back his fringe and cast his gaze towards the arches of the Zaprex turret, lording over the small trading city of Ishabal. The interlinking metal and glass structures should have made him feel safe, but somehow the cobbled-together city, built up on stilts like a skirt around the ankles of the turret, radiated the deepest sensation of dread. He was standing on little but dry, splintered wood and beaten iron brought up from the depths of the burning-sea, pieced together with nothing but mud and ropes.

“Yeh all right there, Sonny Jon?” Titus called.

He had lingered too long in one place and must have stilled into a statue. He hated to cause his master to worry.

“I’m fine, sir.” Jarvis b