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A note from FAHyatt

If its not to much bother, a note or two....

"Then didst I draw it forth, and behold! T'were all silvered, and did flash as you see 'afore ye, Lord."

"And the stag?"

"It be in the yard, Lord. I would not skin it, nor bleed it, but brought it hence as shot, to await thy reede upon it. Your will, Lord?"

Lord Desomprey picked up the silvered arrow by its fletched end. From nock to mid spine, it was just another Yeoman's yard, the fletching some sort of pheasant feathers, by the look.

New cast, and still crude by his standards, the iron arrow head glittered as if coated in quicksilver. Oddly enough, so did the wooden shaft halfway down it.

Corrant B had been colonized by nature loving survivalists, and while they hadn't brought much with them in terms of technology, they had made up for that in plantings and fertilized animal ova. The colony had degenerated during the isolation of the Great Hiatus of course, as had many. It was now classified as a medieval level colonial world; but this all worked in Desomprey's favor. Especially when circumstances, such as the forester had brought to light, occurred.

"I would inspect the beast, then. Good sense show you, not to fiddle it...stay here. Wouldst contemp it alone, forester. Sit yourself to table, meantime."

The forester's face lit gleefully, and he turned his attention to the smorgasboard of cooked food before him, but waited until Desomprey turned away before reseating himself.

Desomprey stalked out into the camp's new Bailey, stopping before the carcass, now dangling head down from a game rack in the packed dirt of Gurtenhold's compound. His retinue had wanted to name the new community after Desomprey, but he had demurred, insisting the ranger who had discovered the site, be immortalized instead.

Work had already begun on stone fortifications, and by the end of next season the wood walls around it would be replaced to match the strong stone Barbican of the gate.

His arms-men clustered about, neglectful of their posts in their curiosity.

Desomprey felt around the animal's front quarters, where a silver dribble marked the entry-wound of his gamesman's shaft. Something bulked beneath the flesh. He motioned to Guerre De Temps, who stood nervously by, concerned, no doubt, that his master might be exposing himself to some vile forest magic. The captain's face worked through a marvelous panoply of fear, concern, amazement and resolve, then he stiffened and strode briskly forward, delivering one of the hold's new-forged knives into his Lord's waiting hand. Then Guerre just as quickly retreated, a little further away than protocol might dictate.

Desomprey cut deeply into the flank. Then, rolling up the sleeve of his gown, thrust his arm into the cut, eventually wrestling out a small silvery box. It too, was punctured, jagged metallic eruptions puckered where the tempered arrow holed it. His arm dripped with a combination of red stag blood and traces of silver fluid.

Desomprey heedless of that, eyed the box closely, and shook it.  A tinny rattle announced something loose and broken within.  A small smile twisted at his lips, and he abruptly turned, to reenter his hall, signaling Guerre to follow.

The Gamesman still sat, stuffing himself with greasy fingers from the table's bounty. Seeing his Lord approach, he shot up from the trestle and bowed to Desomprey. Having both the gamesman's and the Captain's attention, Desomprey lifted the box overhead.

"I say this to be a good omen, a talisman of my success in this land, of the fortune that hast followed me, and a sigil of our new fief's success. Send out to every vassal, for I open my preserve for hunting to all. Let every man catch his stag, and look you, to cut forth the talisman within, and show it, mark ye, upon a pole afore his dwelling for luck and faith."

###

Lieutenant Folley cursed, slamming his open hand down on the display. "Every one! Every damn one! The locals hunted down every single animal, cutout the probes, and mounted the snooper boxes on poles! I'm getting flooded with static locator signals!"

Marshal Willis sighed, and pulled his hand over the short sanctioned haircut that decorated his scalp. "Did we get any views from the implants before the stags got gutted?"

"Not much of anything. The natives clean the stags on the spot, and rip out the transceiver box right away. A few stag's eye views of the woods, that's all. Nothing from the boxes, once ripped free, save for the homing beacon signals. No sign of Jack Desomprey." Folley glanced meaningfully at the wanted circular taped to the bulkhead.

Wanted: For unsanctioned exportation of culture and technological contamination of class six through class three colonies. Retrieve dead or alive.

"Should we send the men out?"

The Marshall shook his head slowly. "Can't. We'd violate our own no-contact ruling. Need hard evidence the bastard's here, even to mount an extraction sortie. With those boxes in plain sight, we have already involved ourselves in cultural contamination. Any chance we can get them back?"

Folley laughed. "Off twenty-foot poles? Stuck right in front of every shack, compound, hut and barrack? Those dead stags aren't about to come back to life, retrieve the boxes and zombie their way back to the ship, for us to dig them back out, that's sure. I don't see how, unless we march officers right up and..."

"Alright, alright. I get it. We probably precipitated a hunting spree. Those stags wouldn't normally converge on a human settlement, place like this. Pack everything up. We'll try somewhere else. It was a long-shot anyway.  If the council ever finds out we exposed all that tech to the locals of a class three culture..."

###

Lord Desomprey spent the evening entertaining the adoring young ladies of his court, then excused himself to stroll the Barbican's rampart, stopped with hands clasped behind him, to watch a bright comet-like tail rise from the deep woods, and shoot off into the night sky.  About time to invent paper and movable type, he thought. A smile lifted the corners of Desomprey's lips.

He retraced his path, back to the comforts and adoration of his court.

 

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FAHyatt

Bio: So, I write largely science fiction and fantasy, and fantasy/humor. I do novels, short stories, Serial short stories, Novellas, all that. If all goes well, I expect to be posting a good deal of both here. What else can I say? I like walks in the rain and ice cream? I sketch, play blues harp, have been known to program for fun. Gamer? Yeah, I'm a slacker. Ran Plotters of Dreams for writers before it was virtually shut down save in title by Yahoo cuts in service, for ten years and counting. Ive moderated other groups, and obviously, writing is a passion. -Want to make peoples day, send them on vacation, make them chuckle occasionally.

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