"I really don't think this is a good idea" Kiri cried.
"I agree, but I'm too tired to run, so we must stand and fight," Arion,
her current companion and long time adversary, retorted.
and Both were fatigued; they had been running for several days, ever
since that poker game in Malacandria had gone so horribly wrong. Behind
them stretched what seemed an endless road without a farm house in
sight. They only people they'd seen were their pursuers, the Malacandria
It had begun simply enough. Kiri had spotted Arion in a tavern and
since she had not tormented him in many years, went in to see what
mischief could be had. Arion, ever forgetful, had welcomed her as a
friend, disregarding those 3 stab marks in his thigh. That night they
drank and partied as only old enemies can and as the music faded, they
found themselves engaged in a high stakes poker game. Having wasted all
their money on booze and already bet their shirts, and in Arion's case,
his pants, they decided on one final gamble, for all or nothing. To
ensure they would win, they both palmed several aces. The cards were
dealt and the bets made. Then the Alandran Assassin called.
Not surprisingly, Arion and Kiri won with 4 aces. Unfortunately the
Assassin had a royal straight: 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace. That meant
there were 5 aces in play. At this the tavern exploded in angry
incriminations which eventually pointed to Arion and Kiri. The
Cityguards were called and, while not normally inclined to help
assassins, they are quite strict when people cheat at poker, poker being
the official game of Malacandria.
The pair ran and the guards chased them and kept chasing them and
chasing them for days. And that is what brought them to this point,
being too tired to run further and so having to stand and face the
attack of a squadron of enraged cityguards.
The pair fought valiantly, but Malacandrians were known for their
relentless attacks and eventually the battle was over and the pair
captured. After a few good kicks to Arion's head, the Commander of the
Guard ordered an immediate trial and execution, not necessarily in that
order. The pair were hoisted up and bound to a nearby tree, which, to
add to the indignity, was full of vicious ants, but that was the least
of their problems. The Commander declared himself Judge and called for a
fair and impartial jury, but, none being found, called the other guards
to jury duty. With a demonic laugh the trial began.
Judge: "Did you two cheat at poker?"
Arion and Kiri: "No!"
Judge: "You are lying, for that you will not only be burned to death,
you will also be hanged afterwards."
Arion and Kiri: "But wait, the trial isn't over, how can you pass
Judge: "I'm the Judge, I can do what I want. Jury, have you reached a
Jury: "We have. We, the Fair and Impartial Jury, agree that this pair of
criminals should be punished however you, the Judge, see fit."
Arion and Kiri (crying): "Waaaaaaaa."
Judge: "In that case. Light the tree on fire and let the execution
Jury (cheering jubilantly): "Yeaaaa."
And despite their frantic screams for mercy and begging for
forgiveness, Arion and Kiri were toasted. And baked. And fried. And
Immediately after the two stopped struggling, a small fog started to form
around them. The fog
then lifted to the heavens and the bodies were gone!
Suddenly flashes of lightning appeared and the thunder roared. The two
immortals rose up and
said, "You Dare turn on the immortals, your masters!" A great storm rushed
into the city and the
town then disappeared! No one from the city was heard from ever again. And
Arion rose to the
skies as Kiri made him an immortal. Arion had fought Kiri in battle and he
was found loyal
enough to become a most trusted Immortal. And so the great Eagle of the
skies rose up and up.
He is Arion...
Page designed by Dagmar.
Sky photo (c)Copyright 1998, Bert Sirkin.