Fran woke in the motel room as the sun was just starting to come up. She snuck up into the bell tower and hid, watching as the people of Jackson looked for her and failed.
She watched as they were overrun by Gorjarn’s people, each of them led off in chains. As they led away a skinny teenager, the girl looked directly at Fran, her eyes wide and terrified.
She woke early, shaking, curled in on herself from the way she’d fallen asleep in the bell tower. There had to be a better way.
She woke the villagers early and chivied and coaxed them out of town. They watched from a ridge miles away as Gorjarn burned Jackson to the ground. The teenager looked at Fran and shook her head.
Fran woke stiff and unhappy. She grabbed her gear bag and staked through the streets, looking for weapons. Spears, sure. Pipe torches, check. Baseball bats, check.
Jackson had three hundred adults and a third that many young children. If they could be armed…
…if they could be armed, it turned out, they might still be snuck up on by Gorjarn’s scouts, coming through the holes in the wall. The teenager screamed “Ranger”, a moment before Fran fell unconscious.
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