Chapter 33 The trigger

“The Sarg said the old man complained the last woman didn't have much life in her. He wants this one to have some fight and last longer,” said Zeleck absently fingering the grip of his stunner. “How about that one,” said Tomac pointing across the square at a woman arguing with a red-faced drunk and aggressively shoving his hands away from her breasts. “No coins, no service,” yelled the woman. “I'd make short work of that one,” said Zelek. “That's why all the women call you short Zelek. She'll do. I'll get the transport carriage, you take her down. Stun the drunk too, so he doesn't make a scene,” ordered Tomac.

“We may have a problem,” said Celeste changing the vid to an aerial view of the capitol. Ben studied the screen. “All the red dots are coin holders I take it.” “Yes, but look at this one,” as the screen zoomed in. “That's the security forces compound. It could be a woman who is cleaning,” said Ben “That's what I thought at first, but she hasn't moved for three hours. Now she is headed towards the Cathedral.” The red dot moved through the wall's gate and stopped at the side of the Cathedral. “What's there?” asked Ben. “It's a side door that's barred from the inside.” The red dot moved into the Cathedral and shortly joined by a blue dot. “I have a sick feeling about this. The blue dot is Davin,” said Celeste as she changed the vid view to the Sacred Chamber.

A few minutes later the door opened. Davin rolled a crate into the center of the room, locked the door and put the key in his pocket. Taking the stunner out of his pocket he pulled the latch pin from the crate door and shuffled several quick steps back. The crate door kicked open, and a woman launched herself at Davin who pulled the trigger. The woman collapsed to the floor. “Is there anything we can do Celeste?” “Maybe if we get some luck. Let's just watch for the moment.” With a satisfied look on his face, Davin set his stunner on the table, looked at the bed, and then to the wall with the shackles. Making up his mind up he grabbed the woman's arm, dragged her to the bed and rolled her onto it. Walking back towards the table Davin started to take off his pendant when the lights went out leaving the windowless room pitch black. The camera view switched to infrared.

“This is where we need some luck,” muttered Celeste under her breath. Davin, waving his hands out in front of him took a couple of tentative small steps and stopped. He turned, took a couple more hesitant steps and reached out finding nothing. “I'm going to try to spook him with the little drone Ben.” Ben watched as the vid's view suddenly zoomed in on Davin's face as the drone's wings give his cheek a small glancing tickle. Davin's hands flailed at his face in a panic, and he jumped backward. The droned swept back in and brushed against Davin's ear causing him to screech and frantically twist around. Ben saw Davin's neck as the drone made another pass. Davin jumped forward while scrambling to reach his back. His feet struck the corner of the bed, he fell hard hitting his head on the stone wall and laid still. The drone hovered over the young woman. “She's starting to come around Ben. The drone has a tiny red light it's bright enough to see it, but it won't provide any real illumination unless it's really close to something. Let's see if we can get her out of there.”

Tay's eyes opened and saw a tiny red light making a small circle above her. Sitting up the light moved off to the side of the bed and circled. She found the edge of the bed with her hands, swung her feet to the floor and stood. The light moved a few feet away at an angle and Tay took a couple of steps towards it. The light shifted again about five feet away and hovered a bit lower. Tay walked over and spotted the stunner under it. She quickly picked it up. The drone moved in a straight line and stopped just off the floor. In small steps, she headed towards it. It started to blink over Davin's head. Without hesitation, she pointed the stunner at Davin's head and pulled the trigger several times. The light moved over Davin's robe pocket and blinked. Reaching into the pocket, she found a key. Following the light, it led her to the door. She unlocked it, pushed it open, and peered out into the darkened hallway. The small light moved into the hall and started to blink on the other side of the lock. Tay smiled and understood. The door closed, the lock was turned, and the key dropped into her pocket. The light shifted down the hall to a stairwell and blinked until she started down the stairs. She stopped for just a second and whispered, “Thank you little light,” and took the stairs two at a time heading for the main entrance. The drone climbed up into a ceiling corner and parked itself pointed at Sacred Chamber door.

Ben and Celeste watched Tay's blinking dot until it passes through the Cathedral main gate and entered the market square. Ben exhaled and slumped back. “That was incredible Celeste.” Turning to face Ben Celeste said, “To be honest I was scared to death. Anything could have gone wrong, and if it did the result would have been the young woman's death. I'm not perfect.” “I'm not either Celeste, but together we are more perfect than apart.” “Thank you, Ben, I agree. I also think it time to pull the trigger.” “What do you have in mind? Celeste”

“I think it's going to take some time to get Davin out of the Sacred Chamber. The walls are very thick, and the metal door is massive. The guards that helped him with the crate will know he went into the chamber, and when he doesn't appear tomorrow, the other Elder's will think something is awry. Most will be hopeful that he died in there.”

“This can be a good thing, Celeste. There are only two scenarios. The first is he is dead, and a fight over succession will occur creating plenty of disorder. The second is he's alive and will still be in control. Davin will be able to tell they are trying to get him out and any evidence of his behavior in the room will be shoved into that shaft. He'll make up a story along the lines that someone had a second key, came in took his key, stole the Sacred Book and locked him in. He will also be one very angry Senior Elder who won't be sure about exactly what happened and will lash out everywhere at everything including us. It's been a long day. I'm ready for a glass of wine and something to eat. I think we should have an early night and deal with the details in the morning.”

Celeste stayed awake little later than Ben. Climbing into bed. Sensing her presence, Ben woke. With a shy smile, she laid down facing him, seeing him looking at her. She closed her eyes and rested.