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Jonath shut the hatch behind us. My angry words still hung in the air. He tried to take my hand, but I crossed my arms and waited for an explanation.
“Come on, Annie, don’t be like that. Don’t let there be bad blood between us.”
I glanced significantly out the window. The wounded man had stopped thrashing, but several men still held him down to the ground. The Doctor bent over him, one knee pressed into the red-stained sand.
Jonath had the grace to flush. “I wouldn’t have killed him in front of you, you know that. I just needed Morrow to know I was serious.”
“You killed four of her men with your bomb. I think she knows you are serious.” It was all I could do to stand still. I unwrapped my arms and gripped my skirt with both hands, as if to prevent myself from stepping closer.
“That was my design you stole, wasn’t it? You… you bastardized it. Made it ugly, in form and in function.” An old argument. “Who set it off?”
“Four dead? That is regrettable.” Now he looked more thoughtful than ashamed.
“Four of the tiller crew, plus the steward in my room. Or did my brother arrange that little gesture on his own? Lest you think you have outgrown me…” I quoted part of the verse inscribed on the poisoned brass rose.
He shook his head. “I only sent the modified flash-bang, and instructions that you were not to be harmed. Anything else is on your brother.”
The Dragon trembled as the anchor station’s spire took the brunt of a particularly strong gust of wind. Sand and debris rattled against the envelope.
“Do you hear that?” Jonath asked. “Loess is a hellhole. You New Blood families, you don’t know, you haven’t seen what it does to people, to be trapped here for generations. I want out, Annie. I want to bring the starships back.”
This post is part of the Jade Dragon series. Though I try to make these installments enjoyable as individual pieces, I highly recommend that you read the series from the beginning to really get what’s going on.
This post was written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge weekly prompt:
You should write a creative response using the given word. You must use the word in your response, and you must use it correctly. Your response can be no fewer than 33 and no more than 333 words. This week’s word is:
1 a (1) : the fluid that circulates in the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins of a vertebrate animal carrying nourishment and oxygen to and bringing away waste products from all parts of the body (2) : a comparable fluid of an invertebrate
b : a fluid resembling blood
2 : the shedding of blood; also : the taking of life
3 a : lifeblood; broadly : life
b : human stock or lineage; especially : royal lineage <a prince of the blood>
c : relationship by descent from a common ancestor : kinship
d : persons related through common descent : kindred
e (1) : honorable or high birth or descent (2) : descent from parents of recognized breed or pedigree