Juniper’s Journals: The South Tier Bridge & The Squats

6th Entry

Well. . . Chigger can’t draw her way out of a paper bag. The entire left side of the table has images of the middle finger and slurs against all of us like : ‘ My sister is a (bleep)’, and’ Juniper sucks ( bleep )’. That sort of thing. Maybe I’ll just cover it up with a cloth.

We headed off for Junks later that day, ( most of us slept in ) and the rain from the lovely Spring day was seemingly going to flood the entire world. I heard that happened once. The Goddess sent us a rainbow as a reminder that it could happen again if she wanted, but she won’t ; as long as we see rainbows !

Drenched and chilled, the warm air and fiery hearth in Junks was a welcome sight. Chigger and Mana ( the early risers ) had come earlier and were speaking to a couple of people named Darius and Euramali. We all introduced ourselves and bustled off to a side room to discuss things under relative quiet. Darius was about mid twenties and had the markings of a Fallen Thera Sheban. He was pretty rough around the edges and obviously had never heard of a face blade. The kind that keeps you clean and smooth for the ladies! Euramali was gorgeous. I had never been so close to such a striking, sharp featured WOMAN before. She was no girl. She was full grown ‘female’. I stood close.

They said they were interested about what we had seen in Bazaar ; about the Watch killing Fallen who were going to have babies. There was a feeling of excitement among us because finally someone had noticed what we said at the Rant. We told them what we knew to be true and they asked us a bunch of questions. Older people can be so regimented in their approach. After the details were worked, it was decided to meet on Monday, in three days time, so we could investigate the Captain in charge of the commands. The Watch was going to feel our wrath. . . or so we thought.

Barber asked us to check out a Squat trade that was happening on the South Tier Bridge and bring him back information on what was happening. We had been leeching off of him for weeks so it was no skin off our backs ( ahem ). He gave us some trade items to help us in our disguise and promised that we would be supplied for our trip into Bazaar if we helped him out. Sounded good.

While most of this was going on , a fight broke out near the front doors of Junks. Not wanting to miss out on the fun we rushed to get front row seats only to be greeted with a horrible realization. It was Mana. She was locked in mortal combat with Slash, Chiggers old friend and Dahlian playmate gone mercenary killer. I stressed that we had to break it up. That the Seven Deaths and the Watch were our enemies not ourselves. It took more convincing than I had hoped but I did manage to get the help of Chigger while Cinder and Bastion were screaming ineffectually for them to stop. I took out Mana from the elbows and Chigger swept Slash’s legs out. We made them feel childish and scolded them with harsh words about how actions like this were only going to strengthen the things we hated most. Why should the Seven Deaths or the Z’Bri be concerned about us if we were going to kill each other on our own time?! That being said the crowd dispersed, disappointed that we had morals and the girls let off their steam, about being interrupted, on a matter of principle. Before Slash left, she asked Chigger if she could accompany us to Bazaar. She wanted to go the Hive!

We still had a squat/tribal trade to infiltrate so we grabbed our equipment and headed for the lifts. The rain didn’t make it easy going and before we got there, Bastion said he had some business to take care of and took off, stating that he would meet up with us Monday morning. Strange lad.

Draped in heavy cloaks and armed with the tools Barber had given us, we took the precarious ladders and pulleys to the underside of the bridge. There, we entered the old rusted pipes and reached the top of the South Tier. The first time for any of us on the Bridge. In the mouth of the Joanites. Lucky that traders were all around us, we mingled in with what looked to be an Evan Family, also shielding themselves from the downpour and on their way to the trade post. Joanite warriors were all around us and we did our best to remain hidden among the Evans. No one ever checks Evans. As the merchants and families were setting up their wares a cavalry man came from the south side of the Bridge. He said the Squats were coming under the Joanite escort of a dozen warriors. His voice was harsh and commanding. Something about it struck me as odd but I was too distracted with trying to remain hidden to take proper note.

The squats could be seen coming over the rise under the supervision of some very formidable looking Joanites. A guard near to us seemed concerned of something and attempted to gain his Captains attention. His Captain ordered him to retake his post. That’s when Cinder noticed something as well. All the squats were men. The Captain went forward to greet the chief tradesmen among them. That’s when the ‘Cavalryman’ took his spear, and pierced the Captains back with one swift thrust. The entire Joanite escort removed their helms to reveal that they were Squat Warriors with the markings of a boar on each one of their faces. The horseman let out a war cry and the entire wave of savages hit the merchants and families like a crashing wave. The Evans who we were among all disrobed and pulled fierce weapons from their folds. Squats! They thought we were also a part of them and called us on to attack the Joanites and Traders on the Bridge. So we did. We fought alongside the squats until the reserves from the north end of the Bridge came on horseback. Escaping over the side of the bridge and dangerously navigating our way back to the pulleys, we camped out waiting for the battle above us to cease, while Chigger stealthily found her way back to Hom to notify the elders what was happening.

It was unfathomable. The Squats, vermin and filth of the earth having tactics and war leaders. Disguising themselves as Tribesmen and catching a well prepared Joanite assembly off guard. Who was the leader on the horse with the Boars markings? What would this mean to the Eighth Tribe? So many questions now and very few answers.

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