Posted on Tue Aug 20th, 2013 @ 1:46pm by Captain Daenelia Bradley
Chapter 8: Pirates and Cowboys
Location: Harling Pass, Mainstreet
It was afternoon, the sun was low in the sky already and people hurried by as Mei-Xiu sat on a porch on Mainstreet. Some kids had been staring at her or at Kichi, as their mothers were shopping in the grocery store. She had been unsure if it was her they were staring at, or if it was her monkey which fascinated them. Either way, the kids had not approached her.
She had been staring at the kids just as much. So much, that she had not noticed someone else taking an interest in her. A woman was leaning against a wall, a crumpled piece of paper in her hand. When Mei looked at her, the woman quickly looked down at the paper. Mei felt uneasy, and since Kichi was getting fidgety anyway, she decided to go back to the ship. Everything she had was already packed up, all her personal belongings in the large rucksack she had on her back.
As Mei-Xiu walked down mainstreet, the woman started following her. Mei picked up the pace and quickly ducked in between two houses. The woman missed her somehow and ran right past her hiding place. And back. Mei was hiding behind a rain barrel, her eyes wide.
"Where is she?" a voice hissed from just around the corner.
"She was coming right at you, you can't have missed her!" A woman's voice answered.
"Well, you lost her."
"You lost us a big heap of money, you mean," the woman said in a sneering voice.
"Come on, she will be going back to that ship. We can catch her there," the man said.
"What? With all those cutthroat bandits protecting here? Where is your brain, stupid?"
The man laughed. "Cutthroat ... ? That bunch of ... They're no match for ...," his voice faded and Mei strained to catch the end of his sentence. His voice sounded familiar, Mei thought. But... were they after her?
She hugged Kichi as she sank to the floor, with her back resting against the barrel. She couldnt go back to the ship, they'd find her. She remembered Chago telling her that someone was out to get her. When he told her her father had sent him to bring her home, he said that a man had offered him money. Just like the woman said: 'a big heap of money'.
And if it was Shou, he would have contacted her somehow. He would have told her to come home, that it was safe. She didn't feel it was safe. She didn't know what to do. So she just sat there.
A young man stepped out of the door into the alley. Mei looked up at him. He looked surprised. "I don't often find beautiful young ladies sitting on my doorstep," he said awkwardly. "Are you lost, ma'am?"
Mei shook her head and looked down in Kichi in her arms. Her whole posture was one of forlorn misery. The young man felt sorry for her, even if he knew nothing about her. "Why, it's no good sitting here, you'll catch a cold!" He held out a hand to help her up. Mei took it and got to her feet. The man stared into her eyes, and felt instantly protective of this fragile looking girl. "Want some coffee? Or tea?"
Mei-Xiu didnt know what else to do. She couldn't go back to the ship. She had nowhere to go. So she nodded. She'd have some tea, and try to plan what to do next. Maybe the people following her would follow the crew of the Steamhawke. Maybe she could just stay here. If only she could warn the captain.