pening her eyes, she saw that she was in her bed in the caravan. It took a moment to grasp the fact that it she was in bed then someone else was driving. But who? The doc was dead. It had been a good year or so since she had woken up in a moving van. Wincing with pain, she pulled herself into an sitting position and tried to make sense of things. The noise of her movement brought her an explanation faster than she had anticipated.
“Ah, hello,” said a kind well-spoken voice. “How’s the head?”
A slender woman with a mop of ginger curls and a band of freckles across her nose was smiling at her from her perch on the lockable chest in which the valuables lived. “Doc Merryweather, I presume?” The ginger woman gestured over her shoulder to the side of the caravan, the outside of which read ‘Doctor Merryweather Healer. Rainmaker. Alchemist.’ in faded green letters.
“Yeah,” she said, because it was better than explaining.As she said it, she put her hand up to the back of head to examine the bump and found that her hair was matted with blood but the cut seemed to be healed. In all probability this woman, and whoever was driving the caravan, had saved her life. There was no need to be rude. “I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage.”
“Oh sorry, where are my manners?” said the woman her narrow face stretching into a smile so wide that the woman who wasn’t really Doc Merryweather feared her head may actually fall in half. “I’m Jocelyn Vincenzi, but you can call me Jos and my companion Brother Bernard is currently at the reigns.”
“Brother Bernard?” muttered not the Doc, whose real name was Jeli. “Brother?” She almost choked on the word the second time around and Jocelyn reached out sympathetically proferring a waterskin.
“Take it easy,” she said kindly, “You had quite a blow to the head.” Jeli Not-Doc took the water and sipped it and then said in a shaky voice,
“Did you say Brother?”
“Yes,” said Jocelyn, who apparently seemed to think Jeli’s reactions were down to pain rather than anything else. “Brother Bernard. Strictly speaking, I class as a ‘sister’ but it doesn’t go with the rest of the job.”
Jeli could feel her heart rate rising with every word from her erstwhile saviour. Religious types. It was vital she didn’t panic.
“Job?” she asked weakly, hoping that playing up her injury would conceal her consternation.
“I’m a Knight Allegiant,” she said, as though Jeli should know what that meant, and then when she didn’t react went on to explain. “I’m a warrior priestess, a holy knight.” As an illustration, she picked up a shiny silver paldron from a pile that Jeli had only just then noticed. “The armour’s a bind I tell you.” Jeli nodded. She wasn’t really listening, she was just trying to get a grip on herself so she didn’t suddenly blow it all.
“Which Temple?” she said slowly, although she had a horrible feeling she already knew.
“The Temple of Reverential Justice in Port Selliar,” said Jocelyn conversationally and Jeli nodded again. Yep. Law Clerics – how did she know? Saved from certain death at the hands of Tartars by a pair of Law Clerics, one of whom was now perched on the chest that contained Jeli’s entire fortune, every single groat of which had been acquired through morally grey activity. She would have found it funny had she not been laid up in bed at their mercy.