Last time, Flintlock celebrated her first birthday. She was becoming much more accustomed to language around the five elves, and even picked up on the different languages they spoke. And the elves began to take note of Flintlock`s gut feelings toward people, especially those who were not so welcome.
And I heard
as it were, the noise of thunder,
One of the four beasts saying
Come and see, and I saw
And behold, a white horse
Revelation 6:1, used as the opening for Johnny Cash’s The Man Comes Around
No matter the species, a child always has an ability to determine if a person’s intentions are good or not. Most of the time. But Charr cubs can sense a great deal more than just tone and body language. With that ability they can warn their Primus of things that aren’t quite right. The Charr have learned to trust this ability, and so have the elves.
Children of any species are revered by elves. Elves themselves are children for a good number of decades because the need to play helps foster learning, exploration, curiosity, and so much more that helps them in their adult life. It allows them to grasp a large number of concepts, opinions, and even language.
Language is something the five elves who lived in a corner of Fort Salma imparted to Flintlock. As soon as Flintlock began to grasp language, the five began to speak in their native languages more and more. Unia, Shani and Wren all spoke Mohawk fluently; all five had a command of French; Pania and Abisayo spoke Irish Gaelic and the Yoruba language of West Africa. Eventually, Flintlock began picking up on the different languages. Soon, she began speaking French very easily, and found it natural to slip from one language to the next.
It became customary in the household to eat supper together. All six would sit together, and those who could cook well enough (sorry, Shani, but your cowboy cuisine isn’t exactly popular) would create a meal for all of them. This was also something that Flintlock began to learn and help with. She was a member of the family and wanted to pull her weight as the case may be.
It was rare when a visitor would come calling during their meal time. The villagers knew that supper was always held at six in the evening. Some would come by and lean in the window just to smell the aroma of what had been cooked. Often times, Flintlock would announce that she’d helped prepare one of the dishes. It was a point of pride whenever she helped, and the five appreciated it. Flintlock had become quite adept at cooking and even repairing weapons of the ballistic variety.
But on one particular day, a strange man came calling. No one in the village had ever seen him before. He went straight to the small house on the edge of Fort Salma, and just as though he was a resident of the village, he poked his head into the open window.
“A fair evening to you all,” he said with a broad smile. “I have come calling with an opportunity, if I may.”
“We’re in the middle of supper,” Unia stated, finding it rude to announce such things when a family sat down to a meal. “But in an hour or so we’d be more than welcome to entertain.”
“Ah, but this is an incredible opportunity,” he said once again. “An adventure that must be undertaken by the bravest of souls.”
Flintlock looked at the man with her big, golden eyes. He wore a black coat, which covered a black cotton shirt. He had long, stringy, silver hair that spilled over his shoulders. His face was shadowed by a wide brim hat, but he flashed a smile when he spoke.
Flintlock leaned over to Shani and pulled on her sleeve. “Je ne l’aime pas,” she whispered I don’t like him. “Il sent mauvais.” He smells wrong.
Shani looked to Flintlock, then to the man, studying him as he spoke with Unia. She turned back to Flintlock and said in a quiet voice. “Il est comme un de ces vendeurs de Snakeoil,” Shani said. He’s like one of those snakeoil salesmen. “Nous avons vu son type dans nos voyages . Répandre la bonne parole de la religion , mais vouloir tondre le troupeau , pour ainsi dire.” We’ve seen his type before. Spreading the word of religion, but fleecing the flock.
Flintlock knew he couldn’t be trusted.
Unia had picked up on the small conversation, and had learned to trust Flintlock’s instincts. Even the man had heard the conversation, even if he didn’t understand the language. “I don’t recognize that language,” the man said as his smile began to fade.
“It’s French,” Shani said as she cut a piece of steak and popped it into her mouth. She continued to speak while chewing, no need for manners with this one. “We’re teachin’ our Flintlock here diff’rent languages so she has a full well rounded education.”
“I see,” the man said. “Odd that a household in Fort Salma would have one of those animals in the family.” He chuckled lightly. “I suppose you keep it as a pet.” His chuckle faded as he felt every eye in the room turned to him.
Abisayo was the one to rise to her feet. “Get out. Now!” was all she said. No need for the little niceties anymore. The man stood in shock. “You’ve insulted our cub. Flintlock is a member of our family, and she demands respect.”
The man snorted a laugh. “It is a free nation, I can come and go as I…” His sentence was immediately cut off.
It was very rare when Abisayo spoke of her rank and station, but it was times like this when she did. “You will leave this place. You are in the presence of the eldest daught of the king and queen of the Yoruba nations, and you have disrespected a member of my family.” As she spoke, it almost appeared as though there was a glow about her, as though there was some holy light which filled her and was something she’d use to protect this household. “I will not tolerate your disrespectful nature, nor will I take your lying tongue any longer. If you won’t listen to the Lady Unia, nor will you listen to me,” she turned to the supper table. “Wren.”
Wren Wennemein rose to her feet, even without her armour she still had a commanding presence. And she wore the mark of the Seraph on her tunic. “This is Wren, she is a member of the Seraph,” Abisayo continued. “She is a medic, but she still holds the rank of one who can make an arrest if she needs to. You have been warned, now leave this place.”
Without hesitation, the man stepped back from the window and nearly stumbled over a flower bed as he tried to walk away from the house. Shani chuckled as she continued to eat. “Ifn he weren’t gonna leave after you talked ta him, Abby,” Shani said as Abisayo returned to her seat and Wren sat down. “I was gonna shoot ‘im. Not kill ‘im, jist wing ‘im good ‘nough ta think twice ’bout comin’ her again.”
Unia looked to Shani and looked to her hips. Shani wasn’t wearing her gunbelts, but she still made the warning. “No guns at the table.”
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked, and behold, a pale horse
And it’s name that sat on him was Death
And hell followed with him