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Whatever the Future Holds: Part 4

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#1 Guest_Silver_*

Posted 15 July 2004 - 08:11 PM

Whatever the Future Holds: Part 4

Kane’s group did several small jobs for the Thieving Guild in Baldur’s Gate over the next few days, but although Kane usually enjoyed working with people like himself, his heart wasn’t really in it. He wasn’t still wasn’t sleeping well and had taken to drinking heavily every evening before he went to bed. During the day he was tense and distant, snapping at the members of his group for doing even a little thing wrong. His moods were so unpredictable that they all went out of their way to avoid provoking him.

Montaron and Xzar had no idea what was wrong and Kagain, knowing that Kane would not want them to know the truth behind his behaviour, had quietly told them that their leader was rather unstable and prone to violent outbursts. Neither seemed particularly bothered, though the dwarf doubted as to whether Xzar even understood him anyway. In any case, it was mentioned no further.

Despite his sour moods, Viconia was certain that with Edwin out of the picture, it would only be a matter of time before Kane turned his attentions to her again. After all, during their relationship, he had often said how hard she was to resist. And yet, resist her he did. Continuously she attempted to seduce him; coming to his room at night or early in the morning and offering to cheer him up, walking around only half dressed in front of him, taking every opportunity to touch him. But Kane always pushed her away, made it clear that he wasn’t interested, sometimes very harshly. She aroused him of course, he was only human after all, but he didn’t want her any longer.

Of them all, Kagain was the only one who showed even a little concern for the way that his leader was feeling. A tough old dwarf he was, but he was fond of Kane and didn’t like seeing him unhappy.

“Yer know what?” He brought up the subject late one evening, when the two were drinking alone in the Three Old Kegs. “Yer may be thinkin’ that yer did the right thing leaving the wizard, but I don’t be believin’ that. Yer really ain’t been the same since we left ‘im.”

“It just feels strange not having him around any more.”

“Aye, yer can say that again,” the dwarf said thoughtfully. “’E were bit o’ an idiot, but ‘e were one of us. Not like that insane one we have now. Don’t be trusting th’ pair of ‘em, I don’t.”

“They’re only temporary,” Kane assured him. “I don’t trust them either, but right now we need a wizard. Any wizard.”

“I know yer miss ‘im, Kane,” Kagain’s voice softened as he reached over and took his friend’s hand. “And I see that yer be hurting. It not be too late ta go back fer ‘im.”

“Kagain…” Kane shook his head and managed just a faint smile. With all the madness and confusion going on around him, he didn’t know where he would be without the dwarf to keep him sane. “I appreciate your support, but as much as it hurts, I know that I did the right thing when I left Edwin. All I can do now is try to get back to normal and hope that wherever he is, he can do the same.”

Kagain sighed, but made no attempt to push the subject any further.

That night, Kane had a strange and disturbing dream. He frequently had what he had termed ‘Bhaal dreams’, dreams of death and murder with him in the centre of it all, but this dream was different. When he awoke, damp with sweat and freezing cold even though the night was warm, he could barely remember what had been about, but he knew that it had involved Benny and Edwin and Mae’Var, with his cold words and his cruel eyes.

He lay awake for the rest of the night, unable to relax enough to get back to sleep. Although he had no idea why, he had a strong feeling that Edwin was in danger. After hours of trying to convince himself that there could be nothing wrong and yet deeply troubled by the way he was feeling, the warrior finally made a decision…

“You really have lost it!” Viconia said angrily, when Kane told them what he had decided. “You want to go all the way back to Beregost, just because you have a stupid feeling that Edwin might be in trouble? If you were so bloody concerned about his well-being, maybe you should never have left him in the first place!”

“You shut up!” Kane growled at her. “You don’t know anything and I’m getting sick of you always going on and on! If you don’t want to come with me, then just stay here. See if I bloody care!”

They left that day, telling their Shadow Thief contact that they intended to return as soon as their business was complete. Their journey was uneventful and they arrived back in Beregost two and a half days later. When Kane asked at the inn where they had been staying, he was told that Edwin had departed three days before.

“Damn it!” But although he was upset, he had almost been expecting it. There had been no reason for Edwin to wait around after all.

“What now?” Viconia asked, though she suspected she already knew the answer. “I suppose it would be too much to hope that you now intend to return to the city?”

Kane shook his head but said nothing for a moment. The drow scowled and Montaron rolled his eyes. “He has probably returned to Nashkell,” he said finally. “That was where we met him after all.”

“To Nashkell then?” Kagain asked. His leader nodded.

“You can come with me or stay here,” he said, with a shrug of his broad shoulders. “I don’t care. But I intend to go, no matter what anyone says.”

All five of them went, though not without much complaining. But once the complaining died down, it was a rather quiet journey. Sometimes even the birds were quiet and the only real sound was their boots knocking against the stones. They travelled hard, stopping only when it was too dark to see. None of them were aware of the several pairs of eyes that watched them from a distance.

Kane took first watch and then Kagain took over. And that was when it happened. The Bhaalspawn had just closed his eyes when a cry came from the dwarf.

“They be attacking!” He called, sounding both angry and a little afraid. Kane was on his feet in an instant, taking his long swords from the ground. Montaron was alert immediately, though he mumbled several curse words, annoyed at being awakened. Viconia wearily took up her mace. Their enemies, the vampires, had them completely surrounded. And then they began to draw closer…

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