←  Silver Quarter

Mistborn: The Inquisition


Coats and Tables

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 14 Feb 2017

Eliza, for a split second, was somewhat startled when Caden jumped up all of a sudden, mentioning something about the driver and hurrying out of the carriage. Of course! Poor Dennison would have been caught in all this too! And while celebrating their success was all well and good, they weren't out of the riptide yet, and she shouldn't have needed to be reminded of that. She quickly leapt up to follow, and had almost reached the front when Caden called out to her about Dennison, and about getting them home.

"I'm afraid not," she said, coming up behind him to get a look at Dennison herself. Ouch. That wound looked nasty, but at least he was alive. "Are there any canals nearby? If we could find a conveniently unguarded boat, I could row us home, but coach driving and horsemanship aren't really in high demand on the Islands. I'd have better luck pushing the carriage than driving it."

She paused, frowning in thought as she assessed their situation. Dennison was hurt, so she and Caden couldn't simply up and start walking back to the keep while hoping someone would notice they had gone missing and start a search. Leaving him unattended was as good as killing him themselves. They could carry him between them maybe, but how far would they be able to walk like that? And even then, being encumbered with an unconscious person would only make them attractive targets for the unsavory sorts of skaa who were sure to be out at this time of night. Caden probably didn't know how to drive a coach either, or he wouldn't be asking her.

But she was getting ahead of herself. Dennison was hurt. First, they needed to take care of him, and then take stock of their options for getting home. If only they had some antiseptic, or some bandages, or...

... Or some scrap fabric.

"I have an idea," she said. "Not for getting home yet, but for taking care of him. It's not exactly appropriate, but given the circumstances, it's the best we've got. I'll be right back."

Still with the knife in hand, she hurried to the back of the carriage, where their things were kept. When they'd purchased their Islands clothing, the shop owner had packed up the clothes they'd changed out of and Dennison had stowed them away - and now, just maybe, that change of clothes was going to keep him from bleeding out. It took her a couple hurried tries to find the right box, but before too long she'd bundled her ridiculous Luthadel petticoat with her into the carriage, where she had both light and shelter from the ash. Like she'd told Caden, it wasn't entirely appropriate, but it was the best they had. Women's clothing had more volume so they'd be able to get more bandages out of it, and the petticoat was by far more sanitary than her gown, which had been exposed to the ashy Luthadel air. The Mistborn's knife cut easily into the soft fabric, letting her rip it into strips, which she rolled loosely around a hand before returning to Caden and Dennison.

"Alright, let's try this," she suggested, holding a roll out to Caden. "I made us some bandages. Once we've patched him up, we can figure out how to get us all home."

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 25 Mar 2017

Caden nodded, impressed with Eliza's resourcefulness. "Good thinking. Do you know what you're doing? I'm afraid medical care has not been included in my training." Lord Ruler, he hated feeling useless. What could were the hours of lessons and practice he had devoted his time to out in the real world? Sure they made him appear to be a paragon of competence and accomplishment, but horse-back riding and duelling lessons wouldn't help him to save this man from death or permanent injury.

"I can help if you tell me what to do". Caden tried his best to keep the fear out of his eyes and the panic from his voice. He could remain in control of himself--it was the least he can do. "Do you know what you are doing?"

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 25 Mar 2017

"A little. I'm no doctor, or even a nurse, but incidents happen on the job, and I've got to know how to keep myself or those under me alive long enough to get to a doctor." As she spoke, she began unrolling another of the bandage rolls a little, then cut the unwound portion off and folded it up.

Did Caden sound a little on edge, she wondered as she worked? It was difficult to tell for sure - he was always so good at keeping in control of himself - but she thought he might. Well, she couldn't blame him, really, given their current situation. It was probably best not to point it out, though, and instead reassure him with her own calm and confidence. Thankfully, she was back in her element now, navigating the oddly comforting and familiar waters of peril and uncertainty. Earlier, she might have wondered if he would think it strange that she was so in command of herself here but so out of sorts in a ballroom, but now, she was grateful for it. He had supported her when she was trying to navigate unknown territory, and now it was her turn.

"Here." She handed the folded up pad of cloth to Caden. "Press that against the wound, then take the bandages you've got and wind them around his head to keep it on. Nice and firm, but not too tight; you need pressure to stop the bleeding, but you don't want to cut off circulation. It doesn't have to be pretty, and it only has to stay on long enough to get us home. The first thing the doctor is going to do is take it back off again to examine the wound, but it needs to hold properly until then."

She took a moment to look around then, surveying the tools they had at their disposal. She considered keeping quiet and just letting him work, but if he really was starting to feel uncertain or on edge, it was probably best to give him something to focus on. An unfocused mind could fall into a panic alarmingly quickly in situations like this, but Caden was quickly proving to be a man of action. Talking through their next steps together would not only give him something to focus on and think about, but it would also help him feel in control again and quell any rising anxiety.

"I'm guessing we'll need to leave the carriage behind. If you knew how to drive it, you wouldn't have asked me, and I unless either of us wants to learn on the fly at this particular moment, it's just a liability at this point. We'll need a way to get Dennison home that also keeps his head and shoulders elevated. We might be able to tie him onto one of these horses, or we could try to construct something with what we have on hand to pull him behind one of them. Drag him on a blanket or something. Neither one would be comfortable, but our first priority is keeping him alive. There are plenty of people who can make him comfortable when we get home; Lord Ruler knows he's earned it.

"You honestly have the most going for you when it comes to getting out of here, since you can ride and are, you know, conscious. As long as you can ride bareback, you'll have no problem getting home. I'll have to either ride double with you or just walk beside. Which would take forever, but it's better than sitting here hoping the right people will find us. And without a saddle or more appropriate clothes, I'd just fall right off if you tried to stick me up there by myself."

"Once we decide whether we're riding or walking, we set a course. We can either head for a canal and hope to find a boat, from which point I can row us home, or we set out for home. I doubt we'll run across any carriages for hire; they're probably all busy bringing people home from the ball, and then they'll be heading home for the night. Fathvell might send out a search party if we take long enough, but there's no guarantee they'll cover enough of the city to find us in any reasonable amount of time. So whichever route we choose, it needs to be the one we're most confident will get us all the way there."

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 28 Jul 2017

Caden nodded at Eliza's proposed course of action and began assessing their surroundings as bound the coachman's head as per Eliza's instructions. They hadn't crossed the Channerel yet, had they? In the mists it was difficult to see, but he thought he could see the shadows of Kredik Shaw's famous spires looming to the south.

"This is the Palace District, isn't it?" If that was the case, it would be a long journey home for both of them. Both Keeps Hasting and Fathvell were located on the Western side of the city, across the Channerel and in entirely separate districts. "I don't suspect walking will be an option." Finishing with the coachman's wound, Caden walked over to check out the horses. These were draft animals, far larger than he was used to riding. "I think I should be able to manage without too much trouble, though not if I'm carrying your driver in front of me. Perhaps we could ride together and lead the second horse behind with him secured on its back?"

Caden frowned. Riding an unfamiliar animal while leading a second horse burdened with an injured man wouldn't allow him to ride at the speed they would have achieved in the carriage. But what were they to do? Wait outside for a thug or rebel to pick them off while they waited for a passerby to take sympathy on them and help them home?

"Keep Sureau is the closest, I think," Caden continued, still trying to get a sense of where they were. "It should be just northwest of here, much closer that either of our places. Perhaps we could impose upon our allies for some medical attention and a ride home?"

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 29 Jul 2017

Eliza nodded thoughtfully. "I'm not sure how I feel about asking certain Sureaus, but I get I could get a message to Nadia. It'll be awkward, given what happened earlier, but I don't think our argument will keep her from helping us. And she'll keep it quiet; since she's so against societal games, I doubt she'll want to join in with any gossip.

"We'll still need a cover story, though, for anyone we don't trust who finds out we were out here," she continued as they set about getting Dennison tied onto one of the horses. At least he was sort of half-conscious at this point, so he wasn't completely a dead weight. "For all it's the truth, nobody will believe our story of 'an assassin showed up to kill us and we politely asked him not to, so he left,' and we don't know what he's going to tell Colette anyway. The rebels have a Mistborn, so they must have other Allomancers as well; using them as an excuse will risk making people think we're Allomancers too. Thieves, maybe? Someone as skilled as you wouldn't have any problem with a couple street toughs."

They finally got Dennison tied onto the horse, and then it was time to mount up themselves. They were able to use the side of the carriage as a sort of improvised mounting block, though, and after a bit of awkward shuffling, she was sitting sideways across the horse's back, nestled closely and safely in front of Caden. Very, very closely.

Keep it together, she reminded herself. We're doing this for survival, not a romantic ride through the mists. Besides, she had the knife in one hand, one arm wrapped around Caden for stability, and that hand was holding the other horse's lead. And he was focused on riding a gigantic horse bareback while keeping an inexperienced rider in a silk ballgown from slipping right off the side. It's not like anything would happen.

Still, her heart beat faster just at how close they were, and how she had to hold onto him to stay on the horse. This sort of closeness was different from the highly proper proximity they had on the dance floor, under the public eye. They were alone out here - poor Dennison, incoherent as he was, didn't really count as a chaperone - in the cold mists, doing their best to survive after making it through a very harrowing ideal. She'd had the presence of mind to wrap her shawl around herself before they set out, but in her sleeveless gown, a shawl only did so much, and she was grateful for his warmth - and his unintentional ability to block the gentle but chilly breeze. Why was Luthadel so chilly all the time? There was also the fact that the darkness would do a reasonably decent job at hiding her deeply flushed cheeks. That was nice.

She was simultaneously relieved and disappointed when he somehow navigated them, through the darkness and the mists, to Keep Sureau, and she spotted its familiar dome looming up through the mists like the fabled Monster Wraith. Her heart leapt into her throat as she leaned in closer, for all it was just to whisper to him.

"How well known do you want this incident to be? For my part, Fathvell will keep quiet no problem, but if we ride right up to the gates, we may as well assume the whole city knows. I can get a message discreetly to Nadia, if you prefer."

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 25 Sep 2017

Caden did his best to take in Eliza's words, keep her in position so she would not fall off, all while trying to steer the the behemoth they were currently trying to ride. The animal's mouth was quite hard, and he found himself needing to lean back slightly and shift his weight in order to get it to change directions as he wished. Despite the urgency of the situation, he was hesitant to go at anything faster than a trot, lest they lose the poor driver, or find themselves unceremoniously unseated.

"I'd prefer to keep it quiet if possible." Caden tried, but didn't quite manage to keep the strain from his voice. He hoped Eliza would know it was not directed at her. At least the horse was docile. If it had the temperament of some of the racers he'd ridden, they would have been in trouble. "I despise scandal, and any story we spin will inevitably provide Colette with inconsistencies she can use to undermine me. Are you certain we can trust Nadia though? From what I've seen she can be rather . . . temperamental."

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 11 Oct 2017

"To be honest," Eliza said quietly, "if it were just you asking, I would have to say... probably not. Nadia does what she pleases, for her own reasons, but that's honestly why I, and therefore we, can trust her with this. For all our disagreement today we are still friends, and she'll do anything for the people she cares about. Not to mention, her temperamental nature will work in our favor here - if Aveline were to call for a horse and carriage at this hour of the night, the entire keep would look at her askance. When Nadia does it, they'll just sort of shrug and think to themselves, 'that's Lady Nadia for you,' and go back to their cards and their brandy."

She directed Caden away from the front entrance to the keep, and towards an overshadowed area along the back of the property where some of the masonry had fallen into disrepair. The area had made for some fantastic climbing not long ago, and the Sureau workers were so busy painting and re-painting that stupid dome of theirs that nobody had bothered to fix a bit of stonework nobody really looked at. There was a brief moment where they both tried to dismount the horse at once, and Eliza almost fell - Caden meant to swing down to help her, and Eliza meant to slide to the ground so he wouldn't have to worry about it - but in the end, he made it down first and caught her before any harm was done. They agreed that he should wait with Dennison and the horses, and he shrugged out of his coat when he noticed her shivering, and after a bit of adjusting, she was on her way, finding her way up and over the wall with practiced ease, ballgown or no ballgown.

She knew she must be quite the sight, creeping across the grounds between the guards' routes, shrouded in a gentleman's coat, but if everything went her way, nobody except Nadia would notice her peculiar fashion statement: the cuffs of the sleeves rolled up but still covering most of her hands, and the coat hiked up off the ground and tied about the waist with her shawl. Maybe, she thought with a wry chuckle, Nadia would appreciate the look - and that she'd taken Caden's coat.

She at last found Nadia on some terraced garden or other - she'd never managed to keep them all straight, and had mostly just wandered the grounds hoping that her instincts and knowledge of Nadia's habits would see her safely to her friend before a guard or three found her - seemingly working on an art project of some kind. After making sure that there were no guards about, Eliza hopped over the low railing separating them and called out in a stage whisper.

"Psst, Nadia! Nadia, it's me, Eliza!"

Nadia Sureau's Photo Nadia Sureau 27 May 2018

Nadia jumped at the sound of the voice, spoiling the charcoal sketch she had been working on. She turned, and her eyes widened upon seeing a rather disheveled Eliza climbing over the railing, skirts and all.

Nadia ran to Eliza and, hesitantly at first, wrapped her friend in a tight hug. "Are you okay? What happened?" As they separated, Nadia's eyes narrowed. In the candle light, she could see that the coat Eliza had wrapped around her shoulders belonged to Caden Hasting.

"Did he hurt you? Where is he? I swear, if he hurt you I will kill that bloody bastard..."

Eliza Fathvell's Photo Eliza Fathvell 28 May 2018

Eliza was surprised by Nadia's sudden if welcome hug, and returned it tightly. She was just about to explain why she was here when Nadia went and did it. She said The Word, and Eliza sighed in disappointment. She already knew that Nadia didn't approve of Caden, but somehow she hadn't expected her friend to sink to society's level when labeling him.

"He has been and is continuing to be perfectly wonderful to me," she said firmly, leveling a sharp look at Nadia that she hoped would get the message across that she wasn't interested in hearing arguments about it right now. "He's supportive and respectful and honest, whatever you may think about society types. And we're a couple now, so I sincerely hope I never have to hear that word spoken about him from my best friend's mouth ever again. And if you must know, he gave me his coat because it's bloody freezing out here at night. But that's neither here nor there.

"The important thing is, someone tried to kill us just now. We're both fine, and I'll tell you all about it when we have more time, but poor Dennison - oh, he's the driver - took a nasty blow to the head, and he's still unconscious. Neither of us knows how to drive a carriage, there's no conveniently placed boats for me to row us home, and riding about on draft horses with an unconscious driver strapped to one of them is a great way to make a bigger spectacle of the whole thing than either of us would like at the moment. Can you help us? Please?"