Reality Skimming

Golden Souls by Lynda Williams – Post 19

Act of mercy raises swords. Art by Richard Bartrop
Golden Souls by Lynda Williams, is a story of Amel's envoy period. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.
A gunshot sets nerves on edge.
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Act of mercy -- okal rel?

The whole room turned — with swords drawn — on the frightened groom who had just dispatched the wounded horse with a handgun.

Dela gave a squeak of terror. She knew the groom. He had probably been so upset about the horse that he forgot the room was full of Sevolites. Under ordinary circumstances, shooting a wounded horse was an acceptable use of the stable gun by Dee standards. But guns were okal'a'ni weapons. And in the eyes of someone like Vretla Vrel, mere possession of one could be fatal for a commoner.

The groom grasped his error. He stood with the gun hanging at the end of his hand, white with terror. Dela's heart went out to him. But to speak up was beyond her powers.

The Dem'Vrellish woman, Sen, broke the tension by yanking the stable gun out of the groom's hand.

"It is for animal management, Your Highness," Sen told Vretla, and tossed gun at away to land on the nearest couch. "We use similar tools, back home, to dispatch sick or injured meat stock."

Vretla muttered, "I hate planets."

Act of mercy raises swords. Art by Richard Bartrop

Act of mercy raises swords. Art by Richard Bartrop

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