Concerted movement is unstoppable, particularly when a host moves as one. It is also dangerous. This kind of action flows through the city of Porlese, as the slaves and those less fortunate choose to take their chances by walking south. They are also choosing freedom from oppression and it makes them strong. Despite the screaming as the masters attempt to stop them, they are now of one mind and their choice will not now be denied.
Here, at these gates, concerted movement is as dangerous, for a different reason. The host here is bottle-necked. In their desperation for freedom, many will be hurt.
“Siri! Stay where you are!” I shout. “I will come for you!” I hope she hears me, for the noise of the rush is now overpowering.
I step aside as the gates crash down and people fall over each other to get out.
“Go south!” I shout. “Follow the others!”
As people flow past, I realise many hundreds were captured. I also understand, while they are panicked, injuries now are less than the death they approached from the edge of a cliff. I say no more. I hope the Grenmassin crowd has more insight and have stayed back.
They have. After most have fled the pen, a group of around twenty approach more slowly, among them Siri … and Horin.
Siri flings herself into my arms and holds on, sobbing. I clutch my sister to me and then raise an arm to Horin. “Lyra is safe too,” I murmur. He hurtles into our embrace, tears flowing.
“We must go, Damin,” Artur, the village stonemason, says as he closes in. “We are beyond happy to see you, but it is time to leave.”
He is right. Disengaging, but holding onto both Siri and Horin’s hands, I say, “Follow me. Quick now.”