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Writing Wednesday: Fractured Team

Riwenne and the rest of the team disagreed about how to handle the demigoddess Huamani after they captured her. Now the city is in ruins and there is so much that needs to be rebuilt. Does Riwenne have the heart to keep going?

Late Night

I staggered around the ruins of the city for about an hour to check out the relief efforts, but I’d organized things so well that the different groups were running themselves. And drained as I was from the fight, there wasn’t much left I could offer to help. When Janera finally ordered me to bed, I was too tired to protest. I found a cot inside one of our improvised shelters and fell asleep almost before my head hit the pillow.

When I woke up, it was night. The full moon was overhead so it must be close to midnight. In the silver moonlight, the damage didn’t look so bad. Or maybe the others had already made progress on the rebuilding efforts.

I found my friends had all gone to bed, but there was still a light switched on the headquarters set up inside the temple. Hunched over a table, looking at reports, was Sergeant Raisha. She had a bandage wrapped around one arm but otherwise she looked fine.

The sergeant glanced up when she saw me and nodded to a pot nearby. “The tea is still hot if you want a cup.”

“Thanks,” I said, but it came out only halfway before a yawn escaped.

She raised an eyebrow at me. “Are you sure you should be up? It’s fine to get more sleep. Not much we can do until the morning.”

“This should help,” I said, pouring myself a cup of tea and blowing on it. Steam rose from the surface and the smell alone cleared my head. “Just tell me how bad it is so I don’t have to worry any longer. If I keep laying in bed, all I’ll do is wonder what I don’t know yet.”

Raisha grunted and pushed a sheet of paper toward me. “Not so bad as all that. We’ve taken worse losses before.”

I winced. Our worst loss had been when Lyndamon and other cities died in the old timeline, but the sergeant didn’t remember that—she’d died with everyone else. But when I glanced over the numbers, I saw that this was one of our lightest battles yet. “Are we sure this is accurate?” I asked warily. “Maybe there are some things we just don’t know about yet?”

She nodded at the first question, then shook her head at the second. “Everyone has reported in by now. There may still be a few people who succumb to their injuries, but with the number of skilled healers we have, I don’t expect too many.” She passed me a second sheet about the imperial forces. “These reports are less reliable since we can’t track anything over the border. But by our estimates, there were similarly low deaths on the enemy side. And per your instruction, the prisoners have already been released.”

I let out a sigh of relief and sank into a chair. “Thank the gods.”


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