Orion’s Embrace Part 6
I looked at the woman and wondered what she would say to that. Would she even agree? There weren’t a lot of other options. I would poison them if I thought it wouldn’t hurt anyone else. The challenge is going to be to make sure that whatever we put in their food doesn’t end up in the general populace. I knew that I’d only been on this ship for less than a week but being observant was something that had been taught to me a while ago.
“It might work, but I cannot leave the ship. If I leave, then there will be no one here to distract them.”
I looked at her for a moment before I spoke. I had already told her most of the plan and already knew on some level that she would say no. It wasn’t too hard to know that. The plan really was going to hinge on having someone there as an extra distraction. I was mulling over the actions for awhile, not really saying much. Too many things were running through my mind. I knew that there were too many options to do this and not enough time.
“I often wonder how many people on this ship forgot what freedom really was. Do they not wish for something different?” I asked the question more to air my thoughts than for a real answer.
Does it matter really? Most of the people here are so brainwashed that it would take them months if not years to understand the meaning of the word freedom. I refused to be one of them. I would get out of here, and away from this area of space. If nothing else, until I had found the right ally to come back and confiscate my kingdom from my brother. Even now the thoughts of what happened still haunt me, how he could kill our parents for the throne and sell me like some piece of property. Nathaniel had always been ruthless, even as a child, but this was a new low.
“‘Tis best not to ask questions you don’t really want the answers too. Come, we must make the final preparations.”
I followed Dahlia for a moment more as we entered even further into a room where they couldn’t hear us. I knew that my begging her to come with me would be useless. Instead, I changed tack and tried to at least get more of her help before the time came.
“If you find a way to get me to work in the herb garden, or, at least, time to slip in, I can make the concoction that will put the guards to sleep but I cannot go without a weapon. All I need from you since you will not leave Dahlia’, is a way to the herb garden and some sort of weapon. We have two days to work these out and then, I’ll be gone. It won’t be hard to stow away on another ship, at least not if we are in an official port.”
I was lying about this part. However, it was extremely hard. One had to almost be a complete master of stealth as they moved about the docs. There was also the chance that someone would recognize me and try to find a way to either get me back to Matthias or Nathaniel and neither were legitimate options. I just needed to bide my time and wait. Two days, which seemed like forever now, would come sooner than either of us actually wanted to admit. By that time I would have already been on this ship for almost a week.
Dahlia had come through, though. Come through in ways that I hadn’t expected. On the morning of the second day, the day that everything was to be set in motion, I woke to a surprise. It was a pleasant one, but a surprise nonetheless. There beside my bed was more than just the key to the herb garden and a knife. It took me a moment to process everything that I was seeing, but when I did I almost had to bite my tongue not to let out a happy shout. That would give me away, and I refused to do that.
Picking up the two smallest items, I set them aside as I stared at the clothing. Somehow she had managed to get me a uniform of one of the ship guards. Slipping into the dress, I tucked the knife and key away where no one would see them but I would have easy access to them. The moment I was waiting for was fast approaching. I could hear the voices of people milling around which meant that it was close to lunchtime.
Slipping out of my room I did my best to try to mimic the walk and path of the other soldiers as we went to get our daily duties. Standing in line with the others, I had to try to find a way to pretend to be one of them. I could feel fear gripping me that this might be over long before it started. My fears would turn out to be unjustified. Standing there handing out the daily schedules was Dahlia. She just smiled at me and gave me the holographic card that would list my routine within the ship.
We had talked about them some when we had our private moments. These cards were unique in their design. Prototypes really that only a few ships had. Matthias had enough money to afford them. Someone would be handed one of the pre-programmed pages. It would self-check all the places that they had been as required of their day and log it in the right book for the captain to check over later. After the work was complete, the card would ignite and destroy itself so that no one else could gain the information.
Looking at my card as I made my way out of the office, I tried very hard not to smirk. I could not afford to give anyone any notice that I had any idea of what was going to happen. Dahlia had managed to program my card into showing that I would be making a visit to the herb garden on behalf of the cook, to obtain some special herbs for the special lunch. Then I was to attend to the kitchen and help them with preparing the meals.
Retracing my steps, I took my time to get to my location. None of the guards ever rushed and if I did someone might find it suspicious. So, I leisurely walked through the shop to my first destination and entered the shed with the key. As I looked at the plethora of the herbs I had to work with, I silently thanked the higher powers that I believed in that I had been a reader as a child. While my parents and brother might not have agreed with it, it was going to save me now.
Quickly I grabbed enough of the herbs I needed and secured them in the pouch that was hidden in my uniform. I had more than sufficient to take out half the ship. These little beauties might not look like much but when you mixed them together in just the right order, they were very potent. I was not an alchemist by any means, but I would have to make do with old knowledge gained from books.
Moving out of the area, I headed into the kitchen. I knew that my time was running out and I had to get this task underway. The ship was scheduled to land soon after the midday meal was served so time was becoming crucial.
Slipping into the kitchen, I smiled at the chef. She was apparently in on the plan because I saw her wink and then motioned me over to the big pot of stew they were making. Moving over to the stew, I started slicing and dicing the herbs that would be used to make it the ‘house’ special. I was completely left alone while I did this as I worked hard to make sure I didn’t border on the line of killing them. My goal was to knock them out, but there were always dangers to what I was doing.
When all the herbs were mixed into the stew, I smiled at the chef and motioned her over again. It was time to serve the food and I would not be partaking in any of it. According to my list, I was supposed to guard the door to the kitchens and make sure everyone ate the food and no one left early. Dahlia and I had talked about the signal she would give me when it was safe to go. Of course, all of the heads hitting the table would be a clear sign as well.
Moving out of the way so that the food could be served, I took up my station. Thankfully the door I was guarding was not one that Matthias would enter. It was one less chance of him seeing me before I was able to escape. It took only minutes for the serving staff to come in and start distributing out the food to those that were already inside. The others were slowly coming in and grabbing their bowls of stew as well.
I stood guard for what felt like forever when I heard the first head hit the table, and then a series of thumps after that. Spinning on my heel, I acted shocked like the other guards and rushed in. Dahlia gave me a nearly imperceptible nod of her head before she started to act panicked and rushed to her brother’s side.