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1 3941.03.07 - Exile Hold - The Secret Project on Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:59 pm

Loraine


Apprentice Smith
The twins' parents had gone away for a day to some meeting and when they got back, they told Loraine and Aren that there was a new project for their smithy to work on. They wouldn't go into detail about what the project was, but given that there were reports of Threadfall coming down in other longitudes, they didn't really need to. Every Apprentice was put to work building parts that the older smiths could weld together. For Aren and Loraine, that mean bending flat and round stock as needed to make chains and corner braces. They were learning how to straighten stock, too, and because of this massive project, there were plenty of bent scraps coming in that needed straightened and, after being straightened, they were reforged by one of the older smiths; sometimes, those reforged bits would come back across their anvils, waiting to be bent into new, useful shapes.

During the work, Loraine developed a knack for making chains. Her parents quickly caught on and she and her mother teamed up: Loraine bent and interlaced the links and her mother welded them. Meanwhile, Aren worked with another Journeyman bending shutter frames.

Loraine had no idea where all the materials were coming from, nor where all of their finished products were going to. She saw tables and tools being being made, especially stonemason tools. She was curious and regularly asked where the tools were being sent, but her father always shushed her. Finally, she got Signy to follow one of the shipments; unfortunately, the distractable green fret got sidetracked halfway through the trip. So she got Aren to convince Hagbard to follow it instead. That's how the twins found out that they were being shipped to the volcanic atoll south of the island they lived on.

They confronted their parents with the information the next evening over dinner. "We're fourteen, not eight!" Loraine pointed out. "We can keep a secret. What is going on?"

"Loraine, Aren, it's not a question of whether or not you can keep a secret. There are people out there who can learn that secret without you actually telling them. You know that from your Harper classes. The fewer people who know what's going on, the better. You need to keep what you've found to yourselves." Their father was so livid that he'd been unable to speak and had to leave the room while their mother explained.

The twins were too old to be very frightened by their parents' statements, but it did impress on them the seriousness of the situation. They sat quietly through the rest of dinner and considered what their mother said. Finally, Aren asked, "Are we going to be moving there?"

Their parents looked at the two of them solemnly. "I don't know," their father said, finally. "Some people might. I don't know if we will."

The twins went to bed that night, wondering what the next few months would bring.

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