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Carrying Hope

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She fought against the bandits that had flattened her, but her injured arm refused to co-operate. The ring and rattle of sword play surrounded her like a second heartbeat. A glance at the others showed Paks on the edge of the fight, silhouetted against the last of the fading sunlight, retreating only pace by pace.

"Paks!" she yelled. "Run! Run for it!"

Paks's head came up at her yell. Sunlight tangled itself in the hair wisping out of her braid, like a halo of light. Then she was gone, into the dark, carrying hope with her.