Marieke never made it to France... Ktayan intercepted and caught her before she could leave the country. For many days no one, not even Echo, knew this, for Arron, though he could not wholly overcome the soul-link between the two women, masked Marie's pain from Echo for some time.

Only Arron and Ktayan know all that was done to her during her captivity... if Marie recalls it, she is not telling. Once Arron decided to let it be known that he held Marieke captive, he sent Ktayan to Echo with a token... one of Marie's ring fingers, neatly severed at the base. Then he allowed Echo more access to Marie through the link, though still not enough to locate her. Echo realized Marie was now being left alone in some dark place, with no food or water, and desperately sent as much healing energy and strength through the link as she possibly could. But the only reply she was sure of was... the ring finger of Marie's other hand.

This she showed to NbKiller when he came into the room, and Nb, filled with rage, went out determined to end the threat of Arron once and for all. But it was all a trap, with Marie the bait and Echo the unwitting accomplice. Within minutes, Nb was captured. Marieke was brought out of her lightless cell to witness the torture of Nb as it began, then blindfolded, carried away and dumped outside the Tavern, unable to tell others how to get back to where Nb was held.

Into the minds of both Marie and Echo came Arron, filling their ears with the sounds of Nb's screaming, letting them see what horrors were being done to him. And Arron told Marieke something more... something she refused to believe... "Ask her," he said. "Ask Echo. Her eyes will tell you." Marie did ask her... and saw in Echo's haunted eyes that Arron had for once spoken the truth. Neither woman will speak of what passed between them.

Lashing out with one of her mutilated hands, she carved deep scratches into Echo's face and fled the house with a few belongings, taking a room at the Wanderer's Inn and beginning her quest to find some way to free her beloved Nb from Arron's torture. No matter to her now that Nb loves Catz and not her (though in her heart of hearts she still cannot believe that)... his life is threatened, and now nothing matters but saving him...

History continues on February 24

Background by The Dragon's Lair (no longer online)

Original Content ©2007 by Echo's Webmagic, Ltd.