Still, it was nice to be outdoors for a change.
The only time he really spent outdoors was when he was in transit between home and the tavern. He was not really one to do much else, now that it was suddenly a novelty though, he felt compelled to enjoy it. Ironic.
With a sigh he awakened himself from his stupor and briefly went over the mental list Uma had –well- screamed at him. He had been quite reluctant to take the little shopping venture of which she demanded. But the threat of his father’s death soon convinced him, and before he knew it he was stomping angrily towards the market place, basket in hand, while his father skipped gleefully along behind him.
Lexton did his best to ignore him, and was more than relieved when he stated that Uma had demanded that they split up to save time.
Since then though, he’d been a highly unproductive zombie. Half his brain wanted to bolt- to flee. But the other, more reasonable half, told him to obey her. Uma’s reach extended further than he’d ever know, and he could feel her watch. Lexton knew that if he even tried anything he’d be dead before he even left the city.
Still, the internal battle raged, rendering him with a horrible case of indecisiveness and, by extension, counterproductively. That would be his undoing if he continued to dally. Uma’s patience would be wearing thin; he’d need to hurry.
Part of him though, wanted to upset her. The thought that he could inconvenience her in anyway threw fuel to the fire that was the more rebellious side of his brain.
With this in mind, Lexton began his trudge to the potato stand. Uma had been very insistent on the requirement of potatoes. Unwashed potatoes, she had specified. At first Lexton had imagined her doing an involved potato sacrificing ritual to enhance her magic powers, but after sarcastically voicing his thoughts Uma had simply laughed at him. Apparently she just really liked chips.
So now here he was, at the potato stand, about to buy them out of a good basket of unwashed potatoes. The vendor, an old man Lexton distantly knew as Chandry, smiled a toothy grin at Lexton as he approached. Lexton returned the gesture forthwith and stepped up to the table.
‘Two golds worth of unwashed potatoes thanks.’
‘Two golds?’ The old man exclaimed, ‘why that’s a lot of potatoes boy. You must be making one hell of a mash.’
‘You... could say that...’ Lexton said absently, his attention was drawn to a young couple; a woman and a man –what Lexton assumed was her husband- who had joined them at the table, arguing loudly to one another.
‘... that’s rubbish. The ice bitch has never done right by us and you know it.’ The man said, shaking his head at his wife’s apparent insolence. She, however, appeared to disagree, and promptly told him so.
‘The elder princess is distant from her people sure. But have you seen her brother? Prince Marden is nothing but an ignorant, misogynistic pig.’
‘At least he’d listen to us! To the people!’
‘I’d rather be ignored than be ill-treated.’
‘You’re off your head.’ The man shook his head profusely, clearly displaying his disapproval. ‘If the rumours are true, you and ilk like you are going to destroy Guarra.’
‘If it does come to a public vote, I’ll have to lock you in the cellar until it’s over.’
‘You’ll do no-’
‘Excuse me,’ Lexton tactlessly cut in, afraid of being impolite but still impatiently conscious of Uma’s watchful eye. ‘Did you say a public vote?’
The husband turned to him, clearly irritated at being disturbed. ‘Have you been living under a rock boy? The whole city’s been talking about it over the past few days. They say that the Vita Oras are going to announce it tomorrow.’
‘A good thing too,’ The potato man cut in conversationally, ‘it’s about time we got our own vote. If it were up to me I would have voted the old King Leister out years ago. He was a fair king in his prime, but went a bit funny as the years went on.’
‘Leister was an idiot,’ the woman disagreed, ‘as is his son. Marden is a mistake.’
‘Marden’s a damn sight better than Reyiss.’
The bickering started up once more, and Lexton quickly paid for his potatoes and left them to it, eager to avoid any more confrontation. His situation with Uma was more than enough to deal with at present, without having to worry about who was going to be in charge. It’d only been a few nights ago that he had been in the tavern, drunkenly and loudly proclaiming how the Vita Ora family were all lying, cheating scum bags and they ought to overthrow them. He didn’t fully believe that of course, he actually had never much cared for politics and so couldn’t have cared less for the Vita Oras. Truthfully he only knew the names of Reyiss, Marden and Sinclair. Reyiss and Sinclair because they ran Nilfgar, and Marden because he was the future king... or was going to be... is going to be...?
He’d heard that there was some discrepancy about whether or not Reyiss or Marden would be king or queen. Personally he didn’t much care. His drunken self, however, fuelled by his friend’s enthusiasm, would noisily exclaim that they were both as useless as each other. Regardless it wasn’t exactly something he felt he should be overly concerned about, as he did face a more immediate threat. There was a small part of him however, that felt slightly disturbed by the news.
He’d seen a few people this morning thus far whispering in angry hushed voices, yelling at each other and threatening each other. Now he knew why. And already it was causing unneeded drama and tension.
Potato filled basket in hand, Lexton returned to the centre of the market square to find his father already waiting.
‘Lexton!’ he waved cheerily, ‘Brilliant! You got the potatoes! Uma will love them!’
Lexton simply grumbled to himself, only a few choice swear words coherent amongst the mix.
‘Now let’s head back! We mustn’t keep Uma waiting!’ His father began bounding off in the direction of their house.
Lexton threw his father a semi-ashamed come semi-sympathetic look before trudging along behind him, his depressing shuffle in direct contrast to his father’s springing step.
They hadn’t gotten far however, when a cloaked figure stepped out in front of them. So immediate was his presence that not even Lexton’s father could joyfully leap over him. And he stopped, blinking in confusion.
Lexton was torn, partly suspicious and partly grateful that someone had broken his father out of his rainbow world, if but for a moment.
‘You voting for the ice queen?’
Lexton blinked, caught off-guard by the sudden question. ‘Uhh, no...’
‘Good.’ He then forcefully thrust a pamphlet into Lexton’s chest. Before Lexton could say a word the hooded man had hurried off, leaving Lexton to rub the surely soon-to-be bruised spot where he had received the pamphlet.
He glanced at it:
The fixers of the future
For the future king
Come to the Weeping Witch at night if you want to make history
For the future king
Come to the Weeping Witch at night if you want to make history
It seemed like a motion in support of Marden, hardly something he was interested in, or even could attend if he wanted to. He absently threw it in the potato basket and started off again. This time, his father followed him, grinning stupidly to himself as if the confrontation had never happened.
Lexton was partially thankful for that, the silence was welcome in comparison to the alternative, which was listening to his father’s absurdly happy ramblings. The man was getting worse every day. He’d cried with joy over the carrots once they’d first gotten to the market, revelling in how brightly orange they were. The vendor there had never been so proud or pleased in her life.
If things kept progressing the way they were... His father would be a gibbering wreck within weeks. He’d need to have a talk with Uma about that. It was something no son should ever have to see.
Lexton continued to think over their dilemma until his feet brought him to the doorstep of his house, where he consequentially awakened to reality once more. He took a deep breath before entering, and looked around at his last view of pseudo-freedom. His father’s eager prompting soon put an end to his visual farewell, and Lexton opened the door with a defeated sigh.
Uma was standing right in the entranceway, causing Lexton to reel in shock, nearly dropping his potatoes.
‘Clumsy fool,’ Uma berated him, promptly snatching the basket from his hand.
She inspected them briefly, then, after appearing satisfied, walked over to heave them onto the bench. As she did, the pamphlet given by the mysterious man fluttered to the ground. Uma bent over to pick it up as Lexton’s father added his groceries to the bench.
‘I don’t remember asking for a piece of paper.’ Her eyes skimmed over the crude ink, and, to Lexton’s discomfort, a dark smile began to form. ‘My, but this is interesting. Young Reyiss will have work cut out for her if she wants to beat this.’ Her eyes flicked to Lexton. ‘You’ll go of course.’
Lexton took a moment to recover from the idea of a physically twelve year old girl referring to the elder princess as “young”, before realising what Uma had said.
‘Well I can’t go,’ Uma said, eyeing him as if he were stupid, ‘and my curiosity’s been piqued.’
Lexton’s expression darkened.
‘Well it’s either you or your father,’ Uma continued impatiently, ‘and we both know you’ll go in his place. So let’s skip the part where you sook and whine and try to pitifully negotiate and just agree that you’ll do it.’
‘No. I want no part of this,’ Lexton argued, to which Uma rolled her eyes.
‘And still he continues,’ she mumbled to herself, ‘like a child.’ Then she focused her attention back to Lexton. ‘Be ready by dusk. And remember, there will be unfortunate occurrences if you don’t cooperate.’
Lexton, swallowed his retort, and looked angrily to the ground. ‘Okay.’
‘There we go,’ Uma’s lips twisted into her trademark sadistic smile. ‘Now. You best see your mother. She’s been asking for you all morning.’
Unable to stifle a growl, Lexton obediently began his descent down the corridor.
Dusk descended incredibly slowly, and Lexton found himself preparing for a night out once more. Instead of preparing for a night out on the tavern however, he was getting ready for a political rally. It was definitely something he’d never considered he’d be doing in his life time. Yet here he was.
Reluctantly he made his way out from his, messy thrown-around room, to the much neater living area. To his dismay Uma was in there, arms folded, in an arm chair facing the entrance of the corridor.
Lexton cringed at her presence, as he usually did whenever laying eyes on her. Plus, he’d noticed that she had a tendency for rearranging their furniture, which he found thoroughly disconcerting. Whenever he used to move chairs around his mother would scream at him until she was blue in the face. Even as he reached adulthood, the rearranging of her furniture placement was punishable by law – or her law anyway, which involved a whole lot of community service (chores).
The fact that his mother was temporarily off her feet and couldn’t see the devastation Uma was causing was driving Lexton to near madness. He himself, vowed to tell her off when he finally worked up enough courage to do so –she was a child after all- or a least looked like one. Lexton knew though that “disciplining her” would only end in disaster for all of them.
When Lexton entered the room, Uma fixed him with a glare, which Lexton promptly returned.
She pointed to the window, at the rapidly darkening sky and said, ‘you’re going to be late.’
‘Have a reputation to uphold,’ Lexton said with a shrug, too tired to care. ‘Besides, “dusk” isn’t exactly a clearly defined time.’
‘Neither’s your lifespan,’ Uma mumbled to herself darkly. She then pointed to the door. ‘Now hurry up. I will not have my source of information ruined by your tardiness.’
Lexton sighed and dragged himself to the door, and pulled it open. He breathed in the outside world with a sigh, and dragged the door closed behind him with a twist of his arm.
Immediately his breath came out in foggy gasps as he met the cold night air, and he shivered into his coat, pulling it tighter around himself.
The fog had been particularly bad of late, and night it was usually worse, but this night in particular took the cake. Lexton could barely see where he was placing his next step. It left him a little disorientated and disconcerted, but he was still confident that he could navigate the streets with his eyes closed if he truly had to, so well he knew them. Luckily for him, The Weeping Witch was relatively close and so he wouldn’t have to walk around blind for too long.
He wondered how many people would be participating in such an event. Surely they wouldn’t want to be out in this weather, no matter how passionate they were about pointless politics.
He turned a fairly ambiguous corner and found himself in the street where he believed The Weeping Witch resided. He had visited the pub twice in his life, and only because he’d agreed to meet friends there. If he remembered correctly, both visits had ended badly. He himself preferred The Varghest Tavern, which was the tavern closest to his house. It was full of regulars and relatively quiet, which was the way he preferred it. He’d never been one for crowds.
As he approached, the gentle glow of the tavern’s light became increasingly visible through the fog, a beacon amongst the haze of white. Lexton made a beeline for it, and before long the sign, swinging above the rickety door became into view.
The sign clearly read:
The Weeping Witch
Lexton reached it within moments, as the slightly rotted scent of wood reached his nose. He breathed it in deeply, not overly put off by the scent. Inside he could hear a bustle of loud chatter and yelling. It sounded packed, something Lexton had not expected.
He took it as a bad sign. In his experience, caring was a good thing, but in excess often got people hurt. And he took it by the offensive yells coming from inside the tavern that people really seemed to violently care about the Vita Oras.
Taking one last gulp of air, Lexton straightened his scarf to cover the lower half of his face, lowered his hat a little, pulled his cloak tight, and pushed the door open...
Immediately he was hit by the stench of millions of sweaty people, all squeezed into a room together. And that’s exactly what he saw; women, men, even children, were packed into every space occupiable. It was almost impossible to move, let alone make it to the bar. This fact irritated Lexton somewhat, as he’d planned to have a quick drink while waiting listening to this bullshit propaganda. Just the one drink... maybe two...
Seeing a brief opening, Lexton plunged himself into the crowd. He’d have plenty of time. Perhaps he could reach the bar before the night was over.
‘’scuse me.... scuse me...’ He started meandering around the patrons who all glanced at him irritably as he passed. ‘Sorry... excuse me...’
He didn’t get far though before the crowd was met with a loud: ‘SHUUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUUP!’
The room fell silent, as every person turned to look upon the stage. Standing atop it, was a man, about Lexton’s age. He was tall in stature, with a terribly crooked nose- as if it’d been consistently broken and mis-healed and sandy, straw coloured hair.
Lexton recognised him instantly, and his eyes narrowed.
Wincraig Harrion, was a well-known “miscreant” in the outskirts of Nilfgar. What’s more was that he was quite maladjusted, and likely to fly off the handle at any given moment. And Lexton had first-hand experience in dealing with the aforementioned episodes that Wincraig frequently suffered; the result of which being the extent of his crooked nose.
Lexton pulled his hat down just a little further as he eyed his old friend, and ducked his head a little to better blend with the crowd. Damn his favourable height genes at a time like this. The last thing he needed was Wincraig recognising him at such a time. Not that Lexton thought it was likely amongst so many people. Still though, the worry was there.
‘Now,’ Wincraig said loudly, when the crowd had turned to face him, ‘you all know why we’re here. So let’s cut with all the crap.’
A cheer went up amongst some of the crowd.
‘We’re here in support of the soon to be King, Marden Vita-Ora. And to condemn his opposition, Reyiss Vita-Ora. Now-’ he swept the crowd with his eyes and held up his hands dramatically. ‘-prepare yourselves, for what I’m about to tell you may or may not be a shock. But I have learned some deeply disturbing news through a very reliable source...’
The crowd seemed to unanimously draw in breath; hanging on the man’s every word.
‘I have learned...’ he paused again, lowering his voice- just enough for effect, but loud enough so that the room could still hear. ‘... That Reyiss Vita-Ora...’ Another pause. Lexton rolled his eyes. ‘...Is-a-witch!’
The entire room exploded into a vortex of noise as every person tried to speak up at once. Beside him, one man spoke angrily to his friend, ‘I knew it! I bloody knew it! She’s got that look about her!’ While his friend shouted angrily for the princess’ head.
Lexton took the opportunity to slink that little bit closer to the bar amidst the chaos.
Wincraig raised his hand once more and the crowd died down.
‘She was seen by my source consulting with the known witch Uma the Child-face mere nights ago and he’s agreed to undergo a memory test if necessary... It states in the royal sanction that no witch may ever take the throne. And we have the proof!’
He raised his first into the air, which was met with a roar from the audience.
‘Furthermore! My source has also deduced that she is responsible for this deathly fog!’
The audience gasped, and Wincraig couldn’t help but hide a smirk as he let the information sink in. After a sufficient amount of time had passed, he threw a fist into the air.
‘For the king!’ He shouted, and the noise then grew deafening.
The crowd began shifting, as people started heading towards the stage hoping to get a better look at their new “leader”. Lexton took the opportunity to make the final push towards the bar, as spaces started to open up.
‘Together!’ Wincraig continued above the thunder, ‘we will ensure that The Blood Crown stays from her grasp! The fate of the country is in our hands!’
Almost there... only a few strides now. Lexton could see the bartender, towering over his patrons.
‘So I need you to spread the word! Teach people the truth! They have a right to know! And those who stand in the way will be dealt with accordingly!’
Yes... yes! Just one more step. Just one more...
‘We will defeat this evil together!’
Lexton reached the bar with one final squeeze and promptly threw two ready coppers upon the counter.
‘Whiskey thanks. No ice.’
The huge man turned to him, a sour expression on his face. ‘Sorry, we ain’t selling this afternoon.’
But his exclamation was lost as another giant cheer went up.
‘How could you NOT be selling?’
Again, his words were lost, as Wincraig started talking once more. ‘So away you all go! Do what I say and all will be well. We will meet again three nights from now. I bid you all farewell and good luck!’
At his word the crowd immediately started to shuffle around each trying to make for the door.
Pulling his angry gaze away from the retreating barman, Lexton looked to the stage briefly. Big mistake. They locked eyes. Even in his relatively concealing attire, Lexton watched as Wincraig’s eyes raised in a motion of recognition. With a curse, Lexton quickly ducked away from the bar and back into the bustle of the crowd, knocking over one or two people as he did so. He stooped as low as he could without drawing attention and followed along as the crowd began to pour out the door.
Too late. Lexton turned his eyes back to the stage and straightened his stance. He’d been caught. Wincraig was gesturing for him to join him on the stage. With a sigh, Lexton obediently began to make his way over, struggling as he moved against the grain of the crowd.
‘Lexton!’ Wincraig exclaimed again when Lexton was close enough. ‘Where are you skulking off too? It’s been years!’
‘Past my bed time,’ Lexton said dryly as he finally reached the stage.
‘Nonsense!’ Wincraig pushed, ‘there were days where you used to stay up for weeks in a row. Come on! Sit! Have a drink with me!’ He pulled out a silver flask from his leather vest.
Lexton perked up. ‘Well… perhaps I could stay just a little while.’
Uma wouldn’t like it… she’s hate it in fact, but who was she to push him around. She wouldn’t harm his father. She was bluffing. She said it herself, she needed them. And Lexton had been running around doing her bidding for the last two days. Wasn’t it about time he called her bluff?
Unconcernedly, Lexton hoisted himself up onto the stage and promptly took the silver flask from Wincraig’s outstretched hand. He uncorked it and gulped it down.
‘You always did like your whiskey,’ Wincraig observed, ‘it’s a wonder you’re not some street living drunkard by now.’
Lexton handed the flask back, clearing his throat as he did so. It’d been days since he’d tasted the familiar burn. ‘It’s good to know I’m exceeding life expectations so far.’
Wincraig turned to the barkeep abruptly and shouted, ‘Hey Earl. Can we grab a bottle of my usual?’
‘Yer ar’right,’ “Earl” agreed. He disappeared momentarily out back before returning with a large bottle full of golden liquid.
‘This stuff is magic,’ Wincraig stated as the barkeep climbed the stairs to the stage. ‘Earl makes it himself. You’ve got to try it.’
‘Free ‘o charge,’ the barkeep said as he passed the bottle to Wincraig.
Lexton simply blinked, finding the whole idea that Wincraig could command any sort of respect from anyone completely bizarre. Clearly a lot had changed in the few years they had lost contact.
Wincraig uncorked the bottle and took a quick swig before passing it to Lexton. Lexton wasted no time in getting a few mouthfuls down before passing it back.
‘You’d think you’d hadn’t anything for days,’ Wincraig said with a slight laugh, ‘so anyway, what have you been up to lately?’
‘You first,’ Lexton countered, ‘your life seems far more interesting than mine at the moment.’
Again, Wincraig laughed. ‘All this?’ he said with a sweep of his arm, ‘It’s been building up inside me for a while. And when I heard about the election, I knew I just had to take action. I’m just glad to see you on our side.’
‘Yeah…’ Lexton agreed absently.
‘Though I’m hearing that there’s another group planning to oppose King Marden, the idiots,’ Wincraig continued, ‘they’d see us all suffer at the hands of a witch. None of them realise…’ He looked at the ground. ‘I worked for her for a short while. Her heart is truly made of ice.’
Lexton frowned, ‘wait, you worked in the tower?’
Wincraig blinked at him, ‘well – yeah. For a time. I quit naturally. And now I own this place.’
‘Yeah,’ Wincraig said with a smile, ‘things sure have a way of working out in the end. Never thought I’d be here. But surely you have a much better success story than I. You were always the smart one of our little group.’
Lexton’s stomach immediately plummeted straight through his body and deep into the ground and shame hit him harder than his father’s cane.
‘I- I’ve had a few jobs,’ Lexton said ambiguously. He grabbed the bottle from Wincraig’s hand and gave a hasty gulp. The coarse liquid offered no relief.
‘What about right at the moment?’
‘I’m- working as an assistant… to a lady which specialises in researching magic.’ It was a stretch of the truth, in fact it was so warped that it was a total lie. It was completely pathetic.
Wincraig’s eyes widened at Lexton’s fib and immediately he realised his severe mistake.
‘Brilliant!’ Wincraig exclaimed, ‘we need someone of your expertise to look at the ice queen. We have proof already, but I feel as if it’s not enough. Perhaps you and your mistress can help us?’
‘I-I- well, she’s very busy right now.’
‘But surely she can at least spare you – yourself. It’s a massive part of your job after all, and witches don’t exactly grow on trees here. I thought you’d jump at the chance.’
‘Oh, well… I-’
‘I’ll pay double what you usually charge! What’s your mistresses’ name?’
‘Uhh… Terrimore?’ No! No! Lexton! Terrible name! And why did you say it like you were asking a question? Lexton inwardly berated himself.
But Wincraig appeared too excited to care.
‘I… must get back to her…’ Lexton said, suddenly desperate to leave, ‘but I will confer with her and we’ll… work something out…’
‘Next meeting’s here in two days’ time,’ Wincraig said, grinning like he’d just won a bucket load of coin.
‘Yes well…’ Lexton said. His eyes drifted to the bottle of whiskey as he stood. ‘I’ll take this as a down payment.’ He promptly snatched the bottle from Wincraig’s outstretched hand, just as he was about to take another swig. ‘And I’ll see you in a few days.’
He then turned to leave, easily striding across the now empty tavern floor. He paused at the door and briefly turned back to offer his old “friend” a customary wave before vacating the room, with absolutely no intention of coming back.
On his return, Lexton attempted to hide the bottle behind his back before he entered. Because he knew she’d be waiting. There was no doubt that she’d been listening in through that whole ordeal, with whatever mind-magic she saw fit to use and would want to discuss it at length. Lexton himself just wanted to sleep. Pointless words could wait until the morning. Hopefully she’d mind-magicked that thought and gotten the hint...
But no such luck. The door swung open revealing Uma sitting, arms folded and facing the door in one of the wooden kitchen chairs.
Moving furniture AGAIN.
Lexton tried to ignore her and promptly went to step around her. A hand quickly closed around his wrist, stopping him mid-stride.
‘Feeling like a failure?’ she asked, with poisonous sweetness.
Lexton simply looked at her.
‘Ashamed of yourself?’
Still, Lexton offered no response, yet his nostrils flared.
‘Good,’ Uma said, her dark smile once again forming on her face. Then her gripped tightened and she yanked him close with a strength she couldn’t possibly possess. As unbalanced as he was, Lexton toppled to the ground, his bottle slipping from his grip and rolling away.
‘Pathetic,’ Uma stated, looking down at him in disgust, ‘almost as pathetic as “Terrimore”. Your ability to think on your feet is pitiful. However…’ Her disgust then turned to darkened glee, ‘you have provided me with an excellent opportunity.’
Lexton scrambled unsteadily to his feet and shot her a foreboding look.
‘Yes,’ she said, as if answering his unspoken glance, ‘you are going to go back to your much more successful friend and charge him two thousand gold for our services.’
‘You’re joking,’ Lexton exclaimed, ‘we’re not going to swindle him out of his money and run.’
‘Run?’ Uma asked with a raised eyebrow, ‘we’re not going to “run”. We’re going to help him. Or rather- you are.’
‘For what purpose?’ Lexton exclaimed, ‘what could you possibly gain from this?’
‘Coin, entertainment, and the enjoyment of meddling,’ Uma responded with a smile.
‘Is the princess even a witch? Did she even meet with you? Is any of it even true?’
‘Oh by the god, no. That girl would make a terrible witch,’ Uma said with an amused laugh, ‘but she did meet with me. And the truth, I think you’ll find, is far more damning.’
‘Why? What is the truth?’
‘That,’ Uma said with a coy tap of her nose, ‘is between me and my client only.’
‘This is ridiculous!’ Lexton said angrily, his courage fuelled by the whiskey, ‘I won’t do it.’
‘You will,’ Uma said, leaning forward, her expression suddenly an angry dark, ‘l am losing patience with your juvenile tantrums. If you do not agree to this by morning, I shall have to take a more persuasive approach.’
Lexton made to move, his expression dark.
‘Oh and one more thing,’ Uma said, ‘you’ll also be attending this.’
She thrust out another piece of paper with bold letters written neatly across it. Lexton read it quickly, and promptly made a noise halfway between a sigh and a growl.
‘Very well,’ he said in a defeated monotone. He then let go of the paper, letting it drift to the floor. It landed upright, the words clearly visible.
Calling all those who would fight for the future queen!
We are meeting every midday at the merchant house!
Help us save the city!
We are meeting every midday at the merchant house!
Help us save the city!
Despite his avoidance of politics Lexton found himself thoroughly, hopelessly involved. Sleep would not come easy to him for a good many nights.