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Don't Bother Looking

by Lady Christianna
(I named it, so the name might change.)

   Alanna the Lioness, the only woman knight in the whole realm of Tortall, was truly stuck. How would Alanna get out of this one? She was being held captive by a man she had never seen in her life. She had been raped and was now, apparently, in some sort of boat. Alanna didn't even have a clue as to where she was going. What had this man wanted of her, besides raping her?

   King Jonathan the 3rd of Conte` sighed. Where was Alanna anyway? She had to go to the Market Place for something- at least, that's what she had told him. Jon thought of Alanna once again and smiled wistfully. Jon was secretly in love with Alanna. With her beautiful violet eyes and striking red hair, she looked quite different from his wife, Queen Thayet. Queen Thayet was supposedly the most beautiful woman in the world.  Alanna was one of Jon's best friends and had been, also, when she was training to be a knight, disguised as a boy.  Now, where on earth had she gone? She most likely-
A thump sounded on the door, interrupting his thoughts.


   "Who's there?" Jon called. There was no answer. Jon opened the door, expecting to see a servant or perhaps Alanna or one of his other friends. He found no one. Something made him look down and he found himself staring at a small piece of parchment. Jon bent down and picked up the parchment. It took a full five minutes or so for him to actually digest what it said and what it meant. The parchment read:

Your Lioness is not with you anymore. She is alive.
I have taken her someplace, and I sincerely doubt that you would find her. In fact, I'm almost sure of it. Don't bother looking.


   Alanna shivered. She thought of her friends and family at home and just felt more homesick. Then there was a jolt, as the boat thing Alanna was on stopped. At least I didn't get seasick too much…. she thought.
   "Not that that's much", she said aloud with bitterness. I have no idea where I am, I've been seasick on this …thing, I miss my friends and family and they probably don't know I'm gone, much less where I am! Alanna sneezed a couple of times rapidly. When she looked up, a figure of a woman was in front of her. The woman had black, snaky hair, full red lips, and wore a dress of the very mists. It was the Great Mother Goddess.

"My Mother, why are you here?" Alanna asked, puzzled but glad that She was there.
"My Daughter, I have come because you were in need of someone that you know or have met," The Goddess answered with a small smile. "Yes, my Mother…but what am I supposed to do now? Where am I? Why did this person take me?" Alanna questioned the Goddess. "I am sorry, my daughter, but I can only answer one of your questions.  You are in Carthak. Now I must take my leave, for the person in charge of this craft is coming down here. He would be most surprised to see me. Oh, and use your instincts to guide you. I will be watching."

   Jon's face was white as he showed Gary and Raoul the piece of parchment. Gary, and Raoul, who were both good friends of Alanna's, were not happy at what the note said. Gary's face was white, while Raoul clenched and unclenched his big hands in anger.
"You'll have to go and tell George, Myles, Alanna's children, Daine, and anyone else who would be worried as to where Alanna is," Gary said finally with a sigh. As if by some silent agreement they all went to deliver the news of Alanna's whereabouts.

   Alanna was hauled roughly above deck. She had been right. They were on some type of water vessel. As soon as she was on the deck, she felt sick. Maybe her captor, or captors, had known about her seasickness…or maybe it had just been luck ... for them anyway. She decided it was pointless to think such thoughts. She had a determined spark in her eye that glared with hatred at her captors. Alanna the Lioness was very mad. It was not a good thing to have The Lioness as an enemy. Her violet eyes snapped dangerously as she waited impatiently for her chance to escape; to get back to her family and the people who loved her.


                                                                Chapter 2

    Jon, Gary, and Raoul had told the people who knew or were friends and family of Alanna, where she currently was.  George, as one could expect, considering Alanna was his wife, had sank slowly into his chair, unable to believe what they said.  He had finally believed them and had been burying his face in his hands when Jon had left in search of Alanna's children. George, Jon thought, I know exactly how you feel…like the world and your heart are gone.


    As one of her captors bent down to check something, Alanna shot a kick at him; she scored.  The man- for if his voice was any clue, he was surely a man- yelped in surprise as he tumbled into the greenish-blue of the sea. The other man, alerted to the fact that his captive was not very sea sick, as she had been pretending, found material to bound Alanna's legs… making it impossible for the time being to kick at all.  The man who had fallen in hauled himself on to the deck sputtering a bit.  
    When he had gotten his breath back, the other captor laughed mirthlessly," We got ourselves a feisty red head this time, Jem."  Alanna thought rapidly- she remembered the name `Jem' from somewhere… where or when had it been? Had he been an enemy or an ally? She couldn't figure out for the life of her why an ally would tie her up- it was almost surely an enemy.  Alanna grimaced- she'd made a lot of enemies since being made a knight of the realm.


    Jonathan and the council were gathered in a room, discussing regular palace topics.  Only those who would make a note of and be worried of her absence were notified of the ... problem concerning the Lioness, therefore only a couple of the members of the council knew of her disappearance.  Jon felt physically sick.  
    There was a sudden silence and he realized someone had asked him a question. "Err ... could you repeat that, please?" he asked hurriedly.  Sir Myles, who had of course been told about Alanna looked as worried as Jon.  
    "Ceratinly, your Highness," a pushy, fairly stuck up voice intoned.  The voice belonged to a young noble who had just become one of the council.
"I asked you if you thought we should add on to the training grounds. What do you think, Highness?" the fairly annoying voice continued, unaware that Jon was off in his thoughts again. The training grounds only provided as a reminder to Jon that Alanna was not practicing in them, nor with the council … everything only reminded him of Alanna.
    He pushed his chair outward from the table, and spoke,"I'm going to... check ... on something. Please excuse me."  He stumbled away in a haze of thoughts.  He found himself quite suddenly at the gate- where Alanna had killed his cousin Roger for the 2nd time.