And there it was. Home. The word echoed in Ty’s mind. They had been at sea for weeks on end, with little provisions. He longed for a warm bath and a hot, comforting meal. And Chloe. He was longing to see her again. Little did he know...

Tahlia looked sadly out of the old, shabby windows. She missed her boy. Thanks to the army from Terra, most of her, no, Butch’s, village had been taken away to be sold at the slave market. Very few of them had escaped into the forest. When they had come back, the village lay in ruins. Butch had made her life miserable, ever since Ty had left for Blackridge. He should have been home weeks ago.
“Tahls!,” a deep, booming voice called, “Where are you?”. Tahlia cringed. She hated that nickname. She tried to sneak away quietly.
“I can see you! Where are you going?,” yelled Butch.
“I’m going for a walk along the beach!,” she yelled back.
“Hurry up! Be back before supper!”
“I will judge when I will come back,” retorted Tahlia, “if I ever do!”

As she walked along the shore, something on the horizon caught her eye. As she peered into the early morning light, she saw that it was a small ship. Ty’s ship.
“Ty!,” she screamed, “Ty, you’re back!” In the distance, she saw a figure waving in greeting. It was, not, Ty? A feeling of dread passed over her.

As their ship sailed into the bay, Ty’s first mate, Strider, called out, “Captain! A woman is waiting on the beach by herself”. Ty called out from his cabin, “Signal to her that we’ve seen her, I’ll be up in a minute!” Strider moved to the bow and waved. The woman stopped. Then a grating sound let them know that they had landed. Strider and a few others rushed ashore to greet the lady, then stopped as they saw that she had nocked an arrow on her bow. “Ty,” Strider called nervously, “we might have a problem here.” As he said Ty’s name, he noticed a flash of recognition in the woman’s eyes. Ty came up onto the deck and surveyed the scene. As his eyes rested upon the woman, his eyes lit up. “Mother!,” he cried.
“Ty!,” she sobbed, and burst into tears. “What happened?,” Ty asked as he surveyed the area. “Where is everyone?”

Back at the house, if you could call it that, Butch was getting suspicious. Tahlia never took this long. There was a knock at the door. “Who’s that?,” he slurred. A small messanger boy walked in. “A small group of villagers and foreigners have left the village,” he told Butch.
“Anything else?,” Butch asked.
“Oh, and Ty has come back!” he replied.
“Who’s that?”
“Don’t you remember Tahlia’s son?” the boy queried. The big man went white.
“GET OUT!” he roared. The little boy scuttled out the door, as white as a ghost.

Strider found Ty sitting pale-faced on a bale of straw.
“What’s up?,” he asked.
“Mum just told me about the slaves, Chloe’s been taken captive. We have to track them down and stage a rescue.”
“And how do you propose to do that?,” Strider asked, raising his eyebrows at Ty.
“Gather all of the crew, Tahlia, and the ones who can survive a long journey and fight if they need to. I’ll get the provisions. Meet me here in an hour. We leave at dawn


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