Sent For

Title: Sent For
Time Period: May 5, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Cordelia is collected at Edmund's request.

Word has spread of course to the Manor of the fire down at the water; Cordelia had begged to be allowed to go help, and had been flatly refused. Now the teenager sits on the gate where yard meets road, which is just about as far as she is allowed to go without an escort these days. Dark eyes are focused on the sky where black smoke had been much more obvious earlier in the evening, but now the patch of smoke is simply a darker shade of gray than the rest of the night sky.

She chews her lower lip nervously, waiting for the return of Jorn or her father or perhaps a messenger of sorts — anything is better than waiting.

Hooves pounding out a rhythm against hard-packed road are heard before they can be seen. It's dark beyond the Manor's gates, moonlight enough to ride by and not much more when a black horse rounds the bend. Algernon is neither Jorn or Cordelia's father, but he is a messenger insofar as he has been sent. With a message.

Nonetheless he's less familiar than whoever she might have hoped for and in poor shape: he bears some appropriate resemblance to a soaked-through cat in the lean cut of his countenance and shows clear signs of having been involved in the same fiery chaos she's been longing for.

It's impossible to see why he jolts awkwardly in the saddle when he reins to a trot and much more quickly a halt and probably not important besides. If he's made it this far. "Do you have a horse?"

The pounding of horses pulls her off her perch on the gate to both peer at the rider as he approaches and step back a little, beyond the gate in case it's not someone she knows. The dampened clothing and hair makes it a little harder for her to recognize him, but apparently she does (or hasn't learned her lesson).

"We have horses," she says, glancing back to the stables beyond the manor; Cordelia doesn't have her own, but the family has a couple, at any rate.

"What's wrong?" is a more pressing question, and she asks it by tossing it over her shoulder en route to the stables — clearly she's picked up on the awkward sense of urgency and isn't going to waste time. She also assumes he'll follow through the slim opening of the partially ajar gate.

"There was an explosion." To the point, Algernon guides his gelding through the gap, speaking as he walks the beast breathing heavy at her side. "A number of people were injured." He's all nudges of heel with reins wound round his left hand, right elbow pinned close to his side. "You've been sent for."

"An explosion? Were there explosives in the building?" she says with a frown, but doesn't wait for his answer. "Hold on, I'll get my bag." She veers away from the path to the stables in a run, hurrying into the house and back out in a matter of seconds, a leather satchel thrown over her shoulder — the same one she carries to and from town every day that has all of her medical supplies in it.

If she told anyone inside where she's off to, no one follows her out to argue… which means she probably didn't tell Goneril, but maybe Bridget.

Cordie returns to her original path toward the stables, and she's a quick and able enough hand at readying a chestnut-and-white piebald mare.

"Who sent for me?" she asks as she leads the horse outside and puts a foot in the stirrup to hoist herself up.

Given that Algernon would only answer, "I don't know," it's no great loss that she doesn't wait to hear. The look he gives her is flat enough to impress a need for hurry, anyway — horse backed up a few paces while he waits, as if to get a head start.

"Edmund," he replies, once she's mounted and he's turned for the gate. "You'll be on your own," is a warning. Or caution. Terse either way — something for her to think about before she arrives.

Now seated atop the horse, she nudges the beast into motion, and it's a few strides before his words register. She turns to look at him, brows drawing together. If Edmund sent him…

Cordelia presses her lips together and her knees press in to spur the docile mare into a faster gait, and she turns to Algernon. "Mister Fogg," she begins, turning to face the road again but then watching him out of the corner of her eyes. She draws a deep breath, and then asks, "What aren't you telling me?" There's something, a glimmer of something of her mother in the air she tries to carry, but her drawn face and the way she grips the reins to tightly make it a bit too much to pull off completely.

"Aislinn was hurt," Fogg decides after a glance aside, careful word choice delivered evenly and without evidence of hesitation. 'Head explosion,' sounds like it would be painful. Meanwhile the shrapnel in his back keeps him stiffly upright in the saddle and draws a low threshold for being bothered into the lines around his face.

"You'll be on your own," he repeats. Re-emphasizes. And then kicks up into a longer stride, avoiding further interrogation with haste.

The direct and yet so-very-vague reply garners a gasp from the teen, her mouth rounding into an o before she presses lips into a thin line. A hard swallow is a prelude to her words: "I want to see her first." It's perhaps more of a demand, and it's likely lost in the pound of hooves as his horse picks up speed. Hers follows suit without prodding, eager enough to play follow-the-leader in this unexpected evening ride.

Tears are blinked away, and Cordie bends her head low to urge her horse to follow all the faster, heart pounding with fear and worry.

If Algernon has heard he provides no outward indication, lost in whatever grim thoughts he can wring through distraction as he rides. Back to the waterfront.