A gun fired.
Katie pulled her handgun and Boston pulled her wand. Elder stow pulled something, and they burst out the back door in time to see the panic and confusion everywhere.
Leah came racing out of the tent crying out for help. Tera’s wife had her youngest girl by the hand and reached for her son, who seemed to be just out of reach. Alexis and Lincoln were yelling across the yard, trying to move people back. Tera joined the yelling at his youngest son, while his eldest son yelled across the sheep for Abram. Decker brought Nebo out of the tent, his arm around the staggering boy’s shoulder. Father Mingus also appeared to be yelling, telling everyone to shut-up.
“Got it,” Decker shouted through the din.
Katie and Boston came up, and after a minute, Mingus and Tera joined them.
“Got it,” Decker said. “One down.” He set Nebo on the ground by the fire, and Leah ran to him, threw her arms around his neck and cried.
“Now, there is something you don’t see every day,” Rebecca said, and in such a flat and matter of fact voice, it got everyone to stop screaming and look. Nebo looked tired, like the ghoul almost got him and drained him, but he was grinning like the cat who ate the mouse.
Abram and a dozen men and boys with spears and torches came to the yard with a report.
“There is a commotion in town. It looks like the Amorites have returned.”
“Arm up,” Lockhart shouted, and the travelers went to their horses to get whatever weapons they had, including the four Patton sabers. By the time they were ready, there were thirty armed men at their back.
“Abram,” Rebecca called from the door to her home. “You need to bring your boys here to defend the women and children. You can’t all go to town and abandon us, especially after one was just in the tent.”
“Good point,” Tera said, and shoved a very reluctant Abram and three other boys back to the house.
Lockhart looked like he wanted her by his side, but he conceded.
“Father Mingus,” Boston said. “You need to help.” She turned on Elder Stow and did hug the Gott-Druk. “Get them all,” she said. She, Alexis and Katie were going to stay behind and let the men go. Only Alexis said something about how sexist that was while the men marched to town.
Out back, they found the yard full of women talking all at once, and children running everywhere. It was a madhouse, even without help from the ghouls.
Boston found Rebecca inside working on the Blob’s sensor array.
“Aren’t you interested in the gossip?”
Rebecca finished putting something in place before she answered. “That’s not it. I just have a feeling that after this, the king is going to want me gone. The sooner I finish repairing the Blob ship, the sooner I can escape.”
Boston was curious. “Where will you go?”
“Don’t say anything.” Rebecca turned to Boston and looked deadly serious. “Tera has been talking about the Lord God the one God,” Rebecca pointed up, like she was indicating heaven. “He has been saying God is telling him to get up and get out of this place. A little nudge might do it. I have no idea where we may end up, you understand, but he is the patriarch, so where he goes, we follow.”
Boston got big eyes and nodded, like she was not going to say anything at all. “What are you working on?” she changed the subject.
A gun fired. Rebecca and Boston looked at each other for a second and started running. Boston burst out of the back door, and Rebecca ran up the stairs to the upper room.
Katie was on her knees on the ground, her face down in her hands, and she was rocking, saying, “No, no, no…”
Alexis was seated by the fire, but she also had her eyes closed and appeared to be fighting it. There were two ghouls by the fence, and they looked like they had several children trapped. The rest of the women and children were screaming and running away.
Boston hardly thought of her Berreta. She pulled her wand and let out a burst of fire. It struck one of the ghouls and his whole side and arm caught on fire. Then she dared not send a second burst as women and children got in the way.
Katie was momentarily free, even as Rebecca opened the shutters on the back window of the upper room. Katie fired at the flaming ghoul and the ghoul let out a bone chilling wail. Rebecca fired something like lightning at the other ghoul and turned the ghoul head to ashes. Then it was over, but Katie pulled her saber to make sure. Alexis came up.
“That’s four. Six to go,” she said.
Boston got the children out and away from the fence as Rebecca raced down the stairs and burst outside. Boston looked.
“Hey,” she said, as she took a second look. “I thought you had a light inside.”
“I did,” Rebecca admitted. “I kind of used up the charge. A focused discharge. The kind of thing you don’t want to happen inside a space ship.”
Boston got big eyes again. “No ma’am,” she said.
Boston and Rebecca nodded and herded up the women and children. “Like herding sheep,” Rebecca commented under her breath, knowing Boston would hear with her good elf ears. At last Boson and Rebecca got to go back inside, and the first thing Rebecca did was yell.
“Sari!” She was there with Abram, kissing and having a good time. Then Rebecca yelled again. “Leah!” Apparently Leah and Nebo decided to join the youngsters in that kissing business.