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Jana Episode 18: Behind the Lines with Inanna

Jana, calling herself Janus, now, masquerading as a man, and Inanna [I'm not even sure that was the name I called this character! Still, it had to be something very feminine.  She was nothing if not feminine, and passionate], were marching from village to village southward, along a major road that paralleled the river, a couple of miles west of the border.  Everywhere they stopped for news, they found miserable subdued folk, in deathly fear of the mercenaries, and the young men who had been absorbed into the society of the mercenaries.  Jana made a convincing young man.  Inanna, unfortunately, was feeding her fury at the bandits who had killed her father, raped her mother, and raped her as well, all on the main street of their village.  Her own abusement had not proceeded very far before the bandits had had to flee.  The fellow who was upon her had been beheaded by Jana, which was one reason that she had attached herself to the young Captain.  Inanna's folk were, in the distant past, originally immigrants from this land, and she could speak the language haltingly, but out of desperation, she was getting very fluent in it very quickly.

Inanna soon stumbled on a plan.  She asked Jana to allow her to pose as a prostitute at an inn.  Jana was furious, and absolutely forbade it.  Inanna stared her down, and remarked that it appeared that the young man seemed to imagine himself as having proprietary rights over her.  "We have not sworn to each other, or anything of that sort," she said scathingly.  "I own my body, and if I lie with one of these bandits, and learn more than these ignorant villagers know, that will be a lot more than we have found out over these two days!"  But Jana --- or Janus, now --- was still stubborn.

Inanna put her hands on her hips.  She said she would travel alone.  If Jana showed up, she would simply say that 'he' was an idiot fellow, who would not take "no" for an answer.  Jana could offer to work at the stable, and if Inanna felt like it, she would allow Jana into her room, when she was done with what she needed to do first.

The very first village they came to, Inanna marched up to the innkeeper, and offered to wait tables.  It was quite easy to suggest to him that she could help entertain some of his guests, for a fee.  The first night, she took to her bed a youth brought in by his father or uncle, and softhearted Inanna was moved to be kind to the boy, and when Jana crept upstairs once the boy had left, Inanna was in tears of sorrow because the innocent boy had hated to leave.  The second night, a group of mercenaries had come in, terrorized the inn, and learning about Inanna, decided that they would take turns with her.

Inanna could not get much out of the group leader except that something big was about to take place.  He dressed himself, and called down the stairs for his second in command.  This man was a sadist.  He was very rough with her, and she lost her temper, and killed him with her knife.  Leaning out the window, she signaled for Jana to come up.

Silently, Jana and Inanna threw the body out of the window, and Jana ran down the back stairs.  Jana was feeling fey, and made a weird sound in the courtyard, to entice the bandits to come out.  Inanna, too had hidden near the door, and as each of the bandits emerged, the couple had killed them, and seven bandits were dead.

The innkeeper was horrified.  They will set fire to the inn, he said.  Jana assured him that they would never learn of what happened here.  Some of the men helped to drag the bodies into the woods, and Jana and Inanna took possession of two of the horses, and galloped back up the road.  They had learned that the mercenaries planned an attack on the City of the Horse People the following night.

Kay



This post first appeared on Fiction From K Brown, please read the originial post: here

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Jana Episode 18: Behind the Lines with Inanna

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