U.O.T.W. Chapter 272 A Long Time Ago


    A Long Time Ago


    Sotek gazed at the fire for a few seconds then nodded, accepting the situation for what it was; a bad one.

    “Aela, Vilkas, Farkas, please sit at the table. Aela I would request that you sat next to the Harbinger. You might be needing his support. You’re not going to like what I’m about to say”. With that he got up then walked over the nearest chair which he placed by the fire pit. 


    Once everyone was settled, Sotek watched the flames in the fire pit for several seconds then his gaze fixed onto Aela. He sat there studying her face for a few seconds then he drew a deep breath.

    “Before I begin I must stress that we had little time. If it was discovered that we had killed Shadowscales then we would most definitely be facing repercussions of extreme measures. I had to think fast and act faster. Aela, do you understand that?” 


    “Yes, that I’m aware of. But why keep it to yourself?” She mused. The Huntress was busy trying to work out where Sotek was going and more importantly why the ‘snake's’ destination would affect her so much.


    “Because when the Shadowscales come looking, then they come to me and not us. That’s why I’m sitting here, and you are not”. He paused for a few moments, giving him an opportunity to prepare for Aela’s temper which he was sure would explode like his Flaming Familiar.


    “A while ago two Shadowscales were sent to assassinate me. They failed and were killed. Two days before that however we ermm lost a member of our pack. His name was Omega. He was… he died. Aela felt that loss a great deal and wanted a funeral on his behalf and so it was agreed that on the first double full moons of spring that we honor all our fallen. Omega’s funeral was on that night”. 


    Sasha looked somewhat confused as did Aela.

    “But what the hell has that got to do with the Shadowscales?” 


    Sotek gulped loudly then fixed his eyes on Aela once again.

    “I’m about to tell you. I had Aela, Vilkas and Farkas hide two weapon catches in the old bear cave. They honestly thought they had the bodies but in reality, the bodies were hidden in the wood pyre which I built. That was why Harbinger, that it was so ridiculously high. The Shadowscale’s remains were never dug out, they’re gone. Burned in the Skyforge for some time now. There’s nothing to recover”. 


    Aela glared at him.

    “You bastard! That was for Omega! You knew how important that was to me”. 


    “Yes, but like I said, I had no choice. Aela, I am sorry but I had to destroy the bodies. That was the only way I could do it in secret”. 


    Aela tried to get up but Kodlak grabbed her arm.

    “Aela calm down, I know it was for Omega but he was right”. 


    While Aela battled with a wave of emotions, of which most of them were of a hateful, angry kind that was directed towards Sotek, Huinzi started clapping.

    “For ages now agents from the renegade group have been looking for those remains and agents from the Shadowscales. That’s how the weapons were found. Aela, like it or not that was a smart move. Sotek, I congratulate you on your quick thinking. I believe you, they’re dead”. 


    Aela shouted across to Sotek.

    “You’re a bastard! I don’t care if that was a smart move, I’ll never forgive you for that”. With that she pulled away her arm from Kodlak then started to head down stairs.


    However, Sasha’s comment stopped her.

    “Well I don’t believe him”. 


    Huinzi smirked as he looked at her.

    “How interesting. And why ever not?” 


    “He’s manipulative, cunning, and I don’t know him. So why should I trust him?” Sasha declared as she glared at his mate, Aela.


    Sotek leaned back as he looked her over.

    “So it’s a matter of trust? Hmm we do have a trust issue between us don’t we? Come with me to the plains for a night”. 


    Aela walked back over to the table, kicking a chair out of her way so she could lean upon it while she stood there.

    “I beg your fucking pardon?”


    Huinzi looked at him somewhat oddly as well.

    “The plains for a night? What for Sithis would that prove?” 


    “The plains changed my greatest enemy into my closest friend. I have no doubt that one night would be all that’s needed to earn the trust of a Shadowscale”. 


    Huinzi looked across at the Huntress then smiled as he took in her features and stance.

    “Ah Aela, yes indeed. She doesn’t look like much of a friend to you at the moment though”. 


    Sotek smirked.

    “Aela? She’s always my closest friend and greatest ally but the trouble is with her that she’s my greatest enemy as well. She’ll probably kill me one day. She’ll more than likely rip my throat out and watch my life blood flow out”. 


    Aela walked up to him, everyone could see she was angry with him but she still held him in her arms.

    “I’m pissed off with you, and Hircine knows how much at times I want to kill you, but you know I actually wouldn’t”. 


    Sotek gave her a tight hug.

    “Actually I hope you wouldn’t, but there are times when you scare the hell out of me”. 


    Sasha butted in.

    “That’s rubbish, then why would you trust her?” 


    “Because I need her. So badly in fact that when she’s not by my side, it hurts; like a dagger here between my ribs”. With that Sotek cast Aela a smile the he kissed the top of her head. 


    Sasha shook her head.

    “See? He talks nonsense. We can’t trust him”. 


    Huinzi laughed.

    “Fine then go with him on the plains. Take Shadow Walker with you. Sotek, if you wish you can take a second as well. As for me, I’ll stay here. As you know Sasha, I’m a bit of a scholar, and the Companions have a rich history. Harbinger, would you spend the day with me? Not as a Harbinger and a Shadowscale but as scholars? I have heard of the great deeds of Ysgramor but your knowledge is far greater. And the Skyforge? Fascinating...” 


    “I’ll take Aela with me, but don’t presume she’s my second, she’s far more than that”. Sotek declared as he held her. He wrapped his arms around her tightly but that was just so she couldn’t lash out.


    Aela pulled herself away from him, freeing herself from the Argonian’s bonds.

    “No, not with her and not considering what you’ve done. I understand why you did... you should have told me”. 


    “Then you would have been involved! That was unacceptable”. 


    “That may be but I’ll not go with you now. Take one of the others, Vilkas go with them”. 


    Sotek’s mind span quickly. Seconds later as Aela walked away from him, he called out to her, stopping her dead in her tracks.

    “That day I shot that apple! You promised me a night. I choose tonight, your honor demands you come with us”. 


    Within a second Aela drew her dagger and pointed it straight at him.

    “Don’t you dare”. Then she sat down next to the Harbinger and stabbed the table with it. “Vilkas, you’re with him”. 


    Now that the matter of ‘trust’ was in hand, Huinzi pulled out from his armor three letters.

    “And now to our next item on our agenda. Sasha, would you please take these to him”. He then placed the three letters on the table. Sasha walked over to him but just picked up the one letter, causing Huinzi to tap on the table. “All three if you don’t mind”. 


    “He doesn’t need them, just this one. The others aren’t necessary”. Sasha timidly replied. This caused Sotek to straighten his back as he observed the Shadowscales as he would with his prey on the plains.


    Huinzi shook his head.

    “You claim not to trust him and yet you think the one letter is enough? No, you need to steady yourself girl. All three letters if you don’t mind”. 


    Sasha picked the letters up then slowly walked over to Sotek, as she gave him the letters she whispered to him but everyone could hear her.

    “I’m ssorry”. Then she walked back to the table. “We don’t need to do thiss”. 


    Huinzi cast a quick glance at her.

    “My that’s a first! Anyway, what you have there, Sotek are three letters. They are contracts. Would you care to read out the names on those letters?” 


    Sotek looked at the letters in his hand, then stared straight at Aela.

    “Why her?”


    “Leverage, I do what I must to get the job done. Surely you can relate to that”. Huinzi said with a smirk.


    Sotek closed his eyes for a few seconds then drew a deep breath.

    “Sotek, Companion of Whiterun, Aela the Huntress, Companion of Whiterun”. He then paused as he read the third letter, giving himself a few seconds to think. ‘This has to be it. Why the game unless? He spoke of leverage, what is it they want me to do? Why force my hand? Sasha... distrustful and yet hesitant? She’s playing you Sotek, she’s a girl...she’ll play on your emotions. Trap! It’s a bloody trap! But what’s the trap? Why go to such lengths?’ Having satisfied himself or at the very least as much as he could with what he knew, Sotek proceeded to read out the third letter. “Option two?”



    “Yes indeed. Now we can either fulfil the first two contracts or you can fulfil the other option. The choice is yours. We kill you and Aela, or you complete that contract”. 


    “And then what of me and Aela?” Sotek asked. He expected death to be the result. Time was limited as were his options. Something he intended to fix as quickly as possible.


    “Sotek, if you fulfil that contract then our business is done. We’ll be gone and you can live in peace. If you can manage to live in peace, it would seem you have a way of making powerful enemies”. 


    Sotek got up and walked to the fire pit he sat down next to it and burned the two letters. Then he read the third one quietly. Inside he nearly died laughing. ‘And they say I don’t communicate. This is ridiculous... also useful. General Tullius and Huinzi? They must have talked at some point. Negotiations failed? Or mistrust?’ He composed himself and looked surly as he hissed.

    “What if I fail?”


    “If you fail, as in not bother, you and Aela will be hunted down. Scarface and Red will never hunt the plains without themselves being hunted. If you fail because you can’t carry on or if you’re killed, then another will be sent to finish your task”. 


    “Oh? And who would that be? Why not just send them?” Sotek asked. He had a hard enough time keeping the board readable let alone having unknown payers involved as well.


    Sasha shook her head at Sotek.

    “You don’t want that option”. 


    Sotek’s attention instantly fixed onto Sasha. 

    “Who would you send if I can’t complete the task?”


    Huinzi shrugged his shoulders.

    “Let’s put it this way”. He then produced a fourth letter and placed it on the table. “Sotek this is your third option. Sasha can you deliver this letter”. 


    “Sotek will take the task”. Sasha stated, refusing to pick up the piece of folded parchment.


    “I’m not asking you whether he will do it, I’m telling you to deliver the letter. What is wrong with you? You’ve been acting funny since he pinned you down by the throat... Oh by Sithis...” He then paused as he watched Sasha. “Please deliver the letter”. 


    Sasha snatched the letter from the table and screwed her face up.

    “Damn you Huinzi. Damn you to the void”. She then walked over to Aela and placed the letter in front of her. All this time Kodlak noticed despite her anger, Sasha’s tail never slammed down. He started wondering if that was a trait held by Sotek and not by the Argonians as a whole.


    Huinzi smiled at Aela.

    “That is your third option. You complete your task or we send her”. 


    Sotek got up and grabbed the letter, the next second it burst into flames as he threw it on the fire.

    “Vilkas, grab your gear. We’re going to the plains for the night. We’ll be back by dawn. I’ll be waiting at the gate”. Then he grabbed his pack and headed outside. 


    The moment Vilkas got up Aela glared at him.

    “Where the fuck do you think you’re going? Then she grabbed her pack and headed outside. “Are you reptiles coming or not?” Without waiting for an answer she was outside and made her way to the gate in search of Sotek. 


    Huinzi gave a small laugh, and commented on the Huntress’s attitude.

    “He’s right, she’s feisty isn’t she?” 


    As Sasha and Shadow walker both headed to the doors, Huinzi called out to them.

    “Sasha, you know what to do. Should you decide you have no need for Shadow Walker, send him back to me, I have another task which he is suitable for”. 


    Sasha simply nodded.

    “As you wish”. 


    Huinzi then tuned to the Harbinger and filled two flasks with mead before offering one to Kodlak.

    “Now that horrid business has been done with; tell me Harbinger, is it true that the Companions found the Skyforge and no one knows who created it?”


    As Sotek headed down the path, Aela called out to him.

    “Hold up”. He stopped then turned to see her heading down the steps towards him. “I’m still feeling angry, but I can see why you did it. Omega’s funeral was important to me, but I forgive you for that. What I ask from you is that you forgive me for turning my back on you”. 


    “Aela, I’ll never forgive you, simply because you could never do anything that would demand my forgiveness”. Sotek stated as he began breathing somewhat easier, knowing she was by his side.


    Aela smiled at him.

    “Well that’s bullshit. What is it you have to do?”


    “Something I have to do alone”. 


    Aela held him tight in her arms.

    “What are you worried about? You can tell me you know”. 


    Sasha walked up to them at that moment and butted in.

    “He’s not worried, which is somewhat odd, but he’s angry. That is obvious”. 


    Aela looked at her oddly.

    “Angry? He’s worried. Sotek, you can talk to me if you need to ok”. 


    “Worried? Him? He’s angry and with good cause. You call yourself his lover and yet you know nothing about him. You’re not deserving of his friendship let alone his heart”.


    Sotek grabbed her by the collar.

    “Enough, or you will know me sooner than you would like”. 


    Sasha held her hands up.

    “I’m sorry, I was disrespectful. Aela I apologize”. 


    Aela held Sotek’s arm and pulled him away, ignoring the apology altogether.

    “Let her go. As you put it earlier, this isn’t helping”. 


    Sotek let her go then started heading towards the gate. Sasha turned to Shadow walker, and smirked.

    “Head back, I won’t need you after all”. 


    “If you insist”. With that he turned around and walked back to Jorrvaskr.


    Aela stopped suddenly as she watched Shadow Walker head up the steps of the great hall.

    “Sotek, hang on I forgot my dagger”. 


    Sotek laughed loudly then called back to her.

    “It’s in your sheath; I put it there when we hugged a few minutes ago”. 


    Aela checked her dagger sheath and sure enough her dagger was there hanging on her hip. She turned to Sasha and groaned.

    “You know, I hate it when he does that”. 


    Sasha smiled at Sotek as she made her plans.

    “He’s a sneaky bastard isn’t he? How often does he do that?”


    Aela cast a look at Sotek as he neared the gate and shook her head.

    “All the bloody time”. 




7 Comments   |   A Shadow Under the Moons and 4 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  August 19
    "...Sotek was going and more importantly why the ‘[snake's]’ destination would affect her so much."

    "Not as a Harbinger and a Shadowscale but as [scholars]?"

    "You’ve been acting funny since he pinned you down by the [throa...  more
    • Sotek
      "...Sotek was going and more importantly why the ‘[snake's]’ destination would affect her so much."

      "Not as a Harbinger and a Shadowscale but as [scholars]?"

      "Y...  more
        ·  August 28
      Nigh impossible to get and harder to kill? Ha! If only Sotek was that lucky........
  • KaiserSoSay
    KaiserSoSay   ·  August 17
    “A while ago two Shadowscales were sent to assassinate me. They failed and were killed. Two days before that however we ermm lost a member of our pack. His name was Omega. He was… he died. Aela felt that loss a great deal and wanted a funeral on his behal...  more
    • KaiserSoSay
      “A while ago two Shadowscales were sent to assassinate me. They failed and were killed. Two days before that however we ermm lost a member of our pack. His name was Omega. He was… he died. Aela felt that loss a great deal and wanted a funeral on his behal...  more
        ·  August 17
      Continuing from my previous comment...

      1. When did they kill those first two Shadowscales?
      2. Why's Tullius so interested in two weapons crate that were hid away prior to Sotek's official meeting with him?
      3. What...  more
      • Sotek
        Continuing from my previous comment...

        ...  more
          ·  August 17
        Yes you are right  kaiser. I should include a 'Sand in the Hourglass' Chapter to refresh readers here. Some things go back a bit.
        1. The two shadowscales were killed the very morning when Omega's funeral was held. Maybe I need to refer to that ...  more
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  August 17
    Phew. Read over forty chapters in a single sitting. Remind me never to take long breaks from the site ever again.
    • Sotek
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      A Shadow Under the Moons
      Phew. Read over forty chapters in a single sitting. Remind me never to take long breaks from the site ever again.
        ·  August 18
      Awwwoooo to you Shadow...
      You've done well there.... cover me with fur, I'm impressed...