Ellie’s alarm sounded in the rook tower alerting them they had visitors; she had Clark and a security team ride out to investigate the intruders. Before they had even reached the pair, a third older child along with four women of various ages had joined them.
Talking as he dismounts before his steed had completely stopped, Clark asked them who they were, and as custom dictated, how he could help them.
“I’m Charlotte,” answered the oldest of the group.”We’re tired and hungry. We’re lost and troubled souls just searching for refuge from this barren world. We saw that marvelous structure on the hill and the smoke from your fires and hoped you could provide shelter and food for us and our children.”
Without hesitation Clark replied, “Of course, please follow me. Our medical staff will see to your needs and we’ll get you something to eat.”
One at a time, he picked up the two smallest children, twins that appeared to be no more than 4 or 5 years old, and placed them on his horse’s back.
“Now hold on little ones,” he said with a smile. He motioned to the closest rider to lift the third child up with him. The women exchanged curious glances when the offer of a ride up the hill was not presented to any of them.
As he led his horse by her reins back up the path to the main town, he asked Charlotte and the others a series of questions that on face value could be construed as innocent small talk. Where the women were from, exactly how old were the children, how had they happened to be traveling with no apparent belongings or means of camp or hunting? He purposely kept the tone light and didn’t press when the answers didn’t really match the questions asked. He purposely didn’t ask about men. Although it was an obvious question, the answer would surely have been an imaginative response. Clark was an expert in these situations, that question would come only when he was already sure of the correct response. Although he had expected deflective and misleading replies; he was disappointed only in their generic falseness.
Charlotte answered all of the questions; the other women appeared to be taking mental notes of everything they saw as they walked. “From the south…,” (obviously true since that’s the direction they had come through the dry marsh.) “The twins, Bernie and Bernice were three and a half,” (a lie, surely they we’re older.) “Their older brother Charlie there is ten,” (also too low, could be a problem for him.) “Their mother was… gone, (this information didn’t matter to Clark.) “Our group was hijacked on the road. All our belongings taken or burned in front of us…,” (they were missing, but by whom was still a mystery.) “Our men and older boys were captured or killed outright by our attackers,” (interesting that she offered this information without being asked, Clark knew it was bullshit.)
Passing through the main part of town, mostly stone huts with grass or adobe roofs, they stopped at the great hall. With the exception of the Rook, it was the largest of their structures. Clark sent one of his men for the Doctor and another to have food brought in for their guests. He made a point to always refer to them as such. For now and until their true intentions were known, they were just guests; at least the adults were.
Clark turned to Charlotte as he helped the little ones off the saddle, “please make yourselves comfortable, there are cots along the wall.” He gestured to the far side of the hall. “Rest, we’ll have food and water here shortly.”
Rita arrived carrying her paisley satchel of medical equipment. She was followed closely by two younger women, her apprentices, both carrying smaller bags that matched the print pattern of her’s.
Rita was buxom and the tallest of the woman in their village, almost six foot. Curvy but fit, all their people are in shape, Ellie saw to that. Her dark red hair, freckled skin, and emerald green eyes made her, at least to Clark, easily the most beautiful woman in their community; and for all that mattered to him, the entire world.
He met her at the doorway and began explaining the situation, alternately nodding between the children and adults. Rita’s expression changed following the direction of Clark’s gaze, the children, motherly concern, the adults, a businesslike glare, as if eyeing a horse one was considering purchasing from a shady stranger.
Rita turned her back on the visitors as she addressed Clark and her team, “bring the children over here,” she turned her head slightly towards her assistants, “give the little ones well water, the older spring until we can test him.”
Rita touched Clark’s shoulder as she leaned and whispered in his ear. His abdominals tightened, he felt goosebumps on his neck and an ever so slight stiffening of his cock as her warm sweet breath touched his ear. “Leave the adults where they are, we’re going to give them filtered water.” She stepped back and smiled, ‘had she noticed?’ he thought to himself. “Anything you need Rita, really anything, I’ll do it for you.” And he meant it. “I’m sure you would Clark.” She said with a sly smile as she gave him a quick up-down glance with a slight linger on the down sweep. ‘Damn, she did notice,’ he thought as he felt the stiffening movement against his leg grow. He nodded with a sly smile of his own, and turned to get the twins and their brother before he needed to find something to carry in front of him to hide his excitement.
Clark strode up to the visitors, a warm pleasant rubbing still lingering in his boxers, “Miss Charlotte,” he said with a cheerful but firm tone, “our Doctors will take a look at the youngsters first. You ladies can relax here until we’re ready for you.” He didn’t give her time for a reply as Rita’s two assistants ushered the children away towards the other side of the room. He turned to the attendants arriving with baskets of bread and fruit, “fetch a pitcher of cool spring water for our guests as they wait. Please ladies, sit and relax. Let’s talk a bit more about your journey. It sounds to me like you’re very fortunate to have stumbled upon our village.”
He knew their answers would be more lies; his job was to glean the fragments of truth that would be passed on to Ellie for their fate to be decided. At best they’d be returned back to the forest they emerged from with provisions and a warning to never return. Or more likely Clark thought, to regret ever trying their ‘lost and troubled soul’ con on Ellie’s town.