As Tirzah kept watch with Ashia, it occurred to her that the Lieutenant didn't trust her. That was the only reason she could think of for why she and her sister had separate watch shifts. Not that Tirzah could really blame Lieutenant Deluvia for that; she had planned on abandoning the troop that first night, after all. The first watch partner she had gotten placed with though was the messenger, and Jones was way too quick to put up with any of Tirzah's head games. If it weren't for the Lieutenant stepping in and changing the watch schedule, Tirzah may have had to hit the Messenger - even if it meant that the Wido Corsare would give her the same injury she inflicted on the girl. Her new watch partner was much more agreeable, to her at least. She had actually considered trying to flee with Ashia, but ultimately decided against it; she couldn't leave her sister. Plus, she had to learn more about Ashia before she would propose an escape plan to her. Sadly, the more she learned about the Moran, the less she thought it likely that she would leave with her.
Over the past couple of nights, Tirzah had gathered Ashia's story. The first surprising thing that Tirzah learned was Ashia's age: she was 23. If Tirzah had been asked to guess her age, she would have thought her to be the same age as Annette - 20. However, Ashia's life had been considerably harder than the sisters' because they at least had each other; Ashia didn't have anybody. At least, not that she was related to. All of her relatives were dead by the time she was twelve. Tirzah was sad to hear that because she found out that she knew one of Ashia's cousins - Evan Heisohn. Evan was a couple years older than Ashia and that meant he was about seven or eight years older than Tirzah. He was a friendly guy, especially to all of the kids that hung around Mor. Apparently though, he had been killed in a fire. Ashia's parents had lasted the longest, but they had fallen to the Bren Brothers - the rampant vigilante troop that scoured all of Viger for six or seven years. She was picked up by Frank King to join his rebellion efforts after he saw her impressive skill with a crossbow. She had just been trying to save her family's land, but the merchant saw much more potential than that.
In the years since she joined up with Frank and his other rebels, she had grown more comfortable with some of the other orphans living with Frank, and even made some friends. Apparently she was close to a girl named Cara. Cara must have been in Frank's service for a long time, because Tirzah didn't recognize the name or Ashia's description of what she looked like. Since Tirzah and Annette were not in on Frank's rebellion, they did not know many of the people who were. From what it sounded like, Ashia and Cara formed a bond almost instantly, though Ashia hadn't heard from Cara since she left with the Lieutenant three and a half months ago.
As Ashia fell silent and kept sharpening her arrows, Tirzah tried to think of how she was going to get Annette and her away from the troop long enough to make a run for it. One possibility arrived with the addition of the Guide. He was a loyal Xamalian, true enough, but he was young and looked to be rather dense, as far as Tirzah could see. She was pretty sure that if they played their cards right, he might lose them on his own. However, the Messenger was probably too good to hope for that to happen. Though she was young, it was clear to Tirzah that Jones was intelligent. Nothing seemed to get by her; she saw every move that Perry tried to take and whenever he would start to go off in the wrong direction, Jones would intervene. It was like she was the Guide, and Perry wasn't. Tirzah didn't like that at all. In her experience, anyone who seemed to know more than they were supposed to had a secret way they were getting their information, and Jones certainly seemed to know things way beyond her circle of knowledge.
Stephen and Jay were true Xamalian soldiers, Tirzah had learned. Ashia relayed that their original troop had been killed, so this was just their reassignment. Considering that the troop had been assigned to hunt down Kendrick Kavich and help Nolan Deluvia kill him, Tirzah felt that the men had drawn the short stick on that one. However, they seemed to be ok with the troop change.
The only thing that had Tirzah thinking that she might want to stick around to see was she wanted to know if the rumors about the Flair were true. They had to be, right? For her to be able to get away with killing Lee and two or three others, she must have one very powerful chain around her neck. Tirzah wondered if the Lieutenant was aware of half the stuff that was said about her necklace. If she was aware of it, did she believe it? And if she did believe it, then maybe, just maybe, there was hope that she would forsake the south. Of course, then, she would probably want to enlist in the western army, and Tirzah had no desire to do that.
Turning to look at Ashia again, Tirzah wondered when the best time to bail was going to be. She just needed to find a way to get her sister and run. Run, and never stop.