Welcome to the end of the adventure. The discussions this week on people’s choices have been awesome! Thanks for participating. =)
Jace Option Aa2: Wait until Jace is alone with his dad
The argument above echoes over the cliff without any indication of slackening. You meet Jace’s gaze and give him the ‘shhh’ sign again while you consider your options. He giggles and slaps a hand over his mouth.
To the left there’s a tree line that meets the sloping edge of the cliff but it’s a good distance away. Jace would have to be either nonchalant about getting there or sneaky like a spy. He’s neither so you decide to wait until only Jace’s father is left.
You wedge yourself a bit tighter into the crack to wait out the argument. Eventually, Jace get’s bored of staring at you and he disappears. You hope he doesn’t say anything.
The arguing stops and you hear heavy footsteps leaving. Perhaps the slavers have gone but you wait a little longer until you hear Jace’s father call to him before you move to finish climbing the cliff.
By the time you haul yourself over the edge, you catch the sight of Jace and his father following a path into the tree line on the left. Although you’re huffing for breath and covered in sweat, you push to your feet and take off after them.
They’re much taller than you, though, and their strides take them down the path at a rate that has you almost running to keep them in sight.
Then you brake to a rapid stop. It’s the offshoot of the river that the slavers must have used to get Jace to the cliff. On it sits a sleek boat with several more men sitting inside. They give Jace a hand as he climbs aboard and deferentially step back to allow his dad to climb in on his own.
“To the compound,” his dad says and the men start rowing.
Your stomach rolls like you want to throw up. There are too many men for you to get Jace back on your own.
You walk down to the very edge of the river and watch them rowing away. Something catches your eye, another boat. A tiny rowboat left on the riverbank farther up.
You might not be able to save Jace by yourself, but you might be able to follow them to see where they take him.
You climb aboard the tiny vessel and put your back into rowing. It’s tough work to keep the sleeker boat in sight but, determined, you keep going until the sun’s gone and it’s the lights of the ‘compound’ that tell you you’ve made it to their destination.
The compound’s a house a top a hill with a wall surrounding it. On the wall walk sentries.
Definitely too much for you to save Jace alone. You watch them take Jace inside the gates and then slip away to head home.
A part of you always regrets not getting Jace back alone but the logical side of you admits you wouldn’t have succeeded. As it is, the village spends several months figuring out weaknesses in the compound before they’re able to sneak inside and steal Jace back.
Turns out, Jace’s dad wanted to pass along the family business of drug running. Since Jace was his only son, his dad spent hours with him trying to instill the details of the business even though Jace, who loved simple things, wasn’t interested and didn’t really understand the gravity.
What’s harder on you is it takes Jace another year to trust you again. Something about letting him go to spend time with his dad just didn’t sit right with him. You consider explaining to him that it wasn’t your idea but, in the end, it’s just easier to let him relearn to trust you.