Legends Of Klane Kalonia : Station Of Seers (47) by DMFW ()
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Hirrilow waited for the Riders in the middle of the bridge. It was important for him to show no outward sign of concern for then his apparent frailty and disinterest would reinforce an aura of power and mystery which he needed now to defend Kalonia. So the seer leaned on his staff in full view of the approaching horde which came slowly towards him and waited for the leading Riders with a fine show of apparently easy authority. Yet inwardly he was very afraid. This kind of confrontation was unprecedented. He planned to use a mixture of reason and a call on the traditional honour of the Riders coupled with subliminal appeals to their old culture of respect and reverence to dissuade them from any attack. However, he was acutely conscious that he did not know what these strange Riders had been led to believe and what lies they might have been told about Kalonia. There was certainly no guarantee that bluff or negotiation would work.
Hirrilow had not left the station without taking precautions. Tenereck, the engineer was monitoring the situation closely from the dome using a variety of surveillance instruments. If it looked like his leader was in danger he would activate the somatic shields Kalonia used to defend itself against alegoyle predation, the very same mechanisms by which Orietta had been saved when she first arrived at the station. Yet Tenereck had not been idle in the years since it became apparent that Kalonia might be threatened. Under Hirrilow's orders and with the aid of Cwendor, the master builder, the engineer had been systematically and secretly modifying and extending the stations defences. They had amassed a large reserve of energy and made some changes to the projection wave generators which would enable them to run the shields over a wider area and for longer than ever before. They would be able to render many horses and riders unconscious simultaneously and should be able to halt any charge long before it could reach the walls of the dome. That was the theory. But the technology had not been proved in practice and should the situation degenerate into open warfare there was no saying whether Kalonia could resist an invasion successfully or not.
And so matters stood; a delicate and dangerous balance as the leader of the Riders pulled his horse up before Hirrilow.