Ramos stared at the cold stone floor of the cell. His chest hurt terribly; the blood-strained bandage tightly plugging the wound left after Thax’s shot. The weight of defeat, however, was much more painful to bare. Their plan, to destroy the Morlian fleet, had failed. Who’s fault was it? An easy answer was no one. There was no way to know that Thax would take the fight to them so quickly and violently. In such a situation, they had been completely at his mercy. Ramos clenched his teeth. Things would have been very different if I had been on the ground. It was also easy to blame Xaing Hu. Ramos had clearly stated that if the ship was to fall it needed to be directed towards the sea, a directive that the druid had ignored. The party was quick to blame him, but Ramos reflected that a druid was likely a poor candidate for pilot, particularly Xaing Hu due to his well known impulsiveness. The plan had mostly been Ramos’s idea, at least the elements of flying the airship. Ramos could have piloted the machine, in fact he may have been the best choice. But he let Xaing Hu take the reigns, perhaps out of battle lust to fire cannons on the Morlians that had hurt so many. This error in judgement led them to situation they were now in. They had been told that they would be executed within five days if the remainder of the Flames of Vengeance did not surrender. In Ramos’s mind, that meant they had plenty of time to escape.
And then they took Reesa.
It was sudden, days earlier than expected. He had never felt so powerless. Reesa, defiant to the end, had grabbed Ramos and told him that he had to promise to take care of her charges. As they pulled her away he promised he would protect them. He was glad they dragged her away quickly, otherwise she would have seen the grim look the crossed his face. With her gone, they were unlikely to escape. He wouldn’t be able to keep that promise.
Ramos shook his head violently. No! he thought. There was always a way for good to win. The story shouldn’t end like this. And if Ramos had anything to say about it, it wouldn’t end like this for the rest of them. Ramos sighed. I hope I can fulfill my vow