Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Read Online (FREE)
There were also gravity-fed heavy artillery guns in the enclosure, racks full of rifles, ammunition, and the little black bombs that Ravkans called grenatye. On the walls behind the glass, older weapons had been arranged in an elaborate display—axes, spears, longbows. Above it all hung a banner in silver and white: STRYMAKT FJERDAN.
When Kaz glanced at Matthias, the big man muttered, “Fjerdan might.”
Kaz peered through the thick glass. He knew defenses, and Nina had been right, this glass was another piece of Fabrikator work—bulletproof and impenetrable. Coming or going from the prison, captives would see weapons, armaments, machines of war—all a brutal reminder of the power of the Fjerdan state.
Go on and flex, Kaz thought. Doesn’t matter how big the gun is if you don’t know where to point it.
On the other side of the enclosure, he saw a second walkway, where the female prisoners were being marched.
Inej will be fine. He had to stay sharp. They were in enemy territory now, a place of steep risk, the kind of fix you didn’t walk out of if you didn’t keep your wits about you. Had Pekka’s team made it this far before they’d been found out? And where was Pekka Rollins himself? Had he stayed safe and secure in Kerch, or was he a prisoner of the Fjerdans as well?
None of it mattered. For now, Kaz had to focus on the plan and finding Yul-Bayur. He glanced at the others. Wylan looked like he was ready to wet himself. Helvar appeared grim as always. Jesper just grinned and whispered, “Well, we’ve managed to get ourselves locked into the most secure prison in the world. We’re either geniuses or the dumbest sons of bitches to ever breathe air.”
“We’ll know soon enough.”
They were led into another white room, this one equipped with tin tubs and hoses.
The guard gabbled something in Fjerdan, and Kaz saw Matthias and some of the others start to strip down. He swallowed the bile that rose in his throat. He refused to vomit.
He could do this—he had to do this. He thought of Jordie. What would Jordie say if his little brother lost their chance at justice because he couldn’t conquer some stupid sickness inside him? But it only brought back the memory of Jordie’s cold flesh, the way it had grown loose in the salt water, the bodies crowding around him in the flatboat. His vision started to blur.
Get it together, Brekker, he scolded himself harshly. It didn’t help. He was going to faint again, and this would all be over. Inej had once offered to teach him how to fall. “The trick is not getting knocked down,” he’d told her with a laugh. “No, Kaz,” she’d said, “the trick is in getting back up.” More Suli platitudes, but somehow even the memory of her voice helped. He was better than this. He had to be. Not just for Jordie, but for his crew. He’d brought these people here. He’d brought Inej here. It was his job to bring them out again.