The Island of Clouds

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Saren, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    "Mayday, mayday! This is aircraft N70X! Does anyone copy?!"

    Static met the pilot's pleas as the plane careened to the side again. "Dammit! Sanders, take control! I have to talk to our passengers." His hands were shaking with fear and the movements of the plane as he took a hold of the radio.

    "Attention, passengers. We are unable to contact New York National Airport. We are experiencing disturbances in our communication. However, we please ask that you remain calm. We may land in the ocean, over the New Jersey Bight, but with your cooperation, we can keep casualties down to a minimum. Thank--"

    The radio stopped working as the plane suddenly slammed upward, as if it were stuck in an updraft. The pilot slipped down the aisle, scrabbling for a handhold. A passenger grabbed his arm and kept him from sliding farther. Screams and shouts echoed in the cab as the plane performed barrel rolls in the roiling wind. It leveled out for a few seconds, and the pilot scrambled toward the cockpit to find his co-pilot, Sanders, struggling with the yoke. The pilot helped him, and they were able to keep the plane stable for longer than a minute.

    "Is it over?" Sanders whispered.

    "I... I don't--" The plane flipped sideways, and the black clouds in front of them parted to reveal a floating island. "What the hell...? How is that even possible?"

    "Captain, should we land?"

    "No, get us out of here! We need to contact the tower. Get them on the line now!" the pilot shrieked at Sanders, but their reprieve was short lived as invisible winds rocked the plane every which way. The hulking metal aircraft was trapped in the gales, and then it grew too close to the island for Sanders to pull down or up on the control yoke. The tip of the plane's wing clipped the edge of the island and flipped forward, sending the pilots and their passengers flying around.

    The plane spun around in the air before it bashed into a group of tall trees. Sanders groaned and unhooked the seat belt from his chest. "Cap-Captain?" he stuttered before finding a broken hole in the airplane's wind shield. Blood spattered the tips, and Sanders turned his head to look around. The trees they had landed on top of had green strips of bark with bright blue and red leaves and pieces of pink fruit. Looking out over more of them, he saw they ranged all over the color spectrum, and none of them were quite alike.

    "What is this place?" he asked himself before remembering the passengers. The plain had landed upright with a plume of black smoke curling from the broken wing. It made it easier to walk, if there weren't punctured holes in the bottom. "Hello? Is anyone alive?" he asked, and pained moans answered him.


    "Sir, there's smoke out in the Rain-Bowed Forest."

    "I see it. Thank you. Gather the rest of the scouting squad and tell them to be ready to fly now." The man nodded and flew away, white wings flapping in sync. The other Cloudi sighed, surveying the smoke. He'd been afraid this would happen. The humans would get careless and crash into their beautiful home.

    The sound of feathers rustling and landing made him turn. A group of six Cloudi men awaited his orders. All of them had wings, some with talons on their feet. They all had cloth armor and swords at their sides. "Let's go. We need to investigate this disturbance." They nodded, and they took off, ready for whatever these humans would throw at them.
    #1 Saren, Nov 3, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
    • Love Love x 1
  2. Lyra was just heading back to her seat from the bathroom when the airplane suddenly tipped sideways. She slid toward the other passenger in her front row. The fat man was still sleeping with his seat belt on. The pilot came rushing out of the cockpit just as Lyra had sat down in her seat again. She tried to listen to his words since he was only about 2 feet away from her, but she could barely hear him over the screaming of the rest of the passengers. The man beside her awoke as she was trying to get her seat belt unstuck from beneath him.
    Again, the airplane made a sudden movement, this time upwards and the pilot fell to the aisle. She grabbed his arm before he could slide too far since she was the only one able to reach so far without her seat belt on. She grunted, gripping his arm as tightly as she could and leaning on the back of her seat. It was the only thing keeping her stable until the plane performed barrel rolls in midair and all 100 pounds 5 foot 1 inches of Lyra Cunninham slammed against the ceiling and sides of the plane over and over again. It was a wonder she had the thought to grab her head and protect it amid the terrified shrieks of the passengers who had their seat belts on.
    The next time she plane stabilized, some people were already dead. Her overweight flying buddy probably had a heart attack among the elderly passengers and the careless without their seat belt had been flung like Lyra and snapped their necks. The pilot was missing again and Lyra was laying in the middle of the aisle, trying and failing to keep calm. Her breathing was too quick despite the burning agony of broken ribs and her eyes were wide, darting around until the plane careened again to the side. Lyra screamed as she rolled and hit the bottom of a dead woman's seat. She clutched her midsection as tears made their way down her cheeks and she balled up, helplessly. She stayed in that position until the plane finally stopped and crashed...on land?
    Last time she checked, they were over water. She tried to get up, using the counter used to prepare meals and store the flight attendants carts under. Again, she failed to so anything but let silent tears of pain slide down her cheeks. Chatter among the survivors sounded far away in Lyra's ringing ears, She'd been bruised mostly on her back and hips and she was still clutching her ribs as she coughed, a small trail of blood dripping onto the blue carpet. Her limbs were shaking in the freezing temperatures of their high crash landing point. If they were anywhere near New York, she would have expected the cold, but not this much's summer. Lyra leaned against the metal counter and waited. Maybe if she listened closely enough, she would be able to hear where they were.
  3. Sanders saw a young woman with red hair coughing and holding onto the metal counter. He moved through severed limbs and other various parts of the plane to reach her. "Miss, are you alright?" he asked. There was no way she was, but she lived, and that was a start. A groan made him look over to find two other people, a man and a woman, pulling themselves out of the debris. Some other people managed to stand, and Sanders was able to count nine, totaling eleven out of the thirty-two passenger flight to New York.

    With broken bones and aching bodies, the survivors were able to move to Sanders. He seemed to be the de facto leater of the group, seeing as he was co-pilot. "I'm sorry everyone. I don't know how this happened or where we are. This isn't any place I've ever been to. I don't know how we're going to get home either." He saw the tears spring to the eyes of the survivors and it broke his heart. He and his dead pilot hadn't meant for this to happen. "We should stick near the plane. Try to find the first aid kits and help what injuries you can."

    "That won't be necessary, human." Sanders turned to find a man staring him down, a pair of large gray wings sprawling out behind him. Six others accompanied him, and they had varying shades of feathers on their back, but the fact was that they were even there. "Who are you, human? We see your air-driven vehicle has crashed, otherwise we would be escorting you from our home."

    "I... I'm Captain Ned Sanders. These are the only survivors of the plane crash."

    "...Hm. You are a high ranking human." He wasn't, but he let the winged man believe that. "We will take you to our home, but you will not cause trouble, or we will kill you. You appear as if you're already on your way down that path." Without waiting for Sanders and the others, the winged man and his group walked away. Sanders ushered everyone to follow, doing their best to keep up with the group. Some limped and others cried, but they stayed together.

    Wherever the winged men were taking them, it didn't seem to be far. They walked through dense areas of multi-colored trees, passing by strange hybrid animals and birds. The place was unlike anything on Earth, like something straight out of a fantasy novel. The sky was still blue, but the clouds were darker than normal. It was much colder than the average temperature on Earth, but as they neared the home of the winged people, it grew much warmer.

    When they arrived, they were greeted by the sight of an open city. It was sprawling with houses of all different colors, along with shiny stone bases holding each one up. There was no gate barring the animals from the city, but it didn't seem to matter. They were winged beings, a hybrid of a bird and a human. They were stronger and faster.

    They came upon a larger building, one purely decorated with red wood and white paint. The main winged man stepped up and passed through the fabric covering the doorway before emerging with an older man with peppered brown wings. "Ah... humans. What has happened?"

    "Our plane crashed. We lost control."

    "I see... You are welcome to stay and take care of your wounds, but my men will see to it if you cause harm to any of the Cloudis."

    "Thank you, sir."

    "Bina. Take as many as you can to the infirmary."

    A female Cloudi with gray-blue wings counted the survivors and frowned. "I have enough beds for ten... there are eleven."

    "I can take one." The Cloudis turned to see a lanky man with pitch-black wings and feathers in his equally dark hair step forward. "I have a spare room."

    Bina nodded before pushing one of the survivors forward, a female human with red hair. "Take her." The other Cloudi nodded before peering down at Lyra. "Do you need help to move?" he asked. His voice was much softer, holding a subtle lilt, as if some of his words were sang rather than spoke.
    • Love Love x 1
  4. A male voice asking if she was alright prompted Lyra to look up at the co-pilot with pain shining in her chocolate eyes. She wanted to ask if she looked alright, but then he was distracted by two other survivors. the aisle and passenger seats were full of severed limbs, blood and dead people. She winced at the sight and crawled toward the co-pilot with the rest of the survivors as he gave them bad news and offered a plan. Lyra bowed her head in despair until a new voice spoke up.
    "That won't be necessary, human." She stared up at the man who had so suddenly showed up and her jaw dropped at the reason why. He had wings. Real honest-to-god wings on his back and he was leading a group of other angel like beings around him. Lyra listened in shock to the rest of the conversation and someone helped her stand on wobbly legs, She shivered and followed the rest of the group slowly. She ended up at the back of the line of humans and angels ahead of her, trying to walk and not get distracted by the strange creatures and beings that looked like things only found in the kind of Dr.Seuss books her parents used to read to her. As she trudged on into the warmer city with tear tracks clearly visible on her face, they finally stopped at a large building with red wood and white paint. Lyra was getting pretty dizzy as the angels and survivors conversed about what to do with them humans. She hardly heard what they were saying beyond her pounding heartbeat. All she got was that she was volunteered to be separated from the group and sent to one of the other angels. Someone pushed her and she fell to her knees with a loud whimper, clearly answering the question the dark-winged male before her asked.His voice was soft, a little kinder than the other voices she'd heard since she arrived in this strange world. But it was fading fast along with her ability to stay conscious through the pain of every breath she took.
    #4 Ravenbelle, Nov 3, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  5. The black-winged Cloudi bent, lifting the young woman into his arms. "Be careful, Saraph! Gods above, you are incompetent sometimes," Bina snapped. Saraph's dark eyes flicked down before he turned and walked away, Lyra in tow. She was hurt worse than the others, it seemed, but she would live.

    His home wasn't far from the gathering area, and the door was unlocked in his haste to see what the commotion had been. Pushing it open with his foot, Saraph carried the female human to a long bed with dark, cotton sheets. Resting her on the soft mattress, he padded into another room, gathering bandages as well as a bowl. The city had a basic pumping system, the water coming from a freshwater hot spring some ways away. Saraph had a pump in his home, and soon, he had a bowl of warm water. He pulled a chair up beside Lyra's bed, setting the water down and dipping a cloth into it.

    She was cold, but it was normal, given the temperature outside. He ran the corner of the warm cloth along her eyebrows, noticing the tear lines down her cheeks. With light strokes, he wiped them away before his eyes swept the rest of her body. "If you can hear me, I need you to speak and tell me the location of your pain. If it hurts to do so, I will give you an herb that will help you sleep."
    • Love Love x 1
  6. Lyra groaned as the male apparently called Saraph picked her up and walked to his home. She shivered against him until he set her on a long, dark bed. She winced at the movement and then he left and she opened her eyes slowly. Her ponytail was falling out, so she untied her mother's ribbon with a low hiss and let down her long, red hair. When Saraph returned, she was clutching the black ribbon in her right hand and staring at his dark wings. He began to wipe her face with a warm cloth and then he spoke. His voice was enchanting and rhythmic, like a song. If it wasn't for all this pain she'd think this was all a dream or maybe death. But death couldn't hurt this bad could it?
    "My ribs hurt the most . I think some of them are broken.." Lyra whispered, teeth clenched and eyes half-closed. She didn't want to tell him about her injuries. She didn't know who he was or even what he was, but she'd rather let him touch her and endure the torture than let him give her some weird herbal anesthetic. There was no way she was going to let herself fall asleep until she felt she was safe enough to let her guard down.
  7. Broken ribs weren't uncommon among Cloudi children, as they were prone to forget how to fly and crash into trees. Saraph stood up and left again, this time returning with a handful of green plant stalks with bright pink flowers. Sitting down, he crossed his legs, rolling the stalks in his hands until they were flattened. He crushed them with his fingers into a dry mash. Taking one of the cloth bandages, he wet it down with the warm water before dropping the mashed flower on top. It seemed to adhere to the cloth, and Saraph spread it around so it covered most of the surface.

    Setting the bowl aside, he turned his attention to Lyra. "Humans are not often happy with the thought of removing their clothes in front of strangers, no? I am not going to remove your shirt, but I am going to lift it. It is only to help wrap your abdomen so you are not in as much pain." He didn't wait for an answer before he folded her shirt up, creases neat as they went along her torso. He stopped just as he reached her chest, as he knew those were sensitive spots for human females. Keeping her dignity in mind, Saraph was careful as he slid the bandage under her back, slowly wrapping it around before tying it in a flat knot.

    "It should ease your pain. If it does not, I will find something else for you."
    • Love Love x 1
  8. Lyra watched him leave again, only to return with long flowers and bandages. She watched him mash them up and spread the flower mixture onto the wet bandages meticulously. She was drowsy and trying to keep her eyes open. She refused to let herself sleep as his warm hands wrapped her ribs gently. She still hissed at the pain of movement though until her ribs were stable and unable to be jarred as easily. Lyra trailed her fingers across the strange bandage and looked up at Saraph who was trying to make sure she wouldn't be in pain. "What is this stuff? And where am I? And..and why do you and everyone here have wings?" Lyra's breathing picked up a little and she clenched her fist tighter around her ribbon as her lungs pressed against her ribs harder. Her bruises on her sides and hips were in plain view for this kind stranger and she didn't like seeming so weak.
  9. Saraph supposed the questions weren't unwarranted. His Cloudi ancestors had spent a long time erasing themselves from history and making sure humans would never remember who and what they were.

    "The... stuff... that I have used on you is comfrey. It is a plant common both here and on Earth. It assists your bones in repairing. As for where you now reside, you are on the Island of Clouds. It is my home, and a sanctuary for Cloudis. That is what I am. We possess similar qualities to many types of birds, as we have for many centuries. Humans did not accept us, so we came to live in this place where they cannot find us. It has been so for as long as I have lived. In your lifespan, it is... 297 years, so I have seen your world change beneath the clouds many times."

    It was a bit of a long explanation, one that most likely bored her. For the third time, he stood up and moved into another room. When he returned, he had a cup of water darkened with herbal flakes. "I understand that you may not trust me, but I would suggest you take this. It will help your pain. If my presence unnerves you, I will go. My objective is to help you, not harm you."
    • Love Love x 1
  10. Lyra may have looked bored due to the fact that she was growing more drowsy by the second, but in actuality, she was listening intently to Saraph's explanation of his world. Her mind was reeling when he left the room again.
    Island of Clouds? Birdlike humans? 297 years?!
    He returned with a cup that held a liquid that smelled vaguely like tea to Lyra.
    "I understand that you may not trust me, but I would suggest you take this. It will help your pain. If my presence unnerves you, I will go. My objective is to help you, not harm you." He explained, helping Lyra to at least consider consuming the drink. She sat up slowly, eyes shut tight and fists clenched against the sheets until she was leaning against the wall behind the bed.
    She stared at Saraph for a moment or two, weighing her options. She could drink it and heal better...or die...or she could not drink it and endure tortuous pain for longer than necessary. She figured if she died no one would care anyway so she took the cup with her left hand and sipped at it slowly. It tasted like tea as well.
    "Thanks...Saraph. Do you have any blankets? It's kind of cold in here..or rather, up here..."
  11. Saraph settled and made sure she drank at least a little bit of it. At her request, he dipped his head, standing and moving to rummage through a drawer in the corner. After a moment of searching the piece of furniture, he produced a thick, but soft comforter. He unfolded it at the foot of the bed and drew it up to her legs. That way, she could move and tug on it at her leisure without moving her upper body too much.

    "You know my name, but what is yours? I do not wish to call you 'human.' Do you require anything else? There is little else I can to to stop your pain, unfortunately." A knock on his door made him stand and leave without hearing her name, but the conversation was audible through the wall.

    "How's the human doing?" It was Bina, the female Cloudi who had taken the other humans.

    "She is fine. Some of her ribs are broken, and she has various contusions on her sides."

    "Good. One of the older males died in the infirmary, so they're down to ten total. I can take her off your hands, though I doubt you have anything better to do."

    "...I am fine. Taking care of her is not a problem. What has Pallick decided to do?"

    "Erith wanted to kill them, but Pallick, the old softie, he's letting them stay for now. They can't get down unless we throw them off the side of the island, and they're too weak to survive that."

    "...I see. The human female is sleeping, or will be. I will update you on her status tomorrow." The door closed and there was a hefty sigh before Saraph came to sit back down beside the bed.
    • Love Love x 1
  12. When Saraph laid the blanket on her lap, she pulled down her shirt and tugged the comforter as high as it would go while she was still upright using the few fingers she could use while still holding her black ribbon. He asked for her name and if she needed anything else while she continued to sip at her mysterious drink. She was unsure of whether to tell him but before she could say anything, he answered a knock at the door.
    Lyra listened closely to the coversation outside and pursed her lips anxiously. Pallick was apparently some sort of leader and Erith is powerful, but not higher than Pallick. She bit her lip when the lady spoke of how Erith wanted to kill them and she was glad she was stuck here with Saraph who at least didn't seem to think of her as some useless weakling. But he was wrong about 'the human' in one way. Lyra can be very stubborn when she wants to be and she wasn't going to let herself fall asleep.
    Saraph sighed loudly before reentering and she wondered why before speaking softly. "My name is Lyra. Thank you for letting me stay here. I heard that um..Erith wants to kill me along with the other humans. I don't think I want to sleep if that's the case. As long as this-" she gestured to the cup in her hand--" isn't made to make me sleep, I think I'll just stay awake. Besides, I want to learn more about this place. Have you really been alive for nearly 300 years? You don't look a day over 25." She finished the tea stuff and passed the empty cup to Saraph with a tight, grateful smile.
  13. Well, she hadn't been spared the conversation, but it was passed, and he couldn't change it. He waited for her to finish the cup of tea before he delved into any other explanation. He had put a few leaves of chamomile inside, but it was only to help her relax. She had emptied the cup, at least. He set it on the table beside her bed before he folded his hands in his cross-legged lap.

    "Erith will not enter my house to kill you. You have nothing to fear from him. You are safe to rest for some time while they contemplate your fate. Pallick will not subject you to death, however. He rarely does that, and it is not without consequences. And yes, I have lived for that time. My life passes much more slowly than yours. I do not age like humans do. Our life expectancy is 650 years, or somewhere near that number. I understand that humans live to about 70, is that right?"
    • Love Love x 1
  14. Lyra watched his movements closely. Saraph seemed very formal. She wondered if he was always like this or if he ever simply relaxed. His lullaby voice soothed her worries concerning Erith and confirmed his long lifetime. What must it be like to live so long? Cloudi must have very long memories. She nodded in response to his question and yawned. She was still a little scared to fall asleep, but she lied down regardless and tried her best to keep her eyes open. Then she took her black ribbon, swiped her long bangs away from her eyes, and tied up her hair into a low side ponytail. It was much easier when she was lying down and under the thick comforter Saraph gave her. "Does this happen very often? Humans coming in via crashing aircraft, I mean. Because obviously that was not pleasant." Lyra mumbled, still attampting to deprive herself of rest. She looked up at Saraph's eyes then, shadowed as they were by his black hair. They were dark as well, but if she wasn't seeing things and this was no hallucination, Lyra could swear his irises were colored a dark purple.
  15. "No. In all my years of living, this is the first time we have encountered humans. Your airborne vehicles do not often fly high enough to disrupt our patrols. Your... Captain Sanders, I believe his name is, he must have gotten caught in a storm. We have observed them before, but your kind has not noticed us until now. It is a delicate matter. It is one that will take some time to think about." It meant that Lyra would be staying in his house for quite some time, as he wouldn't allow Bina to remove her. She was still injured after all.

    To take his mind off of what would happen, Saraph changed the subject. "You share a name with an instrument I play. At least, it is similar. It is called a lyre. I believe humans call it a harp, no?" His words were accompanied with a soft smile and a contentedness in his purple eyes, for Lyra was correct in her assumption of the color.
    • Love Love x 1
  16. Lyra considered the fact that she would be staying on this Island of Clouds for a long time ...that is if Saraph's assumed time frame for contemplation held true. She decided that it wouldn't be so bad as long as she could live here. It's not like she had anyone she had to get back to on the earth.
    Saraph changed the subject to something more pleasant. "You share a name with an instrument I play. At least, it is similar. It is called a lyre. I believe humans call it a harp, no?"
    Lyra smiled a real big smile for the first time in a long time. She almost laughed in fact. She didn't know what exactly was so amusing, but the smile stuck so she kept it. "Yes. My mother played the harp as well. It's not a common instrument. At least not on earth. I'm not sure if that was my namesake though. Maybe you can play for me sometime.." Lyra's smile faded as she spoke, slowly transforming into something shy. She hadn't meant to so suddenly request the violet eyed angel play for her. At least not so soon. Her mouth just runs sometimes and it says things impulsively before she can catch up. Her words have caused her a lot of trouble over the years.
  17. Lyra's face crinkled into a smile, and then a laugh, even though her ribs were broken. Laughing proved difficult with an injury like that, but he had made her smile, and it kept his lips curled in the same posture. She then turned shy as her request for him to play spilled out of her mouth.

    "If it would make you more comfortable or help you rest, I can retrieve it. I have not played it in some time, but I do believe I can remember a song or two. If you would rather sleep, I can leave as well."

    The thought of actually playing an instrument for someone was something that made him happy. As a Cloudi who had inherited the traits of a black nightingale, music was in his blood. Anything musically related, he either knew or wanted to know. It was his only redeeming quality in his eyes, as he was somewhat of a clumsy flyer due to one wing being slightly larger than the other. He was often overshadowed by others in a crowd for being more formal, and his fascination with humans and the outside world were sometimes frowned upon. Still, he'd made his way as a singer, something any Cloudi could appreciate.
    • Love Love x 1
  18. Because she didn't want him to leave just yet, leaving her alone in this strange world inside a bed she could not easily move out of, Lyra decided she wanted to hear him play today.It might've made her more comfortable or sleepy, but she wanted to hear the music simply because she loved it. "Yes I think that would be nice. I haven't heard anyone play the har--lyre in so long." Again, a small, shy smile crawled onto her lips and she watched his wings as he left the room to retrieve the instrument. She yawned and though she didn't mean to be so rude, she fell asleep before Saraph returned.
  19. Saraph left, coming back with a small wooden string instrument. It was painted gold with black and white swirling decor on the sides and bottom. However, Lyra couldn't appreciate the appearance, for she had fallen asleep in the time span he'd been gone. Still, he sat down, settling the lyre in the correct position before his fingers strummed along the strings. The strings twanged out of tune, and Saraph immediately stopped, the strings quivering as he covered them. Carefully, he tightened the strings and ran his fingers over them again. The sound that came out was much smoother and in tune. Satisfied with his work, Saraph played an old Cloudi song, one that was slow with lower notes. No sound came from his mouth just yet, but the lyre's song was calming enough as it was.

    After playing the song twice, Saraph stood, moving the chair to the side and setting the lyre on the bedside table, like he was telling Lyra when she woke up that he was coming back. He took the cup and made sure her feet were covered by the blanket before he departed. It was dark outside, not just from the storm swirling near the island. Saraph settled into his own bed, quickly falling asleep and staying that way. There were candles fixed on his wall, and they flickered out automatically as he fell asleep. When he woke the next day, they flared to life without him touching them.

    Saraph shook his head as he yawned, black feathers bouncing in his hair and pointed ears jingling with the hoops in his ears. They were made from a pure gem, and he had three on each ear toward the end of the taper of his ear. He stood, bare feet padding to the kitchen area to make some sort of suitable food for Lyra. Not knowing what she liked, or what kind of food they had in her world, Saraph settled in the chair beside the bed, fixing the strings of his lyre as he waited for her to wake up.
  20. Lyra's dreams were filled with otherworldy, harmonious music like nothing she'd ever heard before. It swirled around her, soft and low, but beautiful as her subconscious conjured angelic interpretations of the tune.
    When she awoke, the melody fading away from her memory swiftly, her eyes fluttered like butterfly wings in reaction to the candlelight flickering. She stared up at the dark Cloudi in front of her, hoops in his elf-like ears and dark wings sprouting from his back as he tuned a gorgeous instrument. For a moment, she thought she was still dreaming because she had no clue where she was or what was going on. She reached out to slowly touch the hallucination in front of her, but a sudden stab of pain struck her side and she pulled her hand back, remembering everything from the previous day with a sharp gasp.
    "I'm sorry Saraph. I forgot where I was. Good morning....i it morning?" Lyra asked as the residual ache of her injuries made her clench her fists and jaw.