Unexpected Encounters

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by The Writing Owl, May 30, 2015.

  1. "Hurry up." The water elemental pushed the broken looking woman with his spear. "We don't have all day." He scowled at the woman before pushing her again, sending her to her knees. The prisoner hissed. She looked as if she had seen better days. Burns littered her arms and legs while her left arm looked twisted in an unnatural way. Smaller cuts littered her torso, though they were unseen mostly by the rags most prisoners wore. Two deep gashes by her shoulder blades were still bleeding. Another gash ran down the side of her mouth. Her hair was wet, whether with sweat the prisoner wasn't sure.

    Unsteadily, she stood on one leg before shifting to get onto the other. She nearly keeled over at this, breathing heavily to try and balance herself. The woman started walking forward before the guard could get another chance to push her again. Other prisoners looked better than the new one, looking at least well fed if not a little dirty. Good. The woman's comrades were being treated well at the very least.

    Each step grew harder to take than the last. Her burns flared in pain. The skin would forever be scarred, but that was the least of the woman's worries. Sweat beaded at her forehead as she closed her eyes. She just had to endure. Yes, just endure this small bit of torture then she would be back home with the rest of the soldiers. Another push sent her sprawling toward the ground. "I said hurry it up! I can't wait to get your filth off of my hands..."

    The woman wanted to just lay on the ground. Oh how she would just like to sleep... "Get up!" A hard jab to the back. She gasped before using her good arm to try and pull herself up from the floor. It was a painful process. Her limbs screamed for her to stop, to let her sleep and not deal with these injuries. The woman kept moving forward until the spear was held in front of her. Finally, she could stop. The guard leading her looked toward another man it seemed. She couldn't hear the conversation, her ears ringing. Everything sounded submerged and far away. The woman didn't mind. It meant she could get some respite from the taunts and calls of the elementals.
  2. Terrenthos scowled beneath his mask. His new prisoner was in very poor condition and seemed to have passed out. “Could you help me carry her to her cell?” He asked the water elemental, who only scoffed. “She's not my problem anymore. Just grab a limb and drag.” The water elemental left the foyer of the underground prison. Terrenthos beckoned to his single guard. “Pyron, bring the medical plant to the twenty-third cell. Our new prisoner is not well.”

    “Whatever.” Pyron grumbled, moving unhurriedly. Terrenthos lifted the unconscious woman in his arms and effortlessly carried her to cell 23. He gently placed her on the stone cot and examined her injuries. Her left arm is broken. He thought. He reached out and snapped the bones back into place with a sickening sound. She should be grateful she is not awake to experience this. Pyron arrived with a bizarre potted bush with many different-shaped branches. First, Terrenthos broke off a straight branch and laid it next to her broken arm, then he harvested long, tough vines from another branch and used them to tie the branch to her arm as a splint. He finished by taking leaves and dipping them in a sap oozing from one of the branches, plastering them along her arm to make a leafy cast.

    “Will the bitch live?” Pyron asked. “I believe so.” Terrenthos replied, focusing on his work: now collecting bark and thorns from different branches to make needles and thread for stitches. Pryon sneered, “If you say so,” and left. Terrenthos continued with his work in silence.
  3. The world seemed to fade in and out. Everything was dulled and muffled, for which the woman was extremely grateful. She just needed a bit more rest and then she could... A sharp stab down her back woke her up. The material beneath her was hard and uncomfortable, probably made of stone. She felt something on her arm, though she wasn't sure what it was. The woman kept still, hearing another working with what sounded like branches. They were either patching her up or hurting her more. Since there was no taunting the human had to go with the former. "Damn it. Guess you lot haven't killed me yet." She finally spoke up, her throat scratchy and burning. Tears were gathering in her eyes, but she didn't mind them much.

    From the looks of the cell and the lack of sunlight she was most definitely underground. The plants and earthy tones spoke of an earth elemental. She wondered how many guards were posted in this particular prison. It didn't sound like many since there wasn't the constant thrum of murmurs from other well guarded prisons. The prisoners seemed to be quiet, as if they were afraid to open their mouths. One of the guards must have been brutally efficient then.
  4. Terrenthos waited until his immediate task of constructing the needle and thread was completed before responding with a simple “Yes.” He reached his finger into a different colored sap. “This will sting.” He warned before dabbing the gash on her mouth. True to his word, the sap stung like hell, but soon abated, then numbed slightly. “Do not move or speak.” Terrenthos quietly commanded. He began suturing her flesh back together, working slowly but delicately.

    Finished, he leaned back. “Please roll over to your right; I must close the rest of your wounds. Your cast has not set so do not lean upon your left arm.” He moved to help her; she was in no condition to move unaided.
  5. The woman obeyed as the elemental's orders as he worked on healing her wounds. She screwed her eyes shut, the salty tears escaping as she breathed through the suturing and stinging. Taking a moment to regain herself, the woman took a deep breath before starting to move over to her right. She was grateful for the guard's help as he supported her rolling onto her side. It was no more comfortable than lying on her back, but she knew it would help the man in fixing whatever was wrong with her back.

    The sutures felt strange, as if someone had sewed the edge of her mouth shut, but it would help with the healing. Taking a deep breath, the prisoner spoke quietly, working not to disturb the sutures as much as possible. "You've kept my comrades fed and in relatively good health... Thank you." With that said she shut up so the man could continue fixing whatever else he needed to fix so they could keep her alive.
  6. “You need not thank me for performing my duties. I would be a poor warden if I let my wards die.” After lifting the back of her rags to get to her wounds, Terrenthos noted the severity of his new prisoner's injuries. She must have been valuable to their cause to be tortured so thoroughly. He worked in silence to seal her wounds, repeating the process he did to heal her mouth.

    After what seemed like ages, Terrenthos finished. He pulled a root free from the ceiling and told her that if she thirsted, simply to bite and suck upon the tuber. “Rest now. I shall return on the morrow to see to the remainder of your wounds.”
  7. The woman nodded before raising an arm to bring the root closer to her mouth. She bit into the tuber and sucked some of the water out. The liquid gave her a small relief as she sighed, wincing at the irritating aches that seemed to only want to come in waves. However, the man had done his job in helping her heal. The woman was ready to fall asleep when a voice called to her. "Ma'am? Ma'am, you just got captured, right? Have you seen the war? Do you know how we're doing?" The man in the cell to her right called.

    The new prisoner sighed before shaking her head. "I've been in captivity for a little while, so I don't know the immediate situation." However, not one to leave her troops hanging, the woman continued. "However, last I saw we were making head." The woman didn't pay attention as word spread to the other prisoners, leaving them to chatter amongst themselves excitedly. They spoke of going home once their fellows busted them out of there, how a home cooked meal would be quite welcoming. It all faded into white noise as the newest addition slowly fell asleep.
  8. “WAKE UP!” A voice as loud and as hateful as a blast furnace woke her. It was impossible to tell time in the dim subterranean complex, but it felt like moments since she fell asleep that she was awoken. Strange bioluminescent plants were glowing now, when they weren't before, clearly a lighting system.

    “I said WAKE UP! When I command, you obey!” Pyron was at the cell door. “Looks like Terrenthos was right. You are a tough one. I was almost hoping you'd passed in the night, if only to prove him wrong. But since you're alive, I get to break you. Disobey me or try to escape, and I'll burn you to ashes, then dump them in water, or better yet, mix them with shit so I can burn you again, no less than you human scum deserve. But you're obedient, right? Say it. SAY IT!”

    “PYRON.” Terrenthos called, sternly, but without raising his voice. Pyron stopped and sneered, walking away from the cell, whispering, “Ashes,” before disappearing down the corridor. Terrenthos entered the cell; the stone bars slid into the earth at his approach. “Good morning.” He said, holding a small bowl with a sticky amber liquid in it.
  9. The woman jumped, reaching blindly for some type of weapon. This had to be an attack. They had to get to places. Reality set in as the voice repeated its command. She slowly turned toward the man who woke her. He was starting to rant, not giving her time to respond as he threatened to burn her to death. The threat was nothing to the woman, simply blinking as she tried not to fall back into a fetal position. The aches made the woman only want to go back to sleep, blinking as she tried to figure out just what time it was.

    Before she could bite out a witty remark of how obedient she truly was, the guard from before entered her cell. "Good morning. It seems your friend is very excitable today." The human talked amicably with the man, though he was her enemy, someone who should be trying to kill her. Her green eyes were sharp, taking in everything and anything it seemed. Her brown hair was even more matted and greasier than before. The woman watched the guard for any malicious intent towards her person. She would not let them try to break her while her comrades still fought.
  10. “You may relax.” Terrenthos replied. “It is when Pyron is 'excitable' that he is harmless, so long as you obey his commands.” Standing already? She is resilient, perhaps more than I guessed. He handed the bowl to the woman. “Here is some medicinal sap. Apply it to your lesser injuries to speed their healing. We are unequipped to deal with human infections here, and any aid we request for human prisoners may not be forthcoming, so I encourage you to use it.” Looking up, he mused, “Ah, just in time,” before catching a ripe fruit that fell from the ceiling. He handed it to the woman. “Your breakfast. This fruit is the first of three that shall ripen and fall daily.” He gestured towards the leafy corner. “And the hole in the corner behind the privacy wall is for waste, food or otherwise.” The purpose of the excess of leaves became abundantly clear. “Now that I have acclimatized you to your surroundings, I would like to make a request of you.” Terrenthos' body language had changed. Where he was polite and formal, looking her in the eyes before, he was now more thoughtful and clearly mulled over his words, looking away from her. “All that I have done for you so far has simply been my duty, so you need not feel obligated to comply. This request is of a... personal nature.”
  11. The woman took the sap gratefully, sitting down to apply it on her lesser wounds. She withheld a hiss, squinting as she worked on slathering the stuff on whatever looked like a wound. Setting the bowl down, she looked up in time to see a fruit being handed to her. So the whole place was like a living, breathing plant. Interesting. The woman took the fruit and started to eat it, grateful for something to fill her belly with. Even if the fruit wasn't exactly a home cooked meal, it was something she could eat and for that she was grateful. The guard explained just what everything in her cell was before seeming to look off in thought. This was curious. Just what kind of request would a guard have for his mortal enemy, a human? "If I'm going to help you with this request of yours, I'll need to first know what it is you want. I can't read minds." She pulled her legs up into a cross-legged position, watching the guard carefully.
  12. “I would like to question you.” Terrenthos said. “I do not wish to interrogate you, for that is the duty of others to perform. I wish to question you for the purpose of sating my own curiosity. I find humans to be... puzzling, and I wish to make sense of them. The questions I ask will likely not pertain to the war or tactical matters. Regardless, you may refuse to answer any question I pose of you; I will not force you to answer anything you do not want to. Does this sound agreeable?”
  13. The woman raised an eyebrow, curious just what the elemental could possibly want to know. "I can try my best to answer you, though you elementals confuse us probably as much as we confuse you." She leaned back, wincing as she stretched a wound the wrong way. Carefully she moved so she could try and find a more comfortable spot to sit in. It seemed she would be stuck in this cell for quite a while. Maybe, just maybe, she could get a bit of info about the elementals as she told them about the humans. An information swap, that could be what it was.
  14. “Indeed. That is what I have learned through my previous questionings. I have extended this offer to all the prisoners I have had here, though all have since refused to cooperate through pressure from their peers and through fear of being seen as collaborating with the enemy.” He smirked. “Though some, I suspect, did it simply to try to annoy me in what little way they could.” His tone told her how successful those attempts were, which is to say not at all.

    Terrenthos continued. “Now, I believe that the proper human way of greeting an unknown individual is to give one's name, and then inquire as to the other's name. So, I am Terrenthos. Who are you?”
  15. The woman nodded, knowing her fellow soldiers would very much so be reluctant to talk with their enemy. However, gaining new intelligence on the elementals was too good of an opportunity for her to pass up. "Alright. I suppose this could be a bit like a trade, yeah? You satisfy my curiosity and I'll satisfy yours." Even if she could ask about battle tactics, that would simply get her killed if she tried. "I'm curious about elemental customs and how your minds tick." Before the war, she would have just visited the elementals herself to find out such information. However, being bound simply had to do for now.

    At his question, the soldier couldn't help but chuckle. "I am Cora. It is nice to meet you, Terrenthos." She held an arm out for him to shake, her smile becoming strained at the pull it had on her stitches. However, if he wanted a proper greeting then he was going to get a damn proper greeting.