Author Topic: Unfortunate Side-effects  (Read 9290 times)

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Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2007, 04:49:46 PM »
He cringed at the sound of her pain being vocalised, wishing he could do something more about it than simply stand by and wait for the inevitable to unfold.  That was an impossible ask, however, and so he merely watched her, numbing himself as best he could (for he intended to touch that painful area didn\'t he, and that wouldn\'t exactly have her singing with joy would it?).  He tilted his head when she began to speak, hesitated and then talked about the soap.

Her words were delivered smoothly enough and he didn\'t question them, turning to look where she believed the soap to be.  Once he had it in hand, he walked back to the tub and knelt by her, looking seriously into her eyes.  "That should be long enough for the tunic to be soaked through, don\'t you think?  I\'ll take it from you."  It was a statement that didn\'t brook argument - though if, at the first tug, there was resistance to the cloth coming loose from her flesh at all, he would let it sit a while longer and allow her to have the soap to wash the rest of her.  He wasn\'t a monster, but he wanted to be sure she wasn\'t going to be getting sick from the wounds, either, so the sooner he could see what he was dealing with, the better he\'d feel.

When the shirt finally was removed, Freddy took the bloody, dripping thing and walked it hastily to the nearby washing tub, then he returned to her side.  She was hunched forward, allowing him a clear view of the topmost strap marks, and what he saw caused him to gasp again.  He cursed himself with a very subtle, "Shit, sorry," as soon as he did, knowing he wouldn\'t be offering her any sort of decent reassurance by reacting to her cuts like that, but he couldn\'t help it.  It was horrific and the thought of a woman inflicting this damage was just... well, it didn\'t bear thinking on, that was for sure.

Clearing his throat with a mixture of embarrassment and awkwardness, he knelt by the tub once more and held out his hand for the soap.  Most of his attention was focussed on the cuts, though, for he was trying to figure out just how he\'d be able to clean them properly without touching them.  It would take a lots of patient sluicing as far as he could tell, but he had the time and there was still more water on the stove boiling, so that he could top the bath up when it started to go cold.

"It all looks quite red - there\'s some yellow gunk in the middle of a few of the cuts," he murmured, commentating for her benefit while he looked the wounds over.  "Hopefully this will wash that away and stop it all from getting worse.  I can\'t see everything clearly yet because there\'s some caked blood I\'ll try and get off but... I\'ll be honest, I don\'t want to touch you because it\'ll hurt too bad.  I\'ll do my best but... we may just have to settle for lots of soapy water running over it all and another couple of baths tomorrow to get it all clean, okay?"

As he finished speaking, he leaned around to look her in the eye at last, a frown of concern upon his face showing how intimidated he was by this whole process.  The thought of her enduring it left him pale.  No matter what he did, it was going to hurt, but he would do his best to keep the pain to a minimum.  He would try with his hand - and make contact around the lashes - but he anticipated he\'d soon be getting up to retrieve a cup to pour soapy water over her.  That would hurt (of course), but it would also dislodge anything nasty more efficiently than him simply splashing at her would.

He really hoped she didn\'t end up hating him after this.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2008, 12:15:49 PM »
It all hurt, very badly, but Ryanna gritted her teeth against the pain, knowing it only would have been worse if she waited.  Yes, the pain would be much worse.  So, keeping that in mind, Ryanna bit her lip, and stiffened herself against the water as it seethed against the still open wounds.  And when he said sorry, Ryanna managed to grumble that it was alright, that it had to be done, though she doubted much of it was audible.  Before Ryanna had just disliked Maracatte.  Now there was definitely hatred for the woman festering inside her, as surely as the wounds had been festering on her back.

Ryanna tensed again at the scrubbing, repeating over and over again (half mentally, half very quietly in a mumble) that this pain was a good thing.  She was getting clean and better.  Clean and better.  Clean and better.  Dammit, ouch, clean, better.  The young woman managed to twist her head, trying to look at her back as Freddy dealt with it.  It was very nice of him, to be doing this.  Helping her of all people.  They had not seen one another since that night.  Though it wasn’t long ago, it felt like it.  Ryanna blamed Maracatte for soiling that bit of happiness.  Bitch.

“Go ahead and do….”  Ryanna took in a deep inhale of breath as water hit one cut hard, that breath ending in a hiss, “what you need to do.  A little pain now is better than a lot of pain later.”  Ryanna tried sitting so he could better get to her whole back, squirming before her shins ended up on the bottom of the tub, Ryanna’s arms resting on the rim of it as she made her back as much like a table as possible. “Does this help?”

It was an awkward position, but would give him the most reach on her back, which is what Ryanna aimed for.  She was thinking as she held this pose.  What could she say?  Was there anything?  Was there some tidbit she could drop, that would allow the guards to look and would eventually lead back to Maracatte?  Perhaps…. Ryanna remembered quite suddenly the rumors about Lady Elena Maracatte being very ill, close to death even.  Funerals.

Maybe, just maybe, Ryanna could say something that Maracatte could not trace back to her.  Having a member of the Guard in her house was dangerous enough as it was, Ryanna realized, but it was already too late for that one.  If Ryanna played this right…..  She would need more time to think.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2008, 12:24:06 AM »
He looked at the wounds now laid entirely to bare before him and gritted his teeth.  He\'d got that cup after all, to help wash things away with as gentle a force as he could, but her current position offered new possibilities.  "Yes, that\'s good, but I think I need a wash cloth - I\'d like to remove anything still clinging, now that it\'s softened up.  Do you have one?"

There were still clots of blood and skin stuck determinedly to the edges of the cuts, despite his efforts at tipping water over it to dislodge everything.  He\'d not had access to anything below the waterline before now, either.  Following her instructions, he found a cloth that would be appropriate and then set about swiping the more solid sections away, scrubbing as gently as possible at every crusted remnant.

The water was beginning to turn very pink due to all the blood he\'d already washed away and some of the sections he\'d inadvertently re-opened with his ministrations.  This was something he hadn\'t anticipated and which filled him anew with anger and frustration as he continued.  He needed to distract himself, for the sight of her beautiful back weeping blood as he scrubbed at it only filled him with a futile and incapacitating hatred.  It would do him no good.

"So... if you won\'t tell me who did this to you, could you at least tell me why?  I mean, you\'re a bit talkative at times but that\'s not a crime that warrants this sort of treatment, meaning your attacker believed something really bad of you.  Something I don\'t believe worthy of this sort of retaliation but... there must have been something that triggered this?" he queried quietly, his voice earnest. He glanced towards her bowed head but was quickly focussed on what he was doing, neither expecting her to answer nor make eye contact.  It was just something to say so he could keep going.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2008, 12:23:08 PM »
A wash cloth!  Why hadn’t she remembered it sooner!  A wash cloth was always needed, a bath necessity, so Ryanna quickly cleared up the mystery of where one was located (behind where the soap was, actually), keeping her position despite how uncomfortable it was quickly becoming.  Oh well.  She would have to grin and bear it.  There were other thoughts on her mind, though Ryanna actually concentrated on the pain as he started washing more, and she started bleeding through.

It kept her mind on Maracatte, and how dangerous that vicious woman actual was.  All the rumors were true, it seemed.  All those terrible rumors…. The rumors!  Another idea floated to her mind, and Ryanna turned her head to the side, looking towards the window on the front facing wall of the house, seeing nothing but darkness out there.  If one of Maracatte’s people were listening…. Hopefully they felt the same way as Ryanna in the matter, but were just too chicken to do anything themselves.  That had to change.

The next question made her heart stop for a moment, Ryanna holding her breath in hopes he did not really ask that.  But he did.  Closing her eyes, Ryanna breathed out slowly, trying to gather her calm.  Freddy asked.  Ryanna could not deny him the answer to this.

“Remember how I said I was visiting some friends at the Gulbrand farm?  Well…. I wasn’t visiting friends.  I was posing as a servant of Dag Gulbrand’s benefactor and used that to snoop around all of his finance ledgers and files and papers.  It was not Gulbrand or Weiss who did this.”  Ryanna quickly added that last sentence in, making sure that was perfectly clear.  Neither of those men had anything to do with it.  With all of that intelligence in the hands of Magnus and his people, Dag and Weiss would have enough to deal with.

What could be revealed… Ryanna was still mentally sifting through all of the data she had in her brain, trying to figure out what would be vague enough it could not be traced back to her, but at the same time would lead to Maracatte through independent investigation.  There was only one thing Ryanna had thought of so far, but it seemed far fetched.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2008, 10:17:30 PM »
Freddy frowned, putting the pieces together slowly.  He didn\'t recall her saying she\'d visited a friend on the Gulbrand farm at all, but he wasn\'t going to correct her.  He considered it another piece to the puzzle, for that matter.

"But... someone found out you were spying and... did this to you because of it?" he offered warily.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2008, 10:26:30 PM »
"Yes."  Ryanna sighed again, wishing there had been some sort of warning that this could happen.  Oh wait, there was a warning, but that was more along the lines of Dag raping her if he found her out, or Weiss killing her, neither of which happened.  If Magnus had had his nose into his brother\'s business dealings a little more beforehand, Ryanna might have learned about talks with Maracatte, and known to avoid the farm that day, or to decline the risky task all together.

Ryanna cringed as he hit a rather sore spot, and another sentence slipped out of her mouth because of it.  It was the only way she could think to point him, and Ryanna felt terrible for not being able to just tell him the woman\'s name and let it be over with.

"Have you ever looked at the Talonists?  There \'ave been some hush hush burials...."

It was a start.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2008, 11:27:20 PM »
He raised a single eyebrow, sensing that she was alluding to something more than just making inane chatter to distract herself from the pain she\'d obviously just experienced.  She was giving him a clue, without saying enough to be accused of revealing her attacker.

"You\'re saying... that you\'re not the first person that\'s been attacked by this... person?  And that they\'re... noble?" he mused, trying not to ignore what he was doing, so that he didn\'t hurt her more.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2008, 11:37:43 PM »
“It’s a family thing…”

Ryanna was chewing her lip nervously, staring at the floor now, chin resting on her arms and digging in, giving her a lesser pain to focus on than her back, which was nice.  At some point she needed to wash the cut on her face as well, which she had been doing regularly, but had yet to get to it today.  She had been busy today, getting food so she could survive as a hermit.  Of course, her employer would worry soon, seeing as she came in all scrapped up and asked for time off.  Kysis was too sarcastic to deal with the shop alone, and Rico did not know as much about weaponry as she did.  Ryanna felt terrible for abandoning them on it, but…

“I’ve heard whispers that someone will be buried in two day’s time.”

It wasn’t a quiet burial, the type no one was supposed to know about, but it was still hushed, even if the Grand Chaplain of Talon was speaking at the funeral.  It was Elena Maracatte, the mother of the monster, who was being buried that day.  And, if Ryanna heard the rumors right, it wasn’t natural.  Maracatte’s servants were too scared to talk, but one had visited her the day after Ryanna’s own beating, and had giving a few vague scraps of information, but not much.  In fact, it had taken a day to unravel part of it, and Ryanna was still sifting through the tidbits.  The way that servant had gotten to her was to deliver a warning, that if she talked, it would be worse.  Ryanna already known that, though.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2008, 12:24:24 AM »
"Someone... " he repeated hollowly, searching his brain and realising he had no clue who she might be talking about.  He also got the feeling that she\'d said enough to put him on the track to understanding how this horrible attack had occurred and wouldn\'t be saying any more, that he would have to possibly attend that future funeral to find his answers.  Of course him showing up unannounced at a noble\'s interrment would be a bit obvious, he might need some help from someone else willing to help Ryanna, who was also noble... someone like her boss.

With a frown that was nowhere near as deep with resentment as it might have been even a week ago, Freddy decided to push aside that thought for the time being.  Nothing could be done now - unless Ryanna changed her mind and spoke plainly - and he would do better to help her in the way that he actually could.

"Your back\'s free of bad stuff now," he told her quietly, surveying his handiwork critically.  It was true, there was no more pus or crusted blood in the welts upon her back but most of them were bleeding freely again.  "Would you like me to empty this bath out and run you another, just to relax in?"

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2008, 12:54:26 AM »
“No, thank you.  I… I don’t feel so good.”  Ryanna sat back down on her rear, wincing at the fell of water sitting against the ones that were open again.  The back of her hand was pressed to her mouth.  She was feeling really queasy but managed to swallow it back.  Her stomach felt like a hollow.  Uhg…  Ryanna took a few slow, drawn out breaths, trying to remain calm and not nauseous.  It was hard.

“Can I have a towel?”  Ryanna also gave directions as to where she kept the fluffy things.  They were a present sent by her older sister one year a while back, right after said sister and mother made their escape.  The towels were nice, if a little old.  Ryanna always made sure they were clean and ever fluffy, so it worked.  But right now she just wanted to dry off and get her back bandages.  She could get a small pot of water warming to wash her face up after that was done.

How Freddy could attend said funeral, Ryanna had no idea.  There was a hush hush burial of a servant earlier that week, which Maracatte herself mentioned as part of her threats.  The woman was good at being intimidating.  Ryanna also knew that the guards had good people in the upper ranks, good people who could not be bribed.  She had to keep talking, keep her mind off her stomach and the thoughts of what might happen to her if Maracatte found out she did this, she gave the clues.

“The High Chaplain of Talon is speaking at the funeral.  There will be all nobles there.  I have no idea how you could investigate that without being seen… It was a stupid idea.  Forget I even suggested it.”
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2008, 12:10:23 PM »
He waited until she was out of the bath and as dry as possible - he was thinking about what she\'d said all the while, in an effort to both solve her problem and distract himself from looking too closely at her nudity - before he said anything.  By then, he\'d encouraged her to lay on her stomach on her bed so that he could recline on the mattress beside her (sans boots, of course) and apply the balm that would hopefully mend the cuts sooner and keep them from becoming infected.

"Well... I\'ve been thinking about that.  As a guard, I turn up to the temple between shifts, to worship when I can, so if I just happen to arrive at the start of a funeral I didn\'t know anything about, it wouldn\'t be completely strange for me to ask - politely - who was being buried and if it was okay if I snuck in the back just to have some quiet time, without disturbing the family.  Would it?" he asked her frankly, raising his eyebrows and glancing towards her head as he primarily watched what his hand was doing.

He was sitting up beside her, his legs curled to the right, the bowl in his left hand and the fingers of his right gently prodding salve into her wounds.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2008, 10:13:43 PM »
Ryanna was now laying on her stomach, stretched out, and the bed still seemed enormous compared to her.  For a moment there was a tinge where she wished she was taller.  Not Captain Wilson taller, but... just taller.  Even Alia taller would work.  But Freddy was talking, and the cold, gooey feeling of the balm felt good on her back, so she found herself concentrating on where the burning of open wound stopped and the cold squishy began.

As soon as he was done giving his idea, Ryanna shook her head, trying not to move the rest of her body in the process.  She twisted her head to the side, cheek resting on her folded arms so she could watch Freddy.  He was putting sooooo much attention into this.  If they weren\'t having an important conversation right now, she would break down and tell him thank you a million times or more.  Ryanna felt Freddy deserved it.  Freddy didn\'t just think of her as another ribbon on his shoulder, cared enough to check on her.  If it had been any other time, any other circumstance, Ryanna might have smiled at the thought.

"They don\'t like guards, and they don\'t like commoners.  We are just meat to use and then trash."  There was venom in Ryanna\'s voice, her hatred for the whole Maracatte family really coming out now.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2008, 12:19:16 AM »
His movements slowed as he took this tidbit it, his frown turning impatient.  "I wouldn\'t wear my uniform," he pointed out.  "I\'d just approach and no doubt get told it was a private ceremony and then ask who... oh Hell, save me the trouble and tell me who is being buried in two days\' time, because that\'s all I want to find out by going there anyway," he told Ryanna impatiently.

Freddy wasn\'t the cloak and dagger expert, nor was he used to having to take unnecessary amounts of time to work things out.  If something bothered him, he pursued it doggedly until it was resolved.  "If more is to be discovered, I think I\'d have to employ the help of Lord Liari, as a noble who won\'t be out of place," he finished offhandedly, muttering this bit of information as if it was an inconsequential thought.  Really, he wanted to know her opinion of such a proposal and figured dropping it casually would be the best way to find out.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2008, 04:16:03 AM »
A lieutenant in the guard, in uniform or no, was generally known, especially when of the size and particular looks of Freddy.  There was no mistaking him.  Just up and saying who was getting buried would not do either.  Who was getting buried was not the huge thing.  It was who was attending, and who was buried not long ago that mattered.  Ryanna knew there were funerals held at night, with one or two people present, and all were servants of Maracatte.  It was frustrating as hell, but—

Lord Liari.  Ryanna did not want to get her employer involved.  Surely Maracatte knew Ryanna now worked for Lord Liari.  Surely he would be out of place because of his disdain for the whole noble circle but with that came the thought of the fact he could fend for himself.  If Maracatte ever dared come at him, or someone close to him (which consisted of guards, Rico, and Captain Wilson, all of which could also defend themselves well), she would be in for a surprise, that was for sure.  Ryanna’s mind was racing.

“It might work….  Lady Elena Maracatte is being buried.  I only met her once, but she was a good woman.  Lord Maracatte bought a few maces from my boss to furnish his guards, so it might just work.  But… what about the other burials?  Will you look into it?  Or should Lord Liari while he is there?”

Ryanna gave the information she believed would be necessary for this to take place.  Lord Liari had to know who the funeral was for in order to attend, and that connection, as thin as it was, would help.

“I…. I can manage here, if you want to… to go tell him.”  There was a bow with some arrows under her bed, as well as a wooden shield.  Ryanna had left the sword out by the fire, but she could retrieve that as well.  In fact, Ryanna knew she would not be able to sleep, so she planned to sit by the fire and stare at the door.  Yes.  That should do.  If Maracatte came back, Ryanna would have no qualms with shooting.
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Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Unfortunate Side-effects
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2008, 11:11:04 PM »
Freddy looked somewhat startled by her response.  He\'d gone from fishing around with his comment to receiving a positive confirmation that he wasn\'t prepared for.  "What?  Now?" he asked incredulously, hardly able to imagine himself approaching Lord Liari in the day time, let alone now, at night.  It wasn\'t the time, he wasn\'t mentally prepared to go knocking on his and Lam\'s door in the middle of the night, just to ask the man to do him a favour and go snoop around an upcoming funeral.  That simply wouldn\'t do.

The blonde\'s eyes narrowed on his companion.  "Just what do you expect me to say drove me to such a request, on the spur of the moment, at this hour, then?" he asked admonishingly.  He wanted to tell Kysis exactly what sort of condition Ryanna was in, and if she encouraged him to go see the Lord now, he felt he would have every reason to reveal that information - but he had to be fair and subtly warn her that that would be the standpoint he\'d be forced to take.  "He should know how much pain you\'re in, I suppose," he mused deliberately, making the point unnecessarily clear.