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Jun 18

Chapter 81: The Beating

Chapter 81: The Beating

In Which You Can’t Stay In, But You Can’t Go Out.

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Yazeth: Slum life is difficult and often boring once immediate needs, such as where the next meal is coming from, are met.

The curfew is strict and easily enforced since there are few candles and torches to light the way of any beast living in the slums if they wished to venture out after dark. The tall buildings block most of the moon and sunlight, leaving the slums a dull gray most of the time.

Jozra is no closer to determining if she can, or will, do what needs to be done but the rift between herself and Zander has largely mended. In the meantime, Soquan and Jozra try to fill the days waiting for Zander to ‘find an assassin’ by taking evening strolls and trying to engage others living in the slums in conversation.

Arrin Woodgreen: Four days after Soquan and Jozra’s little ‘moment’ the two find themselves strolling the streets as the afternoon wore on. The two chat quietly to each other as they weave through the buildings. In a quiet moment, Soquan stops to inspect some edible looking herbs growing by an old, rundown building, unaware the ferret hadn’t noticed his pause.

Yazeth: The ferret enters an intersection of streets, more alleyways really, lost in thought before she realizes Soquan has fallen behind. She frowns at herself for ‘losing’ him though she knows he’s quite capable of taking care of himself. She turns to look back for him when she notices a patrol of hares marching down one of the side streets.

Arrin Woodgreen: The hares spot her and they advance at her quickly with weapons drawn, shouting obscenities all the while.

Yazeth: Jozra freezes for a moment; her instinct is to make an escape or at least fight back but it occurs to her before she decides on either that both would probably ruin the chances of getting her friends out of Afrin. She looks back towards Soquan and decides surrender might be best for her friends, through perhaps not for her ribs.

Arrin Woodgreen: It takes Soquan a good ten seconds or so from the moment the scuffle starts for him to notice Jozra missing. He hazards a quick peek around the corner, and does not like what he sees. Quickly, he pulls up his blindfold, picks up his staff and rushes to aid his friend, quickly jumping into the fray.

Yazeth: The hares don’t seem inclined to give Jozra a break for good behavior. If anything, her submissiveness elicits more jeers from the guards and she’s soon knocked to the ground, suffering from heavy kicks delivered by the hares’ long legs. She’s able to curl up in a manner that protects important things — internal organs for example — from the worst of it. With a worried sense of relief she catches a glimpse of Soquan jumping into battle.

Arrin Woodgreen: Staff whirling and striking, Soquan stands protectively over his companion as he uses his staff to create some space between the hares and themselves. “Back off y’gods-damned speciests!”

Yazeth: Unprepared for the otter, several of the hares receive heavy blows before they back off a little to regroup. They look about ready to jump back in and take on both the otter and the ferret but one of the hares stops them.

“Wots this now? A blindfolded otter with a filthy ferret, eh? I think the commander said sommat about these two.” The speaking hare has stripes on his shoulder that Jozra recognizes as a sergeant from their previous run in with hares. “Said sommat about th otter being evaluated and the filth here helpin him out cuz he’s blind. Eh? That right?”

Arrin Woodgreen: The otter bares his teeth and growls at the hare in reply, his staff still aimed towards one of the guards.

Yazeth: A few of the hares glance back and forth between the otter and the sergeant, unsure of what to do next. Jozra takes note of this. Apparently the guards aren’t encouraged or taught to think independently. The sergeant settles back and eyes the otter and ferret. “Guess ‘e must be blind, eh boys? Though mebbe ‘e’s been convinced it’s night like ‘e’s been convinced to associate with that scum, eh?”

Arrin Woodgreen: He continues growling softly, perching lightly on the balls of his feet. “Convinced? Nah, Ah’ve done so willingly all mah life. ‘Least Ah’m not some, dull-witted, narrow-minded, inbred, speciest.”

Yazeth: Jozra hisses just loud enough for the otter to hear and surreptitiously pokes his foot with a claw. No need to get them in any more trouble. The hare merely laughs.

“Aah, no wonder ‘e’s in ‘ere.” The sergeant folds his arms and casts a critical eye at the pair. “’s far as… assessment… goes I think you fail. Th’ commander will hear about this, certainly. Until ‘e decides what to do with you, you’d better stay in whatever hole you’re staying in.”

He makes a nasty face at the ferret. “Course, if I had my way, that scum ‘d be in the labor camp digging… ditches.” A few of the other hares snigger nastily at this comment and Jozra gets a sudden sense of what actually happens in the camps.

One of the other hares pipes up. “If I had my way that filth would just be killed on sight!” His comrades shush him up, though it seems like a sentiment many agree with.

Arrin Woodgreen: The otter’s teeth expose themselves again as he snarls slightly. “You better watch what you say about her in front of me.”

Yazeth: The grin quickly fades from the sergeant’s face. “And you’d better go back to wherever your staying and don’t come out until th’ commander pays a visit. We won’t be so nice if we see you ’round before then again.”

He sneers. “You can keep y’r pet for now, though. Just make sure sh’ don’t let out of line again. …I sugg’st a lead.”

Arrin Woodgreen: The otter’s hackles rise as he bites back a retort, and he manages to stay silent, other than the low rumble in his throat. From his slightly crouched position, he easily picks the ferret up off the ground. He turns to leave, Jozra still in his arms, but pauses, as if remembering something. If he could, he would glare at the sergeant, instead, he spits at his feet before disappearing around the corner.

Yazeth: The sergeant smirks and the guards watch the pair leave. Jozra probably could walk on her own, run even if need be, but she’s in enough pain that she’d rather not. She excuses her concession to weakness by telling herself that they’ve got to keep up appearances for the guards.

Arrin Woodgreen: Once out of sight he still doesn’t put her down, instead, he heads towards the place they’ve been calling home for the last week and a half. “Let’s get you back to the ‘hole’ and fix you up, alright?”

Yazeth: The ferret nods. “That… sounds like a really good idea.”

Arrin Woodgreen: He climbs up the steps of their building as smoothly as he can, careful not to jostle the ferret around too much. “They get you pretty bad anywhere?”

Yazeth: The ferret shrugs a little, unsure as she hasn’t quite had the time to assess the damage. Her ribs feel sore and she tastes blood but she soon tracks that to a cut on her lip.  Zander must have seen them coming from the window because by the time Soquan reaches the hovel the door is wide open and the woodrat is setting up a bed to lay the ferret on.

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan sidesteps through the doorway with the ferret and into the small room. Carefully, he lays Jozra down on the bed Zander had just made up. Once he has her settled, he steps back slightly, eyeing her. “Alright then. Where does it hurt?”

Yazeth: Jozra props herself up and wiggles her toes and then tests the cut on her lip with her tongue. “…If I said ‘all over’ would you worry too much?” She grins a little and proceeds to sit up all the way.

Arrin Woodgreen: The otter quirks an eyebrow at the ferret. “Need I remind you when the last time was that you ‘hurt all over’ was?”

Yazeth: The ferret grimaces at the memory slightly as Zander looks on curiously.  “Yeeeeaaah.  I think… I’m alright. Just bruised and I’ll probably be sore for a while.”

Arrin Woodgreen: Soquan grins toothily, “Feel free to relax until dinner then. We got enough food today.”

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