New Chapter (Current weighing in as Number Fifteen). First Half:
This revolves around some bonding with Karlyn and Medician Deya Beritt. A few insights into backgrounds and just how diligent Beritt is about her duties. (The challenge here was trying to avoid inadvertently falling into the salacious while having Beritt tackle the problem of a still unpredictable ‘patient’. It also allows some leeway in illustrating differing aspects of Karlyn’s character).
“Hello Blondie. I didn’t know you liked climbing trees too,”
“I don’t. But that wound of yours needs checking,”
“Oooh, you going to do that up on a high branch?”
“No. You are going to come down out of your perch,”
“Aww, how kind! Not shouting or throwing sticks at me,” Karlyn now fully awake stared into the sky. “Still about a thousand ‘fore dawn. You can’t wait?”
“Again. No. I have a busy day. Sergeant Erzns is insistent I make contact with our officers by the time we get into that town, and frib’ knows how long that will take,”
“Do they train you LifeGuards to climb trees? You look reasonable up here,”
“Where I come from packs of wolves are not uncommon,”
“Fair enough. Ssso you are going to play with your box afterwards?”
The joke had grown old after the first day; once Beritt had learnt from the Norvan just what ‘box’ meant in elidian slang; he having a comprehensive knowledge of obscenities from the length and breadth of the Oakhostian.
“I could decide to give you a purgative to ensure any remaining poisoning within your body are flushed out,”
Beritt having explained to the jovially inquisitive Fileman Creylan that she had not been converted to tildeltish ways of roosting, then herded Karlyn off to a safe distance before the elidian started to wake up the camp, Beritt sat the girl down at near the bank of the river Herene, slow on its winding its way to their destination of Prendaelyn
“You’re really nice you are Blondie. I haven’t met many nice people,”
“From tales told to me I suppose Elinid is a tough place,”
“S’ orrible. if you’re on the poor side, which most are. Parents’ll sell their kids if they have to. And as for older girls,” she snorted “If you haven’t got a talent for stealing, or get married off to someone with two brass pennies more than your dad, then you’re likely to end up working on your back,” her face grew angry “Or worse,”
“Yeh, I’ve cleaned up after some of that,”
“Did you catch the bastards?”
“Two local sons of merchants. They made the mistake of smirking and saying who their fathers were. That didn’t matter scraith to captain in command; he had served on the slovosskian border. Charged them there and then with sedition through upsetting the peasantry and hung them. Then rode to the fathers told them what he’d done and warned them they too were under suspicion of promulgation. No more problems,”
Karlyn chortled and clapped her hands. Then as swiftly as her face had brightened it grew grave.
“Never get that sort of justice in Elinid. Not for the likes us of the gutters,”
“True for most of the Oakhostian, it was just the Good Lord God’s justice that they happened to be doing their nasty stuff in a place where the LifeGuard had other interests,”
Beritt than cleared her throat, you never knew how folk not drilled in LifeGuard ways would react, to the next question.
“Now I got to check you properly. Alright. That means we slip around that scrabble of vegetation and you strip off, the lot. I got to get very personal, to make sure nothing is lurking,”
Even in the gloom of the deep night Karlyn’s smirk was obvious as she clutched her two hands to her breast.
“Oh Miss Blondie,” she lisped “Whatever do you mean?”
Beritt decided she was would assume Karlyn was being a mischief and not covering up an agitation at such a request.
“There’s always that purgative. It’s a powerfully effective one. Some callous officers have had it administered to be used as ordinance,”
Karlyn snorted out an appreciative laugh, walking swiftly ahead of Beritt, leaving the medician to pick up a trail of discarded clothes.
Beritt found Karlyn was quite a respectable patient, doing as she was instructed, accepting what had to be done
“Lean tough body you got here. Hmm. Old small scars. Thievery then?”
“Yeh! Good enough to keep me out of the brothels!”
The conversation came to an abrupt halt, Beritt sensed a lots of anger; little hell! She could feel in quivering in the girl’s body. Right back to being a medician
“You’ve managed to keep yourself reasonably healthy and quite clean. Good news is no signs of possible ill-humours or lurking natsies. The leg is doing well too,”
In the physical of course. Beritt was hoping, praying that on any other level The Good Lord God would work through The Custodian.
Karlyn smiled, warmly, slowly sat up and flicked at a strand of Beritt’s hair
“Aww, you’re really nice Blondie. Let’s go for a quick swim before the men wake up,”
Beritt had to admit, it was a good suggestion, even in the chill. Anything at the present to ease that simmering out of Karlyn. And just a smidge of relaxation before the battle; or something close to a battle.