Closed Time’s Up [Caelum, Hirem]

Lights, camera, and…cue baby.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Time’s Up [Caelum, Hirem]

Postby Rosela on July 27th, 2015, 6:28 pm

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Timestamp: 17th of Summer 515AV

The pain passed and Rosela felt a wave of euphoria pass through her. Casting aside all decorum, she waddled as fast as her swollen ankles would carry her down the street. It was a miracle from Akajia herself that the street was empty, so her shame may be hidden from prying eyes. She tried not to think about how unlikely it was that the entire route should be empty, or that no one was peering out their front windows at the massive, six-armed woman was waddling hurriedly down the street. She could only pray to make it as far as she could before the next contraction-

What felt like iron bands clutched around her belly, making her stumble and fumble at an iron gate next to her. A high whimper escaped, but it was all she would allow. Not only for her pride, but-

The contraction eased and passed, bringing a shudder of relief through her body. Again, she resumed her trek to the other side of the city’s third tier. While it would certainly be embarrassing for a stranger to see her in this state, it would be nothing compared to the horror that would descend if word got back to Likhren, her wretched Talvis, that she’d gone into labor. It had been hard enough to drive him off every time he came by to check on her, both of them knowing full well he had the Oathmaster on his side.

If she could just make it to Alements; if she could just make it to Alements…

Her luck of the twilight ran out as she passed Valkalah Academy. Not only did it run out, it plummeted. A young Konti who Rosela immediately recognized as one of those who worked in the Oathmaster’s Tower, walked casually out of one of the smaller buildings, flipping through a book. Rosela straightened as much as she could and attempted to act natural. Perhaps she wouldn’t recognize –

“Rosela! How are you? Still not popped yet, hm?” The young woman jogged up cheerfully, snapping her book closed. “You’re looking a bit pale; are you eating right?”

Rosela wanted to claw bright, happy eyes right out of her skull. Spine rigid and bracing for the next contraction, she leaned as casually as she could manage against a light post. ”I am a bit peckish, thought I’d take in some night air and get something.” The 'to eat' went unsaid as another contraction settled in and Rosela struggled to stay perfectly still. If she could murder this young Konti in the very streets, she would have, if only she could make it to Alements.

“Good, that’s great to hear that you’re staying mobile. Not many women realize how important that is…” She trailed off and peered into Rosela’s face. “Are you sure you’re feeling well? There's some strange things happening in the city lately, so it's important to keep your strength up.”

”I'm fine.” Was all Rosela could grit out. She could feel sweat beginning to form across her forehead.

The Konti frowned, then oddly sighed and gave Rosela pitiful look. In a moment of terror, Rosela wondered if she’d been found out, even as the contraction finally started to pass. “Listen,” The Konti began, shifting uncomfortably on her feet. “I know being a Nakivak can be a mixed bag of emotions, but I really hope you can view us at the Tower as only having the best intentions. We’re here to help you.”

Her words felt like mud in Rosela’s face, and she wished a fiery, painful death upon every soul in that tower. ”I’m fine, really. Thank you. I’m…I have to go.” Her words and smile were strained, but it was the best she could do.

The Konti smiled sadly and nodded, hugging her book to her chest. Rosela saw with disgust that it was titled, ‘The Happy Mother’. “Take care?”

Rosela didn’t return the sentiment, but took off down the street with as much speed and dignity as she could. As she turned the corner, the dignity lessened for the sake of speed, and she spared more than a few glances over her shoulder. There were more people here, and she feigned several casual rests against fences and walls as the lighted porch of Alements drew closer. Almost there...

Another contraction hit as she climbed the steps, almost making her stumble. Through the haze of pain, she only half heard the offer of help from behind her, and focused single-mindedly on the front door. Then, all at once, she was through. The familiar lights, the tables, the low murmur of people, it seemed like an oasis in a desert of pain. A dark-haired woman passed with a rag in her hand and Rosela’s arm shot out to lock onto her upper arm. The woman, Elise, if Rosela remembered correctly, spun on her in alarm. The end finally in sight, she couldn’t hide the tremble in her fingers. ”Caelum…please.” She kept her voice low, but there was no hiding her desperately pleading tone.
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Rosela
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