Solo Poison iii.

[ KRI ] She thinks me her friend. Part III of a series set in the KRI.

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A city floating in the center of a lake, Ravok is a place of dark beauty, romance and culture. Behind it all though is the presence of Rhysol, God of Evil and Betrayal. The city is controlled by The Black Sun, a religious organization devoted to Rhysol. [Lore]

Poison iii.

Postby Maore on February 26th, 2020, 3:04 am

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winter 30th
Today Ennoia had come with the dawn, arriving on the cusp of her transformation and observing it. Ciraaci didn’t necessarily like that, but she said nothing against it, merely adjusting the way the shift clung to her long limbs. She kept against the wall across from the door, as was tradition for Ennoia’s visits, and folded her hands in front of herself. Her jade eyes had a secret vacancy behind them but it was sent away and wits were gathered as Ennoia took his customary seat and she gradually, warily, relaxed.

“Good morning,” Ciraaci said. Over their past few visits, Ennoia had enthused the importance of practising the meagre Common he’d been teaching her. She’d had her greetings and farewells pretty memorized, though her enunciation could use so very, very much improvement and it would take some time to wholly break her habit of ‘flailing her arms’ whenever she spoke Common. Even now her hands fought the urge to rise and wave through expressing the emotions behind the word to the nuanced meanings it had when the ethaefal spoke. It was hard to break such a deeply ingrained instinct.

“It is a good morning, isn’t it?” Ennoia asked. As he commonly did, he reminded of a well-fed tomcat with the self-assured way he splayed while he sat and smiled like he didn’t care. Ciraaci could never be reminded more of their differences than when he expressed this cocky aspect of his personality. “I was given the opportunity to ask about our little Common talk, and I have been given the right to tutor you in Common, to an acceptable degree.”

His smile was poison, a wicked curling acidity that tucked itself behind the nice twist of his lips. Ciraaci overlooked it and expressed excitement for that fact. Learning Common would be an invaluable tool for surviving her captors. She thought of how she might better answer their questions but didn’t consider the torture they may put her through. A tiny part of her, the very loudly dismissive part that sounded a lot like the little Syna-loving voice living in the back of her head, assured her that Ennoia handling her case like this would protect her from the previous horrors the interrogators had released on her, the things she would never willingly remember.

“When do I get to start?” Ciraaci asked, returning to Common--as should have been expected; the Common sentence was currently beyond her and she had no will to resist the fluctuations in her body language that instilled depth into her words.

“As soon as you eat,” Ennoia said, his smile stiff. He held out a clothed bundle, allowing a red apple and a handful of shelled nuts to be uncovered. There was a piece of dry, baked bread and, when she darted a quick look for anything else, she noted the canteen on his hip. At least her captors wouldn’t get the pleasure of pouring sour water down her throat to soothe the dry cough.

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the void behind my teeth.
 
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Poison iii.

Postby Maore on March 4th, 2020, 2:49 am

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Ciraaci ate eagerly. Nuts and fruit were rare staples in the diet she’d been keeping, once that consisted mostly of soup and dried husks of flatbread. The apple was crisp and dry, refreshing when paired with the first sips of lukewarm water, and the nuts were earthy, all sensations that the ethaefal couldn’t help but appreciate in these hard times. Ennoia watched her ate, like he always did, like the sight was peerlessly entertaining or informative and he couldn’t get enough. She never had the strength to ask about it, but she had her suspicions that his gaze was not, in any way, wholesome. If she had to determine his character based entirely on the way he stared at her, she would say that he was a covetuous little crow and that he wanted to pick her bones clean.

The thought of her bones reminded her of the throbbing remnant of horn that had been enceremoniously broken from her skull, and not for the first time did she wonder where it had gone once that v a g i k of a woman had finished her vile deed. Did it crumble to dust like she’d heard ethaefal do once they’d died? Did it get thrown into the crowd and lost under the stampede of feet? Though Ciraaci despised her god-given form, she did miss the crowning ornament. It completed her curse. Now, she could only believe she looked sad.

Strange that Ennoia would so blatantly covet such a sad creature, but the men of this city were very backwards in ways that surpassed the haughty inbred sons and daughters of Kenash.

“Done?” Ennoia asked once she’d stuffed the last of the nuts into her cheek. She nodded eagerly, consciously choosing not to speak aloud and risk spitting out her hard-earned treats--although ‘hard-earned’ implied more manual labour and not the emotional exhaustion of having been a breeding slave to Kelvic for the entertainment of the human race.

Oh, Ciraaci realized as she thought over her own predicament. She felt like she’d stumbled over an unintended epiphany, the sudden apotheosis of subconscious thought into fully realized information. I hate humans. This was a realization that shed a lot of light regarding her treatment here and the way she’d acted to humans while in Endrykas. She hadn’t realized the depth of her spite until now, looking in the face of a young human male who pretended like he’d learned Pavi in a socially acceptable way but who Ciraaci was certain had been a slave of his. That seemed like something the humans here would do.

That was something the Drykas and Akalaks might do too, but Ciraaci carefully avoided those realizations. Hypocrisy was the tool of human men, not Drykas and not Ethaefal.

“What can I learn today?” Ciraaci asked once she’d answered his original question and had a moment to consider her conflicted (not really) feelings towards his people.

“Something simple,” said Ennoia, a man woefully ignorant to the depth of Ciraaci’s thoughts. “Show me how you have improved your greetings.”

Those being things she’d learned in Black Rock lifetimes ago, it was the most she had remembered to hold onto during her time spent alone with Myrians on the island and Drykas in Endrykas, Ciraaci opened her mouth and began reciting the things he’d had her start on during one of their quieter days together.

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Poison iii.

Postby Maore on March 4th, 2020, 3:40 am

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Her greetings were fairly standard, like ‘good morning’ had been. Hellos, how are you’s, hey’s, greetings, welcomes, and the lone farewell that she’d clung onto with desperate fingers. It was her favourite word; farewell meant a lot of great things when used for and by Common-fluent speakers.

Ennoia watched her, as Ennoia was wont to do, and Ciraaci enunciated her soft consonants and hushed vowels. Her accent was very distinct, a rich Cyphrus lilt, some inflection picked up inadvertly from visits to Kenash. Her diction carried a sense of age. Pre-history influenced the way her tongue curled out some of the words, modern and middle Pavi accents long since merged into something distinctly Ciraaci, though in recent years it leaned more towards modern. Like sun-born Ethaefal often were, Ciraaci was a hard creature to accept change and growth, but even she had to adapt to the furthering times.

“Could be better,” Ennoia said. If Ciraaci were weaker, she would be stricken by the dismissive wave of his hand. However, Ennoia didn’t tell her if she was good enough or not. She knew that she could be, and that’s what she’d show him. “Can you tell me who you are.”

This was something she had no experience with. Who she was? Ciraaci waved at herself and intoned her name, flicking out the final vowel with a caress of absolute and desperate appreciation for the meaning. That’s what he meant?

“No, no. Like this.” Ennoia had snorted and then said a line of Common that Ciraaci couldn’t catch. She did recognize the sounds of his name but the rest of it was a meaningless stream of uncertainties. He huffed out an irritated sound and she wondered why he would bother trying to teach her something if the thought of doing so was so bothersome for him. Her brow furrowed.

“Today’s not the right day for this,” he said after a moment. They spent so long in these quiet ticks that Ciraaci was ever always at a loss for a way to break the quiet. She was growing to hate it. “I will be coming tomorrow and we’ll take a look at some words for you to learn. I have not taught before.” The ethaefal supposed that was meant to be an explanation for his poor temperament. She opened her mouth to say something dry, a mean little comment that would have had someone chuckle had she muttered it in the passing of a visitor to Endrykas, but she caught herself before she could. It wasn’t like Ennoia was her friend. They hardly even talked beyond these strangely impersonal interactions, but when she thought of it, she was more and more unsure that her feelings for Ennoia, if not his entire race, were contrary to what her conscious thoughts dictated she must feel about him.

This stumped Ciraaci enough to withhold her snappish remark and left Ennoia stewing in his mopey silence. She didn’t even have the idea to internalize her condemnation of his habitual brooding today, so caught up in working over her feelings.

“Copper miza for your thoughts?” Ennoia asked her when the silence became too much even for him.

“Sorry for taking the fun out of the lesson,” Ciraaci murmured. A lie; she hoped her glassy eyes and vacant tone carried. She couldn’t tell whether it did, only that when she looked at him, Ennoia had adopted a sneer. He often made these faces, she simply remained where she’d stood, just in case.

“That’s fair,” said the human. “We can have fun tomorrow.”

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Poison iii.

Postby Maore on March 4th, 2020, 4:20 am

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winter 30th
He left for the day not long after that, leaving her with a fresh glass of water and a promise to see her again ‘tomorrow’ that she took surprisingly deeply.

The ethaefal relaxed once he was gone, taking with him his warm candlelight and intimidating chair, and she worked on nursing her water until the glass was empty.

The midday bell came and went, with it two guards dropping off a tray of food for Ciraaci to eat. On it sat the typical bread, but today paired with a strange grey paste that smelled musty, like the earth or mulched leaves. Wet and damp. Moist. It smelled the way swampy mud might feel, but it looked like shyke. Literally. There was another apple and a fresh cup of water, but she was more fascinated by the food.

The paste couldn’t have been a butter and all attempts to ask about it of her stony faced guards in the corridor were long since found useless, so she skirted around trying out the paste, instead going straight for the apple, but the taste of it was off in a way she immediately found unpleasant. It didn’t stop her from continuing to eat, as the needs of the body dictate she try, but her nose wrinkled every time she went in for a bite, and she heard the occasional guffaw of the waiting guards. They must have been watching her, but when she made an offensive gesture with her free hand, they were ignorant to the meaning behind it.

Just as well. People had been killed for less, as the Myrians once said.

She moved onto the bread and paste eventually, tired of thinking about it and unable to lose the upswell that had her riding the wave of carelessness bordering on absolutely reckless. She was elated to try out Common tomorrow, when Ennoia would return--and hopefully in less moody spirits-- that she initially dismissed the taste of the paste and bread as unimportant.

Being drugged was not something Ciraaci had been anticipating in her captivity. Her caretakers had resorted to it early on, when her days were panicked and pained, but it had been some time and she’d become complacent without the threat of regular drugging to weaken her resolve. She knew what it was when the sensations rolled over her skin. She recognized it. Kenash had been many things but count it as unexpected that her experiences as a traveler there had equipped her to recognizing her experiences in this cell.

Rather than fight it, as she should have, Ciraaci settled in, accepting the inevitable and hoping that her captors would be kind with her body. In the long term she knew she’d come back whole if she didn’t put up a fuss just as she knew that she’d come back wheezing and limping if she did fight.

Her last cognizant moments were a flurry of motion as guards spilled into the cell followed by unidentifiable people. This felt like a breeding day. They were getting creative with forcing her participation.

*


Ciraaci was not returned to her cell until far late that night and she lay awake on her bed of hay until noon.

Ennoia had never come.

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the void behind my teeth.
 
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