Grinding Away Apr 3, 2020 17:03:50 GMT -6
Post by Alma on Apr 3, 2020 17:03:50 GMT -6
((Just three posts to get them back to x.0))
She never knew what to expect upon returning to the kennel.
When she was lucky, it might be quiet as it ever was, the main door sealed and her personal room untouched, her beasts waiting patiently in their pens and cages. Such times were to be treasured,seemingly rarer than finding a bag of forgotten credits in the street. Had it been so this time upon entering, she might have taken both nullifiers to the small room she had claimed for herself, content to shove the books and the nullifiers onto her crowded desk for a bit of research before using them.
Had the door been flung wide open, it was usually accompanied by a soft-skin that would start to screech at her the moment she neared them. Sometimes there was little enough time to press whatever credits they demanded in hand before she would have to rush out again to grab some opportunistic beast that the tat-lung had freed in for reasons she did not ever begin to understand.
This time, the door was closed. It allowed her to consider hesitating using the nullifier, doubts returning now that the curiosity the old commander had inspired was not so immediate. A tat-lung was no hated dragon, a crafted beast that was rude to be sure, but she had heard of other methods that worked on crafted beasts without eliminating all or part of their mind and memory. The memory of being caught, of being toyed with would prevent her from discarding the nullifiers all together, but perhaps…
And then she found what waited for her behind the door.
The hallway was a mess of sand and dead spars of wood jutting up from miniature dunes. A few clumps of red hair randomly blossomed from sand, and more than a few withered vines had crawled across them, but it was the trail that caught her eye, something that had been seemingly dragged into one of the doors.
She followed it, sparing only a peripheral look at the doorway that led to Sid’s room as she followed the obvious path, the only door that was still open. She would not put it past him to have done all of this, the spears and vines and hair clear proof of his involvement. But how had he gotten the sand to flood the room? He had never shown any ability to manipulate nongrowing things.
The trail ended at a shut door, the sand somehow piled up the highest here. Opening it required clearing some of it away, and she could see that the metal had been scoured by sand and larger claws, a few snapped pieces of wood lying under the sands there. The door opened slowly after that, and she was greeted with a loud click and sound of grinding stone.
Assuming a trap, not wondering how Sid had managed it, Haix threw herself backwards and to the side. She had a moment to wonder if the nullifiers, packed with tissue and trapped in their little box, might awake to the movement and think she was the beast. Might chew through the paper and plastic as easily as flesh and bone to reach her.
She had to fight the urge to throw them down the hall.
She lay flat on the ground for a second, watching the open door for any sign of the trap. The clicking continued, taking an almost inquisitive tone and the gnashing of stone became interwoven with clacks. The clicking halted then, replaced with a wheeze of pain, and Walker bounded out of the doorway only to stop and stare at Haix, his tail wagging so furiously that his entire rear moved along with it. Then the gem drake stopped for the briefest of moments, just long enough for her to be somewhat sure there was no obvious crack in his body, then he began to burrow into the sand.
More confused than worried at that point, Haix pushed herself upright as Serj waddled out into the hallway, dragging his long tail in the sand. As he furiously clicked nonsense, waving his chubby arms around, Haix could see the places where dark bruises were beginning to form, and asked him a question that was a gibberish to him as his words were to her.
He halted, silent as she repeated the question, pointing at the bruises. While there was no understandable reply, he seemed mollified and gave a few clicks.
Leaving the gem drake to dig in the sand, she and Serj walked back to her small room near the entrance, and she looked him over, cleaning and applying bandages to a few scratches on his soft hide.
She left the books and one nullifier in the room, as well as a decent amount of sand that she and the amphadron had tracked in. She would clean after she had dealt with Sid.