Author: Revans Rubber Duckie PM
Ethi is an experiment put on a test run. Her job seems simple enough: escort a noble, return with any news. But when she and her handler, Xan, are attacked on the way, she finds they are all apart of a bigger game, with their lives as the game pieces.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Tragedy - Chapters: 44 - Words: 127,876 - Favs: 2 - Updated: 08-12-12 - Published: 09-16-11 - id: 2952950
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Get moving. I'm going to teach you the reason why we call you pukes."
-Weapons Master Gor
"This won't work, I hope you know that," a voice muttered under it's breath, it's owner hidden by the shadows. The only light in the small musky room was that of a tiny lamp, overlooking a table where a bloody body lay, trying it's hardest to breath. Occasionally, when some odd tool or needle would prod or poke it, the body would twitch and allow a faint moan to escape.
"It will. Don't worry. It worked on another one, did it not?" Another voice, seemingly more cultured, replied absentmindedly.
The owner of the cultured voice seemed to have been doing this job longer than the other, for he seemed impervious to the scent of rotting,burning, and charred flesh. The coppery scent of blood seemed to be a part of his lifestyle with how close he leaned over the body. His gaunt features pulled tightly into determination. The small mop of hair cleverly stayed out of his eyes, allowing him to work to his fullest potential.
"Caz, this isn't right. I mean-"
"Hand me the scalpel, Illian. There must be something in this body that makes it tick like this," the cultured voice—Caz—cut the other voice, Illian, off as though he had not heard him speak at all. Promptly, Caz began to cut the body's thumb open, down to the fleshy part, ignoring it's weak protests.
"Wondrous. Truly wondrous. Do you see that, Illi? It's healed up completely—not a single scar or marking to show there had ever been anything there. The last one didn't do that, did it? This one...this one is one of those special ones, isn't it?"
"Stop it. It's faced enough!"
Caz looked up from his work, scalpel and pincher hovering just above the hand, "Faced enough? Faced enough?" he straightened himself out, "I think you need to screw your head back on. This...this wonder can never face enough! Illian, do you realize what we have stumbled upon? Do you realize what we can do with such a being? Imagine what we could do with an army of them!"
Illian brushed a few stray locks of his hair back into place with a once white glove, his features growing dark, almost emotionless, "Leave the boy alone. This isn't what we had planned at all. This hadn't even occurred to us when we first found them. You've tortured him enough."
Caz blinked, coming back to firm reality, "Now you recognize it as a boy? Only a few seconds ago you had called it an it. You really must set your moralities straight."
"Set my moralities straight? Have you seen yours? Better yet, do you even have any?" Illian growled out, his mouth forming into a sneer. His hand slammed down onto the table, causing the boy on the table to open his eyes at the sudden outburst, "Do you have an idea what this is going to do to them? Do you know what they'll grow up as?"
"Are you finished?" Caz asked calmly, looking at his old friend expectantly. He slowly placed the tools down, taking a glance at the boy before returning his gaze to Illian.
"Yes, finished. I'll admit you have valid points, but you are missing the big picture here," Caz started to pull off his latex gloves, throwing them away in a nearby waste basket. He sighed, walking around the table, unstrapping the body before coming to a halt in front of the younger man.
"Yes, what I do is unorthodox, but how else are we to learn about them? How else will we learn how they tick? Their limitations? They're a completely different breed, perhaps even species from us! The possibilities are endless, Illi. I can't just let the opportunity like this pass by me. You yourself are a man of action. Why are you against this now? When you discovered the first one, you were ecstatic about discovering all of this."
"Yes, but we also didn't cut them open for fun! Learn their limitations, fine, but do it some other way! Test them, put them into ordinary homes, just anything other than this!"
Although Illian wasn't particularly tall, he was half a head taller than Caz, and twice as broad. He was still in his navy blue militant uniform. Over the years it had collected various medals and golden coloured decorations to accent the clothing. His sword, finely crafted and decorated, mostly there for show, hung professionally and proudly at his side, attached to a simple gold buckled black belt. A blood spattered white gloved thumb found its way between the belt and and his black pants, looking quite intimidating.
"Relax, Illi. If it'll make you feel better, I suppose we could try this...testing theory of yours. It'd be interesting, really. Though we would need more to rally to our cause. Your brother, perhaps? Maybe even your sister. Regardless, we would have to make some kind of pretence for it. Ah, how shall we do this? Some kind of organization, maybe. Yes, yes. That will do. We get our shipments from slavers, correct?"
Caz started pacing around, his white laboratory coat, or what once could have been white, fluttered around behind him. His hands clasped behind his behind his back, leaning forward slightly deep in thought. Illian sighed, knowing it would take awhile for him to organize his thoughts. The man always did this. Get an idea into his head and never rest until it was formed to perfection.
"No, no. That won't do. Perhaps...? Yes, that would do but...no. Ah, maybe...?" Caz started mumbling to himself, frowning thoughtfully. "Say, Illi, do you think an orphanage will work? Most slaves are, and for some reason most of our subjects seem to be young children. I wonder why that is?"
"I guess. You're the one who knows everything. Up to you. My job is finished so long as you stop this."
Caz turned on his heel, looking mildly surprised, "Done? Your job? Why, it's only begun! You're adequate at mathematics and literature, are you not? I believe you were also a top student in physical education back in the day. Ah, what else were you well at?"
"Swordplay," Illian added, scratching his clean shaven chin as he thought back to those days.
Back then, everything had been so easy and simple. There was no finances, no job, no responsibility and, most important, no mutated children. It had all just been fun and games back then. Just a simple boy looking for something to occupy his time and keep him entertained until supper time. Nothing was that easy anymore. No, now he had a house rent to pay, a job as a military officer, and a responsibility to nearly everything there possibly could be any for. Oh, and how could he forget. There were definitely a lot of mutated children.
"Right, right," Caz waved his hand casually, "You can teach them that. I'll take care of sciences, I suppose. We'll find a few others later on. I think it'll keep us in progress for awhile. We'll be careful not to get too involved."
"What of the registry? We'll have to pass an inspection."
Caz laughed, and smiled charmingly, "Not at all. All we need to do is introduce our little friend here," he patted the boys head gently, "to the main houses and we'll be able to get a recommendation by one of them. That should take care of inspection. Who knows? Perhaps if they like our plan enough, they'll even sponsor us."
Their country, and those surrounding, were ruled by five main houses, each for one of the bordering countries and theirs itself. Ikasa was the household to which ruled their country of Crebar. Not legally, of course. No real government had been established in any of the countries, but certain houses, the more elegant and wealthy ones, had taken it upon themselves to keep their countries in order. Really it was more like clans. Very large, civilized and extensive clans.
Not too long ago, perhaps only fifty years ago if that, there had been a war between all countries. Or rather, there had been one between the magi. No one was really sure what had sparked the feud, but it hadn't ended kindly for any of them. Each country had their own colour to differentiate where each mage was from, and what they were studying. Crebar, being in the middle of all countries, had taken the brute of it. Most of the country was just ashes and rubble, though the people were trying their hardest to recover. Not many could afford to move to a new country, and supplies were few enough as it was.
Even though that war had ended a few years ago, two more had passed by, having ten year intervals, each lasting a minimum of five years. Rumours were going around stating there was another brewing. The Ikasa household was trying it's hardest to negotiate terms, but it obviously wasn't going too well. Dra'schon was a warlike country, ruled by the Vesarm house, and unless they got what they wanted, war was surely to break out. Many wondered if Crebar would be able to meet up to the demands, or if would even survive another war.
However, Caz figured if he could manage an entire army of these special beings, then even if a war did come, he would be safe. Everyone in this country would be. None would be able to stand up against his army. Only the most heartless, ruthless people would be willing to shoot at a child, and even then they would be surprised if such a child came back from the seemingly dead. They would think demons had been enrolled into the Crebarian army, easily intimidating any faction willing to wage war with them into hesitancy.
Smiling, Caz turned to the officer of the guard, "Yes, it would most definitely be something great. Something unimaginable. Could you imagine how many would cower at the sight of bloodied bodies coming back to life? How many would fall into our hands? Would join us?" He laughed, an almost insane kind of laughter, "It would be so wonderful! An entire personal army, children to have as my own, life to create and explore! Oh, this is so exciting!"
Illian sighed. He did not agree with any of it, but he had no choice but to accept this. It was reality, and no matter how hard he tried, he could not hide from the truth.