Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dragonblight 02

Four months ago:

Morning. Consciousness returned. Consciousness meant pain. There was always pain. Pain was better than oblivion. The dead girl willed her limbs to move, her body to rise from the wool blanket she had spread on the frozen ground the night before. "Happy, happy, joy joy," she whispered to herself. "I am a cheerful affront to nature."

She rolled up the blanket, lashed it to her rucksack, and dug out a tin cup and a spoon. She looked around, searching for some breakfast. She had arrived at Agmar's Hammer late the night before, too tired to do more than drop her horse off with the stablemaster and find an open spot to drop her blanket in a field of snoring orcs and tauren. There, over on that small hill. Smoke from a cooking fire, and soldiers queueing up. She threw her rucksack over one shoulder and walked over to join the line.

Reaching the peon serving what she suspected was supposed to be oatmeal out of a black cauldron, she held out her cup. The peon reached out with a ladle then, noticing her skeletal hand, stopped. He looked up at her and took a half step back, blanching at the empty eye sockets staring at him. "No. No deaders. You... you not eat here."

"Oh, for fuck'ss sssake," she replied. "Just give me some damn breakfast."

"No deaders," the orc repeated. "Sergeant's orders. You go away."

"What sergeant? What the hell is thiss? Sergeant?! Sergeant!"

She could hear grumblings behind her. Hungry Warsongs and Taunka and other less stupid orcs and tauren realizing that the line had stopped moving. Tough. She was a member of the Horde, one who had seen a lot more action and spilled a lot more blood in its service than most of them. Let them wait.

An old orc with sergeant's stripes on his Warsong Offensive tabard came out from behind a pile of crates. He glared at her and demanded, "Get out. We don't serve your kind here."

The dead girl defiantly placed her fists on her hips and glared up at him. "You Warsongss need to learn some fucking mannersss. You aren't chopping wood in Ashenvale anymore." She could feel the two orcs approaching her from behind, one to either side, but she was not going to be intimidated. "I'm a Horde soldier, and I will be treated as ssuch."

The sergeant spat on the ground. "Get her out of here." The grunts grabbed her arms. She twisted, lunged - it should have been childishly easy to break free. But dammit these two were attuned to the camp's magical wards. It gave them inhuman strength within the camp walls, and their grip was like iron. She tried to kick the sergeant, but she was off-balance and he sidestepped it. His fist slammed into her solar plexus with the force of a kicking kodo. With a "woof" the air left her lungs. He spat again, this time into her face. "Get this stinking filth out of my mess," he repeated.

They dumped her at the base of the wall, and began with the kicking. She curled in a ball, trying to protect her head and chest. Even so, at least one rib cracked before they lost interest and walked away. It hurt as she lay there gasping, slowly regaining control of her breathing. But so what? It was only pain. There was always pain. Pain was better than oblivion.

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