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The Farmer Strikes (End)
Sat Dec 30, 2006 02:41 (XFF:

Pigarin bit in his lip, his eyes frowned with concern, as he paced slowly but surely towards the barracks. His first day had been, well, interesting at the very least. Indeed, the Black Tower was everything he had feared it would be, and it was almost funny how much it had been the worst case scenario. The people were harsh and rude, especially the other soldiers, and the expectations were extremely high, more than was fair, and the threat of death was constantly looming. The idea of dying had never really occurred to Pigarin much throughout his life. While he had faced it previously, even in recent days, it had never prompted any real soul searching, no desire to understand more, no need for greater meaning. But now, when it seemed if he did actually die, ceased to exist, simply drift off, here no one would think twice of it.

“Pigarin?” questioned Dyson, his new friend and fellow soldier. The man demonstrated confidence and compassion through his tone, and the kindness in his voice made Pigarin smile. So far, Dyson had been the only one who had stopped to take note of this new recruit, who had thought to inquire into Pigarin’s wellbeing. He wanted Pigarin to succeed, to survive.


“Are you okay?”

Pigarin would have laughed if his throat muscles were working properly. He could say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and perhaps other monosyllabic responses, but for any other requirement, his vocal chords were knotted. No, in fact, he was no okay. He was terrified. After hearing of all the rules, all the dangers, he couldn’t really see why he was there. There was nothing that was alluring about the Tower, for it was definitely not the sanctuary he had first envisioned. But was there any other possibility? Could there be any other freedom? He would surely die out in the world as surely as he would within the grounds of the Tower. At least, in this hell, he could have a chance.

The question was left unanswered, but silence itself was answer enough. No doubt, Dyson, who was rather astute, would have sensed what was going on inside this young Cairhienin boy’s head. Not that he really needed any skills of perception, for the transparency of Pigarin’s emotions was apparent on his face.

“Perhaps I’ll leave you to get a good night sleep,” Dyson said carefully as they arrived at the barracks. Pigarin nodded in thanks, before leaving his friend behind. The hallway was near empty, he observed while walking down its creaky floor. Pigarin saw an older man in black, much older than he himself, though also a soldier, reading a book. Further down another man stood, though in the dark he could not discern his age. All others were properly readying themselves for bed, or indeed already there. The night was well and truly set in, and lights out would likely be called any minute. Those rules he had known from the beginning, a soldier was expected within his rooms by lights out, or punishments would be given. Within the Black Tower, the guardians were strict and demanded payment for even the smallest infraction.

Sighing more loudly than intended, Pigarin paused with only a few steps till his room. He could hear a slight sound, something of a humming noise, and it took but a moment to realise that it was a voice, perhaps more than one. No doubt whoever was speaking was doing so without caution or control, otherwise Pigarin would not even have heard the whisper. Deciding to ignore it, for there was no way it concerned him; he took another step towards his room. Before he could even think of the next, a door behind him crashed open. He turned around sharply and found himself face to face with Matthias. Surprise reflected in the other soldier’s face, obviously he had not expected to find this small man passing right outside his door. However, it became clear that he was not going to let an opportunity go.

“What have we here, pigs sneaking around the barracks, now that won’t do,” Matthias commented with a sneer. Laughter reached Pigarin’s ears, and it had not come from Matthias. He had forgotten that there had been another voice he had heard, and it was only then that he noticed another man standing behind Matthias. It appeared Pigarin hadn’t been the only one to meet a veteran soldier. The other was quite short, but made up for that in the size of his shoulders. However, Pigarin’s attention was quickly drawn away from the new brown-haired addition, by Matthias’s hand moving swiftly towards his body. Not even thinking, Pigarin stepped backwards and decisively ran down the hall, hoping he was fast enough to escape.

Unfortunately, it just wasn’t his day.

But, strangely enough, he didn’t feel a hand on his back or in fact the presence of any person at all. Rather, he found himself halted suddenly and lifted clean off the ground. He cried out in terror, as he felt his body being constricted from all sides, he simply couldn’t move! All he could do was yell, and hope that someone would come and save him, surely someone would do that. Burn them all! he thought, as laughter once again found his ears.

“Can’t escape from the Power here, laddie,” said Matthias’s friend. Pigarin’s throat seized up, not for the first time, as he realised that it was saidin that held him so surely, though clearly it could be nothing else. After all, his feet were no longer touching the ground! “Perhaps you need a lesson not to run away from fights, coward.” And with that, he was flipped upside down. He wanted to scream, to yell, to let out every little feeling inside his body, but his captors had foreseen such a reaction, for no sound escaped his mouth. Within another moment, he was flipped topside again, and then dropped harshly to the floor. As soon as his feet touched the ground, Pigarin crumpled, laying sprawled out, not willing to even twitch one of his tightening muscles.

“What is going on here!” yelled out another new voice. This one was much more dominating, making clear that this was a figure of authority.

“Asha’man!” cried Matthias, having obviously noticed the pins on the collar. Pigarin didn’t know where he had come from or why, and he really didn’t care, the man had saved him. It appeared prayer worked, at least sometimes it worked.

“You two, get to bed now! I assure you, there will be punishment for this tomorrow. Move!” With that, Pigarin heard the taunters scrambling away, no doubt straight to their beds as commanded. By the Light, Pigarin wished he could be doing the same thing. “Now you, on the floor, get up this minute!” The Asha’man maintained the tone he had previously implemented, which confused the terrified soldier, was he now in trouble? Deciding it was better not to question, he stood up carefully though he had to lean against the wall. He wasn’t sure when his legs would recover from that, or his other body parts for that matter.

“I would suggest you learn to defend yourself, or perhaps run away, or something. I won’t be protecting you again,” stated the Asha’man with a very matter of fact tone. No one was here to do him any favours, that much was explained then and there, even if not directly. The Game of Houses had taught him enough to be able to see what was being said behind the actual words. “I suggest you also head to bed now, tomorrow will be another day.”

Yes, but will I survive it?

Perhaps he would, he had, it seemed, survived the first.

  • The Rules Of The FarmyardPigarin Maenred, Thu Dec 21 19:59
    Rubbing his stomach irritably, Pigarin waited out of the mess hall for Dyson. His stomach, while no longer growling, still felt emptier than it should be, and it was anything but a pleasant feeling.... more
    • The Farmer Strikes (End) — Pigarin Maenred, Sat Dec 30 02:41
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