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Surviving the morning after.
Wed Dec 20, 2006 19:44 (XFF:

Tsuga hissed, half-rising off the bed and propping herself on her elbows as she twisted her head around to glare at the Aes Sedai probing at her back. “Be still.” The Sei’Tar grumbled and lay back down, wincing at the sharp pain as it shot down her back. Damn Trollocs – what she had thought was a graze on her back had turned out to be four huge gashes and some rather decorative purpling bruises. And there was no way to save the shirt. The pants could be washed, but the shirt was in shreds. The poor horse she’d been assigned had been cut down – during the ebb of the battle, irritatingly enough, when the Trollocs were fleeing the field. The poor beast had had to be put down – severed hamstrings just wasn’t something that could be properly Healed.

“All better.” Tsuga sat up slowly and flexed gingerly, wincing. “Well, maybe not completely, but the bruising’s gone, and the soreness from the gashes should be gone by this time tomorrow. I don’t think it’ll even leave much of a scar.” The Sei’Tar mumbled her thanks and reached for the spare shirt someone had brought her – not one of hers, but equally worn out – and pulled it on as she dropped the clean white cloth she’d been using to cover herself. How the Aes Sedai managed to keep the linens so clean when they had such a swarm of injured people coming in and out of the make-shift infirmary was beyond her, and she really didn’t want to think too closely on it.

The shirt was too short – she kept tugging it down self-consciously, but no matter how hard she tried it still left about an inch of skin visible at waist level – and too broad in the shoulders. But at least it would suffice until she made it back to her tent and could get one that fit properly. Tsuga stood and straightened slowly, rolling her shoulders and twisting her lower back gingerly. It felt like she had been kicked by a horse, but she could still move even if her range of motion was somewhat limited now.

“Here you are.” The Sei’Tar reached out to accept her sword belt – neatly and properly cleaned and wrapped into a manageable bundle – from Solaris and held it. Her pants were still coated in drying blood, and she’d just as soon not have to clean her belt again. The Yellow sister moved on to her next patient, and Solaris moved forward to walk with Tsuga as the trainee began making her slow and careful way across the infirmary and back in the direction of the camp.

They walked for a while in silence, Tsuga trying to ignore the sense of the Sister in her head, and Solaris obviously trying to find a way to strike up a conversation. Perhaps she’s one of those people that can’t tolerate silence, Tsuga thought idly, and about that time the Aes Sedai spoke up. “So this was your first real encounter?” The Sei’Tar nodded, ready for a sharp rebuke for her foolish behavior or for getting separated from her charge. “You held your own quite well, I think. Granted, I’m no authority on battle – I’m neither a Gaidar, nor a Green – but you came out of it in one piece, and all you lost was your horse. That’s not a thing that many first-timers can boast.”

Tsuga blinked and stopped in her tracks, staring at Solaris in surprise. Had that actually been . . . a compliment? From an Aes Sedai? “I think I might faint.” And indeed, the world did seem to be turning upside down – a Sister had just complimented her. Well, maybe it was the immense blood loss she had just suffered. In any case, Solaris gasped her under the elbow and held her up, and after a few moments the world stopped spinning and they were able to move apart and resume their walk.

“You really thought I did alright? I got my horse killed, got myself separated from you – and in fact all reinforcements – and nearly got my skull cracked. If I’d had to stay on the field much longer I would have probably died of blood loss. I’d hardly call that anything but stupidity and luck.”

Solaris coughed, and Tsuga shot her a sideways look as their bond tingled with the woman’s suppressed laughter. This war hardly a humorous situation! “You Gaidin in Training are all the same! So hard on yourselves you refuse to admit you might have done a good job!”

The Sei’Tar scowled. “I’ll be the first to gloa- I mean, admit when I’ve done something right. But today was a resounding failure. All I can say is that you must have drawn the short straw if you got stuck with me.” Solaris actually did chuckle a bit this time, making Tsuga’s expression darken further.

“No, actually, that was Brother Gari; he got stuck with some kid that nearly chopped off his own foot cutting wood the other night.” Tsuga grimaced, but the Aes Sedai was grinning. “Oh come now, lighten up! We’re alive, there were limited casualties, and the town is safe, thanks to our efforts. It’s cause for celebration!”

Celebration my right foot. Tsuga lay in her tent, utterly exhausted both mentally and physically, staring at the wall as she lay on her stomach (her back was still too tender to take her weight comfortably) in her tent that night. She had tried to retire early, but the multiple campfires and too-loud singing made it almost impossible to go to sleep. The Aethan’Tar were definitely taking the spirit of celebrating their survival to heart. Some Aes Sedai had joined in, but very few of those that had earned the fancloth were bothering. No doubt more Sei’Tar would have joined in if there hadn’t been so many injured – the Aethan’Tar had been sheltered from the worst of the battle, and the Aes Sedai had almost no injuries at all. The Gaidin and Sei’Tar had taken the brunt of the attack, and the trainees had sustained far more casualties for their lack of experience.

Her celebratory spirit, at least, was in no mood to stay up carousing all night. Not when she had to sit through another day of backstabbing and veiled threats in the morning. I wonder if they’ve enough extra horses to compensate for the ones that we lost, or if the trainees are going to have to start walking more, she wondered idly. Restless, she shifted her weight and muttered a curse under her breath as one of her barely-healed cuts twinged. She was used to laying on her back, and found it quite difficult to get comfortable in any other position. This . . . is going to be a long night.

The morning dawned bright and clear. It was ironic that so much blood (even if it had mostly not been human) had been spilled the evening prior. The day was beautiful – not a cloud in the sky, and a faint breeze blowing the stench of battle away from the camp. She wondered, as she stumbled out of her tent, if that was the work of the Aes Sedai, but such mullings were wiped from her mind as Solaris appeared seemingly out of mid-air.

“And how are we feeling today?” Tsuga stretched, testing the results of the Healer’s handiwork, and felt herself smile slightly.

“Well, considering that I could have been killed, I feel pretty good. At least I can still move everything.” As she spoke, the Sei’Tar buckled on her sword belt, settling it comfortably around her hips and taking in a deep breath of the fresh air. Well, she tried to take a deep breath – it hurt to go much deeper than normal.

“Let’s hurry up and get us some breakfast. We need to get on our way.”

Although she nodded and forced out a bit of a smile, Tsuga felt herself groaning inwardly. Solaris twitched a sympathetic smile before gliding off, forcing Tsuga to really work her stiff muscles to keep the pace. Might as well get ready for a long day. The good news was, it was unlikely that Trollocs would attack two days in a row. Diplomatic attacks, however, were another story.

OOC: Yay! So proud of myself! Eeked out the 6000 words for an MRP credit! ....Do I even need one of those? Oh well, it was fun!

  • Dazed, grazed, and confused.Tsuga Sei'Tar, Mon Dec 18 17:58
    She was mentally exhausted. Physical drain was something she was used to – and indeed, it was an integral part of her day-to-day life – but this much strain on her mind was not something that she was ... more
    • Surviving the morning after. — Tsuga Sei'Tar, Wed Dec 20 19:44
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