Thursday, November 10, 2011

NaNo WriMo Day 10: Brother

Chapter 10: Brother

“I am not his brother.” Gurley’s tortured speech bounded around the dank cellar walls.  “He would not want you calling me that.”  Orten did not treat him like a brother.  There was no point in admitting brotherhood.

“You are of the same mother are you not?”  The obscured light and shadows cast by the stone restraints prevented Gurley from identifying his questioner.   

“You do not understand.”  Gurely protested.  The question had seemed odd.

“Oh I think I do.” The man slipped his gauntlet off.  The strike was harder than the previous, but at this point Gurley did not notice.  He lay limp, strung like a puppet from the stone pillars below the grate in the ceiling.  He could hear the click of boots on the floor above.

His captor motioned in the shadows.  “Splay him open until he talks.”  A crowd of hooded figures crowded into the cellar.  “Slowly.”  As the speaker passed out the door way torchlight lit his face just enough for Gurley to make out a smirk on the man’s face.

You fool. You will get nothing. Gurley prepared himself as the cold smoothness of a blade pressed against his inner thigh.

***

Orten hated the feeling.  He had hated it as much that day outside the jailers yard so many years ago as he did now.  Pain; it was not something he was accustomed to.  He grasped his leg as the sensation cut into him.  He cursed his mortal form taking no solace in it’s nearby end.  It only troubled him slightly as he thought it over.  His path was set.

“Mister you aww right?” the little boy asked snapping Orten back to the fact he was standing on the beach on the outskirts of a small fishing hovel.  Smoke clouded around him and flames spurted from every crevice of his body.  His clothing no longer disguised the effects of being so far away from the castle.

Not long at all now. “A boat.”  Orten coughed.  He watched as the little boy pointed towards a row of skiffs.  Smoke trailed as he cut his way across the beach.  Looking up the coastline, he hurried himself as the outer edge of the storm blackened.  

***

Enlil could hear the screaming from down the hall.  He wondered where Govad was.  Was he alive?  Were these his screams that tormented this night?  He did not have time to linger on the question as the pounding headache wracked him again.  Wincing in pain he slumped in the chair before bunching into a ball.  

“We can do this all night Captain.”  The Thunderer sat behind a simple wooden desk adorned at the corners with raised pillars.   The chair back reached just enough with matching pillars to exceed the height of the man sitting there.  He spoke again. “It is very simple.  What did the Wind Lords charge of you at this camp.”

“Again, nothing.”  Enlil did not lie.  “The camp was fake.  A show.  That is how it was when I arrived.”  Enlil found it easier to speak to the facts without the looming threat of violence standing next to him.  It was apparent the Thunderer had a different interrogative style and motive than that of Clydas.  Enlil could not help but feel like he was suddenly needed, as if some key was locked away in his knowledge.  The only problem was he didn’t know what it was and therefore could not leverage it.

A meal was brought in as Enlil covered the details of his siege and his attempt to cut off the cliff-side supply line.  This seemed to intrigue the Thunderer momentarily as he inquired about the details of what was pulled over the castle walls.  As far as Enlil’s recollection, it had always looked mundane, food crates and barrels of drink.  

Enlil continued into the downfall of the camp after the bloody siege.  He hadn’t really thought about the aftermath much.  The camp had fallen into chaos quickly.  Quicker than even he had imagined.  He began to piece together a picture bigger than what he had paid attention to at the time.  The more he spoke to the Thunderer, the more he found the signs of something greater at work.

First there had been the delayed influx of new recruits, shortly followed by the first late gold shipment.  Then there were the paymaster visits and wage cuts.  Then the supply shipments disappearing without word, communication break downs to the southern most Albian strongholds.  What he had first assumed was punishment for his poor judgement started to feel suspicious.  It was clear from the force that the Thunderer brought upon Castle Black that it was important.  Yet, not important enough for a force from the midlands to contain until now.  Enlil had assumed this was due to the proximity.  Alb was directly north of the land bridge that Castle Black sat upon.  It only made sense for the Wind Lords to pledge troops to the cause.

More details sprang to mind as Enlil spoke with the Thunderer.  The conversation turned towards the arrival of the Fravashi and his unfortunate treatment at their hands.  The Thunderer had seemed amused at the situation though, which disheartened Enlil slightly.  Chewing ate a piece of boned meat, Enlil spoke about the storm.

“I was knocked out as it passed, but the bloody thing was beyond spectacular when it first anchored.  It felt like we were surrounded by solid walls of gray.  No one dared pass through the storm initially.  It took a day or so for the men to realize the Fravashi were gone and for the storm to break enough for travel.”  Enlil quite enjoyed the fruits that abounded a bowl that had been set before him.  He sipped again at the reddish liquid in the goblet he had been given.

“That is good for now captain.  I am going to take my leave for the night.”  The departure of the Thunderer had almost saddened him.  Enlil had started to enjoy the talk, but that enjoyment was cut short as the headache returned.  He faded back into his chair as the door clanked shut.  The solid click of the lock echoed through the room as darkness crowded in.  At least Enlil wasn’t hungry.  The screams continued.

Word count: 9897
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