• Closed • Sickly Sweet

Tirta wakes up in the hospital after Paplo brings in to safety.

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Tirta
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45th of Zi'da, 716
8th Break
"Nnngh..." The first signs of life were beginning to crawl back into her body. Of the course of the last two breaks she had been flinching more and responsive to the people that were checking in on her. She seemed like she was having a bad dream, pinching her eyelids tightly shut, tossing her head side to side, and kicking her legs randomly. Within her mind, she kept dreaming of drowning. It wasn't the same as her initiation, where the water seemed to run away from her open mouth. This time, it was trying to force its way in through her pursed lips, seeking to fill her lungs and drown her. The element she thought she had a bond with wanted to consume her for going beyond her abilities, for forcing it to do something that it should not have.

You killed a man... Someone or something kept whispering it to her between the bubbles of her suffocating, Emea self. For the last few days she had been spiking fevers, her temperature elevated at times when the dreams were at their worst. Whatever unconscious state she was in, it was not restful. The nurses had tried everything to rouse her. Alas, it has been to no avail. The woman simply there there in her turbulent mind, wasting away. They could give her fluids as as much support as possible, but until she was tried and spared of whatever fate a felon would have, she was given minimal treatment.

Her eyes opened wide and she jolted forward into a sitting position, gasping for air. This time, her drowning nightmare had ended and managed to wake her up. Panicked, her heart raced as she fought to gain control of her emotions and physical features. Her skin prickled with sensation as her body began to register everything once more. The deep sleep she had been in left everything sore and unused. She curled her head down into her knees, shaking uncontrollably as the memory of her magic use came flooding back to her. The feel of the Ether had been so strong she could have tasted it. Where had it come from, and why was she suffering so if she had felt such power? Still shaking, she managed to rotate her head in hopes of figuring out where she was. Through the dark, unwashed strands of her hair, she saw white walls with little on them. They were lit by rays of sunlight that seemed to be coming from a window somewhere behind her. The walls were tile, easy to clean. There was a tall table with instruments and liquids in bottles. The other side had nothing except for a chair she anticipated had gone empty since she had been admitted. There was no one in this city that would wait for her to wake up.

Once more she attempted to sit up, but this time she wanted to do it with her legs over the bed. Her left arm and leg reacted, but her right arm and leg met resistance. Moving the covers, she found both were cuffed to the frame of the bed in some fashion. Great. Whatever she had done to those men not only landed her in the hospital, but it had landed her in a giant pot of trouble.

Wait. Did someone see? That had to be the explanation! Only a witness would have meant that she ended up here. Some 'good samaritan' had brought her here for healthcare. They must have seen the bodies, or the men that had been left alive told on her. She flopped back on the bed, groaning. Her clothes were missing, substitute for some crappy hospital gown, and she was chained to the bed. What else could possible go wrong this trial?

"Is someone there? I could use a little help in here? Or maybe even a drink? I'm a bit thirsty!" It was about time someone recognized that she was up and about. A portly woman dressed in dark blue came scurrying into the room, her curve blending into one another as if she were a ball. It reminded Tirta of a fat mouse, as she seemed to squeak her words.

"Oh! You're awake dearie! We were beginning to wonder if you would ever come back to us. Mister Ynush will be happy to hear that you are up and about. Let me get you that drink, you just lay right there." Just as quickly she has come, the nurse scurried away to find a cup of water and this 'Mister Ynush' to give a report.
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Paplo continued to stare at the chalkboard, his attention maximum as the mysterious characters, or ‘numbers’ as his alumni called them, still followed patterns he could not decipher. Why was it so complicated? There had to be a mistake, yet nobody would be willing to assist him in this impossible task. If 1 + 1 were 2, and 11 + 11 were 22, why was 11 + 1 not 21, but instead 12? It made sense to him, for the number on the left interacted with those on the left. It made sense when he placed them vertically, yet his theory was still wrong according to the dozens of students he supervised. They dealt with even stranger patterns, which only served to confuse him even further. 2x1 was 2, yes, but 2x2 were 4? He did not even know the meaning of each symbol or number, and so now, hours before his class began, he wanted to finally understand – in vain. There he was, able to dissect an individual’s mind in mere thrills, and some children humiliated his knowledge by performing impossible tasks of logic.
“Paplo, dear,” interrupted a voice. “The girl you brought us is awake at last.”
“Oh?” Paplo turned towards the nurse, which got one of his charming smiles for free. “That is wonderful. Thank you, Lolly. I owe you.”
“Bah!” replied the nurse, dismissing the thought in a coquettish manner. “You owe me nothing, dear. Here, take this to her.”

Paplo obeyed, and he walked through the improvised classrooms erected in the hallways of the Prime Sanitarium, which despite the early breaks was wide awake. It seemed as if the wounded and the ill would never stop existing. His sojourn was not long by any means, for moments later he found himself peeking from the doorway, a cocky smirk manifesting itself beneath his facial hair.
“Ah, the sleeping beauty awakes at last,” he said, making his way inside the room. “It is strange to find you here, though, for I am quite certain I heard loud, growl-like snorts coming from this very chamber the past eve. Whatever bear roamed about appears to be missing!”

Paplo giggled, making his way towards the female, offering her the drink. It was some sort of juice, or at least it tried to be, for it had been heavily watered down in order to cut costs. Should she not accept it, it would be left by the table next to her. Afterwards, he’d make his way to the visitor’s chair, in which he sat and crossed his legs at the knees. The smirk in his features did not leave him, and combined with the black suit he donned, the tight ponytail he had formed, and the elegant posture he displayed, it almost seemed as if he was silently mocking the female.
“You’ll have to excuse the restrains, my lady, for they are not my doing. Having left three dead bodies behind you on the shore I found you, the city guard chose to be careful whilst you received treatment.” The idly chatting was over. It was time to push his agenda. “They are suspicious of your possible dwelling with the arcane, which I believe is the real motive behind the requisition of all your possessions. Are they correct in their assumption?”

His Ether Lure was nowhere to be seen, for its use in highly transited places such as these was reckless and possibly problematic.
“How are you feeling, by the way? The doctors were unsure about your situation.” Pause, in which he snapped his finger. “Oh, I’m the male that told you to purchase clothing the other day, in case you don’t remember. Paplo Ynush, teacher. I can’t believe I forgot to introduce myself…”
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"Thank you!" Tirta called after the aid, blessed to finally have something coming to her that sounded good. That, and the lady seemed very nice. Maybe they were just keeping her restrained because she was considered a 'Jane Doe'. Once she explained her situation, as long as they didn't know about the men that attacked her and the magic she had performed on the beach, they would let her go. She could get onto the Sweet Tooth and be on her merry way to the next city that didn't know her. With a revised plan, Tirta only had to wait. She would grab a meal and drink, be considered healthy with a free examination from this place; nothing could possibly go wrong. Of course, that was when he poked his head in.

She pursed her lips tightly when he showed his face. She had not forgotten him as one of the gawkers from the previous morning. Tirta took the drink as politely as she could, but she said nothing as thanks. Instead, she downed the drink. It was definitely watered down juice, but it was still a liquid. The woman drank it so fast she found herself coughing. Wrong pipe.

So, he had been a 'gentleman' and brought her to the hospital. That must mean he had been a bastard and watched the whole thing happen. Which meant...shit. He had also seen her perform magic. He only confirmed her suspicions as he explained the restraints. She turned her head away as a form of physical admission to his statement. "I suppose I cannot go about denying it as it sounds like you were there," Tirta started, furrowing her brow. Had he said three dead bodies? She was sure that she had only killed one of them. The other had probably suffered a good concussion from the column of water and may not remember anything while the other one had been laid out by her fist and pulled away from her with the tide. How could all three of them have perished? She elected not to ask, hiding her calculating face behind her dyed locks.

"I don't go flaunting the fact that I am a Defier. Yesterday was a mistake. It was just," That surge of power had been far to tantalizing for me to deny. Not that someone uninitiated would understand. He was a mortal, an investigator of sorts. The best she could do was try to make friends to prevent herself from staying in the dog house. Whatever Etzos had in mind as her punishment, she was not too keen on finding out.

"Under different circumstances, I am sure it would be a pleasure to make your acquaintance Mister Ynush. I suppose I should be polite and introduce myself as well. I am Captain Tirta of the Sweet Tooth. You saw her yesterday." She was talking about her prized possession, the ship she had sailed into Etzos on. She certainly hoped that it would be ok at the docks for - "How long have I been out?"
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Last edited by Tirta on Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 518
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“Certainly not one eve as you make it sound,” replied Paplo after a soft chuckle. “Three eves is the time you’ve remained out of consciousness. That is why everyone worried about whatever had happened.”

The female was eager to share information, which Paplo was interested in hearing, true, yet still tried to deny any sort of involvement with the scene he had witnessed. Pushing himself off his chair, the Mortalborn made its way towards the female’s free side, for standing on her right would quite possibly be interpreted as taking advantage of her restraints. At the very least, he wanted to seem honest and approachable.
“I see no reason for the pleasure of our acquaintance to be diminished by any sort of factor, Captain. I apologize if I’ve given you the wrong impression, or if my actions have been misinterpreted. Firstly, allow me to state that I was not there when whatever events transpired on the shore. However, I was the one that witnessed how you and three males laid unconscious on the freezing waters, and thus I decided to help in any way I could.” He smiled somewhat morosely. “It… wasn’t very difficult to guess what their intentions were. I cannot imagine how afraid you must’ve been.”

Not very, apparently, for he had witnessed how easily she had gotten rid of them. Even with her exotic beauty and the joyful attitude she had displayed a few days back, the female was clearly dangerous, and thus Paplo appreciated her bindings.
“As the victim, I did grant you preference over the lives of the men, which I was later informed had perished, and so after attempting to wake you up in vain, I took you to the garrison, and here we are.” He shrugged. “I have no hidden intentions, Captain. I work for no other party save for the orphaned children these halls gather throughout the day, and so you need not to tell me anything unless you wish. Nonetheless, I did worry about your well-being, and considering how close you laid from my place of employment, I have been… visiting. Whether you deal with the arcane or not is no business of mine, and if you wish me gone from your quarters, I will respect your wishes.”

Past the excuses, Paplo was pleased. It had been magic what he had seen, after all, and that made him happy. A defiler was quite the title, and the magic discipline was as mysterious as it was alluring. As he looked upon the female’s innocent features, it was clear to him that he would’ve never suspected her nature as a spell-caster. He’d point towards the glass, and offer a kind smile to her.
“Do you wish a refill? Breakfast, perhaps? You must be starving.” He certainly was. “I imagine the guard will be here shortly, so if you need further information, now is the moment to ask. And, for the record, you not only owe me your life, but also a new cloak. Hopefully that is enough to keep my manhood off the tip of your blade.”
Last edited by Limbo on Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 531
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Three nights. That is what it cost her for overstepping so far. That shouldn't have been the consequences for light overstepping. How far had she gone? Why hadn't that extra surge of Ether given her a boost? Actually, come to think of it, she felt that surge the moment she had encounter Paplo the first time. He grew closer to her, which made her a little uneasy. At least he was kind enough to do it on her non-secured side. That way she could pansy fight him if necessary. Despite his nearness, she did not feel the same surge of Ether. Clearly, he was not the cause of her sudden need to practice magic. What had it been?

It seemed rather a stretch for him to assume that she was the victim having not seen the events that had transpired and still suspect that she was a mage. Tirta eyed him suspiciously. What was his game? If he knew her to be a mage, than he should have thought the three of the deceased men to be a victim. Wasn't it normal to assume that the only person living was the one at fault, the primary suspect, until proven otherwise? Paplo Ynush may have thought her dumb, but she didn't trust him as far as she could throw him. Given his size, that was probably not at all. Yet, she would play his game, for now. The normally chipper, all gummy sweet Candy Pirate was going to have to stay walled up around this beast.

"Well that is, uh," How was she to word it? He was okay with her arcane knowledge? Very few had been that she encountered. Tom only put up with her pursuit of it because it had been his favorite girl. "...comforting. I suppose I will accept your company, as my savior."

She was not one for normally being a damsel in distress, but she could not deny the fact that he had saved her from whatever fate might have fallen her. Three days on the beach could have ended up in her death, if the tide hadn't gotten her day one. With the statement that this was not her interrogation, she shifted again, forgetting about the cuffs. "Breakfast would be nice, as would a refill. That aid. What was her name? She was nice. As for information, I can't recall exactly what happened, nor will I be able to tell the guard how they died," Tirta whispered, almost innocently. Almost. She was actually lying. She remember how she killed the third man, the one that had been so bold to kiss her. The other two, she did not remember killing. It was time to start playing dumb, especially since Paplo had not been there.

When he made mention to him that she owed him her life, she immediately frowned and folded her free underneath her bosom. It was not nearly as effective as folding both arms to show her disgruntlement, but it was all she could do. "So, I entered a contract unknowingly when you spared my life? What am I to be, some sort of servant now?
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Paplo freed the female from the burden of the empty glass, using the occasion to bend his body forth, resting his forearms on the rails attached to the mainframe – a rather bold move, but hopefully one that brought him closer into her personal space, hoping to achieve a sense of trust and closeness between them. Smiling still, he tilted his head to the side as he watched her speak.
“Savior is a strong word, Captain,” he replied, with a soft chuckle. “Could I not be referred as ‘Hero’ instead? Protector, perhaps?” He chuckled again. “Please, excuse my jests. I do not believe they are appropriate given your situation.”

The more he interacted with the female, the more he believed her mind was opening to him, whether she liked it or not. She was certainly secure, or at least gave that impression, yet her distrust was somewhat confusing. As a spell-caster, something she had confessed to being, it was likely that paranoia and trust issues were imbued into her psyche, and like every mage, Paplo struggled greatly to peel past her mannerisms. Magic was an entire world hidden from him, and its mysteries not only held power from him, but also psychological queries he hadn’t found questions to. What did magic feel like? How does one learn it? Why the mind of a mage was so different from that of an average citizen? Looking towards the female, a sort of dread invaded him for a mere moment. She, with her beauty and her innocence, probably held secrets as dark as his own. It was a terrible notion, for it made him think that everything in mortals was based on deception. Despite his nature, he had hoped for something more.
“Ah, Lolly,” he replied, pointing towards the door with a thumb. “She’s a sweetheart, is she not? I think she’s in charge of taking care of you, so you’ll be seeing a lot of her. You can ring the bell if you need her. As for the guards, I would not worry. Tell them what you remember, and you’ll surely be free to go wherever you please.”

Unlikely. Vuda had surely been informed of her condition as a mage, and he’d probably want to speak with her sooner or later. If she was lucky, she would be spared the torture Paplo had to suffer before he offered her the deal every mage got. If she was not, then perhaps being chained to a comfortable bed or an attempted rape on the beach would seem like good memories in comparison. Better her than him, after all.

Her next words rose Paplo’s eyebrows, and his blue eyes fixed upon hers rather coldly. He was left speechless for a few moments, the disappointment clearly showing on his features.
“I did not spare your life, Captain. I did what every good citizen would’ve done, and that meant taking you somewhere safe. I expect no reward whatsoever for doing what is morally correct, yet I must admit I did not expect to be antagonized as much as I am.” Pause, in which Paplo stood back up, eyes still fixed upon hers. “I cannot understand why you distrust me so much, or why you insist on making me feel guilty. I can understand if my humor is awful, but I am certainly not willing to be held ransom by your subtle accusations, or the purposeful misinterpretation of every word I speak.”

“I shall inform Lolly of your desire to eat,” he said as he began moving towards the exit. Once there, he looked over his shoulder with that cocky smirk of his. “Don’t go anywhere.”

Whenever he returned, Lolly would return with him, carrying a tray with him, a kind smile, and her grotesque rear with her.
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The way that he advanced in her personal bubble made her want to reactively slug him. Her arm moved to do so, but it was chained securely to the bed. He would probably take it as if she was adjusting to give him room to take the glass. Some part of her was glad that the chains were there so that she was not further causing trouble because of her emotional personality. Besides, she really should be nicer to the person that had saved her. Savior, protector, hero. They were all similar in terms, at least in her eyes. They were terms for someone that saved her sorry, stupid ass.

She was very quiet when he went on to explain why he did it. She tucked her head in a guilty fashion. Maybe she had been on the boat for too long. To her, there were no such thing as a 'good citizen'. Scalvoris was full of scallywags and pirates. In her youth, everyone had looked at her as an oddity. Well, except for Tom Dandy. He would have done anything for her had she but only asked. Every where else was so foreign to her, she had to keep her guard up. So far, this trip to Etzos had not been rainbows and butterflies. She chewed on her lip, somewhat angry with her recent behavior. Where had the chipper, bubbly, colorful Tirta go? She couldn't fall into the darkness that seemed to be consuming Idalos. Before she could apologize, he was already heading for the door. Tirta opened her mouth to say something when his cocky smirk only made her choke back the words.

Bastard... Way to point out that she was still chained to a bed. Under different circumstances, it might have been considered erotic. Had both her arms been above her head, it might have been somewhat enticing to think about. With only one side of her body restrained, it was less kinky and more frustrating. She flopped back on her bed, grumbling to herself. She should be nicer to the man. He had done nothing wrong to make her distrust him, that he had right. This distrustful Tirta made her irritable and angry. She needed to go away and be replaced by the candy loving pirate that she know and loved. With that resolution, she became determined to make amends with the stranger. Well, Mr. Ynush. She had distrusted Eir, but he had proven to be harmless if not helpful. Maybe this man would be the same. He seemed kind, despite her sharp tongue and aggressive tone with him. He had taken it all very well actually.

Approximately 20 bits later and he and Lolly were walking back in with a tray of food. The smell made her sit up to the best of her ability, her right leg straight while she folded the other one in a half-Indian style so that she might support the tray. Lolly set the tray down with a smile. "Eat up dearie. You will surely need your strength after sleeping for three nights. We have barely been able to support you, and the doctors suspect you've already lost a little bit of weight in your suspected coma."

The smell of eggs guided her eyes down. A bit of toast and some scrambled eggs met her eyes. It was an appropriate portion for a girl her size, but her belly probably would have been able to ingest two or three times the amount she had been given. She lifted the piece of toast to find something beneath it that she had not expected to see on a breakfast plate. A pile of lettuce was piled in the corner. Strange. Green veggies on a breakfast plate. It made her stomach flip. Quietly she nibbled at the corner of her toast. At least the eggs were free of the nasty vegetables. "Thank you," Tirta offered in between bites of bread.

When Lolly had left, Tirta paused in her meal, looking at Paplo. "You are right. I'm sorry I appear to be distrustful. In my occupation, I'm not really supposed to be trusting. I have to look out for me, you know?" Tirta spooned another bite into her mouth. She was deliberately avoiding the leafy greens. "Thank you for helping me out of a pinch. Who knows where I would be if you hadn't come along."
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Paplo did not have much to say once he returned. Instead, he offered a couple of quick smiles towards the imprisoned female, standing in one end of the room, giving her the back. He understand the importance of privacy whilst one ate, and even to this day he found a slight discomfort when he ate before others. The rest of the world perhaps did not share his wish for privacy, yet it mattered not. Arms crossed, Paplo walked about the room, often staring at the hallway outside, which was as busy as expected from a city in conflict. The only reason the female had gotten a whole room for herself was because everyone feared her arcana. In this case, being feared had its advantage. Every other hospital would’ve made sure the mage was never admitted in the first place, and perhaps they’d even take the trouble of making sure said mage never awoke.

It wouldn’t be long before the orphans began raising from their quarters, which were also located in this story. The only reason Paplo did not have his own quarters was because he was a teacher, or so they had explained to him when he applied. Were he a medicine man, traveling to the outer ring to sleep would not be necessary.
The female spoke an apology, which did not caught Paplo off guard. He had made sure to summon it, as guilt was a powerful emotion one could fabricate with distrust. As he looked back and smiled, however, his features showed nothing but genuine kindness.
“I do know, Captain,” he replied softly. “And it was my pleasure to help you.”
He allowed his eyes to linger in her direction for a few moments, and in said short span of time an eyebrow rose. Turning around, he’d begin to slowly walk towards the female, arms still crossed, and his head risen. Amusement and cockiness mingled into a mirthful expression.
“What’s this?” he said, his pinky pointing towards the lettuce. What sounded as a tease was actually a genuine question. Paplo, regularly limited to a carnivorous cannibalistic diet, found vegetables to be extraordinarily delicious. His palate often craved for them, far stronger than any sort of meat or humanoid race he had consumed. Were he able to cultivate a hundred and eighty pounds of lettuce in the same amount of time he killed a man, he would’ve definitely become a vegetarian. “Leaving the best for last, are you?”

The lettuce had to wait, for in that same moment two Blackguards made their way into the hospital room, their greaves announcing their presence as their hands bothered not to knock. Two disgruntled faces, clearly sleep deprived, and far from friendly is what they donned, yet no weapons were found upon their person. Whether they respected the hospital’s security measures or had simply been too lazy to get them was unknown.
“Captain Tirta.” asked one of them, which placed himself by her right side. “And you are?”
“Paplo Ynush. First to arrive at the scene, Officer.”
“Stand aside for a moment,” said the second guard, which stood by the female’s left side. “Captain Tirta, we’re going to ask you a few happens about the events that transpired in the Southwood River three trials ago. Please, answer honestly, with as much detail as you can gives us, and without neglecting any relevant detail. This is very important.”
“Why are you in Etzos?” asked the other guard, right after his college stopped talking.
“Could you describe the events that transpired on the shore of the river?” asked the other one, giving her no chance to speak.
“Do you possess knowledge, practice, or any affiliation with the arcane?”

Paplo watched from the side, and even he rose his brows at the rather spontaneous outburst of questions from the guards’ part. Their intention to pressure the female was obvious, not only by the way they had surrounded her, but also by the monotonous and impatient queries that flew like cannon-balls. It was possible that he knew more than the female did, yet he was eager to see if she was to confess about her knowledge of arcana. He was a creature of curiosity, and his mind was torn in betting just which approach the Captain would take. Plead ignorance, perhaps? Narrate the entire scene and reveal Kovic’s intervention? Fabricate an entirely different tale? Pressure was a good way to test one’s true colors.

The female with the green hair could reveal how red her hands truly were.
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"That? That's a vegetable. Or I think it's a vegetable. Anyways, I won't eat vegetables," Tirta stated firmly. How many times had Tom tried to slip her veggies? The color variety always alarmed her. She did not need the nutrition from it. She preferred meats, starches, and fruit with her number one food group being candy. Empty calories were totally worth it when it came to the delicately spun wisps of candy and the brightly colored hard suckers. She was about to pop the last bite of egg into her mouth when the guards came coming in.

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. That was the only way she could really keep herself focused on them. They mirrored each other with bobbing motions. When one talked, their heads went up while the other fell into silence. Then it switched, going back between the two. She opened her mouth to answer the first question politely, only to find her answer pushed back into her mouth with another question. Hm. They were not going to allow her the chance to speak. Well it was certainly going to take more than that to get her to break. It was a crude form of pressure, but she had a full belly and was feeling sleepy again. Nothing could get to her now. With them finally falling silent, she stared at them with a shocked look.

"Let's see, the first question was about me being in Etzos? No particular reason I suppose. I sailed into Foster's Landing on my sloop. I ended up in Etzos because of Mr. Ynush. I suppose I'll be looking for work, or maybe I will sail out of here once I have been deemed innocent. The Eztori welcome hasn't been grand," Tirta stated with a smile, pulling at her cuff to cause a light clatter. Who wanted to wake up chained to a bed as their first encounter with a city? The plopped the last spoonful of egg in her mouth, swallowing it practically whole before setting her utensils and uneaten veggies aside.

Tirta frowned. "I remember three men coming up to me. I think I snubbed them at the docks. They were acting like dogs, hitting on me you know? Oh wait, you probably wouldn't. Anyways, they attacked me. Two grabbed me and one..." Tirta's voice faded, she wrinkled her face in the process and looked away embarrassed. Or at least, that was how Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum would take it. She had to play the part of victim appropriately. "I'm not exactly sure what happened after that. Mr. Ynush told me the three of them are now dead."

Ah, there it was. The question about magic. So even if they appeared stupid and naive beyond their years, they were here with a purpose. Tirta reached over to her cup, taking a sip of the watered down juice. Water. I have a love affair with water you two could not possibly believe. She eyed them from over the rim of her glass. Maybe it was time for a little bit of fun. "Would you believe whatever answer I gave you? Have you two ever dealt with a mage before? What if I said I could manipulate your world, bend your mind to my will, and make you bark like dogs? Would that be magic, or my wiles as a woman? Maybe you want to hear that I can bend the elements with gentle encouragement, calling the ocean forth in a column of water to act as my fists? Is that what you want? Or would you rather," Tirta moved her hand beneath the glass of watered down juice, balancing it on her palm before extending her arm out towards them. It was time for a little scare tactics.

"...would you rather a demonstration?"
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The guardsmen remained dispassionate in the face of the cavalier attitude displayed by their witness. Her references to Mr. Ynush prompted one of them to inform him that he should "stay put" during their questioning, to add any corrections or omitted details from Tirta's testimony. One of them made notations in a notebook while the woman answered, while the other paced slowly, in random directions.

"You have a sloop at the landing? So you did not come in on one of the trading vessels?" He made a gesture to his partner, informing him to have the crew and passenger manifestos of those vessels berthed at the same time brought to him later. He listened to the rest of her remarks to the first question before responding that being "deemed" innocent would not be sufficient cause for unmonitored release; adding that the conditions of her arrival in Etzos were not conducive to an uninvestigated welcome. He assured her, in a tone bordering on a growl, that she would be free to return to her sloop when they had conclusive proof that she was not a criminal or a spy.

Her frown as she responded to the second request was noted as well as her words, though it would probably be taken as an indication that she was being honest. But this was not mentioned, as the pacing guard stopped at her comments. Just a twitch marked his acknowledgement of her insulting quip about his likelihood of success with women. He turned to face Kovic, "Again, you defer details to Mr. Ynush here. Is he your lover or something? Was he 'hitting' on you as well? If you were so confused as to have such vague memories of the incident, how could you be so certain he was not one of these so-called "dogs", attacking you? Why is he unharmed? Perhaps we should just put you in a cell and let him answer these questions for you. Would you like that? Do you trust him? Why?"

His tone of voice became increasingly antagonistic, as did his expression. But a slight look of satisfaction smoothed it somewhat as the ship's captain began to speak veiled threats of magical powers. Being one of Vuda's men, Kovic would know already that they were trying to provoke her into an act of magical aggression. It was the very reason the man calling himself "Ynush" had brought her to Etzos. But it was important that they incriminate him now as well. Their psychology training dictated that the hostility they were provoking would help guarantee that she would be far more likely to trust anyone else that they appeared to treat with suspicion. - 'Misery trusts company.'

She complied with his unspoken intent, her threats giving him the chance for the final provocation. He grabbed a glass of water lying on a neighboring table and splashed the contents in her face. "How about THAT for a demonstration...captain." his voice hissed the word with sarcasm. "I didn't see you do anything special with that little bit of water. Am I supposed to believe you command the waves when you can't even keep a glassful from wetting down that pretty face. How about if I whip it out and piss on you, hmm? You gonna control that? Make it splash in my own face?"
________________________________________________
Through the door facing the other way from the antagonistic guardsman, a robed man stood just beyond the edge of the door jamb, listening in. He wore a robe with the colors of The Tower, but there was no rank in evidence on this man's robe. Only one man connected to that faction did not require his rank to be displayed. Karnos Vuda had been maintaining his sense of ether detection for the duration of the questions. The woman's threats and the guard's belligerent and insulting response were the sign to put the next phase into play.

He suppressed a smile that the woman just might try to accommodate the guardsman's last suggestion. But he was not going to allow her to do anything. As the angry woman began to reach for ether to bond her element, which the evidence clearly suggested was water, he bonded his own control to the leading edge and tip of it, turning it back and inverting it, making it swell into an aimless blob. He essentially reversed its drive to reach out, making it curl back instead, so that the best the woman could accomplish would be to fill the room with her own ineffective ether.

But she was already suffering from what he assumed was overstepping, judging by what Kovic had told him. He heard the guard start his verbal abuse again, daring her to do something...anything...with water. He thought he heard a dismayed gasp come from where he knew her bed to be. He enclosed her ether fully with his own, hardening it so that any further attempt by her would only press back on her spark's essence, as her ether would be unable to go anywhere.

He stepped from around the doorway, entering the room slowly, calmly, confidently. "That will be enough, officers. You may leave." He came to the side of the bed as the two Black Guard withdrew. He smiled ambiguously down upon her, "My dear, calm yourself. The guard was only doing as I bid him. Too many of the 'gifted' are unwilling to display their talents before those they do not intend to...silence...and must be coerced. If you are going to claim that you would have been open about it, and are awaiting an apology from me for my tactics, you may as well go back to sleep. But instead, let us speak openly, shall we?"

He sat upon one of the neighboring beds, the hood of his robe still making his facial features difficult to fully grasp. It was only then that the woman before might notice that they had the entire ward to themselves. Vuda went on, maintaining his Abrogative hold on her ether, surprised to feel so much of it. There was something odd about it, almost as if it was being amplified by a remote source. There had been no indication of an artifact on her person when she'd been brought in. This only increased his interest. "You seem to be having some difficulty accessing your element." His tone was all sympathy, but there was just the hint of a gleam in his eye to suggested he knew damn well that his intent was not being assumed by anyone to be sympathetic.

"I have heard that the elements will abandon a...partner...that they feel has violated their domain somehow. Do you think that killing those men has created a rift between yourself and your element? Have you offended the waves? Has this ever happened to you before? I'm sorry, but I have no experience with this domain. My talents lie elsewhere." He looked back and forth between Kovic and Captain Tirta, clearly willing to listen to responses from either of them.

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