Blood & Mending
Blood & Mending
The Following Scene Contains:
The great cherka forest of the Artemaean tokiate looms in the distance
as a morning breeze ripples sunlight across its pastureland.
Mira, one of the many farmers living along the Artemaean border,
returns to her home after seeing to the needs of the vinasi herd
and some fifty newly-acquired kinbeasts.
Kinyada scrubs the q’kesh with a rag that had once
been white, trying to get the weapon spotless after
the morning’s bloody work.
He discards the rag and picks up another, but hesitates
when Mira crosses into his field of view….
…and looks up to see her
giving him a knowing smile.
He smiles uncomfortably, then returns
to his work with renewed determination.
Mira approaches Oka, Kai, and Shen, who
work to clean off the last of the blood.
Their unscathed skin suggests that nearly
all the blood had belonged to the raiders.
Sorry about the blood.
Only a handful of the raiders
surrendered. The rest….
You’ve saved our families and
our herds. Bloodied clothes
are a small price for having the
na'toki's guards protecting us.
We thank you, na’katar.
Mira bows, then holds out a sack
for the bloodied clothes. Shen, Oka,
and Kai bow back respectfully before
placing the clothing in the bag.
Ah, one of the raiders cut
through this shirt.
I apologize for the damage.
Are you alright?
I'll be fine—
I can clean and stitch it—
I'll be fine, really.
Shen is polite, but insistent,
and Mira bows acceptance.
Shen adds the shirt to the sack.
Sorken, Mira’s husband, joins them
with a stack of folded na’katar robes.
Cleaned and mended.
I trust that our na'toki is excited
to become toki tonight?
Shen and Kai glance at each other uneasily,
neither ready with an appropriate response.
—I’m sure Iara looks forward to serving
the Artemaean people as best she can.
Islaad will surely
smile upon her.
Shen smiles genuinely and nods agreement.
You four had best hurry home;
the toki will have your hides
if you aren't there in time for
Riak, back inside.
You did that on purpose,
Shen busies himself with buttoning his na'katar
robe and responds with forced nonchalance.
One of the raiders had some skill
with a sword, and she cut me.
That’s sneakier than I’m used
to seeing from you, Shen.
Do you suppose it'll work?
Not a chance.
End of Scene 2.