Created and Consumed (Chapter 7)
Posted By: Zyrra-Chylde-Aisha<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 9 June 2010, 3:40 am
We helped Jurdo to his feet after he had expelled most of the contents from his stomach, and then guided him toward the hangar bay doors. They opened automatically into a small room lined with desks and communications equipment.
"This must be where we check in
" Ehle observed, "Look, there's a free registration outlet over there, let's go that way
" he pointed to a little free space in the crowded room with a bored looking aviary creature inside observing the scales on his claws. It was dressed informally with a small headset attached to one ear and a couple of wires were hanging from small devices on its skin. As we approached, it didn't acknowledge us.
Doxo waited a while and then cleared his throat, "Excuse me
The creature looked up for a moment then resumed its preening, "Mrrrugh! Grrreeegh, riigh riiigh keeeera mrrrugh
Doxo blinked, "I beg your pardon?" it just continued to speak in the strange dialect, "For the love of
speak Sangheili! I can't understand a word you're saying!"
It just repeated the phrase and pointed to a sign, 'All new arrivals please go away
' written in what looked like ink daubs from slender fingers. Upon closer observation, I noticed the ends of the creature's claws were blackened.
Ehle shrugged, "At least he said please
Frowning, Doxo looked down at the creature, "Now
or I'll report you for not doing your duty."
"Not authorized to let you in." It finally replied, "Got nothin' to do with duty
never seen you abouts, so no need to chat, go away
" it replied impertinently, not looking up from its preening.
Ehle walked to the counter calmly, figuring that if he was courteous, the creature would act the same, "Perhaps you could tell us where exactly we move on to?"
"No." It said.
"What do you mean, 'No'?" Ehle demanded.
It looked up and cocked its head to the left, "Don't speak your language, you don't get it, then speak your language and still don't get it
" it sighed, "Don't serve your kind, so go away."
Doxo growled a warning, "Tell us where to go, bird
"Said no. Go away. Busy
I noticed Ehle and Doxo clench their fists over their training blades. There were a few tense seconds where I thought they were going to snap the insolent beast right there, but a second aviary creature relieved the first of its post and smiled up at us. This one had a brilliant crimson and navy crest and its skin was brightly lit with more of the small devices, "Yes?" it asked, removing the makeshift sign.
I stepped past Ehle and Doxo, hauling Jurdo on my shoulder, "We'd like to register, please
"What are your names and how long are you staying?" it asked and began to tap on a touch-screen in front of it.
"Er, well I don't know how long for
we just got here
but my friend here doesn't feel well and we'd like to give him a bit of a lie down if that's alright
"Ah, you four are part of the exchange
Yes, you're Gura's warriors, right?" I nodded a reply, "Ha, well that makes the job easy, don't need ta register you or nuthin', just gotta wait a while 'till we leave for Eayan." It pointed to itself, "Part of the exchange too. All getting' on a big Seraph with 'the selected' and heading off to upper portal training
"Sorry, Eayan?" I asked.
"Big planet, lots of water and big, big trees! Oh, it will be splendid! Haven't been there for years!"
"Alright, well, for now can you direct us to a medical wing please?" I asked, placing a hand over Jurdo's forehead, his temperature had risen beyond normal. "The flight here has affected my friend more than anticipated and I'm concerned for his well being."
It nodded, "Sure. Got a place where everyone meets up anyway. It's close to there." It scanned the desks along both sides of its cubicle then smiled up to me again, "Be out in a minute. Gotta find a replacement before leaving
" and with that, it unplugged itself and disappeared from sight.
"What was that thing Ehle?" I asked after a while, "Behind the counter?"
"Kig-Yar. They're more commonly known as Jackals. Never had much respect for the Sangheili, they're much faster and more nimble than we are. Excellent riflemen too. It's a pity they have no manners." Ehle replied.
I looked back at the counter where the nice one had now returned, "Not all of them
" I smiled at it as it climbed over the desk to join us.
Ehle frowned, "There are the odd few who learn the basic forms of etiquette, yes." He scowled as it passed, "Mostly the fledglings I'd wager."
"What about the short ones?" I pointed over to where a group of halflings had gathered.
" Jurdo croaked.
"They're what?" I looked at him for the answer but was forced to dodge another onslaught of vomit, "By the rings! When did you eat that?!"
Doxo took over the explanation, "Unggoy, yes. They aren't exactly the most finely tuned instruments of the Covenant
" he nodded toward another small group who had just entered from outside. They were led by a slightly taller halfling in black armour.
"Looks like new recruits
" Ehle muttered, rolling his eyes.
"Yep! Fresh from Balaho. Got about six lots of 'em in this last shipment. Half-pints aren't real smart but they sure can cause diversions
" the aviary creature pipped. We all looked at it, "What? You think Jik hasn't fought in mixed battle before?"
" Ehle grinned.
I crouched to speak to the aviary creature, "Jik, is it? Can you take us to the medical wing now?"
Jik nodded, "Sure thing! Follow! Follow!"
"Piptik! Me tells you stuff and you not listen! 'Leets got sicks all over place! Find 'leet sicks and clean 'em up! 'TIZ NOT HARD CONCEPT TO GRIP YOU KNOW!"
"Sir! Me no hears you the first times! You not make order clear!"
We walked into the medical wing to the sight of five Grunts, four in orange armour and one in black, obviously the leader, "You never hears orders, Piptik! You never listens to me! What if you was in battle? You be dead in two spats of a pistol!" the leader addressed his four followers, "You all needs to listen to me now. See puddles?" the four of them looked directly down and shook their heads; they were standing in a dry spot, "LOOKIE AT ME YOU NUMB BRAINS!" the leader screeched. I had to shield my eardrums to keep them from collapsing, "VAMAT!"
"WHAT?!" the smallest yelled, throwing down a soiled rag and pointing, "ME FOUNDS A MESS!"
"DID ME TELLS YOU TO WIPE IT?!" the leader growled, face to face with the one named Vamat, "NO! SO NO WIPEY!"
"STOP YELLING AT ME!" Vamat cried out and pushed the leader down. He flailed on his back and grunted obscenities while Vamat stomped past us.
Jik took him by his shoulder, "WHAT?! Oh
"Vamat?" Jik soothed.
"Dikdik is a poo face
" he muttered and Ehle began to laugh, "Shut up, 'leet!" Ehle stopped laughing, "He learn his tempers from your type!"
"Vamat! Be nice!" Jik helped up the black armoured Grunt, "These 'leets are nice so be nice to them." Jik watched as Vamat kicked Dikdik in the head, "Vamat! That includes him!" there were sounds of disgruntled struggles as Jik helped Dikdik from the ground, "Dikdik, be nice too
but tell Vamat me no speaky to him now
" Dikdik folded his arms and looked away indignantly.
Jik sighed, "He's right here
tell him yourse--"
"Jik, tell Dikdik, he is a poo face
" Vamat said indifferently.
Jik looked to Vamat, "But he's just
"Tell Vamat he eats poo
"Dikdik! You said you'd be nice!" Jik growled back to him.
Dikdik pointed at Vamat angrily, "He started it!"
"I don't care! You contin--"
"Jik, tell Dikdik he IS poo
"Ooooohhh!" the surrounding grunts all stared at Dikdik, as if the argument had finished him. The argument seemed to have been won.
"Jik, tell Vamat
" Dikdik searched for words, "
piddles his self!!!" he finished triumphantly.
Jik slapped herself in the forehead, "By the Rings
"But Vamat already knows that!" the one named Piptik interjected, "Heh, me remembers yesterday! Weeee-wee-wee-wee-weeeee!"
He proceeded to hold himself around the groin and dance in a circle while his two comrades joined in after him, singing, "We needs to pee! We needs to pee! Wee-wee-wee! Wee-wee-wee!"
Jik narrowed her eyes to the three, "Piptik, Nanik, Mazap!" she slammed a foot down on the floor making them stop dancing, "Shut UP!" she glared icily around at every halfling in the room, "Anyone not s'posed to be here, get out!" she thrust a talon in the direction of the door, "Exchange Seraphs leave in one hour, if you all aren't ready for dispatch, by the Rings these 'leets will eat you!"
The Grunts in the room squealed and scuttled out of the medical wing, all except a couple remained. One of which was Vamat. He slowly approached Jik and braved a touch to her feathered shoulder, "Jik okay?" he asked timidly, "Me no wanty her to be mad
"Jik's a girl?" Ehle croaked, "I thought they didn't let girls in the Covenant?"
"Not 'leets." Jik replied, taking a seat on the floor between two large puddles of unmentionable substance, "Jackals though, Prophets gave up trying to figure out sex with them a long time ago."
"You don't get discriminated against at all?" I asked, dumbfounded.
"Nup. Most of the time not even other Jackals know Jik is female
" Jik replied. I noticed she never addressed herself as 'I', she only spoke in the third person. I made a mental note of this and decided that perhaps the Kig-Yar never fully learned how to speak the native Covenant dialect correctly.
I decided not to think any more on speech impediment and my mind wandered back to training, "Jik, can you tell me more about Eayan? It would be nice to know more about where I'm to spend my next level of training before utilising the terrain."
Jik began to stare at the floor, "It's pretty, that's all you need to know
" she was quick to change the subject, "Your friend doesn't look too crash hot
lay him down over there and put a wet compress on his head
Ehle and Doxo assisted me, placing Jurdo down on the table Jik had pointed out while I dampened a towel to place over his forehead. Vamat climbed onto the table and looked Jurdo over, pressing him in various places on his feverish body, "Vamat! Stop that!"
"Hey, Jik? Any idea what may have caused such a bad reaction to the flight in here?" Doxo inquired. Jik shook her head gravely.
"Excessive consumption of protein supplements will do it
was it his first flight?"
I turned around and met with a broad-shouldered Sangheili warrior wearing some sort of rawhide body armour. He was looking over Jurdo with apprehension.
" Doxo answered, "Zyrra's and Ehle's too, so what?"
"How many drinks had they consumed the night before?" the Elite asked.
"I had about three, Zee headed off after half o' one
Jurdo was up long after I was though
" Ehle recalled.
" came a grim reply, "The G-forces during the flight acted like one big centrifuge. His erythrocytes have separated from his leucocytes and the excess proteins have attached to the unprotected oxygenated cells, leaving no room for oxygen to attach to them and be transported around his body." He took Jurdo by the hand and felt his pulse, "It's only temporary but it may cause muscle death in some areas
"But isn't protein s'posed to be good for muscle growth?" Ehle asked, cocking his head to the side, "Just give him some more to drink, solve the muscle death like that!" he snapped his fingers.
"Oh, no, we can't do that." He placed Jurdo's hand back down on the table and poured some cool water over his chest. Jurdo's breathing was steady but he was clearly not feeling well, "What he has thrown up I'm assuming he has by the smell of him was mostly partially digested protein supplement. It isn't a symptom of the centrifugal treatment, it's just motion sickness he's feeling in his gut. The fever, however, is. His body is slowly suffocating. Adding more protein will only infect more of his erythrocytes, disallowing any oxygen to reach his muscles. I'm afraid he may lose an entire limb if left untreated and I haven't a clue how to cure him
I took Jurdo by his hand and squeezed it, "Come on, Jurdo, hang in there
you've worked so hard to get this far! You can't just throw it away
Jurdo coughed a laugh, "Zyrra, there is no way I'm gonna let some bug kick me in the
" I smiled, "
I did a course in medicine before joining Gura's band of merry monsters
listen carefully and you'll be able to help me out
" he leaned closer, "
Mr. Broad-shoulders should be able to find the things you need, ask him for a tank of pure oxygen; it will help to flush my body of the impure blood
I looked up at the new face, "Excuse me er
"Ziuaghi, can you find me a tank of pure oxygen? Jurdo says he needs it."
The Elite nodded and produced a small capsule-shaped metal container and a face-mask, "Here
Jurdo motioned for me to place the mask over his mouth. I did so and he breathed in the gas as deeply as he could. Ehle, Doxo, Jik and Vamat all watched as Ziuaghi and I kept tabs of Jurdo's vital signs.
" Jurdo drowsed, "
I'm going to fall asleep for a while
the pure oxygen is making me sleepy
I nodded, "Do you want us to take you onto the transport?"
" Jurdo uttered a laugh before relaxing completely.
I looked up at the others, "Well? You heard the boy. Ehle, Doxo, take that end of the stretcher, Ziuaghi, you help me out with this end. Jik and Vamat, you two are our scouts. If you see anyone, tell us, alright? We don't want to have any collisions." They both saluted and exited the ward in two directions,
"Clear!" Jik called from one end of the hall.
"Clear!" Vamat called from the other.
" Ziuaghi ordered, "One
We each lifted our respective ends and carried Jurdo out to the landing where a collaboration of Unggoy, Kig-Yar and Sangheili had joined with half a horde of Yanm'ee and two dozen Lekgolo. They weren't arranged in any particular fashion but our small group seemed to be the only mixed-species ensemble to be seen.
"Time to get onboard!" Jik called from a ramp leading into a brilliantly lit Seraph, "Got a place for Jurdo to rest up the back here!"
Each of us followed and carefully placed him down, then, after checking him over again and establishing that he was recovering, Ziuaghi, Doxo, Ehle and I each took a seat on either side of Jurdo's stretcher. Vamat eventually ventured on-board after we heard more Unggoy obscenities and throwing of blunt objects outside - he had obviously payed his instructor a visit before boarding and then Nanik, Mazap and Piptik followed him along with some other nameless Grunts.
Then came the Kig-Yar, noisy and bickering. I noticed Jik lower her head as one walked by with a trimmed scarlet crest. I heard her mutter, "Riko
" as he sat down beside her and folded his arms.
"Hey, Ziuaghi?" I asked, feeling a new concern bubble inside of me.
"Hmm?" He leaned over to hear me over the deep hum of the Seraph's energy cells.
"Wouldn't another trip in a Seraph hinder Jurdo's recovery?"
My gut turned when I saw him nod, "It could quite possibly make his illness worse
I gulped, "
"Don't worry, Zyrra. Jurdo may be a nut, but he's a tough nut. He wouldn't let this travelling thing beat him down, and besides, he's thrown up most of that excess protein already! He can't possibly absorb any more." Ehle assured, giving my shoulder a light rub, "Chin up, he'll be fine!"
I hope you're right
" I replied as the Seraph rose.
"Attention passengers, this is your pilot speaking
" came a voice over the intercom in the Seraph, "We are now in bare and open space, if you at all feel the need to vomit, please utilise the chutes either side of the exit
you may now remove your harnesses."
Upon this announcement several Grunts made a beeline for the chutes. "We will be in flight for approximately forty hours so make yourselves comfortable and I'll provide updates on travel progress every two hours or so." I unclipped my own harness and stretched out on the floor, "I'll warn passengers an hour before touchdown. Enjoy the trip and good day."
Ehle lowered himself down beside me and rested on his stomach, "Four months of intense training, one week of intense waiting and one day of intense events
when I signed up for this, I never imagined it would be like this
" I replied, "
my whole vision of the future, of where I am now, it didn't involve other individuals. I didn't think I would ever view males as kind and caring people
"Ah, you've been through a tough bout, Zee
" Ehle patted me roughly on the head, "I'd be willing to give my life for you, I'm that damn caring!"
"We all would, Zyrra." Doxo agreed, "It's the way of the Covenant, valour, truth, virtue, they all make a warrior. All of those who have not shown these qualities during Guild training have not been permitted to higher training."
"Ah,well, I'm gonna catch the Banshee to Snoozeville
" Ehle yawned and trailed off.
" Jik finished quietly.