Wordcount: 921 words
Summary: Please note, this is currently a very rough draft. There will be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, flat out contradictions, and uneven characterization and pacing. (Content is also subject to constant change as I take an editing chainsaw to the story.)
We Have Ways of Making You Talk
The silver was wild eyed and panting in pain and fear as they got it back to the medic’s tent. The combat medics were quick efficient, and more than used to dealing with stressed foxhawks. They got the wings and the other wounds mended on all three foxhawks, with some friendly ribbing among the foxhawks and the humans.
The silver foxhawk was initially very wary and hostile, but calmed down as they were tended to. It was obvious that the medics meant no harm and that the two riders who had shown up immediately after they did were concerned about their charges.
“Will you kill me now?” The silver asked when the pain had dulled to bearable levels. It was as much a request as a question, said with almost calm resignation.
“Wait, what?” They looked over at it, confused and alarmed. “You have quarter, you will be ransomed. Don’t they pay ransom where you’re from?”
The silver hissed at the insult. “They’d paid blood price to get me back, but not once the magic drains me dry. I will not go quietly, oath or no oath; kill me now if that is what’s coming.”
“There is no such thing as magic.” One of the combat medic said sternly, he’d not been out to see the actual battle and it was pretty much standard for the locals to refuse to believe. There had been no magic for a very very long time and even with the storm folks were reluctant.
The foxhawks looked at each other, but said nothing.
“But you can see nothing will happen to you.” Winter cocked his head and looked confused. “Just look down your tree, there’s nothing there.”
“What tree?” The silver foxhawk frowned, “What are you talking about?”
It was Dog’s turn to look confused. “You futures, look down the tree—there’s the great darkness, but we all have that, but the local branches have nothing bad on them.”
The silver foxhawk blinked. “You’re saying you can see my future? Seriously?”
“You’re saying you can’t?” Dog and Winter stared at the silver as if he’d grown another head, or lost one.
And them May and the golden and Baron came in and that ended any pleasant conversation.
“No, I will not let you!” It snarled and tried it’s best to spring up to fight, but it was woozy from the pain killers and the bandaging restricted its movement so it just ended up tripping over itself.
“I just fixed that!” Objected the battle medic, and the silver was wrestled back into the nest, protesting weekly.
“Hey, hey, calm down. Will not let us what?” May helped roll the silver back into the bed, as it protested weakly, ignoring her question.
“You gave quarter, it’s okay.” May said, “Have you never given quarter before?” She was confused, once you had given oaths you just waiting until you were ransomed. Foxhawk were rare, unlike men they were rarely killed if it could be avoided.
She wondered if that was not the same wherever they came from and she shuddered.
“He can’t see his future.” Winter pointed out, still very very confused. Which was more or less the status quo for Winter when he hit new things.
May frowned and looked at the silver. “We’ve just come to ask you questions. We don’t know why you’re attacking us or why you’re here or why you have killed so many of my friends and families. We’ve never met you before, what blood debt could we possibly owe?”
“We heard stories of you, sung on the winds and the waves, our clearest dreamers dreamed of your perversion and dark treacheries!” The silver snarled. “We came to cleanse the’sland of you, burn every scrap of evil from the land so it can be pure again.”
“What treacheries? What perversion?” Everyone was staring at the silver at this point, confused as all get out. “I don’t understand.”
“You use them, enslave them to feed your dark magic and then you drain them dry and leave them to die. They’ve dreamed it, we’ve seen it! And you will not have me!” The silver snarled and lashed out at her. May was yanked backwards as Baron put himself between them, hackles raised and hissing.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Baron demanded. “No one is enslaved, no one had died.”
“But I saw it with my own eyes,’ the silver snarled. “The wall that kept back the winds. I saw her drain them, saw they fall. You’re blind all of you, and it will kill us all!”
“I am not killing anyone!” May objected, “No one died! We put up that wall to save us and everyone helped, I did not make them do anything!”
At least I don’t think anyone died. I mean we were in the middle of the attack, but I did not feel anyone die, we would have felt that, when we were together. She asked Baron silently and he agreed.
“But we saw the bodies.” The silver accused. “We saw them once you fled.”
“Those were from the storm.” Baron snapped, “From the winds you used to level the city around us. We were doing last rites for the dead, your dead.”
“I don’t believe you,” the silver shook its head. “That is black magic, dark magic– it drains you dry and leaves you empty shells to die.”
“Maybe we’re doing it wrong then,” May snapped, “because the only people who are dying are the people you’re killing!”