Abattoir-by Revans Rubber Duckie, Chapter 3, Fantasy/Young Adult

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Abattoir-by Revans Rubber Duckie, Chapter 3, Fantasy/Young Adult

Post  Revans Rubber Duckie on Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:51 pm


(Click for full view if interested--it seems to of have cut off the side a little)
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Ethessa is a human experiment, along with hundreds of other children, given the ability to destroy and create her cells in exchange for sacrificing her memories. Put through brutal tests and unrelenting experiments, she has learned her only purpose in life is to kill and be the perfect soldier.

Her abilities and morals are put the test when she's put on an assignment--something that has never happened before with any child experiment. Tasked with escorting a noble girl, Ethessa soon finds that she is about to be thrust into the middle of a war that may very well bring everything she believes crashing down on her.
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I wonder why some of the other orphans have disappeared?
--Ghanj'thema 78, Excerpt #76

“...to kill whatever harm there is or will be, including your fiance.”

“Is that really necessary?”

“Yes.”

Ethi lay still, trying to distinguish her surroundings. One of the voices she knew was Xan's, so she knew they were not in any immediate danger. If they were, he'd have an edge or sound angry. The second voice though, she could not recognize at all. She'd never heard it before in her life—or at least not that she could remember. The voice was cold, but with just enough emotion to draw you in, and Ethi immediately placed it as a noble-class accent. She knew pretending to still be asleep would be her best bet, that way she at least had a chance of figuring out who this other person was, and make better sense of the situation, but curiosity got the best of her. She wanted to know what this person looked like.

Ethi slowly got up into a sitting position, rubbing her eyes before shutting them tight again, making a small protesting sound against the cruel light. It was still raining, but the carriage had a light built into the ceiling, easily illuminating the entire interior. She hated that stupid light at the moment.

“You're finally up.” It wasn't a question, it wasn't even said for the sake of conversation. It was just a statement to make her realize how long she'd been out. Judging from the slight aggravated tone in Xan's voice, it was awhile. That automatically placed any previous thoughts of wanting to know who this second passenger was out of her mind.

Regardless, Ethi nodded, if slowly, “Yeah. Where are we?”

“Later. Greet our guest first.”

“Hi,” Ethi replied, making a glance over at the other passenger with a slight nod, catching a glimpse of white hair. Nevermind the fact that the voice had sounded extremely youthful, white hair registered as 'old person' in Ethi's head, and thus it became even less appealing to learn who they were, “Now, where are we?”

Xan leaned back sighing, and looked out the window, “Greet her properly.”

“I don't—”

“Then I don't want to answer you,” Xan retorted, closing his eyes. It has always been like this. She'd refuse to do something, he'd refuse her in turn, then there would be a five second pause—he guessed her weighing her options—before she'd make a slight glare and comply with his wishes. Sure enough, it all happened, and in that exact order. He missed the glare, but he knew she sent it. She always did.

“Forgive me. I'm a little sluggish when I just wake up,” Xan wanted to snort. She was sluggish all the time, and not just a little, either. A slight nod was made by the new-found passenger in the girl's direction to show the woman understood and wished for her to continue.

“Uh, my name's Ethessa, and no, I don't have a household name unless you count Drek.”

“I see. Understandable, considering your background. I am Alida don Ikasa. I trust you will do your best in protecting me?”

Time stopped for a few seconds, Ethi wanting to ask what that was supposed to mean when the woman had said 'considering your background,' but that changed immediately the second the name was said. For a moment, Ethi was sure she was going to die. No one could insult that household and not get punished in some way or another. Then the last statement kicked in and she nodded hurriedly realizing she had not answered yet.

“I'll try my best, m'lady. Forgive my earlier behaviour,” Ethessa made a slight bow, or at least as much as possible while sitting in the carriage, fumbling over her words. Ugh, how could she of been so stupid? She was supposed to set a good impression on all of these outsiders—and this was far from.

“Ah, I would think that simply Alida will do just fine, considering we are supposed to be undercover.”

Ethi flushed in embarrassment, “R-right. Sorry.”

“I must applaud you. You managed to teach her what an idiot she really is,” Xan cut in, smirking.

“Hey!” the girl in question turned to Xan, “I am not!”

Xan just raised an eyebrow, “That your way of saying you don't want to know where we are?”

Ethi was ready to punch his face in, or at least jump across and tackle him, but that would result in both awkward position and losing her chance to learn their whereabouts, so she stayed put, simply sticking her tongue out at him while crossing her arms. Xan rolled his eyes at her childish behaviour.

Then Alida made a small giggle and their attention was on her, “You two must be very close. Are you related?”

“Um, he's my peraro if that counts?”

“No, I'm not. You decided that without my permission,” he turned to the young heiress, “We're just partners. Once she reaches adulthood, she is on her own.”

'Adulthood' was just a term used to replace 'expire.' Due to the intensive training and tampering, thema body was not quite as sturdy as an untempered human. Eventually when she came to around the age of 17, her body would slowly begin to deteriorate, eventually losing all function. Of course, she did not know this, so it would not matter if she over exerted herself in her mind. Xan had not bothered to inform her on any of it, and he never would. She only had three or four years—maybe five if she was lucky and pushed it—left and he figured he should let her live it to her fullest rather than sitting there moping over her soon to be death.

“You still haven't answered where we are,” her voice cut into his thoughts. Of course. She cut into everything.

“We're halfway to the border.”

“We're only that far? The map makes it look a lot closer.”

“Yes, that is the point of a map, dolt.”

“Stop being so mean! It's my first time ever being out of the---oh, um, I mean....” Ethessa trailed off figuring out her mistake. Somehow, she had forgotten the noble sitting across from her. How was she going to cover this up? No one other than a select few and Drek itself knew of the organizations affairs and what went on within it. She could only hope Xan didn't do anything too drastic. Then again, he wouldn't. Xan just was not like that.

In fact, Xan was anything but drastic. He would be reckless or angry, or even blunt, but he was never going over the top. In actuality, though he never showed it, he was caring. Ethi remembered one time when she had asked to go for advanced training and he had been against it, telling her whatever happened, she was on her own. She had agreed readily, taking on all obstacles and challenged. Unfortunately, her instructor, Weapons Master Gor, was unreasonably cruel. If her footing was even a millimetre off, a wonderful whip found her feet.

For the most part, she had put up with it, knowing it'd help her in the long run, but then she slowly started not going anywhere, whether it be tagging along with Xan or not. Somehow he found out what was going on and she found her instructor suddenly a lot nicer, and with several new bruises. No matter how hard she tried—still does—Xan still never admits to helping at all. It was just who he was. He doesn't like people knowing he cares; that he has a weakness that can easily be taken advantage of.

“She knows. She's one of the most influential houses this world has ever known, of course she would. Any important household knows, idiot.”

“I'm sorry for interrupting, but is that really any way to talk to your partner?”

Xan glanced over, “Do you want me to answer truthfully?”

“Nobody likes liars.”

“Nobody likes snoops, either.”

Xan caught the slight twitch in Alida's hand and on her mouth. Although she may hate formalities she grew up with, it seems she couldn't get over being insulted. Especially not by some low-life apathetic civilian like Xanthos. He could see her wanting to retort, but fighting the urge in favour of looking and maintaining her good girl duchess routine. Typical.

“That was mean! Take it back!” And of course his cute little burden would cut in.

“Oh, sure. Take her side. I'll remember that.”

“But she's a lad--”

“No,” Alida voiced herself, “It is not my business to know what is going on between you two, especially when considering we are here only for a few days together; perhaps a week at the most.”

“He's just being an a—”

“Don't finish that sentence or I will throw you out of this carriage and watch as you flail down a ditch.”

“You say it.”

“I'm also older.”

“What kind of excuse is that?!”

“The same kind that's getting me my pay for your stuff.”

“You're payed to get me stuff. It's in the contract.”

“Con--? Right. It also said I'm allowed to beat you if I find you're being impracticable.”

Contract was also a term thema were taught. In her world, and to the few who knew of their organization, the employees were there by choice and being held in by a contract form. That was only half true.

They were there by choice, almost all there because they had no way of supporting themselves, but it was the threat of death that would be holding them in. For every pair, the terms of the contract differed. Consequences and rules were different, all made up by the one looking over the thema. For Xan, he manipulated that delusion only when he needed to. He was lucky Ethi never had enough sense to discuss the contract with other thema. She would never think of it, of course. She was an idiot.

Ethessa had shut up after that. Although Xan had never done anything horrible to her, he had apparently struck her before. She did not remember it, as it was prior to the arena battle, but he claimed to have done it before, and she did not doubt it in the least. His word was absolute to her. At the most he would have probably only thrown her down and told her to behave, but it was still a scary thought.

This was the man who she trusted her life to (more like sold to seeing as he did pretty much own her,) the thought of being betrayed by him terrified her. She doubted she would be able to keep her sanity if such a thing happened. This was the only being she could trust. Everything she did was literally for him, and if he decided to deem her actions useless, then she was useless. Then she did mean absolutely nothing.

“Well, I think we should do some kind of activity or game to pass the time. I don't see much pleasure in practising awkward silences,” Alida broke the tension, leaning forward with a twinkle in her eye. Ethi quickly agreed before the two teamed up and forced Xan to indulge himself in their shenanigans.
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Revans Rubber Duckie

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