Accidents have Consequences
Characters: Taril, Yriadha, Arnolt, Humari, Riadem, Torinya, Tumaril
Description: Taril learns of the runner accident and is summoned to the infirmary
Location: Sunstone Seahold
Date: month 10, day 28 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Bryvin
Notes: Occurs after "Runners on the Loose"
The growing heat of the afternoon found Arnolt rushing towards Taril's
office. Face pale and eyes stricken, he burst through the door
without bothering to knock. He didn't even bother to look at Taril's
company. "Taril, the infirmary. You have to come."
The merchant looked up from the ship's manifest in his hand as the
sailor he sat with twisted in his seat to gawk at the boy. Taril
scowled at the interruption-- then he saw Arnolt's pale face. "What
the blazes-- what do you mean, the Infirmary?!"
Arnolt was panting; he'd run all the way from the hold, sweat beading
his brow. "Yriadha sent me. There was an accident at the market.
There were runners and someone spooked 'em and they busted out of that
fecking rickety pen that's never been fixed." He heaved, bending over
to try to catch his breath. "Humari and Tumaril was there, Taril.
She's hurt. Hurt bad."
Panic shot through him. He dropped the manifest and pointed at the man
sitting across from him. "We will continue this later, Garik."
Garic frowned. "When, later? I have a hull to fill--"
"I said later!" Taril barked. He was already reaching for his crutch,
already standing. Dodger appeared in the air above him, his eyes
whirling with distress. **Humari!** Taril sent to the flit, and Dodger
went /between/ to find her and act as Taril's eyes.
As the flit emerged, what he saw was frenetic activity that involved
the entire infirmary. Yriadha, face strained and pale, stood in the
small waiting area holding Yavin close to her chest. The young babe
suckled at his fist, snuffling piteously as Yriadha directed a man
wearing a guard patch before another approached. Humari's sister sat
in a chair, trying to comfort the wailing Tumaril on her lap. Both
small children were visibly scraped, bruised and dirty, but otherwise
uninjured. A elderly woman draped herself over a covered body in
curtained off alcove, sobbing.
Past them hidden by curtains were two groups of Healers, one group
working frantically over a small figure in a cot. The other group
stood over Humari. Clustered closely around her, it was difficult to
get a good view of her injuries. One Healer visibly shook his head,
but another with an almost familiar face. gestured angrily, clearly
arguing. When one of the group at the end of the cot moved, there was
clear evidence of a wide pool of blood on her skirts. A pale slim arm
was seen, covered in dark bruises and oddly bent. Finally, a view of
her face. It was a mask of blood; an open gash at her brow revealed
the source, but her face also seemed swollen.
Taril stumbled on the cobbles. He didn't know whether to send Dodger
to Humari or his son, but the flit made up his own mind and settled on
Humari's bed to curl around her foot, keening softly. **I'm coming,**
he thought grimly. It had been turns since he had hated his mangled,
useless body as much as he did on the long, achingly slow walk up the
path to the Hold.
At some point the merchant lost sight of Arnolt. Perhaps he'd run
ahead again, as frustrated as Taril was by his lameness. Perhaps he'd
been lost in the swirl of people that clogged moved between the
dockyard and the road. Taril hated each and every one of them. The
Hold loomed ahead and he was through the doors, his crutch tapping an
impatient beat on the floor as he hurried to the Infirmary.
Feck, he hated Infirmaries. Healers. The smells and sound of it
brought back unpleasant memories. He stepped through the door, his
gaze alighting briefly on Yriadha, then Torinya and his son. He
hesitated at the sight of Tumaril's tear-stained cheeks, but he turned
first to the curtain that hid his wife.
"Papa!" Tumaril spotted Taril as soon as he walked in, and stretched
out his arms, reaching towards his father and clenching and
unclenching his fists in a beckoning gesture. "PAPA!"
Yriadha spun, catching sight of Taril and hurried forward, her face
pinched. "You can't go back there, Taril. Not yet. They're not letting
anyone back there." She turned glanced over as a young woman hurried
into the infirmary, looking desperate and paled. A Healer met her and
pulled her aside, speaking softly. The woman wailed, falling to her
knees and Yriadha swallowed hard before turning back to face Taril.
"I've already tried."
Arnolt came rushing in, face red. "She okay? Did they say yet?"
"No." Yriadha spoke briskly. "What did you find out?"
"Basta...Jagin lit out as soon as word got to the pens. Someone saw
him with a pack and riding one of the Hold's fastest runners and
Yriadha's eyes narrowed. Bustling towards the door, she yelled for the
nearest guard. "Get my runner out of the stables. Jagin headed west.
Find him. Catch him. Bring him back alive."
Torinya looked up at Taril, trying to hold Tumaril as best as she
could as he strained to reach his father. "I'm sorry, Taril. She
pushed us out of the way."
Their words only half-filtered in. Taril's attention was on the
curtain and what he could see through Dodger's eyes. The scraps of
images Dodger sent were confusing, full of blood and flurries of
indistinct movement, and suffused with the flit's fear. But then he
heard Tumaril, and he reluctantly turned from the curtain to take his
son from Torinya and settle him securely against his hip. "How is
Tumaril clutched at his father, burying his face in his shoulders to
give gasping little sobs. "I wan' Mama! I wan' Mama"
Yriadha handed Yavin, having cried himself to sleep to her other
daughter. "Torinya, take him back to my quarters and stay there. I'll
come to you and let you know as soon as I can. Get him settled and
have a drink of my brandy." Torinya nodded, tears streaming down her
cheeks, taking the child and hurrying away.
The Headwoman turned back to Taril. "We don't know. She was trampled
by the runners, Taril. From what Torinya told me," She had to take a
moment, breathing deeply, "She had just handed Tumaril to her and the
runners came. They were both in the way and she pushed Torinya and the
children out of the way. She...she couldn't get out of the way."
"And when _will_ they know?" he asked sharply. Irrationally he felt as
if Yriadha knew something he didn't and she was keeping it from him.
Even though he could see his wife for himself, through Dodger's eyes.
"Her brother is working on her right now, Taril. He's a Healer and a
good one." Her own frustration cracked through her normal reserve.
"I'm doing the best I can. We don't have a Steward, Lord Bryvin is out
and won't be back until this evening and we don't have the Lady Holder
here. I'm doing three jobs at once while I'm waiting here with just as
little news as you."
Riadem emerged from behind the curtain, looking up at the pair of
them. "Please keep your voice down in here, Mother." His voice was
firm as he approached them. "Taril, please remove your flit. I know
you're concerned, but we've already had to get her firelizard under
control and to be honest, with her head injury, we don't need it
aggravated." He took a slow breath and addressed Taril rather than his
mother, but didn't tell her to leave. He kept his voice soft. "She is
badly injured, Taril. It looks as though she took a glancing blow to
the head, another on her arm and another to her abdomen. Thankfully,
her skull wasn't broken, but her cheekbone and nose were. We don't
know if there's any damage her brain yet, but an injury like that,
it's a possibility. We're hopeful that there isn't. Her arm has a bad
break, but we've set it. " He kept his voice gentle. "Taril, I'm very
sorry, but we weren't able to save the baby."
Rage, white hot, bubbled beneath his skin. Taril's grip on his son tightened. At all of them-- the useless fecking Healers, Yriadha hovering like she had some claim over her daughter still, the Hold, the runners, the Beastcrafter. They held Humari's life in their hands and he could do _nothing_. "When will she wake up."
Riadem shook his head. "We don't know. It could be that she doesn't." Yriadha stiffened, her fists clenched. "If she does, it could be candlemarks or even days. We'll have someone with her at all times. They're still working on some of the injuries, then you'll be able to see her."
**Useless.** Taril glared at Riadem. "If she doesn't wake up, I'm holding you responsible," he ground out. "Send for me when you're done." Taril turned on his heel and headed toward the door. He couldn't stand it in there anymore. They were keeping him from Humari, they would probably fail anyway. And Tumaril was still sobbing. As he left, he sent an angry order to Dodger. The little brown flit moved from Humari's foot to perch on the bedframe to watch the healers with glittering, judgmental eyes.
Yriadha followed him, speaking briskly before he could get too far. She put her hand out to lay on his arm to catch his attention. She kept her voice low. "Jagin headed west, Taril. He'll need to catch a ship to get to the Beastcraft Hall. It's interesting that Red Tide Rocks is the closest port in that direction, don't you think?" She released him and stepped away, returning to the infirmary to wait.
He stared daggers into her back as she left, hating her more for thinking she could use him like a tool or for pretending that she cared about Humari after all the abuse she'd heaped on her daughter over the Turns. But then Tumaril snuffled and buried his face in his father's neck, snapping Taril's attention back to his son. "Ssshh." He pressed a kiss against Tumaril's head. "We'll go home now, all right? We'll see your mother tomorrow. Everything will be better tomorrow, I promise."
And by the tides, he hoped that his promise wasn't a lie.
Last updated on the May 10th 2019