January 13, 2016 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
Brainfoo and Day Job ate my writing time! In lieu of a chapterlet, have a bit of the new draft of the Rin & Girey story, the thing that started this entire universe.
…[Rin] had been a medic in the Emperor’s Army – Third Army, Seventh Battle – since she’d graduated from academy. And now she had been mustered out, and she was heading home – heading back to Lannamer, once her rounds were done.
The second medical tent was well in hand. Gorieg, Etebabie, and the new medic – what was her name? Kozhyie? No, Kezya – were helping those with smaller injuries to their feet and from their feet to their goats. All of those who could travel would be able to join their units travelling back north, going home.
When the fighting was embroiled, delegation was an important skill. Now that the war was done, Rin was regretting how efficiently she’d passed out the work.
The more junior medics had all of the wounded soldiers from their side well in hand. Their boss, Tedrin, was dealing with the few injured officers left here on the front. That left only the injured-prisoner tent for Rin to handle.
The guards at the tent knew her by now. “Is it true?” the younger one asked. He was so new, the shiny wasn’t even worn off of him yet. “Is it really over?”
He looked as lost as Rin felt. She nodded. “They signed the surrender. We won.” Calenta had won battles before. They’d forced Bithrain into treaties before. But not like this. “We’re going home.”
“’Bout time.” The older guard grinned widely at them. “What’s the point in winning everyone’s money if I never have a chance to spend it, eh? I’m gonna go home and buy myself an inn. What about you two?”
Rin smiled in the face of the guard’s grin. “I’m going to go be a medic for myself, I guess. No more bosses, right?”
“No more bosses.” The older guard waved her in with a nod. “Go on, do what you’ve gotta for them. They’re going one way or the other by tomorrow, same as all of us.”
“Hsst,” Rin scolded, but it was too late for that. The prisoners inside already would have heard. “No wonder you’re still only wearing one leaf, Torie. Don’t you ever keep your mouth shut?”
“No still about it. I’ve been up and down the ranks more times than Chicken here has-” she completed her sentence with a rude gesture. “I like it that way. Besides, it’s not like they couldn’t figure it out. War’s over. We won. No more prisoner exchanges needed.”
“That’s enough.” The prisoner tent had always had a particular stink – unwashed bodies and panic, worry and blood. The stench rising from there now was twice as bad and three times as strong. “Let me in.”
“Yes, boss.” Torie punctuated her sarcasm with an excessive bow while the boy called Chicken opened the tent flap for her.
She immediately regretted it. It was one thing to know it was going to smell in there, another to be faced with it straight-on. Rin breathed slowly as she stepped through the flap, giving herself a moment to get used to the stench, a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness.
The tent was lined with prisoners, each tethered to the ground or their bed by a shackle, each wearing bandages or stitches over some injury or another.
An officer near the front of the tent pried himself to his feet and made a passable attempt at a Cālenyen bow, despite his injured leg. “Lady Healer,” he asked, in Cālenyen that wasn’t nearly as good as his bow, “is it true that a treaty has been signed?”
“The Bitrani leadership has signed a surrender.” She answered in Bitrani, so that everyone here had a chance of understanding. “The war is over.”
“Then what happens to us, lass?” That came from a conscripted farmer near the back of the tent. Rin had set his broken arm and gotten it started on healing; he’d be able to swing a scythe again by the time the harvest came.
“What I have been told is this,” she answered carefully: “The farmers and tradespeople will be released, as long as you swear not to take up arms against Calenta again. The officers and noblemen will likely be heading north as captives.”
The officer who had questioned her first cleared her throat. “I thought that Calenta did not take slaves.”
“Calenta does not. But sometimes Cālenyena do.”
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