(( I’m putting all of this one below a read more tag just because it’s a bit different. Alinash has a lot of time to think, and his thoughts tend to be very negative. This is a weird, mostly second-person thought story. =P ))
Alinash didn’t really care if any of the humans managed to escape with him, but he knew he couldn’t slip out on his own. Plus, they did have some decent ideas of their own.
He was quiet the rest of the day. He had to be. His locks were already unlocked, and despite the fact he told her not to, Thurgryd had left him with two daggers wrapped in gauze around his leg. What a mess it would be if the guards found those… He couldn’t chance it, but she did it anyway. I hate when people don’t listen. He figured if he could make it to tonight without being discovered, then the daggers could come in as being useful.
They waited that night until the guard who brought water passed through their cell room. No one else should come in for a while after that. It was just them and the one guard assigned to their cell room. It was time.
“Hey guard!” old flea beard called out. “Your mother was good!” He made an obscene motion to go along with his words and laughed.
Alinash rolled his eyes. He hoped that wasn’t the best taunting a human could do. The guard remained in his place, reading his book.
One of the other humans tossed a small pebble at the guard. “Hey, bucket head! You’re ugly!”
The guard shook his head and continued reading.
A few more minutes passed. They had gone over this during one of the few moments that there wasn’t a guard in the room. If an attempt to get the guard near the bars didn’t work, they were to wait before trying the next one. There was no sense in making it obvious that they were trying to get the guard to come near.
The third human tried about ten minutes later. “Hey, guard,” he said, holding his arm up through the bars as well as he could with the shackles. “Can you come look at this? This guy punched me earlier, just after the medic left, and it cut the skin. I think I need a bandage. Are there any spare?”
That was a little better, but there’s no way the guard is going to—
His thoughts were interrupted when the guard put his book down and got out of his chair. He was falling for it after all. The guard started approaching the bars of the cell. Closer. A little closer. The guard reached out to check the prisoner’s wound. It happened in a blink of an eye. The humans had coordinated well. The human who had successfully lured the guard over, grabbed the guard’s arm and pulled him against the bars. The others lunged from the sides. One of them grabbed his leg. Another grabbed his other leg. A fourth grabbed his other arm, and the edge of his helmet and held him tight against the bars. As they did that, old flea beard grabbed the keys of the guard’s belt. The guard started to call for help.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. One more word and you’re a dead man.” The first human wasn’t messing around. He had grabbed the sword off the guard’s belt and was pointing it at him.
Alinash fumbled with his locks which Thurgryd had left unlocked on his shackles for him. They fell off to the floor and for the first time in four days, he could move his arms. He was sore and tired, but there was no time to stop and think about it now. He started unraveling the bandages on his leg while the humans stole the guard’s armor and tied him to his chair at sword point. Making sure the guard wasn’t looking, he slipped the daggers away from the splints. Crazy dwarf. I hate crazy dwarf women.
A gag and blindfold for the guard were made of some of his bandages. He limped, quietly cursing each step to the pile of armor and pulled out a lower leg guard and the helmet. The humans were quietly arming themselves as well with the armor and the weapons from the weapons rack. He slipped the helmet on over his head, cramming his ears in against his head. The discomfort was barely noticeable next to the pain in his leg. He ripped the rest of the bandages off and removed the wooden splint. He quickly strapped on the leg guard. It was stronger and would hopefully give him more support to walk.
The others were all armed now. One wore some should guards. Another had the guard’s breastplate. They all had a weapon. It was time to move. Alinash limped his way over to the guard and quickly inspected his bindings. They should hold for a bit. He leaned over and kissed the guard’s cheek. “I’m going back to Silvermoon, bitch.”
He grinned as he joined the others. He wasn’t going back to Silvermoon, but if they believed that he was, they’d spend less time looking for him, and would probably forget all about him in a year or so. Still, staying hidden the next few days was going to be tricky. That’s if they managed to get out.
He waited while old flea beard stuck his head out into the hall. “It’s clear. Move quickly, move quietly.” Old flea beard waited while the others crossed the hallway, moving to help Alinash go across last. They heard a short scuffle in the room and entered in time to see the guard fall to the ground. One of the humans had stabbed him.
“We’re not supposed to be killing them,” Alinash whispered.
The man who killed him pulled his sword out of the joint between the chest plate and the arm. “He swung his sword at me first, elf, and if you ask me, they all deserve it.” He spat on the guard’s body.
Old flea beard was already working to free the prisoner’s held in this room. Alinash decided to drop it and helped the newly freed men arm themselves and filled them in on the plan. Quiet from room to room and get as many free as we can. We can outnumber them and get out that way. Alinash left out a vital part of his own plan. When they do notice us, you’ll all be too busy fighting to notice the one guy sneaking out.
The next two rooms were taken at the same time. One more guard was restrained. One more guard died. Ten more people were armed and joined them. Alinash kissed the living guard on the cheek, just as he had the other, and made sure he told him he’d be going back to Silvermoon before heading to the next room.
That’s where they ran into trouble. While the twenty or so prisoners made their way from the fourth room to the fifth, one of the guards from a room further down came out into the hallway. He as probably one of the patrols who went to check each room, but Alinash didn’t have time to verify if that was true or not. He shouted out the warning.
Old flea beard called out as well, “Phase two! Fight!” The guard in the fifth room was already subdued. Alinash limped in, trying not to cry out in pain with each step. He used the guard’s keys to unlock the cell and told the humans inside to arm themselves. They followed his instruction and ran out into the hallway moments later.
Alinash wanted to collapse now. He hurt everywhere and he was hungry and tired, but he couldn’t stop now. He stayed along the wall, partially using it for support to walk. The fighting was on the stairs now. They must have called in more guards from outside. To his surprise, the human prisoners actually seemed to be gaining ground. He followed behind the mob, and as they went further up the stairs, he crawled on hands and knees to get up them too. His leg was in bad shape and he felt sick.
The fighting had spread out in the room at the top of the stairs now. He reached the top step and stayed low, crawling to the side of the room near an exit. Coward. Maybe, but you’re a living coward. He slipped out the exit to find himself next to the canal. There were buildings across the street. An empty crate sat outside of one, next to a low hanging roof. He glanced around. All the guards are busy, idiot. Of course, it’s clear. He hurried across the street and scrambled up on top of the crate, using his injured leg as little as possible, and pulled himself up to the roof. He used his arms again to do most of the climbing to a higher roof, only searching for footholds with his good foot.
It was slow going, and much scarier going down from a higher roof to a lower roof than it was going up, but he made his way across the district to more familiar rooftops. He stopped at the one belonging to the shop, and carefully lowered himself down to the window. He let himself in.
Harrier wasn’t there. Alinash went to the desk and used a piece of paper and Harrier’s pen and ink to write ‘GET HELP, NOT ZAR, THANKS’ on the paper. He placed it on the nightstand, folding the paper so that it would stand up. Then hobbled to the closet and pulled out an old blanket. He put it on his side of the bed and lay on top of it. He knew he was a mess and he smelled, and the last thing he wanted to do was ruin the bed with it. He was also too exhausted to do anything other than sleep right now so the old blanket would have to do. He passed out as soon as he lied down.
The things Thurgryd did for love. First, Zarellina had gone through with the void change, and now she wanted Thurgryd to check the prison for one of her friends. She had only lucked out that today was the clinic’s weekly visit to the prisoners, and no one else had volunteered for it, though the last part wasn’t unusual. Normally, one of the new guys was sent, and she had been with the practice for ten years. It had been ages since she had been asked to go.
Still, she only counted one raised eyebrow when she asked for the assignment, and nobody asked any questions. She was given a pack of bandages and medicine and sent off to the holding cells.
She remembered just how much she hated it as she stepped inside and went down the steps. The smell grew stronger with each step down. The scent of unwashed bodies, urine, and feces filled the air.
You’ll be done in a few hours, and then you never have to come back here again.
She needed the reminder as she stopped at the first room to sign in. Then she unloaded her pack onto a cart. She had water and medicine, bandages, splints, and a limited amount of tools. She wasn’t allowed anything that the prisoners could use as weapons, which is why she glanced up briefly to make sure the guard at the sign in wasn’t looking as she slipped the last item out of her bag. It was a small box with magnets glued to one side. She quickly slipped it on the bottom side of the cart table, then left the bag aside near the sign in.
She pushed the cart to the door where another guard inspected it and checked her for any weapons. They didn’t check underneath. Thurgryd refrained from breathing a sigh of relief. She wanted to refrain breathing the foul air at all, but Zarellina had practically begged her to check for her friend. She had to do this.
For her, she’d do anything.
The guard let her pass, and she pushed the cart down the hall to the cell rooms. The wheels rattled unevenly over the stone floor as she went in the first room. A guard sat nearby. He barely spared her a glance. There was no blood elf in this room, but the four men crowded into the cell all claimed to have aches of some kind. She knew it was the water offered with the medicine they were after, and let them each have a turn with the ground silverleaf pills and a cup of water before making her way to the next room.
The next room did not have a blood elf, nor did the next five rooms. She treated cuts, bruises, and had to give one guy stitches. She also had to refill the water twice.
Thurgryd was beginning to believe Zarellina’s friend wasn’t here.
She stepped foot into the next room, pushing her cart ahead of her, and nearly gasped upon looking up. So he was here. She continued pushing the cart forward as the elf looked at her. She waited for the guard to get up to unlock the cell and let her in. That’s when she glimpsed the elf’s leg. He was in bad shape, and that was without mentioning which cell they had put him in. The five other men had already had trials and were just waiting for paperwork to be signed before going to the gallows.
She treated them first, giving them each a silverleaf pill, along with a couple drops of dreamfoil extract in their water. It would make them drowsy for an hour or so, and worked quickly. They would be less likely to pay attention while she treated Zarellina’s friend.
While they all wore shackles on their wrists and ankles, the blood elf was the only one chained to something. Unfortunately, it was the wall. His hands were shackled too high for her to reach. Thankfully, there was a stool on the lower part of the cart that she could pull out to use in situations like this.
After treating the others, she pushed the cart over next to Zarellina’s friend, then tipped over the water, making it look like an accident.
“Oh drats. Guard, could you go refill this for me? I was almost done too.” She held the narrow pitcher through the bars.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. I can’t leave you alone in there with them.”
“I need to start treating this elf now. His leg is infected.”
“He’ll be dead by this time next week. It’s pointless. He doesn’t even have someone to advocate for him to slow down the process. You can go get his water if you really want, but he’s not going to need it when he’s hanged.”
“I’m still going to treat him. He shouldn’t have to spend his last few days in agony.” She waited while the guard unlocked the door for her, then went to refill the water. It was time to move to plan B. She needed to be able to talk to the elf without the guard there.
She returned to the room, glancing at the guard, then stopping to face him. “Did they issue new boots recently? Those look different than what you guys were wearing a few years ago.”
“Oh, well it’s been a few years, but they did update the trim.”
She approached, leaving the cart behind in the middle of the room. “I can tell. They didn’t have it along this edge before, did they?” She was directly in front of the guard now, and next to his table with his book and his drink on it.
He looked down. “Yeah, I think that was part of the changes.”
While he was looking where she pointed, she used her other hand to add a couple of drops of dreamfoil extract to his drink. “I see. It looks much nicer this way.” Her other hand darted back into her pocket. “I’m sorry, I’m here to work, aren’t I? I shouldn’t be wasting your time. I do like the new trim though. I’m surprised I hadn’t noticed it before now.”
He smiled, nodded, and reached for his glass. It had been almost too easy, but she wasn’t about to complain. He sipped his drink before getting up to let her in the cell. The other prisoners had drifted off to sleep fairly quickly when they had their dose of the same medicine. She briefly wondered if he would make it to the cell at all, but her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of him sitting again. He likely wouldn’t remember the few minutes before he fell asleep either, thanks to the way dreamfoil worked, and that worked out well. She feigned concern just in case.
“Are you okay?” She shook him a bit. He was out cold. She grabbed the guard’s keys and went to the cell to let herself in. She locked it behind herself to make it look good in case someone walked by and looked in. She pushed the tray over to the blood elf.
“Your leg is a mess.”
He said nothing.
“I can’t do much here. There’s too much swelling to set it properly. That will need to be brought down first, and there’s not enough time now.”
She looked up at him. He still hadn’t said anything. “You do recognize me, right?” She kept her voice down and glanced towards the door before looking back at him.
“I hope they didn’t cut out your tongue.”
He shook his head.
“Well, even if you won’t talk to me, you can listen. I can put a splint on your leg to give it some additional support when you inevitably have to walk on it, and it better be soon or you’re going to lose it, but not before tonight.” She lowered her voice to a whisper, “There are fewer guards at night. I’m sure you’ve noticed.”
He nodded slightly.
Thurgryd glanced towards the door before reaching under the cart table and pulling out the box. She opened it and pulled out two thin daggers and wrapped them onto the wooden splint pieces then wrapped the splint onto his leg.
He spoke, “No, it’s too dangerous. If the guards see them, they’ll know you were helping. That could get you, Jonrich and Zarellina in trouble, and any one of you could tell them everything.”
“Then don’t let the guards see them. Look, if you don’t get out tonight, you are going to die, and you probably won’t even get to the gallows. You’re running a fever. As soon as you get back home, you need to tell your boyfriend to let me know. I can get someone to see you and take care of your leg.” She continued wrapping the splits on his leg making sure the daggers were concealed.
After she finished she pulled out the stool and poured some water into a glass. She looked through the pills and extracts and mixtures and took out three bottles. “This one will help with the pain. Open up.”
“It’s not going to make me sleep, is it?”
He opened his mouth. She dropped the pill in then held the water up to his lips. He drank the entire cup.
She opened the second bottle and measured out a small amount in a cup. “This should help the infection. Again, you need to get out tonight. Just one dose isn’t going to be enough.”
He nodded and let her give it to him.
“And this last one will help both the fever and the pain.”
He nodded once more and opened his mouth, drinking all the water she gave him again.
“And one last thing.” She took a handful of bandages from the cart and reached up to his hands. She pressed a couple of bent wires against his palm and wrapped them under the bandages. From what she had heard, he’d know what to do with those.
She glanced back towards the entrance to the room. The guard was still out, and no one else had come in yet. She took the keys out of her pocket and unlocked the locks on his shackles. “Leave them like this for now,” she said while making sure they looked like they were closed. “Then you can use the wires to open the cell door. Please, just wait until night, and be careful.”
She stepped down from the stool and slid it back under the cart. “Good luck.” She opened the cell door and pushed the cart out, stopping in the middle of the room to return the keys to the guard’s belt. She glanced back, noticing one of the men in the cell was starting to wake, which meant the guard would soon as well. She hurried out of the room hoping he would think he just had a nap when he wasn’t supposed to and therefore wouldn’t say anything. She put her supplies back in her pack and signed out while trying to look like she wasn’t in too much of a hurry.
She hoped she’d hear from his boyfriend tonight.
It was quite the predicament. Here he was, chained to a wall, trying to balance all of his weight on one foot for three days straight. His other leg burned and throbbed with pain. It did not help that the guard liked to ‘accidentally’ kick it when he brought in water. They had sent no one to look at it, but neither had Alinash tried to ask. In fact, he hadn’t spoken a single word since they brought him in.
He wanted to keep his side of the story ready to be made up in case someone came to get him, though it had been a few days now and time was running out. Earlier today, one of the humans had told him he’d have a trial in a week, and if he didn’t start talking, he would go to the gallows as a spy, a story Alinash would have believed more if the other men in his cell didn’t have four-week old beards. No, it was just another ploy made to get him to talk. They had already tried beating him. Now they were trying to wait him out.
Still, Alinash wasn’t sure how much his friends could actually do. They couldn’t even ask to see him without implicating themselves. It may be up to him to get himself out. So he had, for the past day, been taking mental note of everything. The five humans in his cell were shackled, and all looked like they had been in here for a while. One of them had been in long enough to tell tales about riots daily. He claimed to have been in two uprisings against the guards. The others looked bored with his stories, but Alinash listened.
One clear mistake that the guards had not learned their lesson about during previous prisoner uprisings was the presence of a weapons rack in the same room. It was on the other side of the cell bars and quite a ways out of reach, but it was there. If he could get loose, and get the others freed and past the bars, old flea beard could lead another riot using those weapons. If they were organized and went from room to room freeing as many as they could before being spotted, chances would be better for slipping out during the confusion.
He glanced down at his leg. Slipping out unnoticed, even during a riot, would be difficult with that. It was obviously broken, evidenced by the shattered bone sticking through the skin, though it was quite possibly infected as well, as he saw even less of the bone today and more swollen skin around it.
He frowned with the realization that even if he managed to get out, the infection could still kill him. He had no one to see for it. Still, he felt fine for now. There wasn’t time to waste on worrying about his leg. He’d have to deal with that when the time came.
The guards did four-hour shifts before switching during the day. The ones at night did eight hours, even eating while on duty. Night time would be easiest for the riot as there were less guards, and the guards who were there were more tired. However, planning would have to come during the brief moments during the day when no guard was in the room. He wanted this done as soon as possible, before the infection in his leg spread.
He waited until the guard left the room a moment to get someone to cover for his break.
“Hey, old flea beard,” Alinash whispered, hoping he didn’t mind the name too much. It was what the others called him after all.
The human looked at him and sneered, but kept his voice lowered to a whisper, “You do speak. What do you want, elf?”
Alinash glanced at the weapons rack on the other side of the room, then back at the human. “Your expertise in rioting.” He paused, hearing footsteps outside the room. “I’ll tell you the plan next time the guards switch out.”
The human nodded as the guard walked back in the room.
Alinash glanced at the guard who took a seat in the chair near the weapons rack and opened a book. He looked at one of the other humans. Would they be in on the plan too? As if reading his mind, one of them gave a very slight nod, then the others did as well. They were in.
He might want to kill you.
Hethurin’s words echoed in Bailas’s mind. Could it be true? Hethurin had said he was just trying to warn him, and that it would be best to avoid Isturon. Why did he have to live out here in the first place? It was bad enough that Verisna sent him out here to get an apology from her son. He didn’t need her ex-husband around too, especially if he was trying to kill him.
He sighed as he glanced at the door to the stable before returning to his work cleaning out the hawkstrider stall. He was constantly watching the door now. What if Isturon planned to kill him in the stable? He could make it look like one of the hawkstriders did it. He glanced at the door again. There was still no one.
He let his thoughts wander to the party. He’d met a wonderful woman at the food table, and he found himself completely taken with her. It wasn’t that he didn’t love Verisna, but she had sent him away. He supposed if he found someone else, he wouldn’t have to get Hethurin’s forgiveness, and maybe Isturon wouldn’t want to kill him as much.
He glanced up once more. At least Isturon hadn’t been at the party, though he learned why while speaking to Braedra. He was watching the children in another room. She was helping him. He wouldn’t have minded helping her, but not with him there. He had helped her make a plate to take to him, then made up an excuse not to go, but not before making sure she knew how he felt.
She had seemed confused at first, which caused him to be even more enthralled with her. Verisna had been bold and sure. He decided then and there that cautious and uncertain was more interesting. He hoped he would be able to meet with her again soon.
He glanced up at the door before starting the next stall.
(( Alinash has a potty mouth so I put it under the cut! This work contains profanity. ))
Alinash scampered up the side of the building to the roof and hurried away from the shop. He wiped his eyes before climbing up to the next roof, then again before lowering himself down to the next one. He wasn’t even sure what he was crying for. He had spoken to Harrier about the void elves and how Zarellina had offered to help him through it.
Zarellina poured tea into two cups.
I hate tea.
“Did you get a chance to try writing things down?”
I hate writing things down. “It didn’t work,” he said while glaring at her. Why couldn’t he see under her hood? What was she hiding? Why had she decided to wear gloves every time he was here now?
“I really think you need an outlet. You seem angry and hurt.”
He said nothing in response and decided that staring angrily at his tea was easier than trying to see her inside her hood.
“Have you seen them?”
He looked back up at her. He probably had seen them, but he decided to play dumb. “Who?”
“The void elves. Ren’dorei.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He knew exactly what she was talking about. He had seen them in the market in broad daylight. He had to admit to being a little jealous, as well as perplexed. Corrupted by fel and they were out of the Alliance, but corrupted by fel and the void and it was fine? He didn’t get it. Politics were confusing. I hate politics.
“They’ve been accepted into the Alliance. They used to be Sin’dorei.”
He returned to staring angrily at his tea. Whatever she said next wasn’t going to be any big surprise. He had guessed a couple of weeks ago, and her continued use of the hood and gloves just made him more sure his suspicions were true.
“They can help you. I spoke to one and they helped me. They showed me the way to control the darkness.”
I hate when I’m right.
She pushed back her hood. Her skin was a strange shade of purple, and her once blond hair was now dark.
I really hate when I’m right. He looked at her, waiting for her to say more.
“You’ll belong here. You’ll belong in Stormwind.”
And she was right, but was it worth it? It would change him, physically. What if the only reason Harrier wanted him at all was that he had a pretty cream-colored ass? And without Harrier, would he want to even stay in Stormwind anymore? That lead him to his first question, “How do Jonrich and Thurgryd feel about it?”
“Jonrich accepted it a lot more easily than Thurgryd, perhaps because he has his own thing. A worgen isn’t much different, is it? They were all bad. There was no way to control the beast inside, and then things changed. He’s in control now. The void is the same way. There is a way to control it. Thurgryd came around after a few nights in her own room.”
He looked at her warily. She did seem to be in control. Her personality hadn’t changed, just her physical appearance. “Did it hurt?”
“I wouldn’t describe it as physical pain, nor was it really pain at all. It was unpleasant. You have to be strong. I think you are.”
“I’m not a mage.”
“It can still be done. You can still be in control of it. You can belong here.”
Alinash twitched an ear.
“I just think you should think about it. It’s not a decision I would recommend making right away. I don’t want you to answer tonight, but I want you to be aware that if you want to, I can help you.”
I hate decisions. He twitched an ear again. “I’ll think about it then.”