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Friday, 6 July 2012

Kysharok - Part 6


   "You were quite the mess when you got here, Boshna," the reptile hissed gently, concern in his large, yellow eyes.
   "I know. Did you have a hand in healing me?"
   "I did."
   Varai dipped his head at his plain response. "Thank you, Jseek. And thank you for cleaning my blade."
   Jseek bowed his head in return. "It was no trouble. You really must look after that thing, you know. It may not be your only line of defence, but you know as well as I that it could mean the difference between your living another day or spending the rest of eternity in the ground."
   "I know. Don't worry. I can handle myself."
   "I know that very well, though it makes me question all the more why you came here in such a state."
   Varai turned his head away and looked at him from the side, but his eyes stared deeply into Jseek's, searching.
   "Do not worry, Boshna," he said, smiling and revealing many sharp teeth and even longer fangs. "I do not intend to pull your secrets from you. I have shut my powers away. As curious as I am to find out just what happened, I respect you too much. I will wait, as the others will, for your truth."
   "Thank you," he said, suspicion still lingering within his gaze, but both their attention was distracted by Kari tugging at his Vankar. She thrust a tray up towards him with messily decorated small cakes, and smiled up at him in delight.
   "I made these for you!" She smiled, keeping the tray held above her. "To help you get better!"
   He smiled back and took one of the small cakes, as Jseek asked her pleasantly if he might have one too, indulging her childishness with mock but playful worship. The small girl was always trying to help. Varai had been coming to Sashir for aid for many years, wherever she might be. She often moved her base of operations, since her services were illegal, and everyone - Karn, Kari, Jseek and Jegel - went with her, and each and every time he arrived there, be it expected or not, Kari would always make him cakes.
   Her delight increased when he took a bite, and despite the smell of burnt sugar that seemed to manifest with whatever the small girl would prepare, they were delicious. They were, of course, no ordinary cakes that a little girl might make. These were baked with a particular kind of sugar that restored strength and energy, likely supplied by Jseek himself.
   He appreciated the girl's efforts - she wasn't adept at much, but she always tried. He had seen Sashir aid others like him, Salori with magical enhancement implants - the use of which was not prohibited, but the grafting of which certainly was except by adept individuals - and had been conscious many times while he himself was healed. He had a few magical enhancements of his own, installed by Sashir herself. She was not licensed to do so, but she had an undoubtedly high success rate, higher still than those who could do so legally. It was for this reason she needed to relocate so frequently, and also why he could see no normal healer. The implants required special care that only those who implant them know to give. If he were to go to any standard healer in a guild or station, he would risk his life just having a shallow cut healed, and if he were to go to any licensed healer other than Sashir, he would be putting her life and those that followed her at risk as well.
   Over the years, however, he grew fond of her, and began to visit from time to time to donate herbs and ingredients required for the specific antidotes needed to calm the implants during healing processes - antidotes that Jseek frequently put together.
   He was almost as fond of him. Jseek was a Xyclan, a reptilian race older than human, and a race known mostly as scholars and researchers. They had some kind of hypnotic ability that enabled them to penetrate the mind of anyone they desired and gain their thoughts, plans and secrets - anything they wanted. It was what also made them perfect interrogators. They got the information they needed quickly and without struggle. Jseek, however, had only penetrated his mind on occasion, and only ever for simple things like honest thoughts on a matter, but he never shared what he learned, and Varai had also quickly learned the very slight tingling sensation to his scalp that hinted of the process taking place. While he could do nothing to stop it, at least he knew if it were happening. And Jseek hadn't done it yet at that point, and he didn't believe he would. He, too, respected him, and trusted his word.
   "You will need to stay here a few more days," Sashir spoke up as Kari set the tray down on a nearby table. "I understand you may want to try to resolve whatever has happened, but it will have to wait. You will only do yourself more harm if you go running off. Do you understand?"
   "I always do, Sash," he replied, and dropped down into a chair with a sigh.





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