Who

Bailey, Hannah, Rhiex (NPC), Ulrik

What

Ulrik is in the wrong place, wrong time, caught by Bailey and taken down by the guard. Takes place directly after Bailey speaks with Sammael.

Violence, language.

When

It is midmorning of the sixteenth day of the first month of the third turn of the 12th pass.

In Southern Mountains:
It is the seventy-sixth day of Summer and 25 degrees. It's really damn cold out.

Where

Narrow Hallway, Ice Fields

OOC Date 11 Oct 2014 07:00

 

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"Stop fighting like animals…"


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Narrow Hallway

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This may be a narrowed space in contrast to the airy spaciousness of the centralized caverns of the Hold, but it is filled with what seems as twice the business: a buzz of life pervades these walls at all hours, denying the cramped space solitude. Spare, it has only room for the perpetual footfalls of those who travel the narrowed hall: offices and dorms and meaningful rooms find exits and entrances here.


Timor: moon7.jpg
Belior: moon2.jpg

All is silent in the night, as the dinner hour wanes into the later evening. The hold settles into the frigid grip of night, stars twinkling overhead. It is no secret that the Weyrwoman is in the Hold, guarded more heavily by Rhiex and his trusted second than ever before. The halls are quiet and dark, the glows cheerfully lighting what's around them into puddles of light that stretch into the inky darkness. A commotion occurs down the hallways, away from the latrines — a commotion that suggests something sinister — whatever this distraction is, it sees guards that would be recognized as those of Hannah's personal guard rushing in the opposite direction of the latrines. The hallways fall silent. Eerily, so. The commotion is a dim bubble of sound, but the insulating weight of stone is enough to muffle everything. Even one's footsteps.

It might surprise some to know just what sort of information filters down to the darker, gloomier reaches of the Hold. Then again, it's amazing what a few scoops of tea can buy a man. Thus it is that having heard of the illustrious guest once again gracing the glowlit halls a certain raven-haired convict has once again slipped his cage. On stealthy feet he slips from one pool of inky black to the next, blending with the shadows and stiffening at the dim sounds of a commotion. One, two, three heartbeats and he's moving again with pocket weighted by a long gold chain with token attached and a shiv curled into the palm of a hand.

It is an evening that hangs on the tension of a darkness about to arise from the depths of the Hold. It is a night that holds the portent of the promise of disaster, set in the aftermath of a disaster already taken as the Healer Neve is ensconced within the relative safety of the infirmary, recovering from her own encounter with the Hold's ghastly maniac. However, on this night where silence weighs heavy and the hairs at the back of the neck raise, Hannah slips from the latrines. Stumbling forward, the woman's arm is outstretch to catch herself on the wall. Dressed in shades of silver, and on bare feet with her pale hair tumbling from what used to be a bun to frame features paler than usual. She could be a ghostly construct to walk the hallways, half turning with wide emerald green eyes fixed upon the point that Ulrik is briefly seen. She walks close to the wall, the sleeves of a silver dress brushing the stones as one hand presses for balance. An ominous drip-drip-drip follows her, the other arm hanging limp. After a few steps. She pauses. Almost like seeing the image of a dream behind her eyes. It is the lack of focus that one gets when the connection to one's dragon is fully open.

It's the flash of silver that catches Ulrik's eye, the dark set of hard features starting to soften and compose about another line as his steps quicken. The distance between convict and weyrwoman is covered in but a few long strides wherein, by the soft glow of light pooling from a basket set on the wall, several things register simultaneously and crash into his gut with a sickening lurch. "Hannah!?" The rasp of his voice louder than intended upon the ominous hush of air. "Hannah!" A strong arm reaches for her, the crudely made weapon he'd been carrying dropped to the floor with a clatter while fingers freed grasp the delicate V of her chin. "Look at me." The vacant stare of emerald green eyes dropping a cold icicle down his spine.

Something is wrong. Something is so very, very wrong. Hannah wavers on her feet, but it is the cry of pain that gathers in her throat emerging only as a whimper that pushes out the bloody foam dribbling from lips. Red, red, red; it is the paint that's plastered to the center of his chest by that limp hand that pushes — pulls? — splaying small fingers to the drab-grey of convict overalls to smear the bright black-red of blood across the front of his chest. Down her back is a ribbon of darkness spilling from the blade that's still lodged in, caught in the bone of ribs and possibly knicking a lung to cause the bloody foam to dribble from the open mouth. Those vacant eyes turn to look at up at him, seeing but not seeing when feeling the touch of fingers to her chin. "Cold." It is a whisper of a word that spills forth as Hannah slowly pitches forward, her other hand coming up to grip as shock and blood loss drain the strength from her legs. But from her hands, too, the strength is gone. Unless he catches her, then she will sink slowly down, head falling back to expose the side of her neck and the stain of blood on the bright silver of her dress. Eyes half slitted as breath struggles and Hannah slips into unconsciousness.

Disheveled, barefoot Hannah with wide vacant eyes is one thing. But when a trickle of foamy blood seeps from her lips, horror takes a hard bite. For a heartbeat in time, Ulrik is frozen, still clasping the dainty woman to the solid wall of his strength and then further bone chilling factors swiftly rack up one upon the other. The small print of her bloodied hand slid down his chest, the heart stopping glint of metal embedded in the narrow construct of her back and that word, 'Cold' before she slumps in his arms. "No, no, no." Breath snatches from his throat and lungs and the convict collapses to his knees, the goldrider's tiny form clasped tightly against him as if he might transfer the strong beat of his heart to her. "Hannah. Hannah! Please…don't…" Terror and anguish snap and bite about the heels of a black fury beginning to grow within his chest. Without lending thought to the medical complications such an action might create, the knife is pulled free and dropped to the ground. Frantically, Ulrik digs in his pocket, the length of gold chain with a pendant worked in fool's gold replicating a shooting star spilling without notice to the rock when the wad of vine embroidered cloth it was wrapped in is yanked out and pressed to the wound that so carelessly spills her life's blood.

Bailey ambles in from the Main Hall.

Hannah's arm slips back, falling to the tension of the shoulder socket with fingers curled limply, held in Ulrik's arms as he tries to stem the flow of blood that pours from the wound in her upper back. The knife lays, glinting with the red of blood, not far from her body where another, makeshift, shiv lays. Smears of blood paint Hannah's silver'd dress and hair, and a bloody handprint can be seen on the front of Ulrik's chest. She is barefoot — why? — beneath the hem of her dress. The press of vine colored cloth is soaked quickly with the red rush of blood. She is pale, pale, pale, and only Dhiammarath's continued presence shows that Hannah's not dead. In fact, if checked, her pulse beats strongly in her neck, though blood loss could soon be an issue if the flow of blood is not stopped.

It's a strange thing — timing. Timing is everything, is it not? It defines a thousand things, a million things, is so critical in human interaction — so critical to everything. Time may be a stream, but the pebbles that fall into it can be arranged critically. The timing of events necessary to define this moment is almost remarkable: the guards outside strategically called away, down the hall, outside the range of general hearing; the incident, and Ulrik's presence, and further, the presence of Bailey already at the hold. Her feet bring her at a dead run, a full sprint, skidding around the corner. Her face, bloodless, fills with an inchoate, unspeakable rage at the tableau she has stumbled upon, and her scream fills the depths of the hallway with panic and rage: "GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM HER!" The sound of booted feet abruptly running comes far-off, guards who have been displaced belatedly returning to their ill-fated charge. Bailey is rooted for only a second before she is running down the hall, the murder in her eyes contrasting the wild, stark panic causing the whites to show all the way around.

Hope. Such a bare and fragile thing within the stark desert of a man confined to life imprisonment, flares bright for but a millisecond when Bailey comes hurtling toward him. Help is at hand! Until she completely misconstrues the situation. Instantly, abject horror and despair are swiped clean from the convict's expression ripped away by the heavy snarl of a wounded beast. Both weapons, the one slick with the goldrider's blood and the other still clean as well as the gold chain with the whimsical pendant are forgotten in the maelstrom of events that begin to unfold for the moment the redheaded weyrwoman starts to fly in his direction Ulrik folds himself protectively about the small women in his arms, a cold and dark rage written in flat green eyes.

Misconstrues? What is there to be misconstrued? HE'S STANDING OVER THE BODY WITH A BLOODY KNIFE NEARBY. Standing. Sitting. Hovering. Curled around. Whatever. Sammael's going to get an earful once Bailey is less beserkr-rage-driven: it hasn't, obviously, occurred to the goldrider that Hannah is still ALIVE — that Dhiammarath is still out there projecting enough panic and fear to infect the entire hold — no. She's focused in on the part where Ulrik folds himself over his kill like a damned possessive wolf over a particularly juicy rabbit. She doesn't launch herself at Hannah. She launches herself at Ulrik, fists-first, in a clawing, punching, ANYTHING GOES kind of insanity. The heavy pace of the guards rounds the far corner: they can be heard lifting a cry at the sight that is presented to them, but they are off enough to not prevent the goldrider from flail-pounding at Ulrik in a desperate attempt to get the (perceived?) murderer off of the person that she shares so much of her life with: her best friend, her soul sister, her everything.

Just like the creature likened to, teeth bare and a deep growl of pain howls free from the convict as he turns his back defensively to the avenging valkyrie that falls upon him. Each blow of fist and claw of nails does little to dissipate the black fog gathered tight about the man still hunched over the woman in his arms. Physically, he's been beaten worse but these blows punch right to the heart of him hidden deep behind thick walls. He relishes them. Revels in the negligible pain that Bailey delivers. Hungering for more to feed the furnace that's beginning to consume the shreds of humanity that yet remain. But still, Ulrik doesn't give up the limp form of the bloodied and broken weyrwoman. Instead, and despite the heavy approach of guards at a full run, he gathers his legs beneath him and begins to stand, hissing and snarling like a creature demented. "MINE!" The only word to come from him laden with anguish and thickened with piteous possession as the hindbrain competes with common sense for the most logical course of action - the Infirmary.

Rhiex's face is a show of anguish appearing behind Bailey: unlike the maniac goldrider, the guard comes in with leverage and a cool head, his authoritarian voice rising above in a control-demanding bark: "ENOUGH. Someone alert the infirmary. Stop fighting like animals, she needs a Healer!" That rouses Bailey enough from her (generally ineffectual — but probably bruise-leaving) assault on the convict, enough for her to step back and direct her glare of venomous portent on Ulrik from afar, seeing well the sense of the guard… or perhaps, more likely, her actions being directly influenced by Khalyssrielth's iron-shod will. The other guard circles with obvious intent of angling to subdue Ulrik after Rhiex has — well, he's attempting to pry the senior weyrwoman from Ulrik's grasp. "She's losing too much blood, we have to staunch it. Give her over." The implicit 'NOW' is explicit in Rhiex's tone.

Perhaps it's the tone of voice that Rhiex uses, or it may simply be the presence of another male that for a second snaps the convict from the red haze clouding his mind. At this stage, anyone and everything poses further threat and is seen as a potential outlet for the thick tide of hate damming higher and higher beneath the hard lines of a savage expression. "I'll take her!!" Ulrik snarls, refusing to give Hannah up, his hand with the blood soaked cloth still pressed tightly to the wound at her back. Terror biting hard at him as that silvery blonde head lolls limply off the delicate column of her neck. He isn't commanded by a winged defender as Bailey is and won't so easily see any sense beyond that which might crack down on his skull temporarily loosening his hold on Hannah if that other guard is able to get in close enough.

Rhiex doesn't lift his eyes from Ulrik. "Hand her over, convict." There is a harsh edge that bleeds over into his voice. "Hand her over now." He holds out his arms to take the bloody weyrwoman, even as reason comes back to Bailey and the goldrider turns to flee towards the infirmary, no doubt to rouse the healer that no-one has tried to warn, yet. By now dragonriders are pouring into the Atrium, roused by Dhiammarath's call to action, and soon Ulrik — and the guards — will have more to deal with if they don't get this under control, and fast. Rhiex continues to talk: does it really matter? He's covering for the other, who closes in once he's close enough, and levies a not-insubstantial blow aimed to the back of Ulrik's head, intended to subdue the convict rather than outright kill him.

After all… they definitely need him for questioning.

Harsh is the bitter pill of the life Ulrik has hardened himself against, the threat in Rhiex's voice only one among many over the turns that have tried to force his obedience, his back bearing broken lines of proof to that extent. He knows nothing of the reach or influence of a gold distressed, all he sees is a man trying to rip the dead (?) woman in his arms away from him. Even Bailey is lost to the periphery of singular focus tacked hard to the guard in front of him. Under any other circumstances, there is no way that the convict would ever allow anyone to sneak in behind him but this is a situation so deeply fixed into the realm of what nightmares are made of, that he makes that near fatal error. Like a tree going over after being struck by a bolt of lightning, Ulrik crumples to his knees, arms going slack about the Hannah before he hits the ground hard, the side of his head connecting with rock with a sickening crunch. Hopefully Rhiex has lightning reflexes and will be able to pluck the gravely wounded weyrwoman from him before she's crushed by the weight of his unconscious body.

Thankfully, Rhiex doesn't need lightning fast reflexes — he can see the other guard having approached behind Ulrik, and is suitably ready. He gathers Hannah to him and turns, just in time for the horde of dragonriders streaming in to catch up exactly to where they are; he sets off as quickly as he dares, dismissing Ulrik completely from thought in lieu of seeing his weyrwoman to the infirmary. (Un)fortunately, there are plenty of those behind who don't dismiss Ulrik… and those are the hands that will close upon him roughly, treating him to zero sympathy — and perhaps a few more bruises atop the ones Bailey has already inflicted upon him — before trussing and hauling him to the brig. Not the hold brig; not this time. The 'brig' which Ulrik wakes up in will be yet more fodder for nightmares: one of the highest, loneliest weyrs over the hatching caverns, far removed from the rest, an oubliette where the winds cry in strangely discordant wailing harmonics, and the world has all-but-appeared to forget him.

Don't worry. They haven't.

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