A few pieces coming together — it's about time, really.

Technically this is about murder. Nothing graphic.


Third day of the fifth month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass


Resident Terraces

OOC Date 28 Jun 2018 04:00




Resident Terraces

Scoured by sand, storm, and sun, the bleached-gold face of the caldera wall is punctured here by gaping rock maws: within reside a multitude of little abode-brick buildings, colorful hides stretched across windows and doorways to protect against more unfortunate weather. No traditional dormitory, this: Igen's weyrfolk live in family groups or packs of singletons in these cozy brick abodes, dwellings doled out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Here and there, steep stone staircases wend their way between spacious stone ledges, their outer edges protected by the ingenious use of stone blocks to prevent being pitched over the side in high winds. Below, the Central Bazaar is spread, replete with the sounds of everyday life in the Weyr: the bawl of beasts, the shouts of bargains being made, and the happy laughter of the occasional child all raised in a cacophony life.

The only safe way to do it was to include everyone, and that was a secret she'd had to keep.

No one who was helping her — whether they knew they were helping her or not — would have done so if they'd known she was planning to include herself in the list of victims, but Cascabel would have only one chance. Once the baby came, and that was soon, it would be too late. She had been waiting until that time. Until it was close enough that differing effects would be assumed to be related to impending birth.

And it would get her out of the abode, long enough at the right time, with an excuse.

She would be having her baby alone, but that was what she wanted.

* * * *

(Alone as in by herself — alone as in no one with her, as opposed to alone in that her family wouldn't be there. Not that she didn't want that, too.)

* * * *

It was easy enough to add an extra ingredient to morning tea; a morning tea which everyone shared. She did the same with the afternoon soup, though not as much — and she had to be careful not to make as much as she normally did, because she normally shared.

The last thing Cascabel wanted was to sicken half the bazaar.

It was bad enough (and yet eminently, importantly practical) to sicken herself; part of her suspected Divale wouldn't forgive her if she found out (and of course she would), but she'd had to keep that from her. That and the timing.

Dragons couldn't keep secrets.

That was nearly all she knew about dragons.

* * * *

Because she was pregnant, they ate different dinners, and that was what made all the difference. That was what made the plan work, funnily enough — it had been becoming pregnant that pushed her to act to begin with, and now it would be what saved her in more ways than one.

From everything including herself and her own learned helplessness; her own inaction.

Maybe someday she'd even get to know the baby who brought her freedom.

* * * *

After two days of steady exposure, everyone was feeling the effects. Clearly it was bad meat. Except that the symptoms had nothing to do with bad meat.

After another day, Enyem insisted it was actually something in their home or the shop. Rigellan (who ate with Cascabel and not with his older brother and his mother, but because she was also ill that couldn't have had anything to do with it, could it?) was outside with his runners half the time, and he wasn't as sick as the rest of them.

(No one asked if perhaps Cascabel were acting sicker than she was. She was pregnant, that was absurd, and besides, she was stupid and couldn't act.)

But it wasn't like they could move, and besides, it would pass. They could get some deeper cleaning, or keep the windows open when it wasn't too hot … it was just some little sickness. Everyone had headaches and dizziness, and that was essentially it, and those things were usually headcolds that cleared up quickly …

It would be much worse if they weren't able to eat. Despite her weakness, Cascabel had made such a lovely sauce — what a fine flavor, what was that? — and Enyem and his mother were putting it on two meals a day. Alongside a little soup.

And no one ever missed morning tea — not even Cas.

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