Who

Hunzak, Quellek

What

Things have gotten weird in the brig, and Quellek gives Hunzak the dirt on why

Ice Field Brig

When

A Turn or so before the present.

Where

Ice Field Brig, Southern Barrier Hold

OOC Date 18 Feb 2016 08:00

 

hunzak_default.jpg quellek_default.jpg

"It's like … they're gonna treat us like somethin' other than tunnelsnakes."


icefield_brig.jpg

Ice Field Brig

Uncomfortable, isn't it?


The fight they'd had arranged with Danzril was supposed to take place within a few days of the last time the head guard had come to the cells to gloat when the new cons had come in. That had been two or three sevens ago and the fact that he'd heard nothing from Danzril or the guards was making him more and more nervous. Not only was time passing but other things were occurring to make the older man edgy like the disappearance of the pit fighter and then there was the turnover in the guard's rotations. New guards were coming in and no one was saying a word. Those new guards didn't make wagers on the scuffles the cons got into, they broke them up immediately. Contraband was harder to get past them too, so much so that Hunzak hadn't been able to refill his flask and it was just a matter of time before that and the other little luxuries he'd hoarded were taken away. At this moment, he's pacing in front of his bunk with one hand scrubbing over the back of his neck where hair no longer covers his shoulders. That was unexpected, getting pulled out of line after finishing his bath to be marched off to the Hold barber without getting locked in manacles. He was even remembering how to walk without shuffling. What the fuck was going on?

No less than Hunzak or any other convict is Quellek wondering what the hell is going on these days. Clean-shaven and cleanly shorn of excess locks, fresh-bathed two times in the same seven…things have been weird. And then all the new guards, and no word about the fight. Hell, there hadn't been a fight in at least a sevenday, between him or any other convict. And the biggest change? Meals. No longer brief periods where he tried to stuff as much in his face as possible. No, they actually got to sit and enjoy the food. And even get seconds. So, he's been as bewildered as anyone. Which is why he went looking for information. And finally, after a sevenday of ferreting, he's finally found some. So it is that he arrives from another (another!) bath and shave to find Hunzak pacing. "Something wrong?" he wonders, the tiniest upward tilt of his lips suggesting a smile as he watches his friend.

Hunzak is thoroughly absorbed in his pacing and thinking which is totally at odds with what is normal for the older con. He turns to pace back toward the head of his bunk with a frown furrowing his brow as he tugs at the back of his neck where a tension headache is just starting. Quellek's interruption of his pacing and thinking makes him look up, his head tilting slightly as he notes that faint smile and the fact that the younger man is freshly bathed yet again. "Not sure if wrong is the right word." Too jittery to sit down and relax he starts pacing again. "Got close to the guards at supper and heard 'em talking. And when I was brought back from the barber … there was some guy in Danzril's office chucking a bunch of shit out the door for some of them wildlings to get rid of."

"How about weird. Would weird be a better word?" Quellek wonders, moving to lean against the wall and run his hands over his freshly shaven face as if he still can't quite believe it. "Because if you thought all that was weird, I can top it; I asked a guard what was going on and…he actually told me." He waits for Hunzak to die of shock - he certainly almost did. And then he drops the other shoe. "Without having to be bribed."

Hunzak considers that suggested word for a few moments before nodding slowly. "Yeah … weird. Real weird." He turns to pace back toward the bunk after nearly running into the wall — again. But then Quellek drops that shoe and he stops dead in his tracks to stare at the younger man, his jaw dropping open slightly. And then the other shoe hits the floor and he actually needs to keep himself from falling over as shock ripples through him. "He … told you … without a bribe?" He blinks and looks out toward the corridor in front of the cells for a few moments as that shock just blanks his mind before he looks back toward his friend. "You're shitting me." His tone shows his disbelief since none of his Turns in the mines has made him think that guards would do any such thing.

"I would never shit you." Quellek says, and that grin actually does appear at the thought that engenders. "Seriously. Could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so flabbered." He shakes his head. "Downright chatty about it, actually. First off….the fight's off." Miracle one!! "Because get this….Danzril's gone. Been gone almost since that last time he came down here. Transferred out, along with a good portion of the old guards. All of the ones in Danzril's little inner circle, for the most part, and all of the ones who ganged Sheshkan."

All the information that Quellek is spooling out simply deepens that shock Hunzak is feeling until the older man just drops numbly to his bunk and just stares at the younger con. He can't even think much less speak as he does his best to process just how much of a turn their lives have just taken. "The fights off?" He starts simply repeating what his friend has said as if that will help his brain adjust to this much change all at once. "Danzril … gone? And the guards?" His expression makes him look a little lost as if everything that kept him steady has been kicked out from under him and he's looking to Quellek to reestablish his equalibrium.

Quellek nods, watching his friend have much the same reaction he had earlier when speaking with the guard. "Yep. All gone. Seems they're cleaning this place up. And that's not all." That's right, there's MORE! "That pit fighter? He was a ringer. Brought in special by Danzril. Should never have been transferred here at all. Another reason he got canned from here. The pit fighter's gone too. Sent back to wherever he came from." Grin turns into an actual smile. "Things are going to be different, according to the guard. Convicts will be treated better, for one. All the baths, shaves, the extra time to eat? All gonna continue. So long as we work hard, do our quotas, and don't fight. Oh! And, extra blankets, soon as the shipment comes in." It's like Christmas, if Pern had such a thing.

Hunzak slumps against the post at the end of his bunk and just stares at his friend for a few more moments as Quellek expands on his explanation. When it slowly percolates through to his brain, he just shakes his head in wonder and heaves a deep sigh. "Different? Fuck, kid … I ain't gonna know how to act." He rubs his hands over his face before flopping over onto his side and propping a foot up on that post he'd been leaning against. Not only is he not going to act, he's going to have to figure out how to sleep when he's warm if that promise of new blankets comes to pass. "It's like … they're gonna treat us like somethin' other than tunnelsnakes." There is a tinge of wonder to his tone though his voice is thick with pessimism, not ready to believe what he can only call rumors just yet.

"Well….not sure we'll be treated that well." Quellek qualifies - he's flabbered, not totally trusting. "But things are supposed to get better. And maybe…." Here, he hesitates a bit. "Maybe they'll review your case, if you let them know. You know, that you've been here overlong. You should maybe check with that healer you told me about. The one who said she was going to ask. She likely didn't get anywhere with Danzril, but this new one. Maybe with him you'll get a chance to get out of here, man." It's something to hope for, right?

Hunzak snorts softly as Quellek qualifies his words with some of the same wariness that he holds and nods as a small smile quirks his lips. "Hey … better is enough. So long as I'm not spending sevens at a time in the Hole … that'll be worth it." When the younger man continues even with that hesitation, he looks up and that smile fades a bit as he initially feels a shaft of denial. But then the words sink in and his expression turns thoughtful as he considers it further. "You … might be right. I dunno. Don't think I wanna jump into anything till I see how things are going. You know?"

"Not going to the hole…now that would be great." Because Quellek spent way too much time there. "This guard kind of suggested that maybe we'd be allowed to do outside work for as an added reward. Chained, of course, but that's to be expected…but can you imagine? Fresh air, sky…the whole bit." Worth being a very good little convict. "And that's another thing. The chains. No more of those. No need of them, so long as we behave ourselves. And the best part. Juben and Ditter and a few other of the 'problem' prisoners have been transferred out as well." He shakes his head "Not sure why you and I weren't, except the guard said someone vouched for us." Who? No clue.

A low groan sounds from Hunzak's throat at the thought of getting to go outside, even if he was in chains and having to work. He'd put up with any amount of cold if he could get outside. "Damn …" he murmurs, unable to really believe that things are actually going to get better for them. Quellek's last words make him blink in confusion though and he frowns as he looks up at the younger man. "Wait. What? Someone vouched for us?" The younger man can almost see the gears turning in his head as he tries to figure out who that person could have been.

"Yep. Seems our being 'on top' cut down on the amount of bad stuff that had been going on for the most part, and they took that into account." Whoever they are. "So. Good food and enough of it, warm blankets, quotas that are achievable.." (did he forget that little tidbit?) "And regular baths, maybe some outside work." Miracles do come in packs! "Personally, I'm a bit afraid to go to sleep. Maybe wake up and find it's all a dream." He shakes his head again. Still flabbered.

Hunzak hmphs a wondering sound and shakes his head slightly in amazement. "Damn … that'll be real nice." Despite his still amazed expression and wary tone, there is a flickering of hope in his usually flat blue eyes as he stares at the bottom of Quellek's bunk above where he lays right now. "Not sure I'll be able to eat more'n what them old guards was letting us but it'll be great to have the chance. And quotas we can actually reach … ain't had one of those since I was at Telgar." Now Telgar, that was a decent place even for a con. He can't help but chuckle softly in agreement as he considers his own slowly growing emotions. "Yeah … I know what you mean. If this is a dream … I sure don't wanna wake up and find Danzril still here and I'm stuck in the Hole."

"Well, we'll sleep on it and see if it changes in the morning?" Quellek suggests, moving to climb and settle into his bunk, staring up at the ceiling. "It'll be the first time I've felt human for a while, myself. If it's not just a trick. Guard could've been playing a trick on me, I suppose. But he didn't seem to be. Seemed….nice." Another unusual concept in Quell's world. "Maybe thinks are looking up. Would be real nice to spend my last Turns without worrying about looking over my shoulder all the time."

Hunzak grunts softly as he rolls to his feet so that he can pull down the blanket on his bunk and pulls his boots off his aching feet. "Yeah, let's do that. Maybe if it doesn't all disappear in a poof I'll be able to get a new pair of boots." He sighs softly as he rolls back into his bunk and stretches out beneath the thin blanket and sighs thoughtfully. "It'd be nice to see if the new head guard did look over my file … I might be able to get out of here sometime soon."

"Yeah….new boots would be nice." And more than one pair of socks. "Maybe have something to hope for, right?" Quellek says, arms behind his head and a yawn stretching his mouth. "See ya in the morning, right?"

Add a New Comment