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 Internal Affairs - Indema Iliska

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Posts : 21
Join date : 2014-10-23

PostSubject: Internal Affairs - Indema Iliska   Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:23 pm

Internal Affairs of the Indema Iliska

Table Of Contents

  1. Musings
  2. Dues to the dead
  3. Sick

Last edited by Inada on Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:29 am; edited 5 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Internal Affairs - Indema Iliska   Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:35 pm

Rain pattered down, dripping off the rustling leaves of the green canopy above. Dim shafts of light filtered down through gaps and thin spots in the jungle trees above, falling across the flat paving stones and the soft slopes of buildings. The air was full of mist and the subdued chirps and whirs of wildlife.

Colourful canvas tents and stands clustered around the walls of the taller buildings or hung from the great trees that broke up the winding street, cheerful voices calling to one another as the traders shared news and exchanged goods with the occasional passers-by.

Tai sat with her legs dangling down from a balcony, tail wrapped around the nearby pillar. One ear twitched and turned slightly as a bird squawked somewhere in the distance.

“Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a voidwalker, Akp?”

Her companion shrugged somewhere behind her, carefully fiddling with a chunk of wood and carving patterns into it with one talon. “I’d never given it much thought.”

“You know the songs. Sailing between points of light in a vast and empty expanse… dancing firestorms in the quarantine zones, throngs of darting ships around the orbitals…”

“That’s for them. We’re dirt-walkers.”

Tai shrugged, tapping her fingers against the stone beneath her in time with the drip drip drip of the rain. “I almost wish they’d draft me.”

“The Iliska only drafts when there’s war nearby. People would have to die.”

“Well, yeah. I said almost. It’s not like I really want to be invaded, or to have to fight another uprising. But what other chance do I have to go voidwalking? To step on dirt not from around here?”

Akp shook his head, brushing away splinters from the spot he was scraping at. “It’s not worth it.”

“Nah,” Tai agreed reluctantly, “Probably not.”
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PostSubject: Re: Internal Affairs - Indema Iliska   Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:46 pm

Dues to the dead
The water was dark and brackish, slick with algae and decaying plant matter, still and quiet at the edges of the clearing; the trees grew thick and imposing here, massive pillars of twisting roots blotting out the sky save for faint rays of light.

To one end of the weed-choked clearing was a drooping hut, fashioned from crumbling bricks and thick stone slabs that sat slightly askew despite their weight.

It was from this hut the keeper came, brilliant scales hidden by a grim cloak of tattered fabric and dyed moss, hung with bones and beads. Antlers taken from some great beast rose from the hood. Drawn by low murmurs and occasional chirps, they headed to the furthest edge of the grove and waited at the overgrown archway there.

A throng of indema arrived, carrying with them a simple stretcher. The limp form of a slain hunter rested there, awash with gore and coagulating blood.

The keeper eyed the group impassively, gaze sweeping over the body they'd brought.

"Kiea," the head of the group said simply, his green scales dark in the shadows.

Kiea the keeper nodded. "Bad luck," she offered, sighing. "I'll deal with them. If you don't mind taking them a bit further...?"

The group wordlessly picked up the slack they'd gathered, hoisting the stretcher back up and following after Kiea into the grove. She led them to one of the gnarled and vine-hung smaller trees that occupied the clearing, dotted and spread alone and in little clumps. The other indema left the stretcher at its foot, then turned and left at the keeper's approving nod.

Kneeling so that her robes pooled on the grass, she gave the body a cursory examination. Intact enough. She went back to her home at the edge of the clearing to get the ropes.

It was lonely work, a sort of isolation most didn't take to very well. As she tied strong knots around the wrists, the neck, the waist, Kiea hummed a wordless tune, soft and sweet. The dead needed to be remembered, or so the scrolls said. Remembering didn't come easy to most, just as isolation didn't. But Kiea was good at both, and so she wore the robes and tied the ropes and kept the grove.

Her work was nearly done; the slain hunter hung crucified in the grasping limbs of the tree, vines draped across their form as blood slowly dripped down from their ravaged torso.

Nearly done, but not quite.

A snap, hiss, the crackle of a guttering flame. Candles placed around the roots, lanterns hung in the vines. More humming: a song for those departed. A song to help remember.

Around Kiea were other trees, and other corpses. Some had been here longer than she had, little more than tattered skeletons looming from the branches that had grown around them. Someday Kiea would be here herself, a candle lit each week inside her ribcage. The next keeper would sing for her.

For now such thoughts were distant in her head, however. There was just singing, just remembering. As it was, as it would be.
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PostSubject: Re: Internal Affairs - Indema Iliska   Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:29 am

The engineer coughed, first softly but before long deeply and violently, spores drifting from his feathers. The little legs sprouting from his sides shivered, chitinous joints flexing with the contractions in his chest. The attack went on and on, his wrench slipping from his talons and clattering to the concrete floor.

All will be well, he told himself, a dark fog seeping into the corners of his mind and numbing the pain. The roots did what they could, of course.

All will be well and all manner of things shall be well. Our songs are just as much a part of the chorus as theirs.
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