A Robin No More
"I have been set out to the sky again tonight, I'll take a peaceful night outside over the ruins of the castle any day. Mafic and Felsic wanted to meet with the New bird so me and the boys are on the night shift. It was a real shame. Narr has a thing for Felsic, he wants to ask her to visit Macaw for a family dinner, they would go under the guise of foreigners touring the land under the protection of Arbiters, Macaw would adore them. Plus his mother is a Macaw chef, smooth move Narr. Plus Raben is getting back into the public life slowly and carefully. That Roostmen might have been a blessing in disguise or he could have ruined our chances if things had been worse. Those kinds of run ins with Roost might convince higher ups to allow some leniency with the tribe.
The scout clan is a public third of the tribe that stays on the outskirts of the realm. Family visits were once taboo too, but now it's far more lenient. As long as you aren't on duty, and can leave for an emergency we're fine, we just don't make any family visits public. We just make sure no one tells anyone. You can always find the feathers. The penalty isn't severe but no one has broken the silence yet."
-Personal Note: Marshal Verner-
Avisland: The Corvus Castrum, First Floor Marble hall.
I sat with Verza who had brought me a meal of broth. It was late now. The sun was down from one of the few window's I discovered in the Corvus Castrum. Once I was in a cell they loosed my chains again.
Verza stood up walked to a door and I heard a giggle. She poped her head back into the room with a bowl of soup.
“That was my man Frem. Here we have a sauce atop greens with a cut of meat here. And I hope you know these are the same crops and animals that your family grows. We do enjoy it, we give them our services and they give us food, like all the other tribes.” Said Verza.
“You’re married?” I asked baffled and starting to wonder if they could spare some of the nicer food for me.
“No, that's just our tribe’s greeting; one of our most proud customs..."
I gazed with an unconscious twitch and leaned back dumb founded.
"I’m joking. Oh course there are families and what not. Frem’s one of our doctors for the tribe too. And my husband.”
The food was standard Robin food and I had just seen a medically trained expert. This was feeling uncomfortably like the Robin tribe.
A spiced meat portion, sauce, fruit portion, and pulverized vegetables made a great meal for Verza, her bowl had dividers in it and she devoured it at record speed.
"None of that for me?"
"No, you'll puke it up in a few hours. You need that nutrient soup there. Your body is going to rapidly burn away so much when the final changes start. That's when you'll be completely crazy."
Next she handed me a small bowl of soup salty, but it tasted similar to medicine. While annoyed that she ate so well and I so poorly, it was surprisingly generous of them since the flight here striped me off all heat. My feathers had already been of some use I guess. I could have been colder but my arms and my sides were not so chilly.
I've been trying to ignore my feathers for the most part.
I sat quietly and drank but something was burning, a frustration. The room was old and weathered. This was refurbished from the original material of the castle. The long hallway was obviously not in the original design and was carved out of solid rock in many areas. But this room was different.
An old trunk rested in the corner near a bed outside the cell and a few cupboards had storage areas.
“I’m not sure if I should fight against this or just go along.” I spoke finally.
“I can see exactly what’s going to happen from experience. But right now you might want to look into your basin of water there. Maybe even wash your face a bit. Blood can start to smell. There’s a light for you too. It started when we pulled you out of your farm and again with Verner.”
I glared, paused, and I caved to curiosity.
The color of blood was the first thing to come to mind. The red haze would reoccur but there was a lapse until just now. I stood from the floor and walked to the shallow basin of water in the corner. I felt the glance pierce my very being. A reflection stared back at me, not my reflection. Just there, tears were shed. Each dropped into the basin like a drop of dye. But the color was spreading and the whole basin was consumed. Blood was dripping from my eyes yet again.
“What did you do?” I said.
“Aw, alright, the water's useless. I can get you more to wash up. We don't trigger the mark if you're wondering. It's heretitary and every person in the tribe has it. It's just pretty rare. But look, you have our eyes now!”
My eyes stung briefly before relaxing almost like new. I twitched my head and moved my hair out of view. Verza left adn came back with a second guard that held me while they refilled the basin. She also washed my cheeks and my eyes very delicately. This time I could see my pupils. Dark bloody pupils starred right back when I looked again when the second guard left.
A few more Raben operatives burst from the door Verza leaned against.
A girl ran in scarcely older than myself. "Oh hello!" Verza said pleased at the guest.
“Miss Kass," She gave her a hug. "Wren is it? Pleasure to meet you, I am to be your squad mate if you make it through initiation, the name's Trish, I was on Verza's old squad."
The Rabeness and a few others came in to talk with Verza but I broke it up at the top of my lungs. They wore tunics of sorts. V- neck vests, tank tops and on all of them were made from fine fabrics of a soft and fragile material on the inside with sturdy materials on the outside. The men and the women had knife holsters and one was still wearing their helmet.
“I want to go home! I want to see my mom and tell my father I’m safe.” I commanded the crowd to break the chatter. The collection of Tribe Raben paused.
“She getting there?” One of them asked Verza.
Trish talked while I fumed, "Is she anything like Nadel? I mean no one was hurt and she only got away because you let her... That was a bad move girl."
"She's doing so much better than Nadel, Trish, don't worry. I also can't run her down and restrain her. I have to be trust-able."
"Who is Nadel?" I asked. It sounded like a comparison and I was not eager to go through berating or unjust comparisons.
“Nadel had her feathering. A few years back. A girl from Bedded. Her hair turned black and her eyes went red long before we got to her. Somehow she was not near our spies and we only found her when she had nearly killed someone. She was already too far gone and Trish here, if you're alright with this?"
Trish lifted up the side of her shirt and a thick scar the size of her thumb was there. Trish was very unlike Verza. She was not as feathered in the face. And she was certainly not in any armor, just casual clothes. Verza's face was a darker complexion, while Trish was much paler.
"She punched me me so hard I needed surgery to. No such thing as a good first impression in Raben. She also stabbed me."
Trish started to feel more at ease and continued where Verza paused. "You on the other hand, have been changing gradually. It’s a blessing trust me. She also had more feathers than you. Long feathers. She had been torturing herself accidentally. She tried to pull them out when her feathering started. The more you pull out, the more they grow back, and the longer they get.”
A jolt zapped me. I felt sore everywhere and with speed, my frustration spiked.
"Verza! Verza? Trish? I'm not feeling good."
A surge of panic was next, I struck at my food and stood and kick the bowl towards them. "My head hurts!
"That's our queue." Verza said as they moved as a group. Verza pulled a weapon from her side.
It had a trigger. With a click, something stung me. My cell room was padded on the ground but now it was fading black, and now spots of black and green rotated around. I looked away from Verza but a splatter of Raben colors drifted with me. I could still see purple and black but I heard them close the door. The others were leaving.