Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ghosts (Part 7)

There was a pattern of occurrences, Nadia had noticed. No one seemed to like their newest rebel. Though 'like' wasn't the best word for it. More, people wanted to avoid her like a bad plague.

When it came time to assign her a bunk in the barracks, they had hit a rather large bump. Any time someone found out she was to be assigned to the bunk over or under them, they quickly filed a formal complain by means of shouting at the officer in charge of assignments. Said officer would then give the woman being assigned the bunk, with her dead stare, and decide that perhaps the complaint held some merit.

Such a process was repeated for several hours into the night. It wasn't until after midnight when they had finally established where the woman would be sleeping. Which was amusing to Nadia, given that she was certain that if they let her the woman would simply sleep outside on the ground. The conclusion they had finally had to settle on was that the woman who bunked under Nadia would relocate, and that the newcomer could take her place. When Nadia gave no complaints, there were a number of whispers about her sanity. At least three people stopped her to make sure she hadn't been "charmed by the witch" as though such things were actually possible. Even after she had assured them that she was certainly under the sway of no woman, she was allowed to move on, only to be stopped further down the hall.

Once she had settled, the night still seemed to drag on. Below her, the Dathomirian never seemed to find her place, tossing and turning, this way and that. By the time she did nod off of to sleep, such a state seemed to bring terrible, labored breaths, as though the entire process had sent the woman from a panicked state into some terrible nightmare.

The next morning had met a similar experience in a different part of the routine. Convincing the woman to take a shower wasn't as hard as Nadia thought it was going to be. Given how long it looked since the woman had bathed, she wondered if things mattered in her culture. But nothing really needed explained, though she had only been given a scoff upon showing the different washes they had access to.

Breakfast was met with a rather large amount of caution, both from those familiar with the activity, and those who weren't. Gwynara looked at their meal as though it were potentially poisoned, and those around her looked at her as though she were potentially poisonous. After that a training session was met with more reasonable results. A few people were willing to meet their little "witch" in combat, and a similar number were overpowered via a mixture of stealth and a staff. Some of the more seasoned combatants were able to secure a victory during a spar, but not without some effort.

The second meal of the day found fewer people treating the newcomer as they would a sickly animal, with a few of the soldiers in the canteen attempting to socialize, only to be rebuked. Or rather, ignored. Nadia sat across the room, scrawling notes with amusement. Any man who approached Gwynara was promptly ignored, just as she expected. As her research had found, Dathomir and its societies firmly placed the women on top. Men were rarely treated as more than slaves, unless they managed to save the life of a woman, at which point they might be considered an equal. So the men being ignored was to be expected. Though any woman who attempted to converse with the Dathomirian wasn't much more successful, getting only a set of grunts.

By the end of the day, Nadia was under the impression that perhaps their newest member wasn't entirely set against the idea of being near people. That, or she was attempting to appear agreeable before she went and slit their throats one by one. At the very least, she wasn't actively hostile to them, which meant they likely had a decent asset on their hands.

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