I’ve had a great day writing, and just finished this little scene. I think you’ll know what it’s about. Enjoy. 🙂
The guard at the entrance to the Settlement was just an ordinary iVokh who happened to be quite a bit larger than average. Easy going, and just a little lazy, it usually allowed the hunters and foragers to return to the Settlement without too much scrutiny. If they were carrying food they were allowed in.
On this day however, the guard was feeling as nervous as the refugees who had arrived the day before. It had made the mistake of allowing them in without first advising the healers. That small deviation from protocol had earned it a severe reprimand, and a supervisor for a ti’m’akh.
The Messenger standing beside the guard, and watching its every move was only young, but it took its assignment very seriously, and had made sure the guard checked every iVokh who went in or out.
When an iVokh flew up to the flight ledge, almost an hour earlier than normal, both the guard and the Messenger narrowed their eyes in suspicion. Their suspicions were not eased when the iVokh landed badly, clearly favouring its right leg.
As the iVokh limped towards them, the guard stepped out of the shadows of the entrance and held its hand up.
“Being Hunter,” the iVokh said in a hoarse voice as it untied the flap of its pouch and pulled out a rock lizard.
“Why returning so early?” the Messenger asked, as it too stepped out of the shadows.
The Hunter seemed taken aback when it saw the starrock chain hanging from the Messenger’s neck, but recovered quickly. It fumbled a lopside bow as it said, “Forgiveness Healer, not seeing.”
The Messenger flapped its hand impatiently.
“Being Messenger. Answering question!”
“Of course, Messenger. Begging forgiveness!” the iVokh said. “Being in hurry when retrieving rock lizard, and foot being caught in crevice. Returning early to seek healing…”
“Pah!” the Messenger said, its tone officious. “Healers having more important work than fixing twisted ankles. Soaking foot in cold water and being more careful next time.”
“Hearing and obeying,” the iVokh said, its voice just a tiny bit sulky. “Can passing now?”
The guard glanced at the Messenger for confirmation before waving the Hunter through. It watched the Hunter from the corner of its eye as the young iVokh limped slowly inside.
When the guard faced to the front again, its expression was carefully neutral, but a more experienced Messenger would have noticed that it appeared a lot more relaxed than it had been.
Of course a more experienced Messenger would also have noticed that the injured Hunter was now favouring its left leg.