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A Pacifist, Until She Isn't.; GSS [DNR]
Topic Started: Mon Dec 4, 2017 6:19 pm (71 Views)
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One of her patients had died in the middle of the night. Another had vanished, a mostly healthy teenage boy missing from his bed when the sun rose. His family shuddered and wept, mother and sisters clutching at each other for comfort that Eben couldn't offer. The small group of refugees, displaced from their ancestral homes by ongoing terrorist efforts, had reached the end of their very long rope. Eben had arrived with a small continent of soldiers a week ago, shuttling them from their destroyed village and promising to relocate them somewhere else. Somewhere that the stink of war wasn't so permeating.

The medic sighed, rubbing at her forehead and leaving a dirty smudge behind. She was passed the point of caring, her once crisp uniform covered in a miasma of blood and filth and she wearily began her tasks for the day. A medic sent by the International Relief of Istan, she was on loan to the military, the solution to their lack of trained doctors. There were simply too many sick, injured, and scared people to provide care for. Her team was simply supposed to escort these people to the nearest refugee center, a job they thought only needed three soldiers and a healer. They were wrong.

The attack had come when they were in the middle of their journey, a cadre of raiders descending on them to shake these poor people down for their valuables. Her team had defended themselves, but the threat still remained. Many were injured still, or had been sick at the beginning of their trek. This road was more dangerous than they had imagined, and two of them had peeled off from the group, promising to return with more help. Eben and the remaining soldier had reinforced a lonely farmhouse, and crammed inside were 20 frightened villagers. Please come back today. She prayed in the quiet corner of her mind.

"Derek." She called, summoning a tired looking blacksmith who was part of their group. "Please begin to dig a grave. Olenna has passed." The man teared up slightly, gazing at the old woman he had known well, whose body simply couldn't take the stress of the journey. "It appears to have been peaceful." The medic said gently, stopping herself from laying a hand on the man's shoulder. He jerked his head upwards in a nod, before grabbing a shovel from their supplies and disappearing outside.

Eben returned to checking over the rest of the villagers, many of whom were women and children. The men had mostly fallen victim to war, whether directly or not. She was checking the progress of a healing wound on a small girl when she heard commotion outside, the frenzied shouting of several voices. Derek's, the soldier named Sharif, and strangers. They heard a metal clang that made everyone inside the house wince, then the noise died down. A lone man spoke, his voice booming to be heard.

"Everyone in there, you need to come out right now. We won't hurt you, we just want to see how many of you there are. Bring your things."

The women whispered, clutching their children close. A few of them slipped hidden daggers inside their sleeves, determined looks on their faces. But no one here was a fighter, or a mage. Just desperate, untrained civilians. They rose and began to file out the door, passing by the medic who remained seated on the floor. "Miss Eben. Please come with us, you'll make them angry." One of the hissed at her, casting a nervous glance outside. Eben stayed put, eventually the last one inside, listening to the crowd form.

Sighing, she stared at her hands for a long moment, then sank to her knees and began to pray.

Wictor glared at those assembled, a knife still held to Derek's throat. The foolish man had tried to parry his sword with a shovel of all things, swinging it wildly at him. These people had spirit, the bandit leader would give them that. But more importantly, they had things Gold, jewelry, all their life's treasures on their person at this moment.

One of his crew, the one who had subdued the soldier, spat at the ground. "This all of you?" He called, daring them to conceal their numbers. A low ripple went through the crowd, nervous glances exchanged.

"Our healer, the nurse. She is still inside." One of them stammered. "But she can't fight you! She can barely stitch a wound closed. I think she's just scared."

At his side, the teenage boy sobbed, tugging on Wictor's sleeve. "You said my family could go!" He whispered through his tears, eyes glued to his mother and sisters. "You promised you'd take us somewhere safe if I brought you back here."

"That I did." Wictor grinned, slamming an elbow into the boys scrawny ribs. "It's not my fault if they choose the sweet safety under the ground." The boy coughed as he fell to the ground, eliciting a scream from his family. Wictor raised his knife high in the air, one arm wrapped around Derek's neck to constrict his airway. "Now I want you to understand, I am a reasonable man!" He shouted. "I want your money, not your life! But I have no qualms about taking both. So empty your pockets and show me how much you think this man's life is worth. And then we'll move on to the next person, and the next. Until you can't pay up anymore, then, well.."

Wictor relished the fear he saw, until a little girl's scream drew his attention. She wasn't screaming at him, instead her focus was on the door of the house behind them. He followed her line of sight, and what he saw almost made him drop his knife in terror.

A woman made of fire had emerged from the dwelling, her steps purposeful as the flames burned bright. He couldn't make out any of her features, it was as if she had stepped out of an inferno instead of a dusty old farmhouse. The civilians were obviously shocked by her appearance as well, screaming and shrinking away from her. The crowd parted around her, and she drew a hand back over her head. A thin stream of fire formed in her grip, and as she propelled her arm forward it grew as well, a tendril of living flame that snaked forward to knock the knife Wictor had entirely forgotten about from his grip.

"Go. No. Further." The woman intoned, her voice eerily calm. "I have been charged to protect and serve these people. I will get no joy from killing you, but that does not mean I will not do so."

One hand still clutching her whip, the other was raised to the sky and brought down in a fist, bringing with it a pillar of smoke and flame that exploded on the ground near Wictor's feet, knocking him backwards and releasing his hold on the poor man he had been strangling. The woman raised her hand again, head cocked to the side as she remained poised to strike.

Wictor, bandit leader, feared far and wide by anyone smart in the Istan Desert, turned tail and ran, his men
trailing behind him.

Eben watched their retreat, skin cooling as her mana burned through its reserves. The people remained fearful, clustered on the edges of her vision. Except now they were fearful of her.

A voice snaked through her mind, laughter echoing like bells.

Isn't this what you wanted, Eben? You asked for power.

You should have been more specific.

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