Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bujilli: Episode 22

Smack.

At first the knife didn't really register. Then the kid yanked it out of Bujilli's arm. Blood spurted. Nostrils flaring in sudden anger Bujilli whipped his tulwar upwards in a wicked arc, catching the acne-scarred kid's knife-hand with the tip of the blade.

Now they both were bleeding.

Bujilli caught a scent. It was something...bad. Some kind of drug. The kid was using something to enhance his reflexes, to speed things up. His sweat was sort of milky looking. Disgusting.

The cleaver nearly connected. Bujilli grinned. Twisted. Rolled. Came up close and jammed the tulwar right through the kid's dingy leather armor, like running a pin through a flap of skin. then he yanked. HARD.

The knife clattered to the floor.

THUD!

The kid collided with the wall. Bujilli slashed his tulwar out of the armor, leaving the kid's belly exposed.

"I'm willing to--"

The kid lunged.

SHRACK! Cleaver against tulwar.

SPAK! Again.

SKRIT! Again.

Bujilli pushed the blade forward on the third hit and drove the cleaver down and away.

"That was my father's armor." Growled the kid. His skin was becoming greasier, his eyes dilated weirdly.

"You'll be in for a beating when you get home then, won't you?" Bujilli spared a glance for his wounded arm. The blood flowed a bit too freely for his liking. He needed to cut this shorter, rather than drag it out. He considered his chances of disarming the kid versus killing him outright. Whatever the drug was that the kid was using, it made him far faster than he ought to have been. Faster and erratic.

"Yaaaaaaahhhhhh!" Crack! Chak! SCRATTTTTTTT!

Bujilli panted. He was sweating. Those last three hits were only barely turned aside in time. The last one only barely deflected. He'd almost gotten a cut to his knee for his troubles. This was not what he had expected.

"I can smell your fear."

The kid's smirk made Bujilli even more angry.

Shreeenk! Snik. HACK! Shhhhrreeeeekkkkk!

Bujilli grinned. The kid might be erratic, but he was also a slave to his own rhythm; three chops and withdraw. Again and again. Except this time Bujilli had blocked or driven the cleaver away and set himself up to deliver a nasty gut-cut.

Blood welled from the kid's ultra-pale belly.

Then, as the kid wound himself up for the next attack, Bujilli lunged in close and snapped the flat of his tulwar against his knuckles.

The cleaver fell to the floor and stuck there.

Bujilli poked the kid in the belly to make sure he registered what had just happened.

"We're done. I'm next. You can take my place at the end of the line."

"No. no. nO. This can't happen. nO." The kid looked at his hands. He was twitching. Badly.

"What?"

Uuueecckkk!

The kid was on his knees, vomiting black fluid with little white gobs of undigested candy all over the floor.

No one else moved.

Bujilli sheathed his tulwar and went to the miserable, wretched boy. The smell of corruption was nearly over-powering. He gagged. But he pulled the boy out of the pool of vomit and set him against the wall. A couple of rags from his pouch. A quick inspection of the boys wounds. Bujilli could feel the terrible fever that was burning through the boy's bloodstream. It made him sick. Sad. This was not right.

He tended the boy's wounds, all of which were superficial and already healing.

He got him cleaned-up, as best he could.

No one helped. No one said a word. No one moved. They all just stared at Bujilli. They ignored the suffering boy entirely, as though he wasn't even there.

A door opened. The door. Room 101. Admissions. A tall woman in a sombre black fighting gown stood in the doorway scowling down at Bujilli.

"And what is this?" she hissed coldly.

"This young man requires assistance. He's had too much--"

"Hard Candy. Yes. Poor judgement on his part. Are you next?" She looked at Bujilli with a stern, challenging gaze.

"He requires--"

"You're bleeding. Tend to yourself before you worry needlessly about what is out of your hands."

Bujilli stood up. He locked eyes with the woman in black. Quickly, deftly, expertly, he drew out a fresh rag and bound his wounded fore arm with the skill of all too much practice.

"The boy needs--"

"Yes. He is in a bad way. So what? Life is cheap. Are you here to seek admission to the Academy?"

"Yes. I am. So is he. My life, however is not so cheap. Nor is his. You seem to be in authority, so either help him or tell me what I can do for him."

The woman smiled. It was a frightening thing.

A gesture. A slight hum. Pale mauve glimmering. The fight between the boy and Bujilli played itself out before the woman, a quiet pantomime of ghostly echoes. Bujilli watched the display. He felt shame at losing his temper. Letting anyone dislodge you from your center, to get you to act from anger rather than from self-interest or what you know is best was to lose the fight before you even drew steel. Anger killed the angry. One way or another. It was a luxury Bujilli could not afford, any more than the kid could afford to be taking so much Hard Candy.

"Why didn't you kill him?"

"Why? It would have been pointless. Meaningless."

"But it would have demonstrated your proficiency, your skill, your zeal. Each and every one of these..." she swept her talon-like hand to indicate the deathly still group of would be applicants trying not to make eye contact with anyone else "...would have jumped at the chance to show-off such skill as you seem to possess, if they had any."

"The child is dying."

"Yes."

"Do you intend to just let him die then?"

"My intentions are not important. What do you intend to do about it? That is what interests me."

"He needs help. I have no skill, no spell, no resources to help him. Is there someone who can help him? A healer, perhaps?"

"Such things come at a cost. Would you pay for his healing? Can you afford to pay the price? Or would it be easier to leave him and come inside--I believe you are ready to be admitted, Bujilli."


Should Bujilli hire a healer for the kid?

Or would it be easier to abandon the boy and get on with things?

He did come here to be admitted...

Maybe he should challenge the woman in black?

Demand that she tend to the boy?

He could also just go back to his rooms,

or walk out of here and go join the Revels...

What should Bujilli do next?

You Decide!


Previous                                                      Next

Series Indexes
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six


About Bujilli (What is This?) | Who is Bujilli? | How to Play

Bujilli's Spells | Little Brown Journals | Loot Tally | House Rules

Episode Guides
Series One (Episodes 1-19)
Series Two (Episode 20-36)
Series Three (Episodes 37-49)
Series Four (Episodes 50-68)
Series Five (Episodes 69-99)
Series Six(Episodes 100-ongoing)

Labyrinth Lord   |   Advanced Edition Companion

4 comments:

  1. Can Bujilli access his Counsel without verbalizing a question? If so, does it know anything about Hard Candy and how Bujilli might help the boy recover here in Wermspittle? The boy's wounds are healing but the fever is troublesome and Bujilli doesn't know what affects the Hard Candy might have on the boy's mental condition.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes. He just has to invoke it, by asking it a question or telling it to do something. Whether or not he uses it is up to the readers/commenters.

    There are no public datanets accessible in Wermspittle. If there are any such things in this place, they are blocked or jammed.

    Going off of internal memory and extrapolation, the Counsel advises that Bujilli seek medical care for the boy. Hard Candy appears to be a very bad thing. It also would appear to be a good thing that the kid puked--removing the excess bits of Hard Candy from his system might have saved his life, if he survives the stress, trauma, fever, and shock he's going through right now.

    Seek help. That's about the extent of what the Counsel can offer right now. But that could change...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I say he should pony up for the healer. There seems to be some sort of test here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd also say pony up for the healer. Also, if he has a rag available, why not recover a sample of the only partly digested Hard Candy, for later analysis.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comment. We value your feedback and appreciate your support of our efforts.

ShareThis