|Apostle|| Morning; the sun has risen like the phoenix over a world of ashes, bathing the arid wastes in the tender hue of gold -- were one to have spent the last centuries sleeping, if some person in this godsforsaken place were so fortunate as to not remember a thing, it might be peaceful. It could be so beautiful.
Sitting by the side of the road is a figure by now vaguely familiar, the imperial crimson of her sash and scarves spilled about her as though her blood had broken free of the dam of flesh and fled in torrent. Her hood is low, dirty calloused hands planted against the dusty earth to support her weight in leaning, her breath shallow but growing more audible as one nears.
Hssk. .... Hssk. ... hsk.
It's somewhat laboured, eyes so vibrant as that newly risen sun staring toward the sky with pinprick pupil, closing at the sound of footsteps approaching.
The respiratory device quiets itself, even as she leans just slightly to one side, Apostle's hand moving toward the grip of her laser pistol to yank it free of its holster. It appears if she's going down, she's not going to be doing so without a fight. Her head lolls back, then rolls to the side where she might spy the oncomer, eyes lazily half-opening to fix them with a hazy stare down the spine of her gun.
Hssk. ... Hsssk.
"No singer would ever make a song about that battle. No maester would ever write down an account for one of the Reader's beloved books. No banners flew, no warhorns moaned, no great lord called his men about him to hear his final ringing words." Her voice comes, lacking the edge of command, but practically drowning in violent intent, "They fought in the predawn gloom, shadow against shadow, stumbling over roots and rocks, with mud and rotting leaves beneath their feet."
It is an awkward and painful stagger that has her pulling herself to unsteady stance, wavering as that gun remains lifted, the figure unclear as waking nightmares tangle about what should be lucid thought and calculation, eyes squeezing shut for just a moment as though she thought she could will it away.
"Let us rust, then, in these, the withering fields. Decay, decay, decay..." She murmurs.
|Iris Lark||Iris walks this way often, traveling from one small hamlet to another to render aid. When she turns the corner and sees the familiar figure at the side of the road, her first instinct is to run, but the sight of blood makes her stay. Her whole form trembles as she walks towards the pair, and she takes steady breaths to try to calm her nerves. "H-h-hello? Do you n-need help?" She calls out, and swears to herself when her voice catches in fear. "It's Iris Lark.."|
|Apostle|| Her head tilts at the familiarity of the voice, and the name.
Her eyes narrow at the nerves she displays.
She must be hiding something.
"We, unaccustomed to courage, exiles from delight... live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life." She's a hard individual to understand sometimes, immeasurably awkward in interactions of the social kind, relying primarily on things she has read in the past, things she remembers to get her through what should be the mundane task of conversation.
She staggers a step forward, chin tilting upward that she might stare toward Iris down the straight edge of her nose, as if she had doubted the introduction. Squinting, she nods.
"I am bled so far even compared to these wastes I am parched," Her eyes screw shut, tight, denying the light of the day from burning further into her aching head. "Devoid of rest, no respite from this wickedness, I am near broken... but still stand." With her standing the way she is, facing Iris, she can quite clearly see the massive gashes that have been torn across her torso and chest, her attire barely left to cover the flayed skin beneath. "Ragged from battle and cautious in retort," Her eyes finally open again, "I ask from you aid."
|Iris Lark||Iris nods, her eyes wide as she sets down her bag. "I'll help you, of course..but you'll need to sit for me so I can work on the wounds without you wobbling.." She gazes up at Apostle and then swallows, audibly. "..Ma'am." She adds quickly, as she holds out a bottle of water. She opens her kit and pulls out a curved needle, already threaded with catgut and ready to use. The more she keeps her gaze directed away from Apostle's eyes, the steadier her hands become. "What happened to you?"|
|Apostle|| "The mighty poets write in blood and tears and agony that, flame-like, bites and sears. They reach their mad blind hands into the night, to plumb abysses dead to human sight; to drag from gulfs where lunacy lies curled, mad, monstrous nightmare shapes to blast the world." She answers so readily, her pistol casually lowered to her side before it's placed back into its home at her hip and she staggers again, uneasy on her feet. There, by the filthy road, populated by grime and disease we could not hope to see, there she settles, sits upon the dusty ground as she is directed.
It's almost calming, if you focus only on the rhythm.
That gentle in-and-out, you could keep time by its virtue.
"The darkness in my eyes, in my heart, so drowning my mind in a riptide of suffering, all for some pittance in scrap, mere askance of worth. Surrounded by children with knives, rusted and dull, that tore at my flesh and tortured my soul until it could resist it no more. Vector could see nothing, heard nothing, but dragged me from that place..." Her gaze is away in memory. "And then the centaurs came and with their mighty weapons and crushing blows, I fell unconcious, and awoke ... here..." Her hand reaches for the bottle of water, uncapping it easily and reaching with her free hand to work complicated latches to release the mask from her face with a pressurized hiss. Within is an all too human face, some might even say it was striking, but all would agree it is not what they expected to be under there. Greedily, she drinks.
When she has finished, she heaves a sigh. "With a note, telling me he has gone for aid." Her voice has a softness to it, so natural, so calm, swallowed up soon after by her pulling the mask back over and clamping it down.
|Iris Lark||"Well, aid is here. Let me see what I can do with this." Iris mumbles, gently lifting the shirt away from the wounds so she can more easily work on them. Another bottle of water is pulled from the rucksack and poured into a small bowl and the Healer uses that to clean the wounds, taking her time to make sure any debris is washed clear. She primes her stimpak but doesn't apply it right away, she brings the needle up and begins to sew. She starts to hum as each small and careful stitch is applied, pulling the skin together like a morbid quilt. This soothes Iris, the order of it, the way a wound looks after it has been tended.
"I don't have much left in my stimpak, but between that and closing the wounds, you should be able to make it to a settlement to rest." She glances up briefly at Apostle then, offering her a smile before she looks back down to her work. "We'll worry about infection if that becomes an issue, but once this is sewn..I'll salve and dress it as well."
|Apostle|| She lets out a sigh; this close, there is a fragrance to the thick rebreather filtered breath -- it is natural and laced of spice and citrus, almost too hot, subtly moist when it meets the skin. Her eyes close as her wounds are tended, though no hand comes up to snap at her wrist or deny her investigation by way of lifting away those tattered bits of cloth. There is a peace that ripples over the typical tension of what can be seen of her features, most notably as the wounds are cleaned, her brows lifting and creasing as the relief of simply knowing aid is there allows some sort of saviour from the torturous yesterdays.
"If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough." She states, as though reciting. "If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough..." She repeats, the mechanical quality to her voice making it seem inhuman. Alien. Cold. But, there is a definite gratitude, a sign of appreciation in the way she continues to let those words escape, quiet as they may be.
She doesn't flinch at the needle. Indeed, it's as though she doesn't even feel it piercing the skin, deadened at the edges as wounds are wont to be.
It's a bit like treating a coiled rattlesnake.
There are warnings of aggression. A cornered, wounded predator.
One eye opens, rolling toward Iris to fix her with a look that suggests something very serious, some conspiracy found voice. "Thank you." ... That's it?
... That's it.
One of her hands is moving for a tactical pouch that hangs from her belt, a grunt breathed out as something twangs in her battered muscles, before she withdraws a fistful of caps. "... We've not much, I'm afraid."
|Iris Lark||"I don't expect much..or any if a person .." Iris frowns and she lowers her head, almost submissively before she finishes. "..I would never take the last from someone, that's not my way." Iris gazes up at Apostle then, and she looks nervous. "I apologize in advance." Quickly after those words are spoken, her stimpak is injected into the womans leg. No real easy way to do it, after all. That done, the Healer takes the damp cloth and wipes at the stitched wounds, carefully cleaning them so she can apply salve and bandages. "Well..hopefully this will get you somewhere safe, yes?" She asks, tugging at the bandages until they're snug.|
|Apostle|| There's little more than a soft 'hssk' when the stimpak is jammed into her leg -- apparently something she's not entirely unfamiliar with, having been a wasteland wanderer for so long. When Iris' head is lifted, that searing, molten gaze is there to meet her, intense as it is, so very predatory in nature.
"Velocity has room for others; she will carry more than myself and Vector, with speed, clarity and the sanctuary of steel. When I have found the rest of what I require, my aid is an offer in recompense for what my caps could not be. When the time comes, when you need to fly, we will be your wings, you must only take the leap."
She looks down at her attire, takes in a slow hssk and lets it out in a drawn out sigh, picking at the remnants of her gear. Such is the life of the lowly.
Her eyes lift then to scan the horizon, most probably trying to spy her wayward companion, he who braves the wastes to find something that stumbled upon her by chance, a hand placing some pressure against the wraps over her ribs with an appreciative pat. "You do good work. I am a blackfingered construct... where you might mend flesh, I knit steel. This, too, I could do for you. You will let me know."
|Iris Lark||Iris gazes at Apostle and she shifts before she gets to her feet. "Your aid will be appreciated if ..I've ever need of it." She says softly, gathering her tools and stuffing them back into her rucksack. "I hope..if you've ever a need you'll call on my aid again." Iris turns to glance behind her, looking in the direction that Apostle is looking, trying to see whatever it is that the woman sees. "Will..will you be okay here until Vector makes it back?"|
That is, perhaps, the most straight forward thing she's ever said.
Until Iris departs, Apostle will simply stare at her as though willing her in a new direction. Away from her.
|Iris Lark||Iris takes that yes as gospel and she backs away from that stare until she feels it's safe enough to turn and flee. Her hair ribbons out behind her as she runs, not looking back until she's much much closer to home.|