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In which people get names.
Another short chapter in which we receive some introductions. Again, no editor, so bear with me.

AS WE FALL. Part I, Chapter II.

New Faces
[ The eastern side of Serrit's portion of the Ladrin'Nai. September 8th, 142. ]

The darkness fades away as he opens his eyes, bleary from his long rest, sore and aching from his fight. Above him he can see a light, but its obstructed by something large and blurry. He blinks a few times, wondering idly why he can’t see clearly, and slowly his eyes focus.
Standing above him is a person, with dark brown hair that falls into his eyes, a matching beard, and bright purple eyes.

Purple eyes?

He tries to sit up, but the other person seems alarmed and raises his hands. “No, no, no.” He says in a hoarse voice, almost a whisper. “You still haven’t healed fully, you should probably stay laying down.” He instructs and the injured one falls still.

“That’s better.” Purple eyes says, drawing back, and the first man can see that he is in a room made of hardened clay, with a pair of windows- stained gray to match the dust of the Ladrin’Nai- at the very top of the room in a little alcove of sorts, one on either side of the room opposite each other. He turns his head slightly to follow purple eyes’s movements as he takes a seat next to the bed. “What’s your name?”

The injured one opens his mouth to speak but all that comes out is a faint breath of air. Purple eyes raises a small bottle of water to the injured man’s lips and he drinks obligingly. When he tries to speak again, he succeeds.

“My name is Pakratt,” He says, and then coughs for good measure. His vision is going fuzzy on the edges and he worries that he’s about to pass out again. That, he reflects, would not be too great.

Purple eyes seems to consider this. He sits back in his chair and stares unblinkingly at Pak. “That’s good,” He says at last. “At least you remember your name. Some aren’t so lucky.”

Pak swallows. His mouth feels suddenly dry. “Where am I? Who are you?” He rasps.

“My name is Nebris,” Comes the response, as the other watches him closely. “And you’re in our base, in the Ladrin’Nai.” Pak looks at him strangely. “Us meaning myself and my two teammates- BTC and Vechs. You’ll meet them soon enough.”

Pakratt doesn’t take much time to reflect on the first of the teammates’ name, strange as it rings in his head, before slipping back into unconsciousness.

When he wakes up again there is little light coming through the small windows at the top of the room. He blinks and finds that the pain in his ribs has subsided, and slowly, carefully, sits up. His arm is wrapped so thoroughly in bandages, soaked in what he suspects is a combination between a strong healing potion and a regen potion, that he can’t see skin. A numb, tingly feeling overtakes his hand when he tries to move it, and he supposes that he is relieved, because otherwise it would probably hurt like hell.

The door opens, and Nebris peeks into the room, purple eyes wide but guarded. “Oh, you’re awake.” He says, his voice louder than Pak remembers. “Sorry to spring this on you so early in the morning, but BTC informed me just a minute ago that we have to leave, like now.”

Pakratt stares. “It’s morning?”

Nebris breathes a light laugh. “As a matter of fact, yes. It’s just before dawn.” He moves over to the side of the bed, intending help Pak up, who instead stands on his own, ignoring the wave of dizziness.

“We’re leaving.” He says this less as a question, but Nebris answers it as if it is one.

“Yes- BTC is getting together supplies and Vechs is placing TNT. We should probably hurry up to the surface.”

So they are underground, this confirms, in the Ladrin’Nai. Pakratt didn’t even know it was possible to live here, let alone underground, where monsters roam. Beasts like the rekk’ji, and worse, lurk beneath the surface in places where civilization has not taken over.

He realizes Nebris is leaving the room, and hastens after him. “Where are we going?” He asks when he’s caught up- the purple eyed man walks fast and Pakratt isn’t fully healed, not even close.

Nebris spares him a quick glance, as he turns into a side hall and continues walking. For a temporary underground base that, if Pak understood Nebris correctly, is about to be blown up, it seems fairly extensive. “We’re following someone,” He says briefly, entering a dark room and rummaging through a chest inset into the wall. “The guy who built this base. Vechs seems to think that it’s a good idea.”

Pakratt wonders for not the first time who the hell Vechs and BTC are. “Oh…Kay?” He draws out the first syllable, raising an eyebrow at Nebris, whose back is turned. Without looking back, the larger man tosses him an iron chestplate, followed by a helmet made of some sort of dyed leather. It shimmers faintly purple and he gets the impression that comes with enchanted equipment, telling him that it carries blast protection and thorns. He puts them on, shrugging. Thorns is a powerful enchantment, but something tells him that there is more to this man than meets the eye.

Nebris is putting on his own set of armor, too. It is a full suit of diamond armor, all enchanted, and when he turns and sees Pak looking at him questioningly, he explains apologetically. “We don’t usually carry extra armor, you’re in luck that you have any at all. Travel light and all that.”

The second eyebrow comes up to join the first, but Pak doesn’t press. Instead, he watches as Nebris transfers some of the contents of the chest into his travel pack (every person carries one on them: a good practice that has become habit for many inhabitants of Jriak) and then moves around the room collecting other items. Pakratt thinks he sees a few golden apples- one or two enchanted.

When he finishes he slings the bag on his back and holds a hand out for Pak’s. Silently the latter hands it over. Nebris places some items- foodstuffs, thinks Pak- from a chest into the bag, before handing it back.

Pakratt peers into it, rifling through what has been put in. There are bandages, regen potions, and a resist potion, and also some foodpacks, containing who-knows-what but almost surely edible. He gives them a mildly disgusted look and then hears Nebris’s chuckle. “Not much else,” He says by way of explanation.

The purple eyed man leaves, and Pak puts his bag back over his shoulder, following curiously. He keeps a mental map of the base, even though it appears they’re leaving, because nothing bad could ever come of remembering layouts. Though he does only, at this point, know of the clinic wing and Nebris’s room- or storage room.

The two meet up with another person in the hallway. Glancing at him, Pak immediately thinks him to be a demon of some kind, but then he looks closer. The man is eyeless, a trait common amongst Farlanders, with blades extending from his forearm and curving over the outside of his arm, giving him inborn protection and weaponry, something which occurs only amongst eclectic demons, though he has a mask resembling something of kxx’sas origin. Honestly, Pak isn’t entirely sure what species the man is.

The man wears a cape, as well, a cloak which seems to ripple- in fact, his skin, colored light gray indicating a kxx’sas background, seems also to be rippling, and Pak thinks it may be excess darkness energy clinging to him.

“Bitsy!” Calls out Nebris. The man turns around.

“It’s BTC.” He says tiredly, as if he’s said it many times before. Then he notices Pak. “Hey, nice to see you up. Even if we are about to blow this place to hell.”

Pak laughs despite himself. “Right, I heard.”

BTC looks at him through the gaping holes in his mask, the places where his eyes would be. “Got a name?” He prompts.

“Pakratt.” Replies the other, trying not to wince as he says his name.

He gets a considering look from BTC, as best as he can tell with no eyes to judge the expression, but he says nothing, instead turning his attention back to Nebris, saying: “Vechs is finished placing the TNT, and I’ve got his and my stuff already. Are you-,” He trails off, eyeing Nebris’s armor. “Cheater. Alright.”

Nebris grins unapologetically, as Pak realizes for the first time that BTC is only wearing a thin dyed black leather chestpiece over his regular clothing. It’s a little odd, and he wonders- hopes, really- that this ‘Vechs’ is going to be closer to Nebris’s armored-up-ness, instead of BTC’s.

BTC waves a hand and they head through another hallway (Pak adds this to his mental layout) and then a set of stairs, descending up into darkness, with a high ceiling. This seems to be the main hall, and another breaks off the side of it, this one with a much higher ceiling than the wing where Nebris’s room seemed to be located.

There’s a swish from behind them, and Pak doesn’t notice it until someone steps behind him with a cheerful “Hi!”
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