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Old 06-26-2006, 02:32 AM   #17
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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-o- Out of the Caves -o-

Durelin - Khamir

“He said two months, right?”

Khamir sat on a large rock that sat along the stream’s edge and stretched out into the water. The moving current had shaped it and smoothed it after hundreds of years of beating against it. The water merely babbled across the rocky bed, though perhaps at one time it had rushed in the form of a large river. Still the boulder stood strong and unmoving, forcing the current around it. Somehow water always found a way to get through. Khamir had to wonder, watching even such a small current, how the beaver ever managed to build such effective dams. Fire, water, and air – all pushed and shoved until it found a way to get through. For fire, it was perhaps simpler than pushing and shoving, but it still seemed to flow, if considerably faster than any water rushing over stones.

The one-armed man nodded in response to Reagonn’s question. There was a feeling of restlessness throughout the group that could not be ignored. Khamir shared the feeling, even though he expected he minded spending hours out of the day and night in a cave less than most of the others. He was used to caves and sharp, imposing rocks, and trying to sleep on ground or on stone that would never be comfortable, knowing that there was always the chance of being discovered, and forced to rely on whoever was on watch. That was one of many times when a man had trouble trusting anyone.

“We have a decision to make,” he said simply. Leaning forward, he kept his balance so that he remained on the boulder as he dipped his hand into the flowing water. Scooping tiny puddle out, he splashed it on his face. Even the least bit of water did wonders. He poured another small handful of water onto his head, and ran a hand through his thick hair. That was one large thing he would miss when they did head out: the river. They would be hard-pressed for finding water on the journey until the reached the wilderness farther north.

It had been over two months since the King’s letter reached them, informing them that help was on its way. The message had asked the Mordorians to wait two months for help to arrive, and they had sent a message back agreeing. Even if this ‘help’ had not left Gondor until after they received the message from the former slaves, they should have been here by now. Sentiment had been that they were not coming at all from the start. Few felt like really trusting Gondor. It seemed their only hope other than each other, and some rather far off wilderness, was in that country though, in that King.

As a Haradrim, Khamir was raised to have no love for Gondor. But it had been years since the man really thought of himself as a Southron, or as a person with any sort of allegiance. He had severed all ties almost as soon as he was landed in Mordor, and since then, he had buried the remnants of any links. They reminded him too much of chains.

His years as a slave had hardened him, making him callous to all kinds of death and hardships. But, it had softened him as well. It had taken a great deal of his own suffering for him to realize a great many things. Now more than ever, he cherished what good things life had to offer. And he cherished freedom in all its forms. There was no way he could have denied any help he and his men could give to those runaways. And now…they were sixty-five strong, and it seemed they might have a future.

With the help of Gondor, of the seemingly generous Elessar, or not, Khamir would count himself among those who ventured to the northwest. Suddenly rising from where he sat, Reagonn could only watch as the Southron made his way to the small cave opening, and crawled down inside through vegetation that hid the entrance formidably from the outside. The surprisingly large cavern was lit by several torches, numerous side tunnels branching off from the open room that most of the group camped in. He nodded, waved, and said a few words in greeting to those that were gathered inside. They only ever went outside in small numbers, and a sort of unspoken order to things came about in which everyone got a ‘turn,’ whether it meant they were on watch, were gathering water or food, were taking some children outside for fresh air and sunlight, or actually had a short time of rest to themselves. He left the cave with a bag in hand to sling over his left side, so that the bag itself hung at his right hip. Once outside, he pulled several skins out of the sack, and began filling them in the river.

“Tell everyone that who wants to can leave with me in the morning,” he said, turning his head to look at Reagonn while he held one of the waterskins under the flow, “It’s not yet midday. That should give us enough time to prepare.”

Reagonn hesitated, but the darker-skinned man knew that it was not because his comrade was not paying attention. He was similar to Khamir in a good number of ways, one of which being that he was always focused, even when he did not appear to be. The gang leader found him to be a good person to have guarding his back, though different things drove each of them on.

Khamir’s lips twisted slightly in what could only be called a smirk, though anyone who knew him in the least bit, like Reagonn, knew there was only either or kindness or amusement behind it, or both. “Unless you want to stay here, that is.”

Last edited by piosenniel; 06-30-2006 at 08:55 PM.
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