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Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 17, 2023 09:32 PM

Overthink101
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There's the post! I'll be working on the short story now soon lol
Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 17, 2023 10:36 PM

Lost Memories
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The post was incredible as usual! Briar will be on the road to recovery (well, kind of anyway) soon-ish, and will basically try to jump right back to helping Aries, lmao
Can't wait for the short story! :D
Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 17, 2023 10:44 PM

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Trying to decide if it should be one of the earlier visits or not right now haha
Kinda leaning towards one of the earlier ones
Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 18, 2023 03:38 PM

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Enjoy! Hopefully the angst is as good as it’s supposed to be! Went with an earlier one. The second visit, in specific.

-

Aries Short Novel; Pandora’s Box

Gwyar/Khorne, age 15

The Doctor, age unknown (25)

Smith(ex), age 17 (deceased at 15)

Aurora(sister), age 19 (deceased at 11)

Irene (mother), age 45 (deceased at 37)

*~*~*~*

After his first visit with the Doctor, Gwyar learned very quickly that he didn’t want to go again. The idea made his skin crawl and he’d rather die a thousand deaths than see him again. A visit to the Doctor wasn’t good. And maybe that was just how much he hated hospitals and doctors and nurses already but— Well, he didn’t want to go back again. Ever.

-

The entire experience had been… Well, nothing had even happened. Not really. His blood had been drawn for a sample, his cheek patted gently, his hair ruffled, and then he’d been praised and smiled at with a smile that looked genuine, in what felt like the first time in a long time. Just like kids used to say about the doctor visits that he’d never had but they did. But— But everything just felt wrong. He didn’t know what. Something was just wrong with the Doctor. And not just that he couldn’t see his eyes. Something just felt off. Wrong. He didn’t know what. He did know that he didn’t want to go back. Not with the expressions that the guards and nurse had on their faces.

-

Unfortunately, though, he found out that wasn’t as easy as he’d hoped for. Which, that was something he learned he shouldn’t do rather quickly. Hope wasn’t doing him much good here. Regardless, he was getting distracted. Probably in an attempt to forget he was on his way to the infirmary of the arena. He really didn’t want to go back. Yet, in no time at all, he stood in front of the infirmary with two guards at either side of him. He stood there, his chest constricting and keeping him from truly breathing. He hoped beyond hope that the Doctor wasn’t here or was busy and he’d just have to deal with a nurse instead.

-

His hope wasn’t enough though, because as soon as he was pushed into the room by one of the guards with impatience, Gwyar saw the Doctor standing at a counter, not facing them but obviously without anyone else in the room. No nurses, no other fighters. Just the Doctor, the guards, and Gwyar… His skin crawled, and the door shut. The noise had the Doctor turning and looking over, eyes still hidden from view and gloves still on.

-

Yes?

-

The voice was calm, and the Doctor was taller than he was, and he shrunk back, breathing far heavier than he should’ve been. He didn’t want to be here. The Doctor noticed him though, and he tried not to shrink further.

-

Ah, you brought this one again.” The Doctor looked back at the guards, staring them down as he continued. “Khorne, isn’t it? How is it doing?

-

A guard shifted behind him, as if he felt just as uncomfortable as Gwyar did himself. “Uh, yes, it’s Khorne. It got itself injured.

-

His skin pricked, and he did his best to hold back a grimace. He hadn’t gotten himself hurt, he’d stood up for someone. And apparently, that wasn’t allowed. But, well, they’d ended up forgetting about the one he’d stood up for. So that had to count for something, right? Technically, he’d succeeded. Still, that didn’t get rid of the soreness that came from standing up for someone. He hated the guards… He still would’ve preferred to just have the injuries handled by the Cattell’s or himself instead of coming here.

-

The Doctor stared down at him anyway, humming lightly and leaning over enough to pat his shoulder with a gloved hand. Gwyar held back a wince the best he could at that. “Well, we can’t have it being… Injured, before its next fight, now can we?

-

The pause seemed odd, but maybe the Doctor knew the guards were lying. Still, he didn’t take the chance of responding, he didn’t really know anything about the Doctor and he didn’t want to take any unnecessary chances.

-

Luckily, the Doctor continued, straightening up and looking over at the guards, “You can both leave, I don’t need to be watched as I work.

-

Gwyar almost felt like asking for them to stay, if only because he didn’t trust this place. This too clean room, this too clean and too kind Doctor, and the absolute silence surrounding him. He didn’t ask though, and he heard the door close.

-

As soon as the door closed, the Doctor sighed and shook his head, looking down at him. “What did I say last time? About getting into trouble?” Gwyar shifted, unsure if he was actually supposed to answer. The ticking of a clock was loud in his ears, and the Doctor stared him down for about three seconds before sighing. “Suppose not, I’ll need to work on your memory then.

-

A hand stayed on his shoulder, not seeming nearly as gentle as the last time he’d been here. The Doctor kept his eyes on him though, “I’ll work on that after the damage is dealt with. Do you remember where you’ve been damaged? Or is that too much as well?

-

Gwyar stiffened, trying not to shrink back at the tone. There were probably just different rules for the infirmary then. So, with that in mind, he nodded slowly.

-

Yes you remember or yes that’s too much?

-

He shifted uncomfortably, biting at his lip. He didn’t know why he felt so… This place just wasn’t right. He shifted again, and tried speaking. “I, uh- I remember.

-
The Doctor nodded, humming. “Right. Plenty to work on with you, I suppose. I’ll work on that at the same time. Where is the damage?

-

As he spoke, the Doctor led him to the same stool he’d sat on the last time he was here. A glance around the room again told him that there weren’t any actual chairs. Just stools and exam tables and counters and one or two bookshelves, everything felt wrong. Still, he didn’t wait to answer again. “Uh, my- My back?

-

The Doctor pushed him to sit on the stool, muttering, “It’s back. You’ll do better here if you use the same vocabulary as the wielders. Let’s practice, every time you fail, I’ll correct you. Alright?

-

He shrunk a bit, but nodded anyway. He couldn’t exactly say no. Not here. The Doctor smiled at his answer though, and ruffled his hair gently, before turning towards a counter to grab something. When he’d turned again, he was holding a medical kit and pulling a stool over for himself.

-

Great, there’s hope for you here after all. Let’s start then. I’ll ask questions, you respond and use the correct terms. Can you go ahead and turn to the side for me?

-

Gwyar nodded and shifted, biting his lip for a second before answering, “I- It can..?

-

A hum to the side and behind him, “Good save. I’m about to begin stitching whatever needs to be stitched. Do you understand?

-

He didn’t take as long to answer this time, trying to relax his back so that the stitching would be easy. “It does..

-

Good.” A sharp pain as the Doctor began, a wince being held back. “I explained to you last time that we don’t use painkillers for most damages, can you tell me what that explanation was?

-

Gwyar paused, trying to keep back a flinch as the needle went through again. “It, uh, it can. Uh. You’d said–

-

The Doctor said. You have to use my title. Do you think I’m in the right to correct you this time around?

-

He tried not to shift uncomfortably, tried not to wince as the needle continued stitching. He didn’t, not really. He hadn’t been told ahead of time. But he also didn’t want to be in more trouble if he was supposed to say yes. So, right before the third tick of the clock, he spoke. “It does…

-

Give me your hand then. Go ahead and continue the explanation as well.

-

Without a word, he reached the closer hand over to the Doctor and began speaking. “The Doctor said uh, said that it can’t be given anesthesia whenever–” A slight pain at one of his fingers, he kept back the wince as well as he could, continuing. “–it’s injured.

-

Another sharp pain at his finger as the Doctor spoke, “Damaged. The wielders used the wrong term earlier. Use the one I used. Damaged. The wielder that used the word injured earlier is going to be corrected as well, don’t fret.

-

Gwyar bit his lip, and continued. “It can’t be given anesthesia whenever it’s damaged because, uh.. Because that wastes anesthesia it’ll need during other procedures. And, and because if it’s being, uh, punished–

-

Two new sharp pains at his fingers. “Corrected or disciplined. It’s not being punished, just corrected, so that the issue doesn’t happen again. The arena doesn’t want imperfect weapons, after all.

-

He tried not to shrink back, and continued. “If it’s being corrected then the, uh, the wielders want it to actually feel the, uh, the correction.

-

A sharp pain at his back, the needle again. “Good. Took a few corrections, but good. You can take your hand back for now. What is Khorne to the arena?

-

Gwyar took back his hand, glancing down to see the new cuts littering his fingers, blood running down from them. “Khorne is a, uh, a weapon to the arena..?

-

Another sharp pain at his back, “Good. And what is Khorne outside of the arena?” There was venom in that tone, he wasn’t sure what the answer was supposed to be.

-

The clock ticked once, he tried to think of an answer. Outside of the arena, he went by Aries and most people treated him like one of them. Like a person. Khorne didn’t exist outside of the arena. Even the Cattell’s used a different name for him. They used Gunnar. Khorne didn’t exist except for in the arena. A sharp pain from the needle.

-

The clock ticked a second time, he still didn’t know the answer. Was he supposed to say that Khorne didn’t exist outside of the arena? The venomous tone didn’t make sense if that was the case though. What was he supposed to say? Was he supposed to say how he was treated by others? That he was a person outside of the arena? But that didn’t make sense with the rest of the lesson. The rest of the tips he’d been given by the Doctor. The needle continued, causing another sharp pain. He was at least getting better at holding back his winces.

-

A third tick of the clock. The Doctor spoke instead, “Hand.

-

Without a word, Gwyar gave him back his hand, bracing for the pain at his fingers to return. Instead, a sharp, lingering pain spread across his palm. He barely held back a flinch, biting his lip.

-

I do not appreciate being ignored, Khorne. What’s the answer to my question?

-

He tried his best not to squirm under the Doctor’s gaze, the clock ticked again, and again, and he forced himself to say something before the clock ticked again. Unfortunately, he hadn’t thought through his words in his panic to just say something. “I- I don’t know.

-

Another slash of pain at his palm. “It doesn’t know.” And then another, and a third, and a fourth. “And the answer is it’s a weapon. Where it is, doesn’t matter.” The Doctor paused, and Gwyar took a careful breath, trying to push away the pain. The Doctor continued, tone much less venomous. “Do you know why?

-

He was tempted to just shake his head, because he didn’t know. But the Doctor would be upset and he didn’t want to be corrected again. He couldn’t think of an answer though, the pain stinging and trying to keep him from thinking. He had to figure this out! The clock ticked, he stiffened, the stitches that were already there protested at the slight movement. The clock ticked again, he shook his head after all. “It- It doesn’t..?

-

A sigh, as if the Doctor was disappointed. “Perhaps Tyrgrim and Gunnr need to be corrected as well if you don’t. Regardless…” A slash of pain against his palm again, his tone was much gentler though as the Doctor continued. “Where it is doesn’t matter because no matter where it is or whatever it tries to pretend to be, it will always be a weapon. Does it understand?

-

He shook, trying not to shrink away. The Doctor was nicer to him than the wielders, he didn’t want to be here, he didn’t want to lose the kindness, he didn’t want to be here. The clock ticked in the background, “It understands.

-

Good. It can take back its hand now, and I’ll finish up these sutures. I noticed some bruises on its wrist, by the way. What are those from?

-

He tensed, bringing back his hand and staring at his bloody palm. Would those need stitches too? He hoped not. Hopefully just a bandage would work. A clock ticked, he remembered the question. He forced himself to relax his back, right in time for the sharp pain of the needle. “Uh, it had to be chained during its, uh, its correction earlier.

-

I see. Did it try fighting back?” Another sharp pain as the needle went through his skin again.

-

He bit his lip, “It, uh, yes. It did.

-

A disappointed sigh. “Does it remember what I’d said about getting in trouble yet?” Another sharp pain at his back, he squeezed his eyes shut as he tried to think, and definitely not because of the pain.

-

He shifted his feet a bit, trying to stay as still as possible as another stab of pain came from his back and the needle. “It does.. The Doctor had said not to get in trouble. To, uh, to focus on, uh… On itself?” He paused, was that the right term. The clock ticked without a correction, so he continued. “And uh, to accept whatever correction the wielders or, uh, the doctors… Deem necessary..?

-

The Doctor paused before speaking, “That was almost perfect. Its hand, please?” Another stab of pain on his back as he gave him his hand again. He didn’t know what he’d done wrong that time. “It should say forgers instead of doctors.” A slash across a few of his fingers and then his hand was returned to him.

-

He took his hand back, and stared at the damage done so far. He hoped that there wouldn’t be more but… Well, he wasn’t sure how likely that was. Another sharp pain stabbed his back, and then the pain tightened for a second. “Alright, that’s one dealt with. Just one or two more need stitches, I do believe. Then, I’ll get to work on that memory more. For now, why don’t I run through all the questions again with it as a warm up for that? What was the first question and what was the answer?

-

Gwyar tried not to shift as he thought of what the answer was. The clock ticked, and he answered. “The Doctor first asked if it could turn to the side, the answer it gave was that it could…?

-

A sharp pain came from a different area from his back, and the Doctor spoke. “Good, and the second one?

-

Thinking back this time was a bit easier, “The Doctor had asked if it understood that the sutures would be starting, and it had answered that it did..?” Another sharp pain came almost immediately after the sentence had been finished.

-

Good, good. And what about the third?

-

After another painful sting of the needle, he answered again. “Uh… The Doctor asked it about what had been said last time about not using anesthesia when damaged. It had uh, it had answered that the Doctor said it couldn’t be given anesthesia because uh, that would waste the anesthesia and if it’s being corrected then it needs to feel the correction so it won’t need the correction again…?

-

Another stab of pain from the needle piercing skin, “Good enough of an answer. The fourth?

-

He stiffened from another sharp pain of the needle, and then answered. “Uh… The Doctor asked what Khorne is to the arena. It, uh, the answer was that it is a, uhm, a weapon.

-

Good, and the fifth?” Another sharp pain, and then a tightening. The second one was already done? He should’ve done better with the first one.

-

Uh, the fifth question the Doctor had asked was what it was outside of the arena. The answer was that it was a weapon outside of the arena too.” A sharp pain from a different area of his back, and he withheld a wince.

-

Good, and the sixth?” Another sharp pain that he shoved away as well as he could.

-

Um, the Doctor had asked if it knew why where it was didn’t matter. The answer was that it would be a weapon no matter where it was, no matter… No matter what it tried to pretend to be.” He shoved away the pain from another poke of the needle in his back.

-

Good. The sooner it accepts that, the easier time it’ll have here. What was the seventh question, Khorne?” Two more sharp pains from the needle stitching.

-

The Doctor asked if it understood, and it had answered that it did.

-

Another sharp pain, a gentle tone. “Very well so far. What about the eighth one?

-

The Doctor asked about bruises on its wrist, it answered that it had to be, uh, chained during correction earlier.” Another sharp pain, he winced slightly, and tried to ignore that fact.

-

Good. Two more, and then I’ll move onto something else. Just go ahead and do both questions.” Another sharp pain at his back, and the ticking of the clock in the background.

-

The Doctor asked if it had fought against the correction, it had. The tenth question was the Doctor asking it if it remembered what had been said about trouble. The answer had been that the Doctor said not to get in trouble, to focus on itself, and to accept whatever correction the wielders and forgers deem necessary for it.” He almost smiled after he’d answered, feeling much more certain about his answers. A sharp pain followed by a tightening one came over, and then his hair was being ruffled gently.

-

Very good job, Khorne. I have a book for it to borrow and read through, and then it’ll visit the next time it's at the arena to do some memory work with me.

-

He turned and looked over as the Doctor walked over to a bookshelf next to a nearby counter. When the Doctor came back over, he was holding a book titled ‘The Complete World of Greek Mythology’. Gwyar couldn’t help himself as his eyes narrowed and eyebrows furrowed in confusion, he glanced at the Doctor who simply smiled.

-

This is one of my favorite books, and many of the myths have lessons that can be applied to life today. Especially in the arena. I want it to find a myth in this book and memorize all the words it can. Then, the next time I see it, I’ll do a little exercise to see how much it remembers. If it remembers enough of the myth it chose, I’ll teach it how to apply the myth here. Alright?” A light smile stayed on the Doctor’s features as the book was handed over.

-

As soon as the book was in his undamaged hand, he stared down at the book and the cover art, and he nodded in response to the question. The Doctor straightened in his peripheral, “Well, now then, I’m going to wrap the damages that didn’t need stitches. I think Tyrgrim will be here to pick it up by the time I finish.

Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 18, 2023 05:38 PM

Lost Memories
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The story was incredible, but, god-
If the group ever figures out that The Doctor was the one who basically started the 'it' mindset for Aries, he will not have a good time. At all.
Poor Aries, that story actually made my stomach churn, geeze :"(
Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 18, 2023 05:59 PM

Overthink101
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Glad I wrote it that well!
And, uh, yeah, the Doctor sucks. But Aries did learn about Greek mythology from him sooo, there's that.
And while the Doctor was the first one to get Aries started on that mindset, he probably would've ended up with it either way.
Hopefully I wrote the creepiness of the Doctor correctly.
And, just in case, the Doctor is asexual, so nothing like that ever happened, luckily. (There was a close chance with someone else but the Doctor is surprisingly protective of Aries so, yeah. It's a bit complicated)
Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 18, 2023 07:09 PM

Lost Memories
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Yeah, I'd say you wrote his creepiness very well! Glad that never happened though-
Interesting in all aspects!
Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 18, 2023 08:09 PM

Overthink101
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Haha, yep, definitely good.
That whole thing actually ended up turning kinda wholesome to be honest. Extremely angsty, but actually kind of wholesome.
That person had been killed, by the Doctor's hands actually.
You do not touch the Doctor's favorites.
Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 19, 2023 07:52 PM

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I'll try to get my post up sometime tomorrow!
Apparently three AP classes plus a college class take up a lot of time, lmao
Also, would you want a short story of the first group that kind of put Briar's "creature mindset" into place? I mean, their dad enabled it, but it was actually a different group that started it, haha
Whispers Cost | DiscussionSeptember 19, 2023 08:09 PM

Overthink101
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I always want a short story with angst
Also, technically, the first time Aries was referred to as something other than a person was with Smith, only once or twice though, and then Derrick did that a lot more often, and then he was with the arena. And then Troy picked up on the new weakness and exploited that. And obviously Jakob sucks. Quincy usually didn't, just once or twice in heated discussions(which eventually you'll see in PoR, probably).

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