Carpathia III: Episode 50 - Water

Rune Lake, New Berengaria, Jaze's House

Elektra: Jaze! Jaze! Wake up.

Jaze rolled his throbbing head to the side. His brain felt like it was going to explode from his head. He tried to open his eyes, but even that took took more effort than it was worth.

Jaze: Mom, I don't feel good.

Jaze was surprised at how much effort it took to say those five simple words. It felt like he hadn't spoken in days.

Elektra: You have to get up. This is important.

Jaze's throat was in terrible pain and he didn't want to explain more. He moved his mouth slightly and found that his lips were dry and cracked.

Jaze: I want... a drink of water.

That time, speaking took even more effort than the last. All he wanted was a drink of water and to go to sleep.

Elektra: Here. Take a drink from this.

Jaze did his best to sit up, but he was finding it very difficult. He felt a hand on his back to help him up. He didn't remember his mother's hands being so small.

Jaze's mother held a water bottle up to his lips and tipped a little water into his mouth. It tasted far more magnificent than he ever imagined and he reached up to tip the water bottle up into his mouth even more. However, he didn't grab the bottle, but instead his hand found something furry.

Jaze: Oh, you're all fuzzy. You must be Dad.

Jaze strained to think more, but it felt like his brain had an impenetrable fog within it. Things weren't adding up.

Jaze: When did your voice get all high and squeaky?

Tier: Here. Drink some more.

Jaze was so thirsty, he didn't care. His father tipped the water bottle up to his lips again and he drank. Desperate for more, he grabbed the bottle and turned it upside down in his mouth. The water poured down his throat so quickly that he couldn't handle it and suddenly retched, sending a spray of water all over him.

Tier: I'll be right back. I'm going to get more water for you. There's still a little water left in this, so take it if you want.

Jaze heard the thunk of something being placed next to him and then a wind in his face. Once again, all was silent.



Ryuu slipped quietly into a pipe below the guard tower. It was easy for him to sneak in since he was so small and could nimbly move around the cliff where nobody could see him. Once inside, he padded around silently, making sure his claws didn't tap on the pipe as he walked. It had been two, long Yseri days since he saw Jaze last. The final time, he and Keast saw him being carried back to the compound from the village. The direct assault they attempted didn't work as they were quickly repelled by gunfire. After that, all of their efforts were directed to finding out where he was. He hadn't been taken to his former room and they had no idea where else to look. Keast thought that he was probably already dead, but Ryuu wasn't ready to give up yet.

This was Ryuu's third time exploring the pipe. The first time he found it, he went inside to see where it lead, and that's when he heard a low moan echoing through the pipes. He was desperate to find out where the moan came from and went into the labyrinth of pipes again and again until he found it. This time, he strapped a water bottle onto his back, determined not to leave until he found Jaze.

After a long time of searching, Ryuu finally came up to a steel grating that was firmly rusted into place. Through it, he could see someone laying on the ground. Ryuu inhaled deeply and blew fire at the bands of steel on the grate. It took a few minutes to burn through each one. When he finally melted the last link, the grate fell to the ground and he went in. Lying on the ground was, indeed, Jaze. He looked terrible. He was shockingly thin and pale. His lips were white and scaley, almost resembling a pair of tiny, albino snakes. Jaze looked dead, except for the erratic pulse that Ryuu could see through his neck.

Ryuu: Jaze! Jaze! Wake up.

Jaze stirred slightly, rolling his head lazily to the side. Ryuu was still worried, but he was happy to see some movement.

Jaze: Mom, I don't feel good.

Jaze's voice sounded raspy, like a cat hacking up a hairball.

Ryuu: You have to wake up. This is important.

Jaze: I want... a drink of water.

Unbelievably, Jaze's voice sounded even worse than the last time. Ryuu unstrapped the water bottle from his back.

Ryuu: Here. Take a drink from this.

Jaze's arm wobbled to his side as he tried to push himself up. Ryuu reached behind his back to help push him up a little more.

Jaze's mouth slowly twitched open and Ryuu gently tipped the water into his mouth. Jaze drank as greedily as he could and before he had a chance to give him another drink, he felt Jaze's hand reach up and touch him.

Jaze: Oh, you're all fuzzy. You must be Dad.

There was a pause as Jaze looked at him with his sunken eyes.

Jaze: When did your voice get all high and squeaky?

Ryuu decided it was useless to argue and tried to give Jaze another drink of water.

Ryuu: Here. Drink some more.

Ryuu tipped the bottle to Jaze's lips again. Suddenly, Jaze grabbed it and turned it nearly upside-down, draining nearly all the contents. Water poured quickly down his throat and Jaze suddenly retched, spraying water all over Ryuu.

Ryuu knew he was going to need help. Jaze was in no fit condition to move. He had to go back and talk to Keast to find out a way to get Jaze well enough to escape.

Ryuu: I'll be right back. I'm going to get more water for you. There's still a little water left in this, so take it if you want.

Ryuu placed the water bottle next to Jaze. Then, he spread his wings and gave a mighty flap, heading back up to the pipe from whence he came.

Ryuu crawled back through the pipes, retracing his route back to the opening. It was much quicker and easier now that he knew the way. As he reached the opening, he cautiously looked out and then looked upward to see if anyone was looking in his direction. He saw two guards on the tower, but they were looking at the sky. He slipped out of the pipe and scrambled up to the wall where he could sneak around and fly away without anyone seeing.

After Ryuu flew away, he headed in a straight line away from the compound before circling in a wide arc to the west, staying far outside the visibility and firing range of anyone at the compound. He spread his wings wide to take advantage of the air currents to fly as fast as possible.

Ryuu scanned the landscape, looking for Keast.

Commissioned art in this episode from:

All city pictures from SimCity 4

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