Just as Tris had said, Ton DC was much different for Clarke. After helping Nyko patch up the man who’d come in after the accident, it seemed like Clarke was never short on patients. There was always something for her to do, and while she no longer had much time to draw and write in her journal, she enjoyed being busy.
As for Nyko, Clarke could tell that he had warmed to her. While being quite stiff and quiet at first, the man proved to be quite enjoyable to spend time with. Clarke had never had an older sibling, but Nyko gave her an idea of what could have been. He would often tease and joke with her, giving her a sense of normalcy that she had not experienced in a long time.
The hut they shared was a nice change as well. Like many other buildings in Ton DC, the hut was partly made up from a brick building that had been built since before the bombs, and log walls that had been added later. The main room served as where the pair saw their patients, as well as where Nyko’s healing students would stay when they were visiting from other villages.
At the back of the hut were 2 rooms that had been added onto the original building. The smaller room served as a washroom and restroom, and the other was split into 2 by a thin wall built in the middle. Nyko had kindly set up a room for Clarke on one of the sides, and while it consisted only of a small cot with a few fur blankets, it was very pleasant for her to have a more permanent space she could call her own.
With the change in lifestyle, came a whole new set of medical challenges. With the Ark having almost everything controlled and artificially produced, there were no such things as allergies, and when people became sick, it was generally something more serious than the basic cold or flu. With the cool temperatures that accompany fall weather becoming a problem, Clarke was beginning to get her first taste of dealing with patients with different illnesses.
“Excellent job, Clarke.” Nyko praised her, as their last patient walked out of the door. “You have gotten very good at identifying symptoms of the winter illness.”
“Thanks. I’ve been studying the sketches you made. We never really had these seasonal sicknesses on the Ark.”
Nyko smiled, shaking his head. “You work too hard, Clarke. You should save some time for yourself.”
“What would I do with it?”
Nyko shrugged, and they began cleaning up the supplies and herbs that they had used that morning, falling into a comfortable silence. Nyko hummed a tune Clarke wasn’t familiar with to himself as he came and went from the main room, and Clarke swept the floor, enjoying the quiet sound the bristles made against the cement floor. The pleasant silence did not last long, however, as a very winded Tris burst through the door of the healer’s hut.
“What are you doing here so early?” Clarke eyed the girl suspiciously.
“Anya had some business to attend to. She dismissed me ‘til sanch.” The girl took a deep breath before continuing. “Some of the older seconds have special training with Indra today, and Trentin and I want to go watch. Will you come with us?”
“Tris, I don’t know. I have things to do here.”
“No you do not.” Nyko disagreed, earning him a glare from the blonde.
“Please, Clarke! Anya never lets me go early.” Tris begged and made puppy-dog eyes.
Clarke looked to Nyko.
"Go. Get some sun while there is sun left. Enjoy yourself.” The man told her, making a ‘shooing’ motion with his hands.
“Yes, you could use some sun, Clarke. Are all Sky people as pale as you?” teased Tris.
“I bet you, she reflects the sun as it shines on her, yes?”
“Okay, okay. Fine. Let’s go.” Clarke sighed, throwing up her hands in defeat.
She followed Tris outside the hut to where Trentin was waiting for them, and the boy jumped up from where he was crouched, staring at something in the grass. As the two girls approached him, he gave them a big smile.
Although he was only a little older than Tris, Trentin was well over a foot taller than she was. With shaggy brown hair, constantly falling over his eyes, and the way he followed the other second around everywhere, he reminded Clarke very much of videos she had seen of puppies when she was younger.
“Birch let you go early too, huh?” Clarke asked the boy and he shook his head. Clarke raised an eyebrow. “I’m not gonna ask.”
The group made their way to the training fields on the edge of village, being very careful to avoid running into Trentin’s warrior, who Trentin swore he hadn’t seen since early that morning. The two seconds walked in front of Clarke, joking and pushing each other around, as Clarke watched with amusement. She had to admit that the sun felt good on her face, and with the upcoming winter approaching, she needed to enjoy it while she could.
The training field was packed with the seconds that were soon to finish their training and become warriors. The sounds of swords clanking and seconds grunting with effort, could be heard in between the instructions that Indra shouted. She was leading them through motions that by now, had been ingrained into their memory. The group looked on in awe. Clarke in a haze of amazement, and the seconds dreaming of their future.
“That isn’t so hard. I can do that too.” Scoffed Trentin, picking a stick off of the ground that was roughly the length of a sword.
The boy began to twirl it around, before falling into a stance similar to the one they had seen the older seconds do. Instead of following through with the motions, however, he proceeded to begin spinning around, jumping and slicing the air wildly. He lunged at Tris, who began giggling and picked up a stick to defend herself. She parried his strike and grabbed the arm that was holding his stick, twisting and effectively disarming her friend.
“No fair!” the boy laughed.
Tris shrugged in response, and turned to Clarke, throwing one of the sticks her way.
“You must avenge me, Clarke!” Trentin yelled dramatically when Clarke hesitated to pick up the stick.
Clarke bent to grab the stick from the ground, and Tris grinned. It was rare for Clarke to voluntarily join in on Tris and Trentin’s games, but if asked she was always a good sport about it.
Tris wasted no time, advancing on Clarke, who quickly brought up her stick to defend the blow. Testing it out, Clarke swung back at Tris, meeting her stick with a loud crack!. Both seconds were surprised as Clarke and Tris began going back and forth, taking turns to strike and block. It was the first time Clarke had ever simulated a fight with either of the seconds and she could tell that Tris was taking it easy on her.
It didn’t quite register with Clarke when Tris let out a cautionary gasp, and Trentin muttered an “uh oh”. Before she knew what was happening, Clarke was falling backwards. She had stepped in a low spot in the ground when backing away from Tris’ attack and her flailing arms were doing a terrible job of catching her. Instead, the stick she was still holding onto struck something, and Clarke realized the ground she had landed on was awfully soft.
A moment later, she was being shoved to the ground, a look of horror gracing her face as she quickly stood up. The sky girl had not only backed into and fallen on Trentin’s missing warrior, Birch, but had struck the man with her stick. The stocky warrior’s right hand was pressed to his cheek where drops of blood ran down to his chin. He was brushing dirt off of himself and cursing in Trigedasleng, and Clarke could see his face visibly turning red in what she could only assume was anger.
Clarke’s immediate apologies were cut short by the sound of someone shouting her name. Both the warrior and the blonde turned to look towards where the shout had come, to see Indra and Anya storming their way. Both women were scowling.
“Return to your second, and send mine to my tent to wait for me.” Anya barked at the still bleeding Birch, and Clarke swore she saw the man flinch.
Clarke watched the man nod and scurry off, and braced herself for scolding, but neither woman said a word. Finally, she gave a deep sigh. “What is it?”
“We have received word that the Commander is nearing Ton DC.” Anya answered, a tense look on her face.
“The Commander? Why is she coming here?” Clarke asked. She’d been convinced that she was never actually going to meet the infamous “Commander”. The title had always thrown her off, sounding more like an idea, a myth, than an actual person.
“Because of you, Clarke.”
Clarke looked to Indra, obviously confused by the dark woman’s words. Indra continued, resisting the urge to roll her eyes.
“It is not unusual for the Commander to visit Ton DC to check in on her warriors, however she has sent word that she is interested in meeting the skai girl. You.”
Clarke’s eyes widened. “She’s coming to meet me?”
“That’s what we’re saying, is it not?” retorted Anya.
Indra gave Anya a pointed look. “The Commander will arrive soon, perhaps even tonight. You should prepare to show her what you have been doing with Nyko and his healing students.”
“Like what? Nyko’s been teaching me much more than I’ve taught him.”
“I’m sure it will not be hard to show The Commander why we have decided you to you around.”
Clarke tried to hide the involuntary nervous gulp that Indra’s subtle threat had prompted. She nodded. “I’ll think of something by the time she arrives.”
Her answer seemed to please Indra, who grunted approvingly and stalked back to the training grounds. Anya waited until the woman was out of earshot before turning back to Clarke.
“Do not be intimidated, Clarke.” The warrior said in a low voice. “You have nothing to fear from the Commander.” she paused, and a small smile found its way to her face. “Or Indra.”
Somehow, that still doesn’t make me feel any better. Clarke thought to herself, as the sense of dread set itself in the back of her mind, and she walked back to her hut.
Sanch - Lunch
Skai - Sky