It was midday in Malgrave, and the heat was as relentless as ever. On the outskirts of a Lopp village, there was a rather small settlement that welcomed any visitors to purchase commodities from stores run by people who just want to get by in life. In the center was a house with architecture similar to that of houses owned by Exile humans. On its porch, an elderly Ekose woman could be seen in a rocking chair listening to some music on a nearby radio. In her hand was a glass of iced tea, with condensation running down all of its sides. This was Rosie, one of the two de facto leaders of this area, who took it upon herself to make sure everything was running smoothly with her husband.
During one of her rocks forward, she could see a hazy figure approaching the household. Thinking nothing of it, Rosie continued to relax the day away; however, once the figure grew closer and with a quick adjustment of her large spectacles, she could see that this figure was oddly Draken-shaped, and a female one at that. Rosie carefully got up due to her old age, picking up her cane that was leaning against the house's front wall.
"Elmer! Elmer, honey, you need to see this!" Rosie's voice was filled with concern and worry, as Draken who normally came for supply came in groups five at most. Seeing a lone Draken was a rare sight, but an uneasy- one. After a while, Elmer, her husband, came out of the house.
"Sorry, darling. I was just talking with some friends over that old-timey ra-" Elmer cut himself short once he saw the Draken approaching. Specific features were more visible now, such as her emerald skin and purple hair that was the shade as her eyes. Four horns sprouted from underneath the hair, with two on each side. Clad in red and black, the Draken's sleeveless shirt was a particular outlier, as it seemed the discarded sleeves were simply torn off from the shoulders. She was limping, exhausted, presumably from whatever caused the scars that were lining her arms and tail. "Great Navigator above..."
Elmer jogged from his porch over to the Draken, being very careful to prop her up once he was there. The Draken let out an initial hiss of pain, but it eventually faded as she accepted Elmer's help.
"Don't worry about a thing. We'll get a doc as soon as I bring ya inside." He raised his voice a bit, calling out to his wife. "Rosie, get the couch ready!" She nodded, heading inside. After escorting the Draken inside, the two Ekose helped her lay onto the couch, another hiss coming from her.
"I....I can't....stay..." It was clear that speaking hurt her even further.
"Don't be silly, dearie!" Rosie piped up as she took a datachron out of a nearby cabinet. "Ya just got here, and you aren't in a condition to go out and about like that again!" The scolding was a result of a tough motherly love Rosie showed to neighbors. Like her husband, she couldn't just let someone in need wander off before they were helped.
"Ayup, the heat alone would get ya before you're injuries!" Elmer was in the kitchen preparing a soup with some noodles for the guest to eat. When he walked back in with a spoon and the bowl of soup, Rosie was speaking through the datachron with someone else. "Ya got a name, stranger?"
"Z-Zala....Gunfiend..." She noticed the soup being placed in front of a table that was close to where she was currently laying down to recuperate.
"Glad to meet ya Zala. Name's Elmer, and that beautiful charmer is my wife Rosie." He points to himself and Rosie respectively. She hangs up the datachron, letting out a slight laugh after hearing her husband's flattery.
"Oh, honey, not in front of the guest!" Rosie puts the datachron back into its cabinet. She walks over to Elmer. "Doc Fenton said he would come by in a bit." Her husband nodded as a response.
"What got ya in this shape, anyways?" Elmer scratches his chin, trying to seem inquisitive. Mustering up the strength, Zala began to tell her story.
"I was....given false charges....dishonored by my tribe....I did nothing!" She tries to control her rage. "Nearly escaped with my life...everyone tried to get me..." Zala lets out a sigh, realizing that her sentences were hardly making sense due to the state she was in.
"Alright, alright, don't wear yourself out." Elmers voice tried to be comforting, but the accent made it come off as snarky. It was only twenty minutes later when a knock was heard on the door. Rosie answered it, as a human doctor walked in.
"Afternoon, ma'am." Fenton tipped his hat to Rosie. Oddly, he lacked the accent most humans in the region had. "You said the patient was a....Draken, right?" His mention of Draken was a bit unusual, most likely due to the fact he never treated one before.
"She's on the couch, dearie." Rosie motioned to where Zala was, who was almost finished with the soup Elmer gave her prior. It seemed like she was reluctant to eat it, but she was starving and couldn't go without it. She noticed the human doctor approaching her, merely accepting that he was about to examine her health. It wasn't the weirdest event of the day. Fenton put a bag filled with his equipment down onto the table, and begun the routine. After a while, the equipment was back inside the bag.
"So let's cut the chase," he said abruptly. "You'll have to be here in town for a few days."
"Of course..." Zala under her breath, with some sort of mumble-growl hybrid covering it up. Fenton seemed to turn his attention to Rosie.
"She'll need lots of rest and food. If she needs to go anywhere, someone needs to assist her." The doctor began to make his way out of the house, only to be stopped by Rosie for a brief moment.
"How much do I owe ya?"
"Free of charge, ma'am." Fenton tipped his hat at her once more, departing. Rosie flashed Zala a warm smile.
"Feel free to make yourself comfortable, dearie. This is gonna be your new home for a while!" Despite Rosie's kind demeanor, Zala couldn't help but let out a groan. She wanted to get revenge on the kin that wronged her, not get pampered like a Highborn. But if it meant she would leave this town stuck in the middle of nowhere faster, then she would gladly accept.
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