Private Tales What the Sea Holds

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Bastian

The Runaway
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Aina O Ka La

"Captain!" Bastian's voice echoed out from the top-mast.

The Navy had been surprisingly easy so far, even simple. When he'd run away he had thought that things would be a lot worse, that he'd be thrown into some dark corner of the earth and hardly see the sun. Luckily Bastian had been proven wrong. Vel Anir treated it's navy well. Three square meals a day, a bit of rum, and even leave if you did well enough.

It was not the best life that Bastian had lived, not by far, but it wasn't the worst either.

"West by North West!" He called out. "No flag! Pirates?"

Bastian didn't know. He wasn't experienced enough to make that determination, though out here in these waters the answer was one that most would have liked to deny; slavers. The ships came and went almost constantly, traveling to Cerak to deliver their cargo. No nation patrolled here heavily, not even Vel Anir. It was happenstance that they caught them, and then even then the Captain might well say to let them go on.

He didn't know, and in truth...he didn't care.

Most of his life had been slavery, torture, some sort of coercion to do as others said. Why would he rescue others? Why would he try to free someone else from the hell he'd lived? They should crawl from the muck as he had.

"TURN THE SAILS!"​

The call went out.

"CHASE THAT SHIP!"​

Bastian let out a curse, but he offered no objection. Whatever the fuck was out there he didn't much care, as long as it didn't get him killed. His fingers wound around the mast of the ship, bracing himself for the surge of the sails as the ship cut towards the Slaver's.
 
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Inina

The Pearl of Njova
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Inina's throat was so raw that she could barely scream anymore, and as the man, ironically known as 'The Caretaker', helped himself to another one of her silvery blue scales, the sound that tore itself from her throat as a strangled rasp. He'd stood on her tail fin to stop her writhing, insisting that she hush her wailing or she'd never make it to Cerak.

"Don' get paid enough coin fer all the good work I do lookin' after you scum - don' get no thanks fer it neither." the scrawny old man drawled as he puffed at a cigar, the smoke of it choking her as she drew in pained gasps and coughed them back out. "When I get opportunity to make a lil' bit extra coin, lass, yeh can be sure I'll be takin' it.." he grinned at her, only half of his teeth still intact and absolutely none of them white.

"Aye." he stood up, slipping his dagger away and studying the shiny scale before dropping it into a small pouch with the other dozen he'd already plucked from her tail. "Should fetch me a pretty penny indeed. But won' want to devalue you no more, pretty thing that y'are.." he winked at her lecherously, and slammed the door shut as he left her in darkness once more.

She could feel the trickles of warm bloods as they ran in rivulets onto the floor. He'd been less than gentle with that blade. She'd been left so dehydrated that even her tears had run dry, and she'd struggled so much against the shackles that held her to the wall that her wrists were bruised and bloody. There wasn't enough energy left in her to lift her tail at all. It'd been two weeks since she'd last touched water, and every bit of her body screamed with the ache of it, her skin and scales dry and tight, her eyes and hair lacklustre and without their usual violet vibrancy. Her spirit entirely crushed.

Inina wasn't alone, either. Chained throughout the lower decks were rows and rows of people. Until two weeks ago she had never seen a human, nor an elf or orc. She'd been warned and warned to stay away from the surface, and Inina hadn't listened.

Many eyes shifted to the ceiling, the sound of sudden heavy footfalls thudding and creaking against the wood, the muffled sound of yelling from above that seemed panicked. Inina's heart leapt in her chest and she closed her eyes to pray to her Gods, in hopes that perhaps her people had found her.
 
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Bastian

The Runaway
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An Anirian Cutter was fast.

Though the Allirians had always prided themselves on having the greatest Navy in the world, there were a few things that Vel Anir did well. Patrol ships were used most often in the Cortosi Coast, used to hunt pirates and track down smugglers.

They were not the strongest ships, not equipped with Ballista or any weapon of the sort, but all of them carried a weapon that all men feared; Dreadlords.

Bastian had met the woman who titled herself as such only once. She tended to keep to herself on the small ship, hiding away in her cabin unless needed. There was a dominance that lingered around her, an air of command that was quietly terrifying. The Captain had told him she was a sweetheart of a girl when you got to know her, but the stories he'd heard...

He didn't believe it.

As the new Sailor glanced down at the woman standing at the stern he couldn't help but feel his stomach drop slightly. Her hands were raised, eyes closed. A breath filled her lungs, and then suddenly the slaver ship jerked to the side.

It was as if some great force had ripped it to the side, forcing it off the path it had tried to take and pulling it directly towards the Anirian Cutter.

"READY BOARDING HOOKS! BASTIAN GET THE FUCK DOWN HERE!"​

Panic ruptured through the Runaway, and with a scowl he hopped down the ladder. He forgot his uniform, taking only his sword and knife.
 
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Inina

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The panic from above seemed to sink into the hold below. She could hear the low murmur amongst the slaves, their quickening pulses and heavy breaths, the rattling chains of the shackles that bound them as they tugged fruitlessly for freedom. Even if she wanted to run, she couldn't, even if she was free, all she could hope for was the ship to sink and carry her back below the surface of the ocean and take her home.

Inina's violet eyes followed the path of running steps across the deck as they crossed this way and that, she could hear the shouts from the captain and his mate, shouts to the caretaker to ensure that their cargo was secure. Light flooded in as the door burst open, though it was quickly locked behind him and they were once again swallowed by darkness. The Caretaker lit a torch, suffusing his haggard face in a coy and menacing light as he swept it above the rows of 'cargo', kicking those who didn't have the good sense to cower from the sight of him.

He paused at Inina's tail fin, making sure to step on it and grind his heel into the wood below. Her face contorted into a grimace and she let out a sharp cry.

"Oops. Sorry Princess." he winked at her. He wasn't sorry. She looked up at him, though rather than look at his face, her gaze settled on the moonstone pendant he wore around his neck. Her pendant, her mother's pendant. He caught her looking at it, took the trinket in his spindly fingers and brought it to his lips, pressing a kiss to it and grinning down at her before he continued his patrol. Her attention returned to the creaking boards of the ceiling above when the ship suddenly jerked. Some, including her, let out a gasp in fear, the Caretaker was knocked off balance and caught himself on a pillar, cursing loudly as he too looked above. He drew his blade.

"Well, yeh best start prayin' to whatever Gods abandoned yeh. Yeh'r either our property, or no-ones.." he laughed, a dry husky sound that ended in a cough.
 
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Bastian

The Runaway
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The Cutter moved through the water faster than Bastian ever would have thought possible, his fingers tightening for a second on one of the ropes tied to the mast. He glanced at the Captain who stood at the helm, his fingers firmly wrapped around the steering column.

"READY THE HOOKS!"

His voice boomed out somehow across the waters, resounding loud enough that it caused a shiver to crawl up Bastian's spine.

A dozen men quickly ran across the deck, holding the hooks that would allow the men to quickly board the larger Slaver vessel. The Dreadlord seemed calm and listless at the front of the ship, her face impassive as the Cutter moved closer to their foe.

She stepped away from the front of the vessel slowly, making her way towards Bastian.

He felt a chill crawl down his spine as the diminutive redhead stepped in front of him. Her eyes were empty, her expression that of a marble statue. Fingers wrapped around the same netted rope he was hanging onto, and then her palm extended to the left.

"Hang on."

Her voice was as compassionless as he features, and then suddenly the ship jerked once more. The Cutter practically rammed into the slaver ship, both vessels shaking as hooks were thrown to tether the two vessels together.

Bastian nearly fell over onto the Dreadlord, but before he could she reached out and grabbed him, practically throwing over to the edge of the ship and onto the enemy vessel.

Before he knew it, Bastian was in the middle of a battle.
 
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Inina

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The ship jerked and shuddered once more, the sound of another crashing into it causing another wave of panic amongst the slaves, each chained and helpless.

"Let us free! Let us fight!" some of the men begged, rattling once more against the chains. The Caretaker scoffed and stormed to kick the face of the elven male who'd spoken up. "So yeh can fight fer the Anirians?.." he laughed. Another wave of rising panic rose around her. "Yeh think what we're bad? Trust me, yeh knife eared bastards are far better off dead." he barked as he paced, watching the door, listening to the carnage commence above.

They were on board. If she'd been afraid before, she was terrified now. She'd felt the fear spike at the very mention of the kind of men currently climbing aboard and it sank like a heavy stone in her chest. The clash of steel rang out from the deck above, the heavy thud of bodies hitting the wood. She didn't need to see the warm liquid that trickled from the planks above onto her tail to know it's coppery taint. Inina squirmed in her restraints, her tail aching as she tried to move.

More screams rang out from above, a bell rang, she heard some splashing into the ocean. The Caretaker cursed, and panic wrapped around her throat like a noose as he turned to the closest slave to him, and ran the man through with his blade. The human man instantly slumped, and Inina's quiet whimpers were dwarfed by the sound of panicked please and screams that erupted in the cargo hold as the man moved along the rows, killing every man and woman in chains that he could.
 
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Bastian

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Bastian had never been in a battle before.

Not a proper one anyway.

There had been a few scuffles in the Slums, some fights and bar brawls, but never a full on battle. What he had never expected was the chaos. The men screaming, the people charging at you from every corner and trying to cut you. He was barely aware of who was friend and who was foe.

Blood splattered his skin and face as his saber sliced through the flesh of a man, rending through and letting him drop to the floor with a heavy thud.

Bastian only let himself relax for a moment, a second later there was another yell behind him. It echoed out and he quickly turned, though before he could raise his sword the man was cut down by the red haired Dreadlord.

"Get below deck."

She hissed at Bastian before quickly turning away to return to combat. One of the men that approached her suddenly burst his flesh rippling and then exploding.

"GO!"

The woman's voice struck like a whip, and Bastian turned on his heel and rushed towards the lower decks. He bounded down the stairs with two other Anirians, the sound of screams echoing in front of them.
 
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Inina

The Pearl of Njova
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The lower deck was a blood bath. It rained down from the deck above, it sprayed from throats opened under the caretaker's blade and it gushed from the hearts of the men and women who's lives had meant less than nothing. Inina could only sob as she squirmed against her chains, watching the man get closer and closer up the line to where she sat. He had made short work of them - of the fifty or so slaves they'd had chained up in the hold, it was already considerably quieter. Less than ten remained by the time the door burst open and everyone flinched, even the blood-soaked old man who turned on his heels, his weapon lifted.

Her heart pounded, her heavy tail splashing up blood as it slapped against the floor. All she could do was stare, her eyes glassy with tears as she looked between the Anirians and the man who'd been seconds away from ending her life. The Anirians looked like normal humans, though she'd expected monsters, or pirates at the very least. Perhaps the Caretaker had been wrong, perhaps they had come to free them.

Inina's wrists were bound above her and bled in her shackles, the blood running lines down her arms and chest. She closed her eyes, intent on sparing herself from watching any further bloodshed, but she frowned and forced them open again, fixing them squarely on the man who'd stolen her trinkets and plucked her scales, the man who'd taken such joy in beating them these past weeks and who'd eventually killed almost all of them.

Regardless of what awaited her, she wanted to see him fall.
 
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Bastian

The Runaway
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The lower deck was a massacre.

There was no other way to describe what Bastian and the other two Anirians walked into. Dozens lay dead, slaughtered. Most of them were either bleeding or already gone, with only a handful having survived the blade of the man that stood before them.

A wild look clung to his eyes.

"Too late."

A cruel, broken sort of chuckle echoed out from the man's lips, his face contorting in a mask of sickening pleasure at what he had wrought. one had clung to his sword, the other fingered something around his throat. Blood smearing from his palm.

Bastian grimaced, his stomach lurching slightly.

He was used to violence, fighting. He'd seen broken men, women, even a few children. This...this was something else though. His finger slipped slightly, and that was all the man apparently needed.

With a roar he charged forward, lifting his sword. He took three steps, but that was all he got. His eyes suddenly popped open as a knife sprouted from his throat, the curved blade stabbing through his flesh and sending him sprawling to the floor as all momentum left him. Bastian pulled back his hand, fingers twitching, the two Anirian's glancing at him.

Above them the sound of chaos died down, clashing blades falling to silence and steps growing more calm. Bastian cleared his throat. "Lets...lets get the ones still alive on the upper deck."

His voice was shaky, and he quickly knelt down besides Inina, not even noticing her tail in his haze.
 
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Inina

The Pearl of Njova
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Inina's teeth clenched, bared in the hateful sneer she'd wanted to pay the man each time he looked at her. As she watched him fall, her eyes widened and a gasp tumbled from her lips as she watched him take his last breath and grow still. Her entire body suddenly felt weak and she slumped as much as she could in her shackles. She just cried, emotions a whirlpool in her mind, fear for what she would face, grief of her home and family, of those she'd just watched die where they sat, relief that she'd never have to see that brutish grin cast over her again, and pain.

She didn't have the energy to do any more than flinch as the man knelt beside her. There was little point in cowering away, she couldn't go anywhere, but she stared at his blood spattered face in silence.

"He wore my mother's necklace..." she whispered hoarsely. It'd been the first word she'd spoken in over a week.. "May I have it back?.." she asked. "Please.."
 

Bastian

The Runaway
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Bastian hesitated for a moment as he freed the woman's wrist, still never glancing down at the bottom half of her body. Lips thinned for a moment and he looked for the other Anirians.

Both of them were checking through the bodies, finding one or two of the Slaves who were still alive. A few of them were stumbling up the stairs, no one really looked at anything. The sights around them was enough to make most sick.

For a few seconds Bastian lingered, then he nodded.

Slowly he made his way towards the Captor, pushing over his body and yanking the curved knife from his throat before drawing the free the blood soaked necklace. He glanced at the jewel for a moment, swallowing and taking a breath.

The fetid stench of this place reminded him of the slums, the gutters that ran through the streets.

In a strange way it brought him back to the mask he wore. The face of that tough outlaw that had made his way through the worst brutalities man had to offered. He took a slight breath, then stepped back towards the girl. "Here."

He said, offering it to her as he looked down at her, eyes bulging as he noticed her tail for the first time.
 
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Inina

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Her arms fell limp to her sides, as though her muscles had forgotten how to work. Her hands and fingers tingled as blood rushed back to them, and she looked down at the bleeding wounds around her wrists visible even in the dim light. She could see the bloody wounds where some of her scales should have been too, the tears in her tail fin, could feel the bruises on her face. She'd never felt so broken nor so weak.

"Thank you.." she said grittily back to him, grimacing as she attempted to lift up her arm in effort to take it from him and she let out a pained whimper when she couldn't. She had looked back up at him to speak when she noticed the way he was looking at her. Her tail fin slapped anxiously against the bloody floor and she swallowed.

"Did..You come to free us?... Or to kill us?.." she asked cautiously, glancing behind him to those climbing the stairs. She'd need to be carried if they wanted to move her to the upper deck.
 
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Bastian

The Runaway
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Bastian didn't know how to answer.

He had not been with the Expeditionary force for long, and how Captain's reacted to different things was...always up to a roll of the dice. Vel Anir still despised the 'other', elves the most, but species of most different sort were not welcome back home.

The Runaway himself had more experience than most. The Slums were filled with half-breeds and criminals from different ilk. There was still an inherent mistrust, but...in her current state it was hard to hate something that looked so pathetic. "I don't know."

Bastian said as he crouched down and offered her the necklace again.

"That's not really up to me." The Captain was a good man, that much he knew, but he would make no promise either way. "But I don't think we would have spared the lives just to kill you."

A little bit of hope, all he could really offer.
 
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Inina

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Nina summoned what energy she could to force her arm to move and her hand to take the pendant from him. She clutched it tightly and closed her violet eyes for a short moment as she focused on the feel of the smooth stone in her palm and let out a breath. "Thank you." she sighed, her bloody hand trembling as she gripped onto it.

Her gaze opened on him for a moment before it dropped to her tail, normally beautiful and vibrant, now it was like the blues and purples and silvers had been bleached from it, her scales didn't shine. Instead they seemed almost grey, as though she wasn't really alive at all. She was dying, slowly.

Her pale lips were chapped and she licked at them before she spoke again. "The stairs, I.. I can't..." she shifted, as though it wasn't obvious enough.
 
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Bastian

The Runaway
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A strange sort of discomfort floated through Bastian.

He had been called a monster a dozen times in his life. The truth was that he wasn't all that different from the man who had killed all these slaves. Sure he would have argued different, said that he'd killed only to survive, to make ends meet.

That he'd done what he'd had to.

But he'd slaughtered more people in his life than slaves now lay dead in this hold.

What difference would it be if he just reached over and cut her throat? There would be no extra mar on his soul. No blight on his being that would see demons drag her down. Killing her would almost be a mercy. It would be a quick death. A placating touch that he could offer.

Fingers flexed around the hilt of his karambit, his eyes closing for a brief second as he took in a single breath.

Slowly he extended his arms, bare muscles shifting. The blade slipped low, down towards Inina.

Then his hands ran beneath her. The knife never grazed the grey of her scales, never touched her flesh. Instead it scraped against the wood as he scooped her up into his arms, dragging her off the blood soaked ground and carrying her up the stairs into the sun.
 
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Inina

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As though his hesitance hadn't made her nervous enough, her dim, violet hues drifted to his hand, to those fingers curling around his blade. She dragged her eyes back to his face as his eyes closed and she knew he was considering killing her. Fear trembled it's way through her and she clutched hard to her mother's necklace as she tried her very best to brace herself for death for the second time today. Her eyes closed too, her heart pounding in her ears as she waited to feel the cold steel against her throat.

Her entire body jolted as she felt arms lifting her from the floor, blood dripping from her tail as it flopped limp over the crook of his arm and her head falling against his shoulder. She couldn't remember the sun being so bright before. It attacked her eyes painfully, even as she squeezed them closed and tried to bury her face against the man carrying her, her eyes stung in adjustment.

She blinked hard as she tried to look at those gathered on deck, seeing the blurry dark forms of dead slavers peppering the deck. The smell of blood was still prominent, but up here she could feel the salted air caressing her skin and she breathed it in hungrily, her gaze finally focusing on the ocean. Her fin slowly undulated, as though she was daydreaming about what it would feel like to swim again. She shuddered..

"I need, to go home.. Please." her fin thrashed again, desperate for him to take her to the edge of the ship and drop her overboard.
 
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Bastian

The Runaway
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For a second.

For a brief, fleeting moment it felt like he would do it.

That he would walk across the deck and just throw Inina into the ocean. It would have been easy. It would have been kind. It would have been merciful. But the world was neither kind nor merciful, and as he stepped out onto the resounding sound of gasps echoed.

A few sailors stopped to look at Bastian, their eyes fixed upon the woman he was holding.

He could practically feel their eyes on him, but it wasn't the Sailors that worried him. It was the woman that stood directly opposite him. It was the cold gaze half hidden behind red hair that stopped him in his tracks. Fingers tightened on the mermaids body.

"Captain."

The woman's voice was ice.

"Summon the surgeon. We have something of...interest."

Bastian didn't know why, but he felt a chill roll slowly down his spine.
 
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Inina

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Her own chill was a mirror of Bastian's. She could feel by the way his grip tightened slightly that she was not the only one who felt uncomfortable. She stared timidly at the woman in front of them, her brow furrowing at her words.

Surgeon?..

Nina's gaze swept across the sea of people staring at her and she swallowed a tightness in her throat, her fingers clinging to the man's arm as she looked back at him.

"I.. I don't need a surgeon.. Please, please just throw me back into the ocean." her eyes stung, they'd have watered if she had any tears left.
 
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Bastian

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"Nonsense."

The woman stepped closer, looking at Inina with an intensity that could have been likened to an appraiser looking at a piece of art. It was almost as if she knew something, her stare denoting a confidence that most would have been afraid to speak of.

"Look at the state of you."

She gestured to Inina's wounds.

"We'll see to that. Bastian, was it?"

A chill ran up the Runaway's spine. He had not known that the Drealord knew his name. That she knew him. Lips thinned for a moment as he wondered what else she could know. He opened his mouth to speak, but before he could she broke in.

"Take her to the Tirian. She needs to be looked after."

The Dreadlord reached up and Patted Inina's cheek, then motioned for Bastian to follow along the gangplank.

For a second he froze, glancing around at the other sailors who seemed to melt away. He frowned, and then swallowed as he turned and headed towards the Anirian Cutter.
 
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Inina

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The woman's words might have suggested that she wanted to care for her, but she couldn't help but feel otherwise. Since being dragged from the ocean, the only land walkers she'd met had stolen from her, beaten her, tortured her and planned to sell her. The man currently carrying her had contemplated cutting her throat.

Nina flinched as the woman's cold hand patted at her cheek, her timid gaze staring back at her before looking up at Bastian as they followed, silently pleading for him to throw her over. Instead, he was obeying her, and she tensed as he carried her toward the other ship.

The second Bastian set foot on the gangplank, the mermaid squirmed violently, shoving at him with her arms as her tail thrashed in effort to struggle free of his grip and plummet into the ocean below.
 
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Bastian

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A kinder man might have let her go.

A man with nothing to lose might have let her go.

Bastian was neither of those things. He couldn't let her fall into the ocean. He couldn't afford to disobey. He knew that if he let Inina fall into the sea he would be the one to be punished. He would be the one that saw the end of a hangmans noose.

Worse, perhaps.

She squirmed, wriggled, and then suddenly slipped from his arms. Muscles flexed, arms reached around her, and then he suddenly dragged her back into his grasp. Fingers tightened around her and the bloody Karambit bit against her throat. "Don't."

Bastian hissed.

"Don't." He repeated. "I'll make sure you survive. Just don't."

He couldn't let her slip away. Not if it put him in jeopardy. "I'll cut your throat, right here, right now. Don't."

Bastian warned.
 
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Inina

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So close. She had been so close.

"N-no! Please just l--" she stopped squirming as she felt that steel at her throat, her chest heaving each panicked breath as she braced once again to feel her life end. His words caused her jaw to clench.

"So what is it then? Make sure I survive or cut my throat? You can't do both." she frowned, but she was no longer trying to pry her way out of his grip. She'd heed his warning, even as she stared longingly down at the waves gently lapping against the bottom of the ships, as she breathed in the salty air and felt the slightest tease of ocean spray on her skin and scales.

"At least..let me have some water." she pleaded, slumping back against him in resignation.
 
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Bastian

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"Once we're on board." Bastian said quietly.

The point of her words did not pass him by, but in his mind it was better to cut her throat than to let her escape. He needed this. He couldn't let her go. If he did the Dreadlord would surely kill him.

Bastian would never take that chance.

His muscled tightened on her body, his biceps flexing as he pulled her back and away from the spray of the water and onto the Anirian Ship. The Captain greeted them, his face somewhat dark, his lips thin. A man stood behind him, tall and carrying a bag.

"My gods. Fascinating."​

The man said.

"It's li-"

"She. Doctor. She."​

Bastian looked at the Captain for a few moments, and then the Surgeon beckoned the two of them below deck.

He didn't stop to question. Didn't stop to think about it. He slowly pulled her along, eventually bringing her to the infirmary. Once they were there Bastian let her down gently, putting her on one of the slabs and immediately grabbing a cup of water.

Without waiting for the Captain or the Surgeon, he walked it over to her in offer.
 
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Inina

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They were all just as strange to her as she seemed to them, but she'd had weeks of hell to get used to the sight of them and so was no longer shocked to see their funny legs or clothes. Instead she was simply filled with more dread and distrust.

She stared between the men as they spoke about her, and then they were moving again, toward the stairs that would take her back below deck. She tensed and her head shook.. "N-no, no no please don't take me back down there - let me stay up here - I won't move.." Her tail thrashed again but she was holding tightly onto Bastian as though she could root him in place, but he didn't stop, and she shielded her face in the crook of his neck, shaking in his arms as he descended the steps into what she imagined was a dark and dingy hold filled with slaves and reeking of that mingle of all of the disgusting things that she wasn't sure she'd ever forget.

As she was set down on a hard surface, she reluctantly let go of Bastian as he pulled away from her grip and her eyes opened slowly. She looked around the surgery, thanking her gods for the portholes that let light flood into the room. There were various scents, but through them all there was still ocean air, at least enough to settle her slightly.

Nina reached for the cup of water, almost snatching it from his hand and bringing it quickly to her lips. The moment she tasted it she spat it out in a sprayed burst. "What is it?.." she asked, staring down in confusion. It didn't taste right, there was no salt. She used the cup instead to pour over her tail which quivered in response, the grey scales that the water splashed upon shifting slightly in colour, an iridescent sheen of silver and blue. Nina let out a shuddered sigh at the small relief, but it was small, and she ached for much more.
 
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Bastian

The Runaway
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Bastian blinked. "It's...water."

"Fascinating."​

It was the surgeon that spoke, watching as her tail quivered slightly when the water touched it. He frowned for a moment, glancing at the Captain and then towards Bastian for a moment. A frown pulled at his lips, head shaking.

"Where did you find it-her."​

Both of the other men looked at Bastian.

"Below the deck, with the others." He frowned for a moment, then on his own moved towards the water bucket in the corner of the room. He took it towards Nina, stepping to her side and offering it as though he would pour it over her.

The other two men did not stop him, but the surgeon stepped closer to watch.
 
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