The others took cautious steps closer to Mighty as he held the girl to him, not wanting to spook her more than she already was. Vector dropped his "fly" demeanor for once, and smiled reassuringly at the girl, his crimson eyes kind and compassionate.
"Hey there, Miss! You feelin' okay? Are you hurt?"
The girl shook her head slowly, seeming a little apprehensive of Vector's presence. He was a good two heads taller than her, and seemed simply enormous to someone as fragile as she was. Mighty chuckled at her anxious expression, and offered her a grin.
"Don't worry. He's not as scary as he looks. His name's Vector. That's Espio," he said, motioning towards the chameleon, who offered a small smile, "and that's Knuckles." He gestured towards the red echidna, who grinned comradely, and bowed his head a little in greeting. "And I'm Mighty," he added timidly, the red still evident on his cheeks. "Can you talk? What's your name?"
"N-Noealani," she stammered, in a soft voice. She had a young, feminine voice- but it was quite ruined by a hoarseness brought on from lack of water, and most likely, excess of screaming. "Noealani Eliz… j-just… Lani, to most." She coughed forcefully, her eyes closed tight, and Mighty rubbed her back a little, his ears pinning against his head in concern.
"Well, Lani… can you stand? We're gonna go to that little lake over there, and get you a drink of water… I can carry you, if you can't stand on your own."
"I can stand, I think." She tried to gain her footing, gently helped by Mighty, and slowly stood up- but the armadillo noticed a rather uncertain shakiness about her legs.
"Well, we've got standing down… now can you walk?"
The feline smiled vaguely, waving a hand dismissively at the idea. "Sure can, don't worry about it," she assured. After gingerly rolling one ankle, and then the other, she stood a little straighter, and shuffled towards the lake, with an air of nonchalance not at all familiar to most who'd just been through an ordeal. Mighty trailed after her warily, in case she ended up toppling over unexpectedly. Noealani cast a glance over a shoulder at him, and chortled, the corners of her lips pulling up into another faint smile. "Seriously- I'm fine, you know."
"You're dehydrated and underfed."
"It's been six days, not six weeks. I'm good, really I am." Wasting little time, she hurriedly knelt by the edge of the lake, cupped her hands together, and scooped up some fresh water, bringing it to her lips. Mighty stood a little way behind her, watching. The girl's thin frame trembled as she leaned over the water, in a mixture of anticipation and frailty. She took in eight big gulps of water, one following the other in rapid succession, before she simply let herself fall onto her backside, with a contented sigh. Vector came up behind Mighty, with another of his toothy grins.
The young feline glanced over a shoulder again, her countenance not looking so pale and parched. She smiled again, with a small nod, and stood, her legs seemingly holding her up a little better than before.
"Much, thank y-…"
Mighty's eyes widened in distress, as the girl suddenly clutched her head, gave a heart-rending whimper, and collapsed into a heap on her knees, hunched over as if in great pain. Knuckles, who had been watching from a small distance, hurried over to her immediately.
"Noealani?! What's the matter, where does it hurt?"
No response. The girl seemingly couldn't even bring herself to utter a word, in the great state she was in. Another shudder rocked her body, so violent that she could hardly keep herself from falling to one side. Knuckles clasped one of her shoulders, a deep frown on his face.
"Must be the valium, still. That stuff doesn't exactly work out of one's system quickly."
"Should we take her to the hospital?" Asked an alarmed Mighty, which had knelt by her other side in concern.
"Do that green glowy stuff again, Knux!"
"I can't, Vector. It'd be impossible to use Chaos energy more than once in the state she's in, without causing further damage. We can't take her to the hospital- there must be some reason Dimitri wanted this girl, and as I'm not quite sure what this reason is, it's best she's kept away from public places as much as possible. We'll have to take care of her ourselves." He paused for a second, and took another look at the feline, before raising his gaze to meet Mighty's nervous one. "Mighty, let's take her to your place. It's a bit bigger than any of ours. I'll run home and grab a Medical dictionary, maybe it'll be of some use. You two," he added, nodding towards the chameleon and crocodile, "follow Mighty. Make her as comfortable as possible, and keep her warm. Don't let her move too much. If she's sick, turn her to one side."
"A'ight." Nodded Vector, hastily. Mighty had already scooped the trembling creature up in his arms, and was making fast tracks towards his cave home, calling back at the other two, as Knuckles darted off in the opposite direction.
"Hurry up, you guys! The sooner we get her settled, the sooner we can figure out how to make her feel better."
Komissar paced back and forth within the now empty captive's tent, a vehemently irritated look on her face. Her blue eyes glinted spitefully, suddenly whirling on a heel, shrieking furiously at the two scared legionnaires before her.
"How could you not notice that the prisoner had been taken away?! Imbeciles! INCOMPETENTS! I'll have you both killed for this!"
"B-but… Lady Komissar," one of the men broke in meekly, "she didn't make a sound, and we thought she was still asleep…" The legionnaire's meekness only seemed to rouse Komissar's anger all the more, and his faint protest was met at once with a backhand that sent him sprawling to the ground. She towered over his cowering form and bellowed, red in cheek with her intense rage.
"FOOL! Are you so inherently stupid that you don't sense anything is amiss?! Dimitri will be here any minute now, and when he hears that the girl has been taken away, he'll have the lot of you eviscerated! IDIOTS!" She reeled a foot back, and caught the soldier in his side, causing him to yelp, and roll over with a deep, agonized groan. The other soldier stood a little way off, looking as if he were going to faint away at any given moment. His whole form trembled. Komissar was definitely not one to piss off. She whirled, icy eyes blazing, and boring into the shivering other like gimlets. Her tone suddenly turned distasteful and condescending, and she gave him a violent push, which sent him stumbling back some steps.
"It's so damn difficult to find good help these days. No matter- in the state she was in, she can't have gone far. The little flower will soon be found." With a toss of her pretty head, the voluptuous female echidna sauntered to the opening in the tent, giving a firm nod to the other two legionnaires standing guard.
"Take those two inept pups, and kill them. I'll radio ahead to Lord Dimitri, and update him on this rather unfortunate turn of events." The tent flap closed, and Komissar distanced herself hastily from the tent, spiked heels tip-tapping confidently onto the dirt. She blatantly ignored the muffled cries of the two careless guards, and the laser shots that rang out sonorously, silencing them. Smirking darkly to herself, she retreated into her own makeshift dwelling, intent on her task.
We'll find you, you dirty little brat. Even if we have to strike Aurora herself from the sky to do so.
Whee, third chappy up. :3 Sorry if it's a bit uneventful and short, or something. I'm sleepy, it's almost 3 am… n.n thanks to those of you who have reviewed so far, though. :D I wuv you within the deepest cockles of my heart. Fourth chapter shall be up soon~! It'll clear Lani's story up a little, methinks. The reason for the kidnapping will be revealed~! Whoopeee~
Keep reading, y'all. :3 Later!