A/N :Hey, ya'll! Wuzzup? So, yeah…Oh, by the way, I don't know if I spelled ra'zac (or many other names) right, so bear with me.
Note: Murtagh/Nasuada. Katrina and Murtagh are just TALKING. I also apologize to all of you that may get several notifications; I just reread this story from many years ago and am cringing at the grammar and typos. So I'm fixing them to ease my OCD mind! This includes some sentence rearranging as well. :)
Disclaimer: I do NOT own The Inheritance Cycle. It belongs completely to Christopher Paolini.
Chapter 1: The Unexpected Visit
Chains rattled in the dungeons of Helgrind, leaving Katrina shivering- and not because of the cold. Her thoughts flickered between her fiancée, Roran, and the Raz'ac, a demonic species keeping her prisoner. Blood dripped from her mouth with a soft splat as it hit the dirty, smelly, hard, cold floor. Her hands suspended above her by overly-tight metal cuffs that caused lack of circulation. She exhaled a silent cry and cursed her father under her breath. It was his fault she was in this Godforsaken place, after all.
Her ears prickle and heart quicken. Footsteps, louder and louder as they approached.
She strained her ears and listened to the rhythm of the beating feet, not graceful enough to be the pitter-patter of a Ra'zac. Something about the pace seemed off tempo, like a humming bird with a broken wing.
Carrying a plate filled with foods Katrina had not seen since she had been taken from Carvahall, a man entered her cell He placed the mouth watering food in front of her and unlocked the cuffs that connected her to the muddy wall of her prison. She gratefully rubbed her wrists to get her blood flowing. He sat down in front of her, their toes only inches away from each other. He looked at her thoughtfully for a few moments and indicated for her to eat.
She picked up the bread, the most bland part of the meal. She would save the steak for last. Slowly, she sank her teeth into the soft, fresh dough, her eyes not leaving her visitor.
He was handsome, with medium-brown locks and striking pale blue eyes. She had never seen eyes as exotic and unusually light as these. Yet, there was a sadness that shrouded him, like his own personal rain cloud.
He smiled sweetly at her and waited for her to finish her food; afterwards, he began talking to her. "You're name is…" he questioned gently.
"Katrina. Nice name. I'm Murtagh. Is there a logical reason why you're in here, Katrina? Why have the Raz'ac captured you?" His voice was still soft, but Katrina had a stirring suspicion he was trying to get information from her. Information she didn't have.
"I suppose you could say I am bait to lure my fiancée here," she replied curtly.
"Ah, yes, that's what I thought." He sighed. "Who is your fiancée?"
"Roran," she answered, pride seeping into her voice, mixing with fear.
"Roran Stronghammer? From Carvahall? Eragon's cousin?" He was interested now. He leaned closer to her, keen to hear what thoughts she might express.
"Yes…" She trailed off. How much could she say without saying too much? "The very one." At this point, she noticed he was clad entirely in black. His shirt was long sleeved. A sword was buckled to his waist, and he was wearing a black glove over his right hand. He sported the king's crescent on his left shoulder. Hatred burned up inside herself at this, though she kept her face emotionless.
Because of her wary silence, he sighed again and pinched the bridge of his nose, no longer hanging on her every word. "As you may have already guessed, I was sent here to extract memories from your mind and get information from you about Eragon and your fiancée. Now, I really prefer not to hurt you, seeing as that is all I've been doing to people lately, though I do need a few facts. I won't raid your mind. It is a vile thing to do to breech someone's head." He screwed up his face in anger.
However, as quickly as it came, it disappeared. "I understand you most likely do not want people knowing your every thought and feeling; therefore, to makes this less painful on both of us, you should probably tell me a few things about Roran and his cousin. Do not be anxious, they don't have to be personal or deep, just something that will keep them safe but will make the king happy with your answer so we don't have to suffer."
She arched an eyebrow. "We? Why would you suffer? You work for him! He is your master!" By the end of her simple rant, she raised her voice to a vicious bark.
This was obviously the wrong thing to say. Murtagh's kind, warm expression and tone immediately transformed. His jaw locked and he became rigid. "It's a long...story…" he finally mustered between clenched teeth. "Let's just say that one day someone will kill Galbatorix, and I hope that day will be soon." He took a deep, shaky breath and calmed himself. His original, understanding smile crept onto his face. "You need to tell me something, anything that will make him happy. It can even be a lie," he added desperately. "Do you not have something I can give him? Of Roran or Eragon?"
She faltered. "Well…Roran works for Horst and really can't sword fight. And Eragon? Well, he's very…naïve. He vanished a while ago with the village storyteller, Brom, leaving Roran heartbroken. That's the best of my knowledge that may be of some use to you."
Murtagh smiled. "It shall do for now. Thank-you." He was about to walk away when he realized he forgot to lock Katrina back up. "I suppose I should chain you against the filthy wall again." There was an educated sadness in his words, as if he lived through her situation and felt sorry about her predicament. He sympathetically took her wrists in his hands to suspend them back in the cuffs, stopping as she winced in pain. He let go of her. "Sorry, did I hurt you?" he asked, concern consuming his tone.
She proceeded to rub her wrists, a few whimpers escaping her mouth.
Murtagh bent down and grasped her right arm; pulling up her sleeve, he inspected every ounce of her bruised and bloodied skin. He looked taken aback but also unsurprised. "Did the Raz'ac do this to you?"
Katrina nodded. Color rushed to her cheeks in humiliation. Unable to look her guest in the eye, she explained, "They said they were going to give me, 'The usssssual treatment.'"
Murtagh cursed. "Damn! I'm sorry. No fate is worse than that of a prisoner's. Waise heill."
The skin immediately patched itself up, leaving no sign of the pain inflicted. "All better," he said soothingly. He repeated the process with her ankles, and other arm. "I'd heal your back, but I think we'd both be embarrassed if I untie your dress, so I suppose I won't," he joked.
Katrina laughed for the first time in months. "Thank-You for your kindness, even though you do work for the king." She crinkled her nose in disgust.
Murtagh chuckled. "I know. I detest him as well. But, do not worry, Katrina, Fiancée of Roran, your future husband and cousin are coming to rescue you. Galbatorix expects them to arrive later this week. I will try everything in my power to make sure you three escape, along with Eragon's dragon."
Katrina gasped. "Rorans coming? I knew he-wait. Eragon...he has a dragon? No, that can't be. You're lying!"
Murtagh smiled mischievously. "No, I am not. When I met him, I was as amazed as you. He does not seem like the rider type."
"Of all the people!"
Murtagh chuckled again. "Yes, well, I suppose it is hereditary."
"Hereditary?" Katrina gazed at him wonderingly. "You know who Eragon's parents are? He has always lived with his uncle...until he passed away some months ago."
Murtagh bit his lip, I-said-too-much splayed across his face. "I have to go. Remember, though: Roran is coming for you! You will be out of here soon if all goes well." He stood up. As he went to the door, Katrina realized why his footing sounded off: he was limping. Just as he reached the door, he turned back to Katrina. "If you escape, Roran will most likely spirit you to Surda, where the Varden resides. If he does, may I ask a favor of you?" His tone was nonchalant, but his eyes gave away his true disposition.
"What do you ask of me?" asked Katrina, curious.
"Could you tell Nasuada…that Murtagh apologizes, that he never wanted this, that one day it'll be all over; he promises it'll be okay."
Katrina was now more confused than ever and at the same time burning to interrogate Murtagh. "Okay, I swear."
Murtagh smiled. "Thank-You."
And with that, he limped out of the disgusting cell, never looking back.
Strange, thought Katrina. She pondered one of the only kind visits she had received since she was taken to Helgrind until she feel asleep. She dreamt of Roran saving her, and Murtagh with his captivating eyes.
A/N: Hoo ha! Chapter one is DONE! It's short, though…don't worry, the next one will be longer! Review! I'll update once I have 4-ish reviews, say?
(Mmmkay, so this is revised chapter one. If I get around to editing the other chapters, whoopdy-doo. Here are still plenty of errors in here, I'm sure. Too tired to hunt them.)
Yes, so review please!
Constructive criticism happily welcomed! I like that stuff, help me work on my writing. )
One more thing: do you think there should be an Eragon romance in here?
Eragon/who? Tell me! (NOT MURTAGH!) Katrina and Murtagh are friends, just to remind you. Unless you want them to have something going on, that would be very interesting…Anyway, lemme know!