5 looked at 2. Who would be making so much racket and why? It was rather loud and desperate sounding, as if soemone was intent on breaking out of some kind of confinement. He thought a moment then whispered. "7?"
"It could be," he agreed, looking thoughtful. "and if we can hear it, that means she's close by." the older stitchpunk climbed up another step. "Come boy, we have nearly reached the next floor."
5 nodded and followed his friend up the stairs. He could see the landing for the next floor up ahead and quickened his pace, aware that the sounds were getting louder as they moved further up the staircase.
"Hurry up," 2 said, turning and offering a hand to 5 which he gladly took.
The older stitchpunk tugged him onto the landing, surprising 5 with how strong he was for a worn out and supposedly weak older doll.
"Let's go." 2 turned away and moved quickly down the hall.
"Wait up!" 5 called, rushing after him. He didn't want to be left alone on the stairs.
The older stitchpunk paused and looked back, waiting for him to catch up before moving on. Now the sounds were getting even louder which encouraged 2 to walk even faster. He picked up the pace, encouraging the younger doll to do the same thing.
"Hello?" he called out. "Do you need help?"
The two paused. 2 thought he heard a faint voice shouting his name.
"That's 7's voice!" 5 exclaimed, after a moment.
2 nodded. Indeed it was. But what was she doing in there? Then he remembered what 1 had said earlier. "He wouldn't..."
"What?" 5 asked, looking down at him worriedly.
The older stitchpunk shook his head and moved on. "Come on, we'd better find her."
7 continued pounding her fists on the door. She didn't care who heard her, she didn't even care if 1 sent 8 down to the room to beat her up. At least if he did she'd have a chance to escape and wouldn't feel like she was being ignored on purpose.
"1!" she shouted. "Let me out of here, you coward! You can't keep me locked up like a prisoner!"
"7?" a voice spoke over the noise she was making and she froze. Was that 1? Had he come back to let her out? Unlikely but she could always hope.
"7?" the voice spoke again.
No, that wasn't 1. It wasn't gruff enough to be 1. "2?" she asked herself then shouted. "2!"
"7?" the older stitchpunk's voice reached her ears. "Is that you? Where are you?"
"I'm in here!" she called. "1 locked me in a prison!"
She pounded on the door again to get their attention. "I'm in here!"
2 and 5 found the door a short time later, not that it was too hard with 7 slamming her fists against the wood and making a racket loud enough to wake the dead. The older sttichpunk leaned against it, trying to talk to 7. "What happened? Why did he put you in here?"
7 seem nearly melted with relief when she heard 2 right outside the door. "He's trying to break my will." she replied, leaning against the door. That was the only conclusion she could come up with that made sense. "He doesn't want me going out again. I think he thinks if I stay a prisoner in here I'll eventually start doing what he wants."
"Oh dear." 2 looked at 5 who frowned. "It looks like your guess was right." he said to the older stitchpunk who nodded and turned his attention back to the door. "7, 5 and I intend to talk to 1 about how he's treating you. Maybe we can help him see he has made an error."
"Good luck with that," she said, her tone indicating she thought their plan was useless. Why woulkd 2's words make any difference? "But I don't thank anything you say or do will change his mind."
"Maybe not," he agreed. "But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. What he's doing isn't right and he needs to be made aware of that."
5 sighed. "2, you know 7 is right, 1 won't change his mind about this," he pointed out. "and even if he did tihnk it was wrong his pride would never let him admit it."
2 looked up at him. "That doesn't mean we shouldn't try," he told him. "we can't just let him keep her confined. She's not made to be kept in one place for so long, you know that. If he breaks her will he'll destroy her purpose."
5 nodded slowly. He knew that very well. But what would talking do? If anything 1 would discard their words and have 8 punish them for even trying.
He shuddered, not even wanting to think about it.
"2..." 7's voice came through the door making the older stitchpunk look back at it. "Yes, child?"
"5's right,' she said softly. "1 isn't going to change his mind about this."
He placed a hand on the door as if he was resting it on her shoulder. "7, you trust me, right?"
"Yes, you know I trust you."
He smiled. "Then let me try," he said. "I've known 1 longer than the rest of you, I think I can manage to make him change his mind or at least consider what he's doing. I'm sure he already knows what he's doing is wrong, he just needs a push in the right direction."
"All right 2," her voice held hesitation. "I just hope you know what you're doing."
"And you won't make it worse..." 5 added quietly.
2 moved away from the door. "I hope I can," he remarked, not hearing what 5 had said.
"2," 7's voice spoke up after a very brief silence. "Why don't you just let me out of here and save us all the hassle?"
The older stitchpunk looked at the door and sighed. "7, I can't let you out," he responded, sounding very sorry, which was exactly what he was. "The door's locked and only 1 has the key and if, I did let you out, 1 will find out and just have 8 bring you back here."
"He won't if he can't find me." she spoke with determination.
5 got what she meant. "No, 7, you can't do that!" he exclaimed. if she left for good he'd be devastated.
"I'm sorry, 5, but what other choice do I have?"
He had no way of answering that question so he stayed silent, though he did sent 2 a desperate plea, mentally asking him to do something so she wouldn't have to leave. Not before he told her how he felt about her anyway...
2 of course didn't want her leaving either and he intended to do all he could to prevent that from happening, even if it meant facing 1's wrath.
He looked over at the younger stitchpunk and nodded. "7, we'll be back as soon as we can, try to focus your thoughts on something else while we're gone, okay?"
"There isn't much else to think about in here," he heard her mutter bitterly.
The elder sighed. "I know, 7, but try to anyway," he encouraged. "There must be a way to fix this. I'm sure there is."
Neither 5 or 7 bothered to argue with him. If 2 said there was a way there had to be, he'd never lie about these things though soemtimes he was proven wrong. The older stitchpunk spoke again after a moment. "7, we'll be back soon, in the meantime sit tight and try not to think about it." he looked at 5. "Come on, boy, let's go."
7 heard them walk off and sighed, pushing away from the door. she sure hoped 2 and 5 managed to convince 1 to change his mind.
She lay back against the wall, wrapping her arms around her legs. She rested her chin on her knees and sighed. 2 had told her not to think about doing anything drastic until this mess was cleared up, but how could she not? 1 had gone too far with this action, not only showing that his little act of kindness had been a farce but also that he really was what she considered him.
A cowardly, controlling, bully who couldn't take anyone's opinions but his own. Why was she so surprised anyway? Had she really expected him to actually changce for the better after what he'd done for her?
I'm such an idiot.
She crawled over to the tiny peep hole in the wood and looked outside again. Longing gripped her tightly. She wanted to be out there in the sun, feeling the dry wind against her canvas body. Her freedom was out there, freedom she loved and cherished. If only she could escape this place. She'd run and never stop running, just relishing her regained freedom. She'd never come back if she were able to escape her confinement...
The female stitchpunk sighed and moved away from the hole. It wouldn't help to dwell on it. Her freedom would take awhile to gain back.
Hopefully 2 will be able to make him change his mind.
Even as she thought that she doubted it would happen. 1 was a very stubborn stitchpunk as they all knew. It would take a lot of convincing to get him to let her go. She sighed and curled up, trying to get back to sleep.
1 nervously paced in front of his throne on the top floor of the watch tower. His mind was a mess of thoughts and feelings and he couldn't seem to organize them properly. He thought about what had happened the night before. 7 had sounded so angry at him for what he'd done to her when he'd wandered by her confinement cell. But she didn't seem to understand he was doing it for her own good. If she stayed locked in that room she wouldn't get hurt and she wouldn't bring the beasts to their hiding place by accident.
I just don't want anything bad to happen to you...
Of course she wouldn't believe him and neither would anyone else, except for 8 or so he hoped. 8 wasn't exactly the smartest stitchpunk around. The big stitchpunk probably forgot all about the situation already.
"But how am I going to convince her it was the right thing to do?" he kept asking himself. He knew he had to talk to her about it eventually and he wasn't really looking forward to it. She'd probably attack him when he did and he didn't really want his face used as a punching bad. "I will just have to make sure that doesn't happen."
He paused, glancing up at the broken clock above his throne. Twelve hours seemed like a decend amount of time. Maybe he should go down there now and speak to her...
Just then the stitchpunk heard his name being called and turned his head just as 2 and 5 stepped into the room. He frowned, turning to them. What did they want and how had they gotten up there? Then he remembered the stairs. Of course.
"What are you doing up here?" he demanded, turning to face the two. Then the answer came to him and he wondered why he'd even asked. Of course. They were here about 7, what else would they be up there for?
2 looked at him as 5 kind of hid behind 2. 1 always intimidated 5. "We came to talk to you."
"About what?" he snapped, though he was pretty sure he had an idea.
"About the way you're treating 7."
He frowned and turned away. He'd called that one. "There's nothing to talk about," he told him. "She's been asking for it for a long time. It's for her own good and our safety."
"Do you really believe that?" 2 asked him.
Actually he didn't but he wasn't going to admit that to anyone. "This discussion is over," he said, turning away with a flick of his cape. "I don't wish to talk about this with either of you. Just accept it and let me deal with that stubborn female the way I see fit."
"But..." 5 started to see.
"Enough!" 1 cut him off angrily. "I said this was over!"
2 wasn't satisfied with his words. "1, she isn't going to change just because you locked her up. She's going to hate you."
"She will at first then she'll realize that what I'm doing is for her own good," he said stubbornly though he honestly didn't believe his own words.
"I know you don't believe that, old friend," 2 continued. "But you know as well as I do that 7 will never change her ways, no matter how much you punish her."
"I know what I'm doing," he snapped. "and I'd appreciate it if you focused on your own problems and didn't interfere with mine."
"I don't want to hear anymore about it!" he cut him off. "Leave me and take that failure with you." he glared at 5 who ducked behind 2 for safety.
2 frowned at him, tempted to say something hurtful but changed his mind. What good would that do? But he couldn't give up either because he'd promised 7 he would do his best to make 1 change his mind.
"1, I'm not going to stand by and let you do these things to her," he said after a moment. "It's wrong and we both know it."
"Oh...?" 1 turned to him. "You're not going to let me do things to her?" he stormed toward him, angry. "and what are you going to do about it, 2? Beat me up, challenge my position?" he grabbed him by the front, growling. "I don't think you'll do anything but what you're told, now get out!" he shoved him back into 5 who caught the elder before he fell to the floor. "and that goes for your little apprentice as well."
2 sighed, allowing 5 to help him stand. It looked like he wouldn't be keeping his promise to 7 after all. "Very well," he said. "but may I ask you one thing?"
"What?" he asked impatiently.
"Why did you throw away you one chance at being happy?"
1's optics widened in surprise and he was struck speechless by this question.
2 didn't wait for him to respond. he turned to 5 and touched his arm. "Come along, son. It seems we're done here."
"But what about 7?" 5 protested. "we promised we'd help her..."
The leader gave him a look that silenced him. 5 swallowed then nodded, walking out of the room with 2 and leaving 1 standing there in silence.
5 was silent until they reached the stairs then he looked at 2. "Why didn't you press it?" he asked him. "I thought you were going to."
2 sighed and looked up at him helplessly. "I think his conscious is giving him enough pressure," he responded. "I don't need to.
What did 1's conscious have to do with anything? The stitchpunk doubted 1 even had one but he didn't say that to 2. "Are you sure that will be enough?" he asked him as they slowly descended the staircase.
2 nodded, glancing back once more. "I am sure of it."
And now I can make time go by!