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Pattern by The Fire Tiger

Pattern

The majestic condor, freshly washed and in some leftover garments he took from the closet, now sat down on the luxurious sofa. His breath was steady, as was his posture, taking one big sigh after a long while. He had nothing to do at the moment, and his master, who took him in just a few hours ago, had just recently left for a meet-up, so for now, he would just sit about for a while. He needed the break anyway.

The condor thought to himself about how foolish he was to allow himself to get caught again. Granted, this corregidor actually refused to be called any sort of honorary position and even made it very apparent to the condor that he was basically another guest to him, but to the bird, this meant nothing. Eventually, he would be told to exercise all the basic duties of a slave once more, like he has always done. When one lives as long as I, the condor thought, they begin to see unpleasant patterns. Even the toughest of rocks can crack underneath a pressure intense enough. Just how far is this man willing to go for me...?

Even so, there was something bothering the avian. Something about that man that took him in. His presence felt somewhat... comforting. Perhaps akin to seeing an old friend again. But this was impossible, he had never met him before, right? And besides, this comfort only lasted for so long. He was a corregidor, after all. Crude men in positions of power that relished in torturing his kind. To erase their very existence. As if they were "correcting" history where they thought it should not be... And the condor's mind bubbled up, bringing all his past experiences with them to the forefront.

The condor unwillingly entertained those thoughts... Those terrible visions of the past. His past masters were cruel, unforgiving, as if it was in their very nature to harm his people. He was, in essence, nothing but a punching bag for every master that he crossed paths with, both mentally and physically, if anyone was twisted enough to want that. He could take the hits, at least, but those bruises stayed around for a while, never really leaving his body, constantly reminding everyone and himself of how worthless he was to the world. All their faces were practically branded into his mind, vainly hoping to get revenge one day. Especially his previous master's face... It was one of a cold murderer. He would not have hesitated to end the condor's life if it came to it.

It baffled the condor, then, that this new master just so happened to possess that same, stoic and stern face. Never mind that they were both white draft horses to begin with, or that they had almost identical clothing... It was the face that really made the avian question if they were possibly related. Now that he thought about it, one of his more recent masters, a bold jaguar woman, did always comment to him about wanting a little baby boy, way back when she was under her care. She was rather friendly, having recently been divorced and only looking for someone to take care of her home while she was out finding new love. Things seemed to settle down for the condor at that point. At least, that was until she did find new love... That's when the worst of the torment started... With him...

Dammit, he thought, I'll burst out into unbound fury if I think about it any longer. The condor wildly shook his head, trying to keep his mind off of it for now, and flung himself up from his seat. After another pause, the condor declared to himself in a soft voice, "If they truly are related... then I may as well act like he never died." With that remorseful sentence, he moved on to sweeping around the small house. At the very least menial chores like this gave him much needed solace when he wanted.


The sun would slowly set as the condor emerged from the bathroom, having just mopped the floor there. That was the last of the house clean, at last. The condor smiled to himself. With no one else in the house, the outside ambience melded with the general silence around him. It felt nice to have this sort of peace... He'd been needing it for some time. Now remembering that he should be expecting his master to come back before sundown, the condor thought that perhaps he might be hungry. A small snack should suffice, so he quietly paced towards the kitchen. As the condor looked around for any suitable ingredients, his head occasionally snapped back to... That day. Where everything he had hoped for was nearly snatched from him.

He wasn't sure how it happened, but there was an explosion. It was earth-trembling, nearly caving in that blasted room he was always locked inside of when guests are over. From there, he could hear many yells. Endless amounts of suffering, all hoping in vain to escape the inferno. It was a miracle that the door gave way minutes before the fire reached his room, but as he emerged from his prison, the condor looked around at the house set ablaze. The flames ruthlessly heated his skin and feathers, and the only thing he knew to do was to escape by any means necessary.

The condor managed around the fallen structures and the rubble, watching the lifeless bodies strewn across the floor near where the impact was the strongest. Its epicenter was in the kitchen, it appeared, and so far, no one survived the catastrophe... until he turned his head to the hallway that lead to the main entrance. On the floor, weakly attempting to get up, was his last master, the jaguar lady. Her dress was completely barren in soot and ash, and her skin had burns and gashes all over. In her only good arm, she clutched tightly onto a bundle of blankets... and inside was the baby boy that she had always wanted.

Instinctively, the slave picked her up and barraged towards the exit as fast as he could. Once they were outside, far enough away from the fire, the condor set the woman down onto the dirt, his breath heaving as he tried to tend to her wounds... but it was no use. With no way to cover up her gashes or expel the smoke in her lungs, the jaguar stopped the condor and very faintly spoke to him one final time.

"Mi condorito... please forgive me. I only now found out about how terribly my husband has treated you..." Coughing heavily in between breaths, she then forced her arms up, prompting the condor to take the child she held onto. "Mi hijito... take him far away from here. Give him the life he deserves." Her breath slowed down, drawing in her last moments alive to do one final act... "And as for you... I absolve you from your duties... and free you for eternity..."

The condor felt a harrowing pit in his stomach. As he held the jaguar's hand one last time, he couldn't find the words to express what was happening. This is what he wanted! Freedom was at his fingertips, and yet this wasn't how it was meant to happen! As the tears welled up around his cheeks and beak, the jaguar spoke her final words to the condor. "Vuela alto, mi cóndor... and may we... meet again..." And as the condor saw her struggle to keep her hands up, he began to wail to the heavens. The jaguar's body went limp near instantly. She, too, had at last perished to the blaze. After an eternity kneeled over her deceased body, the condor flicked his head to the baby in his arm...

The baby, despite the soot around his blankets, miraculously survived with no injuries. He was crying, blissfully unaware of the hell that had transpired. Unaware that his mother, his father, all his relatives, had just expired in the worst way possible. It was just him and the condor now. And as the condor stared deep into the tiny horse's eyes, he recalled his mother's request. He unfortunately could not keep the baby with him, as this would raise suspicion about how the condor got his hands on an infant, let alone one from a rather important family. That just meant he would have to abandon him at some poor resident's doorstep... Just being seen with any baby would be a death sentence.

The condor closed his eyes momentarily. Even as a free man, he was still bound to this blasted life, he thought. And worst of all, he wouldn't know if the boy would survive with his new parents... But there was nothing he could do. This was the silver lining the condor had been waiting forever for. There was no time to think, he had to leave now. Far, far away from these lands, this country... this earth, if such a thing was possible! The condor clutched the baby tightly to his chest, rocking it back and forth in an attempt to calm him down. He opened his eyes--

And what he saw sent a cold shiver down his spine.

Just near the entrance was... him. The large draft horse, his uniform tattered and ripped beyond repair, stood by the doorframe, watching the condor eye to eye. He was so close to collapsing from the exhaustion and the pain he was enduring... but he resisted, giving a crude smile to the condor. The battered equine didn't understand what was happening, but it mattered not. All he saw was the condor escaping with his son, and that was the one excuse he sought.

He reached out behind his back and whipped out a revolver and pointed it directly at the condor. The bird froze completely, not knowing what to do.

For this unforgivable act... the hardy corregidor decided that his slave was not leaving this place alive.

"¡Yo siempre quise hacerte esto...!" The condor's sadistic master yelled from his position. His deep voice contrasted the cracks in his speech and the dryness of his lungs from inhaling so much smoke.

With a shaky hand, he extended his arm to aim at the slave, and allowing him no time to react, the horse cackled and--

SLAM. The door had flung wide open right behind the condor, making him instinctively cower to the floor as if covering something important below him. It took the bird a few seconds to realize when and where he was... He rapidly snapped out of his memories and realized just what he was doing. Without any sort of food prepared, the condor walked over to his master in a panic. It was clear that something was upsetting the young draft horse, as he stormed right past the condor, slouching over a wall and repeatedly throwing his fist into it in rage... a scene that the condor was far too accustomed to.

"¡¡Estos ESTUPIDOS más INÚTILES, como si tuviesen TODO EL PUTO MUNDO EN SUS MANOS!!" Then came the yelling. The condor felt his whole body shake, growing tense as he knew how this pattern went. He stepped back, steeling himself for the next part. As it turned out, that air of comfort was just a thinly veiled blanket hiding his true intentions... It truly was as if his last master never left him.

The horse now looked over, a sharp gaze piercing right through the condor's soul. The pattern continued. The horse changed his direction, seemingly rushing towards the bird as if to tackle him. All the condor did was gulp and pray silently that it would all be over soon, sadly perpetuating the pattern in his mind, but as soon as they made contact, prompting a harsh struggle from the large avian in a last-ditch effort to break this wretched cycle...

His master... Hugged him. He held on to the large avian's frame, quietly sobbing.

The horse now just stood there, wailing and rubbing his wet, teary eyes into the condor's clothes. The equine felt hopeless. Despaired. He just needed someone to embrace him and ground him.

...the condor cautiously hugged back, even going as far as to wrap him with his large wings.

Was the pattern... broken?

Pattern

The Fire Tiger

>FEW noblemen and noblewomen of today, as it also was back in the time where we first occupied these lands, express a desire to live in conjunction with the men and women of lower status freely, and treating such persons with the same freedoms we regularly enjoy. Some nobles even wish to exercise the unspeakable sin of sodomy with such persons, and may also consider starting a mixed family with them. It should, therefore, be the duty of every citizen to report these heinous individuals. If you suspect someone you know may desire a slave for any purpose beyond utilitarian means, and you remain silent about it without taking action, you will be judged as an accomplice.


Conductor's Notes: This has been brewing in the background for quite a while now! Details remain scarce, but it's supposed to be about an incan slave who, for one reason or another, is taken in by a Spanish noble and remains in hiding. It appears my Composer's true intentions with this Thread were to accurately teach himself history lessons? I'm not too sure what that's about... He seems to have largely abandoned this goal at this point though. Maybe I'll see more of this as a result!


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