The Background - Canto Bight
Posted: Posted December 28th, 2017 by Takum
“She rounds the bend, closing the distance with the lead. The straight away and they’re neck and neck. And----it’s----“
She broke into a fit of coughing as the fathier kicked up a cloud of dust, leaping from the pile of blankets poorly resembling a saddle seat. Leaning into the worn walls, dirty blonde hair formed a curtain that did little to insulate from the irritant. But the several minutes of hacking finally passed. Takum turned to glare at the giant beast, its large empathetic eyes staring back. The two had been together for the past year, an unwilling partnership with no winner.
Takum had come to Canto Bight property of a wealthy woman. She had mended dresses, polished jewelry, and combing through her mistress’s extravagant azure tresses. But late at night, one miscalculated play at the tables left her in debt, and Takum had been collateral. Her mistress never returned, and now she was relegated to patching saddle blankets and brushing the dirt from animals. It’s a cruel lesson for a child of 11 to learn that there were even different levels of “slave”. Taking a crust of bread from a pocket in her tunic, she waved it near the fathier’s quivering nose.
“Now remember, #2 has been favoring the outside, and #7’s rider “forgets” he has a swollen ankle. Close the gap on the 3rd loop by the fence, and I’ll split this with you.”
The creature strained its neck down towards her, eager for a treat. The trick worked as she snapped the heavy chain on its bridle. Its head hung low as Takum heaved the large saddle above her head to slide it in place. Commotion from the nearby stalls indicated other tenders were performing similar rituals, the air turning cooler with sunset to signal the evening race. Two shrill beeps and the stall doors slid open, riders roughly grabbing the chains and pulling docile beasts to their purpose. They didn’t fight back anymore – that had been beaten out of them. Takum stood at the gate to the stall and locked eyes with the boy across from her. Neither of them fought against their role anymore either – they’d learned as well.