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A Calculated Bite (Rainbringer(Adam Berg) fanfic) TW
i stand in the rain, head bowed and hair in the process of being drenched. around me are dozens of worried faces, afraid they'll be chosen. I'm not worried, the chance it will be is is small. my mind wanders to the man currently in the rainbringer hut. he must be bored. I'm bored, standing in this rain. not that I wont pity whoevers chosen, I will. and I feel sorry for the man bringing this miserable drizzle, soon-to-be storm. but... what concern is it of mine? i listen to the shamans.
"next years rainbringer will be a woman, 24." what? that's uncomfortable... but I'm not the only 24 year old woman in the village. i glance up at the others faces. i know what each of them is think, its written on their face. i hope its not me... but, I hope it is. nobody wants this, but... nobody wants to know that another died when it could have been them for the rest of their life. a small burden, for some. larger for others. there are 5 of us. 3 are close friends, they wouldn't forgive themselves if any were chosen and not them. then there's me and the other girl, we arent friends and don't care particularly about the others. i listen intently.
"Avra Su'ari, please come forward." I freeze in shock. that's me. i feel a collective sigh of relief from the crowd. safe, another year. the price for their lives is blood. my blood, or rather, life. no, this doesn't work, this doesn't fit into my calculations. i had a set plan, and it didn't include starving to death. no, this isn't acceptable!
"Avra Su'ari, come forward." numbly, I walk into the center, trying to process this. a change in plans. how do I compensate? i have a year to live. well, a year and maybe 50 days, but a year to be free. i ignore their speech. should I continue as planned for the year? i had an exact plan of action for the year to further my goals for my overall future, careful calculations laid in. i could also live this year to the fullest, try and cram a lifetime into a year. illogical. but then, so is continuing as planned, I have no future to work towards. what else can I do?
my mind trys to run the statistics, desretly trying to findthe optimal output of the year or a way to fit everything into it. could I come out the hut alive? no. every rainbringer dies in there. there's no escape. the shaman nudges my hand with the cup he's trying to give me.
"oh, right." I accept it and wait for him to continue. he just stares at me, waiting for me to go. i head up the mountain, lost in the rhyme of my feet. 3 days of the year. what impact does that make on my plans? i don't have plans yet. i don't have a plan!
the year flies by, wasted. every moment of it I tried in vain to figure out what to do to optmise it, but its time wasted. and then I'm staring at the door of the hut, fat because they made me eat. i open the door and walk in. i ignore whatever they do out there, and the sound of the lock slide shut. i sit on the bed and consider my options. i am fat, and that should last about 2 weeks. i will likely live between 50-60 days. i have no activities, and day by day my strength will go down. i try to run the math, but there are to many variables. why must I starve here? its a waste of my time. making me sit in the same room for two months waiting to die is stupid and illogical. a quick death would make more sense.but there's some tradition about it and how I need to starve and resist temptation. i glance at the tables. they have a little food.
if I eat, spirts will attack and destroy us all. but if I don't, I die. the pleasure output from eating is higher, and the spirts provide a clean death. the villagers are another factor, but they are of little significance.i have no more family, and I don't place value in any of the people, because that would be illogical. it would waste my time and create an emotional factor which is a liability in my calculations. i will eat, then. but first I will wait until the fat is burned off and there is more variety. i calculate the pleasure outputs of each food and decide on mango. there is none present yet.(without the journal I cant say what part rajana would play at this point)
exactly two weeks pass. the rain is heavy. per calculations, I take hold of a mango. some unseen force pullsback my hand, pins me down. i sense danger. my mind spins, trying to some up with some mathematical explanation, something rational, a way out. i cant quantify it. instictivly i want to struggle, but I don't. it would waste energy and achieve nothing.
"let go." I say, uncertain.
"don't eat." a hissing, awful voice says.
"by my calculations eating is the most logical step."
"I will kill you if you eat."
"by my calculations, the seabed spirts would. but there is little difference."
"silence!" it sounds annoyed. why do people always get annoyed when I rationallize things and explain my calculations? and why doesn't anyone understand?
i stare outside at the clouds lightening. i quantify the light and conclude it is approximately sunrise, accounting for variables of the clouds. i feel the pressure leave.
i stand up and collect a different mango, the other is potentially bruised. i peel it, the aroma near killing me, and calculate the optimal size for a bite. it is an explosion of juice and sweetness, perfectly calculated and with an unplacable variable. something different, enhancing it. no my hunger, I had already accounted for that. i pick up the mango from the floor and hide both, realizing the shamans are coming and it would be counterproductive to be seen with food. i wash my hands out the window and go kneel, awaiting them. they come in, as expected. they seem to smell the sweetness by their dialogue but assume its just the concentration of fruit.
they leave, and I resume. i eat only the mango, and throw the pit and peel out the waste hole. i then sit and wait for it to digest so I don't get sick. odd. by my calculations, spirts should have killed me by now. but I cant analyze all the variables without more data. thruougt the day I continue to eat and don't really care. by the end of the day I'm stuffed. as the spirts haven't killed us yet, I assume they wont. i don't hide the eaten food, maybe ill be released if they see I ate and we're alive. i cant say how much vlue they place on tradition and empathy tho, its to much of a variable. night falls. i hear a whistling howl as the entity returns.
"ah. by my calculations with minimal data, you are active at night. simple, tho. with more data I could form a mode-" my voice cuts of as I feel a pressure around my throat tightening.
"I warned you if you ate I would end you." I couldn't reply. my vision became spotty. i didn't have time to calculate my death, however. it all went black.