61 The Feeding Routine*
For the majority of his time, Rassa was kept in darkness. As the sole inhabitant of these deep, dark cells down a long forgotten tunnel, having so much time to himself was enough to drive anyone mad. Luckily, his visitors arrived nearly every evening. Doctor Zaroth and one of the slaves that had been bought as nothing more than blood bags to feed Rassa. The routine was the same every time no matter which slave it was. They entered with the key to Rassa's mask. He unlocked it and fed on them, then he relocked the mask and the slaves were allowed to leave. Sometimes Zaroth asked questions of Rassa whilst the mask was off. No doubt he expected an answer now that Rassa could speak.
Questions weren't exactly new, but Rassa had no intention of answering these truthfully. And, thanks to the fact that he was something new and had never been studied before, Zaroth was inclined to believe most of his lies. Rassa knew he didn't believe everything, but how was Rassa to blame for that? Stupid questions were bound to get sarcastic responses.
Rassa had nearly chocked when Zaroth suggested that perhaps it was not just blood, but bodily fluids in general that Rassa could eat. When he suggested samples of various kinds of fluids, Rassa suggested that while he was at it, he should get a Urine tea for himself, Rassa was sure he'd enjoy it.
Luckily, there were no suspicious substances during the next meal.
It was just over a week before Lyssa appeared again, this second time she was much less scared. Rassa assumed then that they were on a schedule, ten slaves to feed him. Six young women and four young men. The women no doubt because they were easier to control. The men...well, they wouldn't put up much of a fight either considering how weak they all appeared. All of them appeared to be between the ages of 16 and 24. They were all undernourished though. Not only could Rassa see it, but he could also taste it. It was strange to realise he could determine such a thing. Though, the more he thought about it, the more he was inclined to believe that he had this ability so that he could tell if his food was spoiled or not. If the blood carried diseases or contaminates. As far as Rassa was aware, he couldn't get sick in the same way humans did. But contaminates? He wasn't 100% sure he wouldn't be affected. After all, he'd only ever fed from animals that usually knew the difference between what was good for them and what wasn't. Humans were less black and white in their habits.
So, with the health of these slaves in mind, after feeding from Lyssa, Rassa turned to Zaroth.
"I suggest you put them on a better diet if you want them to survive longer. Not only will this kind of blood loss make them physically weak, but also more susceptible to disease," Rassa said, "I'd say to keep them cleaner too, but I know I can't expect that kind of treatment when I'm not even getting it for myself".
"You want a bath?" Zaroth asked, seemingly surprised.
"What? Did you think I enjoyed smelling like a pig's ass?"
That answer seemed to alarm Zaroth ever so slightly.
The next day, a bath tub was brought down and placed in the cell, then buckets of water were ferried into it whilst Rassa fed under a strict guard and with the chains placed on his wrists once again. He was quite annoyed when they clearly expected him to bathe whilst they were still present. When Rassa showed no signs of moving towards the tub, the Doctor grew frustrated.
"You said you wanted a bath," Zaroth commented, "You aren't insulting my good will are you?"
Rassa rolled his eyes.
"You can't possibly be embarrassed, we're all men...are you a man? At what age does your kind mature?"
It was clearly more of a hypothetical question as Rassa wore the mask again, and couldn't reply. After a long sigh, Rassa stripped down then went to the tub. The water was cold. He didn't know why he'd expected them to heat it, but he had. He looked to his clothes, and picked up his top, wetting it to use as a rag as he climbed in and began to scrub himself.
It was freezing, especially when there was no natural heat in the mine anyway. Without the Anthrite, temperature, especially cooler temperatures, hadn't really bothered him. But with it he could certainly feel the chill. Alas, he had no choice as he washed from head to toe, watching as the water turned darker and darker. Not that it had been completely clean to begin with.
When he was done washing himself, he turned to wash his clothes as well, wringing them out and draping them over the cot. It'd take a while for them to dry, but as least they would be better than before. At least he hoped they would.
The entire time, Rassa was watched. Particularly for his Black Life Lines. He tried to ignore it, but it was very unsettling to have them watch like that. To have them glimpse his Life Lines. Rassa hadn't realised how attached he'd gotten to them. How much they felt like a part of him, and how he hated revealing them to anyone else. Case in point being Zaroth, who hadn't been able to take his eyes off of the unique life lines the moment they'd been revealed.
It was the next day, after another history lesson into the conflict between Order and Chaos from Victor, htat Zaroth arrived once more at the scheduled time. Only this time, it was not the slave that entered first.
Rassa watched cautiously as the guards entered, approaching Rassa and grabbing at the chains that they proceeded to attach to his wrists, and then to his legs so that he was immobile on the cot.
Rassa tried to pull away as the Doctor approached, a man that couldn't be anything else but an assistant holding a tray of metal instruments and a glass jar.
"Now Rassa, today we're going to try something new, co-operate, and you will get your meal after I am done".
Zaroth took up a scalpel, and bent down to Rassa's torso.
"Now, tell me about this healing ability of yours".
Even through the mask, they could hear Rassa's screams.