I have to go. I have to go NOW.
Everything hurt but right now pain was being over-ruled by panic, adrenalin keeping Garatt moving. If he just curled up on his cot and felt sorry for himself.. well then, M'ayen would find him still there tomorrow, and then, and then--
Don't think about it.
Garatt might not consider himself smart, but he didn't have to be to know that things were escalating. He didn't want to see the next step along the line of travel, didn't even want to consider it.
If you don't think about it, it won't happen.
Packing was a hasty affair, things thrown in a bag out of panic rather than out of any logical order. Felix was bribed with.. just about every piece of food he had left not to follow him. Probably he should have saved some of that food but he wasn't hungry and she had sounded so sad..
Can't go home. Where to go?
He could have gone to the Infirmary, to Cuylar, only last night Cuylar hadn't been there. It had been another Healer who had asked too many questions, none of them the right ones, and had tried to be kind but kept talking about the Hatching and the Sands in a way that suggested Garatt should be contributing to the conversation. Garatt had only been able to nod mutely, unable to turn the conversation to 'the ACMs think I helped break the rules and I didn't and they're going to hurt me'. If he walked back in and Cuylar wasn't there and it was that same Healer -- no. He'd probably go right to the Candidate Barracks and tell M'ayen where he was.
He'll tell my father if I go back.
Going back to the Hold was never going to be a pleasant business but it would still have been better than being hit. Going home if his father thought -- knew -- he was a cheat though. No. He wouldn't understand.
Auntie would understand.
Garatt wanted her suddenly, the woman who had been the pseudo-mother for most of his younger turns. She had always cared precious little for essays anyway. She would be far more concerned about the fact he was hurt than any alleged crimes. And Auntie's hold felt far more like home than home ever had.
Auntie is too far away.
Couldn't walk there, already had some distant part of his brain logging through his terror that walking was hurting and at some point pain was going to over-rule the need to keep moving. And it would take days and days to walk to Auntie's.
Could ride there.
Riding was going to..hurt. A lot. But.. but maybe if it was a shorter period than walking it might still be more tolerable. Maybe? He'd plastered on what was left of Lerian's ointment, shoving one hand down the back of his pants in an attempt to soothe the hurt skin. The coolness had helped briefly but that had quickly worn off.
If I took a runner, I'd get into trouble.
But really, how much more trouble could he get into right now? Acting more on instinct than real thought, Garatt turned towards the stable, limping quickly through the dimming light of the Weyr evening. Maybe it was late enough that no-one would be there. Maybe it could be okay.