I wasn’t born an orc, not that it’d make much difference. I didn’t become one until after some ne’er-do-well sold me to an utter scut from Connacht Trading named “Dr Burke”. I don’t know exactly how, but I ended up on an island I can’t name.
Two or three months later, I still have nightmares every other night about being exposed. I’m tied to a stretcher, and have been for maybe three days since they cut open my arms. They feed me twice a day with a tube through a mask, and dunk me in cold seawater in the morning to clean away the bodily fluids from yesterday. They put this other mask over my mouth and nose, connected to some metal canister. There’s some kind of fan circling above me, pulling the air out of the room, and they leave and seal the room. I know Shiva [Ms S] is in the next room, having them same thing done to her.
The air starts smelling dry and stale. I start trying to pull my arms and legs – anything I can move – but it does nothing. I scream, but none of them care. They just watch me from the other side of a glass window about two inches thick. Four feet, maybe an inch more, and I’d be outside the room. But I can’t move!
I don’t remember the details of how we got out. Maybe I don’t want to. What I do know is that I – that we ended up being handed over to the bulldogs by some orcs. And they were angry about it. Not handing us over, but that we’d been turned. Seems they hate the “Fomorian Brotherhood” as much as anyone in Galway would. Who’d have thought it? Certainly nobody I knew, or at least none had the guts to say so.
The only change I’ve noticed is that I have thicker muscles. That’s the only thing that is definitely down to me being, well, turned into an orc. I don’t sleep great, I jump if anything goes off behind me and my temper’s shorter than it was…but I’m told these aren’t related. I wouldn’t know. All I know is that I wouldn’t have put myself forward for it, that I’m stuck with it, and that I had absolutely no say in it.
This is in fact Diarmuid. In some of my other stories, I’ve portrayed him as cynical and bitter about being forcibly turned into an orc, though he doesn’t mind the extra muscles.