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Character Castle 2.5

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  • #156582
    Kimmi
    @kimlikesart

    Leana gasped and gagged as she fell from her strange cage. She’d found the lever, after the water drained away, after she’d given up on escape… but here she was. Hacking on a stone ground. Trembling with cold, from head to foot. I hate water. Actually, she was never really given the chance to love it.

    She lifted her eyes, still wheezing and saw others in the see-through cages. Water poured from many. Others still brimmed with the liquid, people struggling inside. She saw a man, then. Bleeding. On the ground, beside a broken cage. Her heart somehow thudded faster, and she hurried toward him, watching water wash away the glittering dust around him, down into small holes that had mini whirlpools above them.

    “Sir?” Her cheeks flushed a bright red, as she crouched over him, wondering where her pack was. Everything was gone. Why would Amnesia give us all those things, just to take them away? “May I help you?”

    _____

    Ohel resisted the urge to scream in panic as he banged on the walls like a mad-man. His dagger had vanished when he appeared in this place. But no matter how he screamed and banged, nothing changed. The water kept rising. Kept rising. He’d never swam before, but managed to tread. Oh, gods… Is this how it ends? Was surviving all for nought? Will I never see my son? 

    His head hit the top of the enclosure. The water completely covered everything. Tears rushed from his burning eyes, though they didn’t show. Black spots dotted his vision.

    _______

    Nithel trembled. The water at his ankles. At his calves. He rammed a wall with his shoulder, using all his weight. It changed nothing. He hated water, more than anything. As the liquid reached his waist, and further, his distaste didn’t lessen. “No…” He whispered and his eyes burned. He flung himself harder, but the walls wouldn’t give. “Have mercy. Please! My family-” He cried out, but couldn’t hear his voice. Holy One. Get me out of this nightmare. Please.

    But is your real life much better? Something whispered, and memories flashed through his mind. Of darkness. His son’s face.  Blood.

    He let out a roar, and banged against the wall one more time, before the water made it too hard, and he struggled to tread. Avigail. I still have her. Nisan. Dom might still be alive. Leana. Bethan. My child… I don’t even know… There are reasons to live. But as the water rose, he wished he’d listened to his wife and learned to swim. He struggled to keep his face above the water, as his feet left the floor.

    ———


    @this-is-not-an-alien
    @hannahrenner @ragnarok 🐳

    Jominkreesa

    'Forth now! And fear no darkness!'

    #156603
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Nathair coughed, in a bloody heap by the broken cage, but thankfully that obnoxious ringing died out. He would’ve had it just fine but for some reason his powers hadn’t worked. Drugged? Sure that would explain an ability damp but there weren’t effective stops for ghouls and besides that he was a wizard.

    He hadn’t felt this helplessness since training. Oh, but he’d forgotten what it felt like not to constantly fight that hunger and rage that gnawed through him on the ghoul side. For once that deadening hatred was gone and he didn’t have to suppress it.

    Now he was just tired. But, more or less, free. And that was nice sensation.

    But it’s coming back now.

    Limply, Nathair held his arm over his head and watched the irritated pulse glowing hazily like a stupid heartbeat. Bold of them to assume he still had one of those.

    Even as he thought that the pulse slowly cut out. Well. That was unnecessary.

     

     

    As water sucked downward, something screamed shrilly all around him, vibrating all across the glass.

    Alessio couldn’t breathe if he didn’t make it up there. Ugly sheets of kaleidoscope spots fluttered over his vision. He gasped as water lapped over his face. In moments it was sinking to his shoulders, he stopped having to swim to catch pockets of oxygen but he was still choking his lungs up.

    His body collapsed as the water trickled out. It was still screaming, he didn’t have the energy to plug his ears he still couldn’t get enough oxygen. Alessio coughed violently, his sides shaking too hard. It was as bad as the time they overdosed him on ability dampers. You needed some measure of heat to burn oxygen. He blacked out and he never figured out what they did after that but when he woke up he was back in a dark pit that smelled sickly pungent.

    Air was getting in now, enough he could finally feel his hands. His ears were still ringing so loud he couldn’t hear a devil-cursed thing, couldn’t even tell if the alarm at stopped. He wasn’t looking around, but he was staring down while he got his bearings.

    There was a strange glimmer on his arm. He couldn’t imagine how the carving was so even through the net of scars along his arms. He always wore long sleeve clothes to cover it. It was chilling to have to stare at it, he felt all too vulnerable. Of course, they’d want him to feel that way, any shred of autonomy had to be destroyed to have a perfect little weapon.

    He was still trapped in a dome of glass.

    Alessio was pretty sure he could break out of that easy, but whatever was on the outside would have to think he was going to be no trouble to keep captive if he had a hope of making it far. He kept his head down, assessing his options.

    He had to make it out, someone had to keep Leana safe. He needed to escape so he could find her again before anything else came for her.

     

     

    “Sir?” A head suddenly bobbed over Nathair, who jumped and stumbled half upright to face a flushed…girl? Where the devil was he, was he really still in whatever crazy delusion this was? He relaxed slightly, seeing her wide, innocent eyes she’d be hardly a threat at this exact moment. “May I help you?”

    “Mm, well…unless you can magic us all back home, probably not.” He said, talking a little too fast even while he was trying to blow off the incident with a laugh.

    Sitting up, Nathair casually surveyed the glass shards around him and…whatever was he wearing? How am I supposed to strike terror in the hearts of my enemies dressed like this? It looks like some undergarb or something and that’s uncomfortable.

    “Ah, apologies, it seems I’m not very presentable today. You wouldn’t happen to know where we are now, would you?” Best to play the friendly oaf until he had more information.

    He smiled charmingly at her, slipping into his mild-mannered royal appearance even as he side-eyed the place around them. A strange door and more glass bottles all around them.

     

     

    Options.

    Alessio could break out, risking everything to the unknown. He could yell for help, which would fit into the helpless persona he’d need to get them to let their guard down, but it would again risk everything to unknown variables. There was no telling what was outside and whether or not it wanted him alive or dead.

    He could wait. And see what happened until he had a clearer escape.

    Alessio risked letting his eyes skim over his surroundings, hard enough to see past the warping haze of the glass. There was some more light in the center of the room (at least, he assumed it was the center of the room…) More bottles, he could see vague outlines of more people there. He swallowed, there wasn’t any way to save them if he got caught. He couldn’t save anybody he couldn’t even save himself what was he even thinking!? Sparks flickered through his fingers all the same.

    There were people out there, in the light, but he couldn’t identify them for sure. Maybe that was Leana, she was talking to…

    His heart stopped dead in its tracks.

    Panic, pure panic coursed through his veins as he stared at Nathair right beside Leana, so close to her he’d have no chance of reaching her in time.

     


    @hannahrenner
    @kimlikesart (NITHEL IS BACKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!! *literally everyone cheered when we read your update🥰*) @ragnarok

    To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.

    #156604
    Kimmi
    @kimlikesart

    Leana- Leana’s eyes held pain, but hope. She smiled tiredly at the man, trusting him,  for some reason. “I… meant your cuts? I don’t know anything about this place-” This dream.

    She looked at the tanks, but struggled to recognize any of their forms within them. It was like they were purposely blurred. Where’s Alessio? Arsene? John?

    _______

    Ohel- The water started to drain from Ohel’s case, and he slumped against a wall. His lungs gasped for breath, but not enough oxygen seemed to come in.

    ______

    Nithel- Nithel was at the point of drowning, as well, before the water started fleeing. He leaned against the walls, batting against them weakly, and shivering. Thank You… Nithel squeezed his eyes shut and pressed his forehead  against the glass.

    ———

    Aw. 😄 @this-is-not-an-alien @hannahrenner @ragnarok

    Jominkreesa

    'Forth now! And fear no darkness!'

    #156685
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    BURN

    Okay.

    So.

    I can scream for help.

    I can break the glass. (haha, yeah. Sure. Just magic up some super-strength like Drake. Right.)

    Or … will the switch flip again?

     

    Nope. It’s stuck. Perfect.

     

    Anyway that alarm is off.

    I’m just gonna … keep ignoring the glowing hearts on my arm. Why not?

    I mean, ya’know punk. Why wouldn’t this happen? After all, I fell through like ten holes in reality and

    Oh. Oh no. Nonononono How am I gonna use my talent? I don’t have any smoke. There is no smoke here.

    Okay. Don’t panic. You had a good few years were you didn’t have smoke. Use that. Remember that. The safety net isn’t here but when has it ever really been?

     

    I hear someone out there.

    Okay. Here’s plan. Scream for help. And if not-help comes, it’ll still have to break me out of here before it can kill me. Rather die running than stuck in a cage cause I was too afraid.

     

    .

    .

    .

     

    SEARCH

    Lets … see.

    If I can pry up the switch … I think it would count as an intact object.

    Then I can figure out why. I. Am. Here.

    And – hopefully – where Burn is.

     

    It’s … not budging.

    I hit it. As hard as I can. Which is a stupid idea because that might break it and ‘bye-bye’ psychometry. Stupid.

    … If I twist my shirt into a ball … I can make it fit between my hands.

    No. No it is a stupid idea to take off my shirt in a strange place.

    That has people and alarms in it.

    But it is something to keep in mind for a safer time.

     

    Now.

    A strange rule of thumb that has served me … decently shall we say, is ‘when in a messed-up situation you can’t see escape from, ask yourself “what would Burn do?”’

    I think it works because Burn is so good at getting himself INTO messed up situations.

    Which is why I use that advice sparingly.

    But, I think we can agree, this qualifies.

     

    Burn always picks the option that attracts the most attention. I think it’s because he’s blind and likes making people uncomfortable. Uses ablism to his advantage, ya’know?

    Or… Burn just likes the attention.

    I do NOT want attention. Especially right …

    … Creator help he’s already screaming I can hear him.

    Well – on the bright side – I now know where he is!

    Why. Why. Oh, WHY did I become friends with this disaster?

     

    .

    .

    .

     

    @everybody (@this-is-not-an-alien, @ethan-leonard, @rusted-knight, @ragnarok, @kimlikesart – that is everybody right?)

    So I’ve enjoyed my stint as game-master but it has served it’s purpose. Now I need to *shudder* actually have Search USE it.

    So, since this is @ragnarok’s character castle, I’m turning over this entire ‘game scenario’ thing to him and resuming focus on Burn and Search.

    Thank-you for playing! Let’s see how our disasters interact. (NITHEL’S BACK!!!!! 🥰)

     

    The only note I have left for this is that all the supplies everyone picked up is in fact somewhere in the room.

    I wonder if you can guess where… 😈

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #156699
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    The girl smiled tiredly at Nathair, looking at him with a sort of confidence that almost made him uneasy. Complete trust? Not even Alessio had looked at him that way, even at his most trusting, that was just stupid.

    “I…meant your cuts? I don’t know anything about this place-“

    “Ah. Well. That would be nice too.” He said with an ironic smile, fumbling to pick glass shards out of his skin. “So I suppose we’re both stuck in gods’ know where until we find a way out then.”

    Nathair awkwardly rose to his feet, sending glass flying with an uncomfortable clatter. His foot was bleeding and so was his arm and that was annoying, but he attempted a graceful bow.

    “You can call me Nathair…you’re not completely alone here, I hope?” Seriously who’s letting these kids run wild everywhere?

     


    @kimlikesart
    @ragnarok @hannahrenner

    To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.

    #156717
    Kimmi
    @kimlikesart

    Leana winced as Nathair stood, and held out her arms to keep him from moving, before pulling them back. That’sgotta hurt. “Here.” She stepped forward, wincing as she stepped on glass herself, and took one of his arms gently, avoiding the cuts where she could. She looked at the shards, and felt like her heart was being stung. But she started removing them, carefully but quickly with her nailed fingers, fighting tears.

    She honestly didn’t know if she was alone.

    “I am Leana daughter of Nithel.” She glanced up to his face, just a moment, voice steady, despite the tears. “Why did your parents call you ‘Snake’?”

    _______

    Ohel gritted his teeth, and started yanking on the lever in anger at the ridiculousness of all of this.

    _________

    Nithel breathed a few moments more, then saw the lever. Blinking a few times, he crouched and jerked it.

    ——-‐—-


    @this-is-not-an-alien
    @hannahrenner 🦣 @ragnarok

    Jominkreesa

    'Forth now! And fear no darkness!'

    #156730
    Ragnarok
    @ragnarok

    Ugh, everything hurt. It hurts. Where’s Alessio? What is this place? Owowowowowowowowow, Arsene was in pain. Please let something happen that would make him turn humanoid again.

    He was wet. He hated being wet, why was he wet?

    Ow… Just let him sleep… he was tired… he hurt everywhere…

     

    Before Sherlock could rip that fake to pieces, he found himself in a glass container. As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was full of water. Sure, he could smash glass easily, but being wet… he hated that. Speaking of which, he better get out. Wouldn’t want to drown now. Using his serpent like tail, Sherlock bashed the glass. Water flooded out, going across the room. First thing he noticed was that he wasn’t in the trial room anymore. It looked like a cryogenic storage, with multiple glass containers.

    Sigh. Water, water everywhere.

    Good thing it was on the floor and not trying to kill him. Oh, wait. There were people. And they were staring. Better change to humanoid form.

     

    It was going away. The pain. It was vanishing. He was turning human again. That would make things easier. Looking down, Arsene saw a switch. Normally, he’d be skeptical about flipping random switches, but this seemed like a good time to experiment. After all, he was trapped and didn’t have anything better to do. He wouldn’t be shifting his body anytime soon. Flipping the switch, Arsene felt the water level decreasing.

    … Old Snake…

    Powering up, Arsene evaporated the glass, stepping out with a combination of angry glare and evil smile. “I’m back from the dead, Old Snake!”

    “YOU!”

    … Sherlock. Right. Forgot. “Pardon me for a moment, Old Snake. I’ve got something to attend to. If you could wait just a second…”

    Full of rage, Sherlock pounced from the floor, punching Arsene. Flying across the room, Arsene crashed into another glass container. Clasping his head, which was thankfully numb by now, Arsene looked up at a label on the container.

    ‘Nithel’. Alessio’s friend!!! Glancing to another container, Arsene saw the label ‘Alessio’. Yes, at last! Taking out some flash powder, Arsene waited for Sherlock to make a move. As predicted, Sherlock went to punch him. Fortunately, he missed, because Arsene dropped the flash powder. Evading, Arsene let Sherlock hit the glass container, making it shatter. Nithel was freed.

    But not before Sherlock grabbed Arsene by his coat and tossed him across the room. Dang, he was strong.

    Alessio, please help. Soon too.

     


    @this-is-not-an-alien
    @hannahrenner @kimlikesart

    You can only come to the morning through shadows: Tolkien

    #156731
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    “Here.” The girl moved forward, getting herself cut in the process, and then she took his arm. Nathair watched her a little like a wary animal, not used to being touched. But she kept her word and gently plied the glass out of his skin. Tears were starting to well in her eyes as she worked.

    “I am Leana daughter of Nithel.” She said, and added with the audacity of one who has never been murdered. “Why did your parents call you ‘Snake’?”

    Oh he’s had it up to here with that name.

    But he smiled sweetly and patted her hand appraisingly.

    “Because my parents were very bad and hated me, next question?”

    Suddenly the glass bottle beside them vanished explosively to a furiously theatrical Colorful Idiot.

    “I’m back from the dead, Old Snake!” Arsene announced with a vicious smirk. But before Nathair could respond or do anything there was yet another boisterous shout.

    “YOU!” It came from a perfect Arsene Look-Alike, just as furious too! Seriously, who left all the kids to run wild?

    Arsene turned back to Nathair for a second completely off-script.

    “Pardon me for a moment, Old Snake. I’ve got something to attend to. If you could wait just a second…”

    Nathair nodded obligingly not really sure what was going on anyway.

    And the two promptly tried to kill each other.

    “I think we might need to get out of the way now, mm?” Nathair remarked to Leana, lightly taking her by the shoulder to a farther corner of the room before one of them accidentally tossed them through the air or something. “Don’t cry now, child, I’m sure it’s not as bad as all that.”

    He brushed her tears away, teasing a gentle smile.

     

     

    Ok…ok. Think.

    He can’t get to Leana in time, he can’t fight Nathair, Nathair would win.

    He can’t he can’t…

    Alessio clenched his fists and banged his forehead to keep from screaming. As long as he didn’t feel threatened by her and didn’t think he could use her as leverage she might be safe. How could he come back into his life now!? His breath was coming out his sharp, erratic gasps. Images tumbled through his mind, he’d all but completely lost reality in that moment. Fingers brushed against his skin even though he knew it wasn’t real!

    Alessio clenched his jaw and forced his emotions to numb to the very persona he’d taught him.

    Fine. Alessio smiled blackly as his eyes went dead consciously.

    Then Arsene burst out into the center of the room (there was nothing so recognizable as Arsene’s strutting energy even in the dim light). Oh this was bad. He leapt after Nathair but was hurled back by Sherlock. Fine.

    Alessio’s eyes narrowed at the wall of glass enclosing him. This was going to hurt. Damage control; it’d be easier to fight with an injured hand than an injured foot. Before he could freeze up, he slammed his fist through the glass. It shattered all across the room like dust as Alessio sprang between Arsene and Sherlock, gripping a jagged, red-tinged shard as a weapon. His right hand was shaking with pain, a gnarled, blood mess that’d be useless in a fight.

    “I don’t have time for you, sir,” He said quietly, fire quivering through the whole room, flicking across his body. “and I won’t repeat myself.”

    He smiled ruthlessly at Sherlock.

    “You should run.”

    Nathair was his priority, finding Leana was his priority. If Sherlock got in the way, Alessio would deal with him. After all, wasn’t he just a weapon.

    And he was so focused, until he saw the person broken out of glass cage. He froze, everything froze. Something of that cold, calculating mask cracked in on itself.

    Nithel?

     


    @kimlikesart
    @ragnarok @hannahrenner

    To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.

    #156734
    Kimmi
    @kimlikesart

    Leana feels his arm tense at her question, before he gave a smile… too sweet… and patted her hand. You’re lying to me. (With his smile.) But his answer cuts away whatever distrust started to form, she knew many men who put on false smiles… to hide their pain…

    “Because my parents were very bad and hated me, next question?”

    I’m sorry. Leana’s eyes sadden. Why do you keep your name? But before she can speak, one of the cages explodes like a tree.

    She squeaks and ducks behind Nathair, grabbing his shoulders.

    “I’m back from the dead, Old Snake!” Arsene shouted.

    “Arsene?” Leana whispered, and peeked out, sucking in a shocked breath.

    “YOU!” Someone else shouted.

    “Pardon me for a moment, Old Snake. I’ve got something to attend to. If you could wait just a second…”

    *understands why Nathair’d want to change his name*

    Nathair nodded and shifted his weight. (Likely painfully.) The twins flew at each other, acting like they planned to kill.

    What-! No. 

    “I think we might need to get out of the way now, mm?” Nathair murmured and grabbed Leana’s shoulder, leading her to a farther part of the room.

    Stop. I’m not a child anymore, no matter how I wish to be. She resisted the urge to jerk free. To go shout at Arsene and his apparent twin.

    “Don’t cry now, child, I’m sure it’s not as bad as all that.” He brushed her tears away from her cheeks, teasing a gentle smile.

    Too intimate. Leana gives him a very fake smile, and took two steps away from him. “Thank you. It is.” Don’t touch me like that. “You shouldn’t keep walking on your foot, it’s pushing the stuff further in.” Not that I’m taking that advice. “Excuse me.” She pulled from him, pivoted, and stifled a wince as she took a step toward the maniac men. “Arsene! Stop it! The both of you! What are you doing?”

    A hand shot out from another cage. Bloody. Glass sprayed everywhere.

    Leana’s hands clapped over her face again, and she might have said a foul word. Tsk tsk tsk.

    Alessio. A jagged clear blade in one bleeding hand, as he shoved between the twins. His other one looked like skinned meat. It’s blood. Just blood and flesh. You’ve seen worse before. *running thoughts/reassurances* Then, THEN, Alessio started burning.

    Leana squeezed her eyes shut, and slumped to her knees, fighting to believe this was real… and praying it was just an awful dream.

    —-

    Nithel’s cage jerks, as something rams it, it rocks before righting itself. He falls from his crouch, releasing the lever. Zounds!

    A few moments later the cage splintered, like lightning striking a tree. Nithel ducked in the bottom, putting his arms over his head, as shards landed on his back and arms. He gasped a moment, hesitantly lifting his eyes to see the chaos before him. Two young men fighting and glaring at each other. Another young man breaking from another glass cage. A man off in the shadows. Others struggled in other glass tombs. And… a young woman standing in the middle.

    His stomach clenched. Oh, Holy One? Is it her? He couldn’t see her face, because of her hands, but he was almost certain. “Leana?”

    Flames ate at everything. The fighting froze. Nithel’s eyes were arrested from his daughter. Alessio?  Alessio’s face was a mask of fury, but cracked the smallest bit as their gazes met. Alessio.

    He looked back at Leana and saw she’d collapsed to her knees.

    Oh, Holy One. Why did You allow her to come here? To be part of this madness? He glanced at Alessio once more, eyes filling with pain (for Alessio). But then he scrambled toward Leana, doubting it could be her, hoping it wasn’t… but…

    ______

    Ohel jerked more at the lever, and nothing changed. Panic started to creep in again, tightening his gut. I might suffocate. But he was at a loss, as to what else he could do. Besides keep pulling. So he did.

    ————-


    @this-is-not-an-alien
    @hannahrenner @ragnarok 🐀

    Jominkreesa

    'Forth now! And fear no darkness!'

    #156762
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    @this-is-not-an-alien, @ethan-leonard, @rusted-knight, @ragnarok, @kimlikesart

     

    BURN

     

    WHAT IS THIS SCALY THING THAT BROKE ME?!

    Okay. It broke the prison too. And that’s a good thing but still.

    What. Is. It?

    Eventually, I stop rolling – Rolling. Through. Glass. Punk. It. Sucks. – and came to a stop.

    Problems remaining: still don’t know where Umberuin is. Still don’t know where Search – or anyone else – is. Still don’t know WHERE I AM!

    New problems to ignore: two huge things with teeth and scales and meanness and violence are trying to … probably kill each other. As opposed to everything in general. Some comfort.

    Also, I’m covered in cuts and hurt like the …

    … eh?!

    My hearts on my arm that I should not be able to see but somehow can throb and then one of them fades away – just a quarter.

    Great. I don’t know what that means.

    I rub the new scar on my chest and shiver. I don’t want to know what that means … WHAT’S THAT GLOWING THING AND WHY CAN I SEE IT?!?!?!?!

    It’s … the same blinking glow as the hearts leading to a huge pool of it.

    Unfortunately, that’s the center of an epic battleground if my ears don’t deceive me.

    I creep along the edges until I reach the end of a line of throbbing glow.

    Someone’s there. I hope they can’t see me but I can’t tell.

    SMOKE!

    Glorious smoke! Wonderful smoke!

    I breathe deeply and snatch all of it up as fast as I can.

    Okay. Time to properly ‘see’ my surroundings. Without whatever magical shad-crap this glowy stuff is.

    Okay. Lets tempt fate and go to the broken prison.

    “Leana?”

    Hm. I’ve heard that voice before. Where I have heard it before?

    Welp. It’s not Search.

     

    .

    .

    .

     

    SEARCH

    I can’t hear Burn anymore because there are monsters – apparently – out there trying to kill each other. Great. This is just great. Perfect.

    Okay. Calm down. Think logically.

    My lizard might be dead.

    No. that’s not important right now. Living is important right now.

    Okay. There has to be a way out of here that doesn’t involve impaling myself on broken glass.

    How high up is it?

    Dang. It… is a lot smaller now? I can spread my hands flat against the top.

    Um.

    Now I’m bending my elbows.

    It’s shrinking.

    Heheh. Breaking glass sounds …

    The top moved.

    I stand up as straight as I can. And the top just … clatters off.

    With the monsters fighting, I’m not waiting for the slow elevator to carry me up. I get a grip on the rim – it’s plastic overlaying the glass. Well, probably plastic. Has a plastic feel focus on what’s important

    Then I pull myself up with my arms. I try to use my feet to help myself up but they slip-n-slide on the glass. Probably because I’m still wet and so is the glass.

    But I’m up. Over. Dropping into the insanity that is my life now, apparently.

    “BURN?!” I shriek. Might as well, it’s not like it could get any worse.

    This glowy fluid looks like an Apotheosis sacrifice. I’m careful to not touch it.

    “Hah! I found her!”

    I turn and see him … waving his arms around, a thin smoke-cloud shrouding him.

    I sigh. “You look like a wreck.”

    “Yeah. Well.” He shrugs. He’s blindfold’s off – showing the entire world his scars. He’s in the same hospital-gown and shorts that I’m in.

    I … become aware of an uncomfortable fact involving my female anatomy. “Hey. Where do you think we can find some clothes?”

    A beat. Then

    “I don’t care if it is the end of This Place. I’m not going clothes shopping.” He says. “Hey, who’s that?! I know his voice from somewhere. Lets talk to him!”

    “But. I. Wait. Don’t.” He’s already gone to the stranger.

    I sigh.

    As the monsters continue to try and kill each other and everyone around them.

    “This can’t get any worse.” I moan.

    “AND MY LIZARD’S STILL MISSING!”

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #156774
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    Whoops, he’d pushed it too far, and this time he hadn’t even meant to. Well. Mostly. Nathair was testing boundaries that was how you figured people out, and figuring out people was how you stayed safe and got what you needed.

    “Thank you. It is.” She stepped back, baring her teeth in a plastered smile. Then shifted to an order, maybe to fluster him? “You shouldn’t keep walking on your foot, it’s pushing the stuff further in. Excuse me.”

    With that she promptly disregarded her own advice and leapt across the room like some mad fae. Right in the middle of the fray. He raised his eyebrows a little in shock before deciding he better dash after he before she got killed and he was down to allies none again.

     

     

    Alessio didn’t move, his eyes fixed on Nithel like that would make him more solid, more real, and everything would be ok again.

    Then Nithel skidded to Leana and he suddenly remembered what he was doing. Is she ok?! He didn’t see Nathair with her so where…? Alessio’s gaze skated across the room, slightly feral. And he held his breath, staring at the crystalline blue eyes that still made him wake up screaming every night if he slept at all.

    “My prince…” Nathair’s soft, silky voice betrayed the barest touch of shock.

    Voices in Alessio’s head shrieked at him to run but he stood frozen. Running wouldn’t do a single, cursed thing. It would only make things worse. Nathair stared at him a long time, scanning every scar on his body in a way that made his skin crawl.

    “It’s been a long time,” He said finally. A palpable pause saturated the two of them. “I’m afraid I failed you, didn’t I?”

    You…’failed’? That’s…that’s what he wanted to call it. Alessio could almost hear something crack inside him, like…Nathair really believed his words. He really thought…all he did was… fail? Bloody images flooded his brain. There weren’t even words to begin to process, to even…

    “We’ll…fix that, won’t we?”

    You killed them…

    Just to watch the world burn. He didn’t even know why really, Nathair lost his mind. It made sense at first but he was a maniac, and the vengeful kind.

    “Fix who?” Alessio muttered “You or me?”

    Nathair’s gaze was lingering at his bloody hand for a few seconds too long, before scanning the room quickly, landing on Leana and Nithel. Reflexively, Alessio’s fire flared around them protectively.

    He was shaking all over, the only thing keeping him from running as fast as he could was his friends’ presence there. Close enough to be hurt.

    “You won’t touch them!” He shouted, “You won’t!”

    Nathair looked from Nithel to Alessio, slowly.

    “You want him to fill the void your father left.” It was a statement, not a question. Alessio flinched, darting a guilty look at Nithel despite himself.

    “Oh Alessio,” he said softly “you know better. You know people like them will never understand.”

    He didn’t care if they never understood what had happened, if they never understood what it felt like or how it changed him. All he wanted was to not be forgotten…

    “You can’t trust kind people, my prince,” He said “they’ll always ask for more than you can give and then give up on you because they just won’t understand how much they’re asking for…”

    That wasn’t true, he wasn’t lying, he believed it, was it true? Of course not…

    “He wouldn’t hurt me,” Alessio whispered almost to himself. “I won’t let you hurt them!”

     


    @ragnarok
    @kimlikesart @hannahrenner

    To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.

    #156775
    Kimmi
    @kimlikesart

    “Daddy?” Leana gasped, lifting her face and seeing a man kneeling before her. Wrinkles hovered around his eyes, and on his forehead. His golden hair had turned gray around the temples. Scars touched his arms. Are there more beneath your clothes? His muscles were still there, somehow firmer. His eyes… his beautiful eyes were so hard. They’d always been serious, but something was different. There had always been light glowing from within them. It was almost gone. And his shoulders almost slumped in defeat before he dragged her into his arms and squeezed. Squeezed like she would vanish any moment.

    “Oh, Daddy…” She clutched him, pressing her head into his chest and weeping. Begging the Holy One this wasn’t a dream. That he was really here, holding her like he had when she was a little girl. Before he left. Leana wept.

    Nithel wept, too. But where Leana relaxed in his arms, like a rag doll, he only tensed the more. How can I protect you? More tears flowed.

    A loud whoosh and fire wrapped around them, in a ring. Nithel’s eyes darted back toward Alessio, and he flew to his feet, wincing. Leana stumbled to her feet, and he squeezed her under one arm. He followed Alessio’s eyes to see another man. Nathair.

    Leana tensed beside him, likely terrified by this madness. He remembered what it was like, first coming here, all the memories had been rushing back. But that was books and mirrors. Not fire. “It’s a friend of mine. He won’t hurt us.” Nithel murmured, and her eyes shone with more understanding than he expected.

    Alessio shook from head to toe. Scars laced all over him. “You won’t touch them!” The youth’s voice scratched loud and passionate, “You won’t!”

    “You want him to fill the void your father left.” Nathair spoke. voice smooth.

    Nithel’s chest ached, and he stared at Alessio. His eyes showed confusion, but also trust, a steadiness he didn’t know how he felt.

    Leana looked at Alessio, too. New understanding filled her gaze. Pain, that Alessio’s father was dead… or he’d never had one, imagining it. How her father seemed.

    “Oh Alessio,” The Snake said. “you know better. You know people like them will never understand. You can’t trust kind people, my prince,” He said, “They’ll always ask for more than you can give and then give up on you because they just won’t understand how much they’re asking for…”

    Nithel’s chest burned and his nose flared.

    “He wouldn’t hurt me,” Alessio whispered almost to himself. “I won’t let you hurt them!”

    “You speak like your name, Snake!” Nithel’s voice echoed throughout the room, steady and firm and deep. Like the rumble of a star, for stars do rumble. “True friendship gives without expecting to be given back. It does what is best for its friend, not itself. But of course… we all fail…” So many thoughts raced through his mind, and he glanced back at Alessio, eyes burning with trust, but also pride, and love, and pain, and longing to embrace him as well. “Alessio is my friend.” Nithel looked back at Nathair. “He is faithful. I want what’s best for him, whether that serves me or not.” Nithel pointed at Nathair’s face, glaring. “You are a snake and a liar.” Nithel’s voice cracked with pain, “Are you the one who hurt him?”

    ———-


    @this-is-not-an-alien
    @hannahrenner @ragnarok 🦓

    Jominkreesa

    'Forth now! And fear no darkness!'

    #156776
    Ragnarok
    @ragnarok

    Drowning again? Honestly. This was becoming rather unpleasant.

    His damon arm always acted weird in water. He disliked the feeling. He wouldn’t be escaping with it. How unfortunate. At least he had the enhanced strength to assist him. With the sheathed Muramasa, Hades bashed the glass. He didn’t trust the lever, meaning he would not be using it. Thankfully, the glass gave away, falling in microscopic pieces on the floor.

    Sigh.

    Primary objective; find everyone.

    Never mind, stop the twins from murdering each other. Adding to this frustration, Alessio stepped between the twins, attempting to stop them.

     

    Crorie pulled the lever. The water drained from the tank, letting her breath once again. It probably would have been easier if she just did nothing and let herself drown. But for some reason, she chose to survive.

    Alright, she still had her umbrella and war fan. She could get out. Whispering the language of the fairies, Crorie focused the red aura around herself, before walking through the glass. One of the many uses magic had. Transparency.

    First thing she noticed was that Sherlock and Arsene were once again fighting.

    Nothing unusual.

    The swordsman, John wasn’t it, was walking over to the duo. Arsene had taken a couple steps back, but Sherlock looked like he was ready to punch him.

    Ow, that looked like it hurt. John landed a blow first. Right to the jaw. Sherlock was now sprawled out on the floor, with John glaring over him.

     

    He could only announce that he attempted to be reasonable. None the less, people like Sherlock would not listen to reason. He had been as patient as he could be, but that wasn’t enough to stop his attack.

    “I want it noted,” Hades started, “I don’t care who started this conflict. Stop. Fighting. Now.”

    Arsene paused… “Okay, Hades Irving.”

    … How did he know that?

    “Your name was above your container.” The thief explained.

    Wonderful. Just wonderful.

    “Now, please wait here while I go shout at Old Snake.”

    … What?

     

    Crorie quickly surveyed the situation. Sherlock had a good nosebleed, thanks to not blocking in time, and Arsene had a few bruises and several cuts. Both of them were bleeding.

    She had listened to John and Arsene talking, even learning his true name.

    Arsene smiled as usual, before turning away and skipping over to the one called Nathair. Or old snake, as Arsene called him.

    Hades only looked at Arsene, back at Sherlock, and then asked. “Does he always behave like this?”

    Crorie nodded. And yet, he treated her better than Sherlock did.

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by Ragnarok.

    You can only come to the morning through shadows: Tolkien

    #156778
    Catholic Creed
    @hannahrenner

    BURN

    “Hey! Where’d the monsters go?!”

    Search facepalms. “Please stop drawing attention to yourself.

    I ignore her. “Why is everyone ignoring me?!”

    “Please. Shut. Up.”

    No.

    “Kind Punk! Notice me!” I consider a moment. “But Snake Punk can ignore me.”

    “Wait. If Angry Punk is here, I can punch him.” That would be a good day. I’ve already punched Snake Punk.

    Search face-palms again. She’s been doing that a lot today. She needs more friends that won’t annoy her.

    Which brings me back to…

    “KIND PUNK! You need to meet my friend.” I grab her arm and run forward. “And Snake Punk, stop scaring people. And whoever brought the fire, you are a life-saver!” I bash the smoke at Snake Punk. “Behave. For like, five rotations, m’kay?”

    I pause. “And after the meet-n-greet, we should investigate the magic pool I can for reasons unfathomable see.”

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

    #156808
    Cathy
    @this-is-not-an-alien

    “You speak like your name, Snake!” Nithel shouted, his voice reverberating through the room like a real cry. Alessio couldn’t remember ever hearing him raise his voice, even in the worst parts of their adventures. His gentle manner made it all the more passionate and…terrifying. “True friendship gives without expecting to be given back. It does what is best for its friend, not itself.”

    But that was…mostly an ideal?

    Alessio didn’t know what was going to happen and he didn’t know what to do. Nobody was going to get hurt, please. He didn’t know what to do, how to protect his friends…

    Nithel seemed to think deeper, as if giving the man a chance to explain, the cautious benefit of the doubt.

    “But of course…we all fail…” Or maybe that was for him. No, Nithel believed it for everyone. Then he looked at Alessio, and it wasn’t that painfully sympathetic look when they’d first met or whenever he did something stupid. There was pride in his eyes.

    “Alessio is my friend.” He said, “He is faithful. I want what’s best for him, whether that serves me or not.”

    Alessio was used to people saying they wanted what was best for them, but somehow those words always focused on the virtues of the person who were fighting a stubborn kid who didn’t really know what he needed or wanted so he couldn’t have a say. Nobody had ever said kind things about him.

    Nithel was proud of him…Alessio blinked rapidly, not sure what to do or think or say at all.

    Pointing at him, Nithel continued.

    “You are a snake and a liar.” He said, and his voice cracked. “Are you the one who hurt him?”

     

    The dice clitter-clattered in his pocket, repetitive, methodic.

    Liar. Wasn’t that just such a common accusation? But whether he’d ‘hurt’ Alessio, now that was a new one.

    “You don’t know anything about survival…” Nathair whispered it as a thought outloud. When people are starving, you either become the predator or the prey. If they had a problem with his methods, well, he’d kept Alessio alive and well. If that required force, terror – that was how you survived.

    “Hey! Where’d all the monsters go?!” Burn was yelling with abandon in the background.

    “Exactly how much do you ‘want what’s best for Alessio’” Nathair challenged softly “So many people claim that, but kind people aren’t very willing to go that far. Kind people only give enough kindness and love to make you hope, before they realize you’re too much to handle and throw you away. Or find someone more important and forget about you.”

    ‘We’re weapons now, you get that? You don’t know how to do anything else’

    No one would accept a weapon as human, and no one ever accepted them really. It was just a stupid ideal.

    The boy was hovering in front his ‘friends’ like the loyal little pet he’d always been taught to be, who wouldn’t leave his post no matter how frightened he was. He’d tried to teach Alessio how to free himself, he really had.

    “I’m just telling you what you don’t have the guts to accept now. I haven’t lied once here,” He looked at the fiery human lie-detector, “have I, Alessio?”

     

    Alessio stumbled back a step before he caught himself, and tensed, grinding his feet into the floor determined not to run.

    Nathair really believed every word he’d said. Except he was lying, to himself.

    Someone kept shouting really loud…

    “Kind Punk! Notice me!” That sounded both very pathetic and relatable. “But Snake Punk can ignore me.”

    …what?

    Nathair glared back at Nithel. “If you care for him at all you’ll do him the courtesy of not leaving him to think you’ll stay.”

    He gave Alessio one more meaningful glance before turning away like it was over for now.

    Alessio closed his eyes, his breathing still audible. There was something wet splotching his cheeks. He hadn’t noticed he was crying, he was just so scared. His other hand was bleeding too, he’d been gripping the glass too tight this whole time.

    “KIND PUNK!” The strange, loud stranger yelled at an even higher decibel than Alessio thought possible from him, chasing after Nithel. “You need to meet my friend.”

    He’s…still talking like none of this violence or drama was anything more than an annoyance…while dragging his exhausted, now-disgruntled friend along.

    Many emotions filled Alessio. Was it admiration or just sheer horror at the man’s oblivious audacity…??

    His breathing was a little slower now, he consciously didn’t look anywhere now until he couldn’t hear Nathair’s footsteps anymore. The fire around them began to dwindle some. Alessio wasn’t sure where Nathair was now, but he couldn’t think either. He could’ve killed them, he could’ve killed them all, he decided not to attack this time.

    “And Snake Punk, stop scaring people, and whoever brought the fire, you are a life-saver!” The…blind terror with red streaks in his hair just kept talking… Brought fire, uh… You’re…welcome?? “Behave. For like, five rotations, m’kay?”

    Alessio’s eyes widened as the smoke over his fire suddenly solidified and rammed toward Nathair. Nathair just barely flicked his hand before he tilted to the side, casually missing the projectile. Nobody would’ve noticed the motion it was so quick, but he’d frozen the smoke to give him time to dodge but not so much it wouldn’t look natural and effortless.

    Nathair stole those powers, and every individual’s powers were intrinsically bound to their souls.

    He could’ve killed them all, he could’ve taken Alessio’s powers a long, long time ago, he could have…

     


    @kimlikesart
    @ragnarok @hannahrenner

    To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.

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