Hide and Seek

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 19th September 2012, 10:36 pm

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Cage nodded. "He got there before me," he said. "He pretended to be Jack..."

Dom closed his eyes for a moment, taking a breath. "We were with each other the entire time. We... fled, while he was busy..." He opened his eyes again, his shame apparent. "I can vouch for these two," he said. "I figured there was nowhere else to go but here..."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 11th September 2015, 10:15 pm

He smiled. Something was working. Laura sighed and took a drink. "You think I counted?" she said. If she recalled correctly, she didn't fall as often as she ran into things.

She looked up at the ceiling in thought. "You have time to look through the libraries before your trial-thing?"

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 11th September 2015, 10:21 pm

His look grew wistful. "As much as I love to learn?" he said. "What do you think." Shook his head. "Might as well ask if water's wet..."

"What did you hope to accomplish coming here?" he said. "And I mean The Archive in general--I'll save right here for later. Though I'm already quite sure the answer," he added under his breath.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 11th September 2015, 10:40 pm

She gave him a dark look. "Oh yeah. I came here to do this."

Laura leaned closer to him and slapped him across the face. Hard. "Why the fuck did you just disappear without saying anything? Again? Wait," she said, as she remembered something else that pissed her off. "You even fucking drugged us, didn't you? Your disappearing acts are getting fucking old.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 11th September 2015, 10:52 pm

A growl rose in his throat and his yellow eyes flashed as he grabbed her by the throat--then immediately let her go, scooting away from her rapidly, breathing hard. That scared him. It had been so knee-jerk. He had been about to throw her from the cliff by her throat.

"Don't...do that again..." he said quietly, gripping his knees to keep his hands from shaking.

He reached for the bottle and downed a quarter of it in one long draw, then placed it back down. He sat there in silence for a while before he finally spoke again. "Arcturus drugged you. I already told you why I left the way I did." He glared at her coldly. "And I am not fucking beholden to you, Natalie, or any-g*ddamn-body!" His voice snarled with an inhuman growl. "I told you what the fuck I was leaving to do! Did you honestly think the rules didn't fucking apply to you?!" He was breathing quickly and tears were coming out of his eyes. "And you're a fucking hypocrite cause you rolled out on your own g*ddamn family, yourself!"

He turned away from her and drew his knees up to himself. He drew in deep breaths, trying to calm down, but finding he couldn't.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 11th September 2015, 11:11 pm

Laura gasped as he grabbed her throat, and her mind went blank as she reached up to tear his hands away from her throat. He let her go quickly and scooted back, and Laura took in a breath, her hand at her throat. Shit. Their conversation had been going so well, she just forgot...

He turned away from her, and Laura took a breath, trying to keep from yelling at him. "Did you maybe consider," she said, "I don't know, telling us you had to go alone? Every time you tried to vanish before you planned to vanish for good." She lowered her hand from her throat, her heart pounding.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 11th September 2015, 11:32 pm

He looked at her out the corner of his eye. "That's what Arc was supposed to do," he said simply. "No idea what he told you."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 11th September 2015, 11:41 pm

"What, too scared to do it yourself?" she said scathingly. She stopped herself and took a deep breath. "I left Pa behind to follow you because I thought I could..." Laura stopped and looked down at her knees. I thought I could stop being so afraid of everything. "I thought you left us behind," she said flatly. "So I came here to catch up with you."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 11th September 2015, 11:50 pm

Anger flashed in his eyes, but he reined it in quickly. "You owe me several shots," he said, turning his eyes forward.

He stared at the water, saying nothing. He sighed. "Yes, I was afraid," he said quietly. "Not of telling you, but of going. I needed to go quickly, and Arc was pushing me to do the same. Said he'd handle you lot." They'd gotten into it when he realized Arc had drugged them. "There was a very real chance I could die, and if you lot followed me, you'd be subject to the Caves of Trials. They'd rescinded its effects for me as per the ancient agreement of the tribes. And those trials are just as lethal if you fail them. So yes, I left you behind. And I'm not sorry."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 11th September 2015, 11:55 pm

Laura sighed, grabbed the bottle, and chugged for a few seconds. She slammed the bottle back down.

"That's exactly why I followed," she said quietly. "Fuck the magic cave shit. I'm not letting you die."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 11th September 2015, 11:58 pm

He sighed. "Use your head, Laura," he said. "Did you learn nothing? You couldn't follow. You, Natalie, and Kieran all went into the caves, but were you all together for your experiences?" He looked at her pointedly.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 12th September 2015, 12:04 am

She slammed her fist into the ground. "Would everyone stop saying that!" she yelled. "I did follow, I'm right fucking here aren't I?" She glared at him.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th September 2015, 12:09 am

He raised an eyebrow at her. "And if...Bastet...hadn't knocked me and her through that portal, you'd have never reached me," he said quietly, "I'd have died and you'd have come for nothing. The portal would've shut off and I'd have disappeared for good. Forever."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 12th September 2015, 12:40 am

"What does that matter?" she snapped. "That's not what happened." What was he trying to say here? Her efforts were worthless? She couldn't help him anyways, she was too weak or too slow or whatever? Bastard. He stuck his nose in all of her troubles, she couldn't pay that back?

"Next question," she said. "Why won't you talk to anyone?"

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th September 2015, 12:47 am

"That's two questions," he said pointedly. "It matters because had things gone the way they were supposed to, you would never have seen me unless I succeeded or failed and managed to escape the portal. This wasn't some...group activity. It's something the seeker can only do on his own." He shrugged. "It's kind of you to want to help, but some things...some things only..."

"What did you honestly expect to do here?"

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 12th September 2015, 12:58 am

"I..." she started, angry, and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. "I honestly expected to catch you after your trial and beat some sense into you for vanishing again,• she said. "Now. Why won't you talk to anyone?"

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th September 2015, 1:04 am

"Because..." he began hoarsely. "I..." He started breathing rapidly and shaking. He gripped his knees and began focusing, taking several breaths. "I can't...!" he breathed, shakily pouring himself a shot and taking it.

Several minutes passed before he managed to stop shaking and his breathing to calm down. "Knock some sense into me for, what, doing what was necessary for me to survive?"

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 12th September 2015, 1:07 am

Laura's anger died as she saw him draw into herself, and she slid him the bottle of scotch so he could pour himself a shot. She fell silent, staring at the rock wall across from her until he asked his next question.

"I told you," she said. "For disappearing. Again." She looked over at him. "Don't do that again." Laura hesitated and looked down at her knees awkwardly. "Please," she said softly.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th September 2015, 1:16 am

He was quiet for a while. "I was doing what I had to," he said finally. "My magic was turning me feral. If I didn't go as soon as possible, then I'd eventually have suffered a fate worse than death. You're a healthy person, Laura, but you do not move as fast as me, cannot endure a hard run near as long as I can, nor can you see in the dark. And I'm involved in some seriously dark shit--the different tribes, the swords, and now something is messing with the magics of the tribes--and you're afraid. Of everything. You have more bravery than you'll ever know, but you have to realize everything is only going to get worse.

"Do you think we've seen the last of Zephonos? Do you realize I'm no less dangerous than I was coming here in the first place? And that...that..." he shivered, "I'm the vessel for an angry Panther spirit that would sooner kill you than look at you...?!" He waited till the shivering stopped. "You're going to get yourself killed if you follow me anymore."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 12th September 2015, 1:21 am

Laura smiled sadly. "I'm afraid of everything," she said pointedly. "You're..."

She stopped, and turned to look at him more closely. Vessel to a panther spirit? That bitch... "Wait," she said. "That... you mean a vessel to that thing?"

The beast had said something about using him as her hunter, but she didn't realize that meant literally being in his head.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th September 2015, 1:40 am

His laugh was the bitterest thing in the world. He looked at her, then, and a glimmer of Bastet looked at her through his eyes. "They told me you were informed," he said. "Guess you didn't follow. When Panterus is first granted to the user, it's just a simple boost to their physical stature: increased strength, speed, stamina, senses, a connection to nature." He smiled bitterly. "Some never progress past that. For whatever reason. But I guess I was one of the 'worthy.'" He spat the word with scorn.

"And that's why I call it simple. Because if you are, you awaken the spirit of the beast within you. Panterus is a living magic, Laura. When it awakens, it's a game changer. Yes, your physical powers increase even more, but then comes more. Your awareness, your instincts, your hunger. And that's what you were seeing me struggle with. The awakened instincts, my awareness increasing, experiencing everything so much more...raw. It's a transition.

"You have to face the Awakened beast inside of you, come to terms with it, or it will consume you." He shook his head and looked up to the sky with watery eyes. "If...if things had gone as they were supposed to, my spirit would've merged with the newly formed spirit of my magic. But something has perverted everything, so now the Great Spirit has taken up residence instead."

He closed his eyes and let the tears fall, taking a deep breath. "I'm not afraid, Laura, I'm terrified. I...I..." he began shivering again, gripping his knees once again. "I...for so long...against her...! She was...so strong..." He began hyperventilating, his shivering only getting worse as he continued to try and speak. "I...I...she...I..." His voice choked as he tried to continue, finally giving way to sobs.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 12th September 2015, 1:49 am

Laura felt her stomach turn as he spoke, and her concern gave way again to anger. After all of that bullshit, the beast wasn't going to leave him alone, was it? Her dad always said spirits were supposed to be great, wise beings - not cruel fucking brats.

She scooted closer to him, slowly, and made sure he was okay with contact before he reached for his hand. "Raz," she said, hesitant. "I... I'm not leaving you alone with that bitch," she said, her face twisting in anger as she spat out the last word. "I... you helped with all my bullshit. And I'm going to help with yours."

It looked like the decision she'd been wrestling over really had already been made. She was already far too invested in the bastard to try and cut him out. Right. So I don't just give a damn about him. No, she never had to decide if she should care about him - she just had to admit to herself that she already did. Laura took a deep breath. The only question left was where this would lead her.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th September 2015, 1:53 am

He squeezed her hand as if it were the line to save him from drowning. "Y-you c-c-can't..." he choked out. "N-not safe...can't...can't promise...I won't kill you..." He shuddered as he tried to control himself, failing miserably.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 12th September 2015, 2:04 am

"Raz I haven't been safe in years," she said dryly. "What's the fucking difference if my enemy's a shapeshifter or a kitten." She feigned calm, but of course she felt her old friend, anxiety, show up and settle in. She'd just have to go back to being more careful around Raz. Not Raz, the cat. Which sucked, because the cat was the one thing she really wanted to beat up.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th September 2015, 2:14 am

He pulled out a handkerchief to blow his nose and wipe at his eyes. He gave her a sad smile. "I...I can smell your fear," he said in a croaky voice. "Not safe...to travel with...a potentially...rabid animal..."

He took more calming breaths. After a few minutes, he'd managed to calm down to something functional. "Not to mention..." he added in a hoarse voice, "what are you gonna do when I cross paths with Zephonos? You don't have that gun this time and he's not gonna wait to give you a chance. He's..." his face hardened, "a killer. His tribe embraces 'survival of the fittest' and he and his Tigrus spirit are in perfect sync. And I don't know how or if any of the other tribes are out there, Laura. Safe to assume the answer is yes. And I don't know if any of them...aren't cold blooded killers." He nodded back toward the temple. "Imagine it, Laura. A group of well trained fighters like them with the strength of an Animus." He looked at her directly, his eyes something foreign. "Is that...the world you're prepared to enter, Laura of the Wilds?"

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 12th September 2015, 2:22 am

Her resolve wavered as he spoke of Zephonos, her mind flashing back to her all-too-long encounter with him. She couldn't suppress a shiver. Her mind drifted to her future she saw with him, the monster she'd become...

Laura closed her eyes. She couldn't go home yet. She told Pa she wasn't going back to Zanzibar until she'd changed. "Yes," she said finally. "It is." One thing was for sure though, she'd need some serious new firepower.

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