Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Phoe
Raw
Avatar of Phoe

Phoe Idol Obsessive

Member Seen 23 min ago

"What makes you think I know? I don't even have instructions this time, other than being here with you, looking like... this. Besides, the way she is right now, she could have laid out the whole fucking thing for me and I'd be lucky if it even got me here. She's gotten so, nnnnnnnrgh."

Bella is tension, looped around more tension. Her muscles squeeze against Beljani's in a contest of strength, firmness, and quiet terror. Her body ripples with the effect of the identity thrust back on her by brute force, with an outfit draped across her that gleefully highlights every twitching tendon and shock of power as it shares the softest and most delicious parts of her all wrapped up in sheer lace and silk as if it somehow could belong to the same body.

Knowing it was part of the plan did nothing did nothing to settle the pressure crushing her neck and shoulders as if someone had slipped Azura gravity spheres into her jewelry. Knowing Beljani felt much the same way did nothing to unknot her intestines. Her skin is crawling, or... no. It's buzzing in the same way it would if she'd been force fed stimulants, everywhere except where she's being touched. Her arm flexes tighter, and she pulls Beljani closer.

"Doesn't matter. It's over after tonight. We'll either see where this was all going for ourselves, or it'll fall apart without Beautiful and we'll be right back where I said we'd be at the start. So just, don't fuck up. Do your job and I'll do mine. Or we're both fucked."

She can feel her fur sinking into her skin that means Beljani's started pushing her away instead of closer. She doesn't turn her head to look. Click, click, click, click-click go the points of their fancy heels as their steps go out of synch with each other. Bella frowns her blue-painted lips and squeezes her companion even tighter, raking the tips of her claws and her new jeweled talons against the surface of the Oratus' arm just hard enough to leave depressions in the skin where she passes that have to slowly rise in thin white trails back to normal. Only barely not breaking the skin.

This is all a giant mistake. It was a mistake to come here, orders be damned. It was a mistake to wake Beautiful up in the first place. It would have been better if she'd just kept resting. Even if she couldn't figure out the shape of the plan, it was obvious to anyone with eyes and a brain that she'd stretched herself too thin trying to add a bunch of extra victory conditions to her grand scheme.

Ha. No wonder it's easier to blow up a solar system than it is to make someone smile. All she needed to be was a plan in a box. The fuck was she thinking, trying to be a person too? If she, if this is what, they never should have, should've been... it should have been Beljani they!!

Bella sniffs, and her nose wrinkles with the taste of skin splitting along the kiss of a razorblade. The smell is pure pain: all the fun of huffing acid fumes mixed with an addictive, rotting sweetness that made a person want to keep taking deeper and deeper whiffs even though each felt worse than the one before it. The air itself smells like danger. Useless trying to describe it any more than that.

But she sniffs again, and this time she picks up more of the room. The musk of rotting antiques and the strange, slightly fuzzy odor of carpets that have been trampled by a thousand thousand dances where no feet touched the ground. Lacquer and liquor, arrogance and fear, and most importantly of all a wisp of the mind-bending smoke she'd caught a face full of in Thist's office the day she'd first woken up on this planet, curling from underneath maybe half a dozen closed doors as they entered the main gallery as lovers might.

Her eyes flicker down so that she catches Beljani's attention. Her squeeze this time is a little softer, maybe a little more guilty. And maybe that's obvious in a way you don't need to be an intuitive savant to tell, but Bella pulls and flashes the merest trace of a half-smirk anyway.

"Hey," she says, her voice barely above a whisper, "These guys use some kind of weird smoke shit here that gets them so high they look kinda possessed. You... You can get away with a lighter touch than normal tonight. Don't spread yourself too thin."

"...Not that I care. But if you turn useless then I have to do all the work tonight. And... this's supposed to be my vacation so don't fucking forget that, got it?"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Tatterdemalion
Raw
Avatar of Tatterdemalion

Tatterdemalion Trickster-in-Veils

Member Seen 13 hrs ago

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lost her shadow— but this can’t be that story. Skotos couldn’t possibly cause that much trouble all on her own. Especially because, in that story, it’s a labyrinth all the way down, and Dionysus dancing through the city of shadows making them all wise fools, and delivering from Hades’ summer house a handsome prince who was never born and thus never died[1].

“I would run out of things to bake very quickly. I only know so many recipes,” Skotos says. She doesn’t look the goddess in the eye. She’s gotten good at not looking anyone in the eye. “…but that’s not what you mean, is it?”

Skotos doesn’t consider that this is a trap. Not a cruel one, but a trap nonetheless. Catch and release. Beneath the sight of Zeus, blinded by the light shining off Redana Claudius. Given the opportunity to find a story small enough for her, so long as she chooses to remain simply Skotos.

Perhaps a delivery girl. Backpack topped by a flag, going on epic quests across the city, bearing a feast worthy of a queen (or your money back!). Or perhaps she would take care of the forgotten shrines of the city, keep the candles lit, sweep their gutters clean. She always did want to see those little acknowledgments of the gods kept neat and tidy. Or maybe— no, why would they even, they definitely wouldn’t look at a nondescript little thing like Skotos if they were interested in humans at all, anyhow!

Flustered, Skotos turns her attention to offering up the fruit. If one were willing to be generous, and tilted their head while squinting, it might even strike them as being almost a peacock’s tail, there on the plate. And she offers a silence that longs to be filled: a sheep-art, a cook-art.

[Redana attempts to Speak Softly with Hera. Deliciously, it is a 6. So here are the questions (writing prompts), anyway: what should Skotos be wary of when dealing with Hera? What can she tell Skotos about being Redana? And what does Hera want, how may Skotos provide? The rules encourage you to give me an unhelpful answer and a false answer; I am open to your own interpretations of the 6.]

***

[1]: Redana had considered that for a long time: a prince with gentle hands and the frailty and grace of the underworld, in that black suit jacket and the white bow tie, pretty-lashed and troubled at his mother’s own strange circumstances. Surely he would need a lot of holding, wouldn’t he? To keep the wind from blowing him away. And maybe he’d even need a thumb under his lashes to brush a beautiful tear away.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by TheAmishPirate
Raw
Avatar of TheAmishPirate

TheAmishPirate Horse-Drawn Tabletop

Member Online

Dolce could take the card. The kitchens were busy, but not so busy that he could not snatch up a card and set it someplace safe before his next check of the ovens. He does not intend to deceive her into thinking he can’t. The thing is, after wanting so powerfully to approach the Housekeeper, the card lies before him and his heart is...puzzled. Undecided.

Wondering.

So it falls to Vasilia, his faithful second, to glide from her post around the non-flammables to intercept. Which she does, with a perfectly gracious smile, and a formal lack of card-taking. “We wouldn’t want to impose upon your busy schedule. Especially after you’ve soiled the broth and stolen the pastries that were meant for the Satrap’s table. Our Captain will need time to replace them, and her lunch will be inexcusably late due to your carelessness. Or should I say, your sabotage? Your lack of patriotism? Oh well, I’m certain they’ll figure out the difference in the inquiry.” Her smile is loaded. And aimed square between the good senator’s eyes. “That’s how you work around here, yes?”

The language ought to be familiar to Thist. Neither of them speak it as their native tongue; none truly do. But those who walk the halls of power with confidence and full purses do well to learn it fast.

“Seeing how the Satrap will be so famished,” she continues, unperturbed. “She won’t be able to get to the matter of the Housekeeper for some time, you may as well stay and chat. Surely you didn’t wander so far from your station just to inspect the kitchens, no?”
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Balmas
Raw
Avatar of Balmas

Balmas

Member Seen 1 hr ago

Alexa's vision is full of fist.

She has just enough time to note FURY picked out across the knuckles, and then her head is ringing like a bell. She staggers back, one arm clutching her face and another raised to catch the incoming swing of the whip staff. A quick yank knocks Thug #2 off balance and buys her a second to look around.

Skotos is gone. Taken? Ran away? Gods, let her have run away. Rusty's gone too. Good sign, they're unlikely to have captured a dog quietly.

A whistling noise reminds her that she's fighting, and she raises the Aegis just in time to turn Knuckle's haymaker into a wrist-stinging blow.

But... Her eyes scan the square for escape routes. She doesn't need to fight them, doesn't want to fight them, not even with her mother scowling at her. There! An alleyway, dark enough and cramped enough for her to monkey her way up the walls, up and out and over across the rooftops.

It probably would have worked, too, in any other world. A lash out with the butt of the spear to crack against Knuckle's wrists, a twist of the whip to send it into Eyebrow's face, and a quick dash to the safety of the roof.

In any other world, the thugs couldn't fly.

[6 on Get Away.]
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Thanqol
Raw
GM
Avatar of Thanqol

Thanqol

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

Skotos!

Hera shakes her head. "I do not come in Hestia's place," she said. "I do not come in Aphrodite's. I do not come to talk of motivation and wishes and dreams. I do not tell you to trust in your heart, for it is broken, or your mind, for it is simple. I come to talk about of decision."

She took a deep breath. Like some part of her didn't want to do this. She still does not like you, Skotos.

"The lives of mortals are beyond their control for so much of the time. They follow destiny, duty, inertia, day after day with not a single choice passing through their minds. Kings and slaves both live their lives without change. They follow their hearts, and are at the whim of their hearts. They follow their social caste, and so are enchained by their society's expectations. Gods, too. I lived for many years with an anger I did not choose. It grew into a hatred I did not want. It became cruelty I never intended."

From behind her unfold the feathers of a peacock, a thousand gemstone eyes. "I!" she cried, voice as the stampede of cattle. "Even I! Who defines Hera, Queen of the Gods? Who can make her into something she does not intend? I am not the shadow of Zeus, I shall not throw my identity on the pyre of her neglect! I realized then my true power and true domain. I am Choice! The ability that lies within the soul of every mortal to stop. To declare themselves unsatisfied with who they are and where the path before them leads. To transform."

She took a deep, slow breath. The radiance around her slowly began to dim.

"In XIII... in Bella, I saw a younger version of myself. Someone trapped within the radiance of another, letting her soul fester if she thought it was for love. Where I sat enchained by my pride, though, she was imprisoned by terror and that was a more terrible chain by far. For her the choice was between prisons, one physical and one metaphorical. No wonder her soul became jagged, too hurt to see the choices even when they came."

"And... I do not hate you for your neglect. Though you tempted me many times," said Hera. "You owe no one your love. I do not hate you, for once you saw the shape of the problem you determined to cut it out at the source. I cannot fault your heart, as much as I might wish to, just as in the end I could not fault Zeus. You are a good person, Skotos."

And then she seizes you by the neck with taloned hands and slams you against the wall.

"But you do owe her an apology," she hisses. "Chose as you will. Chose to shrink from your duties, your morals, that pure heart that started all this. I do not care. But if you abandoned your childhood friend for a cause you no longer believe in, knowing the suffering you caused her, then the least you can do is look her in the eye and confess your shame. Leave this story if you must but do not leave a hole in that girl's heart. If you confess, I will turn you over to the protection of Hestia. If you ghost her I will ensure you regret it."

Alexa!

Something is wrong.

You are wrapped in coils. You have a strength, a talent for enveloping people in your arms and keeping them helpless. This is what it is to be on the other side of that. You're trapped, the Azura's breath on the back of your neck, her fangs against your marble spine.

Athena stands over you impassively. Her face doesn't have respect, pity, or contempt. She should have at least something, surely. Even she is not so cold hearted as to -

You freeze.

That is not Athena.

None of this made sense as a battle. It's something different. She produces a pocket watch from her silver suit pocket and glances at it. One, two, three -

A sphere drops down from above. Seated enthroned upon a velvet throne is an aged Azura in robes of highly respectable sky blue. Upon his head rests a three-pointed hat, as magnificent as a crown. One of the Azura technologists, a member of the Shahrak Society - though the Hermetics always called them the Tricorns.

And on his withered hand is a command seal. The same as the one Redana wears. It's not attuned to you yet, but the intent is terrifyingly clear.

Vasilia and Dolce!

A chill walks up your spine, like a flower sprouting on the soil of your grave.

You've dealt with con artists before. You've met Azura warbands in the dark before. You're familiar with their narcotic of choice, those eerie cigarettes they call senth. And the smell from the smoke Thelis Thist blows in a long, satisfied cloud from her nose smells nothing like senth. It smells... if anything, like the power wielded by that priest of Hades, Ivory Smile.

Thist looks at you with heavily lidded eyes. The cigar in her hand smoulders in dark promise. It's the chill of spotting the yellow stripe running up the back of a serpent you were about to pounce on. A lot of your ancestors had to die for you to build up a fear like this.

"... no, you're not the assassins," said Thelis Thist, fangs tracing swirls in the smoke that rolls around her. "You're the victims. Excellent."

She shoves a pot aside and leans in over the stove, resting her elbows in the open flames. The flames surround her from below, burning away the rest of that cigar in a sudden and violent cloud of billowing smoke. Amidst the haze, up to her neck in fire, Thelis Thist looks suddenly more like a devil - though her cheerful, oily patter continues without hesitation.

"Sir," she said, "ma'am. You are being hunted. Sagakhan, the Telluric assassin, has once again decided to brave my realm to keep her own in order. Once again she sends children to fight me. I swear, they get younger every year..."

She smiles, smoke coiling around the edges of her mouth. "If you'd like, I will help you. You will have to follow my instructions without question no matter how illogical they may seem. We are up against a foe who works in prediction and it would take me months to explain the complexities of the plan in motion."

She offers her card again, unburnt despite the fire that wreaths it. "And don't worry about my fee," she said. "I'll take what's mine from the assassins."

XIII!

Of course the first thing you see in the hall is Redana. How could you miss her?

She looks... good. She looks better than she ever has, actually. It's been so long since you've seen her but at last she's come into her own. She looks like her mother. Dressed in white with a golden wreath upon her head, golden hair done up in a braid worthy of Mynx. Perhaps being away really has been good for her...

And then her glance meets yours across the hall and there is no warmth in it at all. That is an expression you've never seen on her at all. It's serene and steel, determined as ice as it breaks the boulder.

She's surrounded by her retinue; Hermetics, battlecrabs, Alcedi, an a small army of retainers in organized array and full grandeur. Surrounding her even further are the Azura; hundreds of their great and good, conveniently sorted by colour in relation to the spectacular Satrap upon her throne. Your nose twitches. You can smell the smoke from Thelis Thist's office somewhere, though you can't see her. Some of the other Azura in the galleries are also smoking, but whatever they're using is... different from what she used.

Your name is announced. The Satrap gestures, and Redana is drawn aside as you are called to stand before the apex of the Azura's society-wide dictates on colour. You have no orders from Beautiful here, she must be relying on your instincts.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Tatterdemalion
Raw
Avatar of Tatterdemalion

Tatterdemalion Trickster-in-Veils

Member Seen 13 hrs ago

Bells ring out on the Rûm. The wonderful watchtower there has a story all of its own; it was beloved of an Azura of such dazzling wit and playfulness that, to this day, his watchtower remains as he left it, the old systems refusing to grind down. Rods of glass bob up and down as shining platinum gears interlock. The bells ring out as they have at their own ineffable intervals, across centuries, the silver and the steel, their tongues unleashed. A flight of birds rises from the roof of the Old Symposium, scattering feathers as they go, and the wind bears those feathers aloft, higher, higher.

Skotos takes the wrists of her stepmother in her hands. Her face is in the shadow of the shelves: the dishes and the jars still their trembling. Rusty whines, hops from foot to foot. Birds wheel over the Rûm. She cannot breach the surface, but she comes as close as she can in this moment, fingers outstretched towards the sky.

"...she couldn't have survived," she finally says to herself, freed by the wild possibility that tears through her. "Even then, I knew-- we might not have made it back in time." It takes much neglect to kill someone. But every moment they had delayed on that bridge was another that might have made them too late; her heart had been gripped by the terror of seeing Bella's face already, bloodless and frozen over, as her body drifted lifeless between the stars, possessed of strength enough only to accuse her princess of not caring, of being a minute too late to thaw her safely.

When she lifts her head, her eyes are the color of chips of ice, and she can't blink back the tears. "Was it pirates?" Her voice cracks like the splintering of a floe. "Did she ride on Cetus's mane? Did it come crashing down on Ridenki and she dived into-- even knowing how much she hated the water? How? How?"

How did her Bella survive? How can she, Skotos, the shadow, hope to find Bella? How can she, Skotos, the shade, hope to be forgiven? How can she hope for anything beyond those claws, punishing her for what another her once did? How can she stand beneath that violent disdain until she has repaid in full?

Her fingers squeeze until they go white, and she only remains dry-cheeked because of how much she has cried already today. There is the shadow of a mania in her again, a reminder of why she must be Skotos. A raw-edged desperation, opener of doors, speeder of feet, the strength to stand beneath the lash. The bells of the watchtower crash one more time and let the ripples of sound spread and diffuse into nothing.

"Where is she, Hera?"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Balmas
Raw
Avatar of Balmas

Balmas

Member Seen 1 hr ago

She won't go back!

She writhes in the coils that bind her, heedless of the fangs against her neck. Feels them binding, tightening, threatening to crack stone and part brass as she kicks, wriggles, claws, anything to get away! Throws her head back in hopes of breaking a nose, throws it forward and bites scales with all her might, anything to get the tail binding her to drop her!

Won't go back! Won't be that thing again!

There's no language in the scream. It's terror and fury, animal and primal, ragged and raw, and it takes her a second to realize that it's coming from her. She wails and cries and screams, eyes on the dreadful, damned seal that's going to take her away.

Won't go back won't go back won'tgobackwon'tgobackwon'tgoback!--
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Phoe
Raw
Avatar of Phoe

Phoe Idol Obsessive

Member Seen 23 min ago

She can feel the chill burst through her all at once. The shiver up her back and the burning in her limbs, the cold creeping fear in her stomach and the sting of ice inside her chest, as if an enormous crystal had taken root inside her and expanded out through what should be her flesh in a matter of seconds. Her muscles clench, and she squeezes Beljani hard enough to draw a yelp.

And then as quickly as the feeling came, it goes. Bella is herself again, standing tall and alone as she watches the latest transformation of Redana Claudius. She takes several deep breaths until she can sort through the various smokes and incenses enough to pick up the Princess. This is wrong. She is wrong. There's no lazily hidden tinge of sweat anywhere near her, no flashes of mint or orange on her breath where she'd normally have hastily shoved something in her mouth to cover the pungency of the illium delight she wasn't supposed to be eating. Each little thing is a new cluster of wrong.

But it must be her. Every step closer Bella takes confirms it. That's the rough, sandy smell of her hair. That's quiet and annoyingly soothing aroma of her skin. That is her specific perfume, down to the exact ratio of ingredients with each flower arranged atop the one beneath it with precision worthy of the Empress. Bella pauses as she pushes several Azura to either side of her, and sniffs again. Deeper. She can't find the acid tang that means it's really Mynx over there. Of course she can't. Of course it's not. Eyes that cold could only belong to Redana.

There's no warmth in Bella's eye, either. What idiot could make room for nostalgia in a moment like this? With every step she takes, the sea of sycophants parts in front of her. Where it won't, she sweeps it aside with rough shoves and a quiet hiss at any words of protest. Her dress ripples like a living thing atop her, and her body bounces alluringly underneath it. Every step that brings her closer draws more eyes. The sea parts more readily. The nerves chip away from her face like ice scraped off a window, until by the time Redana finally turns from her duties to see what the commotion is Bella is a wall of raw, frigid determination.

She reaches Redana after stepping over the shell of a battlecrab that either couldn't or didn't want to take the hint of the moment. Not a word passes her lips. What would be the point? Threats, promises, and questions always fell on deaf ears. Now there's no more time; one of them is a prisoner, or the other is a corpse. These are simply the moments where they watch each other to see which one of them is which. Bella's tail curls tightly behind her back, and unfolds again with an irritated flick.

The design of Beautiful's dress does not allow for a curtsey; it's too tight, without enough trains to gather even if it physically allowed for the particular form of submission a maid is meant to owe a princess. There's a spark of something like defiance in her eye, and though she doesn't smile for a moment she even seems amused. She dips into a slight bow, the barest minimum of ballroom etiquette, and sweeps her arm across her chest while her jewel-woven hair swings behind her with a dozen chimes.

She rises again, and stretches to her full height. She sniffs again. Nothing is different, except that she has a plan to follow. And if something as simple as punching Redana in the stomach and dragging her unconscious body back to the Anemoi was meant to work, those would be her orders. She snorts.

Bella turns her body slightly, offering herself to Redana in profile. She reaches out with her right arm, palm turned up toward the ceiling, and waits with the distance of a single gesture between them. The stillness of her body hides the hammering of her heart. Her skin is crawling with secret terrors: something is wrong here. Something is horribly wrong.

She tilts her head in question. Well, Princess? Will you dance?
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by TheAmishPirate
Raw
Avatar of TheAmishPirate

TheAmishPirate Horse-Drawn Tabletop

Member Online

The greatest miracle of her recovery was that she missed it completely. The Hermetics assured her that every trace of foreign material had been excised, purged, or reborn from her. All the workings of her of her body had been set right, would she care for a scar to remember it by? Standard practice was to assume no, but the work was fresh enough that it could be altered if it suited her sensibilities.

Her arm is bare. Unmarred. No proof exists of the precise spot where goddess stopped her arm. Her hand goes to it at once. Beneath her fingers, it throbs. She is conscious, at once, of the musket settling against her back. The space on her belt where a glaive grows. A second holster, unfamiliar, awaiting its first draw.

Another hand closes over hers; warm, gentle, and smelling of fireplaces. Hestia shakes her head. Not this time. Not if you want to live.

You will have to find another way.


"Ahhhh, you know, after a certain number of times it really stops being an ambush doesn't it? If they truly wanted to destroy us by surprise, they ought to try not attacking us." This is the part where polite laughter goes. Thist, you will politely laugh won't you? You won't leave your dear friend Vasilia hanging all alone, would you? "Ah. Yes. Do we at least have time to review some of the basic terminology? The players? Any information at all would be a substantial improvement over last time."

The card is gone. Dolce lays it out on a open countertop. She missed its passing. She missed him. Now he reaches into his coat and pulls out a second card. An invitation. Marbles and black. Bearing a name in fine calligraphy: TUNGUSKA. Winnings from the god of the Dead. He studies the two closely, comparing color schemes, iconography, all the marks of signature and authority.

When the Chef became Captain, he was permitted to keep his nose. He has not forgotten the scent of Hades’ priest, who hurt his wife so terribly.

He must know why Thist carries that smell too.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Thanqol
Raw
GM
Avatar of Thanqol

Thanqol

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

Skotos!

"She is not yours, Skotos," snapped Hera, dropping you to the ground and drawing herself up to her full, regal height. "You have no claim on her location. I have no desire to tell you. Direct the craving in your voice to Aphrodite, for I do not answer the prayers of the heartbroken and desperate. I have no desire to empower the impulses that have bought you to this place."

"I do," said Aphrodite, lighting a cigarette in the corner. His lined face is a mess of creases that might be a smile. Hera casts him an irritated and disdainful look.

"It seems, then, you have a choice to make," she said, stepping back until she was equidistant between you and Aphrodite. "Never say you were never offered one."

Alexa!

You are in a study; opulently appointed, heavy with books. The fading paper smell has soaked into everything. From the outside you can hear reverent prayers of prospective students; not just Azura voices, but servitor-kith the galaxy over who have come here to beg the aged masters for education.

"We had a deal, serpent," said the voice of Cronus, thick with the blood of children.

"We had no such thing," creaked the ancient voice of the Azura Shahrak. "You dictated terms to me. I laughed them off."

"You did no such thing!"

"Did I not? Oh, my, tragic little warrior king," said the Shahrak. "You do need some lessons on polite society, don't you?"

You can feel the hatred pouring from Liu Ban. It doesn't need to be a big hatred, really, it just needs to be big enough to drown every positive impulse, moral or scruple that might check it. And for your father that does not need much hate at all.

Did you know he never fought the Azura? It's a mark of deep shame for him, the perfect Athenean Emperor. His intention was to win his own civil war first and then, once society was perfected, reforged into a weapon, he would at last destroy the Eternal Enemy. But instead he lost the war, lost his head, and is now being disrespected by an Azura technologist who clearly sees him as an item barely more notable than his treacherous daughter. This is his nightmare, the ultimate crushing humiliation. He'd burn the galaxy to avoid specifically this moment. He'll burn the galaxy to avenge it.

The withered Azura Shahrak examines the Command Seal upon the back of his left palm with rheumy eyes. You can feel the power, the threat. They are as Molech designed them, the secret encoding techniques that contain the key to your unhesitating loyalty. If he could not control you himself he sold you to one who could, one who now looks at you through magnifying lens goggles.

"You are... the Pallas Rex?" he asked. "Tragically so, if true. It looks like you have had post-period modifications made to your mouth that sharply reduce your value as a museum piece. In better condition you might have stood as an eloquent symbol of humanity's warlike folly, but as you are... perhaps it is for the best. The Skies have use for you."

Vasilia and Dolce!

The cards match. Border, calligraphy. THELIS THIST, EATER OF THE DEAD.

You turn the card over. Upon the back of Thist's card is written the word TUNGUSKA, the same as the one you carry. Hers is stamped though; she has used hers already.

"Of course," said Thist magnanimously. Her version of polite laughter is more on the devil grin side of things. "I can sate a little of your appetite. I got my first taste of what was coming when I met their advance scout, XIII. Some sort of feline assassin - oh, I see you know her. Well, you might not know they've unleashed their Ikarani adept. I haven't met her but she," Thist took a deep breath of her cigar, "is a data addict. An intellect enough to snatch fire from the gods, who will then inevitably burn in that same fire. Deadly threats, ordinarily, but this one is fighting blindfolded - Sagakhan has not told her about me. Poor girl imagines she's fighting unopposed. If she realizes that she's been made I imagine she'll burn your ship and butcher your crew in a panic. Who else? I suspect but haven't confirmed they might have an Oratus. You've heard a little of my humble speechcrafting," she flashes another grin; only she is in on this joke, "but she is convincing enough to be literally hypnotizing, right up to the point where she loses track of her body and becomes a deadly disease. Of course there's Sagakhan herself, who keeps her capabilities closer to her chest. I've picked up that she's got the eye of Demeter, though, so... hmm, I'd skip any raw salads, put it like that."

"It's Sagakhan you really need to watch out for, though," said Thist. "Any of the assassins might get you, of course, but I've whittled down her elites over the years. Now all that's left are children barely out of basic training and she's evidently setting them up to fail. I'm happy to take the prey, but your co-operation would make it a more... controlled process."

Bella!

Redana takes your hand. She was always distracted during her dance lessons. She is not distracted now. This is the dance of someone who values the dance above her partner. All eyes on you, and that is perfect, for in the distance you can hear Beljani's voice leading the Azura musicians. Her voice is transcendent, and its notes are the reassurance that the clock is on your side.

"You follow me still," said Redana, voice steeled with conviction. She's so restrained, as predictable as sunshine. "It makes me wonder why you did not simply accompany me when I asked. Do you know that it was you alone whom I invited? You alone whom I trusted? And you betrayed me, just to follow me anyway?"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Phoe
Raw
Avatar of Phoe

Phoe Idol Obsessive

Member Seen 23 min ago

"This again? With all due respect, Your Imperial Highness, go fuck yourself."

Bella's voice is cool, not cold, like water running across someone's hand. Her face is a mirror for Redana's detached conviction but for the tiny smirk that plays across her painted lips, just enough to flash a trace of sharp teeth. Every beat of the song soothes the storm inside her body. Every word half listened to from Beljani replaces nervousness with confidence. She reaches deep inside herself to find the tangle of emotions associated with Redana, and finds they've been burned down to husks in the wake of her transformation. She sniffs. Her nose tells her nothing she didn't already know.

This is a formal dance, nothing of closeness. Bella and Redana circle slowly to the music with palms clasped around each other's forearms. There's significance to the gesture, some ancient ritual dating back to blah blah blah, but Bella only ever heard the story from Redana, who never exactly bothered with reading the material. Irrelevant. Around they go, holding each other tight in a spiral that draws the attention of every last person here tonight. They stop as one. A cool nod from each. They shift, and circle in the other direction.

"When I saw you here I thought maybe you'd finally grown up, but I see you're the same idiot you've always been. I betrayed you? I followed you? Which one of us stuffed the other in a closet, again? Seriously, get a clue. I'm. Doing. My. Job. I always have been. Unlike some people, I know where my loyalties belong. I know where I belong, and it's not stuck out here in the middle of nowhere waiting for luck to finally catch up and kill me."

The music shifts, and the dance changes. The pair pull close, with Redana's arms about Bella's waist and neck. The latter flicks her tail and lets herself be lead in the delicate waltz without the faintest flicker of protest or of passion. The plan is in place, and every tiny motion only confirms that it's working. Why get upset? Why not dance? Her biggest... her only mistake was not asking Beautiful for help sooner.

"Fight it if you want to, I don't care. I don't need your cooperation anymore. You can spend tonight enjoying yourself, or you can spend it pretending you're the victim here, but either way you're going home. But you wanna know the best part? I don't have to lift a single finger to make it happen."
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by TheAmishPirate
Raw
Avatar of TheAmishPirate

TheAmishPirate Horse-Drawn Tabletop

Member Online

She thinks of a conversation that runs through her mind at least once a day. His hands had frozen, folded together in polite subservience, perhaps the only thing he remembered how to do in the wake of her story. His lips had trembled; he was never able to stop them. When he spoke, he spoke clearly, as if he were asking what she'd like for dessert. ”You don’t...fancy her, do you?”

He still hadn't told her what it was he was really asking about. And she had taken too many chances to try asking again, before he was ready to tell. Silence was one thing. Not knowing, and to hear him apologize for it, far worse.

So she wears a disgusted sneer, ruminating on the impossible probabilities of life and meeting, that her face might not be a lie. No one here needs to see her tap the the bundle at her belt where a tightly wrapped dagger lives. He does not deserve to see her scratch at her neck.



He thinks of how long it will take Alexa and Skotos to return from their trip. He will have that long to decide if he will tell her. Hera did not pose the question to him, but it was before her altar that it first came to him. Neither had she told him that there would be a time limit to these deliberations. Would it have made a difference? Perhaps it only would have made him more...

He ought to be happy. His prayers were answered. Someone important to someone important was alive, against all odds. But right now, all he can think of is the strategic likelihood of who might end up in the same room as her, and none of the figures reassured him a bit. If he hadn't wanted it, then why had he prayed for it?

This is not the question. Or, rather, it is not any of the questions that boil in his heart. So instead, he picks one he does know, and starts with that:

What do I feel about Thellis Thist?



“How does an Eater of the Dead take her prey?” His own card, unstamped, lies plain on the counter for her to see, if she cares to. "If we are already being hunted, then it can't be helped; we must defend ourselves. But I have to look out for all those aboard our ship, not just the two of us. If we are to help, then I'll have to know what will be asked of all of us."

"If we are already being hunted." Vasilia added. "All we have to trust in is your word. Which, with a few gold and some sincere apologies, might be enough to buy a sandwich." Not that her word valued much higher. But from one fraud to another, the point stood.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Tatterdemalion
Raw
Avatar of Tatterdemalion

Tatterdemalion Trickster-in-Veils

Member Seen 13 hrs ago

Skotos is without words for a moment. It hurts, after all. To be given a quest, then to have it pulled out of her hands; make things right, but do so yourself. This is the spite of the queen of the gods, a refusal to return power to the powerless. But more than that, she is in the presence of Aphrodite.

She should not accept. Aphrodite is, in his own way, as dangerous as Poseidon; not for nothing is he Aphrodite Androphonos. Perhaps even moreso. Both are gods of vast expanses, with terror in their depths; both drown the unwary and bring ruin to the mighty and the powerful. But where Poseidon lures the foolish into his grasp with the treasures of the sea, not least of which are the strange and wonderful lands beyond them, Aphrodite offers a different boon.

Imagine being seen for who you are, Aphrodite’s song goes. Imagine being accepted anyway. Imagine someone choosing you, over and over again.

And even if she doesn’t have that sort of story with Bella, Hera is right. Of course she was. Bella deserves an apology for everything. For leaving her behind, time after time, for not seeing what was placed upon her shoulders, for not being Redana Claudius. And Skotos, then—

Perhaps she will become someone new. The gods are capable of strange metamorphosis. But surely she will no longer be a shadow? Surely. Surely if Bella forgives her. Her palms sweat; her heart throbs almost painfully in her chest. Bella, who holds the keys to Elysium and Tartarus in her hands. With a contemptuous glance, she could tear Skotos apart; with a quiet word, she could make Skotos whole.

See me, and do not look away. Touch me, and do not flinch. Hear me, and do not condemn. The siren song of Aphrodite is sweeter and headier than wine.

Skotos does not address him by either of his greatest titles, as Redana would: Ourania, the god of high and portentous romance, the god of love-as-swords, or Pandemos, the god of ordinary loves, the god of the pulp novel and the bedroom closet. She simply says: “Please. She has to know she was… that she was special. To Redana. And how, if things were different…”

Her voice trails off. She doesn’t deserve anything more. She doesn’t deserve anything at all. She needs to do this for Bella’s sake. But if things had been different, could they have been— not like that, but could they have been, could she have been happy? Could Redana have made her smile? Could she have understood that Redana wanted to give her an entire universe?

Skotos curtsies before Tymborychos, the digger of graves, in her shapeless yellow robe, and awaits his judgment.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Balmas
Raw
Avatar of Balmas

Balmas

Member Seen 1 hr ago

"Unfortunately, I am quite nearly useless."

She sits in the chair, hands pressed against the desk as if it only her force of will can keep it from lifting off the floor. Already, her palms ache and her fingers have started to tingle, but that's good! It means her hands are carefully staying still, and not clenching and unclenching in her lap, or itching to take up the spear neatly leaned against one corner of the office. Still is good. Still isn't threatening. Still has a chance of convincing him she can't be turned to violence.

Pace, damn you. Fiddle with a pen. Walk back and forth in front of your wall of books--run scaly fingers across the layer of dust across their tops, pick through the titles. Do something other than stare at her, something except examine her like a butterfly on a pin.

"Certainly useless as a weapon," she bites out, "considering my bodyguard track record."

She hasn't been down to that part of the ship since Barassidar, and she still refuses to look at the jar.

"I will admit to being curious what possible use you could have for us. A failed dictator and the guard who betrayed him? You must have a reason to seek out a couple of has-beens like ourselves."
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Thanqol
Raw
GM
Avatar of Thanqol

Thanqol

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

Skotos!

"Ahhh, at last," said Aphrodite. "I thought I was going to die of old age before you got there. But then, I've always had trouble with time. Did you know, I used to reign supreme across the whole cosmos? I did not need thunder, or warfare, or virtue to do it. No, I needed merely two things: desire and time."

He gave a wry chuckle. "And then daughter dearest over there cut one from the other. Now I still have that supreme power over desire, but I'm... stuck... waiting. I'm stuck waiting for everyone to realize that I am all that matters. I'm stuck waiting for everyone to find their matches. I'm cut in half, like the galaxy, like you and Bella. Tick, tick, tick, I've waited for you to ask me for something. For you to realize that I've got the only thing that matters."

He rolls his shoulders. Straightens his tie. He looks younger. Not a lot, but the dust seems to fall away and there's a new health to him now. A streak of black amidst the grey.

"All my children only had claim to you before you realized it, before you said it. Now they command you no longer. Now you are mine. But... hmm, no girl of mine can be a mere shadow. Let me fix that."

He pulls a silver casino token from his pocket and gives it a fond flip. "You can borrow this," he said, tossing it over to you. When you catch it -

Skotia!

You are a shadow no longer. That silver token was a name, one of Aphrodite's. Where Skotos is a shadow, Skotia is the Dark One. The night-time stranger, dressed to steal dances, roses, hearts. An edge of danger. An edge of passion. It comes with a wardrobe change, worthy of a formal Azura party. You must look the part, after all, Aphrodite would allow nothing less from himself.

Alexa!

"Oh, you betrayed him? Interesting," said the Azura, though he didn't sound in the least bit interested. He made a note in his notebook regardless. "He didn't mention that."

The Shahrak keeps you waiting for a moment as he adjusts the magnification lenses on his glasses. Age is a tricky thing in a galaxy where eternal youth was mastered many aeons ago. For a creature such as he to appear this old implies one of a number of tales; it speaks of poison, the sacrifice of his beauty and strength to the Gods, or having reached an age where Hades' pull begins to outweigh even the gene-alchemy of the Splicers.

"It's a fair question," he said. "But the Eater of the Dead believes it is precisely your increasing irrelevance which will allow you an outsize impact on the game being played. Precisely, the deal is thus: Emperor Molech, if you bring me the head of the Ikarani adept operating on this world, the Skies will provide you with a new body and a one way trip to lands beyond Our sight."

"A body of my choosing," said Molech sharply.

"Oh, really now?" said the Shahrak. "You believe this is a negotiation?"

"You taught me to watch my words around you, snake," said the Emperor.

"I told you to learn some manners," said the ancient serpent. "And the correct protocol when your betters offer you charity is to smile and say 'thank you'."

The mad emperor seethed and ground his teeth. The Azura scientist waited for a moment, and then turned back to his book.

"I accept your terms," said Liu Ban.

The Azura kept reading.

"Thank you," Molech spat.

"Better," said the Shahrak. Without looking up he raised one withered hand. "Alexa, I bind you with this command: Do not harm me or my property," he thought about it for a moment, and you're surprised when he leaves it there. No additional qualifiers. "Secondly, obey the commands of Liu Ban. That is all."

"My first command," said Molech. "Is not to harm me either."

Vasilia and Dolce!

Thelis Thist held up a hand, looking away in faux hurt disgust. "Woah! I'm sensing a lot of negativity flowing my way, a lot of questions, a lot of equine dentistry if you catch my drift. I'm hurt - but you know what, I get it. You've been through a lot, so, cards on the table," she raised her hands to either side of the two Tunguska tickets. "A few quick answers and then we have to get to work. Hmm?"

"So, to cut a long story short, I am that rarest of breeds - a predator that preys entirely upon other predators. And you are, and forgive me lady for so saying, prey creatures. Sure you might have a little cat in you, but that's not the same thing as being sweet enough for my fangs. I wouldn't eat you if the sheep did you up in herbs, no offense. Instead... well, I reckon two well traveled souls like you might know that there are two paths to wealth. You could sweat and slave over the chisel for years to make something new from nothing, or you could arrange for a little hostile redistribution, am I right?" She took a deep inhale of her cigar smoke. "So it is with the gifts of Artemis. And I'll swear in Artemis' name that my only interest in your lives is to catch the ones trying to end them, may my fangs fester if I lie."

She leaned back, pulling a large mechanical pocketwatch from her toga pocket and glancing at it. "There should be two assassins arriving around now, one you know and one you don't. Distract them for a bit. Make them feel at ease. And listen closely for further instructions, the lives of everyone you know will depend on your swift obedience."

Bella!

"Yes, you know where you belong, and it is to my mother," said Redana, passion ice cold. "Of course you are not loyal to the Empire. Nobody could look at the wretched hive of Tellus and call it good, especially after seeing the stars beyond. Of course you are not loyal to your friends, for they are simply tools to get what you really want. No, loyalty to me, the Imperial heir, because I have no power yet. You only worship at Nero's feet. You only care about power."

Her teeth clenched, and then relaxed. There was a distant, angry sympathy there. "And of course you do. Only power can keep you safe, after all, and that's what you really want. You're so afraid and I'm so..."

Redana's cold anger hesitated, trembling, lost. A dark shiver ran through the hall, the rattle of wine glasses. And then, more from decision than passion, she froze over again in your arms.

"But I am trying to actually wield that power," she said, though there was no conviction in those words. "To change something. Because I'm loyal to something even more distant than power."
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Tatterdemalion
Raw
Avatar of Tatterdemalion

Tatterdemalion Trickster-in-Veils

Member Seen 13 hrs ago

Bella!

The clocks chime: a conjunction of hours and moons, an auspicious moment. The music, for a moment, stills, and that is when he arrives, the Princess of some minor colonized power, slipping into the room with a casual nonchalance, a self-assurance that is not projected outward like a roar of defiance at the room but simply… inwards, echoing. Each step is both careless and precise as he makes his way down the stairs. He has left one button at his collar undone, and the skin underneath is a pale flash against his mop of ruddy curls, his velvet jacket, his golden hound-mask. A fringe of fine golden threads sways beneath the mask with each step, enough to catch a glimpse of a strong jaw, a soft mouth. A flower with fiery red petals pinned to his breast is a splash of ostentatious color against the muted swirls of the velvet.

He looks to you and for just a moment, his footstep falters. A hitch, hardly noticeable. But you notice. One look at you and his breath caught in his throat.

He slips to one side, greets several Azura with a courteous bow, shakes hands with the humility of a lesser serving at the behest of a greater, but the confidence of someone who does not have any reason to worry for the security of his station. But even then, his eyes flicker to you for a moment. They are mismatched, charmingly so, almost familiarly so, but his lashes are long and demure and his gaze is gentle. He lingers a moment too long, watching you; he covers his jolt back to the conversation smoothly, but you see that, too.

He is slight, but moves with the grace of a swordsman (and a dueling saber hangs from the sash at his belt). The serving-staff approach him with trays, glasses, and offers to be seated in a private booth; he declines them all, politely, and redirects them to other guests. No, he has to keep circling the ballroom, watching the dances, watching you, standing in the lee of conversations to avoid the embarrassment of being obvious.

When he tilts his head, for a moment you see his mouth open, his lips parted in admiration; when your eyes meet, he does not blush or look away, but looks at you as if hoping to impress the fleeting moment of connection in his memory— and then nods, and looks away, until such time as you bid him come closer.

Do you?
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Phoe
Raw
Avatar of Phoe

Phoe Idol Obsessive

Member Seen 23 min ago

For a moment, Bella is pure heat against Redana's coldness. Her pupil swallows the golden iris and her teeth glint from the prison of her twisted snarl. Her talons today are platinum, and dotted with tiny jewels along her fingers, but their sharpness against Redana's cheek is undeniable. There is a moment where Redana freezes, and Bella burns. The antipodes brought together at last. Now there will be war.

And then with a sigh, the moment passes. One melts as the other freezes, and soon they are simply Bella and Redana again. Bella's face morphs from hot anger into a grotesque, predatory smile. She traces the edge of one talon along Redana's jawline with a casual sort of sensuality the would draw a shuddering gasp from almost any woman in the universe. But here, she earns only another cool, steely glare. She snorts.

"It amazes me how many of you morons keep trying to sell me on the wonders of 'the stars beyond.' I've been on the same trip as you, Princess, haven't you noticed? I'm the reason it hasn't killed you yet. And there isn't a single fucking thing out here that I wouldn't burn to cinders if it meant getting back what's mine."

One more time they dance, and this time Bella leads. Wrapped around each other like chains, they wind around the ballroom across every conversation and cluster of self-important Azura pricks. Nothing more than fodder for Beljani's gift, just sacrifices to be lead astray for a little while longer. Bella presses her body tight against Redana's; still there's nothing. Nothing but cold stiff bodies like statues mimicking intimacy without the barest shred of passion. In a moment her heart might forget how to beat entirely.

"Yes Redana, I'm loyal to your mother. Not the Empire. Because she's the only one who sees what I'm worth. I was supposed to die for you when you left, did you know that? Of course not. Surprise! But your mother intervened. She sees me, Redana. Like you never could. I am strong. I'm strong enough for both of us, and when I prove it to the Empress she'll reward me with more than any of your precious stars ever could."

She sneers, "Not that you believe in them anymore. Look at you. Pathetic. You're nothing but a spoiled brat trying to squeeze herself into somebody else's story, because you know you can't measure up. Yes, give me that look! It's all you've got left~"

The chime of the bell freezes the blood in her body. Bella stops on the spot, as stiff as a corpse. Her hands shoot off Redana and move toward the skirt of her dress, when she suddenly stops again and glances about. Her eye rolls in the back of her head as the auspex pulses briefly. No, there's still plenty of time. She's being stupid. Bella straightens again, only to dip into a shallow, mocking bow.

Inside her chest, her heart flutters erratically. She mustn't. She mustn't go getting absorbed in anything like that. She's on a deadline after all. There's a plan that must be followed. Her hand trembles as she tosses her hair behind her with a series of bell-like chimes.

"Well. As much fun as this is I've got no more time left to play with you tonight, Your Highness. Enjoy the party, Dany. It's the last time you'll ever be free."

Bella turns on clicking heels and saunters away with the practiced carelessness of a liar. On her way to the far wall, she passes a server carrying a tray with the first wine she's seen since... since before. Since chan-barra was the only sound running through her life. She plucks a glass delicately from the offered platter and carries it with her without touching it. Only by the way does she swirl it, and sniff the air around it.

She pauses. Frowns. And sniffs again. Her eyes lock with the stranger that arrived alongside those fucking gongs. Her nose wrinkles. She raises the glass near her lips without drinking. Tantalus raises her other arm and beckons at the mystery princess, and swirls her wine while she waits. At long last she takes a tiny sip, and shrugs her shoulders. Dry and fragrant. Ancient grapes in oak barrel, strange spices tossed on top much more recently.

"Inferior vintage," she offers with a nod to Skotia, "But beggars can't be choosers, can they."

Her mismatched eyes bore holes through the stranger's skull. She sniffs the air one more time, and frowns.

"I know you. Now tell me how. You one of Odoacer's calves, escaped from the slaughter? Hmph. You're a long way from home, pretty-boy."
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by TheAmishPirate
Raw
Avatar of TheAmishPirate

TheAmishPirate Horse-Drawn Tabletop

Member Online

“Wait.”

She’s sworn the highest oath she can, without being asked to. Her credibility in this matter is above reproach, and they must follow her quickly if they are to survive this. And yet.

“I have one more question, before we go.”

One question still eats at him. In no answer he can imagine can he see the sense in it. Or, rather. No answer settles his unsettled heart.

“You knew the Housekeeper lived like this. Why didn’t you do anything?”

Please. Can you explain it to him, Thellis Thist, Eater of the Dead?
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Balmas
Raw
Avatar of Balmas

Balmas

Member Seen 1 hr ago

The architects built this hallway too damn wide.

It's more crowded than even the market. Azura in every shade of blue mingle with servitors and supplicants. Everywhere, the susurrus of softened speech and hushed voices. Prayer, study, books, people further than the eye can see.

And around each one, there's space. Ample room to pass without disturbing anyone. Not a single opportunity to bump against someone, or dance between passing students, or apologize profusely for knocking someone down and sending the jar careening down the hall.

As if she could do anything but cradle the jar like a baby.

Finally, she spots an open room, and darts for it like it's salvation. She slams the door behind her, lowers the jar gently onto a desk, and scans the room. The chair seems like it'd splinter well--some kind of antique wood, high-backed, overly stuffed and plush. Perfect.

The spear whistles as it comes down--and stops, twitching, an inch from the velvet padding.

Or my property. Damn. Damn!

She wills the spear to drop that last inch, and, after a futile few seconds, sags into the chair.

"I thought for sure that she would kill you," she spits. "That is what you taught me, after all. An enemy who will not be turned to usefulness? Who has fought you for years? Surely, you would have not have permitted her to live if your positions were reversed. I could not strike the blow myself, but if I delivered you into her hands, gift-wrapped, she could not help but solidify her reign.

"And then, on Barassidar, again I thought myself rid of you! A head in a jar! What could be more harmless? A threat to no-one! No mobility, no divination, no empire, no friends! A kinslayer I, cursed of the gods, and happy to be so if it meant you were gone!"

She seethes, and finally meets his gaze. "How many times, Liu Ban? How many times must you die before I can finally be free?"
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Thanqol
Raw
GM
Avatar of Thanqol

Thanqol

Member Seen 4 hrs ago

Alexa!

"I command you to address me as Molech," said the living dead. "Preceded by emperor, master, or father, as the context requires."

And this is his answer. He is not interested in your complaint. He is not interested in addressing himself to you, or explaining his motives or your fate. Already his mind has moved on, discarding your complaint like the grinding of an engine that needs naught but oil.

"Furthermore, I command that should I die, you are to kill yourself," he went on. "If I become imprisoned or lost you are to find me and return to my side. If you hear someone discussing how to kill or overthrow me, you are to kill them on the spot. If you see that child Redana you are to kill her before she can use her command seal on you, and bring the seal to me."

And that is you, Alexa. The problem you present is solved. His machine mind whirs on to the next problem.

"We must consider the battlefield," he went on. "That an Ikarani is unleashed means that our ship will be a target, and there are few pieces on the board that can threaten it. The Alcedi will answer the call of a true Emperor; they shall be both shield and sword, and you shall lead them. We will rally the tribes, thwart the assault that is no doubt directed at our ship, and use the intelligence gained from our victory to pinpoint the Ikarani's true location."

Vasilia and Dolce!

Thist gives a strange look. It's surprised; surprised that would even be a question.

"She wasn't special," said Thist. "It's like that for everyone. Everyone is cursed, Reacher. Haven't you heard?"

She stops when she reaches the kitchen doors, glancing back over her shoulder.

"Ask Hades when you reach the Tunguska, he'll tell you all about it."

You have a meal to prepare, Dolce.
↑ Top
© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet