---Time: Afternoon - Present Day
Location: Berenice’s Nest - Carver (Outside Lost Haven)
Charlie strode through the field with purpose, heading back to the cottage, she did not feel eyes on her again like she expected as she crossed away from the forested treeline. Salamander probably had something to do with the protection. She was convinced nobody would be capable of calling her by her name anymore. Car-lee and Miss Charles, now. The real indication of Berry and Salamander being related by incredibly weird
circumstances. Their bird-like behaviour was the other.
When she arrived back to the cottage she talked Berry into backing off into the sky, letting her know why. Her creator left behind a watcher and Charlie was going to find it, then chase it off.
“If I was a creepy necromancer’s watcher where would I be hiding?
” Charlie said to herself, her eyes scanning the cottage anew looking for clues. The shinier objects Berry found caught the light of the sun, little light spots dotting Charlie. Once again she felt eyes on her that made her pause, still the dreamcatcher magic detector Salamander gave her was reacting to Berry. Charlie made a shooing gesture for the siren to continue flying further away the feathers reorientated glowing instead of blue tipped with red, now a deep purple. I hope this isn’t a fancy mood ring.
She stared at the dreamcatcher, while she heard the faintest of skittering behind her. Charlie’s body tensed like a spring. The familiar pounced from the broken framework of the cottage a flurry of stink, scales and teeth flashed past her eyes snatching the dreamcatcher right from her hand.
” Charlie shouted, a little hairless scaled imp of a monkey held the dreamcatcher in its dirty black clawed hands.
Black beady eyes stared wide eyed at the dreamcatcher then flicked up at the alchemist, barring rows of unnaturally pointy teeth in a guttural hiss, “Wench!
” Black leather bat wings folded to it's body, three feet in length she guessed from head to tail. A bastard creation of multiple animals. It screeched when the beads heated up in its hands at Charlie’s towering approach. Using the butt of her staff she slammed it down on the end of the monkey’s scaley tail, even past her mask she could smell the rancid stench coming off it. Rotten eggs, weeks
old garbage and boiled cabbage. Had Charlie a weaker constitution she would have hurled her lunch.
Quick as a whip the familiar attacked Charlie’s ankles claws seeking flesh, sharp teeth latching on. Charlie roared releasing its tail to swat at it with her staff, it scrambled out from under her climbing up her body it’s broken tail poised at a strange angle for her face. She snarled, “Get off!
” This time finding success to swat it off her back. When it hit the ground with a thud she threw herself on top of it. The wiry monkey hissing, scratching at her in a flurry of small limbs.
The dreamcatcher forgotten.
For several minutes they wrestled rolling across the dirty floor, shouting various incredibly foul curses. Charlie finally found purchase to pin the monkey. She suffered from long gashes up her arms its claws slashing through her clothing, a few shallow cuts across her cheek and chin evident by the mask blooming with bloody spots. The pain from its bites stung at her ankles, she didn’t want to imagine the various bacteria making it’s way through her cuts.
The monkey was snarling and thrashing about in her pin, the tail now broken in several places being pinned by her knee.
“You piece of shit! I’ve got you pinned!
” Charlie snapped maintaining all her weight on the familiar.
“Undesirable alchemist! You think you can hold me! Ugly miserable cow!
” It snapped back in a strange nasally accent. “Wait until my master gets his hands on you! You’ll barely last a week under his observations! He’d-!
Charlie drove her elbow down on its head ramming the imp’s jaw into the floor. “Shut up!
” Slowly transferring weight from both hands, to pinning the monkey by one hand over it’s neck. She reached into her back pockets looking for some rope finding none, she improvised tearing off her bloodied mask with a huff. She balled it up in her hands remembering the composition for cotton off the top of her head, pulling iron from the blood. In her hand the mask change shape unfolding into a length of iron strengthened rope. It wasn’t very long considering the materials but it was enough to wrap around the monkey twice. She bound it’s arms together tightly along with its tail. Using the end of her boot on it’s chest she stood up.
Charlie carefully grabbed her staff, exhaled then used her staff instead of her foot to pin it. She stared down at the filthy creature. “I have no problem tossing you up to Berenice, I think a disgusting creature like yourself would only give her heartburn.
” The monkey seemed to sigh relief, “Although I know a thing or two about birds of prey is that they take an exhilarating amount of fun in the hunt. The impact alone from her diving at you would be painful. You could make a run for it but we both know you’d be seriously fucked, crippled right where you lay.
The monkey audibly gulped then its teeth chattered with fear, “My master named me Abaristus, not that an alchemist would know-
” Charlie pushed her staff into it’s neck cutting it off, “I! Gck! Fuck!
She eased off slightly, letting her staff pin it’s chest again. “What did you tell Sebastian you saw!
It coughed, “Everything!
” It paused looking up at Charlie, with some consideration. Gleams of hope through it’s eyes. “He can spare your family.
Charlie was about to snap back then considered herself, it was talking now. “Go on.
Abaristus grew with a little confidence, surprised at Charlie’s encouragement. “You can’t believe everything that ole Salamander has got to say, hmm? He did wrong by my master, yes.
Charlie didn’t reply, letting the familiar fill the silence.
It grew bolder, “Who do you think taught my master necromancy? Gave him the tools to achieve his goals? Ole Salamander, he did. Now he’s here looking to kill my master.
” It hissed out. It sent shivers across her arms.
It grinned a toothy sneer at her. “My master is powerful, the siren is his greatest creation. He’d be grateful if you brought it - er, her back him. You’re a scientist, think like one. My master is making strides, charting unmarked territory. You understand, hmm?
” The familiar tried to sit up, “You’re more like my master than Salamander.
“Hmm...He’d probably make you his acolyte, if you asked. I see a real spark of magic potential, now that I see you.
“You think so?
“Let me go, and I’ll go put in a good word or two. Then we can do some negotiation about bringing the siren back to my master where she belongs. She trusts her Car-lee.
” It’s grin was full, “C’mon, Charlie.
She had been staring hard down at the familiar fighting the bile building in the back of her throat from his stench and words. Then she peeked up at the sky seeing Berry, her wingspan was incredible. Graceful in flight, her existence such a rare instance. Charlie wondered briefly what being able to fly really felt like. When her attention turned back to the pinned imp, she was grinning herself.
“And that’s real fuckin’ rich when you slap scientist over murderer. Who are you trying to convince I’m anything like that poor excuse for a human? You weren’t listening very well when you said you were.
” Charlie said venomously increasing the pressure, causing Abaristus to cough violently. “If your master wants Berry so badly, he’ll have to come slithering out of whatever hole he’s in. I’d love beat him black and blue myself.
Abaristus snapped and hissed at her, it’s reasonable tone gone. “Wench! You are nothing! My master will tear you apart and keep you alive for days! Just watch!
She lifted her staff up in both hands above her head, her boot on Abaristus’ chest again, the monkey was staring up watching the copper in the staff form around a spike. It was aimed directly at it.
“Tell him everything, Abaristus.
” Was all she said, then in one swift move she plunged the spiked staff through the familiar's head. It’s screech of pain pierced her ears, it’s form dissipated in a small cloud of black fog around the spike darting off in every direction. She waited then sighed, relaxing. She knew she’d see it again, helpers and familiars to witches or magic users were glued to their masters. She could almost hear Carrie calling it magic basics.
Rolling up her sleeve, peeling back from the bloody scratches. She took a look at her ankles, the bite marks were deep, oozing blood as well. She patted her chin with the back of her hand, the bleeding had stopped on her face at least. She motioned for Berry to come back down, bending at the waist to scoop up the dreamcatcher. It collapsed back into a small ball once again, she smiled a little at it.
When Berry rejoined her she said, “Bought some time, we should get Salamander to set up some protections around the place so that imp can’t come back to spy on you.
“If you need me I’ll be cleaning myself up outside.