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Doing well. Deer have been docile lately. All's well
Simon was gracious enough to let Chasa respond to the Hunter without breaking any more of his bones. I like her words, some part of his mind thought, and another one wondered why it did. Some her words flashed through his head - exist purely to serve - and along them came a memory of the King. He grimaced for a split second, then scattered the memory before it distracted him more.

For a second, the man had been afraid. His mind was strong, though - he controlled himself well and took the pain quietly. While Chasa spoke, Simon retrieved another tool - a relatively plain metal baton with small spikes, not sharp or large enough to easily pierce but enough to be distinctly uncomfortable on impact. It was a simple weapon, mostly for good old-fashioned beatings, and had clearly been used for such before.

When Chasa finished, Simon didn't say anything. He waited a second, then two, then brought the baton down on the hunter's ribs. Once, twice, thrice. He made sure not to be too rough - he was stronger than most humans and he didn't want to unduly damage the organs - but enough to break one or two ribs.

He inspected the baton. It had a good weight to it. He took a deep breath - he might''ve still been a little too enthusiastic about that last hit. "You like your words, sir. You have many of them, and you speak them well, I'll admit." He set the baton on the ground next to him. "Clubs and batons are all good, but I was more of a knife man myself." He picked up the scalpel again. "I never had medical training to any degree, you know, but I like to think I know my way around the human anatomy a bit. When I was younger, I had many opportunities to... study the innards of men. Sometimes, I wonder if old memories of what things looked like would be enough to help me remove an organ with acceptable precision. I have a steady hand - surely more than a human - and a good memory, but that's really all." His smile was almost friendly, even in the context. He leaned closer to the hunter again. "Tell me your real name. If you do, I'll give you, say, a couple of minutes to think before my next question. I think you'd like that."

Simon almost cooed when Darnies presented him with the tools. "Ahh, good. This should make everything much easier." He took the tools eagerly, but narrow his eyes when Darnies hesitated with the manacles. Not suspicion, but his natural Fae tendency to be nosy. Clearly the young man had some sort of trauma around these tools - the signs were hard to miss, and Darnies had held the manacles long enough to burn himself. And that too drew his attention; iridium apparently burned him on contact. Simon never really made it a priority to learn the weaknesses of others of supernatural persuasion, but this one scratched something at the back of his mind. Simon's eyes darted down to the manacles; the surfaces were worn down significantly more than the usual wear and tear of time or use would do, especially on the outside of them. Done manually, then - but why?

But Simon knew to respect privacy, at least to people's faces. He watched Chasa chain the hunter up silently, his eyes on Darnies as he left. He nodded understanding at Chasa's comment. So the tools were likely originally used on other supernatural beings. Maybe someone Darnies knew? Loved ones, friends, family? Himself? Simon pushed his curiosity down. Right now, he had work to do.

With something approaching solemnity, Simon rolled out the blood-stained leather. Inside were the tools of the trade: thumbscrews, a scourge, a variety of blades, a couple of cones Simon assumed were for forcefeeding, some cloth and rags, presumably for water- or dry-boarding, smelling salts, and gags, among other things.

It seemed as if Simon was in a world of his own as he inspected the tools. He seemed calm, focused, but the longer he looked at them, the more something seemed to permeate his being, practically pushing at the surface. Something like... hunger. It seemed like a sort of irony that the vampires were outside while Simon was going through something very similar to bloodthirst. Parts of his glamour began to slip; he seemed to have abruptly grown paler, leaning over the tools like a grey vulture tired of waiting for his prey to die. Scars grew darker on his face, marring what had a few seconds ago been unblemished skin. He picked up a scalpel in one hand. His total focus was on the hunter, with Chasa simply an observer.

He leaned in close to the hunter's face. "Open your eyes, kind sir." His voice, previously possessing a slight rasp, now sounded hoarse. "We're going to play a game. For the first part, I will work, and you will listen. Then, I will ask, and you will answer. But that comes later. This part, all I need is for you to be awake."

The manacles seemed tight, and Simon was feeling confident, so he let himself come closer. The scalpel drifted a lazy path across the hunter's face, from his cheek to his chin, then dangerously close to his right eye.

"When I was younger, I considered myself something of a scholar," Simon chuckled. "I learned many things about pain and how to inflict it. In many ways, torture is an art. You must think of it with no restrictions - every piece of skin can be burned, frozen, pierced, bruised, removed. Pain is not hard. Keeping the victim alive is harder. Not rushing the process is harder. The trick is to keep a balance between too much and too little." His brow furrowed slightly. "I was never a good student, sadly. Not of others. I was better at learning alone. Practice makes perfect, they say. All of that was a long time ago. I am different now. But I am, like all my people, my base instincts. We can play at humanity, take in their arts and love and pretend that is who we are. All of that is just a thin veil thrown over the fact that we are cruel beings. Our nature cannot be denied. Only ignored for a time."

Abruptly he turned away, putting the scalpel back and returning with something resembling a vice. He set it gently on the ground besides him. "First, kind sir, I will break a finger. Then I will break another. I will proceed depending on how well you take it. Maybe then I will ask a question, and if you do not answer it, I will be more creative."

He gripped the hunter's hand tightly. "Just hold on, now. Think happy thoughts." He tensed his arm for a second, then, suddenly and violently, twisted the hunter's index finger.
No deer sighted. Got a short post out as well. All in all, a good day's work.
Cedar.


"Oh, hey, Listener," Cedar said, turning to her. "Should I, like, whisper? And, uh, I don't think Fluke would've been nice anyway. He's... just sort like that. Anyway-"

Cedar stopped, looking up at the sound of the window opening in time to catch an orange-robed man leap from it to the neighboring rooftop. He almost began moving to chase - though how, he hadn't thought out - when Iris took off, climbing quicker than Cedar surely would have. And with her, went the ring.

Well, Voice, unless you can magically drop me another ring, I can't do much for you right now. Guess you'll have to wait, huh? he thought to himself.

"Well, I know you probably just came from Archer, but I need to tell her a bunch of stuff, so I think I'll head that way. If you think you can keep up with Iris, though, feel free," he said to Listener. Cedar turned and started walking. Surely, at least, nothing could have gone wrong back with Archer?
Simon was striding back and forth next to the waterfall. Technically, he was 'reformed', and as such didn't engage in any violent activities. However, this was technically for a good cause and definitely had good reason, so he was fine with setting aside restraint for a bit. It had been such a long time since he had the opportunity to really dig into someone, and now he didn't even have to feel to guilty about it.

Abruptly, he turned. "Excuse me," he directed to Darnies. "Do we have any..." he waved his hand vaguely. "Medical supplies or healing stuffs? It'll put my mind at ease if my chances of accidentally killing him before we get anything interesting are lowered. Oh, and any tools would be appreciated - sharp things, blunt things, heavy things. I can be creative. Are there any ants down here? Do we have salt water? Both would be appreciated, though ants can be fickle. Either way, I can get started pretty much immediately without any of that, but all of that stuff will help. But, uh, maybe put him back there for now. I'll get started in a sec."

All Simon had on him currently was switchblade. It was sort of risky for a fae to carry iron weaponry, but most modern blades had it and Simon was too lazy to locate or pay for anything else. Even a small blade could put some heavy damage in, if he so desired.

His eye turned to the young girl, the one who'd gotten them into this mess. She clearly hadn't gotten too good of a grasp on the struggles she would have with Hunters. She probably got unlucky, with her first real run in being all this garbage.

"Well, it's going to be a good learning opportunity. I think we'll have some pretty sights in there, provided you're not squeamish and that you can appreciate shades of red. Actually - do you have any problems with blood? Then you might wanna wait out here with the green instead." Because, even if Simon was cutting someone up, it was important to ensure everyone besides the victim was comfortable at least.
Should have a post up today barring sudden accidents. Have my eye on the deer but they can be crafty hunters
Cedar.


And there was the voice again, and again, it brought no answers.

But then there was something. It felt... invasive, like someone had broken into his head and shoved their wants over his for a second. Involuntarily, his hand twitched. This, Cedar did understand. It wanted the ring.

Shortly after, heard a voice yelling in the distance. It sounded like Archer, though he wasn't too certain. Whoever it was sounded not too pleased about whatever was going on. And while that was happening, Cedar's eyes caught the drone controller's screen and watched a second armadillo crawl through the cracks. A plan formed in his head.

"No rest for the wicked," he sighed, then turned to Iris.

"I want to examine the body further, but if it's all the same to you, it might be a good idea to check out whatever Archer's yelling about. If not that, I'm also about suspicious about, well..." he held out the drone controller to let her get a glimpse of the screen. "These armadillos keep crawling into this building, and the first armadillo I saw was messing with this body, so the building... I dunno, could be full of bodies or something like that. Just a guess, but still. Oh, and before you go, you mind if I see the ring? Don't want to miss any details."

The last part was said casually, but inside his head he was debating how smart it was to indulge the mysterious head voice. For all intents and purposes it could be some Nox insanity or something equally insidious. But, he thought to himself, if it is something Nox then at least I know there are plenty of Zephyrs in the area to stop me from hurting someone. So, against his better judgment, he merely extended an open hand towards Iris for the ring.

Most of the walk, short as it was, Simon was deep in thought. Not on the situation at hand; even during times as strange as these, Simon had a wandering mind.

Instead, he thought of the Hunt. He remembered, with half fondness and half guilt, the piercing white of the snow on most days, the chill that had never bothered him or his brothers. Wild fae loved to wear brutish things, but in small amounts; maybe it was vanity, or maybe it was mocking the humans who always seemed to wear heavy furs to stave off the cold. Back then the Wild fae seemed of one mind. No one questioned the King, and infighting was rare. Humans were only thought of as prey or toys, but never as a threat, not really. How far humanity has come.

Yet with all the years passed since the Hunt, Simon was still afraid some days. Wild fae were rare, but not exactly a dying breed. Simon had met some over the years, some like him who had grown to admire certain humans, and some who still followed the old ways and hated humans with a fanatic passion. And rumors always persisted that the King waited, and waited, and waited. What Simon was afraid of was the King coming back, because in the end, Simon was a fae of the Hunt, and his tattoo branded him as such. Simon had lived outside the Hunt because the Hunt had scattered, including the King, but if the King truly returned, there would be little choice for Simon. He would likely have to return. All Simon had right now was a very long leash, and Simon and all Wild fae knew that the King would only let them go in death.

But then their group reached the tree, and Simon dispelled those thoughts. The King had waited thousands of years, and knowing him could wait thousands more. He had no reason to crusade. Simon was safe, so he told himself.

Simon dropped with an almost theatrical grace into the garden, taking it in calmly. His landing was almost spoiled by the hunter's body almost hitting the back of his legs, something he stepped out of the way of with a slight frown. He gave a polite wave to the nymph - luckily Darnies was already going through introductions - and turned his eyes back to the garden.

"Hmm, waterfall interrogation. Nice change of scenery compared to a dungeon or something, at least." Simon clapped his hands together. "Well, I'm eager to get to work, team, so let's hurry on." He set a swift stride to the waterfall. His interrogation skills were likely very, very rusty, but, in his experience, the painful bits were like riding a bike for him - just start brute forcing it and the technique will come back to you like an old friend.

There was a heavy silence as Simon did nothing, and then, after a few more seconds, continued to do nothing. Finally, he moved towards the hunter's limp body.

"Well, ladies and gentlemen, looks like we have an unconscious hunter on our hands," he announced cheerfully. "Does anyone have an idea what to do besides killing him? I mean, he suggested it himself, but any other suggestions?"

The first thought after that entered his head was I wonder why he just... fell like that? but then the thought was almost immediately replaced with what the hell is that girl's problem?

Simon rounded on Bonnie dramatically, jabbing a finger as she walked towards the back door. "Hey, don't think you're getting off scot-free, young lady. What the hell was all that? You coulda, like, at least have tried to... not blatantly be suspicious. Do you..." he squinted his eyes slightly. "Do you not realize how many people in this bar you just put at risk? You think you're the only one running around who has secrets? You think that man was just here to preach and be ominous? No, and this..." Simon seemed to abruptly calm down mid-sentence. "You're young, right? Not just for your kind, you're... young."

He sighed. "Whatever. Not time for a dressing down." He clapped his hands together. "So! Boys and girls of every age, what do we do with Mister Josip here? Personal vote - lock him up somewhere and ask him questions. Obviously he knows too much, but we should put off killing him. Also in that case, I vote myself as interrogator. Consider it pro bono." This was a matter of practicality - fae were notoriously good at both making people talk and making people hurt - and also of personal curiosity. Simon had already been curious, but the hunter's last words before he had fallen had been 'did you... do you know... her?' and something like that drove Simon's brain into a thirst for answers. If he had to poke him a bit to get an answer, well... old habits die hard.
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