The scene opens for only a moment, a glimpse of tables on a laminate flooring. Blood paints suits of shapeless sets of armor that twist and contort from the maintaining illusion as if their architect was losing focus on holding their shape. A hole had begun to be dug through the ceiling, though the fruitless effort managed maybe an inch before the collapse.
Two words to describe the mess that filled the scene with an eerie silence. Faces that some may have known, once upon a time, now belonging to corpses of both prisoners and roles of 'keepers', alike, wash over first with a blankness that the mind reasons to be a fuzz as if staring at an old television with bad reception. No sooner had it began than had the once sterile room been overtaken and snuffed out into a silent darkness.
A door opens to the accompanying cacophony of a million links of falling chains, and that reality was forgotten. So simply as one tears a page from a notebook and crumples it before tossing it into the roaring hearth, it was undone. What was that room? Who were those faces? Had this happened before? Did the guards know what would happen if--
Segment Zero: Where Most Stories Begin"Dwell not on what never was. The truths of a lie are unmade by the IS."
Echoing down an unlit hall rings the chime of what may have been small metal loops of a once great chain striking a cobblestone floor.
The cells were...uniform, unremarkable at a glance but unique with the plates of silver and etching in runes to denote the contents of each block of six prisoners along the main hall. The cells are...there, for a purpose stolen from the architect, alien to their designer and made from armless hands that wind the clock and hold the hands back just a few more minutes until a distant click of small metal boots began to echo. The hammer released, the pendulum swings, and the teeth of the keys grow sharp.
The Tower was quiet as the tiles had yet to fall, the small figure who owned the small metal boots had no caution to hold as they paced past one of the vacant guards. They'd yet to gain the shape of this run, and The Stranger understood exactly when the sands would start to drop. Safety was...assured, yes, this was a plan that had worked, but it was an unjust and overtly cruel one that saw a legion dead for every saved.
It had been a key. It had been a nightmare. It was a game. It would be the end, eventually...and in the limited infinity of the halls, this was...doom or destiny...the next attempt.
Fresh was this new concept, a trick learned a countless score of cycles back about the concept of Time and to transcend merely looking
back, but to be
back, and to undo...and eliminate.
The tactic was a sallow one, its means having been leveled to a dozen heroes of a dozen worlds. The Stranger would remember their names, if they were capable of being remembered after what had been done to them, but the dead cannot solve problems and that is what inspired this...unique...expedition.
Forward. Forward was how time explained its method of approaching a mystical faith of 'futures' and it was one The Stranger sought when the key finally set into the lock and the bars of Violet's cell evaporated.
In that instance, the palpable crushing flow of what was now this timeless realm of reality flooded into her senses, driving off her final moments and releasing her from limbo. Regardless of her fate, she was alive, now...though in a cell...on a cobblestone floor.
The Stranger held up their right hand at a right angle from their shoulders, fingers splayed and palm facing them. Their left hand lifted from their side to a forty-five degree angle, their hand in a similar position as they took a step with the most of their stride that one of a 4'4 stature could manage. Gently, they swung their left hand in as a wordless offering to take. A mental force struck Violet from the gesture, an implication that she is needed in an abstract way that vaguely forced her to remember the taste of mint and the sound of a trowel lightly tracing dirt from the roots of an ambiguous small plant. The sensation came again, along with thoughts of gears and springs in a clock and the tastes of progressively older fruit at a rapid pace. Lastly, there was a silence of the sensations, accented by a fog of paranoia as the small figure shifted themselves, slightly to better reach into the cell. A thought of a pillow in a backpack, an angry cat quickly cutting to it purring and docile, and a recited memory of lacing boots and tying laces.
Violet looks up at the figure and is bombarded with questions: who are they, where am I, how did I get here? But above all other inquiries in her head was one which demanded her present attention: what should I do? Violet had no idea if they were friend or foe and wouldn't let her guard down for a second. Violet knew first hand that an act of kindness can easily cover up an act of cruelty. She uses this tactic very frequently so if it were used on her, it'd be a foolish slip up on her part. However if they're friend it would be rude to turn them down, after all she doesn't want to make an enemy of someone she just met because she was being TOO cautious. However it was better to be overly wary that to be naive. To add to that their outfit had plenty of places to hide weapons. This person could have 4 arms for all she knew! The mask covered up if they were even human so being alert was the only reasonable option. Hopefully they won't take too much offense if they're a friend... I mean... they have to realize how they look right?
Violet stood up on her own, struggling as she did it. Her body felt... off, not really pain or even any soreness, just off. Violet tried to think back to figure out what happened. All she could remember was the last job she was on. She lured her target to a dark ally with promises of a "good time". Some men are so easy to bait, like holding candy in front of a child, they'll wander aimlessly for a few moments of fun. As she was going for the kill, she noticed something large and black falling from the sky. One second she's watching it fall, then as if she blinked, she was here. Could this thing have caused it? If so, then whoever or whatever this thing is will pa-
Violet stumbled as she strove to pick herself up. Before she did anything she'll need to get her bearing first. She realized she doesn't know anything about this person, and ignorance could prove fatal. It's best if she try to act as this thing's friend for the time being. Try to get on it's good side and determine if it can be trusted, or possibly what the plans for her
are here. She'd look around and see her crystal ball by the edge of the cell. In the worst case scenario, that'll have to be her surprise attack so she cant let this thing know anything about her... if it doesn't know already. Violet was a famous fortune teller after all. Hopefully this thing doesn't know about her. Violet finally makes her way to her feet but is leaning against the wall; best to seem more exhausted than she really is. Her feet still work so a last second dodge is still possible. She lifts her right hand and put it over her brow and squints to make it seem she can't this things obvious greeting. After holding that for a second she says in a soft voice, Hello? Who are you?
The figure continued to offer their hand in the whole process of Violet standing herself up. Almost machine-like, the small figure seemed to observe a foot distance from her. Closing their fingers together upon Violet rising to their feet, the figure took a step back in a manner that seemed abruptly hesitant. Reluctantly, they gently slipped their metal fingertips against each other and paced outside her cell, taking a step back in a shy display before once again offering a hand.
Her question hit the figure like a shout would hit a wall, though this one wall was quick to bounce. "Hello-"
they chirped back in Violet's own voice along with another wave.A deep cave, an understand that an echo will come back if they shout into it.
A stalactite. A rock. A rock. A knife. A rock. A rock. A rock. A rock. A rock.
A voice in how it's understood with the vibrations of vocal cords.
An understanding of a greeting. A rock. A brief depiction of a spherical hammer striking-
A rock. A rock. Thoughts of the construction of cobblestone. The fragility of mortar and how a billion grains of sand melt it through rapid erosion.
Violet is abruptly stung by a headache akin to a migraine that lasts for only a few seconds after the visions leave her.A brief flicker of an understanding of the tact of a gentleman offering a handkerchief quickly evolves to the depiction of a street in New York as a man takes off their coat to place it in a puddle for a lady to walk over.
There is a figure on the corner of the street, noticeable the moment the bus roars by. The figure holds up a key. The bus is there. The people on the bus are watching.
The figure is holding the key to Violet. It was snowing. The lady is walking across the coat. The man pretends he is not cold as he puts a cigarette between his lips.
There is a black stake that pierces the sky.
There is a key.
A hand turns a knob.
A hero slays a dragon.
A hero is the dragon.
The dragon slays the hero.
The dragon slays Violet.
The crossing sign blinks 'do not cross'
The Stranger stands in the crosswalk.
The Hero stands at / / / slays the dragon.
There is blood that...
Blood drips onto the cobblestone from Violet's nose.
She looks down and sees how the black stake annihilates the thought that was a 'New York' and the thought ceases to be a thought in her mind.
There was a thought and then it wasn't anything more that a compulsive
- - tears in her eyes that suddenly burn like fire.
The visions abruptly cease and The Stranger takes a step back, their arms lowering though still open to show that they are not armed. Judging by the ringing in her head and the metallic scent to accompany the tiny trickle of blood from her nose, she was likely to get all of the answers she would be capable of handling from the entity.
The figure takes another step back and bows. There is briefly a consideration of the dynamics of a sword and the handle looks like the face of the masked stranger. A deep sorrow follows it, a want for words to form an apology.
Violet is stunned. She holds her hand under her nose to see the blood dripping from it. Her cheeks burn from the tears on it. Her heart began racing so hard it hurt her chest. She couldn't take it and lost feeling in her legs as she dropped to her knees. Violet trying her best to not start screaming, holds it in but starts grabbing the sides of her head. What's happening?
is constantly repeated over and over in her head. Looking up, she sees the monster reaching for her again. In a complete panic, she slaps the monster's hand away from her and presses up against the wall harder like she was trying to phase through it. A-and did it mimic her voice... just what the hell is this thing?
The monster backs away and bows with it's arms out. What the hell is it doing now?
Violet worried. Should I kill it? Is it going to kill me? It's probably a lot stronger than me... Can I surprise it? I might be able to. If I act quickly enough...
And as she looks to her ball she sees her own reflection. Complete horror filled her eyes. She'd never seen herself like this. The only time she'd ever see someone like this is when she had killed them. Disbelief. Fear. Anger. So many emotions she could easily pick out all shown in her eyes. As she looked back at the figure, it was still in the same pose. What do I do? What does it want? Wait... what did I see
Thinking back, she saw a cave, a rock, a hammer, vocal chords? What the hell does that all even mean... and why something so abstract? Why not just send words, why do I have to play conceptual charades with this thing? Violet begins to try and slow her breathing and recompose herself. With one last exhale she starts to assess the situation. Why pictures? Maybe it can't understand words? It mimicked my voice so perhaps it doesn't have one of it's own. Wait... a cave, vocal chords... an... Echo?
looking up at the thing. No response. Thinking again, A guy giving a handkerchief, a coat over a puddle... Generosity? A gentleman?
Still nothing. Then that last part. A key, a knob, a hero, a dragon, a dragon, me, I died, I died, I died, I died, I di- She began to feel her heart racing and her breathing pick up again. Violet shakes her head vigorously to try and forget it. Suddenly she realized something. She looks at the thing across from her and says quietly Hey... you... are you... mute? Like can you not talk?
As the thing picks it head up Violet is violently reminded of the last time she ask this monster a question. She quietly shouts NO! NO! NO! NO MORE PICTURES! JUST! Just... nod for yes and shake for no
gesturing both motions as she said that.
The thing starts emphatically nodding and holds up their empty hands. Violet jumps back a bit at it's sudden movement. The thing then taps the tips of their fingers together with each hand, causing tiny clinks of the metal fingertips. Oh it must be some kind of robot then
Violet thought to herself. The thing holds up a finger as if to halt Violet for a moment before holding out a palm. They razz the fingers of the other hand above it before making a pulling motion with their fingers. Closing their hand, they seemingly pretend to pinch onto something and tug, causing their other hand to jerk with the motion. The thing pantomimes having issues with some invisible force for a while before a few flowers begin to sprout from between their fingers. The thing puts their free hand on their hip and looks between it and Violet before pointing rapidly, snapping their fingers and holding the grip of growing flowers up over their head. The thing starts to kneel, tapping on the ground and making gestures as if listening, looking between Violet and what they're doing, glancing to their hand of white flowers. Making a quick motion as if to imply she should cover her eyes. Violet doesn't budge. She wasn't going to let this things get the jump on her. After a pause, the flowers swiftly fade to a deep violet hue. The thing dances a step and jazz-hands with their free hand while offering their fist, which the flowers are still rapidly and observably sprouting from, to Violet.
Violet was confused. What is it doing? Why these flowers? Is it trying to impress me? After calming down for a bit, she thinks Maybe it's trying to apologize? What am I supposed to do now?
Violet sighs heavily. She looks up to this thing, that's still doing jazz hands, and starts talking to it. Look, I'm going to be complete honest with you. I don't trust you. I don't know anything about you and after I ask you one question, you attack me! I don't know if I offended you or if you just don't like me but this... gesture you're doing is telling me it's not the latter. I don't know what I'm going to do about you but it's obvious you want something to do with me. I don't know if those pictures are how you communicate but you can't do that to me. You could have killed me! I thought my brain was going to pop... Okay unless you can tone down the picture to where they AREN'T going to cause me a ton of pain then we need to find some way to communicate with each other. I'd ask if you're hostile towards me but I have no way of know if you're lying to me, or even if you're ABLE to lie.
Violet sighs again and gets a dejected look on her face. What am I supposed to do
as she sits, knees together and her head buried in her legs, arms wrapped around her legs.
"Mute..." The Stranger softly chirped back in Vioet's voice and then seemed to flinch as she accused them of attacking her. Hanging their head, they toss the flowers to the side and they quickly desiccate into a fine dust. Pacing a few steps outside the cell, they stop and give themselves a small shake and take a deliberate step into the room. The motion came off reluctant but determined in a sense, like they needed
to be in the cell for this next part. Lifting their hands up to the sides of the mask, another vision came.
This one was far different from the others, appearing as a canvas whose painted scene rippled to life. Greens flowed like grass and in the center was a blotch of white. It curved and shuddered, a pink eye opening on what had been taking on the form of a head on top of which a section of the blotch rose ant twitched. It looked like a rabbit as it slowly gained shape, and a thought came to Violet's mind as it lifted its head.
Does it talk?
The rabbit made a small "Myeh!" sound and the vision softly faded.
Easing back into her senses, this time without the ringing pain of being bombarded by the information of a world being forced into her head, The Stranger had to lift the mask to properly remove it. The horns, their purpose now clear, were hollow to accommodate the tall ears atop the figure's head. With a finger, they brushed their bangs to a side and stared at Violet almost blankly with a look of 'I'm not sure what you expected' though what they actually said could be interpreted as an explanation."Myeh...m-meh meh...mrph..."
they softly chirped and grunted in animal-tones, turning the mask around to look at its face. "Hmm...myeehp ffuhf fuff hrmph"
they continued, gesturing out of the cell and then back to Violet. They held their free hand up, their eyes looking off in thought before nodding in resolve with what decision they had come to. Setting the mask on the floor, they held up their other hand in the same way before putting their palms together and tipping their fingertips towards Violet as if gesturing to her. "Huhf neh myeh. Meeeroo hah-thffuf..."
They...explained?...separating their hands and holding up one to make a motion as if walking with the index and middle finger. "Suuhthf neern a-murr..."
The Stranger went on holding up their other hand like a claw, opening and closing their fingers and making biting motions at the 'walking hand', making small, almost playful though still somewhat menacing "Arrr rawr rawwr!"
sounds. Stopping, they brought the palm of the 'walking' hand to their chest and bowed before looking at the 'biting' hand which in turn was turned to face them as if they were acknowledging each other. The once 'biting' hand looked between Violet and The Stranger before the rabbit grit their teeth and grabbed the hand by the wrist, shaking it around and pretending to put up a struggle before throwing it away and proudly flexing with both arms."Ah-nehrff fuff...murr~"
They proudly 'said' in a manner that almost sounded like boasting. Their expression then fell to a worried drooping of the eyebrows as they looked back to Violet. Returning a hand to their chest, they once again outstretched a hand from where they stood, reaching with genuine effort and then grabbing one of the bars on the cell and trying to give it a shake. After a moment, they pointed up, standing on the tips of their boots' toes and even hopping a few times, urgently gesturing and then nervously folding their fingers together, holding them close as they peeked out of the cell and back to where they came from.
Violet looked at the creature baffled and with a complete loss for words. A... rabbit??? No it can't be that simple. It's not an ordinary rabbit that I'd remember. If it can project pictures into my head there must be something more to it. Maybe this isn't it's true form and it picked a form that more pleasing to me, something that wouldn't scare me. It must have noticed how scared I was of it and is trying to make amends. And it gave me a vision again... but this time it was normal... no pain.
Violet touched the bottom of her nose and it wasn't bleeding anymore, all that remained was dried blood and a bad memory. Still... she couldn't put off this suspicion that it was just trying to lure her into a false sense of security, but she couldn't find a reason as to why. If it wanted to kill her, it probably could have done that already. So what does it want.
Thinking about the motions it was making... It seems that this thing wants me to leave here, follow them and... fight a monster?! How did I get dragged into this? How am I supposed to do that? Judging by it's motion of what ever it is, it's probably bigger than us. I bet it's a dragon or something like that... it's ALWAYS a dragon. Maybe it expects a lot from me, more than I'm capable of. I'm never actually fought anything before, a lot of quiet, stealthy kills but never a fight.
But then the last thing they were doing... are we in danger here? It's really trying to get me to go. It's really excited or worried about something, but it doesn't seem like it can tell me what it is. But this creature seems to understand me in some way, I think... If more people, or whatever lives here, are coming, then I can't stay here. I don't know if they'll mean me REAL harm but this thing seems... friendly... enough. Still... Okay you... I have a few questions for you. Again, nod for yes, shake for no. First question: can you understand me?
Nod Second question: are we in danger?
They once again peek out of the cell for a moment before looking back to her and slowly nodding. Third: Do you TRULY mean me no harm?
They place a hand over their heart and deeply bow. At the conclusion, they nod. it gazes off and makes a "S-suh..." sound. Okay then. I guess I'll trust you for now but know that I'm not completely on your side. I'm going to air on the side of caution for you. I don't know much if anything about you aside from the fact that you LOOK adorable, but you could be hiding something much more sinister. And another thing... I don't know how to tell you this but I'm not a fighter. I don't know how I'm supposed to fight what ever it is you're looking for me to fight, but I don't think I can do it. I'll follow you for now only because I know more about you than whatever's on the way.
Violet stands up, once again on her own, and checks herself. She finds her dagger and keeps note of where it is. She straightens herself up before she walked over to her crystal ball and picks it up, placing it under her left arm. She looks around the cell to see if she was missing something and turns to face the bunny. She looks at it and then down to the ground. After a second she looks back at it with a little more determination and starts to extend her hand to it. Last question, and you can answer this however you want... just try not to make it hurt: Do you have a name? What should I call you?
Their ears perked up as Violet said 'okay', a smile touching their expression only long enough to note how it fell with a small, disappointed pout as she pointed out she 'wasn't completely' on their side. They paced a few steps in the cell as she talked, the fluff on their ears and neck floofing up upon being called adorable, but they otherwise didn't acknowledge her comments about them hiding something sinister. The Stranger stopped as she started talking about fighting, watching her, curiously as she explained not knowing about what she was even expected to fight.
They huffed a short sigh from their nose and held up a hand as if to stop or correct her. With a neutral expression they puffed out their chest and jerked a thumb to themselves. Next, they balled up their fists and held them up in a fighting stance before dropping their hands to their sides and shrugging. They took a step to the side so Violet could see past them...if they couldn't already see over them...as they pointed to an empty cell across the way and then to the floor of the cell they stood in. They held up a single finger and tapped themselves on the head and pointed to Violet before pulling their hand back and raising a second finger...then a third...then a fourth.
Then there was her last question. They seemed almost confused by it, looking away in thought and resting their hands on their hips. Their ears once again perked up as they appeared to get an idea.Violet felt a breeze as she was once again in the painted field. The rabbit runs off, quickly blurring out of existence. Violet finds that she is doing something. In her hand is a string leading upwards to a kite floating in the sky.
The rabbit is standing on the kite.
A hand with no fingers.
Teeth slowly approaching an eye.
The rabbit is suddenly black.
Violet is holding onto the string, in the sky, as a kite lays on the ground.
A willow tree in the middle of the painted field.
There is something in the tree.
There is something in the tree.
There is something in the tree.
The kite, its string now gone, battered and stuck in a willow tree.
The tree is full of kites.
The tree is full of kites.
The vision was intense and vivid, though painless as it concluded. Violet's senses tumbled back into her body as if waking up from a dream. The Stranger is trembling lightly, breathing as if fighting back sobs. They 'ehem' and sigh, slipping their ears back into the horns of the mask and they pull it back into place. Oddly, what fluff had been exposed around the mask quickly shifted to an ink black as soon as they finished putting the accessory back on and they reassumed their original appearance from when they had first met.
Violet snaps back into the cell from the vision. She had a bit of a headache but nothing too serious. She puts her hand on her head and lowers her head a bit recoiling from the experience. Thinking back to the vision, she instinctively says, Kite?
It slowly nods, looking down to it's hands and then to her. Well Kite, you says you're a fighter, or at least that you're strong. In that case I'll leave whatever happens up to you then. I'll try my best to assist you where I can but don't expect too much from me. I'd give you my name but I don't think it would really matter to you that much.
Violet gives a soft chuckle before once again extending her hand to meet Kite's. Well then Kite... I leave my safety in your hands. Just don't try anything mean okay?
Violet just realized the tone she was taking with Kite. She was talking to it like a child... or at least like an animal. This thing could probably melt her brain with a single thought and she's talking down
to it?! She clears her throat from this realization and says Alright, let's get out of here Kite
Kite gripped their hands to fists, turning and taking Violet's hand. Upon their hands touching, somewhere far into the dungeon rang out a distant wail. It sounded akin to an animal being tortured and cut short after just a few skin-crawling seconds. Kite did not react to this aside from their head slightly tilting downward, the mask obscuring what expression they could have been making. Their other hand lifted to also take Violet's hand with the first, their thumbs seeming to explore her hand as she entrusted her safety to him. "TRULY..." Violet's voice began from Kite, "I don't know how to tell you this...I'll try my best..."
With the conclusion of this, they let go of Violet's hand and turned to leave. "Lets get out of here" Violet's voice once again spoke, though it almost sounded...sad.
As the two stepped out of the cell, the first thing they would notice was that they were not alone, and it was difficult to tell for how long, or if they had ever been. Up the three steps to the main hall, a small figure standing roughly 4'4" stood, watching them from behind a familiar horned bird mask.
A friend of yours? Someone to help us? Someone who won't hurt us?
Violet tried to explain a human concept of friendship and trust to Kite but deep down she already knew the answer. The fact that Kite stopped can't be auspicious. Kite said they could fight, but this new figure could be as strong or maybe even stronger than Kite. And if it could do the same thing as Kite then Violet realized she's in serious danger.
Violet gripped her ball tightly and prepared for the worst. She looked to Kite unsure of what to do. As she glanced down she quickly put her eyes back on the person before them. Is this who Kite was worried about? Do they want to hurt Kite? Are they after me? Did Kite come to help me escape before this other person found me? Is this the monster I'm supposed to fight?
So many questions passed through Violet's head. She wasn't sure how to handle this. At the very least, she put her hand on Kite's shoulder and whispered I'm right behind you if you need me
The figure on the stairs balled their hands to fists as Violet put a hand on Kite's shoulder, shaking and taking a deep breath before slowly letting it out. Calmly, they descended the steps and began to approach the two. "Yes..."
Kite replied, their own voice muffled from the mask as they broke from Violet to meet the figure.
The figure made to step around Kite who strafed to stand in their path, causing the figure to stop. For a quiet second, they stared eachother down before the figure once again attempted to move past Kite and was met with the same response, only then did the hollow eyes of the mask leave Violet, slowly turning to acknowledge Kite.
They lifted a hand, the palm facing Kite and holding in place as they took a deliberate step to the side.A hand, the fingers long.
The Painted Field
A box within a box within a box
A hand touching a hand
A hand on fire, the skin melting
Flames suspended without fuel
Flames / / / holding a / / / there is another / / / A rock
A kite flying in the sky.
A kite impaled on a branch.
The figure is stopped as Kite grabs their mask by a horn and throws them back. The figure is quick to recover, attempting to push through to reach Violet. She is hit by a wave of malice and stabbing pangs of jealousy radiating from the figure who is then staggered from a knee to the gut, delivered by Kite. The figure lets out a baleful scream and lunges at Kite, tackling them. The two hit the ground and the figure is already trying to crawl to their feet, the hollow sockets of the mask locked with Violet as a palpable hatred pours out. Perception becomes hazy and the mask almost seems like its mouth has opened. Violet's head begins to hurt.A calculation of second in a year
A single grain of sand being set on a stone
The stone is in a desert
The desert is a stone
The stone is a grain of sand on a rock in a desert
The desert is scraped out of the coat of a figure on a street corner
In New York, a figure watches a kite dance in a crosswalk for a girl holding its string
A bus is coming
The figure / / / is cut and / / / the blood / / /
The two wrestle on the ground as Violet is dropped back into her body. Her ears are ringing. One of them manages to pin the other down, delivering a full-body punch into the mask of the one on the ground. They reel, stunned as the dominating figure then presses both hands to the pinned one's chest. A resounding thump
emanated from their small body that convulsed and went limp. The figure on top stared down at them, arms swinging at their sides. Slowly, they lift their face to stare at Violet. The eyes of this one appear bottomless as it pours malice into Violet's very being.A painting of a tree
There is a hole
A jigsaw piece
A piece is missing
Through the hole is - -
There is a knife.
There is a hole.
There is a heart.
A kite flies into the branches of a tree.
A stillness fell over the cells as the lines blurred back into perception. The figure was holding their chest, a long blade impaled through their body. It lacks a shape and evaporates upon observing it. A gout of blood splashes from the open wound through the figure's chest and they shakily struggle to cover it with their hands, rising to their feet with much strain. Managing to take a step, blood escapes from between their fingers as they take a step towards Violet...then another...the figure sinks to their knees and collapses face-down in a rapidly growing pool of their own blood.
Violet whispers gripping her head from that other one's assault. She slowly starts walking over to Kite before picking up the pace to a slow jog. Looking down at Kite she quickly picks up Kite from out of the blood and sits it up over near a wall. Kite? C'mon say something. I'll even take another vision right now...
Violet grabbing the mask and rips it off Kites head. Their eyes blank and staring off at nothing. Kite?! Wait... no... you can't be...
Violet felt a overwhelming surge of guilt. She was so standoffish against this poor creature and it literally gave it's life to protect her from... Yoooou!!! You're the reason this happened. You're the one who tried to hurt me! You're the reason Kite had to go so far!!
Violet's crystal ball starts to shift from it's usual clear color to a bright red and begins to burst into a crimson ethereal flame. Violet felt nothing but anger and hate for this helpless dead creature in front of her. But that didn't matter to her. She lowered her hand and the ball remained floating in place. Jealously? That's what this was about? That's why I needed to die?! Well... I'm jealous too... I'm jealous of Kite's bravery. I promised Kite I'd have their back and now look at them... I was so scared I couldn't even lift a finger despite them laying their life down...
Violet looking back at Kite, she struggles to fight back tears. She quickly fights them back after her anger boils back up again. Well... if your jealously gives you the right to try and kill me and kill Kite then...
Violet raises both hands above her head and the flaming ball rises as well. She looks down at this thing with absolute disgust and says Then allow me to return the sentiment.
Violet swiftly brings her hands down and the ball slams down onto the dead creature's head. Thud, Snap, Crunch
Blood splatters out as the ball makes contact and smashes that things head. Violet starts breathing hard, she's never put that much force into an attack nor has she ever been that irate at someone before. She grabs her head since that seems to put some kind of strain on her, it was never that hard before. She walks back over to Kite tears now coming down her face, unable to hold them back anymore. I'm so sorry Kite. I should have trusted you more. I'm sorry I couldn't help you... Please Ki- please friend... rest now.
She moves in to hug Kite tightly and closes it's eyes for it. Violet stands up and makes her way over to her, now clear colored, crystal ball. She raises her hand and the ball rises. Then, using her index finger, makes a halo shape and the ball spins rapidly, clearing any blood on it. She brings it back to her and places it back under her arm. She looks back at Kite one last time before she starts carefully move towards where that resentful creature was previously blocking.
The body barely even twitched as Violet crushed its skull, already gone. A black mist rose from its broken body from the impact, its robe billowing from the material being forced out with the sound of crackling glass and pottery. Blood peeled away from the ground in small flecks that evaporated into nothingness as the robes seemed to almost deflate until all that remained of the figure was the smashed remains of their mask and the soft black fabric they wore.
Kite remained where Violet left them, their mask cracking in a similar way before stopping.The Painted Field
A kite is tangled in the branches, torn and buried deeper by the breeze.
As Violet starts to walk away, Kite's foot twitches.The sun catches the glint of a string
There is a girl in the field
Kite convulses, their chest heaving with a pop of cartilage as their body arches.The girl is holding the string
The string is holding a kite
There is a willow tree in the distance
A strong breeze blows towards the tree
Kite sharply inhales and whimpers through the struggle to draw in more air than their lungs can hold. The metal fingertips of their gloves dig into the mortar between cobblestones and their feet kick and twist as their eyes shoot open.The girl is holding the string
The girl is holding the string
The girl is holding the string
Kite lets out the breath and spasms a few more times before drawing in another. Clumsily, they swing an arm over themselves as if coming out of sleep paralysis. Exhaustedly, though compelled by some instinct, Kite moans out in a hollow agony as they begin to pull themselves to their feet. In moments, he was standing...without a pulse or breath not even a minute ago, and they were once again composed. They took a few trudging steps to their mask and knelt to pick it up though tumbling back to the ground with a groan from the effort before beginning the process of standing themselves back up, again.
Violet hears sounds of stumbling and metal hitting the cobblestone. She quickly turns around and her eyes grow wide, Kite!!
She runs over to the stumbling creature and helps it to comfortably sit on the ground, helping it sit up by placing a hand on it's back. Kite! I'm so sorry! I should have trusted you... I should have helped you. I... I should have done a lot...
Violet sees tears start hitting Kite's body. She wipes her tears from her eyes and gives a soft smile to Kite. Kite... from now on I'll put more faith in you. I don't think I didn't like you or anything like that. Where I came from... I wasn't the best of people, I don't even know if you could call me a hero. I was an assassin, I tried to make our country better by taking out corrupt and evil people. I'd lure them in by gaining their trust and killing them once their guard was down. It wasn't very nice and if I went back to my world, I'd probably keep doing it. But I think I was just projecting my own mentality onto you. I thought you'd do the same thing to me. It wasn't fair of me to do that but I'll try to be better from now on. But if I'm being honest, I don't know if that feeling will go away but I might have an idea... it's a bit childish but since you can't really talk I think it'll work for us.
Violet holds out her hand close to Kite's and extends her pinky. Where I come from, this is called a pinky promise. We make a promise to each other and cross our pinkies together. When people did this in our world, it represented a promise we could never break. Since you can't easily talk, I'll make a promise for the both of us.
Violet clears her throat and continues. Together, we promise to not intentionally hurt each other. We will protect the other to the best of our abilities and try and always have the other's safety in mind. And if you need to give me an... intense vision...
Violet shudders and shakes a little bit but resumes, then I'll tough it out for you.
Violet inches her hand closer to Kite's, On this, we swear!
Violet then says in a quiet voice, By the way... the flowers were beautiful
and smiles at Kite.
As they were eased into a sitting position, Kite twitched one last time, closing their eyes as they took a deep breath. Opening them again, they looked up at Violet as she spoke, slowly blinking and furrowing their brows as an ear inquisitively tilted to a side. They stood back up as Violet offered her pinky for the promise before then folding back. Their eyes shifted between her pinky and her face while she explained the conditions. Exhaling their held breath, they lifted a hand in a mimicked gesture to offer their pinky, though hesitating as their hands drew near.
All of the things he wanted to tell her...
And to even begin would likely kill her...
The promise was one he had no business making, having already broken it. Such was how 'time' worked, Violet's Kite supposed. Yes, this will suffice if, by the string's tension, the castle was forced to play by this new rule.
By the concept of this promise, a road is built and thought is forged into form. What mundane nature of the gesture gave the girl confidence, but the promise had already been made...
What was this silly handshake truly worth?
The Kite's expression fell to neutrality as they pressed the back of their pinky to the back of Violet's to make an 'X'. Their ears curiously tilted to one side as they looked back up at the fortune teller's face, raising their brows as if asking if they were doing it right.
as she locked their two pinkies together and softly shook their hands. There! I know you don't intend to hurt me but this was mostly for myself. I need to do better if I want to protect you too. I guess if we're to trust each other now I should show you this.
With a flick of her wrist the ball from under her arm pops out with a light blue glow. She moves it around Kite and swirls it around it's head before softly plopping it into their lap. I can control this ball telekinetically. I can put quite the force behind it and if necessary...
The ball jumps up from Kite's lap and bursts into a light blue flame. I can put some energy into it and make it hurt even more
, she says confidently yet playfully. I try not to broadcast my powers too much, I try to leave it as an trump card... a secret weapon so to speak. When I said I couldn't fight, I wasn't lying to you, but that doesn't mean I'm helpless. From a distance, I provide you support but up close I'm kinda defenseless. As long as you can keep people away from me, I'll do my best to cover your blind spots, weakness, and protect you in every way I can.
Violet looked Kite up and down to decide how hurt it was and if it still needed to rest. Hey if you're still exhausted, I can carry you in a sense.
She places the ball under her and casually sits on it. If this thing can support me, I'm sure it can support you.
Watching the display with one eye, the other of Kite's eyes looked down at their mask they held at their side. The left side was marred with a deep gash from where the split had once been through the eye in the main fault and originating from a spiderweb of other micro-fractures. They jumped as the crystal ball plopped into their lap, snapping them back to attention as a swift reminder of the rule he, himself, was obligated to play by.
The Kite flinches as it lifts from them and bursts into a cyan wash of flames, having not expected its demonstration. Realizing nothing else was transpiring, they eased themselves forward, taking one last sighing breath and bringing their posture to stand with only one hand to brace on the wall as the other brought the mask to their face. Settling their ears into the horns and settling it, there was no change this time.
They held up their hand, five fingers out, before closing all but their middle and index finger.Violet, themselves, standing in the cells while Violet's Kite makes the gesture.
Kite moves their hand in a U shape.The perspective moves out into the hall, oriented to face the two before panning over to the right, though the cobblestone seems to wave and spiral at points before reorienting into a similar, and empty, cell block.
They raise their hand high, closing all fingers save for an extended pinky finger.The vivid memory of Violet waking up in her cell from her perspective.
The vivid memory of Violet making the 'pinky-promise' with her Kite.
Looking over their shoulder, they lean on the wall with an elbow, holding the mask enough to offer a smirk and a 'thumbs-up' before pressing the accessory into place.A short montage of faceless, almost formless individuals blurred, save for them giving 'thumbs-up's.
(The mild visions mixed with impressions leave Violet to believe her Kite is trying to explain the gesture of 'thumbs-up's to her)
Violet, looking at Kite acting tough, couldn't help but give a small laugh, as she straightens up and looks towards the apparent exit. Remembering what Kite had mentioned before, You said there was more right? More... heroes, right?
Violet wasn't sure what to call it. She knew she wasn't a hero... more like a vigilante. She wonders if the others are like her, or if any of them are actually heroes. What if the others aren't even human? There was so much that Violet didn't know and wasn't sure if she could even ask Kite. Would they even know or are they just playing this by ear? They didn't expect that other thing to show up... or maybe they did and Kite knew that they'd win?? UUGH too many questions I'm not gonna get the answer to just talking to myself. I have to find the answers myself. At least I don't have to go through here alone...
Violet inches closer to the exit and tries to listen for anything coming from that directions. After a delay, aside from the normal sounds she's been hearing, it seems clear. She motions Kite to join her. As he approaches Violet starts to make a plan. I don't know what kind of people I'm going to meet but I have to be prepared for anything. In a sense, we're all in the same predicament so I shouldn't be too standoffish against them. Kite seems to know everyone who we should be grabbing somehow so if he doesn't recognize them I'll put up my guard. I don't know how long before Kite's fully healed and back to 100 percent so I guess I'm on point until then. Hopefully Xendrik's training prepared me for this. Stealth appears to be out of the option and I'm not sure I can seduce a rabbit.
Violet looks at Kite and shudders a bit. Cute... but I'm not making out with one of them...
Once Kite makes it over to her, she readies herself for whatever lies ahead and asks: So... are you ready?
Extending a hand, fingers splayed and palm facing down, Kite wobbled their hand at the wrist at the question of there being 'heroes'. Mostly, the gesture responded to the pause in her question, likely understanding it was hardly so strict of a term, given the context.
They were hardly in a position to be choosers, and the expression was an optimistic one as Kite was wholly aware of the odds of finding another one quite as...agreeable...as Violet. Regardless, she seemed ready as she could be to continue on, though Kite tilted his head from how she stared at him before shuddering. Thoughts probably better left unexpressed, he supposed, shaking off the last of the ache in his chest and limbs. The worst part was the reknitting of cartilage...well, no, the worst part was having it blasted in, to begin with. Kite looked back once more at the collection of black ashes that once were the fabric over the figure, even the blood from Violet's outburst rendered little more than a fine black sand. No...the worst
part was having to kill them.
This was all the worst part...every instant of it."Yes!"
Violet's Kite chirped, doing their best to sound reassuring and confident as they stepped past them, taking their hand along the way. Violet could have sworn she was just walking a fair distance, finding herself at the top steps of yet another cell block nearly identical to the one they'd left. Were it not for the lack of even the most trace of signs of there having been a scuffle, the sell would be sound.