[M] A Wrong Turn [Closed]

Vengance doesn't always go as planned.

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Rhys Valentin
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:40 pm

8th of Achtus, 2718
UPTOWN | MIDDAY
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If you ever loved me, you loved me in Vienda!
We walked along the boulevard at night,
Hand in hand we took in all the sights—
The time of year, the atmosphere and lights!

You Loved Me in Vienda
Suspension didn't suit the not-galdor well. It had only been five days and Rhys was already so terribly restless. Anger had seeped through all the cracks in the currently inactive Seventen's carefully crafted exterior, poured in like some molten metal fresh from the fires of Mister Saunder's forge into the cavity of his chest, pooling there, searing away everything else. Sure, he'd hardly left the bedroom for a few days, hiding from the world asleep or tangled needfully in the pale embrace of his wife.

His wife.

A fistful of days with his godsforsaken name as her own, and for what?

Clocking nothing.

Her devious chroveshit of a father had slithered through their fingers, slipped out of reach, and proven his corruption in barely twenty minutes of a sorry-ersed, complete joke of a trial that only declared one truth: Damen had, indeed laid hands on his own daughter. At least he was now legally required to stay the fuck away, but at what price? Four godsbedamned concords and not even a day off. Meanwhile, for doing his clocking job—investigating his own, keeping the law—Rhys found himself suspended for two whole months.

Disgusting.

It ate away at his resolve. It was bile in the back of his throat. It was frustration with every inhale. It was louder than his pulse. It was wrong.

Wrong.

Unable to sit still any longer, desperate for some sense of purpose, the tall blond had begged to slip away alone to think. Hoping to just let his mind attempt to wrestle through everything without the familiar walls of his apartment, without the delicious scents of dsoh, and without the distracting comforts of Charity. Out of uniform in daylight without some under cover operation going on felt odd, but the not-galdor made his way out into the chill of Achtus with a promise to return earlier rather than later.

Perhaps, had he been a better man, he would have simply taken his delicate pianist of a wife out for a walk together.

Perhaps, had he been a better man, he wouldn't have left home at all.

He didn't. He wasn't. Instead, gone for almost a whole house, Rhys had meandered Uptown, walking familiar streets that he'd memorized over the past eight clocking years, that he knew every side alley and shortcut through. He watched his breath come out in a thick cloud only to dissipate into the sunlight, mocking him with the ease in which it could disappear into nothingness when all of his burdens simply could not seem to go away. He resisted the temptation to wander into Seventen headquarters and pretend he wanted to take home paperwork just to see everyone, quite aware that his suspension included the distance he needed to keep away from another member of the Investigative Division of the Seventen, let alone his own little office and his own avalanche of a desk.

Instead, he poked his head in his squad's favorite getaway pub and stared at a foamy beer alone, quietly tucked into a corner, blue eyes trying to find meaning in the soft fluff. He didn't feel any more sure of himself, and he didn't discover any answers at the lukewarm bottom of the pint.

But it was something.

Back outside in the chill again, he wandered aimlessly, slowly making his way home and stopping to pick out flowers from a little cart run by the coldest looking little witch in all of Anaxas, her nose and cheeks red, bundled up so much that the blond Sergeant felt compelled to give her some coin and hope to send her home early. The flowers, she said, were all the way from Mugroba, preserved by the cold, beautiful and full of the colors of summer that felt so damn far away. Tucking them under his arm, he made his way home, thoughts quieter but no less angry, simmering over the trial and how much corruption writhed beneath the polished-snap surface of even his own organization. Well, only his because no one knew what he really was, thank Alioe. It had all been a horrible mockery of justice and he hated it.

As he turned the corner around the dsoh shop he lived above, he noticed that the little old proprietor, Jsara, wasn't behind the counter for the end of the lunch rush. Instead, one of her lanky young sons was doing his best to handle the crowd, and yet the boy seemed to know Rhys stared in through the window, reluctantly looking up and catching the tall not-galdor's gaze—

Something happened.

No.

Time stopped and his breath caught in his chest, burning with a cold fire. Up the stairs, fumbling for keys to a door that was half open, letting the chill in, Rhys made it two steps into his own home,

"Are you—did—how did—no!"

Flowers crumpled to the floor in slow motion as they fell from his arms while they slid slack at his sides and his expression darkened, eyes scanning the scene while fury bubbled over from the cavity of his chest to rush through his veins like a wildfire of heat. Sharp blue gaze took in Charity in her state of undress and tearful terror, took in his osta, the knife, and the Hoxian woman whose amber gaze met his own.

His ears rang and the young Valentin found his body refused to obey the command of his heart to run to the delicate pianist who'd taken his shitty, half-bred joke of a last name and comfort her as he should have. He should have. But didn't.

All of Vita tilted on its access and for the first time, Rhys refused to hang on to what he knew was right:

"No. No!" Growled the tall blond, staring at his delicate pianist with a vacant, pained expression hiding the rage that churned and began to overflow within him. His mind went everywhere and nowhere at once, expanding with a rush of heat, contracting into a singular focus. He drew conclusions without being told, assuming that clocking piece of spitch had come back to finish what he'd started all those months ago in Roalis.

He knew it. He just knew it.

By the looks of things, the man had succeeded. The drug-pushing piece of trash had had his way with Mrs. Charity Valentin. His wife.

Instead of the words of love and concern that should have flowed with such ease from his lips, vehemence hissed out. Instead of the arms that should have gathered her up and stolen her away from the drafty kitchen, fingers curled into palms and palms stung.

He didn't need to be told, aware of the pressures the little circle of upper class drug pushes had been putting on her to do their bidding, aware that the trial had gone just the way everyone else had wanted, and aware that he wasn't shy about knowing what was happening, either. Whatever kind of victory dance this had been—

"BenjaminfuckingTolsby. Ah! Godsdamnit!" He kicked the flowers he'd dropped, hard, and sent petals and paper flying everywhere, narrowly missing smashing his boot into the low table in the sitting room, growling as his face twisted into pure rage, "I'm done with this mess. Done!"

His tone was almost accusatory, shouting at nothing, wavering on his feet as if his body couldn't decide whether it wanted to give up and crumple to the ground or whether it was about to launch him to Benea. It chose something in the middle, tensely channeling the all-consuming anger that ate away all of his common sense and left him some bright brande of misguided justice instead.

Without a second glance at the woman who needed him most in this moment, Rhys snapped.

"I'm going to clocking kill him!" His threat followed him, door slamming, boots booming back down the stairs, the not-galdor tossing himself back out into the alley, picking direction less by instinct and more by understanding of where the streets of Kingsway Market led off to. The theatre, perhaps? Somewhere public and relatively safe? Is that where bastards like Benjamin crawled away to?

He couldn't have gotten too far, that strung out toffin, sauntering and full of his own disgusting form of hubris. It wasn't as though the Seventen didn't know how to trail suspects, didn't already know the ersehat of a man who had once been their Brunnhold contemporary and who'd always been a sloppy, conceited piece of galdor richboy trash. Oh, the things Rhys wanted, out of uniform, suspended from his snaps.

Oh, the things the wick was surely capable of when freed from the confines of his legal duties—

He was about to find out.
word count: 1579

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Raksha
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Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:43 pm

8th Achtus, 2718
VIENDA| MIDDAY
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Benjamin scooted from the area as fast as he could without looking entirely like he’d just done something incredibly dabaucherous. Smoothing his auburn curls with his uninjured hand, the thug took the side streets behind the houses and businesses, pausing as soon as he felt the mona return to his field to incantate a quick healing spell on his hand. It had bled though, onto his shirt and pants which he had yet to entirely fix. Damn it all, his jacket was still in the bloody Valentin’s bedroom. Shoving his cream shirt into his pants and fastening them closed quickly, he rolled up his sleeves to cover the deep crimson stains despite the winter chill that lashed at him, closing the belt and breathing on chilled white palms.

Moving quickly though the back of town, he took the loop that went along the aquaducts, behind the D’Arthe home and into the side alley for the theatre. He didn’t get far along the street before he spotted Diaxio leaning against the wall, her jade gaze watching him with an almost bored look.

“What did you do?” She asked softly, her field close and unreadable. The taller man closed in beside her, shoving his hands under his arms and shivering against the cold.

“I paid them a visit, like you asked. He was out though, they both were, so I waited till one of them came home. It happened to be Charity, so I gave her the message.” His answer was too quick, eyes darting away from her icy gaze to look at his feet. The Hoxian’s fingers reached out to trace over the rolled up sleeve of his shirt with a raised eyebrow.

“And what message was that? Was it about her work, or…something else?” The auburn haired galdor clenched his jaw slightly, unwilling to meet her gaze as he froze in the street. The brunette left it hanging for longer than was comfortable, getting all the answers she needed from his silence, before sighing.

“I suppose either way, it will have the same effect. Maybe more-so. Now, I guess, we wait.” Pushing off the wall, she snapped her fingers at two humans who were perched at the other end of the alleyway. One of them, a young man with bright blonde hair turned swiftly and approached the socialite, waiting for instruction.

“I want bodies, here. Now. Muscle, not magic. You understand? And someone get Ben a jacket.” The man nodded, before disappearing into the city and becoming no more than a face in a crowd. As he left, a Seventen officer appeared, eyeing the other human with a nod before glancing down the alleyway.

“Miss, Rhys Valentin has been spotted headed this direction. Seems pretty clocking mad. Whatever Mister Tolsby did, it worked.” The Hoxian beamed then, clapping her hands together and eyes lighting up.

“Oh good. See to it anyone not under Damen’s watch is clear of the area. Benjamin, get your erse up there so he can see you. I want him to come down here, don’t engage him in public. It needs to be down here. You, a diversion, on my signal.” She said to the human waiting at the end of the alley, who nodded obediently. Adjusting her cloak, the fine featured galdor waited not unlike a customer casually waiting for her dry cleaning to be done. There was no excitement or nervous anticipation, no waiver in her field or her face. To Diaxio, this was just another day another dollar. As far as she was concerned, Rhys and Charity Valentin were lost causes. Move on to bigger and better things.

But she didn’t make the calls. That was up to the big boys. She just made sure everything happened as it should.

And so, this would happen too. As requested. As it should.

“I see him.” Said Benjamin suddenly, shrugging on a spare jacket that had been brought to him, smirking and staring directly in the tall blondes direction. It wasn’t just a look, it was an invitation to come and get him. Diaxio waited, not yet ready for her diversion.

word count: 725
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Rhys Valentin
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Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:32 pm

8th of Achtus, 2718
UPTOWN | MIDDAY
When the morning came, well, I called your name
Only to hear echoes in reply.
Darling, I remain, in solitude and pain
And all Vienda now can hear me cry.

You Loved Me in Vienda
Image
He should have turned around. He should have gone home. He should have comforted Charity. He should have moved weeks ago. He should have done so many things in his life, but he didn't.

He simply kept going.

He'd followed rules. He'd done what he was told. Just that one time. And then the next. And then another. All the years of becoming someone no one ever expected him to be—a decorated officer, a keeper of the peace, an example of the law—for what?

For fucking nothing.

The laws he'd sworn to uphold had betrayed his trust. The people he'd dutifully obeyed had failed him. Those he'd promised to protect had been violated.

And he was done.

Rhys knew Uptown by heart. He knew every side street. He knew every cut through. He knew every patrol. He knew every shop and restaurant, every little spot for decent sweets between the Gardens and the Soot District, honestly. And yet—and yet—he hadn't seen any of this coming.

And yet he'd still failed.

The not-galdor simmered heatedly as he walked, vaguely aware above the rush of his pulse that he was far too full of unfocused rage to be making any of the right decisions, that taking anything even resembling the law into his own hands would eventually come back to bite him in the erse—hard—once he was back in uniform if he wasn't careful. Did he care anymore? Did it matter? Would any Seventen respect him again after that joke of a trail? Did he have any more future as Special Enforcement Sergeant after being the laughingstock idiot of the High Courts? Gods, not if Damen had anything to do with it—and Rhys knew he did. The young Valentin was quite sure that the bastard also had clocking everything to do with this.

This!

The tall blond stalked the streets like he owned them, but somewhere between Kingsway Market and the Theatre district, he became increasingly aware that something was off, that something wasn't right. The patrols were off. The streets were quiet. This was a sign the well-trained officer recognized as suspicious, every ounce of his currently buried sensible self whining warnings in the back of his mind, clawing at the darkness that held his better self down with strong hands that longed already to be stained with vengeance.

If there was no justice behind the uniform he served, if he'd worked for eight clocking years for nothing, then he would do the dirty work himself for once. No pushing papers. No waiting on legal punishment. Justice was his to mete out as he saw fit because he was now below it. Outside of it. Meaningless as the law had proven itself in that caricature of a trial.

He had to.

Someone had to.

And the ersehole who couldn't keep their godsbedamned hands off of Mrs. Charity Valentin was going to be the first on trial—

He should go home.

He should turn around.

Now was as good a time as any. This was a fools' errand and the creeping suspicion of a set up gnawed at his bones already, screamed through his veins. He wasn't a Sergeant because he was stupid. He wasn't—

Blue eyes narrowed at the figure in the phosphor-lit street, momentarily obscured by the cloud of hot breath Rhys exhaled through grit teeth. There was blood on his pants—had Charity been bleeding? Had he hurt her? Had the young Valentin even bothered to notice? Did he even look at her? He couldn't remember. He hadn't made it two steps into his home. Into their home.

He'd made a mistake.

It was too late now.

Rhys didn't hesitate. He wasn't a schoolboy dragging some dumberse lower form to the yard. He wasn't some lowlife wanna be criminal pretending to be a Bad Brother by dressing fancy and doling out drugs like Benjamin. He was a Seventen.

But not tonight.

The not-galdor didn't wait until he was close. Even from his advantage of distance, he already began to gather his glamour with the kind of precision that the well-ironed lines of his green uniform hanging forgotten in his home would suggest, with four snaps of experience obvious in the motion of comfortable, familiar Perceptive mona that responded to his intentions with only the hint of cool detachment. Everything he'd proven himself capable of was already in defiance of every educated convention he'd been raised on, and the wick's confidence in his magical prowess had been at first shattered and then carefully pieced back together again with such force that his level of trust in the sentient particles was perhaps second only to his trust in the delicate pianist he'd thoughtlessly left needing his presence at home.

The mona had known what he was his whole life, after all.

The pathetic ersehole who'd graduated the same year Rhys had was smirking and while the young Valentin knew—he knew—he was willingly putting himself into a situation that could only be a trap, he no longer cared. Benjamin would pay the price that Damen could not. In blood if he had his way.

Monite was spoken in hushed tones, the tall blond slowing his steps instead of speeding up, blue eyes focused on the darker-haired galdor in front of him even as he intoned a series of spells in quick succession with the kind of well-practiced ease his profession had allowed him to learn, leybridges in proper places and phrases memorized long ago in Numbrey.

He'd been taught how to calm people, how to put people at ease. He'd been taught how to command a crowd, how to keep people from harming each other. He'd been taught that to protect someone didn't require violence. He'd been taught spells that soothed the mind. He'd been taught spells that stunned. He'd been taught spells of subduing.

But—fuck it!—he wasn't going to use any of them here.

His first spell immediately reached for the galdor's mind, crawling into his thoughts and searching for cracks in that exterior of smug, money-bought confidence Benjamin attempted to wear like the fresh jacket he'd just put on, seeping into his subconscious and attempting to not simply root Rhys' own presence within it but also to manipulate it—curling invisible fingers around his cocksure fight or flight reflex and crushing it like the glass ball of fragile ego he was quite sure it must have been considering the ersehole could only resort to taking advantage of others to feel powerful at all.

He sought to paralyze the pathetic excuse for a galdor with pure, unfiltered fear.

His next spell dug further, Rhys continuing to walk forward, still at a slow, uneasy pace but yet unwilling to glance around as he knew he should have to assess the side streets, to look at rooftops, to search for danger, far too focused on exacting his helpless frustrations on the object before him before anything else. His next spell was barely a whisper, Monite slithering off his tongue with his angry breath and reaching into Benjamin's nervous system, literally seeking to keep his legs from being able to work, severing the brain's connection to the muscles for as long as possible.

He sought to paralyze the chroveshit in place physically.

Finally, risking a look around as he hissed his last phrases, wild blue gaze searching shadows and skimming for movement, body beginning to tense with the very heavy, very real, very knowing sensation of danger, shifting the way he walked as if to brace for combat, right hand straying to a baton that was simply not there in plain clothes, he hesitated, inhaling sharply in the middle of his phrasing but finishing his final spell that was not his usual repertoire of reference:

A vehement lashing, the last syllables of the spell leaving a dry, ashy taste in his own mouth, stinging his lips in warning as he crossed from the comforts of discipline over into the wary waters of intentional harm, as he willingly continued to approach the galdor he'd become increasingly aware he wasn't going to get his hands on.

The Seventen sergeant was angry. He'd made the wrong choice, but he wasn't about to turn tail now. His glamour tightened, ramscott in its lesser strength, and Rhys came to a halt several feet from Benjamin, shoulders sagging, body relaxing as if in resignation even as he curled his hands into tight, ready fists. Everyone mocked his casting, it was true, from Brunnhold green to Seventen greener hues, there was little he could do to change what he was. But no one walked away from combat training with the same mistake on their lips, and the young Valentin wasn't about to let whoever the rich stopclocker dragged along with him ever forget who they were about to leave bleeding on the cobblestones.

He said nothing.

There was nothing to say.

He should have stayed home.

He should have gone home.

It was too late now.

Off Topic
SidekickBOTToday at 4:24 PM
Muse: 3d6 = 4, 4, 2
Muse: 1d6 = 2

Terror spell: 4, successful.
Paralyzation (mentally originated, not Living magic or physical at all): 4, successful
Lashing (2, minor success): it hurts, but it's not a big deal

So, the last one is kind of a perceptive roll (2, minor success). Rhys has assumed it's a trap and is at least marginally aware of what he's in for. He's well trained and not stupid but is totally acting from a different mentality.
word count: 1742
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Raksha
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Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:29 pm

8th Achtus, 2718
VIENDA| MIDDAY
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The red head smirked as he watched the blonde stride across the court, adjusting his collar with the air of casualness that came from one knowing they were one-up in the game. Taunting the tall not-Seventen, Benjamin dragged a thumb across his chin, tongue wetting his lips as though he was savouring a most wonderful taste, chuckling and raising an eyebrow.

“Where’s your lovely wife, Valentin?” He called out, collecting his field as the man approached, thinking himself ready for what would come.

Their fields clashed brutally, the Perceptive a cold stone barrier against the Static that buzzed in annoyance at the heat and anger that trudged through Rhys’ aura. The spellwork at first was nothing to Benjamin, he chuckled, beginning to back away from his carefully selected spot just in front of the alleyway to start walking down it when his smirk faltered. He blinked harshly, shaking his head as though trying to clear it. His steps faltered and he froze in place, eyes glazing over as he stared with abject horror at the seething man approaching him.

“Oh for Bash’ sake.” Diaxio muttered, waiving her hand at the expectant human by her side, signalling for them to put her plan into place. It happened like a ripple as Rhys forced the terrified galdor to his knees with the paralysis, around the Court people shifted. There was less of a purposeless small gathering of people doing shopping and such, and more of a direct ominous collection of bodies. If Rhys were paying attention he would realise that those people in the Court, maybe ten at best, were not shopping at all. They were watching him. Humans, in most part, though there was a galdori presence in the sense of Seventen who were directing themselves with a very purposeful movement to block entrance into the Court. The human who had promised a diversion for Diaxio had run through the Court into the streets ahead towards Kingway Market with a Stacks Special in hand, to start a fire and a small riot that demanded the attention—apparently—of the Seventen patrols to keep the peace. From the prone form of Benjamin came a series of yelps and as the lashings of an invisible force flayed tanned freckled flesh and brought welts to the surface. As the tall blonde reached for a baton that wasn’t there, two of Diaxio’s handymen approached, one wriggling his fingers into the holes of something made of brass that slipped over his hand onto his knuckles. The other merely hulked, face mean and eyes heavily dilated with whatever drug had its hold on him.

The latter man grabbed for Rhys’ shirt from behind as the spell faded and Benjamin fell to his hands panting and swearing, field jittering with nerves and shock. Swinging the taller man around, the first man with the knuckle-duster threw a punch, catching the not-galdor heavily in the stomach to wind him and force him to his knees. Following through, the men dragged the angry creature further into the alleyway as Benjamin struggled to his feet. From the shadows, Diaxio muttered the incantation for Quiet around them, the hairs prickling on arms and necks as the pocket of spellwork expanded from the Hoxian to encompass the further end of the alleyway. She rounded the spell with a timed Quantitative notation, keeping the boundary of the bubble active for a set period of time. Behind them, as non-plussed as they liked, a young ensign moved her chrove to stand before the alleyway, keeping watch for anyone that wasn’t friendly to their ‘cause’.

“Rhys Valentin. You know, we did warn her not to tell you. We gave her all the opportunity in the world to stop this, and yet, here we are.” Diaxio said with a sigh, shaking her head with a frown, ramscott field flexing dangerously. As he walked past Rhys, Benjamin drew a foot back and aimed it for his contemporaries stomach, however if Rhys were to counter it he would easily catch the man and turn the tables.

Dices Yo
SideBot Today at 15:01
Raksha: d6 = (3) 3
Sucessful grab to turn Rhys from Thug B

SideBot Today at 15:01
Raksha: d6 = (4) 4
Successful punch to the stomach from Thug A

SideBot Today at 15:03
Raksha: d6 = (4) 4
Successfull Diaxio Quiet timed spell (4 mins as well because why not).

SideBot Today at 15:13
Raksha: d6 = (1) 1
Fail Benjamin most pathetic kick in the history of pathetic kicks.


word count: 804
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Rhys Valentin
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Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:54 am

8th of Achtus, 2718
UPTOWN | MIDDAY
Now I wait alone here, aching in my bones here,
Hoping against hope I'll hear you say:
"I loved you in Vienda, so darling in Vienda we'll stay!"


You Loved Me in Vienda
"Shut your clocking head." Rhys had managed to hiss somewhere between spells, Benjamin's purposeful taunting having all of the desired effects on the seething, fucking fed-up not-galdor. The fair-haired officer was so very aware that this was a set up, that he had no back up, that he was without the authority of his snaps. He knew Damen had power over the patrols, that the man now obviously had his dirty hands in with this galdor-run drug ring, and that he was, most likely, in some pretty deep shit simply because he'd made the wrong turn out of his door instead of into Charity's arms.

She'd needed him.

But the redheaded galdor's face in front of him needed bloodying more.

Diaxio's voice both caught the young Valentin off guard and yet it didn't. For a moment, the three of them could have been back in familiar green uniforms on Brunnhold's campus—all of them contemporary classmates, after all. The Hoxian had never liked him (did any Hoxian?), and yet now that he knew just how long-standing the foreign woman's venomous manipulations had been, Rhys felt the fiery anger that smoldered in the already charred cavity of his narrow chest burn that much brighter and hotter. This betrayal had been a lifetime in the making—had Damen been at the center of this the whole time? Had he groomed his daughter as a tool for his own profit? Diaxio had been the lynchpin and Benjamin forever the distraction. Rhys, despite his childhood accusations of being the trouble maker, of being the unwanted trash, had been the only good thing in Charity's life.

And he'd allowed himself to be shoved out of the way because he'd been afraid.

Never again!

Gritting his teeth, he straightened under the grip of the human that at least must have mostly believed had him captive. He wasn't blind to the calculated movements at the edges of his vision—it was his clocking job to organize such delicately balanced orchestrations of manpower in order to bust criminals like the ersehats who'd baited him so damn deliciously. The pair of galdori, delicate as their kind was, had brought muscle. This was, perhaps, not the first moment his halfblood status gave him an unwitting advantage in physical strength.

It was all professionally commendable, really, if it hadn't all been against him. Helpless rage had blurred his judgement and while he welcomed the surge of adrenaline such emotions brought through his body, the clarity of understanding that followed was far from wanted in this moment. He'd made a mistake. He had very little chance of the situation he'd stepped so willingly into turning out at all in his favor, not if he'd counted correctly with his brief sweep of the very isolated, small square Benjamin had led them both to.

His senses tingled with far too much self-awareness, field contracting as anger came into focus like sunlight through a lense. The well-trained Seventen relaxed into the grabbing hands of the Hoxian's thugs, practically a limp doll as he was spun into the metal-bound punch of the other human, hissing in pain as his breath was ripped form his lungs and willingly crumpling to his knees as if that one blow had really been enough to drop him so easily. Face twisting into a pained sneer as he was dragged across cobblestones further from public view, the tall blond knew what was coming between the Quiet and the fair number of thugs.

This wasn't going to go well for him. This was going to fucking hurt.

Maybe he deserved it.

Maybe they'd underestimated him just a little, however. He may not have had his baton, but thank Alioe, he was never entirely unarmed.

Snugly tucked into a fashionably cut civilian boot just at the edge of his now dirty trouser's hem was a knife. He'd learned his hard lessons on the streets over eight years, and Rhys was far from stupid. Panting, unable to help but smirk at Benjamin's suffering, the warmth of satisfaction just enough to fuel him on as he heard the words of Diaxio's spell. Unwilling to counter it, aware of what short work too much casting made of his halfbred self, he continued to play opossum in the grip of the larger human, right hand slowly, carefully drifting toward his ankle while his blue eyes defiantly met the dark gaze of the Hoxian,

"Fuck you. You're all so busy smoking your own godsbedamned egos that being caught in your swollen state of stupidity is more or less inevitable. Here I am. I've put everything together—you, Captain D'Arthe, this little ring of rich kids. All of it. It's only a matter of time now, and I'm clearly the only one willing to end all your games." His fingers found the hilt of his knife and his glamour flexed with rebellious lack of fear, "And trust me, I will. Alone if I have to. Every fucking one of you will get what's coming to them."

Unless, of course, he died here.

Rhys swallowed that flicker of a thought, however, shoving it down into the darkness that had writhed through his mind and taken over his ability to reason properly. This had been a mistake but now it had a purpose.

Now he knew.

Now he had to make good on his promises, one by one.

Again, he saw Benjamin coming and took the redhead's fucking pathetic kick, using the momentum to bend and grip his blade with one hand, other hand quickly grabbing for the ersehole's trousers and snatching his ankle before he could completely withdraw his foot out of Rhys' long-armed, superior reach. Tugging hard to toss the galdor off balance in an attempt to topple him down to the dirty streets and onto his back where he deserved to be like the whore he was, the Sergeant struggled against the human who held him.

There was no moment of hesitation—Rhys didn't question what he was doing, didn't worry that he was breaking oaths, didn't care about causing harm. His choices were few and the consequences weren't an unknown to him. He was already paying—suspended without pay for questioning a superior officer who needed to simply be put down like the rabid beast he was. This? This was nothing. He was nothing. Could he get away with this? Did it matter?

Resisting the genuinely difficult temptation to lunge forward and drive the knife he now gripped tightly into Benjamin's stomach and kill him outright, he wrenched his own body with well-trained swiftness and shoved the blade hard into the brass-knuckled thug's upper thigh, twisting it savagely even as he surged to stand, making sure to rip the knife upward to keep it in his hand for as long as possible, steeling himself for the combat he was very aware he'd probably not walk away from whole.

This was not just a warning any more, after all.

Off Topic
SidekickBOTToday at 11:24 AM
Muse: 3d6 = 4, 4, 4

Grabbing of Ben. Toppling him over. Stabbing human. All basic successes that go according to plan.


SidekickBOTToday at 11:37 AM
Muse: d6 = (3) = 3

Standing. A little wobbly. Still basically successful.
word count: 1350
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Raksha
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:25 am

8th Achtus, 2718
VIENDA| MIDDAY
Image
D​​iaxio rolled her eyes at his impassioned speech, crossing her arms and sighing as though it were a professor declaring a pop quiz at the start of the first lesson of the day. She didn’t see him as a threat, not yet. A gnat buzzing annoyingly around her business, a bug to crush underfoot. He was the Fallen Seventen, the snap-less wonder, and frankly Anaxas wouldn’t so much as blink if he just disappeared. It was mentioned, between herself and Damen, but the older man hadn’t wanted Rhys dead. No, he wanted him to suffer. He wanted him to pay for the humiliation of the public trial and Charity’s exposure, he wanted them both to suffer. To see where they were powerless where he held all of it.
​​
​​He wanted Rhys to bleed.
​​
​​ “You’re ambitious, Valentin. You’ve always been ambitious. Reaching for things you shouldn't touch, taking things that don’t belong to you. Thinking you could be more than you are. A farmboy’s son, pompously clowning his way through Brunnhold. Charity was an idiot, she is an idiot. She was enamoured with the idea of you, with the escape you offered on her depressing little lot in life. I thought she’d grow up, but I suppose we all have our trash that we refuse to let go of. Not that it matters to me anymore, but you both deserve each other. And everything that comes with your actions.” Her field contracted with mild shock as Rhys moved faster than she had anticipated, toppling the admittedly pathetic joke of a galdor she had been required to pair with and gouging a knife they hadn’t been prepared for into her better man’s leg. Benjamin’s breath wooshed from his lungs as he landed hard on his back, scuttling away as he gasped for air, and the armed man roared in pain. It echoed around her cocoon of Quiet, and quick as a flash the other man was on top of Rhys, wrenching the knife from his hand where it stuck in the other’s thigh. He swung for the blondes face, again and again, as Diaxio gestured to another two thugs in the wings to come help. They grabbed at long arms, allowing the man’s blows to reach the Seventen, making contact with his jaw, his cheek and his eye. His brow split under the impact, blood spraying across the stones underfoot.
​​
​​ “Get up Ben, you’re embarrassing us all.” She muttered with disgust, as the thugs took to kicking the man, battering and bruising flesh. The auburn haired man climbed to his feet and pushed his hair back with a growl.
​​
​​ “Hold him down.” He growled, dragging his field together as he stomped towards the man he’d once called a Contemporary. The thugs did as they were bid, after a few more kicks and punches, blood spurting from his lip and probably a loose tooth. One on either arm and the third on his thighs, the humans watched as Ben stood over the man.
​​
​​ “You know she screamed for you. She called for you to come rescue her. It was almost sad. Almost. Now she knows what a real man feels like, it’s probably never going to be quite as good again. So soft, and warm…maybe once this is done I’ll go back for seconds. Let her scream for me, again. And again. And again.” Laughing cruely, the galdor held a hand out over Rhys’ extended arm, collecting the mona with muttered words of Monite. The not-galdor would feel a strange pressure in his arm, between the elbow and the wrist, an uncomfortable sense of Bending. As the monite wove around his appendage, it tasted of ash and made scalps tingle in protest.
​​
​​ “Ben…” The Hoxian said with a warning tone, concerned by the protest in the air. The mona weren’t comfortable with this, the forcing of things not meant to be forced. Rhys’ arm would hurt now, an intense internal pain that radiated from within. He would feel the first hairline fracture as the Bend spell began to work against bone and muscle, splintering the hard calcium shell. Another second and he would hear the cracking and popping of unnatural movement within, though Benjamin was sweating with the effort, teeth grit. In an almost anti-climatic moment, the spell faded, burnt out before it could have the entirely dramatic harsh snap the man had hoped for.
​​
​​ “Times up.” A familiar voice spoke from the alley entrance, and with a sensation of clearing ears, Diaxio’s Quiet spell ended. Benjamin looked up, backing away with a weary nod. Fine leather boots clicked on the paved ground, and a dark clad figure moved to stand in Benjamin’s place. He looked down at Rhys, facial hair neatly trimmed and crisp blue eyes full of delight.
​​
​​ “Sir, we have to g—“ Damen raised his hand at Diaxio’s voice, eyes never leaving the man on the ground. He gloated, field radiant with glee, before drawing his baton from his belt.
​​
​​ “Well, Mister Valentin. Isn’t this an unfortunate turn of events. Beaten in the street, by unknown assilants! How unfortunate. Being in such a public trial, shamelessly loosing your snaps for trying to slander the name of the Seventen, it could have been literally anyone. We live in such dangerous times.” Lining up the baton, he raised it and swung hard into the blonde’s side, again and again. The sound was thick, heavy, and something inside cracked with a sharp pain.
​​
​​ “Sir!” The Hoxian said sharply, her people already starting to leave the scene. Damen landed one last whack, before stepping back with a hand through his hair to smooth it back.
​​
​​ “Give my regards to my daughter, Mister Valentin. Consider this your first, last and only warning. Stay out of business you do not understand, unless you wish for her to find nothing but a lifeless body next time.” The three galdori moved then, behind the alley and into Vienda, to the alibi’s they all had so carefully constructed. It would be the crazed dishonoured Seventen’s words against theirs. Three unrelated gollies, who couldn’t be tied to each other except for the vagueness of Diaxio and Benjamin’s time at Brunnhold. But then, everyone went to clocking Brunnhold.
​​
​​The man kneeling on Rhys’ knees leaned in, smashing a fist into his head to knock the wick unconscious. Even for a moment or two, as they let him go and scattered. The tall man was left bloodied, bruised and broken in the alleyway as the people of the city slowly trickled back into the Court now the riot had been controlled.
​​
​​
Dice And Notes:
Not all of this was dice rolled, but some big ones were. Note, Rhys can block some of those punches to begin with. You can assume he gets a few good hits in himself. Otherwise, enjoy your beating.
​​
​​Raksha Today at 15:57: `d6` = (2) = 2
​​^ For Benjamin’s Bend spell. Minor success.
​​
​​Raksha Today at 20:15: `d6` = (5) = 5
​​^ For the final knockout blow. Major success.


word count: 1246
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Rhys Valentin
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Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:38 pm

8th of Achtus, 2718
UPTOWN | MIDDAY
If you ever loved me, you loved me in Vienda!
You spoke those words so quiet, and I fell
'Neath the willows, whispered like a spell;
We swore that we would never say farewell!


You Loved Me in Vienda
This.Show

"Fuck you." Spat the young Valentin as Diaxio attempted to insult and chastise him, growling and meeting his second attacker halfway, putting up a well-trained fight against giving up his knife with a good headbutt, "Prison's gonna be a real bitch—"

The first couple of punches were fine. Rhys fueled by a fire lit long ago, burning brightly at the flare of genuine pain,

"Can't even do your own dirty work."

"C'mon, you get paid to hit harder than that."

"I'm pretty sure I've arrested your mother."

"Hit your lady that lightly at home, chroveshit?"

He had a precious few moments of freedom as a wild creature, unbound from the restraints of his hard-earned uniform, but strong hands got a hold of his lanky frame and stone-carved knuckles sought to chisel away at the sharp features of his face. Boots and knees stole his breath and ended his words—curses and insults, taunts and jibes as if this was all a game—Rhys very aware that no one was meant to kill him. That wasn't how things worked.

That wasn't how Damen worked.

No—wait. It was.

This wasn't meant to be murder, but that didn't mean it wasn't going to come damn close. Right?

Still, he squirmed and grunted, desperate for an anchor to some kind of consciousness once he blearily saw Benjamin scrape his sorry toffin erse off the street he'd tossed him to. Shadows clung to the edge of his vision and he'd stopped hurting, shock and adrenaline a merciful cocktail.

The blond Sergeant spit blood and bile on the galdor's shoes before three men shoved him down—hard—with a sputtering hiss,

"Must be the only way you can get off, huh?" His bruised cheek felt nothing against cold stone, and his words were a gravelly gargle, cut short by a sharp inhale as the other man spoke of his exploits in his apartment, with Charity, leading Rhys to believe he'd actually managed to rape his wife. The bloodied not-galdor growled, something deep and primal in the charred depths of his bruised chest rumbling from already swelling lips and he gave that trio of luggers a hell of a time holding him down for a few precious moments, writhing like some chrove on fire, inviting a knee in his spine.

"Fuck you." Groaned the Seventen again, whining at the weight of dense, heavy, muscular bodies pressed harder, resisting with his entire being the tightening grip on his arms as he felt the motion of mona and knew the words on Benjamin's lips.

He'd given everything he was to the Seventen, to serving a Kingdom and enforcing its laws. He'd come from nothing. He'd given up his everything. He'd attempted to make something of himself the only way he thought he knew how.

And for what?

This was the justice he represented.

These were the citizens he supposedly protected.

This—

"Real man? You probably—couldn't even—get it up the first time—let alone—go—for a second—round—boy, please—no one clocking remembers you—" Rhys spoke between pants, words guttural syllables strung wetly together eventually cut short by very real, very inescapable suffering. He'd thought he couldn't feel anything, but magical pain was something else entirely. The mona resisted, ears ringing above the thunderous sound of his own pulse, and he heard himself scream, loud and utterly involuntary, the sound of his own body wrenched unnaturally from the inside out traveling through every nerve and forever searing its way into his memory.

Oh, gods.

He would find him.

He would bring his own justice.

Oh, for fuck's sake.

This was beyond pain.

Maybe he blacked out for a merciful moment. Maybe he'd been awake the whole time. He wouldn't remember, but every broken sense he barely clung to came into focus at the sound of Damen D'Arthe's voice.

The man was a monster. A silhouette A hungry ghost. A hatcher. A demon. Rhys couldn't really see him, but every word the man spoke rattled through his drifting consciousness and poured salt on everything—everything—that hurt. The young Valentin struggled, left arm useless, unable to help but flinch and shy away at the weight of the bastard's heavy, oppressive field,

"Good afternoon, Sir." The not-galdor's face twisted into some mockery of a grin given its current condition and instead of swallowing the flood of blood and gods knew what else that pooled in his cheeks, Rhys spit on the Captain's boots, too.

Because why the fuck not?

"Wedding gift's a little late, old man."

He wheezed, wild gaze following the motion of the galdor's hands, watching him draw the baton from his belt. Sweet Lady. Panic burned away like chaff and tears left streaks down the stained remnants of his cheeks. He'd not felt the ending of Diaxio's spell. He didn't even care. Each blow brought a shout from him, dragged vehement words of pained insistence:

"She."

"Has."

"My."

"Name."

"Not."

"Yours."

"Ever."

"Again."

"Ersehole."

Charity had always been his.

And here he was, fucking it all up. For, like, the millionth time.

Godsdamnit.

Rhys attempted to curl into all the pain, gurgling and whining, darkness clawing at what was left of him, "I won't." He wouldn't, either. He'd listened to Damen once—one fucking time in his whole life—and he never would again. This was the beginning, so long as it wasn't about to become his end. He moaned weakly, vaguely aware that his scry stone was, of course, shoved into the pocket his shattered arm couldn't reach. He didn't have it in him to move anymore, to fight back when fingers curled into his hair and knuckles shoved him roughly into unconsciousness there in the late afternoon shadows of some well-manicured Uptown alleyway.

He had no idea how long he was out for, either.

Gasping for breath ended in wet gagging, probably more blood and vomit, unable to even roll from his stomach to his side, unable to do anything, really. Was he sobbing in pain? Something inside was leaking. Everything hurt. Fire. He may as well have been on fire. Or frozen.

Would death have been better—

Oh, shit.

"Charity." Had he said that out loud? Had he just felt it? He'd left her—for this—and Benjamin said he would go back—

"No."

Rhys could hardly string together thoughts, let alone sounds, though he was sure he made a few. He might have passed out again. More than once. Darkness. So cold. So cold it burned.

Had he been in uniform, would some passerby had cared by now?

There in the half light in a pool of his own blood, a well-dressed blond too tall for a galdor, glamour—not a field—frayed and desperate. Unrecognizable. Brayde county lower class.

"Please—"
word count: 1274
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Drezda Ecks
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Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:59 am

Achtus 8, 2718 | Midday
Uptown, Vienda
.
Image
"I don't need a minder, Luca. I can stretch my legs without having someone hold my hand," the diplomat remarked coldly, onyx eyes fixed sidelong on the dark-haired passive who had followed her from the carriage. He wasn't so stupid as to attempt to walk right beside her, keeping a step or two back to show deference. But he was definitely accompanying her and she hadn't asked him to do so. There were times that she wanted her servants to show some initiative but for things like restocking supplies when they ran out of things without her having to recognise the deficit and inform them. Useful initiative, practical stuff. If she wanted a bodyguard or a babysitter, which was what Luca seemed to be acting as.

"Well, I... just thought that I'd stretch my legs as well, mistress," the passive replied timidly, the picture of innocence. The Hoxian scowled.

"Did somebody tell you that you could stretch your legs, Luca? Were you given permission?"

"I wasn't... not given permission to do so. It wasn't forbidden," he responded carefully.

There was definitely something wrong with her passives of late. The woman wasn't as harsh a mistress as those who knew her might expect her to be but she still kept order, she wasn't soft but perhaps her attitude to the passives was a bit... unconventional. Having them completely terrified of her would breed resentment, the sort of resentment that might make them tell tales to people who came asking and in her position that was a definite possibility so they did have certain freedoms. Provided that it didn't interfere in the running of the household, who was she to stand in their way if they wanted to sleep with each other or whatever? As long as they didn't kill or abuse each other, she didn't much care and her personal servants were always her own; she had never shared Rosmilda or her predecessors with anyone.

Her passives had always been careful to keep in line because her response to such a thing was swift and often sufficiently vicious to deter a future infraction. They didn't exactly hate her although they certainly felt some envious resentment towards her as many passives seem to feel towards galdori. Thus, she'd never expected them to be protective of her. Rosmilda was in love with her so her behaviour could be explained away but something had shifted recently. Maybe it was the redheaded girl having some influence on the others, or maybe some shift in the balance of power had made them feel sorry for her. Whatever it was, she wished that her servants would stop being so... there.

"All right, allow me to clear things up for you then. Go back and wait with Jerome at the carriage. Maybe when I come back that riot will be sorted and I can get home," she informed him, continuing forward.

She'd paid a morning visit to an Incumbent, a meeting that had been rescheduled from the time that she'd been "sick" and it didn't feel like it had gone well, which probably had something to do with the abominable hangover that she had. How much had she drank last night? Why had she been so rebelliously childish by running off so that she could drink whatever she wanted and however much she wanted without Rosmilda's interference? In hindsight, she thought that the passive had tried to warn her about her morning meeting before she went off to the Paper Tiger but the diplomat hadn't been willing to listen.

So here she was feeling like she'd been in a particularly nasty duel with a Living Conversationalist as every part of her body currently seemed to want to curl up and die. Her mood was understandably foul but entirely her own fault. Thus, the fact that the Seventen were dealing with some riot on her path home was not appreciated. Sure, the carriage could have taken a circuitous route but the Hoxian had made them stay to wait, proclaiming that it couldn't take too long for them to establish order. In truth, she was simply glad to no longer be dealing with the swaying motion of the carriage, able to sit with her head bowed between her knees in the privacy of the vehicle while she tried to hang onto her breakfast.

She was out now because she actually suspected that she was going to throw up her guts anyway and she didn't particularly want to do it in the carriage or anywhere near where her passives - or anyone else for that matter - could see her. Thus, the last thing she wanted was to have Luca trailing behind her while she sought some small corner of hell in Uptown where she could go and wish for death.

And the fucking passive was still following in spite of her orders but a few more paces back. Clock the Circle, she didn't need this right now!

"Why are you still following me? By Bash, I should strike you where you stand!" she hissed, whirling on him and regretting it even as she pulled her field close. She watched him shrink a little, cringing but he didn't move.

"No, you won't," he responded softly, voice little more than a whisper. She released the mona that he must have felt move around him, deflating a little. They all knew that she was leery about magic since her backlash. "Look, there's a riot going on, you don't know what sort of people are hanging around and... galdori or not, you can still get hurt. Besides, Rosmilda explained that you might be a bit uh... out of sorts," he explained with a shrug, the kindness in his voice making her face warm.

The passive pitied her. The passive fucking pitied her.

She turned away, moving at a pace that was far too swift for her body in its delicate state, calling back to him over her shoulder, "I don't want you. Go back to the carriage, Luca. Now!"

There was no sound of footsteps following her, the woman gaining a sense of grim victory of having shaken the young man. It was a pathetic victory in truth but it had taken a lot out of her, the Hoxian ready to drop in a heap or throw up or possibly do both at the same time, which definitely wouldn't be pleasant. There were people nearby though, a courtyard with chattering people drifting through it and the woman didn't have the energy or the wits to deal with them right now. Her head was throbbing, there wasn't a drop of colour in her face, almost ashen and she could almost feel the eyes on her. So she took a detour, settling for a side alleyway, somewhere quieter that didn't seem to have anyone too near it. Her intention was to slip down it and disappear. Apparently, someone else had had the same idea but they'd been hoping to have something disappear down here.

Someone.

Drezda didn't make the mistake of thinking that something inanimate had been dumped down here. The giveaway was the smell actually. They were in Uptown, there were certain scents that you just didn't expect to encounter. There was the acrid tang of vomit, stinging the inside of her nostrils, the woman's hand flying to cover her face, trying not to breathe too deeply as things inside roiled. There was the metallic reek of blood and it was bright and visible on the body that was stained with it. A body emitting sounds of pain. A body that pleaded softly, seeking aid.

The raven-haired woman stood there, doing her best not to throw up as her field encountered belikeness in the aura that surrounded the bloodied wreck of a man. The Perceptive mona recognised their kin but it was more than that, her field caprising the smaller one with growing horror. Frayed and distressed though it was, she knew it.

The size, the mona within it, particular little textures that were unique to him that she might not have recalled if she hadn't been near him in recent months because prior to that she hadn't seen him for a number of years.

It was Rhys Valentin.

She could see the blond, blood-spattered hair, the bruised face with features that- Yes, they were still recognisable in there now that she was looking.

Circle preserve them, the man looked so pitiful, so utterly broken since she'd seen him last. Whoever had gotten ahold of him hadn't done things by half measures. She wondered if he could even see her. Possibly not if his swollen vision was anything to go by.

How the mighty had fallen...

But she'd known that he'd fallen, the trial - and its result - known to her but of course, she hadn't expected him to fall quite this far. She wondered if it was somehow related, the lack of a uniform or something else, making him a readier target.

Oh no, why had she even thought that? No, she couldn't even go down that mental pathway, it was a dangerous one and she wasn't fit for this right now. No, she couldn't deal with this. She didn't want to deal with any of it.

"Rhys-"

Opening her mouth was a mistake. It shouldn't have been possible but opening her mouth to say that one word increased her nausea tenfold, the vile scents sucked in, pervading and overwhelming her senses. Burning clawed its way up her throat, threatening to spill out. She had to clamp her hand over her mouth and retreat at speed. She found her feet carrying her away, heading in the direction of the carriage.

It wasn't her problem. She couldn't deal with this right now. She could just get back to the carriage, ideally not throw up everywhere and just go home. Who would know? Who could possibly know what she'd done or rather failed to do?

Well... she'd know.

She stopped, wilting against a wall close to where she'd last seen Luca, a groan emanating from between chapped lips. Damnit, she kept saying it, didn't she? That she was a horrible person. She'd deserved to backlash because of what she'd done, she'd deserved a lot worse. She'd done enough awful things to see herself as despicable but... she wasn't entirely that.

Drezda couldn't leave him there, even if she wanted to and gods, she really wanted to. Why couldn't it be someone else's problem? But she'd seen him, seen the pathetic vulnerability and it was too terrible even for her.

And he had a wife now. She'd heard that too, everyone had heard that, the matter coming out in the midst of the trial that Charity D'Arthe had become Charity Valentin. She could still remember years before in Brunnhold when she'd found Charity on the edge of doing something bloody stupid because Rhys had distanced himself from her. She didn't even want to think about what she'd do over this, especially if he was left there, bleeding out, left to grow cold and stiff.

A wife and a widow in less than a week.

"Fuck!"

When she felt less likely to paint the ground with the contents of her insides, she carried on, tracing a route back to the carriage. Luca was there, clucking and making frankly ridiculous sounds at the moa as he cooed over them. Jerome was nowhere to be seen.

"Oh you're b- really unwell looking!" he exclaimed when he saw her, taking a step towards her and stopping, head whipping in the direction of the market. "Jerome just went to check on the riot situation, he thinks-"

"I don't care what he thinks, I need the carriage moved around-"

She tried to give him directions to the courtyard for the carriage but couldn't quite work out how the carriage would get there. She settled for giving him foot directions instead. He could fetch Jerome back to the carriage then follow Drezda back to Rhys and direct Jerome as close as possible. Let the two passives worry about the logistics of the matter.

"Be quick about it, I need to pick Rhys up and get him seen to before he bleeds out," she told the passive, watching colour drain from the brunette's face even while she was turning away.

"Bleeds out?" Luca shrieked, voice going up a full octave as he stared at his mistress' back. The only response he got was an impatient wave of her hand over one shoulder as she disappeared back into the side streets.

As she hurried back to where she'd found Rhys, she became quite aware that she was going to throw up no matter what. Her skin was clammy, she was feeling wobbly and overly hot and of course once she got back into the alleyway and hit that smell-

Well, it wasn't like it would make this particular alley any worse - you probably wouldn't notice - and at least she felt better. As a bonus, she'd managed to not throw up over the suspended Seventen or over herself. There might have been a few splattered droplets on her shoes but they were likely to get covered in a whole lot worse soon enough.

She was thankful for choosing a simple manner of dress as she hunkered down beside him, any of her wrap dresses likely to have been too constrictive for this sort of manoeuvre although she was still more than capable of falling on her erse in a skirt into the blood and other mire. She had to clear her throat before she could say his name properly, the burning itch from vomiting leaving her somewhat hoarse.

The tone was uncommonly gentle, concern colouring her tone as she reached out a tentative hand towards his face, passing it before his eyes to test his vision. Her field was laden with nervous uneasiness, pulsing in her agitation. She didn't want to use magic to assess him but wasn't sure that she could avoid doing so. If he was very bad, she might have to do something before she moved him. She'd have to check.

How poorly could a diagnostic spell go?

And yet she put it off.

"Rhys? It's Drezda Ecks. I... don't know what happened exactly but I'm going to help. I just need you to stay calm until I can get you moved, all right? And I need to-"

"Oh Lady save me!" came a spluttered wail from a few feet away. Her head swivelled to Luca who had stopped to have a breakdown, gawking at the scene and looking ready to fall in a heap. He was neither highly hungover and a magically nervous wreck nor beaten to shit and bleeding out so what was his problem?

"Luca! Go get Jerome! Get your shit together!" she snapped, hoping to shock him out of it. She heard him run, her attention already turned back to Rhys.

"Okay, Rhys, I'm going to use a diagnostic spell so I can see what I'm working with so... try to stay still."

She gathered her field, telling herself that this had to be done, that she was capable. It didn't matter if she was hungover, it didn't matter if the mona had lashed at her before, she knew how to use magic. The mona would sense her weakness if she let it so she couldn't be weak.

She let her eyes close, a flicker behind her eyelids as she prayed intensely. Please let her succeed, she needed this not for herself but for him. For Charity. To prevent whoever had done this from getting away from it.

When she opened her eyes, she moved her hands, conducting the mona as she dredged up Monite words, rusty but not quite forgotten. She moved through the spell, taking the time to remember each word with care. The hairs stood on end all over her body, the wonderful euphoria of mona singing through ley-lines, perfect harmony as she did magic for the first time in weeks. Magic that worked. It worked better than she ever could have imagined in fact.

She was almost ready to cry with relief and joy except that the information began to filter through and her face grew ashen with horror instead.

Dice Roll!Show
SidekickBOTToday at 15:18
@Maximus: 1d6 = (6) = 6
.
word count: 2846
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Rhys Valentin
Posts: 154
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: It's Inspector to you, thanks.
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Writer: Muse
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Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:30 pm

8th of Achtus, 2718
UPTOWN | MIDDAY
In the moonlit shadow of the palace walls,
Underneath the icy colonnade
Darling I will tread, sleepless out of bed
Wondering when the memories will fade.


You Loved Me in Vienda
In and out of consciousness, crushed beneath the weight of more shock than pain, Rhys bled and drooled and rambled incoherently where he'd been unceremoniously dumped into the side street. Out of sight. Out of mind. Breathing had grown difficult, uncomfortable, not simply because his face was swollen and bruised but because something inside was wrong. Liquid was pooling where it shouldn't, broken ribs pressed at unnatural angles against lungs desperate to do their fucking job.

He'd tried to reach it, attempted with a rabid animal's desperation to curl his battered body just so to reach dirty fingers into the opposite pocket and press skin against the stone, but he'd only blacked out in the process for gods knew how long. A few seconds. A minute. Thirty. It didn't matter. Time had stopped slipping by in comprehensible measurements—shadows of passers by in the square just beyond his reach flitting past his blurred, blackened vision as if they didn't see him. As if they didn't hear his wheezed syllables.

"—officer 'f th' Seventen—here—I—"

"Hello?"

"Help—"

"For fuck's sake—"

He was incapable of the volume and projection of vocalizations that his squad would later remark he was known for. Too weak. Too injured. His thoughts drifted. Had he called out at all? Had Damen paid everyone to stay away? He knew the schedules—the patrols—fucking patrols—

Out again. Awake again. Pain again. Stealing his very mind.

Groaning, he attempted to will his body to obey, but it refused. Movement caught the very edges of his limited vision, the eddies of Perceptive mona in another field belike his well-trained glamour causing him to inhale raggedly at the single syllable of his given name,

"Diaxio—" Dark hair filtered through his mind, easily confused, unable to tense and pain dragging out wet cruelties in his delirious state, "—isn't Ben th'one who prefers sloppy seconds? Comin' t' finish th' job, eh?"

He gagged on laughter, feeling so disconnected from his own existence that he didn't even notice that his would-be rescuer had been forced to flee from the sight of him, if only momentarily.

But that moment was so long.

"Wait—"

"Don't leave me—"

Silence and wheezing. The burn of tears but the lack of proper faculties to produce them in a face so broken by burly knuckles.

Breathing. Just breathe.

"—please—" He didn't want to be alone.

Breathing was so hard. Something wasn't working. Nothing was working.

He was going to die here and Charity would know nothing. Gods, no. Charity. What had he done? What had he allowed Benjamin to do? What had Damen done? He'd done everything wrong.

He'd left her—

Someone was talking again, the shadow of her movement lost behind his eyelids, unsure of when he'd closed the one that worked. Lost moments of time. Someone was closer, their field crushing his senses and he shied away like the beaten dog he was,

"Drezda? Fuck—"

The not-galdor gurgled and then gasped, unsure of how the gods did what they did but very confident he never wanted to know their convoluted minds. Calm down. Stay still. He was the epitome of calm in his state of shock, in his cold pool of blood and whatever else. He was fine. He just needed a nap. Things would be fine if he could only sleep—

"Long time. No see."

The Hoxian was shouting and Rhys waggled the fingers that still functioned properly, white gold band around the ring finger bloodied and misshapen, already sobbing, wilting, curling into the sharp pain in his torso at the motion of mona while she gathered her field,

"Things'r broke. Nnn. Broken."

He offered lamely, what could only be characterized as a bruised mockery of his best shit-eating grin creasing into his dirty, stained face.

It was like being drunk.

If drunk turned your bones to dust and wanted to kill you.

"Hold m' hand." Came the whine, an attempt to focus on Drezda being made with one blue eye in a sea of red. It was a demand at the look of fear that filtered into her face that had long ago faded from his.

Perhaps it was the same warped sense of kindness from the Circle that Drezda's diagnostic spell did not replay the causes of injury so much as filled her with a Quantitative revelation of everything that had been injured in an emotionless, categorical series of thoughts. There was no visual guide, simply a flood of awareness in her very being that the currently suspended Seventen officer at her feet had been beaten thoroughly within a few inches of his life:

His left arm was fractured in two places—hairline, magically twisted. Ligaments sprained and torn by a Bending that should not have been used in such a way. While only three of his ribs were actually broken, there wasn't a single one that wasn't bruised. Thankfully, his lungs weren't punctured by the splintered bone, but the bruising of internal organs (his kidneys, both of them, and his spleen) had crushed everything with fluid and they were still swelling—

He wheezed to confirm. It was gross. He may as well have been drowning.

—and while his jaw had escaped fracture, much to what would most likely become Drezda's displeasure since the wounded Valentin rambled incoherently almost constantly now that he was in the presence of someone else, desperate to stay conscious, his skull was broken in two places somewhere beneath the swelling around his left eye. A concussion was obvious; not even the mona needed to announce that given his complete delirium.

Whoever had done this knew what they were doing.

Whoever had done this had made an example.

"Damen did 't. An' thugs. Diaxo. Ben—oh—fuck—" Rhys groaned, a desperation in the hoarseness of his voice, pausing for a second too long as if he forgot what he was doing or what he was going to say or where he was, "Charity. Ben's goin' back. Gonna—he's already—I—"

Benjamin was going to hurt her.

Again?

Words. Rhys. Make words.

That bastard had claimed he'd raped her already and Rhys had left here there on his kitchen floor in order to get his stupid hands on that galdor and teach him a lesson and yet he'd promised over the tall blond's bleeding body that he'd go back and—

He'd been speaking.

What was he saying?

Oh, gods.

He mouthed Benjamin's name and strung together a few croaked curses.

He inhaled, ignoring the flavor of it all because it was clearly the least of his worries, sputtering and sobbing at the effort it took to do everything.

He'd been injured before, sure, but this?

This was outside of his ability to process. In a moment of lucid suffering, he put words together in succession in one long breathy sentence that left him gasping, starved for air when he was through,

"—leave me here, Drez. Drezda. Go. To. M'flat. Get her. I'm fine. Look how fine I am. I'm no'fine. But Charity. Don't let him touch m'wife. I'm an ersehole."

Gurgled sobs. A little more unconsciousness.

"I'm sorry."

Misplaced sincerity.
word count: 1317
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Charity Darthe
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:41 pm
Topics: 1
Race: Galdor
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Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:13 pm

Time Stamp, 2718
LOCATION | TIME of DAY
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"Are you—did—how did—no!"

Charity and Jsara both looked up at the same time as Rhys entered the doorway, the violet eyed creature dressed in only her undergarments and face red and puffy with tears, the Hoxian frowning with concern. Between them both, Jynx chirruped at his master, fur wet with tears and blood though fortunately not his. They were kneeled on the floor, where the flowers and the knife now lay so contradictory to each other.

She tried to speak, but her voice was lost in tearful hitching sobs, body trembling with fear and horror. The air was heavy with the lack of mona, her brail chasing away the sentient particles like they had been burned. The whole room felt wrong.

“Rhys I—” The wreck of a woman began to reach for him, shying back with a yelp as he yelled Benjamin’s name and kicked the flowers in a spray of petals and paper. He knew, even without saying he knew, but instead of coming to her the violently angry man announced words that made her run cold, before storming from the apartment. Charity began to spring from the floor.

“Rhys no, please no!” She cried, voice thick with anguish and emotion. Jsara held her back, stopping her from following her husband out the door in nothing but her laced underwear.

He’d just left her. He hadn’t even asked if she was okay. Left her to quite possibly spring into the arms of something much more dangerous than either of them really understood.

“I’ve got to stop him. I’ve got to go to him. Let me go, I have to…” Charity sobbed feebly as the older woman held her, stopping her from taking any further steps towards the door. The galdor’s fight seeped out of her, and she sunk into the woman's arms, comforted by a near stranger instead of her own husband. Jsara didn’t speak, she just shushed the younger woman gently, a strange juxtaposition. Human comforting a galdor, it was yet another thread in the bizarre tapestry of her life. A wick for a husband, a human for a sister in law….this was Charity’s world and she wouldn’t change it. Her own race had been cruel and unkind, had tried to harm her, would try to kill her. There was no love for the galdori from her.

“We get you dressed. Come miss. We find you clothes.” Jsara said softly once Charity’s sobs had eased a little, leading the brunette to the bedroom. Her violet gaze lifted, and her breath inhaled sharply, stopping stone cold in the hallway.

“I can’t go in there.” She whispered, frozen in terror at the all to fresh moments that still seared in her brain. The Hoxian let her go gingerly, nodding and stepping into the room. Her eyes scanned the scene, picking up the bloodied linens and the destroyed clothing strewn on the floor. She too, assumed the worst without talking to Charity, swallowing as tears sprung to her wrinkled eyes whilst she reached for clothing for her. It was something, a dress? Lavender, long and high throated with a sheer lace overlay embroidered with delicate flowers. Probably a little too opulent for daywear, but then isn’t that what galdori wore?

Returning to the traumatised woman in the hallway, she found Charity staring into space, reliving each second Benjamin had been in the house. Touching her arm softly, she winced as the pale creature jumped and drew back, blinking rapidly.

“For you. You dress.” Jsara said quietly. The Valentin nodded numbly, dressing with the womans assistance there in the hallway. Her hands still trembled, and with a gentle guidance the older human led her to the lounge and sat her down, stroking her brunette locks away from her face. Wordlessly, she moved into the kitchen and searched for tea making facilities, uncaring whether she had permission or not.

As Charity sat on the couch, she looked down at her hands in her lap, horrified by the blood that was smeared on her hands. Benjamin’s blood, either from the knife or Jynx’s coat. She made a sound of disgust, rubbing them on the dress to no avail. Something stirred in her field, something more than just fear or shock. Anger bubbled, raw and powerful and violent. Anger at Benjamin, at Diaxio, at her clocking father. And anger at Rhys.

Rhys, what had he done. He hadn’t even checked she was okay. He’d just left. He’d gone to find Benjamin. Foolish man! He was going to get himself hurt, or worse! Stupid, foolish man!

Jsara returned, with a wet cloth as the water boiled for the tea, taking Charitys hands and wiping them clean. The galdor looked at her with a trembling lip.

“Thankyou.” She said softly, unsmiling, as the older woman cleaned the blood from her hands and her face. Jsara smiled in return, the soft maternal smile of one who knew what it was like to be young and scared. One who cared, even if she shouldn’t.

“No thanks. I bring tea. You sit. Wait for husband.” Charity nodded, reaching to brush her fingers through her hair, before folding her hands in her lap and waiting.

word count: 917
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