When Worlds Fall

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Mirror, Mirror, on the wall

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151Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:47 pm

"I'd have never guessed that." I laugh, "First few weeks we knew one another, he basically carried the conversations. I don't think I said more than a handful of words those first few days."

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152Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:34 pm

"He was scared of me the first time we met," Cael says, much to my annoyance. He seems to sense the way I tense at that, a scowl coming to my lips. "Well, okay, not scared... But he flinched a lot. Used to cringe everytime I'd lift my hand or raise my voice.

"Which is kinda funny, actually," Cael hurries on as I get more and more peeved with every word. "Because the one time we actually did get into it back then, he shut me down so fast it broke my sternum."

"Do we really have to talk about this?" I finally ask, shaking my head at him scoldingly.

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153Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:45 pm

"I like hearing about how you are with others, though." I shrug lamely, frowning a bit as I look at him. "Even if it is short tempered."

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154Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:43 am

I narrow my eyes at that, Cael's smirk telling me he knew that Ljuba would want to hear what he has to say and that I would allow it because it's Ljuba. Sighing, I settle back in my spot, pulling my blanket up further into my lap before waving at Cael to carry on.

"Go on then," I say. "Tell her how short tempered I am."

"Was," Cael corrects, smiling in amusement as I grind my teeth. "Hell, I don't even know if it could be considered short-tempered. Unpredictable might be a better description. Tiniest little things could set him off - completely without warning. We had to dump a guy outside a healers in the middle of the night because he touched one of the girls that was traveling with us-"

"That was entirely justified!" I say quickly. "He was bad news."

"He touched her hair!" Cael argues.

"She was thirteen!" I snap back. "And she didn't like it! I could tell." I clear my throat uncomfortably as Cael bites back any further argument. "What happened to that guy anyway?"

"He died," Cael says simply. "I don't know if he froze to death or if you did it, but I asked about him. Libby found him dead on her doorstep the next morning."

"Good," I mumble.

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155Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:38 am

The thought of a man dying at Marnin's hands doesn't have the effect I'd thought it would. I'm not unsettled, but intrigued. Almost relieved to know he's capable of it knowing what we're going to face. It's only in the back of my mind that I have a vague queasiness at the thought.

"What'd you do to him?" I ask Marnin softly.

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156Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:50 am

"I broke his arm," I respond with a shrug, Cael scoffing immediately.

"And then he strangled him," Cael says.

"I told him to apologize," I frown. "I gave him ample opportunity before I ever touched his neck. And he had plenty of time to choke it out before he passed out, too. But he wasted his breath calling me a faggot and telling that girl she was a slut. I got angry!"

"He broke my nose when I pulled him off of the guy," Cael says matter-of-factly. "That, at least, was an accident."

"It really wasn't," I say dryly, Cael's eyes narrowing at me.

"Dick," he says simply.

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157Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:02 am

"And all for touching a girl's hair..?" I continue - trying to keep any specific tone out of my voice so as to keep Marnin sharing.

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158Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:10 am

"No," I respond before shaking my head and cringing as I draw my shoulder up to protect the side of my neck. "Yes. It wasn't just her hair. He was doing that thing - touching her hair as an excuse to touch her neck. I don't like it."

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159Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:24 am

"Seems like he deserved it." I say quietly, noting the way Marnin's posture has shifted to one of uncomfortable anxiety at the subject. 

"What about you, Cael? What are you like?" I ask, my voice sounding more nonchalant as I try to ignore Marnin - leaving him to his discomfort.

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160Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:28 am

"I prefer the less artistic yelling when I'm angry," Cael admits with a smirk. "I know, I know! My rippling muscles say otherwise, but I don't actually kick as much ass as I'd like to pretend. I just yell a lot, maybe swerve around and make people puke for shits and giggles, but that's about it."

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161Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:37 am

"Not just when you're mad," I laugh softly, "I mean in general. Marnin doesn't talk about his friends when he's home. I mean, he'll give these intense explanations of the places he's been, things he's found - but never who he's with. Not in detail, anyway.

"Honestly, his telling me about Gatz was the first time, I think, that he's even told me who he was traveling with beyond some guy with a funny way of breathing, or some guy who wreaks of onions."

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162Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:45 am

"He really hates it when I eat onions," Cael grins. "Went through a whole summer eating them like apples just to piss him off."

"And that's Cael in a nutshell," I sigh heavily.

"I don't know what you want me to say," Cael shrugs. "I'm an Echo? I have unhealthy relationships with my apothecaries - I either hate them violently or fall hopelessly in love with them, there is no in-between. Sometimes I can do both, though... I often do both."

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163Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:48 am

"And this one? You haven't known her long..?" I ask, reluctantly drawing my own attention back to the nearly ceased swaying of the van. About time they're slowing down.

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164Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:56 am

"She's growing on me," Cael admits as he plucks at the strings of his guitar boredly. "Mostly because she actually stopped me feeling so damn sick. Probably for the first time in twenty years, honestly. The other shoe will drop though, I'm sure of it. It always does."

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165Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:05 am

"Twenty years?" My jaw practically drops as I stare at him. "How old are you..?"

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166Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:11 am

"Twenty-one," Cael responds flatly, earning himself an eyeroll from me.

"No," I say scoldingly.

"Twenty-se-,"

"Nope," I cut off, shaking my head at him.

"You know, it's rude to ask a girl about her age," Cael pouts before rolling his eyes. "Fine. I'm a hundred and fifteen."

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167Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:14 am

"Really?" I ask, my eye widening a bit at that. "That's- You're only a handful of generations removed from the war! By our standards... That'd be barely two by yours! Were your parents-? Did they live before? Your grandparents?"

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168Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:20 am

"I don't really know," Cael admits with a faint shrug, his fingers dancing across the strings of the guitar. "I never really knew my mom, and my dad was killed when I was pretty young. He didn't talk about it too much, but I'm sure he must have been around for it. He was pretty old, even by an echo's standards. I doubt he saw the other side of it, though. We wouldn't be echoes if we had a pure bloodline like that - unless you believe the environmental theories for our degenerative issues."

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169Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:22 am

"Don't you ever wonder what it was like before?" I continue, "What the world looked like when all the waste and rubble was still in its rightful place?"

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170Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:30 am

"Used to pine after it!" Cael admits, making a face as he gets up to grab a rag before settling back down to clean his guitar. "I drove halfway around the world looking for a utopia my dad used to talk about - a place where everything was in its rightful place, no dust or buzzards, everything good and right and beautiful, people like us as far as the eye could see.

"It doesn't exist," he says dully. "And it's silly to wish for. Silly to even think about," he frowns as he nods toward the doors and windows. "This is the world we live in, plain and simple."

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171Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:30 pm

"My dad moved here when he was just a teenager - Came across on a boat delivering goods to a port east of Old North. He said it was because this was a better world than the one he left behind. 

"And it makes me sick to think this is the closest we have to a Utopia." I say lowly, sinking back against the back of the van as I draw my blanket up. "I like wondering what it used to be like. Makes it a little easier to pass the time."

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172Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:42 pm

"If half the world weren't too busy scavenging and killing each other for food, we might be able to build a world like that again," Cael shrugs as he leans forward, holding his guitar out toward Ljuba. "Unfortunately, the chaos left from the war is still epidemic, and probably will be for another decade or ten. And sadly, the only people of power organized enough to rebuild are folks like Marcus Gatz and Richard Braddock. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to live in any kind of utopia they would create."

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173Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:51 pm

I watch him a bit curiously as he offers me the guitar, reluctant to take it until his hand shakes it a bit. Not quite impatiently, but enough so that I take it anyway. 

"What do you want me to do with it..?" I ask, glancing down at it. It feels abnormal - Misshapen and heavy in my hands. I haven't touched an instrument other than Maja's guitar in six years.

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174Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:54 pm

"Play it!" Cael says with a hint of impatience. "Marn says you're brilliant. I want to know if he's just biased, or if you really are cute and talented."

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175Mirror, Mirror, on the wall - Page 7 Empty Re: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall on Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:16 pm

My cheeks flush as I sit up to adjust the guitar in my lap, looking down at it at a loss. Glancing at Marnin, his head is tilted in its familiar way, though if it's in anticipation of my playing or some other unfavorable emotional response, I don't know. 

I clear my throat as I shift, twisting my legs to sit indian style so the guitar rests against my lap more comfortably before I strum at the guitar aimlessly for a moment. "Okay," I nod, "I'll play something..."

It takes another moment before anything comes to mind, my gaze trailing up to see Marnin sitting up a bit, the faintest smile tugging at his lips bringing only one song to mind. My fingers slide over the neck of the guitar before their find their place, the familiar tune coming easily.

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