When Worlds Fall

Sordid Nation 2.0


You are not connected. Please login or register

The Unexpected

Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Go down  Message [Page 2 of 6]

26 Re: The Unexpected on Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:14 pm

I fall into stride beside him, his long legs moving in much slower, more fluid motion than my own hurrying to keep up.

“I still don’t understand why you’re doing this,” I respond tensely, “I trust you, I mean... I just- I don’t understand.”

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

27 Re: The Unexpected on Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:23 pm

"I'm not sure I do either," I grumble quietly before sighing. "Look... what made you this way? What made you want to pursue this... stuff? To teach your children about it?"

View user profile

28 Re: The Unexpected on Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:26 pm

"It's the way I was raised," I respond gently, "I have faith in what I do, what I can bring to people who need it, and I know that raising my children to do the same is the right thing to do. 

"There are people out there who would abuse our gifts," I admit as I look at him seriously, "Others who practice in ways I don't agree with, but there are far more of us doing good than your Temple would have you think."

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

29 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:07 am

"You sound like Solas," I scoff as I start leading the way toward her house, my tone shifting to imitate the pale man. "Magic is no different than a sword, Emhyr. We use them to help people, but far more use them for harm. What matters is your intent, and by comparison, swords are much more dangerous because thugs lack the will to conquer magic.

"Except the average man can protect himself from steel," I frown a little, still not wholly committed to my argument, and more just pondering the questions out loud. "What does one do to defend himself from magic?"

View user profile

30 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:05 am

“You think I could protect myself from your sword should you choose to use it?” I ask simply, looking at him curiously. “Without my gifts, you’d cut me down. I wouldn’t stand a chance.

“I’m as powerless to your steel as you are to my gifts.”

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

31 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:28 am

"You could learn to use steel, though," I point out. "Magic is not so easy. Nor should it be."

View user profile

32 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:32 am

“Even so, you honestly believe I’d be a match to you?” I frown, “The average man may be able to defend himself, but the average person could not. There’s a flaw in your logic, Emhyr, because the world isn’t mostly capable men. There’s the weak, the starving, the frail.

“And just like your sword, our magic isn’t a danger when wielded by the right person.”

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

33 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:20 am

"I've been taught that there is no such thing as the right person," I say a bit jadedly. "Everyone has a breaking point where their intentions fail to matter. Average as you are, pushed far enough, you could level a whole street with a few well-placed spells. A madman with a sword would be hard pressed to accomplish the same level of destruction.

"But it hardly matters," I finally sigh. "We could talk all day on the if's and maybe's of the world, and get no where with it. The bottom line is always the same: people are wretched, terrible things, and can't be trusted regardless of the tools at their disposal. Look at Wolter. He's been stripped of his magic, his emotions, his will... and he's still found a way to twist what's left of his good intentions into something unspeakably awful.

"It wouldn't matter if we re-educated the children; they wouldn't forget you or what he did to you. Even while they outwardly spit on the craft you taught them, they'd still hurt and question and mourn. They'd never quite believe, never quite find peace, because of his actions. For all the good he wanted for them, he'd ruin everything he tried to give them with the very actions he used to do it."

View user profile

34 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:53 am

“Then why were you so intent on re-educating my daughter..?” I ask swiftly, a bit of hurt in my voice as I keep my gaze on the road ahead.

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

35 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:21 pm

"I'm not Wolter," I say simply as I glance over at her with a frown. "You say that word with such disdain, and I don't think you really understand what it is. I know it's a hard thing to accept from the standpoint of a parent, or a family member, because it means seeing someone you love go away for awhile.

"But it isn't some awful thing that's done to people," I insist. "We're given a home - one that's safe and stable, and free from biased teaching. They teach us about the Temple, about history and math and everything. And they teach us about magic - specifically the risks and dangers of it. We're taught to fight and defend ourselves, without magic, and when it's over, we have the choice to stay or to go back and pursue the life of magic we left.

"There aren't any requirements not to practice," I say roughly. "And those who do wind up going back are safer and less likely to harm themselves or other people because of what they learned. But most don't want to go back to that life. There are no guarantees out there; it's cold, and lonely, and hard. With the Temple, you always have a home, you never go hungry, and there are always people looking out for you.

"It's really not that bad," I frown. "We aren't the bad guys. Not always."

View user profile

36 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:01 pm

I only listen as he describes what I can only infer is his own experience with re-education, looking at him solemnly.

“I know you aren’t the villain,” I frown, “and I don’t think you believe I am, either.”

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

37 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:15 pm

"Let us save our judgments for after this is done," I reply reservedly, unable to meet her gaze. "We still don't know how this day will play out, and by the end of it, we may well decide our temporary alliance was ill advised."

View user profile

38 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:54 pm

“If you say so,” I frown, hesitating at the edge of the street just before my own. Suddenly I feel lost, peering through the dark at the facade of my home, dim light illuminating several windows.

“What do I tell them..?” I wonder weakly.

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

39 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:58 pm

"Lie," I offer with a sympathetic frown as I look her over. "Tell them you ran into a disgruntled client; that you're just going to take the kids somewhere safe for the night while you sort it out. It's nothing to worry about, but you just want to be safe."

View user profile

40 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:26 pm

“You shouldn’t be there,” I frown.

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

41 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:29 pm

I hesitate at that, eyeing her suspiciously before I finally nod and sigh. "You're right," I concede. "I can meet you at-" I falter as I realize that I have no solid idea about where Solas actually lives. "The south gate," I finally decide, thinking back on where I usually meet him. "From there, we'll find our way to Solas."

View user profile

42 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:39 pm

I nod briefly, inhaling sharply as a cold wind cuts through me.

“Give me an hour, I’ll be there.”

***

Gathering the children was simple, but the real task was getting Nell to come along with nothing more than the vague threat of an imagined man. It took pleading with her that I was too scared to take the children across the city alone to pull her from the brink of hunting him down herself, with a half-sleeping Rae’s nervous whining finally sealing the deal.

Bundled tightly, we’ve made it to the southern end of the city, Evander snuggled firmly against my chest as Nell follows behind, Raefiya hugged tightly to her front under a thick cloak. I still don’t know how this will go once we’ve met up with Emhyr, and the impending threat of Nell’s blow up leaves a sick knot in my chest.

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

43 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:47 pm

The hour Yvla has given me proves crucial to piecing together what few clues Solas has left me over the years to figure out just where to look for his house. Though, even with that hour, I'm still not decidedly certain I know where we're going when I see the women approaching, children bundled in their cloaks against the rapidly cooling weather. Using the wind as an excuse, I keep my hood down low at their approach, doing my best not to appear threatening as I take stock of their condition while Nell's gaze seems to pierce through to my very core.

"We have a little bit of a walk, so I took the liberty of securing a small cart to make it easier on the little ones," I say directly to Yvla as I nod toward my horse and the cart in question. I can pinpoint the exact moment Nell recognizes me when her posture stiffens, though I offer her nothing more than a worried frown in acknowledgement.

View user profile

44 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:58 pm

“You fucking liar,” Nell hisses behind me, my posture tending as I turn to face her.

“Nell, I need you to trust me,” I urge quietly, my attention farting to Rae as I pray she doesn’t wake, “You know I’d let nothing happen to us-“

“He’s a fucking hunter!” She scowls, stepping closer as she drops her voice, “What lies did he feed you, huh?”

“Your brother wants a bounty on me head!” I nearly cry back at her, wincing as I look around the empty streets. “Not here - please, just not here.”

Nell gapes at me before looking back at Emhyr, her face still wrought with disdain, “And he told you this? Convinced you to round us up and meet him out here? How fucking stupid can you be?”

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

45 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:05 pm

"I'm one man against two witches with children," I point out evenly. "If I try anything, I daresay I'm outnumbered, outmatched, and severely lacking in maternal motivation to win."

Frowning at her continued glowering, I push my cloak aside, moving slowly as I keep my eyes fixed on Nell while I carefully remove my sword. Taking a tentative step forward, I hold it out toward her, the hilt pointed toward her.

"As a gesture of good faith," I offer, my discomfort with parting with the sword apparent. "I'm not here to fight you. And we really don't have the time to win you over with words."

View user profile

46 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:11 pm

I watch the exchange tensely, Nell demeanor never softening despite her shifting Rae so she can take the sword.

“If you’re lying, I’ll kill you,” She says evenly, “And if you’re not, I’ll kill Wolter.”

Nell,” I frown sharply, glancing to the sleeping girl in her arms.

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

47 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:33 pm

"This is not a subject to discuss in front of the children," I say before anything else can be said. Instead, I coax my horse to stay put and then nod for them to get situated in the cart, offering them an extra blanket for the journey as they settle in.

Once they're tucked in, and I've made certain the cart is secure, I mount up and ease us out onto the road. I can hear the two women talking under their breath behind me, Nell's words as heated as ever despite the worry and weariness in Yvla's voice. Their predicament doesn't weigh quite so heavily on me as my own does, however. Particularly as I begin to question our every step down the road the longer we're on it.

****

It's over an hour of uncertain travel, the horse pausing at my behest more than once as I try to pick out Solas's house amidst the rural setting. None of the humble houses prove to be the one we're looking for. I'm about ready to give up as we're passing by a house I give no thought to, its expensive facade removing it from my list of 'maybes' before I've even given it a thought. That is, until I notice a familiar figure working on his evening chores by the stables.

"Solas!" I call, relief washing over me as I steer the cart toward the cobbled path leading to the barn. The pale figure stiffens as he whips back to see my approach, his jaw tensing as he freezes mid-scoop, his pitchfork still holding a hefty amount of hay as he stares at me. Realizing his task is incomplete, Solas glances down at the hay and then tosses it into the stable before stabbing the fork back into the hay and turning toward me to remove his gloves.

"What are you doing here?" he demands, any friendliness absent from his voice as he stalks forward as though to cut me off from approaching any further. Dismounting proves awkward as he tries to guide the horse backward, off of his property, before he realizes there is a cart attached.

Managing to get off of the saddle, I scowl at his less than welcoming reaction as he stares wide-eyed at the women in the cart. Before I can say anything, he's shoved me back into the side of my horse roughly, the sudden movement startling the steed as Solas hisses in my face.

"What the fuck are they doing here?!" he amends his last question, his tone now filled with proper rage. "I told you, we're done with that job! It's not happening!"

"I'm not here for that!" I snap as I shove him away from me, my cheeks flushed angrily as I brush myself off and fix my cloak. "They're here for protection," I say a little more evenly.

View user profile

48 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:05 pm

I shift in the cart uncomfortably, Nell’s apprehension palpable at the men’s tense exchange.

“Can we take the kids somewhere,” I interject before the silver haired man has a moment to respond, giving him a pleading look. “Please? From the cold?

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

49 Re: The Unexpected on Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:54 pm

Solas hesitates for a moment before his entire demeanor shifts. "Of course," he responds as he comes forward to hold a hand out to help Yvla climb out of the cart. Solas is quick to catch the rough, woolen blanket, bundling it around the woman as she swaddles the infant in her arms and shivers against the cold wind that seems all the fiercer for the seclusion of the man's house.

I can't help but gawk at the house for a moment as Solas leads the way inside, the fire already roaring in the fireplace in expectation of its master returning from settling the horses down in the barn for the night. It's warm and inviting and not at all lacking in luxury - something that leaves me stumped as I watch him skeptically while he gets the womenfolk settled in near the fire before he disappears for a moment to retrieve some bedding for the children.

View user profile

50 Re: The Unexpected on Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:31 am

I’m grateful for the warmth of the fire once we’re inside, settling into the comfortable-looking couch near the fire as Solas leaves us to gather bedding. Nell wastes little time in setting Raefiya down on couch beside me, the girl stirring only slightly as she twists to stretch along the empty cushions.

Nell helps me pull the blanket from my shoulders to lay over her for the time being, and I finally feel like I can breathe as I relax into the sofa. Rae at my side, Evan asleep in my lap, I know that they’re safe - at least for the night.

View user profile http://sordidnations.forumotion.com

Sponsored content


Back to top  Message [Page 2 of 6]

Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum