[P] [M] trust in me and fall as well
#1

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: violence.

For days he lingered, careful to cover his tracks as he inched closer at a painstaking pace. He had no desire to encounter the secui again, now that his intentions were known. It had been foolish to think that the stranger would sympathize with his plight. But this setback did not slow him for long.

His hunger pangs had died down, strangely. Now his parched throat was the only discomfort he allowed himself to feel, his mouth like sandpaper as he pressed on. Occasionally he thought he saw shadows dart from tree to tree overhead, no sound accompanying them, visages he had seen once a long time ago.

This was the end, Solomon thought. He had been this close to it before when Alejandra pulled him back out. But this time, she and his daughter, once his whole world, were safely tucked away in Bête Noire. He wouldn't drag them down with him again.

Eventually, he came upon the border, the scent barrier separating him from his long-lost. He stiffened, taking another step closer, just shy of crossing over.

In the trees, he heard a loud caw, then a fluttering of wings and dislodged leaves. This hadn't been one of the illusive shadows, but something much more familiar. Yet he ignored it, returning his gaze forward a moment too late.

There was a snap of cord, the sensation of the world being pulled out from under him as he fell to the dirt, a tightening pain at his foot. A snare, he realized with a belated gasp, and his frantic hands tried loosening the noose 'round his ankle as his breath quickened and shallowed.

The raven cawed again from another perch, a string of indiscernible words as he fought against the trap, but Solomon could barely hear it over the sound of his erratic heart beat.

No. This couldn't be how it ended. Not when he came this far.

She was so, so close.

Throwing his head back, he gave a desperate plea, his shrouded mind at its wit's end. Caution morphed to reckless abandon in a matter of mere moments. Panicked, deprived, he could do little else.

"ODALIS!!" he shouted, his voice a shrill croak. A shadow of its former self. Would she recognize him? Or even come at all?

No, Solomon told himself. She would come. She had to.

He called her name, again, before throwing himself into wedging the snare off of his numb foot, every movement in slow motion.
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#2
His patrols were largely mundane. O'Riley looped around familiar trails and down the well-worn path made by the many scouts and guards who made use of these routes. There were plenty of them spread across the territory like spiderweb. Game trails had evolved to avoid these, but hunters like O'Riley made use of this knowledge to further box in prey.

He considered these lesser animals stupid. Their adaptations were reactions, not critical thinking – and if there was any thought to the way they multiplied in mass it was certainly as simple as not today. Someone else would be slower. Someone else would get hurt, or sick. Someone else would get caught.

Life and death had a lot to do with luck.

Some people were destined for tragedy.

In the old woods he roamed like a god – a huge, terribly fast apex predator. His people had been like this even before the virus. He was not the same as them, but the instincts which had guided every generation back to the first remained imprinted on some sort of collective memory. Among these had been the core dominance which led O'Riley to the top.

Part of providing for a pack was defending it from danger. Outsiders were an ever-present threat.

The man screaming didn't look like a threat, but it was what he carried with him that was dangerous.

O'Riley was all teeth and fur when he emerged from the forest. The great mass of fur around his neck and throat only served to enhance the illusion, though his large size was clear even without the posturing. 

“What did I say?” He bellowed, intending to startle Odalis' brother into silence. “What did I fucking tell you before, eh?”

Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people.
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