[M] - Standing Above, Looking Down

[p] - O'Riley

POSTED: Sat May 11, 2019 5:16 pm

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.


OOC: Backdated to a few days after Delfina's trial
WC: 4+

IC:

Aidan stood still and silent upon the rock which, only days before, a wolf he’d agreed to call queen, had meted out justice upon the one who had introduced him to the pack. The boulder was cold from the icy melt against which it stood, and slick as well.

The day was overcast, the clouds, brooding and threatening, gathered together to block the sunlight, turning the shallows to a dully steel grey, and making the depths that sat far below, even darker and more ominous.

When Elphaba had called the pack to her, it had been the first time Aidan had come this place, but now he returned frequently, not to mourn the death of a pack mate who had passed, it was not in him to do so, but he was here to think. This close to the falls, the Massacre male could feel the vibrations sent through the earth by the pounding, relentless waters as they cascaded over the edge. It had begun to pray on his mind that he saw no beauty in this, had never seen beauty. Doubtless there were those who would think this a majestic scene, but all Aidan saw was a potential hazard to a weaker member of a fight, and a definite advantage to the stronger.

Aidan’s time within the pack still felt brief. From what he had come to learn, this pack was brutal and could be cruel, but the Massacre male had found a form of peace here, or if not peace, then a calm. Many of the members let him be, and none had seemed inclined to attack him merely for the fact that he was quiet and looked like an easy mark, as so often had been the case when Aidan had spent his time trying to learn in the taverns. Here he had found a trainer and he had worked hard, appearing in the training circle everyday for as long as Kaeli had demanded it, and not once had he relented. Now though? With the one who had sponsored Aidan sentenced, would her decisions be questioned? How far back in time would such questions go? He was not afraid of fighting off his pack mates, or that he might face death. There was a nagging concern that he might be chased out of the lands. Of course, he would survive, he always had managed before, but there was a stirring of reluctance to leave a place he had begun to think of as home.

The wind began to gust and swirl about him, perhaps trying to push Aidan over the edge. It made his hair, which had begun to grow long, to swirl and flick about his face and shoulders, strands streaming across his eyes. It brought with it a scent as well, and as it did, Aidan turned to greet the gaze of one of the first pack members Aidan had come across when arriving in Salsola.
Salsola
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Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Wed May 15, 2019 12:05 pm

Freed from the duty of guarding a madwoman, O'Riley had – perhaps predictably – rewarded himself with several days during which he rested and recovered. His wounded hand was slow to heal. Even now it restricted him to his two-legged form, and even in this he was unable to perform tasks as well as he wanted.

He went out to keep himself busy, and still found his way to the borders. Bustling and busy as Salsola remained, they had eyes upon these so frequently that his own absence could be excused. O'Riley made a point to mark the stretch along the river often, for the running water diluted their presence just-enough. Secrecy had long been a part of Salsola's calling, but the river provided more than that – it was a barrier that protected them.

Water was mercurial, though, and capable of terrible violence.

The falls had bore witness to an act of justice that had ended in a deserved ending. Delfina had killed two people, and by her own admission, was the product of a secret affair and best extinguished. O'Riley returned to the place of her death as he returned to the Waste and the mine in the mountains, as if drawn by some invisible beacon.

Someone else was there already – a reddish figure whose face said coyote in a way that made him (perhaps unfortunately) memorable.

Looking for something, Confidant? O'Riley asked, lingering on the solid ground beyond the shallows.

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
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Mel
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POSTED: Tue May 21, 2019 4:52 pm

As his superior stopped on the firmer ground, Aidan lowered his gaze and rather than bow, turned his head to one side, exposing his throat in a clear sign of submission. The fighter within Aidan knew how dangerous it was to remain where he stood with a potential threat nearby, but he didn’t move away from the position that only recently, the queen had occupied.

”I have found my time here…challenging.” Aidan said, and while his tone was flat, his words were sincere.

”I am told that this…” Aidan gestured to the falls ”is beautiful, but I have always struggled with beauty, or least seeing what others do.”

Aidan shifted his stance on the slippery rock, his weight flowing easily to compensate, Kaeli’s lessons serving him well.

”What I do understand is threat, conflict and survival. The carcass of the one who sponsored my entrance into this pack disappeared into this…beauty? She betrayed the pack. How many of her decisions will be brought into question?”

Aidan knew he should have left as soon as the trial was finished, but something had stopped him. It was that something which played on his mind. Salsola was brutal and it could be cruel, but Aidan had lived through far worse, and within these borders there was at least, if only a little, respect, something he had never been afforded previously. So was that it? Aidan doubted that his superior was concerned with existential struggles of a stranger, low on Salsola’s ladder.

What would happen now? Suspicion? Scrutiny? Exile? Death? It was confusing, but only the idea of being expelled elicited a twinge in his chest. The thought awoke the reactions of a pup railing against the unfairness of the world, but the voice inside was very faint and soon extinguished. What would happen, would happen, and Aidan would continue, as he had done through every event.
Salsola
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Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Sat May 25, 2019 10:47 pm

As he stood there, listening, O'Riley considered several things.

The first was that Aidan behaved in a way unlike other people. He was not out of line, not exactly – but his behavior was unusual. There was something about this which was too apparent, too familiar for O'Riley's liking.

His secondary thought, which became the dominant one, examined Aidan's question. That night was not terribly clear to him anymore. Seeking escape from the pain his wound had left him with, O'Riley had taken to smoking cannabis until he slept so deeply that the ache would not stir him. He did this in private, where it was safest, and settled for enduring the hurt which even now lingered as his skin knit and healed.

He had not moved from his position, though his curiosity seemed more obvious. This felt strange and experimental. Darker visions danced in O'Riley, who even now was trying to remember the name of the dog he had met in the north, and considered several violent decisions.

His attention focused on Aidan more directly. In the dull light, O'Riley's violet eyes looked bruise-colored and stormy.

Do you feel threatened? he finally asked. His voice mimicked Aidan's own unchanging tone, though it rolled roughly as it had since being injured the year before. Are you guilty of something?

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
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Mel
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Informatore & Cazador LET ME IN
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POSTED: Tue May 28, 2019 4:16 pm

Though Aidan saw and felt the violet gaze upon him, he made sure to avert his eyes, showing a deference in, what was perhaps, a more feral manner than many of the more refined among Salsola. O’Riley did not fill the air with wasted words, and his two questions gave Aidan pause. The coyote had never been one to speak in a hurry, always pausing long enough to arrange his words and muster the meagre conversational skills he possessed.

”Before arriving here, I killed many Luperci. I wish I had been the one to kill my father. I’m told these are both not behaviours of innocent Luperci. All that I am able to tell you Erilaz, is that I have broken no pack law. I can’t prove this to you, and I don’t know how much trust I’ve won within this pack to know how much weight my words carry.”

For a moment, Aidan looked once more over the edge, before turning back to his superior.

”I recognise the threat, but I do not feel threatened. I will live, or I will die. I could run. I could fight you, exploiting your injury. I could jump and hope to land well.”

Aidan moved from the rock then, walking towards O’Riley. When he’d reached a respectful distance, Aidan stopped and unfastened the belt which held his dagger. The belt dropped with a gentle thud. Aidan shifted into his lupus form, standing before his superior.

”With or without a sponsor, I made the choice to place my protection into your hands. I am new, but this is my home now.”

Aidan moved forwards on his belly, until he was at the feet of his Erilaz, and then, Aidan rolled onto his back, exposing his tender underbelly and throat. The meaning speaking louder than any words. Aidan was utterly exposed, vulnerable and completely at the mercy of the High Inquisitor. Aidan had accepted the protection of the pack, and that had meant placing his life into the hands of his superiors for better or worse. Aidan remained in that position, his body free of tension, clearly willing to accept O’Riley’s decision.
Salsola
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Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Tue May 28, 2019 4:41 pm

A murderer, he said.

Someone who desired patricide, he said.

Oh it should have shocked him, these things. An admission of these wicked thoughts and deeds would have paled the nature of gentle souls. Here, though, they were animals and they lived and died by violence alone. Having never met his father, O'Riley was unsure if he would desire to kill the man. It seemed logical to do so – after all, he was the superior offspring and deserved to live.

What did surprise him was Aidan's open consideration against his own person. This was not a true threat – O'Riley did not see it as such, in any case – and soon enough, with his weapons cast aside, Aidan did something very strange.

Salsola was a place advancing. They needed too. As the pack grew larger so too did it's need for organization and support. There were gaps which needed filled to ensure order remain. When Elphaba and O'Riley took the throne, they ripped asunder the living-Law's voice. Their Oma's absence ensured this remained true. She might have planned it all along, though O'Riley never thought on this matter too long. He believed himself independent, as much as one could be when they served under a Queen.

By the time the man before him finished the ample opportunities to test his words came and went. O'Riley did nothing but watch.

Damp and muddied by his approach, the warrior at his feet exposed himself like a feral thing. The summer shed and water's touch had stripped Aidan of any illusions.

O'Riley saw all that coyote wrongness and that darkness inside of him stirred. He squatted next to Aidan and examined the pale fur and places where it did not grow very much at all. His left hand pulsed with a dull ache, as if to warn him towards caution.

He didn't say anything, but with his wounded hand he reached for Aidan's throat. The fur around it was thick, and loose skin protected the fragile windpipe beneath, but O'Riley could feel it. He tightened his grip slowly, observing Aidan's face all the while.

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
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Mel
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POSTED: Thu May 30, 2019 3:37 pm

If the coyote felt any humiliation at his position, he showed no sign. To Aidan this felt natural, a baser state of being, but familiar. While the Massacre male struggled with society and its rules, he had learned the universal language spoken by common ancestors. Small tremors rippled through the damp ground as O’Riley stepped closer and squatted beside him. Aidan remained still and calm, his gaze downcast, utterly at the mercy of the Inquisitor.

You’re an idiot! Aidan heard his sire’s voice, or at least the ghost of it, but the mere voice held little power over him, not here and not now.

The tableau of the pair must have been an odd one to any onlooker, the coyote lying in the damp earth, his belly and throat spattered with mud, but completely exposed, and O’Riley, his eyes running over the prone form, abasing themselves before the superior.

There was no flinch or flicker as the rough pad scraped against Aidan’s throat, and his world was consumed with the scent of the inquisitor. The coyote felt his pulse, slow and steady, beating against the palm of the hand which had begun to tighten. He felt the tips of claws that could extend and rip out his throat, and still Aidan did not move, speak or beg. Indeed, he seemed utterly unphased at the prospect of losing his life. Aidan began to wheeze as the act of breathing grew more difficult, and slowly the coyote noticed the sounds of the world around him drifting away and being replaced by the sound of his heart, beating rhythmically, in his ears.

The Massacre knew that one day he would die, it held little fear for him, and while none would probably understand, better that death come at the hands of a pack mate, in a pack Aidan had begun to build a home in, than on the piss and vomit decorated gutters outside of a loner tavern. Aidan’s eyelids fluttered than and he wondered how long it had been since he’d taken a breath, long enough that the edges of his vision had begun to darken.

Aidan knew, which ever way this turned out, this moment was his trial and judgement. Nothing as horribly showy or ostentatious as the one afforded to Delfina, but quiet, quick and private, one superior, one person to decide and to pass the sentence.
Salsola
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Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:26 am

How much pressure would kill him?

O'Riley was thinking about this as he squeezed Aidan's throat. He was thinking about the coyote in the cave – and the one before it, and the one in the cabin. For the first time in a long time he thought about that first coyote, that dead and mangled body and the way it had looked after he had beaten it into nothing. It was so easy to distance himself from all these other people.

Each time he killed someone it mattered less and less. How many bodies had they burned?

Never enough. They still had enemies.

They would always have enemies.

Abruptly, O'Riley released his grip. His hand opened up. When he withdrew his claws they left bloody streams on his fingertips. The wolfdog peered down at the prone figure and his curious expression slowly turned – of all things – pleasant.

You're a funny thing, aren't you? The dark face smiled. Get up. I've killed people too, he admitted casually, as if this was a common occurrence. Sometimes things happen. Outsiders are dangerous. Everyone can be dangerous, he amended, glancing towards the falls. Did you like killing people? Why did you kill Others?

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
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Mel
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Informatore & Cazador LET ME IN
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POSTED: Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:33 pm

Aidan floated weightless. His thoughts seemed sluggish, surrounded as he was by an out of focus world. Was this a dream? Or was this perhaps the moments before Aidan was about to wake for the first time. The Massacre male was gripped by a feeling of completely euphoria, and it was something totally alien to him. The sensation was intoxicating, and he knew he’d be able to enjoy it fully, if it weren’t for some pressure still tethering him. That anchor was growing weaker though, and soon Aidan would be allowed to feel like this all the time.

O’Riley released the pressure and the coywolf took in a long breath, his lungs burning. Aidan’s eyes opened and re-focused, listening to the inquisitor as he was invited to stand, but allowing his body to fill with strength again before he did something so foolhardy.

When his body allowed it though, Aidan complied with the second and stood, though he remained in lupus form, ensuring he showed great deference to the one of higher station. The casual admission did not surprise Aidan as he couldn’t imagine that one could ascend to such heights without ending lives of enemies or rivals.

”I’ve been told I’m strange. It has been my experience that my presence in a tavern will eventually attract the attention of a Luperci wishing to impress a drunken companion. I do nothing to seek their ire, but find it all the same. The only time i feel anything is when I taste the blood of those I have killed, and I have only ever killed because my attackers tried to kill me.”

His monotone made it all sound so casual, and his cool gaze seemed devoid of any feelings.

”I fought because it meant another day existing. Now…with this pack…”

For a moment Aidan’s forehead crinkled, as though he was straining to explain a concept that he himself could only feel the edges of.

”I think that now I have the urge to fight for this pack, as well as my existence. I am not able to explain it better. I have never had the opportunity to grow into a pack, and I had thought that the death of my sponsor would halt my learning.”

Aidan kept his posture of deference, and it occurred to him that since had arrived in Salsola, he had begun to speak a great deal more, but perhaps it was not always talking to a pack mate, but rather vocalising his thoughts in an attempt to understand them.

”May I ask. Were you born into this pack?”
Salsola
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Draiko
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POSTED: Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:23 pm

O'Riley considered everything Aidan said very carefully.

He had been a spy long before he had been a leader, and he remained this now – an easy excuse to abandon the Law and exist among the Others, if only for brief moments. Sometimes he found himself unable to stand it, loathing their presence with such ire that violence seemed the only possible solution.

I was, the second-in-command admitted with an easy smile. My family goes all the way back to the beginning. Most of us were born here, but not everyone. It couldn't be helped, he supposed. A powerful place drew to it people hungry for an existence greater than their own.

She was too, he went on, shrugging at the mention of Delfina. His scarred hand flexed, extending the claws and retracting them. But she was a mad. You don't seem mad to me, O'Riley added. It sounds like you're looking to better yourself, and you should. Living out there with all those Outsiders can force a man to behave in extraordinary ways, but you're with us now. If you want to fight for us, there'll be opportunity. Things always happen.

He laughed after he said this, though just long enough to find his feet. Of course, if you do see anything strange, you tell me.

if the thunder don't get you
then the lightning will
Salsola
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Mel
'Souls Assemblage Luperci Informatore & Cazador LET ME IN
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caveat emptor
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