his ghost is living in our walls

POSTED: Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:16 pm

The shock insisted on, and for days Micah had moved about like a ghost amongst his peers. They did not interact with him save a glance or two of reassurance from the more compassionate of packmates. They did not come forward to check on him, to ensure his safety. He did not want them to. He wanted to be left alone.

The man in Halifax had insisted the criminal in question to be innocent, and in the wake of unfolding events thereafter Micah remained empty, confused. Even Skye had softened long enough to redirect Micah from blaming himself, but the attempt had not sunk. No, he could not have known that cage was something valuable or sentimental or worth killing over. How could the Lykoi have foreseen such a thing? It was a cage, an ordinary set of bars with a child inside. Now it was returned to its owned damaged, and no doubt the criminal would consider it a challenge. He had once before.

Micah thought he had been doing good at the time. He rescued a pup, an orphan, and raised her as his own. Somewhere he had trespassed someone, somehow, and Lowry was killed as end result. He could not blame himself, no. But his packmates, his friends, might have thought differently. The looks he received confirmed it, if only for a small few.

Lowry left behind a stallion, Bark—a muscular, almost playful thing grown temperamental with neglect. When Micah came to deliver the news to the horse, he found no words to do so. Bark would not have understood a word of it, and yet Micah could construct no sentences still. He stood in the stables for passing minutes, hesitating in the space between stalls, slow in movement and numb in emotion. The horse expected some form of attention, but received nothing save a modest stare to match his own.


User avatar
Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:57 am

Y HLO THR. >_>

---------------------------

If anything, she had made a point to stay away from Micah since the event had happened. Her anger had been bursting at the seams and although she did want to lash out at him and rip the answers from his throat, she knew she couldn't. He was a member of the pack and he had every right to breathe, though she despised him for what had happened to Lowry. Among other things. So she had waited. Patiently working out her anger through patrols, orchestrating the protection of the pack, and focusing on her tasks. Letting some of the anger cool under the pressure of days separated from the problem in her eyes: Micah Lykoi, the most worthless wolf on the face of the earth.

Yet today, when she walked past the stables and caught a familiar scent, she couldn't keep herself away. Her fury had abated into something more manageable and she had a right to ask. To know what he had done that had caused the timid Gamekeeper to come to an untimely end. Because it was clearly his fault and no matter how mopey the dark Lykoi looked, it didn't mean that he should be forgiven. He had done something stupid that resulted in the death of a packmate. There was no forgiving that in Esmeralda's mind; though, of course, she was incredibly biased against the male to begin with, so she was hardly the best judge.

When she saw Micah he was, as expected, entirely dopey and pathetic. Staring at a horse that Esmeralda recognized vaguely. Perhaps it had belonged to Lowry; she wasn't particularly familiar with the equines of the pack beyond the ones Honrin had introduced to her. She stood where she was, crossing her arms and tucking her clenched fists into the underside of her arms. "What did you do?" she said loud enough for him to hear, her voice devoid of emotion though there was a cold anger locked onto her expression that showed how she felt. Not that Micah would have been under any illusion of her feelings toward him. Though she purposefully was not moving to close proximity. She didn't want to physically threaten him or go too far.
Avatar by Kiri!

POSTED: Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:22 am

The question was more a challenge, one that set the fur on his neck standing. Micah jumped visibly in alarm, though the reaction comparatively dulled to the norm, and his ears swung forward only long enough to ensure himself still safe. For now, anyway.

Bark stirred and stomp at the interruption, too loud for an average day in the stables. Micah reached to calm him only to be knocked away by the stallion's swinging nose. He had no bond with this horse. Nothing he could do would calm Bark—just as he could do nothing to calm anyone at present. Though his limbs no longer shook, the coyote's arms raised and fingers beginning to fidget together.

Esmeralda. Skye's daughter, and one of few who had never quite given him at least a chance in the pack. The two had exchanged nothing since their first meeting, scarcely even a glance while passing by, for Micah avoided her at all times and thought it best they did not interact. He did not want to lash out again. And yet here she was, glowering and furious and suspicious, and Micah thought it already impossible that he would never be forgiven for what he had intended to be a good deed in rescusing a child.

"I-I-I don't know," he stammered, and immediately regretted the words. Skye claimed his innocence, but Micah's guilt insisted no less. "Lowry was my friend. I-I don't know how it came to this."

He collected himself, only long enough to emerge voice with greater steadiness: "I didn't kill him. I never knew any of this would happen."


User avatar
Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:25 pm

The horse seemed agitated by her presence, but she ignored it. Micah seemed more concerned about the four-legged beast, trying to placate it only to be knocked backward. The Commander rolled her eyes, unimpressed as always by the dark Lykoi. First impressions had never had a chance to change between them, so her initial thoughts on the male had stayed firm through time. Certainly nothing had transpired to prove to her that he was anything but a useless lump of wasted space. It was her mother's differing opinion and higher rank that kept him secure in d'Arte. If there was a choice in it for her, Esmeralda would have sent him off to some other pack that catered to the weak and pathetic. Surely there was a place like that somewhere, but not here.

She observed the typical fidgeting of the fool, her ears slicking back with silent displeasure. Not that her body language had been screaming welcome before that, it was just another sign of her frustration and irritation with him. The rigidity of her muscles was hard to maintain, so she loosened them up and relaxed a bit. There was still tension she could feel taut between her shoulder blades, keeping her locked in place as she stared at him. Waiting for an answer that was taking too long to come. Far too long; he should have come clean to the whole pack days ago. Perhaps soon enough that there would have been no death of a packmate to scar them all, to warp their world. She figured if Micah hadn't been such an idiot, they could have avoided Lowry's demise entirely.

The stammered reply was not sufficient, even when aided by the followup that was slightly less shaky. Then he gathered himself and said more, with a touch of conviction. Though the teal-eyed warrior remembered what had happened last time he had just a bit of guts, then almost immediately lost it. It was part of what she hated about him. "I didn't think you personally took the knife to his throat, but you know something. About why it happened, who did it, and I think you're part of why he's dead. Why would someone kill Lowry? What did they want?" she said, her voice sharper now. He was wasting her time with his petty excuses.
Avatar by Kiri!

POSTED: Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:28 am

Esmeralda visibly relaxed her shoulders, but it was no motion to reassure him. Her mood had not shifted, her near-bloodlust hardly unequipped. Micah knew her opinion of him was no lofty one; they were as disagreeing as they had been upon first meeting, and Micah believed it was a relationship never to change. In days of future when he was proven to have had no hand in this murder, doubtless he would seek to remedy their friendship. Until then, his home in Cercatori d'Arte was on the line—and it was high-ranking, low-approving characters like Esmeralda that would see him run from home for good.

He considered, in the end, that his uprooting might have been for the best. If their faith in him was tarnished, he no longer had a place among them. It would have been safer to leave. But to where could he go?

She did not believe him the killer, but one associated. Improvement, but hardly means of relief. "Th-They wanted the cage," he began. "I found Mistral trapped in it in the autumn. They were hurting her. I... I couldn't get the bars open, so I ran home with her in it and y-your mother helped me break it apart. It... It's just been here since, out in the field."

He looked at the floor, fingers fidgeting. "Th-They wrote on Lowry's chest that, umm... That they wanted the cage back. I-I couldn't have known, Esmeralda, It's just an ordinary cage— I was trying to help Mimi— I never thought..."


User avatar
Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:19 pm

Her tongue ran across her fangs, pressing a bit harder than necessary to bring a small measure of pain to the surface. There was a desire to cause pain that beat through her; her father would have been ashamed. Esmeralda didn't care, though. Perhaps he would have at least been proud that she was holding herself back. That the itching in her fingers was ignored in favor of diplomacy or something of the sort. Besides, Micah was just weak. Weak and stupid, but not necessarily at fault here. Depended on what exactly he had done to incite the violence against their Ringleader, though. She was certainly not exonerating him from responsibility already. If anything, she was more inclined toward the other side. Mostly she just wanted someone to blame, someone to punish. Since clearly they hadn't apprehended the murderer himself.

He spoke and - as usual - his voice was a mishmash of concrete words and stumbled ones. There seemed to be slightly more confidence in the male. At least he wasn't quaking the way he had when she had first talked to him. Maybe it made him feel better that she was not accusing him of murder, just of potentially causing a death to happen. Her ears flicked lightly as she considered the information he shared. Mistral. He had saved someone and that had caused this to occur. Mixed feelings tumbled in her gut. It made sense to take the cub and the cage both, for purposes of freeing it. How was the stutterer to know the captor would want it back enough to kill a packmate? For once, she found herself begrudgingly understanding and perhaps even mildly admiring what this fool of a Lykoi had done.

"You're right. You couldn't have known that they would resort to that kind of violence to get it back. And you were right, of course, to save Mistral from mistreatment." she breathed a sigh, releasing all of the pent up tension and anger that had been bubbling inside her. It felt odd, to not be angry with him. It had been keeping her going for days, now, to think that she could pin this on him somehow. Yet she couldn't find it in herself to blame him. Not when the circumstances came clear. "I wish it hadn't ended that way, but no one could have predicted it." she admitted this almost reluctantly, disliking that she agreed with something Micah had done. She was not one to withhold her opinion, though, even when she wasn't happy that she felt it. "Do you know anything about the wolf who owned the cage? I need to prepare the pack as best I can in case they come again." It wasn't entirely her job, but as Commander she felt responsible in large part for the pack's overall safety.
Avatar by Kiri!

POSTED: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:42 am

Throughout his explanation, Esmeralda loosened like the release of rubber stretched taut, all intensity in her features fading to simple regard and concern. If she admired him then, Micah did not know it. Given their experiences, he thought it impossible she would ever respect him at all. And yet...

And yet she was softening. Did Esmeralda understand?

At heart Micah doubted it, and the coward and skeptic within him wondered if this was but a trick. As she spoke he maintained his distance, eyes and ears unsettlingly alert and cowering image substituted with one wary and exhausted.

"Only what Mimi has told me," he answered, and paused to recall. "He was dark and his eyes were black, but she said they were always bloodshot, sort of. She said he was tall but always looked sick."

Micah pictured the painting on the Halifax wall, produced by Valerie and utterly irrelevant to every aspect of the situation. Yet the red eyes she had painted haunted him still, an image created for simple practice and following heavy encouragement by the coyote. They had no meaning. Why could he envision them still when he closed his eyes?

"He never told her his name," Micah finished. "Esmeralda, I—I want to help, too. I want to be part of whatever you decide to do."


User avatar
Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:20 pm

Their perceptions of each other were skewed from their initial encounter; Esmeralda was more reasonable than she had seemed, Micah was stronger than had come across to her. Perhaps that would resolve in time. Certainly this had taken a surprising turn for the better as far as the Commander was concerned. Now that she understood more about what he had done and why Lowry had been killed, the blame she had wanted to place squarely on his shoulders was waylaid. There was nothing there to blame. For committing a good deed, the Artist could not be accused of accessory to murder.

She had not expected him to rush into her arms with joy on his face as she had accepted that he was not at fault and he still seemed anxious. That didn't surprise her in the slightest, though. He had every reason to stay wary and distanced from her. Esmeralda didn't want him to hug her anyway or to reconcile into some sort of friendship. Though she had a begrudging respect for what he had done, it did not make them friends.

The description of the wolf that had kept Mimi captured made her heart stop for a minute, then speed back up again. There was some familiarity to it. Judas, the wolf who had given her the carving she kept on her windowsill was dark of fur. He had strange red in his eyes, too, an oddness she hadn't seen in anyone else. "I... think I may have met this wolf." she said as she thought about it, frowning. There had been something odd about him but she hadn't thought him to be a child torturer or a murderer. Then again, she hadn't been around him long. Certainly she didn't know him well. "Where did you say you found Mimi?"

His offer to help with whatever they were to do caused her to nod thoughtfully. She would have scornfully rejected him in the past for such an offer, but every pack member - weakest and strongest - should contribute to the protection of the pack. "Do you have any experience with self-defense or pack defense? I think if you have none, we should definitely work on your ability to defend yourself at least minimally." that was one of the biggest things: no one should be as vulnerable as she felt Lowry had been in his last moments. They had to be better prepared for evil if it came knocking.
Avatar by Kiri!

POSTED: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:46 pm

The description seemed to startle her, earning a look almost fearful from Micah. Had he described a friend? Would she lash out at him again? Esmeralda admitted that she might know the man in question. "Then why—" Micah started but bit his tongue before something accusing slipped forth. Esmeralda was likely as unequipped at the time as himself to know this red-eyed stranger could become a menace. "Halifax," Micah muttered instead.

His experience with weapons was laughable. Not days before the murder Micah had trained briefly with Jazper when they bumped into one another in the territory between allianced packs. In years past he had learned a thing or two about self-defense with Skye, but the coyote dared not to request her aid again now. Not when she was not the individual she used to be. Not when it did not seem she would have the patience to for him any longer.

But Micah was as pathetic with a blade as he had ever been, knowing practice was needed but lacking the enthusiasm of late following his cousin's death. He would pick it up again eventually. He would have to.

"A little," he said, withdrawing sheepishly into the wild tangles of his snow-streaked bangs. "I trained with your mother once and the Cavalieri leader a few days ago, but... well, I mean, I-I don't know if I can learn self-defense fast enough on my own."

Esmeralda certainly wouldn't going to teach him. Fat chance, that. "Isn't there, umm, something else I can do? I can scout or... or I-I can go to Halifax or something." Better him to die than his packmates. He was the only worthless one, after all.


User avatar
Lin
Luperci
passion, hope
& resistance

POSTED: Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:49 am

Judas, the name that had turned sour. Though she did believe that his intrusion had sincerely saved her life, it sounded like it might have been incidental rather than purposeful. Perhaps he had been playing a darker game than she had even realized; maybe he had been toying with her as a way to see how the Artisans reacted to things. Maybe his lure that she should test out the world beyond her borders and leave her pack had been more manipulation than she had realized, too. It had really made her think for a long time, before she had determined her loyalty still lay here.

Words had started to come from Micah that sounded as if they were about to lay an accusation at her paws. Bright teal eyes watched him, waiting for the continuation of that sentence. It didn't come, though, and instead he merely muttered a location for the perpetrator. Halifax. Exactly where she had met Judas and where he claimed to live. Her blood ran cold. "I am almost entirely certain that I have met him, then... I will have to speak with my mother about him." to share her own limited knowledge and perhaps aid in the search for this murderer.

The question of Micah's self-defense skills was answered in a way she had anticipated: he didn't know much, if anything. He seemed concerned about learning fast and she snorted lightly. "This is not just about the here and now, it is about the future. No pack member should be without some basic self-defense skills. It takes practice and I realize it's not your... interest area, but I don't want to find you strung up by your feet next." though it used to be, she certainly wouldn't have minded. Now, she was reconsidering her animosity; at the very least she should care that a packmate stayed alive, even if she didn't care for him on a personal level.

When he asked what else he could do, she considered. "I need to speak with my mother about plans, but I believe there will be something that is closer to your experience soon. We are going to need to create defenses and part of that may require some artistic abilities. I don't want you going out there on your own to Halifax. Especially since I am sure you would be his favored target if anyone." especially if Judas knew what he smelled and/or looked like.
Avatar by Kiri!

Dead Topics