[M] we are, all of us, made up of ghosts

POSTED: Tue May 06, 2014 11:01 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.


Thread Prompt: Inferni's "resident" deer herd has entered its calving season. While the herd is wary at this time, calves are easy meals for many predators. Snag one!


he wanted to share His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere

Inferni was not what he had expected.

It was not entirely foreign to him, for the borders were still dotted with skulls and there were large swatches of open land that they had been crossing for weeks. He had begun to forget the desert, little by little, and now at night when he sat awake and smoked and tried to listen to the stars, he went to the beach. That, above all else, was worth this.

Marlowe was a creature of habits. So while he had found there was rarely an empty kitchen (and Spirit save him, that woman was a spitfire) he was still cautious around these strangers he had now sworn himself to. This was some sort of ancestral homeland for their family, which had made it easier.

Besides, liars were not bound to oaths. He was AWL already; what else could they do to him?

The coyote had found the herd earlier, riding the mustang near the mountains. He had elected to follow them into the forest, leaving the stallion to graze nearby. This was a lesson the horse had learned quickly—he had not run since Marlowe had first gone into the pen with him.

His Optime form made for slow hunting, but Marlowe was patient, and he hunted the way his father had hunted. Careful of his feet, careful of his body, he took advantage of the dark shade of his pelt and kept low to the ground.

He waited, low, and examined the deer. They were healthy, strong-looking, and reeked of sweet-sour milk and dung. Marlowe counted them, assessing the situation in technical, logical terms. Soon enough, he had made a decision.

The draw is natural, like his sister. Marlowe was not an archer by trade, but a skilled one regardless. They were expected to know how to defend themselves in Scintilla, and how to kill.

The bow was made to kill.

Marlowe breathed out, turned, and began the silent meditation that his father had taught him. Words begin to circle his head, but for now, the focus is singular.

Though the deer hear the twang of the bowstring, by then it's too late. An arrow landed home into the chest of fawn (and Marlowe knew it was still a fawn by the white spots), merciless, and it spooks the rest into motion. They thundered away, crashed through the forest, and only then did Marlowe stand fully.

He cleaned the arrow against the fawn's fur and slid it into the quiver on his back. The bow remains in his hand because, young as it is, he can carry the fawn over one broad shoulder. This is how he returns to the field—the thought is singular, as it was in Scintilla. He won't eat in the open, not so exposed.

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Mel
Luperci Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Wed May 07, 2014 12:09 am

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The deer ran with the scent of fear trailing after them, thick and noxious on the air. If it had been smoke, it would have been thick and black. The hybrid's turquoise eyes watched with curiosity, more interested in what had driven them her way than the deer themselves. She was sated -- this time of year, the chickens were prodigious. They would have chicks again soon -- and a few eggs gone down her throat would harm nothing.

She went the way the deer had come. The fear scent was fading from the air -- she might have smelled it on four legs, nose to the ground, but Myrika stood tall as ever, neatly arranged in a stained and spattered skirt. It was one of her first, and it had seen slaughtering and other messy tasks aplenty.

This was Inferni, and she was not a queen to prance around in regalia and demand respect by virtue of the glittering of her jewels. Myrika might not have been a hard canine, but she knew hard work, and did it for Inferni. Even her bandanna was frayed and faded. Thread came loose in a corner, the blue had become patchy -- light in some places, darker in others. It had been well-preserved when she had gotten it, better than most -- but time wore on all things.

The figure was dark, still a distance away -- but close enough she could smell him. There was something familiar in it, scents of Kali and another girl-stranger strongest of all, overpowering Inferni's scent. Newness, that said, and she did not have to guess. The darkness of his pelt surprised her, as Kali's coloration had -- she had expected a spitting image, perhaps. None of her children were -- why she expected the same of anyone else, she did not know. The Aquila smiled to herself as she approached his back.

The fawns need taking, she called. Or we'll be run out of the territory, come fall. Deer were not especially dangerous creatures to an adult Luperci, but their hooves were sharp, and a well-placed blow could do damage. Children were more liable to fall prey to them -- but Myrika's children were grown, would be grown further come fall.

Myrika Tears

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Sie
Luperci Chaos Star And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again.
the gunslinger's lament
Rota Vitae
the mask & the marrow

POSTED: Wed May 07, 2014 4:17 am

he wanted to share His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere

Marlowe did not hear her at first, but the horse spotted the strange colors in the trees and grown wary. He did not expect an enemy, but knew it to be a stranger. The stallion would not have behaved in such a manner around his sisters, and sure enough, the figure that called to him was neither of those two.

He knew her by sight, though they had not spoken since his arrival here. She was tall for a woman, much taller than his sister, and practically a full head above him. Marlowe saw this because it was different, but he looked more as to how she carried herself. There was dirt on her clothes and callouses on her fingers, fur worn thin by work, and a certain sort of unruliness in her overall looks that reminded him of Agrippa.

Still, this woman was a leader--The Leader, if he thought of it in the sort of militaristic fashion of his old home. He did not think her as domineering as all that—not in the way Scintilla's warlords had been, and not even like that strange woman with the green eyes. No, Marlowe was a man who had learned to read people...and he read Myrika this same way, fast and without context.

His smile was friendly, but there was a faint tilt to it, almost mocking.

“That ain't no bad problem t'have,” he mused, conscious of his own accent. If he chose to, if he focused, he could keep it down. Marlowe did not think it much mattered here, though.

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User avatar
Mel
Luperci Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Wed May 07, 2014 9:57 pm

--

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The eyes were most startling of all -- like looking back through time itself. They were the same shade, bright gold -- the same as Kaena's remaining eye, the same as -- she was told -- Gabriel's. The tawny-hued woman was not shocked -- a son might have his father's eyes -- but it was eerie looking at those eyes, and seeing who looked back at her.

They'll eat everything, she said. And they get into the garden. Gotta keep the horses fed She smiled, returning his without any slant. Deer were a good thing to have, but too many deer were just as bad as none at all. Myrika would happily pick off a few more fawns before they were adolescents. Fawns, small as they were, could be made to yield soft leather. Their skin, unblemished and young, made it worth the taking alone.

I'll skin that, she said. If you do the eating? It was an offer and not an order. Orders, especially ones given over trifles, were atypically given in Myrika's day-to-day -- and good thing. If Inferni had required more of her, if it had meant puffing herself up, if it had meant acting regally and having others wait on her -- she couldn't have done it. It would have driven her mad, or driven her off -- one of the two.

Myrika Tears

User avatar
Sie
Luperci Chaos Star And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again.
the gunslinger's lament
Rota Vitae
the mask & the marrow

POSTED: Thu May 08, 2014 7:06 am

he wanted to share His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere

Marlowe listened, and he was careful as to his behavior. Scintilla had changed him—it had done something so fundamentally overpowering that he could not, as a boy, resist—and where he would never have looked for cause to be wary, he now saw threats in even simple things.

So while she postulated further on the nature of deer, he tried to see if this was a reprimand or a correction. It did not feel like either, but he was his father's son and paranoia had not left him.

This meant her last words did read like an order. Whatever else he had been, Marlowe was once a soldier and he had not forgotten this. Even now, knowing he had run from his duty, he thought of himself as a soldier.

“You gon' do it here, or you want me to take it somewhere?” He spared a glance to his own horse, who had decided that Marlowe's lack of action was a sign to resume his grazing. For half a second, a slip of his own mock-irritation at the animal bled through, but his face was that odd mask that he and his sisters had yet been unable to shake.

“How many do you take?” He asked, for soldier or not, Marlowe was precise. It was one of the more favorable problems that came with the need for control; something he could not have without every variable. He had all but forgotten about the weight on his shoulder. “An' who do I report to?”

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Mel
Luperci Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Sat May 17, 2014 12:54 am

--

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Report? she asked, mildly and with a smile. You can bring your news to me, she said, wondering if she would receive clockwork reports, as she had with another canine of Scintilla.

Though his look was foreign and his eyes belonged to Ezekiel, his manner reminded her of Ithiel more than anything. She was surprised by this -- though perhaps she ought not have been. Places did shape canines as well as parents, she supposed. Ten, fifteen? she suggested, shrugging. More or less. There are a lot of deer this year -- so maybe more. There would be quite a lot of soft leather to be had -- Myrika looked forward to it, for she enjoyed working these smaller skins into something passable.

Here is fine as anywhere, the hybrid said, patting one of the pockets that decorated her clothing. Her eyes lingered on the horse, curious with the animal's physique. It was a hardy-looking thing, stocky without edging into true tininess -- a stockiness that suggested strength. Though the animal was different in many ways, it reminded her of Eira, too. There were a great many easily-admired horses within Inferni -- and more roaming the plains between Inferni and Salsola.

Myrika Tears

User avatar
Sie
Luperci Chaos Star And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again.
the gunslinger's lament
Rota Vitae
the mask & the marrow

POSTED: Sun May 18, 2014 11:49 am

he wanted to share His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere

It surprised him, a little, that the Aquila might want his reports directly. He had never been permitted such closeness to Scintilla's upper command, sending his information through higher officers only. In the end, they had taken his words with cold stares and some barely contained sneers.

Still, her ease of speaking and laxness in the way she presented herself helped ease his worry. The dark coyote shrugged off the fawn, and lowered it to the ground. He shuffled back a little, giving her space.

Noticing her attention on the horse, he spared the mustang a glance.

“He botherin' you, ma'am?”

God, when was the last time he had called anyone that? It felt strange, a little, and he smiled at the sound of the word. The formality was an impression left by Scintilla, and he was not fast to loose it now that they were in an uncertain place.

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Mel
Luperci Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Tue May 20, 2014 9:46 pm

--

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No, the hybrid answered, even as she bent to the fawn and pulled out her knife. She did not look back up at him, for she was already setting to work on the thing. I like horses, she said. And yours looks like a good one. She did not speak her other thoughts -- some canines did not see conformation as easily as others. Color mattered most to those who did not know horseflesh -- and the difference in color between Marlowe's mount and Eira was stark.

You don't have to call me ma'am, either. Myrika is fine. Or Myri, she said, aware of her age. It would be her fifth summer, the fourth she could remember -- though there were no aches to her bones and she did not feel any older, there were subtle changes in her, all the same. Her energy was no longer boundless, and her hands did sometimes ache after a long day working -- but most hands ached after such days.

If you really want, though, ma'am is okay, too. She looked up at him, peeling back a strip of skin from the now-eviscerated deer. It did not make her so uncomfortable she'd forbid it -- some canines were better with formality, she'd come to learn, and her protests -- short of commanding them to act otherwise -- were wasted breath.

Myrika Tears

User avatar
Sie
Luperci Chaos Star And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again.
the gunslinger's lament
Rota Vitae
the mask & the marrow

POSTED: Mon May 26, 2014 11:00 am

he wanted to share His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere

Marlowe's coin-colored eyes followed the motion of her hands. He knew how to skin animals—it had been how they had kept warm during that first winter—but was curious to other's techniques. She was efficient, precise. Myrika was surely experienced in the craft, and he made note of this. In Scintilla, his duties had included remembering.

A wry, humorless smile came to his face. He was unsure if her words were meant to be taken seriously, but she had an earnest face. Marlowe blinked, a submission to her offer, and shrugged visibly to echo this. His smile eased a little when he looked back to the mustang, easing his position to better see the open area.

He was still armed, and he had played the part of cover before.

“Yeah, he ain't bad. Fast for what he is, ain't scared of nothin'...” he paused, and the smile turned sour. “Wish I'd gotten him sooner.”

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User avatar
Mel
Luperci Take peace from the earth and make men slay each other. The Cursed
plead the fifth
hell is other people
the devil made me look

POSTED: Mon May 26, 2014 10:16 pm

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My Eira, she said, separating the fur from a flank. She looks kind of like yours -- kinda little, but powerful, all the same. The hybrid fell silent as her other hand went to hold the fawn, cutting along rib and shoulder now. She's more sturdy than she is fast -- never lost her feet. Except for when she spooked, the redhead added, laughing under her breath. It was alright to laugh about it now -- she'd found sister and father alike, both having survived this spooking and storm.

The hybrid went quiet and worked a few moments on the fawn. She was precise, and slower than she might have been -- some would have had the deer skinned and the fire started already. She preferred precision, especially when working with such small pelts as these. What would you have used him for? she asked. If you had him sooner. She was not so experienced as their neighbors in insinuation and obfuscation, but she'd read enough books that she knew how to ask a question capable of being answered in a vague way if the answerer chose. The tawny-hued coyote was curious -- though she'd not looked at him to see the sourness cross his copper-tinged muzzle, cloud his golden-hued eyes -- she heard the change in voice all the same, and understood the words as regret.

It was not until she took up leadership that she'd learned to really listen to others and study them as she conversed with them. Prior to leadership, she'd been too concerned with herself and her own conduct to pay any attention to others. This, perhaps, had cured her anxiety in interacting with others more than anything. With her focus off herself and on the other agent in the conversation, the tawny-hued hybrid no longer had room for anxiety and uncertainty. This was not to say she was immune to either -- but neither did they permeate every interaction, as they had once upon a time.

Myrika Tears

User avatar
Sie
Luperci Chaos Star And it always, at the end, came round to the same place again.
the gunslinger's lament
Rota Vitae
the mask & the marrow

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