[m] with feet of lead and wings of tin

POSTED: Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:47 am

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.

They had not talked about what had happened – not when Marlowe put the body into the cart, not when he lowered it near the place Antioch had chosen to bury it. Antioch had barely spoken at all, and Marlowe was somewhat glad for this.

While he expected causalities, he did not expect a lynching.

He returned the horse and cart to Sinech, whose face fell at his gruff responses. The gray coyote became further subdued when she saw the stains on the cart. Marlowe did not offer to help her clean this, and instead tacked Tobias with communal goods. The chestnut stallion was larger than Machiavelli but slower, though he responded well enough to Marlowe's urgency.

His route took him away from the Mansion, further west, and when a noisy bird intercepted him halfway he sent it ahead to find Vesper.


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Mel
Luperci Every man has a price to charge and a price to pay. 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 Oct 12, 2015 10:56 am

Vesper shook with anger.

Stark watched from his perch on the corral post while Vesper began plucking the chicken. When Vicira had come to her, timid and shaking, and sobbed out all that had happened and named the man, the coywolf had twisted the hen’s neck with a sharp pop. But with a few soft, reminding croaks from the old raven, she’s restrained herself, held Vicira like she had when she was a puppy, murmured reassurances, hid the anger away.

Vicira had just gone, and claws tugged white down from the poultry’s back when a raven flew to her, cawing loudly before whirling back around.

She rose, abandoning the chicken on the fence, and Stark watched as she followed the other raven’s shadow into the Waste.

When she spotted him, Vesper growled his name in an order to dismount and approach, now.




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Raze
Luperci
tatter-winged phoenix
cunning linguist

POSTED: Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:07 am

The buildings lingered in the distance, half-hidden by the sparse trees. He rarely came to this place. It was out of the way, isolated by space and the sprawling grasslands. Why it was the leaders of Inferni felt the need to separate themselves from the clan Marlowe did not know – but it was a thought that reoccurred, and stuck to the steadily growing resentment in his heart.

He was nearly there when Vesper met him, straight-backed and furious looking. All at once, Marlowe realized what must have happened, and who must have spoken to her.

Marlowe stiffened and pulled the draft horse to a halt. Tobias whinnied, looking eagerly towards the semi-distant corral and horses within. He was far more eager to approach than Marlowe, who did so with heavy steps.

Somethin's happened, he called to her, leading Tobias by the reins.


User avatar
Mel
Luperci Every man has a price to charge and a price to pay. 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 Oct 12, 2015 11:15 am

No shit, Vesper growled, but as Marlowe walked closer the scent of blood and dirt became more and more apparent. The pale markings on him were pink. Her eyes widened then narrowed, and she curled clawed hands into fists, stifling her anger again.

What is it? she demanded, voice bare of irritation and now flat and cold as the familiar feeling of dread in her belly. She couldn’t smell whose blood it was, only that it was not Marlowe’s; it could be coyote or wolf. She wondered if Antioch and the other kids had killed somebody, or—

Who? Vesper asked, and her voice lowered.




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Raze
Luperci
tatter-winged phoenix
cunning linguist

POSTED: Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:23 am

Snitch.

His jaw tightened. He didn't understand why Vicira was acting so irrational – he was right, and she knew he was right. They could have taken care of the matter quietly, stopped the problem before it got out of hand, and save everyone the grief. If she had just listened to him, they could have worked through this little mistake.

He wondered if her mothers had been as accepting as she had hoped, and thought briefly about what Cartier had said.

Maybe he was right – maybe they only took care of other people's kids because they had to.

The Bellator's scarred face remained unmoved.

Ferret, he answered quietly. We found him strung up, just outside the borders. Whoever got a hold of him tortured him. They...they burnt him, the coyote touched one of his hands with the other. It was bad.


User avatar
Mel
Luperci Every man has a price to charge and a price to pay. 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 Oct 12, 2015 11:33 am

She studied his face carefully, her own controlled only by an acutely careful effort. She wanted to lash out at him, bowl him into the dust, but Vesper knew enough that this had to wait. The war was not like the wars that had plagued Inferni’s history, lost soldiers and fallen enemies, but its effects were obvious in the coyotes’ day-to-day lives.

And now they’d lost someone.

Vesper did not growl, did not flinch. She held Marlowe’s gaze, trying to read him, then looked toward the borders. Where? she asked. A hand loosely uncurled, tipped with pale claws. Who did this—what signs did you smell, see? She wondered about Antioch, about Covenant, the ones who’d taken a liking to the boy despite everything.

Her pale eyes lingered on Marlowe, and she was suspicious.




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Raze
Luperci
tatter-winged phoenix
cunning linguist

POSTED: Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:48 am

The woods, he answered flatly. South. I don't know who did it. He was tortured and he was burnt, and whoever did it strung him up so we would find him like that. I didn't look 'round too much besides that – there was other stuff that needed done. I'll go back, Marlowe added quickly.

Even now, on the precipice of disaster, his mouth betrayed him. He spoke too fast sometimes, say things without thinking. Subconsciously he understood that things had changed between them, and that this banter would no longer be considered playful or written of. Vesper's opinion of him had certainly been soured, and could see that whatever faith she had once had in him was gone. The war meant he was needed here, but Vicira's mistake had condemned him.

If I had to guess, the coyote went on, and honest anger seeped into his words. It was the Court.


User avatar
Mel
Luperci Every man has a price to charge and a price to pay. 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 Oct 12, 2015 12:02 pm

South was an ill sign. Vesper let her thoughts wander in that direction, thinking of the King and of the rumors of retaliation that flew back to her in sooty-smelling pelts and righteous whispers. Ferret had been burned, and she knew this was meant to be significant. She wondered which, if any, of the Courtiers had died in the fire.

Her eyes flashed to the ruddy coyote. Her lip twitched, betraying her frustration, but she only nodded. Do so. Bring a Sciens or two with you, trackers. There will be signs; there are always signs.

If I had to guess, Marlowe continued, and Vesper shook her head at him. I don’t think so, she said. It’s not like them.




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Raze
Luperci
tatter-winged phoenix
cunning linguist

POSTED: Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:11 pm

It seemed that not only had he lost her faith, but her confidence – for now she spoke to him as if he was not a member of the Trimvirate but some green newcomer. More than that, she spoke as if he was unfamiliar with the concept of looking as she implied it. This was not the first war Marlowe had been in, nor the first time someone he had known had been killed in such an awful manner. He knew what to look for; he had chased vengeful wolves down before.

His brows furrowed together beneath his shaggy hair.

Naw, we don't know them, the Bellator argued. That yella' one, he's come here what, three times? More? They ain't waitin' for us to come to them. Christ, Vesper, they burnt him!


User avatar
Mel
Luperci Every man has a price to charge and a price to pay. 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 Oct 12, 2015 12:25 pm

He argued her point, and she stared at him. She felt strangely calm—a dangerous calm that lived, fleetingly, in the moments before terrible things happened. It stifled all emotion, though her anger burned underneath, mingling with her thoughts into a wild hysteria betrayed by the whites of her light-colored eyes and the shift of her posture.

I don’t think they’re capable of it, Vesper said, and took a step toward him. Assaults on our border, open combat, sure, they’re fighting us—but they wouldn’t burn him. That madman, that yellah dog, he’s the only one that might do it.

Her teeth flashed. He’s too wounded to have done it, though. You’d have known that, you might’ve killed him, if you’d been here!

She raised a hand as if to deal him a blow, though she only wanted to see him flinch.

Where’ve you been Marlowe? she asked, snapping her teeth. You’re never here, you vanish for days, and when you’re here you stink like weed. She growled, low in her throat. If you were here Ferret might not be fucking dead.




User avatar
Raze
Luperci
tatter-winged phoenix
cunning linguist

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