be your violent overnight rush

:b

POSTED: Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:56 am

It was dark when she set out.

At her feet, Ningal followed in almost complete silence. The skill was inherent to her long-legged species, though like any ability it had been honed over many years, in climes much sparser than this one. If not for the occasional contact, Tiamat would hardly know the cat was beside her. Overhead, she could hear Anzu chirping beyond the canopy. Insects weren't as filling as the pulpy fruit she was accustomed to in Onuba, but they would tide her over until the spring. She hoped their lucky streak would as well.

Ningal paused and raised her head, and Tiamat fell to a crouch. It all felt routine now - when the serval heard anything with her extraordinary ears, she would stalk ahead and chase whatever it was back to her. Most of the time it worked, and neither of them had to expend as much energy as they would alone. It also meant a greater meal, though sometimes mice was all they could find.

The cat's tail flicked. Tiamat gave a small nod and watched as the spotted cat disappeared into the brush. A moment later, a flash of white made as if to dart by and was thwarted by Tiamat's hands. She snatched at the wriggling body, but just as she gripped its head to twist, a sound like a crash and a distant cry alarmed her. The hare stole its chance and slipped free. Ningal went after it, and then Tiamat did too.

They chased it, winding through tree and rock, over a frozen stream, and downhill. Then very suddenly, and without warning, the hare leapt and vanished into the ground. Tiamat flailed to a halt, snow and sodden detritus tumbling around her and into the void she barely missed. Ningal came up behind her, her eyes wide and unblinking.

When her breath had finally caught itself, Tiamat rose carefully. It's a trap. Ningal said, whiskers curling. She bounded back towards a tree and lowered herself at its base, an angry look on her face. Heeding her words, and ignoring them, Tiamat crept closer to the dark pit.

She crouched near the edge, and with a hand dug firmly into the soil, she leaned over to peer inside. What she saw was not entirely unusual. Traps were meant to capture things, be it a deer or a hog or a person, she supposed.

Are you the bait or the prey? She called down to him. Her brows quirked as she considered him there, while resting her chin on her hand.


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San
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POSTED: Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:21 am

What had been a thoughtful review of soggy brown weeds emerged from the thaw, turned into a screech and dirt in his eyes and a throbbing knee and ankle.

Somewhat accustomed to captivity, the Heiwa did not panic. He sat for a time at the bottom nursing and pressing around his kneecap and ankle, the insatiable anatomist within him taking hold. Nothing was broken, he summarized as he grimaced and rolled the joints, but when he tested weight on a knee Neith collapsed in the small space and dragged his teeth through the frozen dirt walls.

Neith spent the next few minutes spitting and blinking soil. He ensured his rapier had not been damaged, and tried a combination of dusting and saliva to clean his shirt. He attempted to climb from the pit one-legged and landed on his ass. He could get out—there was no doubt about that, the pit was not so deep—but his knee needed time to sort out its problems and reinvent itself as a team player.

He contemplated Salsola and witchcraft and ghosts and Blackbriar and Ask and bones. Then, a hare crashed into the back of his head, and thrashed screaming between his feet as he scrambled off the ground, bewildered.

A woman looked down at him unsympathetically.

“I’m a man with a wounded knee and a situation, that’s what I am,” he said, snapping, a certain disgust in his voice that could only have come from someone who spent great amount of time nurturing an image that had been thoroughly ruined in one fell swoop. “If you built this it worked, but sorry to say, I have nothing to steal.”

The wild racing of the rabbit around his feet was clearly wearing on his patience. Neith drew his blade at an awkward and cramped angle, turned the blade around with much difficulty, and jabbed into the panicking animal to silence it.

Once his rapier was sheathed, Neith managed to hunch and collect the hare by the ears, and reached up at her with his free hand. “Kindly help me and it’s yours.”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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POSTED: Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:49 am

Tiamat heard Ningal stand at the sound of the man's voice, and she could almost feel the cat's gaze boring holes in her back. She never heard the story of how the Arena traders had caught the serval. From her reaction, however, Tiamat figured it must have happened in a very similar way. Keeping this in mind, Tiamat groped around for something sturdier to hold onto in the event he tried to pull her in.

She could not tell much about his knee in the darkness, nor could she smell anything. It was simply his word in the pit.

Her ear flicked at the sound of the blade, and she watched as he dispatched the panicking hare with one motion. The sword was a familiar type to her; Onubans favored those flimsy narrow things for their accuracy and flexibility and some such reasoning. By default, she mistrusted anything Onubans favored, though she knew well not to underestimate unlikely weapons. It was humbling to see the kind of damage Rahab could inflict with a blade-less staff.

It was already mine. She pointed out. Her eyes, gleaming in what little moonlight the canopy afforded her, peered curiously over his outstretched hand and settled on his sheathed sword. He didn't look or sound like a person that would be wandering the woods at such an hour, and the pit was an oddity as well. Traps of its nature weren't common, for there was little short term reward for such an enormous endeavor. Over time, however, she could see it being somewhat lucrative.

Do you often find yourself having to bribe others to help you? She asked.


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POSTED: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:56 am

“Was it? Even down here, where you couldn’t reach it?” He wondered, almost aloud, what it was about his position and carriage that screamed traitorous in that very moment yet muted itself entirely in the presence of Salsolans. The stranger earned herself a hearty glare on subject of bribing (because she was not far from the truth). Fed up, Neith Heiwa ground the rabbit’s wound into the dirt walls, salting its rich and meaty flavor with a fine layer of tasteless grit, and then hurled the carcass up over the edge. He folded his arms, pressed his weight back against the wall and off his wounded knee, and pouted.

“Take it, then. Far away, and take yourself with it. I can figure this out.” He pouted a few seconds longer, became angry with himself, attempted to climb from the pit and slipped wincing back to its bottom, nursing his knee.

Seated there, pride wounded, he leaned back and committed himself to a ridiculous and frustrating fate.

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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POSTED: Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:43 pm

000 guess u can leave the pit now

Yes. She replied as if it was a matter of fact. His indignation had turned sharply sincere and was beginning to seem humorous to her. Noting this, she decided that he was likely not a threat. She made a motion back at Ningal, who gave her a wary look. The serval hesitated between seemingly two courses of action, and then muttering something under her breath, ascended the branches of a nearby tree.

Her ears bounced forward at Neith's rage, and she turned back to watch him soil their catch. She did not respond to his angry dismissal, though she thought of the Bedouins and their ideas of negativity. There had been a time when Tiamat also could not help but to respond to the world with indignation, frustration, even at the slightest inconvenience. Granted, his situation was more than inconvenient, but the rules of composure remained the same.

Not a moment later, a body whirled past her and hit the ground with a thud. As she peered at the body, a crack sounded from above, and Ningal returned with a thick branch in her teeth. She spat it at Tiamat's feet when she saw the hare.

Look, she said. We have what we wanted, and he's ruined it. Let's leave him.

Take it. I will come after I'm finished here.

The cat stared, and Tiamat could tell she was disgruntled by her options. This seemed an improvement, Tiamat thought, since ordinarily Ningal never hesitated to serve her own best interest. Perhaps she had grown fond of them. The thought crept into a knowing smile on her face, and the serval responded with an affronted look.

Ears flat back, Ningal turned away and padded toward the hare. She picked it up in her tiny teeth and darted off into the woods.

Left with only the branch now, Tiamat pulled it into her hands and then lowered the thicker end into the pit. She could barely see him, sitting and pouting, and moved the branch so that it hovered by his ear.

Grab on. She instructed.


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San
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POSTED: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:27 am

The woman and someone beyond his vision spoke in foreign tongue, and a branch extended down to him. He sighed loudly with relief.

“You’re not from around here. What’s that you’re speaking?” He straightened himself up, tightened the satchel on his hip, then clutched the branch and scrambled up the wall with her help. He collapsed on the surface both grimacing and trying very hard not to grimace, for his knee had started to throb in all the business. The Heiwa did not dare stand and put weight on it and decided to be winded a while longer on the ground instead.

His head had now started to ache, too. Magnificent. Dots in his vision like a premonition, Neith squinted about himself in search for the second voice he had heard and saw none but the little spirits. “Where...?” No matter. He was out of the pit, and looked up at her sincerely and with his best efforts to smile. “Thank you. My name is Rust. I am in your debt, miss...?”

Neith yanked his satchel to his front and began digging through clinking jars and broken books and pages, covered in notes and sketches of herbs and bones. “I have little worth stealing with me, but perhaps something else to show my gratitude... Let’s see... Seasoning? Herbs?”

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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POSTED: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:44 am

000

Arabic. She answered him, her lips twisting faintly with a smile. Life had an ironic sense of humor. These lands had been her home first, and then the world had a chance to carve its mark upon her. Now she felt a little bit estranged and a little bit close to everything. I'm told it needs work. Rahab had a far better grasp of the language, though she supposed to anyone unfamiliar there was little difference to be had.

The stick was cast aside once its duty had been fulfilled, but she remained near as he collapsed into the muddy ground. It wasn't much different than the pit, she supposed. His disorientation worried her, however, and she thought his leg might be more injured than he had let on. She tilted her head to get a better look.

Tiamat. She supplied, her blue eyes snapping back to him as he fussed about in the dark.

Her ears bounced forward at the sound of goods clinking and rustling in his bag, and she thought of the use it would be to the people in her group. Naji would likely enjoy seasonings, and depending on the type of herb, Rahab would too. These thoughts were quickly stamped out when she considered his belongings and his state of being. It was only nightfall, and who knew how far he would need to go before finding his own people, if he had any at all.

I don't want anything, she said, reaching out to touch his arm and hopefully snap him out of his delirium. You're hurt. Will you make it safely home?


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San
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POSTED: Thu May 03, 2018 8:01 am

“I wouldn’t know. I’ve never heard it.” He smiled. “If you aren’t from these parts, do be careful. Some of the least obvious faces might be the most dangerous.”

He said this as a result of personal experience—two wars, the death of his mother by an unpunished clansmen, even O’Riley—but shared it with a blissful ignorance for the reality of his own situation. Some of those he held most dear manipulated him to an unknown end, and Neith himself had plotted and faked the death of a child. Whether he had acted in courage or desperation, the danger of his boldness could not be undermined.

She introduced herself, but claimed to want nothing. Neith frowned. He wouldn’t argue with her. “If you insist. I am in your debt, then.” He looked at the path ahead, idly testing weight on his bad knee and the subsequent shooting of pain. He was in no condition for climbing, but at a walk he would survive. “Yes, I believe so. It will take time, but I do not live painfully far. If you wish to escort, you may.”

He looked to her. “Otherwise, we part ways here. Do thank your friend for me, wherever it is they went.” And whatever it was they said, too.

whose eyes you gonna use?

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Lin
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POSTED: Sat May 05, 2018 3:11 am

000 we can end here dawg :B

She acknowledged his warning with a pausing look, as if at once she knew everything that he was and had ever been. There was a brief glimmer in her eyes, like light catching on movement in the dark, restless ocean.

If he had known to heed his own advice, he might not have been so congenial with her. She would have not wasted time. It just as easily could have been his corpse, rather than a hare's.

Instead, she looked after him as he rose from the dirt, her hand hovering in case he needed stability. Her ears folded back at the mention of debt again. In the version of the world she most liked, help was given at no cost, and gratitude took the form of further acts of kindness. She could not speculate on what the road had given him, for it gave them all both terror and delight, though it seemed to her he had been twisted in some particular way, some time ago.

He did not seem so bad standing. She stepped away, and considering him for a moment, she decided she felt comfortable leaving him as he was. As far as Tiamat knew, the surrounding lands were not so treacherous as long as there were no other traps, and might have even made for a good settlement.

That aside, Ningal had left in an upset state, and Tiamat did not like to leave her that way for long. The serval was well known to hold grudges. If you're able, Rust, then I will leave you to it.

She turned to go, pausing once to look back. You should be careful, too. She said. People who build traps like these consider us all prey.


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San
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