strength in numbers

POSTED: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:44 am

Ezekiel! Arachnea's Revenge. Pre-dated to tomorrow?

His sisters' insistence, now a number of months ago, that their airheaded father still lingered the lands provoked Micah into an aimless scavenger hunt for the man from time to time. The brown-eyed boy always left Cercatori with no real plan in mind; what he would do if he were to come across the straw-eyed murderer, he hadn't the slightest idea. Micah had no means of combat, no training in stealth — and Razekiel was a murderer, that his son knew. If he had killed once, he could do it again. Already that man had the advantage.

Perhaps it was just his imagination taking him for a ride, but what he guessed to be Razekiel's scent dwindled about near the northern borders of one of the eastern coastal packs he wasn't familiar with. Micah dared himself to draw closer in, the scent only augmenting as he neared its source — only to be overwhelmed with panic and fear, and instantaneously the boy turned back and fled. He hurried north, deeper into the forest, and at one of the bright blue pools he stopped to catch his breath.

The boy leaned to roll up his khakis, chastising himself in trembling mumbles beneath his breath. Coward, Storm Lily hissed, his ghost of a sister shrieking her displeasure in his ears. Micah could not shut her out, could not simply ignore her. No, she was right. He was a coward. What could he even have done if he'd come across his father? Sighing, the boy knelt near the shallows and splashed water into his face, his tremors slowly subsiding though his sister's wails and complaints did not.

POSTED: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:40 am

That works! This occurs after this thread, so Zeke has a pretty nice gash on his left arm.

The trek to the sea had been hard, but the cold water had done him good. So too had the salt, which burned and cleaned the deep wounds left by his sister’s former lover, even though he knew how to otherwise treat his wounds. It was mostly the noise and the turbulence of the ocean he needed. Silence would drive him mad. So he sank into the waves and the dark waters and let their cold depths ease him in small ways. His heart was breaking in two even now, and he had fought against the turbulence within himself.

True to his word, the Aquila had left at dawn. His mount had been eager to travel, more-so from the commands given through Ezekiel’s legs. He wanted to run, and run they had—all the way from the caves and out of Inferni, where the fields gave way to forest. That was when his pace slowed, and the horse traveled with little guidance.

By early afternoon both the horse and rider were in need of pause, and so Ezekiel dismounted and allowed Viggo to rest in the shade. Meanwhile, he traveled inward to find a pool clean enough to rinse out the scabbing wound. To his surprise, a black coyote with a too-familiar red streak on his nose was sitting nearby. Hesitiating for only a second, the golden coyote lowered himself to lap up the cold water.

POSTED: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:02 am

For a long while Micah remained in the water, staring at his reflection, searching his features for signs of strength, of charisma, of somethinganything — that would make him useful. A prisoner to his thoughts, the boy stared into the chocolate gaze looking back at him so despairingly; he managed a slight, brief smile knowing he had not inherited the straw-hued eyes from their father Sage and Clover had, yet he had not been gifted with his mother's baby blues like China. He was nothing like them; he'd never belonged. Storm Lily knew better than to let him forget.

Ear flicked and twitched, all-too anxious senses alert as always and detecting sound and movement. The ghost silenced, peering in the direction of the noise; Micah wiped water from his eyes and followed her gaze, brown eyes falling upon the golden coyote. Surely the Cercatori boy had been noticed but ignored, and though his heart began to pound, he forced himself not to see this stranger as a threat. After all, the golden male had yet to show he even cared Micah was there.

On the wind drifted the scent of Sage — no, Clover — all three of his sisters? No, this man was a creature of Inferni, that dark place Micah had made out to be so terrible. Regardless, though, he had not seen his sisters in a number of weeks... and any news was good news. "Excuse m-me," the boy stammered, forcing a weak and shaking smile as he turned to face the Aquila. "D-Do you know Clover? O-or Sage or Ch-China? I-I mean, you smell like In-Inferni, so I just thought..." He trailed off.

Sinking behind his curls and into his shoulders, the boy shook his head furiously. "N-Nevermind, I-I shouldn't have asked, i-it's rude..."

POSTED: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:13 am

Micah is awesome. He's one of my new favorite characters.

Thirst quenched, Ezekiel hunched at the edge of the water. He had never been fond of lakes, finding their stillness unwelcoming. Rivers better suited him, and he wished sourly that there was another option to clean the wound. Distracted as he was by this dark thoughts, and even darker shadows still, he did not fail to forget he was with company. A soft-spoken and stuttering voice came, drawing his hawkish eyes up to meet the younger man. The listing of the flower-girls only confirmed Ezekiel’s suspicions as to the boy’s bloodline.

“It’s not rude,” Ezekiel said quietly, his voice still rough from the night before. One hand dropped into the water, cupping it. He began to rinse the wound on his left arm, hiding any pain it caused him. The area had been cleaned and treated the night before, but would require further attention as he did not wish it to scar. “You shouldn’t be scared to ask about your family.” A look was given, seeking to confirm this. However, he continued to speak even as he turned his face back to the wound, watching dried skin fall away with each passing motion. “I wouldn’t have thought you were except for the red on your face,” he added. “You don’t look much like them.” Even though he and Talitha were two very different colors, their resemblance was present and uncanny. This boy hardly resembled the girls that Ezekiel had begun to see less and less of.

POSTED: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:26 am

Really? How come?

The golden man's eyes slid up to meet his ever so cleanly and smoothly; a twist in the Lykoi boy's stomach brought a slight wince to his features. Such eyes reminded him of that horrid viper Galileo carried around like a pet, though this Inferni man's were a bright and unforgiving color, blazing like the sun. The voice that met him was hardly different, a cold stoniness within that Micah could only begin to guess origins for. He's from Inferni, Micah reminded himself, just seconds before Storm Lily hissed the same. Of course he's been in all kinds of trouble. The wound the man nursed, though it raised several more questions in the anxious Lykoi's mind, only confirmed this more.

The stranger identified him quickly, though Micah had made it somewhat obvious both in words and in his own appearance. The blur of scarlet at the edge of his nose was slight, much less prominent than that of all three of his siblings — though, at the same time, Micah had also unintentionally adopted a dark coat much unlike they as well. He was, both visibly and in personality, the small family's black sheep.

"I-I look like my dad," he mumbled, hardly proud of the words. Razekiel's dark coat had not been passed to any of his sisters — not even Storm Lily, who even in her ghostly form glowed a tan and amber aura. "Th-they're my older sisters, but we're not ve-very much alike... M-My name is Micah. Mi-Micah Sunrise Lykoi, but I ha-hate my middle name."

Chocolate eyes flicked back and forth between the golden man's intimidating eyes and wound as if unable to focus on either out of fear. Though his gaze remained questioning, he did not dare ask the origin of such a scratch, lest he somehow face a similar danger.

POSTED: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:40 pm

I think it's because he's so...fidgety? It feels very real given his history/personality, and it's a lot of fun with play with. :)

On another day they might have met with lighter hearts, but Ezekiel could not see the sunshine despite it blazing through the treetops around them. He felt as if he was riding to his death. While he did not love Alaine, as he loved his sister, it shamed him deeply to imagine that he had been the cause of her son’s death—that he would now need to lie to her and never return. It was cowardly and unlike him. This, he supposed, was because Talitha had set him forth with no other option. Either way, Alaine would hate him.

Micah was a fitting name, given his pelt. Ezekiel almost smiled at that, but set his jaw against a sting of pain from the wound. It had dried enough for him to consider the risk of infection slim, but he intended to treat it long before he continued his endless journey. “I’m Ezekiel de le Poer,” the golden coyote said, lowering his gaze to the bag at his side. His feet shuffled and settled his rump on the ground, tail laying loosely behind him.

“I have a sister too,” he said suddenly, digging through the olive-green satchel with one hand. He produced a small glass jar filled with a pasty green-brown substance. “We’re not much alike either. Maybe it’s because they’re girls,” he added, thinking of Micah's flamboyant sisters. With his right hand, he dipped two fingers into the jaw and pulled a chunk of the green-brown paste from it. He applied this small amount to the wound before rinsing his hand off in the water, sighing. “How come you didn’t join them?” The Aquila asked, refocusing his attention on the younger boy.

POSTED: Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:24 pm

Thank you. ^^; I like Ezekiel a lot too... and it amuses me how much Ezekiel and Razekiel sound ailke. XD

Micah could sense a certain droop in the man's shoulders, a slight drag in his words, but the salt-and-pepper boy could hardly begin to focus and address such a thing over the tremors of his body and hissing whispers of his sister. Once again she rejected the notion of him meeting people; to Storm, they were a waste of time and space when Micah had all he needed out of the ghost alone... that, and as she constantly reminded him, his purpose was to avenge her and remove their father from the picture, but like he failed so many other things, he was failing that mission too.

The boy could only assume Ezekiel's wound to be related to it, great eyes watching intently as he pulled a rather nasty-looking paste from his satchel and applied it to the scratch. Much of his words barely rung in the Lykoi's ears, at least until the question was posed and his striking eyes were pointed at the anxious male once more.

"Um," Micah mumbled, startled by the piercing golden gaze, "th-they said our fa-father was also there, in Inferni." He hardened considerably, stutter disappearing with the onset of darker emotions. "I refuse to dwell in the same space as he. I won't forgive him, like my sisters have."

He took a breath, then shook his head to revive his normal self. They could not talk about such things, no; he could not expose any more of what Razekiel had done. He could not risk someone else doing the job for him. "Wh-what happened, anyway?" Micah said, looking intently at the wound, but withdrew back behind his curls seconds later. "I-I-I mean, i-i-if you d-d-don't mind... s-sorry..."

POSTED: Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:25 am

I know, haha. I didn't even realize that when I picked Zeke's name. XD

The paste was one that Enkiel had made last fall, and he had been instant on Ezekiel carrying it with him. As Aquila, he would never be out of harm’s reach—this was something the jackal, with his reptilian red eyes and deep voice, had warned him of. How it was that the younger man knew such things was beyond Ezekiel. As far as he knew, Enkiel had never left Inferni since he had joined the clan. Of course, he often got odd sensations from the small man, who never explained such things and often spoke in Arabic to confuse the golden Aquila.

His attention remained focused on Micah, and while the boy seemed uneasy around him, Ezekiel truly meant him no harm. Not while they, as thin as it was, shared blood. The shift in personality did not go unnoticed; the dark coyote seemed to fall into that shadow his pelt might have disguised him as. Ezekiel’s eyes narrowed slightly, curious; too suddenly the attention returned to him, and to the gash on his arm. His jaw tightened.

“I got into a fight,” he said flatly, closing the jar and placing it back into his satchel. A small bundle of reclaimed gauze was produced. It was dingy from age. “It’s not really as bad as it looks,” the Aquila added, finally offering a faint and false smile. “Actually, I could use your help if you don’t mind. Just need an extra hand with the bandage.”

POSTED: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:09 pm

XD

A fight? Well, Micah supposed that was hardly a surprise; a gash like that didn't couldn't come from a little splinter or something. Ezekiel did not go into details, as the yearling expected he might not, but any conversation away from the subject of the salt-and-pepper boy's father was good conversation, as far as he was concerned. With curious eyes the boy watched the Inferni man tuck the ugly paste away and retrieve bandages instead; with a startled, nervous nod Micah agreed to help him, and with an increasingly vicious tremor he slowly moved closer to assist.

With trembling hands he gathered the gauze and held it, chocolate eyes flashing up to Ezekiel's just briefly before back down in a humble motion, the boy waiting for instruction.

"I-I'm not very good at fighting," Micah sighed as they bound the wound, adding a very subtle shrug. "Nobody ever t-taught me how, l-like they didn't teach my sisters... Th-the things I ha-have to solve can't be done peacefully..." Brown eyes slid subtly to the side, glancing briefly at the ghostly Storm Lily that huffed and puffed in their midst, then glared and vanished when meeting her brother's gaze. Micah stared at the wound, intimidated by his very proximity to it.

A sigh and a weak smile, disappearing as quickly as it was mustered. "Y-you're lucky," he mumbled finally.

POSTED: Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:22 pm

Ezekiel used simple instructions to direct his younger companion, aiding him where his own hand could be of use. His eyes did not linger on the boy’s face, but his ears remained focused on the voice. What little he knew about the origins of the hippy children that had taken up residence in clan was enough to echo Micah’s assertion. The golden-bronze Aquila felt his face tighten at the mention of his luck. He didn’t feel lucky; not when he had blood on his hands.

“I’ve been teaching your sister. Sage. She’s quick. She fights like a bluejay,” the scarred man added, allowing a smile to cross his face. The earthen-hued girl was looked upon fondly by her cousin, though he often regretted not realizing how deep the crevice between her and his sister was. Perhaps he had doomed them both by forcing them together. He was silent for a moment. “What are you trying to solve?” The coyote asked lowly, locking his eagle-colored eyes on Micah’s face. Certainly it was nothing good. Not when the boy seemed so ill at ease to speak of the matter.

POSTED: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:59 pm

Sage, learning to fight? Micah did not find himself exactly disturbed by the notion; he had always hoped his sisters would shape themselves up one day and learn the basics of defending themselves, if nothing else. In his eyes — and his father's, no doubt — they were each delicate flowers, beautiful to look upon and easy to manipulate and warp. True, the nervous runt that he was had never learned to fight either, as he had stupidly unveiled, and perhaps he was the most vulnerable a target than his sisters in actuality. After all, at least their carried themselves with some dignity: Micah could only cower and stammer in the face of strangers. An easy target, no doubt.

Perhaps if he'd had more dignity himself, he would have requested similar lessons from someone, but whom was he to learn from? Cercatori was full of artisans and merchants, a group of people least likely to know how to carry themselves in combat. Micah himself was a rather prime example.

The salt-and-pepper boy hesitated clearly at the question, eyes wide as the Aquila's gold stare locked with his own. Anxiety peaking, Micah remained in that trance a long moment before very suddenly breaking away and bobbing himself in the forehead with a fist, mumbling "stupid, stupid" beneath his breath with each scolding tap. He did this a moment longer, then peered a desperate and fearful glance at Ezekiel. "I-I-I can't talk about it," he stammered.

POSTED: Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:00 pm

There was a sudden change in the boy, and Ezekiel knew he had gone too far. His ears turned back slightly and he looked away. Maybe Micah had a shadow like his own to face. Hopefully it was something that the boy would survive. Too many had been scarred so deeply by the terrible things they would need to face.

“Well if you ever need…well, a place to go or someone to talk to or something, you’re blood. I’m sure your sisters would like to see you too.” Pushing himself up, the golden-red coyote flexed his arm and found the bandage was suitable. He tilted his head slightly and then stared towards the south. Anxiety filled him, but the coyote could only look forward to the end of days he was riding to face. Ezekiel sighed. “I have to go.”

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