Ruby – Part Three : SS.

The Ambassador Valmont has taken his new friend and charge; Ruby back to the Embassy of Hell.  It may be a great deal different to what she has been used too.

Scene setting – The Embassy : Seven Sins series.

Written with Tsu and Zu.

https://i1.wp.com/www.celticcastles.com/chateaux/chateau-codignat/images/castle7.jpg

Residence and offices of Valmont, the Ambassador of the Seven Kingdoms.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

The Embassy of Hell

Tall and imposing gates with spiked tips awaited Valmont and his new friend, as they had come back down the path of souls to the Embassy of Hell. Towered peaks were seen high above the tree line, and there was an air of wonder about the imposing sight that lay before them. The gates started to open of their own accord, with Valmont not even having to lift a finger as he strolled along with Ruby. To anyone else, they would think that the Ambassador had done very well for himself in Hell. In the past he had brokered deals between the kingdoms and helped settle disputes, before it all turned to bloodshed and battles. Sadly, he had not managed to quell Mammon’s appetite for getting his hands on other kingdoms, and in particular trying to unseat Gabriel from her new position as Princess of Wrath. Valmont had yet to see Gabriel, but had heard of the curse that Mammon had imposed shortly before taking his last breath. He did not value a woman to take the role of one of the seven heads of hell, and in a way by leaving her with a dick, he would get a dying wish come true. None of that mattered now, of course. No doubt Gabriel would be seeing to have the thing removed. One way or another. It was bound to be the talk of the town, sooner or later. Valmont was in no real hurry to find this out.

As the pair strolled up the drive, Valmont would spot a dinner table all laid out and adorned with candles. Wine chilling in a bucket on a stand and plates all ready to be filled with a sumptuous meal. Someone was expecting his return, but who?

“Hungry?” Valmont asked of Ruby, before realizing that the girl’s crude stitching might stop her from partaking in a meal.“Err…sorry.”

A slight hint of red shade appeared to his cheeks, but he offered to walk Ruby towards the table, and see just who was expecting them.

 

~RB~

 

Zu:

 

Ruby had never once explored many places since her arrival here in Hell, but she had a feeling she’d see places like this one more often than she ever thought possible. It was a really big embassy, but Ruby thought of it more of a palace or castle. She wouldn’t be able to remember where she saw something like this before; it was in her past, something locked away from her memory thanks to this curse of hers. She still clung to his arm, that way she wouldn’t lose her one and only friend. Ruby wouldn’t know what to do with herself. She hasn’t realized it yet, but she’d become more and more dependence on him, losing her own independence; it was all due to his kindness.

Ruby was lead to the dinner table, something also unfamiliar to her. The only time she rested was on the harsh ground in Hell. When asked if she was hungry, she wasn’t even listening because she was too busy staring in awe at the dinner table. She had taken off her hood, thinking nobody would be around them for a bit and it’d be more comfortable for her, now that she was accepted. Ruby took her seat, yet it didn’t feel right. She got off it and then sat back down, continuing this process until after doing it five more times, took her seat.

 

Razorbackwriter:  It is customary for a gentleman to hold the chair out and then slide it into position as the female guest takes a seat. Oddly enough, Ruby was having a bit of trouble. Perhaps this was all a bit much for her to take in. A dinner table out in the gardens of the grand estate. Valmont knew nothing but this type of lifestyle, and had hoped that Ruby would grow to like it. Valmont watched as Ruby sat down, then got off….then sat down, then got off. The Ambassador kept trying to move the seat forward, but each time he did, the girl kept hopping up. Valmont showed a perplexed expression till finally Ruby settled in her seat at last.

“That’s the ticket.” Valmont now pleased that he could take his seat at the table.

Soon a line of servants came trickling out of the main building. bringing with them various trays that were each packed with all manners of exotic food. From stuffed pheasant, to wild boar with an apple in it’s mouth. Vegetables with butter that were steaming as the trays were lifted off and then placed on the table neatly. It was enough to make the mouth water, and the taste buds tingle in anticipation. One servant started to pour red wine for Valmont, and he took up the glass, swirling it and inhaling its fine scent.

https://jobmob.co.il/images/articles/objects/waiter.jpg

“Mmm full bodied. Good year too.” This was said after he took a mouthful and swished it about in his mouth, making a strange sucking sound. “Very good. More please.” The waiter filled his glass, then made his way over to the girl and started to fill her glass. Valmont leaned side on so he could see his way around the waiter and whispered.

“Need a straw?”

~RB~

 

Tsu:  

https://i1.wp.com/i.imgur.com/2nGPHwn.png 

A door opened and steam came out from it, a male walked out from it. His hair was down and a towel wrapped around his waist, walking over he spied out the window from the side. Noticing he had returned with a guest, he’d better dress and go down. Nicholas walked away and pulled out his cloths that he wore, consisting of a white shirt, with a blue jacket and long black pants. Standing in front of a mirror, the towel dropped from his waist, he looked like a male, with girlish features but, it wasn’t just that. His whole lower half was of a female, he hid this very well most the time. A small sigh escaped his lips as he dressed himself and looked in the mirror, everything looked neat and tidy, just like he liked it. Bringing a towel up to his head, he dried his hair and then did a simple braid on the side. You’d wonder why a male would braid his hair but, he did it for not wanting to to hang down and because of the hormones of wanting to look like a girl, in a way. Sliding his shoes on, he opened his bedroom door and walked out, after making sure everything was folded and put away.

Nicholas walked down the stairs, descending down them to the side door. Opening he walked out and breathed in the cool air, it was indeed nice with the warmth. He continued on walking down a path way and came into view of where he saw both the people, finally stopping by them. ” Welcome back Valmont, I see you guys are enjoying the set up.” a deep but, light voice had said, his head looking over towards the girl. ” I see you brought a guest. I do hope you enjoy your stay and meal Miss.” He said finally and stood there looking back towards Valmont. ” Everything is done and filed, so I think nothing is left to be done.. for now at least. Is there anything else you’d like to be done?” Nicholas asked him and waited for a response.
 

Zu:  All Ruby could do was stare at the very thing she was oblivous to. She couldn’t remember the last time she had anything related to food. She’s seen it since beginning her life in hell, but never experianced it. Ruby would try to remember if she ever had something called food, but nothing came up. She had her hood up, thankfully, and made sure of it, because just as she had promised herself, only Valmont could see her face, as he gave her the time of day to even associate himself with the likes of her. Ruby could only stare at the glass that shouldn’t belong to her, being poored in front of her. When asked if she needed a straw, she could only stare at the glass. Ruby didn’t really want anything, even if she could, but that mattered not because the glass seemed far too interesting to her than Valmont at the moment.

Just as she was about to look at Valmont once again, she heard another voice and almost jumped out her skin in fright, about to pull out her blade as her instincts would have her do, but she fought against that and turned to see a female talking to Valmont. She couldn’t tell it was a male, even with the voice, as the body was of a female. She just looked at Nicholas blankly, her face still covering her features. Ruby would continue to stare before looking back at the table.

 

Razorbackwriter:  ” Welcome back Valmont, I see you guys are enjoying the set up.”

There was no mistaking the voice of Valmont’s secretary; Nicholas, who had just strolled out into the garden dinner setting. Welcoming back the Ambassador and of course, his guest. Valmont set down a napkin he was about to lay over his lap and rose to standing at Nicholas’s arrival, offering a light now, before gesturing a gloved hand towards Ruby. His guest had been studying the wine glass in detail and at no time made a move to actually attempt to drink from it. Perhaps food and drink were not her thing. Still Valmont had his manners, and could only smile when Nicholas hoped the girl would enjoy her stay.

“Charming as ever, my good friend. I would like to introduce….well, I am not sure of her name for she is unable to communicate. Let us call her…” Valmont took in the color of her cape and then chimed a pet name. “Ruby” It was a name that was not only easy to remember, but quite feminine. The ambassador paused, and listened to Nicholas ask if there was anything else that needed to be done, as all the filing was up to date. Valmont offered Nicholas a seat at the table, before he himself sat down.

“I am sure you are aware that the Greed Kingdom was putting on a ball this evening. Course, it ended in disaster before it had truly begun.” Valmont pressed his hands together just below his chin. How did he know this? Well, seeing and hearing disfigured demons in ball gowns hurrying from the estate, along with great blasts of fire and light in the sky was a pretty good indication. “I dare say it was a right ballroom blitz.” In a way, Valmont was glad he missed it, but miffed at not knowing who was amongst the dead. It was his job to keep tabs on all the Royals and for now that was something he needed to catch up on. First things first though, he had his guest to consider.

Valmont picked up his wine glass, and turned the glass around by the stem as he gaze at Ruby, whilst thinking…obviously.

“The royals can wait. No sooner is one crowned, another falls. It’s just happening at a faster rate than normal.”Valmont let out a sigh. “We have only just come through the War of Wrath, and no doubt there will be some repercussions over that. Hostility carried forth even after the final march of the drums.” Valmont set down his glass, then asked Nicholas. “I have a small task, though it might take some time. I wondered if you might work with me, in helping this dear girl learn to communicate. She knows nothing of how to engage, aside from a nod…or a head shake. Do you have any thoughts?”

~RB~

 

Tsu:  Standing there by them observing, his eyes went to Ruby’s to watch her for moment and looked back. Did she know? Something seemed a bit odd and he wasn’t sure, regardless he’d have to be careful. Oh how hectic it’d probably turn if anything was known, it’d be a ball. Finally coming to he listened to Valmont talk and thought about it, it must of been some night. Lifting his hand he rubbed the back of his head a bit and let out a small sigh. ” It must of been a busy night, huh. I did indeed hear and it probably was a spectacular ball.” He said with a bit of sarcastic tone to it, being playful towards it. Shortly a second later he’d chuckle at the last of his words of the ball and simply shook his head. He wondered what Valmont was thinking, while staring at her and holding a glass. You never honestly knew much anymore about what people thought at times.

” She can’t speak? Well, that’s rather weird but, we all have our own things.. I guess.” That would indeed be a task, how to teach someone how to communicate. A couple of ideas passed through his mind but, he wasn’t so sure. Nicholas looked at Ruby once again and mentally faced palmed. ” Excuse my manners, its nice to meet you Ruby, I’m Nicholas. I think it’ll be fun to help you with this communication thing.” He said and looked over to Valmont, a small smile came to his lips as he thought for a second. ” Well, of course I wouldn’t mind, I’m your Secretary after all and will do whatever is needed. As for ways to communicate.. how about sign language? or for starters we could set her up with a piece of paper and pen, tech her how to write? Then, she could use words through writing but, that might take a little while too.” Nicholas said and let out another sigh as he waited and hoped one of the two would work, if not they’d both have to think of something soon.

 

Zu:  Just because she wasn’t paying attention, didn’t mean that she wasn’t listening to what the two were exchanging. She started to mess around with what was around her as they were talking to each other. Ruby was really interested in what was surrouding her, never before has she experianced this before. It seemed she would be called Ruby, and there was a jolt in her brain that was only there for a moment but in that moment, something sprang up that she should be remembering. She looked around the place, having the face of someone who saw a shadow but quickly dismissed it. Of course, all her reactions were covered by her hood. She went back to playing with the silverware; Ruby looked like a child the entire time, which wasn’t a surprise.

 

Razorbackwriter:  ” She can’t speak? Well, that’s rather weird but, we all have our own things.. I guess.”

Indeed, this was true. Valmont for one had his own flaws that he had carefully masked over the years. The times he had to bite his tongue and not burst out loud at the ridiculous proclamations made by various Princes over the years. Often curbing his own carnal desires as he watched women throw themselves at the regal heads of state. Though it was a different story when it came to those that served beneath the glistening ballrooms and darkened chambers. Valmont had learnt how to come about the most tantalizing gossip that was whispered from the very sheets of those he served. As of the moment, he was out of the loop, but he always had a way of getting back in. He was of course discreet in just who he spoke to. Being surrounded by such immoral creatures allowed him to be influenced by them, and taking pride at times in outshining them. Not that they knew that. But in this setting, butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. Valmont did enjoy Nicholas’s company. Strange in a way. Valmont was not interested in the same sex, but there was something about Nicholas that usually tugged at the very pit of the Ambassador’s being. Valmont would never pry of course, but he just found himself taken in. Nicholas was not rash or one to be boastful. Didn’t parade around like some mad fop, but instead with an almost casual serenity. It was peaceful and relaxing to be in his presence.

Nicholas gladly offered to assist in helping their young hooded charge in learning to communicate, though this might require many hours and a lot of patience.

“And this is why I hold you so highly, Nicholas. Always ready to step up to the plate.” The Ambassador rising from his chair, no longer interested in food, but the newest challenge that was sitting before him. While Nicholas’s idea of a pen and paper were good ones to help start in the teaching, Valmont had another idea.

“I was thinking more a small chalk board. About the same size as a notepad. Tied with string so she can wear it around her neck. If we are going to teach her, she’d need a lot of paper. A chalkboard can be erased and written on, again and again.” Starting off simply, might be the go.

Approaching Ruby, he knelt one one knee so that again they can meet eye to eye. He noted her hood was down and he gazed up at her face. He was not afraid of what lay beneath it. Having already seen the curse – her vile stitching. Whilst he had thought of trying to break her free from it, he also didn’t want to spook her. Baby steps were sometimes needed. Another thought came to mind. She carried a weapon. A sword that she would easily un sheath when threatened. Was this because in another life she was a warrior? It would be so much easier if she could tell them.

Watching her play with the silverware, Valmont gathered that food and drink were also foreign to her. She wouldn’t be able to open her mouth. What had he been thinking? It brought from him a sigh.

“How foolish I have been? Swept up in my own world to see that this is all very new to you.” He rose to standing and offered Ruby his hand. “Why not come inside, and we can show you the beauty of the Embassy.”

If she did take up his offer, one of the rooms that they would go to was a training room. For sword fighting.

~RB~

 

 

The Black Sphere – GS.

 

As you may have read, the Detective Frank Malone was dead…..or was he?

Scene setting : The Gantz room – Gantz series.

This arc is written following the Death of Frank Malone.  Co-writers – Fu, Zu, Ota, and Moo

 

https://i0.wp.com/i.gyazo.com/6109bd8763ec1e4a64719194a066825e.png
Nobody can get in, nobody can get out.
Used for missions only.

 

Moo:  Trent scanned into the room in the same position he’d been in previously. Whistling, he let the tune die after drawing out the last note, which was rather flat. It seemed he was the first one in the room again; he looked around the room with a bored expression, staring as though he hadn’t slept in weeks with his shoulders slightly hunched. Being that the last mission had gone uncompleted, he was back to zero points again. No matter; he enjoyed this game anyway and had completed it a few times already. Though, that last mission was definitely a first. Having to protect his boss from the rest of the Gantz team had been unexpected, but no problem. Trent wasn’t the type to help anyone during their missions. If he killed them to bring them here, it was more often than not to play with them like they were life-size toys. That being the case, he had easily killed each one of his teammates in order to complete his job. The best part was he was never punished by Gantz for doing so. It was just a question of who the target would be this time. His boss again? Or another alien? Stuffing his hands in his jean pockets, he resumed his whistling and walked toward one of the walls of the room, waiting as others scanned in shortly after him.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Cold. All around there was nothing but the blackness that had embraced the fallen detective into what he thought was death. He had always been told that there was a light. A light at the end of the tunnel. There was neither of those things. Frank was dead. Wasn’t he? Far off, there was this slow…beating sound. The sound that a heart makes, though it was faint at first. Slowly building. Blood…rushing back and forth through the arteries. A shudder….breathing that exploded from his lungs as Frank’s eyes shot open.

~GASP!!~

Deep panting. Eyes, widening, searching. He could see a room. A door. A window. A big…black ball. Trembling hands placed down on the ground as the detective realized he was propped against one of the walls, like a used puppet. Frank’s head lowered as he gazed down at his suit.

“What happened?”

It was then he heard the faint whistle, that belonged to another. As the detective looked up, he saw a man that he had never seen before. He appeared to be bored, or at least that is the impression that he gave off. The man was slouching -staring off into space. Frank’s eyes went back to the large black ball again. Why was there just a man and a big black ball in a room? Was Frank asleep? Was this what death was like?

“Am I dead?”

~RB~

 

Moo:  A new group of people, but more or less the same routine. The second person to scan into the room happened to be one of the most annoying types; full of questions. As if Trent knew anything that would be helpful. “Hell if I know.” He scratches his head, leaning against the wall with his hand still in his pocket. His feet were crossed as he hunched, giving off the vibe of a rather careless person. Letting out a long, exaggerated sigh, he shrugged his shoulders and tilted his head back, looking out the window across the room out to the skyline. It was night time, as always. But the city lights really didn’t make it seem any different; New York was a city full of life, after all. “Does it look like you’re dead?” What a pointless question. “You’re breathing. New York is right there.” Trent pointed out to the skyline lazily for a moment before dropping his hand again. He turned his head to look at the man sitting against the wall, his mouth splitting into a toothy grin. “But you did die.” The others around the room that had scanned in went on ignored. For now, Trent’s attention was on this guy. As annoying as it was, he felt he could entertain himself now. For a few moments, at least.

 

Razorbackwriter:  There were other people in the room beside this guy and Frank, though the guy with his hands in his pockets was the only one willing to answer his questions. Mind you, he wasn’t exactly helpful. Trent hadn’t been witness to Frank’s death, and Frank himself had no memory of it. Curious, Frank pushed himself off the floor. He needed more clues to prove he was really alive. Trent pointed out the window at the New York skyline, and sure enough it was just how Frank remembered it. He stood with his hands pressed to the panes of glass, staring outward, and yet he was unable to say anything. Trent had more or less confirmed what he believed to be true. He had died. How did he die though? The events leading up to meeting the Commander at the warehouse were all kind of fuzzy. Like when you are experiencing a hangover and can’t quite tell what you did the night before.

Looking down at his clothing, it showed no signs of wear and tear. No bullet holes…no blood stains. Frank reached up and touched all around his neck, then his face, as though trying to feel for wounds…scars. Anything.

“How did I die? Who killed me?”

Again, with the twenty questions. Frank had so many, but by looking at this guy who had a sick grin on his face, he was enjoying Frank’s torment.

“I gotta get out of here. I have to find Tommy. Gotta tell him, that the Commander is dead.”

At mention of this, Frank headed for the door.

~RB~

 

Moo:  So this guy didn’t know how he died. That was a clear enough sign that this was the business Bols had taken care of. Chuckling quietly to himself, Trent watched as Frank palmed at the window, looking completely lost at this point. Who knew if his memory would ever return to him? Well, whatever. It wasn’t like it mattered; this guy probably couldn’t do anything about it, even if he remembered something. And he would definitely be disappointed when he reached that front door, as he wouldn’t be able to even grab the knob. Try as he might, it was impossible for anyone to leave the apartment until the mission was over. With a small grunt of amusement, Trent pushed himself from the wall and resumed his whistling, ignoring as others within the room tossed similar questions at him that Frank had. It was because he was the only calm guy in the room. But he wouldn’t have an answer for any of them. He would simply wait until that familiar tune began playing and the Gantz ball opened, revealing racks of guns and suit cases. Each suit case was designated to a particular person, as it had their names on them. If opened, they would find a rather peculiar suit inside. It would only fit that person; if someone like Trent tried to take one of theirs, it would be rendered useless. Picking up a few guns, Trent holstered them accordingly and waited, staring at the screen that popped up on the sphere.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank reached out for the door knob so that he could find his way out of the strange room with the big black ball, and the whistling guy. The only problem was that his hand passed right through it. The detective let out a shriek, before trying again and again, but having the same results. Frank held up his hand before him and it looked real and solid, yet the door acted like he was a ghost or apparition. Turning around to try and get answers again from Mr Whistler, had Frank see the ball open and reveal racks of guns and suitcases. The suits within were meant to be worn by the people standing or waiting in the room. Wordlessly, Frank pointed at the opened sphere, then held his finger up as though to ask another question, but the Mister Whistler (which is now his nickname, in Frank’s eyes), was already holstering some guns. As others came and grabbed their suitcases and guns, Frank simply got in line and waited till it was his turn. Sure enough there was one with his name on it. Hesitantly, Frank reached in and took his out, along with a set of guns, just like the others. It was like being back in boot camp, or at least a very odd version of it.

Taking the suitcase and guns over to a corner, he opened the case and in it he pulled out a strange looking suit. Frank held it up before him and gave it a shake as it unfurled. Others were trying theirs on, and so…thinking this was going to be what he had to do, he took off his day suit and slipped into the special one, doing the zip up and then holstering the guns. Were they preparing for some sort of war? And who were the guns for?

Frank looked down at himself, now dressed like all the others. His old suit, he placed into the case and did it up. Knowing that Mister Whistler was already at the sphere and staring at the screen, Frank ambled over and then whispered

“Is the sphere….thing going to unlock the door?”

~RB~

 

Moo:  The black world Z had been submerged in suddenly seemed to evaporate. Her eyes fluttered open to a light of an apartment. At first, she suspected to have been in the hospital, as though D.T had reached her in time. But instead she was lying on the floor of a plain room. She sat up very slowly, surprised that she could breathe and felt no pain in her chest. Her hand rose to her chest, feeling no hole from where she had been impaled, and there was no blood on her clothing, nor any tears. Blinking, Z looked around. D.T had managed to get into this room too…but how? Why were they here? She curiously looked back at him. “Where are we, D.T?” She could only assume he knew the answer because he was awake and had never died. Had he listened to her about putting his patch back on?

Turning and sitting on her knees, she looked about the room where people were conversing or having small anxiety attacks. It seemed she wasn’t the only one who was confused. It wasn’t until some music began playing that she turned to look at the giant black sphere. A male was already standing there expectantly, tossing his clothes on the floor. He wore some weird suit and began holstering guns. At this point, Z could only assume he knew what he was doing and stood up to look at what the racks were lined with. Cases. One had her name, Zoey, written on it. How peculiar… This was by no means normal. Z took the case after looking from it to the guy she stood beside, and finally grabbed her case and D.T’s, taking both back with her. Upon opening the cases, suits similar to that guy’s were visible. “Mind helping me out?” she asked the android with a slight coy smile. Back to her old self. She moved to the corner they were near and began undressing, finding that she had to remove her undergarments in order for the suit to fit properly. Men in the room would most likely try to steal glimpses of her body unless D.T did as she requested and blocked their view. Not that it was completely bothersome for the woman.


Trent looked over the screen of the alien the team was suppose to kill tonight. It brought his brow up as he crossed his arms, disregarding a lot of the useless information Gantz provided. Frank’s shriek could be heard from where he stood, causing him to shake his head as he laughed to himself. Here came more questions. He knew it. Pulling off his clothes, he already had his suit on underneath. He just left the discarded clothing on the floor in front of the sphere, ignoring as people began murmuring about his suit. One woman in particular seemed to be observing him as she came closer and inspected him without a hint of shame.

Seeming to have observed him long enough, she was the first to take a case from the rack and open it, walking to the corner of the room to change. Trent turned his head to watch, assuming her weird friend didn’t step in the middle to block his view. Her face might have been a train wreck, but her body was something of a different nature. And if he would be observed, so would she. He tilted his head with interest until others began taking cases too. What the hell? Nobody ever did that. Looking surprised, Trent turned to see a few of them lined up; this was a lot more than usual. Frank was last to mosey himself on over, asking yet another question. With a slight twitch of his lips, Trent’s gaze narrowed at him slightly. “Eventually. If you don’t die.” This wasn’t going to work. Not so many. He scratched his head, seemingly thinking to himself now as he turned and wandered around the sphere. If nobody had noticed before, it would be brought to their attention now; a naked man sat in the middle of the sphere. Trent crouched and poked at the man’s temple with one of his smaller guns. “Hey. Send me first. Got it?” The man appeared to be sleeping, a breathing mask over his mouth. He was connected to Gantz by several cords and looked rather plain. Bald and fair skinned with no muscle definition. He did look anorexic as fuck though.

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Fu:  

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– D.T found himself in a room next to Z in a room . How they got there was unknown to him as he had asked him . However at this point D.T felt different then he was before blowing himself up , his hair felt slightly longer and more wavy then it was before ; at the point of covering his eyepatch and his clothes too were tinted black and had furry outlines. D.T was curious about their location as well . But he wasn’t as rude as to just stay quiet and he would reply to her once he found a appropriate response.-

” I believe we were transported somewhere. However exactly where and the reason for our presence here is beyond me ”

– He would watch her pick up the cases and wore them , D.T himself would follow her and obstruct people from observing and at that point would watch and wait to see how things would go afterwards. He didn’t know anyone else who was here as he was still newly awakened so he couldn’t truly speak to others at a optimal dialect at this current moment.-

 

Ota:  

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The reconstruction of the body which had just been taken apart and brought to the apartment, revealed a young female body dressed in what seemed to be a typical mans Imperial Trench-coat, scarf, black jeans and comfortable black Nike Roshe Run Hi SneakerBoots. The overall build was lean and peak-light athletic while her height was around five feet and eleven inches. However, the body was completely motionless by the time the female body was complete, steam coming off of her figure.

System rebooted. All damage has been repaired, manually starting optical hardware. Her eyes would open slightly before fluttering a bit as all the light was coming into her pupils. Her eyes scanned over the individuals and she couldn’t help but arch a brow. All senses and bodily controls have been reinitialized. All systems begin routines. Investigate prior memories of cause and arrival… None found. ERR0R. ERR0R.She’d squint slightly as her eyes rested on the others near by in the same room as them.

“Vitals are normal.” Alice finally stated with her voice as her eyes looked over the room with an almost expressionless looking face. “Parameters of the room however, are unknown. ERR0R detect…” She stopped and looked at the people again before tilting her head to the side. Then looked towards the ball thing that was near the other side of the room with peak curiosity. There was a man inside. Why was there a man inside attached to the ball? “Inquiry. Where are we? What is this location? How did I get here? Why are we here? Who are you people?” She was talking like a computer, it seemed like her speech systems weren’t entirely up and running just yet, despite being a cyborg.

Zu: 

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BRO!

A sudden jolt motivated Kenny, who had recently died, to wake up. He doubled over, heavily sweating after the dream he just had; a dream of death and sorrow. He lost his brother, and it was his fault that he couldn’t save either of them. It took a bit, but after breathing more slowly, he realized something.. he was alive. Kenny took a look around the room to see that he wasn’t the only one in it. He turned himself over once, seeing a big sphere just… sitting there. He looked once again at the people he saw. Is this a dream or something?, he asked himself, almost wondering if he should even ask the question.

 

Razorbackwriter:  
The room was now filling with people. People that had just as many questions as he had done. All looking disoriented, confused and in shock. Frank had just finished doing up his suit, and running his fingers over his name tag, when a pretty girl had grabbed a case and made her way over to a corner to get changed. Was there no privacy in this place? Frank spluttered as she started to get undressed, but thankfully she had someone with her that helped offer something of a privacy shield. The Detective’s cheeks flamed and he turned around whistling an odd tune. Thoughts turned back to Isolde, when he had watched her come out after a shower and she was looking for a towel….or was it the white soccer shorts. Either way, he was not at all comfortable watching the girl change.

Mister Whistler was the next one to get Frank’s attention. There was a naked man sitting in the centre of the black ball, and he was all hooked up to wires and electrodes that The man’s skin was devoid of any pigmentation. Like he was an albino and a sickly one at that. Frank made a face, then when he heard Mister Whistler tell the man that he was first, followed by poking the man with one of his guns, the Detective had to speak up.

“Don’t do that. You might wake the poor bugger. Is the ball thingy keeping him alive?”

Course, his questions might well get drowned out, by the many other voices in the room. One that sounded like a computer speaking, but it was a girl. Frank squinted as he tried to work out what the girl was asking. Same routine questions that Frank himself had asked.

“I don’t know, lady. But I have a feeling the guy in the ball is going to tell us.”

 

~RB~

 

 

 

 

The Cards Never Lie.

 

Within the darkened halls of a Castle far off in the lands of Blood Rose, a Vampire walks – but little does he know that a woman seeks him out.  To find the answers to his past…his present and his future.

Co-written with SA.

 

RB:   

-It was in the wee hours that most of the Castle’s inhabitants were asleep.  This was Savage’s time to wander the hallowed halls on his night watch.  The Queen had stayed up late to attend to urgent business from one of her lesser allies, and so with the rabble having taken their leave, the Knight had the halls to himself once again.  The echoed sound of his footfalls would alert any that happened to enter the castle grounds that not all slumbered.  Eyes of silver narrowed at the slightest sound.  It was of course just the low whistle of the wind through the tower windows.  The odd clanking of metal chains that hung from the walls within the Queen’s chamber.  This was of course music to the ears of Nick.  Pressing his crimson stained lips together, he hummed to himself, as he walked along with a pronounced swagger.  Shoulders hunched forward, since he was conscious of his tall stature and how it appeared to others.  Onyx locks hung down over his eyes – his head bowed and his gloved hands shoved deep into his trench coat pockets.  Turning the corner, his shadow cast along the wall; almost like he was being followed by a ghoul of malice.  Taking his right hand from his pocket, he placed it up towards the weathered oak door to the Queen’s inner sanctum and let himself in.  Banners of the Blood rose ancestry hung from the walls, along with portraits of the former heads of state.  Soulless eyes staring down at the Knight as he passed under them – without care.  Reaching the middle of the floor, the Vampire tilted his head back and inhaled sharply.  The scent of dead roses still lingered within the air.-

~RB

 

SA:

What else could be said, about the creature that walked in the Halls of the most unlikely? She looked female, but most certainly was not one. More akin to a Monster. There was a presence to her. She wore a dark silk coat over her leather dress, the edges frayed, twisting as if alive. The lower half of her face could be seen, pale skin of alabaster, with dark red set lips. Such a heavy contrast between what was worn and what wasn’t. The coat was adorned with a silver chain, black pearls hung from it. As she entered, each sense held a tell. The sight of her, towering over others, despite an average height. The smell of burning incense, floating in thin air around her. The sound of her obsidian beads clanking together in her movement. Even the feel of her near. The air turned cold as she passed. The astute would notice certain aspects of the woman. Each movement lacked the mouth feel that was reality. When she moved, it was a smooth motion, perfectly done with its intention. And as she stood, or sat, it was completely motionless. The astute noticed she held no sway. Nothing that so attributed to the universal fact, that all are bound by Entropy. The way of Order into chaos, which invariably leads to the involuntary motion of cells fading away to death, only to be reborn, ad nauseam, until nothing but chaos is left. This was her, lacking in that fact. Chest did not rise nor fall. Each white strand of hair had its place, even found her lacking a shadow. There was a feeling of wrongness, however sleight. That which couldn’t possibly be, was. Subtle as it was, many would choose, instinctively or not, to ignore it. This was the Fortune Teller, the Blind Reader. “Fortunes told, for Females bold. Males apply, for a different side. The price is set, as can be. Three questions answered, truthfully.” She spoke in a deep rumbling of a voice, yet with a feminine accent, delicate and suave through a sardonic smile, pearly whites. The only polite way to bare fangs in company and as she spoke, her hand trailed long digits along a silver case in which lied a deck of cards. “Good evening~.”

 

RB:  

The slight sound of the crack of bone, caused by the turning of Nick’s head could be heard by those with sensitive hearing.  This was in response to the sudden arrival of another within the grounds.  The Knight glanced upward towards the time piece – a clock of some five hundred years, and he knew it was too early for dignitaries to grace the castle with their presence.  Turning on the ball of his right foot, yet remaining stony faced, Nick faced the entrance to which a woman appeared.  His brow creased slightly on the sight of her.  Remarkable, would be a word to use to describe her.  But the first thing he was aware of was the scent of burning incense.  Like the kind you found in quaint shops within the Asian markets.  In fact, Nick could not remember the last time he had smelt such a thing, though it brought about a hazy recollection of a woman he once knew.  The woman spoke in rhyme, and it piqued Nick’s interest.  From what was said, he assumed, be it wrong or right that she was a Fortune teller by trade.  Her voice could be described as being rich, yet with a dark quality.  This added to her allure, especially when she smiled.  ~Mmmmm~  The sporting of her elongated fangs, that pressed against her plump lips.  Naturally, it awakened the Knight deep within, and he withdrew his gloved hands slowly from the depths of his pockets.  Eyes like quicksilver traced their way down to the deck of cards that she held in her hands.  A reader of fortunes and dreams.  What price would he pay to hear her wisdom this eve?  The vampire made a curt bow, as he felt that formality was first and foremost of importance when meeting someone new.  “Salutations, my Lady.   Is it not a little late to be out on one’s own?”

~RB~

 

SA:

She could be the easiest categorized as a puzzle, the pieces of it scrambled all over the ground as none of the pieces had any connection to each other – They didn’t fit, no matter how much one would try to assemble the puzzle. A black mask placed upon her upper facial features, hiding them from sight as if guarding them away from outside view – Her greatest, darkest secret which laid beneath that mask. The appearance of this ‘woman’ lacking beauty defined by society’s standards, the appearance of a rather anorexic build and an impressive height, making her almost like a walking skeleton, if not for the delicate curves, though very slight contoured. Alabaster skin, porcelain pale, with no blemish on them but a single scar at the middle of her chest, hidden by her dress and a Mandalla tattoo, on her upper back: The Flower of Life. How ironic, for a being who was closer to Death, than to being alive. She made no sense, at all. Her movements, robotic, performed like a true machine, lacking sway and yet feminine at the same time, as if trying her best to enhance and intensify the façade of being an actual living girl. One would almost feel obligated to pity a Blind woman and yet there was something different about this one. A mixture, a synesthesia in all its beautiful meanings, from the scent of incense burning seemingly from her own body, to the coldness which now surrounded the room, most to all of the surrounding’s heat absorbed only to emanate back the cold air. From the mechanical movements of her form to the delicate features to create this beautiful façade to don upon. To his bow, she returned with one of her own, figure bending at the waist like a true machine would, snow-white tresses cascading down over her features, until she rose back up. “You see, I am a Seeker. Many would call me a Stargazer – A Seeker of Knowledge. I travel this realm in search for new discoveries, new ways to push the boundaries which hold life’s limitations. I seek Art, but what is beyond that written on a papyrus or painted on a blank canvas; I seek the Art of being.” She paused. A long pause, as if to take an inhalation of breath, though there was none – There was no breath to take. A hand placed upwards again as index finger pointed, towards her own face. “I wouldn’t feel so threatened. After all, I am Blind.”

 

RB: 

-Nick found himself drawn in by the woman’s charm and candour.  She was so different from the many beauties that had graced these halls in a way that was hard to describe.  Those he had seen before had vitality, and colour to their skins, but he found them shallow and wanting of attention that was never to be gained.  Nick frowned upon such silliness that he had seen and had to endure silently.  This woman was unique and not only intriguing – be it from her scent, but also in the way that she moved.  Call it hypnotic, and in some ways robotic.  A beautiful woman of noble stature who was quite tall, taller than those within the palace walls.   Skin pulled taught over her frame, yet the curves that were shown from the tightness of her bodice and skirt showed she did carry some muscle.  They say that beauty is skin deep, but in the case of this woman, hers was haunting yet refined.  She was…a work of art, and she spoke the words of one that was worldly.  Travelled far, and seen so much.  Yet…that was the catch.  She wore a mask over her eyes, and for reasons that were still unclear, she was by all accounts blind.  A seeker; or a stargazer as she so eloquently put it.  Ever searching the lands to learn more, to drink in what others have to offer and feed her taste for the art of life.  Nick brought his arms up and while his left crossed his chest, he held up his right elbow so he could strum his long fingers along the edge of his chin.  A woman of winter white, pale soft skin that looked to be kissed by the moon’s light.  She did not breathe….her chest did not rise nor fall.  Alive, but not.  Had Nick found her to be a kindred spirit?  She spoke of seeking knowledge within outer realms, but not the kind that are written by scribes, or painted by the masters – but word of mouth.    Lowering his arms without word, Nick took a step towards the woman, regarding her with interest.    “You do not look as though you would be threatened easily, my Lady.  I have no doubt in my mind that you could hold your own.”  This was said with the slight hint of a smile.  He was taken in by her, though he might well wonder why.  “Though, I don’t know if this is the best place to find the kind of art you seek, I know of a tale or two that may interest in you.”

 

~RB~

 

SA: 

They say a certain flame could burn so bright as to steal the heat of its surroundings, giving it the feeling of being no flame at all – but ice. If this was the case, it surely was a characteristic of the woman. The temperature dropped increasingly so, as if her very being there created an upset in the world around her, a state where reality met illusion and tangibility had no grasp on the laws of this earth anymore. An omnipresent feeling of coldness, heat perfectly absorbed by her – She didn’t bring the cold, no – She simply burned so scolding hot for it to emanate from her in waves of cold air, even though her very skin was the touch of ice itself, colliding against flesh, upon contact. That sardonic grin came again to pull up the corners of crimson lips, only to bring a response to the male’s words, a non-verbal communication given by just that simple, yet remarkably complex gesture. And then what? There was no sight for this woman – at least not the certain sight a commoner would be familiar with for she ‘saw’ beyond what others could see and the price for that was her own optics, optics that were kept secret from view. It almost caused a paranoia from her, a tick which soon came into stage as one hand was brought up to scratch along her temples, fixing the mask, keeping it in place. An ordinary tick, performed frequently according to her own paranoia of having the mask somehow slip from her face. Which she could not afford. While he took in her, she took in everything there was about him, like Predators encountering each other on an open field. Each detail, perfectly soon deposited in the depths of her mind, each characteristic of this male simply placed as input, data, stocked like a machine whose sole purpose was to gain…knowledge. As he moved towards her, she moved too, with a step forward and then, one to the side, as if creating a small dance only to soon have them both circle each other. “A tale?” That piqued her interest, slightly and with that, her hand moved to pull and pluck the deck of cards from her silver case, their metal prison, putting it aside to have them in her palm. The back of them, black, with an odd looking sigil cast and painted over the dark backdrop, assumingly the brand of Tarot used – But the front was an oddity. Each card, no matter how many there were, was blank white. “I would love to hear a tale…”

 

RB:

-Walls that had stood the test of time, held within them the stories of the many families that had lived and died.  If only those stone cold walls could speak, they would tell the most amazing of stories, that could captivate the listener into a bright and colourful world that existed long ago.  Over many years, one does acquire a taste for the unusual and macabre.  Nick felt that to tell anything of what had gone on before this woman’s arrival could be the giving away of the secrets to which he had been sworn to keep close to his chest.  However, with all asleep, the Vampire was going to be bold, and tell the tale of the current monarch.  Nick moved his arms back, so as to clasp his hands in behind him, as he straightened his posture.  He did not stare at the girl’s mask, but rather – looked past her to a simple picture that hung upon the wall.  “You would think that a woman of noble birth would want for nothing.  Least that is what some would believe.”  Nick lowered his gaze momentarily, to show a darkening of his irises as he remembered the fateful night.  “Deep divisions within her family had driven her to despair.  War looming, and the constant bickering of children that were old enough to know better drove the Queen to split herself.  One that would feel nothing, the other part of her was to become a simple rose, whose colour changed with that of her mood.”  This may sound fanciful and even farfetched, but truth was often stranger than fiction.  “The children simply did not see the change.  The lack of emotions as the Queen walked among them, while in a special chamber, the petals of the rose were slowly falling.  One by one.”  Nick paused for a moment, before continuing.  “You would expect that the children could see the change…feel no warmth of love from what was once a woman that exuded it so passionately.  They were blind to her sadness, and it was this…recklessness on their part.  The immaturity and selfishness, that was in fact killing her slowly.  Softly.”  The vampire’s voice trailed off….

~RB~

 

SA: 

She listened. It felt like ages since she actually listened to a story that managed to pique her interest and intrigue her, at least, after such a long time when stories were what she lived for, the Seeker – A true Seeker, at heart, yet she had none beating in her chest, despite the pulse that could be heard at a close distance. There was no blood to rush through her veins to create one, but more. A hand came up to make sure the mask was still placed upon her vision, hiding it from sight of others as the story went on. All the while, those wide Cards shuffled in a one-handed almost impossible shuffle given the shape of her petite limb which enwrapped along each card in their dance. As if waiting for something to happen, they obeyed their master, caught in an endless shuffle, anticipating the climax of the story – each card, stark white, with no description at all and yet, there was an aura to them, an energy which only emanated waves of darkness like raging tides crashing against the rocks on the shore. A nearby table was spotted by whatever lied beneath that black bandana as her body soon circled his once more, like a Predator, to make sure its prey would not flee away – and yet, by now, she knew they were both Predators. And the game has begun. With ease, her body shifted to take a seat at the table, as a chair was instantly pulled across from her, with no intervention from the Reader, at all. A chair awaiting him as Cheshire-like grin only came to take its rightful place upon the femme’s alabaster features into a sardonic mockery of sorts as the cards kept shuffling now on the table in front of her. “Poor child…” Was all she could mutter out. Her lack of Empathy made it so she could not resonate with humanly known emotions and yet her intelligence only cast a sense of understanding. She understood emotions, enough to get her way around people in certain socialization situation, despite lacking the skills for them – But she could not resonate in feeling them; Which is why her statement came off rather crude. Mocking, even though it was never her intention.

 

RB:

It was so easy for one to get lost in the telling of a tale.  In a way it revealed a side to Nick that few had ever seen.  While his often cold exterior and being known as a man of few words, he had managed to weave a tale, that was both sad, and romantic even.  Like a fascination with a fairy tale, that may never have a happy ending.  It took the Vampire a moment to compose himself – that was until the woman responded by simply saying “Poor girl..”  It was like a slap in the face, and one that brought Nick around quickly.  Nick had not noticed the appearance of the table that she was now seated at, and it was unusual that something like this would arrive almost unnoticed.  The chair opposite the fortune teller moved outward so that the Vampire might take a seat.  Before making his way towards the table, the Queen does appear.  Nick’s eyes snap open, and he is lost for a moment, till he knows he must show respect.  He had just been telling her story, to the fortune teller, and now she is amongst them.  He changed direction, and came before her so that he may bow politely.  “My Queen.”  Nick notices her take off her mask and that she is wiping something, that he knows right away is blood.  “You have taken ill?”  He is of course, worried for her health.  “My Queen, a teller of fortunes is here.” – He raised his hand to where the girl is sitting at a table with a deck of cards. –

 

SA:

‘Closer…’ She could almost feel him entering her own territory. Her own little game, about to start. She could almost feel how close she was from installing her own grasp as the cards began to shuffle faster now, in an almost hypnotic trance only to drive the man even closer. And closer and closer until he would sit down – But then, the interruption happened, one which only caused the femme to lose focus, stifling a small growl in as the cards fell flat on the table, rearranging themselves back into the deck. “Queen?” She managed to muse out softly, realizing that the odd woman coughing blood was actually the one in the story, slim white brow quirking upward as the male went to greet her in such a respectful matter. She didn’t rise from her seat – but only given a small nod in greeting, those black claws slowly digging into the wood, impatient and displeased by the woman’s verbal approach. “Mi’Lady.” She began, one hand rising up eventually, palm facing them both. “…Reading ones Fortune is far beyond telling ones Future… It’s a far more complex art than just that.. for you see.” Her hand lowered gently, index finger tapping along the now neatly arranged deck. “…The Cards never lie.”

 

RB:

The Queen dismissed Nick’s concern off the bat.  Something she was prone to doing from time to time.  The Knight did not persist to question her further, as she had just fixed a new mask on to replace the one that she had soiled.  The smell of her blood was still faintly wafting in the air, and Nick’s jaw tightened as he showed restraint.  Swallowing hard, he resumed a more regal stance but then remembered that the Fortune teller was waiting.  Silver eyes darted to the table, where the cards were now neatly arranged again in the formation of the deck; her index finger tapping them as she explained that what she did was more than just telling fortunes.  In her words, the cards never lie.  “If you don’t need me, I wish to see what this woman has to say…about my fortune.”  The right hand corner of Nick’s lip twitched, and there was the flash of an elongated fang on display.  He didn’t think that sitting down with the woman, would hurt.  Much.  So, he wandered over and turned the chair around with the quick flick of his wrist, then straddled it, so he could fold his arms across the top.  “Enlighten me.”  He was to the point, and stared at the woman’s bandanna that masked her eyes. –

 

~RB~

 

SA: 

“To Read ones Fortune entails so much more than the Future. The spreads I used, they are based on the questions my clients put. You see, my most common one is using the 3-star fold, in which there is Past, Present and Future as well as one card that represents my client. So, in all honesty, Fortune Telling is an art – The art of truly –Reading- a person in the deepest meaning, down to their core, regardless of their future. It depends on their question.” A hand came up in the air again and this time, her digits folded together, palm facing the strangers a sign that she had more to say. Another faked inhalation, only to primarily carry on the facade of humanity, for her chest did not rise in normal respiration phenomenon. “Fortune Telling is all about helping my client get an answer. The Future is ever changing, indeed, for Fate’s twisted ways change with her ‘current mood’ so to speak, and so I do not read Future, per-se, but the consequences of my client’s answer, which the cards show. Mi’Lady. The Cards never lie.” And they were odd cards, in all honesty. Completely blank, white, null and void of traditional imagery. “Furthermore…” Pause. “I state my price first off depending on gender. Now, I don’t mean to discriminate, of course…You may find this odd, but Fortune Telling has a much higher percentage of Women customers. Simply put… I tailor my advertising to my largest audience. The price point is also much different. As I do not take money, but something far more… idealistic. Men have much different, idealistically, to offer, then a Woman. On top of all that. . . Then there is the fact that most Men do not wish to pay the price for a Reading as refined as my own” She shrugged again. Her head craned to the side. “Let me put it in laymans terms, that you may know. Men do not ‘believe in bullshit psychics’; and the con that they perpetual on their ‘weaker’ Female counterparts.”; She paused, and leaned forward. The grin went from being Sardonic, to being cruel grin. The only polite way of baring ones teeth in Civilized company. “So, that is the first aspect on which I base my price in. As for the other, the price is decided after all Three questions from the Reader were answered. So, of course… Each price is personal. Individually crafted, to match the one who wanted the pact.”

 

RB:

Nick leaned forward whilst using his arms as a way of propping himself on the chair.  Left arm draped across the chair back, with his right fist poised beneath his chin.  The vampire listened intently to what the woman had to say, but also was taking in her mannerisms.  Noting that although she appeared to be taking in breath, her body or chest were not inflating, the way a humans would.  She moved her hands, like a carnie at a state fair.  Digits moving fluidly as though almost dancing, and mesmerizing in a way that was hard to look away from.  It was like she used her hands to do the talking.  Animated, yes that was how she appeared.  The deception of being life like, when in fact she wasn’t.   Nick understood what she was saying, when she was to name a price, that was rated according to the gender of the customer.  From her point of view, Fortune tellers had more women folk as clients.  He could totally get as to why that was.  His reason however was more of curiosity if anything.  That and he had been kind enough to tell the story of the Queen, and now he wished for her to do the same.  Though, he was to pay a price.  But what would that be?  What could he possibly have that she would want?  Silver coins?  No, not material that was for sure.  It was then she showed a change in her facial expression.  This was a woman who was used to get what she wanted.  Nick made up his mind then and there that he was willing to pay that price, since he felt he had nothing to lose.  “Alright.  You have set the deal.  Now, ask away.”  –

 

~RB~

 

SA:

The Queen left. A shame, for she could’ve shot 2 rabbits with a single bullet, at that, yet she didn’t mind as much – Before going for the big prize one must crawl their way step by step, no? Her attention directed itself back to the male who sat down at her table again – The moment he did, the cards began to shuffle once more, in understandment of his statement, which brought out a small chuckle from her. “So impatient… You don’t even want to know the price.” Yet, she knew what he was thinking of being the price, what everyone with a little bit of working grey matter in their brains believe to be the price and yet the reality was much more grim. But, he agreed. And as she spoke, she took her hand. A solitary black claw, that slipped between the pale lines of her palm. From it bubbled dark pitch. A solitary droplet hit the table. It ate away the wood work like acid. It followed a lined path all its own. A circle, with two diagonal lines intersecting it. Her symbol, the one that was present on the back of her cards, as well. “The pact is made.” Her other hand held the deck of large faced cards, oddly blank. “Ask your question.”

 

RB:

The pact was made.  The two now facing off against each other.  Oh her chuckle showed that she did have the upper hand, as the fortune teller had not revealed a price.  “I’ll take my chances and see what the outcome is.”  Nick’s lips thinned as he gazed down at the droplet that had hit the table, and now created a pattern, that was her symbol, like the backs of the cards.  The vampire drummed his long fingers against his chin, before dragging his fingers downward and finally letting go.  He decided then and there he was going to enjoy this.  Now that the Queen had retired, he had a more relaxed posture and knew he didn’t have to snap to attention anytime soon.  “Right then, my question.   Why didn’t Legion kill me when he had the chance?”  Legion was the one that Rose had chosen to test Nick if he wanted to be a part of her guard.  The creature, that even Nick had a hard time figuring out, had used an attack that was designed as a last resort….a kill shot.  Yet the moment that Nick accepted the strike, and what it entailed….ie, death, Legion offered a vial to counter the effect of his virus.  Nick stared at the woman’s face and awaited her answer.

~RB~

 

SA:

The solitary black droplet of what was supposed to be her blood, if she even had any, soon rearranged all the woodwork on the table and shifted each line carved in the hard surface to mold into her own symbol. It was her Pact, the way to let them know that now? Now they’ve stepped in their territory. “I will read you a 3-Star fold. One card will be drawn first, the card which represents you – That card is ~you~ and each card, later on, will revolve around it. The Past. The Present. The Future.” She didn’t ask if he understood. Whether or not he did, she would still enjoy this game, for she felt this was no ordinary man. His question actually brought back her curiosity. . The Reader heard them all: Questions about Fame, Lust, Power, Love, Eternal Youth or whatever-the-fuck Fortune one might state, believing that Fortune Telling was simply based on the good things. It wasn’t. So, for somebody to ask such a question, so different from the rest, was like a breath of fresh air, finally, after years. Centuries? She almost lost track of time. “I really did hope, my dear, that you do not expect my Reading to be one of those cliches where I tell you that ‘You will meet a tall dark stranger and live happily ever after, right? Because it won’t be – The cards never lie; They always speak the truth, even when honesty is cold heartedly… blunt. So, I thank you. For giving me a change.” Despite such mocking words from the Reader, there was curiosity to it, mainly deduced by the fact that smoke started to come from the card, each time she tried placing them down in a shuffle – The deck itself did not like this man present at the table. The tendrils which looped around her feet, those black cannibals of darkness almost roared, displeased towards the Reader herself, revolting against the one across her. “Hush.” – She bluntly grunted, towards her own shadows of those cards, until they obeyed, stopped fighting against the Teller’s will. “The cards do not like you…”

 

RB:

“What’s to like?”  Nick said with a shrug of his shoulders.  Since his arrival in the Kingdom, there have been those that figured that the vampire wanted something other than just to sit in a chair all day and greet those that entered like a mindless twat.  The truth however was something that no one would expect.  As for resorting to the types of questions like…a romanticized ideal of Miss or Mister Perfect, it was enough to make Nick snort loudly in disgust.  “Please, I am not some hapless fail who is seeking the dream come true. “  Now Nick was being honest.  His face displayed that he thought little of the ones who constantly asked him for a date.  But back to the cards.  He didn’t get an answer to his question.  “My first question was asked, I was not expecting the cards to play profiler.”

~RB~

 

SA: 

“Good.” – She mused out in a sort of chuckle, pleased by his response even though there was still irony in the skeptical way of the Reader’s doings. She understood, so far, that he was not ordinary, quite far from it and yet she did not have the certitude that he would live, by the end of this Reading. After all, it’s why she based her price according to gender, first, taking quite the discrimination towards men. A living dead girl with a perpetual amnesia of her former life except that of her killing – by the one she loved. But what was she? One would simply mistake her for a bloodsucker, of sorts, like the man across her and yet she was nothing, not even close to it. Oh no… This woman was something else, as the first hint would’ve been those dark tendrils rummaging under the table to soon take grasp of her own being, coiling, lacing and dancing around the table, as if forming a circle around it. Their Pact, their own moment of intimacy. Like having a romantic dinner, under the moonlight – Although he might prove to be the Dinner at hand. “I will ask you 3 Questions, throughout the Reading… If you choose not to answer one, another will be asked to replace it. If you choose to lie in your answer… well…” The grin was back, cruel now, as if to show that he had no reason to lie, for his own existence laid like under a constant swinging pendulum. “The Cards will know. And after their little fit, I don’t think I have to explain further why that is such a bad, bad idea…” They submitted, in the end. Allowed the creature to place them into an odd formation, with one vertical and three other cards horizontally placed, below the first one. Two digits hovered above the vertical one, as she spoke. “This is the card which represents you. It is the one all the other 3 will revolve around. This card, is you.” And while she spoke, she lifted it and placed it face up. It wasn’t blank anymore, no – But the image of a Lion and a woman, tugging at the creature’s maw, the image of an Infinity symbol shaped halo hovering above her head. “Strength”.

 

RB:

Nick watched with a raised brow when the first card was shown, and this was the card of strength.  It was not exactly what the vampire was expecting to see, but then again he was new to all of this.  Once again he rested his chin upon an upturned fist with his shoulders turning in slightly almost like he was hunched over.  With his height and the angle of the chair, he just found the need to sit with an almost casual air.  He was informed that she was going to ask him three questions, which was not at all what he thought was expected.  He still didn’t get the answer to the question he asked of her and her cards.  There was that sinister grin again.  Like a cat that just ate a plump canary.  He half expected feathers to be poking out the sides of her mouth.   Nick let out a heavy exhale of breathe when he was told not to lie.  The cards already didn’t like him, so what point was there in lying.  “Three questions?  Alright, ask away.”

~RB~

 

SA:

‘Ah, Strength. Quite the misleading card of the Major Arcana. This card continues the lesson of the Chariot, showing that once we have learned to control emotion. This is a Fire card, and therefore detrimental to all the emotions. The only qualities that abound in Strength are courage and patience. Courage, the antithesis of Fear. There is no emotion here, but determination. The Symbology of the Lion…The image of the woman opening the mouth of the lion shows both courage and patience. It’s a card which, first of all, explains the Duality between them both. So Strength is not a card of compassion and love, but a card of quiet yet unstoppable power. Such power radiates from the soul, and for a consciousness aware of this power, there can be no resistance, and no defeat. But with Strength and Power, comes responsibility. One must be aware of it, at all times. One might fall in the pits of their extremes. Interesting.” She slid it against the woodwork, until it reached the other side of the table, to him. “How did you die?” It was her first question, which quite bluntly stated that she ~knew~.

 

RB:

“How did he die?”  At the asking of this question, Nick automatically pushed himself up so that his back was straight and rigid.  His lips twisted and he reached up to scratch his cheek.  All this movement, so sudden off a direct question.  It was one that he could answer of course, but it also fostered memories that he would rather forget.  “A woman..”  Nick said, almost flatly.  “One that to this day has been able to hold part of me in a vice like grip.”  There was now a coolness to his voice, his eyes also reflecting the somber change in mood.  “Course, you already knew that.”  Nick’s eyes narrowed as he stared at the bandanna covering the woman’s eyes.  “Promised immortality….but she left out one small detail.”  At this there was an almost haunting smile playing upon his lips.  “That I’d die at her hands to get it.” Nick scoffed, and then looked away momentarily.  “Next question?”

~RB~

 

SA:

When he got up, she felt like instantly pointing to the circle which now grew closer to him, as if making sure he would not leave. This was a Pact of life, one he could not escape until the Reading was over. Even if he were to step out of the Circle, he wouldn’t have gotten far. A small reminder. It didn’t faze her, when he reacted that way. There was no compassion to this woman, nothing but the cold which soon travelled along the entire room. Oddly so, it felt cold, but it felt like the warmth of the room was instantly absorbed by her. “Refrain yourself, please.” It was such a cruel, crude statement and yet never sounded as dismissive as thought it would – It was honesty, such cold hearted honesty that it seemed like she wasn’t much different from the Cards she shuffled in her deck. “You’ve wandered off.” It was such an odd, vague statement from the Reader, as it all was with her. No beginning nor end in everything which concerned her being, a statement left to the man’s interpretation. She did not continue it in order to state from what he wandered off, but it became visible that the Darkness –knew- at least something of this man. In many ways, they were alike, despite being so different – They both had creatures lingering within with which they have created bonds, they both found Death by the hands of people they assumingly cared for and yet, the Teller was… much more grim. Two digits hovered once more above the next card – One of the horizontal ones. And it shifted it around, to become vertical, before flipping it over. The first oddity of this card was that it was Upside Down. The second oddity, being that the card was The Wheel of Fortune. And on the wheel, the image of the Lion, hanging upside down onto it. Each Card revolved around the First One. “Huh.” She stated. Almost surprised by the outcome, given the fact that a wheel, placed upside down, is still a wheel as it becomes regular once spun around. “How ironic…” A few seconds passed for the Reader to make grasp of the situation itself, before musing out once more. “Your Past is represented by the Wheel. You’ve never had balance in your past. Your Past was a continuous spinning motion of the Wheel. A constant cycle. You’ve been to the highest point of it. But soon found yourself at its lowest. You’ve never found an equilibrium to it, and yet you’ve always stayed constant…” She did not pass the card along. None of the others were, except for the first one. “Second question… Why this Kingdom? What made you swear Loyalty?”

 

RB:

His movements may have seemed abrupt, but it was a mere change in posture, from a more slouched, or hunched over way of sitting, to actually sitting up straight.  He hadn’t left the table and so her comment left him feeling somewhat confused.  He answered the question in his own way and spoke of it as though trying to detach from it.  Or stay impassive.  “If you mean I wasn’t direct enough in my answer, I didn’t feel that I needed to give you the ins and outs of the actual act or deed.  Just…who did it and why.”  Watching the turning of the next card, Nick stared down at it and surprisingly knew exactly what it meant.  The teller’s reaction though actually was comical.  She didn’t expect it, obviously.  Now Nick folded his arms across his chest on the asking of the next question.  “Why did he swear loyalty to this Kingdom?”  Nick paused for a moment, as he remembered when he first entered.  “Honestly?  Because the moment I walked in the door, I was asked to be tested.  That has never happened before.”  The vampire’s bottom lip jutted out momentarily; before he sucked it back in.  “I was taken to an arena and pitted against a man loyal…deeply loyal to the Queen.”  You could see Nick’s fingers drumming his forearm slowly.  “I was injured in an attack that I refused to run away from.  I’m not a coward, and I don’t run.  The Queen insisted healing me…even after I told her no.  Something about her selflessness in helping me made me think.  If she was willing to suffer herself, then she was worthy of my service.  If that makes sense?”

~RB~

 

SA:

She remained stoic to both his answers, choosing not to respond in any way – It wasn’t her place to disrupt his train of thought, as long as she was given truthful answers to her questions. She’d keep the feedback, for the end. Her index and middle finger now hovered upon the middle card. Shifted it into a vertical position before flipping it over, to reveal the image. The image of the Lion and Maiden, standing in front of Seven Cups, each Cup holding something, either a gem, a necklace, or even creatures like snakes and dragons. “This is the Seven of Cups. The Seven of Cups represents your Present. Who and what you are now. The Card symbolizes a Decision, one you must make at a certain point in your present, one you are currently confronting with. Careful, for not all the choices are real – Some are imaginations, hallucinations. Some are represented by your own delusions. Most of the times, the card symbolizes Temptation, when confronted with so many options, that you need to have the will to choose the right one. You’re confronting yourself with the decision. Which cup to pick.”There was one more card left unturned, on the table now. One horizontal card, which held his Future and 2 questions by the reader. “If you had a choice to change your question right now, at this moment, before the card which holds your Future is lifted, would you change it? Or would it still remain the same?” It was a test, to determine the price of her Reading – All three questions were in fact little tests in order to place an individual price for the woman across the table. It was how she worked – Each reading was personal and each price was molded individually to match her clients.

 

RB:

“I see no reason to change it.”  Nick was quite serious in his delivery. “It would remain the same.”  He felt he had nothing to gain from changing it.  The last card that had been turned over, was supposed to be about temptation.  While he could not see as how that related to him within the Kingdom, it was clear that the Fortune teller believed that he was going to have to make a decision and soon.  To choose one of the offered cups.  Nick had nothing to say about the card, other than he had sworn loyalty to the Queen after the fight with Legion, if that counted for anything.  There was one card left to be turned, and this was of his future.  Did he even have one? Did anyone?  “Ask your last question.”

~RB~

 

SA:

Her digits hovered above the last card. Tapped it a couple of times, as if anxiously anticipating herself the outcome of it. It was soon flipped, after being turned to a vertical position. And to her card, the Reader almost gasped. Froze, before a sardonic grin came across pale nude lower features, a Cheshire-like grin to spread lips apart and bare her sharp pearly whites to the imagery of the card: The Lion, on the ground, stabbed with Ten Swords into its body. “My my my…” She began. “…Your Future is represented by the Ten of Swords.” It was such a morbid visage. It would’ve only taken One sword to kill a man and yet this card had Ten. It wasn’t murder – But annihilation. “This is the Card which bares your Future, regarding to the choice you make in your Present. The ultimate manifestation of the Swords, inevitable result. Those who refused to listen to the Ace of Swords shall, in the end, be impaled by the Tenth. Many take this card for its negative implications and yet…” Index finger tapped along the upper part of the card, against the black night background which held, in the corner, one small ball of yellow. “…The Sun is up, against the black sky. Enlightenment. A new beginning. You will learn from your mistakes. Or you will be impaled by them.” After she was done speaking, she leaned in, forward, having both her elbows on the table and her head resting onto her palms, as if directly looking at him, beyond the bandanna. “Did you figure out the answer?” This wasn’t a question for his prize, just curiosity – With all the cards turned, and the first one closest to him as the other 3 rested to her side of the table, she wanted to see if he would figure it out, before stating her price.

 

RB:

The final card.  Such shocking imagery…macabre, yes, but intriguing and enlightening.  Throughout life, it is all trial and error.  It’s the only way we learn.  Growing in fact through the pain of our mistakes.  This card brought everything back full circle to the question he had asked initially, and that was why did Legion spare him with the vial?  “I believe I did find the answer after all.”  It wasn’t the fact that Legion didn’t kill him, but that he accepted the vial, and thus lived another day.  Or an unlife, if you could call it that.  Legion would have never heard the end of it from the Queen, after she had specifically called the match to be no death.  Nick was prepared to fight to whatever conclusion there was.  It just ended so abruptly.  “I chose my fate.  I agreed to fight…then I accepted his offer of help…eventually.”  After he said this there was nothing but silence.

~RB~

 

SA:

There was one card left, where there were none. The woodwork created by the Pact bond by the Reader seemed to boil down, like acid sinking even deeper into the material. It burned. It boiled and sizzled. It let out smoke, like a furious dragon and made ~one~ card jump from the deck, right in the open palm of the Teller, to which her expression changed drastically into a scowl, deeply infuriated. She knew what it was. “…Blood Tarot is the most consuming system. It always ends with a Card for the Reader.” She wouldn’t show it to her client, but she looked at it, herself, despite already knowing it – The card never changed, despite numerous Readings performed. A perpetual state which leaped beyond tangible grasp only to lay neatly into the creature’s hand. The Card of Death, Upside Down. The Creature who could never find Death. It took her awhile to snap out of it – The trance it created, looking at that card for so long as if desperately trying to force it to change – It never did. One card for the Teller and never a good one. That was the way of Blood Tarot, the price she had to pay in return for the Reading. The card to damn her entire existence, her whole ‘life’ condemned by one simple card around which revolved everything. Darkness itself. Her. With a snap, her body stretched and with it, each joint crackled into a loud noise as if trying to shake off the whole Reading. Detach and cut the strings she placed on the woman in front of her. “As I said…” She began, before leaning forward, against the table which was now slowly turning back to normal. The black engraftments of her blood slowly fading away, letting the woodwork come back to what it originally was. Her pact, written off. The cards slowly went back to being full white, blank, except the one which was left in the man’s hand: Strength which represented her client. “The Cards never lie… Now. For my price.” Pause. A single digit was brought up, to rub against her own chin gently before fixing the mask over her vision once again. “Dinner?”

The Maze of Greed – Part Ten : SS

With Bandit being unable to walk, the Giant Duggie and the little witch have to try and find a way out of the maze….and fast.  The Demoness of Greed is coming….

Scene setting : The Maze of Greed – Seven sins series.

Written with Dessy, Phlyn, and Artie.

 

Dessy:  Mariela looked down to Bandit as she spoke, apparently knowing this “Quinn”. From the sounds of it, Bandit had ran into her… and she didn’t like it very much. Bandit then tried pushing herself up and turning her body to the side. Mariela knew she was in pain, and she frowned. “As soon as we get out here, I’ll promise I’ll help you. I can’t do anymore. Not in the maze.” she said, before looking up over at Raul. She watched the vines wound around his legs and feet. This was good. If he woke up, it’d give them a good chance to get away. But from the way he was hit, Mariela guessed he wouldn’t be waking up anytime soon.

“Nice to meet you, Duggie.” Mariela said, giving a nod of her head in greeting. From the way the giant talked about Quinn, the two seemed pretty close. They seemed like they had a good friendship. Mariela raised an eyebrow at the mention of the maze. “You… work in the maze?” she asked. Then it hit her. Lydia took the maze from somewhere else… she wasn’t sure where, but she had took it from another place. Lydia probably added the creatures herself… she wasn’t sure if the creatures where already there when Lydia yanked it here to Hell.

“Mansion? What “mansion”?” Mariela then asked, tilting her head to the left. This was all very confusing. The maze was brought to Hell from another place… a “mansion” of sorts. And Duggie here had came with it, apparently. But how would Lydia manage to do that… and why? Those were the questions Mariela needed answers to. She gave a gentle smile when he talked about Quinn. “It’s good that she’s such a close friend of yours.”

Mariela then looked down at the hat when he picked it up. She watched him, scared he was gonna ruin it somehow. She opened her mouth to stop him from putting it on, but then he handed it to her and said someone was speaking. She put her head near the hat, hearing Scar screaming her name. “He’s alive.” she mumbled. “Scar?!” she said into the hat, but knew that was probably a stupid thing to do as he probably couldn’t hear her. She just held it against her chest. He was alive… but where was he? That was another question she needed answered. She heard the giant say “little witch”, but there was no “my”. Good thing. She was no one’s property.

She put the hat on the ground, looking at the bottom of the gown as she did so. She pursed her lips, before she reached down and began ripping the bottom of the dress. It’d be easier to walk in it if it was shorter. Once it was shorter, she threw the fabric on the ground. What was once a beautiful dress was now a torn mess. She then proceeded to yank her gloves off, throwing them down as well. She picked the hat back up, looking over just in time to see Duggie stand Bandit up.

“No, no, don’t!” Mariela said, running over to the side of Bandit. “She can’t walk because she can’t feel her legs. That’s my fault, but she’s in no condition to stand.” she said, informing Duggie of her injuries. “You know a way out of this maze?” Mariela asked, hope in her voice. “Good! Great!” she said, happy someone knew a way out. She handed Bandit Scar’s hat, then adjusted her arms so she could pick up Bandit, now holding the girl who couldn’t walk. The small witch was stronger than she looked, but she knew she couldn’t hold her for long periods of time. Her and Duggie will have to switch back and forth. “I know you probably hate this, Bandit. And I’m sorry. I’ll fix everything once we get out of here. I owe you for making things worse…” she spoke apologetically.

She then looked up at Duggie. “Help us out of this maze, then we’ll help you find Quinn. Okay?”

Phlyn:  Solomon continued to watch from a distance as the giant spoke with the others. Quietly leaning on his cane he watched as the giant tried to pick up the girl and the other rushed over, she mentioned an injury but from that distance he was unable to tell what,where, or how severe. As he watched one of girls begin to carry the othet it appeared evident that those two and the giant would be splitting off from the man sent into the bush, now he had to question himself.

His mind searched as he tried to decide which one to follow to find what he was after. The distance between himself and them was too great to determine anything and not wanting to a risk a conflict with anyone should he draw closer he decided it best to wait it out. Once they started to move he get a little closer and gone fully get his answer.

 

Artie:  Bandit cringed as she was roughly lifted from the ground, a sound of protest coming from her lips quite easily. “Gah!” Though soon she found herself in Mariela’s arms, her own wrapping around the witch’s neck to support herself. She wasn’t too surprised that the witch could lift her – Bandit was actually quite light and small, despite her big attitude. “Yes, I know her. She’s the strictest one on Satan’s guard. Girl’s built like a damn horse.” Bandit huffed, looking up at the sky for a moment. “Anyway.. Yeah. Help us out, and we’ll get you to Quinn. Actually, just mess up big time, and she’ll be here with her whole police force. Guaranteed.” Bandit raised a brow. Sounds like she’d met Quinn before, and not under good circumstances. The blonde felt limp in Mariela’s arms, completely powerless.. But, she felt a bit safer with the giant here.. And seeing Raul’s backside slowly disappear into the vegetation.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The loud sound of howls grew and seemed to be coming from outside the maze. The kingdom of Greed was guarded by hell hounds. Funny, when you think that the one called Quinn was one. The Princess of Greed was now on her way to the maze, since Raul’s spectacular disappearing act from her balcony. Wearing a new outfit, that was black tight pants, under a long flowing dress like jacket, and high collared panels in red and black, the Princess was on a mission. She had missed her chance to take down the Princess of Wrath as she had first planned. Now, the targets were those in the maze. Traitors and betrayers did not sit well with her, not to mention that Raul had just gone into the maze in search of the one that broke the collar. Lydia was bristling with rage and a renewed sense of hatred. But now it was all on display. The good and sweet looking Lydia, the one that butter would not melt in her mouth was gone and replaced by the real deal. The bitch from Hell. With two hell hounds on leashes, she approached the maze entrance with a cocky strut. She could just appear within the maze if she wanted, but Lydia wanted to hunt them down the old fashioned way. With the flair of showmanship, she released the leashes as the hell hounds spirited into the maze at speed.

“Kill them….KILL THEM ALL!” Lydia roared as she let out a green blast of power into the sky, to illuminate and send forth the warning of impending doom.

https://i0.wp.com/38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ma6vbnUV9i1rbdqm3o1_500.gif

Deep within the maze, the Giant raised his head as he heard the all too familiar sound of Hell hounds. Problem was, they didn’t sound like Quinn.

“I think we got company.”

He swung his battle axe up defensively, while Mariela was trying to help lift Bandit. The Giant stared down at the plucky little witch and asked.

“Are you going to be able to run carrying her, little Witch?” the giant was going to try and hold the hell hounds off and give the Witch and the human a good head start.

The game was on.

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Bandit wrapped her arms around Mariela’s neck, and Mariela held the girl with ease. She was lighter then Mariela thought, so it was no effort to carry her. “From how you describe her, I’m guessing she’s the leader of some sort.” Mariela said, giving a shrug of her shoulders. She looked down as Bandit spoke to the giant, and raised an eyebrow at her. Bandit has obviously met Quinn before, and it didn’t sound like a pleasant meeting. But Mariela wouldn’t question it. They had other matters to tend to. She just nodded in agreement to Bandit’s promise to offer their help, for his.

Mariela opened her mouth to speak, but when she heard the howls, she closed it. Well… shit. That didn’t sound good. Hell hounds… not really what they needed at the moment, especially since they just got done discussing Quinn. Mariela gave an exasperated groan – she was so done with all of this. “You’ve got to be kidding me…” she mumbled. “Can I not get a break around here?” she then spoke out loud, mainly to herself more than anyone. She was so done. So very, very done. With all of this. It was obvious Lydia was tracking them now. They really needed to get out.

Mariela looked up as the sky began glowing green. Yeap… definitely Lydia. This was just great. She adjusted Bandit in her arms a little bit, moving Scar’s hat to be held in one of her hands. The giant spoke, and Mariela looked up to see him defensively swinging his axe. “Yeah. The bitch and her pound of hell hounds…” she spoke, narrowing her eyes in frustration. “Not great company.” she spoke. Mariela looked up at him as he looked at her, asking if she needed help, and Mariela shook her head. “I’ve got it… she’s very light. At least for now, I do. I’ll let you know when I’m unable to hold her anymore.” she spoke, looking down at Bandit.

“Are you gonna hold them off so we can get a head start, or are all three of us just gonna make a run for it?” she then asked, looking from the giant, to face forward. This is when the game starts… Lydia’s little game. And they were all part of it. Now, they just had to beat her game.

Phlyn:  Solomon teetered softly leaning on his cane continuing his relentless observation of the group. They continued to talk amongst themselves until the sounds of dogs echoed throughout the maze followed by a bright flash of light. Caught off guard by the sudden events Solomon turned away and when he looked back the group was already up in arms. I suppose this means a battle is imminent with this group as the epicenter my target will be visible soon the thought passed through his head as he gagged his surroundings.

Taking note of all visible walls and corners, there was three people in front of him only one combat ready and an undetermined force closing in. There was no good place to hide and simply observe and he was not known to either party here making him a potential target and with non combatants collateral damage seemed likely. Staring at the giant and the two girls he thought perhaps it best to align himself before the fighting started although it could complicate things later should one of them be his target. His other option was to wait it out, remain a neutral party and avoid the fight hopefully working things out as they happen he wasn’t about to flee and leave a target behind.

decisions like this always troubled him weather or not assist or sit to the side and simply do his job. Regardless of his decision a fight was coming, pushing up of his cane he stood straight and with a calm sigh raised his cane to head level. With his free hand he took hold of a small clasp just beneath the hand and twisted it letting out several clicks as he did so. The rod of the cane shifted revealing several interlocking blades along the length of it. With a quick flick the cane was back at his side the segments loosely clacking together as he held it at the ready. best be prepared it is a bad idea to assume an understanding of the wills of others. With a calm stance he kept watch on the area relaxed and ready to move as the situation demanded, hoping for a simple solution but prepared for the worst.