1895: Outlaw

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by LogicfromLogic, Nov 23, 2014.

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  1. St. Joseph, Missouri was plagued by outlaws. None worse however than Jesse James, a strange man that had appeared ten years ago, adopted by the people but he turned on them. He came out as a man named Jesse James, and he was a mean, mean man. He robbed stage coaches, banks, travelers. He and his gang ran the town, running ranchers off their lands, collecting protection taxes. Many stood up to them and many died as another notch in Jesse’s pistol. He was a quick draw and a brute, a man to never be crossed. His name rang out through the lands around, papers into other states. A bounty was long placed onto his head, but after years of bounty hunters losing their lives trying to collect on him, his name became legend to those as the King of the Outlaws. But Jesse cared nothing for any of these titles, just one thing; revenge. Two months to the day the town of St. Joseph, Missouri have been blessed with the peace of living a life without Jesse James hanging around. Just two months ago, Jesse moved his outlaws out of those dreaded Thieves Rock and onward for El Paso, Texas.

    A young man hopped over a log, running along the thick of the wooded areas. He held the same looks of another man seen in these parts a long time ago. He had the same blue eyes, the same handsome face, only still hadn’t managed to completely get rid of his shadow. He had rough skin, and thick light brown hair. Curved eyebrows seemed to frame his face along with those high risen cheekbones. He was wearing a red button up dress shirt with leather wristbands around his forearms, brown leather chaps covered his blue jeans, tucked under were dark leather cowboy boots. A black bandana was tied carelessly around his neck, his buckskin coloured hat swung in back of him, having had fallen off as he fled from the sheriff of the town once he realized who he was.
    Picture of Robert Hyet (open)

    Two weeks he’d lasted in that town, gathering supplies. But normally he was able to sneak in and out without being seen; but that…that man he’d seen in a red poncho with white designs dancing across the top of it. His black jeans and boots peaked out from under that beautifully woven poncho, a dark brown leather calfskin hat with two leather tethers tied around the top; his shadow covered face was hard to see under his hat. But from what Robert could tell, the man had long dark brown hair with a nice beard to match it that stretched around the lines of his well-defined jawlines, around his chin and up to his hairline. Wasn’t long, but was enough there to tell that he was keeping it up. His shirt had been smoky grey, looked like a dress shirt like his own only black. There was a rather nasty looking scar that looked to reach down from the corner of his left eye that ended just short of his beard.
    Picture of "Jesse James" (open)

    His heavy study of the man, who’d been sitting at the bar smoking a cigar and enjoying a whiskey, had earned him a bullet wound to his shoulder. Well, it was just a nick, but it was enough to send Robert packing for the hills. He hadn’t even seen the man get his gun out! Why was there a need to draw on him? He had posed no threat. Anyways, that was when the sheriff suddenly recognized Robert and started to give chase. This man looked so much like his brother, who'd died ten years to the day. Red had killed him in cold blood, though he never saw the body, just lots of blood. They'd found Clover Cypress, in terrible condition. After that, Robert knew that they had to stop Red at any cost; his entire family had been officially slaughtered by the man.

    The sheriff was a fast rider, and without a horse, Robert was made to look like a fish out of water. The race didn't look fair, but Robert was a fast runner. and he knew the area better than the new sheriff (the old one had been gunned down by a bounty hunter who found out that his head was wanted for murdering his family) for only a short two years but he was as dumb as it gets.

    He had made it all the way to the rocks with no problem, where the sheriff did not dare venture to. He knew who and what was hiding there, and turned his horse around almost immediately made his horse go the opposite way. A couple guards laughed loudly as they saw the hair-brained sheriff running. Making it up the ridge, he brushed himself off and sighed.

    “Sorry guys, I didn’t get what all we needed. I got side tracked by someone…,” he started as everyone came out of their tents, stopping what they were doing. “Oh, has Wrangler finally found love after all these years?”

    “Was she prurdy?”

    “Was he handsome?”

    “Where’d you meet em?”

    "When can we meet them?"

    Robert had enough of this. “Alright you lot of idiots! I haven’t found anybody…nobody I want to date at least, and not someone that I'd ever ant to see in this part of the states. But I saw him…he’s in that town right now,” Robert looked at the outlaws (known as ‘The Uglies’), with a very serious expression on his face. The person he’d spotted in town may very well mean trouble for all of them; this man had over sixty people on his notches.

    “Jesse James has come to the town of El Paso.”
    • Love Love x 1
  2. Clover had her good days and bad days. This was not turning out to be one of her good days.

    A melancholy woman with alabaster skin sat upon an empty layer of rich looking soil. She had her knees against her chest, with both arms balancing atop those so she could rest her chin on them. Her bare feet were buried in the dirt, and she wore a lavender colored dress with cream trimming. Locks of hair were tied back into a ponytail, allowing her to feel the breezes against her bare neck.

    Last night, she had a nightmare. One of the same ones that repeat itself because of how much it traumatized her. Needless to say, today she felt unstable. She asked to not be bothered unless it was an emergency. The only one allowed to stay was Lilac, who was napping at her side in her human form. Their plan was for Clover to relax in this empty dirt space, where she could grow anything she wanted. Then she'd decorate Lilac's hair with the flowers so when she woke, she'd have a new hairstyle. So far though, Clover couldn't find the inspiration for it.

    She sighed softly while staring out at the open wilderness. A hand lazily dipped into the soil where she started drawing a pattern. Before her eyes, a small bush of red roses grew. As her hand drew a line to the other side, grass began to spread underneath her. The now soft surface invited her to lean back, so she did just that. Clover landed on her back so she could gaze at the sky. "I never use ta be this lazy," she said to herself in a plain tone. What she defined as laziness, normal people defined as a day off. Walter still lived strongly through his adopted daughter.

    Sapphire eyes hid behind their lids after she let out a smooth breath. Various species of flowers began to rise all around her, then a bush of sweet berries began to grow a few feet from her. This really was helping, she just needed to give herself a push. Clover was blissfully unaware, though, of the events that were to come...
  3. Jose, one of Robert's closest friends, put a hand on Robert's shoulder. "Something else is bothering you amigo, want to tell me what?" the man's voice was gentle, soothing. Truth was, Jose had saved Robert's life when he had just been a lad. Red had almost killed him, if it hadn't been for Jose, and Chayton, he'd have died there that day. Jose showed him the ropes of riding, of being an outlaw, but most of all taking control of his powers. It had been a rough road, especially since Red destroyed his self control. Jose's brother had the gift of healing, which helped to repair the damage that was done. But Robert would never be the same. But whenever Robert was down, Jose always somehow knew. Robert looked at Jose, almost tears in his eyes. "Jose, you know my brother Darious? The one I told you I...I killed?" Robert started, sitting down on a rock. They appeared to just be alone among the trees. Jose was resting a leg on the rather large rock that Robert was sitting on, listening intently. "Yes...what about him?" Jose had always hated the thought of Red pitting a brother against a brother, especially after what happened to Robert. Robert, who didn't dare look up had his head sunk into his hands. "I-I could be wrong...but he looked like...like my brother. Jesse James looks like my brother," he finally confessed after a few minutes of silence passed. Jose leaned there, deep in thought. "There's only one person, even passed you Robert I hate to say, that'd be able to tell us if that is in fact your brother," Jose stated, standing up fully. He looked around, trying to spot a patch of overly abundant plant life patches; Clover was the only one that would have a clue if the dangerous man in town was Darious. "Stay here, I don't want to have to hunt you down," Jose told Robert as he walked off to search for Clover, their local plant lover.

    Back in town, a stand off was developing. Shortly after the altercation with Robert, well, he didn't recognize his own baby brother, Darious had a horrible run in with the law. The sheriff's deputy wasn't just dealing with some normal criminal; this was the Jesse James who haunted the dreams of St, Joseph, Missouri, the man responsible for many bank robberies, many stagecoach hold ups and train derailments. So, when the deputy, whose name was Herald Brown, pulled a gun out on him just outside his hotel room, he hardly flinched. He'd grasped the gun and delivered a well aimed fist into his left eye. He pulled him into his hotel room, as the deputy had disturbed his rest. He pulled the cuffs off of the man's belt and locked his hands behind him. Pulling off his poncho, he slid on a rather large leather black trench coat. He knew that there was going to be a gunfight next, and he knew that many, many were going to die. as he mentioned to the deputy as he woke up, he wasn't alone. His whole gang were with him, and they'd not see their leader killed in a hotel room in a 'run down old shithole like this'. The sheriff, who waited outside, would get a rather nasty surprise if he tried to force his way in. "You have the count of three to lay down your arms Jesse, or we'll blast you to hell!" the sheriff threatened. Darious just let out a laugh. "You and what army? You blast through here and your dear old deputy will get blasted by your own bullets, or mine the moment that door opens. I have no problem dying in a gunfight, but you'd better make sure that you can sleep at night knowing you took a father away from his children or a husband away from his wife after you outright murder Deputy Brown," he replied calmly, yet there was a firmness to his voice. He didn't care whether or not they blasted him, he could easily block out their weapons with heat hotter than they could stand. "Now I'm going to come out, and if you make a move against me, you might find that I have more eyes than you do right now. So value your safety and don't play the hero," Darious warned as he pulled Deputy Brown to his feet gently. While he had no intention of letting the deputy go, he wasn't as much a brute as he led off to be. Pointing a revolver at the man's head, he held onto the cuffs tightly, ready to break the man's wrists at a turn of a dime if Brown decided to try anything. His bag was slung over his shoulder, his favoured poncho stuffed inside. He kicked open the door and walked out, giving a whistle. A creme coloured quarter horse came trotting up, his reins dangling. He swung the reins over the horse's head, urging Deputy Brown to the side. "Get on," he ordered sternly. Brown looked around, tears in his eyes. The man was older and was supposed to have retired this month, but stayed on to make ends meet. Darious got on in back of him, and looked at the sheriff who had a gun pointed at him. a swift kick to the face sent the man sailing to the ground, bleeding from the nose. "Alright you lot! Any of you try to follow me, I'll kill the old bag! Any of you. So don't try anything!" he kicked Orthius and Darious soon disappeared with his hostage towards the direction Robert went.
    Jose, after a while of searching, he finally spotted Clover. Now he wasn't one to disturb her easily, but he knew that she would want to hear this. "Clover, there is something...," he paused and sighed, plopping down in front of her, resting his elbows on his spread out knees. He stared at the ground for a moment but rubbed his eyes. "This is going to sound crazy, but I think Robert recognized someone from his past that you share a mutual friends with...only yours was a bit different. Robert just came back about a half hour ago, but he didn't get what we needed. He was in shock from the sighting of this person...he claims that it was Jesse James, and I am bound to believe it. Jesse James left St. Joseph a while ago, and there was talk of him coming up this way. He may have just swung into town, but Robert swears that it was...was...damn it he swears that it was Darious," Jose explained, pushing his thick light brown hair behind one of his ears. He had a light beard around his mouth to his chin. He had a nice sleek body, but not without obvious muscle tones to it. His brown eyes gazed up at Clover, hoping she wouldn't be too shocked by the news. He didn't know how she was going to react to hearing that her ten years dead boyfriend was back (possibly). He didn't want her to do anything rash, so he stood up, looking at her. He wore a tan button up dress shirt, and a light brown calfskin leather hat. Clung to his lower body were a nice pair of black jeans, his dark brown leather gun belt latched around his waist. He was only thirty four years old, but he was quite wise for being as young as he was. "Now I need your help to identify him but I need you to stay calm."
  4. The way Clover was sitting, she could not see the man behind her. She was facing the opposite direction, but she was very much aware that he was coming. The plants told her as much. A somber gaze of sapphire looked down on a flower step that coiled around her arm, white petals sprouting from what she called sub-stems. Many tiny little daisies decorated her limb, providing a wonderful creative distraction until the peace was interrupted by the voice of Jose.

    When he went ahead and sat down, many plants scrambled to move out of the way, leaving an empty patch of grass for him to use. Nearby, Lilac had woken up from her nap. The girl was laying low to the ground, watching Jose with nervous eyes while she slowly crawled towards Clover. She made soft clicking noises with some sounds made from the flaps of her lips. Lilac more or less taught Clover how to use the language she made up, then together they perfected it. Clover replied with a few clicks of her teeth while patting at her lap, then took the time to turn around and face Jose. Lilac laid her head down on her friend's lap, face burying in the woman's stomach while Clover stroked her dark chocolatey hair.

    Wordlessly, she listened to what the man had to say. It was well known that she did not like being bothered during her private time, but all the same she knew Jose nor Robert would come to her without a very good reason.

    At first, Clover didn't understand why he was telling her this story. She nodded at the mention of Robert, her eyes briefly reflecting sympathy for him being too shocked to complete his task. Clover had an attachment to the young man, as if he were the little brother he never had. Like a good big sister would, she always worries about him when he's off on his own. Of course, she wasn't the sort to smother. These were feelings she kept private, though she wondered if he figured it out anyway.

    Confusion was all over her face when the name 'Darious' was put together with 'Jesse James'. Every last word of that sentence was repeated in her mind. Once she understood what Jose was saying, her eyes narrowed as a look of hurt replaced the confusion. Her initial feeling was that this was a sick joke. The loss of Walter's wife was what shortened his temper; the same happened to the alien lovely who lost her fiance. When he stood up, she signaled for Lilac to move so she too could stand up as well. "Are y'all fuckin' serious right now?" The surrounding plant life started taking on a more carnivorous appearance, influence by their mother's rage. She stood as tall as she could, a habit of her species when they wanted to intimidate someone. However, that wasn't so effective when you were a petite lady in a dress.

    Then, Jose reminded her how she needed to stay calm. As if magic words had just been spoken, she growled and turned away, all the plants returning to their harmless forms in mere seconds. The green haired woman paced back and forth, mumbling colorful gibberish to herself while tall sunflowers sprouted in the background. "Sorry, sugar. I just--" Sighing with frustration, she gave an arm a frantic shake before using it drape over her head. She paused in that awkward pose, her features softening to the peaceful mask she was famous for having.

    "I'm calm," she assured, returning her arm to her side while she threw an apologetic look to Jose. Her head was lowered in shame, as if she were a child who was just reprimanded for breaking something. Sheepishly, she reached out to loop her arm around Jose's. The years have been rough on her, but she was still affectionate as ever. With a whistle, she suggested to Lilac that she should follow. "Is Robert coming with us?" Clover inquired, her large eyes making a curious glance at the charismatic outlaw.
  5. Jose knew that she'd be upset, but he also knew that she had every right to be. But this wasn't something he would ever joke around about, and she seemed to understand this. As she looped an arm in his, he nodded. "Only if the lad can control himself, his anger, that is," Jose responded tentatively. He wasn't sure at all about taking Robert with them; if this was Darious, the first face that he'd want seen was Clover's. Robert was shot at, and he was looking straight at Jesse, and the man still shot him. Wait, Robert had been shot. Jose sighed heavily; his job never got easy. "Listen, there's something that I've got to do really fast. Can you ask some of the lads to saddle my horse? Robert's shoulder needs tending to and I am one of the better doctors in this group of ugly bastards," Jose said more as an order (as he was leader of the Uglies) than asked. He ran down the hillside and towards the small group of trees where Robert sat waiting. Jose knew that he wouldn't be happy with Jose's decision on making him stay at camp, but he couldn't have another incident happen. Not with Jesse James; Jose knew that if Jesse had wanted to kill the lad, he would have. "I need to see that shoulder before Clover and I go," Jose started, looking at Robert's already angry face. "You sound like you've already made up your mind!" Robert started, clenching his fists. Jose kept a straight face as he replied, "That's because I have. and if my orders are gone back on, there will be a flogging." Jose meant what he said. While he was a nice guy for the most part, people knew when he made threats that he meant them. He wasn't a man to be crossed, and he was about as tough as they come.

    Jose had been from a poor family; one day, they made their trek across the plains in a wagon train. Bandits attacked and his parents were killed; he lived on his own since the age of eight. He lived off the land and killed his first man at twelve. People in the Uglies knew him by another name; only Robert and Clover were allowed to call him Zorro, who was rumoured to live in Spain. Truth was, while his family were from both Spain and Mexico, he grew up in Texas. But he became both a good guy to those who were outcasts, but hell on earth for those who fit in society. The high up, rich pratts nobody around the Uglies enjoyed all that much.

    Robert looked as if he'd argue the point but backed down. Jose sighed and put his hand on Robert's shoulder. Robert was a man now, not some dumb kid that he'd saved all those years ago. "Listen, I need you here to watch over everyone, alright? I can't have that Jesse James man kill my best outlaw. I'd be so damn bored with everyone around here if we lost you," Jose turned and started to walk off, leaving Robert on his own. Looking over his shoulder, Jose added, "I don't have time to look at that wound. Go have Reggie look at it."

    Jose trudged up the hill again where his black horse Kole stood saddled and ready. "Alright Clover, this is what is going to happen. We are going to go into town, hopefully unnoticed mind you, and find this character. But don't be surprised if he's not there or in jail; people know who Jesse James is. But if we do happen to run into him, I will handle it first. One move is all it'll take; Jesse is a known quick draw, and I'd rather that quick draw not be the start of the end for either of us. I'm good, but not as good as he is," Jose advised sternly. He understood Clover's need to see Darious again; but if this in fact wasn't Darious, it was just another lose the competition mission. Leading the horse down the hill, once they were at the bottom, he mounted up, looking over his shoulder to see if Clover was coming.

    Riding swiftly, Darious meant to put some pretty good grounds between him and the town. His gang would be along shortly, but one by one; that was how he worked. While he didn't look part of the gang, as most of the time Jesse James's gang were spread out, he had one of the largest and most dangerous gangs around. Gunslingers, gun powder manipulators, powerful supers, it didn't matter; there were some in his gang wanted for very gruesome murders.

    They were leaving the town in the dust, he knew that the sheriff would send a mob after him. Do-gooders looking to make right the wrongs done by him, and self righteous pricks that felt that killing one man made them one of the members of their deities inner circle. But it all ended the same; a lynch mob would attempt to kill him and they'd end up dead every time. Deputy Brown seemed to be sobbing as they rode on, earning him a harsh jab in the ribs. While Darious had no intention of actually hurting the man, he didn't want to hear him cry like a child. He'd been in this part of town before with Clover; the memory of her stung his heart. 'Snake hearts,' he thought as he remembered who was responsible for her murder. The Order and Red; both had a good part played in her death. That was the whole reason he had actually returned to the city of El Paso; Paul Remmings was one of the heads of the Order. Darious wouldn't stop until every last Order leader was dead, and their supporters.

    They were at least a mile out of town when they came to an abandoned ranch house. Pulling on the reins, Orthius stopped at Darious's signal. Darious dismounted and pulled Deputy Brown off the horse, pulling him towards the house. "I..I swear Jesse, I'll give you anythin...just let me go! I have a family," pleaded Deputy Brown pleaded. Darious hated a begging man but he could understand where the man was coming from. "Shut up man just shut up. If you play your cards right, you might just get through this alive," he growled and forced Brown to his knees once they had got to the porch. Sitting on a run down old chair, he had his pistol pointed at Brown's head.

    And there, he waited. ​
  6. Jose didn't need to concern himself with her defending Robert's side of this issue. She wholly agreed that he would be better off staying behind. If this person was Darious, reintroducing him would require delicate measures. Everyone thought everyone was dead, after all...

    With both hands behind her back, she made way to the rest of the group so she could deliver Jose's orders. Lilac followed of course, walking alongside her best friend loyally as ever. Clover had to admit, she might not have survived without the darling shape changer at her side. The loss of her loved one was killing her faster than her injuries were, that dreadful day. Following that was the loss of her baby. She could remember too, she was very submissive to the cold embrace of death. Depressing of a question as it was, why go on living when everything you loved was gone? However, Lilac kept a tight grip around what sliver of life Clover had left that night. She was properly tended to by the Uglies, too. Going solo was a scary idea to her--terrifying, even--so she was here to stay.

    Sapphire eyes watched as Jose's horse got saddled up, though her stare was quite distant looking. So much happened in the past ten years. Darious might not be the same, and even when they were together she could feel herself withering as he sank into a sea of despair. The man carried so many burdens, but she forever admired his ability to carry that weight with strength beyond belief.

    She, too, was changed. In some ways. Several years ago, she got in touch with her true self. She woke up one day with a face she did not recognize. Clover fled home and couldn't be found for days. A four legged creature covered with plant life was tucked away in a forest she grew herself. She had to spend time in solitude, to avoid being seen by the humans and to process what all happened. Those days she was alone, she had hardly any sleep. Suppressed memories had come out of hiding, and though she was still human at first glance, much of her behavior reflected that of a wild animal. Would Darious be disgusted by this truth? She was still the Clover he knew and loved, she was just... Otherworldly. A secret that not even she was aware of until so much later.

    Lilac, in horse form, gave a nudge to Clover's side, waking her from the trance her thoughts put her in. She had been saddled up as well, and stocked with the usual supplies her rider never liked to leave without. Looking up, she saw that Jose' was ready to go, and he was giving her some important instructions. "M'kay, I understand." she assured, having no intention of arguing. Clover was only half willing to do this, really. They hadn't even left yet and she was feeling sick to her stomach. Sighing nervously, she got herself seated on horseback and followed the valiant leader. Maybe the wind hitting her face would soothe her anxiety.
  7. Jose said nothing to Clover as they rode on. His mind was a whirlwind of questions, and he couldn't help but feel angry. He'd heard stories of this brute; he robbed innocent people, he held up coaches, and killed people without reason. He had heard once that a boy had confronted him about the death of his father, the boy being only twelve, Jesse James shot him in cold blood. Whether that story was true or not, Jose would find out himself. He gazed over at Clover and wondered how well she was taking this; what had she really felt when she heard that Darious might be back? How would she react if it was him physically...but the Darious she knew, was gone? Jose pitied her, though he'd never say it. They rode through the rocky pass carefully, aware of slides. They didn't live in the safest environment, many of their outlaw warriors had fallen to their deaths since they moved in but it was the best cover around. His horse clicked annoyed with their chosen route, but he just ignored it. Jose knew of a run down old ranch that wasn't too far from here. "I think it's best we check out O'Lory's old ranch just in case Jesse is there," Jose suggested, turning his horse left towards the ranch. The owner, Jeff O'Lory, had fled with his family when the Uglies moved into the rocks. Jose never promised that he and his group were saints; they were after all outlaws for a reason. As they rode on, he began to slow Kole down almost to a walk when the ranch came into sight. He outright stopped him and looked to Clover.

    "He's there alright, on the porch. Looks like he's got himself a hostage...," he pulled out a pair of binoculars, holding them up to his eyes, "oh no. It's Deputy Brown...the man we are supposed to make a deal with about that shipment! Damn it if that maniac scares him into retirement before we get those goods, we'll be a whole month without the needs to live out here!" Jose was furious; this was a goods move on Jesse's part; he had leverage whether or not he saw it. He looked to Clover. "Think you can get some of your plants to snake Brown away from him and restrain Jesse?" He'd forgotten about Darious's ability to manipulate fire.

    But they needed that shipment, without it they'd face the showdown of a lifetime. Nobody knew that Brown had been helping them for years in trade for protection of his family from the Clay gang. There was a long history behind them that caused Red to want to murder the family to keep them quiet. The Uglies saved their lives, but the Browns refused to live with them. They wanted to carry out a normal life as long as they could, for the grandchildren's sake. If poor Deputy Brown died today, he'd leave a widowed wife alone with four children to care for. Their son had died after a wrongful hanging, and the mother had left quite some time ago. Brown was their only chance.
  8. Since she didn't have the benefit of binoculars, she listened closely to Jose's words while she watched the distant image of 'Jesse James' and this hostage being described to her. Clover sighed inwardly, feeling frustration weighing on her shoulders. She wished she could just run in and snatch up the outlaw in her jaws, then run to a private location so she could have the heavy flow of questions finally answered. Haste wasn't part of her nature, though. Much as she wanted to do this, she demonstrated an impressive amount of calm.

    Clover hopped down from Lilac so her bare feet could meet with the Earth. Tiny strands of plant life rose from the ground to tickle at her toes while her feet swept across the dirt a few times, sapphire orbs concentrating on the targets beyond them. "I can restrain 'im, but it won't last fer long. Should be at least long enough fer me ta get the deputy to safety, though." Fire was a skill of Darious' that she was wary of. With some luck though, she could knock him out. Clover remembered, with great pain, that day they first kissed. Her lips were traced with a nonlethal poison that put him to sleep so she could hurry them out of that crazy town of women. What was meant to be a trick turned out to be a fond memory. She might be tempted to repeat that if she got a closer look at this man's face.

    Vines crept from beneath the porch with a stealth that took Clover a very long time to master. Tangles of green stretched across the wooden platform. One group was moving fairly quickly, wrapping around Brown to rush him to a safer place to hide. "Guy's gonna be pissed," Clover warned Jose' in a low voice. Making a swift motion with her arms, the old man was suddenly towed away. Meanwhile, vines were binding around the ankles of the armed criminal, holding him to the chair while more of them made binds around his body like a rope. At Clover's side, her index and middle finger parted outwards to command a vine to split in two. One made a tight wrap around his wrist to give it a pull, making the gun aim at the sky instead, while the second limb coiled around his other wrist.

    Clover was mostly focusing on the man she was trapping in a chair, but she didn't forget about Brown either. The frightened old man was hurried across the sands. Her left hand shook while her muscles flexed, fingers curling upwards as a line of strong looking cacti formed a wall that hid the deputy from sight. The plants would respond to any harm in their territory, making it easier for Clover to pay more attention to the supposed Darious.
    • Love Love x 1
  9. Jose watched the scene with horror. Brown not only was their only hook up with those supplies but he was a good friend of Jose's. He could tell that this Jesse James fellow was really jading him. He glanced at Clover in between glares, as if dirty looks were going to do them any good. But both he and Clover seemed unaware of the fact that Jesse knew that they were there. He'd been in the robbing business too long to be anything but vigilant. He however didn't even recognize Clover; how would he? She was dead, or at least so he believed her to be. But he said nothing, just pressed his shotgun to Brown's head as if in warning to the intruders to stand back. Brown cried out a little but said nothing, staring at the ground. How scared the man must be, thinking about how fast it would take Jesse just to pull the trigger.

    Jose looked closer into the binoculars he held. "Damn it, he's noticed us. But good news is I don't think he recognized you...if in fact that is your Darious," Jose stated as he began to look again. But his attention was drawn back to Clover again when she dismounted. "Restrain him? If it comes down to it we might have to...er-yeah that sounds like a pretty great idea. But what will we do with him if it's just another outlaw though? I don't want any rivals. Perhaps turn him into the authorities," Jose suggested, more or less talking to himself at the end there. So, he watched as Clover got to work. Her powers always awed him, so beautiful. His own powers only limited him to manipulating someone's emotions and energies. He was known as Zorro the lover when he put someone under his spell, but he thought it nothing compared to Clover's gifts. He wondered often times if she were even part of this world. But the thought was too silly to Jose to voice.

    Darious, however, was singing a different tune upon watching the vines engulf Brown so suddenly. It came as a complete surprise to him as he sat there on the chair, his shotgun pointed and ready, only to have his cash cow taken away! His attention was drawn down as vines began to wrap themselves around his ankles, and others bound him to the chair. There was only one person in the world Darious knew that held this gift, but she was dead. He saw her body laying there, felt the heartbreak of losing the very last person in the world that he ever loved. He shouted in frustration as the gun was pulled from his hands, and struggled hard against the binds. "Let me go, you heap of dead weight!" he snarled, but he was unable to get himself loose. perhaps someone else did share this, they'd pay for making him hopeful, whether they knew that they did or not. He had started rocking so badly in the chair that is fell over, with him tumbling after it. But his body stay held by the vines, and he was almost unable to get loose. But he knew of a trick that most didn't know he possessed; fire. And since the loss of his love, there was no love left in him to stop the fire from controlling itself. Fire burst out of his eyes, his hands heating up. He was ready to burn his captures, and lay waste to this desert.
  10. Clover's heart beat so rapidly in her chest that it ached. She didn't know what the cause was. Hopefulness and anticipation that this was Darious? Thrill for taking on a challenge as great as Jesse James? Perhaps it was both of these things, and more. Unfortunately, she didn't have time to analyze this confusing growth of emotions that she hadn't experienced in so long. All these years, she'd been quite apathetic. So much as killing a man did not even phase her like it used to...

    Both of her fists were shaking now, her arms curling up in an effort to bring up more plants to help her keep the outlaw restrained. She was deep in concentration, until a painful sensation suddenly spread from her wrist to her shoulder. Clover hissed angrily, snapping the arm back while the other held strong, lest she lose control over the human beyond her. A burn mark stretched up her skin, reflecting the pain and damage inflicted by the fire--wait... Fire!?

    "Fire, Jose'. There's fire. Dammit all, it hurts..." Clover said meekly, punctuating with a whimper. The pain overpowered any ideas that this was, in fact, the man she'd lost years ago. Her priority was to prevent any further damage to her and her plant babies. She tightened her jaw to contain what screams may threaten to rise. Now that the sparks had been set, the flames were going to devour the plant limbs keeping him from getting too far. "What now? I cain't hold 'im fer long." She was desperately awaiting his next command, knowing better than to act impulsively. Although she felt like tossing him as far away from here as possible, it might be wiser to just knock him out with a sleep inducing concoction. Anything to make this stop.
  11. Jose felt a twinge of guilt watching Clover suffer like this. She certainly didn't deserve the pain of this; she was a good woman. Yet there was nothing he could do to console her. Love was cruel in many ways, and the hardest test anyone could ever imagine. He couldn't even begin to wonder how much this hurt her to see that this was in fact Darious, the man that she loved so many years ago. The lover thought dead now back from the grave with a vengeance; could Darious know that it was his love that he was setting ablaze

    Darious struggled against his bonds, but even he was getting to the point to where he couldn't stand it. He did after all have his own tolerance level. But something was telling him to douse the flames, that the person that held him was no enemy to him. But panic had ensued and he began to think irrationally. "Please let me go before..!" he screamed. Fire burst from his eyes and the fire all but stopped burning Clover and the plants. But his eyes, though not raging, were but embers. Pain wracked his body, whimpers escaped him as he hung limply in the grasp of Clover's vines.

    All this had happened so fast, just mere seconds. Jose had just watched in horror at the sight. He knew of the powers Darious was fabled to have, but never before had he ever thought them to be true. True, the rumours of his fire wasn't anything new to him, but even Jose didn't think that a fire could get so bad that it would even burn the manipulator. "I...I don't think that he is any threat to you or I anymore Clover. Look at him," his arm shook something fierce as he pointed to the now limp figure at the end of the charred vines. If Darious was in great health before, those days would be forgotten for a long time. Not even a healing factor could reverse the damage done, nor any amount of healing skills anybody possessed.
  12. Clover was still for a moment, holding her aggressive stance so the plants would continue to hold onto Darious. She had to take a moment to recuperate, lest the sting of the burns make her accidentally harm him further. Upon hearing Jose's response, she unleashed a quiet sigh and seemed to relax.

    There was a neutral expression on her face as she beckoned for her vines to carefully bring the unconscious body to her. Meanwhile, the hostage was released from his shelter so he could return to his duties in town. She was hopeful that he wouldn't insist that Darious' life be ended, or locked up. That would only end in a lot of murder and collateral damage. Long ago, Clover abandoned her old morals. She'd slay anybody who tried to take him away from her, should they disagree to step down peacefully. Her species appear harmless until something of theirs is threatened.

    Right now, she desperately wanted to break into tears and hold him. The condition his health was in was her fault. Blaming herself might be considered irrational, and she knew that. But still, she couldn't help it. Clover saw herself as a monster since the day her true face came to light. He would be right to burn her for the damage she'd done. That is, if he didn't just burn out on his fuel. Clover didn't fully understand his powers even up to this point. All she was able to determine was that he was lucky to be alive still.

    "What now, then?" she inquired quietly, to mask any shakiness her voice may carry. When Darious was carried up to their level, a trio of vines sprouted from between her shoulders, reaching for the body so the other plants could go elsewhere. They were coiling around him more like a tender embrace, holding him a couple feet above her without a visible struggle. Through the plants, she could feel the familiar warmth of his body. Despite all that happened, she was grateful for that brief moment in paradise.
  13. As Darious's seemingly unconscious body was pulled towards Clover, his keen ears caught her voice. "What now, then?" Just then and there his pain didn't matter to him. It was her; his life, his love. A smile spread across his face as he was finally brought to her. At last, he was reunited with her. Either he was dead, or this was some kind of witchcraft; he would bless the person or other being that created such a wonderful illusion. All those years all he wanted was to see Clover again; he would have given his life, his very existence, just for one day with her again. His voice was shakey and raspy, but there was no doubt the depth of meaning to it when he spoke. "Clover, oh my Clover it's you. How I've missed you...how lucky am I to have found you again?" He hardly felt being lifted in the air.

    His eyes ached and stung like he'd never felt before; somehow he knew that he would never be able to see again. Perhaps the burn would have turned him into a grotesque beast indeed, but would that really matter to Clover? He just felt blessed to even hear her. If in fact this wasn't a dream he now lived, and she was alive, he had enough reason to rejoice; she was alive and well. Pain almost seemed dulled by the thought of hearing her voice again, feeling her near him. Sleep threatened to take him, he could feel his body's energy waning. So, with the sound of Clover's voice ringing in his ears, he let it take him.

    Jose listened to Darious's calmed voice with a bittersweet feeling. He...this man really had loved Clover. How long had he spent cursing the man's name assuming his 'death' was just an excuse to leave Clover? The many years he spent trying to work up the courage to tell Clover how he felt. Yet, he did not feel too jealous; happiness was all that he wanted to see Clover live in, and nobody but her lost love could ever bring that to her. Robert wasn't going to take the news of his brother's blinding very well, Jose realized. "We'll bring him to camp and see what we can do for all of those burns. Don't blame yourself," he looked up at Darious and smiled at her, "I know he doesn't. I think he has just heard the voice of heaven herself for the first time in eight years." With that, Jose hopped back up on his horse and waited for Clover to follow.
    • Love Love x 1
  14. Darious' voice nearly made her jump. The most that happened was her head sank further between her shoulders, her sapphire irises shifting upward to where he was being cradled. She couldn't help the melancholy expression on her face; how unfortunate that this was how they reunited. All the same, she was overjoyed to see him. Her heart was beating with a lively rhythm that she hadn't experienced in years. Had it not been for his condition, she'd be suffocating him with affection.

    Having spotted the fatal injuries in his eyes, Clover had smaller limbs of vines sprout from the bigger ones. They detached from their hosts to wrap gently around Darious' head, coiling and joining together to form a blindfold of sorts. She wanted to keep that area protected, and she could provide some soothe for the pain by pumping natural remedy throughout her system. It was the least she could do, for now. They would have to depend on time to do the rest of the work.

    On her way to Lilac, the vines in Clover's back started moving again. Some space was left in front of the saddle so his body could be set down before her. The vines helped to make it so he couldn't be draped awkwardly over the horse's back during the ride. His form stayed steady, while sheltered from the elements. "Follow Jose', Lilac." she commanded quietly. The horse replied with a snort and did as she was told, walking at a pace that wouldn't disturb the broken human on her back. She was as surprised as Clover was to see this man again.
    • Love Love x 1
  15. Jose couldn't believe it; they found the Darious that Clover had lost so many years ago. How was he to tell Robert that his big brother was back but mortally wounded? Or at all? Robert had been waiting most of his childhood and all of his adult life trying to find Darious. He didn't believe that he was dead, not truly. He remembered seeing Robert 'secretly' write letters to people in other towns asking for a description of a man named Jesse James, but those backfired. Jose had always thought that it was a hopeless search for a man long gone; dead or dead inside. But his own heart melted when he heard nothing but forgiveness and love escape the man's pained voice when he spoke to Clover again.

    The trip was quiet; Darious had passed out above Clover. It didn't shock Jose in the least, the man was in agony. He looked to Clover, stopping his horse. "I'm going to go ahead and tell him...but I'll try to keep him from rushing you to see Darious. You two have been through too much to be annoyed more, but you won't blame him for tryin, ya know?" he kicked his horse slightly and rushed forwards towards the large rocks ahead. His heart beat about a mile a minute as he thought of Robert's reaction when he heard that his brother had been found.

    It'd been so long since Robert had seen Darious; the last time it had been Robert's twelfth birthday, when Davis and Neville had still been alive. Darious had just gone off to fight another battle, a battle that he wouldn't win and it cost him everything. But that was now over; Jose knew that the old timer was done with his fighting days after this. Riding back into camp, of course the first face was in fact Robert. "So?!" he growled, looking up at Jose. Dismounting, Jose grabbed the lad's shoulder. "It's him." He smiled and a tear ran down his face as Robert wrapped his arms happily over his friend and cried; his brother was back.
    • Love Love x 1
  16. Darious definitely needed some medical attention. Who better to provide than Clover? She nodded in agreement when he said he'd keep Robert from rushing on over. The two of them deserved a reunion, but at a more appropriate time. She watched Jose' ride ahead of them while Lilac continued at a steady pace. There wasn't a need to run urgently since she was keeping him safe in the tangles of her healing vines.

    Clover had to make some special arrangements for her beloved. She slept outside with nature, having no need for a bed or a roof. Her tent and other equipment were still of use, but only rarely. All of it was taken from the bushes where she stashed it. Of course, this wouldn't be enough. Once she had Darious tucked into her sleeping bag, she went to making the area more guarded. Trees that could survive the heat grew around them, along with a layer of grass to make the ground more comfortable. Seemingly normal plants served as eyes and ears for Clover, able to alert her of intruders or even trap them if they get close enough. This wouldn't happen to any of Clover's allies, of course.

    With their forest complete, and Darious sleeping safely inside the tent, Clover felt more at ease. She nodded to Lilac, who took that as a sign she was allowed to take a nap. The native girl grinned at her friend before dropping her body in the grass, rolling about until she found a comfortable position to sleep in. The day she rediscovered she didn't have to sleep standing up was a lovely one.

    As for Clover herself, she crawled into the tent so she could be with her long lost love. Prior to setting up their little camp, she looked him over for injuries. The main problem was his eyes, which she had carefully wrapped with cloth bandages she laced with a healing element. It wouldn't cure his problem, but it would help the skin heal, and reduce the pain. Anything else was given just as much tender and loving treatment, leaving him to rest comfortably in her care.

    With not much more to do, she sighed tiredly and looked to the open spot beside him. She lowered to hands and knees so she could crawl to him, her nose sticking itself into his hair so she could take a deep inhale of the scent. So familiar. So homey. She made a quiet, otherworldly chitter while nuzzling lightly on his skull. Shortly after, she laid herself on the floor next to him, setting her head upon folded arms. Her blue eyes watched him protectively, but would eventually disappear behind their lids. Clover, too, was tired.
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