Alice is Dead

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by KLV, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. A single drop of rain fell to the earth landing on the face of a young woman. He long blond hair had been pulled up and was hiding underneath a hat. She didn’t mind the rain drop, it had been threatening to rain all day and in any case she wasn’t going to be out much longer. Slowly she placed on foot in front of her and shifted her weight forward and brought the other foot down before her as she glanced behind to see if someone was there. A man much older than her but with the same light blue eyes and light hair returned her glance with a confused glare. She looked forward again scanning the side of the mountain for where she had seen the deer.
    The creature was looking off in another direction with it’s ears perked up. The girl wiped a droplet out of her eyelashes and drew her riffle closer. The rain was beginning to fall continuously. During the seconds she prepared to shoot the deer hastily changed it’s mind and took off bounding, probably looking for someplace dry.
    Sighing the girl lowered the riffle and turned around, it had been a long but fruitless day and unfortunately she would be returning home the next. It would be so much easier if she could just stick around for longer periods of time instead of having to come up with so many different excuses as to where she was going.
    “Sorry Alice.” The man said to her. “Maybe next time.”
    Alice nodded and followed the man back the way they had come. “I’m sorry it was such a wasted trip, if only I didn’t have to go back so soon.”
    “Well your mother would probably drop dead if she knew that I’d been taking you hunting.”
    “I know. So where am I this time?”
    “Shopping, with Aunt Stella.” Her father replied.
    “Don’t you think it will look suspicious when I get home with nothing?” Alice asked stopping and putting her hands on her hips.
    “Don’t worry.” He father assured her. “We’ll find you something pretty on the way back.”
    “I’d rather have something dead.” Alice grumbled.
    Her father chuckled and beckoned her to keep moving with his hand. “Have I ever told you that you should have been born a boy?”
    “You might have mentioned it once or twice.”

    Alice pulled off her boots and wiggled her toes letting her feet enjoy a moment off the ground as she sat on the side of her bed. By the time they had returned she was nearly soaked from the rain and even more exhausted knowing she’d have to return home the next day. She stripped herself of the wet clothing and replaced it with a thin night dress.
    She faced the dresser and began running a brush through her tangled hair. Life would be so much easier if she could just cut it all off like a man. As opposed to continuously brushing and washing and styling it, or having someone else brush wash and style it. As she turned around the brush fell from her hand and a small surprised squeal escaped her lips.
    Next to the window on the opposite side of the room stood an unfamiliar man, looking very out of place. He had a long red cape draped over him and wore high dark boots with a white tunic embellished with a red heart.
    “Who are you?! What are you doing here? How did you get in?” Alice spit out a string of questions as the man watched patiently.
    “Why I came in through the door of course.” He said plainly. There was no way he could have come in without anyone noticing, besides Alice was sure she had locked it.
    “I am a knight of the Queen Mathilda of Wonderland, as for why I am here-“
    “The what?” Alice cut him off leaving him with an annoyed expression. “ I have no idea who you’re talking about.” It seemed far more likely that there was some madman in her room looking to watch her undress than it was for her to receive a royal summons from an imaginary country.
    “Do not speak so casually of the queen!” The man said with a hint of panic in his voice. “Queen Mathilda needs your help right away, it is vital that you come with me.”
    “Okay…”Alice said looking to the door and wondering if she should call for help or go along with the man. “But what makes you think I’ll just go off with you, and in my…” She looked down at herself realizing she was only in her night dress and quickly grabbed a robe off of her bed and out it on.
    “It would be much easier to explain this if you would just come with me to Wonderland.”
    “I’m not going anywhere with you unless you tell me what you or the Queen wants.”
    The knight sighed and nodded. “ Someone is after My Queen’s life, Alice. She needs someone to find and kill this person before they get to her.”
    “But how do you expect me to be able to do that?” Alice said forgetting she was talking to a madman. “I’m not a hit man. Wait…You know my name?”
    The man nodded. “Of course the Queen knows all about you. You are quite a skilled hunter are you not?”
    “Well…” Alice fumbled around for words. “I guess but, why not find someone in Wonderland to do the job, I seriously doubt I’d have any success.”
    “On the contrary Alice, there is no one in Wonderland who can match him, in fact I’d be willing to say that it is because they are from Wonderland that they cannot kill him.”
    “That doesn’t make even the slightest bit of sense.” Alice said shaking her head. “I still don’t see why I should trust you.”
    “You don’t have to trust me, you just have to come with me.”
    “Oh? And what if I don’t?”
    “Then,” The man said drawing a sword. “I shall have to kill you.”
    Alice jumped back and cried out for help. She was about to make a run for the door when she noticed the blank wall ahead of her. The door! Where was the door?! It was there before she must have been losing her mind. Panicked Alice ran her fingers over the place where the door had been pounding on it and yelled for her father.
    “There’s no point in doing that.” The man said holding out his free hand to her. “We need to leave quickly before this room becomes permanently altered.”
    “Why?! Why is it doing that? Where is the door?”
    “Wonderland is seeping out, I suppose it has rather unusual effects on this world.” His explanation led Alice to wonder how many times he’d done this. How did he know so much about her world when she had never heard of his? Had he tried to convince other people to follow him?
    Alice tried to sort out her thoughts on the matter, she could try and fight him away, but there was still the issue of the missing door. Any way she thought about it going into this Wonderland seemed like the only option.
    “Will I be able to come back?” She asked.
    “Hurry” The man ordered. “Unless you want to be stuck in here forever!”
    “Alright alright!” Alice said grabbing his outstretched hand.
    The man smiled and sheathed his sword then grasped the air like a door handle. As he pulled the invisible door aside the area seemed to move and warp as if something was being moved. A dark hole appeared in the room and the man stepped into it motioning to Alice to follow. Hesitantly Alice stepped in her, stomach gave a lurch as she did so trying to convince her brain to turn back.
    The darkness filled in the room around her obscuring and ultimately closing out all familiar images. She mentally hit herself for walking into what must have been the equivalent of a black hole on earth. There didn’t seem to be anything around her but black. She frantically looked around her eyes stinging as they tried to find any kind of light.
    “Aren’t you coming?” A voice from her right spoke.
    “I can’t see anything how do I know where I’m going?” She said in desperation. This seemed to be a place where one could take one wrong step and be lost forever.
    “Just follow my voice.”
    Alice stretched out her arms and felt around for anything that might indicate a solid object. After a moment a hand grabbed her wrist and pulled her forward.
    “Come on.” The man said dragging her along. “We don’t have time to waste wandering about. He must have done this before how else would he know where to go?
    “What is my father going to do about my being gone?” Alice wondered aloud.
    “You’re dead.” The man replied.
    “What?” Alice shrieked jumping in her skin.
    “The moment you stepped out of your room into this world the Alice he knew died. You have been replaced by a copy that only appears to be a dead body. You can choose how you want it to die if you like.”
    Alice did not like the sound of that one bit. Her being dead no, a corpse of herself existing so that she could run off into some fantasy land was a bit over her head. She thought of her father and wondered if it would be better for him to find and empty room as opposed to her dead body.
    “Of course not.” She said slightly offended.
    They stopped and for a moment she thought perhaps they were lost until a crack of light shot into her eyes. She held up her free arm and squinted looking into a room before them. It was the exact opposite of the where they were the room before them was pure white and filled with millions and millions of objects both obscure and ordinary. Next to what looked to be a trunk of some sort sat a little girl crying to herself, she looked curiously familiar. Upon hearing the door open the little girl looked up and her eyes lit up as she ran forward with her arms outstretched. Then the man swiftly closed the door and gave Alice a pull.
    “Wrong door.” He explained.
    “Well can’t we go back that littler girl needed help” Alice protested.
    “No, we don’t have time to bother with other people’s forgotten memories.”
    “Is that what they were? Them why was there a child in there?” Alice asked.
    “She’s probably just an old imaginary friend someone long abandoned.” The man said it so casually it was like he ran into this sort of thing all the time. Another door was pulled open but this time Alice could see the interior of a rather extravagant dining hall. The man pulled Alice inside and let go of her hands as he placed a fold of clothing in them.
    “Put these on.” He ordered.
    “What?” Alice said raising her voice.
    “You can’t meet the queen while being dressed in that!” He said gesturing to her night attire.
    “But you want me to change here?!”
    “It’s Okay, there aren’t any paintings in here, and I’ll close my eyes.” He said placing his hands over his face and turning around.
    Paintings? Alice made a mental note to ask about that later, but she still wasn’t fond of the idea of changing out in the open like this.
    “I can’t, I just can’t change in a room like this, what if someone walks in?”
    “Look no one’s going to-Oh never mind.” The man gave an exasperated sigh and grabbed the nearest drapes pulling them around her making a curtain between the two.
    “How’s that?”
    Alice looked up wondering how the drapes managed to stay afloat off of the window. There was nothing there, they simply hung in midair as if that was what they were intended to do. She gave in and stripped off her robe and night dress and picked up the clothing examining it. The top and bottoms alike were a pale blue embellished with a white lacey trim. The top had long sleeves edged with lace a corset like middle and what looked to be like a sewn on cravat accompanied by a blue jacket. The matching pants were not much less fancy although were gathered at the knees where they ended. It seemed an odd combination but Alice really didn’t think this was the time to complain about what she was given.
    She looked down at her feet and realized that she had left barefoot and was never given any shoes. She looked around wondering if she had somehow missed them.
    “Are you done yet?” The man asked from the other side.
    “Yes.” Alice said stepping out. “But, aren’t I supposed to have shoes?”
    He looked down at her bare feet and frowned. “Weren’t there any in the pockets?”
    Alice assumed if there had been anything in the pockets she would have noticed while dressing. Nonetheless she reach both hands in either side and pulled out a pair of matching shoes. She would have jumped upon finding them but at this point she was simply too tired and confused to give a reaction.
    The man began walking out and said to her “Just wait here a minute, and don’t forget to put the curtains back where they belong.”
    Alice looked to the curtains and grabbed ahold wondering how on earth she was supposed to do that, she figured it was the same as drawing them and began pulling on the fabric guiding it to where it had come from.
    After she was alone she took a long gaze around the room. It seemed that a feast had been laid out on the long table but there was nothing that Alice recognized as looking anything like regular food. As she bent down to smell the food the doors at the other end of the room swung open to make way for a tall fierce yet beautiful woman adorned with a heart shaped crown atop her jet black hair which also was styled to shape into a heart. Alice watched with her mouth hanging open as the woman glided towards her the long full skirt trailing behind her. She was accompanied by only an equally tall man with a stern look.
    “You must be Alice, we presume.” The woman spoke looking down at Alice while keeping her chin level to the floor. Alice nodded unsure of what to say.
    “We are Queen Mathilda of Wonderland. We are very pleased that you have come, Alice.”
    Alice still trying to force out any kind of vocal sound simply gave an awkward bow.
    “We hope you are pleased with the clothes we have given you. We much prefer red, however Blue is a color much better suited to you.” She said seeming neither pleased or displeased with Alice’s reaction.
    “Yes, thank you.” Alice finally managed to say. She was wondering if she ought to have added a highness or something in there.
    “We presume you know why you are here.”
    “Y-yes, I was told I am supposed to act as some sort of assassin.”
    “That is correct. The one you seek had been working for us, but managed to flee and now wants us dead.” The queen said with spite in her voice
    “Who is the person?” Alice asked looking down at her feet. She looked up at the queen to see her almost glaring down. Alice supposed she should refrain from further questions or comments with out being directly asked.
    Raising her hand and gesturing to the man next to her the Queen introduced the man saying. “This is our Knave of Hearts who we have instructed to assist you in whatever you need.”
    Alice raised her head to look the man in the eyes hoping he would have a more approachable disposition. While the queen spoke with a regal tone the air about her seemed to push Alice away like an angry wind.
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  2. Somewhere with the Rabbit

    "You are incredible! How can you just sit here and do nothing? They're on your track! I don't believe it...I just don't. You are a maniac..." An exasperated sigh resonated in the room just to be followed by a sharp sound of something fine flying through the air. A thick needle which was supposed to be mainly used to pierce leather, now pierced the couch, missing his nose just by inches. Previous sigh has changed into a roar of rage.
    "I COULD HAVE KILLED YOU RIGHT NOW AND WHAT YOU DID?!" Thrashing things on the floor with a subtle sound of someone getting up.
    "Calm down. What can happen? Do you think they gonna bring back the blondie and that she will dance into this room and kill me with her charming smile? Don't be ridiculous. There is not much they can do," the Rabbit stood up tall, mounting over his companion. Everything fell silent for a while, before the Rabbit just shook his head and made his way towards the door.
    "Get back to work Hatter and stop freaking out. You're giving me a headache," he said, a hint of annoyance in his voice and left the house. Of course, the Rabbit knew about the danger of staying at one place for too long. He also knew that the Queen was planning something. He heard the rumors - but were they true? Placing his hands in his pockets, the Rabbit looked towards the horizon. The hare was gone for a while now, fetching information as usual. Though, this time he was gone for longer than Rabbit liked. Could it be possible that someone caught him? Well, Rabbit hoped not. The hare was his faithful partner. A little bit out of his mind most of the time, but when it came to getting something important, the hare went out of his mind completely just to full fill his purpose. Rabbit was wondering many times, how could the hare get hold of such a delicate facts, but he never asked. To be honest, he never wanted to know what techniques the hare used.
    Light breeze ruffled his fur and played with his red tie. Rabbit didn't care about the freshness it brought. He could sense something else. Something that didn't quite fit in. Cocking his head in the direction, his eyes narrowed. Not being able to identify what was that strange smell, left Rabbit confused. His senses were well trained, even better than of the dog that queen used to have jailed. Though, he was sure there was something in the air...he couldn't even name it. Frustration began to build within himself. He squinted his eyes, trying to see something that would give him a clue. At the back of his mind, he could hear the door behind him open but he paid it little attention. There was a shadow in the distance. It wasn't there before, Rabbit was sure of it.
    "Hey Rabbit, you better get in," Hatter said and Rabbit raised his hand to silence him. Hatter was either blind or had decided to ignore it because he kept on talking about Rabbit’s safety, that he should not display himself outside. In reaction, Rabbit just blocked the Hatter out even more but the more he tried, the more Hatter increased on the volume of his voice. At one point it reached an unbearable level of distraction.
    "Can you just shut up?! There's something in the distance," Rabbit turned around and growled at Hatter, his voice angry and dangerous. Who knows what frightened the Hatter more, if the prospect of someone watching them or the idea of Rabbit getting angry. Nonetheless, Hatter did quiet himself, his eyes wide searching for whatever it was in the wilds in front of him. Rabbit himself resumed his previous position but his sixth sense told him that he missed his chance. That the thing which he was watching was gone. Rabbit squinted his eyes even more and hunched over a bit as well. He was sure that the thing was standing right at the point where he was looking at the moment.
    "Where is it?" He quietly asked himself, the frustration building up in himself once again. This time he got frustrated because his "prey" escaped. Out of everything in the world, he hated when his target escaped.
    "What...what do you see?" Hatter asked in a shaking voice right next to Rabbits ear. He shouldn't have done that because Rabbit's reflexes did the only thing they always did when someone got too close. Rabbit's elbow went up and back right into Hatter's solar. The Hatter doubled over and was trying to catch his breath. Rabbit gave him an annoyed and irritated look.
    "Nothing because of your stupid blabbering.” Rabbit couldn’t conceal his bad mood.
    "You know what? As you are so concerned about my safety, you stay out here and wait for the hare. I will go in," Rabbit told the Hatter and there was something in his voice that made Hatter understand that he wasn't welcome in his own house for some time.

    Knave's new duty

    Knave was standing by the window, looking out at the vast space around the palace and thinking. If this soldier would fail as well, would they have any chances of killing the Rabbit? That monster was after his queen and Knave's role was to protect her but even he, the best swordsman in the whole Wonderland, knew that having to stand against the Rabbit, Knave wouldn't be the one to survive. There was so little he could and he hated it. Clenching one hand into a fist, Knave wished for the soldier to arrive soon. The queen was sitting on her throne, being occupied when suddenly a subtle knock came on the door. Knave turned around, his only eye focusing on the person that has just entered. It was the soldier. Knave stepped forward until he was by the Queen's throne. He could feel her expectation growing even though her facial expression hasn't changed a bit. The soldier was ordered to talk and so he did, giving them the news that they were waiting for. Knave could feel the smile creeping onto his face. Finally, she was here and she would serve their purpose. Of that he was sure. Shall she disagree? He shall make her do what they wanted her to do.
    "Shall we go and greet our guest, my queen?" Knave asked, concealing his own enthusiasm. In this job, you were not rewarded for your openness but for your professionalism. That was why Knave has made it so far. Together they left Queen's chambers and made it for the hall. With every step he was getting more curious about Alice. Though, he couldn't deny some doubts creeping through his mind as well. However, he has decided to leave these behind for now. He would take care of them once they would prove to be right.
    They entered the hall, Knave's eye immediately fixed on the girl in front of him. She looked kind of fragile and definitely not strong enough to face the Rabbit. But Knave's experience has taught him not to underestimate anyone. He remained silent throughout the whole conversation that the Queen had with Alice. When he was given the chance to speak, he bowed to the Queen and looked at Alice. His gaze changed from uninterested to examining. He didn't speak for a while, just studied Alice's posture, muscle structure and discussed with himself what she was capable off.
    "What weapon do you wield?"
  3. For a time Alice waited awkwardly in silence unto the Knave finally spoke up. It took him long enough, she thought. His Delayed but simple question nearly through her off guard, the queen however made no change in expression, this was apparently usual for the Knave. Alice found it a bit peculiar that they seemed to know so much about her save for the kind of hunting instrument she used, but she supposed that perhaps it was known only to the queen and that the Knave knew nothing more than anyone else.
    “A riffle usually, the one I use most would have to be a -“ She cut herself off midsentence. Remembering the peculiar look of the sword the soldier from before had drawn she wondered if it would be any use giving the name of a particular brad. Wonderland probably wouldn’t have anything she would be familiar with.
    “But,” She continued straitening herself out. “I am perfectly capable of shooting a Shotgun, pistol, or bow.” She tried looking the Knave In the eyes without seeming intimidated but feared he could see right through her regardless. The queen gave what was nearly a hint of a smile in watching Alice trying to hold herself together in front of the knave. There was a reason Mathilda kept him by her side and had Alice any idea why that was she would have been cowering in the corner.

    (back at the ranch)
    The tiny hare dashed across the hall toward the door at the other end and stopped half way there to catch his breathe. The enormous flower pot before him seemed to mock him in his tiny state. He didn’t like having to sneak around while being the size of a tadpole, but as that was the only way he could get around the palace unseen he didn’t have much of a choice. He darted around the pot as an enormous foot stepped out the door. He had to run away to avoid being squished and hid behind the pot until he was sure he couldn’t be seen. The door swung closed as the soldier exited the dinning hall and the hare made a run for the opening barely missing hid chance.
    “Dammit Mani” He scolded himself. He couldn’t get into the room as is, there was no crack quite large enough, and if he changed back to a regular size whoever was on the other side of the door would surly see him. His other choice was to follow the soldier and try to coax something out of him.
    Immediately changing his plan the tiny figure ran after the soldier trying to catch up. After what was probably only a few feet he stopped abruptly panting while surveying the hall around him and watching the soldier walk on. He was headed outside, at least that was good news. So Mani took off in a different direction that would hopefully get him there faster.
    While the soldier he had been tailing was occupied with the path before him, Mani took the opportunity to grow to normal size, it was much more convenient and comfortable like that. “I need a little favor.” He whispered draping his arms around the other. As the soldier moved to turn around and grab his sword Mani wrapped his arms around his neck to choke out any sound the soldier would try and make. The soldier abandoned his sword knowing he wouldn’t be able to use it against someone who was behind him and instead clawed at the arms around him desperately trying to free himself. Mani waited patiently as the man in his arms struggled and ultimately blacked out before dragging him away whilst avoiding the gaze of anyone who happened to pass by.
    Upon awaking the soldier found himself gagged and bound to a tree at the foot of an anthropomorphic hare who was looking down at him grinning. “Hello little lamb.” He said speaking down to the other. “You seem to be in a bit of a bind. Maybe I can help you out if you tell me a little something.”
    The soldier glared at the hare, was he planning on torturing him for information? As if he’d give anything away, no one that weak would ever make it in there service of the queen. The hare sat himself atop the man’s lap and put his hands on either side of the man’s head while pressing his forehead against the others so their eyes were only inches away from each other.
    “It seems you’ve finally managed to snag a snagger. Is that true?”
    A snagger? The man thought, what was he talking about that wasn’t even a real word. Even if he did know how to answer that he couldn’t there was a cloth stuffed in his mouth which the hare didn’t seem to notice after having put it there himself. The man just rolled his eyes, he had been caught by a madman, that was all. The whole situation was beginning to feel more awkward than dangerous at the moment.
    “You know what I’m talking about you did it yourself, you went over and under to track down your beast then you brought it back home to play.” Mani said angrily. He knew perfectly well what he was talking about and sometimes forgot that it made no sense to others.
    “I just want to know how the beast likes to play.” He tore the cloth out of the man’s mouth and repeated himself. “Who is your snagger?” Confused the man ran through the words in his head. Snagger? Could he be talking about Alice?
    “I have no idea what you’re talking about so just untie me and run back to the hole you came from before the queen has you beheaded.”
    “Do you like your fingers and your toes?” Mani said sitting upright.
    “Because if you don’t want them I’d be happy to rid you of them.”
    He was threatening him, and the soldier wasn’t even sure over what. Mani drew a small knife out of his pocket and tore off the glove of one of the man’s hands and pressed the blade against his bare fingers.
    “Your little snagger from the other world, isn’t she just a little flower with a magic stick?”
    He wasn’t going to say anything, not to this freak. The man just closed his eyes and turned his head as he felt the blade digging into his finger joints.
    “Oh I know you failed and are just ashamed to admit it so you’re pretending no to know anything!” Mani said sticking the stub of the finger in the man’s own mouth. The man coughed and spit trying to get the taste of his own blood out of his mouth.
    “Of course not you moron.” He said angrily.
    “So you do have a little poison after all.” Mani said gleefully. The man answered with a glare, he was reading his expression and that seriously annoyed him. “You shouldn’t make such a face, if you do all your thoughts will spill out and you’ll be left with an empty head.”
    “If you don’t have anything better to say them let me go and stop playing around!”
    Mani picked up the finger and poked the man’s eyes saying “But you haven’t really told me anything relating to my dear rabbit.”
    So that’s what this was about? The man forced back a feeling of panic, knowing if he had even been managed to have been caught by someone working for the rabbit he was as good as dead.
    “Does your little flower not plan on confronting my rabbit with her own flying tricks?”
    “You’re helpless!” The man roared slipping his hand out of the binding and grabbing his own sword. He was sick of the nonsensical way the hare spoke.
    “Because what she has is far better than anything you can come up with.”
    Guns were not a common sight in wonderland sure they existed odds were the rabbit had used them from time to time, but against someone like Alice someone who was familiar with using them he was confident the rabbit and whoever got in the way had no chance. That was why the Queen had picked her after all. He took a swing at the hare who fell back to avoid the blade.
    Mani lay across the man’s legs beneath the sword pointed at him and laughed rolling off to the side.
    “I guess I should just kill you now. Thank you for all your help.” He said picking the sword out of the man’s grasp.
    “I haven’t even told you anything, you psycho!”
    “you’ve told me enough, but now I must be leaving now, I’ve been gone far too long.”
    The man was rather surprised that something actually resembling a coherent sentence came out of the hare’s mouth. His surprise did not last long before Mani had taken the opportunity to slice open his throat then ran off to give the news to the rabbit.
    He ran into the Hatter’s excitedly passing the one he had been looking for and ran into a room where he promptly began spilling his news and got half way through the story when he realized no one was there except the furniture. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence.
    Defeated he left the room to return to where the rabbit actually was.
  4. Knave's new duty

    He slightly nodded his head, retreating from the conversation and discussing with himself, how could they get hold of a shotgun. They could securely give Alice a bow, but that wouldn't be enough. Rabbit had a shotgun himself. Many of them, as it was said by their spies. At least those who managed to escape. Their soldiers tried to kill the Rabbit with bows but the result was bad. Well, they could only guess it was bad because none of the troops returned. Concluding all the facts Knave knew, Alice definitely needed a shotgun.
    "We will provide you with a bow for short period of time. You will stay here in the palace, learning about the Rabbit as much as you can so when you face him, you will be able to kill him," Knave said and faced Alice. All this time, while he was pondering in his thoughts he was walking back and forth tapping his chin occasionally. It was a habit of his. Sometimes, he would stop in his tracks, that was when he found a solution or revealed something new.
    "For now, I would like to show you into your room so that you can rest," he informed the girl and turned towards the queen.
    "If your majesty intends to come with us, we will be more then honored," Knave addressed the queen with respect but hinting with his expression that he would like to start working on Alice, to bend her to their will. He knew that it was highly outrageous to treat queen like that but Knave believed that she would be alright with his behavior. After all, it wasn't the first time he did something like that. Nonetheless, the Queen always had the choice to refuse his quiet request. For that he had to wait and only after being given the answer, he would take Alice to her chambers. Well, not straight to her chambers, he might take her for a little tour around the palace...and the jail.

    Somewhere with the Rabbit

    The Rabbit was in the house. He was still angry at the Hatter for disturbing him and making him lose his target. He went to the room where he was before. It was a medium sized one. The Hatter had his needles and leather and anything he needed for making hats in here. There was also the couch where Rabbit was lying before. The only occupant at the moment was a needle still sticking out of it. Rabbit pulled it out easily and played with it for a while, thinking. What was that in the woods? Was someone stalking them? Was a spy of the queen? It sounded to Rabbit like a better version than the one that was just seeping into his mind like a poison. Rabbit might as well be losing his marbles. What else would you expect after being an assassin for your whole life? You killed and you forgot after some time, not entirely forgot but it left your mind somehow, coming back only as a dream or when you got drunk. But now, he was the outcast and the one whose head was the weighed with tons of got a different type of stress pressing on your mental wall. You had to look into every shadow to make sure there isn’t anyone waiting to kill you. You were not protected by the queen anymore. You were on your own. That suited Rabbit in a sense. However, his enemy was still powerful and Rabbit had to be double careful. Some days were better, some days Rabbit felt like he was being watched. He had to end this...once and for all. He had to go into the palace and kill that bitch. Well, it was her who betrayed him. She didn't keep her promise so she deserved to die.
    Rabbit was consumed by his confused thoughts that he didn't notice that he was slowly bending the needle. It was anger that has driven him. Anger for being betrayed, anger for letting his target escape but behind all those, it was also fear that he was turning into one like Mani. The prospect of being crazy never scared him so much. He couldn't afford becoming crazy when he was so close to ending his last mission. His ears suddenly shot up. He could hear something coming. It was quick. Enemy? Noticing what he had done to the needle he threw it away and grabbed another one of the same thickness. Yes, he liked this room because it had "weapons" along with the comfortable couch. Rabbit hunched over a little bit getting ready to launch himself at anyone who would enter this room. He heard the thing entering the house. Why didn't Hatter do anything? Was he killed? There were quick steps, abrupt stop and then jumbled stream of words. Rabbit recognized Mani's voice even through the walls. He felt relief. Mani wasn’t dead after all.
    "I am here, Mani," Rabbit shouted and put down his improvised weapon. He was also getting curious about the news that his partner brought him.

    (PS: I am sorry that my posts are shorter. I will try harder next time)
  5. At the Palace

    Mathilda looked to the knave with an expression that couldn’t be read. She had seen what she wanted and didn’t really have much of an interest in what the Knave was going to do. He knew what he was instructed to do and so she simply answered by saying “We have more pressing matters to attend to. We trust that you will do well in showing our guest the ropes.” She gave Alice a glance at saying the word guest.
    Alice felt a wave of cold falling over her like someone had dumped a bucket of ice water on her head as the queen spoke of her. At the moment she felt less like a guest and more of a prisoner than anything else. She wasn’t there because she wanted to be, heavens she would rather be anywhere else in the world. It was pointless to say that tracking down and killing another human being wasn’t at the top of her list of things she wanted to accomplish.
    A bow was it…? That wasn’t her first choice but Alice wasn’t really in a position to argue. She felt the need to stare straight at her feet as the queen took her leave and only looked up after the door had closed behind her. She was intimidating to say the least, her absence left Alice with an unusual relieved feeling, although the knave was still there. His presence wasn’t much less of an intimidation.
    “Alright. Show me the way.” Alice said pulling herself back together. She did her best to throw her fears aside and look directly at the face of the knave. Although she felt like she’d have to tilt her head back to make eye contact.
    She was neither tall nor particularly robust, yet she had been dragged here and was expected to kill someone who she assumed wasn’t knew to the idea either. The knight from earlier mentioned that there was significance in her being from another world, but Alice failed to see how that could be of any importance. Then again considering what she had seen thus far she would just accept that for the time being. Her mind was still swirling in a cloud of confusion; unless she wanted her head to explode she had better just take everything that came at her without thinking too hard.

    Not at the palace

    There were many reasons Mani liked the rabbit, first and foremost was that he could tolerate and possibly understand his nonsensical speech patter. Most people would just ignore him, or ask him to speak normally (which wasn’t an option), or in one extreme instance try hitting him in the head to knock some sense into him. Since the only thing anyone could do successfully was dismiss him, Mani spent a lot of time either talking to himself or keeping quiet. So when he ran into the house to retell what he had learned he had no problem telling everything to the wall, until he realized that for once he did in fact has someone to speak to.
    His manner of speech however was not the most peculiar thing about him, neither was his spontaneous outbursts, no it was his inability to discern a normal gesture from something completely anomalous. Many a times someone had offered their hand in greetings only to have their noses bitten, or find a watch in place of a hand, or if they were particularly unfortunate they would find they had lost their hand entirely.
    Mani turned to the direction of the voice and made for another room. The rabbit didn’t seem to be in a particularly good mood and Mani began to wonder if the news he brought would improve that or only make it worse.
    “Especially without much doubt what you thought was true.” He began, calming himself. He had gotten so worked up over learning this he had needed to run all the way back and was now trying to relay what he heard while catching his breath. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for him. “A snagger they have found from a doorway uncharted. But a bud is all she is, I saw her myself. A bud who’s petals will surely reveal a new kind of flower. Using a monster most feared. Although there is little place for it surely she will find away.” He then lowered his voice as if it what he was about to say was a dark secret. “I do not trust that in the royal walls they won’t seek out a treasure much like yours.”

    (I don't care how much you post really. As long as I can work with it. Anyway this is about what you can expect from me for the majority of the time, it depends on what's going on. Also sorry If you can't understand anything Mani says. If you need something clarified just ask.)
  6. Knave's new duty

    Knave was pleased that Queen approved his silent request and left. He never felt comfortable while using some of his techniques and who knows how far he would have to go today if Alice proves to be a bit rebellious. Looking her in the eyes as she spoke to him, that girl definitely didn't have manners that were common in the palace. Knave has decided to overcome this flaw and ignore it as long as he could, though the prospect of not being treated with respect from Alice, made him feel annoyed already; yet, he didn't give it away anyhow.
    "Follow me," he said and left through the same door as Mathilda then turned right even though Alice's chambers were to the left. Knave needed his time with Alice. He had to observe her. "Tell me, Alice, have you ever killed?" Straightforwardness was the key to get a clear answer with true emotions. From Alice's answer - how her voice would sound, her gesture's - Knave would be able to say whether she would be strong enough to kill the Rabbit without any further mental damage. Yes, sometimes when you killed a living creature with the ability to think on its might leave you broken inside. Sometimes, it might devastate you on such level that you are no longer useful for anything. Knave himself had this problem when he started as a soldier in queen's troops. Yet with time his mind grew stronger and he was able to distance himself from killing and death itself. Many times he wondered why it was the Rabbit who was chosen to be the top assassin and not Knave. Sure they were both fearsome and strong. But did Rabbit have something Knave didn't? If yes, the answer kept on slipping through Knave's fingers.
    As they were walking through the corridor, they passed by many occupants of the palace. Most of them went out of their chambers just to see Alice. Some didn't care to hide their shock or interest; some just turned away with wrinkled noses. Knave himself didn't pay attention to any of them. It was Alice's burden to bear. Being an "outsider" was a hard role to play, Alice had to cope with it on her own. It would also strengthen her spirit in a way.
    "So, I should tell you a bit more about your quest here in Wonderland," Knave said evenly. "Your target is the Rabbit - an assassin who is after queen's life. You will have to find him and kill him. There will be no place for mercy," last sentence was almost pronounced as a warning - shall Alice make a mistake, waver in what she had to do, she would herself be in trouble. "If you complete the quest, you may go home," planting the seed, Knave started the game of words and persuasion.

    Somewhere with the Rabbit

    It didn't take Mani long to get to the other room where Rabbit was. Then the stream of nonsensical sentences was poured out of his mouth and Rabbit just took it in, remembering every word Mani said. It was always like a riddle that the Rabbit had to solve - sometimes harder, sometimes not. Anyway, it kept him going. It made Rabbit use his mind on different level than he would in everyday life. So far, Mani was speaking more or less clearly so that Rabbit understood the message. It was news that he wasn't pleased to hear but he knew that it would come one day.
    "So Alice is here, then," he said more to himself, letting the needle to fall on the table before resuming his position on the couch. Rabbit laid down and stared at the ceiling. Alice is back, he thought and clenched his teeth. He wasn't afraid of her being able to find him. How could she? She didn't know Wonderland and even the former sniffers of the queen were not able to find him for months. What could be so special about her then? Could she be using something that is not so common in Wonderland?
    "Tell me, Mani, is that really all you got? Didn't you hear a bit more?" Rabbit asked his friend but didn't bother to look at him. In the meanwhile, the Hatter came in as well. He didn't get to hear the whole message and even if he did, he wouldn't understand the way Rabbit did. Though, Hatter wasn't stupid at all, he could feel the atmosphere and see the expression on Rabbit's face. Being as sensible as he was, the Hatter left the room not daring to disturb Rabbit again...his abdomen was still hurting pretty badly.
  7. At the palace
    Alice followed after the man glancing around at her surroundings as she walked. The long hallways seemed to glare down at her. As did the many portraits which she noticed were following her with their eyes. That must have been what the soldier was talking about earlier. She really hoped they weren’t in every room. Alice felt like she was in some sort of bizarre parade, the many tenants of the palace seemed very curious as to who was in their midst. She tried to hide her own curiosity and lookd back through the corner of her eye. The bizarre apparel of each individual alone was worth a stare. At that moment she was very glad that she had been given clothing instead of having to walk around in her robe.
    She persistently stared back at a woman giving her a rather haughty gaze until she turned away with her nose in the air. Although Alice couldn’t blame them she did not welcome the curious looks she was getting. Either she would get used to it, or they would get used to her, she told herself while trying to ignore the others and focus on the Knave.
    “I’ve killed many wild animals.” She said in answer to his question. She didn’t know how to answer the question in a way that would please the Knave, but it was the truth. If he didn’t like her answer then it was his problem. They brought her there, so they would have to settle for what she had. She followed silently listening for a moment.
    “The what?” She said stopping in her tracks. A rabbit? She admitted it was useless to be surprised but the Knave’s conversation brought up a lot of questions. One of which was why someone was after the queen’s head in the first place. The idea of a political assassination wasn’t lost on her but she was curious nonetheless as to the rabbit’s motives.
    “I understand showing no mercy, though. But, I just don’t see why any of this is necessary.” She wasn’t trying to complain, she’d do whatever they asked if it would get her home.

    Not at the palace
    Mani frowned suddenly not feeling so proud of himself. Was he not clear enough? Did he need to speak slower? Or did his information end up being useless after all? With his excitement dropping he took a seat on the arm of the couch. He didn’t like it when the rabbit was displeased especially with him. “I simply cleaned up what I was meant to. I said Alice had a way with monsters not very common, but most certainly they will find a way. And she has indeed gained a nice flow of knacks.” He paused to wonder if that was the reason Alice was chosen, because she was skilled with guns. Something less common in Wonderland, but the rabbit wasn’t unfamiliar with them so he wasn’t sure if that was worth worrying about.
    While he was stopped Mani took the opportunity, having noticed the hatter, to run after him and give him a kick. When he had done so Mani returned to his position on the end of the couch and resumed his conversation.
    “I could make a second arrival and reread the message. However I don’t believe it is a fair play, when the writer gives up.” He finished his thoughts. Not that the rabbit would be so interesting in knowing he killed the soldier he spoke to, but it was relevant nonetheless.
    Naturally. Trying to get information out of a man he already killed wasn’t going to get very far.
    [Sorry I took so long. I had to finish a request.]
  8. Knave's new duty

    Wild was a start for every killer. Moreover, what else than an animal would Alice have to kill. At the end of the day, the Rabbit was still just a rabbit, no more than a prey to hunt down and kill. Walking out into the sun, Knave and Alice appeared in the court. Every bush and tree was cut into the shape of heart. There was a beautiful fountain decorating the centre. It had a very calming athmosphere indeed, yet Knave didn't bother to marvel the beauty. Instead of letting Alice to take in all of the wonders of the outside, he led her into a set of stairs that led the way down into a dark which was sparsely lit by torches.
    "Do not worry Alice. There is no harm meant for you. I just thought that you might want a complete sightseeing tour of the palace." Without giving Alice much of a choice to refuse, Knave stood behind her not giving her an inch of space through which she might be able to espace. If she would try...well, Knave just hoped that the blond, naive looking girl wouldn't be so foolish.
    "As for your previous questions of disbelief...Yes, you will have to hunt down the Rabbit. As misleading as the name might be, the Rabbit could be compared to ordinary human with the ability to speak, think, and regrettably, kill. You asked why all of this is necessary. Well, the Rabbit uses devices beyond our control and understanding. Out of all the participants in our research, you came out to be the only...good choice we could have made," Knave explained and as they walked further into the dark, leaving the day light behind, there were strange noises approaching them. As they drew near, those noise cleared out and were clearly screams of pain, discomfort and madness. Knave led Alice into the royal jail and set of torture chambers. Surprisingly, this place was rather busy. No matter how some scenes were repulsive or petrifying, Knave didn't show any sign of wanting to leave yet there wasn't enjoyable expression on his face either. In fact, the shadows that lurked everywhere, pretty much made it hard for anyone to make out what Knave's face was looking like.
    "What a wretched fate for someone who dares to go against the queen and her orders," he said out of blue in a conservative tone of voice. Then with a slight movement of his head, his expression became more or less legible. It was a look of warning and...what was that in his eyes? Pleasure? He was looking directly at Alice and his posture looked even more terryfying than it might have been in the day light. "We wouldn't want that to happen, would we?" Whispering in the low, unctuous voice, Knave retrieved just as soon as the last word left his mouth. Soon after this incident, he led the way out of the catacombs back into the sunlight. He was observing Alice from the corner of his eyes, unnoticed.

    Somewhere with the Rabbit

    Rabbit just layed on the couch, listening to Mani telling him what has said once before. It was a good information and it gave Rabbit the chance to rethink his next few steps. With Alice in the Wonderland, things got complicated...very complicated. Seeing from the corner of his eyes how Mani ran after the Hatter just to kick him, the Rabbit smiled for a second before he remembered what troubles arose.
    "Well, Mani, you did a good job," Rabbit said and sat up, scratching behind his ear which was limply following down on the side of his head. "I guess will have to move. Hatter has been a great host but we no longer need his hospitality." Standing up, the Rabbit stretched his mind racing of where he should go next even though he already had the feeling that he knew his next destination. "We'll need to get food for the babies," Rabbit added as he walked out of the room. By what he has said, he indicated that he needed some bullets for his guns. Sure he had few left but with Alice in the game, you could have never been too safe to feel safe.
    "Hey Hatter," Rabbit called not caring whether the man heard him or not. "We're off. If someone finds out that we were here and you were know how the story goes," Rabbit warned his companion as he was taking his 'babies' and stacked them under his armpits. Nodding at Mani, Rabbit walked out of the house. The next station was the secret lair where he kept all his weapons and he secretly hoped that he would have some ammunition still hidden in there.
    "You can run around Mani," he told to his only faithful friend. Like that Mani could also search the surroundings for any possibility of spies. As they were nearing the forest, Rabbit got the bad feeling of being watched again, but no matter how hard he tried to see something between the shadows, he failed. Frustration once again building up inside him.

    ((I am sorry again it took me so long. If you want you can do the time skip for Rabbit and Mani. You have a free hand to describe the secret lair as I have no special plans for its look))