Escape from the World

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by The Mood is Write, Aug 12, 2016.

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  1. The festival sent the city into a frenzy. This week was a celebration like none other: this week, they celebrated the soldiers from other worlds, and their own part in protecting those worlds by hosting the most dangerous monster imaginable.

    The monster's visage decorated banners, and children threw rotten eggs and tomatoes at targets made to look like it. The creature's face was all red eyes and black horns and snarling wicked teeth, with claws ready, and as the day progressed, the festival workers lowered the banners of the monster and raised banners that showed an orb of green and blue surrounded by wings, with a twisted halo over top that resembled a sideways numeral.

    Today, the last day of the Festival of Greenstone, a special guest was slated to appear.

    All but the last monster banner had been lowered and replaced with the banner of the heroes, and a hush fell over the crowd, little by little, as the king stepped forward.

    "Good eve, one and all!" His booming voice echoed as he raised his hands. The crowd grew still as people of all ages and walks watched their ruler, heads upturned as the quiet grew and the monarch waited.

    Finally, his voice shattered the silence with a thunderous laugh. "I promised you a special guest tonight, and it's not just one of our allies protecting us and fighting for the truth of existence: no, today, it's someone special, someone whose presence with us has enabled us to protect existence as much as our revered allies!"

    The crowd began to murmur.

    "I present the monster, bound to the form of a maiden and shackled for your pleasure!"

    A pair of doors opened under the king's balcony, and a tiny woman walked slowly forward, onto a platform. Her figure was petite, more than two heads smaller than the guards who bound her wrists to the platform.

    Her pale skin looked like snow against the blood and black of her dress, which looked darker still against the pale green stones that decorated her jewelry.

    Most striking was her ankle-length golden hair that blew freely in the light breeze, wavy and thick, her vivid red eyes, and a black ring of horns that grew from her head in a crown.

    "I have a few rules!" The king shouted over the excited crowd. "The biggest is you don't touch beneath her clothing, and the second is not to damage her crown. Her crown keeps us safe from her cruelty." The king laughed, and almost immediately, an egg flew at the young woman's face. She closed her eyes, but made no move to defend against it.

    Dzhed stood, ready for the impact, and the egg shattered against her crown. Agony rocked her, and her vision blackened as she felt more impacts against her body and clothing. It felt like forever, but eventually the attacks stopped, and a hand rested on her shoulder. She jumped and turned to look, only to see the king standing with a guard nearby.

    "Time to wash up, Dzhed. You did well, my pet." The monarch purred. The light flickered across his broad form, and Dzhed looked around to see that the guard held a torch, and the night above was filled with stars.

    "Thank you." Dzhed murmured as she turned and bowed.

    "You look pretty, with that martyred expression. Go wash, and meet me in the throne room."

    The night went by with none of the promised cherries, and the next morning, Dzhed laid in bed, nursing bruises all along her arms as she trembled at the memory of the day and night before. Tears flowed freely, and she did her best not to think about how it made her feel. Even the act of feeling the pain of everyone's hatred brought throbbing pain to her head.

    A knock at the door warned her of someone, and then the door opened.

    "You're not joining me for breakfast?" The king walked to the bed and sat on it. "It's tomato soup with soft-cooked eggs." He reached out and slowly rubbed her hip.

    "Please forgive me. I do not feel well." The lie sent burning pain through her. "I feel very sad and want to lay in my bed for a time longer. Please, may I?" The honesty and begging reduced the pain, and she trembled as she felt the grip on her slender hip tighten.

    "Oh?" The man gripped her dress and pulled upward as his hand slid that way. His weight on the bed shifted, and suddenly she could smell his breath as much as she felt it against her neck. "I have something for you to do tonight. I have a meeting, and you're going to make an appearance and show them how happy you are to be with me."

    Dzhed swallowed, then nodded.


    That evening, after dinner, the king sat at a long table, with Unifiers on either side, and Dzhed stood beside him, smiling as she held her head down, one hand rested against her thigh, and one atop the king's shoulder. Today, she had to pretend to be happy. That was the order, and as long as she looked happy, her crown would not hurt. So far, it was easy. Nobody paid any attention to her as they spoke about things she knew already to ignore. Any time their words lingered on her mind, she felt a dull throb, so instead thought only about the tension in her back as slow tingles spread across her shoulder blades.

    Thinking of nothing like this made the time move faster, and kept her from pain. It was an ideal arrangement, to her. She was thankful one of her previous keepers taught her this 'trick'.

    She used it often. It kept her sane, kept her from suffering, but only when she wasn't ordered to feel pain.

    Each time her thoughts drifted, she brought them back to the tension in her back, until a hand on her shoulder caught her attention, and she looked up to see one of the Unifiers looking down at her.

    "Yes, Master Unifier?" She smiled at him.

    "How are things with his majesty? Tell me truthfully, is he doing anything that might lead you to having too much freedom?"

    Her crown ached. The Unifiers held more power over her than her Keeper.

    "He keeps me locked away, and if I am to roam the city, I am followed. He b-" Her crown throbbed. "He is very kind." The pain ebbed. "I know my place is beside him." She lowered her gaze.

    "Forget his orders on how to act and answer how he treats you honestly."

    Fresh pain blossomed. "He beats me if I don't obey, and starves me if I act too coldly toward him. He uses me and then locks me away, to be used again when he wills it."

    Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw the king's face redden with barely-repressed rage.

    "Oh, is that all?" The soldier nodded. "I thought you were going to say he'd been breaking your crown off. It looks a bit jagged. No problems, then." He smiled, then looked toward the king. "Sorry for overriding your control of her. We have to make absolutely certain nothing is happening that would lead to her freedom. Even contained on a planet like this, she could be quite dangerous, you know."

    The king forced a smile. "I'm well aware." He shot a glare toward Dzhed, and suddenly, she wanted nothing less than another 'reeducation session with the Unifiers to save herself from his wrath.

    She opened her mouth to speak, and her crown began to burn, and its base to redden. She only had to ask a question. Five words. Five words, but they died in her throat as the pain stretched along her skull until she nearly collapsed.
  2. The festival was well underway by the time he'd arrived. Banners were set up all around, but instead of looking terrified of the beastly imagery the people acted like they were protesting the entire festival by desecrating the emblems with whatever they could throw at them. It wasn't just the barbaric display that kept Eibon a balcony overlooking the gathering... Ever since he got here there'd been one thing that had been constantly nagging at his senses.

    Everything smelt like shit.

    The smell of this uncultured world was his main driving force to finding a way out of here, not that he wanted to return to that wackjob's laboratory. He had a certain degree of freedom here, but even that wasn't enough when all these people reeked of sweat and manure. He didn't think he'd be getting used to it anytime soon. Eibon had already been here for little over a week dealing with the smell, the uncooperative populous, and Atlus constantly nagging him even from this far away.

    "Don't feel like enjoying the festival with the rest of them?" A coy voice said through the receiver over his left ear.

    "Your learning to tell jokes now?"

    "Haha, hardly. I just think you should take the time to enjoy the festivities while you ca-"

    "Shut up for a minute..." Eibon interrupted as the new banners were lowered.

    Finally he'd be getting a look at what he came for. Word around town was that the King was always present at these kind of events, finding him would be his first step at getting out of here. The King offered nothing of value, but he did receive visits from these Unifiers. They were the ones pulling the strings here. The ones that kept up a barrier to this world that was preventing Atlus from calling him back.

    Finally the King stepped forward. Nothing unusual, that was until the monster these people hated was brought out into sight. A fair beauty if he'd ever saw one. The phrase'diamond in the rough' was an understatement, and here he was expecting some sort of beast. What followed next was even more of a surprise. He watched carefully, almost expressionless, as they threw eggs at the girl. He'd never even seen something this... Stupid was the only word that came to mind. Truly he was in a world of shit.

    "Do me a favor."


    "That woman with the crown... Take her with you if you can."

    Eibon who was calmly watching the pelting coming to a close was suddenly caught of guard. "Why?" He asked questionably. "She's got more value with us than here, besides... Don't you want to save her? Maybe you'd like playing the hero for a change."

    "And maybe you'd like to stop bothering me, but we both know its not gonna happen...."

    Later that night Eibon made a point to infiltrate the King's territory. Sneaking into places was something he always excelled at, even if his abilities had been severely compromised under this worlds barrier. Despite this, he entered into the castle with no trouble at all thanks to a navy colored cloak. To these people it'd seem like magic as the fabric bent the light around him and made him almost completely invisible, but it was nothing more than the gap between ages of technology. Unfortunately because of the barrier, he had no way of recharging the cloak. He'd be sure and deactivate it once he'd found someplace secluded. He was sure he wouldn't need it upon escape.

    Eibon's mask picked up all sorts of vibrations and chatter through the walls of the castle, which was helpful in finding out where exactly he needed to go. The friends he'd made in his week here had helped him figure out that the King was going to meet with the Unifiers, but couldn't tell him wear. Fortunately he'd already picked up on the Kings vocal signature, so it didn't take but a moment to find them.

    Guards were posted outside the room he needed to listen in on. Killing them would of been simple, but hiding bodies was a hassle now. Lucky for him his mask could show him an empty room close by that's wall was connected. He made his way through a kitchen and into a storage room filled with jars, potatoes, and the yeasty smell of bread. All that separated him from the King and his company was one wall of brick... It was almost to easy.

    He could already hear everything somewhat through his masks audio receivers, but for a perfectly clear reception... He walked to the wall and leaned back against it, his cloak turning off once it hit the brick to his back. His left hand moved to the wall at his side and gloved fingertips touched the surface. Light appeared on the brick where his fingers touched and suddenly pulses of light streamed in all directions along the wall for a few inches before losing their shine. Eibon was sending pulses of light into the wall, they looked like circuits as they traveled along the wall behind him, feeding him information from the next room over. The visor under his mask filled his vision with a 360 degree simulation of what was happening in the room next door as well as giving him perfect clarity to their conversation.

    "Yes, Master Unifier?"

    "Shit." Eibon thought out loud. Those assholes got their time table wrong. He'd already missed some of their conversation. Hopefully he didn't miss anything to important. At least the walking target practice that Atlus had seemed so interested was there. He'd need to keep tabs on her for later...

    "He beats me if I don't obey, and starves me if I act too coldly toward him. He uses me and then locks me away, to be used again when he wills it."

    Eibon smiled as he heard that one coupled with the Kings embarrassed expression. He'd heard everything he'd said to the girl at the festival when he listened in, so he'd already assumed that the King was a piece of shit. Having it said out loud like that was just justice, and the look on his face icing on the cake. Eibon didn't stay smiling for long when this Unifier seemed to not care. That wasn't a surprise, what did catch his attention though was the concern over this girls crown and how much they seemed to give a shit about it. None of it seemed to be relevant to him getting out of here, after all he could care less about the situation this girl was in... But he would be lying if he told himself it wasn't the most interesting thing he'd come across all week.
  3. "Shit." Most everyone missed it, but one man looked toward the wall as he absently scratched at himself. He didn't match the place: he wore neither horse and tunic, nor a military teal uniform. Instead, he wore heavy jeans, steel-toed boots, and a clean wife-beater with a huge cowboy duster that was covered in pockets. He absently scratched his head some more, then returned his attention to the others.

    "What is it, Faust?" A Unifier asked after a moment.

    The large man in the duster glanced toward the wall again. "I thought I heard something."

    "We have monitors. Probably just one of the servants or something." The Unifier crossed his arms. "We don't have anything to worry about unless you get a nosebleed."

    Faust grunted and crossed his arms, then leaned against a nearby pillar.

    Away from that pair, the king wound an arm around Dzhed and pulled her close, onto his lap. He sighed. "So, you're satisfied with my care of the girl?"

    The Unifier who'd spoken to her nodded. "Yes. Thank you. In return, we'll continue to provide you protection."

    The king nodded, and the Unifiers began to filter out, until it came down to Faust and his companion.

    "Who's this, now?" The king sighed.

    "His name is Faust. He's an immortal we recruited. You mentioned you felt like you were being watched, so we'd like to offer you his services."

    The king looked toward the giant in the duster, then waved a hand. "Alright. He doesn't care about her, I hope?"

    "We wouldn't send him, if he did." The Unifier smiled warmly. "He would kill her if we told him to."

    Dzhed remained still on the king's lap as she struggled through the pain. It was almost too late. Just a few words. Her lips parted, but white pain sent her eyes rolling slowly skyward, and her body tensed.

    "Behave, Jade." The Unifier huffed, then looked toward the king. "Any questions, your majesty?"

    The king let his hand roam across Dzhed's tense side. "Is he going to stand there all the time, or can I order him to do things for me?"

    "The only thing is he can't hurt her, you, or us. Otherwise, feel free." The man shrugged, then left the room, leaving king and queen and stranger behind.
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