For What Is Left, There Is Still Nothing

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by azure_night, Jul 12, 2013.

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  1. Her eyes lingered heavily at the small man. She observed his protruding bones breach out of his flesh every time he tried to breathe or speak with the ending result being the same, hisses and curses through his deteriorated teeth. His stark naked body had slowly started to peel apart as his black veins pulsed and stretched across his skin. Maribel frowned.

    She kneeled next to him and made sure to keep a few feet away. Even so, this movement had angered him, for he began to snarl and shout at her in intelligible curses. Maribel could only stare back at him blankly and knew too well he was powerless at this time to do any harm. His mind was gone and his body had betrayed him in the process. "Idiot." She whispered out and narrowed her eyes. She heard footsteps coming from the distance. Probably the extra patrols that were sent out from Tezela which was heavily needed.

    The southern wall between Luenne and Ilenia had dissipated in a matter of seconds by some wild and crazed mage. He was killed on the spot, a swift slice to the throat and he fell to the ground with a grin from ear to ear. After that, every past hour had been exhausting as countless of mercenaries killed off the unmentionables that had found the opening. Maribel had stayed in town for far too long to witness this terrible and untimely event.

    She reached into her back pocket and brought out a worn knife that was stained with what looked like dried blood. She gripped it tightly in her right hand and raised it up over her head. The man began to furiously yell, more curses at her, and without any more hesitation Maribel slammed the knife deep into his neck. He made a sickening gurgle and black blood spewed out from his mouth. Like the crazed mage, he too began to grin from ear to ear before one more gasping breath, he had finally stopped moving.

    Maribel stood up slowly, leaving her knife in his neck just as the patrol began to catch up to her. She eyed them coldly as they slowed down and glanced back and forth between her and the corpse. They began to question her presence for she looked very unfamiliar. After all, there were no women doing these patrols anyhow. Maribel didn't respond to their questions and instead ordered them bluntly, "Clean this up and bury him." With that, she walked through the bewildered group as she harshly pushed her way through. She began to follow the trail back to Luenne in a hurry for she was not missing the next train ride back to Rurick. Her journey had been delayed for far too long.
  2. It wasn’t a path trodden by many, the adventurer’s one. There wasn’t really much adventuring left to do. Those who had fought had already seen the world – too much of it, in a lot of cases. Those who hadn’t had been affected just as badly. Whether someone they loved had died, whether they themselves had, or maybe they had been left shaken by an unlisted traumatic event. Whatever had happened, it was rare to find anyone wandering the borders. And yet, there Stone was – moving along, all by himself. His was a lonely existence, but it was his, and as much as he regretted it, someone had to have it.

    He seemed to stop – to just tense up, and do nothing. He was, in fact, doing something, but it was something few people actually bothered to stop and do, at least on a daily basis. He sensed, not the surrounding area, but the surrounding planes. There were few that bothered with it nowadays – research had gone into weaponry and means of death, leaving exploration of higher levels unattended. But something had been disturbed – and someone was on their way to try and figure out what. The name of that person? Thomas Stone. A traveller, a loner, and impossibly old – for a human, anyway.

    His face turned from sombre to serious, as he began to contemplate the possibilities. It could have just been someone fiddling around with the settings on some big old machine, without knowing what it was for. It could have just been a magical anomaly that was about as interesting as a rotting finger. But, there was a chance that it was something, so Thomas needed survey it. And what better to survey the area, than with his trusty Scanstick? It wasn’t anything more than a specialised wand that had been out of commission for at least a century, but it had been upgraded enough, and still had a nostalgic appearance.

    Alas, it was just a dense magic spot, the kind of thing that merely warped a person’s hair colour when they were nearby. He didn’t know how it got there, but he honestly didn’t care to find out. He had more important things to worry about, like getting on the next train to Rurick. His legs were killing him, and he had lost his own transport ages ago. It would still be active, if the repairman hadn’t gone off to fight a war. But he sensed that something was off – a gut instinct, one that he had learnt to trust over the years. He hadn’t any weaponry, but his mind was far from useless.
  3. Her way back was uninterrupted as she scurried on the outskirts of Luenne, not wanting to go through the small, crumbling and desolate city again. She remembered in her youth of how lively and full of happiness that poured out from the riches that came from their international trades. Now all that was left were corrupted merchants overpricing their merchandise and the poor left and right ready to rip out your lung for a measly coin. Maribel pushed her thoughts out of her mind as she focused on the path that was littered with debris and tainted vegetation. Reminiscing about the past was pointless and as much as she loved her dear country Sules, there was nothing left for her here anymore.

    The train station was located in front of Luenne, only a few miles away from the actual city and the reason being, well, there were more muggers waiting for you when you entered it. At least when you arrive at the station, you wouldn't be entirely thrown off and torn away from your possessions in that instant. It too, like a symbol of the city itself, looked dreary and close to collapsing. The black vines and roots of what used to be nature, had slowly began to make it's home into the large cracks of the building and gave off a very eerie presence. Maribel sighed in relief as her feet finally hit stone instead of sinking mud and made her way straight to the ticket booth.

    What greeted her as she neared it was thick iron-like bars and shimmering glass behind. She couldn't see past whoever was in there but she knew it wasn't human. "A ticket to Rurick please." Maribel requested as she slid in her few dollars she had left in her pocket into a scooping drop box underneath the fence. There was silence and her ticket appeared as soon as her money was taken. She quietly thanked them and walked away despite that she wanted to ask when the train would be getting here. She knew she wouldn't be getting a response, most inhuman beings were like that. She didn't see anywhere to sit so instead she walked over to the platform and waited patiently.
  4. “One for Rurick, please.”

    Thomas’ tone was neutral – well, almost. In reality, it was actually a little wistful. He wasn’t sure why, given that he was dead set on his current goal, and would do anything to achieve it. He was old, and he was bitter. But, above all, he was a saviour. Maybe not a hero, but a saviour nonetheless. Maybe his tone was him being resigned to his fate. He wasn’t sure. Nevertheless, he head goals to achieve, and moping was hardly going to achieve anything. He relinquished the appropriate payment, and once the ticket had been received, he ambled off, to find a place to wait.

    The dreary landscape and architecture were nothing to Thomas. He had seen more, and he had seen worse. Not that he was immortal – technically, he was already dead. The muggers were nothing to be feared either, and he had ways of dealing with them as well. Ones that were peaceful, and others… Not so much. However, despite all the preparation and experience he had, there was nothing that he could do to stave off the boredom that arose from waiting for the train to arrive. Before the war, they weren’t known for their efficiency. And in the post-apocalyptic wastelands of a post-war country? You’d be lucky to even get a train.
  5. Her body tensed when she heard the voice behind her. It was unusual for anyone to be at the station since no one had the money left to travel out of Sules. Even Maribel was lucky enough to gather enough for a ticket, but two people at once on the way to Rurick? Then again, she was probably being too cautious. What business was it to her where that person was heading to and where they got the money to leave?

    Before she knew it, her curiosity got the best of her and she turned her head to quickly do a glance over the stranger. Instantly she frowned and felt a rush of pity for the man. He appeared as in the same shape and state of mind as the beggars in Luenne. "No." She thought to herself as her attention shifted away from him and to the distant sound of the train blasting it's horn. Maribel knew better and her suspicions continued to rise, no beggar would dare leave Luenne. It's their home and safe place but besides that, they knew leaving Sules would be the death of them.

    Maribel slowly unzipped her jacket and reached into it as her fingers touched the hilt of a small dagger. A wave of relief went through her, oddly the touch of her father's dagger was enough to reassure her she was safe. She never used it though for anything and it was more a sentimental attachment of her family. It was after all, the only thing left of her heritage. She sighed as she continued pushing her thoughts out as she zipped her jacket back up again. She needed to be strong and continue living not for the sake of herself but to withhold the Axel family's honor.

    When the train had finally entered the station, Maribel waited for the rusted doors to slide open. Like the rest of the world, it was corroding and covered with leftover damages from the war. This was the only transportation from country to country available so at least this was still in working order. She winced as the screech of the brakes hit and the doors swung open. Hesitantly, she glanced back at the man once more and quickly stepped into the train. As she entered the lights flickered and she noticed the conductor coming out of the other passenger car. He looked tired, overworked, and his uniform in navy blue now faded was slowly starting to tear. In a gruff voice as he stopped in front of her he commanded, "Ticket." Eying him warily, Maribel handed it to him. He stepped out the way, motioning for Maribel to take a seat. She complied and found one in the middle of the car or the only one that looked decent enough to sit in. She sat down and moved over to the window and wiped whatever grime that was on there with the sleeve of her jacket. She had to smile, the reality hitting her now that she was leaving Sules and comfortably settled into the cushion of the seat.
  6. Being dead did have its advantages. It was quite possible to save a huge amount on living expenses – food, drink, medicine, etcetera, none of it was particularly needed. Having a place to sleep at night was nice, but given his state, not completely necessary. This way, and by doing more odd jobs than he cared to count – some being jobs that truly were odd - had allowed him the funds to procure a ticket. Granted, he could have walked the entire way, but unlike humans, his body wore down, as opposed to being tougher the more it endured. Given his age, this was obviously rather troublesome.

    Thomas had decided to ignore the fact that the stranger had glanced at him, as it was perfectly normal. After all, he did not look like the kind of person that would be taking a train – he didn’t even look like the kind of person that would be wandering. He didn’t particularly like the look of her, though. Not for any particular reason, but something about her just seemed “off” to him. He shrugged it off, supposing that he would cross that bridge when he came to it. Still, he would need a conversational partner on the train – even the undead could get bored.

    For a brief moment, he considered pointing his Scanstick towards her, and receiving what information he could on her. However, as it only provided information on a species as a whole, there wouldn’t be a whole lot he would be able to do if she was just an ordinary human. That aside, it made a rather distinct noise when in use, and it would be problematic if the stranger next to him picked up on his scanning. They weren’t acting particularly friendly towards each other in the first place – if he did scan her, that wouldn’t make things any better.

    While Thomas missed his old method of transport, he supposed the train was his best bet for the time being. It wasn’t as fast as he would have liked, and it was nowhere near as comfortable, but the realm had barely come out of a war – this would have to do. After presenting his ticket, Thomas chose the sole occupied carriage, and sat opposite its other occupant, smiling gently at her. He would leave if requested, but he just wanted to have someone to talk to on the way to his next stop. After all, what better way to calm his nerves than to distract himself from them?

    “Sorry, all the other compartments were rather… uncomfortable.”
  7. Maribel was shocked the stranger had chosen a seat across from her and even more stunned when he dared to speak to her. Such friendliness had stopped existing since well, the moment when everyone suspected each other to be a necromancer or plainly a threat to their self. At first, she couldn't decide whether to respond or ignore the man. She didn't want to be rude, her manners haven't gone completely, but he did need a response. She could feel his eyes lingering on her, patiently waiting. She merely nodded and tried not to make eye contact. A moment of silence passed before the train screeched again into movement and slowly started to go forward.

    She stared at her hands and tugged at one of the loose threads of her leather gloves. This was uncomfortable and Maribel knew this tense and awkward atmosphere would not go away any time soon. Oddly, she felt like the man wanted to talk to her. She couldn't understand the reason why and she grew a tad annoyed that she was even thinking about it. Anxiously, she glanced at him again.

    Maribel opened her mouth as if she was going to say something but abruptly shut it. She looked away and sighed. She felt by starting a conversation with this stranger was strangely compelling and that alone made her even more distressed. Something was at work here, she can sense it, and Maribel didn't like that at all. She did after all hated the use and sight of magic after seeing how terrible the misuse could lead to. She clenched her hands and turned her attention to the passing scenery. Watching the grim landscape seemed to ease her a bit but there was no running away from the current circumstances.
  8. Thomas could sense that Maribel wasn’t particularly comfortable with his being there. It wasn’t a special power of his, nor was it something he had been trained to do. It just wasn’t that hard to tell that she didn’t want to be there with him. He allowed a few moments to pass by, before he cleared his throat. Not loudly enough to draw much attention, but just enough to garner a bit of it.
    “Sorry,” he started, “I don’t mean to cramp you. I don’t usually travel with anyone. It’s just that this was the only place I could sit with worrying about falling through the floor.”

    Thomas hated that the possibility of not having anyone to talk to pass the time was becoming a more likely possibility, but if the stranger had no intention of conversing with him, there was little he could do to change her mind. Instead, he just kept his head down, twiddling his thumbs, awaiting an answer. Given that she had said nothing to him, this was practically all he could do – that, and stare aimlessly out of the compartment window. But, given the current state of the landscape, there really wasn’t much to see out there at all. Hence, him staring down and twiddling his thumbs.
  9. When Thomas spoke to her the second time, her teeth automatically grit in irritation. She had thought her cold and silent reply would be enough to deter him from speaking again. It apparently wasn't, possibly a glare would have sufficed? She leaned back into the cushion deeper and crossed her arms. She then turned her head to him with the most obvious scowl she could possibly form while making her eyes blaze with hatred.

    It didn't last for a second. Her expression immediately changed when she looked at Thomas. He was no threat despite what any impression he gave her before. By just watching him sit there twiddle his thumbs, it saddened Maribel. She could feel deep inside her a welling of pity for him, was having a conversation with her that necessary? No, it wasn't that.

    Maribel pushed a hair strand behind her ear and turned her eyes away from him. Softly she said, "Maribel, is my name. Yours?" Wherever this was leading to, she hoped nothing will come out of it. She hoped it would be an empty and meaningless event that unfortunately she had to experience this one time. If anything that she should care for, it would be only to discuss with this man for once to feel normal and not so alone in this dark vast world.
  10. Thomas seemed to visibly flinch at Maribel’s sudden glare, if even for a split second. He was used to being glared at in a similar manner constantly – it was practically part of the job. No, it was just how sudden it was. He knew he should have expected it, but it coming out of what seemed like nowhere really seemed to make him feel a little worse. For the time being, he decided to abandon his attempts at conversation.

    However, he did seem to perk up slightly at Maribel telling him her name. He looked up at her, at least a little joyful at the fact she was bothering to speak to him at all. He had honestly expected it to be unwilling to even look in his general direction, let alone have a full-blown conversation with him. A slight smile on his face, he replied, though in a calmer manner than before.
    “Thomas. Just… Thomas.”

    Of course, he went by many names, but Thomas would do for now. While he was willing to continue, the very fact that Maribel had shot him such a look made him uneasy about pursuing such a thing. Thus, he remained silent, and awaited something interesting. He would let her move on her own terms. He wasn’t ready to risk moving on his own ones.
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