The Midnight Train to Nowhere

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Fox of Spades, Nov 14, 2014.

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  1. [​IMG]


    The Hobbit Hole (Two earth days after the tea party)

    She held out a basket, it smelled like soap and flowers and was filled to the brim with green cloaks and hoodies. "Pick one," she stated before a smile crept onto her face. For the first time in a long time C felt like things were going their way. "We leave tomorrow," the hooded figures still clung to the concept of time. It was always night in the darkside but C talked about New Year's Eve and tomorrows and Luke chirped happily about Christmas and awesome it would be if they could make it home in time for Halloween. They weren't exactly right in the head, but the hooded figures, Harper concluded, were just like them.

    Luke stared at them from behind C, a goofy looking grin plastered to his face. "Welcome to the family," the young man chirped. His smile faded and he eyed the humans with faux seriousness. "If you want to be cool, you should pick a cloak." He gave them a thumbs up then gave Numair a quick glance. "Hoodies are for losers—no offense, Nums." Rainbowzilla waddled around then peered at the humans. It looked like he was waiting for them to reach a decision as well. "Wah! Wah!" The little lizard crashed into Leila's legs before it ran in little circles around Toby and Ran.

    "Oh yeah, C wanted me to tell you something....errrr, what was it again?" He went quiet for a few moments, but as soon as Luke remembered, he lit up like a Christmas tree. "Ah! She and I are going shopping for supplies. Yeah, yeah, shopping." He thought he was being mysterious, but it was obvious they weren't going to be paying for any of those supplies. "We'll leave tomorrow."

    Tomorrow, huh? Does it even exist? Riley didn't voice out her thoughts and instead she approached the basket and pulled out one of the many green cloaks. "Ha, Ace, Toby, these aren't half bad." The girl turned to Numair, out of all the hooded figures, he was clearly the most sane. "I'd hate to agree with Luke, but the cloaks are a lot cooler." If they had to be all buddy buddy with the crazies then she'd get to know the sanest one first.

    The girl threw on her cloak and pulled up the hood. It billowed in the wind and she felt like some action hero in an adventure movie. "What do you guys think?" The girl laughed and turned to look at Gary and Sacha, "you guys have good this next item is underwater?" She asked the question that had been floating around Harper's head. "And we're going to get it without drowning?"

    Harper made his way to the basket and pulled out a green hoodie. The boy made his way towards Numair. "It's more practical," he paused to give the surfer a grin, "less suspicious too." He was still pretty wary around everyone, but if they were going to work together then they needed to trust each other, so he tried his best to connect with the others around him. The boy shot Inadi a smile, "it's not so bad, it's actually pretty comfy."

    Luke beamed. "You guys almost look as dashing as me, and yeah, we're going to turn you guys into fish." He said the last part like it was no big deal.

    Riley let out a snort and Harper stared with eyes the size of saucers.

    "No big deal, just part tuna or part crab. Don't worry, you'll turn back into humans when we return to land..." there was an awkward pause followed by a cheerful laugh. "Most likely...maybe, err, hopefully! Yeah, hopefully." Luke nodded his head vigorously. "Hey now, don't look so frightened. It'll be fun and if you don't turn back we could always sell you guys to the circus or something."

    C didn't disagree and for a few seconds Harper feared for his and his friends lives.

    "You guys can't chicken out," Luke puffed up both his cheeks in indignation. "Gargar, Sacha, broooo, help me out." He turned to the humans and the silly expression on his face disappeared. "This is the last item. Soon, all of us will be able to go home." He took the basket from C and held it out to the humans. "We need to do this."
    #1 Fox of Spades, Nov 14, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
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    Ace eyed the cloaks and hoods for a moment before grabbing a cloak. She laughed a little at the thought of them looking like losers with the hoodies on. She looked at Numair with his green hoodie. Despite being attractive and all, the hoodie was pretty bland compared to the cloak. At Luke's welcoming, Ace smirked, "You're no family of mine." She laughed and then put the cloak on as Riley tried hers on. "Definitely cooler." Her bright red hair contrasted with the dark green, but when she put the hood on, her hair was hidden as well save for a few strands. She put a thumbs up as Riley showed hers off.

    While the talking of the next item went about, she entertained herself by swishing her cape around and as usual, not paying any attention to what had to be done in order to get the items. "Hey Leila, Jasper you two should totally get cloaks! Make you look even cooler!" She encouraged, implying that she already thought they were cool- which wasn't a lie in the slightest. She thought all of her companions were cool in their own way. Ace admired them all. "You know... I kinda miss my family. Well, not really family- more like friends... Then again, they're more like acquaintances. But I mean, a bunch of gang members can only be so much huh?" She spoke aloud, though to no one in particular. Ace's mind wandered for a bit, trying to remember faces and names of some of the members. Unfortunately she couldn't remember the boss' name, but she did remember his face. He was the first person she had made a bond with after running from the orphanage.

    It was a mutual respect, nothing close, but it was still nice. She was used to get into small places like air ducts or simply be a distraction by being a child with an adorable face. And in return, he got her whatever she needed, clothes, a roof over her head with the others, and food. It was a pretty good deal. She did remember a name without a face though. 'Who's Tyler? Why do I remember that name?' There was no point dawdling over it. Ace figured she wouldn't remember till she got home...

    Something else caught her attention though. "Turn into fish!? No way!" She was practically leaning over Riley when they were talking. "Chickening out! Who's chickening out? No one is!" It sounded awesome! Not once had she ever been in the ocean before. Sure with her traveling she got to see the ocean, but never had she swam in it- and who didn't want to be part fish or something to do it!? "Hopefully we look cool..." When seriousness struck, she calmed down and looked between the group.

    "Don't worry. We've gotten the other items. With the Crazies help, we can get the other. No big deal." As always, she was uplifting and positive about the whole thing. She busied herself so much cheering everyone else on, she drowned out her own problems and pushed them away to be dealt with later.

    "Sooo, what are we gonna do till tomorrow? Waiting takes foreevveer." She sighed and found a chair to slump into. Ace eyed the rainbow lizard as he ran in circles. With a small smirk, she poked her foot out causing it to trip and tumble forward.

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    For the past two days since joining the HF, Jasper had immersed herself in introspection about her decision as an individual and the humans as a whole. Whether their decision was crass or wise, she remained milquetoast about the thoughts milling within the confines of her mind. Instead, she practiced modulation in order to keep herself calm although she was beginning to feel irresolute with the conclusion they had come to. Not that the HF mistreated them in any way, she was just being mundane. It wasn't fair to hear only one side of the argument and she was curious to know what the Guides' take was on this. In all honesty, her penchant was still towards the Nobodies and the Queen yet she could not shake the nerve that the HF are truly being sincere.

    Stumbling about in her brain, the pleasant scent of soap and flora whisked her back into reality. Luke and C were offering them some cloaks. Now they would really feel like insurgents. When Ace suggested she and Leila take one, the albino withdrew a green cloak from the basket and realized that the idyllic aroma was permeating from the apparel. Slipping the article of clothing on, she studied her reflection in the mirror. Although it would be proper to experience somewhat heinous emotions in such an outfit, it was quite disappointing to admit that she did appear wholly innocuous.

    Talk of turning into sea creatures perked her attention as she imagined what it would be like to breathe under water and be able to swim effortlessly. As she pondered what sort of aquatic organism she might like to be turned into, the topic of home stuck its big, bald head into the conversation yet again. Nostalgia hit her and she let out a sigh of longing. "I don't mind if I get turned into a fish, a bird, or even a slug, as long as it's related to getting home before we turn into bunnies then I'm all for it," She declared. "Hey C, Luke, do you mind taking me shopping? I'd like to look around a bit."

    Observing the rainbow lizard fall face first as it toppled over Ace's toe, she smiled a bit before bending down to help the poor guy back up. Plopping the creature back onto its feet, she lightly dusted its cute little belly off before scratching it lightly under the chin. Eyes still on the lizard, she prompted a question towards the HF, "So, what do you guys know about Delirium? I mean, you were in a batch once and have gone through everything we've been through. What exactly happened?" The inquiry was purely curiosity and it'd be nice to get some more background information on their new found companions.
    #3 Kimchi, Nov 15, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
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    Flowers and soap. The basket of cloaks and hoodies filled the room with a pleasant aroma. Toby was lying on the floor, his head resting on a pillow as he tugged on Niran's pants passing the time by telling a story. "So the tiny turtle, it eventually persuaded all the amphibians of the east, and they decided to wage war on the starfish for their treachery and stuff. Oh, and their uniforms consisted of uh, hats. Remnants of an old, legendary party that took place in the ocean." The boy was making up a million things on the spot every second. The story was nothing more than a cluster of random thoughts to entertain him and his old yet not so old pal.

    The story could have continued, or actually, would have continued if not for C and her basket of clothing. He didn't hesitate to hop up and dash towards one of their new friends.

    "Thank you Cake!"

    Toby took it upon himself to assume C's name stood for Cake and decided to call her so. He wasn't sure if she liked it or not. Ace and Riley had taken a liking to the cloaks, so he couldn't resist grabbing one to join in on the fun. "I feel like a comic book villain," He declared. The name of the villain had been forgotten, but he chose to keep that to himself. The boy threw the cloak on, the size complimenting his slim figure. It fit so well one could assume the thing was tailored just for him. "Hey Ran, can you do me a favor?" He asked before poking his left breastplate with his finger, "Could you draw a sunflower right here? Or maybe a rainbow? Or idunno, just whatever you want. And then maybe I can paint on yours?" He glanced at C with a sheepish grin, "If Cake is okay with it, of course"

    Harper, Ace, Riley and Luke started talking about the next item and being underwater. Toby recalled the chaotic story he had been bothering Niran with moments ago. His hand shot into the air, "I'd like to be a turtle!" He declared. Luke mentioned this was their last item, and to the boy's dismay it did not take long for them to start talking about going home.

    As if on cue, Toby turned around and walked back towards the pillow his head was lying on and sat criss-crossed next to Ran. Now that they were all in the home-stretch of the journey the idea of going home was coming up much more frequently than usual. It was getting difficult for the boy to avoid his conflicted feelings about the topic, thus he had spent a majority of the last two days occupying himself.

    Sitting criss-cross on the floor, he proceeded to squish Rainbowzilla's cheeks together before uttering the words "Dragon, you are a beautiful creature." And began to tug on the dragons face with a determined smile. "You have the squishiest, most pretty cheeks in the whole galaxy!" It was getting more difficult for the boy to keep himself and his mind busy. The last item of the list was pretty much right around the corner and they were probably going home soon, whether he liked it or not. Toby decided to cross that complicated bridge when he was there. Besides, there was a dragon to play with.

    Rainbowzilla squealed with excitement as he played with his cheeks and eventually broke free of his grasp, speeding off before falling victim of Ace's foot and tumbling to the floor. Toby fell backwards and lay looked up to the ceiling as he broke out in laughter. Sitting back up, he watched as Jasper helped Rainbowzilla to it's feet, scratching the creature's chin. Toby scooted forward like a puppy besides the two and proceeded to scratch the dragon on the head.

    Jasper's question had sparked his curiosity. He knew absolutely nothing about Queen Delirium nor of any Nowhere lore or folktales. The hooded figures would certainly be the ones with that type of knowledge, granted they haven't already forgotten it. Toby listened quietly to their response's as he continued to pet the dragons head.​

    #4 Gossamer, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2015
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    "Welcome to the family."

    "You’re no family of mine." Ace.

    Leila wasn’t yet entirely comfortable with the notion that they would now be working aside...aside whoever they were. She would almost say “the people who tried to kill them”, but only almost. She forced herself to be polite enough for that not to show.

    Because, regardless, they were who they were working with.

    Two days. She tried not to question her decisions. Believing the hooded were sincere she could handle. Not thinking about the queen and the guides she found harder.

    Brandy and Martini and Songbird. Bunny guards. Did they know?

    And what happened to Japhet?

    Leila stared idly at the pile of dark green fabric lugged in her arms, flipping it around several times before raising it above her head and sliding herself into the piece of clothing.

    The hooded jacket she found a bit too large for her size. And heavy, as well. The bottom rim dangled just above her knees and she felt like the edges of the collar could just slide off her shoulders. She tidied the hood. It didn’t take long for her to get used to the weight of the jacket - and to the suffocating aroma of flowers and cleaning agent.
    It was actually quite comfortably warm.

    She looked at the group - her patch of companions in this land, which now was much more than the people she first met at the Train station. A lot more, and a bit less as well. She preferred not to talk about the latter part.

    She still scribbled in the blue notebook a lot, though.

    Now they were cheerfully talking about the choice of clothing and shopping and life back home and life here. Ace’s suggestion came a bit too late, for the clothing matter. Leila turned to her and gave her a slightly apologetic smile.

    Leila put her hand up in a gesture of ”count me in” when Jasper mentioned following the hooded figures out on their shopping trip - she wasn’t entirely sure why she did, only that she felt like she had to. It wasn’t because she didn’t think it safe for Jasper to go alone, probably not - yes, probably not, she thought as she reminded herself about the agreement about honesty. It was, perhaps, partly because she hadn’t dared to go more than a few steps out the bounds of their crowded abode because of what lied beyond, yet she acknowledged that she was bound to have to face it sometime. She didn’t want to wait until she had to do it alone.

    Besides, there was still the curiosity. She could never resist the temptation to see what she didn’t know yet. And now it seemed even more important to discover as much as she could about Nowhere.

    With the living list nearing completion, she thought about home more. She knew it was too early to fantasize about home (fantasize - she didn’t know when the use of this term in this context became acceptable to her). There was a lot yet to work on. And they had to do it fast. She remembered less about home, but thought more about it.

    The final item was underwater. Leila snapped back from her thoughts and, for a moment, imagined fish. Leila knew about oceans back on earth only through text and photographs, and the thought of a fish-human mixture invoked only the not very pleasant encounters with one particular Nobody who was mayor of one particular town.

    She shrugged and ruffled her hair. Her hair now was less than tidy, but got into her way much less. Luke did’t stab her with the scissors.

    "Most likely...maybe, err, hopefully! Yeah, hopefully."

    She persuaded herself to decide that having a fishbowl over her head for the rest of her life was something she could live with. It was relatively easy, to her surprise - thanks, perhaps, to the other threats that had to be considered.

    "Don't worry. We've gotten the other items. With the Crazies help, we can get the other. No big deal."

    Leila nodded, then pulled the hood over her head.
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    Ran added another line to his latest sketch. He licked his finger and smudged it. The man grinned as he turned to Lesley and gave the pink-haired human a thumbs-up. Lesley looked positively excited. Then at the count of three they flipped their canvas over. Both of them drew Rainbowzilla! One painting was done using a chocolate-charcoal mix and the other was a bunch of brightly colored splatters on canvas.

    Ran muzzled Toby’s hair playfully while waiting for Lesley to give him his score. He got an 8. He considered Lesley’s painting for a moment and then flashed up a 9. Lesley definitely won hands down. The older human laughed. “Well done! Let’s pick a new subject.”

    The two artists glanced around the room. Simultaneously, they pointed to Harper. The young boy was the only person they have yet to draw, besides C, of course. Neither of them planned to either. There was something about her that seem a little too C-rious. Or so Lesley said. Ran agreed wholeheartedly.

    “Harper! Hold still.” Lesley and Ran called out at the same time. “This will only take about 2 hours or so.”

    A heady combination of soap and flowers wafted into the room. Ran frowned as he continued focusing on what he was trying to sketch, but the excitement was distracting. Hey, who could resist the thought of having capes! He stopped. “Shall we call it quits for now?”

    Lesley nodded enthusiastically. “Our adorable subject has walked off.”

    The artsy duo walked up to the basket. Ran hesitated a little. So far, everyone seemed to have found something they could wear, but that shouldn’t be possible. Not even at a well-stocked departmental store. The concept “free size” doesn’t exist. It was usually a catchall term for big, baggy sack.

    “Mind if I try both on first?” Lesley asked.

    Ran grinned. “Sorry C, I’m with Lesley on this.”

    The two retreated after taking a cape and hoodie each. Their doubts were well justified. Ran found the hoodie too tight around the shoulders and the cape made him look horribly short. He really missed Martini’s amazing wardrobe right now.

    “Guess I’ll have to sew … something…” He said aloud as his mind went back to all of the mermaid’s frilly beribboned creations.

    Lesley chimed in. “Yes, yes, yes! These capes will be even more fabulous once we’re done.”

    “Shopping it is then,” Ran responded. “Toby! Want to come along?”

    Ran happily obliged as he sat down once more. He began outlining a huge sunflower. Soon he was so caught up with Toby’s request that he zoned out the rest of the conversation. He hummed happily as he began planning the design of his hood at the back of his mind. He wondered if his creative partner would mind using green plastic instead of cloth. Nothing beats a rainproof hood…
    #6 Fox of Hearts, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
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    The two days they had spent in the company of the hooded figures had gone by slowly and painfully for Inadi. For the last two days he maybe had gotten five hours of sleep. He was constantly using the excuse of wanting to stand guard outside the house in case something happened. Shooting lies at the others saying he heard shuffling feet in the forest or that growls had been growing louder over the last few days. The hooded figures, C and Luke specifically, tried to convince him to leave it be and that they would monitor the situation. Each time though he refused.

    Truth was that he was sitting up late at night remembering everything he could. The taste of the coffee cake he would eat at the small little bistro he would go to everyday for a light breakfast. How the birds seemed to always hop after him in the park on the way home, more than likely smelling the crumbs from the same cake he ate only a few minutes prior. And the way the paper's on his desk always seemed to stack higher the further into the week he got as ideas continued waving around in his head. With each memory he recovered, his confidence grew and the fear of becoming a bunny guard lessened. Yet there were still certain things he couldn't recall.

    One was his parent's faces or even how they treated him prior to him getting on the train. That bothered him for obvious reasons. But then there was a memory he had when he was a child that he was drawing a blank on, and it seemed almost as if it was broken in his mind. Like a tapestry that was torn apart by vandals and raiders. All he could picture in his mind were other children and an alleyway. Besides that the whole thing seemed beyond recognition.

    The dry eyes he had suddenly shot towards C as she began telling everyone to take a hood from a basket. Inadi felt a soreness he compared to when the small dragon threw him around the cave back in Sol as he picked himself up from the small chair he had picked out in the corner of the main room. While Riley and the others picked theirs out, Inadi reached in and simply held up the green cloth in front of him. Forcing a smile he gave a quick nod to C, though his body was practically on autopilot. Going back to his chair he sat down again and leaned his head back, his eyes sliding shut for a few seconds to absorb another heavenly dose of moisture that they so desperately needed.

    Listening with his eyes still closed, Inadi heard something about becoming part fish in order to obtain the last item. Normally he would have shot up and protested the idea of something so odd, but he was far too tired to even bother. Opening his eyes again slowly he looked across the room and saw Leila's hood. A slow and tired laugh left his mouth as he looked the girl up and down. “Something tells me you may or may not have gotten a hood a little too big for you there Leila,” Inadi commented as he held up his. It looked a little smaller, but he had to admit his judgement on size was probably really bad with how his vision was at the moment. His eyes were seeing things more blurry than usual. “If you want you can try my hood on and see if it's a better fit.” He told her, though he didn't get out of his seat and leaned back again.

    Turing to Harper and the others Inadi let out a loud yawn. “I say we head out now and get the supplies. I can help out if you need it,” Inadi said as he pointed towards Kain, which like its owner was also leaning against the wall. “Can never be too careful when you are 'appropriating' supplies these days.” He told them, knowing full well they were going to steal the stuff. What were they supposed to do? Walk in and buy it with the money they didn't have? They were in the company of criminals now. It was only a matter of time before they joined in the activities.​
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    The days after the tea party weren’t all that eventful. Gary was hoping that a troop of guards would come running after the humans and there would be a huge showdown with dramatic sound effects, but everything so far had been painfully dull. Well, painfully dull AND annoying. Now that the humans joined them in an alliance of convenience, there were more people and more noise to deal with, so it was easy to see how the pink-haired girl’s mood plummeted by the hour even if the Lost Souls kept to their respective friends. Thankfully, Gary dealt with these feelings mostly by avoiding the other humans whenever she could but Numair couldn’t afford to do the same. He was, after all, pretty much the middleman between the two groups and with his personality it was natural for him to initiate a conversation when he bumped into say, Harper or Jasper while doing a chore. It would be some time yet before any of the Lost Souls lower their guard, though. Well… Excluding that kid who had started to call C “Cake” already.

    Today C brought out some new cloaks for them. Of course, there was that long-running joke about cloaks vs. hoodies again. Numair rolled his eyes and smiled when both Luke and Riley told him that she thought his pick was, sadly, lame. “Neither of you will say that on laundry day, trust me. Harper’s the smart kid here,” he laughed, and Gary, who was lounging by the nearby stairs, gave the redhead a thumbs up. “He’s just jealous but he knows that capes are the best,” she quipped.

    The mirth on the surfer’s face disappeared when Luke mentioned their next destination and their means of getting there. Ever since his NDE, Numair had developed a keen fear of the sea. Sure, he wouldn’t faint at the sight of it or anything like that, but the emotion was still raw. His chest ached at the memory and he knew he would feel noise piling inside his head and his ears flattening against his skull if he so much as saw waves crash against a sandy shore.

    "Gargar, Sacha, broooo, help me out."

    “Hmm,” he grunted and it was up to Gary to cajole whoever was listening to calm down. “It’ll be fun! Unless there’s giant sharks!” the girl brightly added and Sacha sighed. Yes, convincing was most definitely not their hobbit’s forte.

    In any case, the Lost Souls took their pick and tried them out. Numair just ignored the derogatory terms some of the other humans used to address the members of his group, and instead focused on watching Rainbowzilla play with Jasper and Toby. Gary’s Porkchop hardly left her side unlike the friendly little lizard so it was difficult for the humans to raise rapport with the flying piglet, although Numair suspected that the reason Porkchop avoided them was because of Rainbowzilla. The dinosaur biting the poor piggy’s ears and would probably do so just to make his new friends laugh.

    "So, what do you guys know about Delirium? I mean, you were in a batch once and have gone through everything we've been through. What exactly happened?"

    “Yeaaaah?” Gary pulled up her feet and sat in a cross-legged position. If it were any other person doing this on the stool she was on now, they would’ve fallen and probably broken a bone. Gary’s small size helped her though. “She’s evil. I don’t remember much except that she’s rotten to the core,” the girl raised her fist and shook it. It wasn’t a very satisfying answer but that was all they could get from Gary at that point, seeing that her attention drifted away again. By then, a considerable amount of people had decided to join Luke and C for their shopping trip, which was a bad idea in the first place.

    “Contrary to what Luke and C said, it’s me who’s doing the shopping. And it’s happening today. Plus I don’t think taking a lot- or any- of you people is smart,” Numair winced as one of the two painters, the adult, started outlining a flower on his canvas. The two of them have been at it since a few hours ago and C was getting annoyed about the paint spills on the floor. Before he could even continue, a loud banging sound came from the door.

    “Eh, a visitor?” Gary tilted her head to the side.

    Instead of just plain knocking though, the commotion was louder and Numair went to check on the pesky intruder. Just as the lock was within reach, a final slam resounded and the metalwork- already flimsy to begin with- snapped into bits. The surfer barely even reacted in time as their house’s circular door swung open in record speed, hitting the opposite wall and toppling over the household decorations Sacha had so lovingly placed on a shelf near it.

    Their visitor walked inside the spacious living room, clad in dark silver armor that glimmered ominously under the bluish-white lights near the doorway. The soldier removed her helmet then held it with her right hand as the other touched the royal blue hilt of one of the swords hanging loosely by both sides of her hips. She surveyed the room with no trace of ignominy in her features.


    "Confirmed, this is definitely the losing side," Victoria muttered under her breath.
    #8 Warden, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
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    "Gang members?" Harper arched an eyebrow at his friend, but didn't ask any more questions. If he thought about it hard enough, Ace being in a gang actually made a lot of sense. The girl threw in hints here and there, the most telling ones being her tales of breaking and entering unauthorized places and her skill in combat. "I..." he blinked, not sure how to respond to that nugget of information, "I hope you weren't doing anything illegal, Ace." The boy put on his most stern expression but in the end broke into a smile. "It's interesting, how different everyone's lives are." He was no longer talking to anyone in particular and he laughed when Toby and Ace began playing with Rainbowzilla.

    Harper gave porkchop a wave then laughed when Numair tried to defend the hoodies against the cloaks. "We also look less suspicious, and that'll probably help us in the long run." Numair was normal and he kept the hooded figures from turning on the lost souls and each other. Harper liked Numair and even though he was wary, the surfer was good in his book. Really, how he managed to live with the HF was kind of an amazing achievement, the HF, especially Gary, looked really unstable.

    "That's actually pretty good." Riley was admiring the sunflower on Toby's cloak and the rest of the paintings Ran and Lesley had been working on. The girl focused on their drawings of the Lost Souls and Rainbowzilla. "Lesles, when we get back, you are so going to ace art school." She gave the tall man a cheery grin and Lesley rubbed the back of his head looking a little flustered.

    "I can't wait to start school," he looked out the window dreamily, "but I'll miss you all and," he sighed dreamily as he thought of Inadi, Numair, and Amiel. "I can't deny, Nowhere is full of beautiful, beautiful men."

    Riley laughed and tapped her friend on the back. "Hey Ranran," she taken to using Toby's nickname for the guy. "Were you an art student to? You're really really good at this." The girl turned to look at Toby before an idea popped into her head. "Hey, maybe Ran can paint symbols for Ace and I too, then we can be like a superhero trio or something." She eyed the others with a grin, "heck, maybe Ran can Lesley can give all of us our own symbols?" She looked at Ran excitedly, waiting for some sort of response, but before she could people began to talk about... shopping?

    "Hm, we're going shopping now?" Riley noticed Leila's hand in the air then gave her friend a smile. The girl's new haircut suited her and Riley gave Leila a thumbs up.

    “Contrary to what Luke and C said, it’s me who’s doing the shopping. And it’s happening today. Plus I don’t think taking a lot- or any- of you people is smart,”

    Luke shrugged in response. "Nums makes the hard decisions, so I guess that's a no?"

    C didn't respond, she was still dwelling on the question Jasper had asked about the queen and about what had happened to them. She couldn't remember anything besides their batchmates dying one by one. "We failed, but now we won't." The girl nodded at Jasper and smiled a little, but that smile vanished the moment a hard bang echoed through the hobbit hole.

    "Earthquake?" Luke leaped behind Sacha and turned his roomie into a makeshift barricade. If the roof caved in, Sacha was taller, and it would hit his head first. "Stop, drop, and roll!" He yelled before rainbowzilla leaped towards him and began scrambling into his cloak.

    "What?" Riley gave Luke a confused expression. "Isn't that for fires?"

    "What? Silly, it's for earthquakes." He looked at Riley like she was crazy before the door flew open with a loud echo. "Fiddlesticks," he turned to look sympathetically at Sacha, his roomie had worked hard on that shelf and the decorations. " least it isn't an earthquake, hey Gargar, is it one of the neighbors." Before he could say more, an armed woman marched through the doors. "Are you that baker we owe stars? We're kind of broke at the moment...we needed to buy new hoodies." Luke noticed how terrified Harper was looking then noticed the similar expressions on the other human's faces. "I think you're scaring then. We can send you a check next week or something."

    "V-V-Victoria?" Harper nearly choked at the sight and his mind raced. Why was she here? Was she looking for revenge? Thoughts of Avian came back to haunt him and he lowered his eyes to the floor. The dragoon had been nothing but kind to them, and now he was dead, and it was all their fault. He wanted to apologize on their behalf, but no words would leave the boy's mouth.

    "No way..." Riley looked just as confused and Luke arched an eyebrow in question.

    "C, I think the baker from across the street is upset." Luke turned to face C, but his friend was rooted to the ground, shoulders shaking and expression even more unreadable than usual. "C? Earth to C—Ah." Luke's eyes fell on the broken glass that was scattered across the floor before they flitted to Victoria's muddy boots and the flecks of mud that had gotten on the carpet. "Oh," the boy's eyes went wide and he turned to Sacha with a look of terror.


    Before Luke could do anything, C had reached for the knife on the counter. "S-Sacha? Humans? A little help!" He ran between C and Victoria and raised both hands. "Let's just calm down, we can clean up the—AHHHH!" The boy ducked as the knife zipped past his head. It missed Vicky by a foot or two and had embedded itself into the wooden door.

    C was marching towards Victoria but Luke had launched himself forward and was now struggling to pull the girl back. "Yeah, I think one of you should handle the talking part, ow ow," C elbowed Luke in the stomach, but he was doing a surprisingly good job at holding her back.

    Harper stared at everything that was going on and couldn't help but worry. How unstable were their new companions? If they were going to go into a rage because of dirty carpets then he was worried for their safety. And what did Victoria want? He couldn't bring himself to look at her, but managed to find his voice. "I know apologizing is useless...but we're sorry about Avian, we really are." He quieted down and waited for her to yell, apologizing was stupid, but he had to say it. If it weren't for the Dragoon, he was certain that he and the others would be dead by now, they owed it to Avian and the guides, so if he couldn't help at all, he'd at least apologize.​
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  10. [​IMG]

    Ace snickered and flopped onto a chair. "Oh, but dear Harper I don't just do illegal things, I live it!" She giggled and watched as Toby got his cloak painted on.

    Ace had been laying horizontally in one of the chairs near Inadi. She was off in her own little world for a moment until she caught on to the subtle hints of this 'shopping trip'. "No way." Ace sat up quickly and looked at the ones who decided to go, and Luke since he brought it up. "We're going to go steal things!?" At first, it sounded as if Ace was shocked by such actions from the crew, but if they paid a little more attention they'd notice that she was actually excited about the whole thing. "I'm soo going! It's gotta be cool stealing from a store in this weird world."

    Unfortunately, Numair shot them all down making Ace pout. "Hmph, no fair..." She turned back to the artsy duo. "If you're going to paint on them I want a flame! Or...something cool..." She was lost in thought even as the sudden bang sounded. Then they started debating on how to escape fires and earthquakes. "I can assure you both that either way, with all the talking you'd both be dead."

    The door swung open, and even Ace was caught by surprise by the woman at the door. In that brief silence of shock, Ace mumbled an "Uh oh..." Her happiness and usual excitement dimmed a tad as the thoughts of the witch flashed her memory. Then, Avian did as well. The redhead shivered a bit before moving to stand with the rest of them. Shockingly, the thing that made her jump out of surprise wasn't Victoria, but C's sudden scream. "What in the-" The kitchen knife flashed and she watched as it was tossed into the door. "Crazies..." She shook her head as she watched the two males tackle C to the ground. They had all right to be called Crazies.

    "Yeah Vicky, we really are. It was one tough hag...but as bad as this looks, we do avoid getting any of the other Nobodies hurt... We shouldn't risk everyone else's lives to get home." Ace added her two, quite sensible,cents. It was true. Now that all the humans were working together, only the could get hurt. There was no point getting innocent Nobodies killed on their behalf. She didn't know what else to say to the dragon rider, more so because she was unsure if the woman wanted to kill or protect them. Either way, the tension was thick enough to cut with a knife. That kitchen knife could've cut through it even...which she now wondered if she could snag out the door.

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  11. [​IMG]
    "Oh, oh!" Riley's superhero comparison would've thrown Toby into a comic book frenzy if he hadn't forgotten the names of every single character he loved. Sitting besides Jasper and Rainbowzilla, his hands and eyes darted everywhere as he spoke, "We can be like the Sinister Seven! Uh, I think that's what they're called. Or like The Defenders! Who defended people." Ace wanted flames. The girl with the fire red hair wanted flames. It was a fabulous idea, the boy couldn't help but imagine a tiny fireball on Ace's cloak. That was all it took before he started staring everybody down thinking of symbols that fit their personalities.

    He fell backwards in playful agitation. "I have to draw! My brain is surging!" He flipped himself over and pointed towards Niran. "RanRan! You will teach me your beautiful ways" Gently he used both hands to grasp Rainbowzilla and present the dragon to Niran, "I offer this creature as payment."

    The bang on the door caught Toby off guard, causing him to jump and lose his already weak grip on Rainbowzilla.

    "Huh? Wha? Who?" The boy was too caught up in the sudden commotion to question the logistics and requirements of an earthquake. He watched Luke leap behind Sacha and didn't skip a beat. Jumping to his feet he dived under a table, giggling as he lay on the floor making himself comfortable. The Hooded Figures were quite an unorthodox bunch. Who but Toby could love every moment of it.

    "Man the barricades! Prepare the cannons!" He shouted using the best pirate accent he could muster, "Save me dabloons! Everybody walk the plank!" He could just make out Gary's pink hair and poked his head out from underneath the table to bark orders at her, making sure to cover one of his eyes as to represent an eyepatch. "Deputy Gary! Quit yer' dilly dallying! All hands on deck, ye salty dog!" He then shuffled around and turned his attention to Sacha. "Lieutenant Sachi! Man the Harpers!-err, I mean, man the harpoons!"

    And then the door exploded. At least, it looked like it exploded from where he was laying. At that moment Toby realized that the loud noise from earlier was actually somebody knocking on the door. A woman in shiny armor decided to barge right inside their hobbit hole and was apparently a baker. Even a ten-year old could realize the situation was odd and a little scary, but Toby shoved those emotions aside and kept up his pirate act. Or, he tried to at least. He felt rather safe amongst the Hooded Figures and Lost Souls, so if things did go sour there wasn't too much to be worried about other than protecting them.

    The boy looked towards his friends to see if there was some plan of action. To make things even more scary, they all looked like they had seen a ghost. Well, most of them anyways. "Shiver me timbers," he muttered to nobody. To make things even weirder, it was only the Lost Souls that looked relatively frightened, especially Harper. The Hooded Figures, on the other hand, looked pretty clueless. Except for C.

    Oh, that was why. To his horror, C grabbed a knife with obvious lethal intention. Even Toby, who considered talking tree's normal and silverware his friends, was taken aback at the scene.

    "Cake! CAKE! STOP!" The boy would've hopped to his feet and sprinted to Luke and the strangers aid if he hadn't forgotten there was a table ten inches above his head. With a loud and painful thud, his head smashed into the table and he fell onto his stomach, gripping his head in agony.

    "Oooooouuuuuuwwwww! Son of a strawberry that hurt"

    In a wobbly motion he crawled out from underneath table and stood up as Harper and Ace began to apologize to the woman known as Victoria. Luke seemed to have control of C for the time being so Toby decided to address Victoria.

    "Um, excuse me miss, but that's quite a lot of armor for a baker. May I suggest taking up bounty hunting? Also, your boots there are really muddy and gross looking and it's making my friend Cake very upset. I'm willing to help clean them but we'll have to do that outside before she kills us to death." He spoke in a gentle tone at an attempt to drown out the spooky atmosphere in the room. He surveyed the damage Victoria caused with a look of concern. "Since you broke down my friends door, I think their debt to you should be forgiven. I think doors are more expensive than pastries."

    The boy was still under the impression she was a baker. You couldn't really blame him, much weirder things have happened. Much weirder.
    #11 Gossamer, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2015
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  12. [​IMG]

    Jasper observed Rainbowzilla's tail swish back and forth in content as he enjoyed all the attention being given to him by Toby and herself. Meanwhile, the others decided that they too would tag along on the shopping trip. It was then that the reality of shopping was made apparent. Oh they were shopping alright, but the only thing absent from that was currency therefore a much more suitable term would be stealing. Breaking into a nervous sweat, she wrung her wrists with uneasiness and let out a jagged guffaw. "Actually, I change my mind. I-I think I'll just stay back here and clean up while you guys go fetch some supplies," She blurted. Of course, how could she have been so naive, these were criminals and wanted at that. Strolling into a store wasn't necessarily going to an easy breezy task.

    Fortunately, she wouldn't be missed much on the trip anyway since the lot of the humans had announced their desire to venture out with Luke and C. Eventually, the HFs began to address her question, first with expressions of struggle; their faces convoluted as they strained mentally to recall information regarding the Queen. Alas, their attempts were unsuccessful and her inquiry was met with vague answers. They simply told her that Delirium was evil and that was it. Ever since the beginning, Jasper could sense a dark tick behind her majesty's smiles and cheeriness, but she still didn't have solid proof or facts to backup her unsettled feelings.

    While the chatter continued and the art group came up with the idea of painting symbols on the hoods and cloaks, a startling ruckus thundered from the entryway. Just as Numair stretched a hand out towards the knob, the door swung open and in came a dreadfully familiar face. It was Victoria. Jasper swallowed as her throat suddenly dried out like a worm laying on the sidewalk during a hot summer day. Her eyes immediately darted to the floor, avoiding the Nobody's gaze. Guilt struck her hard and at that instant, she silently gave Victoria the consent to react and do whatever she thought fit. Rage, anger, wrath, torture. You name it, all the possibilities of impending doom raced around Jasper's brain as she awaited the next reaction.

    Luke piped up in shame and his question was unbelievable. Face-palming mentally, she couldn't believe that Luke thought that their guest, fully suited in armor with a glare so intense it could make anyone shrivel up and die on spot, was possibly a baker. As the individuals who actually recognized her were sliding out of the initial shock, chaos broke loose first as C catapulted a knife right at Victoria which merely missed its target. Harper and Ace proceeded to slur out some apologies and all Jasper could do was anchor her stare anywhere else besides Victoria.

    Right eye twitching in disbelief, Jasper marched towards Toby and grabbed the boy from behind with one hand covering the lad's mouth and the other across his chest as she hauled him away for his very safety. Poor kid didn't even know who the heck he was talking to. Finally dragging him towards Inadi and Leila, she plopped the boy down onto a seat. Bending down to Toby's eye level she pressed a finger to her own lips with a serious expression. Standing back up, she nudged Inadi, her brows were knitted together from anxiety and trepidation.

    Although the sorrys were sincere, she knew they were insufficient consolation for a widow who lost her husband. Avian was dead and he was never coming back, no matter how many times they expressed remorse.

    Noticing that Sacha, Gary, and Numair appeared completely stunned and bewildered, Jasper inched towards them and leaning over slightly she whispered almost inaudibly, "Her husband was the solider," She paused as the memory pained her, "who sacrificed himself for us during the battle against the witch."
    #12 Kimchi, Nov 17, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
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  13. [​IMG]

    ”She’s evil. I don’t remember much except that she’s rotten to the core.”

    About Delirium.

    No valuable information to be extracted from this statement because when perceptions of being rotten to the core are present they are more often than not mutual.

    The inaccessibility of the other side of the story still troubled her to no end. And not really purely on a rational level either. She wouldn’t admit it, but a considerable portion of her desire to hear from the Nobodies she knew rooted on how she simply wanted to see them again.

    Of course, joining the hooded figures was declaring rebellion against the rest of Nowhere, so the chances of that opportunity emerging was getting slimmer by the day. That didn’t stop her from trying to recall the faces though - Songbird. Marti. The rabbit sisters. The other guides, the ones that accompanied them on various other treks. The ones who guided and protected them.

    Avian was dead.

    Trying to avoid the emerging of a thought usually did exactly the opposite. She usually did her best to resist shivering at this point, and just move on.

    Thud thud thud.

    Leila, along with everyone else, turned to look at the door.

    Thud thud thud.

    Growing louder.

    “Why...” she looked at the humans and the hooded figures, concern apparent in her expression: “ the door locked?”

    And more importantly, why is something trying to break through the door?

    The door swung open violently into the shelves on the nearby wall. Crashing sounds were heard.

    "Confirmed, this is definitely the losing side."


    Leila stared for a moment, and removed her grasps from the sides of her hood. Losing...side?

    Her eyes met Victoria’s as the soldier’s sight swept across the room.

    Why was she here? And why did she look so...Leila couldn’t find a suitable word to put there. Upset? Understatement. Angered? No, something else. She couldn’t accurately describe it, but she knew enough for that look to drive away every last bit of her just-present urge to greet her and start asking questions about the rest of Nowhere that they were isolated from for the last several days.
    She found it absolutely terrifying.

    And then in the moment Leila froze and wasn’t sure what to do, there was the first time that C’s voice was heard so clearly, and a lot was happening in too short of a time.

    “No don’t - ”

    Leila wanted to leap forwards to stop her, but only to jolt back in fright as she realized she wasn’t going to do it on time and could only wish that the flung knife didn’t land.

    A million apologies and words of sorrow (and Toby’s nonsense being quickly silenced by Jasper) flooded the room, and Leila still didn’t know what to do.

    “We’re...we’re terribly sorry.” Leila glanced back at C, who was currently struggling, being held back by one of the other Hooded Figures.

    But perhaps just that bit, beneath the words so uncomfortably uttered, could be heard in her tone of speech, her real question:

    What are you here for?
    #13 four, Nov 19, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
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  14. [​IMG]



    “Guys she’s… She’s not a baker. W-Why would you even think she’s a baker?” Numair piped from his place. When the door swung open, he went towards the nearest people he could see and stood beside them in case there was trouble. Judging from the look on their faces, the chick who walked in was plenty danger, all right. As if the scary armor wasn’t enough, she also had at least three swords. “Uh, okay. Who pissed off the local militia?” The surfer whispered to the person beside him. From the corner of his eye he could see Gary practically gaping at the newcomer and immediately assumed that she wasn’t going to do anything, which, for this moment, was bad. If the lady was going to give them some trouble, Gargar swooping in with her pole was a perfect way to create some distraction. Earlier she was hyped playing along as a pirate with Toby, but now? Catatonic.


    What the frick.

    “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Numair yelled and rushed forward too to help Luke restrain their comrade. “Calm down I’ll do the cleaning- oomph! Gary, do something!” He winced when an elbow drove in between his ribs. Damn, C’s thing with cleanliness was going to get them killed! The surfer helped pull the girl away from their visitor, seeing as how almost getting a knife to the face was hardly the start for amicable conversation. He just hoped the soldier wouldn’t draw her sword and hack the humans- or the furniture- to pieces.

    "I know apologizing is useless...but we're sorry about Avian, we really are."

    "Yeah Vicky, we really are. It was one tough hag... but as bad as this looks, we do avoid getting any of the other Nobodies hurt... We shouldn't risk everyone else's lives to get home."

    “We’re...We’re terribly sorry.”

    Victoria narrowed her eyes at the condolences and apologies being thrown her way. At least they knew their place, though not all of them were as sensitive as the majority. One of the humans actually had the gall to tell her what to do, and it was a good thing one of his friends ushered him away before she could tell him to shove his opinion where the sun don’t shine. That should break his cheer. For now, the bounty huntress- ironic how Toby’s job suggestion hit bull’s eye- ignored the boy and focused her attention on the writhing creature in front of her. Was this their leader?

    Numair listened in to Jasper’s explanation. He couldn’t remember much of that day, except that it was spent tending to Luke and Gary’s injuries, but… There was a corpse with the mermaid, wasn’t it? Was that the soldier they were talking about? “Gee, talk about awkward. You guys can’t honestly believe that she blames you for that? That’s nobody’s fault,” he murmured back in a low voice to make sure the lady didn’t hear. He really didn’t want to rub salt in her wound.

    “My Avian helped your little organization,” the knife was easily plucked from the wood and then tossed at Sacha, who squeaked and failed to catch it. “Remember Sugarcake Town? ‘Soldier unwittingly aids criminals escape’. He bought you lot enough time to run off by ‘ordering dragonlings to cloud the area’,” Victoria said in a clear, unwavering voice as she approached the Hooded Figures. She frowned. “Not his intention of course, but it was a big deal. There was an inquest. I heard that Delirium was incensed when the King refused to hand Avian over. Sol took his word that he knew nothing about the heist your group was planning, and that he had no idea he aided you by launching a training exercise that day. The harshest punishment he received was suspension.”

    Ohhh. That. Numair only heard about it from Gary, but to him it always seemed extremely fortuitous that a fog would suddenly blanket the land just as the Hooded Figures were about to be caught by the guards. He shrugged it off then as a strike of luck, but apparently they had some help- even if their accomplice had no idea he aided them.

    “But I always found it odd how he suddenly got assigned to missions that advanced in rank and danger level. Yes, we were highly capable, but escorting a bunch of useless humans through a haunted forest rife with death threats and monsters? That was pushing it. I did my own investigation and found out that his latest missions were by request of that Delirium creature. ‘I require assistance in keeping the border levies orderly’, ‘please make sure these ambassadors arrive safely’, and the like. Missions that always, for some reason, had some sort of freak accident happen- deranged sorcerers popping out of nowhere, bloodthirsty werewolves, name it,” Victoria’s frown turned into a scowl and the room itself just tanked several Fahrenheit/Celsius colder. Numair, despite being several inches taller than the nobody, shivered and flinched when she drew her hand back then pointed at them.

    “I can’t believe my husband died because of worthless scum like you!”

    Her voice was sharp and distinct, ringing out within the expanse of the living room as the glacial fury for which the Lamia was known for reverberated in her words. “Children! Barely even old enough to manage your own affairs!” A pointed glance at Toby and Gary for this one; whether she meant it in a physical or mental manner was yet to be seen. “Oh, and for sure unskilled in terms of war. Useless in arms. Do not bear a weapon unless you are sure that you can drive it through someone.” Inadi and his spear was the next focus of Victoria’s ruthless scrutiny, but wait, there was more. “The way you threw that knife left much to be desired! Angle too wide, force too much!” C. The huntress turned her wintry gaze towards Harper and Leila, both of which seemed distraught at her appearance. “You all walked into a war the day you wore these cloaks, and I don’t expect many- or any- of you to live through it. Not with how pathetic you’ve thrown your lot.”

    She sighed and held a hand to her forehead, “I really can’t… Oh, I expected so much more from this ‘Hooded Figures’ thing. I was hoping for a band of skilled renegades but… Ugh. This is a hopeless cause.”

    “Well, you should join us! You’re really badass! Teach me how to kick doors open!” Gary cheerfully yelled and ran towards the soldier. She kicked over a table on her way, except it didn’t flip on its side and she had to use her hands to make it turn.

    Victoria appeared both dumbfounded and irritated, but she erased these emotions from her face and spoke,“Here’s the deal. I’ll join forces with you… humans. Let me clear up a few things. One, I don’t want to kill any of you infants, at least not for the time being. If I wanted any of you dead, you would have been a long, long time ago and in a very painful manner since I used to be in charge of interrogating rebels back in the War. Two, don’t disillusion yourselves into believing that I actually like this cause of yours. For all I care you can go back to your world where I hope you won’t be killing random soldiers for fun and staring at their widow in awkward silence. I wish to ally myself with these ‘Hooded Figures’ for their… prestige. Or what’s left of it. Operating with a criminal organization will give me more allowance to move, not to mention you’re all pretty much doing things that are going to annoy Delirium to no end. I’m in for that. Lastly, you don’t have a choice. Way I see it, you need me far more than I need you. After all, the only reason I wish to do this was simply because it would be more practical to act with people of the same objective.”

    “Not to mention that it offends me that Avian died for a pathetic bunch of weaklings,” she murmured in an aside for both the Lost Souls and their new comrades.
    #14 Warden, Nov 19, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
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  15. [​IMG]

    Inadi saw that Leila wasn't interested it seemed in changing hoods with him. Shrugging slightly to himself he just went back to resting against the wall in his little corner. Ace was nearby discussing her potential illegal activities. Inadi had grown to almost be numb to all the hints Ace would drop at times about her life back home. At this point he could care less if the girl was a part of the Yakuza or something. She clearly wasn't going to tell them anything about it. Not because she didn't want to, but probably more so that she wasn't allowed to. A lot of those societies weren't supposed to talk about the whole family business thing. Like that stupid book with soap on the cover. Another thing Inadi was upset that he could remember better than his own parent's faces. Priorities.

    Then a door opened and a voice he recognized made his eyes open up slowly. They only did so because he wanted to be wrong. Sadly he wasn't. Victoria. The former Mrs. Avian Rider. Certainly not one of the most fresh faces he would like to see. Naturally the woman seemed a little cold to them and everyone started with their apologies to her. Of course the hooded figures decided to show how crazy they were again by throwing a knife at the woman before that and it made Inadi grow very uncomfortable about working with the group. If muddy shoes did that, what else was viable for a potential violent reaction.

    First apologies came from Harper, then Ace and Jasper but only after she had brought Toby into her arms and shut him up. Honestly that boy was becoming more of a headache every waking moment it seemed. From the time he yelled at Inadi at the table to now it just seemed more and more likely this boy was going to be the death of them. Once Jasper sat him down Inadi gave the boy a death stare as if to tell him to keep his mouth shut until he was called upon. Which if it were up to Inadi would be not ever again as long as Victoria was in the room.

    Finally the widow decided to explode. Calling them out as scum, children and useless to boot. Others in the room cringed at some of it, but Inadi sat still and soaked it all in. It was hard to take something harshly when you agreed with it. He practiced with Kain a lot, but he had no real business wielding the thing. Calling out C for her lack of accuracy on the knife she threw. However after all that, she still decided to join them for this supposed hopeless cause. A loud and long screech then took over the room as Inadi pushed his chair back and slowly picked himself up off the thing. Looking at nothing but the ground beneath him, he let out a quick cough before picking his head up to stare at everyone else in the room besides Victoria.

    “I honestly don't see why any of you are apologizing to her for Avian. Did any of you point a spear at the man? Did one of you question his loyalty before I did? Were you all the reason he threw himself at that witch as if to prove his loyalty to us,” Inadi asked with no inflection in his voice. Since the moment his body was laid to rest, Inadi had carried guilt with him over Avian. His cold approach had grown to a head that day and it ended up getting someone killed. Something he would never live down. “If anyone here killed Avian, it was me. And the fact I walk around and draw breath while he doesn't is a spit on him and his memories.”

    A slow turn of the heel then made Inadi face towards Victoria. While there was some distance between them, it slowly began shrinking as he walked towards the woman. “But I don't get why a skilled warrior like yourself would join such a 'hopeless' cause if you truly saw no chance of it working. And yes we are children. Spoiled little brats that have seen nothing compared to you. That much I will give you,” He said as he finally stopped with only two steps separating them. He could smell the forest scent still fresh on her now and see the flames in her eyes. “But do not come in here and act as if you lost everything in your life. If we fail in our mission to get this last stupid item, myself and the rest of my friends will lose not only our memories but our very identity.

    “Yes, you lost your love. My heart bleeds for you. It truly does Victoria,” Inadi told her as he hid his face, shame once again climbing into his throat. Shaking it off quickly he went back to staring the girl down. “But at least you will be able to remember him when it is all said and done. You remember your past. Friends, family, adventures. You'll be able to still call yourself Victoria.”

    Inadi quickly pulled his glasses off and showed the blood red veins caught in his eyes. The white seemed to have all but disappeared from them and every time he blinked it seemed as though tears would fly out from how desperate those eyes were to rest. “But I can't even recall my parent's faces now. I don't remember how they felt towards my desire to write stories back home. And if we can't finish this in time, I won't even be able to call myself Inadi Sihma. I'll just be another nameless, willless and fateless bunny guard.”

    With that Inadi placed his glasses back on his face and slowly walked back to his seat and looked over to everyone else in the room. For the last two days he had kept the damage of his mind a secret and now they all knew about it. He knew they would shower him with signs of pity, looks of remorse and worry. The whole idea made him sick. All it did was remind him of Haku and how the ice man would call him pathetic and weak. He hated that feeling. He couldn't be weak. For Harper's sake. For Ace's sake. For Leila's sake. Looking over at Jasper as he sat down, he felt his weakness strike him the worst though. If he couldn't protect Jasper....

    Looking back up at Victoria in his seat and leaning on the wall he let out a sigh. “Avian can't come back, and that is my fault and sin to bear. And should you ever decide to throw whatever kind of stones you seem proper for revenge then do it,” He told her with his eyes still burning. A tear would stream down his face at that moment, but the moisture was just too valuable at this point. “Besides, it's not like I can use Kain over there well enough to stop you in the end.” He told the widow as he pointed towards the weapon on the wall. Hell we wasn't even sure if he wanted to fight against her if she felt it justified. He probably deserved an ass kicking. He was overdue for a couple here anyway at least in his own eyes. Why not get it started now?
    #15 MixedUpGuy, Nov 20, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
    • Love Love x 5
  16. [​IMG]

    Leila didn’t exactly catch up at first with the rapid unfolding of events, including the flood of information that was just poured into the room through Victoria’s speech, and the very sincere response from Inadi, which...

    It wasn’t you who killed Avain. Stop that.

    She didn’t have the courage to actually say that out loud, but it was the thought that was ringing in her mind as Leila stared at the young man as he spoke with teary eyes. To place fault of Avian’s death on anyone was still too heavy an issue for her to tackle and even the thoughts invoked made her uncomfortable enough and she didn’t want to have any of it come back.

    Leila resisted whatever reacting her body prompted and stood still, waiting for it to conclude. Inadi went on.

    ”And should you ever decide to throw whatever kind of stones you seem proper for revenge then do it -”

    ”Inadi stop.”

    Leila realized this time that she did speak the words, and she had a hand resting on his shoulder with a bit too tight a grasp.

    She flinched, concerned for whatever unintended connotations her unplanned actions might have carried; but outwardly she resolved to leave her sight fixed on the man in a way that was hard to discern between being an attempt to calm Inadi down, an indication of apology, or a way of forcing him to stop.

    She quickly let go and pulled her hand back.

    Leila then turned back at Victoria, now seemingly calmed down slightly, although still muttering things under her breath, the despise and discontent still evident in her voice.

    She couldn’t decide whether to speak. She felt much less than entitled to the right of speech at this time anyway. Looking at Victoria, however, she decided she needed to. So in an uncertain, wavering voice, she made her efforts to sound as sincere as possible:

    ”Thank you.”

    * * * * *​

    Angle too wide, force too much. Gauging from where C was standing and where the knife was embedded moments ago on the door, yes - but why did Victoria want the trajectory to have been such that the knife would have hit her?

    Some questions remained lingering and would for a while to come. In the end, though, Leila was as much more relieved than she was confuzzled taking all that in. She didn’t really have anything to say about Victoria’s apparent intense dissatisfaction with everything about the scenario - the soldier had every reason to feel like that. Neither did she shudder at the last part about need and prestige and painful deaths because perhaps she had already gone through the part about accepting painful deaths as a potential end and also that stripped of consciousness and being constrained forever inside the body of a fluffy animal in soldier uniform was much worse of an alternative.

    A million more questions she still had to ask: about Victoria and her investigation, about the Queen, and about the rest of Nowhere. For now, however, she thought she was entitled to at least feel relieved for a moment.
    Rubbing her hands back against the side of the hood she guiltily admitted mentally that she enjoyed the warmth of the fabric pressed against her face.

    You all walked into a war the day you wore these cloaks.

    An echo of Vicky’s words recalled Leila a bit stiffly released her hands from the hood, being harshly reminded what it signified. So we walked into a war this day.

    Honestly, though, this day wasn’t that bad for the first day of a war.
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  17. [​IMG]

    Out of the corner of his eye, Ran noticed something orange bobbing here and there. He didn’t need to look up to know it was Riley. Gradually, the man allowed himself to tune into the ongoing conversation between Riley and Lesley. He hummed happily as he continued doodling on the green fabric.


    The artist jerked his head up till he was literally staring at the ceiling. Realizing his mistake, Ran lowered his chin and gave Riley his full attention. He beamed. “I used to be an assistant mangaka. That’s … comic artist in... Can’t remember where or how long to be honest. After that I went worked for a large publishing firm in ... New Something. It was NY for short. I designed book covers and illustrated children’s books.”

    Then he drew a blank for a third time in less than five minutes… was he still working there? Somehow he felt that he had gone to visit his parents, but he couldn’t remember why. He scratched the back of his head awhile as he prodded his memory. His brows knitted together and he began chewing his lower lip. The beautifully clear images of faces, clothes and places were all still intact. It was these other details that were eroding away. He suspected he knew why.

    “Speaking of symbols… Toby asked me to draw him as a super hero the other day!”

    Ran’s amber eyes twinkled with delight as he flipped to the back of his current sketch pad. On the page was a drawing of super Toby flying in the air. There were still details that needed to be finished, if he ever remembered. “Tobs already has a symbol. So guess that leaves yours and Ace’s.”

    He flipped pass a picture of Brandu with an infinitely long scarf and a sketch of Martini’s enormous closet. Two pages behind that was a rough outline of Cog City’s sky scrapers. Then after that was a picture of Ise dressed like Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Finally he found an empty page.

    “Let’s start with Ace.” Ran muttered quietly.

    He removed the pencil from behind his ear and rested the tip against the paper. Soon he felt quiet again. At first there were a couple of dots. Then black lines began to emerge. Some were short while others were much longer. Nothing appeared to be connected at the moment.


    “Who’s that?” Ran whispered somewhat loudly to Riley and Lesley.

    Fudge brownies! He was starting to pick up Luke’s weird habit less than two days after forming the alliance. Thankfully the woman was too caught up ranting to even notice much. She was very intimidating. Those three swords were not something anyone should mess with.

    “Boy she sure can talk…”

    That was the first thing out of Ran’s mouth after Vicky finally declared her intention of joining their side. He was pretty sure she talked more than eight minutes continuously, which was an impressive feat. Other than that he had no idea what he should be feeling right now.

    Here was Avian’s wife. She was mad that her husband died defending the humans and she was outraged that Queen Delirium had sent Avian on the mission in the first place and then she flared up at the thought of the humans being responsible for his death in the forest. Then she went on to throw her lot with them. The worthless defenseless ones she raged at earlier. Why were women so complicated? He sighed.

    Ran smiled as he realized Lelia had done the only sensible thing thus far. He decided that he should join her too. Well at least a little more thanking and a little less angst would be a nice change considering what happened not too long ago. He got up and walked over to Victoria.

    "Thank you for joining us, Ms." He managed to stop himself from saying Ms. Ryder or Ms. Avian in time. Thank Celery Cheese Nips. The artist extended a hand tentatively. He prayed to the Celery Stick in the sky that she won't chop it off. "I'm Niran."
    #17 Fox of Hearts, Nov 20, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
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  18. [​IMG]

    Clenching her jaw, she replayed the image of him dying before her eyes as she struggled to shut his wound. The entire time, she had been lying to herself that he would live through it, but subconsciously, she knew the damage would be too much for him to handle. "But we could have prevented it... we should have prevented it." Her neck tensed and she flinched the moment Victoria began to talk again. Throughout the speech, she had her eyes glued to the ground, shifting uneasily every now and again at the petulance of the widower's onerous words. Yet, standing still and listening was the least they could do in compensation with the emotional damage the loss had probably caused the poor woman. And for that reason, Jasper remained reticent. Once Victoria had finished pouring out her wrath upon them, her use of malicious diction was enough to hammer away at what was left of the albino's confidence and she really felt like "scum." Surprisingly enough, it ended with her decision to join the lost cause with no other motivation than to torture the Queen?

    About joining the Hooded Figures, she still was not sold a hundred percent and longed to get more than one side of the story. Everything was unclear and answerless questions hovered over all her experiences in Nowhere. Was this a war now? Which side should she be on? As of right now, it felt as if she had made the wrong decision. Had she backstabbed the Queen and the guides for all they've done for them? At this point, she couldn't even remember what exactly she was hoping to find on Earth. What was the name of the city in which she lived, her job, her home, her friends? No name or memory could be attached to any of those questions. They were correct. She was really losing it. But since she had nothing about her past except hazy pictures and a desire to return, maybe turning into a mute bunny guard didn't sound too bad afterall. 'What am I still doing here?'

    With tension heavily pressing down across the atmosphere, a screech resonated in the silent room; it was the ruckus of a chair being pushed back. Inadi appeared to clear his throat before unleashing his own speech. His words both castigated, but were also compunctious in nature and many a times, Jasper was ready to get up and slap him across the face for refuting Victoria. But in the end, he was just as sincere and morally backed in his words compared to her. While she was able to mourn for losing such a loving husband, they would have no one shedding tears for them, let alone ever existing. Jasper's throat seemed to shrink as she choked for oxygen. As he finally returned to his seat, Leila and Ran took the first shot at sedating the situation in the room.

    Each standing up to thank the soldier, she made her way cautiously towards Inadi. The boy has obviously been hurting for quite some time now and she regretted not being able to sense it or comfort him early enough to prevent him from exploding. Lately he'd become so short tempered and bellicose. "Look at me." Her words sounded slightly callous and she brought a hand down to his chin, lifting it up until she focused her gaze right into the his own; they were hued with red and clouded with anguish. His fears and haunting nightmares, she could relate to them a hundred percent. Life draining out of him just like she could recall almost nothing of her own background. Rosen. A face, a hazy figure. That's one of the only things that really tugged at her will to live. Home? What was home anyway?

    "Avian's death was not your fault," she halted her sentence out of rising frustration. "So stop saying stupid things." Her words were blunt and stripped of emotion. Bending at the hip, she lowered her head directly above his, the gap between their lips shrinking by the millisecond. To the point that she could feel his breath rising up to meet her.
    OHLALA (open)

    Then she stopped and brought a hand up to his face while staring directly into his pupils and flicked him hard on the forehead- hard enough to erupt a red welt at the center area in between his brows. "You dummy :fryingpan:"
    kuku (open)

    #18 Kimchi, Nov 20, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
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  19. [​IMG]
    "Cat got your tongue or something?" Toby would have said, if Jasper hadn't restrained him. Fortunately the words were muffled and incoherent, he protested all the way up until she plopped him onto a chair. "But-" She cut him off. Geez. Here he was ironically trying to calm down the situation only to be sat on a chair as if he were being punished. (Which he kind of liked, in a way. But still) Not to mention Inadi's crazy person stare. "You look like you have to use the restroom." He wanted to say. Instead, he waved at the humans stressed and angry, albino kissing spear wielding protector with a blank expression. Maybe he actually did have to use the restroom and his crazy person stare was a cry for help.
    Rarely did Toby ever feel guilty, but as the words left Jasper's mouth, well, he totally felt guilty. And disrespectful. And approved of his timeout (and the crazy person stare) He didn't know much about Avian, but he had recalled a conversation or two about him back at the castle between Harper and Ace. Granted, he was eavesdropping at the time, but the information was there nonetheless.

    The boy sat and watched the situation unfold before him in silence. He didn't necessarily feel guilty for being human or Avian's death, because neither were his fault. He was locked in a basement with Niran. However, he could still connect and understand to how the Lost Souls felt. If Ise had sacrificed herself to ensure Toby and Niran lived, well, tears would definitely be shed.

    He only really felt bad for accusing Victoria for being a baker, and had glanced at Luke to see if he felt the same. He was, after all, the one that had planted the this chick is totally a baker seed. Maybe he could back him up or something.

    It wasn't until Victoria began yelling that the boy began to truly feel uncomfortable as well as guilty.

    Toby was still convinced that it wasn't his fault Avian died, but that didn't matter. He felt bad nonetheless, and could feel Victoria's pain even underneath her powerful voice. He wanted to give the bounty hunting, pastry baking, door kicking widow a hug but he could see very few situations where that could lead to anything good.

    Victoria did prove a very valid point though. They were weaklings, none of them combat worthy. Even Ace and Inadi looked like mere children compared to the bounty hunter. Toby was convinced those two were the strongest in Nowhere (besides Ise) to see them so guilt ridden and weak in comparison to Mrs. Ryder was a strange sight to see.

    Gary piped up, claiming Victoria was badass and wished to be her apprentice. Toby couldn't help but grin, and wanted to use this opportunity to hop out of his chair, but he couldn't help but feel like he'd be close-lined by Inadi or tackled by Jasper, so he sat.

    There was no denying that Toby was somewhere along the lines of a pathetic weakling, he was fully aware how incapable he was of combat when it came down to it. He couldn't help but recall the day of the tea party, when he had witnessed the turtle dragon crush a soldier to death with a tree. The memory had surfaced a few times here and there and he really didn't know what to make of it. Death was a concept he hadn't anticipated to face in Nowhere. Surely if there were witches and turtle dragons about, than who knows what other dangers awaited them in this so called war.

    What if that soldier had been Niran? Or Ace, or Riley? Toby realized why the memory had plagued his mind so much. He was incapable of doing anything to help anybody in this world. Japhet, Est and Breeze fought back valiantly amongst a number of soldiers to ensure that the Lost Souls could get away safely, and they had probably died in the process, no thanks to him. All he could do was sit and watch somebody get crushed by a tree.

    The boy had grown quite fond of the people he's had the pleasure of meeting. If putting on a cloak meant he was going to be branded as a criminal, that meant his life as well as theirs was in danger. Who was going to protect his friends when a giant turtle dragon showed up and started throwing trees everywhere? Nowhere was a big and potentially dangerous place. If he was going to live in harmony amongst this world and the people he loved, he would require strength and not only the will, but the aptitude to survive.

    Before he knew it, Toby had stood up from the chair and was steadfastly approaching Victoria. A classic movie he couldn't recall the name of was playing in his head as he realized what he needed to do to ensure his loved ones safety. Just as Niran introduced himself to the bounty hunter, Toby dropped to his knees before her and placed his forehead on the floor, his hands coupled together as if he was worshipping her.

    "I'm sorry for your loss," He began, his words loud and straight from the heart "I've felt your sorrow before, and I don't want to feel it ever again. I really like all of my weakling friends here and I don't ever want to see them suffer the fate your husband did. I'm a weakling too, probably the biggest one. I've never even held a sword before." The boy picked his head up, his eyes remained closed as he spoke, "I want to be as strong as you Victoria! Actually, I want to be stronger. I want to protect everyone I love so they can continue living and I can continue loving them, and being around them y'know? Because they're the greatest."

    "I guess what i'm trying to say is, can you help me not be a pathetic weakling and instead be a strong, tough weakling? Also, i'm sorry for calling you a baker. It's Luke's fault."
    #19 Gossamer, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2015
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  20. [​IMG]

    Ace eyed the dragon rider as she yelled at them. She had full right to. The redhead had nothing to say, so she crossed her arms and leaned against the wall closest to her. All she could do was listen as Victoria called them weak and pathetic. If Ace had anything to say about it, she would've said they were pretty strong. To last so long in this insane world with things trying to kill them was pretty impressive, even if they did have help. Strong wasn't just a physical attribute, it was also a mental one as well. a group of humans, they were pretty pathetic. It wasn't like they prepared for this sort of thing!

    Inadi was next up to bat, and was as grumpy as ever. "Sheesh, give her a break." She muttered under her breath and adjusted her hat. Though, the more she listened, she realized that he was right... She may have lost her husband, but they were going to lose their entire existence if they died here. It wasn't much to her, considering if she died here or on earth, there wouldn't be much to her name. In fact, she was sure no one would really miss her. The gang she was in was a mutual relationship. Attachments were never made considering the risk of death... Ace frowned a little at her own thoughts, but sighed. If anything, her new friends had to get home. They all had lives to get to, they all had family and friends back home. She'd be strong for them. Even if Victoria claimed they were all weak, Ace wouldn't believe it.

    " your eyes. But you know what? These guys have been pretty tough since they've gotten here. They have survived countless brushes with death with and without help. Physically, maybe you're right. But they have the will to survive. That's strong enough in my opinion. There is no way, I will believe you calling me weak. I was strong enough to live on my own since I was seven. I can assure you, as long as we have the will to survive, we are strong enough. It has gotten us this far."

    She looked over at Jasper and Inadi while Tobi broke from his little imprisonment or time out that Jasper put him in. "I agree with Jasper, Inadi. Sure you got angry, but that didn't mean you killed him. The witch did. We all know that. The witch killed Haku and Leon as well. There was nothing we could do about it. We tried, but we are only human. New experiences are bound to have failures. We can only learn from them. Not sit and emo up the place." The last part was a bit of a tease towards Inadi's grumpy attitude lately.

    She then took of her hat and scratched her head. "Sheesh it's gotten heavy here. Now that we've established that we're all a bit messed up in one way or the other, we'll all agree to disagree. We are all on mutual terms with [rainbow]The Crazies[/rainbow] and we are doing this to get home, and reveal the Queen's...evil doings. Now, can you paint my cloak now Ran? I still wanted flames, or something cool! You should put a sword on Harper's annnd a spear on Inadi's and a dragon on Leila's! Hm...I'll think of the others."

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