The Art of the Possible

Re: The Art of the Possible

Postby Cherny » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:37 am

The crowd parts before them - the sensible stepping aside, the slow or heedless finding themselves shoved - and the squire rides the shoulders of a titan, relentless, unstoppable, a power he might grasp but cannot possibly direct. It is frightening. It is exhilerating, even as he tugs at Catch's brow and beard and stares around for some way out, and it drags a hoarse and ragged laughter from his throat; a laughter echoed by black birds that flap and wheel above the market square.

The crowd's voices are the rush of blood in his ears; a voice raised up ahead, one among many, the Governor shovelling words at the madman as if he expects them to be heeded, as if he imagines they have worth. He watches from above as Catch lunges past the Constables who move to intervene; a strike, a shove, and they fall in quick succession, Governor and Wormwoman and - a pang of regret, for he remembers her as kind - Sera Genny of the red hair.

The boy laughs again in surprise and rebellion and surging pride in his friend, who has risen from what he was - from mockery and mistrust and beatings and betrayal - has risen to make these declarations, to claim his own nature, to claim his own truth in the face of lies and distractions. And though different and terrible and lunatik, though broken in body and addled in mind, in that moment a boy's heart blazes with devotion for a hero.

In the next moment the grey tunics of the Constabulary close in; the Marshall declares the matter done, and Cherny cradles the madman's cloven skull between reverent hands.

"S-ser Catch, we should go. It's f-finished, it's finished."
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Re: The Art of the Possible

Postby Cinnabar » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:27 am

There was a moment when things might have been resolved - when the podium might have been cleared, when the crowd might have dispersed, grumbling and unsatisfied but in a moderately orderly fashion.

And then a few things happen in quick succession. A tow-headed giant with a young boy on his shoulders shoves his way to the front of the crowd; the Governor delivers a final impassioned speech as quickly as he can, before falling to the madman's fist. And then the Inquisitor's down, and Agnieszka River's down, and by this point the Sergeant in charge of escorting the Chairwoman from the stage has had quite enough.

"That's it. Clear it. Clear them off." Barked to his subordinates, and there is a bustle of grey tunics around the stage, a cordon re-established, batons firmly pressed - not swung - against chests and midriffs to urge the crowd back, a good half-dozen converging to set themselves between Catch and the stage.

Other officers move to aid the Governor back to his feet and urge him away from the podium, before people start throwing more than fists; to pick up the fallen Inquisitor and bear her to the Rememdium; to rather less gently pick up the Chairwoman and escort her from the stage, by her ankles if need be, while the Sergeant berates her guards for letting her anywhere near this crowd - might as well have strung her up themselves, never mind letting her take the stage, were you dropped on your fucking head, son.

Around the perimeter of the square the Constables start encouraging people to leave - nothing more to see, Governor's finished talking, that's it for the day, go about your business.
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Re: The Art of the Possible

Postby catch » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:44 am

"No more."

Catch says Airy Ann's words, in her own words, her own accent and inflection. It is an unconscious parroting. It is an agreement, and his smile is just as sad, just as tired. He hated it. All of it, everything. For a moment it blazes in him, bright and unbearable, a hate entirely separate from what the Wolf wants him to feel. It was not a mindless, baseless hate. It was a righteous hate, a how-dare-you hate, a hatred that came from a child against cruel and callous parents, a man against his uncaring God. He had misjudged Glenn's frailty, for he and Agnie and Genny are there, all in a heap. He does not mind the Wormwoman's pain. Right now, he does not mind even Glenn's.

He does mind Genny's.

Her blood was an affront, and Catch was quick to turn his face away. There were men to see to her, the Governor, and the Wormwoman together. Catch would dive, back through the constables, wading through them with shoulders shrugged and hands upheld, a sign and posture of no more. That he was done, with what he needed to do; and he had needed it. Against the lies, against Glenn himself, he had done it. Against himself. The silver still twisted around his lips, but the eyes above it were a cold, sad, distant fury, the echo of a dark, infinity sky above a winter's night.

The crowd is dispersed, though the protests range over the Constable and Militia. The man with his son still screams for justice, a few more howling with him. Scant more mutter darkly among themselves, and leave easily enough. The most vocal and violent are shut quickly down, escorted away. Quietened.

If none stop him, Catch - and his Rider - would plod back to where Noura had been.
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Re: The Art of the Possible

Postby Guppy » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:46 pm

Noura had not seen what had transpired. She had been lost in the crowd, kicking and shoving at the masses in order to get to them. Her friends. In the end, Catch returned to her, ever faithful. The frazzled girl took one look at the addled man and attempted to throw her skinny arms around his chest to hug him tightly. Her hands sought Cherny's shin, to press cool fingers there to include him. "Don't you do that again!," she chastised, without any sort of bite to it at all. There were tears in her eyes. It was more out of relief than anything else. She would straighten and reach out a hand, an offering of support and friendship to the man in front of her. Guidance. "Come. We need warm broth in our bellies. Let's go find Gloria," she beckoned, clasping fingers with his own if he allowed.
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Re: The Art of the Possible

Postby Rance » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:17 pm

Cause no trouble, the Constable had finally instructed, when all was muted and calm, and the travesty of his rough, bearded face with his wind-bitten lips somehow became lodged in her brain, a sad, necessary sight emblazoned like an afterimage in her eyes.

She resisted the burning urge to bend back her arm and throw Glenn Burnie's ring into the gutters, befoul it like it was some kind of crude, inhuman effigy, but--

--deference to authority, Glenn Burnie had written about her over a year ago, and while this commentary (she'd had no access to it, knew not at all that it even existed) had once been accurate, it was now defunct, ridden with the lice of liberated will.

(If, many years from now, she might come to thank Rhaena Olwak for one thing, it would be this: that authority, she'd learned, was not godlike; that here, in Myrken Wood, governments were not progenitors of divinity, but mere constructs of human control -- and Duquesne, Duquesne would have reveled in this discovery, might have kept her up late hours for tea to discuss the differences she'd come to discover.)

But ask a seamstress left standing in the wake of speeches and discord if she knew what she believed in, she would, for once, have no words except--

"Liars."

(agnieszka is a liar, a liar; but isn't it right that she should? Isn't it

natural

to want to forgive her?)

Time passed. She converged eventually with her brother, with Noura, with Mister Catch. For each one of them, a touch, a kiss, a timid embrace.

She said little. She simply spun the Governor's ring around her middle knuckle, next to the space where a ring-finger should have been, but was left--

--left rotting in Golben, next to shattered edges of blood-browned mirror.
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