Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Suede » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:40 pm

The moment Genny tried to press anything into his mind would be like trying to swim up a waterfall that only increased with intensity the harder she pushed. There was no visible strain for the effect beyond a downturn of his lips. "Whatever you're trying to do, stop it." He didn't seem particularly appreciative of her action, his posture becoming as equally closed off as his personality and presence with those few words. The hand on Kacela was steady against her neck, something warding her from jumping up to try hunting anyone just at the moment. Not that he could do much to keep her from doing whatever she wanted when she wanted.

After a short time of uncomfortable silence Kals shifts in his chair and lets out a long breath. "Unless you were the one responsible, there's no point in apologizing." He's quiet, considering something as his eyes turn to the fire then back to the woman. "Look..." Another shift of his body, as if finding a comfortable way to sit has suddenly become an impossible task. "I can at least tell you that she was herself at the end. Her real self, not the porcelain nightmare she turned into."

Very little to offer, but possibly the most she's ever heard about what exactly transpired that night. The expression on his face is hard to read, impossible to judge just how he feels know that fact, or sharing it. "It's something for all the effort you've made, and my offer to convince you to not try what you did again."
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Tolleson » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:11 pm

It had been a stream of thoughts, of feeling, of memory; love of the woman that had been her mentor. Upon the pounding current of his defense, against which the memories flowed, they curled, broke, and dissipated as vapor. There was no push, no force behind the mental transmission and the strain, if even she felt it, was not what stopped her. It was his frown.

Her own lips turned down and her expression shifted to curiosity while the mist of memory vanished. It was as if she took a great, deep breath and sucked away every bit of the feeling that she had shared. If this were his only exposure, at the very least he might see how dexterously she wielded whatever mental abilities they had in common. She possessed control, if not the best understanding of interpersonal relationships and boundaries.

There was a slight recoil and stiffness to her posture, thankful in no small measure that he held Kacela at bay. Either she was made equally uncomfortable by her assumptions or simply couldn’t help but mirror him as she too shifted before bowing her head apologetically.

As he spoke she nodded lamely, her hands turning over in her lap.

‘Unless you were the one responsible…’

As if she saw blood on them her fists reflexively balled before being pulled into and folded across her chest until he finished speaking.

“My apologies, all the same,” for the trespass, for his sister, for all of it. Despite being succinct, her words were earnest and carried with them a gravity of understanding. There were very few people who could stomach such transactions without a level of trust that clearly exceeded what Genny and Kals presently shared.

Several awkward moments passed, her mind so still and silent now that it was obviously intentionally restrained, fortified behind some self-imposed barrier.

“Agniezska, Ariane, and I… we plotted to kill her,” her eyes slowly rose to meet his as the admission was choked out. “Many people were hurt… because I delayed so long, trying to find a way to bring her back.”

Her cheeks burned red and tears threatened the edge of her vision. But even now they didn’t spill. Control won out.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Suede » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:43 pm

He had sounded a touch like a chastising parent before, with the curt demeanor a clipped words behind the harsher insistence. Kals didn't really know what to make of the fact Genny could do what she was doing, he didn't remember her having that talent once. And as far as he could tell despite the fact she knew how to use it, she didn't seem to understand how to 'use' it. That was almost as troubling as anything else.

Kacela was unlikely to try and kill anyone as far as he was expecting, but the play at having control over her generally made people feel better whenever the wild woman was being aggressive. And since it seemed to manage a slight touch of the tension in the room he kept up the facade. Not as much trust as maybe Genny would like, but he grunted at her apology all the same as he settled back into his chair.

There wasn't even a change in that new posture when she admitted to her plots with the other, just a long stare of unnaturally colored eyes. "So did I, but more I plotted a good way to kill Glenn. I still do sometimes." Cold words, and brutally honest. He wouldn't show signs of crying the way she did, but he wasn't proud of his own admittance. "I think just about everyone in town had planned it near the end... I'm glad that you at least tried to help her find herself before trying to do more."
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Tolleson » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:26 pm

He had indeed sounded like a chastising parent and probably with good reason despite that they were both adults. He had gone out to the woods to retrieve a lost woman, whom he found yelling at the sky and probably directly into his brains, cursing his name. Only to bring her into his home, have her intrude on his personal space, and apologize while she continually fumbled attempts at communicating.

All things considered, she was far more child-like given the circumstances. In comparison her ‘talent’ while similar in some respects and precise, lacked decorum and any sense of formal training. He wasn’t wrong, she hadn’t always had the capacity for such telepathic communication but that was many years ago now. And as for using it, well, there weren’t many in Myrken Wood, let alone the township proper, who took kindly to mind-witchery.

At the mention of Glenn her eyes cleared and the line of her lips tightened. A slight frown formed, but then again, Kals had his reasons for disliking, hating, Glenn.

“True." She paused, considering those words, perhaps realizing they weren't the comfort she sought, "still, I often wonder. Dread to think I was successful and simply cannot remember.”

There was an air of haunted disbelief in her words. Not in the admission which came bluntly now, but in the fact that after all this time and all her efforts she couldn’t remember those few hours. How could you forget killing someone?
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Suede » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:10 pm

"Does it really matter if you do it? What would it change, and does that mean you really want to know?" Kals ran his fingers absently through the scruff of hair at the back of the wolf's neck. "I think we're better off all letting sleeping dogs lie... it won't help anything to learn the truth. It will just hurt someone or something."

The lack of appreciation in Myrkenwood for what he could do with his mind, and his sister's antics, are what drove him to live so far in the woods despite the danger. He didn't have to be guarded with his mind out here, or worry about any accidents that would give someone the excuse to seeks revenge on him for something his sister had done. That didn't mean he minded the visit or the company, Genny just had a very poor choice in conversational topics. "Why do you want to know so badly?" A part of him would always wonder, but it wasn't worth it.

"If I spent as much time as was necessary trying to learn that truth I wouldn't accomplish anything else. I still have a brother, parents, and a family business to keep going. Not to mention a wolf I need to make certain doesn't destroy anymore tea houses." There was a smirk for Genny and a nod of his head towards the troublemaker sitting between them. "There are better uses of your time as well."
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Tolleson » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:53 am

Does it really matter?
What would it change?
…And does that mean you really want to know?

They were simple questions. And surely, she had asked them, albeit quietly, to herself long ago and again since, more than a few times. Considering the amount of time that had passed from the day of Rhaena’s death to this moment, mere inquiry had devolved into something closer to obsession. The rational questions seemed beyond mattering; still, she listened and she tried to hear his words afresh.

But at his mention of letting sleeping dogs lie, her eyes flicked to Kacela, the half formed tears cleared, and the pull of some struggling smile at the corner of her mouth rose into a grin. “You sound rather like Glenn.” It was more poking fun than to say they were anything alike; not that she could much tell - with time and distance between them, any more they were both strangers. It was a sentiment the former Governor had held before and it made some sense now. As circumstances stood, no one, singular individual had blood on their hands, the town had more-or-less recovered from the madness of the Red and Gold Summer. Rest was much needed if not deserved. Leaving the past alone offered a chance to move forward, to live some semblance of a normal life. But at its core the suggestion postulated that through this oversight, in ignorance, peace could be attained, even sustained, and was therefore more important than truth.

Of all the lessons she had learned, from Glenn’s rule, Rhaena’s tutelage, from the sheer struggle to survive in Myrken, the most important by far was that peace was fleeting regardless. The truth mattered. It could very well change nothing. And as to whether or not she truly wanted to know, that was the only question that festered with uncertainty, in part because of the question that followed.

"Why do you want to know so badly?"
Her eyes drifted away again, towards the fireplace in silent contemplation. After a few quiet moments, her red hair curling slightly as it started to dry, she offered a soft, half-hearted reply, “guilt?”

As an answer it was obvious. Simple. She was not a soldier accustomed to violent death, nor an executioner numb to the sight of such things. As far as she was concerned, she hadn't the right to say who deserved to live or die and certainly had never killed someone intentionally or, as far as she was aware, otherwise.

But even as she spoke the word it seemed limp. Wrong. Trying again, though her eyes seemed locked, reading the flames, she ventured more confidently, “Fear."

She nodded resolutely, as if finding this answer better articulated or somehow more truthful and returned to facing her hosts. "I feel pieces of her, her memory, her face is… as clear and solid in my mind as you, sitting before me now.”

Rhaena had been a good teacher, even though her and her student's capabilities differed. She had been effective with lessons in controlling surges of emotion, focusing on words to create cohesive thoughts, and not overwhelm those with whom she communicated. But the lessons were incomplete, as evidenced by all that had transpired in their conversation so far. And though the town may not have appreciated Kals, the mere fact that he could recognize this in her, made him invaluable.

With good intentions but a lack of training it was fathomable that her own ambition could one day lead her down a similar path. And more importantly, if there was any lingering vestige of Rhaena still within her, did it pose a threat? Her head held a labyrinth of memories and thoughts she’d seemed to have absorbed from the minds that she had touched. Genny had done well to tuck such pieces into the hedges and dead-ends, suppressing or imprisoning what her mind knew to be foreign. And though it had only ever been memories and past moments, deep down there was the fear that something survived. And if anyone knew how to place pieces of a mind into another vessel it had been Rhaena.

“Oh, believe me, I do have better things to do. The renovations of the meeting house, to build the school, to see Daryl grow… to find love.” It was an abrupt and perhaps overly honest admission, the truth of it broke in her voice and burned in her cheeks. Hot tears rose again though she blinked them away, trying to project some calm, collected demeanor that she’d lost well before their encounter in the forest.

“I want to forget. To live.” She took a deep breath, looking Kals squarely in the eyes; asking for his help in the statements. “But I need to know how I am best killed… if ever I become as she was, in the end.”

Maybe he thought her mad. Or that madness was a forgone conclusion and he was only banking on her losing interest and leaving as soon as the storm stopped. But she persisted and now she waited, the heart of her obsession laid bare in a revelation that had been as difficult to admit as it was to speak aloud.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Dulcie » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:55 pm

Up until this point the wolf had been surprisingly still and calm. Kals of course had felt emotions, reactions even through the bond that they shared. He knew when she was surprised, angry, or felt empathy for him and what he must be going through, but the wolf remained ever still. No growling, no lunging. She had come a long ways from the days where she jumped on people for every little slight. Instead she leaned in closer to Kals, keeping herself as close to him as possible, nuzzling his hand almost the way a pet might, but those amber colored eyes of hers were far too alert, too intelligent to mistake her for anything than what she was.

Kals would hear her through their bond then ~She should know if she killed someone. Killing changes you, turns you from prey to predator. She deserves to know what she is capable of. What she is. It is more than just accepting what's done is done.
It's not done for her.~


She continued to listen, putting together details.

~Can you tell her the things she's asking for?~
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Suede » Mon May 14, 2018 11:53 am

"Have you ever considered that poking at a wound will keep it from healing? Even if you make excuses for yourself as to why." Kals was frowning, rubbing at his chin as he stared at Genny. Eventually the touch from Kacela drew his attention and he stared at the wolf in accusation. "What, you too? I already told her everything I know. That Rhaena wasn't out of her mind anymore when she died." He wasn't some miracle worker that could plumb the minds of dead people.

He grunted and ran his hand along Kacela's neck while turning back to address Genny. "If I sound like Glenn, then I sound like an ass. So I'm sorry for that." He leaned forward in his seat, and you could see how the wolf had changed him as much as he'd changed it. He favored looking out the tops of his eyes more, and his posture tended to be more demanding than it once was, instead of simply large. He also grunted. "So she left part of your mind scrambled up with her... what, memories? Personality? Did you want me to try and get rid of it? Because I don't have the sort of delicate touch you'd need for that. I've always been the brutish one."

"You probably would be better off just learning how to keep those things tucked in a corner of your mind somewhere, so they can't surprise you or hurt anyone." As for her last statement, he just snorted and waved at the wall where he had an unstrung bow resting. "Just because you can do something special doesn't mean you're harder to kill. Rhaena only made it as long as she did because people wanted to help her, or like what she was doing..." He leaned back in his chair again and frowned. "Idiots."
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Tolleson » Thu May 17, 2018 3:54 pm

He held her captive with his words. Pensive and still, it was clear that she listened and wasn’t waiting with pre-formed arguments of insistence, despite her unyielding efforts thus far. After all, she had sought him out specifically to listen, to hear his recollections and testimony. And so even though she gave a half smile and sigh when he replied verbally to the otherwise secret dialogue shared with Kacela, she was quiet.

There was no response and little reaction to the apology, perhaps because most everyone could agree that Glenn was an ass in one way or another.

It wasn’t until he leaned forward, his figure becoming more imposing that she shifted ever so slightly back. As if the gravity around him had changed and she needed to oppose it lest she fall forward too. It was almost threatening when paired with the questions and half-cocked offer he made, whether it was earnest or not.

“You make an appealing offer, that unfortunately, I must decline. Lest you think your coarse approach deter me, I assure you it is merely because I am no more certain that the parts of her could be separated from me, than a scrambled yoke from whites,” the statement came as a soft declaration, or perhaps a resignation, as the gravity claimed her and she too leaned forward.

He recommended compartmentalizing, burying the bits she knew were foreign, and to this she merely nodded, having already done as much in an elaborate mental labyrinth that possessed a very physical quality in the landscape of her mind. One he would see if ever he ventured in. And at his gesture she too leaned back, attention directed to the bow.

As for being capable of doing something, ‘special,’ she gave an almost amused scoff, as if she found the very idea a bit distasteful.

“You liken my inquiries to a wound. True enough, pry at a scab and it only grows the sore.” And perhaps it was her late, physician father, her own, inquisitive nature, or too long spent working under the aforementioned ass that made her argue with a mere analogy.

“And that may well be what I do now,” offering a heavy sigh and a half shrug, “but a burn would not be treated the same as a cough or a cut. In some cases ignoring it completely encourages festering, worsening the condition. Is it not advantageous to understand the nature of an ailment in order to better treat it?”

She wouldn’t wait for him to answer, as at this rate it was argument for argument’s sake.

“If it is as you say; if she was herself in the end, and in her final deed she stole, for such a brief time, our memories, I must conclude that it was her wish to leave everyone absolved. A lovely sentiment that might reflect how I knew her best, albeit an unsatisfactory answer.”

Upon his final statement she glanced back to Kals and Kacela with a gentle, implying smile. “Not all of them. I don’t recall evidence of arrows at the scene or attempted shootings prior.”
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Dulcie » Thu May 31, 2018 1:24 pm

The subtleties of the conversation were lost on the wolf. She listened, but it was really only with partial understanding. She did alright with the mystical in the sense that she understood that she had some sort of unusual abilities as did Kals, but the advanced understanding of it was really more than she could comprehend. Her tail swished and she just listened, silently, her brown eyes watching Genny, keeping an eye on her.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Suede » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:29 pm

Kals sunk back in his chair and sighed along with a small shake of his head. "Then don't say I didn't warn you about it. Having someone else in your head is dangerous, moreso a dead person. Especially one whose personality might try and overtake you. Take it from me, and maybe Kacela. We have experience with it." He knew enough to know he couldn't force her to any one particular action, not while maintaining any sense of morality. "But you better make sure you have things under control or you might lose yourself in whatever she left."

"And remember this isn't a flesh wound, it's different if it's even a wound. You're marked, not so differently than Kacela marked me. And whether you like it or not it's going to change you if you aren't careful." And then a grunt for her comment about arrows, but he didn't say anything else on the that particular jab. "You've stepped into a messy little realm, if you don't feel confident about it I'd advise you to go track down a teacher once the rain clears up. For now you can stay here for the night. It's a bit rustic, but it functions."
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Tolleson » Sat Jun 23, 2018 6:13 am

Considering her purpose in coming, it would be fair to say that Kals wasn’t the first to offer dire warnings. Very likely he wouldn’t be the last.

...you might lose yourself in whatever she left

“And if I do, I trust I’ll have your help.” It was more a statement of fact than a request or even a question.

As for his own and Kacela’s unique experiences with personalities prone to taking over and their being marked, it was an interesting comparison with ready parallels. Her head tilted as if considering further implications beyond just analogy. Finding or concluding that while apt, there were more important elements to his warnings than wondering about literal transformations.

“Confidence,” she repeated, suppressing a yawn. It had become later than she'd realized and the anxious energy from the prospect of resolving unanswered questions dissipated. “Fools believe that fortune is certain, the wise will make their truth.” Sleepily, she seemed then to be quoting some passage from a book, perhaps a famous one that Kals would know if he was into that kind of thing, and if he didn’t the shake of her head dismissed it from mattering much anyway.

“Far better than a cave in the rain," smiling, she replied to the offer, it being rustic was obviously of little concern. "Thank you, both. I'm happy to help with the chores or offer some coin for the burden.” And she would happily do whatever chores were needed, though anything requiring any amount of dexterity was sure to take twice a long. If and when sleep came, she was silent both in the tangible world and the mental plane.

The same might not be true though, if he came looking.
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Re: Onward, Inward, and Backwards

Postby Dulcie » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:08 pm

~I didn't mark you~ She told him through their connection, but the wolf said otherwise, giving a puffed up impression of pride and possession, as if it was happy that he had acknowledged how he had been claimed. Kacela begrudgingly agreed in a sense, and went back to listening to the pair talk. She was still understanding what the woman was really risking, and looking for.

She didn't argue Kals's invitation for the woman to spend the night, instead she left his side and trotted off further back into their cabin and returned with a fur blanket dangling from her massive jaws. She looked as if she had just eaten a bear. She padded back across the room and laid it at the other woman's feet in invitation. The cold didn't bother her much, but she knew how humans got about these things. It was her way of offering welcome.
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