Loss... Found?

Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Rance » Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:12 pm

Because Gloria did not answer instantaneously — as if driven first by instinct beyond anything else — she knew exactly how she must answer. Gloria's attention lay solely upon Marion's wild, scattered hair, which the once-seamstress' single hand tried to arrange, to soothe, as if to right it might be to right the world. "I would like little more," she said, head tilted, "than to see him rendered to — to a state of agreeability." Sometimes, when trying to find the right words, Gloria found the longest way to them. Her mouth went sticky and dry. Her head turned, half listening to any shuffling behind the door, and the other half to her heart, her heart, smashing wardrums behind her ribs.

A worrying thumb plastered one errant curl of Io's hair up, up, across her brow, as if to say, there, like that. "What matters more than that, though, is that you remain you. Do you understand me?

"I can put to no use in that room a talent or skill which threatens to reduce you — or us, or even him — to less than our most whole selves. Mere answers are not worth such waste."

Marion thinks that Miss Gloria needs to take away his mind.

Gloria rubbed her palm across her mouth, dragged her fingers along it, stared into the distance beyond Io's slim shoulder. Of all the words, that phrase chilled her the most. Had she realized, before now, that she harbored a creature so absolutely willing to dip its toes into such murky waters? Gloria's teeth closed down on the exposed skin of her thumb, tearing listlessly at a tag of skin beside the nail, which she'd gnawed nearly to bloody ruin. "I ask that you don't surrender such power into my hands, Io, without first understanding my motives."

But Nameless, did the idea seem compelling! To just put an acid upon his tongue, and turn him into some bit of stretchable and bendable leather, to force him to shed this damnable husk of words and demand truths. And receive them.

"A woman named Rhaena Olwak took people's minds from them. She was married to this man. We should do everything we must," Gloria said, "to not be like her. Besides, I dislike him too greatly in this moment to rely on anything but our tongues."

Her great stomach and chest expanded under the weight of a clarifying breath, and then simmered back down into silence.

"Are you still willing to help me?"
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Io Ono » Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:37 am

“Euhh...” Quite the relief. Matter of factly, she did indeed believe her own words, that his wordcraft was far beyond hers, that his intelligence was dangerous. Rather, it was less belief and more objective truth. That isn’t to say she feared him as a man, as intelligence could only take an individual so far, however, men of intelligence usually wielded influence as well, and influence could be challenged only so much.

In actuality, she herself did not want to subject the man to such extreme techniques either, not yet anyway. There was no call for it at the moment, and she’d rather not disappoint her over something unnecessary. Still, a shift in the dynamic was paramount, and that required a shift in perception. Words may not have been her calling, but perception; she was quite skilled at that, most of the time.

She’s still too soft, poppet, you know what happens with...soft...

You aren’t needed...

We shall see... I know you noticed, the dancing, it was there, we saw it...

She held up three fingers, three conditions, as if to bargain. Another weakness of hers, bartering, but, this wasn’t that anyway. Well...mostly. She would offer what help she could regardless, she’d said she would after all. Truthfully, he had been right, she was quite curious about the whole unfolding scenario, not necessarily over he, or the town, or the list of faceless names tucked under her arm, but for the one standing before her. To her, Gloria was one ever fixated on the present, and the future, which offered little satisfaction in the satiating of her curiosity. Io, on the other hand, loved history. She was ever desiring to answer one of the only questions that mattered to her: What came before? She too loved the present, but only in the sense of what brought things to it.

In truth, she probably could have asked her for a life’s run, and probably would have received it, and more, but, just as she herself, Gloria seemed less inclined to offer much, willingly, and the arrangement of offering, rather than asking suited her just fine. Besides, Io had plenty of time to do a bit of innocent investigating, on occasion.

“Marion will know what to look for if Miss Gloria gives the reason he is here...” One finger rejoined the fold. “Miss Gloria needs to control his tongue, she needs to offer more words than he. The more he crows, the less Miss Gloria will know.” The second lowered. One remained erect. “Miss Gloria needs to hit Marion. He needs to know that Miss Gloria is the only word, not Marion, and Marion needs to be nothing more than what she is supposed to be, a quiet scribe. Marion spoke to him out of turn, Miss Gloria corrected. She should tell him that, he should see that.”

If there was one thing she was, other than sneakily devious, morally ambiguous, and downright bent, among other things, it was dedicated. Granted, the size of Gloria’s hand didn’t offer relief of any kind, and if there were another option, at the moment, she’d have been as open as a spring meadow, but on short order, it was the only real choice. At the least, she was reasonably familiar with taking hits, and mitigating most of the overall damage thereof.

With another deep breath, this time to steel her nerves, she closed her eyes and cocked her head to the side, just a bit. Not too hard, she’d hoped, just enough to redden. He just needed a sign, and she’d not needed a trip to an infirmary.
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Rance » Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:26 am

The fingers dropped one by one, each one of them its own strange omen. Marion — Io — bloomed before her into something profound, like a tiny bud given the dark side of a Glass Sun. Meanwhile, Gloria watched those spindly fingers, and her jaw grew as tight as iron and her eyes less certain, less severe. The first fallen digit, she could answer. "What this man does is threaten our province with his desires to write great legacies with fae beings, ones that have indiscriminately damaged our people in the past. He pays for his—" she flicks her hand at the air, as if trying to catch the buzzing fly of eloquence, "—his fleeting fascinations with people's blood, and good works turn to dust around him.

"I need to know if he acts autonomously, of his own will," she clarified, "or if something else drives him, no matter how small. Some bit of magic, some insidious encouragement, some glam. Until we know, I cannot trust him to his freedom."

As for the second and third fingers, she seemed less sure to answer. Her hand dropped to knead at the layers of her skirt, staining it black with her foreign sweat. Hitting. Hitting she could do; she was very, very good at hitting. She liked hitting things. And people. It narrowed all confusing truths down to a single avenue. Though the notion of striking Io landed wrong (he'll expect it from you, to hit what you cannot control, he'll know you're Gloria and nothing but), there could be value wrung from it.

All that mattered, after all, was time.

A trembling pair of fingers touched Io's cheek, turned her head back to center. "In front of him," she whispered, small as a breath. "He needs to see it, and at the right moment."

Then she leaned forward, touching her bonnet-wing against Io's ear, to murmur something so faint to the other girl that not even walls could dare to hear. This close, Gloria smelled of sweat and Sun and dust, and her lone hand squeezed with such life at the meat of Io's forearm that the Jerno's callused fingers might have left blotches and bruises come the next Sunwake. There was cinnamon in her odor, too, overpowering and cloying, as if she'd combed it like powder through her hair. A drop of perspiration fell on Io's inner elbow, dark and smeared.

Gloria turned to the door. Her slumped shoulders lifted. They might as well have been stones. She bit so hard at her inner cheek that blood welled and her eyes blurred with wetness. And her cheeks, they grew bright and hot and—

She entered, skirts snapping, chin dug into her collar. Took up her boot, deposited the remaining nails into it in a wild fluster, set it aside, and shook her head at Glenn Burnie.

"You broke your promise to me, Glenn."
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Glenn » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:37 am

At some point during Gloria and Marion's absence, Burnie had decided to attempt stillness instead of action. He was capable of it, at times, especially when it came time to prove a point. For now, that meant instead of laying upside-down on a desk, he simply sat at one. It meant that instead of providing a monologue to an iron maiden, he stared upwards, contemplating all of the secrets to be found within the ceiling of this Inquisitory room, of which there were actually none. It meant that the women, upon entering, could be greeted not by pontification but by the gaze of twin nostrils instead.

Still, Gloria said what she did, and with a snap, his head dropped so that he could look at her. "Ah. You're right and I'm sorry." Rarely was Glenn so quickly to apologize about anything, and of course it could never be that, though he would argue, that there was little value in receiving an apology alone, satisfaction, perhaps, but satisfaction was not value. "I could provide you a litany of excuses, but I won't. It was simply this. I had intended to travel alone. Egris' agreement was a surprise and Genevieve's arrival doubly so. I tried to start letters to you, at times, laying everything out, but it was challenging, far more so than engaging in human interaction. There were others I didn't write either, Aloisius for one, which is why I do not yet have more permanent lodging." Was that an insult or just a practicality? Was he comparing her to Treadwell or was he comparing the importance of reaching out to her with the importance of securing a rented house before he arrived to Myrken.

"Most of all, I found it easier to just speak with Genevieve about it, to be open with her, there and in person. I had little of that interaction for a very long time. I'm sure you realized that when you saw me in Razasan, especially how I struggled with basic societal necessities. I thought, give her official position, much of what I told her would serve a similar need. Your letter awaited me here in Myrken upon my return," and was both personal and dire, so much as she tried to make it seem official. This entire action, on her part, felt more personal and less official by far, "and I found your suggestion wise and sound, considering the discussions I already had with Genevieve. i responded to you saying as such. Which is why, I'll add, I find this current situation unfortunate." He put both hands upon the desk, outstretched about as far as he could manage them and rolled his shoulders forward and not backwards. "You are correct, however, and I apologize."
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Io Ono » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:43 pm

Another steely breath to calm the nerves. That’s it. Words were just that. Unable to cut, unable to harm, slanderous, false. She desired no more of them however, especially unmeasured, uncontrolled soliloquies from one with the influence to manifest them.

Meekly, she slunk back into the room, her posture suggesting some manner of undesired exchange having just taken place. Her eyes were cast to the floorboards, a complete change from the intensity of before. It wasn’t all false, perhaps, in truth, she’d felt quite disadvantaged here, on an even field. She was no wolf, running down prey to exhaustion, she was a teeny spider, preferring her traps, and venom, and surprises. Still, there was an agreed part to play, and though she didn’t necessarily agree with the how of it, the overall workings were sound.

She opted not to sit this time, but took up a position halfway beside and behind Gloria, balancing the slab with her right, and writing with her left. It was the opposite of before, but, natural enough for her to rarely notice, herself. This time, there was little pattern to her scrawlings, no names to record, just what would seem to be random scribbling. Matter of factly, there was some entropy to her new recordings, yet, purpose for her. What he said no longer seemed to be her point of focus, but rather the room, with him in it. Any oddity, any sound, any inflection (or at least her simple concept thereof), anything that may help her during a proper introduction.

And yet, this page was as blank as the day it was manufactured. There was nothing to be had; she was chasing ghosts. Still, she was convinced that there was an oddity to be found. There was an apology, sure, which, considering his earlier behavior would probably have been deemed a bit off, but, was hardly worthy of notice.

Anxiety was gnawing at the base layers of her mind, anxiety for what was impending, and what was inevitable.
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Rance » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:26 am

Knew Io was there. Could feel her, the way her small body drank up space — and space was already so limited in this dusty, untended room — and yet seeped into the cracks, into the crevices, coiled and quiet...

Everything you are not. Everything you never have been. There is power in reservation, Glour'eya.

"Do you make so many promises that you've forgotten which you've broken?"

Of course the game had been based on vagueness. Of course she had hoped he'd talk himself into a corner. That was the wonder with Glenn: give him ten words, and he would add a thousand more. But here, he clashed against memory. Against a mind practiced in its capacity to remember, remember, remember: a thousand-thousand lines of H'zlz ar G'leuse, or every different variation on the jerethedral songs, or the kind of ache that comes only in disappearing in a shadow.

"The second time we spoke," Gloria said, never blinking. "Back when I was a reasonably fascinating thing, you told me — promised me — that if I gave Myrken Wood a chance to shape me, you would shape it into something worthwhile, something safe and prosperous to everyone in it. They were grand words, well-constructed, and I believed them. I was fourteen. I did my due diligence. I did what I was supposed to." She held up her remaining hand and its four fingers, wriggling the stump of the missing ring-finger; she lifted her handless right arm, with its folded sleeve. "But because I did not perfectly fit inside your coterie of confidants and colleagues, and because I no longer possessed any fascination for you, you lost sight of me.

"And then you lost sight of people like me."

And for all of Gloria's usual hammer-like force, those words came instead on the edge of a hesitant breath, as if she'd been altogether afraid to say them.

"What you forget, Glenn Burnie, for all you believe in words having power and influence, is how responsible you must be for them. What will happen when you discard Fionn, or break promises to her? What will happen when your inability to be accountable for your words and deeds irks a fae, and she chooses to lash back at us with her prison-pits and her deadly herbs and her glimmery—" in her heat, Sun-hot and sweating, she mispronounced the word, "—because you've forgotten how a woman can be hurt and scarred by men who promise worlds and then kick ashes in our eyes."

Their situation was unfortunate. But escalation, too, was necessary. Gloria's pale eyes refused to move away from him. Here, solid and sure, she knew this was personal. It must be. Heart, not mind. Impulse. She would apologize later to Genny for feeding the wretched side of herself on this matter, but for now, impulse.

"I acknowledge your apology, Glenn, and accept it. But we must work quickly, and without hesitation."

She reached down, wrapped her fingers around a series of hooks in the skull-cap of the heinous iron contraption. She swung the rusted head-cage up, then thumped it down on the desk before him.

"Marion," said Gloria. "Hold his hands behind his back, if you please."
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Glenn » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:15 am

Timing and consequence.

He had said it in Razasan, but then he had said so much. If they had just encountered each other at different times, earlier or later, how different things might have been. She had encountered him at the very worst time and thus had missed him as a peer. She had encountered him at the very worst time and thus met him when he was a monster. But then, he had failed her so recently, hadn't he? There were reasons for that, but it was sobering, or it would have been for someone else perhaps. What happened when excuses were the actual truth?

If he was a liability, perhaps it was because had been through too much, so much that he could never be relied upon. He was too broken. Everyone in Myrken was too something, though, and she more than most.

"Thank you for accepting my apology," for it was the only one she'd receive today and he seemed genuine enough about it. "It's hard to look back that far right now. I was not as I am now and in the meantime, I lost everything and recovered but the one thing that makes me different. I have a notion that those losses and that recovery absolved me of the crimes of years' past, but only, I suppose, until the moment I came back."

It was an admission that came and went quickly however, for Gloria was moving quickly herself. She made her move, stated her command, and both of them would see how swift this meager man could be. Swift indeed, this student of Ariane Emory. He skidded back, away from the both of them, though they and it and the desk were between him and the door to the room. "I came here freely, Gloria, and you've yet to ask me a single meaningful question, but I'm afraid I shant abide this. Now, you'll be able to manage it, I think, but how bloody are the two to four of you going to have to make me in the process? How good are you, Miss?" This to Marion. "Good enough to get me in there without splattering the walls with my blood? I mean to make you work for it." Then, back to Gloria. "Is this your hill to die on, Gloria Wynsee? Are the consequences worth it?"
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Io Ono » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:46 pm

A command, his swift motion; the in between was naught but a blur. That jade eye full of feigned innocence revealed the truth in that instant, wavering in the void between not quite alive, and not quite dead. She was...not the same person as she appeared moments ago. She was as the triggered bolt of a crossbow, focused, and brimming with lethal intent. That abyssal gaze seemed to focus somewhere beyond him, beyond the wall, just beyond. In her mind, time slowed to a crawl, or, her mind raced, she couldn’t tell which. Either way, this was quite the unexpected turn, though, technically speaking, it was at least partially her idea, and she was partially to blame.

The quill, to the right, just across his face... cross the room, one step, perhaps two. Mind the table, under? Or above?

She could kick it, sure. With the rate she’d probably be moving, it’d tip, though, her mass wouldn’t be enough to do much more than create temporary cover should he advance. It was heavy, sturdy, and she was...neither.

Above is more swift, below would shadow... He’ll move to the right... The ink, across the eyes... You’ll have him then.

And if he turns left?

The quill she subtly maneuvered into prime flicking position was altogether unremarkable. It was nothing more than an aged, well worn feather, though, somewhat shorter, and stripped of the vanes. They tickled, and she disliked them. It was altogether inferior to a steel needle in terms of the functionality of a dart, but, it was straight enough to make it across the room. Being a feather, it would have served as little more than a distraction, but that was all she needed, time to close the distance.

What if he closes his eyes? Well, you should have him then... And if he should flinch? An elbow or knee should suffice...Not the table... a clear path is best.

She inched along the wall, just a hair off, her noiseless steps measured and purposed, until she found her path. She wanted his eyes on her now, now that she was in her element, or at least reasonably close to it. She needed to spread his vision, yet, to see nothing else. She was confident in her fleetness and agility, she was quite a bit more petite after all. She’d also spent a lifetime training in the arts of the south, and a lifetime with the training methods thereof, including the canings, and the beatings, and the starvation, and the torture, and any other form of reprimand that happened to be the palatable flavor that day.

What if he advances? A shoulder and a knife should do... But Miss Gloria wants him unspoiled...and you? Does she require you to be unspoiled?

“Miss Gloria should seek aid, Marion may need it.” Her voice was pitchy, squeaky almost. Without the cold venomous stare, it may have been mistaken for anxiety or fear, but rather was just a continuance of the ruse.

The statement itself held some truth. Just as she couldn’t match him for words, she didn’t expect to match him, or most anyone with a sporting chance, for strength. She wasn’t weak, per say, as her skill set wouldn’t allow, but there were few cases in which she required true brawn, and when those arose, she typically chose to avoid them altogether. Speed and agility perhaps would be her advantage here, unless he was magicked in some way, but even that meant little in the throes of a conflict.

On the other hand, she really just needed a clear room, as another body, no matter how skilled, would be somewhat a hindrance. Her movements were comparable to a mix of a spider and a serpent, and here, in this enclosed space, she fully expected to need all of it. This sort of thing wasn’t exactly her forte, she preferred ambushing the hapless and unaware, but, she wasn’t totally unprepared either...

She tensed upon reaching her strike point, her posture lowering and the skin of her milky, pale thighs rippling with the sinew beneath. She was poised, like a cat ready to pounce. That half dead, half alive eye was fixated, and at the moment, nothing else seemed to exist. Still, given a choice, which, at the moment didn’t seem to exist, she’d have preferred the easy way. Of course, her easy way involved steel needles, dipped in ‘poison’ of which three were surrendered, and two were dutifully and obediently left behind. “Marion would prefer The Good Ser to retake his seat, she would.” That was probably as easy as either of them would receive.
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Rance » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:53 am

Watching Io shift into motion and form was akin to seeing fire catch a tongue of parchment: she became alive, even moreso than before, and inside (that place where nobody sees, where nobody can see, except when the canary sings) Gloria smiled — and it was an elated grin, tied tight under her skin and kept like a treasure for herself. Good girl. Later, she might hate the feeling; later, she would drive her fist into the wall, but for now—

Are the consequences worth it?

Without hesitation: "Absolutely."

As for aid, Gloria inclined her chin and shifted her own weight just the slightest hair: letting it pour from her shoulders down into her hips, into her thighs and knees, to root her to the ground, to refuse toppling or bowling-over should he spring at her.

"I have asked you questions, and you have refused to offer worthwhile responses. I have asked you today; I have asked you in months past. I have come to you afraid, bloody and seeking guidance, and you have shunned me. So now, I give you choices. We give you choices. It is the kindest I can possibly be to you and to Myrken Wood simultaneously." The words came out of her with new quickness, as if spun off a spool, and they were each as sharp and as purposeful as a pointed blade. Three years of lessons with Sylvius Duquesne had fashioned her, at times, into one of Marion's needles. She too could speak; she too had a tongue, and her Jernoan accent nearly vanished.

"One: You will immediately cease this campaign of trade with Fionn's people. While I do not expect you to cut ties with her, you will not align our province with the fae in any capacity. End it, kill your plans, and provide me and the Inquisitory with adequate proof that you are no longer a threat to our home.

"Two: You are placed under arrest and given the slab and shit-pot comforts of gaol until a council of your peers convenes, and we deal with you more charitably than we've dealt with other dangerous creatures in the past.

"Three: You leave this place, this town, and continue your endeavors however you desire, entirely unaligned with Myrken Wood."

Certainly, there were other choices. The head-cage and its thumbscrews. The violence. There were a thousand others, but most of them ended in some manner of blood. A snake of black sweat crawled down the side of Gloria's face, rolled down her cheek, stained her collar like a spot of filthy venom.

"If he refuses to comply with you, Marion—" she said, more through her flaring nostrils than her line of a mouth. "As an agent of the Inquisitory, you have full right to do as you must."
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Glenn » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:29 am

"Marion ought to stop talking in the third person." Burnie had listened. He'd listened to Gloria Wynsee's lists, and he liked lists fine, so he didn't even hate this one. He didn't hate her, or at least there was no visceral hatred in his eyes. If there was anything of the sort, ire in his voice, as it was, it was for Marion. "I." It wasn't every day that one could say a one letter sentence and have it still contain meaning. That brought him some level of satisfaction even in the face of this morass. "I would like. I wish. I want." There it was. He advanced one step towards the woman. "I," which he let pause for a moment, "have met certain people who talk as such. Generally, they're simple, a stubborn outsider, or afflicted magically or otherwise. Which are you?"

Then he turned his gaze from her completely to look at Gloria. He had goaded Marion, though it was veiled in some sort of honest curiosity, because everything he did seemed to be veiled ins ome sort of honest curiosity. That was his affliction, one of many. But yes, he had goaded her, and now he was inviting her violence once again. She wanted it. Gloria wanted. He wanted it. Why withhold what everyone wanted?

"As for you and your terms, Gloria," would Marion strike? He was ignoring her. That'd be the biggest insult of all, even more so than any of his words. He didn't sit. He advanced. He insulted her. Now he ignored her. Would she strike? If so, best to get out as much as he could first. "I can't leave, no matter how unwelcome you've made me feel. Fionn isn't the threat. I'm not the threat. And you're too invested to deal with any threat at all, it seems, but especially this one. Oh, Gloria," and for a moment, a fond sort of pity entered his eyes. "The threat isn't even the threat."

That left her other two options, then.
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Io Ono » Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:33 am

Toward. Good. Room to move, no need to stop.

Yes, the closed distance would require a bit more precision, perhaps more than she could muster, but, the wall behind gave a dull mirror to reflect her momentum. And thus, the quill was loosed, warbling in the air like a paradoxed arrow. She sent it as planned, beyond his nose, but only just, just enough to produce some manner of reaction. The time for words had concluded, at least for her. She would say nothing else until the deed was done, or she was meeting with the reaper.

He’d been right about her, more than he probably figured, himself. She was quite simple, at least in purpose, a purpose forced on display now. It was repetitive, like the strikes of the smithy’s hammer. Clang. Find person. Clang. Track person. Clang. Eliminate, or retrieve. She was indeed an outsider, twice over, taken from a place she herself had no memory of, and raised in a place she did not refer to as home. Stubbornness tended to cloud her, though, not necessarily her own. Mostly, she just wasn’t allowed to speak in the first person, at least when it came to her wants, the few she were granted, or needs, the few she were granted, or thoughts... She had her afflictions as well, magical and otherwise. There was that bandaged eye, of course, but, there were more powerful things than magic that can erode a person’s soul. Helplessness, submission, conditioning. All could siphon the soul and leave...compliance. She was burdened with the taste for violence, acquired through repetition, and success. Success meant the reward of sustenance, and sustenance led to the desire for success. And so, she came to somewhat enjoy this part.

She was off, less than a hair behind the quill, a flash of pink, and magenta, and a wave of blushy blonde, streaking toward the man with a soundless stride, toward and behind. It was not her insult that was the trigger, she was plenty used to those, but rather the threat towards her precious Gloria.

Keep him back, away from her. Keep his eyes on you, poppet. Mind the ink, then go for the other. Stay low, as a spider...

Before the first step, the quill was gone, and just after, she’d reached for something, an effortless, efficient sweep of her thigh. The silvery steel also flashed in her hand, a short blade, about the length of her hand, clutched tightly in a heaven grip, her index finger in a hole in the wide leaf shaped dagger. The weapon had no traditional grip, and though her hold was relatively traditional there was little to hold for one expecting a normal knife. It was more akin to a push dagger, and could likely have been used as such, but she preferred a hybrid hold, as it provided more opportunities. Besides, it was how she was trained, so, by now, it was all she knew anyway.
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Glenn » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:44 am

The quill came at him so quickly that there was little time to act. That was unfortunate, becuase he desperately wanted to act, just likely not in the way she had anticipated. Still, there would be other opportunities. Action had overtaken conversation, which meant that he couldn't finish his thought. He withheld his smile, for the most part, at least, because it was inappropriate and ill-timed, but there he was, once again sympathizing with Gloria. Before it was a sort of pity for the powers of Myrken Wood that assailed her, for her well-enough-intentioned (though too personal by far) attempts at a blanket safeguard for the province. He'd been there, of course. Now it was more for the exuberance of her enforcer. There was a fine line between helping to get answers and standing broadly in the way of them.

There could have been a sword. He wasn't searched, save for that bit of closeness from Marion. You couldn't really conceal a sword. Still, he could have taken one along or tried to. There were plenty of clever little pockets in his clothes full of clever little things. If he wished to make a fight of this, it would be an interesting one, even if he was singularly focused in his martial training. That wasn't what he was trying to make at all.

"Really, then?" He laughed just a little, laughed at her. "You realize that Gloria Wynsee could beat me in a fist-fight, right? Easily? That she could probably beat you in one too? Do you see a weapon in my hands? Does Marion?" That last bit was a taunt again, a slight lilt upwards in his voice as he advanced another step. "I watched her, you know. More than once. Down in the pit, bleeding blood that seemed to clot on the inside, spitting, biting, kicking, like you'd expect, but mostly hammering. Fists pounding against fool faces that underestimated her. That's what she does. She tries to beat the world into an acceptable form. What do you think you get then?"

Another step, nothing in his hands, a blade in hers, his eyes not even upon her, not upon Gloria. "Not you though, Marion, is it? You're a quick cut. A subtle slice. In and out, clean and bloody. Which way gets her what she wants today?" Half a step more, and a voice softer, a whisper, far more for Marion than for Gloria. "What's she asked me so far, Marion? She of her questions? She asked me two questions and two questions alone: how long I thought the province would thrive with me still here and if I've broken so many promises that I cannot remember them all. Questions that aren't even meant to be answered. Will you make me bleed over those? What's even the point of any of this?"
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Rance » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:02 am

"You expect to stand, what, as some arbiter of Myrken Wood's goodness in fae courts? And yet here you can barely keep from goading and condescending to a woman who differs from you. You'd be happiest for human bodies to pile in the corner if only it meant it could buy you a few precious moments to fill their air with your voice."

Her hand curled into a fist. White-knuckled. Held so tight, her brown skin almost lost every hint of its color. And then, for a moment, she looked down. She no longer had those fingers, those knuckles, that hand. The phantom limb, she could still feel its every muscle, its slightest aches.

"Had I foresight to — to know what you would become, Glenn Burnie, I would have left you to rot in Golben. I would have never agreed to come for you, and to do what I did. I stood beside the idea of you," she said, suddenly dry-mouthed, looking at him, at Marion, and at no one at all. "I ruined myself for you. Marion—" Sudden, this shift of attention, as if to venture further into those crude places in her mind might leave her too exposed. "Move only to hurt him if he does so first to you. Give him the Madness if you must. Remember what I said to you, of his words."

Here, her eyes filled with thought. She flicked them in the smaller woman's direction, and patted her lone palm at the air. To stifle a creature ready to explode. To soften the tension. And yet, when her gaze returned to Glenn, he likely knew how the fighting pits looked in them, that rabid, dilated excitement that flooded her. He'd seen it, seen her beat men into pools of blood, and be beaten into them. Try it, she begged without words. See how she breaks you. See how I break you, for seeking to do her harm.

"You harbor a being whose potential to do harm to our citizens outweighs your capacity to speak on her behalf. The questions," she hissed, "can be asked in gaol, when you can provide answers worth hearing. And Menna Marion can decide if it is worth shackling you on the way."

Either way, Gloria Wynsee had gotten precisely what she wanted. Time.

There were only so many patches of woods, after all.
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Io Ono » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:42 am

Impulse. It affected the mind in many ways. It dulled some senses, and sharpened others. It accelerated certain drives, and switched off the rest. Impulse turned the lithe girl into a predator, unable to hear little other than that which brought her prey, unable to see but the little between them. It slowed time, drew every action out.

A third step and the ink was in the air. She heard little to nothing of what he said. His call to logic was just a blur of noise blended into the ether. The splash of violet-raven-black was low, aimed below the eyes. Just as the quill, it was meant to distract, and with the amount loosed, it could easily blind. Even now, she didn’t want such an outcome. The clay pot was sent flying in some random direction.

The second leaf shaped dagger, a twin of the first was collected into her right hand, replacing the clay pot just before the fourth step, just before she’d reached a sprint. The grip was reversed, earthen style, her pinky in the place that her index occupied on the left.

Too fast, you’ll beat the ink. Mind your strike...unspoiled.

By the sixth step, she was upon him. Momentum was a funny, fickle thing. It was terribly consistent, yet, for most, difficult to control, and almost impossible to contain, even for the well versed. Though her focus dulled most of the conversation flowing about her, enough would penetrate to change her course of action in that split second. First to you.

Aside from trivial goading, meant to draw exactly this, he had done nothing to deserve her steel, save for her own perceived threat to her precious Gloria. Yet, here they were, at this moment, a so called predator, a feral cat, and a rat that seemingly desired its own destruction.

The first strike was simple enough to divert, a backhand slash toward his thigh just below the hip, pulled shallow, into the air between them. The second, near simultaneous strike, however, required about as much effort as she could muster to halt, a reverse thrust toward the man’s kidney. By now, her steps would have carried her frame past his anyway, and would have rendered the wound superficial, easy enough to patch. It would have been little more than a test of the fabric and a scratch meant to weaken the resolve to fight, but, of course, that would have made her strike first, contrary to her command, contrary to her sense of loyalty.

She was no inquisitor, not yet anyway, despite the word of Gloria. She had her own way about things, partially on display now. She was no enforcer either. This, too, was not her way. She preferred the comforts of the night, when candles were snuffed, and shadows reigned. She was a nocturnal creature, a gatherer of things, things desired, things that gave power to those that desired it. She was such a tool, and in some cases, such a weapon. She was but a whisper.

The strain against momentum stayed her hand, and the tip of the steel leaf rested just short. There she waited for a lingering moment, long enough to ensure her success before straightening. It was a second advantage to him, seeing, confirming at least a taste of her capability. She stood, behind him, facing away from him, ignoring him, but also aware of his presence, expecting a receipt of some manner, as most took none to kindly to being attacked, and were opportunistic enough to take full advantage of such kindness.

A weak sigh would escape her lips. Relief? Frustration? Perhaps an emulsion of the two. “The good Ser will do as Miss Gloria asks, or I will take his tongue. If he wishes irons to sate his honor, then so be it.” And there it was again, that pitchy voice that was not her own, known only to herself, and Gloria.

In his space she would remain for now, silently daring, wishing another sudden movement, a reason to loose her nature. There was, in her, a desire, a willingness to fail the test set before her by Gloria, however, loyalty kept her frozen, at least for now.
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Re: Loss... Found?

Postby Glenn » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:05 am

He had stood there, just stood there, as her blades came at him. She pulled them back, restrained herself, but how close had it come? And for what? It didn't stop his few steps. It didn't shut him up. It didn't give Gloria anything of meaning she wouldn't have anyway. What did it prove except for but one thing? "Lovely murderer you have here." Burnie spoke coolly. "I wonder which of the two of you has more restraint. Bruises heal better than rends."

Then, one more step forward, practically inviting she who was now an I to come after him once again. Gloria had even given her an invitation.

"Fact, Gloria. You invite me to speak with you and Genevieve upon my arrival back. Yet the next day you have me dragged off. Fact, Gloria. You ask me no actual questions yet decry my lack of answers. Fact, Gloria. You give me three options, but before I can even respond to these, your agent attacks me." In fact, he was rather certain he only had a few words left before she attacked again. Still, of the three of them, he seemed the one most in control of his facilities. "My choice is not the gaol, if only because it'll lead to more discord and not less, and not just with the fairy. You made this very public and Myrken needs a strong Inquisitory right now. Holding me on such shoddy grounds is not worth the cost, not for you or here or Myrken."

Which left the rest. Was he stabbed yet? How much worse would this be for all of him if he, unarmed, was? Even if he was, it wouldn't shut him up though. They all knew that. "I cannot represent Myrken. I will not represent Myrken. I intend no position, official or otherwise. I'm not here to take your job, Geneveive's, Treadwell's, or anyone else's. I mean to speak in front of no council and certainly no court. I will not speak for Myrken. I never meant to and even if I did, it's obvious to anyone who's done even a modicum of research that I cannot in this matter. If you had followed your own, reasonable if reactionary, initial plans for my return, you could have learned that in pleasanter circumstances."

And with that stated, on what grounds could she possibly hold him?
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