Waking Unrest

Re: Waking Unrest

Postby Carnath-Emory » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:31 am

Genny's cautious smile falls apart beneath slowly encroaching horror.

This is not unfamiliar ground. A swordswoman who plays the pragmatist when she must - and often just because she can; who is sometimes a guard, and just as often a murderous last resort, cold with her words and cold with her willingness ... Oh, she finds nothing unfamiliar here. The difference between then and now is these features are Genevieve Tolleson's, and that she hadn't anticipated one piece of this.

The swordswoman would have liked to imagine herself immune to the sight of this - and isn't. Isn't at all.

"Genevieve." Quietly; quietly now, and she keeps her distance but makes a quick and silent examination of the other woman's eyes. "If you'd forgotten," and she has no reason at all to reckon the Inquisitor's shock an act; the very idea of that makes so little sense, unless the girl were a fool. And she's not, she never has been. "Then this is - so much, to receive all at once. I know," and it is something like an obliquely-worded apology, one that sees her straightening soon afterwards.

A clear-filled pitcher; a quick splash of water into one of its cups. That, she can do. And she does not reach to guide Genevieve's hand towards the glass - what might have happened then? but only sets it upon this nearby table, convenient to her reach. "Something cold," she adds, by way of explanation. "Helpful, sometimes. Sometimes not," and after a moment's quiet consideration of the Inquisitor's face, of the fragile shock of her eyes, ventures into the corridor to return with a small bucket; its destination is the floor by Genevieve's ankles.

But that exhausts her small list of practical ministrations, and leaves a very straightforward swordswoman at something of a loss. Near the woman's side she hesitates; murmurs the beginnings of a farewell; is almost to the door again when she turns, fingertips drumming some soft, restless thing against her own leg. "There'll be questions." And how she hates to say the words; hates and must, and: "There's no avoiding that, if this is - if this thing has happened," and this is a statement so carefully phrased. "Nor should there be. Glour'eya reckons herself - "

compromised
" - still ... effected, and perhaps this is so; perhaps it is not. It's a question better resolved sooner than later, I think. But you will tell me, mn? if there is anything I might do to .. simplify this. If you would have them withhold their questions a day or two."

A day; two; which is hardly anything at all.
Which is also the most that she can give.
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Re: Waking Unrest

Postby Tolleson » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:57 am

It is to stop breathing.

There are so many words. Words that might stand alone and some arranged with others to vividly describe the shock that lingered and the empty eyes that would follow an explanation without comprehension. It is a pain of the empathic, of lovers and grievers, of all who have lost something, it is simple, terrible heartbreak. It surprised, is stung, it burned, it broke, it ached, and it prompted the questions and regret one always faces when in their core, they blame themselves. How. Why. If only…

The guilt she had felt in the long months leading up to and even upon seeing Glenn, in his weak and feeble state, was but a small dose. She hadn’t hurt the people she loved, the people she had worked so hard to protect. No, this was worse, wasn’t it; she had betrayed them.

This realization strikes and she does not move. Not at the mention of her name, nor forgetting, not even at the hesitant apology of an explanation. For several long minutes she simply looks like she will be sick. A breath caught in her chest, forgetting what it was meant to do, how, why? Perhaps it was too much, too soon. She had only just awoke, after all. Ariane sets a glass of water at her side, a gentle urging and a considerately placed bucket for what is surely inevitable.

But the sick doesn’t come. Instead, it is a breath, and she nods. The gesture is slow and numb, as if she actually broke herself from the ice that held her and once frozen muscles were still thawing. Her hand will follow slowly, mechanically, and take the glass from the stand to her lips. One sip, small and dainty, then another, not the gulps of someone actually thirsty.

Distant and unfocused eyes could not see the table, so she simply holds the glass between two hands in her lap. She doesn’t look to where she might set it or to the light drumming of fingers, the slight mention of questions.

“Miss Gloria too,” she might have been surprised, but it is not a question so much as a reassertion of fact. And the voice that says it comes suddenly, solid, unwavering, and wholly intact. Not the wispy, trembling voice that ought to have come, the reasonable expectation of what she ought to sound like, if it could be expected that any sound come at all.

“Yes. A day, if you can. I would very much like to go home first, bathe, change. I will try to remember and I will answer all I am able,” she turned to see the woman, her eyes still distant, still vacant though she smiled softly, meekly. “This is unexpected but I appreciate your telling me, and I am glad, truly, that no one is hurt.”

Everyone, to some extent possessed the innate ability to read people. Empathy in body language, in intonation; it is a fundamental understanding of another person just by nature of being a person oneself. Genny possessed such authentic emotions, gestures, and a capacity for earnest expression ,her mental talents aside, that perhaps the contrast now is striking, regardless of her earnest intent. She sits still as stone and as cold and emotionless as well, her words spoken as if read from a script.

“You are a kind friend, I will. Thank you, Ariane.”
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Re: Waking Unrest

Postby Carnath-Emory » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:40 am

Ariane Emory has the bedside manner of a rusty suit of armor. Or so went the opinion of one Elliot Brown, but who would know better than he? Who'd spent a month and more trapped within the labyrinth of hope and fear and unguarded history that was her sleeping mind - an incursion she'd never have allowed, and never to him, except that strange circumstances had conspired to force it upon them both, and now -

I might take him from you, the Inquisitor had ventured, and the swordswoman's quiet refusal had been immediate and firm.

She is rusted iron, jagged-edged and difficult: this is empathy as tempered by cool pragmatism. She is a metalsmith's hammer as applied to alabaster, and she has more than compassion enough to recognise the moment in which cracks begin to form: Genevieve Tolleson has become very quiet, has become as still as if dead and Ariane knows, then. She knows -

"When this began, much of what Glour'eya most trusted turned against her."

- and persists, despite.
"She learned - suspicion; she learned the merits of that; it became a necessity, an essential tool. And now she finds that she must turn that critical eye upon her self. She may wish you to examine her mind for traces of - influence. She may forbid it entirely, but - she is more conviction than fear, I think."

How differently this might have gone were it her sister who sat upon this sickbed's edge; were it a distant architect who stared so quietly at nothing at all. How differently, if she felt that she might touch a hand to the back of Genevieve's own; if she felt it possible to temper the hour's chill with the gentler quiet of an embrace. But it is Genny who sits here in the cool cocoon of her own lasting silence - Genny, who was alarmingly easy to like; who is new to her, all the same - and she will not substitute gesture for the absence of comforting words, an absence which has nothing to do with intention and everything to do with ability, with nature -

Something in her has always struggled with gentler sentiments, as if a woman who's mostly a weapon is more for murder than kindness.
Something in her, quietly examining the coolness of Genevieve's eyes, would sooner see a sword put through her throat to silence the girl's talented mind.

"Send word, if you need for - company during this; if you need for anything at all." She is a step back from the sickbed, then. A hand breaches the space between them - a small measure, a motion that is hardly motion at all, and already it is rejoining its fellow at the small of her spine. "At any hour. Yes? With my thanks. With my regret." A small incline of her head marks the moment; it has her turning from the room.
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Re: Waking Unrest

Postby Tolleson » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:03 am

A rusty suit of armor seemed appropriate now, Genny was certainly as hollow to match.

To simply say she was broken would misrepresent the depth of the matter, the complexity of exactly how she had changed, how she had adapted to the mental deformity that had grown within her.

But she was broken.

Her mind had been like a glassy sheet of ice, glinting in the eerie fog of winter twilight. It was stunning as all minds are in their own way, beautiful and boundless. But go further, venture from the shore and the ice cries under weight. Look, see the crystalline fractures radiate from a single point where some blow had fallen, some traumatic event left it cracked. All it needed was pressure. Some small weight or shift and the plane would shatter. It was a still and soundless crack, in the span of unmarked silence, it had, and she was broken. Sharp shards of sanity, jagged and unable to fit back together again, some bobbing aimlessly, some trapped, and some gaping hole left through which she might never emerge.

She had been frantic and afraid, but the cold took her and then, something else took her. And all that was left was the cool and distant woman, not drowning, not struggling, just sitting, making remembered sounds into the words drilled into her further down than the lakebed.

Gloria had been betrayed, but this made her little more unique than anyone else. Everyone had been betrayed by others and by their own mind.

Still, there are flickers of recognition, glimmers that might be caught by that examining gaze. Recognition. Perhaps, despite it all she still emerged, dripping, frostbitten, wounded, alone, and struck with a cold that gripped her very bones. Perhaps she still fought, frantic, frightened, and silent. Ariane's persistence was a greater help than her hand or gentle words of encouragement could ever hope to be.

“Suspicion is not the enemy of t-t-t…. trust. It will serve her well as an Inquisitor,” still somewhat vacant she nodded so slowly, agreeing to see the woman. As for sending word, “I will.” At any hour, “yes.”

Ariane had turned to leave and for a long while Genny remained still and silent. The nurse might come again at some point with her wide eyes and Genny’s clothes draped over her arm. When she tried to stand she fell, her muscles weeks atrophied. And when she sat up again she vomited all that she could manage, evacuating an empty stomach of bile.

Only a stale, half-eaten pie left on the bedside table marked where she had slept, by morning she was gone.
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