Quarrels and Quills - The Play by Post Role-Playing Community - Powered by vBulletin
Page 15 of 16 FirstFirst ... 513141516 LastLast
Results 141 to 150 of 156
  1. #141
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,046
    Riff

    He felt bad for the guy, really. All he could offer him right now was a grim smile and a nod that they were moving in the right direction.

    "Absolutely. Crossing a place - and a person - off either of our lists is in our best interest. Of course I'll still help - I want to see as many Fae alive as possible." Riff was careful not to say Gilda's name, even though he knew the truth about her. He didn't want to lend any more credibility to James' claims than necessary. At the end of the day, this guy was a hero for finding out about what was going on and doing something about it. Making an incorrect assumption and following it through wouldn't deprive him of that honour. Riff had to remember that.

    As they drove off in the direction of Auguste's abode, he texted Isaac some details and directions as they passed landmarks he hoped were well-known to locals as they were all he had for points of reference. The dirt road in question wasn't terribly well marked, but it was evidently well used enough to have fresh ruts and few branches overhanging the road. A few miles in, James pulled off into the bush and killed the engine. Quietly checking things out would require more stealth than his car could manage. From here on it, they'd be on foot. Riff mentally prepared himself for the idea that he might not make it back to the car until well after help arrived. He hoped that wouldn't be the case - that they could observe and report their findings to the Pack as they arrived.

    That was if he could keep himself from running inside to see if there were any survivors.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  2. #142
    James O'Brien

    Riff would receive a text back immediately from Isaac, reading simply, "Thanks. On our way."

    The rutted road was nondescript - just a dirt track leading off into the woods. James wondered if they were in the right place. As they got closer, though, Lycan ears would hear the hum of a generator cutting through the still air. This must be it. This was where Auguste lived. The moment of truth. Would he be vindicated - or was his pride about to take a hard fall?

    Peering through the trees, it certainly didn't look to James the way he expected Kraus' laboratory to look. Whenever James imagined it, he pictured 1940's architecture, solid and bunker-like, the sort of buildings he'd seen the Nazis using in Poland. This was just a pair of modern, double-wide trailers. It looked like nothing special, from the outside.

    This couldn't be it, could it?

    Footsteps rustled behind them - too soft to be a human. A scent on the breeze confirmed it. The newcomers were Fae. They were taking appropriate caution to avoid being seen by anyone at the site, but they clearly weren't making any effort to hide from the Lycans. Fae could hide much better than this, if they were so inclined.

    There were two Fae, both males. They looked almost identical, with alabaster skin and long, white-gold hair. James wondered if they were brothers. Each carried a long knife in a sheath, the size and shape of a machete but more graceful and honed.

    One of the Fae spoke, his voice soft but almost musical. "Hello," he said. "My name is Ethelas. This is Meliarus. We were sent by our court to investigate these... unpleasant events. We will assist you to infiltrate the facility."

    There were two guards. Both Lycan. One was patrolling the perimeter, and the other was seated near the front gate. There was a rear entrance - though they would have to be careful to stay downwind if they planned to use it with any sort of stealth.

    Inside the rear trailer, three young adult Fae lay motionless on cold stainless steel tables. Like Alice, they smelled of attempted werewolf hybridization gone awry. Thick leather straps crossed their chests, arms, and legs, restraining them - though the restraint was probably unnecessary, because none of them looked in any position to resist their captors. They were horribly maimed and mutilated in different ways, emaciated, burning with fever and barely conscious. Auguste stood over them, looking detached and neutral, a syringe in her hand.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 04-02-2020 at 01:44 PM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  3. #143
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,046
    Riff

    The way in seemed obvious, but even as he stared at the buildings, he grew concerned. If they made any sort of ruckus, the two guards would run in and they'd have to deal with them at the same time as they were trying to release any survivors. If they were anything like Alice, they would be in no shape to run into the woods on their own, so he had to assume that they'd be lifting them out of there themselves. He was about to suggest the start of a plan to James when the new arrivals made their appearance.

    He regarded the two Fae with some surprise. "I thought your community didn't deal with things happening to Fae on the outside? What changed your mind? Well anyway, it's good to have you on board. I think we need to take these guards out first before we attempt any sort of rescue. We have back up on the way - so I'd like to wait to do this as peacefully as possible. That sound reasonable to everyone?"

    Of course, the best case scenario would be to have people at each entrance to the building before they attempted to subdue the guards. They'd have to be move fast, that must was sure. He had no idea what a woman like Auguste would do when cornered, but he was sure it wouldn't be anything good.

  4. #144
    James O'Brien

    Ethelas casually nodded confirmation of Riff's assumption that they wouldn't normally get involved with matters like this. "Do not take our presence to mean that the fate of outsider Fae is of concern to us. They are not our kin. No, we are here because this whole affair has become far too public. This doctor is risking the exposure of the Fae court. We cannot allow one reckless individual to threaten the stability of all we have built in our centuries here."

    Meliarus nodded assent to Riff's outline of the plan. "Ethelas and I will take care of the guards," he said. "You Lycans just worry about getting inside."

    They were gone in an instant, as if they had never been there. The two Fae had not, of course, agreed to the 'peaceful' part. In under a minute, both guards were dead - so quickly and quietly that they had no chance to raise the alarm.

    "I have an idea," James said. He casually strolled up to the trailer and knocked on the door. "Hey, Auguste!" he said. "It's James from the gas station. You said you wanted to meet up again later. So here I am. I brought my friend Riff - the one I talked about - to meet you." He motioned Riff forward.

    To James' disappointment, Auguste practically ignored him when she opened the door. She was delighted, however, to see Riff.

    "Hello," she said to Riff, as if James were not even present. "I'm so glad you made it here! I'd been wanting to talk to you. You see, I'm looking to hire someone."

    "Auguste..." James said sadly. Shouldn't she be hiring him? After all, he met her first.

    Auguste continued without sparing James a glance. "My people have had their eye on you since you arrived. You seem like an excellent candidate for my Pack. Yes, I have one. Isaac isn't the only game in town. And frankly, you've chosen your alliances poorly - not that I blame you. You didn't know any better. But you have a woman to protect, don't you? And a child? I can offer you that. My Pack is strong. Isaac is a weakling. If I'd known who he was, I would have taken him out long ago. I didn't even recognize him for the pathetic creature he is. If you had seen him the way I first saw him, you would never have thrown your lot in with him. A blubbering mess on my father's hospital floor, sobbing and begging my father to stop hurting him. But it's not too late to correct your mistake. Join me instead, and you'll have a strong Pack to protect your family. I promise."

    James blinked. His whole world tilted on its side. Everything he had believed... Auguste had upended it all in an instant.

  5. #145
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,046
    Riff

    He had given the two Fae a sidelong glance when they explained their purpose for being there. It wasn't a...comforting explanation. It sounded like they were on clean up duty, which made Riff wonder how exactly they expected to tidy up. Kill all the Lycans? Shut down the facility? Riff didn't have more time to think on the often complicated politics and purposes of the Fae - James was doing the exact opposite of what he had just outlined. As it was too late to wait for back up, he stepped out of the woods and faced Auguste.

    Through the open door, he could smell them. Their pain. Their agony. All because they were what, there? Fae? Beneath her? His eyes began to blacken as she spoke. The allusion to Maria and Sofie was taken to be a veiled threat. Her description of Isaac...

    "Enough." The word rasped past his lips even as the pounding of his heart nearly drowned out the sound. He wasn't going to lose control. Not here. Not in front of this woman. Not with people to save. But Riff made no bones about how he felt about her offer. "I didn't come to join you. I came to stop you. Step away from the trailer. I won't ask twice."

    It wasn't like him to make threats. Not like him at all. But he didn't feel they had the luxury of time. They couldn't afford letting her lock herself inside with her victims - and they couldn't risk her running off with her pack. She needed to be outside, on her knees, waiting for the closest thing they had to an authority.

    "Surrender."

  6. #146
    James O'Brien

    "I don't think I will," Auguste replied casually. "I've done nothing wrong, you see. It is the natural order of things for superior beings to use lesser ones to advance our own knowledge. None of my test subjects were any great loss to society - certainly nothing compared to the gains my work is bringing about. And if you're thinking of subduing me by force, I don't recommend it. I have a syringe containing a fast-acting euthanasia agent that will..."

    But Auguste had neglected to pay attention to the two Fae. Meliarus slipped behind her and expertly sliced her throat, so deeply that she was nearly decapitated.

    James looked shocked for an instant - but then he looked relieved. Despite the abrupt and violent end, at least it was over. Or so he thought. Riff would surely know better. With more experience witnessing conflict between immortal groups, Riff would no doubt realize that the situation had just escalated significantly... and that things were now much more dangerous and fraught, without a common enemy to unite their purpose.

    Meanwhile, with the guards gone and Auguste distracted, Ethelas entered the trailer.

    "Please..." one of the Fae victims gasped from the table where he was bound.

    "Your suffering will be over soon," Ethelas said with detached calm. He drew his knife from its sheath.

    "No! Please..."

    "This is regrettable," Ethelas replied. "But it is necessary. Your survival would be an unacceptable exposure risk. It may be difficult for you to understand, but try to realize this is a mercy. What sort of life would be possible, after what has happened to you? Who would help you? You would only be a burden to others. I will make a quick end to all of it."

  7. #147
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,046
    Riff

    It was over so quickly. Just like that. One cut. The colour drained from Riff's eyes as he blinked dumbly at Meliarus. The inaction passed, however, as he heard the exchange coming from inside. He shot forward, holding a hand toward Meliarus, as though to deflect the blade in his hand, even as he sought eye contact with Ethelias inside.

    "No! Wait - don't! They don't deserve to die - I'll help them - we'll help them. Please stop."

    Riff was prepared to defend the victims of Auguste's experiments, but he found himself at a loss as to how far he should be willing to go. Iphegenia probably wouldn't appreciate it if he injured her court members - and that would go doubly bad on his family's hopes to ally themselves with local Fae. Of course, he couldn't stand aside and let them kill the kids, either. The muscles in his chest tightened. The other option - giving up his own life - hurt insomuch as that it would leave Maria and Sofie alone. But, he knew ... he knew they'd understand. If only he could keep the Fae court members busy until the Pack arrived, then he might have a chance to avoid unsavoury endings.

  8. #148
    "Unwise, Riff," Ethelas said calmly. "Very unwise. These people are worthless. They were never important. Like the 'child' you saved earlier - Alice? She's not a child. She's an adult with a criminal record. She's been arrested for prostitution - twice, I believe - and theft, and trespassing... not exactly a nice young lady. And now you're sticking your neck out for these strangers? Why?"

    He stared at the Lycan. "How long do you think this Pack is going to tolerate you, Riff? How many useless mouths to feed do you plan to bring them? Do you think they'll be pleased to be informed that you've unilaterally decided to give them three damaged Fae - along with your girlfriend, along with your child? You ask a lot of them... especially for a newcomer, a stranger. You really think they'll give it to you?"

    Riff's Lycan ears would hear a sound the Fae could not detect yet - a car pulling up the dirt road. It was likely that Isaac and Gilda would be arriving any moment.

    "And I suspect Isaac may have told you about the little truce we have here? How the Fae and Lycans leave each other alone? This is Fae business. If you interfere with this, you're breaking the truce. You're starting a war. What exactly is Isaac going to think of that - the Pack's newest pup, throwing away his people's lives for..."

    Ethelas gestured toward the helpless Fae on the table.

    The door swung open behind them, and Isaac and Gilda entered the trailer. They took in the scene for just a moment. Then Isaac asked with a careful veneer of calm, "What exactly is going on here?"

    "Your boy is doing his absolute best to get your Pack into a war with the Fae court. That's what's happening!" Ethelas replied with obvious annoyance.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 04-20-2020 at 08:44 PM.

  9. #149
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,046
    Riff

    He took in the information about Alice with no visible outward reaction. Really, it wasn't a big deal if she was an adult or not. She needed help. Her sister needed her with her. They'd deal with the details later. The rest of the discourse, he had been tempted to ignore, but he knew that would be unwise. Loopholes were to be exploited and he couldn't afford to leave any space for wiggle room on something as important as his family's safety. The last dig was a bit concerning. Isaac hadn't mentioned a truce, but even if he was unaware that a truce had been made didn't mean that the Fae didn't consider there to be one. Still, first things first.

    "They are not worthless. Everyone deserves another chance. And if this Pack wasn't okay with that - we wouldn't be standing here right now."

    That the Pack in question had arrived relieved him greatly, though it seemed that the two members of the Fae court were still going to press the offensive. Something was bothering him, though. Even if the Fae here were closed-door types, it didn't make sense that they'd be outright killing Fae...did it? And if this was going to be the hill they were going to die on, shouldn't Iphegenia be there to say something? He thought it couldn't hurt to bring it up, at least. Maybe he should call Clare?

    "Well, perhaps if Iphegenia would be so kind as to let us know why she'd want her court to kill Fae you all could just ignore, maybe we could resolve this without a war happening, eh?"

  10. #150
    Isaac Fishblatt

    The Fae didn't so much as twitch to reveal an emotion - but Ethelas hesitated just a fraction of a second too long, and that told Isaac what he needed to know.

    "Riff speaks for our Pack in this," Isaac said calmly. "But do you, in fact, speak for the Fae court? If I asked Iphigenia about what was going on here, would she have any idea what I was talking about?"

    Again, no answer immediately forthcoming. There it was.

    "Our Pack has never had a quarrel with you," Isaac went on. "What you call a 'truce,' I call an agreement between neighbors. There has never been violence between our kind here, and there need not be now. We will handle the situation from here. We thank you for your help in dealing with the doctor, but now you can be on your way."

    Meliarus shook his head. "Absolutely not. To preserve the safety of our people, these... extraneous beings must die." His hand went for his knife.

    Isaac's eyes darkened and his teeth lengthened as he moved so he was shoulder-to-shoulder with Riff. "Not. Another. Step." His voice was almost a growl, low and warning.

    Meliarus shifted instinctively backward, and the black faded from Isaac's eyes - though he still looked a little toothier than usual.

    "These three are members of our Pack," Isaac said. "If you attack them, you are the ones committing an act of aggression. Not us."

    "...Members of your Pack?" Ethelas looked beyond skeptical. "They're Fae."

    Isaac shrugged. "Also part Lycan. That's the whole reason we're here, isn't it? They're as much ours as yours."

    "They can't be in your Pack! You don't know them! You've never even met them."

    Isaac was now back to looking completely unperturbed. "I don't believe you decide who is part of my Pack, do you? That's still my job, as far as I know. My standards are my own."

    "That's ridiculous!"

    Isaac turned to the one injured Fae who was conscious enough to speak. "Are you members of my Pack?" he asked gently.

    The Fae stared at him; the young man had no idea what was going on, or any idea who Isaac was. But he was smart enough to see what answer gave him a better chance of escaping with his life. "Yes," he replied in a whisper. "Yes, we are."

    Isaac nodded. "You see? I would suggest you leave. If you demand a fight, we'll have no choice but to defend ourselves. I can't imagine that Iphigenia would be too pleased to hear you picked a fight with the local werewolves in broad daylight over people you've already admitted you don't care about, though..."

    Without a word, the two Fae warriors turned and left, with as much dignity as they could muster.

    Isaac turned back to the injured Fae. "You're going to go to sleep now," he said. "It will be painless. When you wake up, you will be in a medical clinic receiving treatment for your injuries. I know you've been through a lot, but it's over now. You're going to be alright."

    He nodded to Gilda, who began singing a soft, lulling siren song to them. For now, Isaac and Gilda both ignored the fact that James was glaring daggers at Gilda. That would have to be addressed - but this wasn't the moment.

    "Thank you, Riff," Isaac said. "You did an excellent job of handling this."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 04-30-2020 at 07:42 AM.

Page 15 of 16 FirstFirst ... 513141516 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •