Quarrels and Quills - The Play by Post Role-Playing Community - Powered by vBulletin
Page 20 of 21 FirstFirst ... 1018192021 LastLast
Results 191 to 200 of 201
  1. #191
    Ellen Greenway

    For her part, Ellen couldn't help but notice the glance over her shoulder. By necessity, she'd become far too attuned to her surroundings to overlook such a gesture. The man was looking for something. So this wasn't just a friendly visit after all. That figured. She had known someone would come. She just hadn't expected it to be quite so soon. These people must have heard something about the island. She could hazard several possible guesses as to what - and none of them were good. She'd hoped they'd have a few days to settle in before they had to defend themselves again, but that was a pipe dream.

    She sidestepped to block Riff's view, to the extent she could - he was taller than she was. He could just crane his head to see around her, anyway, but she was more trying to counter his gesture with a symbolic gesture of her own.

    "I'm sorry... what exactly did you say you were doing here?" she asked a little more bluntly.

    Realizing things were not off to an entirely smooth start, Isaac stepped in. "What Riff has said is correct," he said - carefully keeping his eyes locked on Ellen's face, so she wouldn't think he was trying to case the place out too. "We really are here to welcome you, as your new neighbors. My wife baked you this pie."

    Ellen received it, and said, "Thank you" politely, but didn't seem any less confused or guarded.

    Isaac went on, "Unfortunately, we have a more serious matter to attend to here too. We have become aware of threats made against a resident of your island, and we wanted to warn you about the danger."

    "Why would you do that?" Ellen asked carefully.

    "A fair question," Isaac replied. "You are potential allies. We would not dismiss that lightly. In addition, based on the information given to us, the potential attack seems... unwarranted. We would sooner take the side of the party that is in danger than the aggressor."
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #192
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,182
    Riff

    Ellen's response informed him of just how much he'd overstepped by being curious. He ducked his head and drew a circle in the sand with his toe before he realized that wouldn't help much. The woman sounded worried and that was all his fault. Fortunately, Isaac brought up the reason for their coming, which happened to align with his reason for looking around the island. Riff raised a finger to catch Ellen's attention and this time was careful to look nowhere else but at the person in front of him.

    "I must beg your pardon. I admit that the same folks who were threatening harm had mentioned that there was a hell-scape here and such. I admit I conjured up the vision of a comic book character at first, but there's something else. See, my friends Millie and Lukas adopted a little girl with red skin and a tail and well, sometimes she gets mistaken for a demon...and well, Millie's dad is a mage, so I thought...maybe there could be a connection with the description of this island and my friends."

    His shoulders drooped slightly, but he didn't break eye contact.

    "It's just been a long time and I was hoping that it might be them."
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  3. #193
    Ellen Greenway

    "A hellscape?" Ellen repeated, sounding confused. A spark of recognition flared in her eyes a moment later, though. "I know Tim," she said. "He isn't here, or any of his family members - but I know him. The mage community is rather insular, and we have something in common; my husband and I have fostered and adopted children, as Tim and Helen did. We bonded over that. I haven't see Tim in years, but I wish him and his family well."

    This shared acquaintance seemed to relax Ellen a bit. Her tension eased, and she managed a small smile.

    "For a friend of Tim's, we can manage a little more hospitality. Why don't you come up to the house, and we can talk?"

    Ellen led them up a dirt path that followed a gentle slope. From the beach, they passed through an old apple orchard, once carefully cultivated but now half-wild. Past the orchard was a huge, sprawling white farmhouse. From the looks of things, they needed the space - there were several bikes near the driveway, and a pair of soccer goals in the yard, suggesting that there were a number of kids living here.

    Two of those kids were sitting on the porch, playing a seemingly rather intense game of checkers. Both were teens. One was an ordinary-looking boy. He had very dark skin, suggesting he was probably one of the children Ellen and her husband had adopted. The girl was very pale, with wavy blonde hair tipped with green ombre. At first glance, the girl seemed normal too. Clare, as a Fae, couldn't perceive anything specific that was unusual about her, but felt a general sense of strangeness, of something off. The Lycans would find her more exceptional, though. The girl smelled very, very faintly of death and decay to a sensitive werewolf nose. But something else took Isaac even more aback - she had no heartbeat that he could perceive.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 08-30-2020 at 06:58 PM.

  4. #194
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,182
    Riff

    While he hadn't intended to name drop, he was pleased that it'd somewhat relaxed things between the two parties. That anyone he knew would be on this island was a long shot anyway - he wasn't too broke up about it as much as he truly wanted to see them again. Maria would have loved it too. One more year and he could go looking for them in earnest.

    As much as he'd been excited about the "hellscape", he was happier to see the sprawling farm yard. There was something homey about the whole set up. Very down home. He barely kept himself from grabbing an apple from one of the trees at the risk of appearing rude. He consoled himself that they looked a bit green. The bikes by the lane, the soccer pitch...yeah, he could see why Ellen and Tim might have gotten along. Passel of kids needing a home...and there were two of them on the front porch.

    He honestly didn't notice anything odd about the girl until he was a lot closer to the house and suddenly Isaac's change a few paces back made more sense. Now, he wasn't one to judge, but it did seem a bit odd that a kid without a heartbeat could be playing such a masterful game of checkers. Or anything at all, really. Of course, one of his best friends didn't have a heartbeat either, but neither could he use his hands. Riff snuck a peek at Isaac and Clare - the man looked a bit shaken and he couldn't read Clare at all. Huh.

    "Nice place you got here. Sure like the orchard." Maybe if he talked about other things it'd give the other Lycan a minute to recover. Besides, Riff wasn't sure what else he could talk about. They'd come to say hi...he hadn't expected getting asked into a home. If there was one thing he was sure about, though, that was it. That this place was a home. Despite whatever oddity might surround the island, Ellen and the kid on the front stoop, this was a safe place.

  5. #195
    Ellen Greenway

    "Thank you," Ellen replied when Riff complemented the apple crop. "The trees have been there a long time. They were planted back in the 1700's, before the current farmhouse was built. Long before our time, of course." With immortals, you sometimes had to specify things like that. "The place is called Old Orchard Farm, actually. Feel free to try the apples. We don't cultivate them, but they grow fine on their own and taste pretty good..."

    The girl on the porch noticed Isaac noticing her, and she tensed as if expecting some sort of violence to break out. Ellen noticed too; she didn't intervene, but she was watchful.

    Isaac smiled reassuringly. "Hi," he said. "I'm Isaac. It's nice to meet you. One of my foster daughters is around your age. I bet she would like to meet you too."

    "I'm Seraphina," the girl said, ducking her head shyly and not quite meeting his eyes. "Yeah, I'd like to meet her sometime."

    "I'm Zeke!" the boy added cheerfully, apparently more gregarious than his sister and uninterested in any possible tension in the air.

    When they had moved on into the farmhouse kitchen, Isaac said quietly to Ellen. "Your daughter is... surprising. I don't mean to pry. But I can't help but notice. I..." He dug his hands into his pockets, and added. "I can't help but wonder if this is something you can do? If you have the ability to restore the dead to life?"

    If one person had apparently come back from the dead, was there hope for the people Isaac had lost? Could he see Rachela, Benjamin, and Salomon again after all these years?

    Ellen shook her head, but when she responded, her voice was infinitely gentle. It was clear that Isaac was speaking from a place of loss. Loss Ellen could sympathize with - but couldn't fix. "No," she said. "That's not within our capabilities. We don't quite know how Seraphina ended up this way. We found her like this. I'm sorry I can't help."

    Isaac nodded his understanding.

    As they were speaking, the man Riff was so eager to meet entered the room - though he perhaps looked more ordinary than what Riff was expecting from the movies. His hair was sandy blond, and he was of ordinary height and standard human build. To Lycan senses, though, his temperature ran exceptionally hot, and he carried the faint smell of another plane. The hellscape the Fae had described, it seemed. The man finished wiping his hands, then hung up the towel. Before he rolled his sleeves back down, they would be able to catch a glimpse of a subtle scale pattern running up his forearms and disappearing under his shirt.

    "Hi," the man said affably. "I'm Nick. I didn't realize we'd be having guests so soon."

  6. #196
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,182
    Riff

    He'd smiled and waved when the kids introduced themselves, giving his name as well. Though it was tempting to take Ellen up on her offer and go pick some apples, he knew the place to be right now was the house. Isaac's questions, well, they surprised him though he supposed they shouldn't have. He hadn't even thought about the girl potentially having been resurrected. That she was found that way made a lot more sense to him.

    That they should be brought into the kitchen warmed Riff's heart. The centre of the home. Feeling like he was welcomed, he helped himself to a chair - only to pop right back out of it again when Nick entered the room. There was no mistaking him. A grin stretched across his face from ear to ear.

    "Huh, what do you know, Hellboy exists after all! Pleased to meet you...sorry. I know you're not...anyway, I'm Riff. Just goin' to sit back down now." The lycan hemmed and pulled up a leg over his other knee as if that would stop his feet from bouncing about. A light blush coloured his cheeks and he did his best to avoid Isaac and Clare's eyes while offering a pursed lip grimacing smile of apology to Ellen. She was probably wondering how a fella like him got to be friends with a stand-up guy like Tim.

  7. #197
    Nick Greenway

    Nick wasn't quite sure what to make of being called 'Hellboy.' On the surface it seemed like an insult, but the man's demeanor seemed anything but. On the contrary, he seemed almost... exuberant. It was hard to puzzle out.

    "Nice to meet you, Riff," he said genially, but with a note of caution. When Isaac and Clare introduced themselves, Nick told them it was nice to meet them as well.

    He regarded them all curiously. "I... take it you've heard of me?" he stated, deliberately pointing out the obvious. The statement was directed somewhat toward Riff, since he'd had the most noteworthy reaction. "Word travels fast around here, I suppose."

  8. #198
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,182
    Riff

    Nope, he'd definitely put his foot in it. Both, perhaps. He'd really wanted to play it cool, especially after making Ellen worry on the beach there, but when Nick came in ... well, it surprised him. Riff took a deep breath. It was up to him to explain this and set things right.

    "Well, uh, sort of. Y'see, some folks had said this place was a hellscape with extradimensional beings and that got me to thinking - you know - Hellboy. The movie. Or maybe the comics, but you know what I mean, right? So, I thought that'd be pretty cool to meet him, but then when we got here there it didn't look like described at all so I was kinda bummed. But still cool to meet you, Ellen - and the kids and stuff, not like I'm not happy to or anything. But yeah, then when you come in, Nick, and your temperature's pretty high and you smell kinda different I figure maybe I was right and there's a Hellboy here after all! I mean, you don't look anything like him, but I guess there's only one Ron Pearlman amIrite? So yeah, that's why I said that, and I am sure it sounded dumb or maybe mean or something, so sorry about that, but I was just real excited to meet you."

    The Lycan's hands and feet had been moving erratically for the entire discourse, and while he appeared contrite, he also appeared to be in earnest. He sat back with a sigh, clearly thinking that he'd straightened out any remaining confusion.

  9. #199
    "I see," Nick said. He might not have gotten every nuance - the Lycan's speech hadn't been the easiest one he'd ever followed - but Nick was a good listener, and he'd gotten the gist. Riff had found out about his heritage somehow, and had responded with curiosity and interest. Well, Nick would certainly take that over violence or hatred. "The reality of our island may be disappointing, compared to all that, I'm afraid."

    "Actually, I had a few questions about that," Isaac said mildly. "Please do not mistake my meaning - you are not unwelcome by any means. But it's not every day that an island just... appears off our shores. That is no small feat, and I'm sure such effort had a purpose. What brings you here? And why now?"

    Ellen and Nick exchanged a look. Then Ellen said, "There was another island. In Maine. They were affected by a devastating disease. Not a natural illness - one of the variety that required mage intervention. It transformed the bodies and minds of most of the inhabitants, turning them into mindless shells with a feral need for violence. I tried to fix it. I tried for years to find a way to make things right again. But eventually, I just... ran out of time. A decision had been made that the only solution was to destroy the island - but not everyone there was infected. Saving everyone wasn't going to be an option, but I could save the ones who weren't. I just had to do it secretly, and find them someplace else. I had help, of course. One mage can't conjure up and island. And I honestly wasn't quite sure where we were going to end up. I suspect the Fae wards influenced that."

    "I see," Isaac replied. "And you're confident you can contain the spread of this disease? What if some of those who didn't show symptoms are carriers?"

    Ellen nodded. "There's no route between here and your town. Just ocean. We made sure of that. Immortals can't be infected, and we did our best to make sure humans can't get here. We'll stay isolated here for a quarantine period, to make sure no one here is sick. Until then, only those of us who are immune will have any contact with Hollywell. I'm sure this isn't welcome news. No one wants sick neighbors. But we won't be any danger to you, if we can just co-exist..."

    "Of course we can," Isaac replied. "Thank you for your candor. I appreciate the precautions you are taking. To help your quarantine period go more smoothly, my Pack will assist you to obtain food and medical supplies until you are able to rejoin the community."

    Ellen and Nick exchanged another look - of surprise, this time. This wasn't the reception they had expected.

    "Thank you!" Ellen said a bit breathlessly. "Thank you very much!"

  10. #200
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    5,182
    Riff

    The whole story was like something out of a movie - except it was real people with real life problems they were talking about here. How horrible to be condemned just because you might be sick. Of course, Riff was really no stranger to people judging based on opinions instead of evidence, but it still saddened him every time he saw someone being strung up for something that wasn't true. Isaac's offer...well, he couldn't say that he was surprised based on what he knew of the man, but the offer certainly was surprising in general. Most folk wouldn't be so kind so as to offer assistance - even if they were good enough to offer a blind eye - which cemented his idea that they were with the right Pack.

    "Well, glad that's settled then! I think maybe it was more than Fae wards that ended up bringing you here, Ellen. Yup, it must have been fate or some such thing." The werewolf nodded with a bobbleheaded authority. "At any rate, I think youse will like Hollywell. How long do you figure until you can visit?"

Page 20 of 21 FirstFirst ... 1018192021 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
  •