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She dries up in the truck and they start to drive again. Something about the sylphs is lingering in the back of Kieryn's mind. It seems like something wasn't exactly on with them, but what? She attributes it to the disease, lack of sleep…something. Then she sees the spiderwebs. They are fine filaments of light, and Tru stops and asks what the fuck that is? Kieryn shakes her head slightly. "Nothing good, I bet. It looks like cracks, in the air. Like spiderwebs, but more like broken glass."

"Is there a spider thing we need to worry about?" Tru asks.

Kieryn shakes her head, then pauses. Something was so odd. She thought about it and thought of spiders, and of a being that never swore fealty to her mother. "The Twilight Vanquisher…" she trails off. Why was that name so important? It was happening again. So many times she had felt like she was dreaming and about to awaken, but then nothing. It was happening again. Worse, the cracks were getting bigger. Kieryn started to perceive things differently and glanced over at Tru, who was not aptly named considering that she was what…an illusion? A trick? A glamour? So Ghostwheel was all bullshit too? Everything shattered. Tru. Amber. Chaos. Ghostwheel. Everything. Except Kieryn.

[The END?]

Re: Tru's Blood by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 27 May 2020 03:39

Kieryn walks out to the Humvee quietly, and when they get into the vehicle, she fastens her seatbelt. "It was in college. I didn't learn much, or maybe I did, but I didn't apply any of it until later. I was too busy fucking, sucking, goofing off, getting drunk and high, and generally having a good time. I did well on exams, but I was a…maybe I was a good student because I eventually was able to utilize what was drilled into me, no pun intended. So, I had a class on Ethics and Morality, which is kind of funny, if you think about it, and we had learned about Kant. With a K. Kant believed that you should do what you expected everyone else to do. Also, if someone did something bad because of something moral that you did, it was on them. Kant, ironically, never heard of the Nazis. An example someone used was to say that let's say you were hiding me in a cellar someplace, and Martin shows up and asks you if you've seen me. According to Kant, it would be immoral of you to lie to him, so you should tell him the truth. If he hauls me out and slits my throat, that's on him. I think it just goes to show that there really are no absolutes. I was going through Shadow one time after I told Random to go shove his offer of fealty, and I was in a Shadow with these two kinds of people. One of them were tallish, strong warriors, direct, brazen, and fairly absolute. The other were these people who were like uh, do you know what a hobbit is? Picture people around three to four feet tall. Anyway, since I was taller than them, one of them shot an arrow at me when I was watering my horse. I had just slapped the side of my neck because a fly saved my life. It landed on my neck and I swatted it. Right as I hit my neck, the arrow hit me in the hand, and it slowed the arrow down enough where I didn't expire messily. The little bastard came at me and I lit him up with a spell. Then I got back on my horse and rode, and the horse took me to the big people. They helped me recover, and I helped them wipe out the army of the little people. Then some of them started killing the women and children. I told them no, and they tried to take me out. It ended up with a lot of dead people, but the deaths of the littles who weren't military, that wasn't on me, even though they might have survived if I hadn't killed their men. But I wouldn't kill the women and children, which I why I won't use Martin's virus to kill his people, because it doesn't discriminate. Sorry, I don't think I've ever talked that much."

After a few minutes, they approach the paint factory, and Kieryn chuckles. There is a windmill on top of the paint factory, with a design that looks like it would hypnotize someone who stared at it too much. "Like that. What if we stopped and got hypnotized, and zombies ran up on us and ate us? That wouldn't be on IFM according to Kant. It would be on the zombies. Mill, on the other hand, would blame IFM. Pretty flowers," she remarks casually, and then the yellow flowers are suddenly blue flowers, a pale blue, like a sky right after a storm front has moved through. Then the trees begin to get taller, to lose their broad leaves, to become deciduous. A bird calls out with a lonely cry. Winds buffet the Hummer and its passengers. A faint smell of cinnamon. A dust devil with a couple of leaves caught in it crosses the road before them. The trees grow taller, becoming pine redwoods. A flock of birds, no, bugs. A flock of bugs, or maybe its a swarm, descend on one of the trees. Their buzzing is nearly musical. The road ends and becomes hard-packed dirt, with scarce ground cover. A thousand of the creatures that eat the foliage, but can't get to the trees, move like a flowing river, parting around the hummer except for a few that end up getting squished. The rest don't seem to care or judge Tru either in a Kantian or utilitarian fashion. The dirt gets darker and the ground cover begins to return. The creatures are gone and some of the trees are growing shorter again. There is mist, then fog, with visibility down to a hundred yards. Kieryn frowns and a drop of sweat rolls down her nose. The mist vanishes and Tru has to turn to avoid driving into a swamp. There are ghost-lights in the swamp, and then the swamp fades behind them into a heavy downpour. Lightning flashes and screams are heard from the rain-caused darkness. Finally, the rain lets up, becoming a steady downpour, the kind one wants to sleep in. Kieryn pulls off her boots and socks and then pulls her shirt up over her head. "Stop, please. I'll be right back. Do not get out of the Hummer." The sylphs are offended by our presence with our vehicle. I have to make amends. By the time Tru stops, Kieryn is out of her clothes and is only wearing the necklace Blackthorn. She gets out of the Hummer and shapes that look like they are made of water are around her in a moment, and then she is gone. Ten minutes later she appears again and gets into the truck soaking wet. She points as the rain stops in front of them, and Tru drives again. They stop on the other side of what appears to be a wall of water, which towers over them, standing some three hundred feet high. "They accepted my apology. They said that strange things are roaming these lands, and when a sylph says something is strange, we should pay attention." She looks around and uses her t-shirt to dry her face.

Re: Tru's Blood by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 12 Apr 2020 22:42

The way Kieryn was teasingly adoring the somewhat phallic shaped flash suppressor made Tru almost make a smart-assed comment, but she held back at the moment after already loading her new companion up with a lot of heavy shit to sort through.

She listened, more easily hiding her emotions than her Mom might have, not stone faced, just more reserved when she needed to be, but also with a worse temper, perhaps holding back at times caused that, or maybe she was just a fucked up, hard assed psycho bitch, it wasn’t like she hadn’t been accused of it before. Nor did she care for labels anyway.

Tru was going to shrug, but that felt too causal for the reply and depth of it she was given, so instead she said it,

“Shrug, yeah, I figured you might feel that way. I won’t always be the dark devil on your shoulder, promise, but I will never be the angel. The whole point of this fucking war, if there is ever a point to such shitty things, is us being allowed to choose our lives for ourselves. I can disagree and respect what you say at the same time, truth is, I needed you to say it because I didn’t have the balls myself to do the right thing or insist on it. Pattern, hell to the no, I can hide from Ghostie, but unlike Mom I can’t fly and getting into the Castle or digging up the Pattern in Rebma from the wreck atop it, I’m not suicidal in the first option and not even that good of a swimmer for the second one. You’d need Aquaman and Superman to have a love child to dig out Rebma from what I last heard, so no on the Pattern. I learned enough from a Faerie cousin, half-blood, to travel across Shadows using Ley lines, but its slow as fuck. Come on, I will drive, you get your pretty little ass ready to do some hardcore shifting.”

Tru motioned for Kieryn to follow when she was ready, then lead her outside to a supped-up military style Hummer with a fifty cal mount in the back, with some ammo for it, and extra fuel cans. It was colored in dessert camo, like Tru’s clothing often was, so probably didn’t belong to this urban hellhole landscape they walked out into.

The path to the Hummer was clear, most of the mutations here from the disease left the former humans now zombies or whatever one wanted to call them, unable to come out in the direct sunlight that was now blazing down as the morning mists began to clear,

“There are some day walkers, so keep your eyes open, they are usually the more clever ones,” she winked, “Mostly females, of course. Let’s go find the Healer and stop having to call you Typhoid Marie, huh?” Tru said cheekily and eased the Hummer into gear and headed out the main drag of a ruined world, one that was ruined because Kieryn had visited it before or because Martin and his scientists were heartless pricks. Both were the truth, it really depended on how one looked at things to decide which one mattered most.

“Shift point is marked up by the old paint factory, IFM marked it, you’ll know, just watch for the craziest, most bizarre redhead thing you can imagine,” Tru told Kieryn over the roar of the motor as she ran over a half dead creature her crossbow bolt from the night before hadn’t killed as quickly as she wished it had.

Re: Tru's Blood by MZ3MZ3, 05 Apr 2020 17:43

Kieryn picks up a cylindrical object and coos. "Where have you been all my life." She chuckles and puts the flash suppressor for the sniper rifle into a backpack. The rifle goes into a soft case, and she starts looking at a bullpup configuration weapon as Tru tells her what the score is regarding her infection. "If we are to go to the Summer Court, then I want this out of me. I won't be responsible for genocide." She looks at Tru, almost as if she were summing her up, and her lips tighten a few times and then loosen. She starts filling magazines with bullets for her weapons. She knows she is going to end up carrying a lot of ammo, but she takes the loaded magazine in each of her six firearms, and two reloaded magazines for each.

She sits down picks up the last piece of pizza and starts chewing it thoughtfully. "I think I want it out of me. It's not just that I want to serve Martin's purposes. Obviously I don't. But it's the collateral damage. Tru, I have killed a lot of people, but they were all enemies, at least the ones I consciously killed. I know that if one goes down the consequentialism of a given action evil comes from almost all acts, so there is that. But I've never gone after innocents, taken hostages of women or children, or by my actions or inactions allowed the innocent to be killed. I am not nice to my enemies, and some of them have been women. I had a child run towards me with a grenade in their hands and I shot him in the head. He was my enemy. This disease is too dangerous. I agree that we can go to the Faerie lands. I don't know if you have walked the Pattern, but I can get us there. So Blackthrone it is." She puts the half-eaten piece of pizza down and although she is certain that she has either disappointed Danni or delighted Danni with her decision, Schrodinger's Cat is not going to be the reason she eschews the use of her built-in bioweapon.

"I'm sorry if that's disappointing, but you asked my preference." She smiles faintly and looks at the rations. She takes a few of those, ensuring that broccoli has no place in her backpack.

Re: Tru's Blood by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 03 Apr 2020 02:52

Tru listens and grins at Kieryn’s reply about the MRE’s,

“I’m not fucking martin, but I bet he thank the fucking things up, Bastard,” she jokes and the pizza is good and the soda is better as Tru has been drinking nothing but water and coffee for weeks.

“Here’s the thing, your infection can’t hurt me and if it hurts anyone that matters, they can be cured with my blood. If we need to go some place and keep you from being infectious for a couple days, a transfusion from me will do the trick for you and I make blood faster than most people can grow hair on their legs…actually I don’t know if that is faster than normal, but I am, the blood making part I mean, never actually shaved my legs and they never seem to need it. Sooooo, they turned you into a weapon, a biological nightmare to be hunted and eaten by the people you infect, or at least to track you by the infection rates in Shadows you visit, or so the Healer says…but you are a weapon, Mom says you always were, which is cool, but I’m not my Mom either and if keeping you infectious makes you a better weapon…do you see my point?” Tru asked as she armed herself, after eating. Twin sidearms, almost twins anyways, one automatic, the other revolver, an AK-47 and her repeating crossbow. One sniper rifle between two on a team was more than enough, and four grenades rounded out the walking armory, plus three daggers and one short sword.

Tru was suggesting that Kieryn skip the cure, at least for now, and that in time she might turn back against Martin the very plague he infected Kieryn with,

“Sometimes to cleanse the forest, you have to burn it down first,” she shrugged, “Maybe not, but why take the nuclear option off the table. Nuclear bombs, hell guns don’t work in Amber, so you are the closest thing to a weapon of mass destruction we have. As for the Fae, I don’t think many are left in either Court, some claim all of the fucked up stuff in Shadow is a Faerie curse because someone from Amber caused their fall…maybe you are that curse, maybe I am, maybe both of us are.”

She grabs a pack full of rations and other needed provisions and flips it over her arm,

“Let’s head to the Faerie lands. Supposed to find the light object to match Blackthorne, Mom always called it Blackthrone, but if you aren’t the weapon we need, maybe it is. We can head to the next Shadow and you get the marrow treatment and the infection is permanently neutralized. Your call?”
Tru offers and definitely has a darker side than her Mother did, even if it is a pragmatically darker side, one has to wonder if that little bit of Kieryn’s DNA she possesses is the cause of it, or just the nature of a child born into a fucked up world.

Re: Tru's Blood by MZ3MZ3, 30 Mar 2020 03:43

"Eat as much as you want," Kieryn says with a tired smile. Coffee would have been better than soda, honestly, but it was easy to fuck up coffee. Nobody fucked up soda. "Feel free to keep hating me. Most people do." She seems as unconcerned with how many people hate her as she does how faded her jacket might have been. "Not your mother. Danni didn't hate me. I wish I could tell you a great story about us. We met in the middle of the worst thing to ever happen anywhere. She was there for me. I was there for her. She didn't think highly of herself, which might have been legit. I don't generally think highly of myself, but the difference is that I don't give a fuck about all the evil shit I've done." She puts the pizza box down in front of Tru, with the soda. "That's why your mother was better than me. She cared about things like good and evil. Whereas even though one could give me an out and say I was a victim, I would call that bullshit. I enjoyed killing my foes. I still do. Your mother was probably my only chance for salvation. My only chance for redemption." She lets out a deep shuddering sigh and turns away to look at all of the weapons before she wipes the tear from her eye. "My loss," she says sadly.

She nods in agreement with Tru's assessment of broccoli MREs. "Whoever thought of it should be shot in the face. For the record, it wasn't me. Even my evil has some bounds." She smirks. She goes over to the weapons and starts looking. She takes a sniper rifle, a pair of handguns, and a pair of submachine guns. Belts and holsters are then chosen, and she checks each weapon quickly and deftly before settling on it. The submachine guns hang from shoulder holsters, and the pistols are in a belt, at her back. She pulls on a black jacket that covers the weapons, except for the sniper rifle, then touches her necklace Blackthorn.

She finally sits across from Tru as she finishes the pizza. "Next time will be meat lovers. I went to college, one out of three people there is a vegetarian." She shrugs. "Fucking vegans. Uh, well, what is the most urgent? There is no Winter Court. Not anymore. I won't get a warm welcome in the Summer Court, but I won't be thrown in prison or executed, most likely. I've never had any run-ins with them. My mother used to threaten me with marrying me to someone from the Summer Court."

Then she looks thoughtful. "If we need to go there first, great. If The Healer and IFM are in danger, we should help them first. If I need marrow and blood before long, then it's up to you. I've had sleep, a shower, pizza, and I'm armed again. What do you want to do?" She turns away and looks at the throwing knives, looking for throwing weapons, and one stiletto, and a sword of any kind, on the lightish side.

Re: Tru's Blood by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 22 Mar 2020 02:05

Tru was the only one present in what looked like an Infirmary the night before, but now was half empty, half armory. She wore kahki camo pants and tan boots laced up almost to mid-shin, a drab green tank top was visible beneath a half buttoned up, long sleeve, matching camo top. Her blue eyes moved towards Kieryn even before her head turned. Long, blondish hair braided tight flipped a bit when her head finally turned, seemingly to follow her nose more than her eyes,

“Pizza? Maybe I won’t hate you after all,” she quipped and the woman didn’t really seem to hate Kieryn as much as she hated the sacrifices her Mother made for Kieryn, truly, made for them both, “I barley got half of an MRE down this morning, who freeze dries broccoli anyway, like who sat down one day and thought that was a good fucking idea. If you can spare a slice or two, I’ll trade,” she grinned, a .44 magnum pistol in her hands being cleaned and greased at the moment, and the walls and a few boxes organized in something that looked like…

“Shadow practicality,” Tru offered, “Miniature rail gun, I can barely carry it, the energizing generator is too heavy, shitty balance, more for taking out fortifications than anything that requires accuracy,” she nodded towards a corner of high tech weapons, “Sniper rifles, top of the line, small cal, high capacity spray guns like an Uzi, but armor piercing, allegedly, the muzzle velocity really isn’t high enough to go through anything thicker than a car door, but easy to fire and load and the barrel metal never overheats, plus your choice of sidearms. The rest are simply what they look like, swords, daggers, bows and crossbows, plus a few dozen grenades, concussion and cluster, and two claymoors…Mom said you reminded her of those, point towards enemy,” Tru offered and pointed with her thumb and fingers in the shape of a gun as the large pistol she was cleaning was set aside.

“The Healer and Fifi, yeah, her real name is worse than her coded one, took off last night. This Shadow is overrun and most of the tech is underpowered or lost. For any marrow transplant to work we need to follow after them, or we go straight to the Courts. I’m Summer, you’re Winter, and thank the fuck those aren’t our code names. I don’t know much about being a Fae, only a quarter from my half breed Father, and a little bit from you, just a tiny bit, some section of your immune system is receptive to mine so I can give you blood, marrow, a kidney…in theory, I like my kidneys right where they are, thank you very much. If we head to follow Fifi and company, I have lead, to the Courts and you take point, Winter,” she said with a wink and walked over to the pizza box and sighed,

“Meat lovers Chicago style would have been nice, but beggars and all that…hey, thanks, whatever you did to earn Mom’s, you know…it made her happy. Thanks for that, and the pizza…now where do you want to go first?”

Re: Tru's Blood by MZ3MZ3, 15 Mar 2020 21:02

Kieryn awakens with tear-dampened cheeks, and she shudders as her conscious mind starts to process what her unconscious mind already did. Anyone observing her would wonder if she was thinking about what to have for lunch, but it was a look that Danni would have learned had things not fallen apart. Many people were fond of saying how their minds raced in a dozen different directions at once. Kieryn was actually capable of this. Like a weaver grabbing threads and binding them to make something stronger, Kieryn started with the most important question; was she still sane?

So much had happened since she was approached by Random. It seemed like it was years ago. Long years. She thought about all that had happened to her since then and wondered how many different points were likely points for her mind to snap. They were an unstable family. Brand had spoken of it and had later proved it. She thought back to a conversation she had had with Brand.

"That was delightful. More than delightful. Earth-shattering." She wiped a damp lock of hair from her forehead and took the cigarette from Brand's lips. "I know you'd rather my lips be someplace else but…" she inhaled the cigarette, Kashfan, she knew, before straddling him and taking the cigarette away from her lips before locking lips with him and blowing smoke into his lungs.

"You're insatiable," he commented as she began grinding on him.

"I feel like everything was made just for me."

"Solipsism," Brand replied.

She continued, taking another hit of the cigarette. "No, not yet. I'm not even close."

"I said solipsism. The belief that you can only prove that your mind exists."

Kieryn thought about this for a moment and stopped. Brand took his cigarette back.

"You have shitty bedroom talk," Kieryn noted. "What do you mean?"

"How do you know that anything exists other than you? What if you are daydreaming this? Or nightdreaming this? What if this is simply one of your fantasies?"

Kieryn scoffed. "If it were a fantasy, something else would be in me besides you."

"Pssh. Nonsense. What if you are insane? What if you were plugged into a machine someplace and your mind is being sent images that you are interpreting in this way?"

She leaned forward and pulled Brand's mouth to her breast. "Then I'd be a damned fool to be doing anything any differently." She availed herself of his body again.

Later, Bleys had told her that solipsism was academic bullshit. Really, in the end, it didn't matter, did it?

With that resolved, she tried to tie up her feelings about Danni. They were kind of irrelevant now, weren't they? She was gone. Headless. Dead. This got her into great heaving sobs. Shit. She really had loved Danni, and vice versa, it seemed. Not for the first time, and probably not for the last, she wondered if there were any truth to an afterlife. And what about after a life into the afterlife. Was there an after-afterlife? That train of thought would really drive her insane. She got out of bed and looked at the beam of light that caressed her with its warmth. She sat down on the bed, cross-legged, and started hanging spells while her mind worked through other problems.

What about Tru? Tru was part Unseelie? She was Kieryn's heir? That made Kieryn laugh. Queen of Nothing. Princess of Nothing. An hour later, she was in black from toes to bra. She pulled a tiger-stripe camouflage sleeveless shirt over the black bra and decided that a summoned pizza and a two-liter of soda was better than whatever shit they served here.

She only ate four pieces, and then took the pizza and the soda back to where Tru, the Healer, and IFM probably were.

Re: Tru's Blood by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 15 Mar 2020 02:42

Everything in the compound and post where Kieryn and the others just met was of military grade and issue, wonderful for defense and taking the battle to an enemy, less so for any thought of true comfort or gentleness in bed, the shower, even the olive drab towel that always seemed silly in that color as if one needed to hide in the forest when drying after a bath. Still everything was just enough of what it needed to be that when tired, dirty and worn enough, each item did the trick and task it was intended to do.

No one answered how Danni died or where or truly why, but as she slept a shadow slipped into her room and into her hands was placed a feather, one of what once were many and adorned the wings of the tall and crazy woman she called friend and lover, even though they had never truly been the latter, and now seemingly never could be. Whether it was memories that imbued that feather and were drunk deeply of by Kieryn’s mind, or her own dreams or loose thoughts picked up from IFM or the Healer, the images that flashed into and through her sleeping thoughts were lucid and surreal, genuine and unfucking believable all at once.

As to Bishop the only vision she saw, the only thing Danni ever shared with anyone was kissing the man as he lay there, quiet and still, the color of life in his cheeks and present, but barely. Whether he just passed or was recovering from wounds in battle or elsewhere and where the man was when she left him in the care of others of burying or mending, those secrets went with the winsome hellion to her grave.

Things were not in order in the dreams and thoughts, perhaps if the feather was bespelled to hold such memories and images it was a terrible or at least maddening medium to do such a thing, or maybe it was just the way Kieryn’s mind unfolded and absorbed the information it possessed.

She saw images of Danni in different worlds, different Shadows, of battles won and wars seemingly lost, or was it the other way around, time moving faster and faster until Kieryn’s mind sped up and she would know that much of what she saw happened in fast and faster Shadows, perhaps Danni’s impatience requiring action, but not wanting to be away from Kieryn for so very long, or maybe the feather just held that feeling, it was all there and impossible to know which was what or from whom.

At some point she could feel that Danni found Kieryn, but couldn’t find her. Knew where she was, but could never reach her. The man she loved was beautiful, if that word could be described to a man it fit this fellow, like an Angel come to life, a glow about him and whether it was love and need or the need for what he was, she took it from him ravenously and from that union Tru was born.

She was born and raised at first in a very high tech Shadow, many faster ones were that since time had marched on and evolved there, and at some point in and during the pregnancy she saw Danni being injected with what must have been the piece of Kieryn that they spoke of earlier, and the woman smiled despite the discomfort, her memories of Kieryn looping into and around the memory of that moment.

She saw some of what she saw earlier, of Danni being a Mom, not alone, but not with whomever the Father had been, surrounded instead by friends and allies. There were times without Tru present and others where she was growing into the woman Kieryn just met that night, and plans drawn up and biological disasters, not all of them like the one Kieryn suffered and now inflicted on others, perhaps the earlier ones were experiments in Shadow to perfect the genes and mutations and infectious serum that would eventually course through Kieryn’s veins and being. The Blue Healer looked the same, but far more in his element in a modern and incredibly well equipped laboratory in those memories and thoughts, creating the vaccine, the cure, and then handing two vials of it to Danni.

Madness ensued and flesh eating creatures and barley and escapes filled the times between then and the still of the moonlit night when Danni landed softly amidst the ruins and beauty that were Tir Na Goth. The steps below could be seen as guarded with a company of soldiers and Trump wards were all around, but when one could fly like a bird or angel, nothing was impossible. Danni took the feather from her wings and looked into it as if it were a mirror,

“Kieryn, this is the end for me, and the new beginning for you. Tru does not know the truth of me, of why she is like she is, I can’t tell her what the truth is, she needs an anger towards the world and you and even a resentment of me to drive her through all that needs to be done. Maybe I am just a lying whore like my sisters or perhaps a bit of you rubbed off on me, though never as much actual rubbing as I might have liked,” she winked, “She was made not for you, but as your opposite. Fortune tellers and prophesies are bullshit, we both know it, but I have seen what is needed and what must be done, shown to me by your own people, even though they live in life only in you. I went there, you know, and saw what would happen, one possibility of many, but the only one that made sense…the only one that makes you live. So love me, hate me, or forget me in time, maybe all three, but know what I do, I did not just for you, but so that you can win this goddamned war, kill those mother fucking bastards and keep my daughter alive and by your side until it is done. You wanted me, she does too, but you need each other because I was never enough. Goodbye Darlin’, and only you know the truth…even if you won’t find it all until you go home again to your own opposite. I could have loved you, I know I did, but that was then and when you see me talking, my now will have become a then too. Be good, and when you can’t be good, then I know you are at your hellacious best,” Danni said and blew the feather, and presumably Kieryn a kiss.

Then she was walking the Pattern of Tir, one vial of the vaccine and cure in each hand, somehow transforming them the way anything alive that traverses the Pattern becomes more real and can cross over between reality and all of its reflections and shadows, changing and adapting as it goes. Reaching the center of the Pattern lightning strikes and a tempest were rampant and Kieryn could see and feel Ghostwheel at war with the Pattern itself.

Danni drank down one vial and pretended to drink the other, but instead held it in her teeth as she willed herself to transport away. She did, but in the process lost her head and the vial of pure and undrunk cure was lost along with her head, while her body and wings and her blood infused with the cure she drank disappeared and landed where the Healer waited for her. Even they didn’t know what Danni did, that his was her last mission. The feather and the empty vial in her hands were all that remained of the night’s efforts. The cure in her blood could be given only to the one whose genes she shared…to Tru…and by Tru to the only living person whose genes Tru shared…to Kieryn. That part of the dream was dry and clinical, almost as if the feather recorded what the Healer did and the last image and memory was of Tru setting afire the pyre that held her Mother’s body, the child now fully grown and fierceness hiding her grief as the flames burned to ash and the morning sun squeezed into Kieryn’s room through the narrow slit port in the wall of her room.

And when the sun touched the feather in Kieryn’s hand, it too fell away to dust. So much of the past made prologue, and the entire future still to play itself out.

Re: Tru's Blood by MZ3MZ3, 01 Mar 2020 19:54

Kieryn smiles at the interaction between the IFM and the Healer. It's something that Kieryn hasn't had since her childhood. She is not one for dwelling on the past overmuch, so she just enjoys the banter between the two friends.

Kieryn nods like she is somewhat reassured when Tru says she won't be killing her. If relief is there, it doesn't show. The schadenfreude at Kieryn's aerial adventure and the insult are wasted on her. Kieryn shrugs slightly like it's the least important thing she's ever heard. When Tru says it is a joke, there is still no reaction from the dark Unseelie. When the redhead asks about the head injury, Kieryn shrugs again. "I've been hit on the head enough times to be surprised I've kept it this long," she says matter-of-factly.

She looks at the healer when he stands up and then stifles a chuckle as her stomach makes a noise. It has been a long time since her last hot meal, not counting the rats she tore into with ravenous teeth while they were still dying. When the healer warns about fucking herself up more she nods. "Well, we wouldn't want that."

Kieryn eats a piece of something, and raises her eyebrows in approval, although truth to tell, it's a pretty low bar right now. She swallows what's in her mouth, and asks "Why did…how did she die for me? I never saw her again after she left with Bishop. I was captured by Benedict's troops when I finally had to bolt for the castle, and then he let me go to do what I needed to do. I've been wandering for…I don't know how long. I assumed that that fucking thing killed her. I had to mess up my own mind so it would hopefully not find me."

She is in mid-chew when Tru says that Kieryn is technically her mother. She stops and raises her eyebrows. After swallowing, cracking open the green liquid and drinking some, she shakes her head. "I'm glad I didn't raise you, then. I'm sure I would have been a terrible mother. Other than that, I hope you got some of my good genetics. I do have an upside, you know."

She sighs deeply when Tru says marrow. She finishes eating, licks the plate, and then licks her not-entirely clean fingers before wiping her hands on her pants. "Well, I'm glad I can't hurt anyone, and I apologize for the smell. I'm pretty sure I don't want to remember all the things it could be, and it might be a mercy for me that I can't even smell it. I'll summon new clothes so these can be burned if you want to."

When IFM kisses Kieryn's head, she looks up, a little surprised. Part of her wonders if she can compel IFM to kill Martin, and then she could be IKM. But no, that would be using an ally. The Healer points at a garbage can and Kieryn is naked before she leaves the room and heads directly for the shower. Once in there, she closes her eyes and hopes that water can wash away the filth she has been living in for so long. The bar of soap is a little on the rough side, and Kieryn's bandages are all off and her skin is rubbed raw from the shower. The towel isn't luxurious, but it wraps around her, and she gets to a small room with a bed and nothing else. She puts her head down on the pillow and is asleep before she knows it.

Re: Tru's Blood by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 01 Mar 2020 05:48

IFM laughed,

“Prolly, but not by moi, he does like a nice shocker to the rear door when I’m going down on him so wouldn’t surprise me…we aren’t exclusive nor give a shit about the other except to fuck. Decent dicking though, can’t argue with that, ‘course his being a big cock, fits right?”

The Healer snapped in with a “That’s what she said” retort about the fits right part and the two of them seemed to have a sort of long time smart alecky friendship about them.

After seeing the scalpel, Kieryn could hear something sizzling, maybe heat, maybe electrical, it smelled awful and delicious at the same time whatever the fuck he was working on or at.

Tru turned back and looked at Kieryn,

“I can’t kill you, or won’t, so we can stop that discussion right now…fuck of the fact is, I swore to protect your life,” she paused and looked over and made a grossed out face at whatever the Healer was doing, then turned back and smiled darkly, though her darkness was not the sort Kieryn was capable of, “Doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy seeing you go ass over head off that bike, and from the sounds of you, I’m still not sure you aren’t talking out of it.”

IFM looked over at Tru a little confused and Tru sighed, “Talking out her ass, Jesus, don’t you two get anyone’s jokes but each other’s,” she grumbled and IFM looked like the rebuke was an epiphany of sorts. IFM didn’t seem stupid or lacking in humor, but she was definitely, well, different.

“She’s just being a bit daft from the bonk on the noggin, eh? To be expected I think, right, Healer?” the redhead asked and Tru walked closer, close enough that Kieryn could easily grab Blackthorne and slice and dice the hell out of her, but something told her that the blonde was fast and strong and more a creature of instinct and reaction than anything else. Not something she read in the woman’s mind, but in her eyes and the way she moved, almost fearless, though sometimes that can be a sign of recklessness to the point of a death wish, which could not be ruled out.

The Healer stood up, though the stool he was leaning his ass on previously was tall and he only rose a few inches to get to his full height, a bit taller than Tru, but looking longer given his lean and lank frame. He had a frying pan in his hand and dumped the contents onto a metal plate, camping gear style, maybe military issue at one point, then added a fork to the plate of hot, steaming and still slightly bloody meats.

“Could be, she…you lost a good bit of blood to, dirty blood it is, even the ground won’t grow grass right where it spilled, then again the disease, it wasn’t designed to kill you, but to survive in a host it has to eat, slowly, and that might mean a few neurons nibbled on here and there. This is organ meat, kidney, heart, liver, not human, not gourmet, but what you need,” he said and put the plate and a bottle with a greenish liquid in it next to the plate of mystery organ meat, “Gatorade, well, generic equivalent anyway, beggars not being choosers and all that.”

The man seemed matter of fact and when back to start washing up his cooking and cutting tools, “No brains, even with your infection, especially with it, you could catch some prion mess and really fuck yourself up…um, more.”

Tru picked up a piece of what looked like heart, maybe, and popped it into her mouth, chewed it and swallowed, but not easily,

“Don’t be impressed, I call everyone peckerwood. My beef…and trust me, that ain’t beef,” she nodded to the plate and winked, “Is that my Mother died for you, she died to save you and worse, she died to save your soul and mind as much as your body. The sperm donor she chose to sire me was chosen for you, not for her, and somehow she had a bit of your genetic material, a piece of you, that was melded into me before I was more than a blob of cells, nothing more than what a morning after pill might toss out the chute if she had taken one…so, you see, you’re my Mum too, ain’t that a fucking hoot?” Tru said in a way that didn’t seem all that hoot-like, but her eyes looked over to Blackthorne and she said softly,

“It’s why your blade isn’t buzzing or doing the weird shit I hear it can do. It answers to you, but Mom…Danni, says I was born to be your better angel, except I don’t have angel wings like she did…and it knows that. I didn’t believe her, you know, until I picked you up to carry you back here, and touched that thing…it knew, it knows, and now, we do too. So eat up, Mommsy, we have places to go and people to kill once you are strong enough for the transfusion and marrow. Till then, your blood can’t hurt anyone here, all except for me are either vaccinated or infected already. Your room is down the hall, second on the right, if you need a shower…hint, you do.”

Kieryn’s wounds from her Shadow crossings were all dressed and healing, though she was still weak in that way one gets from being in a bed doing nothing but healing for too long. IFM kissed Kieryn’s head, the way she might a child, which called into question whether she had kids and if so, were they Martin’s, though she seemed like her name could be shortened to I Fuck without making it any less honest. The Healer was immersed in his cleaning up and Tru made a motion towards the food with her eyes and made a silent “Woof” sound, though it might have been the word wolf, either way, the, ahem , tasty spread was either canine or…not, it was definitely canine, then the blonde began to move away, heading for a door in the direction of where Kieryn’s room was supposed to be.

Re: Tru's Blood by MZ3MZ3, 23 Feb 2020 16:46

When the redhead announces what she is up to in her spare time, Kieryn sighs, figuring that her trip through Shadow is going to end the way she thought it would, with her dead. Everyone else was probably going to be dead too, so yeah, whatever. "I figured he liked being pegged," Kieryn replied with a chuckle, and assumed she would get punched, kicked or beaten for her comment.

She nodded back to the Blue Healer, and she looked at his eyes for the briefest of moments, before her eyes focused on the scalpel. So this wasn't going to be pleasant. Well, it was a fair cop, as a troupe of English comedians used to like to say. When they start talking about infections, and the pestilence she has vague memories of some of the craziness that happened when what was probably a genetically tailored virus had done so much to her. She had bit people, she knew. She had torn at flesh with her fingernails. She swallowed thickly, sending bile and whatever she had eaten last back down her esophagus. It had been bad, and she was pretty sure that her mind had done its best to make it all seem like a bad dream.

Kieryn is trying to piece out everything through the accent, the odd terms they use, and she is starting to wonder if IFM, as she thinks of her, has a bad sense of humor. Weren't they part of Martin's team? Of course, maybe they were just delaying. A thought of getting up and grabbing Blackthorn stopped before she shifted her weight and began an action that would have been tragic in one way or another. So they wanted her alive, but someone else wanted her dead, and nobody seemed really mad at her. Were these allies of some kind?

When the tall blonde walked in, Kieryn looked at the woman and assumed that that was the weapon that had wrecked her bike. "Unseelie peckerwood bitch?" She laughs at that. Her eyes light up with glee, and she knows that there is something else behind that. "Why would I want to read you, or, uh, taste you? I don't know if you're brain-damaged or not, but I can see you and hear you, you know."

Ghostie.

The name shoots through her like lightning and she flinches. She has vague memories of madness, and of doing something to herself to change something. There were cards. Pretty painted cards. One used them to make contact with a mind…but Kieryn had changed her mind. There were things that were now locked away and things that she had forgotten, probably intentionally. Ghostie was something bad. She swallowed thickly, and her eyes spoke of the fear of that name and what it represented. "I don't know where Ygg is. The Summer Court…" she remembers vaguely that they were related to her…a long, long, time ago.

Danni. She remembered Danni.

"So what's your beef with me?" So Danni had survived the mission with Bishop and Benedict. Maybe Bishop was the father. No, something with Ygg. Maybe Bishop was from Ygg. She raised her eyebrows slightly when Tru drank the copy of unknown temperature.

"Look. I'll make this easy on both of us. I have no idea who you are. So you hate me. I get that. A lot of people do. If you're going to kill me, go ahead and get it done. If you don't work for Martin, then you should help me end him, or…how long have…I feel like I've missed a lot." She chuckles again. "Unseelie peckerwood bitch. Ah, that's good."

Re: Tru's Blood by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 23 Feb 2020 03:33

Fourteen Shadows crossed, not counting the one where she started nor any she whizzed and shifted through in mere seconds like film shots from a movie camera flashing by with the tiniest of changes from one to another at 30 frames per second. Fourteen Shadows, five attacks, three by ambush, one by an entire brigade and then the sniper.

Each ambush gave itself away, loose thoughts amid intense intentions, the harder they gripped the rifle, the bow the sword, the more they sweated in anticipation cold or hot, the more quickly the Unseelie Queen and daughter of Bleys knew they were there. The broadsword attack came not from a lack of technology, though the bike did sputter a bit when that Shadow was entered, but these were Amber regulars fighting for their lives…technically, for the lives of those they left behind. Kill Kieryn, or any like her, and there were a few, and the bounty would free their families and set them up for life, die trying and a miserly pension would be paid to those who they left behind…not knowing, but guessing, that the lives their kin would live were at best indentured to the whims of the Crown, and at worst, to the carnal sins of those the crown favored for bringing them to power. To fail to fight, to run or rebel, that would unleash hellish torture upon their kindred that would make Caine lose his dinner and the previous day’s lunch as well.

They died well, ah, well, they died, and the poorly paved middle ground was the best their families could hope for. A dozen men and two women, they never stood a chance.

The bowmen had once followed the orders of Mirelle and Deirdre’s eldest daughters, but sedating darts wouldn’t do here, and the ninja-like creatures ambushed from hiding in plain sight…but even the most disciplined mind can reveal itself quietly, and Kieryn read their diagrammatic attack plans in the mind of the leader, his anal attention to every detail and incessant planning for every contingency exposed to her each assassin, their attack angle, escape routes and armaments. The arrows were poison tipped, except for the two with shrapnel laced shafts around cordite centers with impact sparked caps. They had taken a mostly drunken Danni down nearly two dozen times…they would take their last breaths this time, and most died at the hands of each other. Cruelly beautiful, that was the commander’s last loose thought of admiration for the dark-haired bitch’s spellwork and the coup de gras she delivered to him all too personally.

The rifle squad, they thought themselves Seal Team Six, but they were all ambition and show, the entire Shadow a parody in itself, actors everywhere and no one watching but more half-hearted dramatists and unfunny comedians. Funniest part was Charlie Sheen playing a commando not early in his career, but as the utter wreck and disease-ridden slob he became later. It would have been crueler to let them live, truth be told.

The brigade looked German, somewhere between WWII and modern day. Light armored infantry, tracers lighting up the night, and their frontal assault might have been hellaciously successful if the babe on the bike blazing her trail towards them hadn’t been a really cheesy Shadow of Kieryn plucked from the Holly Would Shadow, while Kieryn herself coasted up close from behind, silent and deadly. Usually a term not of art, but of fart, or in this case gas both poisonous and corrosive enough to ensure death of man and machine, quickly, but not painlessly.

Those first four attacks were more like finding mine fields, not hunters, but left in wait, along paths in Shadow someone knew might be used. The sniper was altogether different, he watched each of the other attacks and saw her skills and kills, her weapons and wits, his Logral skills and sight quite beyond impressive, so much so that Lord Borel himself would have been impressed…had his grandfather found killing by a hidden gunman to possess any honor at all, which he did not. Still, the man was a professional, and Kieryn wore the bullet hole in her shoulder, through and through both her jacket and body, not as a badge of honor, but as a necessary price to pay to detect his presence and location and to let Blackthorn fly, almost as if its newest form, really more of a bemusing thought she had while gutting the Michael Biehn has been two shadows earlier, had a taste for Chaos or chaosian blood or the Logrus or just guys trying to kill Kieryn by name. That would be useful, a form to remember and somewhere as the man fell dead and still and hardly moved from his concealed and near impenetrable position with his targeting eye gone and the back of that side of his head shattered and oozing, somewhere his grandfather’s ghost nodded and new that one foul deed deserved another and the man died without honor or success…though his truest weakness and fault had been knowing the name of the woman he hunted, its presence in his mind tipped her off just a second before he fired. A second was all she needed, and two seconds later he was dead and she was moving on.

An air powered crossbow, like some steampunk insanity, of all the things to finally take out her bike and send her spilling over the handlebars…fuck, seriously. Nice shot, incredible actually. Stainless steel bolt not aimed at the rubber of the wheel, but shot to stick within the depths of the spokes at just the right time to catch and jam against the fork as the wheel turned, and the last things Kieryn remembered was that she never saw it coming. It was silent, and so was the shooter. No loose thoughts, nothing to read, almost a void of reality, but not even that. Less than static, whoever it was, she was blind to them in every way. At forty five miles an hour the road rash would have been vicious, but the bike was hit in a soft cornering turn and she landed off road, hitting hard enough to lose consciousness as she tried to struggle to her feet, the concussion spinning her dizzily to the ground with Blackthorn never moving to protect her, and the kill shot an easy target…but one that never came.

Kieryn woke up in the cool of a concrete bunker with slits for sniping, larger inside than out, rimmed in rusted, but not truly old steel. The place had echoes of echoes, nothing soft, nothing to absorb or deaden a single sound. Except for the thin pleather and foam filled cushion upholstering the pair of chairs that had clearly been confiscated from a dentist’s office and placed there. Her hands were tied down, not chained, her spells unlynched and Blackthorn laying quietly on a tray nearby among some bloody dressings that needed to be tossed out and looked like they had been changed maybe half an hour earlier based on the drying rate of the blood and tissue fluid on them.


A not as tall as she looked redhead with tattoos and dreadlocks and plenty of both wrinkled her nose at seeing Kieryn wake at last,

“I’m fucking Martin” she proclaimed herself to be, and while she was attractive in an offbeat way, if Martin had changed into this creature, it was proof the man would go to no end to see his deeds done. The woman jerked a thumb to a willowy looking fellow with black hair and glasses, both of those thin and reedy like the man himself, “That’s the Blue Healer,” she said and the man, not looking at all like a dog of that type or any kind, but with bright blue eyes that flashed her way, gave a salute with a hand holding a blood and ichor covered scalpel.

“Tru is a bit busy up in the cupola, taking out the last few zomb’s in this quarter. Don’t worry, you didn’t infect them when you were brought here, this was one of the Shades your pestilence started wiping out months ago by their time frame, not yours. You been resting near long enough, you need Tru’s blood, blood, and marrow if the Healer is to be believed, gonna hurt a damn fucking lot, but the cure doesn’t hold across Shadow unless its in your bones and taken from hers. Vaccine the Healer made works well enough for us here, but Tru is the real deal…thing is, Hon’, she hates your guts for gettin’ her Mom lost to her…hoping that bumpus she knocked into your head when she tossed you off the bike…sorry, your cycle didn’t survive the crash…so yeah, hoping that got enough out of her to do more than not kill you at first sight like we worried she might.”

Kieryn could read the woman, though it wasn’t easy as her almost cockney accent belied a mind nearly as powerful as Kieryn’s own, and the Healer was intelligent, perverted as fuck, but meant her no harm. There were two dozen other minds, give or take a couple, in the complex this room was a part of, and the tall blonde that walked into the room with an auto-load crossbow over her shoulder, maybe six feet even in height, looked and moved like Danni, more the latter than the former, but a bit of both.

And she looked Kieryn straight into the eyes and shrugged,

“You can’t read me or see me, hear me or taste me except when I allow it, you Unseelie peckerwood bitch, and trust me, you don’t want in my thoughts now or ever.”

I’m fucking Martin wrinkled her nose again, cute the first time, likely to get annoying soon after that first time, and shrugged,

“Better than I hoped for. Tru is the only one that can go by her own name, Ghostie hunts for our real ones, but he can’t see her either. Old man’s half Yggian, half Summer Court, or was, and her Mum, well…” I’m fucking Martin touched Kieryn’s arm with her own hand and Kieryn saw an image flashing into her mind of a taller than tall, beautiful and wistful looking woman, with eyes that could love or kill, but always with passion and craziness that was genuine and real and so achingly missing from Kieryn’s life, holding a little girl in her lap and telling her stories of Kieryn and Bishop and Benedict and…that little girl was quite clearly Tru, the grown woman who glared at Kieryn for a moment longer, then sighed, was Dannl’s daughter,

“She loved you enough to make me, and lucky you, I can’t stand your fucking guts…but we both loved her, or she thought you did, so there’s that.”

The woman unslung the crossbow from her shoulder and put it into a rack on the far wall, grabbed a large cup of coffee and drank it black without even testing how hot or cold it was coming from the pot atop a Bunsen burner. She had to be at least 20 years old or more…how fucking long had it been since Kieryn last saw Danni…and how much did it fucking hurt that everyone spoke of Danni in the past tense?

I'm fucking Martin

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The Blue Healer

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Tru

Tru3
Tru's Blood by MZ3MZ3, 20 Feb 2020 06:07

Kieryn awoke, shivering and freezing. It had gotten cold during the night. She went over to the fire she had made down in the storm sewer and got it lit again. She put the wood she had gathered onto the stack and sat naked while she started hanging spells. Her old clothes were on the fire since they reeked of blood and gore from the running battle she had with the rage zombies. Blackthorn was a long dirk at this point. She hadn't seen or heard anything in the storm sewer, and in fact, she had seen nothing since shifting Shadow away from the rage zombies. From what she had pieced together she had been infected by some kind of biological agent and had infected wherever she had ended up. An eloquent trap, showing that Martin was not going to be easy to take. She had left a dead shadow of herself behind, which would make sense because Martin probably didn't know about Blackthorn. So if his trap that killed the scientists had killed Kieryn, she might have an easier time in her quest to kill Random's son.

She conjured new clothes, black, of course, and got dressed. The water from the broken freshwater pipe had been discovered by fortuitous use of the Pattern, and she went to it and drank some of the same water she had bathed in. Then she sat by the fire and conjured a hot pizza. She was surprised that she ate seven pieces, and decided to sleep again.

She awoke after a few hours, having disturbing nightmares about Ghostwheel again. She shook her head and put her black jacket on, then climbed out of the darkness. She began moving through the Shadows towards where this had started. Surely Martin's army had left some stragglers behind. It was time to find them, and then use her own small talents to kill that motherfucker.

Pistols. Check. Sniper rifle. Check. Motorcycle, fully gassed up. Check. The bike roared to life, and Kieryn put her helmet on before starting her ride toward where she had first seen the domes.

Re: A Daring Rescue (Part 2) by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 13 Feb 2020 04:11

Nighttime. Time to strike. She walked to the main gate and followed a ground-effect vehicle as it went through the checkpoint. With her cloak around her and the veil over her face, even the electronics wouldn't pick her up. The guards had no chance to find her, of course. She caught up to the GEV which had stopped at one point, and she followed the two men in who had the anti-grav unit with the cannister. "This is supposed to be nothing short of amazing, this stuff. Some kind of recombinant DNA accelerator."

"How the fuck did you get so smart?" The other guard asked.

"Your mom taught me when I was fucking her." They both laughed, and Kieryn had to smother a chuckle. The three of them ended up on the elevator. By the time the elevator got to the basement, the two guards were dead, and an explosive charge was ticking from its perch atop the cannister. Kieryn walked out and looked for which way she needed to get in the next twenty-one seconds. She headed for the double doors at the end of the hallway. She looked through them and saw what looked like a lab from a James Bond film. Why hadn't the…

BOOM! The bomb exploded, and Kieryn barely got back before a pair of men ran through the doors towards the sound of the blast. Not touching the doors, Kieryn slipped between them and went into the lab. There were a dozen men and women working on some kind of science stuff, which is what Kieryn considered anything beyond her level of understanding. The scientists all started looking around. Blackthorn was screaming again. Kieryn took a breath and then held it. She cast a spell and the dying scientists saw a woman appear, and then collapse on the ground, convulsing. Kieryn felt the nerve agent working on her as well and she teleported.

It couldn't be just this. The whole thing was a trap? She jumped on her motorcycle and started racing away from the base. Something was bombing the surface, repeatedly, and the sounds were getting closer. A wooden sign, bereft of paint…a mouse watches with alarm in its eyes…clouds, underlit by fire… the pain in the back of her head was intense and she screamed. Then the bike dumped, she tumbled, then slid, and that was the last thing she remembered.

When something akin to consciousness returned to her, she looked at the thousands of people who were feasting on…corpses? No. Some of them were still alive. What the fuck had happened? Kieryn held her head in her hands, and her hands smelled. No, all of her smelled. Like a slaughterhouse. What had happened to her? She had fallen off of her bike…she touched her cheek and it was intact. Her arm, she had slid…no marks. So it had been a few days. "Hello?" She called out.

Several hundred of the people looked up. "Ah, fuck," Kieryn clouded her mind. Something wasn't working. They were moving toward her.

She ran.

Re: A Daring Rescue (Part 2) by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 11 Feb 2020 05:20

Kieryn lay quietly in the short grass. The thermal sensor covered her like a long cloak, and her pants and boots were made of the same material. The hood had a veil that served the same purpose. She paused as another drone flitted by, looking for any kind of target larger than a rabbit. Kieryn had already had several close calls that nearly were the end of her, but she had killed Tandiso, Hertz, Carstairs, and von Dume. Things were getting harder now, as she quietly observed one of Martin's bases.

Martin had reasoned that a family like the family in Amber would not be good with technology. Therefore, he had stationed his bases in areas that were filled with Tech and usually had little to no magic. Kieryn had enjoyed learning how to use a tangler pistol, a nerve gun, a capsule projector, and an awesome laser sword, one of which she was carrying at the moment. von Dume was possibly a girlfriend to Martin, maybe a sister? Kieryn wasn't sure since she had been angry enough at the deaths of her three companions to kill von Dume after finding out about the location of this place. Kieryn felt like she had reverted to the wild creature she was when she was hunted by and hunting Amber's armies. Here, the troops weren't as good, but their weapons were deadly. The drones only made her nervous because one of them had nearly killed her after Martin found the head of von Dume. The drone had been a large thing, elegant, like a flying whale. It had soared up when the large weapon it carried detached. Kieryn's blade had screamed at her and she had shifted Shadows as the nuclear weapon had devastated the city Kieryn thought she would be safe in, but no. Martin wasn't messing around and had used bioweapons and chemical agents, both of which had nearly killed Kieryn until she started thinking like Martin, at which point she got ahead of him. After all, she had spent plenty of time thinking like the worst killer of the bunch. Martin was new to it.

This time, at least, Kieryn wasn't just fighting for survival. She was fighting for the survival of her family. Benedict had never been in touch, and Kieryn could only imagine that the Ghostwheel had finished him off, along with Bishop and Danni. It had helped her by making her heart cold and her will indomitable. The question now; was Martin here?

Re: A Daring Rescue (Part 2) by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 25 Jan 2020 22:37

Xander looks at the guard as if he's just told him he was an alien from another planet. His brow is furrowed.

"Let me get this straight……

Instead of cutting your hair and styling it so it stays out of your eyes and looks neat….you only trim split ends and let the rest linger like kudzu vines on your scalp? Do you know how fucking LONG your method of grooming takes compared to ours? How many hours your split enders wage war against each hair on your head?

At least we don't look like a bunch of shaggy mongrels compared to you assholes. Now shut up and let your ingrown fur fester on your scalps like the prisoners you are."

One look from Xander's eyes tell the two guards that he is not pleased with the way they are degrading his hairstyle.

He walks back over to his father, our of the earshot of the two new prisoners….

"Lets make certain we don't take breaks or make conversations with other guards. The less chance we give them to notice us, the better."

He readjusts his helmet so that his hair is firmly tucked under it. wanting to make certain that no other guard will notice his hair being different from their own. Then he nods to his father.

"Ready for patrol." he says, patting the sword at his side. He wears it like the other guards he just saw were wearing them.

"I think we can guess that this castle is similar enough ti\o Amber that the Throne Room is approximate to where the other one is."

He starts walking to the entrance…and will wait for the door to open so they can make their way out of here.

He looks back at the prisoners.

"They are going to raise an alarm the minute someone else gets down here." he says to his father.

Which means they have to get knocked out again.

Or silenced…permanently.

When Xander knelt down and woke up the second guard. He came around and showed Xander everything he asked. The gestures he would need for the keys to get out. He also told him the next time guards would be down would be at the end of their shift in a few hours to give the prisoners their dinners. Which gave Corwin and Xander another few hours until they had to worry about anyone noticing they were gone.

"Where are our belongings? I want my sword, this piece of shit just wont do." Corwin said as he unsheathed the guards blade to take a look at it.

The guard looked at him with an upset look. "Well, most of your belongings are in the box at the end of the hallway. However, that sword your talking about is now in the throne room. The guys who brought you in could tell it was special. It's actually been big talk amongst the guards recently. The First has one just like it and no one knows where he got it because it's not made from any metal we mine around here… …So where did you get it?" The guard curiously asks to Corwin.

"Well you're right that it's not from around here at all. I don't have time to go into it, but you say there is another just like it?"

"Yes the First's sword is identical. I've seen it in the throne room and now there are two when we patrol through on morning sweeps."

"Well that settles it. I guess we need to visit the throne room before we go." Corwin says to Xander as he was finishing adjusting his uniform.

Corwin dressed in the uniform of the cities guard looked barely recognizable to Xander in uniform with his helmet covering his hair and a long nose guard that came down and helped cover his face too. Xander looked just as inconspicuous once in his uniform as well. They both looked like any other city guard as far as they could tell and were ready to be off.

Corwin and Xander forced the two guards into Xander's cell and closed them in. Corwin made his gesture and pulled the keys from thin air. They appeared in his hand with a puff of smoke and he locked the guards in. Then he made the dismissal gesture as they disappeared from his hands. "All right. Let's get going. If they aren't going to notice us being gone for a few hours that gives us some time to sneak around and maybe get my sword back."

The guard speaks up through the door. "Not likely. You haven't realized it yet, but no one around here has hair like yours, you're going to stick out like a sore thumb. I'm still trying to figure it out myself. You two are something of an enigma. You're the only people with hair that has been sheared like a sheep or something. Why would you cut your hair? We trim split ends like we trim our nails, but your hair is Cut not trimmed, it's very strange."

Kashfa?

Harlyn is sure he has heard that name before. Yes, he was in a well heeled port, a Shadow rich with traders and merchants. There was a cheerful merchant Harlyn had a drink with, and the sailor said he was taking a load of fine tobacco to Kashfa to trade for bundles of silk. Kashfa was part of some trade arrangement with Amber, the golden ring or some such.

"So we are under siege by a mystery army without a flag or cause? Madness."
Harlyn nods at the nurse comment about his memory. "If you use the word interesting to mean unpleasant, then yes. If I at least woke up after a bender, I'd know I had fun getting wrecked." He chuckles, then snorts with a wince of pain as his head hurt just enough to get his attention.

Being a good patient, Harlyn cooperates with the friendly nurse as she unwraps and removes the bandages around his head. He closes his eyes partially and listens as the nurse talks. The names she mentions are new to Harlyn, but he does his best to file them away under possibly being important.

As the bandages spiral onto his chest from above his head, Harlyn offers, "So the King and Queen are missing. Surely they would come help if they knew what was happening."

Did he care? Not really. Still, Harlyn was generally curious about rumors and gossip. If he was going to be here for a while, it was good for him to know what was going on.

"Soldiers at bars. I don't remember much, but I am sure I'm at home in a bar as I am anywhere else."

He sees the blood on the cotton wrap, as it spools out into a small pile. His nurse sounds surprised by what she finds underneath. Oops. Maybe he healed faster than he should have. In the wrong place, healing quickly can get you burned at the stake.

Harlyn tries to play his amazing recovery off. "You shouldn't tease a wounded man, nurse. Unless you and the doctor can work miracles I can't be whole. If you did, maybe they should give you both a raise."
He looks up at her, seeing curiosity, not fear in her eyes.
"Are you sure you didn't pull off a miracle?"

Harlyn takes a deep breath, hearing the nurse mention the royal family of Amber. She is a smart woman. Harlyn stares at the pile of bandages on his chest as if digging through hazy memories. "My mother worked in a bar, miss. Prettiest red head in the county everyone said, and she was. Working in a bar, you meet many men. When I was old enough she told me I was son of a charmer, a wanderer, a rolling stone. I never gave much thought to him I guess. I've been lucky enough all these years to never get my head bashed in before now. I never knew I might be gifted in this way. I surely don't look like royalty."

Harlyn looks wistful for a moment, knowing he was very real royalty so long ago, not to mention many times during the all the lives he has lived.

"What's it mean, if you're right? That I'm a bastard son of a noble come from a place I've never been? I'm here now, and we're fighting for our lives. When I'm healed and good to go, I'll be happy enough just to go back out on that wall and fight again for Kashfa. I'll try to duck my head a little faster next time, so you don't have to pull off another miracle."

Taking the nurses hand, he gives it a thankful squeeze.
"I appreciate you and the doctor putting me back together. Maybe you're right about me, but what use could my parentage be at a time like this?"

Her eyes narrow slightly when he talks about a reward. Was this for the benefit of his troops? Probably. She looks at the guard as he approaches with Blackthorn. She girds herself with the blade, not wanting to show off all her secrets.

She doesn't move as the troops leave in response to Benedict's orders. She looks up at Benedict. "There is one thing I do not require. A reward. I neither want nor need one. There is one thing that I do require. A room. A bed. A bath. Once that is done and I have recuperated, I will more likely to survive leaving the city." He can probably tell that she is running on willpower, and a good night's sleep would make her that much more effective. Granted, she could leave and go into the Shadows and find someplace to recuperate, but she wants to get started…once she has rested.

"Two last things. Did you find Bishop and Danni? They were my companions and I would hope that they are well." She awaits that answer with dread.

Finally, assuming he gives her a night to recuperate, she is shown to her room, speaking nothing to the guards, and when she gets there she bathes, then sleeps, then awakens sometime during the night and begins hanging new spells. Something tells her she is going to need all of them, against Martin.

Re: A Daring Rescue (Part 2) by GeorgeMSCGeorgeMSC, 19 Dec 2019 04:17
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