Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 08:50 PM
"Eccentricities they loved to quote while they stole his methods and rolled their eyes."
Bitter? Some. At least Morgan kept to a lot of the spirit of his Mentor's later work.
Old Jack had been more his own man than an Order one, anyway. But he never got 'round to resigning. It was hard for Morgan not to wonder if that was something to do with him. "Well, fuck knows you had admiration enough on your own." He shrugged a little. "Old Jack said he met you once."
Morgan leaned back some, "Said he was real impressed. Wondered if he'd have to try and figure a way to cripple you in case you tried to Ascend." Morgan chuckled a little. "And here I am trying to help you along."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 08:55 PM
"He... was a subtle man for being of the Order. A very subtle man I would not have relished that battle. But we shared some views about divinity..." There was more than a bit of respect there too. "It is ironic indeed that I am even considering this."
Maalech sipped his wine, the wrinkles on his forehead deepening. "Though it is not quite the same." He hoped.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 09:00 PM
Wow. Melekain being humble? Scary.
"No, not really. You aren't being worshipped or adored. Hell, looks like you get to keep what people think of you, just translated into a broader sense." Morgan chuckled some and shrugged. "Oh, well." He sighed a little.
"On the upside, I don't think you really notice it. Talking to Scarlet, you'll already be there now once you make the choice."
Morgan shuddered some. It seemed unreasonably creepy to him for some reason.
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 09:04 PM
"Time. Yes, I suppose that would be manageable. When the current Grey retired, he choose to take his retirement in the past, so technically he both is and is not an aspect at the moment." Maalech sounded rather amused at that idea.
"Once you have accepted that reality, and your own role in it is completely different from what you once thought and goes in the face of all that we would call logic, it is not so strange. I find it rather illuminating, it offers an explanation for things I never thought could be explained."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 09:08 PM
"Yeah. Hear he ran back to get married or somesuch." Morgan shrugged again. "The whole thing's too fucking strange."
He stepped away, cracking his neck, digging around in the folds of his battered old, old, old coat and pulling out a small flask and taking a pull from it.
More alcohol. "More shit keeps complicating things. Layers and layers. And the deeper I dig, the deeper I find it goes."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 09:15 PM
"Or the closer to the surface you come. Don't be too sure of the direction you are digging in now." Maalech almost smiled then, he might be closer to his feelings but that did not mean he had lost the taste for teasing Morgan.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 09:17 PM
"Well, or that. I guess since they're so far above my perspective..." He shook his head, looking upward a bit.
Up or down.
Morgan smirked a little.
"Either way, it's kind of bracing being so continually out of my element."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 09:21 PM
"You need to challenge yourself more, do you wish to go back to petty wars and women? Anything that truly matters will be a challenge. Regardless of what you think, I am quite often out of my element as well. The trick is not to let yourself be overwhelmed by it."
He chuckled, shaking his head as he looked at the other man. "Letting oneself be overwhelmed by the situation have caused more deaths than old age."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 09:29 PM
"I'm not overwhelmed, exactly. Just... surprised at myself. Sedentary years and now? There's a war in fairyland, conflicts with supernal overbeings, my enemy-friend trusting me with keeping him alive while he finds himself."
Morgan shrugged some. "It's just. There's a lot to it all. I'm a simple man, Maalech. Barely even a mage. I pick things up, sure. But at the end of the day all I really want is a good woman to bed down with."
That was a lie. He wanted power and understanding, too, of course. But at least with a woman he could just let it stop.
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 09:31 PM
Maalech gave Morgan a dry look. "I see. Those must be the very traits that made Jack accept you as apprentice in the first place."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 09:35 PM
Morgan looked away from the man for a moment.
There was a moment where his body tensed up as if he was going to strike the man.
Before he exhaled slowly, seeming to deflate.
And he took a sip from his flask.
"I never pretend I'd be anything he's proud of, Mal." His voice was a small, frail thing then, like a baby bird fallen out of its nest. "Never once."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 09:41 PM
Maalech was silent for a little, looking rather thoughtfully at Morgan. Finally he spoke "Regardless of what you think, the man is dead. There is only one person you need to make proud right now, and that is yourself."
Perhaps not the most diplomatic of comments, but he felt that it was a true one.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 09:48 PM
"Yeah. Yeah, he is. Can't see what..."
Morgan cut off that line of thought, grimacing as if he tasted something horrible.
So he had another long pull from his flask.
"I don't care about proud. For me, anyway. Seth. Seth makes me proud. The twins probably will, too. I'll settle for contentment at this point."
He scowled a little before speaking again, "So how's Anne, anyway?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 09:53 PM
"Seth... yes, I can see why he would make you proud." Maalech nodded, looking around the room, anywhere but on Morgan.
He was proud of the young man too, but he was not unaware of the problems with that.
So, the offered change of subject was taken without argument "She is fine, so far. The worlds have not yet crumbled, though they do object when she embarks on a course that would take her too much into a story of her own. The limitations are annoying... I can understand why they are there, it just irks me what it means for us. That there most likely cannot be an us."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 10:03 PM
Morgan was very aware at that moment how little of Seth's achievements had anything at all to do with him.
He tucked his flask away then.
Weak. Useless. Fuck you, Morgan.
He shook his head before looking up some, "Well. I don't know. Maybe there's a loophole. If. I mean, you two are happy, right?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 10:11 PM
"Yes, we are." It was only after Maalech had said those words that he realized what he had just said. They had slipped out without thought, the natural reaction.
But it was true. He was happy when he was with her.
And more so, she made his life better even when she was not.
"We are working on it, and as long as no final decision have been reached, we have time." He frowned faintly, pondering "But from what I know, she should have been replaced already. Unless the most dangerous thing is if she uses her entanglement to shape events the way she favors them, instead of what would be best for the whole. She has warned me that in the future, she might well have to nudge events that would be dangerous for me."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 10:15 PM
"Well, be that as it may... I guess I'm just wondering what's a better story. As long as you two are, like... how did she put it? Star-crossed. As long as you two are star-crossed, it's an interesting story." How bizarre it was to talk about someone's life like that.
"So long as she's doing her job, it's all well and good... but I'm just thinking that if the two of you are happy then the story is boring. Over, maybe. Happily ever after and then you two go back to your projects."
It was a long shot. But something worth talking to Anne--Hell, maybe even Scarlet--about sometime.
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 10:34 PM
"It is a disturbing thought, is it not? I spent most of my life defying fate and now..." Maalech slumped a little, emptying the glass of wine. "This... this has humbled me in ways I had not conceived." And from the look on his face it was a painful experience, even if it was perhaps what was best in the end.
"The thing that eludes me is the fact that I cannot see how long we can walk on this knife's edge. And no matter how disturbing some things might be for me, I fear that hers is the worst lot. By far."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 10:38 PM
"Probably so. She's seeing the whole world of it as opposed to us just seeing... well, whatever we're seeing. At least we can hide in that."
Morgan chuckled half-heartedly. "Still, Maalech... I think it's better to at least try and live and love, even when you know it might not end well than to live in fear of it. Not that you are, just... saying."
He smiled some at the man, "And. And I had a thought that maybe you accept being Grey at some point and ran off to marry whoever Anne turned into." He shrugged a little at that, "Stupid thought, I know. But with all the talk of stories, I thought I'd write a happy ending."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 10:44 PM
"A happy ending." Maalech mused for a moment at that. "Regardless, it is still an ending, and I do not wish for one for quite some time. Especially not now, when there is so much to learn." There was passion in those words, because few things excited him more.
"And you need not worry. In this I am taking your advice and is living in the moment." The smile was almost soft. No, scratch that almost. "I would not wish her removed if i could help it. She loves what she is doing, she is good at it... even if she would have a perfectly quiet life it would not be what she truly wished for,"
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 10:47 PM
"No. No, protests aside, I guess we're not really the settling-down types, hm?" He chuckled at that.
"I know I keep asking it, but how can I help, Maalech? Seriously. There's a lot of things I hear on both sides and I'm really trying to find the happy medium for them."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 10:50 PM
"I... do not know." The admission was a accompanied by a heavy sigh. "I simply do not know enough of the boundaries and limitations of her existence. Or rather, I do know the limitations... but not whether they can be twisted. In this I have no plan Morgan." Maalech shook his head, looking tiredly at his empty glass. "With her there are no plans. Not anymore."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 10:54 PM
"Scary," said the man as he watched Maalech, half-smiling. "But playing it by ear isn't as bad as people make it out to be. And if you can ever build a good relationship with any of them... Well, I leave that to you."
Morgan shrugged some. "I'll do everything I can. I know that's probably not much, Mal. But I'll do it."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 10:57 PM
"Thank you. I might come to hold you to that one day." Maalech hesitated for a moment, then seemed to come to some sort of decision.
"There is one thing you can do. Remove what you wove to shield me from her sight."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 11:08 PM
The man watched Maalech quietly for a moment.
He wanted to protest. To ask him if he knew what he was doing.
But he was silent in that little gap before he nodded his head. "Alright."
And without another word, he gestured up into the air, then over the other man's face. "Done."
He looked over at the man, "Be careful."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 11:13 PM
"Unfortunately I am not prone to being careful lately, if I was I would not stand here. But I will not be stupid. This... is simply the easiest way to deal with one of the pressing issues at hand. The Countess and her weave... it needs to go, and the sooner the better."
What had happened to make him feel so disturbed about it? Certainly something, because there had not been this sense of urgency before.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 11:17 PM
"That seems to be the reigning consensus, yeah." Morgan smirked some before looking over at the man. "I'll be happy to see it gone. Then maybe we can all get a night's sleep."
Well, Morgan could. Maalech would probably sleep with one eye open until the thing with Aly was resolved.
He was quiet then before looking over at the man, "So, really, what's changed?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 11:24 PM
"I would say nothing, but that would be a lie." Maalech scoffed, pouring himself a third glass of wine. "It is irrational. It is illogical. But the conclusions makes sense, and I cannot disregard something just because the source itself might be suspect."
He put the bottle down, turning to face Morgan once more as he admitted "I had a dream."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 11:26 PM
Morgan was quiet for a moment.
And chuckled some, "Wow. You listening to a bizarre subconscious urge?" He smirked and looked at the man, "What was the dream about? The horrible forever stretching forward? Being a pawn?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 11:31 PM
"What the dream was about is not important." Maalech dismissed that with a wave of his hand. "It simply reminded me that at present I am as caught in the weave as anybody else, thanks to her dance, and it would not be safe to let it proceed further. I do not want my threads tangled in that feedback."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 11:34 PM
"Well, by hook or by crook you're roped in. Good for you." He smiled a bit. "And I don't blame you for wanting to disentangle. Or, really, cut the weave into tiny pieces and scatter them to the four winds."
He smiled over at the man. "So are we just gonna hope that Aly fixes that up for you?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 11:38 PM
"Hope has very little to do with it. From what you and Seth have told me, she has regained some reason and control, if not all her memories. Reason is all fine and well, but it opens one up to the possibility of being manipulated."
He paused for a moment, shaking his head. "Or perhaps that is a harsh description. But not altogether untrue. Still, the larger issues will be what to do next. What she will do next."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 11:42 PM
"Well, as soon as she knows what to look for, I'd hope like mad you catch her in a mood to tell you about all the things she's going to do to you--" a shiver ran down his back, remembering the hooks, the pain, the way he forced himself to slip away, the horror at knowing that it was the only way out. "--then maybe you can interrupt her and talk to her about everything?"
Morgan flexed his hands slowly at the thought, "You want some backup when it happens?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 23 2008, 11:53 PM
"She has a temper, that is true." Maalech hesitated for a moment, draining the rest of the glass. It was quite obvious he was not as much at peace with this as he might have liked.
"It all depends on what memories she has returned to her I would think. But it is not something I can ignore forever, no matter what I would wish."
He pondered the offer for a moment. "You would risk that?"
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 23 2008, 11:58 PM
"Mal, I said I'd be here to look after you," Morgan frowned some, looking at the man, "I'll have to back out if it gets too bad. Kids. But."
He sighed some, "Maalech, neither of us have done really good by her. She's crazy, carved up, lost and angry. You... and because I haven't fixed it, me have to try and fix it."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 24 2008, 12:08 AM
"I know that. I have been trying for the last decades to pattern a weave that would allow her the time to heal. That was one of the things the Tzarg took from her. When they cast her in her role, gave her a new people, a new position, more power... they also took away her chance to deal with her loss. She never has."
He had lowered his voice by now, because this was personal. Normally he did not discuss personal issues, but like it or not, he and Morgan had grown close.
"At first the battle was to return her memories. By trapping her in the cycle between ascension and rebirth, they kept her personality but each rebirth gave her new memories. But when alive, she always knew that something was missing, and found out enough to find me and beg me to return her memories. Fool that I was, I did just that. I added strands that would slip into her weave, and at a set point in each rebirth would expose her to an object that would allow her memories to filter back. However, once she remembered, she... could not handle the pain. Suddenly forgetfulness was bliss, and by then we had both begun to realize the trap in which we had been bound. She wished to forget. She wished for power. She sacrificed her sanity and had me bind away her memories. She could live that way."
He watched his reflection in the glass for a moment, then continued "My battle then turned to revenge, and to a way of removing her from the curse they had placed her under. The countess was to be the final piece of that weave. And now? Now we are back to where I started, except that her memories are returning. And she is no more equipped with dealing with what they hold."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 24 2008, 12:16 AM
Morgan listened quietly for a time, beginning to pace.
Well, he'd pieced together a lot of that. Still, it didn't give him a lot of options.
"I guess it'd be stupid to find someplace for her to recuperate and let her do it a long, long way away?" Morgan chuckled a little then, scratching the back of his head, fingernail picking at one of the thicker scars there. "Or let her sleep until it all sorts itself?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 24 2008, 12:22 AM
"Sleep would not help either. She needs to come to terms with what happened. She still has not. I still think the safest way for that to be done is to neuter her, regardless of the fact that it would be yet another violation." The sigh was annoyed and sharp. "But I see no other choice. She will use her powers, and the Tzarg might notice. They might still notice that the weave is disturbed, but I do think I wove the concealment tightly enough to hide her loss of powers as well."
That made him smile very thinly indeed "Unless the Tzarg is indeed the very beings that are now courting me."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 24 2008, 12:26 AM
"Well, we'll have to assume that since they haven't killed you, Aly or Seth recently that they aren't. Otherwise you're just gonna go nuts with paranoia."
Not that the pair of them weren't close.
And at the last? Morgan just sighed as well, looking over at the man. "Seems about the only option, doesn't it?"
He snorted absently, "Just make sure she doesn't have a rock nearby to kill you with."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 24 2008, 12:30 AM
"Or a knife. One of the traditional dances where she came from was done with knives. She was rather adept." Maalech looked almost wistful for a moment, but buried it with a frown.
"She will hate me regardless. I have done things she will not condone. I know that."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 24 2008, 12:36 AM
"Really? Fuck, that explains a whole lot about her, come down to it." Morgan laughed a little, smirking at the man before looking at him.
"At least you aren't counting on her for the whole happily-ever-after." He smiled weakly then before it fell away. "Sorry. That's..."
He sighed and looked at the other man.
"She'll rip us apart when she gets back to herself. We'll deserve it, too."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 24 2008, 12:39 AM
"She was always ruled by her emotions and not logic. And yes, it will not be pleasant. Perhaps, over time she will begin to understand why... but perhaps not. I admit that at times it seems that my logic is quite different from most other people's."
He admitted that with the faintest of frowns. "In this, she is in her right to be upset."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 24 2008, 12:46 AM
"Well, then we drink deep and tomorrow we die."
He shrugged some, looking out the man's window, touching the glass, "Maybe she'll be nice to me because I'm the other parent?" He almost laughed before sighing. "Well, Powers on the left, madwoman on the right. The world hates the monsters. Deservedly."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 24 2008, 12:51 AM
"I do predict she would still have a use for you. After all, she spent a lot of energy into crafting you into her sword when she was still insane, I would think that would still hold in the face of her sanity. I however... she is already grooming a replacement magus. I do not know if that notion will hold once the web that snares the countess will be gone."
He scoffed lightly, giving Morgan a look "The last refuge of doomed men, to be useful. Still, it would not be the first time."
He had lived before, only because he could provide his captor with something.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 24 2008, 12:57 AM
Morgan shrugged a little. "No way to tell. Weaves can be a little strange when they snap, fraying all over the place, flying this way and that. Her new Magus... well, that role could fall to anyone. A part of me wonders if maybe it won't just shake everything up. You're throwing off the course of the Countess' likely destiny. That's GOT to mess with things."
The man shrugged. "Either way, though. We'll find a way through. I'll do my best to keep you running."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 24 2008, 01:04 AM
"If I did not think I could manage this, I would not have proposed it." Maalech gave Morgan a dry look, confidence he did not lack.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 24 2008, 02:43 AM
"Be that as it may, Mal... Well, I guess it's superfluous to tell you to be careful or wish you good luck." He smirked some and cracked his back.
And then he took a seat, looking around and wondering if he should just start waiting for Aly now. In the meanwhile, he began sifting back to remember the marks Maalech had put onto himself.
Wondering, with a scowl, what it would take to get them onto Aly.
Posted by: Maalech Sep 28 2008, 11:50 PM
"Luck." Maalech sighed and gave Morgan a rather tired look. "It is simpler to make our own luck, you should know that by now."
He walked over to one of the piles yet unsorted and picked up a book, but he looked distracted. His heart was not in it anymore.
"Do you think me a fool then? For believing that she can still be manipulated?"
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 28 2008, 11:50 PM
"He should" was the simple answer that came from the woman that had appeared in the shadows, not dressed in white now but in deep, deep crimson.
"Because I am through being played with."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 28 2008, 11:54 PM
Well, that didn't take long.
Not, of course, that Morgan was fool enough to think it would.
He smiled sardonically and offered her a half-hearted wave, "Hi, Aly." He said with a vague smile, surprised it took her even this long. "Care for a seat? Pull up a pile."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 28 2008, 11:57 PM
It was quite obvious that the appearance was still quite disconcerting to Maalech. Once you lacked the senses for sensing an approach, you were helpless in quite a different way. Still, the slight stiffness as he turned was fleeting, and soon lost.
"This is not a game. I am not certain what you remember at the moment, but that you ought to know. This was not done on a whim. Nor by my plotting. This was our decision."
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 12:00 AM
"Oh really?" Her eyes were narrow and focused as she stepped out into the sunlight, giving Morgan a sweet little smile though her attention was focused on Maalech.
"Was it by my own hand then that my sanity was stripped away? That the leaves of my memory were torn apart and bound, leaving me little but a doll dancing to the whims of chaos? Was that my doing too? Is it perhaps my own throat I ought to cut?"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 29 2008, 12:00 AM
"It is not quite as si..." Maalech choked, both hands going to his throat.
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 12:01 AM
"Be silent." Her smile had grown sharper.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 12:04 AM
"Aly." Morgan slowly got to his feet, watching her carefully--dangerous ground to tread, she was--as he stepped closer to her.
"Aly, he doesn't lie. You know that."
It was a simple enough truth. Fuck, but he hoped she remembered it.
"Come on, Aly. You said yourself that you're not operating with a full deck just yet."
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 12:08 AM
She turned slowly, the elegant shift of her hand causing Maalech to drop to his knees, still struggling for breath. It was not that he was completely choked, rather it was the laborous struggle of a slow choking, where a little gasp now and then could be sucked in, prolonging the agony.
"What do I know? You said so yourself, what reason would there be for trust. I trust my own heart." She looked to the side again, watching the man's suffering. "He is not the man I knew. He has grown old and decripit, helpless. He is inconsequencial except for my wish to see him suffer."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 29 2008, 12:09 AM
Was that a choked laugh that he managed to get out as he struggled for breath?
Yes, it was.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 12:11 AM
He should just keep talking. Try to get her down. Try to calm her with words.
He took a deep breath.
And reached into the man's throat to push back the forces keeping his throat closed, "Aly, you are not well." He spoke slowly, firmly at that. It was stupid, maybe. But it might keep them alive for a little.
Or hasten the end.
"Fuck, don't you remember it, woman? The only thing that could drive you to do that to yourself? Don't you remember that fucking mountain in the sky?"
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 12:17 AM
"Do not laugh at me!" Her eyes flashed, both at Maalech's choked laugh, and Morgan working against her wishes. She took a small step forward, ankle curving gracefully as she ran her toes across the bare floor, releasing her hold on Maalech's throat. Instead she tapped her foot once, sending a sharp jolt of pain through his flesh, raising a hand against Morgan, all five fingers extended. "Stop interfering. This is not for you."
She held still though, allowing for Maalech to collect himself, inconsequential little man that he was.
"I do not rememer. He took them."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 29 2008, 12:20 AM
Maalech did not quite scream, but he did convulse for a moment, gasping for breath as control over his own body was his once more. Gingerly he drew himself up to his knees, should she blast him again it was not as far to fall from down there.
"The tower. Nine of swords. Those cards hold those memories. Eight of swords holds the answer to why this came to pass."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 12:24 AM
"And you'll go mad all over again when you're whole and you realize what you've done. Dammit, Aly, you love him. You're a horrible wife and you treat him like he doesn't exist as much as he's horrible to you, but fuck help the both of you, you're almost happy sometimes."
He stepped forward, frowning.
"I'm not going to sit back and let you kill him. I know what you're capable of, Alynealin. Listen to him. You know what he's capable of, too."
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 12:29 AM
That gave her a slight pause, and she remained still, as if the very act of movement would unleash something that she perhaps not quite could control.
"Do not tell me what I feel." Her eyes were focused on Morgan, her head slowly tilting as if he was a snake whose bite she was preparing for. "I crafted you. You would not be where you are today but for me, you broken shamble of a man. I forged and reforged you, and you would do well to remember that. And believe me, death is a mercy. I am not inclined to be merciful."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 29 2008, 12:32 AM
Maalech could not hold back a sigh then.
"Then, if not merciful, at least be prepared to think. You have access to someone that can, if he wishes to, grant you all your memories back. And yet you are here, and not there, turning yourself whole. Why is that?"
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 12:39 AM
He went stiff under that gaze.
She was a monster in there, underneath the flesh and warm hair.
She'd rip him apart. Cell from cell.
"I only tell you because you don't know, Alynealin. I'm only a tool. But a tool helps you do things. I'm cutting through your bullshit, woman."
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 12:43 AM
She still held her gaze firmly on Morgan, having deemed Maalech inconsequential when it came to threatening her. "You have not cut through many things lately, have you? She sleeps... so full. Singing lullabies of broken razors..." Her voice had once again caught that almost sing-song tone she got when the madness took her, but she recovered in an instant.
Maalech she answered with a simple "I will. I have just not been ready yet."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 29 2008, 12:46 AM
"You are lying to yourself." He had managed to get his hands to stop shaking by now, his muscles still felt weak from her earlier outburst. It was a singularly humbling experience to be helpless in the face of this.
Still, it was far more humbling to have been bit by a dog, in this at least he had answers.
"You are afraid. As always you pull the cards you want from the deck, they have given you back what you can accept. The things that makes you feel safe. Your past. Your family. Your power. And now you hesitate... what else is there for you in there but pain? You do know that, somewhere. You do know there was a reason you gave it up."
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 12:48 AM
"Shut up!" She closed her hand and watched Maalech collapse with a scream, looking pleased with herself. "I am not afraid. But he has been unwilling." She admitted the last with a frown, ignoring the man that had collapsed beside her.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 12:54 AM
"Unwilling?" He gestured to one side to ensure Maalech was okay yet.
Alive, if nothing else.
"Unwilling?" he repeated, growing a little louder, "You're Aly-fucking-nealin, the bloody Witch-Queen. What is unwilling to you?" He flexed his hand a little then, middle finger moving over the angry scar there. He heard them sometimes, those lullabies.
Made him remember that it was all real. That she was still there. As if that feeling of barbed wire waiting to spring didn't do it enough.
"Do you want to know why you gave it up?" he said, knowing that he had only a vague idea himself.
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 01:02 AM
"He..." She seemed on the verge of raising her voice once more when she collected herself once more and cleared her throat. "He asked for a favour first. I felt inclined to grant it." She threw back her hair, nostrils flared as if she was a horse expecting battle.
"It is not important why I have it up. I will learn it eventually." But she did look troubled.
Posted by: Maalech Sep 29 2008, 01:05 AM
Maalech coughed, pushing himself up on his knees once more, hands shaking now. "The why is always the most important. I will not run, nor will I lie. You have a right to hate me, should you wish to hurt me you can find me easily now." His voice was rough, but his eyes sharp. "Do you not wonder why you are bending to his will?"
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 01:13 AM
He looked from Maalech to her and scowled, "You felt inclined. But you don't have to do it. And like Mal says, it's damned important why."
He looked at her, lips drawn tight, "Why would you ever allow your power to be lessened? Your memory be imperfect? And what force on Earth, even with all Mal's knowledge, could take it from you?"
He softened some then, "Aly, you know there's answers. Horrible answers. And killing him is only postponing finding them."
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 01:18 AM
"Because I -trusted- him." The words came sharp as daggers, but they were just words though Maalech tensed in anticipation of pain that did not come. "Because I believed that he was -mine- that he worked -for- me. Trust." Her lips were a thin line now "That is why he could do this." But she was hesitating, and some of the thundercloud tenseness had left the air.
"And I am not bending to his will."
Posted by: Maalech Sep 29 2008, 01:22 AM
Maalech flinched slightly, but recovered himself as she spoke. There was a brief glance there at Morgan, as if he was surprised by the man's words.
"If you are not now, you will me. I wished for your sanity to be restored, but there was a risk involved with that. In order to transfer that risk to someone else I made a weave, ensnaring a suitable subject to take your place. You took it upon yourself to manipulate that weave... you crafted yourself a new Magus, pulling both him and me into it. You are already growing dependent on him, not because of your own wishes, but because of the weave that have been woven."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 01:27 AM
"You trusted him to do what was right, Aly. Ever think that maybe you weren't an idiot? That maybe you trusted right?"
He frowned some, "You're making yourself be less than yourself because you're afraid to know the truth. So stop being afraid. Forge yourself."
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 01:32 AM
"Silence!" She stomped her foot, but no sound came, and ner next words were unheard. With an annoyed look on her face she took a step, made half a turn, and then the sound came rushing back, all at once "Iamnotafraid."
She was standing so she could face them both now, slowly crossing her arms as if she was protecting herself.
"There is a weave..." She admitted this reluctantly. "I have felt it brush against me, like cobwebs untearing." She tasted that for a moment, then frowned and spat "I will not be bound again, by weave or otherwise!"
Posted by: Maalech Sep 29 2008, 01:34 AM
"If not..." Maalech spoke softly now, carefully. "Remove it. You have woven part of it, you can unweave it. Be free if you think that is best for you, I have no power to stop you."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 01:36 AM
"I'm not skilled enough to break it," said the man with a shrug. "And he's powerless."
Morgan watched her carefully.
Huh. Maybe it even worked.
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 11:17 PM
"Powerless." She scoffed, tossing back her hair. "He has turned old and gelded himself, what honor is there to hate someone like him?" She made a gesture with one hand, and Maalech collapsed once more into convulsions.
"Powerless. I could slay him now." But instead she released her grip, gliding back a few steps as she watched the man in curiosity.
He did not move.
She looked as if she was not sure how to feel about that.
"I will be free, and I will be back." She bared her teeth, then added "He is alive."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 11:22 PM
Morgan bowed his head some, "Thank you, Alynealin." Full names were called for here. She was being gracious or whatever passed for it for her.
"I look forward to seeing you again," he lied, watching her cautiously.
Posted by: Alynealin Sep 29 2008, 11:24 PM
She had closed her eyes by now, hands reaching out in the first steps of the dance.
"You should." were the last words she directed at Morgan before stepping back and elsewhere.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Sep 29 2008, 11:27 PM
Morgan almost laughed at that but, instead, knelt down and slapped Maalech on the cheek a couple times, "Mal. Mal, wake up."
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