We All Fall Down

A place for the stories that take place within Rhy'Din
Post Reply
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

We All Fall Down

Post by Lilith Anderson » Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:54 pm

“I read a quote once that said ‘Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life’. Ever heard that one?”

“…”

“That’s Terry Pratchett in case you were wondering. I think.”

“…”

Sigh.

“C’mon, it’s almost been a week. Shouldn’t you have done something by now?”

“...”

“Hello? Is this thing on?”

Another sigh.

“Alright, Lil, you’ve lost it. Talking to a rock like it holds the answer to life’s great questions or something.”

“...”

“It’s forty-two by the way. The answer, you know?”

“...”

“Fine. Be that way. We’re going on a field trip anyways.”

The walk through Dockside was a quiet one. The early October evening held the beginning hints of bitter winter air that nipped at the edges of the fading summer winds. A thin wisp of smoke trailed after her, not from the red opal, but rather the hand rolled cancer stick dangling from the corner of her mouth. It didn’t take long to find her way back to the dilapidated sector of warehouses that was home to the Hollyoak Bottling Building.

“Ah home sweet home,” she muttered to herself as she caught the front door. Some time between her last visit and now, they had replaced the ancient metal door with something made with a thinner metal frame and two thick sections of glass. Despite its industrial strength, the top pane was shattered into spiderweb-like fractures, precariously held in its frame. A strong wind or a solid slam likely would jar it free.

The elevator was out of order so she took the stairs, climbing to the sixth floor and shouldering through the heavy fire door that separated the echoing stairwell from the dingy corridor. This early on a Friday evening, it was likely those that had jobs weren’t home yet which left the number of people she could run into quite a bit lower.

Thankfully.

6A. It was the first loft you ran into after entering the hallway. The door was old, the wood rotting at the corners, but the handle and locks appeared to be brand new. A few moments of careful listening had her thinking it was quiet enough inside to be empty. She was just about to try the handle when a door shut down the hall. The Lilith took a step back in hopes that she hadn’t looked completely suspicious.

“Think you might have the wrong apartment, Miss.” The young woman said as she locked up her own door and came down the hallway toward the Lilith. 6C, she noted. Two doors down, it had once been the home of someone very near and dear to her. Up close, the woman may not have been as young as initially thought. Likely between thirty and forty, she had wrinkles at the corners of her eyes that made Lilith think she laughed or smiled often. But she wasn’t Charity and that made her sad.

“Oh? My friend used to live here,” she lied quickly, easily sounding convincing when her words were paired with a sheepish smile.

“Mm, nobody’s lived there for awhile. Someone bought it out after the last tenant vacated but they never moved in. Musta been over a year ago.” Something suddenly clicked and the woman’s eyes widened. A wash of sympathy filled her expression. “I’m sorry… the girl that lived there before passed away. Dunno if that was your friend…”

”Nothing stays dead here, does it?” The voice startled her and she quickly checked the woman’s expression to see if she had heard it too. Alas, no dice. At least the look of shock seemed a suiting reaction to the news. The girl mumbled another apology, gave Lilith an awkward pat on the arm and shuffled past her to continue on her way. She kept up the shocked devastation guise until the woman’s footsteps could no longer be heard on the stairs. Once the coast was clear, she curled her hand around the handle and hummed a little ditty.

“We, we don't have to worry 'bout nothing…” Discretely she picked the lock and hissed a triumphant little cheer as it popped. Swinging the door open was like stepping through a portal to the past. Much to her surprise, it was just as she had remembered it. The old and ratty but excessively comfortable couch was still in the middle of the living room. The armchair she had spent many hours sketching in was still pushed in front of the window at just the right angle to catch the sliver of the harbor that could be seen between buildings. Sparse beams of sunlight trickled through the dingy skylights. She stood there for close to ten minutes, simply taking it all in. Life as it had been for her on May 1st, 2014 was perfectly preserved, a neat little time capsule that had her eyes burning with sadness. But she had no time for such things and so the sadness morphed into anger, seething to the point she felt a veritable ripple in the air around her, heat radiating outwards. This was why she was there.

”'Cause we got the fire, and we're burning one hell of a something…” Her fingers raked along the walls, thin curls of smoke rising as the flimsy plasterwork ignited. She traced a full circle of the flat, touching this, that, and everything, the flames that licked her fingertips all too keen on engulfing all she touched. That which was flammable soon succumbed to the fire, the room filling with a choking black smoke that forced her out into the hallway again. Giggling giddily, she dragged her hands down the corridor wall as well, stopped at 6B to trace a sloppy heart in the wood of the door before continuing down to 6C. There she hesitated before circling a neat letter “C”, watching as the smoke became flames and the letter turned black against the smoldering wood. All around her, anything that wasn’t concrete or steel was burning, the flames lapping at the ceiling until that too caught.

”And we gonna let it burn, burn, burn, burn…”

“That’s the spirit! I think we’re going to get along great, you and I.”

“…”
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:17 pm

Seaside made her uneasy. It might have been its proximity to the water or perhaps its nasty habit of conjuring up memories best left dead. The two story house was right down the beach from the Seaside Baronial Manor and if she squinted hard enough into the dark, she thought she could see the glint of the Overlord’s Isle lighthouse bouncing its ray of light across the backside of the stone manor. She shouldn’t have been thinking of Christmas, not at this time of year, when the leaves were as crisp as the air and there was pumpkin spice everything no matter where she went. The hum on her lips didn’t suit the season as she jimmied open the back door of the house and stepped inside, leaving the ocean and the view of Seaside behind her.

”Have yourself a Merry little Christmas… let your heart be light. Isn’t it a little early for carols?”

“Judy Garland once sang that song, rather big deal I guess… did you know she died of an overdose? Little Miss Over the Rainbow liked her barbiturates.”

”Fascinating. I had no idea.” It wasn’t possible for that to have come out more sarcastic than it did. ”Why’re we in Miss Anderson’s home without her knowledge?”

“It’s like a ****ing museum up there. Museums are awful, Red. Awful.”

”That doesn’t answer my question, Lila.”

“They usually use benzos now instead of barbs. Less chance of accidentally OD-ing.” The Lilith continued in her rambling without answering the red rock’s question. The first floor of Andrea’s home was a mess of strewn about clothes and empty wine bottles. Andrea had been sleeping on the couch for who knows how long, rather than upstairs in her bedroom. Stepping over a discarded bottle, she ventured up the stairs and found a whole new world awaiting her. It looked as though the master bedroom had been touched only long enough to clear out clothing before it was abandoned. Down the hall, a nursery was in much the same state.

”From now on, our troubles will be out of sight…” Further humming the little Christmas ditty, the pair explored the upper level with some sort of morbid curiosity at the insight it provided into a portion of Andrea’s life that she seldom spoke of. The pretty redhead had been married once, even had a baby too, and then one day they were gone. All of it, her whole life demolished in a matter of moments.

“I told you, it’s like a ****ing museum in here.” Her index finger trailed through a thick layer of dust on top of an unused changing table. Much like her apartment, this place stood as a monument to what once was and never would be again, a frozen in time snapshot of life before everything went to Hell. It just happened to be a little more literal in Lilith’s case.

”Museums have their purpose though…”

“Not this one. She doesn’t need this to remind her.”

”Is that your place to decide for her?

“Not really but she’s too lost to do anything about it herself.” She could feel the heat drawing itself to her fingertips, ready to ignite and consume everything in its path.

”Oh so you’re doing her a favor?”

“Exactly.”

”I’ll be sure to remind you of that…” A beat. ”So why Christmas songs?

“That, my dear, is a long story that I don’t want to share just yet.” A budding flame danced from index to pinky and back again, burning up little motes of airborne dust as she strolled back down the hallway to the master bedroom. As if she were gently releasing a delicate creature from the care of her grasp, her cupped hand tipped over to spill a growing orb of flame upon a dust covered dresser. It gobbled up the dust and set about consuming the wood beneath soon after. Dancing her fingers over the duvet of the neatly made bed, each fingerprint left behind a smoldering imprint that began to spread outwards like ink drops.

”You’re really intent on doing this, aren’t you?

“Mmh. I thought you’d be all about this. It burns so nicely…” Once the master bedroom was glowing with steadily growing and leaping flames, she stepped back out into the hall. Loathe as she was to incinerate a child’s bedroom, she knew it needed to go as well. Soft fabrics took exceptionally well to the fire, blooming brilliant shades of orange, red, white, and blue.

”Fire is a purifying force, I will not deny that, and if you’re truly set on this course, I’ve no qualms about walking it with you. But once you do, there’s no going back. I do nothing half assed.”

The Lilith giggled. That was exactly what she wanted to hear. With an agreement struck, the fire spread quickly, thick smoke rolling in billowing clouds through the upper level of the Seaside home. By then, it was getting so hot that some materials were auto-igniting. Still giggling wildly, she spilled down the stairs, intent on getting out as quickly as possible before flashover occurred. She really didn’t want to explain to Tor or Cimaron just why she needed another full body repair and she thought it prudent to escape before the authorities arrived, if they weren’t already on their way. Around her, the house creaked and groaned with the strain of bearing such intense heat.

”Hear that? Sirens.”

FireStar was right. She burst from the back door. Over the roar of the flames, she could hear the doppler like whirl of the emergency sirens in the distance. Speaking of distance, she tried to put as much as she could between herself and the burning house, disappearing down the beach right as the upstairs windows shattered outwards and rained glass from above. Black smoke poured from the openings, staining the night sky and blotting out the stars.

“Have yourself a Merry little Christmas, indeed.”

”Indeed.”
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:35 pm

[[Tied to these posts.]]

“Lil, what in the Nine Hells have you done?”

“I don’t know, okay! I don’t know! It wasn’t supposed to go like that… I… I…” Cimaron’s arms closed around her and she quieted, her chatter dying against the muffling of his shoulder.

”To my credit, I told you it was a bad idea, but did you listen? Nope. No one ever listens. Not you, not the Ranger, not the Ninth Iteration, nor any before them.”

“Shut up. Just shut up, okay?”

“I didn’t say anything, Lil…”

“Not you.”

“Oh. That rock thing?”

“Yes. The last thing I want to hear right now is ‘I told you so’.”

“Well, did it warn you?”

“...shut up, Cimaron.” She broke away from him and returned to pacing the room again. Had she been able to, she likely would have worn a rut in the smooth marble flooring. Cimaron stood by stoically, his arms folded across his chest and his brows furrowed. He watched her pace, saying nothing at all.

“I just wanted to help her move on from that awful place…”

”The awful house with the perfect view and the fireplace and all of her things…”

“Hnnnnnnngh. Yes. With all of her things. I just didn’t expect that cop to keep poking around.”

“Do the law enforcement officers above have any authority over such things?”

“That’s besides the point, Cim. Legal or not, they’ve got her held and they’re denying her bail…”

“So… if that’s the case… why not go get her? They have no authority to hold her…”

“Because last time I showed up down here all shot up, I never heard the end of it. I don’t think that would end well for either of us.”

”I suppose not.” Cimaron clucked his tongue thoughtfully. The young noble was so used to the give and take of the under realms that it wasn’t a stretch to simply walk in and take what you wanted. Might made right, after all. A clicking in her pocket drew both of their attention. Fishing out her phone, she grunted and stuffed it back in her jacket.

“The reception here is hellish, isn’t it?” Wryly, she pecked Cimaron on the cheek and hurried for the door.

”That was just bad, Lil.” Chuckling through a groan, he watched her go once more, as always wondering if it would be the last time he saw her.

She made it topside just in time to catch the call on the last ring before voicemail, breathlessly pounding the talk button and fumbling it to her ear. The number wasn’t recognized but she didn’t have time to scrutinize it.

“Ello?”



“Oh my gods, Andrea! I’ve been so w…”



“You’re kidding me. That can’t be right, how can they do that to you?!”



“Nnnngh. Charlie? Just hold on, okay. We’ll get it taken care of, don’t worry.”

The line went dead.

“Andrea? God damnit.” Jamming her phone back into her pocket, she changed course and rather than go home, she instead cut up through the market in hopes of reaching Triple A MMA before Charlie Nine left for the day.
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:18 am

Halloween Night.


Two near perfect crescent moons had spent the better part of the night lazily losing the battle they waged against an ever-shifting gray cloud cover, passively denying anything but the occasional sliver of silver light the ability to cut through to the city below. Not that Rhy’din needed the help. With the holiday festivities in full swing, any number of social hotspots were alive with dancing lights and people; liquored and sugared up bodies danced and swayed, hooted and howled, and let chaos reign in the most (un)lawful fashion. Just beyond where the lights burned brightest, the darkness thrived, keeping the oft beleaguered Watch wary and alert. Every party, street rave, and bar was especially trouble on a night like this.

It simplified things for Charlie.

The music and other ambient sounds of revelry reached him easily enough where he was perched at the edge of an old stone warehouse, clutching at his knees in a crouch and rocking child-like to the faintest hint of Monster Mash. The light didn’t reach him there, high above the flickering and near-spent streetlights and a tall half fallen chimney protecting him from the occasional scything motion of a moonbeam breaking free of the clouds. The music was interesting, if not mildly entertaining, but not so much as the two men smoking below, trying to appear nonplussed as they shared a cigarette huddled together at the edge a hazy circle of dull and inconsistent lamplight. Their uniforms implied some small measure of lawful authority, but in a place like this, even something as simple as tending to a jailhouse offered few guarantees of safety when you were on the outside of the box. Some men thought the badge was their shield, and maybe rightfully so, but some men knew better.

Maybe these men did.

Not that it would matter.

He had left a concerned Jin hours before at her agency’s Halloween mixer, with a gentle touch, a not so gentle kiss, and the promise that everything would work out fine. She knew what he was about, but knew better than to object; Andrea was her friend too, if only by the both of their proximities to one Charlie Nine, for all the good or ill it usually brought them. Letting go wasn’t any easier than departing, but some opportunities were too difficult to pass up. Conflicting emotions and the rampancy of his slowly deteriorating mental and physical health made the subsequent hours passing painfully slow, but what lay ahead gave him something to focus on.

One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.

Charlie had been surprised the time that Andrea had quoted Euripides to him, early on in the budding understanding that had landed him in her employ, and though he had scoffed somewhat at the idea of loyal friendship and family, he had been impressed that she had come up with the anecdote. He looked back on the moment with equal parts wonder and regret, that over a year later he would consider her as much the latter as the former, and that the notion was enough to twist him into knots almost as much as pondering the nature of his relationship with Jin did. Andrea, for some reason he was still struggling to fathom, had stuck by him even when his attitude and behavior had been bad PR for the gym. That had to be worth something.

She was worth something.

One Charlie Nine would never become what anyone would consider a good person, in any even conventional meaning of the term.

But Andrea Apple Anderson never asked him for anything and gave plenty.

The Void didn’t respect that, but something else inside did.

The soft buzzing of his silenced phone shook him from his pensive thoughts, prompting a turn back into the deepest part of the shadows the chimney cast to cover the deliberately dimmed light of the screen as he withdrew the device. Lilith’s name popped up next to a little set of fingers making devil horns for her icon, along with the two simple words that told him things were ready:

You’re up.

With a thin smile, he checked the belt around his waist, ticking things off by memory as opposed to bringing his OmniTool to life and potentially giving away his presence to someone who might actually be observant in these parts tonight. The various tools strapped to the belt were double checked: a butcher knife, seven expensive ballpoint pens, a serrated coat hanger (in case Andrea had been violated and put in a family way against her will), two plastic butter knives, a screwdriver, and a scalpel. In the event of an emergency…

...chaos, it was king…

Not that it would be needed, should things go according to plan.

A gloved finger tickled at a small touch-screen panel on the belt and the world around Charlie shimmered, little pixels manifesting in the material world and mimicking their surroundings until he was all but invisible to naked eye when standing still. The smile widened into a grin heartbeats before he leapt off of the roof.

In the distance, the sea beat at the shore with a ferocity befitting the city’s shadier Johns and their ladies of the night. Lilith was only grateful for the cover it offered when mixed with the din of a city that never slept. From afar, the station was watched, a continued study that she had taken up for the better part of a week. Seldom had her attention span afforded her such an in depth examination of a single subject for so long but sure enough, she found she knew every contour of the building, every wall’s crack and crevice by heart.

The first time she had gone to the Seaside Watch Station to try and see Andrea, she had been handily rebuked by the front desk who said that the redhead wasn’t being permitted visitors, save for legal counsel. Why anyone needed legal counsel in a city with no laws was beyond her comprehension but if it was a lawyer they wanted, it was a lawyer they got. A shift of face, a change of attire, it was enough to get her past the front desk on the second try. Armed with a wealth of what Jesse had called “social justice warrior” buzz words, she had laid out the violations of Andrea’s rights in the most professional of ways. Only to have it all go awry when Andrea’s actual lawyer showed up.

It had been unfortunate timing to say the least.

Apple would likely find out soon that she needed to replace said counsel. Lilith would cite their inefficiency and incompetence but at the end of it all would feign a total lack of knowledge of where her lawyer had gone. That said, if it was ever said that lawyers have a special place in Hell, well, there’s a certain amount of truth to that. As Andrea’s hired help had unfortunately found out.

Oops.

At the very least, the failed visit had given her an inside look at the layout, the neatly efficient setup proving most beneficial when the night finally came to liberate Andrea from her bonds.

“Call me Abraham Lincoln, because this is the Emancipation Proclamation,” she thrummed a dark little giggle only to be met by a derisive snort.

”No. Just… no. That’s wrong on so many levels.”

“Oh, you’re right. Call me Babe-raham Lincoln.” The Lilith tittered a little laugh that thankfully blended well with the sounds of the night. Where Charlie was perfect stealth, the Lilith was disconcerting chaos, vocal and adamant in her desire for justice. FireStar’s resounding silence did more to voice its disapproval than any words could have, so she devolved into a quiet little fit of snickers.

All of that aside, if she couldn’t get Andrea out through conventional means, then she was willing to take extraordinary measures. That was where Charlie Nine came in.



Let’s play a game…

Andrea or no, it had to be a game. Games had rules. Rules provided a medium in which both the child, the man, and the monster could be reconciled and work within something even remotely resembling the established parameters. Lilith had implied, for Andrea’s sake, that there needed to be as little in the way of human casualty as possible.

Because he needed rules like that.

It was a great leap between buildings, but a single moment’s concentration, a single and barely perceptible touch of the Void, propelled him onward. His angle was adjusted and for half a heartbeat he considered crashing right through the second story office window, but instead dropped down down heavily to the roof’s edge above it and balanced there precariously for half a moment before lowering into a predatory crouch. It was from there that he leaned forward, held fast by strong fingers, and stared into the office space upside down.

Three men of the Watch (well, two men and a woman) sat around a large round table, speaking soundlessly with bored expressions on their faces as they gambled away pitiful sums of copper pennies over a game of cards. One more sat at a nearby desk, presumably doing some sort of paperwork, and a fifth lingered near the coffee machine, pouring a fresh cup. Save for the frumpy man drinking coffee, all were toned and athletic looking, as if to fit some perfect cliche of Seaside authority. The level of disinterest seemed a stark contrast to the warier pair outside and seemed worth noting as a curiosity but possibly irrelevant to the task ahead.

A quick message was sent to his partner.

Five in the office. Two on the street. Three still unaccounted for but at least one is likely to be overseeing the holding cells. Good a time as any to cut the power.



Rules. Yes, rules. Another time, another place, the Lilith would have stormed in without a care for who lived and who died. Because when she wanted something badly enough, had a cause she believed in vehemently enough, had someone she cared about enough… Heaven and Hell couldn’t stop her. Well, maybe Heaven. She hadn’t pushed them too hard save for the pair of angels that had taken part in the Sollemnitas Sacrificia. But she would be damned (or would it be double damned?) if she would let these two bit cops hold Andrea any longer.

Ten in total. Versus the two of them. It hardly seemed a fair fight if one went by the numbers. Alas Charlie Nine and Lilith the Usurper were hardly regular foes. The little she knew of the Void child had garnered her respect. Some thanks to the way Apple espoused his virtues and some thanks to the way she knew he likely deserved few of them. They had that in common, Charlie and Lilith. Perhaps that was why she found it easy to put her trust in him, if only for one evening. They were Apple’s Undeserving and they were here to show her that her faith was not ill placed.

Her phone was tucked away, no need for further communication once Charlie had nailed down the approximate locations of those within. The killing of the lights would be all the green light he would need. At last her uneasy perch came into play. Fingertips lit with sapphire and white flame dragged their way down the transformer’s until the metal curled under her fingers like butter. A second crossing of the improvised torch slashed open the side. Like many a public power grid transformer, several gallons of mineral oil kept the internal components cool, the sloshing from the jostling helping Lilith pinpoint exactly where she blindly needed to go.

She stuck her hand into the little gap in the shredded metal and summoned a trio of dancing flames. Setting them loose under the direction to wreak as much havoc as possible, she backed off and let it do its work. A corroded or faulty wire is all it took sometimes to blow a transformer and she was going to make sure every single one was as defective as possible. A hissing inside sent smoke rising from the gaps in the box. She had maybe ten seconds to clear out before it blew.

Nine.

Eight.

Seven.

Six.

Five.

The following explosion sent a burst of flame straight up in the air. Maybe she had miscalculated. She had made enough distance between herself and the fried transformer that the blow back on briefly knocked her forward to her knees. Her recovery was quick enough and she scurried out of sight before the two men out front could catch her silhouette illuminated by the resulting light.

The Watch Station (and the block around it), went dark. She knew other stations had backup generators stored in the basement and had warned Charlie that Seaside would likely be the same. If that were the case, they have four minutes and fifty-nine seconds to get this done. Lilith landed in a pitch black alleyway half a block down from the station. She guessed eight seconds to close the gap between there and the front doors. Outside, the two Watchmen on their break were scrambling for the entry.

They didn’t even see her coming.





[[<3 to Charlie for working on this with me]]
Last edited by Lilith Anderson on Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:20 am

”It appears you’ve started something…

“Mmh?” A haze had fallen over her much like the lingering layer of smoke that seemed to dot the landscape of the city. It was a heady sort of feeling, grossly intoxicating.

”The press conference with the Watch for starters. Before that, you had what amounts to a bounty from the Deputy Governor... wait, we have a Deputy Governor? Does the current Governor have too many babies to kiss? Mm, delegation. Ah where was I?”

“Conference and bounties.” The Lilith murmured lazily. She was sprawled out on a rug in the middle of her loft. Save for a pair of chairs and a wind chime on the balcony and a simple bed in the bedroom, the plush rug was the only bit of decor in the place.

”Oh that’s right. So most recently you’ve got that press conference and just before that, the Deputy Governor’s bounty. That Baroness in Dockside had something to say about it too.”

“The Hollyoak Building was weeks ago.” Lilith rolled over and rubbed her face against the rug much like a cat may. Mm, soft.

”Ah, but let me finish. The night before, a handful of warehouses full of Christmas stuff went up in smoke. Last I checked that wasn’t you.”

“Heh. No. But that’s pretty funny…”

”Indeed. But on Thursday, they also had a molotov cocktail thrown at a Watch Station in Dockside. Not to mention the Seaside Baroness’s thoughts on the matter.”

“What’d Melanie have to say about it?” Lilith propped herself up on her elbows and looked around her empty apartment. She had barely talked to Apple since the Overlord Challenge that left Harris D’Artainian with the top title in the Arena. It was empty and quiet. Maybe it was better that way.

“Oh, just that the Watch stations are pointless and they should all be burned down.”

“I don’t disagree…”

”I didn’t think you would. It should take some of the proverbial heat off of you for awhile, at least.”

“I like the heat…” Even if it had nearly ruined Apple’s life. It was the one thing that might make the Lilith reevaluate her involvement.

”We don’t do anything half assed, do we?” FireStar was such a plying influence though. Could Lilith even say no to the red rock and all of the bad ideas that came with it? Never.

“You’re right. Tonight, Rhy’Din burns.”
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:05 pm

“See, she’s resilient.” The Lilith remarked as she paced her loft. A loft that had fast filled with stuff and things. In another life, Lila had been able to fit all of her belongings into one fat backpack so having an entire apartment full of furniture and clothing and other such domesticated nonsense was a bit of an odd feeling.

”I mean, sure. Most can be when forced into it.”

“You’re not innocent in this either. What happened to that one team, one dream shit from before?” A couch, a rather nice one at that, was sat upon. It was the sort that you could easily fall asleep on. Rather than doze, Lil popped to her feet and resumed her pacing. Apple was asleep in the loft’s little bedroom. Lilith hoped it was peaceful sleep. After all, it was Lilith’s fault that Andrea’s home had gone up in smoke. Her fault that the Watch had come snooping around. Her fault that Andrea, in the interest of protecting herself and her property, had shot that detective. Her fault that Andrea had been locked up. Her fault that she was systematically ruining everything good that Apple had going for her.

”We aren’t so different, see? It’s what we do, we consume. Until there is nothing left.”

Lilith was silent. It was a rare moment that she couldn’t offer up a sarcasm laden retort. But sure enough, she had no way to answer that without lying through her teeth. All she could think was that it was rather hot in the loft. Maybe fresh air would clear her head. The heat that poured off of her in waves refused to relent even when she stepped out onto balcony. She could see her breath but felt no chill. A smoky haze lingered over the city, remnants of the fires that had sprung up all over. It left the city stinking of burned wood and other building materials that weren’t meant to burn. From the balcony of the balcony of the Dockside flat, she could see the smoldering ruins of a string of warehouses and beyond that, the blackened top floors of the Hollyoak Bottling Building.

”We could burn it all, you know. The whole city. Everything it stands for.”

“Oh yeah? And what exactly does it stand for?” Lilith rummaged through her pockets to find her cigarette case. The hand rolled sticks were dwindling in number. She’d need to take the time to refill it soon.

”The hurt. The pain. The failure. Everything that drove you away. Everything that brought you back.” The list went on and on.

“It isn’t their fault here.” She mumbled around the burning cigarette. They never lasted as long as they used to so she found herself lighting another soon after the first had to be discarded, flicked from the balcony’s edge. It shot like a falling star, flaring red then dying when it hit the ground a few stories below. Hit by a momentary pang of deja vu, she turned away from the balcony’s ledge and slipped back inside the loft.

”That didn’t stop you from blaming them the first time.”

“That was different. I’m different now.” The statement was as much to convince herself as it was to try and convince the nagging voice that had become her constant companion.

”Are you?”
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:22 pm

[[Post is rated M/18+ for violence, adult themes, and other triggery stuff]]

Maybe if I'm lucky the place will catch on fire.

Ha. Ha.

- Andrea.

The note left on the fridge for Lilith to find.


Had Lilith known where the RhyDin Imperial Hotel was, it very well may have. Her thumb pinched the note against other shaking fingers. After seeing the alignment of New Haven set as loyal to the Overlord, the Lilith had rushed back to her loft, praying to every non-existent god that maybe it wasn’t true. That it was just a misunderstanding. That Andrea wouldn’t allow herself to be loyal to him.

Instead she had found a note.

”Oh the irony. FireStar mused with a lilting, distorted chuckle. As if it might implode, Lilith slowly replaced the note beneath the magnet on the fridge. It was as if she hadn’t even been there. Save for the blackened fingerprints that had smoldered on the paper with the threat of ignition. She left the flat, slamming the door hard enough that it rattled roughly in its frame. To the north, Seaside was aglow with a fresh blaze and new screams but that wasn’t even enough to placate the overwhelming need she had to destroy something, anything.

In another life, that something would have been herself. Liquor, drugs, anything that got her high and helped her forget. Razor blades, inappropriate men, anything that hurt for the sake of feeling something other than her anger. Tonight, solace was found in a dive in a sector known as Rookery Row. It straddled the wall between Dockside and Old Temple, hidden in the shadows and home to any number of dangerous miscreants. Lilith was right at home, pounding shot after shot, trying this and that, taking anything that was offered. It took far more than it used to to get her out of her head but as she felt her worries drifting away, she was all too keen on drifting into the grasp of one who had been enabling her vices for the better part of three hours. Whispered promises and husky laughter chased them out of the Glass Menagerie just before last call.

Indurian, as the man had introduced himself, wasted no time in taking her back to a third floor flat on the Old Temple side of the Row. She was a sluggish mess of languid movement and wolfish grins, as much the predator as he thought her the prey. Another three hours passed in a haze of illicit substances and intertwined bodies, neither party taking particular care to avoid the more sadistic side of their relations.

Around four in the morning, perhaps half past, the Lilith left Indurian passed out in bed, sufficiently spent. It had been a lovely reprieve but sobriety was a looming spectre, ready to smack her in the face with her problems all over again. As she wandered down the desolate streets, she let her head level out, thinking it would be better to do so before returning home where Andrea would likely be waiting. Before long, the first hints of sunrise tried to reach their way over the horizon, sleepy strands of rose and orange beginning their slow trek across the sky, eating away at the darkness of twilight. Too busy staring upwards, she didn’t notice her crash course until it was too late.

“Hey! Watch it!” The man yelped as they collided. A tower of styrofoam coffee cups wrapped in cardboard and set on a box of donuts was upended with all the grace of a train wreck, sending coffee and donuts both flying.

“Shit. Sorry.” She mumbled apologetically, digging through her pockets to see if she had any cash to give the guy. Maybe it would make up for it.

“You should be. My boss is gonna kill me if I show up empty handed.” He grumbled, tugging at the fabric of his pants where they were sticking to his leg, wet with hot coffee. Lilith’s gaze traveled down with the motion, lingering on a dangling name badge that hung from his right hip, protected by a clear plastic sleeve. His smiling mugshot was at the top, lined beneath with his credentials.

Seb
Intern
KLIT-AM 900 Radio
Home of Rhydin Rewind


Had her blood been capable of boiling, it may have done so then and there.

”Remember what I said about irony?

“Look kid, it’s not like I did it on purpose.” She said through gritted teeth. He sneered at her, rolling his eyes. That wasn’t going to fly. Snapping out a hand, she closed her fingers around his wrist and yanked him forward. “Listen punk, I said I was sorry. You gonna get an attitude with me or are you gonna go on your merry way to your dead end job?”

Seb gulped and looked her in the eye. They were approximately the same height but he had to be younger, maybe nineteen or twenty. He didn’t answer. Lilith’s grip on his wrist tightened.

“Hey, hey stop that! You’re hurting me!” He squirmed and tried to twist out of her grasp. Thin curls of grey smoke were curling out from the crack between her hand and his wrist. Lilith kept her eyes on his, the vibrant red of her irises as bright as the fires that had been popping up all over town. Seb’s eyes got wide and he yanked harder, still unable to free him from the strange woman’s hold.

“You really should be careful about who you run into.” She said quietly, reveling in the image at the forefront of her mind; the Rhydin Rewind office on fire, engulfed by sky high flames. It made her smile. She let Seb go and he fell back on his butt, landing on the half empty box of donuts and crushing any that remained. His wrist had a perfect handprint around it, the burnt flesh an angry red. Tiny lines of red just beneath his skin snaked barely there paths outwards from the imprint. Finally fishing out a wad of bills, the Lilith dropped them in Seb’s lap, stepped over him and continued on her way.

***

Sebastian Shanahan eventually replaced the ruined coffee and donuts, taking far more care in watching where he was walking on the way to the KLIT-AM 900 office. Checking in at the front desk, he delivered coffee to respective offices, barely noticed by those he served. A few took advantage of the donuts and the rest of the box was left in the break room. It gave him time to hide in the bathroom and examine his wrist. The handprint had turned black but the flesh around it carried the same inflamed scarlet tone that the print had before. It burned like someone was steadily holding a hot iron against his skin. Worse yet, it seemed to be spreading.

First down his hand, curling his fingers’ tendons until he couldn’t straighten the digits. Then up his wrist, the black spreading steadily until it couldn’t be seen beneath his sleeve, only felt.

Like a thousand needles in every nerve ending, as it spread, the nerves soon went numb. It was hardly a consolation since it was continuing to work its way further and further into his body. Stumbling out of the bathroom, Seb hurried down the hallway and burst into Freckles’ office, clutching his chest. Dark tendrils of smoke began to curl their way off of his skin, his clothing sticking to his flesh for far more painful reasons than spilled coffee.

“Frankie!” He gasped, tripping until he ran into Freckles’ desk. “Something’s wrong… I…” Seb never finished his sentence, his shirt catching aflame as the black spread through him. It took less than a minute for the flames to engulf him fully but it may as well have been an eternity. When all was said and done, Seb’s smoldering body laid slumped over Frankie’s desk. Across town, though none the wiser for why, the Lilith felt some strangely smug sort of satisfaction.
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:00 pm

”Ever think that you’ll be your own undoing?”

“Every. Damn. Day.” Lilith said through a cloud of smoke, one foot kicked up onto the balcony’s railing.

”I wonder that sometimes too.”

“About yourself?” It was a heady buzz that filled her consciousness, an odd calm in comparison to the calamity of Seaside to the north. Periodically bright lights lit up the horizon, briefly bathing the skyline in shades of red and white.

”Of course not. About you.”

“Mmh, that so? I’m terribly flattered.”

”Sarcasm has always been your strong suit, hasn’t it? Beautiful how those defense mechanisms develop and come to light the moment a nerve is touched upon.”

“You imply that you have the capability to touch any of my nerves.”

Rich laughter filled her head, sultry and seductive. Lilith sighed.

“Something funny, Red?”

”Red. You keep calling me that. Did you not call Miss Anderson that for some time?”

“It’s simple, yeah sure. Your point?” One cashed joint was traded out for a new one, the tip flaring to life in the dark of Dockside.

”Coincidence that you fell in with her when you had your sights set on me?

“Not really, no. I knew Andrew… Andrea… back where I came from. She’s so different here, totally different.”

”Different how?

“Well she’s not a ****ing ***hole for one.”

”Huge difference, that.” Sarcasm at its finest.

“It is, trust me on that much. She’s a good ****ing person so stop your **** talking. I like her. A lot.”

”Enough to burn her house down and get her arrested. You’ve got a… let’s say “unique” way of show you like her.”

“That… was just a misunderstanding. Whose side are you on in this? You wanted it to burn just as much as I did.”

”Fleeting entertainment, really. The novelty is fading. All these small time fires and the bandwagoners cranking things to, what is it, eleven? Yes, eleven. It feels so… contrived.”

“Bored already? You say it feels forced like… you know, those other fires just started spontaneously.”

”Like the young man at the radio station?”

“That’s different.”

”You keep saying that. I think you just don’t like seeing what’s right in front of you.”

“Oh yeah? And what am I supposedly so blind to?”

”Not my place to point it out to you. After all, they say ignorance is bliss. But I will say that this little life you think you’re building has been done so on straw. Beware how quickly it may catch.”

“Nngh. You’re wrong.”

”Ah, the argumentative equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and saying ‘Lalalala, I can’t hear you’. Very well. Whatever you wish to think. You’ll see it soon enough.”
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:29 am

The voicemail indicator on her phone flashed at her incessantly, nagging her every time she unlocked it.

Check me.

Check me.

You know you wanna check me.

”Check it.”


“Why?” The familiar prowl through West End, Dockside, and eventually Old Temple did little to sate her need to roam, her need to run.

”Check it. So you at least stop looking at it every thirty seconds.”

“Point taken.” Reluctantly she pulled the phone free and punched in the unlock code. Taking a deep breath, she tapped the voicemail icon, input her passcode, and pinned the phone between her ear and shoulder.

Three new messages. First unheard message…

”I know what you did…”

“Oh ****.”

”I can get the reason why you did it, so I'll thank you for that. It really was like some museum to the past, and I couldn't let go of it. Now it's gone. Just a mess of ash. We shouldn't cling to ghosts, isn't that what you were trying to say?”

“Ngh. That… went better than I thought it would…” She tapped the button to save the message.

Message saved. Two new messages. First unheard message…

"Your life's been rough, hasn't it? Even before the suicide. Your parents, the life you came from, did anyone ever really take your side? Or did they all walk away and leave you to hurt yourself more? Hah.. if that's true, then we're a lot alike."

“God damnit.” The Lilith came to a stop in her prowl somewhere just inside the market district. Fading into the relative darkness of a nearby alley, she slumped against the wall and shook her head. As much as she wanted to scream and yell, to protest with every ounce of her being, she couldn’t find her words. She didn’t want Andrea to be like her, to be ****ed up beyond repair. Even if it meant having someone take her side again. After all, she could count on one hand the number of people she could have depended on if needed.

Tanya…

Jade…

”Both irrevocably damaged by your death. Tanya nearly drank herself to death. Jade nearly lost herself to something else completely.”

Rick…

The Jack of Spades she had found in her pocket a week prior was still fresh in her mind. The card had been old, he ink faded and the stock yellowed, like paper kissed by flame but not wholly consumed. A jack of spades, of course. Obvious, so very obvious. On the back, written in a hand she would have known anywhere, a date, time, and location. Not long from then, even less so from now, but not that night. Not near anything important, but not secluded. No name had been signed, not as though she needed one. The card had caught flame as she held it, the moment she finished reading, and not by her doing.

”Still alive and still sharp enough to understand what you’re doing.”

“And what is it I’m doing?”

”What you always do. Self destruct. You are as a phoenix, doomed to burn and rise from the ashes anew. He knows it. He always has. Others may not… I’m not sure if Miss Anderson knows or understands. Your infernal keepers do. They know all too well. But I do believe Mister Spade may be the only being in this city that sees it.”

To erase this message, press seven. To save, press nine.”

Lilith tapped the seven key.

Message erased. One new message, first unheard message…

"You saved me, Lilith -- Lila. Whatever is left of me, as cliche as that sounds. If it hadn't been for the past few months... I'm bleeding again, hold on." Andrea’s voice stilled and running water could be heard. "That's better..." Andrea’s shaky sounding sigh was a twist of a blade between Lilith’s ribs. If she had a heart, it likely would have broken right then and there. "Lila, I'm going to return the favor. Take it any way you want, but my head hasn't been this clear in a long time. You told me months ago `is that what you want?`, do you remember that? Now... I want to help you. That's what I want."

“Help me?” Lil said quizzically. She had been back in the city for almost a year now, freed from the bonds of her eternal torment for a reprieve that had fast been sidetracked. It seemed it was all coming full circle now. The sound of something small hitting metal, once then twice, was followed by a steadily fading rattling. The message continued.

"Shouldn't you be calling me Red.. instead of some stupid rock?" Her voice faded some. Lilith couldn’t make anything out except the definitive click of the message ending. Numbly, she tapped the nine key.

Message saved. No new messages. To play saved messages, press the--

Lila hung up and tucked the phone away.

”That sounded like jealousy… tsk, tsk. You better prepare yourself…”

“She wouldn’t. She wouldn’t… would she?”
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:52 pm

The Outback’s corkboard was stared at for close to an hour. Surely it had to be a mistake. Andrea wouldn’t do this to her. The one thing she had wanted more than anything, Andrea wouldn’t try to take.

”I’m the last one she needs. You should have expected this.”

“Don’t talk to me like I’m stupid. I’m not an idiot.”

Snort. “Okay.”

She didn’t go home after that. Instead she spent the day wandering. Three, four, five times she passed 1142 North Avenue in her wanderings, each time slowing until the building slipped out of her periphery. If she listened hard enough, could she hear Frank Sinatra floating through the King of Clubs Magic Shop and its attached detective agency and apartment? It was Thanksgiving, a day of thanks. A day of family and food and togetherness. A day to be thankful for what they had. Maybe Rick and Quinn and Bob weren’t home. Maybe they were off being thankful somewhere else.

“I can’t fight her.”

”Not even for me?”

“I…”

The Lilith scaled the wall that divided the marketplace and Battlefield Park, pacing it north-northeast until it split off two ways. It was the approaching of Dragon’s Gate. She took the north path rather than the east and followed it all the way until she could see the hints of New Haven over the next wall. That was her stop. From there she could see the glowing warmth of the Dragon’s Gate Orphanage. Every light in the converted manor looked to be on and it just exuded togetherness. At that distance, she couldn’t make out faces but the gaggle of people within seemed merry. Sort of like Christmas in Seaside, once upon a time.

”Christmas in Seaside?”

“I wish you’d stay out of my head.”

”I simply seek to understand you better.”

There she stayed for most of the day, daring even to creep further along the wall to get a better view for her sickly voyeuristic observation of the orphanage. She watched people come and go. They left with full stomachs and big smiles. Zack Alcar with his pretty fiancee and adorable daughter. He had ruined her mother’s life in another time. How they were the best of friends now, Lil didn’t understand. Serah, an aunt she had never met. The various members of Team Dirty and their dates or families. Adelaide the elder, displaced from the future as well, along with one of the many blue haired temporal bastards spawned by Lila’s father. A different future than Lila’s had been, this Addie wasn’t the same one she knew. Nor was Michi. It made her homesick for a time and place she would never see again.

”Why can’t you?”

“It’s a long story. I’m not even sure why. Maybe Xzavier knows.”

”Well that’s no fun.”

Long after the streetlamps kicked on, Lilith watch the final visitors depart the Dragon’s Gate Orphanage. Claire, her mother in another time but definitely not this one, and two bundled up babies, both out hard after a day of excitement. Lilith had hoped to catch sight of Noctis, just a glimpse if she could. But he was nowhere to be seen as Claire worked on her own to get the twins into the glossy black Jeep. One buckled, two buckled. The woman paused at the driver’s side, leaning her forehead to the door briefly before sucking in a deep breath and getting in. As the tail lights faded down the street, Lilith found herself pondering where Noct might have been. Had he left too?

”Can abandonment issues be hereditary?”

“That’s just rude you know.”

”It’s a question worth considering. And I know you’re wondering it too. Is there something inherently broken within your blood that makes you so easy to leave behind?”

Andrea’s message rang in her head all the way to the seventh circle of the abyss.

Did anyone ever really take your side? Or did they all walk away and leave you to hurt yourself more?
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:50 pm

Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:27 am

Rekindled (Cross Posted in The Outback)

108 was the number attached to the keycard that Andrea left behind in the locker. The building was one of the more lavish hotels of New Haven, and the guard assigned to her by help from Rayvinn made sure to keep an eye out if anyone were to come onto the floor she currently stayed at. Nights passed without any sign of Lilith, which made it easier for Andrea to spend her time doing nothing much at all. Escaping from prison on Halloween and being introduced once more to another due to paranoia. At least here she got better television and solitude. Sitting upon one of the double beds the room had to offer in only a robe. Damp hair brushed to the side so that she could begin applying ointment onto her side. The flesh still tender even though weeks have passed, but at least most of her wounds had closed up by now; the only ugly side being the scabbing left behind. The dizzy spells were becoming less of a nuisance now -- but still a problem, which is why she supported herself with the bedside table when she felt another bout come along while standing.

While the Lilith had effectively been avoiding New Haven thanks to the heavy Watch presence there, she found herself strolling the district shortly after sundown, intent on an unfamiliar hotel, an unfamiliar room, but hopefully a familiar face. The black and grey lace mini dress looked like it could have come from one of the high end New Haven boutiques, and paired perfectly with the studded stiletto pumps that clicked with each step through the hotel's lobby. She had reluctantly put out her cigarette before entering and thusly had nothing with which to fidget as she strode down the hallway to Room 108. Stopping in front of the door, she hesitated, taking a few moments to smooth her hands over the dress then through her hair before knocking at the door. One, two, three knocks before leaning toward the door jam to speak quietly. "It's me."

All motion came to an end when she heard the first knock. The two following saw Andrea inching away from the door while reaching for something else on the bedside table; a gun. `It's me` caught her ears before fingers could brush against the weapon. Hand retreating away and soon enough grasping for something else. The doorknob. Andrea pressed her forehead against the door and spoke out. "I told you to just come in..", but it didn't seem to matter -- as she'd lift an arm to do away with the door chain up top; even if it caused a sting of pain at her side. The deadbolt followed. The door finally gave way as Andrea opened it only an inch at first to peek through, then the rest soon after. Lack of makeup and bruising on her face would be the easiest sight to see. The same could be said about her legs, which showed damage of their own. Some due to the flat of a gunblade, but a majority from glass and rocks cutting her during and after the tumble out the window. "I'm feeling a little underdressed right now." said in reaction to the Lilith's choice of attire. "Special occasion?" The question came with a step back to allow her inside.

Andrea was a smart woman. Between her own self protection, Lil had assumed, correctly of course, that the door would be locked. Just as she was about to refute the idea of coming right in, she heard the disengaging of the deadbolt and the slight shift in pressure as the door popped open. Close to the door, she was only inches away from Apple when it opened, close enough for the quiet but sharp intake of air to be heard. "Your note said to knock. Besides, couldn't have come in... door was locked..." Pointing that out belatedly as she stepped into the room and out of the way of the door. "I..." She began before shaking her head. "No. Not really, I guess. You look fine." Fine was relative, of course, but it was only thanks to the heavy layers of glamour that her own bruising and swelling was perfectly masked. Keeping her right arm tucked close to her side, her left crossed her torso just slightly so that her fingers could idly toy with the red opal held on a ribbon choker of the same color wrapped around her throat as she panned the hotel room. "Nice digs. Being taken care of?"

"Right, right.." Her lapse of judgement shown by the brief confusion written over her face. "I'm forgetting half of the things I've said this past week." The door closed behind the both of them. Andrea pressed her back to it and locked the door while doing so. She didn't push from the door -- instead she leaned there for the time being. "Yeah, I hear bruises are going to be the new spring thing. Have to set the trend a little early, right?" It was then that she finally pushed from the door. The once redhead favored her left leg as she headed for a chair to collapse into. "If you call a lonely hallway and a cold hotel room being `taken care of`, then sure." she said as eyes were drifting to set their sights onto the red opal. "Had to bring it with you, huh?"

"It's okay. I'm sure you've had a lot on your mind," she said through her teeth worrying at her bottom lip. Turning from her examination of the room, she shifted her weight from foot to foot and gave Andrea a more thorough once over. Bruising, scabbing, healing. Fresh but not so much that it indicated new injuries beyond those seen during her challenge. "That something that Ol' Man Simon's lady says? Could see it, bruise palettes will be all the rage." She snickered in spite of herself and out of habit, shoved a hand back through her hair, rumpling the plum toward her crown before freeing her fingers. "Better than a craphole in Dockside, I'm sure," she said dryly, trying to keep the touch of hurt out of her tone. As a result, she ended up flat, impassive. While her fingers had been drifting toward the hollow of her throat again, she dropped them the moment Andrea pointed it out. "Haven't been home in awhile, didn't have anywhere to leave it in the mean time." She exhaled slowly, calming her ire. "But I suppose it's why you asked me here, huh? So when do you want to do this?"

"Looks like the fires have died down." The question of the night hadn't been answered, and Andrea seemed not at all wiling to speak of times and dates just yet. Her form shifting in the seat as she pressed palms to the armrests; all to force herself up some then settle down to sit a little more straight. Andrea bent over a little after to let out a slightly shaken breath, then smiled as she shook her head. "How many of them did you start?"

"For now, yeah," she mumbled her agreement while wishing that she had pockets of some sort so that she could have stashed her hands and concealed her fidgeting. While Andrea tried to get comfortable in the chair, the Lilith stayed on her feet, stock still in her sky high heels. Concern etched itself in her expression as she watched the pained movements while considering her answer. "A couple. Seems they were... catching. No pun intended."

"For now, huh?" Head tilting as the `huh?` left her lips. "Could you tell me why?" She swallowed back some while easing to set herself more against the right armrest compared to the other. "That's one thing I don't get, if we're being honest.." Lips curled into a pained smile of sorts while she let out a light breath of a laugh. "You burn down my place.. why didn't you tell me?"

"Yeah, for now." She repeated, trying not to shift sheepishly. It was like she on trial and it was taking everything she had to not put herself on the defensive. No, Lil, you don't get to do that to her. Not this time at least. Taking a deep breath, she took up a lean against the door where Andrea had been only minutes ago. One arm folded beneath her bust, ankles crossed and the other arm tucked to her side. "You know... I tried to come up with an answer that doesn't make me sound **** insane, and I couldn't. I could say it was an accident, but it wasn't. I could say I'm sorry, but I'm not. So if we're doing that whole being honest thing? I was trying to save you from yourself." A flat chuckle lacked any hint of mirth. "Shows how much I know, right?"

"I was disappointed when I first heard about the fire.. Not because of the memories I had there, not because of the now-ruined blade collection I had, or the clothing I had specially made for myself.. or," She then raised a shoulder to shrug; her point was made. "I was disappointed because," With a twirl of the wrist. "We had the idea of doing something for Halloween -- together.. instead, I spent that night escaping from a cell." The Lilith's image blurring in her mind, which resulted in Andrea closing her eyes and shaking her head. A pinch of fingers at the bridge of her nose. "We're being honest here, right?" She then laughed out. "I was going to kill myself on Christmas. I had it planned for a while now.. and I was getting a little excited that, finally, I'd have something I could control in my **** life.. Then, you came into the picture.. I can say without a doubt that my time with you during Hydra had been the most fun I've had in a long time.. the time we spent together, it became something I look forward too -- and the more I did, the more I began to think of December.. and I began to dread it." Her voice seemed to trail off as she pressed face against open palm. "The night we spent together after that party.. I thought to myself that maybe things were better.." The dizziness still affecting her, but she seemed to be focusing more on the nearby wall so that it didn't matter much. "then, all of this.. an apology is the last thing I want, what I wanted was to think that this was becoming something.. that you would trust me enough to tell me." She paused to turn her sights back to Lilith. "I would have taken your side."

"I'll replace your collection," she said quickly before catching herself and letting Andrea continue. It wasn't just the blades or the clothes or even the house. She had let the woman down. Her friend, her... whatever she was. While she thought to point out that she never meant for Andrea to shoot that detective, her teeth dug into her tongue instead, pinning it in place to keep from digging the hole deeper. Finally she shifted her weight from one foot to the other, uprighting herself from her lean and crossing the luxe hotel room toward the former redhead. Lilith wanted to hold her, to hug her until her pieces fit back together, until the woman no longer felt that no longer living was a preferable option. But... she stopped just short. Right in front of the chair, she looked down at Andrea and sighed. "I've... I've never had someone like that. That I could, like, tell things to. I'm not even sure I'd know how. But... if there was someone I could, it'd be you." She had been on the cusp of leaning down toward the woman but faltered at a thought that crossed her mind. "And so... as... punishment? Karma? Something else? You come challenge me for this?" Fingers tapped the opal set against her throat. "That's what I get, I suppose. My fault."

"It's hard to replace a sword made of meteor without things getting expensive.." She let out in a small voice, though she seemed not at all interested beyond that. Swords weren't her number one priority -- and honestly, they were better memories than anything else. She even laughed lightly when she thought about it, but even that laughter fell into nothing but silence as she listened to the Lilith's words. "While in that cell I had time to think.. I thought, if I got out, I'd want to spend Christmas with you -- instead of being alone, and instead of doing what I planned.." Her eyes locking onto Lilith's. "I was going to give you my car, just so you know." Another exhale of a laugh then, which had her pressing a hand to her side; all while a look of discomfort crossed her face. "I didn't think I'd be spending December challenging the woman I had feelings for.. but, this isn't a punishment.. What else could I do to get your attention? I could have said `I want you to stop`, or even cut you out of my life.. but I don't think that would have worked well." Andrea then shook her head. "I couldn't cut you out of my life even if I wanted to.. Lila, I'm doing this because even while we're talking.. you're touching that thing instead of touching me.. I'm jealous, I want to throw the damn rock into the ocean.. I want you to stop trying to burn your past away."

"Silver's not an issue," she murmured quietly though it wasn't the point. A hand rubbed over her face, smearing away the deep frown that had begun to weigh her mouth down. The motion made her face hurt but it was a pleasant reminder of the wounds she refused to heal, her own self-punishment for her so called sins. Christmas. Simultaneously the best and worst time of the year. Somewhere in the back of her mind, bits and pieces of this carol or that infiltrated her consciousness. "I..." she laughed quietly, gaze falling to the floor, "I was going to get you a garage... ****. There goes that idea." Her laughter wasn't for the ruination of the gift idea but rather the unspoken part that never quite made it to her lips. That she was going to see just how she might be able to give Andrea an excuse to fix the car up. Even when she was trying to do something nice, it involved breaking something. Incredulous, she stared as she tried to process Andrea's explanation. The wheels were turning but it just didn't quite compute. "You... challenged me to get my attention?" She asked, dumbfounded. It elicited a stab of regret in her stomach. Only just shy of two years ago she had done the same... challenged for the red rock solely for the purpose of getting someone's attention. And it had ended with her being batted aside like she was nothing. Lilith felt her breath catch in her chest, an odd feeling considering the fact she didn't even need to breathe. While the red rock's influence nagged at the edges of her paranoia, she did her best to shut it out and focus solely on the fact that she was mere steps from repeating exactly what had been done to her. "It's not like that..." She whispered, though whether to Andrea or the little voice in her head, it was hard to tell. Her hand closed around the ribbon around her throat, FireStar's warmth soothing in the center of her palm. But with a sharp pull, the clasp at the back of her neck snapped and the choker pulled free from her neck. "Harris already did that... it wouldn't like that again... but here. If you think a rock is what's standing between us, then take it. We'll fight as a formality but I'm leaving it with you. I've got some **** to think over in the mean time." Leaning down, she bent just so to drop the ribbon held opal into Andrea's lap, taking advantage of the angle to brush a featherlight kiss to the woman's brow before straightening and stepping back. "So I should probably go. I need like... I don't know... a few days. You look like you need a few days too. Can I see you Thursday for this?"

So soon after the question came did Andrea answer. "No." The warmth of FireStar felt through her robe, but a shift of the leg saw the opal sliding down her thigh and dropping onto the floor. She forced herself to rise, even if it took a few more seconds than normal. "I challenged you because I love you." She looked down at the Lilith now. Even if she lacked heels, her normal height did well enough to gain her an advantage. "I'm rescinding, because I'd rather spend Thursday night here - together - with you.. Not in some stupid ring." Andrea sniffed back and pressed a knuckle to her nostril; all to stop the crimson that had begun to leak. "Take a few days to think about that.. and give me an answer.. I'll keep the door unlocked this time." Andrea turned as she spoke and began heading for the bathroom. "Goodnight, Lila."

The briefest of glances followed the dropping of the rock to the floor before her gaze zipped back up to meet Andrea's. One hand lifted, offered out to assist in her rising should she need it before she found her brows knitting with confusion. "But..." She trailed off. No, it didn't seem possible that she would be seen as more than a fleeting fancy. The talk of rescission was like a punch to the gut, one that left her short of breath and her head spinning. "That's all you wanted?" As though such a thing was an impossibility. That Apple couldn't just say that from the get go prompted a twinge of guilt. It wasn't without reason. "I can manage that. Just... consider coming home. Not New Haven but home with me... you don't have to if you don't want to but, yeah... think it over?" As Andrea turned, Lilith's hand had lifted as if to stop her. But as the former redhead began her trek for the bathroom, Lilith's fingers curled inwards, her hand closing and dropping to her side once more. "Goodnight, Andrea." She too turned, only for the door rather than the bathroom, and slipped out, carefully tugging the door shut in her wake.



[[And thanks to Apple for the mad co-writing skills.]]
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:53 pm

"Validated."

"Of course it is, what did you expect?"

"I don't know. I don't want to accept it. Who is this chick anyways?"

"Oh Dizzy Flores. We're well acquainted."

"Isn't that precious."

Behind her, she was certain that Andrea was staring at her like she was crazy. Maybe she was, just a little. But that didn't stop the bubbling anger that rose in radiating waves of heat pouring off of her twice as badly as normal.

"You have to accept it."

"Shut up, I know." Lilith tacked up her begrudging acceptance and stepped back. Andrea was right at her side. Only for a moment though before the former redhead stepped up to add her own addendum to the board. Lil tilted her head to read Andrea's handwriting. If you do win. If. If, as if there were any question in her mind. Unbeknownst to her, wisps of steam were rising from her shoulders and the crown of purple that had been pulled into a low ponytail.

"Does she doubt you?"

"Maybe that will put her on edge." Andrea said.

With the red rock's question, a lash of flame burst first around her right fist and then her left. Apple looked back, sighed, and added something extra to her scrawling. Hastily, she backed away from the board and looked to Lilith.

"Hey, hey.. Calm down. You don't need to get suspended. Lila, let's--" But it was too late, the fire alarm shrieked and the fire suppression system kicked in, sending the pair running for the doors and leaving only two black marks on the ground where Lilith's boots had burnt their impression for the suppression system to douse.
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
User avatar
Lilith Anderson
Proven Adventurer
Proven Adventurer
Posts: 198
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:24 pm
Location: Twilight Isle

Post by Lilith Anderson » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:39 pm

In a story of stalkers stalking stalkers, the Lilith had found herself following a tall, leggy redhead at a distance through the darker corners of Dockside. Said redhead was following one of her own, another flame topped silhouette about the same height, his arm slung around the shoulders of someone almost half a foot shorter, her hair giving off glimmers of pink and purple and blue in the sparse moonlight that cut through narrow streets in thin beams. It was a story of what could have been versus what was, as Andrea trailed Andrew and Lilith trailed Andrea. She knew without seeing up close that he was with her, herself. ****, that's confusing. It was a temporal paradox waiting to happen, watching Andrea from afar as she followed a version of herself not of this line. That he was with a younger Lila served only to muddle things and up the potential risk of disaster.

"I was a disaster..." The Lilith muttered to herself around a bobbing cigarette as she lingered two hundred yards back from the couple. They had disappeared into an apartment that Lilith remembered well, tucked into a derelict building sandwiched between another taller apartment building and an abandoned factory. Andrea lingered close enough to watch but far enough back to not be seen. Lilith put even more space between her and the feminine redhead.

"Just a wee bit."

"I'm not surprised I'd gravitate back to him," she added, not arguing with FireStar's agreement. The news had been full of reports of time fluctuations and while she hadn't expected a shade of her younger self to make an appearance, she wasn't wholly surprised. After all, such fluctuations were how she ended up in this version of Rhydin to begin with. In her own timeline, Andrew Anderson had been an untouchable force of negativity for many people, Lila Farron-D'Artainian included. He had been significantly older than her though, so when she came to this timeline to find them a little closer in age, it was hard to keep herself away from him. Especially when he was just as angry, just as ****ed up as she was. That he was able to ply her so easily with a plethora of illicit substances definitely didn't hurt either. As such, an odd sort of kinship had been formed.

"And then you died."

"And then I died, yes. Do you think I'm here to stay? Will there be two of me?" She wondered out loud, watching from afar as the apartment door opened to produce a thin crack of dim light. It was cut off soon after, Andrew's silhouette melding with the darkness as he shut the door and left the apartment behind. He was alone. Lilith wondered how ****ed up she was getting while he was away.

"I've a feeling this is only temporary. You fought tonight, you know."

"Did I? Under my old record? ****." Lilith lit another cigarette to replace the one she had just finished, drawing her lungs full of smoke before exhaling. "That's the past though. My past."

"It's a chapter of your life that you've been reluctant to accept as your own except when it benefits you."

"Hnngh. I guess. Once she's gone I'll make sure it's not an issue again."

"Oh? Going to finally admit who you are to the public at large?"

"To the people that matter. The rest can figure it out on their own." Andrew and Andrea both had disappeared from view. The Lilith doubled back and returned the way she came.
Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

~Ray Lamontagne-Empty
Post Reply

Return to “The Streets of Rhy'Din (shared)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests