• Closed • Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks and small villages of note, dotted in and around the island itself.

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• Closed • Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Faith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:19 pm

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8th Cylus, 718 The storm was raging, like nothing she had ever heard and Faith had to admit that it was a little frightening. The winds howled and hailstones the size of children's marbles battered the house. When Padraig had gone out and closed the shutters earlier, battening down the hatches he said, he'd come back in looking battered himself. The howling of the wind had unnerved Cosmo who had growled at it, but the thunder and lightning had scared the great big scared beast to the point that he'd hidden under the table. Quattro, meanwhile, had simply made herself scarce. Starr and Nova, the wolf pups who had arrived when Noah and Madison had, were inside the crib with the twins. Faith was vaguely disconcerted by this, but the twins, despite the flashes of lightning which had lit up the house even through the shutters and curtains, had remained asleep all curled up together there. It was the first time that the wolves had got into the crib with them, but Faith couldn't bring herself to move them.

In all nineteen of her arcs, she'd never experienced a storm like it. What had truly unnerved her was when Cyrus, Padraig's grandfather, said that neither had he. The temperature had plummeted, snow and ice were half way up the side of the house and Faith was very pleased that everyone had nightclothes made to keep them warm, using the technique she had worked out. This evening, as the shutters had rattled and the very rafters of the roof had shaken or so it sounded like, Faith had been working on a crocheted draught excluder using that technique. Initially, she'd thought that it would make no difference, because it wasn't clothing, but filling it with orange sand meant that the cold air which might get through also might get warmed. It made sense and Faith had worked as hard as she could to make sure that their home was warm and comfortable.

Which meant that their bed was warm, even with just a single sheet if they wished it and he would be warm in even thin cotton pajamas. Still, she considered as she frowned and pulled herself close to him, it was unusual to feel like this. Like they were on a floor or hard surface - not an unusual feeling for the former slave, the arcs she'd slept on a floor counted many more than first a mattress on the floor in her storage cupboard room at Tristan's house or then his bed and then, in freedom, her own bed. The one bought for her by the man whose arms were around her now.

Sleep had not come easily to Faith that night, with the storm raging and the noise and the lightning flashing. Still, the familiar feeling of him, the well-known beating of his heart as she laid her head on his chest and the way he wrapped her up meant that she felt sleep overtake her. The twins would be awake in a break or two, she knew, wanting another feed and she needed to get some sleep - they were both exhausted but happily so.

Until, that was, they woke up.

She didn't wake as quickly as him but his urgent whisper of her name was enough. Was it the twins? "What?" She sat up and her expression went from tired and confused to something much more basic and fundamental. Fear. They were in a cell. On the floor in a cell. How? How did that happen? Wide awake now, eyes showing the fear bordering on terror she felt, Faith looked around. In the first trill that she realised that the twins weren't with them she felt relief overwhelm her as she recognised that here was not a good place to be. Yet there was something which came immediately after that relief and it, too, was much more primal. "The babies? Where are the babies?" Scrambling up, Faith was wearing nothing but a short white strappy night shift, but she didn't need to. Her feet were bare and her hair loose and she looked at him as she felt the panic rise and her breath start to catch in her chest.

"Are you hurt? Do you know what happened? Did you hear anything?" She was not, did not and could not she told him. Then, after examining the room, she moved over to the bars taking up one wall. "I know this place," she said. "It's where Alexander kept me." Her voice shook and she felt herself start to shiver, though the cold did not bother her. "Padraig? I.. " She didn't finish her sentence, simply because she had no words to say.

And around them, the worst storm Scalvoris had ever seen raged. This high in the mountains, it was worse.
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Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Padraig » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:17 pm

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The storm that raged outside made life even indoors more difficult than usual. At times it was just a matter of being heard over the sounds of hailstones battering the door and window shutters, carried on straight line winds. At least the horses were out of it now, after he'd gathered them up and put them in their stalls. But there was a part of Padraig that was fascinated by it all. The physicist in him, naturally. On the other hand he'd have been concerned that the twins might be bothered by it, but they didn't seem to be at all. He could only guess it was the wolf pups, their proximity and connections with the children. If it was something else, he couldn't begin to guess.

When his grandfather claimed that he'd never experienced the likes of a storm like this before, Padraig was quick to take advantage and dryly refer to the man's age, all in jest and in a way the older man could appreciate. If Cyrus had never seen it before, then throughout history, likely no one else had. It took a lot though just to keep enough wood in the fire. But luckily they had plenty, cut previously and stacked out on the porch, and a good deal of it brought indoors now.

It left a lot of time on both their hands, so while Faith knitted, or crocheted...Padraig had never been sure of the difference, he read and studied and kept a warm cup of tea always at hand. Eventually though when they went off to bed, it still took some time to drift off. He'd be almost there once or twice, when a crash of lightening would startle him awake. But eventually, he got there, Faith wrapped up in his arms. It didn't last long, and Padraig would never quite know what caused his eyes to fly wide open in a flash. But still it took a trill to decide if he was dreaming or not. He wasn't. "Faith?" he said, even as he recognized where, sort of, they were and saw the bars.

Dread. A sick feeling of it, was what he felt. It wasn't shock so much. Very little shocked or surprised him anymore. The babies weren't here though. It was just the two of them, and he was starting to get a fairly strong suspicion of how they'd gotten where they were. Getting up off the floor, in his bed clothes, he frowned and shook his head. "They're with Cyrus surely," he said, hoping that he was right, and it was true. Cyrus and Katie, and Luna after all had moved over to the main house for the night and were sleeping in the spare bedrooms. They were there, he was determined.

So she knew the place, and that didn't surprise him either. Alexander. This time, both of them. Probably, Padraig figured, because they could call to one another if need be, so the man had simply eliminated an inevitable step by either one of them. Taking her hand, he was determined to remain calm and confident. For her sake. There was plenty that worried him after all, and he didn't need to actually say it. "How did you get out before then?" he whispered. Chances where, Alexander might have already thought about that. But they couldn't simply wait for something to happen, could they?
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Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Faith » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:52 pm

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"Well, hopefully he starts spontaneously lactating and no one will notice we're gone," she grumbled snippily at him from where she was exploring and examining the bars. Those babies were going to need feeding in a break or two, she said. Hopefully, they'd have the sense to go and get Tina, Faith's friend whose son was just a few months old. Looking at him with concern, panic threatening, Faith spoke what made perfect sense to her. "But Tina doesn't know that Madison likes to have her back rubbed, or that Noah enjoys it when I tickle his foot while I feed him. She doesn't know that, Padraig!" Tears threatened and she stepped into his arms without question, her hand holding on to his as she breathed, just breathed in and out for a moment. "I'm sorry." Turning her gaze to him, she fought to keep herself under control. Worrying herself into a frenzy wasn't going to help any of them. Not either of them here, and not their children. Tina would come, she was sure. Someone would have to go out in the storm and get her, but she would come.

Motioning to the bars, outside of which was a single corridor and then empty cells the other side, she spoke. "We're at the far end of a long corridor," There were no more cells opposite them on their right she said, just the wall. "We're underground. That way," motioning to the left of them where they could see more cells opposite them, "at the end of the corridor, there are stairs. Seven steps up, cut into the rocks. The third one is uneven, badly hewn." Facts. Stated aloud like they replaced the feelings of terror she was putting into her hands as she spoke. "At the top there is a room, with a wooden table for eight or ten people to eat at and, at the far end of that room there is a chair made to look like a throne, on a raised dais." They were just facts and she looked at her hands as she spoke, the frown on her forehead indicating the concentration it took, the sheer bloody minded focus she needed in order to function.

She didn't whisper her reply to him, although she could have. The sound of the storm was still evident, even though it was muffled by how deep underground they were. "I turned into a .. ghost, I suppose. So I can't do that, it would leave you behind. I'm not doing that." That trial hadn't dawned, nor would it. "Your Qylios abilities, are they lessened because it's dark?" She sighed slightly and pinched her nose, trying to force herself to think, to focus. "I see spirits everywhere, you know that. Padraig, the room is full of them. The corridor, the room. They're all screaming, begging for release. It wasn't like this when I was here before." Something had changed, she said and she looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "I can find out. Maybe. It might be... help me?"

That said, Faith knelt on the floor. It was an old, familiar position, kneeling there and, should he be there with her as she asked, she held on to his hands and closed her eyes. For a few bits she was quiet, concentrating and focusing her efforts. Then, apparently without warning, tears started to pour down her face and her hands in his tightened. She used the power granted to her by Vri, Durge's Stain and she was not at all prepared for what she found. Spirits bombarded her, begging her for help and they were doing the same to him, if he could be see.

Gasping, she opened her eyes. In Ymiden, she had been here. Now, it was Cylus and her face showed the shock she felt. In the time that it had taken them to make, and then her to carry and birth two perfect human beings, Alexander had been busy. "One hundred and twenty four, Padraig. They've all died here, in the vicinity. Violently. In pain." Sighing slightly she looked around and her face set in a grim expression. "Young, old, men, women... children." Her gaze met with those of some of the spirits still here and she nodded her head. "He's experimenting. On people. Slaves, tribal people from the mountains. People he's... bought or captured."

She breathed in, then out. "When we stop him, these souls will be free. With Famula's grace, I have a lantern now, which can lead them to where they need to go, but until they are ready to move on, they will not.When I was here before," she said, with a small, mirthless, smile. "I took on the form of a wisp and exited through the wall. I could take that form again, but I can only do it once a trial. I can also make you and I weapons, like the one I was holding in the carriage when you got there." The sword she made then was forged from her blood, he knew. "In your hand it will last about half a break, before I have to make you another. But we have to get out. I can make you any tools you need. Can you get that door off?"

If it was like last time, she said, it was very likely that they'd be left here for breaks. No one had been in a rush them.
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Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Padraig » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:01 am

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She was a new mother, and one devoted to her babies. Tended to make a woman a little snippy at the least, Padraig figured. Still, it was their way to poke and prod at one another, occasionally and from a place of love. Therefore, he grumbled under his breath, but not completely. "Chances were he wasn't lactating back he raised me from a few trials old. But he muddled through and I turned out alright." His grandfather would make do, he reassured Faith. He'd improvise, and he wouldn't have to do it for long. They'd be back to their twins before she knew it. In the meantime, they'd be safe with their wolf pups, with Cyrus and Katie and Luna. There was no other option but to believe it was where the twins were. Safe and unknowing, back with family and their protectors. Thinking otherwise, well, he just couldn't do it. The focus needed to be on getting back home.

Faith's memories of where they were exactly, her attention to detail and memory of the place's layout would be invaluable. If only they could find a way out of the cell, Padraig figured. Ghosts surrounding them? Well it wasn't a surprise. But she made a good point when she mentioned the abilities given him by Qylios. It was problematic, and Alexander might have taken that into account when choosing to place them in this cell. "Maybe you should slip out in the form of a wisp," he said. On the outside, there might be more she could do, and it would only be temporary anyway. "It's too dim in here for my Qylios granted abilities to work reliably."

"Ask them then?" he said when she suggested she might question some of the spirits. Though after she did, Padraig didn't like their answers much. Not by a long shot. So they could free the souls by freeing themselves? A much better alternative than joining them, no question about it. But first they had to get out of the cell. A weapon would be nice, some tools would be better. What kind though, he wasn't sure until he took a closer look at the door to the cell. "I'm no lock pick or engineer," he muttered as he looked the thing over. But physics? Well both lock picks and engineers possessed a good deal of physics knowledge whether they knew it or not.

The hinges and bolts on the door wouldn't just require the right tools, but a great deal of brute strength. It was no lightweight thing. A very narrow, handled tool, rigid with a slightly waved tip. Something of a combination of ice pick, screw driver, he guessed, but with a couple of waves at the tip. It would do for a start. Something that would easily slide in through the opening of the lock, so that he could navigate the intricacies of the interior and gain a grip sufficient enough to turn the lock itself.
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Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Faith » Mon Feb 19, 2018 3:34 pm

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"Speak up, Professor, I can't quite hear you," Tension, fear and worry about the children and themselves bubbled in her, but even in the moment they were in his bite back to her caused a brief lift of her lips. Silver eyes sought out his amber ones and Faith raised an eyebrow. "But you make a fair point." He was right, although he didn't say it she knew. Worrying about the babies now would just distract them, stop them from doing what they needed to do and that was get out of here and get home. And then, of course, he did say it and Faith lifted her hand to his cheek. "I know," she said, as he promised her that they would be back home and with the children soon. He was unwavering in his certainty, in his faith in them.

He wondered about her turning into a wisp and stepping through the bars and she pursed her lips. "If I do, then I either stay a wisp until it runs out, or that's it for the rest of the trial. If we can, I'd rather avoid using anything which is restricted in that manner. I'll make you the tool, instead." They could try that, she said, and if there was a problem then they could reconsider. But first, she found out how many people had died here, how they had died and in some ways she wished she hadn't, but knowledge was power there was no doubting it. Faith's hands in his tightened and held on to him in an attempt to control her emotions. "So many of them, Padraig. Because he wants to harm me and I don't know what I've ever done. I truly don't." She sighed and determined there and then - they would all be free to move on, those souls, and that was that.

To make him a tool, though, Faith looked around and moved over to the bars. There, she ran her hand over one of them, then another at a join until she found what she was looking for. That found, she calmly and without wincing or even looking unsure before she did it, used the ragged sticking-up head of a screw to cut her finger. Her past was with her less and less, but in this it served her well and she simply cut herself and then lifted her now-bleeding finger. It was the blood she needed and she shaped it. "Like this?" Faith asked and handed him a small, delicate tool the like of which he had described. It was cool and solid, black-grey which swam like it was liquid.

"It'll last half a break, but now that I'm cut I can do that again at will. I can control whether I bleed or not." Faith smiled and handed it to him. "Study it later," she added, dryly, like she thought he might find the whole ectoplasm process so fascinating that he couldn't quite resist. "Escape first." Then, she lapsed into silence and helped any way he directed her that he needed her to.
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Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Padraig » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:19 am

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Tension relieving banter aside, they both knew they had to trust that the twins were safe in their beds at home. And that Cylus, the pups and at least a handful of others. They'd return to them soon enough, safe and whole themselves. It was the only way to truly focus on finding a way out of this place. For all the good that worry would do them anyway.

True though, Padraig finally conceded. Whatever tools, resources or weapons they had at their disposal, due to the nature of them, ought to be reserved for a time when they might be used better and to more effect. The tool though. Without it, it was fair to say he couldn't pick a lock with his mind or his bare hands. It would be difficult enough with a lock pick. When she spoke of spirits again, Padraig frowned thoughtfully. It wasn't just freeing themselves that might free others, he thought. The only way might be to kill Alexander himself. The young scholar, husband, father, would happily oblige them all.

His wife had caused no offense to the man that he could think of. Neither had he. But in the end it didn't matter. But before they could end him they had to get out of this place. The tool that she made from her own blood brought a smile to his face when she handed it over to him. "Just like that," he said with a grim smile before kneeling and turning to the lock on the door. "It's perfect." But even a perfect tool had its challenges in the hands of a amateur. And it would take time, focus and patience.

He grinned again, a quick one when Faith said that he should wait till later to wonder about the tool, how she made it and how such a thing could be made useful. "You know me too well," he whispered dryly as he inserted the tip of the tool into the opening and began to explore. Completely by feel, instinct, some knowledge of physics. Silence was good. Even his hearing when he could not see the inside of the lock was a critical thing.

It took a great deal of feeling around, of manipulation, a light touch and more patience than he'd believed he'd had before now. But after nearly ten bits, Padraig felt as if he'd blindly found his way through a confounding maze, and with a lift of his brow, he turned the tool and there was a quiet, but still audible click and the door shifted slightly, the bolt having slid open. "For however long it may last," he whispered as he pulled out the lock pick and stood. "We are free."
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Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Faith » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:25 pm

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She knelt on the floor next to him, far enough away not to be in his way, for the time that he worked. She didn't move or speak, simply waited patiently until he did what needed to be done. He would, she did not doubt, because he was who he was and that was that. They had to get out of here, deal with this situation and get home to their children. Faith's heart beat loud in her ears, the rhythm of it increasing at the thought of her children. There was nothing she could do, she had to believe, completely, that they were at home and safe with Cyrus, Luna and Katie and wolves, dog, cat, pony and pegasus all. Because even assuming that, Faith felt like her heart had been ripped clean from her at being separated from them. What standards, she thought grimly, when the best case scenario was to develop an intimate understanding of the phrase heart-wrenching.

When he opened the door, Faith slipped her hand into his. "It lasts all our lives, no matter where we are because it is who we are." Freedom, that was. Her first act as a free woman had been to run to him, after all; the journey to actual freedom had been a long one for them both. But here they were and no bars nor cell would change that. "But it's good to get out of this dank, cold, dark and unwelcoming place and go to another one..." The slightest lifting of her lips was all that told of the attempt at humour, but he wouldn't need that to know when she was teasing, keeping things how they were between them.

They were, indeed, in a long corridor with stairs at the far end. There were cells either side but they were all empty. Up the stair there and they'd be in that room she said and really, there was no other option. So, up there and into the room ~ the door at the top of the stairs was closed but not locked. As they walked into the room at the top of the stairs, passing all of the other cells. Some of them had long-dead inhabitants, but they seemed to have been there for arcs. Faith glanced but said nothing. One more soul to the collection, she thought to herself and they stepped over the uneven step and into the room.

They were quiet, as stealthy as they could be, but really what else could they do but walk in there? With no noise or indication of why they shouldn't it was literally their only option.The room was, in many ways, as she'd described it for him and as she remembered it, for her. However, there were a few noticeable differences. There were three tables now, laid out in rows. The throne-like chair was still there, but now the place was not a dining-room sort of affair, as she remembered it, but now it looked more like a workshop or laboratory sort of affair. But not even quite like that. In fact, after a few trill of examination, it became obvious.

"It's a morgue," Faith said and she sighed slightly, pinching the bridge of her nose. "So many of them here, Padraig." Her voice was low and she felt hopeless. How could they help them all? All of these injured souls from broken bodies, experimented on and mutilated in some kind of frenzied search for. Faith's eyes widened slightly as she realised something else about what they were seeing. "Blood. Padraig, this place is set up focused on blood. Look, there, and there. Those are for catching it and storing it for whatever purpose he's doing that. Everything here, it's all focused on blood." She breathed in and wondered if this was more to do with his obsession with her, whatever caused it. Blood.

There were scalpels and things, she thought and hacksaws for bone cutting. Things that they could use as weapons. She was about to say it, but she glanced and he was already looking there. They would have moved, then, the pair of them, but they heard it in the same moment. A low, deep growl which was far from any noise which should be made by any naturally born creature came from the door on the far side of the room, joined by another a trill later. Two large dogs came towards them. Still currently a good twenty foot away from them, both beasts were enormous for a dog but then, neither of them were really dogs. Massive misshapen heads with flesh hanging in tendrils from exposed sinew turned to look at the pair in their bedclothes. Deep glowing red eyes fitted poorly in dead eye sockets and in places their muscular and powerful bodies were so decayed that bones were visible. Both of them began a slow movement towards the couple.

Faith felt a gnawing fear. She would fight, there was no doubt and she would do her best. But their babies were not yet twenty trials old and both carrying twins in her tiny form and then the circumstances of their birth had taken an enormous physical toll on her. She was weak and uncoordinated in comparison to usual and she was concerned that she was going to be far less help than she would have been. At least, she thought, there were weapons here in the form of instruments and so on. It was only a shame, she considered with a flash of what might be hysteria, that there weren't any frypans.

She was good with those.
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Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Padraig » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:53 am

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"Free in spirit, always," Padraig agreed quietly, and with a smile once he'd tripped the lock on the cell and then pushed the door open. "Better still, to also be free in body." Especially here, where there could be nothing good awaiting them, were they to stay put. Better to take their chances outside the cage. It would have been preferable was he properly armed and dressed in something other than his bedclothes. There wasn't even enough light in this place to call on Qylios, and pull a weapon out of the suns'light. They'd have to use their wits and improvise.

So as they went quietly along, Padraig kept the tool that she'd made for him. Until it was gone again, it might come in useful in other ways. What they found in the room at the top of the stairs, some sort of macabre and sinister laboratory, was an abomination. Faith was accustomed to viewing death in a different way than him. But there was no way anyone could excuse what was bound to go on here. And surely no Immortal that he cared to associate with, who could possibly sanction it.

A morgue implied a certain sort of laying over place between life and death in regards to the body. A workshop or lab though, it seemed much more appropriate and yet indefensible. "He wants your blood," he considered quietly. And yet her blood probably wasn't enough for Alexander. After all, he could have had that already on numerous occasions by taking it. Still, there were plenty of things they could use as weapons, maybe, and he reached out and took a scalpel in hand.

Just in time, apparently, as soon as he wrapped his hand around it, that bothersome growl broke the silence. Snarling predators, Padraig knew, before he even saw them. And these weren't ordinary canines, not even like Cosmo or the wolf pups at home. These were unnatural nightmares come to life. Sort of. "Stay close," he whispered to Faith, never taking his eyes off the pair. "Don't let them come between us or drive us apart." Stronger together, he meant.

And almost just as he said it, one of the beasts lunged and Padraig lunged forward to meet the thing mid-leap. He lashed out, scalpel in hand and sliced at the beast's throat. Successfully in a sense, since blood sprayed out of the wound and the unholy canine let out a strangled howl. It would have been more satisfying however, had the thing not gotten back up nearly as soon as it crashed to the floor. Not easy to kill, those things, since clearly they'd been dead once before.
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Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Faith » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:47 pm

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Free in body was also handy, she had to admit and she let a slight grin cross her face. He was being deliberately upbeat and calm, positive and hopeful for her, she knew that and she briefly slipped her hand into his and caressed his thumb with hers. There was no need for words between them, but she glanced at him and sighed. "You know, you're going to get chilly." Even though it was made using the technique which would keep him warm, he had bare feet and it kept him warm, not protected him against sub zero temperatures up a mountain in the middle of Cylus in the coldest place on the planet as far as she could tell. Ironically, wearing a knee length strappy light nightgown made no difference to her, of course. She was warm because she made it so, with thanks to Famula.

When they got out, though, and up into the laboratory-morgue thing, Faith looked at Padraig in surprise and suddenly realised what it was that Alexander was after. "I think he wants my soul," she said, softly. Her voice, her emotions, everything about her was genuinely calm, although a little irked that she hadn't realised it before. And as for how important the realisation was? "And I might be a very new mother, but I'm very sure that 'I want' does not get. Whether it be sweet treats or an innocent woman's soul." If it was unusual to think of it that way, Faith genuinely had no idea and she watched him take the scalpel and was just reaching for a bone saw when the growling started.

Stay close he told her and her voice was grim when she replied, "Not happening on my watch, Professor." And stay with him she would, although as he moved to meet one of them, the other one jumped at her. It was easily as big as her, certainly wider and probably weighed three times what she did. Faith knew that she had to dispatch it quickly and she flicked the blade off, releasing it and stabbing forward with it as she sidestepped the creature. She made sure that she moved towards Padraig, not away from him and she plunged the saw blade into the creature's eye. It knocked it off balance and it let out a howl of pain, but it didn't stop it and there was an enormous clattering as it landed into a table with instruments and such on.

Damn, but they needed weapons, Faith thought and then she almost shook herself. Dropping the saw handle which was utterly useless, she reached out and touched the dog-thing attacking her as it ran back to her. At the touch of her hand on it, the dog-creature howled and fell apart, literally, sliding apart into pieces and rotted flesh. It was frankly disgusting, but Faith did not care. What she did care about was trying to do the same to the second, but the one attacking her still had momentum and as it half-charged, half-slid into her, Faith landed on the ground and tried to not get caught underneath the rapidly decomposing nasty. If Padraig needed help, she'd rush there as soon as she got out from beneath the now-decomposing rapidly remains, but it took her a minute to get to the point where she could help.
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Come join the murder, come fly with black (Pt 1)

Postby Padraig » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:52 am

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"I'll be alright," Padraig told Faith with a reassuring smile when she took his hand, and worried that he'd be too cold. His feet were bare of course and the floors they walked on were cold. But the sensation was somewhat offset by the bedclothes she'd made him, designed to keep his warm during the coldest nights. Being a little on the cold side was the least of his concerns at any rate.

But Alexander wouldn't have it. Her soul, that was, and Padraig was firm on that point when she suggested it. Of course he did. Anything more physical he could have taken at any time, but hadn't. He needed her alive, and wanted what wasn't his to take. Never freely given, and Padraig would move heaven and earth in order to make sure he didn't take it by force. The laboratory though, more what was in it was a gruesome thing, and the watch dogs an abomination.

It would have been better if he'd had a sword instead of a scalpel. But there weren't any available and there was too little light in the place to allow Padraig to pull a more suitable blade from thin air. The scalpel would have to do, but the thing that leaped at him wasn't going down easy. Not even close. He'd slashed its throat and sent it into a gurgling, snarling heap on the floor. But it seemed to be up again as easily as it had gone down. He was aware of Faith's predicament, seen from the corner of his eye, but the most pressing concern was the second dog lunging at him again.

This time there was no choice and Padraig lunged forward to meet the creature, using his shoulder in the collision with it's chest while aiming to avoid the teeth. For a split trill, when shoulder and canine chest met, there was a strange impasse. That was until Padraig plunged the scalpel deep into the thing, just below it's rib cage. For the second time, the thing dropped to the floor. But rather than rise up again, this time it twitched and finally went still. "You alright?" he finally said when he untangled himself and was able to focus on Faith alone.
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