Red Dragon Inn

Dreamweaver's Lair => Elysian Fields => The Phalanx => Topic started by: Katt Batten on January 11, 2013, 11:35:20 PM

Title: Conflicted
Post by: Katt Batten on January 11, 2013, 11:35:20 PM
.: Chapter One: Darkness Rise :.

It started with the little nudges here and there...

From Raven...

From people telling her to let go...

Did they really actually understand what it was they were telling her?

Did they not understand in doing that ... they may lose the very person standing before them? Forever...

From the moment she was foolish enough to let it breath...reach out and have its fun with Raven...it tasted what it wanted so badly. It didn't want to come out and play. It didn't want her life or her things. It wanted freedom.

From that moment on she felt it clawing...scratching at the surface and even at times breaking past the thresh that was her self. It was normally a slow, icy sensation crawling up her arms, stretching across her person. After Raven, however, it seemed to bloom far more quicker.

...And after her first meeting with Kaleb it seemed to become more violent in its attempts. She wasn't sure because it felt somewhat of a kinship with the man's demon or something else. Either way every time she was around the man she felt it pressing dangerously close.

But...when she saw Kaleb she also saw a man that was like herself in many ways. A fear of hurting others and a will to keep them at bay just to keep them safe. She knew that feeling..she knew how lonely it was, too. She saw a reflection of herself many times over with the way he was...how he acted...

She found herself wanting to be someone that this man could trust to turn to. Not because he was alone by his own means but because she understood and quite frankly that was the most comforting thing sometimes...Someone who understood. Not someone who thought they did or pretended but really really understood.

Question was...would he let her?

She was not going to go through what she did with Toby. Then again circumstances here was different. She wasn't in love with Kaleb. If anything she had high regards of respect for his struggle and will. Specially when Kings was around. She saw his struggle and in a small, unnoticeable way, tried to be a comfort and distraction.

Another question, that stood more importantly, was...could she?

Being around him pushed her to a brink that wasn't exactly comfortable. It was dangerous and always left her on the edge. Her intentions were good...they always were...but it just seemed to take longer and longer for the sensation to go away and even at times she found herself unable to shake the feeling for days at a time. Like it was some lingering beast hovering over her, ready to strike at a moments notice.

She didn't want him to know. She didn't want anyone to know. It wasn't like she was blacking out and killing. So that meant things weren't as bad off as she feared, right?

...right?

It was just another one of those things that she felt conflicted about.

Another mark on a growing list.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on January 24, 2013, 09:06:51 PM
.: Chapter Two: Of the heart :.

She knew her brother was spending a lot of time in researching to find Leo. Hell she'd be doing the same if she could. She wanted to do something... Anything was better than sitting on her hands and doing squat. The not knowing was driving her insane!

There was probably no number suggesting how many times she had text her brother with questions in some fashion about Leo or himself.

He needed to come out of his lab more often damn it! As much as she was worried about seeing Leo she was just as much missing her brother's presence in her life. The one or two times a month was not cutting it!

Probably for the hundredth time she had sent a text to her brother on that faithful night that was the start of her life being turned upside down and inside out....

Truth be it was one of those nights that after the rather lively training session with Big Mike all she wanted to do was withdrew from the world around her and accept no company other than her brother.  If he dared come out.

Which he didn't...

She was battered..bruised..and not in the mood for company so the bean bag at the hearth in the Teas n' Tomes had been taken and she shifted ever so often in attempt to find comfort. The man that had entered, in all truths, she had paid little to no attention to past his arrival. Even as he took a nearby chair with a cup of tea or coffee.

He was silent for the most part. Until he prepared to take his leave. There was a subtle undertone of a purr in his voice as he spoke out...a concern? Advice to have her wounds looked at.

And he was gone...

Out of everything the purring was noted above all else but like everything else she had paid it..and him...little mind. Not that she was being rude and the man was kind for his concern.

However, she didn't expect to see him again and thus she wouldn't be able to thank him for the tip of concern.

Boy oh boy was she wrong...

Days later, sitting on the porch like she normally tended to do when she was doing her rotating in and out of the inn, the night was crisp and she was enjoying it before the freeze settled in. And there he..it..was.  The most beautiful creature she had ever set eyes on slinked its way silently onto the porch on velvet paws. Tawny, fine coat that she was just itching to touch. The catamount was just breath taking to her. When it approached she warned it..she wasn't food. By how it was friendly, or in his case..mischievous, she figured the beast to be some wizard's familiar or someone's animal companion. Even when he thwaped her head with his tail and gave her that catish grin...

Even when the beast took its leave it never crossed her mind...

Days came and went. She spent her time sketching that marvelous beast of a mountain lion as if it were a new fascination. That is exactly what it had been. A fascination. The silent, beautiful, deadly grace that this animal carried... He positively took her breath away.

A week or so would pass before she'd find out that the beast was...more. The man from the teas showed up, passing her in the inn while she was on her way out. He smiled..no..he grinned..Mischief in his green touched golden eyes.

It was in the realization that the cat and man were in fact one in the same that had her completely conflicted. That the cat had understood everything she had said...everything she did...She felt...shamed. And yet he seemed to understand that she took more ease in the company of animals than she did with people.

And he was right...

Animals were less likely to be judgmental of you for what you say or do. People, on the other hand, were always judging her. She wasn't like them... She grew up differently and there was a lot of things she was having to learn. People took offense to her teasing, even when they tease her. They frowned upon the fact she was guarded even though she had damn good reason to be guarded. They didn't give a damn what she had been through... they just acted on her withdrawal and scowled her for it.

There were those few that did care and understood her just fine but they were far and few between...

Those she truly called friend...

So how was she suppose to treat this man? She couldn't very well treat him like he were nothing more than an animal... He understood..everything.

As the days went by she found herself waiting in the way late hours to see if he'd show up. Still conflicted about this beast in human flesh but there was something about him that placed her at ease. Even in his human form she was able to relax a measure more than she could with others. Talking to him was easy... He took her teases with understanding and no ill will.

What did confuse her was the fact that he wanted to stick around her. He ended up in the pillows at the inn several times with her, just soaking up the hearth's heat and conversation with her. He wanted her company and as the days continued on she found..she wanted his.

She got teased. Oh she got teased. The one named Clayton had already been dubbed as her 'special friend' and the people she knew relentlessly teased her about him. She knew it was in good will and most of them did it because they knew that she wasn't exactly one to pursue men.

There were those fewer still who knew her heart was hung up on someone else...

Now, nearly two months later, she stood at the window in the teas, reminiscing about those past months and how things transpired.

She and Clayton were now dating...

She liked him, she really did. But there was this lingering ache that had been there for nearly two years. One that was only increased when that one had went missing.

Leo...

The conflicted feelings she felt when she thought of him was staggering and left her questioning her actions in so many ways. Was it okay for her to move forward? Shouldn't she be..waiting still?

Those questions had been answered by a handful of parties that had urged her... If Clayton made her happy she should try.

And she was. She was really trying.

And for his part Clayton couldn't be any greater an presence in her life. He was supportive and kind. Mischievous and playful. He respected her boundaries and didn't push her. The only pushing he did was to better herself.

Seriously she still thought him a dream and way too good to be true. She couldn't ask for anyone better...

So why was it when she thought of Leo her heart felt like it was going to sink clear out of her body?

Was it the guilt of what happened? That he risked all he was to protect her and in it lost his memory...and this was how she repaid him? By moving on..

Or was it because she didn't know where he was and if he was okay. She just wanted to know if he was safe. With his father and sister hunting him down it made just sitting around and enjoying Clayton's company seem all that more selfish when she should be doing more to help. Not that she could do anything but wait until she could do something...

Maybe it was both reasons.

After all...despite everything he was still a very important friend to her. And always would be.

What really scared her was Rhi knew the conflict that was going on. Out of all the people in her life...Rhi read her like an open book. And she wasn't sure if it was Rhi's empathic abilities or if the woman just knew her that well. It was kind of scary..and comforting.

But what was she going to do?

It wasn't fair to Clayton and despite him knowing how she felt he didn't seem like he was going to go anywhere. Yes. She had told him everything. And knowing all of this he was there every night to keep her company and keep her warm. They were well close to their third date together and everyone in Rhy'Din knew of the couple.

Dear gawd she felt sorry for poor Clayton in that regard. All of Rhy'Din seemed to be focused on him and her.

It was a conflicted feeling that wasn't going away so easily and night took the sun's light away she found herself wondering...

...The ring of the bell above the door and the familiar voice placed those thoughts on hold. She found herself smiling even before she turned around. Not one of those polite little smiles either. It was a soft, warm turn of her lips.

The cat had came back...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on June 27, 2013, 12:11:57 PM
.: Chapter Three: Temptation :.

[size=9].: June 5th :.
[/size]

She knew this place. It was familiar if only because she had been there once before. Crumbling pillars on the platform that looked as if it were hovering in the depths of space. She didn't want to be here and this time it seemed smaller and growing smaller as bits of the edge crumbled away ever so often.

Why this place? Why was she here?

There was a growl behind her. This sound she was familiar with and the source caused a smile to twitch her lips. Of course she turned to face it and what she found herself face to face with not the large cat but by the beast between man and cat. The hybrid stared at her and she swore those golden amber were burning deep into her soul. The unsuspecting lunge towards her caused a gasp. No. It wasn't the fact she was lunged at. It was the pain that screamed through her chest down to her toes that came after the lunge. Pitching back she fell to the ground like dead weight, the towering form holding in his grasp was a gory messed that had once been her insides.

Those eyes burned...

Glaring full of disgust and hatred...

...at her.

"You know it isss to happen. He will ssstrike you down just like othersss dear to you in the passst."

Drawing in carefully measured breaths she glanced over to the side, sharp greens slightly wide in seeing the shadow on shadow form squatting down a foot or so away. There was no visible features at the time, just a genderless wisp of shadow. Correction. There was a big, Cheshire grin full of teeth that stretched wide and a pair of vibrant green eyes that stared at her.

"You will die. If not by hisss hand then by sssomeone you trust. Maybe that brother of yoursss. After all you are nothing but an experiment to him. He will destroy you when you become ussseless. A failed experiment just like you were to Renna"

She tried to say something but the eruption of pain caused her to cough and a spout of blood spilled from her lips. This was a dream and yet the pain felt so real.

So very real.

"You know I could make the pain go away. I could make all the worriesss vanish."


She watched as a hand was stretched out towards her.

"All you have to do isss take my hand..."


"No..."

"You will die."


"So...?"

"Isss that ssstill your greatessst desssire? To ceassse exisssting?"


"...." She had told someone at one time that she wanted nothing more then to die. It would of stopped all the struggle...the pain...the ache. Closing her eyes she thought on the answer.

"Just reach out..."

"No. I don't want to die..." her eyes opened slowly and she glanced to the glowering form still hovered over her and tears began to fill her eyes.. "I have too much to lose. My brother..my loved one...my friends..." Her eyes tilted to the shadowy figure then. "You can go screw yourself..." another cough and the taste of copper was on her tongue.  "I am not giving in... I'm not letting you have control... "

"You will in time or I will take everything from you. Ssslowly but sssurely. One by one. You can't run from what you are. You can't run from who you are meant to be."


She watched helplessly as the shadowy figure rose and moved to the hybrid cat, leaning against the sleek masculine form.

Don't just stand there. Run!

He didn't...

The next thing she knew the sound of flesh tearing and blood splattered her legs.


*******

She woke up violently, jerking upright and screaming at the top of her lungs. She tasted..copper..and there was pain. She had bit her tongue in her sleep. Raising a hand she rubbed at her eyes, attempting to dry them when she felt the warm tears peeking over her lashes and onto her cheeks.

Dreams sucked...

No doubt she had disturbed the trio of feline souls in the bed and she gave the sleeping Clayton a bit of a smile. Reassuring him that all was well she tucked herself in close to him, soaking in his warmth while he drifted back to sleep. Her own eyes closed but she didn't find sleep again.

The cold sensation that crawled up her hands was a reminder...

...It was in wait.

It wanted freedom.

She didn't even realize but her arm draped across Clayton's stomach curled, fingers pressing down into his skin as she tried to protectively draw him even closer to herself.

You can't run...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on June 27, 2013, 02:20:12 PM
.: Chapter Three: Black Blood :.

[size=9].: June 10th :.[/size]

It was late and she should of been sleeping but sleep was something she was avoiding and for good reason. Sitting on the edge of the bed she watched Clayton slumber, something scratching at the surface of her mind that just wouldn't leave her be. They had been together nearly half a year, well past the dreaded three months and the scare was ebbing into nothingess but it still considered his presence a threat. That, however, wasn't it. It wasn't what was leaving her on edge or at least she was almost sure it wasn't. Maybe it was, guised as restlessness.

Swallowing a sigh she eased up off of the bed as carefully as she could and headed her way to the livingroom. Moving to the entertainment center she pushed one of the cabinets open and started to pull out a few folders she had hidden away in there. Going through the files she realized that this very well might be the reason she couldn't sleep as well.
 
Ever since Clayton found hint about Leo's whereabouts she had been hellbent on finding him. Surely it did add a bit of element to the reason why she couldn't sleep. Turning she nearly bowled right into the young figure close by.

"Holy sh-" she blinked down at the crown of golden hair and the large amber eyes staring up at her. "Crap Joshua. What are you doing here?"

"Shhh! Your scary mate might hear me." the young lad held his hand up to his mouth, smothering a finger against his lips.

She swallowed a snicker at his description of Clayton but it was cut short when he tried to nose into the folders she held. Jerking the folders away she eyed him, "What are you doing here?"

"Lord Chaos requires your presence." the young lad informed her while constantly looking towards the door that lead to the bedroom.

"Fhhh..Right now?"

The shadowling lad looked to her and nodded his head several times. "He said not to come back without you."

That didn't sound good.

"Fine..." Grabbing a blank sheet of paper she wrote down a very quick note to Clayton:

Going to take care of some business and will be gone for a day or two.
No, not going looking for Leo.
Can't take you with me on this one, sorry.

Love you with all my heart
-Katt

She hated to leave him with a note but she knew that if she woke him he would have questions to ask and probably would attempt to follow. Without the proper protection the shadow plane would tear him to pieces and she couldn't...wouldn't..risk it.

She wouldn't be able to handle his death...

Tucking the folders away into their hiding places she placed the note where it could easily be found.

She felt Joshua's hand taking hold of hers and she looked over. In his form he looked like he was maybe ten years old. She never did ask his true age but she knew that Joshua was one of Xavier's most trusted. "Why didn't Xavier come fetch me? Normally he is here with bells on at the chance to tease me." And when it came to Clayton she was sure that Xavier had a lot to say.

He had been looking at the note and was ready to comment on something written there. However, at the question Joshua gave her a look that was unsettling. It was somewhere between a harsh glare and a heavy sadness.

The trip was made in strange silence. There would be no answer as the void between planes began to overlap and pull.

She could only guess what Chaos wanted to speak about...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on July 25, 2013, 11:46:02 AM
A few hours later...

It seemed like every time she came to the Shadow Plane Chaos left her in waiting for hours on end. She couldn't help but wonder if he just liked her presence in the palace or something. She had time to bathe and make a change of clothes which was a good thing because she wasn't about to greet the God in her Happy Bunny pjs. Even if it would of been funny to see his reaction to the writing 'I've been naughty. So what?' printed across her chest.

The door opened just a bit and she heard a familiar voice speaking through the crack, "They are ready for you."

She blinked and stared at the door, expecting the long, white haired Xavier to come through but he didn't. "Duffau...Why are you lingering outside my door?"

There was no reply.

"Duffau?" She pushed the door open to find the hallway empty. Sighing to herself she started down the massive, quiet hallway. The halls were painstakingly silent save for the subtle brush of the satin end of her gown against the floor. Something was going on and she it left her nerves on end.

As she approached the doors leading to the main dining room she heard voices. One she recognized as Chaos and the other...

...her eyes narrowed.  She knew, and hated, that voice.

Shoving the doors open she stepped in to find two men standing near each other and speaking. One she didn't recognize and the other...

"Malikia," the name spat out from between her lips at the man with the blood red haired and otherworldly violet eyes.

He looked at her, the Blood God sneered, "Who are you to speak to me with such familiarity?"

She simply glared at him. "Where is Chaos?"

"Why I am right here, my darling Dark Lily."

This man with spill of white hair was not the Chaos she knew and he laughed as she stared at him heavily in wait for answers to unspoken questions.

"It is a new flesh but I assure you it is me." He gave her a smile that seemed to nearly split his boyish face.

It was creepy but this young man, who she guessed was about her age, was Chaos and he seemed delighted in her confusion.

"Wait are you telling me that this is..." Malikia looked between then and suddenly pointed a long nailed finger at her, "This is not the Dark Lily."

She rolled her eyes and started to move to the table only to be intercepted by the same hand that pointed out to her. Malikia's burning grip tightened as he pulled her close to give her a good look over.

Slowly her unnatural eyes dared to meet the Blood God's eyes. "Release me or we will have a reenactment of our fight at the Grand Isles."

He seemed to release her really quick. "Disgusting creature." he spat in her face and turned from her.

She didn't allow his statement to bug her. From some others in her life that might of bothered her but from him... She liked that what she was bugged him. A small smirk tugged her lips and she turned to Chaos.

"Why am I here?"

The situation suddenly felt heavy as Chaos' smile faded away.

"We have an issue and I would like you to deal with it."

A brow ticked up at his vague explanation and she waited for him to continue but it seemed that Chaos wouldn't have a chance.

Malikia's voice rose with agitation that was hard to miss, "There is a child who has settled on the boarders that has been killing. There is a field of bloodshed. This child is-"

"An Altian-Reevi born," Chaos interrupted calmly.

There was a look exchanged between the two gods and she felt annoyed by it. Like there was something that was spoken between the two and she was left out.

"Mrph...And you want me to do what?"

"Kill it." Malikia answered.

"Xavier is out right now tracking it down but this creature,"

She cleared her throat and gave Chaos a dirty look.

"Child," he corrected himself and gave a throaty chuckle at her for the look, "...has been a handful even to the generals. Since you are familiar with such bloods we figured you would be the best choice. Besides I have quite a payment for you if you help us."

"Payment? So this is an assassination contract?"

"You should be use to those."  Malikia seemed amused with his quip but found that she just ignored it.

"Why should I?" she asked simply, "It is none of my concern the affairs that go on here."

"The child has killed people you know, including Oda and Silma." Chaos replied while taking a seat at the head of his dining table.

She stared at Chaos. "There is no way that ..." she paused, dumbfounded really, "Oda...How the hell did someone kill him?! You are lying! Him and Silma..."

"Are dead.."

She was silent, the dread sinking in like a rock in water.

"If you accept this Joshua will take you to Xavier and he will fill you in on everything."

"And if I don't?" she asked and saw instantly that Malikia seemed annoyed by this question.

"If you don't you go home but I will warn you, my Dark Lily.." he started and looked to her with a grin. As if he knew what he was about to say was a tie breaker, "I will not be able to help you with your little issues. You know the ones.."

She twitched in annoyance. "You can't help me with it."

"Not with that in itself, no, but with other issues surrounding it I can."

She hated when he was so vague and he knew it. Still the idea of something to help with controlling the darkness... It was a tempting offer. The chance idea of hurting Clayton..even though she really couldn't... It bothered her. Hurting him..her brother..her friends. There was a lot that was on the balance.

"Fine. I'm in." she murmured quietly.

"Splendid! Now go change! I'll send Joshua to fetch you in thirty."

She stared at Chaos. There was something wrong with this. She'd find out soon enough though. Turning away she started to the door and she heard the blood god mutter.

"This should be interesting."

Yeah...they were up to something...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 26, 2013, 06:17:25 PM
She hated the abyssal gates that Chaos created. Sure they got you from point A to point B quickly but it sure did a number on the senses. It took nearly forty-five minutes for her world to stop spinning and during that time she found herself surrounded by the burnt planes of the Between.  She felt the fingers of Joshua take her hand and her eyes snapped over to him. The youngling smiled sheepishly to her and started to tug, pulling her along to their destination.

"Joshua tell me what is going on." She finally asked the suspiciously quiet lad. He just shook his head.

It was a long walk to get to the grounds where Xavier had turned into a sort of camp grounds. There was no fire nor a tent but she recognized a few faces that were huddled close to fend off the unnatural cold.  She couldn't miss Xavier's expression upon seeing her if she tried. He looked beyond shocked.

"You actually came?!"
 
He was up on his feet but she made no attempt to greet him past a slight nod. He got within reaching distance of her before she raised her chin and eyed him, "Explain to me why it seems you are so surprised I came. What is going on that I am not being told? I KNOW something is up!"

She felt Joshua's hand quickly slide from hers in retreat and the lad and Xavier exchanged glances. "They didn't tell you anything did they?" Xavier said in a tone that was cautious.

She grunted almost instantly. "I wouldn't be asking otherwise...."

She watched as Xavier began to remove his cloak and it was placed around his shoulders. Soon after he was offering his sheathed weapon.  She had never seen him separate from his sword so when he placed it in her hands, with a look that was so very serious, she knew even more that something was up.

"It won't be easy for you..."

"Xavier. Jus ex-"

He stopped her by placing a finger to his lips and then pointing to the north of their position. The look he gave her told her it was one of those must see to believe type situations.

Sighing she simply nodded and started to draw away.

"Do you have any personal items that you would be afraid to be stolen?"

She blinked over at the man at her left. He was tall and lanky but older, or at least looked older, than most present. She raised a brow at him and he shook his head.

"Anything precious to you you might wish to keep here."

The only thing she wore that had any significant value was the ring Dee had given her. The BFF ring was slipped off and placed in the man's hand. "You lose it and I will gut you personally."

"I will guard it, madam."

She was satisfied with that. Nodding she turned and started to track across the burned wastelands this time with a course planned out. Over two mounds and she saw nothing but scorched earth, trees, and ...a whole lot of nothing. Frowning to herself she pulled the cloak closer and continued on.

Two steps were taken and she choked, blood spat past her lips as she staggered forward. Looking down she found a white spine piercing through her shoulder and the hand that had been there, pinning it close to flesh. The spine withdrew forcefully, whipping her back and in several staggering steps she turned to find the source.

And what she saw caused the color to fade from her face.

"No..No way.."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 29, 2013, 05:14:29 AM
No wonder why she wasn't told anything. They knew she would of likely of not came....

Not even twenty feet away was a sight that she was too familiar with. Sleek white with featherless wings that were nothing more than spines arched from shoulder blades.

Empty white eyes.

Empty white eyes focused on her!

...This was her! In Altian form!

All she could do was stare and it left her wide open. "The fu-HELL!" She barely got a breath as the white one descended on her in full fury. Several spines shot in her direction, razor sharp and ready to skewer. She barely managed out of the way and as one pierced the ground she snapped a foot up to stomp back down in hopes to pin the spine down. Quickly she walked the razors edge, taking the steps needed to give her range to lash out a kick at the white face.

It was like hitting a column of marble and pain shot up her foot.
The two went on spilling each others blood for the better part of an hour, neither giving any leeway for the other. However, the Hybrid had something she did not.  With no warning what so ever the figure's elongated fingers shot out and the next thing she knew the figure had a grip on her throat. Grabbing the narrow limb of an arm she kicked her legs out, trying to land a heel into the figure's torso.  When she saw the spines rise high she knew what was coming and braced herself for the impact.

The impact came in a different way.

Suddenly the tight grasp around her throat was released and she hit the soot stained ground. "Umph!" Looking up she saw the white figure thrown away from her and most likely the only reason why she was released. Rolling onto her side further explained what happened. Not that far off she spied Xavier and Joshua, the lad prepared to fire another round of hyper arrows. Or at least that was the blaring glare of green around his hand suggested.

Xavier moved to assist her up and she had the biggest urge to punch his face in. That could wait until things were settled. Turning her head to see where the figure went she noticed that the figure was just now standing, black blood pouring from the numerous wounds that Joshua had created.
"We thought you could use some backup."

She growled at Xavier, pissed to the royals that he hadn't informed her. Pushing him off she drew on the Reevi blood that filled her veins and just as the shadows started to answer the figure came charging again. This time..Oh this time she would answer. The metallic like substance spiraled down her flesh, quickly consuming and taking over as she barreled headlong at the figure. They clashed soundly and she swiftly buried her claws into the white figure's sides. She felt the body tense and her own did the same as the action was mimicked but making sure that each sharp, long finger pierced between her ribs and searched out her vitals.

She missed that in the Altian blood.

The strength...

The Altian hybrid clamped down onto her shoulder with her teeth and..began to feed. It wasn't the first time she felt someone feed off of her but that was neither here nor now and this carbon copy of her was draining her vital in greedy demand.

Choking she pushed and pushed hard but at the same time keeping her claws embedded deep into the white flesh. Blunt force didn't work but piercing and slashing did. However with the hybrid feeding off of her the wounds quickly healed making it hard to create any lasting damage and as long as the hybrid was feeding off of her...she was losing this battle and quick.

It reminded her how much had changed between times...

...She was like a different person. She wasn't what her father created any longer. She wasn't what Silver and Omen twisted into shape. She was...

...Was she weaker now?

She didn't think so and sure the hell wasn't going down without fighting! Releasing the hybrid she reached up and jabbed her fingers into the white figure's neck, effectively getting her to withdraw from the suckling of vital and even released to stagger back.

The hybrid hissed at her and she smirked. "I got people waiting for me back home. I am not dying here." Raising her hand she drew her tongue across her black blood that oozed down her claws. After all it could be used for her own wounds, could it not?

"Kathryn! DON'T!"

She heard Xavier's voice too late. Crap! There was a reason why she had the Altian blood removed after all and while this brand of hybrid's blood was strange it still had Altian blood.

Pain screamed straight through her even as her wounds healed. Pain as if her body was trying to pull itself apart from the inside out. Instead of crying out she clenched her teeth. She wasn't..going to lose.

She tried.. tried so very hard to bite back the pain but it was winning out. Staggering steps had her soon on a knee and she watched the figure stalk closer..and closer...

Pushing to her feet she lashed out but found the Reevi skin had retracted. Her wrist caught and she was twisted around. She wouldn't go down without a fight. That is what she told herself as she reached out to jab at the hybrid's face. That feeling like hitting marble again danced across her knuckles as she was twisted around yet again so that her back was pressed firmly into the chest of the hybrid.

That was when she realized she was being used as some sort of shield. She could hear Joshua crying out apologies from afar as his hyper arrows pierced her torso, legs, and shoulder. She was pinned to the hybrid with this green crystal like structures holding them together via piercing.

She was going to throttle that boy when this was over!

The hybrid wasted no time and started to rip free the hyper arrows which meant pulling it free from the shield first. It pulled at the one that pierced their torso's first and all she could think to do was wait. After all if she tried to do anything the hybrid would lash around and make things worse. She gurgled a sound as the hyper arrow was pulled out and she felt more blood of the hybrid..More pain.

This was not what she was expecting...

...And she was losing...

She cried out as the hybrid ripped out the shard that was combining their shoulder and she was more or less released. Now she was the only one with hyper arrows in her, two in her right thigh and one in her left. Before she could even move away the hybrid had grabbed a handful of her hair and yanked her straight.

The pain of the black blood had her fading fast and the world was darkening.

She saw white in front of her..Charging closer. White and flesh...

Something happened. There was a loud contact of force that had her like a rag doll in the grasp of the hybrid as they both went to the ground.

"Get up, Katt!"

She felt large hands pushing her shoulder, getting her to sit up.
"Come on snap out of it."

Her eyes rolled open and her chin dipped back, a blink given at the face she had seen. That..was not what she was expecting. "A-Aren?"

Either she was seeing things or..

....Aren Ascended...

He grinned down at her with that boyish grin of his and stood, towering well over her at near eight feet. Three pairs of wings in pristine glory arched from his back and she noted..He was wearing his father's battle gear.

"What..are you doing here..I thought you couldn't..."

"To hell with that. I have Chaos' permission to be here and I am not going to let my father's killer get away!"

So it was true....

...Oda...was really gone.

"Can you stand?"

Aren's question brought her back to the present and she nodded, forcing herself to her feet despite the pain. Furthering that forcing by using the Reevi to staunch her wounds. "I can't do this Aren.."

"You can but you have to shake this shock before you can." Aren urged her.

"I can't..."

He stopped and looked over his shoulder to her.

"Aren...Look at her.."

He did as she asked. Really looked at the Altian hybrid struggling under his hold. He had made sure to hold the hybrid at the neck and pressed down so that the featherless wings couldn't be used as weapons at the time. There was no expression he could find on the hybrid's face but soon recognition clicked. His eyes went wide and he looked back to her. "What the hell?!"

Yeah welcome to her world, Aren.

She frowned and shook her head while the hybrid struggled.

"Katt we can't let her live."

She noticed his grasp around the hybrid's throat tighten. "Aren stop!"

"She almost killed you! How could you let her live?!"

"We need to find out who she is. What she is!"

"We can't let this abomination live!" he exclaimed as he struggled with holding down the thrashing form.

Those words struck hard. They struck hard and deep to her core. Those were words she remembered once upon a time when she was younger. Words she never expected to ever hear out of Aren. She stared wide-eyed at him and he seemed to realize what he had said.

"She isn't you. You aren't-"

"What? An abomination?!" She pointed a finger down at the figure he was strangling the life out of. "That is me, Aren! Are you okay with killing me?!"

"She isn't you!" he retorted quickly and clamped down hard enough that she could see him pressing the hybrid into the ground. "She is a monster! She should never be in existence!"

"And what am I?!" she choked out. The battlefield was no place to be squirmy let alone emotional but this was so..wrong. On so many scales it was wrong.

"She isn't you. She is a copy someone created! I am sure of it! She killed my father and that is all I need to know. She's killed countless people and her blood bath ends here."

Reaching out she grabbed Aren's shoulders, attempting to pry him off the hybrid. "Don't!"

His other hand lashed out to shove her away, hitting with enough force to drive the air out of her. "She isn't you!" he repeated, "Hold her!" he commanded across the way at a shell shocked Joshua and Xavier.

"Screw that. She'll kill me." Xavier was quick to say no and Joshua just stood there, unwilling to comply.

While Xavier was busy talking she was already back on Aren, trying to pull him off. "Aren just stop! Take her into custody or- GEK!"

She had never expected Aren to hit her and he did so in a way that made her world rock. Doubling over she hugged her stomach and gasped for air. Landing on her knees she looked up to watch as Aren took both hands to the hybrid's neck. "A-Aren. Don't!" she managed to croak out.

It struggled for its life as Aren squeezed and she could hear him spatting something in the old Altian tongue. The next thing she saw was him wrenching the hybrid's head and a very audible snap was heard.

She felt like she was going to be sick as she watched the body tensed and fell still and the head lolled in his grasp.

The white ebbed away into a fleshy hue of a young woman, lavender and brown hair spilling in matted waves to the ground that Aren held her over. Pupiless doe eyes, murky in their green hue, stared lifelessly at her. The imagine was like out of one of her nightmares and the fact it was done by Aren's hands made it no less horrific.

It was just too much. She collapsed to her knees and she felt Xavier's hands catch her shoulders as she pitched back.  Closing her eyes she tried not to relive the memory of what she had just seen. Instead she allowed the pain to take her over and pull her into the sweet embrace of darkness.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 29, 2013, 05:54:05 AM
She woke with a start, sitting up so quick that her body reminded her that it had not been a dream. Wincing at the headache and the overall body ache she looked around.

She was apparently back at Chaos' home with Joshua at her bedside fast asleep.

"He has been quite worried about you."

She didn't want to look in the direction the voice came from. She couldn't look at Aren no matter how much she tried. "How long as I out?"

"Three days. Didn't look at all like peaceful rest either. Spent most of it writhing in pain." He explained, sounding both tired and years beyond his seemingly young age.

"Why do you care." she spat, not thinking to catch herself.

"Why..Why would you ask me something like that. Of course I care. I came to help didn't I?"

"How could you kill her, Aren?!" She moved to the edge of the bed and sneered at him. Apparently she was loud enough that she started the young Joshua awake. She was too busy glaring at Aren to check to see if the boy was alright.

Aren stood under the blunt of her ire, unashamed of what he had done. "She wasn't you, Katt, and until you let go that she just looked like you then you will not be able to deal with this. She was a creation-"

"So was I!"

"That isn't what I meant! Someone made her to rattle you! She wasn't real."

"She looked pretty damn real to me! She even bled!"

"Black blood." he pointed out to his defense.

Yeah it reminded her that she was still feeling the effects of the blood even now. Which was odd because by now it would of worked its course. Frowning she sat back on her heels. "Are there more?"

"No. It was just her."

"How do you know?" she quickly murmured.

"I don't." was his honest answer.

..She didn't like that answer....

It was like dealing with Raven all over again just on a different level. This time it wasn't killing by her hands but still...

...That guilt still hung on her mind.

"After you passed out I stared to take care of the body,"  he started and when her eyes turned up he knew he had her attention, "In less than half a day the body started to decompose into a mess of black ooze. Whoever created it had apparently sped up the process of growth and seeing as Altian blood and Reevi blood are not suppose to be in the same body..."

"She was already dying..." she muttered. She knew that feeling all too well and if it had not been for her father's contract with Chaos for her soul she might of very well of met a similar fate years ago.

"Yes. I think with feeding on your blood increased the process as well." he added as he watched her stumble out of bed. "What are you doing?"

"I'm going to talk to Chaos then I am going home!" she answered while stumbling to the door.

"You aren't really fit to go anywhere..." He was on the move, attempting to push her back to the bed that she didn't want to be in.

She wanted to be in her bed..Next to the man who was waiting for her to return. "Let me go!"

She shrieked when he lifted her and planted her back in the bed and Joshua just stayed out of the way. It was like walking into a lovers spat. If you valued your life..you stayed out of it!

"Stubborn as ever." Aren said with an amount of amusement.

She wanted to smack him. Instead she huffed and laid back. Struggling hurt. She just wanted to go ...home.

"Get Chaos in here." she demanded and folded her arms while staring up at the canopy like it was all its fault.

"I'll do that and take my leave. It was nice to see you again, Katt."

She heard the sound of metal against metal as Aren saluted in respect and headed out. Closing her eyes she sighed.

"I'm sorry, Katt."

Joshua's small voice pulled her back and her eyes opened to tilt to him. He was fidgeting at her bedside nervously. Like she really was going to throttle him. Instead she smiled a bit and shook her head. "You did good, Joshua."

At the praise his face instantly lit up. "I'll go get you something to eat!"

Before she could protest he was out the door and she was alone.

Like usual Chaos took his sweet time in arriving. It wasn't until some hours later that he did arrive in her room and by then she had eaten, bathed, and changed complete with fresh bandages.

He was barely in the door before she was spouting off questions, "You knew it was a copy of me didn't you?"

He sighed at her impatience and nodded as he circled around her bed. "I did but would it really of made a difference? We both know you would of gone regardless. Would you really leave the fate of a half-breed another's hands? Let alone someone who killed your beloved Oda."

He did have a point...

"Besides," he carried on as he stroked her hair. His long fingers started to come the pitch black fondly, "If I wouldn't of called you then you would of found out and been angry with me."

"Like that really matters to you." she muttered under her breath, trying really hard to dismiss the calming sensation he was creating. Unable to help herself her eyes started to droop and she sighed.

"Oh my dear you know that is so not true. I've always had a soft spot for you. Ever since your father came to me. Your soul is so strong and over these closer years has grown so vibrant and passionate." He was speaking in her ear. A sinful lover just waiting to have his chance to taste forbidden fruit.

She ignored it and for the most part him. "Why do I still feel her blood..?"

"You are tainted, that is why. It won't kill you, of course, but it will be a good long while before it leaves you." he was more fascinated with her hair then answering her it seemed because he kept on combing.

"How long is a good long while?" she muttered and leaned away, giving him a look to knock it off.

Sighing his disappointment he lowered his hand. "I am not sure how much you consumed. It could be months. Years."

"And it won't kill me?"

"No it won't. I've already taken time to examine you." he answered and gave her a grin.

Ugh she hated that grin. It was creepy. "Examined me? You better not of been prodding me in ways you shouldn't."

"Why my dear Dark Lily! That sounds awfully naughty!" he laughed as he stood. "Worry not my dear. I haven't tampered with you in any way that I shouldn't. I was curious of the effects the Black Blood was having on you. You aren't deteriorating but your body is trying to fight it off. It is almost like you were half-altian again but without your own body warring with itself."

She blinked slowly. Like she was Half-Altian again. Did that mean she could...

...that would have to be tested out later...

"Now ..about that dark little presence you have been struggling with."

"I don't need your help with that," she spat out, "I have all the help I need. Help I can trust!"

Chaos' hands rose up in defense. "Well then I guess it is time for you to go. I'll leave the option open if you change your mind. After we are in your debt, Dark Lily."

She grunted and turned her head. "Yeah."

Chaos patted Joshua's head on the way out, "Take her home."

The young lad nodded cheerfully as the Shadow Lord left the chamber.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 29, 2013, 06:06:08 AM
How many days had passed now that she had been gone?

Once Joshua left her in the apartment she waited for a few minutes to make sure the lad was really gone before she headed to search for her better half. At least better half to herself.

And there he was laid out in bed in a way that suggested that he may not of fallen asleep willingly. Probably worried about where she had ran off to and when she was returning.

Guilt strung her heart but she couldn't of very well of brought him with her.

She could at least make it up to him.

She'd tell him what had happened but that could wait until morning.

For now she crawled into the bed next to him and leaned to press her lips against his brow. In the silent grace that he commanded his arms reached out to ensnare her in. There was no complaint to be had and she eagerly snuggled in. Even as he tucked her in close she kept silent, pressing her face to the center of his chest and inhaling.

She always felt it was best to be open with the person you were with. Not keep any secrets. Something in her past told her otherwise..and yet she just couldn't do it. And while she was afraid she'd lose Clayton she just couldn't keep something from him.

Was it wrong of her...?

...Could she possibly lose him if he knew what had happened?

...She hated that question. Even moreso she feared the answer...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 31, 2013, 01:44:26 PM
.: Chapter Five: Awkward Conversations :.

[size=9].: Aug 26th :.[/size]

The day had been long and filled with things she didn't want to deal with. Things that added to the heavy weight on her heart. Earlier that day she had found two bodies in the Old Temple District. twisted and mutilated beyond all recognition but one of the two bodies looked..awfully familiar.

It looked like Kai.

That..along with finding Issy at the inn afterward had her seeking a bottle of tequila quicker then she tended to. Probably even quicker was it consumed leaving her in a half awake, half asleep daze. She could hear Andu and Izumi talking in the background but the rest of her was just..gone.

It wasn't like it was the first time she fell asleep with her eyes open. She use to do it all the time. Sitting against a tree or something to prop her back against, sword resting against her shoulder...

...That had been a long time ago...

Things really had changed.

She hadn't even realized Clayton had arrived and barely acknowledge his affectionate kiss to her cheek. It took her mind and body time to wake before actually..reacting.

She was drunk. She knew it. He knew it... Which was probably why he insisted on taking her home. Not that she didn't mind and surely didn't complain when he scooped her up and held her close to his chest. She liked being held that close, specially by him.

In the past she liked it because it was warm...safe feeling. Specially with Leo. But with Clayton it went well beyond a sense of safety. Like she simply..belonged there. At times she felt almost afraid of that feeling. Afraid because...it may not always be there.

As often as he tried to comfort her that it would never happen she knew he couldn't predict the future. One day soon he would likely want to carry on with his life and it not involve her. He could find someone more to his taste and less broken. He could leave without word and never return. That happened a lot with friends and while he was someone beyond being a friend it just made it that more frightening to cling on.

Still...Part of her clung. Held on for all she was worth...

On the way home the tequila did a bit of talking for her...

...Being drunk made her super chatty about things she'd likely not normally speak so freely on.

"Kittens." Yes it was out of the blue. "I want some kittens." The wire that was usually between point A and B was not there right now so randomness was going to happen. Along with anything he asked getting fully answered. Tequila: Katt's Bane.

He chuckled softly at the random statement as he walked, keeping his stride long and smoothly steady as he looked down to her. "Because two cats isn't enough?" It didn't sound exactly like an objection, though.

"I have three." She smiled sweetly up to him and reached up to brush the bridge of his nose. "I guess that is too many huh?" Her hand started to sink back down. "Won't have enough room in the loft I guess. Oh! Speaking of room! I got another piece of jewelry a few days ago. Dee gave it to me. Sort of a gift I guess? It is cute. A little ring with a knot in the middle. She wanted me to be a bridesmaid for her wedding." She paused..blinked. "That like..what? Number six now?"

He laughed this time. "I don't know...it is a fairly sizable place. They could have the guest bedroom for themselves." He hadn't heard about the ring yet, but then, he had been...well. Busy. The announcement of Dee's wedding got an arched eyebrow as he let out a softly purring chuckle. "I still can't believe you've never thought about a wedding yourself...though I suppose with your history, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised."

Yeah her little treasure trove of jewelry was slowly but surely growing in size. She blinked up at him for bringing that up and almost seemed to sober. Almost. "Is it really that weird that I haven't?"

He considered that in silence as he walked for a few moments before he answered. "For a normal woman, it would be, I suppose...but you are no normal woman." There was another few moments as he strode, his eyes picking out the shape of the apartments in the nearing distance. "Does it...bother you...your friends getting married, when you're...not?"

Oh my. This conversation went from strange to awkward in record time. She sobered up quite well under the question and pursed her lips in thought. "No. I'm quite happy for them. Specially for Rhi and Dee. They are both good women and deserve to be happy! And their men treat them with all the love and adoration they deserve. Why should it bother me?" She shook her head. "Truthfully I was wondering what was taking Travis so long to pop the question."

He had to laugh softly as he approached the apartment building. "You are a most unique woman indeed, Kathryn...I have known a good many women who might be jealous of their friends, in your position." He turned and shouldered his way through the doors as he made it to them. "But if you were not unique, I doubt I would love you quite so much."

"Jealous.." She frowned if only a tad. "I don't think I have the right to be jealous. I am just happy things have lasted this long." Because in truth she hadn't. The fact he was still there surprised her each and every day.

He gave the security guards a nod as he passed them on hid way to the stairwell, smiling as he looked back at her and pushed his way through that door as well to start climbing. "I keep telling you, I'm not going anywhere. Maybe one day you'll believe it...until then, I suppose I shall just have to keep proving it to you."

It seemed to be a normal thing when they were coming in. Being carried that is. She waved halfly to the guards. "With none of my past relationships exactly lasting past the three month marker I was surprised to see you still here. I mean..well..you weren't technically..but you came back." She smiled a bit. "I guess I am still working on the abandonment issues. Sorry.."

He made it to the first floor landing before he halted and chuckled, a warmly purring sound, pulling her up in his arms as he leaned his head down to press his lips tenderly, lingeringly against hers before he pulled them away and started ascending the stairs again. "Stop apologizing, lover...you have nothing to apologize for."

That feeling, his lips against hers..She sighed quietly, almost content. Maybe aching. "Do you want it to bother me?" Evil Tequila.

He blinked at the question, but shook his head, making it to the top floor as he smiled at her and pushed through the door into the hallway and starting towards the penthouse door. ?I would prefer nothing about us bothers you?though if something does, I hope you will tell me.?

"I'm sure there are some things about us..me..that bothers you." Her arm draped across his shoulders and she stretched a little in his arms. She tried to think if there was anything that bothered her. There was one, tiny thing, but that would be dealt with in the future she was sure. "I will. If something bothers me I mean." She shrugged a bit. "And I am not jealous of my friends." To get that across again or maybe just repeating herself. "(vsw) Being jealous is stupid and gets me in trouble." Not exactly the subject of jealousy in this case.

Even at this late - or early, rather - hour, he could not ignore her movements in his arms, one that send a shiver of heat down his spine as he reached for the doorknob and pushed it open to step into the apartment with her. ?I would have to think if there was anything, but nothing comes immediately to mind. If I do think of anything, I will tell you?but it will most likely be something trivial.? With a chuckle, he kicked the door closed behind him.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on September 28, 2013, 08:50:15 PM
.: Chapter Six: Struggle of the heart and mind :.

[size=9].: Sept 21st :.[/size]

Seeing Azure was something that set things into a spiral. Ebon's sister who had passed away and to whom his eldest was named after was alive and well. From another time and another universe but alive..

There had been a few of these type of instances but even more were loved ones coming back from the dead.

It scared her...

...for such a selfish reason it scared her...

What if his wife returned?

What if Clayton's dead wife...came back.

...He'd leave...

Why wouldn't he? She was the love of his life. His wife long before he had met her.

Over the course of the weekend the worry grew, escalating to the point where she was starting to distance herself from him.

It was safer that way...

Better...

That was likely why when he entered the inn that day she didn't look directly at him and found herself hesitant to follow when he silently gestured to the door. While she did accept the silent invitation she felt the overall urge to flee.

The night was nice. The sun had just set and the breeze was gentle. She didn't mind walking and she surely didn't mind walking with him.

Normally...

He was lost in his own thoughts she figured as he was quite silent as they walked. She was fine with this. The question kept nagging away at her mind and not giving her any peace of mind. In fact it seemed to grow increasingly so since he was near.

They were nearly halfway home before he came to a halt, turning to Katt as though he had suddenly, irrevocably reached some great decision. He waited until she reached him, near to arm's reach, before he spoke. "You know...Andu told me something interesting, a week or so back...something I've given a lot of thought to..."

Pay attention. She blinked and raised her eyes and nearly bumped right into him. "Mrm?"

He seemed hesitant for a moment, and he actually blushed - something he had not done for some time with her. "He...he told me...that he had met a young woman from an alternate reality...that referred to me as her 'uncle'..." He hesitated again, blushing slightly brighter, seemingly as if he were unsure how to continue.

"Oh." She nodded a single time. "Much like I have been called Aunt by many of these..Nexus-Kids. It seems that..it is normal for kids to call someone non-related as such even though they aren't related?"

He nodded. "Alex's children used to all me 'uncle', though he and I were not related by blood, or..." Here, he blushed quite a bit brighter. "...marriage. But that's not the point..." He paused again, silent and thoughtful, before he went on. "Andu also told me tat you and I are together in the world this young lady came from...and that...you were happy, being with me...so happy, in fact, that...that you..." You'd think he couldn't get any redder, but there it was! "...that you took my last name...as if we were...married."

Wow he was bright right now wasn't he. She felt a knot in her stomach when he said that. "I am happy with you.." She murmured and lowered her eyes. "Her name is Lila..the young woman that Andu was speaking about. I met her today."

Clayton gave her a smile as she said the first part, nodding as he reached for her to settle his hands at her waist. ?I know you are, my love...at least as happy as I am with you.? Her second statement also got a nod as he chuckled. ?I know. Andu told me her name...Lily Kathryn.? He let out another purring chuckle. ?Somehow, I do not think that name is a coincidence.?

"Lila." She corrected him quietly. "She said how she spent a lot of time with us and that we were more like parents to her then her own." She shrugged a bit and glanced off to the side..away from him. Actually she was looking everywhere but him.

He let out a rather rueful chuckle as he was corrected on the name. ?Lila...right.? He watched her for a long moment, his hands resting lightly at her waist, curiosity in his gaze. ?I know...it is a rather uncomfortable subject for you...marriage, that is.? He paused, yet again, hesitating as if uncertain. ?If you would prefer...we can save this discussion for another time.?

She blinked and shook her head. "It isn't so much a discomfort. It..I don't know what to think about it really. In another life..another time..I'm married and  have a child no less.." Her eyes tilted as she moved a hand to rest against the curve of his inner elbow. "It means somewhere..sometime..I haven't screwed up. But..that is there..Not here..I know that.."

He smiled at her, letting out a purring chuckle yet again. ?We are each a product of our own lives, my dear Kathryn...of our own experiences. Yours have been...at least as trying as my own...but I don?t view them as a screw-up, as you put it. Somewhere, some time, things are different..but that doesn?t mean that such things couldn?t happen with you...with us...here, in our reality.?

"It doesn't mean that other things couldn't happen." She pushed his arm and stepped  away, her eyes lifting to his chin but never meeting his eyes. "Lately a lot of..loved ones have been coming back from the dead. What..will you do if your..." Her brows furrowed and she swallowed down the lump in her throat. She had to get the question out otherwise it would continue to eat at her. "What will you do if your wife returns..?"

The question had him falling silent for a long moment, a rare frown touching his features. His expression spoke volumes - it was plain that the thought had occurred to him, more than once. (vs)?It would be a lie to say that I haven?t thought of that, Kathryn...? His eyes dropped from hers, and he looked away a moment, into the darkness of the night. (vs)?...there have been many times, since my family was taken from me, that I have wished I could have them back.? He turned his gaze back to her again, and there was a sudden, almost heated strength in his voice. ?But the past is just that...the past...there is no going back to what was. Since being with you...that wish isn?t what I want any longer. Even if my wife, my children to appear now, in this moment...I have moved past that. You are my life now, Kathryn...you are my love...my family.?

She watched him, immediately regretting asking. While he spoke she felt her heart drop. She wanted to believe him. She really did... But it was jus her luck. She knew what would happen. She dreaded.. She didn't meet his eyes. In fact struggled against it..looking elsewhere. "To be honest.. I expect you to return to her if she does.. I wouldn't ..I wouldn't blame you if you did. I'd...."Her eyes lowered to hide the fact that while she meant the words..they were plenty hard to say, "I'd be happy for you.."

He let out a purring chuckle, shaking his head as he brought his hands up from her waist to cup her cheeks, raising her face so that it was directed to his as he looked into her eyes. ?My dear Kathryn...I don?t think you understand.? One hand remained at her cheek, as the other dropped to snag her by the wrist, lifting her arm so that her hand was against his chest, over his heart. ?This is yours, my love. Even if it were possible for me to go back, I wouldn?t...not because of obligation or duty to the present...but because you have claimed this for your own.This is yours, my love...no one else, living or dead, past, present, or future, may have it. You told me that even if Leo were to come back, even if he were to want you back, you would stay with me. Why should it be any different for me with you??

Her limbs moved with his guide easily enough and when he settled her hand against his chest her lips parted faintly. This is yours. There was one big difference in his comment. She and Leo..weren't married. They didn't spend years together and had children. Her eyes closed and she nodded meekly. "(vs) Okay..I'm..I'm being stupid. I know. I just..I'm scared.."

He nodded, leaning down to touch his forehead to hers with a smile as he did so. (vs)?I know, my love...and I can?t blame you for that...especially with all that has been happening. I would be too, in your shoes.? He chuckled as he pulled back and moved to wrap his arm around her waist, turning to start them for home. ?Heck, I have been in your shoes...I guess it?s just easier for me to get past...I haven?t had to go through the things you have. But I?m still going to show you that you needn?t worry when it comes to where my heart resides.?

Her eyes closed and she savored the simple touch of his forehead against her own.  She sighed, her breath shaking as it was released. "I love you, Clayton. I really do..And I am glad..in some life somewhere..that we..I haven't scared you away or turned you away or..anything. I'm..happy to have you in my life.."

He smiled at that. ?I love you too, Kathryn, very much indeed. In case it escaped your notice, you haven?t scared me away in this world...and I have seen you in times that I am certain would have sent many fleeing for their lives.? He chuckled softly as he walked with her towards home. ?If you haven?t succeeded in scaring me off by now, I?m pretty sure you?re not going to be able to, ever."

She started to walk, her hand moving to brush against his arm. "Never able to..I ..kind of like that. Keeping you around for a while longer.." She smiled a bit as they continued to walk and talk on their way home. The worry of losing him was put to rest for now and she felt better...like some great weight had been lifted from her shoulders.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on October 06, 2013, 05:06:05 AM
.: Chapter Seven: Trust :.

[size=9].: Sept 26th :.[/size]

The skies was pale with the start of morning hues when she stirred. Not far off a few birds chirped their song but that isn't what she noticed first.

It was the arm draped across the bare of her torso, the steady rise and fall of a firm chest against her back, and a piece of a puzzle that fit so well. Curled against her, flesh to flesh, Clayton was fast asleep. His legs tucked so that his knees were in the back bend of her own, his face nestled in her hair and so close that she could feel each breath that left his lips. It was amazing to her how his taller body lined so perfectly against hers...

It was as if he was indeed a piece of a puzzle and he fit so well against her.

Like he belonged there...

It was a nice thought.

Tilting her head she nestled back into him, looking over the grassy area of the opening that Clayton had chosen for their camping trip. Not far off she could hear the bubbling stream, the sound, much like Clayton's breathing, was peaceful. Comforting.

She knew the real reason he took her camping. Everything had obviously became too much and she had snapped. She had been weakened and It knew it. It was because of It that she had hurt Steve and likely would of hurt Issy if it had not been for Clayton's interfering.

She really did hope all she needed was time away because if that didn't help she feared just how close she was to permanently snapping. She knew she had been told to let It loose. That she had to try to co-exist with It but It had gave that feeling, on more than one occasion, that if it did get full and complete control? She would cease to exist...

...Forever...

At one time that might not of bothered her but now? No she didn't want to die. She didn't want to cease to exist. She didn't want to lose her brother..her friends..

She didn't want to lose him...

Her hand pressed his own hand against her torso but eased when she felt him stir. She didn't want him to wake. Didn't want this moment to end because she was still afraid...

Still afraid that one day she would wake up and he'd be gone. That he would distance himself or just leave...

He reassured her time and time again he wasn't going anywhere.

Maybe it was time...

...To believe...

...To Trust...

She felt his arm tighten around her, trying to draw her closer as if it were possible.

It was time to stop being afraid that she would lose him and just trust that he will be there for her like he said he would.

With that thought in her head she closed her eyes, soaking in the warmth and protective hold. She could sleep and enjoy the moment just a little while longer.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on October 14, 2013, 01:02:22 PM
.: Chapter Eight: Shattered Pieces - Part One :.

[size=9]First Week of Oct[/size]

It started with Renna slipping the information that her brother had been fooling with her technology. She had pieced together some things after that. When she said he had been using the technology on himself it explained a few things that were clouded in questions. When he had been so ill and suddenly his suit was much like her Reevi skin. He didn't need a pack of trench to activate it. It was just there. Apart of him...

There had been questions that surrounded that and he answered in full. Yes. He had experimented on himself. And Leo. And her. He didn't tell her because he didn't trust her. Not his words. Oh no..His words came in the form of that he didn't want her to think him a monster.

To her it came out as if he didn't trust her enough to tell her.

She didn't think him a monster. She didn't like it but she didn't think him a monster. He wanted to learn the technology. He wanted to use it to ..protect. She was almost sure of it.

Almost...

What she didn't like was being lied to by the person she trusted most. It hurt. It hurt right down to her core even though she didn't show it. Sure she might of shed a few tears in his presence but the damage had been far greater.

She was a fool for trusting. Like the demon said...trusting someone was just setting oneself up to be disappointed and hurt.

Everything that Edward was..was questioned. What parts of it were true? How was she suppose to keep trusting him the way she had? She wanted to trust him. She wanted to believe he was sad by his own actions. Was he sorry? She didn't know. She wanted to forgive him.

When he lost the Tower...Lost D.I.A.N.A...she hated seeing him break down. He seemed to just..not care anymore. Like nothing mattered to him. He just..gave up.

She hated it.

It broke her heart to see him like that and despite him hurting her she still wanted to be there for him. Even with how she was hurting she sat at the inn and tried to comfort him. Tried to get him to accept Isabella's offer of an alternate Diana. It wasn't to replace Diana. Nobody could replace Diana. They both knew it. But he relied so heavily on day to day things being done by someone else.

By Diana.

He could change her looks and name couldn't he? Make her different? Make her not look like Diana...

It saddened her that Diana was gone. It was like losing a friend and no doubt she'd mourn for that lost friend. Her brother felt that loss more then anyone and she felt helpless to comfort him.

Over the course of the following days she found herself avoiding people...Avoided home. Avoided Clayton. The chaos of emotions she felt was making it difficult to do anything but roam the streets.

Brian tried to comfort her in his own way as did Issy. They gave her words to think on but in the end she felt that she probably needed to speak to her brother again. Figure things out.

It taunted her..constantly. It was enjoying the outcome immensely.

She felt lost and It knew it.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on October 14, 2013, 03:07:16 PM
.: Chapter Eight: Shattered Pieces - Part Two :.

[size=9]Oct 13th[/size]

That taunting little voice had been echoing in her head for the past few days making sleep near impossible. It made her restless in ways that couldn't be seen unless one looked at the outcome.

She looked positively exhausted and her clothing looked as if she hadn't been home in a few days.

She had other voices, more or less more positive ones, speaking to her after the events. Brian. Issy. Even Gothrak offered a word of advice though she ended up feeling like a fool for trusting someone as deeply as she had Edward.

Knowing fully well what happened to her in the past she thought he would of done better by her. He should of trusted her to believe in him as she always had.

It was happening all over again and it terrified her. How can you be there for someone who you felt didn't want you to be there for them?

The lies...

It loved the hopeless feeling. It was so much easier to toy with her.

Sitting on the edge of the clock tower she watched things from below, the taunting laugh filling her head to the point that she felt it press against the back of her eyes.

Do you really think you can believe them about him? He had even them fooled.[/i]

She was silent, just watching.

Despite what Issy thinks he doesn't need you. None of them do. You know it just as well as I do.[/i]

Her eyes lowered to her hands. "Shut up..."

You just are someone he keeps at hand to make it look like he cares. Another lie to better himself in the eyes of the community. He doesn't need you.[/i]

Her left hand clenched and slowly released, her head swaying slightly side to side. Her right was still broken and she had made no effort to heal it yet. It served as a reminder of that day.

He was so use to throwing his life into danger so often that he had seemed to of forgotten...he could still make mistakes...and what if she lost him. What then? She wasn't sure she could handle that...

You already lost him.[/i]

Her eyes closed tight, trying to will the voice away.

And if he lied and went behind your back what does that say about your precious Cat.[/i]

She choked. "Don't.."

You know it is true. The man you trusted most with everything had been lying to you this entire time. How are you suppose to trust someone with your heart?[/i]

"I trust him..I trust them both. I forgive Ed..He did it because.."

You are going to lie for him now?[/i]

"I trust them both.."

Do you now? Really...Then why do I feel doubt?[/i]

Sliding off the side of the clock tower she fell to the rooftop below. Soundlessly she slipped down to the street below and headed for her favorite smoothie stall.

Oh yes because smoothies make everything better don't they?[/i]

She ignored the voice. It just wanted to break her down.

Once she had got the smoothie from the vender she had noticed Renna at the fountain, speaking with Ammy. By the time she finally moved to sit at the fountain there was Jewell. Brian's kin meant that in some way she was related to Renna? Even still she felt somewhat protective over her even if the woman didn't really know her.

Things escalated way too quickly.

Issy had shown face and that was enough to get her off the fountain she had just settled onto.

Oh look another failed attempt at trusting someone.
[/i]

She ignored the voice and dumped the cup into the trash and started to take her leave. She didn't get far before she noticed that Issy had taken up arms...against Jewell?

Last time she checked they were friends.

Good friends.

The only thing she could think of was Renna's virus. Yes..Days before Edward had came to the conclusion that Renna had infected Issy.

This wasn't good.

While she wanted to continue on her walk she couldn't just abandon Jewell. She stood nearby and ready just in case Jewell needed assistance. It was evident that Jewell needed no such thing from her. Drawing on some sort of glamour the marketplace took on a otherworldly forestry touch. If it was any other time she might of stood in awe rather than being ready to attack.

When it did seem that Jewell had everything in hand she turned to leave only to find this course of action seemed to turn Issy's attention on her.

When Issy started charging her she knew things went from bad to worse. Issy didn't even acknowledge the warning she gave to back down. The woman was at her with swords singing in the air.

Of course she pulled on the Reevi and it slowly ebbed from her flesh to crawl along her fingers and arm but it seemed much harder to do. It seemed like she nearly had to force it and it stopped. It didn't so much as coat her fingers with the wicked claws. Something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong!

"Covering yourself in blackness? You cannot hide from me! You who are so righteous and lofty! You who steal and lie about it! How dare you turn my own friends against me. ME!"

Between Issy's words and the non-working Reevi, she found herself falling victim to the blades as they bit into her flesh. Issy meant to take her down!

Jewell seemed to pop up out of nowhere and dragged Issy down with a wet sweater to the face. While Jewell had Issy she tried to kick away one of the swords but found that it was held in a grasp of white-knuckles.

Everything that followed happened so fast. Jewell said something to Issy that she missed and suddenly Jewell was darting away with Issy hot on her heels.

She worried for Jewell when she saw this but in her condition she wasn't in any way going to be able to follow let alone keep up.

Her body felt heavy and what should of came so easy came sluggish and seemingly impossibly.

Maybe she was just that tired.

She wanted to go home and see Clayton but first..She turned to Renna, demanded she released Issy from the Virus. Of course, as suspected, Renna had no desire to do so. She enjoyed the chaos it created

She heard Issy's voice bellow across the market. "KATHRYN BATTEN!"

She cringed like a child being yelled at by her mother but the expression and fear that followed was far worse. Turning to see Issy charging back at her she was..scared. She feared for her very life.

Clayton... Ed...HELP!

She didn't even have the mind to scream it out as the blades flashed before her eyes, barely reflected by the dagger she kept with her. Even then she felt the bite of Issy's blade here and there.

"Stop! STOP!" And try as she might she tried to slice Issy's arm in hopes that she could render one of her arms useless.

It didn't work. The leather warded off the attack and the swords kept biting down into her flesh.

"You think you are quite unique, don't you? You think that you are really something special."

She heard Issy's voice, a grunt as she swung, piercing and slashing away.

"No I don't!" because really she wasn't.

"You, Kathyrn Batten..." Issy sneered, "Katt Rhysata. How dare you worm your way in to people's lives. Pushing, pushing all the way. Only to push them away later." When Issy lifted her sword, aimed for her chest, she felt that fear again "You are everyone's darling. Everyone's little sister....everyone's confidant."

Did Issy really think that? Did anyone? Because she sure the heck didn't! Digging her heels into the ground she prepared herself to push off when the time was right.

"Everyone's .... belle amie."

"No I am not." Why did it feel like her voice was quivering. That her body was trembling. "Most folks are scared of me or don't understand me. So don't give me that crap.."

Crap?" A dark eyebrow arched, "Crap? You want to talk crap? I'll give you more than you ever wished for..."

She grunted when the blade was slowly pushed into her flesh and she barely was able to move to make sure it didn't hit anything she like...needed!

The next few things..happened so sluggishly. Renna intervened, stopping Issy in a way that obviously had hurt her.

She pleaded for Renna to stop but the next thing she knew Renna had shot off Issy's hand. No matter how hard she begged..Renna would didn't budge, physically or otherwise, on torturing Issy.

She even went so far as to offer herself up in exchange.

When Renna had a handful of Issy's hair and was staring to drag her off. She pleased for Renna to leave Issy and eventually she did. She was surprised by this no doubt and sort of just stared after Renna long after she left.

She didn't even realize Ebon had arrived. Even when she looked at him..she didn't see him. Her eyes drifted down to the unmoving body.

She just..stared and the only thing that Ebon, eventually, got out of her was a growl when he started to bind her wounds so she didn't bleed out.

Issy wasn't moving. Wasn't breathing...

"Breath..." She demanded at Issy's fallen body, her voice sounding unnatural. Scratchy and on the very edge of being metallic.

Nothing...

"Isuelt! BREATH! WAKE UP!"

"She's not sleeping, Katt. She's dead."

Ebon's words seemed to be the catalyst for what happened next. There was no warning as her Reevi skin suddenly lashed into movement, whipping around her and crawling along her skin like living black vines. It felt..cold...abnormal. Chaotic. Her fingers twitched at her side, causing claw tipped fingers to tap against her thigh. This was different. It seemed to even taint her very skin, causing dark splotches and veins where it touched. As if her very blood was infected by the Reevi.

It seemed Issy's hand started to regen right before their eyes and yet she did not move...

Ebon was talking..she saw his lips move but didn't seem to hear him. She was focused on one thing and one thing only.

She just..stared..as if she was mentally willing Issy to breath. "Breath."

Issy's eyes came open first but breathing came shortly afterward.

There was relief in that moment and the sword was dropped from her fingers. She had long since forgot she had taken up one of Issy's sword and had been clenching it.

"Ebon.." It took everything she had to find a voice, "Take her to the Sanctuary and make sure that the Sisters bind her and keep her in some sort of holding cell.."

Issy was quick to claim she was fine but she found herself staring at Issy. Just..staring...

Then things started to dim.

Black.

Well that was fun. Scared weren't you?[/i]

She was too tired...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 13, 2013, 02:31:16 PM
.: Chapter Nine: F*ck a Duck :.

[size=9]Nov 12th[/size]

The Mogul   doing at an ungodly hour? Muching on a snocone. Grape to be in fact. The refreshing ice breaks against his teeth as he walks carelessly along a quiet boulevard, left hand shoved deep into the pocket of a Wonderplex souvenir jacket.

Ugh..Anything that was grape flavored that wasn't grapes sucked! It was so..fake! Bleh! Icky! Anywho! She was sitting on the fountain..yes..this late at night..yes..this cold in nothing more then a hoodie and jeans..and shoes..those poor tattered old shoes..Resting between her ankles was a sheathed sword, her hands posed picture perfect over the hilt. She was just..staring up at the sky like she was expecting to see something...

A wild Mogul appears! "Hey pretty lady." he calls over with a smile, feet changing course to head her way. Munch munch munch on the purple ice.

Her eyes fluttered down and to his direction but right back up. This process seemed to happen two other times as if she were refusing to miss whatever it was she was looking for. "Hey Race. What are you doing out so late?"

"Refusing sleep. Well, laying in bed fighting for a comfortable spot isn't really sleep. May have to get a new one." He shrugs then looks up to follow her gaze. "You know, having a staring contest with the stars is a one sided affair."

Her lips twitched as if there was a frown coming. "Having bad dreams still.." Did she sound guilty? A little.. Her head shook carefully but her eyes remained skyward. "Nuh uh. Waiting.."

"Waiting for the sky to fall, chicken little?" He asks curiously. "No, I litterally couldn't fall asleep. An old friend brought me bad news from Oa." he makes a face.

She blinked a few times. "Chicken little?" Swoosh, Race. Right over her head. Her eyes did lower to him. "Snow.." She finally answered which..if you thought about it sort of was like the sky fallen. Anywho..moving along. "Bad news?"

He tilts his head a little. "You want to catch the first snowflake of the season on your tongue?" He'd heard of people dong it, but didn't peg Katt as a romantic.

The smile that curled her lips was as rare as the smile that seemed to be meant only for Clayton. It was almost like a child's glee. "Something like that.."

He takes a seat beside her on the fountain. "You're a rare creature, Katt. Just wish I hadn't taken so long to see it." He starts and then changes topics. "Apparently there is a growing faction on Oa calling for my reinstatement. It's gotten ugly."

Creature. She tried not to take offense to that word. It was..a compliment right? She wasn't exactly sure what he meant and so her eyes followed him with quite the curious stare. That is until he started speaking about things on Oa. Her eyes trailed back up to the sky. "I see. They didn't attempt to like..overthrow the power did they?" She was thinking somewhere of a riot maybe. It was nice to know she wasn't the only one who thought he deserved his powers back.

"No, but they've grown exponentially vocal." He leans back to look with her. "But, they should know that's not what I want. I needed something like this to happen. To ground me."

"I disagree but that is my own opinion." She didn't elborate and just continued to watch the skies. Even if she knew it wasn't likely to snow it was just..some ache that had been lingering all year.

"What is your opinion?" he asks.

She shrugged slowly and shifted her hands slowly on the pommel of the sword. "To be honest I think even if your powers hadn't been taken away something would of happened or you would of gone through something ...You have friends, Race. You have loved ones who keep you grounded. Powers taken away or not. You don't seem to realize though..and this kind of pissed me off.." She glanced at him from the corner of her eyes. "Your friends are here to be leaned on when times are hard. We are each others shields and swords. We protect those we love. It is not something that is one sided...and your comment a few months back was as if you didn't need anyone. That you want to do all things on your own and screw the efforts of those who would rightly throw their lives down for you. You may not like that statement or the idea..but would you do any less for someone you care for?" It wasn't a question she seemed to be expecting an answer for because her eyes turned right back up to the sky.

He frowns a little at her words and looks to the empty space on his left hand. "You're right. I was wounded and didn't want crutches. I was afraid if I leaned too much on you all, I'd never stand upright again."

"So friends are crutches..No wonder why I am so selective of the people I call friend." There was something flat about the way she said that. Sarcasm? Katt didn't do it well. "Do you remember what I told you that night at the glen, Race?"

He sighs. "No, friends aren't crutches but if I had let you guys support me then what? How long until the "you'll get through this's and the "you don't need the ring to be special's would have run out, and I'd still be here among you all...with no idea what to do next. Like right now."

She was silent for a moment before snorting. "I remember my conversation with Issy. She said I needed to be more gentle with you..that you would break..that you were breaking. And you were..However.." Her eyes shifted to him and this time her head followed. "That is where I drew the line. I understood you were hurt but I wasn't going to treat you like you were glass.. -That- would of been giving you crutches. I told you exactly how I felt. I was willing to be there for you if you'd let me but I wasn't going to sit there and feed you lives. You don't need that f*cking ring, Race. You -are- special and it is about damn time you realized it. But..nobody can make you realize that until -you- are ready to. Do you see the difference between what you are thinking and what I am saying? You will get through it and it is okay to lean on someone..and to cry..and to be afraid. It is rising up past it that is the hard part. The getting on your own two feet and only -you- can do that." She smirked a bit. "With subtle kicks from friends along the way of course.." That was what they were there for? Har!

"And I've had several months to look at myself. Know what conclusion I've come to?" He looks at her with something of a sad smile.

"You are a smart idiot?" Her chin craned to the side.

"I am very much. A coward. The ring made me feel invincible, nothing could hurt me. Kill me. Now? I'm afraid to walk home at night down streets I used to dance through. I hear a trashcan fall over in an alley and rather than investigate, I keep walking straight. I know how to fight, but I'm not made of the same...mettle. As you, or Issy.."

"And for that I am glad. I wouldn't wish my fate on anyone." She murmured and shook her head. "That isn't being a coward though. Tell me Race..Would you of kept on walking if you would of heard a woman's scream in that very same alley?"

"I'd have called you or Ed...but not entirely sure I'd have gone to investigate alone." He answers honestly. "Not like I used to. I'd wait of one of you to take point and felt...I don't know how I'd feel having to wait for someone else to come and do what I used to without hesitation."

"I don't believe you." She said it flat and simple. "I think in that moment you would of rushed in without a second thought and the only reason you answer the way you are now..is because you are thinking about it. You aren't in that situation." Suddenly a thoughtful look crossed her face and she looked across the marketplace. "We could always test my theory.."

"And if you're wrong?" He asks with a raised eyebrow.

"I guess we will find that one out together." She slid off the edge of the fountain and released the sword to rest in a lean against the fountain's edge.

"If we run into something nasty, I'm going to feel less than good about myself if you have to save my ass." The statement was flat, but honest.

"I'm afraid I won't be doing much of saving anyone, Race." She didn't tell him what she meant by that and turned away to leave him there.

Watching her, a cloud falls over his features. "F*ck a duck."

Dear gawd she couldn't stop it if she had tried. Hearing him say that, not like she had gotten far, she instantly bursts into a fit of giggles. Yes..on occasion..katt giggles..

And Race smiles hearing her giggle, watching her from his seated position still not sure if he wants to know what she meant. A little scared to ask.

Well she was off to test her theory and that meant going her happy arse down a dark alley way.

Watching her go he frowns. "She's crazier than I thought." he mutters under his her go breath watching. He sits there, staring at the mouth to the alley then at his feet and back up indecisively.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 13, 2013, 02:35:43 PM
Ten minutes or so dribble on by until a scream echos from the alley and it surely wasn't no fake one either. It was the kind that made your spine run cold at what could of possibly been going on. No words involved just screams at different vocal levels of what one could pinpoint as fear.

"Why do I suddenly get the feeling she's willing to put someone through years of therapy just to prove me wrong?" He asks himself hearing that scream. It wans't a heroic thought filled with altruism and Dudley Do-Right. No, it was a statement of many jaded hues.

The screams ended about as they started, sudden and sharp..with a choke sound that likely went unheard from the distance.

"F*ckberries..." he grimaces in growing anxiety before digging out his phone. "Yeah, Watch? I need three units at the Marketplace. Just heard some screams like a woman's been attacked..." He pauses. "Race....yeah, that one. Yes, the guy with the theme park." He frowns. "No, getting here in less than five minutes won't get you free ticket..." he abruptly hangs up on the jackass and starts progressing towards the Alley. If anything...he's covered his arse.

Funny enough, unless you count the near heart attack, there had been absolutely no attacking in the alley. Not that one would realize this. Even after finding a very unconscious Katt spilled in the very center of the dark alley. There was no blood involved it seemed either. Depending if he even investigated. The screams, again, had not been fake...

Hopping on one foot like a drunken easter bunny, he pries a small device from the heel of his shoe, turning it to expose a sewn in compartment. A twist and a press to the button reveals a flashlight that he shines down the alley.

It was a good thing she was wearing pants. Race might try to make shadow puppets under her skirt if she were wearing one..

He's got a bit more class than that. Not much, but a bit. "Crazier than I thought..." he sighs and shakes his head. He didn't know exactly what happened but he had his suspicions. "Katt, if you're faking like a whore's orgasm...I'm going to kill you."

That ..might? explain the quick rise and fall of her chest or it was the tail end of hyperventilating. Either way..she was out cold so Race didn't get an answer. Depending if the light caught her face he might catch sight of glistening tears that pretty much were flooded down her cheeks.

Two teeth catch hold of his lower lip while looking into the Alley before he pushes another button to pop out a piton which he starts fastening to te side of the alley. "Hear the story about the tornado in Adenna? There was a twist at the end." he says as a means to give himself confidence through humor.

Sad as it was. It would of went over Katt's head.

"Pete and Rep"eat are sitting on a log. Pete fell off who was left.." he starts with another look to the Marketplace then back down the alley. "Repeat.

"Horse walks into a bar, bartender asks it...hey buddy, why the long face?" Slowly, Race takes a single step into the alley.

"Penguin's driving through the desert when his engine overheats. Finds a road side garage and gas station." He continues to speak to himself. "Penguin goes inside, gets himself a vanilla ice cream cone to chow on while it waits." He takes a scond step and then a third. "Finishes the cone, goes to see about his car. Mechanic looks up at him and says "Looks like you blew a seal." The penguin flails and screams it's just ice cream."

Poor Race. By the time he got down the alley he'd have to worry about the Watch he called and all the jokes he'd have to tell them.

"A prostitute asks a longtime customer why they always meet at the bank to sleep together. He told her he believes in safe sex." he says, now within a few feet of Katt.

"A married couple are having a fight. Worst in ages between the two. He storms out the door and screams, hope you die, I'll have here lies my wife, cold as ever put on your head stone." Race continues to speak to himself even as he kneels beside Katt. "His wife comes barging out of the house and screeches, "And when you die your stone will read, 'here lies my husband, stiff at last."

By the time he finally got there she was breathing semi-normal with a few hiccup inhales here and there. The tears had stopped but her face was still quite wet.

He wipes some of the wetness from her face and murmurs. "Some nights whole packs." Like a creeper he licks the wetness from his finger and looks to her sleeping form.

If he was expecting something else then the salty taste of tears..well..disappointment for Race. Katt had normal tears.

"Jesus, Kathryn." he mutters under his breath using her full first name. With care he rolls her over and puts his hand close to her nose. He feels the warmth of breath along his skin and shakes his head again.
   
"Good thing you're light." he grumbles and lifts her carefully, one arm curling under her neck and shoulders and the other under her knees. Race curls her body weight close to his chest before lifting with his thick legs to get her up. "Blue tooth" he says making a small device blink against his ear. "GEIST, Marketplace pick up. Myself plus one." He says to his waiting transport while taking her out of the alley.

Awaiting them sat an idling classic muscle car. An olive green Pontiac GT, pitch black racing strikes run bumper to bumper in two moderate lines over the top of the vehicle.  "Is that, Katt Batten?" A cultured voice asks from within the car.
   
"Yes it is. She passed out from anxiety. Take us to the Plex." He says while putting her into the passenger side and buckles her in with care.
   
"Very well, sir. I am going to assume it is because you don't want a plethora of questions by taking her home to mister Sheridan?" The automated voice asks with surprising insight.
   
"You're too smart for your programming, GEIST." Race says with a slight laugh before getting in the drivers' side. Once the door is shut, GEIST revs its engine one or twice and carries them...home.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 13, 2013, 02:49:43 PM
[size=9].: several hours later :.[/size]

Her waking was slow and once she realized the divinely plush comforter she pulled it up over her head and rolled over.

Wait a tick...

That wasn't her comforter!

Nor was there a warm body next to her.

This wasn't right.

A million things went through her head as she bolted from the bed, tangled as she was in the comforter and sheets it meant that her rush had her hitting the floor with a loud thug. With a grunt she kicked herself loose and looked around. She..semi-recognized the place.

She blinked slowly and sat up, the comforter nudged a bit out of the way as she noted a nearby tray with a glass of red juice and some sort of pastry on a plate.

It was Race's place. The one that overlooked the Wonderplex. Why..was she there?

She started to stand but found a pair of fuzzy lion slippers on the floor next to the bed. They were freaking adorable! She didn't realize Race liked that kind of stuff but then again..Race was surprising her a lot lately. Smiling she reached over to test the softness, giving the Lions a few pets.

...It made her miss Clayton...

But still she smiled and eventually slipped her feet into them. Surely Race wouldn't mind if she borrowed them while she tromped around.

After a quit restroom run to freshen up things slowly started to come back to her.

As hard as she tried not to pass out she ended up doing so anyways...

"(vs) Damn..." she murmured as she combed back her hair and made her way to the plate that had been set out. Both the glass and pastry were stared at for some time and while she didn't touch the pastry she did take up the glass. A sniff later told her that it was cranberry juice. A small smile tugged her lips as she took a sip of the tart drink.

With the glass in hand she wandered around, not really poking her nose into anything but just moving to get her blood moving. She was going to need to apologize to Race. All this trouble he went through...

Sighing to herself she began to pick up, cleaning out the glass and leaving it next to the pastry, fixing the bed, and putting away the slippers....Even if she wanted to steal them...

One final look around told her that her sword was nowhere to be found. She needed to retrieve that...

Once her shoes were on she slipped out of the suite, the door politely locked on her leaving.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 13, 2013, 04:05:26 PM
.: Chapter Ten: Breaking :.

[size=9].:Nov 12:.[/size]

It was getting worse as the days went by. The strange revolting feeling when she was touched by Clayton and random, while short blackouts.

How dare you touch me you filth.

Why was that feeling lingering? Why was the Darkness spreading when it shouldn't? Why was It hinting out more and more?

I want out.

Of course you do...

Salvestro had asked her what did she like...

The cackling voice and images of gore filled her head to the point of pain. The pain hadn't gone away, even now...

Sitting in the middle of the bed she watched Clayton slumber the hours away. Why did she feel so restless? Why was walking..patrolling..not helping with that?

Even the comforts of watching Clayton wasn't helping as it use to...

Reaching out she brushed her fingers against his draped arm but before her eyes the vision of him changed. From the sleeping man..to the man she loved covered in blood..his eyes wide open in a terror filled expression.

Gasping she yanked her hand back, her eyes wide.

NO! STOP IT!

The mocking laughter that followed caused her eyes to clench tight. When they came open..the blood was gone..and her beloved stirred faintly from the movement. Before he could wake fully she was out of the bed. With sword in hand she was out of the door, forgetting to even so much as putting her shoes on.

She didn't want to hurt him. Even though it seemed like she couldn't..she just..didn't want to take the chance.

Let me out.

Soon. Not right now but soon...

First she needed to make preparations and be as far from any life as she could be. Needed to make sure nobody could ever find her until it was over.

After all..everyone said she should. Let it out..

Yes...soon...

Maybe things would get better afterward. Maybe for once December will be a month she could enjoy. Last year had been a wonderfully surprising Christmas... Maybe..just maybe...

Maybe she could even get Ed to spend Christmas with her again.

Maybe...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 17, 2013, 05:53:29 PM
.: Chapter Eleven: Saying Sorry :.

[size=9]Nov 16th[/size]

So likely he was out and about...or working..or something. That was okay..She could wait. That is one thing she was really good at. Waiting. In fact she was probably there a while, sitting on the floor a few feet away from the front door with her ankles crossed and tucked in close so that her arms could wrap around them and keep the container that was between her thighs and chest safe. Tonight she was wearing an oversize hoodie and seemed to take utmost care in keeping her face hidden in the shadows of it.

Might be a bit chilly but after about fifteen minutes a motorcycle revs up to his home, the helmeted rider looking at Katt behind a black bug shield. Flipping the visor up reveals the Mogul himself. "Katt?" His red cheeks are smushed up within the helmet like a chipmunk trying to squeeze through a peanut hole."What are you doing out here?" Killing the engine, he lowers the support stand and unstraddles the machine. A restored Indian from the body.

It was the sound of the bike that startled her awake and her head jerked up from the downcast position it had been in. Shielded eyes tilted up to the machine and eventually the man she recognized as Race. Curling her arms around the carrier she pushed herself up to her feet, looking down briefly before back up. "Waiting for you.."

"You do that a lot" he says giving her a smile once his helmet is off and he's walking towards her. Dressed in black dress slacks and a black silk shirt with a neon purple & over the left breast and "Owner" printed above it, he looks oh so professional.

She blinked slowly. "I..do? I..Mrm.." The sound left her throat, almost unsure. Her eyes flicked back down and she offered the carrier over to him while keeping her eyes down. "Sorry.."

"What are you sorry for?" He asks as he accepts the carrier. Then he's carefully reaching out to cup her chin. "Katt?"

She inhaled sharply and drew back before he could touch her too much. The reason became more evident when her chin raised and her half bruised lip and cheek came into view. She shifted her head a bit then shook it. "For..being stupid. I shouldn't of..done what I did. I placed you in a very odd situation and.." Her lips pursed briefly.

He sees the bruising and looks suddenly furious. "Did Clayton do that?"
A look of confusion was cast on the part of her face that wasn't hidden. "Did Clayton do..what?" A hand lifted to her face then to the lip of the hood to yank it lower.

"Pff no..Clayton wouldn't raise a hand to me." Unless he had to of course. "Why would you think that Clayton would..do that ..to me?"

He exhales a bit. "I can't think of any scum bag getting close enough to you in a fight to do that...and I don't know him very well." He admits. "Sorry for jumping to a conclusion, just not used to seeing you beat up."
"I get beat up enough..." Her hand lowered and she sighed quietly.

"I..can't use my Reevi so..I have been carrying my sword with me." She wasn't going to tell him what happened. Her hands raised up quickly and shook in the air. "That...isn't why I am here! I wanted to bring you that as a sorry. I'm sorry..what I did was stupid..even if it was to prove a point." That and she had no clue what happened so she didn't know the outcome.

"Want to come in side so I can see what you got me in good light?" He asks and shifts to let her be beside him. "You're all ways looking after me it seems. Maybe one day I'll get to return the favor."

Her eyes drifted down as she considered her respond. "Yeah sure." Brushing her jeans down she looked around and realized she forgot her sword. Figures.. "I..won't stay long I am sure you are tired and all." She blinked over at him. "Return the favor?"

"I'm gonna be up for a while yet, besides. Won't say no to you." He offers  and flips his keys for the front door key. "So, you at least take the guy down who did it? Or girl. or IT, I've fought off some real he/she's before."

"I...don't know." The words drifted from her lips weakly. "I don't even know what happened, Race. I woke up on top of the roof of the apartment building. I don't..think Ed is going to like that..There is like a small crater.." Her brows furrowed and she shook her head. "I was in it..so I can't say I think I won..anything."

He nod a bit at that. "Sounds like you need a guardian angel." He's walking towards the house with her and unlocking the door. "So what's in here?" He tries to look inside the carrier but it's too dark.

She didn't follow at first but eventually followed after he was ahead a bit.  It wasn't like she was..hiding what happened. She would tell Ed or Clayton when she sees them. She had been avoiding people though. "Um..just..sweets. I don't know what kind you like so there are apple turnovers, bearclaws, some red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese whipped topping. A few snickerdoodles.." Just a bunch of sweet stuff she realized she probably shouldn't of brought him.

"Snickerdoodles?" He looks back at her with a smile. "My grand used to make those all the time. Gingersnaps too, but those I learned not to eat a lot of, or with milk." Door open he lets her enter first. "Ladies first, and all that. Maybe this time I'll get to hug you goodbye before you leave in the morning."

"I like soft gingersnaps with milk. Actually I like the smell of ginger..so is a double reason why I like baking them." She blinked and she gibbered. "You make it sound like we- uh-" She slid on in past him and hurried a few steps in then to the side to make room for him. "You weren't here?"

"I felt responsible. You did all of that because of me. When I found you passed out in the Alley, I called the Watch but the dispatcher on duty wanted free tickets to the park. So I had to go alone. I made sure you were ...you know, alive. Because I don't like seeing you unconscious on the floor." Closing the door, he lifts the lid on the box to look at his treats. "So I had GEIST pick us up and I brought you here, didn't want to answer a thousand questions from Clayton really...or Ed. Got you laid down, made sure you weren't hurt or anything."

She blinked slowly at him. "The Watch wanted..what?" She shook her head. She swore sometime the Watch was a bunch of idiots.. Turning to him fully she craned her chin up and smiled. "But you went down the alley. Alone." Oh boy did she like she proved a point? She shook her head at him. "You aren't responsible. You didn't know that I am..um..afraid of places like that.." Her eyes dropped, rather embarassed actually. "You are a lot braver then you give yourself credit for Race. I just..wanted you to realize that."

"Bravery, isn't the absence of fear. It is being in the very presence of it, yet having the will to go on." He recites to her with a small smile. "I just have to be smarter than ever now, is all."

Shoving her hands down into her pockets she frowned. "Then..what is it when you are still afraid and just..go anyways?"

"Insanity?" He can't help that one and it shows in his smile. "Or your fear is outweighed by what you're trying to accomplish.

"Insanity. Yep that sounds about right. I've been called insane a lot..guess that pretty much fits the bill with me." She chuckled quietly but it sounded a bit harsh and scratchy.

"Want a glass of water?" The question spoken through a mouthful of Katt's sweet treats.

"Do..you have something stronger?" Well okay maybe that wasn't a good idea considering that he had been drinking himself to the bottom of bottles. "I er..um..Water is fine." She nodded and tried not to giggle. He was going to end up like a chipmunk if he kept going.

"If you want something stronger I can get it for you, or make it. I'm bartending at Ampersand on Thursday and Saturday nights. Gotten pretty good too!" He's got some frosting on his upper lip as he says this, leading her towards the kitchen.

Oh that is right. "I need to go back to doing the uhm..referring." It was slow to kick in. "Anything is fine." She wasn't going to be picky right now. She felt like she had no right in. Seeing his frost-stash she chuckled a single note.

"Referring? You know someone that needs a job?" At this rate that box is going to be gone by the time she's got a drink! Box set down he motions for her to have a seat at the table. A six seater made of rich red cherry and a light polish.  The chairs were made of the same wood with small intricate carvings along the legs and back supports.

"Referee." She grumped when he made fun of her or  maybe it was just her mouth not working with her brain. Brushing her fingertips against the surface of the table she continued to do so until she finally decided to do as he gestured. Settling down into a seat she winced and barely managed to swallow down any sounds that wanted to follow. After a few measured breaths she relaxed and looked over the length of the table. She liked the wood it was made of..was one of her favorites actually... "Planning on giving my job to someone?"

"Not unless you need a break." Is his reply as he decides to do something special. He goes to the liquor cabinet and takes down a bottle of Smirnoff 21. Setting it on the table, he takes a bottle of chocolate syrup, a squeeze bottle labeled white chocolate, from the 'fridge, and from the cupboards he gets a bag of marshmallows, a cinnamon stick, and a Collins glass.

She blinked and tilted  her head to the side as she watched. When he brought out the mallows her attention perked and she tried to will some of them over ot her without saying a word. Was that why she was staring at the white fluff so hard? Maybe. "What are you making?"

"A dream cloud." He says with a grin before snapping his fingers and goes back to the 'fridge and takes out a carton of heavy whipping cream and a jar of Marachino's. From a nearby strainer he takes out a shaker. Smiling a bit, he pours the cream into the shaker, looks about a cup. Then he upends the twin syrups, crossing the streams atop the cream. Lastly he pours two ounces of the 21. Holding the lid tight, he rocks the shaker, his body undulating in a professional mixologist way before pouring the cloudy mixture into the Collins glass. Atop that he spirals a little whipped cream that he had to make another trip for. The syrups are rotated in another glaze across the whipped topping before he tops it off with the a cherry or three, plunking the cinnamon stick into the mix like a straw and sliding it her way.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 17, 2013, 06:00:06 PM
She watched him curiously. It sure did look cloudy when he poured it. Her hand went up, almost missing the glass that was sent her way. Her fingertips grazed the rim long enough to stop it before her hand yanked back, the other moving forward to clench the other to stop it from shaking. It did look good and she was eager to try it..once her hand stopped shaking. "A dream cloud. It looks yum." Three cherries was better than one! Once her hand stopped shaking that is what she went for first.

He watches her a little bit before starting to clean things up. Can always make her another one after all. "It's a house special at Ampersand." he keys her in.

"Where is yours?" She asked as the cherry was placed against her bottom lip in a sort of a kiss. Mm cherries. Her hand was steady enough but ever so often her hand seemed to twitch.

He blinks a little bit...watching her do that and a very strong urge to lean forward and get the other half of that inviting cherry between his teeth tugs at him. A look of some inner debate flashes over his features before smiling softly. "Don't wanna share?"

She inhaled the cherry like she was afraid he was going to demand it back or steal it away. "Share?" She blinked slowly at him and glanced down to her drink. "I don't like sharing. Though quite frankly I don't normally let people pour me drinks anymore after..what happened.."

"Good thing I'm not most people." Is his ready answer with a laugh at her inhalation of the cherry.

Hey at least she admitted she didn't like sharing! In fact when she realized he wanted to share? She grabbed another cherry leaving him with one. Hey he had a whole jar of the darn things he could always add more! "I agree to that. You aren't.."

He smiles a little warmer, almost a warm and gooey inside kind of smile before he's getting two bottles of water from the 'fridge and taking a seat next to her at the table.

She was just about to ask him for a straw but he was settled so she decided to just deal. The glass was carefully nudged his way to allow him first sip while she nibbled on the delicate flesh of the cherry. She..can't say she could remember ever seeing him smile like that so there was a little staring involved. "You aren't mad at me ...right?" Wait was that smile because he dropped something in the drink? Hmmm...

Considering she watched him make it like a hawk watches a rodent, nothing in the drink. At her question he shakes his head. "I'm not mad. I'm glad."

The nibbling ceased and she stared at him. That..wasn't exactly what she was expecting to hear it seemed. "Glad..?"

"Glad." He says and twists off the cap of his water. "You're always pushing me. Like you have this expectation of me in your head, and when I don't match up to it, you shove me around mentally ...or physically...until things line up and I do what I should be."

Her back straightened and she looked at him a bit mortified. To the point that she nearly inhaled and choked on the cherry. She managed to get it out the way before stammering a mess of words out, "What? N-No! I am n-not trying t-to change you Race! I just..I.." Her brows furrowed and she looked down. Is that what he really thought? Wow..talk about the mental kicking going on under the hood..

"You're not trying to get me to see myself through your eyes?" He asks softly and takes her hand.

She jumped at being touched and nearly fled out of her chair. It was all she could do to sit there and she managed barely to do just that. Even if her other hand was squishing the cherry in hand until it was nothing but red mush. "I have been trying to get you to see what everyone sees, Race. What you ...don't think you are but you are. Or maybe you just don't realize it..I don't know.."

When she jumped, he pulled back and shook his head. "I don't think so." he starts. "You realize that yourself and Issy...are the only people other than Raye who came around to see how I was, or made effort to contact me? Just the three of you."

"I am sure Ed is worried about you too, Race. He is just.." Her eyes drifted down to the glass. "(s) He is just always..busy.." Her eyes slowly raised and over to him. "Sorry."

"Thing is...I look to my grandfather and his memory for a lot of guidance. " he says gently and reaches back into his wallet, taking out a photograph of a balding man with dark skin, the  shade of sun beaten leather. A broad grin on his face as he stands with an arm around a very young looking Race. Maybe sixteen.

D'aww look! It was a young Race! Leaning a little she peered at the picture then over to him questionally. "His memory?" It was asked quietly, almost afraid to know the answer. She had a feeling..she already knew..

"Cancer, the summer after that picture was taken." He says with an exhale. "See, my dad ran out on my mother and us. Us being my brothers and sister. When I was a baby, so mom moved in with grandma and grandpa. This man is who I call father. "

He taps the picture once. "He was a hard man at times, but fair. One of the things he used to say is that if it's important, be it someone or something, you make the time for it. No matter what. You take time to keep in touch with those that matter to you."

"With chores and school he taught me, you bust your ass to get done early, so you have time after for all the things you'd rather be doing. Whether it's fishing at the reservoir like he always did, or meeting up with girls behind the stadium bleachers as I enjoyed doing."

His words caused her shoulders to sulk down, her hands falling to rest in her lap. "Does that mean that they care any less? I don't..think so. Good friends are like stars..You don't have to see them to know they are there.." Her eyes drifted over to him. "Sometimes people feel that...others need their space. There could be a number of reasons but I know you have more friends then those you say checked on you. You have more people who care for you." She sat back a bit more, his words weighing a bit heavier on her then she'd like.

"There are two kinds of friends, Katt. Fair weather, who are only around when skies are sunny and all is clear. And true blue. Those who cling to you through hell and high water." He replies. "You and Issy showed yourselves to be the latter. Would you like to know something? Something I haven't told anyone, not even Raye?"

Her thoughts were on Ed and the fact she hadn't heard from him in like..forever. Her hands clenched and fidgetted in her lap. "That is up to you to share.."

"So you're saying no?" He asks with a shrug and a sip  of his water.

"I am saying it is not my choice if you wish to share something like that, Race. If you want to tell me it will stay with me, of course.." Such things she felt was only his choice to share.

She placed a lot of trust in him...he couldn't do any less. "When I was little, maybe eight I think. I got into this huge fight with my grandmother. I can't even remember anymore what about but I screamed "I wish you were dead" top of my lungs and stormed off. Stayed in my room the rest of the night."

He takes another drink. "It was about four in the morning, my mother came in to wake me...she told me gran' had passed away in her sleep."

She had an idea that he probably regretted those words being the last that was spoken to his grandmother. "I'm sorry..How?"

"M.E. said she just stopped breathing, like her heart gave out." He answers'. "Fast forward, two years. Feels like everyone is slowly moving on,it's January 1st. Day before my grandmother died...and ironically my mother's birthday."

Her hands clasped and relaxed. Birthdays were kind of an oddity for her. Lifting her eyes she looked over to him, waiting for him to continue. That..sounded kinda hard really. A birthday so close to ones mother's death..

"I'm enjoying winter break from school and putzing  around the house because I didn't feel like going outside. Sitting in the dining room, I see my grandfather walk through the kitchen in his long johns. Thermal underwear." he clarifies. "Didn't think anything of it since the man was like a Titan to me, made of granite. He went outside."

Okay she heard underwear.. So that image wasn't the best one in her head. Eeessssh. She managed to keep a straight face. "During..winter?"

He gave a nod. "One of the coldest days on record. Two hours passed before I started to get worried. So I went and put on my little He-Man boots, my coat, hat, gloves and a scarf. Went to find him."

Her brows knitted as she listened, a set of concern on her own face seemed to grow. He was making her antsy almost..

"I found him at the corner of the house, he'd fallen and broken his hip. Grandpa Shooey was blue as the sky, but chattering and breathing. The wind was loud in my ears as I knelt by him. He wasn't even able to look at me. Found out years later he'd tried to kill himself. But, that's getting ahead. What came next wasn't anything of conscious effort. I just remember...acting. Instinct. I ran like Renna was after me to the barn and grabbed my sled. Think I must have teleported because the way back was a blur."

She blinked as she listened to him and her lips twitched like she was trying not to frown. She bit her tongue so he didn't have to pause though..it didn't surprise her how smart little Race was.

His hands play with the bottle in his hands as he continues. "Somehow I rolled him onto my sled and drug him the thirty feet to the porch, up the five steps and into the house. Got him to the living room in front of the fire stove, threw on as many logs as I could wedge inside on top of the coals and tore apart every bed in the house for blankets. Then called my mom and my sister who were both at work. My brothers by then were in the military."

She blinked at him but nodded. "You were quite the smart lil lad, Race. It doesn't surprise me." His grandpa did make it right? She was on the edge of her seat.

"I saw my biggest hero..stumble." He says to her.

Her eyes drifted to the side for a moment before turning to him. "Everyone has their breaking point, Race.." She knew that all too well herself. "Specially when ones sorrow is overwhelming...And losing someone you are with for so long.." She couldn't pretend she could know the sorrow of his grandfather.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 17, 2013, 06:05:15 PM
He nods again slower this time and takes a drink. "Jump ahead again..the summer after this picture." His hand gestures to the photo that started this heart to heart. "He's dying. This same summer I lost my grandmother on dad's side to old age and two close friends. One died of a brain aneurysm, the other was in a car accident and not wearing his seat belt."

"I'm the last person he asks to see. After all my aunts, uncles, sister, mother...everyone. I'm at the bottom of the guest list. But then my teenage years were a nightmare. I didn't want to do anything anyone told me, even my teachers. Actually almost failed high school."

She never went to school so had no idea what the failing meant. Her head tilted and she peered at him. She had an idea ..or at least her reason..why she would ask for someone last.

"Walking down the back hallway to his bedroom felt like a hundred miles." he starts again after a pause to drink.

"I sat down in the chair by the bed, and put my hand on his, which he took weakly. He didn't have much strength then...and he said.." dramatic pause. "There have been a  lot of days I've wanted to kick your ass."

"But then I stop, count to ten. And remember a ten year old boy...saving my life."

She finally picked up her glass and raised it to her lips. She almost snickered when she heard the threat. Sometimes people needed a swift kick to get them in line for sure. She was listening for sure but was taking her time sipping the new drink.

The water is traded for the picture as his thumb circles his grandfather' face. "He said, "That ten year old boy is who you are. Your center. Never lose him. Never lose your grip on the boy who collects Nutcracker figurines. Who likes fuzzy slippers and sneaking into the kitchen at midnight for a bowl of chocolate ice cream."

A smile toys at his lips now as he looks around the room, the story perhaps making it more noticeable that there are several wooden nutcracker figurines spaced around the room. "Don't lose the boy."

She felt a question rise for the grandfather..or maybe Race..but it was tucked down. Instead she cradled her glass and watched his expression. There was a lot of love and respect she saw. Maybe a touch of sadness in there. "You took those words to heart." More of a statement then anything else.

When he looks at her, his eyes are glistening. No matter how many years have passed, the memory is still able to drag unshed tears to his eyes. "Yes, I did. He said that...then whispered my  grandmother's name as his face lit up happier than I'd seen in years. And he died...right there holding my hand."

"I was told ..that when you die you see your loved ones. Maybe..that is who he saw?" The glass was set down and after some heavy consideration and collecting herself..she reached over to softly squeeze his hand.

Race shakes his head, that's a question he doesn't have an answer to. The squeeze at his hand surprises him greatly considering Katt's not much of a touchy feelings sort. But he returns the squeeze firmly while looking at their hands, holding hands.

She was just having difficulties touching at all lately. Even when it was with Clayton. It took a lot of willpower not to yank her hand from his squeeze. She allowed the touch to remain for a few moments longer before withdrawing her hand. By the clock it was time for her to go. Any later and she might end up borrowing his couch.

Downing the rest of the concoction that he poured there were no words really passed. Just silent comfort until she reached over to offer a quick hug. So quick that by the time he reacted to it she was already scooting out the door and into the night.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 17, 2013, 06:28:35 PM
.: Chapter Thirteen: The look on his face... :.
[size=9]Nov 16th[/size]

After leaving Race's she roamed the streets, thinking on what she needed to do.  Race left her with thoughts she didn't want to have. Thoughts that sent her inner darkness gleeing in delight over the inner turmoil it caused.

Sighing she found the fountain's edge and climbed to sit on the ledge. She sat there, waiting..much like she had nights ago. Even now she still waited for the first snowfall...

She didn't want to miss it...

Clayton came in from the west end of the Marketplace this time, dressed in his usual jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, and nothing else. Long strides and silent steps had him heading for home.

She didn't seem to get far now our days. Sitting on the edge of the fountain her hands were clasped around the hilt of a sword that was nestled between her dangling feet. With her head casted down and the hood drawn low, it was hard to see her face even if one were to dip down. She could of just been thinking..or could of been sleeping..who knows.

He almost missed her, focused as he was on getting home. If it weren't for the slightest whiff of her scent, he would have. But it being the sense he relied on the most, it was the one most sensitive, and what alerted him to her presence, and brought his attention out from his focus, the grren gold eyes scanning around and spying the familiar figure settled on the edge of the fountain. A faint smile touched his lips as he turned and started her way, speaking in his low, purring voice. "Hello, Kathryn. What finds you out here, armed, in the wee hours of the morn?"

Her chin jerked faintly but didn't rise fully. She knew the voice..knew the face..She didn't have to look. It was likely odd that she was carrying a weapon now wasn't it. She being a weapon herself. Bruised lips moved to speak and at first a few silent words were spoken until finally voice followed, "It seems that you are what finds me out here, in this wee hour.."

He moved to settle on the fountain next to her, letting out a softly purring chuckle. "I was referring more to what circumstance. It's not as if you need that, after all, any more than I would." He gestured towards the sword, which he tilted his head to examine for a moment before looking back to her.

Her chin lifted just enough to where her eyes could find them. The violet that outlined her eyes was fighting for dominance over the normal sharp green. "Because I've no choice to or I'd be helpless.." She had totally bypassed the reason for being there didn't she?

He had to let out a snort at that, reachnig out to touch her cheek. "Please. If you're helpless, then so am I. And we both know that's not true. Or at least, I do."

She twitched and shifted a bit away from his touch. When she tilted her head he would see that there was a purple, green, and blue bruise dancing up her cheek. "It is true.. I can't....do anything."

He frowned slightly, pulling his hand back. "That doesn't make you helpless." His eyes shifted in color, just slightly, more towards the gold end of the spectrum as they narrowed a touch. "How did you get that?" His hand gestured slightly towards the bruise on her cheek.

"(vs) I don't know.." She frowned and lowered her eyes to the pommel of her sword. "I woke up on the roof pretty much like this.." She was pretty sure Ed was not going to be thrilled by the dent on the roof on his building.

He only just managed to restrain the growl that came to his throat as she said that; even so, it could be heard clearly in his voice as he spoke. "Perhaps I should go take a look and see if I can sniff it out." He even started to stand as he said that, his eyes looking towards the shape of Batten Tower, mostly finished, towards the far end of the markerplace.

She should tell him that she was planning on leaving. Planning on going away for a while. It was better he wasn't in a position where he ..might get hurt. Even if he said he couldn't..Even if... The sword clicked in its sheath as she looked up. "Feel free." Maybe he would find more then blood like she did. There was no attempt to move from her spot nor did she look in the direction he did. "I have not been able to able to draw on the reevi for a while. It started before Issy tried to kill me.."

He actually got a full step away from the fountain before her last words brought him up short, and he turned to look at her. Protective instincts aside, he knew that wasn't a good sign, not to be able to draw on something that was a part of yourself. "I don't understand...why not?"

"I don't know.." The answer was in full honesty. "I couldn't protect myself when Issy tried to end me." If it had not been for Renna stopping her..she'd be dead right now..no doubt. Though granted Issy's words sliced pretty deep on their own. "It is like..it doesn't even exist."

That got a visible frown from him as he regarded her. "Have you...said anything to anyone else about this?"

"Only recently I've told Race." Recently being like..that night. Normally seeing a frown on his face would bother her and she'd tell him not to worry but she was well beyond that stage.

He nodded to that, a thoughtful look on his face now. "In my people, there is a certain...type of sickness which causes a similar condition...an inability to call upon the animal within. Most times it is a psychological block...when one is trying to reject the dual nature that is an essential part of ourselves." The frown returned as he looked at her, not one of concern, but something more akin to pain. "Have you...considered taking some time to yourself...perhaps to sort it out?" The way he  said that was extremely hesitant, filled with apprehension, as though he were afraid to suggest it.  "Away from everything...even..." There was a long pause, and the hurt in his tone was impossible to miss this time, but he knew that sometimes, such things were necessary - he'd seen it before. "...even from me...?"

Her eyes drifted closed and she heaved a sigh that dropped her shoulders. "I have been making plans to do just that. I will be leaving in a week or two and I am not telling anyone where I am heading. I'm sorry..but not even you will know.." Her eyes slowly opened to settle on his face. She knew he wouldn't like that..She could tell that he didn't like even suggesting it..

He sighed, his head bowing, his eyes turning towards the ground, refusing to meet hers as he spoke, his voice hoarse. The way his words came from him, it was clear he didn't like saying them. "You have nothing to apologize for, my love. I think...that's a good idea." There was a pause for a moment before he spoke again. "Just so you know...I'll wait...for as long as it takes for you to come back. But I would ask one favor..."

For the first time since his arrival her expression seemed to change, softening. She wanted to reach out to him and hug him.. She didn't move. "A ..favor?"

He nodded, finally raising his gaze to meet hers, a smile coming to his lips that was somewhat forced, but no less genuine for that. His voice was a soft tone, but stronger, warmer, filled with a certain warmth it only seemed to attain with her. "That we spend as much of the time before you leave together as is possible. I would like to give you some memories for your time away that will give you an incentive to want to come back to me, my dear Kathryn."

She blinked at him and finally she drew herself off the edge of the fountain. As much pain as it caused she didn't flinch. Grabbing up her sword she nodded slowly and started to make her way towards him. "I don't need the memories. Your word alone is incentive enough." She stopped at his side and her eyes slid over to him. Diamond sharp in their two-shades. "We can do that. I'd..like that."

Regardless of what other feelings that were clawing at her on the inside... she knew she would like that..

Maybe that was why she felt so ill thinking about spending time with him?

...That wasn't how it was suppose to be...

The walk home with him was in silence, each in their own thoughts. No doubt he didn't like the distance that she kept between them, no matter how small it was.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 19, 2013, 11:00:04 PM
.: Chapter Fourteen: Graviora Manent - Part One :.
[size=9](The worst is yet to come)[/size]
[size=9]Nov 18th[/size]

You think Katt would be sitting on the fountain rather than the ground but the fountain offered such a splendid resting place for her back. Legs crossed semi-indian style her sword was resting between her ankles and against her shoulder with folded arms over it. She was just..more or less..watching the sky from beneath the hoodie.

Her long legs were slow in their stride, but Issy had a steadfast partner in her walk. The night air felt incredible to her, like she had awaken from a hundred years' sleep. The Scathachian had one arm linked with the Mogul's, her other arm swung freely at her side. A side which was bereft of weapons.

They moved in companionable silence into the heart of the Marketplace, occasionally muttering something or other in their stroll. Seems the pair have been catching up for a while.

Issy's steps haulted. But this time it wasn't because she was dizzy or needed a rest. Instead, this time her eyes were focused on the small figure near the fountain. She tugged on Race's arm and turned her face to rest her chin against his shoulder. Her chin lifted from Race's shoulder to whisper to him.

Race looks at Katt after Issy tugs on his arm and glances from woman to woman curiously before turning back to Issy and whispering softly to her, "You ready for this?" The words for her ears only.

Issy held on to his arm a moment longer before she pressed her lips together and lightly nodded. A deeeep breath and she turned toward Katt, leaving Race behind for now, she started toward her. "Kathryn?"

The Mogul hangs back a little bit, but his eyes are glued to the girls. Despite the chill, he's in a 'wife' beater and jogging shorts where he and Issy had run into each other, quite literally, at the beach.

The big cat was around, all right. Only, instead of by Katt's side as the man, he was, literally, the big cat, a silent, tawny shadow, prowling about the rooftops, not far away from the young woman his eyes rarely left. Now, as the others approached, he ceased his endless prowling, settling into a crouch, the green-gold eyes peering out from the darkness to focus, ears tiled forward to listen, intent and alert.

Katt's chin lowered and her near violet filled eyes landed on the two. For a long moment she just stared at Race but slowly turned to look at Issy. There was no burning stare but the heavy weight of her eyes didn't change despite the hue. No words..just staring.

"Katt, I..." She swallowed. What the hell do you say to a person after you tried to kill them?

Ebon'd been doing some late-night window browsing when he came upon the fountain square. First he saw Katt, then Isuelt and then Race. Given that the two women seemed about to have a much-needed talk, Ebon moved to approach the Mogul with a nod.

"I'm so....sorry." Issy's voice nearly faltered. It was a good thing she was so close to Katt by now.

The first urge Katt felt wasn't exactly a friendly one. In fact it was a quite violent, disturbing urge. The green in her eyes bloomed a bit as she shook her head. "What are you apologizing to me for..." It wasn't really a question..

The nod from Ebon is returned though Race's eyes remain glued to Katt and Issy like a pasty clinging for life on a stripper's tit. "Long time."

The big cat moved, slowly, silently, the shadow creeping closer to the women, a predator stalking prey, sleek and silent and focused and ready.

"Katt, I...I wasn't right. I was sick. Very, very sick. I would never...never, ever hurt you. I love you, Katt. I'm so, so, so sorry. You'll never even know how sorry I am for what I tried to do to you. For...for what I said to you."

"Yes, it's been a while." He, too, was watching Isuelt and Katt have their heart-to-heart. "How is she?" Ebon meant Isuelt.

Katt's chin slowly raised and she laughed. It was low and bordered on cold. "You aren't sorry.. What Renna did to you? All it did was bring out what you really wanted to say and do. You meant every stabbing word just as you meant every single blow of your sword." The laughter ceased and she glanced sharply to the side..Clayton's direction.

She swallowed sharply, crest-fallen. Though her eyes darted to the motion to the side. Issy spotted the big cat. Isuelt was taken aback for a moment, her hands automatically going to her hips, only to find nothing there but her pants. Her breath exhaled as she finally realized that must be Clayton. She took a step back, figuring that he hated her just as much as Katt did....and might even attack.

Clayton did nothing of the sort, simply edging closer and coming to a halt, the green-gold eyes focused, almost unblinking. Despite appearances, he wasn't there for the purpose of hurting anyone...he was there for protection. And not to protect Katt, either, but rather to protect everyone else...

"Shaken, not stirred." he says to Ebon though marginally tenses at the big cat. What the hell was a thing like that doing in town? Part of him wants to call Animal Control. However Race watches for right now as it hasn't tried to eat anyone. Yet.

"Katt..." There really is no way to make someone take an apology if they don't want it. Those dark eyes ticked back and forth between Katt and her big cat. "I'm....I regret everything...you have no idea...." Her voice caught in her throat.

Katt slowly pushed herself up to her feet and she turned to Issy. "Your deepest feelings. Your inner hatred for me. Tell me I am wrong...Go ahead Issy. Tell me that look in your eyes was because of the virus. It made you do it." Her lips curved a bit. She wondered if Issy knew how deep her words cut. Deeper then the swords ever did.

Recognizing Clayton for who he was, Ebon didn't react as Race did, but he kept his mind open and ready, just in case.

"Of course I don't hate you, Katt! How could you ever say that? I was infected with Rage. Literally!" She could hear her blood racing in her ears. Now...in the days leading up to her....episode...that meant trouble. She shut her eyes tightly, praying that whatever had transpired at Batten's home with Renna, had really cured her. We would see, wouldn't we?

The big cat's motions had been languid, slow and fluid, stealth its purpose, silent observation its intent. He had been relaxed up until this point - now, though, as Katt got to her feet, the big mountain lion tensed, going still as it moved to bring its feet in under itself, the coiled look of the hunter ready to pounce at the necessary moment.

Nothing came. Nothing happened. Issy drew a breath and opened her eyes, relieved beyond words. Her voice was softer now, "Katt. You are a beautiful friend, and I want to try and apologize for what I said and did. It wasn't me, though I feel more than guilty for it. More than you'll ever know. Please, just hear me. You don't have to accept my apology, but please hear what I say." Her eyes looked to the cat, not liking the new posture at all.

It was probably hard to see in the darkness, but the animal's attention, his posture - it wasn't focused on Issy, but rather, on Katt.

Race glances at Ebon and mutters softly. "Don't think I'll get used to being the least dangerous person in the room, now." Might be a lie considering the Mogul is a smart guy, and smart guys always cover their arses.

"Exactly..As I said your deepest feelings." She saw Issy's moment of weakness and her hand clenched the sheathed weapon, her thumb pressing the guard up."I am listening.."

The lips curled back, and from the mountain lion came a low, growling purr, tensing further as the claws slid from their sheaths for surety of footing, should he need to launch himself.

"So how are things at the Wonderplex? Got any plans for the next season?" Ebon's tone was casual, almost flippant, but he still kept his eyes on Katt and Isuelt.

At this moment, Issy'd rather die than show any faltering or weakness like she'd suffered earlier in Race's presence on the beach. Even amid Clayton's low growling, she drew a deep, long, slow breath and willed herself to stand erect and begin. "Kathryn, I love you. You are so very dear to me. Don't you understand that I look to you to protect, to laugh with, to talk to? There is nothing that I regret more than harming you the way that I did. I do not think ill things of you, save when you close up and don't talk to me. When you don't tell me what's wrong, or what's bothering you. I feel helpless then. And I hate feeling helpless." She paused, she'd had quite enough of that helpless feeling as of late. "The fact that I raised a hand to you, much less my swords, breaks my heart. I saw everything that I was doing, and it was like I was trapped inside, not able to stop myself, not able to make myself stand down."

Hearing Isuelt, Ebon closed his eyes as an empathetic shudder ran through him.

"Looking at expanding the children's Wonderground." he says before pushing a button on his watch. Who knows what that does. Race does take a few steps towards Issy and Katt. Not enough to be an intrusive presence, just closer in case he has to do something Anti-Heroic-ish. Ish is good.

Katt's sword hissed from its sheath when she heard the growl from Clayton and she glanced to him but kept her face to Issy. "Your words sliced far deeper." She was so terribly tempted to show Issy exactly how deep her words sliced. For a moment her eyes rolled closed and her head tilted to the side. "You see me nothing more than a child.."

"And were the roles reversed..." Race finally says. Not taking a side, though that may be the interpretation. "Under Renna's Rage, how many of us might you attack for treating you as a child in the past because of how young you look? How your features belie the experience and understanding of a skilled fighter?" He's just sayin'.

The Scathachian took a step backwards. This was not going at all how she'd imagined a hundred scenarios in her head.

Ebon's lips curved into a wry grin as he listened to Race's comment.

Katt's eyes snapped open and she looked over to Race. "She was calling me a child before...In fact she called it to me after her friend tried to rape me." Her head straightened. "It is just my body after all..Isn't that right..Isuelt."

She shook her head at Katt, "What are you saying? I...I'd never say that."

Ebon's black-gloved hands clenched into fists, then quickly opened.

"Yes..you did. Right here in fact." The sword slashed the air and lowered to her side, tip pointing in the direction of Clayton.

Race winces at that, this was a topic the two women had long overdue. But while he could placate sides about Renna related grievances. Katt's true issue was between herself and Issy.

"Katt! I only was glad that nothing had happened! No one did that to you! What do you think I was sitting around hoping that @sshole would do that to you? If he had, his head would be rotting in my gardens at the Sanctuary!"

The sword was ignored, not even given consideration as a threat or even a danger. Clayton had no fear of a blade, after all.

Katt's chin shot down and she glared at Issy, the violet in her eyes claiming more of the green. "Says the one who took th-" her brows furrowed suddenly and she closed her eyes, free hand raising up to her head. "(vs) I..don't..hate you.."

"Goddess damnit, Katt! You are so stubborn sometimes, I swear you only hear what you want to! I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry I ever raised a hand to you, I'm sorry I said terrible things to you when I was dying! I'm f*cking sorry that I didn't go after Tommy and shred him to pieces for you!" She was shaking, but she was amazed that her body was sailing along. No red, no rage. Goddess be praised. The Scathachian fell to her knees in front of Katt, "You want to take it out on me? Do it. Go ahead and do it. I deserve it. A slash for a slash." Her lips pursed as she prepared for who knew what.

Taking a deep breath, Ebon watched the scene in silence, letting it play out but ready to help pick up the pieces. Like Race, he recognized that this was between the two women.

Inch by inch, Race's edged closer to an intercept course if things went Boo Radley. Giving distance, but ready to swoop in.

"You really don't get it.." Her eyes snapped open and she looked at Issy. She seemed to take that offer right up. Clenching the sword she lunged forward at Issy.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 19, 2013, 11:45:35 PM
It was like he was waiting for the signal. The movement was silent, elegance in motion, as accurate and swift as an arrow launched from an archer's bow, as the big cat's muscles uncoiled and released their tension they had been holding, a tawny blur of fur and muscle that shot from its perch, aimed right at Katt.

It's not thought that spurs him, Race's body some how getting in front of Issy where Katt lunges, arms wide. He'd rather bleed than see Rhydin lose either woman.

Isuelt had faith. She had for a long time. She had faith in her goddess. She had faith in Katt. Her eyes shut. She trusted Katt, she knew it would hurt. She knew she deserved it.

Lifting a hand, Ebon made a staying gesture towards Race, but it was too late.

At first, she thought Katt had launched herself at her. Isuelt's body was knocked flat onto her back, though when she opened her eyes, it was Race and not Katt that was on top of her. And she heard Clayton's growl as she looked past Race's shoulder and saw a tawny blur.

Race in the way wouldn't of stopped Katt but the sudden giant cat pouncing her? Her body yanked to the side like a doll as she went down with the tackle. Instantly she raised a hand up to push under the maw of the great cat. "Get off me you pest!"

Ebon could likely have separated all of them from each other, but... that would only have let things fester longer.

Katt might as well have been pushing at a rock slide that had fallen on her, for all the good it did her, as Clayton landed atop her and put both great paws on her shoulders, the green-gold eyes boring into Katt's as he lowered his head to be almost nose to nose with her, ignoring the hand under his jaw. Not a growl now, not a purr, just the patient, focused look of the predator as he simply...stared, for a long moment, the long, thick tail lashing back and forth. The feline head moved, once to the left, then to the right, then back to center. The meaning was clear enough, a silent, emphatic 'No'.

"Good thing I didn't call for Animal Control..." Race mutters under his breath, still standing over Issy. Though he did look at Ebon. And it was a clear, be ready, sort of look.

Katt's eyes narrowed and she glowered at the great cat. "I wasn't going to hurt her.." She tried to push his head but there was a lack of strength on her end. Him touching her, however, gave this urge to stab him. Her hand trembled with the urge, trying to shove it down. She didn't want to hurt him.

Ebon nodded back at Race, just once.

Race hears Katt and blinks as he frowns. If tha'ts true, Katt needs to work for Shanachie.

Clayton could feel the way she shook, knew the reason wasn't a good one, and yet he didn't move. Not yet. Instead, he leaned down, just enough to touch his nose to hers again, a rumbling purr in his throat. Even with that affectionate sound, the hunter's look never left his features, though his eyes betrayed his thoughts, seeming almost to say, 'I know better'.

She was! Katt was actually moving to hug Issy but being touched as she was spurred something that seemed to be driving her nuts. The rumbling sound offered no comfort and seemed to send her thrashing. "NHHHH! STOP!" By the shrill you'd think Clayton was taking a chunk of her flesh out.

Issy shook her head at Race and looked around as she then slowly began to get to her feet.

"Clayton." Ebon looked at the big cat. "Let her up. She won't hurt Isuelt."

"Katt!" Issy clutched at Race's shoulder and looked to where Clayton stood on top of the screaming Katt.

"Wait...that's Clayton?" Race blinks in utter confusion. "Dafuq?!"

Issy winced at the shrill scream, though she stayed with Race. It was all she could do to nod her head at him, the lengthy explanation would have to come later. She heard Ebon's voice and looked in that direction. "What's happening to her?" Clearly Clayton was not tearing into her like it sounded.

"I don't know." Ebon stepped towards Katt and the Cat.

"Have to wait till Clayton stopps lion on her." Race says.

Despite the situation, Ebon looked over at Race and just shook his head at the horrible pun.

Clayton didn't seem ready to move, but as Ebon approached he complied, though first he swiped a paw at her sword to send it sliding away. Only then did he move his weight off of Katt, his features neutral, his eyes...hurt. Turning so she wouldn't see that, he moved for the sword and leaned down to pick up the hilt in his teeth, then paced away on silent, velvet paws, slipping into the shadows.

Race offers Issy's hand a squeeze. "That was pretty hairy, gotta admit."

Issy blinked in disbelief as she watched Clayton disarm Katt. Her voice breathed in a whispered volume, "I swear I thought he was going to rip me to pieces before Katt did..." Her espresso gaze looked to Race. There was still a spell of shame over her expression.

Watching Clayton slink off, a frown forms on Ebon's features before looking back to Katt. A lot of prides were hurt just now he senses.
He knelt beside Katt, but didn't touch her. "Katt?"

It was a lucky thing Clayton did because she likely would of stabbed him in the eye the first chance she got. Once the weight was gone Katt just laid there, struggling to breath and staring at the sky but the moment she heard Ebon's voice her eyes snapped to him, ice cold and as if she were ready to end him.

Race exhales a breath and walks towards Katt, on the other side opposite Ebon. "Remember what you told me at the Glen?" He says to her and....offers her his hand. If she chooses to, or stab him.

Issy moved to tap her ear...but she had no Avengers device there to call Batten. Her fingers ran over the small monitor that he'd placed at her waist. Short of having a heart attack, she didn't know if that would even work to get his attention. "I....I don't know if I can get him here." She breathed to Race and Ebon. And Clayton, too. Even though a conversation with him in this form would be challenging at best.

Ebon met Katt's icy gaze with his own dark eyes. "Don't give me that look, Kathryn. Are you ill?"

It was a near reaction the moment Race's hand went out. Katt slapped it away and the look he got was as if he were nothing more than filth to her. "No I do not." Heels pressed to the ground she made sure to inch away from the two before sitting up. "Leave me be." There was a pause as she stood up. "All of you!"

The big cat was already gone, having headed east, possibly for home. That was the direction the distinctive scream of the catamount came from, cutting through the night, though it was a distant thing.


Issy was holding her ground, watching Race and Ebon try to tend to Katt. To no avail. The Judge glanced toward Clayton...but he was gone. "Oh goddess..." She looked up and closed her eyes for a moment. This was so not the way she wanted this to go. Isuelt tapped, tapped, tapped on the device at her waist. "Where are you?"

Race looks at Katt....with pity. Clear and loud. "Katt, I know you're in there. Even if you let the ***** come to the surface."

There was a brief flash in Ebon's eye, a pinpoint of light like a star, and then it was gone. "As you wish." Leaving Katt to Race, he walked over to
Isuelt, drawing the Avengers com-badge from inside his vest and handing it to her. "Try this."

As she watched Katt's interaction with the men, she had a sinking feeling. Katt was acting similar to the way she acted when she was infected. What if Katt was infected with this rage? "Come on...come on...Batten....come on..." She hit the device at her waist hard enough to send a ripple of pain through her midsection. With a wince, she breathed and looked up to the heavens. "Great Hera..."

For now the woman would settle a distance away and on a roof top. Naveen wasn't intending to pry, just be there in case Race needed a hand.

Swallowing past the shock of pain, Issy  looked to Ebon. "Man..." A second too late, eh? The Judge took hold of the device and nodded to him. "Thanks." Tapping it, she spoke quietly, knowing perfectly well she didn't need to shout. "This is Nails. Ranger, you out there? Ranger? Marketplace now. It's...it's Katt."

Katt twitched violently and looked off in the direction the cat with in anger. How dare it take her sword! Sliding a few steps back she looked to the trio and her eyes narrowed in on the item Ebon was passing over. There was a snort. She almost spouted off how who they were calling didn't have the time. Instead she turned and started to move down the street, opposite of the way the great cat had gone.

"Little Katt, running away." Yep, Race was baiting her.

The badge wasn't necessary - in moments the high-pitched whining roar of thrusters could be heard approaching from overhead, reaching a crescendo just before they cut off and the black-and-silver armored figure dropped out of the dark sky, landing heavily on the stones of the marketplace before the armor began to retract and reform itself into the long, black trenchcoat wrapped around the Playboy, right in Katt's path. "Sorry...I was working on something."

Race's bait didn't work. No Kattfish for him tonight. In fact Katt didn't even seem to miss a step even when her brother was suddenly in her way. She sidestepped and continued on without a word uttered to him.

The high-pitched whine got the Scathachian's attention as she looked to the sky in time to see him landing. A worried frown on her face as she looked from Ed to Katt, then she put a hand on Ebon's shoulder and handed back the com device to him.

This Katt and the one who came to his house with treats to apologize are two different women and Race knew it. "Ed, stop her. That's not our Katt. it's a shadow."

Issy blinked, hearing Race and took a few steps forward.

Ebon returned the com-badge to its inner pocket, then looked over at Katt and Ed before turning back to Isuelt. "I don't believe it's Renna's virus. This is something that's been a part of Katt longer than we've known her, I fear."

Ed turned to follow Katt's progress, arching an eyebrow as he looked her over, his head tilting slightly to the side as though listening something before he spoke. "Yer gonna wanna stop right dere, sis. Or Ah'm gonna hafta stop ya, an' Ah'd really pr'fer not t'do dat."

She was midway in between Race and Ebon, trying to keep an eye on the Battens. But Ebon's words had Issy looking over her shoulder at him, a question plain on her face.

Hearing Race she sighed. Katt's head rocked and she looked over to Ed. "I'm going away for a while. Ask Clayton for the details. It is..better this way.." Her words were a murmur at best. Her lips did twitch a bit and she looked at Ebon. How right he was...

"Oh bullsh!it!" Issy nearly growled herself at hearing part of what Katt had said. The part about going away.

"The rest of us run and hide to deal with our ***** and it's a problem for you. But we're supposed to sit with our thumbs up our arses. when you do it? No flippin way, sister!" Race growls out.

Issy stepped up to stand beside Race. They were on the same page here. After all, hadn't she just poured her heart out to Katt and said that this is what hurt her the most? When Katt ran away or wouldn't share her problems?

Ed's eyes narrowed a bit, as he kept on listening, and he shook his head. "Ah'm 'fraid Ah ain't okay wit' dat...whoever ya are." He didn't move from the spot where he was standing, but his posture shifted, subtly, as he regarded her, then looked back at the others. "Dat ain't Kat y'all're talkin' to...dat's some...t'ing...else. Not somet'in' o'Renna's, neit'er." He turned to look at Katt again. "Las' chance. Come wit' me quietly, now, or we go an' do dis de hard way."

Ebon met Katt's gaze. "Let her go."

"Maybe you would like me to bring you back to the Abyss. Or maybe something far worse.." Katt's eyes flicked to Race. Was that a threat? Maybe.. Her head craned and she looked to Ed. Her eyes remained on Ed for a long period. Oh the things that wanted to spill out but hearing Ebon she looked to him then Ed. She had no intentions on going with him. She was not..going to put him or any of them in danger...

"Ed, Race, Isuelt... let her go." Ebon spoke out.

"Bring it Shelab, I survived the last time." Grr, Race's tough face is put on.

Ed shook his head, not looking at Ebon, though he addressed him. "Sorry, ol' hoss, Ah can't do dat. Not wit'out a damn good reason. She wouldn' let me go, if Ah was in her place."

From Race, Issy next looked to Ebon. "No. We can't. We can't just let her suffer this alone." She pushed her boots against the cobblestone and began a slow walk toward Katt, her arms open. Katt...or whatever this was... hadn't sliced open her throat when she was prone, she was betting she wouldn't do it now. "Please..."

"Friends give each other aid. Not carry one another. Those were your words, do you even remember? If you don't want aid, we'll carry you...kicking and screaming." Race shakes a fist at Katt.

A brow ticked up. "Shelab?" Yep..Katt had no clue what he meant by that and normally she would of giggled at his grr face. For a long moment she was silent. She didn't know which bothered her more..Race or Ed. "(s) It is something I go to do Ed..I can't...keep putting people in danger. I need time..for myself.." Her eyes snapped to Issy and she began to cower away, head shaking. "I-Issy don't.."

"Stay with us...let us help you..." Issy legs continued pursuing her. "We love you. We want to help you."

Race's shoulders slump a bit. "F*ck a duck..." he sighs He's running out of motivational things here!

Ed sighed, rolling his eyes. "Please. Yer as much a danger t'me as a fly is. Ya want time t'yerself? Fine, ya can have it...after Ah get a good look at...whate'er de hell is goin' on inside ya. An' after Ah tag ya so Ah can find ya later."

Naveen frowned while watching Race's distress. Finally she descended to the man's side. Eyes fell on the 'family' and watched, unsure of what to do or say to help in any way.

Ed's words flared some rage. "I ain't no freaking experiment!" Yeah thanks for that rattle Ed! Katt turned on her heels and made a dash down the street.

"You make her sound like property, Ed." There was an edge in Ebon's voice. "She's your sister, not some wild beast."

"Katt you're one hot dog out of a bunch, just stay in the pot!" Race calls after her.

As close to Katt as she was, and as focused as she was on her, Batten's words elicted a flicker of a brow arch. Issy figured that device at her waist was something just like he was...hey! Katt took off! Isuelt kicked her heels into the cobblestone and took off after her.

"F*ckberries" he mutters as Issy and Katt take off. Race looks to Naveen then back, talk about crossroads.

"ED!" Issy knew he was much faster than she was.

Ed looked at Ebon at that, arching an eyebrow. "Ya ever tried findin' her when she don' wanna be found? Ah know of one person on de whole planet dat can manage it, an' after dis evenin', Ah'm not sure he's gonna do it." He looked after Katt as she took off, sighing. "Dammit..." He reached inside the trenchcoat and touched the trigger switch, and within moments, the armor was back around him, the thrusters lighting off to kick him into the air, arching high overhead and coming down to land right in Katt's path again.

There was an upturned brow to Race when he looked at her then back towards Katt. Lips turned into a frown before Naveen spoke softly," She desires solitude. Should it not be given?"

What she wouldn't give to have her reevi right now. Katt was at full sprint so when he landed she met metal with a thwack.. At least her head didn't hit it. Both hands smacked the suit and she started to push off. She hissed up Ed through clenched teeth. "You aren't poking and prodding at me!"

"Not when we all know damn well she's not going to let anyone know where she is." Then he's sprinting up the street. Seems when motivated, the Mogul can move. Talkin like a Gazelle or something.

Coming up behind Katt, her boot heels skidded to a stop. Issy's dark eyes were wide as she look between the Battens.

Overhearing Naveen, Ebon looked in her direction. "My thoughts exactly. There's a time for intervention, and there's a time for giving space. I'm of a mind that this is the latter... but I seem to be in the minority here." Then he took to the air after everyone, silently dropping to land near Katt and Ed.

At least Race wasn't prancing down the street singing 'I'm a pony, I'm a pony'?
Not yet, anyway.

Ed shook his head at Katt, the helmet retracting, the rest of the armor staying in place. "No, Ah'm not. No pokin', no proddin'...ya jus' gotta lie down an' be still fer a bit while Ah take a scan o'ya, an' den yer free t'go...wherever ya want."

Naveen nodded to that and sprung into action. With a woosh she sped after Race and scooped him up. Role reversal time. With her speed of flight, she was able to close the distance faster than he could.

"What about the tagging?" Ebon asked.

Having been out of Katt's social loop for so long, Race's not about let her pull the rug on him. Homey don't play that way. Hey! He looks at Naveen as she scoops him up. "Great...now I know how Batman feels..." he whispers under his breath.

Katt sneered at the suit but figuring if it got him off her back ...She relaxed a bit. "Fine but your word..A scan and I am gone."

Where the grup had come to a stop, Naveen let down Race before she landed herself. Then she looked to him and motioned. "Go save your friend."

"An' no, yer not an experiment...yer my sister, an' right now, b'fore ya go anywhere, Ah wanna be sure dat whate'er Ah'm registerin' inside o'ya right now ain't gonna cause some kinda explosion dat wipes de only fam'ly Ah have off de face o'de planet." Ed looked at Ebon, rolling his eyes. "Ya didn' t'ink Ah was gonna put a collar on 'er or somet'in', did ya? Ah got ways o'doin' it dat don' involve actually havin' 'er carry a tracer around...hell, she'd probably just get rid o'it, even if Ah could implant somet'in, she'd jus' dig it out."

Issy missed Race being swept off of his feet behind her, but at least she was able to breathe a bit of a sigh of relief as he heard Katt relinquish.

Damn straight she would. There was a comment hanging on her tongue that was ever so cruel..just for Edward. But Katt just folded her arms and waited.

That made Ebon smile. "You are smart, after all." His expression was good-natured teasing.

Issy couldn't help it. She gave Ebon a look over her shoulder.

Race blinks then looks at Naveen. "Go to my house, get my slippers." Is all he tells her. Odd as it may be.

One brow quirks up, but Naveen nods and takes flight once more.

Katt's always telling him it's his mind that makes him great. Race's gonna test that faith.

"Smarter'n de avergae bear, dat's me." Ed offered a hand out to Katt. "If Ah do find somet'in', tough, ya better b'lieve Ah'm gonna come get ya. An' ya can wipe dat look offa yer face, li'l sis. Whate'er yer thinkin' o'sayin' t'me, Ah'm perty sure yer not de one dat's act'ally t'inkin' it." He paused a moment, then threw something she'd said to Issy back at her. "Unless whate'er's influenin' ya is just lettin' ya voice yer 'true feelin's'. In which case, Ah still ain't gonna cut ya outta my will."

Taking that sharp gaze of hers from Issy she looked back to Ed and Katt. She flinched a touch at Ed's words.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 20, 2013, 12:07:56 AM
One eyebrow arched as he looked back at Isuelt, and then he turned back to Ed. "To be honest, I was beginning to think that, yes, the way you were talking. Thank you for clarifying." The thought of "tagging" had struck just a little too close to home for Ebon.

Was it supposed to take her long to retrieve his slippers? No, not when she knew where they were. when she returned, Naveen landed softly, holding to a pair of plush, fuzzy lion slippers. She offered them out to Race as she studied him inquisitively.

Katt's eyes rolled. "Have I ever been one to really hold my tongue? Get your scan done and leave me be." Her brows twitched a bit. She didn't quite understand the whole concept of a will so that seemed to be lost on her.

Race takes them from her, resolve set and marches right up to Katt. Fuzzy lion slippers in hand. Their tawny faces looking oh so cute. "If you're so damn set on this madness." He thrusts the slippers right out at her, putting the cuteness full in her face. "Don't. Forget. The boy."

"Race..." Issy canted her head to the side, utterly confused at what he was doing, she took the moment to move a few steps closer. And now did she note the striking green-haired woman.

The woman turned her eyes to Issy and she bowed her head softly. Naveen's eyes however quickly return to Race as he shoves slippers in Katt's face. Lord she hoped they didn't smell.

Did...did that woman just bring Race slippers?

She sure did.

Ed eyed Katt. "Ya jus' did...Ah know ya pretty well, Katt, enough t'know when yer t'inkin' o' sayin' somet'in' an' shoosin' not to. Ya do it more often dan ya t'ink." He still offered the hand out to her. "An' Ah ain't doin' de scan here, yer comin' home wit' me t'get it done by Di."

Issy was certainly quiet as she slowly turned her espresso gaze once more toward the Battens. Her lips parted to say something, but she pressed those lips together. She could have said something to answer Katt's question, but she questioned whether it was really her place. She voted on no.

Katt did too or Ed was carrying her home. She stared at the slippers before sliding over to Ed and taking the offered hand. "For all I know those slippers have something in them." And they were too cute to tear apart damn it!

Ed pulled Katt to her feet with a chuckle as he eyed the slippers. "Yeah, prob'ly at'lete's foot or somet'in'. Ya might wanna disinfect 'em."

Race shakes them at her. "That's Ed's department, not mine. I'm full frontal and you know it." Is his response as the lions are held steadfast right up for her to take. "Don't forget the boy." He repeats. He's taking a major gamble with this, knowing the others think he's nuts.

Ebon doesn't think Race is nuts. He's... eccentric.

Her arms folded over her sweatered chest. Issy's attention was all over the place. And presently she was simply watching Race and those weird slippers.

Naveen doesn't think Race's nuts, he is nuts. But then again, his kind of nuts worked very well. That's why she's trying to get his ring back.

Katt's face totally went red. Thanks Race...Grumbling she yanked the fluffy slippers out of Race's grasp and hugged them to her chest.

Okay, brows up. Katt's reaction utterly surprised Issy. It seemed that Race was just as able as Ed to get her to simmer. The Judge turned her brows up expression to Ed.

A grin spread across Ebon face as he watched Katt hugging the slippers.

Naveen simply nodded, satisfied that Race's trick had worked.

Yay! He some would squeal, but there's company present so Race has to be all grr, serious. Watching her take the slippers he nods, and smiles broadly at her. "You're family Katt. It's who you choose." His hands slowly drop then. Of course that's when he finally notices how flippin cold it's gotten and hugs himself!

Ed shrugged at that, not having a clue what that was all about. Letting Katt's hand go, she gestured towards the direction of the Haven, beyond hte mostly-completed form of the new Batten Tower. "After you, sis."

Dark eyes look to Naveen. "You might want to ring something up to keep him warm, before he catches his death of cold." Ebon nodded towards Race.

There was a glance to Ebon before Naveen nodded. The ring glowed and a glowing green coat wrapped Race up like a hug.

Issy blew out a breath, feeling a little uneasy. Like maybe this was her fault. Isuelt pondered if her actions were the catalyst for this event, and as Ed moved past her, she whispered an "I'm sorry."

Katt  stared at Race before turning around and starting to walk in the direction her brother gestured. Get it over with and then she could leave..get things fixed like Clayton said. There was just..something wrong with her and she hated it..

Ed shook his head as he passed Issy, pausing to lay a ahdn on her shoulder and give it a fainst squeeze with a smile. "Not yer fault, chere. Somet'in' tells me dis has been comin' fer a while, well b'fore what happened when ya were infected."

"If they matter to you, you make the time." Race calls after Katt. It's like he and Katt have their own language or something, or he's just rambling because it's cold and the coat hasn't warmed him up just yet. However he does smile to Naveen. "Uhm, thanks..."

"About that..." Issy stalled briefly then looked at him. She licked her lips and nodded. Her mouth formed words though no sound was ushered forth. Her lips curled around 'Thanks' for him. She ran a hand through her hair, then turned her chin to cast a worried glance toward Katt.

If it could warm, heat up even, it begins to. Eyes soften at the smile she receives before Naveen nods to Race. "Welcome." A smile returned in trade.

Ebon raised an eyebrow and seemed about to speak after hearing Ed's words to Isuelt, but decided against it.

Katt heard Race but her steps carried her with a strong gait to where she was suppose to go. After a bit she took the time to store the slippers in her messanger bag so they didn't get lost.

Watching Katt and Ed move off, and that coat warm up. Race has two thoughts. I need to make a self-warming jacket like this. And. Dear lord they are going to remember those slippers, never hear the end of this.

Ed gave Issy a smile and nodded. "Ya'd do de same fer me, darlin'." Letting her go, he headed off after Katt, still clad in armor, the footfalls heavy on the stones of the street as he moved to catch up to her, echoing ino the darkness.

Some walk, Issy   thought to herself as she looked from Batten to Race and back again.

"She'll be all right." Ebon said it with hope.

Naveen stayed back, hands behind her back.

"Money she shanks him and makes for it?" Race offers to the others with a tilt of his head. Ed was out of earshot right?

"Not likely." Beat. "Clayton took her sword, remember?"

A momentary scowl toward Race. Issy was wondering if she should follow them. After all, she still was in that strange no man's land of whether or not she was ready to totally return home.

"Really think that'd stop her? I mean, she's Kitty Rider." Race shrugs and looks to Naveen. "Well, might as well introduce yourself, Nav."

No there was no shanking. In fact there was no words offered to her brother as they walked. Katt's head was pounding and she wasn't enjoying it so that had most of her attention.

Ebon looked at Isuelt. "Don't. Let him run his scan, and then let her take her solitude. Sometimes introspection can be better for healing one's soul than the comfort of friends. I think this is one of those times."

There was a nod to Race and then Naveen   looked to Issy and Ebon. "I am Green Lantern Naveen..."

"A pleasure to meet you, Naveen. I am Ebon Ilnaren."

Issy's gaze flickered to Ebon, her lips parted and paused. After she looked to the retreating Battens, she returned her attention to Ebon. "Sure." It's just that I actually feel safe there. Though that part she left out.

"You know.." Race says to Ebon. "I was fine with her going off. But, she bitched me out when I did it. No way am I going to let her get to parade around the hypocrite card. She's better than that." Better than all of us some days..he adds for himself mentally.

Ed caught up to Katt easily and slowed to walk beside her. After a few beats he spoke. "Oh, by de way, when ya get time, after ya get back from...well, where'er it is yer goin'...Ah got a coupla presents fer ya."

Hearing Naveen then, Issy blinked and looked from her to Race and back again. Dark brows arching up conveyed a bit of surprise. "Pleasure." She held a hand out for the female Green Lantern, though she glanced to Race once again.

"Well, if she tried to disappear, my son would probably track her down. He has spies everywhere." Ebon said that with a perfectly straight face.

"Well met Ebon Ilnaren." Naveen's head bows to him. Don't mind that she's in that green skin tight uniform still. When the hand was offered out, she gave it a shake and nodded. "Well met." Was said to Issy.

Katt blinked slowly. Aside from the pcui she couldn't really think of anything Ed has given her that could be considered a present. No..the penthouse doesn't count! Slowly her eyes shifted to him and a brow perked up. "Oh?" Strike her curious or she could be faking..Who knows.

Ebon had managed to avoid noticing the skin-tight uniform.

Issy noticed. Which was probably why she was giving Race such a curious look.

I'm never going to see those slippers again, Race thinks with some inner anguish. He just hopes Katt takes good care of them. Then he's looking at the others with a nod. "Nav went through the academy with me." He offers to them. "We were in the same training squad."

"That's a lifetime bond."

Taking back her hand a ghost of a grin is on Naveen's lips at Race's explination. "He was rather crafty and cunning. It was at points enjoyable to watch him use his imagination to come up with a way to save our heads."

There was a smirk on Issy's lips that she was trying with all her might to surpress. "Yeah, well he's sort of known for that crafy cunningness here too." See that? See that smirk?

Race has the grace to cough and look away before she makes him blush. "Someone had to. I wanted that squad leader spot from day one. Lost it on day two...but we won't go there." He groans a bit remembering how many times he was promoted and demoted in that first year.

Naveen smiles softly. "Indeed." This to Issy before she looked to Race. "It's because you continued to question limits and boundaries. And to be frank, that's something that is needed, not shunned or taken away." There was a purse of her lips. She would get his ring back if it meant sacrificing her own.

Ed nodded as they walked, leaving the market. "Yep. One of 'em is sorta a jacked up version o'Tylenol, tailored t'work wit' yer body chemistry t'help ya wit' yer headaches...gotta test it, t'ough." A grin twitched at his lips. "De ot'er...well. Suffice it t'say yer gonna need some trainin' t'get de hang o'usin' it."

A light smile at Naveen's words, though that same terse expression was once more cast toward the Battens. Issy's voice trailed off into a light question to the trio as she watched them. "Think she's gonna be okay?"

"Hey, they called my actions near criminal." Race wags a finger at her. "You were there, you know they didn't like my response at all. Tight wadded genie smurfs." He grumbles.

Oh mah gawd Ed made her asprin. Maybe. "Something that might actually work. That would be nice. What about that tranquilizer I asked you to into?" Yes Katt thought about these things funny enough. Rubbing her head she realized she probably wouldn't mind one of those asprins..if they did work.. "How long will it take your scan?"

"You punched Jordan in the face, Race... of course their panties would be in a bunch. I frankly... had to keep from laughing." The finger wag had Naveen smirking at him.

A sniff at that. "Pretty boy had that coming." All Race'll say to that before looking at Issy. "If she's not, we'll need a good can opener."
Race's description of the Guardians--yes, Ebon knew of them--gave him a brief chuckle, before he looked to Isuelt and answered her. "She's strong." A heavy sigh escaped his lips. "As I mentioned before, I think what's going on with her goes back long before she came to Rhy'din."

Naveen merely grinned and shook her head.

Still looking off into the distance, Issy took in the words of the trio, digesting them. Though it was a moment before she looked questioningly to Race. "Can opener?"

"A while back, Katt... let me into her mind, just enough to view a memory of something she'd seen, to help locate... well, I won't describe the details, not my place, but that day I gained a measure of respect for Katt that I will never lose." Then Ebon, too, looked at Race. "What, to get Ed out of his suit?"

Ed  shook his head at the question of a tranquilizer. "Not yet. Yer body metabolizes t'ings diffr'ntly, but if de headache medicine works, Ah should be able t'work up somet'in'." He turned to look at her as they walked. "Well, Ah'm gonna do a complete readout o'yer vitals an' bioelectric signature...prob'ly take a couple hours or so. Could prob'ly let ya use m'gym while Di's takin' her readings, or ya could get a nap."

Ebon just points a finger gun at Ebon as if to say, bingo.

A hardee-har-har expression was shared between Race and Ebon at that.

Ebon found out why Katt's mind is blocked to the world. There are just some things in there..that would drive a insane person sane.. Her nose wrinkled but she didn't look at him. In fact she seemed to very well be avoiding that. "I'll get some rest in." Because once she was done she was out of there.

Of course Naveen didn't get it.

Meanwhile, back in Rhy'din... "I should be heading home." Ebon announced.

Issy   Her hands on the back of her hips, she looked to Ebon and bowed her head

"Isuelt..." Ebon gave her a smile that was touched with concern. "Are you all right? With Katt at Ed's place, where will you go tonight?"

"Is it too much to ask that we all get together for a impromptu gathering...and there not be some form of emotional shenanigans?" Race asks no one in particular. "Just go to the coast, have a few laughs..."

There was a nod to Issy from Naveen. "Mmm, drink a lot... Swim... Dance."

Issy made a face of minute panic. "Oh sh*t... Katt's going to..." Well, if Katt didn't want to kill her before, she might very well now.

Ed nodded as he guided Katt towards the Haven, and once they reached it, he guided her in. "Find yerself a bed, sis. Ah'll let ya know when de scan's done...gonna step out fer a minute." He fixed her with a look. "An' if ya leave b'fore it's done, Ah'll drag yer arse back by force."

Ebon gaze went to the Mogul. "I've got a yacht, docked on the river. We can all get together there, take her out..."

Race looks to Ebon then. "Not until Katt comes back. Can't have fun without the full crew present." He looks serious about that.

There was the Race Naveen knew so well.

"Where is the one nearest the water?" Ed's threat was given a sigh. Katt had a pretty good idea where he was heading off to. She flicked a hand in his direction like she was dismissing his threat or possibly the answer to her question. She headed off to find a room as told. Or rather a bed. Maybe a chair. Whichever..

"Issy, you can stay at my place tonight if you want. " Race offers without looking, still watching the place where Katt vanished out of sight.

"Of course! It's not a party without her!" Ebon grinned, then nodded to Race and Naveen. "Good night!" Turning to Isuelt, Ebon gave her a bow. "Take care, Isuelt. Remember, we still have to go out on our date!"

Issy hand was on the back of her neck as she looked to Ebon to say goodbye, she chuckled and bowed. "Yes, of course."

With that, Ebon rose into the air and headed towards Dragon's Gate.

Ed sighed, rolling his eyes as he gestured towards one near the southern side of the house. "Take de master suite...ain't been used by anyone but m'self, an' dat not fer a few days." Shutting the door behind him, he turned and headed back towards the Marketplace, lighting off the thrusters to send him into flight.

Issy's dark eyes then ticked back and forth between Race and Naveen.

Naveen leaned towards Race. (s) "Why does she keep looking at me like that?" This refering to Issy who was looking between them.

"Sorry, it's just...it's been a very long, interesting night." Issy rubbed at the back of her neck once more. "It really is a pleasure to meet you, Naveen. Any friend of Race's is a friend of mine." She smiled softly. Seems she'd forgotten the pace of chaos circling outside the walls of a Batten domicile. Hey, any vacation was a vacation, right?

A green Pontiac GT rolls up about then, its engine idling before a light bar flashes below the grill. "I miss something, came fast as I could." a cultured voice says from within the vehicle. Race doesn't look happy as he addresses GEIST. "You stopped for Diesel again, didn't you?" He Huffs then looks to Naveen. "It's the suit, she wants one." He's teasing of course.

Yeah going into Ed's room was something Katt was a little cautious about. Can you blame her? But his room she did claim. The messenger bag that had nearly all her things was tucked in a corner followed by her hoodie and shoes, all in a neat little pile before she crawled into bed. Until she fell asleep she just stared up. Clayton came to mind and a ping of regret and a sensation she shouldn't be feeling intermingled.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 20, 2013, 12:29:39 AM
.: Chapter Fourteen: Graviora Manent - Part Two :.
[size=9](The worst is yet to come)
Nov 19th - Early Morning
[/size]

Mid morning she woke with a stabbing ache in her chest that nearly doubled her over on her side. Reaching out she swept her hand across the bed in attempt to find comfort in Clayton but he was not there. In fact..this was not her bed.

It all came back to her in a flash. As if she was being made to remember every little detail.

Her ..darkness...it was getting out of hand. She couldn't even control it any longer.

Brian...Clayton...everyone was right. She needed to go ..She needed to let this thing free and out so it will behave. So she didn't turn into some sane thing that drove everyone away.

Slowly her eyes opened and she looked at the empty space next to her. Her heart ached. Clayton must of hated her for what she did...

He left...

The thought caused a lump in her throat that she couldn't swallow down.

He left...

...And it was her fault...

Turning her head she buried her face into the pillow and gave herself a moment to collect. After a few shaken breath she struggled to sit up.

"D-Diana..Is..Is Edward done with his scans?"

"Yes, Miss Batten," the cool voice echoed back from no particular source, "He is currently in his lab."

Diana answered her next question without it being asked. She crawled out of bed and reached for her bag with shaken hands. A note was scribbled out though her normally elegant handwriting wasn't looking quite so lovely right now.

Ed,

I'm sorry for last night.
I'm sorry for being a burden but I need to do this. I need to get whatever is in me squared with this..this darkness before I explode.

Thank you for everything.

Love you lots ♥

-Katt

P.S. If you could please check on Clayton and tell him how sorry I am. I know he probably doesn't want to hear it.


The note was folded and after making the bed she left it on the pillow. Rubbing her eyes she stuffed her things back into the bag and after some thinking she left the bag on the bed. After all there were things in there that Ed could use to track her. She refused to place him...and everyone else in danger.

"Thank you Diana.."

"Of course Miss Batten."

After a quick ransack of the kitchen for a bottle of water and a quick sandwich she headed out.

She had marked out a place some weeks ago. Far to the north and away from everyone..everything. Only the wilds to keep her company.

It would do....
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 20, 2013, 12:51:30 AM
[size=9].: Later that day... :.[/size]

Ed 'd been in the lab since the scan had finished and he'd let Katt go, poring over the data in detail, reviewing every last iota of the information. In particular, he was interested in one single thing - the bio electric field data he'd been picking up from Katt's body. Hers was there, surely enough, but it was overlaid and intermingled with something else...something he couldn't quite identify, outside of the analysis of its type, frequency, and other scientific parameters.

Whatever it was, though, it was causing Katt some serious issues, that much he could tell for certain - he had also picked up on other things going on in her brain's electrical activity that appeared to be influenced by the field. Whatever it was, he knew at the very least it wasn't anything of Renna's or anything else he had encountered before. He just knew he had to get it out of her. It was just about now that he was heading for the front door, grabbing his coat as he stepped out. "Di, Ah need de Tower vault level unlocked, please. Vault eighteen, specif'cally. Ah'll be dere in 'bout five minutes."

Such mundane things was walking and Chaos was not for it which is why he likely didn't find his way to the front door of the rather luxurious estate. Instead the 7'5" male stood outside under the shade of a tree in patient wait even if time was sort of an issue here. This was a person who was at home in the shadows and they clung to him like children to a mother. Stark white hair spilled long down his bare back, the only thing he seemed to be wearing was gold and crimson silks that clung to the waist on down. Even as the door opened he waited, intense blue eyes staring just to make sure that the one coming out was the one he was seeking. Chaos. Seeking someone out? Surely the Nines were freezing over.

The cool female voice came back to him as he stepped through the door. "Yes, sir. The level and the requested vault will be unlocked as soon as you arrive at the Tower."

Ed nodded to the voice and pulled the door shut behind him, starting down the walk tot he street...and coming to a halt as he saw the man standing under his tree. He finished pulling his coat on as he looked the fellow over before he spoke. "If yer lookin' fer help o'some kind, get in line. Kinda busy at de moment."

Chaos was amused with this man already. "There is little you could do for me, T'rvesh, but much I could do for you. I take the Dark Lily has left?" He looked past Edward and to the closed door. "That is unfortunate." Stepping free of the shadows the man seemed to glide rather than walk. It seemed Ed would be having company on his walk. "You are the one that she calls Brother now, are you not? I believe it was Edward Batten?"

It was a good thing Ed put things together quickly. Whoever this man was, he knew Katt, though he didn't refer to her by that name. He continued walking, turning to head for the Tower, still under construction, but its distinctive twisting silhouette already visible rising up into the sky. "Yeah, dat's right, but Ah t'ink ya have me at a disadvantage. Who're you, an' how d'ya know my li'l sister?" Straight to the point, though he turned his attention to the walk ahead of him.

"I am Chaos. You may consider me a sort of Overseer." Because as far as Chaos was concerned what he was and who was no business of Edwards. "I've known her since she was born and know that it seems her struggle has finally peaked. I am disappointed she is no longer here. If what I hear about her plans is true I fear you may very well lose the one you call sister." Did he need to say it? No, but he would just to make the point known, "Forever."

Most times, being pressed for time as he was, Ed wouldn't have bothered with this sort of thing. But this was his sister, and he was done with people playing around with the people he cared about. He came to a dead stop, turning to face Chaos, his features stony. "Ya got 'bout t'ree seconds, bud, t'tell me what ya know 'bout dis, 'fore Ah drag yer arse down de street fast 'nuff t'turn ya inta ground chuck. An' b'fore ya go inta da whole 'Ah'm all powerful, you couldn't possibly comprehend what yer lookin' at' speech, spare me. Ah heard it already."

Highly amused and Chaos wore the smile to prove it. "I do believe I said I had much I could do for you, Mr. Batten. There is no need to threaten me." He gestured for Ed to continue walking. "Some years ago your sister was, in a sense, possessed. A god took over her body and nearly forced her soul into oblivion. Those who dealt with the issue sealed away the god because removing the second soul would of killed the girl. This entity, Silma, has been trying to claw her way out sense. While I knew of this I really could not do anything about it and from what the Dark Lily has told me she has been blacking out more and more as the months have passed. Silma is ready to break the seal fully and at the same time your sister is unwittingly going to give herself over to her."

Ed listened as the other man spoke, taking up his pace again. Patience was normally his long suit, but the events of the past few weeks had been trying it, what with Renna, Issy, and now Katt. He shook his head as Chaos reached his conclusion. "Not if Ah can help it. Ah been trackin' 'er movements, an' even if Ah lose 'er, Ah know someone dat can find 'er fer me, if it comes t'dat." He frowned slightly as they approached the Tower. "So, dat second bio'lectric field my scans picked up...dat's dis Silma person?"

"This has been a long time coming. I just hoped we had more time. Some pretty upsetting things must of happened if it was sped up this fast." Chaos' brilliant eyes turned up to the vast building before them. "That is likely correct and I am sorry to say this but if the girl does unleash Silma there is a slim to no chance that she can be retrieved. I am sure Silma will not hesitate to snuff out the Dark Lily's soul the moment she has absolute control over the vessel."

"Den we ain't got any time t'lose." Ed turned just before reaching the Tower, heading towards what looked like a sentry station, a simple booth large enough to hold a few people if necessary. "What if Ah told ya Ah got a way o'sep'ratin' dat Silma's energy from Katt - de Dark Lily, ya call 'er - an' trappin' it in somet'in' dat it'd ne'er be able t'escape from?"

"I would say you would likely be murdering your own kin. The chances of that being successful without Silma trying to break the spirital lifeline she is clinging to is very low. It had been tried once before by the very man who sealed Silma away. She nearly killed that boy she was with at the time in the process." Chaos' attention returned to Ed. "Do you have a room here, or elsewhere, that you feel will substain enough damage to keep her in and at the same time is in darkness. No light, no shadows?"

Ed stepped into the sentry station, motioned for Chaos to follow. "Ah got jus' de t'ing." Once both were in the booth, he tapped a section of the wall in the booth that looked little different from the rest of it. There was a clicking sound, and suddenly the booth floor began descending down a narrow shaft. "Ah can sep'rate de energy from Katt's...dat's simple 'nuff, an Ah c'n trap it, too. Severin' de connection wit'out killin' 'er, t'ough, dat's de tricky part. Ah hope ya got an idea 'bout how dat could be done."

Chaos did follow but odd little things like his body not adjusting as the floor started to move may of given a person wonder if his feet were even touching the ground. Folding his arms he listened and shook his head when the statement was made. "If I did do you not think it would of been tried already? Sealing away Silma is enough to nearly cripple her if it gives you any idea of what severing the link does. The sealing is about all I can do and that process alone I will need your help. She will need your help."

Ed frowned at that as the floor descended further into the darkness below. "So, in ot'er words, yer jus' gonna lock 'er away back inside o'Katt again." He was silent until they reached the lowest sub-level of the Tower, the vault level, a door sliding silently open to admit them to a metal-lined corridor with large, heavy-looking doors on either side of it. "An' what happens when dat seal disintegrates again? Ah'm sure Katt don' wanna hafta be patched o'er an' o'er again fer de rest o'her life."

"She is actually unaware of the God and the seal. She thinks it is her own doing. Her inner darkness or something to that. In truth the seal shouldn't of broken or at least not in such a short period. I believe her death at the hands of the one called Raven aided to that. For now we can seal her and then look into possibilities of extraction but I must warn you the sealing is not pleasant. If you wish no part in hearing your sister's pleads then you may back out but I do require a few things from you regardless."

Ed started down the hallway, nodding. "Ah can t'ink o'some'ne dat might be better suited t'helpin' ya fer...dat part o't'ings. But yer gonna hafta tell him what's goin' on...yer liable t'get hurt if'n ya don't, an' dat aside, ya got him ta t'ank fer dis seal not breakin' sooner'n it has." He stopped at a large, heavy-looking door with the number 18 engraved on the front of it. "What're ya gonna need from me?"

Chaos' raised a brow and looked over to Ed. "So you would thrust this upon another and leave the fate of your kin in the hands of someone else?" Pausing he looked up to the door. "Interesting. I think you do not realize how big of a role you play in her life. How much of a foundation you are for that girl." He shook his head. "I came to you for a reason but if that is your wish I will tend to it alone. A suitable place to confide her for at least ten days. Fourteen at most. There is to be absolutely no light or anyone coming to or fro this place. I also require the item she gave you some time ago for the time of Yule. The crested talon."

Ed sighed as he tapped in a coded sequence on the touchpad panel at the front of the door. "Ah ne'er said Ah was leavin' anyt'in' t'anyone. But Ah can t'ink o' someone dat's been more a part o'her life dan Ah have been fer de las' year, dat at de ver' least yer gonna want de help of...de only person Ah trus' when it comes t'my sister." The sequence was keyed in, and there was a sudden, sharp sound of metal locking bolts snapping back before the door started swinging open.

Within the vault were a series of clear box-like cells, each easily large enough to hold a person. "De vault here is hermetically sealed, and can be completely cut off from any light. Dem cells're pretty damn near indestructible...de more force ya exert on 'em, de stronger dey get. Ah made 'em fer some'ne a lot stronger'n Katt."

"I am well aware of the man called Clayton but there are reasons I did not go to him with this and many more why I came to you." His eyes rose up to take in the cells. As claustrophobic as Katt was this should prove to be well beyond measures of interesting. "Once upon a time she use to be much stronger." It was a memory spoken with nostalgia. "I should warn you. In this process I have decided that there will be a series of have to do with you or those in her present life but I fear her memories of that boy and what transpired also give aid to Silma. A source of guilt for what she did to him while Silma was in control." A feeding line no less.

Ed smirked. "Don' worry 'bout dat. One o'dem cells was used t'lock away a goddess once fer a whole mont'." He looked to Chaos for a moment, then sighed, shaking his head. "Ah'm guessin' yer not gonna tell me what dem reasons are, are ya?"

"If you think about it long enough I am sure you will come to some of them yourself. Trust is one of them. As I said before you are her foundation. A part of her strength and will. She trusts you above all else." An idea crossed his mind and he regarded Edward thoughtfully. That may be an idea to bring up at a later date. "Do not get me wrong. She does trust the one called Clayton but between the two of you, her trust in you is far superior. Since it seems to bother you so much, however, I will just require this cell and the talon from you. You do not have to get your hands in it any deeper and have business elsewhere to deal with."

Ed shook his head at that. "Ain't got not'in' goin' on dat's more important dan dis." Reaching up to his neck, he slipped his hands up under his shirt and pulled out the chain he wore with the talon on it. Katt would be surprised to learn that, yes, he did indeed wear it, probably more often than she thought. "Ah am gonna let him know what's goin' on, t'ough...he d'serves to know." He held the talon up to his eye level, looking at it for a moment, then held it out. "Am Ah gonna get dis back?"

Reaching out with elongated fingers that were so greedy to claim up the prize Chaos shook his head. "I cannot deny that I would keep it but if you desire it back it will be returned minus the soulstones." He pointed a finger to the small gems that barely glowed with any life. He didn't wait for any sort of respond before taking the talon free of Edward's grasp. "I would adivse telling him afterward or to where he cannot approach." The crest on the talon was thumbed over. "Tell me something. How long would it take you to seperate the two if the link was severed? A rough estimate will do."

Ed shrugged at that as he let the talon get taken from his grasp. "If de proper prep'rations were made 'forehand. it'd take a matter o'seconds, longest. Ah've already got de mat' done, de right frequencies, an' de equipment...jus' gotta get it configured an' set up t'go." He arched an eyebrow. "Why? Ah t'ought ya said it was a pointless exercise."

"I still believe it may be. I was just entertaining the idea of a soul convergence." The chain of the talon was wrapped around his hand and he looked to the cells. "I fear I may need to call on you for one last thing. She will not come if I call her. Do you think it possible for you to find and get her here? If she has not already hidden herself away that is."

Ed nodded to that. "Even if she has hidden 'erself away, Ah still know o'one man dat c'n find 'er. Hell, Ah may send him instead...he could bring 'er back no matter where she's gone an' if she wants t'come back or not." He chuckled. "An' b'fore ya ask, no, it ain't Clayton. Dis guy's...altoget'er diff'rent."

"I'm more worried about you sending him and her regressing or it causing further problems. Plus he.." Chaos frowned and shook his head. "If you have him do that tell him to leave the soulstone elsewhere otherwise he will be bringing the only thing that can possibly save her along for Silma to destroy." It didn't take much to see that Ed wanted Clayton involved and likely wanted nothing to do with this situation. At least that is how it seemed to the God. "Do what you will. Just make sure she is here soon. I will prepare things."

Ed shook his head. He knew about the soulstone, of course. "Ah ain't gonna send Clayton...de man Ah'm talkin' bout...well, he ain't 'xactly a man. Mos' 'round here know 'im as Finn...if ya are...what Ah t'ink ya are, ya might know him better by de name Promet'eus." He looked up tot he ceiling, speaking again. "Di, make sure Chaos here has everyt'in' he needs. Do ya still have Katt on de monitorin' network?"

There was a pause before the cool, disembodied female voice came back. "I am sorry, sir, but she appears to have somehow evaded the network."

Ed frowned slightly at that, but nodded. "All right. Send a call t'Finn, have 'im track 'er down...needs t'be as fast as he can poss'bly manage it."

Chaos' brows arched high as the name was quite familiar or maybe he was impressed by the voice. "I wouldn't mind meeting the lass to whom that voice belongs." Ah wait he was here on business not pleasure. "It does not surprise me that she cannot be found. After all she is trained to disappear. However it could also mean we are too late. Please make sure that 'Finn' understands this." Looking down at the talon he started to gently pry out the soulstones that decorated the piece. It was time to get to work. "You have my thanks for aiding me thus far."

Ed actually had to laugh at that, shaking his head. "Ya'd be dis'pointed, hoss. De voice b'longs to a sentient program dat runs my network." He frowned, but shook his head. "Ain't no such t'ing as 'too late' in my vocab'lary. B'sides, Finn don' need t'be warned. He's...well, ya'd hafta meet 'im t'understand." The thanks was waved off. "She's m'sister...Ah'd do anyt'in' for her, even if she don' always realize it." He watched for a moment. "How long do ya need? Finn is...well...ya might be s'prised by how fast he gets here wit' Katt."

"How disappointing and when I was referring to it being too late I meant Silma already having control and the Dark Lily's soul.." The dimmed light of the soulstones did have Chaos in some concern and it was rare that he ever looked so. "Not long to prepare but I do need the vessel here if I am to do anything." He moved passed and picked out one of the cells that Ed had introduced him to.

Ed was about to say something when the AI's cool voice interrupted him. "Sir, Finn has arrived with Miss Batten, and is awaiting permission to enter."

He nodded with a faint grin as he replied to the voice. "T'anks, Di. Direct 'im to de direct route down 'ere, please." He looked at Chaos with a grin. "Toldja...he's quick."

Chaos looked over shoulder and raised a brow. "That was quick! Wonder if she is unconscious or kicking and screaming the entire way down."

Ed arched an eyebrow. "Guess we'll find out here in a moment." He stepped out of the vault and into the hallway, turning towards the way they had entered from to see what came down the lift.

Chao kept his ears open but didn't step out of the cell and for good reason. If she was awake and happened to see him the greeting would be loud and unfriendly. "Tell me Mr. Batten. Is there anything you would like me to add while I am sealing her? Maybe something you did that you would like her to forget?" His voice was lowered like that little imp that licked at the back of your ear.

Ed looked back at Chaos, frowning for an instant...but then he shook his head. "No...Ah...Ah promised her Ah wouldn' hide anyt'in' from 'er anymore, an' Ah ain't gonna break dat promise."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 20, 2013, 12:58:26 AM
Finn hadn't knocked Katt out. Given the swift briefing that DIANA had given him, he wasn't sure that was a good idea. So once the elevator bringing him down from the surface level opened, the commotion she was making could he heard loud and clear. He carried her down towards Ed like a sack of potatos, over his shoulder, ignoring any assaults, physical or otherwise, she made upon him. She might've been pummeling a marble statue, for all the good it did her.

Oh the cursing and it was in several languages. When did Katt learn them in french too? She was a kicking a screaming the entire way and..wait did she try to bite Finn? She sure the hell did! Once she was placed on her feet she whipped around and glared at Ed. "What the hell Edward?! You said I was free to go!" A hand shot up and she pointed dead center of Finn's face. "Why did you send him to find me and drag me back here?!" Finger still in his face she addressed Finn. "How the f*ck did you find me!" In the middle of nowhere no less! She had shadow jumped the entire way just so Clayton or anyone could find traces. How!? She wanted to know!

She probably just about broke her teeth when she tried biting him. Finn spoke in his deep, soothing tones as he carried Katt towards Ed, a faint smirk on his features. "If I tried to explain to you how I found you, Miss Batten, I'm afraid it would only confuse you. The process is rather...complex, and involves a lot of very esoteric mathematics that even your brother would not understand fully. You should stop struggling...you will only hurt yourself."

She was awake and lively as ever it seemed. Thing surely will be interesting that much was for sure. Stepping out of the cell he made himself known and made no efforts to hide himself among the people standing in the area. In fact after a nod to Finn he gestured to the cell without a word to the very pissed off woman.

Ed eyed Katt as she cursed in a variety of different languages, a couple of which even he didn't recognize. He had to admit, it was pretty impressive. "Yeah, Ah did say ya were free t'go. Ah also toldja if Ah found somet'in' Ah didn' like dat was a danger to ya, Ah was gonna come an' fetch ya back." He gestured to the vault, and the open cell within it. "Put 'er in dere for me, Finn, please." Oh, she was NOT going to take this well, not at all.


Naw she wouldn't break a tooth but Katt sure did find him tasting icky. "Then let me go damn it! Seriously Finn put me down! P-" The moment she saw Chaos she started thrashing against Finn even harder. "The hell is going on?!" Then hearing Ed and seeing that cell open? She shrieked out right in Finn's ear. "F*CK NO YOU AIN'T! LET ME GO! LET ME GO!"

Finn didn't seem to notice, didn't even wince, though his eyes went to Ed a moment after looking at Chaos, an eyebrow arching upwards. "You are sure about this, Edward?"

Ed nodded, frowning slightly at Katt's reaction. He knew how she hated confined spaces. Mustering up his resolve, he nodded a single time.

That single nod was good enough for him, it seemed, though Finn did turn his head in Katt's direction. "I am sorry for this, Miss Batten, but this will help you, I am certain, or I wouldn't do it." And with that, he walked right over to the cell and pretty much threw her inside of it, stepping back swiftly to seal it before she could try to get out of it again.

"It is for her own good." Was his piece offered to Finn as he stepped to the side. Seeing Edward's reaction he knew he had made the right choice. It would of been even harder if he had gone to Clayton. The talon was offered back to Edward, three of the five stones had been removed. After all it did seem to have somewhat of a sentimental value. "As soon as he places her down I will begin. Make sure the door closes behind me. I will let you know when I am ready to exit." That works too but he needed to get inside with that howling beast.

"Finn! FINN Don't you d-!" She wenta flying and landed with a thud. Rolling up to her feet she lunged for the door and met it full force. Growling she slapped her palms against the surface. "Let me out you bastards!"

Finn'd let Chaos in, as well, but he didn't want Katt making a run for it. Looking to Chaos, he nodded a single time. "You will have to be very fast."

"Whoo boy last time I saw her like this was when Xavier walked in on her changing." Of all the times for him to be amused right now was likely not suppose to be one of them. He nodded to Finn. "Worry not. When you are ready then." He looked over to Ed. "Make sure there is no light after I enter. This is important because she will use any shadow she gets the chance to."

Finn nodded a single time, once more, and opened the door just enough to let Chaos in, at the same time making sure Katt didn't get out. As soon as the other God was in, he closed the door and sealed it.

Ed  gave Chaos a single nod. "Got it." He gave Katt a final look, frowning, anxiety and pain in his features - a rare thing for the Playboy, indeed. He hated the necessity of all this. As soon as Chaos was in the cell and it was sealed, he spoke to the AI. "Di, polarize de cell." There was no response, save for the cell turning completely black, so dark that it seemed almost to suck in all the light that touched it, and those inside were no longer visible. No light would get in there now.

This truly was about to get interesting. With the last of the instructions given he entered the cell and once the door was closed he turned to Katt with a chuckle. "It has been a while since we've been in this situation hasn't it my little Dark Lily." The words were spoken as he advanced the woman with absolutely no fear.

Ohhh ffffhhhhh! "The hell!" The lights went out. "F*ck off Chaos!" Katt knew exactly why he was so calm. She couldn't raise a hand to him. Not even to swing. Grrrr!

Briefly there was a flash of crimson followed by a very ungodly scream. The kind that found your dreams and resided there. "Stop it! STOP IT!" Two more screams. Silence followed. Absolute silence.

Finn frowned slightly, eyeing the cell. Even his eyes couldn't penetrate that darkness - otherwise he would have been content to just make her appear in the cell, rather than carrying her down here. "Forgive me, Edward, but are you certain this is going to help her?"

Ed winced at that scream, hoping he was, indeed, doing the right thing...but there seemed to be little choice, really. He wasn't going to lose his sister. "Ah truly hope so, Finn...she's...whate'er is inside o'her, it's gonna consume 'er...an' dis was de only s'lution dat presented itself dat didn' seem mos' likely t'kill 'er." He looked from the cell to Finn. "T'anks, man...Ah 'ppreciate ya doin' dis fer me."

It was likely a sight that Finn would not enjoy seeing. Chaos' very fingers penetrating Katt's breastbone and sinking in to deep to be physically able without hurting some internal organs. The howling girl in his grasp was ignored as he went to work on the seal. Tedious task of setting the binding seal was not made easy by her thrashing around and only when he was done did she seem to slack in his grasp. Her body spilled to the ground at his feet, likely unconscious from the pain. Shaking his hands free of the blood he reached out to knock at the door in three short taps.

Finn nodded back to Edward. "Of course. You have been of great help to me...I am simply returning the favor." He gave the cell a final look, then started for the elevator that had brought him down here. "Do keep me informed of her status." And within moments, he was gone again.

Ed nodded to Finn with a faint smile, though it seemed forced. "Will do." At the sound of the taps, he went to the cell door and unsealed, then opened it to let Chaos out, before swiftly sealing it again. "It's done?"

"She is unconscious but the next few days will be hard. That door should not open again." He stepped out without looking back. Instead he seemed to occupy himself with wiping his hands clean. "Silma is not happy to say the least and I am worried there may of been some damage already done." He frowned and looked to the cell. "I wish it were easier on her. I have yet to even block her memory. She blacked out before I could."

Ed nodded, his eyes turning towards the cell again as he sighed heavily. "Is dere anyt'in' Ah can do t'help her?"

"The only thing I can offer you is to be here for her. This is more of a critical stage. She will need the support. While she cannot see you she can hear you." He disliked that was all he could offer the man. "I will slip in on the fifth night and deal with the memory locks."

Ed nodded to that, his eyes still on the cell. He'd bring a chair down here. Probably a cot or something to sleep on, too. Dat, Ah can do. Can she know what's goin' on, or should Ah keep dat quiet fer now?"

"You mean about being sealed and Silma or where she is and whatnot? You do understand that she cannot leave that cell, correct? She will likely say some things in attempt to let you release her. You must resist all urges." There was blood under his nails and he was not too pleased about that.

Ed nodded to the warning, looking like he was fighting the urge to glare at Chaos for a moment. "Yeah, yeah, Ah get olla dat. Trus' me, Ah ain't lettin' her out 'till she's good'n'ready. Somnet'in' tells me Ah'll jus' be gettin' a lump o'coal fer Christmas dis year, t'ough."

"I am just making sure because you do not know what is coming while I do. It isn't going to be pretty or rather it won't sound pretty." At the comment of Christmas he chuckled low in his throat. "I don't know, Mr. Batten. Your sister loves you quiet a bit though I will admit her past Christmas haven't been as most would normally be. Some of her worse memories involve one particular Christmas. Ah but listen to me carrying on about her past. Forgive me." He turned to look at the cell. It was too quite for his liking. "Do you require me to let you know when I arrive for the next stage?"

Ed shook his head with a sigh. "No. Diana'll let me know when ya get here." His eyes remained on the cell for a long moment, and finally, he turned away, moving out of the vault. "I think I'm going to need a drink."

Chaos followed Edward out of the vault as his business was, for the moment, done. "You will be speaking to the man called Clayton about all of this?"

Ed nodded. "Yeah, but...not right now, Ah don' t'ink. Perty sure he'd try t'kill me if Ah did...ya were right not t'call him first, Ah don' t'ink he'd'a been able t'do...dis." He gestured at the cell. "Dat aside...ev'n if he could, Katt's been happy wit' him...makin' him do dis coulda, prob'ly woulda, destroyed dat." The vault door moved to close and seal itself as he turned towards the elevator that led out to the surface above.

"I must admit I have not seen her as happy as she has been these past two years. I was startint to wonder if she even knew what happiness looked like." Edward's frown recieved a frown. "Will you be okay?"

That got a simple shrug as Ed reached the lift was and it slid open for him to step inside. "Ah'm sure Ah will be, s'long as not'in' else happens t'add to dis whole clusterf*ck of a mont'. Be better once Ah get m'self a good strong drink. Or ten." He waited for Chaos to step in before he started it rising towards the world above.

"There is something I feel I should tell you." Stepping onto the lift Chaos turned to face Ed. "Not to fan your ego but you were the best thing to ever enter her life. After those what happened to her I thought she would give up on life and yet you have somehow breathed life into her. Then these people she calls friends and this man named Clayton. I must say I am amazed at the turn around you had started. She has always spoken to me very highly of you even if she always came to my table cranky."

Ed managed a smile for that. "Well...at least Ah managed t'do somet'in' right outta all dis. Betchanext time ya see 'er, she's gonna be even crankier." He stepped out as the lift got to the floor above, then turned to face Chaos. "Listen...t'anks, fer all yer doin' for 'er. She's...really only de fam'ly Ah got...Ah don' know what Ah'd do if Ah lost 'er." Turning, he reached into the coat to touch the trigger, and it wrapped around him to reform itself into the armor.

"She hasn't returned to the veil since..Oh well that doesn't matter but I fear you are right. If I let her remember any of it that is." He grinned at the idea. When the armor came into play he stepped back. "I will look into the soul convergence if you wish. Then when I return I can give you my findings." The night was young but still night and the shadows crawled to him to cling at his robes. In a shift it showed that this man had no legs and yes, had indeed been floating around this entire time. "You are her only family as well. Don't forget that. Enjoy your drinks, Lord Batten. I fear you will need them." He bowed his head just before the shadows took him.

Ed nodded to Chaos. "Please, if ya could. Ah'll get stuff set up just in case ya come back wit' good news." And with that, he turned, and with the howling roar of thrusters he shot up into the air, arcing in the direction of the Inn.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 24, 2013, 02:05:59 AM
.: Chapter Fourteen: Graviora Manent - Part Three :.
[size=9](The worst is yet to come)[/size]

She had left Ed's in a hurry with no thought of collecting supplies. The way things had panned out made it clear that she should of left long ago and done this. The night before left her feeling like she wasn't in full control of herself. It was different this time...There was no cold chill that started up her arms and consumed her. There was no blacking out. It was like It was struggling to consume her right in front of the people she knew.

They knew...to some degree...

It wasn't here...

Or so she hoped...

She hoped he at least knew...

He won't be there when you get back.

She shook her head as she looked over the area she had long since picked out. It was in the middle of nowhere, miles away from anything that could even be considered civilization. She chose this spot...so she wouldn't hurt anyone or anything...

She winced as a sharp pain shot across her chest like she had been stabbed with a shard of ice. Wheezing in pain she staggered.

What..was that?

"Sorry about this, Katt."

She blinked past the pain and turned but barely saw the man as he scooped her up. What...the hell?! She had never been so caught off guard as she had been at that moment.

Finn's appearance out of nowhere and what was more he had her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. She couldn't do much to resist. Between the lack of Reevi and the pain that was making her cringe at so much as being touched...she was helpless.

"The hell Finn?!"

Before she knew it they were at the new Batten Tower which was still in construction.

...There was Ed...

...And Chaos?

Why was Chaos there?!

She was thrown in some room void of light with no answers. The room that she was locked in..with Chaos.

What was going on? Why did she feel absolute rage and fear all at the same time.  It positively filled her senses.

She felt Chaos' hands on her shoulders. "I am sorry but this must be done."

"Don't you touch me!"

Oh he touched her all right. She felt his hands glide down her arms and skipped to her sides before rising up just below her bust. The cold touch of his long fingers sent a chill down her spine that made her shudder to her toes. She hated his touch. Hated that he was there. But why was her brother helping him? Why was-

She didn't get questions out. Chaos didn't give her time. She felt him press against her flesh and past...She felt like he was toying with her insides as he mumbled in her ear. Whatever words he said she didn't understand. All she understood was the pain that ripped through her...

And she howled out in pain.

The pain was the last thing she remembered before passing out.

She woke up nearly twenty four hours later, meowling at the wall that she thought was the door. Weak little words as the thumped the wall, whimpering in pain, and begging to be let out.

As the days progressed the begging turned into curses and threats. From that calls of fear and more begging as if her very life depended on it. There was hatred in her voice, but above all else there was that fear. She didn't know if there was anyone on the other end to hear her cries. For all she knew the wall was the only one who heard them.

All that ceased come Friday afternoon and day went on with very little coming from the cell.  Exhausted she laid in the darkness, in a half awake state that was more slumbering while aware of the world around her. There wasn't much to be aware of. Just the darkness and the growing pain that was making her want to claw at her own flesh.

Saturday, shortly past lunch time, screams started suddenly flood from the cell, no longer simple fear but an overwhelming amount of pain. As if there was something in the darkness that was ripping out from her very being. She thrashed against the floor, nails biting down so hard that she broke a few tips.

The screaming didn't cease...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 27, 2013, 08:04:59 PM
.: Chapter Fourteen: Graviora Manent - Part Four :.
[size=9](The worst is yet to come)

Nov 26 [/size]

The Playboy approached the Tower, carrying a cylindrical grey device under one arm, perhaps a foot in circumference and three feet in length, dressed as normal in the trenchcoat and casual clothes. He was not looking forward to this - every time he'd gone down to the vault to check on Katt, she'd been screaming bloody murder, and he'd had no choice but to pump a sedative gas into the cell that he'd created for those who would be occupying them. It hadn't knocked Katt completely unconscious, but it had at least managed to reduce her from sounding like she was being tortured to a whimpering, barely coherent state which was easier on the ears, but no less difficult to bear to hear. He'd talk to her in those moments, for a while, just to let her know he was there, about anything - news from around town, some project or another he was working on, progress on the Tower's construction. He didn't know if she understood or not, but he hoped at least it was enough to let her know she wasn't
all alone in there.

"What is that you have there, my friend?" Chaos' cool and collected voice was in Ed's ear even if the man himself wasn't anywhere near him. A few feet away and behind Ed the shadows shed from the lanky King of Shadows. This afternoon he wore a full robe in which his long hands were hidden among the fold of sleeves. There was no movement to follow as of yet, as if waiting acknowledgement before falling in pace. "And how is the Dark Lily fairing thus far?"

He had to fight the urge to glare at the...well...whatever he was, as Ed turned around to face him. What didn't show on his face, though, could probably be heard in his voice as he spoke. "Ah guess dat d'pends. Is she s'posed t'be screamin' like she's bein' tortured in de dept's of Hell all de time?" With a sigh he turned back for the entrance housed in the booth near the side of the Tower, gesturing for Chaos to follow if he wasnted. "Y'can see fer yerself...she ain't seemed well anytime Ah came down t'see 'er." The cylinder under his arm was hefted slightly in response to the question. "Dis is a harmonic energy pulse gen'rator, designed t'gen'rate a localized field dat can disrupt a bioelectric field by inducin' a temp'rary state o' resonance, forcin' it into a reset. Ah made it in case ya were able t'find a way t'sep'rate Katt from dat t'ing dat's inside o'her."

"I did warn you before hand, Lord Batten. The process is not pleasant so yes the screaming was to be expected." He followed after Edward much like Katt herself did. Like he was a living shadow of the man before him. "I have been looking into it and there is a chance that the soul convergence would work. However there are risks both to herself and whoever soul-joins with her. Such risks as losing their own soul for example." He knew that it could not of been easy for Ed to deal with things but when it did come down to it Chaos did feel it was best, if only to save the girl. "She is struggling for her very life, even before we brought her here. Those screams are of pain and her struggle. Her fight."

He sighed, nodding. Edward knew it was true, but he still didn't like it - forcing her into a situation she feared, then subjecting her to something that sounded like it was killing her, didn't sit well with him at all. If he'd known about this further in advance, he was convinced he could have found a way to do this in an easier and more humane way...but there hadn't been time. He started them down, turning to look at Chaos. "If it'll get whatever de hell is inside o'her dat sounds like it's tryin' to tear her t'pieces outta her, Ah'll take whate'er risks Ah gotta take." He fell silent, speaking again as the left came to a halt and the door slid open onto the passageway to the vault. "Ah ain't sure how much more o'dis Ah can take."

Edward started down the hall towards the vault, speaking over his shoulder. "An' Ah sure's hell wouldn' e'er want her t'have t'go t'rough dis again, even if Ah had t'sacrifice m'own soul t'make sure it don't happen."

"In a way you are very correct in that statement. Silma is trying to tear her from her own body. If Silma ends up taking full control, your sister is lost to you. There would be no getting her back because her soul would no longer be in the vessel." As he followed Chaos seemed to slow, frowning just a bit. The frown seemed to increase the closer they got to the vault. "Will you be able to access your device while unconscious? If not then we may need another party." And then Chaos stopped, his eye nearly burning holes in Ed. "I'm sorry for this. Putting you through it. I am sure she wouldn't want you in anyway involved. If you so desire I will take her to the Between and try to do for her what I can." There was bad news somewhere in his statement or maybe it was the way he looked past Ed and to the vault.

Edward shook his head, frowning. He had forgotten about that - he would need to be alert and aware, monitoring the process so he could make adjustments and be sure everything went off as smoothly as possible. "No. She stays here...Ah don' want her outta my sight if Ah can help it." Tapping in the lock code as they reached the vault, he turned to look at Chaos again. "But if not me, den who? Ah ain't gonna ask anyone t'volunteer fer somet'in' so risky. Ah can t'ink o'one person dat'd do it, an'
Edward Batten   gladly, but las' time we discussed it ya didn' seem 'specially keen fer 'im t'get involved."

Even when the vault doors opened he seemed to stay rooted in place. The silence past the doors was unnerving at best. Bad news was coming Ed's way and he looked towards the man with what could be considered apologetic. He would get to the reason in a moment, however, "Her mate? While yes I do agree he shouldn't be involved we may have little choice in the matter now. And I am sure our dear one wouldn't appreciate me poking around her soul." He grinned most wickedly at the idea of poking around Katt's inner self. Such fun it would be but alas that wasn't meant for now.

He was bracing himself against the sound of screams, of blood-curdling, tortured shrieks that he was used to hearing every time the vault opened. When they didn't come, a frown pulled at his features, and he turned towards the black box that was Katt's cell. "Weird..." He knew she wasn't dead in there - DIANA was monitoring her vitals, and he would have been told if there were any problem in that area that he needed to know about.

"I fear we may of been too late with the seal, my friend. We may have no choice but the convergence in order to save her.." Chaos looked over to Ed to see if he understood that he wasn't referring to her being alive or dead but something all together. "I can barely sense her." It wasn't news he wanted to give and that is why he wore such a rare look. "I leave the choice up to you about if you want to bring her mate into this. Or we can venture in you showing me how to use that thing and we try our luck that way."

Edward froze, panic flashing through his mind for a split-second before he forced it back. Panic would screw everything up, and he couldn't afford it now. He looked back at Chaos. "How long d'we have, ya t'ink?"

"I don't know. I need to see her before I can make that guess but the problem is opening up the room. If Silma has taken over chances are she'd attack and kill. Well kill you that is. No offense, mind you, but you would be her first target out of the two of us." Chaos was on the move again, this time to brush past Ed and into the main vault room. The closer he got the more he felt aware that the girl's life was on a thread.

Edward set his device down next to the cell, then slid a hand inside the trenchcoat, which instantly wrapped itself around him and reformed into the silver and black Hammer CODE armor, the distinctive upcycling whine heard as it powered up, his voice taking on the computer-filtered tones of the Ranger as he spoke. "I'd like to see her try. I'm not easy to kill, not even for a goddess." He nodded to Chaos, turning towards the cell. "Tell me when you're ready."

Chaos raised a brow to the suiting up and was fascinated by the sight of the armor. "I see. Well then at your will let us begin." He had to admit he was curious at how this will play out. After all it had been a week or so in time since the body had any nourishment. Surely even if Silma was in control she couldn't be at full strength.

Edward nodded, bringing his hands up, palms out and directed at the door of the cell, glowing circles of light seen in them as the electronic whine increased in pitch. "Diana, unlock and open the cell." There was a loud, sharp *CLICK!*, followed by the hiss of the air within the cell escaping as it equalized in pressure to the outside, and the door popped open an inch or so.

The cell was quite and even as the door opened nothing seemed to happen. In the middle of the room Katt sat back on her heels, skin a marble hue of silver with strikes of white that nearly resembled stripes. Colorless eyes turned to the door and a smirk slowly pulled her lips. An inch was all that was needed and once the light pierced the darkness three spines shot out from that little space, like shadow created spikes to strike out at any who was within five feet of the door.

Well looks like Chaos was wrong in the strength department. She still had the strength to do something like that. Keeping his distance he'd let the brother take care of this particular problem.

It was like he was waiting for that to happen. There was a swift step to the side by the armored figure, just fast enough that the spine lashed out past his shoulder. The same motion saw Edward turning towards the spines, hands curling into fists and a pair of long, brilliantly glowing blades sliding out from the backs of both gauntlets. One of them was swiped out with to slice through the shadowy spines in a single smooth gesture without a word.

Another twist and Edward kicked out with his foot at the door to slam it shut again on the spines as hard as he could, looking at Chaos. "Does that answer your question, or would you like a closer look?"

She must of heard Ed say that because the laugh that left her was so amused and so ..cold. "Aww come on! Let me out! I just want to play! Besides isn't that what you have all been telling her? Let it out. Let me out." She was mocking and enjoying it.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 27, 2013, 08:16:08 PM
"I am good without a closer look. We need her unconscious so why don't you go ahead and go knock her out." Feel free to step in there Ed cause Chaos was staying over there, thank you very much.

Edward actually didn't need any urging - the voice from beyond that door seemed to strike a nerve, and that was enough to set him in motion. The blades on the gauntlets retracted, and the whine coming from the pulse generators reached a fever pitch as he let reached out and just about ripped the door open, one hand already up and pointing into the cell. It may have been a goddess inhabiting Katt's body, but it was still Katt's body, and Ed had taken a lot of time studying it over the past few days. Without warning, the light from the pulse generator grew to blinding brilliance, the whine upcycling beyond the range of human hearing, right before he let loose a powerful blast of ultrasonic energy designed do impact the inner ear and brain of his target, as well as causing a powerful impact to throw her back against the cell wall.

Katt's head rocked to the door as it was torn away and she grinned all the more. Like someone who knew they were victorious. "You can try all you want, 'brother',-"Whatever else she was going to say was cut short by the impact that threw her back like a rag doll. Her body hit the wall with enough force that she bounced forward and dropped face first to the ground. She groaned as she shifted, attempting to sit up at least. The ground subsided into a laugh, weak but ever so mocking.

"We do want her in one piece, do remember that." Though Chaos did understand the need for force.

Edward never paused for an instant, stepping over to Katt and leaning down to pick her up, hauling her up by the front of her shirt almost violently, bringing her up face to face with his helmet as he spoke. "You get a good look, bitch. Make sure you're paying attention, because this? This is the last thing you're going to see through my sister's eyes." He gave it a three-count before he threw the female back into the cell, hard, the other hand coming up now as he reconfigured the pulse generator at the speed of thought. With a high-pitched whine it powered up again, and this time what blasted out from the gauntlet was a powerful blast of electrical energy, as strong as a lightning bolt, designed to incapacitate rather than to kill.

As Katt was collected she laugh louder and if it had been longer then the count of three he might of found his helm being licked because her tongue came curling out to do just that. But she never got the chance as sad as it was and once thrown she twisted in the air like a cat to land on her feet. She barely touched down before she was hit by the crippling blast. From her feet to her knees she went until finally she was spilled on the floor of the cell. Twitch.

"I suppose that is one way to get things done." Chaos mumbled and looked around the vault.. It was slightly disappointing really. He was hoping for a good show but it seems Silma was still too weak and Ed was packing some rather handy toys

He kept the pulse generators directed at Katt's twitching form, taking a second to scan Katt's vitals before he spoke to Chaos. "If you can keep her unconscious, you'd better get started." His next words were for the AI. "DIANA, contact Clayton - I believe he is at Katt's penthouse. Tell him to get his ass over here. Just tell him it's for Katt - that oughta get him in gear."

"If I can keep her unconscious. I do believe you've knocked her out for a few Sundays." Chaos chuckled and made his way into the cell, stopping when he had seen how she looked. "It is as if the Reevi has grown inside her skin instead of over it. How peculiar." He took the time to roll the body over. She was still in one piece it seemed but out cold. "Do you need anything to prepare for this or we can do this here on the floor?"

Edward shook his head as the armor retracted and reformed into the trenchcoat again, taking a moment to crack his neck. "The floor is fine, but we need to keep her in the cell. Once this Silma is disrupted and severed, that's how we're going to contain her." He paused, as though a thought had occurred to him. "Do they need to be in physical contact for this to work?"

"They who precisely? Her and this Clayton fella?" Chaos tilted Katt's head just a bit and pressed his fingers across her brow.

Edward nodded as he went to the device he had set on the floor and moved towards the cell. Turning it, he pressed one of the flat ends against the cell wall, and there was a faint *click* sound as it locked into place. "Yeah. Do they need to be touching, or laying next to each other, or anything like that?"

"Physical contact would be ideal. He also will need to be unconscious so laying down next to each other might not be such a bad idea." Chaos was concentrating and ended up sighing. "Crap. Several of the locks had been removed as well."

Edward's analysis had been right on the money - all Clayton had need to hear was Katt's name and that she needed his help, and he was out the door and on his way towards the Tower, following the directions given him by DIANA. Despite the fair amount of distance between the penthouse and the nearly-complete Tower, he covered it in mere moments, on a dead sprint the entire way. Once the lift carried him down he stepped immediately out of it and headed down the hallway, speaking as he entered the vault and spied Katt, moving towards her and kneeling next to her opposite the strange man he did not know. "What happened to her?" The rumbling voice was laced with worry.

Ed, in the meantime, was at work on the pulse generator he had attached to the cell wall, where a multi-touch panel had lit up next to it that he was working on. "Ah'll let Chaos dere explain." He was pretty sure if he did, there would only be trouble, and that was something they didn't have time for.

"You haven't explained to him what has happened thusfar?" Chaos looked to Ed then to Clayton. "Listen carefully, Lad. Her soul is weak and is in need of strength of guidance. Not only that but is in need of separating a parasite," Yes he basically summed up Silma as a parasite, "From her very being. It is a lot to require of someone in your standings with the young lady but you need bind your soul to hers for a period in order to help her. A soul convergence to separate her and this parasite before we lose her completely." He did give room for Clayton to assess Katt.

The green-gold gaze moved from Katt to Edward, a glare settling upon Clayton's features. "I am afraid I have been told nothing at all, save by Kathryn herself, and that was only that she was leaving for a while." He wanted to hit Edward at the moment for not telling him anything, but that would have to wait. To Chaos he nodded, moving to look over Katt himself, who looked like she had been put through the wringer. "I will do whatever is needed to help her, sir. As it happens, my people have a way of doing precisely what you ask...though I confess, I have only heard rumors of it being tried with one who is not of our race, and have never attempted it myself."

"Before you go getting all hateful on Ed I will speak up and say it isn't his fault. I actually advised about getting you involved in this but as it stands you are needed if this is to work." Looking to Clayton he nodded. "You will not need me to act as a connection then? To explain there is another soul that lives within her. One that has been attempting to push its way out and claim over the vessel." He gestured to Katt's body. "But I do not have time to explain fully. Time is short."

Edward  focused on his work, feeling Clayton's eyes on him but ignoring it for the moment. Now wasn't the time, though he had suspected that the man would feel this way when he found out. That could be dealt with later.

Clayton  made no reply to that, just focused on Katt for the moment. "I understand. I have heard that for my people, such a connection between souls requires that a strong connection already exist; I believe that what Kathryn and I have between us is more than enough. And the soul of a Y?mni is...somewhat unique...I have no fear of this other soul." HE moved to lay next to Katt, stretching out and taking her hand in his, intertwining their fingers. "It will being in a moment. You may wake me by breaking the connection when you are ready." He lifted the hand holding Katt's to indicate what he was talking about before he laid his head back and closed his eyes.

"Understood." Chaos took that Clayton knew of the dangers and accepted it. Without needing to explain things he settled his hand against Katt's brow and looked over to Clayton. "Very well then. When you are ready." He looked over to Ed to make sure he was also prepared. "I will give word when they are separated."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 27, 2013, 08:34:32 PM
It didn't take long, as Clayton said. There was nothing dramatic, no fireworks or spectacular flashes of light - in fact, to the outside observer with no sense of souls joining or separating, it looked as though nothing was happening at all. Where their hands joined, Clayton's unique physiology reached out and connected to Katt's, joining them together not only at the physical level, but at the mental, physical, and molecular level as well, allowing the Y?mni to stretch his soul across two bodies.

This was how it was done among his people, although in this case, the connection was more one-way - with another Y?mni, the souls intermingled rather than simply bonded. Once his soul had connected to Katt's body, he drew Katt's to him, forming the connection that was needed, using that connection to strengthen her by showing her his memories of them together: nighttime walks, long talks, late nights and early mornings spent curled close in bed, and more...intimate moments. Along with those memories, there came feelings, those that had been his, emotions that fed through to Katt's soul of warmth, of love...happiness and strength and a determination never to let this slip away.

Silma didn't appreciate the incoming male soul trying to take what she was trying to get rid of. Being drawn in with Katt she got a lovely display of the connection the two shared and she was sickened by it. However through the link she also felt a draw from Katt's soul. A shattered and broken spirit that was clinging to the feelings that were shared. There were one too many souls in that body of his and with that Silma's soul severed the link from Katt's own? Why? The attempt to steal the body while Katt was..elsewhere.

Chaos was monitoring the bond without prying into what was going on. When he felt the seperation of Silma and Katt as well as the growth of the two. Both for different reasons. "Lord Batten! If you have things prepared now would be the time to work your magic! They are separated!"

Edward had been waiting on that, monitoring things as best he could, though he couldn't read such subtleties as souls separating and such, but he could see the varying energy levels and types, which he had been recording during the process of this whole...exercise. He would have to look it all over later - it was truly fascinating stuff. For now, though, there was work to be done. "All right, when I say 'go', get them out of that cell. This pulse will only disrupt her for a few moments, and we need to make sure that energy is contained so it doesn't try to get back into her, or go elsewhere."

Edward's fingers moved over the multi-touch panel on the side of the cell, and with a final tap the command was executed. The effects of this were rather dramatic: there was an upcycling harmonic whine as lines of brilliant glowing blue appeared all over the cell's surface like the lines of a circuit board, flashing brilliantly once, the glow lighting up the inside of the cell with superbright incandescent light. They faded immediately, though there was a definite glowing vaprous substance that remained in the cell, vibrating rapidly in place as though it were trying to pull itself back together. "Dat's it, now! Get 'em outta dere an' shut de door!"

"What about you?" This was clearly an important question because hell if he was going to be recieving end of Katt's fist if something happened to Ed. Willing the shadows to aid, a pair of shadow minions to assist with carrying the pair out. Chaos reached out to make sure the link of their hands remained but at the same time he kept looking back to Ed. Once out of the cell the two bodies were placed down on the ground near the lift and Chaos immediately turned to make sure that Ed was following. He did look away for a second when one of the minions mummered something to him. With a hand he dismissed the minions to discuss later whatever it had been.

Edward was quick to follow, by way of response, tapping in a series of commands to keep the field in place just a little bit longer. As soon as the pair were out, he dove for the entrance to the cell, sliding out past the door. A swift kick to the door threw it shut, just as the blue lines faded from the cell's surface, and there was a loud *CLICK* as the cell locked and sealed. A grim smile of satisfaction appeared on his features as he pushed himself up to his feet and brushed himself off. "Toldja dat was comin..." he murmured towards the cell before he turned to regard Clayton and Katt,still unconscious. "How're dey doin'?"

Once Chaos knew Ed was safe he thumbed to the cell. "So you are going to keep the soul of Silma in there? And here I was hoping to bring her with me back to the Tween." He smirked and looked down to the pair. "I guess it is time to sever the link and find out for ourselves. He should wake up first or that is what I figure." After all Ed made sure that Katt's body went under. Reaching out he pulled Katt's hand free of Clayton's slow but surely.

Edward  looked back at the cell, frowning slightly. He'd like to keep her locked in that black box for the rest of eternity, honestly - no body, no place to go, just existing as a great big nothing. But then, maybe Chaos could think of a better fate than that. "Hell, if ya want it, ya can have it. All she's gonna do here is rot in dat box...Ah bet ya got somet'in' better in mind for 'er." He stood back and watched, fairly certain he didn't want to be near Clayton when he woke up, if the looks he was getting earlier were any indication.

As the hand was separated from Katt's, there could be seen - fleetingly - what looked like a sticky, golden sort of fluid that bound the hands together. A moment later, though, the fluid had vanished, drawn back into Clayton's body, and as their hands came apart the Y?mni stirred and sat up almost instantly, turning immediately towards Katt, his features focused upon her face as he kneeled over her. "Did you get it out of her?" His words were for them, though he didn't look around.

"Relax lad. From what I can tell Lord Batten has seperated the Goddess from Katt successfully. I don't suspect I'll be needing to lock her memories of days past now." With Clayton up Chaos stood and looked to Ed. "I will take her off your hands. I have servitude in mind for her." He gestured for Ed to come take his place at Katt's opposite side.

Clayton looked at the man questioningly for a moment, his head tilting slightly for a moment as he did. "You...can do that? Take memories from her, I mean?"

"I can't take them but I can lock them away. I've done so in the past with some rather unsavory memories." And best Clayton don't ask what those memories were. "It doesn't effect who she is like losing a memory would." The Lord of Shadows bowed his head to Clayton and Edward. "You both did very well. I see why she places so much faith in you both."

Oh, that had his interest, indeed. "If that is the case, good sir, then there are memories I would have you lock away...of two people in her past. A Toby Aradam and a Mayu Tsuzuki..." Clayton's eyes went from the stranger to Katt again. "...they...were very unkind to her, and did much hurt to her, that clings still to this day...she would be better off if she could not remember that they had been part of her life."

Chaos stalled at hearing those names. "I am aware of those two. Are you sure that is what you want?" He looked over to Ed then Clayton. Yes he was expecting Ed to pipe up at any moment.

Edward  frowned, just slightly, as Clayton brought that up, even as he was moving towards Katt's side, though he was hesitant to do so. He was just waiting for Clayton to come at him, though he wasn't sure if he would stop the man or not. "He nodded to Chaos' question for Clayton, arching an eyebrow at the man. "Are ya sure dat's such a good idea? Ah'd t'ink dat you, of all people, would appreciate dat our mem'ries make us who we are..."

As Chaos said prior to Edward's statement to Clayton, the memories wouldn't change who she was. This, however, was a conversation and decision for those two to make regardless so Chaos waited for their joint decision.

Clayton barely managed to restrain the growl that came to his throat as he looked at Ed, but he did manage it. He was still pissed that Ed had kept this from him, at another's behest or no, it didn't matter. "I am indeed certain. As he said, it won't change who she is, and I have seen for myself the effect those memories had upon her. She will be better without them, I assure you."

Edward frowned deeper, moving to stand at Katt's side, and finally he sighed. He didn't like the thought of it, but he had to admit the big man had a point...and besides, he owed the big cat one, at least. He nodded to Chaos, silently, affirming his agreement.

Chaos nodded and moved to kneel down at Katt's head. "For the record, Edward, she will remember these past few days." It was a warning mind you of what may come. "Also to you both. When she wakes she will be very weak." His hands went out to her temples with fingers stretched to her forehead. Unfortinately due to the fact his fingers pressed against her flesh her body jerked in reaction. At least this gave him the chance to replace some much needed boundries and wards.

Edward almost asked Chaos to remove those memories as well, but he refrained. Katt would need to know what happened - he refused to hide it from her - and without those memories, none of it would make sense. Instead he just nodded, looking rather weary, as he turned his gaze to Clayton. "You should take 'er, mon frere...after de pas' few days an' what's been goin' on, Ah don' 'magine she'll be very happy wit' me, and Ah t'ink ya should be de one she wakes up to. Ah'll...make sure she she has access to de secur'ty recordin' and info dat'll explain ever't'in' to de bot' of ya."

"Lord Batten. I know it isn't my place to say this but I think you should be here. Running away might give her the wrong idea." Not that Chaos was calling him a coward. Once he was done he pushed up to his feet and looked to Edward rather seriously. "That is my thoughts on that." Looking to Clayton he nodded. "I am done and I will admit it seems I was wrong in not getting you involved. You were quite helpful."

Katt murmured and shifted. There was voices that was making her already pounding head pound louder. "(vs) Nrmphhh..owwwww. So loud.."

Clayton sighed, grudgingly nodding to Chaos. "He is right, Edward. She may not be happy with you, at least until after this has all been explained, though I do think I should take her home so she can rest." As Katt stirred, he smirked at the Playboy before looking down at Katt. "Besides...you are too late. She is already stirring."

"If anyone she is going to be mad at it will be me so I think I'll be taking my leave. I'll be back in a few days for the remains." Meaning Silma's soul of course. Chaos looked to Clayton and shook his head. "There shouldn't be much explaining to be made. She knows. At least this is what I have sensed." Reaching out he cupped a hand on Ed's shoulder. And like that he took his leave, stepping through Ed's very shadow in a quick retreat from this plane of existence.

Edward frowned, but Clayton was right - it was too late. As Chaos took his leave he blinked, but felt relieved - he had thought that Katt would think Ed had turned on her, tossing her into a cell to be tortured beyond endurance. He still wasn't convinced that wouldn't be the case, but he would stay for now, at any rate.

Oh Katt heard him and a growl echoed in her chest. As ..weak as it was. When an eye opened she winced and quickly closed it. Several blinks later she found Clayton and Ed there..but not Chaos. Had she been hearing things? Raising a hand she rubbed her eyes. The light hurt and her body felt like hell..her head hurt and yet..there was lingering feelings. Comfort..warmth..and some rather strong emotions that made her chest ache. "(vs) Am I ..better?"

Clayton eyed the stranger with a neutral look, but nodded to him anyway. "Don't sweat it." His gaze turned to Ed, deliberately, an accusatory look in his eyes, though he still spoke to Chaos. "After all you didn't know." His gaze turned back to Katt as he smiled, lifting his hand to trace his fingers along her sheek as his voice dropped to a whisper. (vsw)"You are indeed, my love...though you may need to rest for a few days."

Edward watched them in silence, though he couldn't help but smile at Katt as she awoke, kneeling slightly next to her, though he said nothing yet. He wasn't sure he could trust himself to speak just yet.

It was going to take her a while for her eyes not to sting. Katt's hand tilted to press Clayton's hand against her cheek but that lasted a few seconds. Her hands went to the floor and she stubbornly attempted to push herself to sit up. Her head shook slightly. Rest..She hated bed rest. Looking to Clayton she smiled meekly. "I guess so." Her stomach decided now was the time to announce that she also had been going a near week without food by growling..loud. Blinking she pressed her hand against her tomach. Yeah..she wasn't that embarassed. Slowly she looked to Ed. "I'm sorry.." That was the first thing she said to him and she couldn't help but kick herself that it was.

Edward managed a chuckle as he shook his head at her. "Ya ain't got not'in' t'apol'gize for, li'l sis. Hell, Ah oughta be apol'gizin' t'de bot' of ya." He motioned between Clayton and Katt. "Fer not payin' closer attention...maybe we coulda caught onto dis a li'l earlier, found an easier way t'get ya better." And then he looked at Clayton. "An' t'you, fer not lettin' ya know what was goin' on...yer right, Ah did know better."

"I'm glad..you didn't." Katt looked between the two of them before her eyes returned to Ed and she reached out to touch his cheek, her brows lowered. "I heard you. I heard the pain in your voice even though you tried to comfort me...." She tried to tug Ed on over for a hug but ..well..yeah there wasn't much strength there. "I have everything to be sorry for. Neither of you should of...You shouldn't of even been placed in that situation."

Edward smiled as he returned the hug, making sure to be gentle as he did and looking visibly relieved. "Maybe we shouldn't've, but dat's what we do fer de ones wel love, sis...ya've taken care o'me plenty o'times, y'know Ah'm gonna do de same whene'er Ah can. 'Sides...ain't know way Ah'm gonna lose you. How many li'l sisters d'ya t'ink Ah have?"

Clayton let her go to hug her brother, regarding Ed for a long moment in silence. He still wasn't happy about this, but then, he had a feeling this wouldn't happen again. "Accepted, Edward. Just don't make the same mistake twice." A smile came to his lips as he watched brother and sister embrace, and he nodded agreement with Edward, though guilt stole over him. He was willing to just...let her go. It was her brother who had not been satisfied to do so.

Good because she would be like jelly if he squeezed too hard. Ed's cheek got a soft raspberry before Katt pulled back and gave him a very ..odd look. "I've..taken care of you?" Yeah..no..she couldn't think of a single time really. She kept the hug for just a little longer before slipping free and trying to get the big cat in manflesh. "Oh don't sulk you are gunna get a hug too. Come here."

Edward chuckled as he nodded. "Yer de one dat keeps on naggin' me t'get 'way from work an' t'r'member dat Ah'm still a human bein'. Dat counts fer a lot."

Clayton smiled and went to her, wrapping her in a warm but gentle embrace. "I am not sulking, my dear Kathryn...I am just glad to see you are all right." He let out a purring chuckle, remembering the growling of her stomach from earlier. "Though perhaps we should get you out of this vault and away from...that." His eyes moved to the black box that had been serving as Katt's cell for the past week. "You could probably use some food, I think, from what I heard earlier."

"Yeahhh not like you listened." Katt shot back over at her brother though it was nice to hear her words weighed some with him. Resting in Clayton's embrace she sulked her face down until it was only her eyes that was peering over his arm to the cell. She really didn't remember much of her time in it. She remembered the pain..the darkness. The darkness helped but more so it was the words of her brother. Despite her screams he had been there..trying to comfort her. She felt..guilty. "I am starving." And even if she hadn't said it? Her growling stomach again would of made it pretty obvious. Her face buried to hide against Clayton's shoulder. "Thank you..Both of you. I don't know what I would do without you."

Edward smiled and stood, turning to regard the cell, still dark, inside which was stoed the soul they had ripped out of Katt. He was glad it was over, but a part of him was tempted to send that thing soaring into the sun. "Ya should t'ank dat Chaos guy, s'well...if it ha'n't been fer him, Ah don' know dat we'd be havin' dis conversation." He looked back at Katt and Clayton with a smile, a thoughtful look on his face. 'Y'know...dere's a lotta people been askin' 'bout you...if ya t'ink yer up to it, Ah could hook ya up wit' a meal dere so ya can eat an' show ever'one yer back 'mong de land o'de livin'."

While it was likely that it would be pushing herself she nodded to her brother. His comment about Chaos had a very stranger frown etched across her lips. Katt was pretty sure there was some alternate reason Chaos had helped..She just didn't know what. "You are..leaving then? To go get some rest.." That was her hope. Her eyes closed, the light still stinging but it was at least getting better. "Y-Yeah that is..That is fine."

Edward tried to think. When was the last time he had actually slept? He couldn't honestly remember, really. He gave Katt a nod with a tired smile. "Ah t'ink so...give you two kids some time t'yerself fer a bit." He pointed at Katt. "Ya need t'get better soon, t'ough. Ah still got presents fer ya dat're waitin'."

"I will get better if you promise to get some sleep. I'm serious Edward.." Yes she used the word Promise and seemingly without thinking a second of it. It really was weird to hear him say he had something for her. Presents. Made her quite curious. Well she knew the asprin.

Clayton simply listened to them as he held Katt in close, glad to finally have her back to normal. The past couple weeks had been...awkward, to say the least, and he had worried that she was pulling away from him. He had been worried he might lose her...now it felt like it had before...whatever it was had gotten into her and started screwing things up. He did look to Katt for a moment, though, arching an eyebrow as a smile touched his features. He knew that she had been hesitant to use the word 'promise' before, and knew just as well the reasons why - perhaps she was not a different person now, but there were subtle changes he could see.

Edward chuckled and nodded, not seeming to notice that subtle change, at least. "Al right, den, Ah promise, Ah'll get some rest. Ya know, provided somet'in' else doesn' go t'hell along de way."He started towards the end of the hall with the lift, talking over his shoulder. "Ah'll make sure Rene has de food dere waitin' fer ya when ya arrive. Take care o'her, Clayton, an' make sure she gets home safe so she gets some rest too."

"Sleep sweet, Edward. We will talk soon." Katt watched after her brother, somewhat worried. The mention of food had her stomach growling like mad. "I guess..we are going to the inn then?" Her eyes tilted up to Clayton since that is where she figured her brother meant before. Raising her hand she drew her knuckles softly against Clayton's chin. "I'm sorry for hurting you.."

Clayton smiled as he raised his hand to catch hers, holding it against his cheek, turning to press his lips against her fingers tenderly. "I have said it before, my love, and I will say it again...you can't hurt me. And you have not...what hurt me was...something you had no real control over." He moved to stand and help her to her feet. "Are you sure you wish to do this? We could have the food sent to the penthouse, you know...you could get some rest..."

Ahh he was tempting her and she was so very tempted. Just to go home..have him all to herself for the remainder of the night. But apparently she had other people worried about her. Rising to her feet with his help she shook her head. "I'll be okay for a little bit." Even if she was on her feet like a new born doe. "Just don't go too far without me? I don't think I can handle too much on my own." There..she admitted it. When her green eyes found him there was a bit of sadness in them. "I ..didn't think you would be waiting. I had heard you when you left that day. You sounded so..so.." The sound had broke her heart.

Clayton shook his head, smiling as he wrapped his arm around her waist and started down he hallway towards the lift to the surface. "Of course not, my dear Kathryn...I'll be here for you every step of the way, I promise." His green-gold gaze lingered on her a long moment as they walked the hallway, the vault door sliding soundlessly closed behind them. "I promised you, my love, that I would wait for you, for as long as it took...forever, if it came to that. I would not make a promise so lightly...even if it were you that hurt me so, and not...that thing inside you." He stepped into the lift with her and it started up automatically. "You may wish to remain close to me, by the way...it is quite cold out."

She glanced over her shoulder as the doors closed and once they did..she felt like some great weight was lifted. She ..wasn't sure why. Turning her eyes up to him she listened as they walked to the platform. She had no problem in sticking close by the looks of it because she was snuggled in close. If anything his warmth and the fact he was all but holding her up. Her back seriously hurt! "Thank you ..for waiting." Her chin tilted and she looked up. "Yeah I don't have a jacket or anything. So you will just have to keep me warm." Poor him.

Clayton chuckled as they ascended into the booth and the cold air washed over them, holding her in close against him. "That, my love, I can definitely do." His gaze dropped down to regard her, and on impulse, he picked her up in his arms, scooping her off her feet and cradling her to his chest. Leaning in, he tenderly touched his lips to hers, lingering there for a long moment before he drew away again. "I will always wait for you, my darling Kathryn." And with that he set off at a run in the direction of the Inn.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on December 27, 2013, 02:25:25 AM
[size=9].: A month later.. :.[/size]

It was a month later and she was still recovering. The month of December, normally a dreary and depressing month was filled with a laughter and good times. Her birthday, funny enough, landed on the Winterfest Ball so she got to dress up all nice and pretty without anyone really know the reason otherwise.

Well...a few knew..and remembered...

Really it kind of surprised her that people did remember...

It went by pleasantly enough with the night ending with her in Clayton's arms, asleep in a rather peaceful state.

Christmas came and went. Most of the day spent with Clayton with the Evening spent with her brother. Of course she returned to sleep next to her Great Cat but it was still nice to have a brother-sister dinner. She had placed a lot of effort and love into preparing the feast even if it was meant only for two.

The day after Christmas she spent delivering the gifts she had bought for people prior to Christmas because quite frankly she was damn set on spending it with Clayton and Edward. If anything or anyone had got in the way of that...well...it wouldn't of been pretty.

Thankfully nothing did.

She found herself leaving the inn damn near exhausted. Still...after a month she felt sluggish and slow. Her memory had bits and pieces that were slowly returning to being a whole. Whatever damage had been done was being repaired. It was just...a slow process. Or maybe it was just all the excitement of the holidays?

She still had two presents in her bag that needed to be delivered but she wasn't sure if she should even attempt. They would probably just toss it at her and make those sour faces that always seemed to be made at her. Still wasn't it in the spirit of the season to try?

For now the boxes were left in her seemingly endless bag. If she bumped into them...maybe..just maybe..

She still had to go back to the penthouse and get more gifts to deliver! Or maybe a big cat to snuggle up to.

Despite everything that had happened in the year...

...This December she found herself to be pretty darn happy!
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on January 09, 2014, 10:51:06 PM
.: Chapter Fifteen: Silks of Fire :.
[size=9]Jan 9th
Early Morning on the Great Wall of Silverymoon; Unity
[/size]

"It has been years since I've seen you sitting up here."

The warm voice drew her out of her thoughts and she uncurled from her spot. She had forgotten how long she had been up there on the miles high wall, watching the vast of water that spilled off the 'edge of the world'. The great city of Silverymoon was a monstrously huge city that sat in the middle of an even larger river and maybe a few miles from the 'end of the world' water's edge of the largest waterfall she had ever witness.

Truly Silverymoon was a sight.

Turning she spotted the older woman who she hadn't seen in three years. She didn't seemed to of aged a bit. "Good morning, Mia." She smiled lightly to the woman but it faded when she saw the armored figure next to the small woman step forward.

"Aren.."

She had almost missed Mia gasping. "She smiles!" she spoke to Aren.

Aren's full eyes watched Katt but for the moment he said nothing.  

Their eyes met and she felt a pit in her stomach. "Are you here to arrest me?"

Mia looked between her King and Katt before stepping back. "I do not think I've ever seen you smile in such a way, Bug-a-boo. You must be very happy."

She twitched a bit at the nickname but the fact that Aren was moving towards her she felt to on edge to respond to Mia. "I just came to pick up some firesilk. A seamstress is making a dress for me. I know I am not suppose t-"

"You are exiled from this Kingdom!" Aren's voice boomed out as he got closer.

She cringed. He had his father's commanding voice and temper it seemed.

"I couldn't be happier to see you." Aren's near eight foot body lunged at Katt and scooped her up into a hug.

Blinking in surprise she grunted. Okay so maybe his mother's temper. "Aren you are squishing me!" But she hugged him back.

"I've missed you." He muttered at her but released her all the same.

"Wow you've grown huge!" She assessed him as she stepped back to look him over. She could see Mia giggling from around him. "I am very happy, Mia. I have a wonderful family and a great boyfriend. Awesome friends.." Aren was again staring at her and she shifted uncomfortably. "What?"

"So that boy decided to start treating you right, has he?" he didn't look thrilled.

She blinked at Aren. "Huh? There is nothing about Clayton that is boyish." Oh that sounded wrong did it?

"That isn't who I am asking about but that does answer the question. Good you got away from him and found yourself someone better. So tell me about this Clayton fella." Aren's hand gestured as he turned to get Katt to walk. She shouldn't be on the streets alone being an Exile.

Katt look utterly confused and looked between him and Mia. "Sergei wasn't that bad..." She smiled and started to walk, giving Aren and Mia plenty of details about Clayton.

Once they made the main street Mia pardoned herself to do some work.

Aren chuckled at Katt as he escorted her to the seamstress' shop. "It sounds like you really love this man. I am glad for you, Kathryn."

"Thanks. I am kinda nervous though." And she must of sounded so foolish to Constance when she told her about the reason.

"Oh?"

"It is our one year anniversary, Aren. I've never had one of those before with a guy. I mean this is suppose to be a good thing...right?" She bit her bottom lip and glanced to the shop door as they came to it.

"If he loves you as much as you love him it is a very good thing."

Aren's words reminded her of that brief time she and Clayton were 'linked'. Whatever he had done she had felt exactly how much he cared for her. Just remembering made her heart flutter painfully in her chest. "He does." She murmured quietly as she waved to the seamstress to get her attention.  Watching the seamstress bow shyly to Aren then hurried off to get everything ready. Looking to Aren. "I am sorry about your father.."

Aren bowed his head to the seamstress and looked to Katt with a sorrowful smile. "It is hard to fill his shoes I must admit."

After the purchase was made she hugged Aren and quickly escaped the city limits before someone else saw her. Even though Aren wasn't so quick to let her go she had to be back by nightfall.

By the time she did get back to Rhydin it was just before the sun fell into its slumber, the sky a wealth of colors that danced across the snow. There was much more snow there than in Silverymoon.

She didn't have time to marvel in the snow! She had something to get ready for.

Sneaking into the apartment she first made sure Clayton was gone before hurrying to prepare things.

Furniture was moved around so that there was more room in the livingroom. What else could she do so what she planned didn't seem so ..silly?

Was she being silly in thinking that one year was something to celebrate? Was it silly that she was nervous that it had been one year? She told him she wouldn't worry about him just up and leaving on her but she couldn't help but be nervous that she was going overboard in being nervous on such a thing as one year being together.

Well there was no turning back now.

She inhaled and bravely started her way to the bedroom to change.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on February 25, 2014, 04:57:53 PM
.: Chapter Sixteen: Twisted Sense :.
[size=9]Feb 25th - Late Evening[/size]

At the highest point of the extravagant home, Asile-aux-Falaises, she had been sitting for hours. Seemed to of missed the fact that the sun was down and that night had taken over with its dark embrace. Sitting in a position that allowed the bend of her knees to be resting places for her elbows she had her lips hidden behind her knuckles, just staring out. Even the notes that played from her PCUi when a certain message came through wasn't given any notice. At least not at that moment.

Too much weighed on her mind and some of it could not be so easily be put to the side.

Reena.

The day she and her brother spotted this 'new form' of Renna was a day that started a few of those weighted things on her mind. Renna eating someone in an alley made her feel absolutely helpeless to do anything at all. Following that was the way Issy treated her when she spat out what Renna had done...

"You can't stay off in your own little world, Katt.  Sometimes getting to the bottom of things is messy and sh*tty.  But it has to get done!"

Her hands clenched tightly together as those words repeated in her head. Issy had no right to say that to her. Had no right what so ever. It hurt to know that Issy not only had brushed off the fact that she didn't want to be near Renna but straight up seemed to think that she didn't know what she saw..what she heard. It had been one hell of a stab the way Issy had treated her and what made it worse she didn't understand...Why.

Why she'd rather side with Renna without even so much as listening let alone believing the words that came out of her supposed friend's mouth.

"Honey, are you sure that is was *this* Ren---"

It had taken all her energy not to snap at Issy for that. No Issy. I imagined it cause I wanted a reason to hate Renna. I totally imagined how helpless I was to help the poor person she ate whole.

The ringtone went off again, alerting her once more that she had a message that was waiting her viewing.

Again it was ignored.

There was something wrong with her still. Something that made it nearly impossible to call upon the Reevi and when she did it seemed to tear her from the inside out in the most painful way.

She couldn't use it to protect herself from when Issy tried to kill her...

She couldn't use it ot protect the person who got ate by Renna...

What if something worse came along?

Again with the ringtone...

"Aren't you going to answer that?"

She cringed at the voice and slowly relaxed her arms from her knees. "What are you doing here..?" Slowly she looked over her shoulder to the figure that had been towering her for who knows how long, "Chaos..."

He grinned broadly to her. "It has been a month or so since we last spoke so I figured I should stop by and see how you are."

She grunted quietly and pulled out the pcui from her hoodie's pocket.

The ringtone itself had told her who it was so it wasn't no surprise to see it was from her brother.

All right, I've got everything set up, and you don't show for your check-up. What's going on? Don't make me call Clayton out on you...or better yet, I'll send Finn for ya.

Yeahhhhh...she didn't need Finn chasing her down thank you very much. The shadow loomed more over her and she glanced up to find Chaos looking over her shoulder to read the message. "Problems?"

"Check up huh? Are you with child?"

Good grief! What was it with people asking her that?! "No." she snapped at him, " Ever since you've pulled whoever out of me I haven't been right. I can't use my Reevi the way I should."

Chaos stepped back, hands in the air. Slowly they lowered as he regarded her. "How do you mean?"

"When I try to use it I either can't or it came tearing through my skin to the point I've almost bled out just forming claws. Even taking blood in seems to be slower at healing my wounds..." Her eyes lowered to her hands. "Was Silma making me stronger?"

"I think that is hardly the issue. She most likely tampered with something while inside you. Could be a mental blockage. Could be a spiritual blockage. Only one way to find out. Come to the Between on the first. We shall speak to the source to find out."

Blinking she shifted enough to look at Chaos. "You mean Silma? How is that possible? Isn't she just-"

Chaos grinned and stopped her from finishing. "You will get your answers. I'll make sure she is ready for your visit."

"Chaos.." she muttered before he could go anywhere.

"Yes, my dark Lily?"

Pushing herself up to her feet she turned fully to him. "Why did you help my brother? What is your real reason?"

"My real reason?" he seemed amused by the question.

"Yes. I know damn well you didn't just help because you wanted to save me. Why..."

"Well that is simple my dear. I had information he needed to help his beloved little sister. In return I got something I wanted from him." He answered in a rather non-nonchalant tone.

It pissed her off. "What do you mean you got what you wanted from him? What did you get?!"

His hand graced the air in a dismissive wave. "That is not for you to know."

"CHAOS!" She snarled out his name. "You do anything to hurt him and I will-"

"You will what? In your current condition you are nothing more than a human."

"Yeah well..don't forget I have the skills to kill a man without anyone finding out." She snapped at him.

"True. Even without your Reevi you are still quite the little threat aren't you?" He smiled sickeningly sweet to her. "No matter how much you try to hide it you are, and always be, my Dark Lily."

Her eyes turned away. "Will I stop having black outs now that Silma is not in me?"

"Perhaps. I cannot say. However have you ever considered that she may of been what tampered down your rage? She used your emotions to control you. Now that she is no longer there to I find myself curious to what will happen next."

She grunted quietly, not willing to think too much about it. "The first you said right?" Her eyes trailed down to the grassy front, spotting the shadow of the large catamount home from his hunt. "I want answers..." She didn't wait for a respond from the Shadow King. Instead she slid down off the roof and down onto the balcony's ledge. She wasn't going to chance killing herself by jumping down.

What is it that he could of possibly of gotten from her brother? What was it that Ed had...that Chaos could of wanted?
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on March 09, 2014, 05:08:24 PM
[size=9]Mar 1st - Early Morning[/size]

Finally the day arrived. Clayton knew, to a degree, what was going on. She was going to find answers that only Silma could provide. He didn't like that she was going without him but she couldn't exactly bring him to the Between without permission now that she couldn't shadow step. She didn't like it either but that was just how things fell into place. If she had thought about it at the time she would of made it a demand of Chaos.

However now the question stood on how she was going to get there herself. She hadn't even thought of that! Sitting on the edge of the balcony just outside of her and Clayton's room she watched the colorful display light up the sky, her mind rolling with a number of things. How she was going to get there was only one of those things.

Another was the issue of Issy. She had thought about what Issy said over the course of the days. Including going the meeting when she brought Issy's very late Christmas present to the temple. Issy didn't view friendship the way she did. She had realized it some time ago but she wanted to believe she was wrong. Issy was way too quick to take the side of others and question everything she was. Tommy. Renna. She never stood by Katt when it came to things of that nature even though they had known each other for what seemed like forever now. It just started to feel that Issy would believe anyone and everything first before she would believe her. It was a very hurtful feeling but in the end she realized something...

She couldn't force Issy to trust her. She wouldn't force Issy to trust her. She wouldn't force her to do anything actually. She just kind of accepted that things were limited and there was a threshold that Issy didn't want her to cross. She wasn't as important to Issy as she viewed Issy to be in her own life.

Why...did this situation feel familiar? She couldn't place her finger on it but it did give off that feeling.

Well regardless there was nothing she could really do. Issy was..well..Issy.

Much like it was Race. He who disappeared after talking with some rather seedy characters in an alley. She tried to wait to see if he would call after his ...well whatever the dude had been...told her that Race was fine. Would be fine? It took a lot of effort not to call first.

She was worried...

Scratching her scalp she grumbled. Thinking too much caused problems but it was the reason she couldn't sleep.

"(vs) There is just something wrong with me..." She grumbled at the morning air.

What could she do? Stop caring? Like that would happen... Just seem to let things go. That was the best she could do. Not like anyone really cared to ask how she felt anywho. She could just stuff those feelings down and move on like nothing happened.

"Man you looked like you are ready to strangle someone."

The sudden voice on the air made her cringe and she looked over shoulder. Well that explained how she was going to get to the Between. "Xavier...you know one day you are going to sneak up on me like that and I am going to end up trying to skewer you."

He smirked at her almost instantly. It wasn't like she hadn't tried before. "I can stop it about as much as you can, my dear."

"Point taken." Sliding carefully out of the position on the edge of the balcony she stood and turned to face him. "You are here as my escort?"

"Pretty much." he bowed to her with a grin.

The flourished gesture he made with his gauntlet laced hand, along with the bow, made her want to roll her eyes. "Good lets get this over with..."

"Of course m'lady." Offering his bent arm to her he kept the grin plastered on his pale face. "So want to share with me what has you thinking so terribly hard?"

"Nothing really to talk about. Just me being a sucky friend. I'm going to try to be better at it. I guess I really ain't too good with people..."  She reached out to curl her fingers to the crook of his arm.

"You are a little rough around the edges when it comes to people skills but I wouldn't say you suck at it. I mean look," he jerked a thumb to the door leading back into the bedroom, "you got a man in bed and a brother who is there for you. You have a number of friends, too."

"Not sure if I count some of them as friends." she murmured quietly.

Curiously he looked at her, "Explain?"

"I know a lot of people, sure. I mean I know a lot of people. But how many of them know me? I haven't trusted many with my secrets nor gotten really close to many. And there are even fewer who know and who I trust unconditionally." She explained even as the world started to shift around them.

The cold grasp of the Shadow Planar could be felt much more without her own connection. It was like someone grasping inside her chest and playing around with her innards.

Not...a fun feeling...

"That just makes the ones that know you well enough and that you trust all the more worth having right?"

She grunted in answer. She found herself in a familiar room by the time Xavier's hand lowered. That waiting room she was always left to rest in while the rest of the castle laid beyond the grand doors.

"The ones you call friend are still friend, right? What more is there to think about?" he questioned her with amusement on his face.

She wanted to smack that look off. "I guess I am waiting here? If so can you do me a huge favor?"

He raised a brow at her, waiting for her to continue. However he didn't stand in one place while he waited. Moving away from her he went to the graceful desk at the far end of the room and started to shuffle through some of the items there. One being a nice sized, parchment wrapped box. "I suppose I could," was eventually offered.

"It is about time for the blossoms to bloom in the valley isn't it? Do you think you could get me a few snow lilies before it is too late?" She didn't look over to him while she asked. Instead she was looking around the room that had been kept up, seemingly, just for her. It was weird really...

"Snow Lily? I suppose I could do that for you but what do I get in return?" he smirked over to her as he asked. "Do you want me to bring you a branch of those cherry blossoms you love so much."

"I won't let Clayton eat you when you bring me back home?" She smirked right back at him. She hadn't seen cherry blossoms in a long while. "That would be nice..."

The threat, while not really a threat, made him laugh. "He could die trying."

The look she gave him for that comment was as if she were trying to kill him with her stare.

"Yes I know. You'd have your way with me if I touched him and not in the fun way."

"Gross, Xavier. Real gross. Besides you couldn't kill him if you tried."

"You really have that much faith in your boyfriend's skills?"

She nodded a single time. "Damn straight I do!"

"It is an annoying but the cat-man tends to get up after being smacked down. The same with her so called brother."

The unfamiliar female voice had her turning to the door. "Pardon? My 'so called' brother? He is my brother."

Standing at the door, draped in regal red, was a woman who stood maybe three inches taller than Katt. Her waist length black hair spilled straight down like it was ink. The glossy locks were a contrast to the white as snow complexion of the woman, doll like features set with ruby red lips and eyes as black as the abyss. "Keep telling yourself that."

"I will leave you two ladies to talk." Xavier quickly removed himself from the room, closing the door as if in a hurry.

"Xavier?" she called after him but it was too late. Slowly she turned to the woman, a frown starting to form. "Do...I know you?"

The doll like woman smirked, What is the matter, child? Cannot tell who I am not that I am no longer one with you?"

Her brows shot down. "Silma. Why are you in a body." Hissing she slid a step back away from the woman.

"Oh don't you worry, child. This body was stolen from no poor soul. I am but a homunculus created for Lord Chaos' whim." Her long, pale hands clasped together as she started to walk across the room and eventually swept down to sit on the edge of the bed. "You want to know why you cannot use your born abilities. That is why you are here is it not?"

She ignored, for the moment, that Chaos gave Silma her own body. Instead she focused on the reason she was there. "Yes. I want answers."

A soft sound hummed from Silma's ruby lips as she watched the young girl before her. "Don't worry. The effects I had on you will wear off in time and your abilities will return to you. Another month or two and you will be right as rain. All I did was block off certain points of your energy and your ability to control what you are. You using your Reevi was becoming a nusense to me and drained you quite a bit. So when I was in control I had less time to have fun. Can't control a weak body for long." The smile that stretched across her face was that of the Cheshire cat, "But it was so fun and I wanted it for my own."

"How..how were you getting control of me?" She had some sort of idea. Had for a while now...but still it was just speculation.

"Your emotions was ultimately your undoing when it came to that control." Silma examined her long, crimson painted nails as she spoke. "You have a strong will and if it wasn't for that then I would of likely taken control of you for good a long time ago. But your loved ones and friends made it increasingly hard. Even more so when those two stupid men came into your life."

She growled at Silma when she heard that. Edward and Clayton...
 
"Yes that right there." She pointed a finger at Katt. "You can be so very fierce in your emotions. When you love, you love deeply. When you are in despair, it runs deep to your core. It was in your despair or blind rage that I found it easiest to take over." She raised a hand to stop Katt from asking any questions, "However most oft when you were in, what I will refer to as your berserk mode, I had very little control. It is hard to control such-" Silme stopped, attempting to find the singular word that would explain it all but came up short. "Chaos."

"Are you the reason I was blacking out?" she questioned quickly.

"Yes. In the beginning it was less easier to control you when you so it had to be done when you were in an emotional turmoil. As time progressed I was finding it easier with attempts. Playing with your dreams, while fun, also aided in the progress. If those two men had not become involved I daresay I would have your body all to myself by this time." She sighed and looked Katt over. Slowly she stood up and approached her, a hand raising to brush her cheek. "Such a pity too. I quite like your body."

Katt raised a hand to smack away the woman's hand, her words way too creepy. "Why me?"

Silma's hand dipped away but reached out to grab Katt's wrist, the taller leaning in close. Her arms slowly slipped around Katt to draw her close with one hand pinning the captured arm behind her and the other just at the curve of her hip. Silma sighed out the wistful breath, "Why you? I had been with you for years and have seen you grow. I've seen you struggle so beautifully. I wanted your soul to drift in oblivion knowing that your loved ones would die by your own hands. Can't you just imagine it? Your hands covered with the blood of your so called brother? Or maybe that boyfriend of yours?"

Still through most of it Katt just stood there but the moment she brought up Clayton and Edward she started to laugh. "Both wouldn't hesitate to kill this body if they knew I was gone for good. Hell! Edward almost did once!" And likely would of if Renna hadn't saved her.

Silma leaned back and looked at Katt's face. "So you are saying they would of killed you without thinking their may be a way to bring you back? Which one of us is foolish?"

Katt's eyes drifted down. If it came down to that? A chance they could get her back...She knew if it was one of them she wouldn't be able to do it. The idea of something happening to Edward...wasn't something she wanted to think about. Clayton...It seemed like nothing could kill him so she didn't have to worry about that as much right? Well okay she still worried but not nearly as much. Specially with Edward being so wreckless. Then again wasn't she a little wreckless? Siblings for sure...

"You do not seem so sure anymore." Silma mused as she stepped away. "So unsure." She tisked as she stepped back.

"Shut up."

"Well do you have any more questions?"


Silma sounded way too amused for her liking. "My abilities..they will return?"

"Yes. There are also a few in you that have yet to flourish but there is time to grow. Time to grow into that beautiful little death flower that Chaos wishes so much for you to bloom into."

She didn't care about that. "The blackouts will stop?"

"That I cannot say. Maybe but at the same time I can't say they will. However now you will have to face the fact that you are have a dark side and not all of it can be blamed on me. After all some of my actions were guided by you." Silma smirked. "There is still darkness in you. Darkness that I do not play a part of. Just like me that beast wanted to be free. That beast is apart of you." The last part was cooed as she headed to the door. "If there aren't anymore questions then I shall take my leave. I have duties to attend to."

She had plenty of questions but none of them she could give voice to. Sighing she shook her head, feeling as if the trip had been some sort of waste. "You know if it was up to me I'd bring you to my brother and let him do whatever he wanted to do you. Or Mesteno because he wouldn't mind a piece of you. Clayton I am sure too.."

Silma only laughed as she slipped out of the door, leaving Katt alone in the vast empty room.

She'd have to wait for Xavier's return but for now she could do that. She had time to think.

A beast inside of her. Darkness that wasn't Silma. Did that mean her darkness was still there? Was Silma that cold feeling she felt every time she blacked out?

So many questions...but it looked like that would be a question for the future to answer. What scared her most? Losing her brother...her boyfriend...her friends..because of it. Even still..she was less one soul in her body so that was good. And in the past Clayton wanted to help her with her darkness. Maybe he was right all along about the beast.

It wasn't that she didn't believe him it was more lie she had thought their situations were different.

Apparently she was wrong.

"There is that brooding face again."

"And there you are showing up out of the blue again." She turned to face him and found that he not only got the flower bloom she requested but had a vase with of cherry blossom branches decorating it. A half dozen snow lilies were decorated with the branches of pale and bright pink blossoms.

He saw she had noticed and grinned while holding the vase out. "I made sure to pull the bulb and roots up so you can replant them if you want."

Nodding she took the vase carefully from him, not moving away as he moved forward to take her arm. "Time to go home. Chaos doesn't wish to speak with you right now. I am sure it has something to do with the fact he gave that woman a body." He grinned down to her while the world shifted around them.

Time to go, indeed.

It was in that moment she came to realize something...

Home was a concept that was different to her. It wasn't where you were born. Not to her. It was the place you felt you belonged.

She had truly found home without realizing it.

"Yeah...I want to go home."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on September 09, 2014, 04:01:11 PM
.: Chapter Seventeen: Distance Between Worlds :.
[size=9]Sept 9th - Afternoon[/size]


"How are you guys doing out there?"

"Get yer feet off m'desk!"

She snickered and shifted her feet from their folded position on the edge of the vast desk. Sweeping a hand across the wood surface she turned her eyes to the holo-screen where her brother's exhausted looking face was scowling her from. She smiled if only because it was good to see him. "When are you going to be home? I miss you guys."

"Dat's a good question. We still gotta lotta ground to cover. We missin' ya too, s?ur."


"I'm sure you are." She chuckled and settled her elbows on the top of the desk with her cheeks planted in her palms. "I still don't like that you took him with you instead of me."

"Ya know why..."


She sighed quietly, "I know. It still sucks, though. You look like you haven't slept much. If you come home looking like that I am going to wreck your lab as punishment."

He chuckled at her threat, "Love ya too, sis. I am gunna step back so ya man can have a few words. See ya next broadcast."

She made smoochy faces at her brother and smiled, a smile that grew when she saw the next face fill the screen. "Hey you!"

"Hey love. How you holding up?"


She had missed that purring voice. "Lonely as hell but it isn't like in the past lonely. Just missing the two guys in my life!"

A purring chuckle was given, "I miss you, too. How *bzt* boys?"

"Ah! You are breaking up." She whined and shifted around in the large armchair as if that would do something to help the screen that was starting to warp from interference.

"Looks like *bzt* up. bzt* bzt* you."


"You keep my brother safe, Clayton. I mean it!"

"*bzt* -se"


She sighed as the screen dead-lined and she slowly leaned back in her seat. They were alive and that was what mattered. She hated that they were so far away. Where ever that was. She disliked the fact that her brother didn't tell her their location or where they were headed.

It sucked...

But...

...She'd wait for them.

Her family...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on September 19, 2014, 06:26:55 PM
[size=9]Sept 19th - Dinner time[/size]

The office was dimmed and the only real lighting was the flickering of candle light. Sitting cross-legged on the floor she chuckled as she watched the holo-screen. It was the only way she could have dinner with either her brother or her boyfriend but it was nice. Even if transmission broke up every now and again.

"So you really threw your name in there."


"Yeah. I think the polls opened up today." she shrugged as she poked around the noodles in her plate.

"You seem excited."


"...I don't know, Clayton. After getting shot at an-"

"What?"


"I'm fine!" Crap! She needed to choose her words carefully or she'd find him at the door the next morning, huffing, puffing, and completely exhausted.

"What happened?"

"I am not even sure. Some dude sniping at me from across the street. Aimed at people I was associated with by surroundings."

"You mean people in the inn."


"Yeah... Apparently they were either doing it to help me 'save' people or they were trying to get me to step down from the running."

"That is-"


"Ridiculous? I know. It is also hard for me to believe that anyone would feel threatened by me being in office." Her eyes turned up to the screen when she heard chuckling. "What?"

"We both know why people would feel threatened. You would make changes and see them through if you had your way."

"I'm not looking to have my way, Clayton." she scowled at him. "I will be honest though. I will be surprised if I win."

"Why is that?"


She shrugged, not willing to answer that question. Maybe it was because if she spoke it out loud it would sound foolish. "There are other good candidates. Some...make me want to facepalm but there are still good ones..."

Even through the hologram he could tell she was starting to deflate and quickly changed the subject, "Halloween is coming up."

That seemed to do the trick. "Yeah. I'm not sure if I am going to do Fright Night again."

"Why not? I thought you enjoyed doing it."


"I do! And I like seeing other people having fun." Tucking her legs under herself she looked up to the holo-screen. "I was hoping by that time you guys would realize how much you absolutely miss me and let me come join you." Okay so that was a lie but hey! It could work out in her favor...right?

"Not going to happen." he informed her with a purring chuckle.

Damn...

"Oh. Looks like Rene needs me. Probably wants to talk about the new deserves for the grille." Dropping her fork she turned her attention to the face she oh so adored. "Listen. I'm not trying to run for governor because I want power. To me it is nothing more than a title. There is no real power behind it. But I could do something with it still. I could hopefully get people to work together and see things flourish in a way that......I don't know. I don't want power. I want to help people. That is all." Standing she brushed herself off.

"I know, Katt. But like you said last time, you don't need to be governor to make a difference."


She smiled to Clayton and gave a firm nod. "Exactly! Even if people don't know what I do for them doesn't mean I am going to stop either."

He rumbled out a chuckle at her, "Good. Talk to you in the morning."

"Alright. You and Edward keep safe. Please. I don't know what I would do without either one of you." She made smoochy faces at the screen until it faded out. Sighing she scratched at her bangs.

Why did she feel...nervous?

That was weird...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 12, 2014, 04:28:01 AM
[size=9]Nov 12th - Hours after midnight[/size]

"I should sign off now. The battery is getting low."

"Oh.."

"What is wrong, Kathryn? You have been very quiet tonight."


"I.." she sighed. He knew her too well. "It's nothing..."

"Kathryn."


She knew that tone. He wasn't going to put up with not hearing what weighed her down so. Planting her chin on her pillow she clung it close. "I miss you. I miss Edward. And I suck at being his replacement."

There was a rumbling chuckle that came from the holo-screen. "We miss you too. I miss you."

"Will you be home for Christmas?" Asking for her birthday seemed like she was asking for a bit much. "I want us to give a gift to Rhi and Gory's new children. You know? Together?"

"I don't know when we will be back."


"But you are coming back, right?"

"You know the answer to that."


She did...

No matter what they would come back to her. She just...hated the wait...

"You need to get out more like what we talked about earlier. No more hiding in your work."

"I'm not hiding. There is just a lot to -"

"Excuses."


She grumbled and hid her face in the pillow.

"We will talk more later. Get some rest."


"Sleep sweet, Clayton."

"You too."


Sighing she rolled over in her bed and clung to the massive neck of the Moor cat who was fast asleep next to her. He rumbled at her and tucked his neck against her shoulder while she snuggled in. He wasn't Clayton but he was comfort.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on December 15, 2014, 04:44:12 PM
[size=9]Dec 15th - Early Morning[/size]

"So how was the ball?"


"I didn't go?"

"Why not?"


She shrugged at the holo-image of Clayton as she toyed with some paperwork. "I was busy getting some stuff ready for a Christmas dinner for Ebon's orphanage. It is suppose to be a surprise."

"Would of been nice if you would of been out.  You didn't stay in yesterday too did you?"

"Yeah."

"You did nothing for your birthday?"


"....I worked?"

"Kathryn."


She blinked slowly and raised her eyes up to the image again. "Mrm?" All she saw was him giving her that look. Like she should know better. Sighing she raised her hands to clasp them under her chin. "What else was I suppose to do?"

"Go out and be among your friends?" he chuckled at her and when she stuck her tongue out at him the chuckling grew louder.

"Most of them are busy and I didn't want to bother anyone just because I am lonely. I'd just end up feeling selfish."

"It is okay to be selfish sometimes, remember?"


She chuckled quietly. "Yeah..I know. I miss you. I think that is tons selfish." Specially if they were doing what she figured they were doing.

"I miss you, too."

Stretching her arms across the desk she sighed up at him. "I had thought about going out for my birthday but.... I don't know. I guess I didn't want to bother anyone."

He chuckled at her again.

The purring sound that came from him caused a small smile. "I don't know." she mumbled and closed her eyes. "Come home soon..."

"I *bbzzttt* ch*bbbbztt*


She sat up when the screen went blank. "Diana what just happened?"

"I don't know, Ms. Batten. Weather interference most likely."

Lips pursed she leaned back in the seat. "Alright..."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on January 04, 2015, 05:37:56 AM
.: Chapter Eighteen: A New Year :.
[size=9]Jan. 4th[/size]


Christmas came and went, much like her birthday had.

Quietly...

Yes, she had gone out and enjoyed the snow, lights, the gatherings. Enjoyed the festivities and the celebrating. Well somewhat...There was still a Christmas tree in her place that had presents under it that needed to be given out. Dorian, sweet as he is, attempted to get her to join in his family's gathering for Christmas but joining them didn't feel right.

Instead Christmas Eve, while celebrating was going on, she stayed inside and kept up with what work she could for her brother as well as go through things with a few of the hands on staff that agreed to help her in the whole protecting of the Governor. Chief of Security and all. She had to do her job!

What time she hadn't been working she had spent in the training facility to keep herself fit as well as try to control the beast within.

Christmas Day was filled out by delivering dinners to the orphanages she went to every year, including the one Ebon had under his care. A bag of presents, food for little bellies, and snow.

It wasn't a bad Christmas...

She didn't like the quiet though. She didn't like the static that came from the holo-viewer. Diana said there was no feedback. No connection. Nothing.

No...

It wasn't just the quiet she didn't like...

It was the not knowing she didn't like. It festered and drove her nuts. Not knowing along with the strange sense of feeling that she had been here before. Like she was lost and she could do absolutely nothing about it but sit on her hands.

...And her mind just running away with her. Scenarios, good and bad, went through her head. It wasn't a good thing and work kept her from doing it too much.

That was probably why Rene had kicked her out of his kitchen. She was going off in her head and accidentally messed up some dish that he was trying to teach her to make. Instead she sent a ten foot blazing inferno from his stove! So of course he had kicked her out. Or maybe it was because it was almost two in the morning and he was ready to go home and get some sleep...

Grumbling she slowly trekked through the rain-slushed snow, avoiding puddles since her fur-lined boots were already soaked. She could hear the moor cat not that far off, keeping step with her as she went. The large feline knew there was something wrong with her and had been keeping darn close as of late. It didn't bother her, much...

"It is okay, Felix. You can come over..." Her hand stretched to her side, fingers flexed wide so to make room. Sure enough the large cat quickly sliced through the space between them to shove his massive head under her fingers. A small smile twitched her lips as she brushed through the darker than night fur.

"I'm alright. Stop looking at me like that." she tried to comfort the large feline as they walked. She could just feel it's bright blue eyes watching her every movement. It wasn't a 100% truth but it wasn't like she was going to keel over right under the massive beast's gaze.

Looking down to the feline she smiled a bit more. "So I was thinking..maybe I should cut my hair. What do you think?" She had noted a few days before that her hair had passed her waist. Shorter hair always made her look older. Less childish meant people took her more serious. Sometimes.

When the moor cat didn't answer she sighed and combed her fingers through her bangs. "Yeah I guess I'll think on it some more. So..I guess we can go home and check on...oh.." Right. Julian was gone too. The tux cat had fled out of the window one night and not returned. Probably found himself another home or was just tom-cating around. She could only hope the handsome kitty was doing well.

Tilting her head the sky she watched some of the snow fall. Light flurries that danced in the night air, giving a most serene image to mind. Slowly her smile began to curl a bit more, the corner of her lips ticking upward. Her enjoyment of snow hadn't changed. She still found a strange sense of peace in watching it flutter and fall. Slowly her fingers scratched through the fur as she and the moor cat continued on home.

Maybe she'd find some sleep and in the morning...or afternoon...whenever she woke...she could get off her rear and start delivering the gifts to their new homes.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on January 12, 2015, 12:06:20 AM
.: Chapter Eighteen: The Cat Came Back :.
[size=8]Jan. 6th[/size]


She had watched as Maggy, Rhi, Gory, and their two new borns left the inn. She felt bad for the way she acted when it came to the idea of them being close. It wasn't the children but rather her own fear of mayhaps hurting them in some way unintentionally. They did look adorable from afar and she was still honored to be their godmother. Even though she didn't quite understand what that entitled.

After they left she curled up in the pillows of the inn and toyed with her pcui while thinking over how she was going to get over the panic so she could at least get close enough to greet the small ones to the world.

The pcui was lowered and exchanged for the envelope that had been given to her before hand by Andu. Curiosity and all. It also kept her mind on how that meeting of her god children sucked! Hmm. To open or not to open. That was the question.

The call erupted out of the cold night outside, a scream as blood-chilling as the winter night itself...the distinctive voice of the mountain lion. Mere moments later, the door opened to admit the tall, broad frame of the big cat in human form, clad in a familiar getup consisting of nothing more than worn-looking jeans and a grey hooded sweatshirt. Green-gold eyes swept the Inn slowly, finally settling on the hearth, and a smile found his features.

By the way she was messing with the envelope she hadn't heard the sound or mayhaps even dismissed it but for just reasons. No she was just playing at the corners with her nails trying to figure if she wanted to wait or not.

Seeing he hadn't been noticed - save by a select few, whom he nodded to silently - a smirk of feline mischief tugged at Clayton's features. Bare feet crept silently across the room, headed hearthward.

"Mrph." The sound left Katt and she flopped the envelope down on the pcui. Both items were tucked into the front pocket of her lined hoodie and she finished off the scotch.

It seemed everyone was vacating the premises. Clayton's smirk broadened as he noted that, wondering if they sensed some kind of impending explosion. He wasn't sure himself, but he certainly wasn't going to fear such a thing. In perfect silence he crept up behind Katt at the hearth, pausing just in back of her, leaning over to speak in his low, purring voice. "Good evening, Kathryn."

Katt felt the presence looming as she saw the shadow. A mark of annoyance slowly tugged her emotionless mask...Until she heard that voice. The look disappeared within a second and she turned her head to the voice. Her lips slowly parted and for a brief second she looked past the feline in man's flesh before turning her sharp greens back to him. The bottle and glass were both forgotten as she sprung out of her position like she was built on springs. If ever there was a moment she lived up to her namesake, that would be it. She quite literally pounced at Clayton. There was no words because for right now all she wanted was to make sure he was ..actually there.

Catching Clayton off-guard was hardly an easy thing to pull off, but Katt made it look just that - easy. She wouldn't have any troube believing he was solid reality as she bowled him over and landed atop him, his arms wrapping around her on instinct so she wouldn't go tumbling away, a deep, purring laugh rumbling out of his throat. "I missed you too, love."

It was really him! Katt's head shook a handful of times, tossing the obsidian hair that had grown way too long by now. Still no words but she buried her face into the crook of Clayton's neck, hiding her face from view and for good reason. Inhaling deep of his scent she whimpered quietly. "(vs) I am so, so glad to see you." Even if it was just to see he was okay. Fingertips pressed firmly against the man she was clinging to. He was just gunna have to deal with the nails biting at him. At least it wasn't her claws?

Even as she inhaled his scent, Clayton took the moment to push his face into her long black tresses, inhaling deeply to sample hers - such a faint thing, yet unmitkable to his senses. He made no move to get up, disregarding the multiple sets of eyes on them as he held her close, tightening his arms around her as he purred into her ear. (vs)"As I am to see you, my dear Kathryn."

If Clayton and her brother were trying to put her through some sort of trial they did a bang up job of it. She had to eventually come up for air but it wasn't something she was happy about doing. Lifting her head Katt peppered Clayton's face with a few kisses but stopped. Slowly her eyes turned up to the door before returning to the man under her. "Are you okay? Is my brother okay? What happened?" He had to expect there would be a ton of questions. Nevermind that her cheeks were tear soaked.

Of course he knew there would be questions! Seeing the direction of her gaze, Clayton let out a softly purring chuckle, taking the opportunity as she craned her head upwards to nuzzle her neck, taking another deep breath of her scent. "Edward sent me back ahead of him...I gather he still had a thing or two to work out. He wouldn't let me in on the details...I get the feeling he wants to talk to you himself about what's been going on."

Katt's chin dipped to rest on top of Clayton's head but boy did it jerk up quickly. Her head positioned as she leaned back and she stared at him. "You ...left him out there? Alone? Or you mean he is in the city.." Yes, Clayton. It was one of those looks. Answer wisely!

Clayton smirked back up at her, arching an eyebrow, seemingly unfazed by that look. "Your brother is hardly a defenseless cub, Kathryn." With a smile he shook his head. "He is not home yet, but in New Orleans, where I believe he is likely safer even than being here."

She growled at him. "I know he isn't but that doesn't mean I want him to be alone! What if something happens! You were suppose to watch his back!" She knew the place he spoke of if only from stories her brother told her. She was still not happy that Clayton left her brother alone but..she was happy he was there. "If something happens to him I am taking it out on your hide." How? Well..there were ways. Some good. Some bad. Who knows! Squirming her way down she sat on Clayton's lap so he could sit. Probably not the best place to be laying flat. With this position she could look him over. She knew he could heal so she didn't know why she was looking him over for wounds or tell tale signs.

He blinked up at her a moment, forgetting for a moment she could do that...and yet he couldn't help a smile anyway. She could have been armed to the teeth and ready to skin him alive, but he was just glad to see her again. "Hardly alone, love. He does have holdings for his company there, as well as plenty of security to watch his back." He let her look him over, knowing she was searching for wounds, knowing she would find none. Once she was satisfied he sat up, keeping her in his lap, unwilling to let her go just yet. "I woud not abandon my responsibilities so lightly."

Now that answer seemed to satisfy her. While his security wasn't Clayton, the guys were no push overs themselves. And they each knew that if something happened to Ed...she'd totally have their hides. She was good at hiding bodies. Slowly her shoulders relaxed and her hands slumped into her lap, leaving her weight completely to the embrace she had missed so greatly. "I can't believe you are back. When we lost communication I was so.." Insert a word here because the list was long. She wouldn't ask where they were or what it was that Edward needed to speak to her about. Knowing they were both safe was a huge weight that had been on her shoulders for a long, long time.

He nodded, gathering her into his arms to hold her up against him, feeling her relax against him with a smile. "I think that was the reason Edward sent me ahead...we knew you would be worried. And I was not about to let a simple message be delivered when I could deliver it in person."

"I've probably got grey hairs because of you two." As if her hair wasn't already white under the black dye. Tucking her chin down she pressed into him. Even if there was still any patron's left she would of done it. World be damned right now. "It...has been hard without you two here." She wasn't going to lie but then again it was probably already common knowledge. Lifting a hand she heeled it against her eyes to wipe away some tears. Seeing him again made the emotions spill no matter how hard she tried to contain it.

He couldn't help a softly purring chuckle as she said the bit about her hair, leaning his head down to place a soft kiss on the top of her head as he held her close, then nodded to the latter part, sighing with soft regret. "I know, my love...and I am sorry. I wish I could have been here." His hands came up, fingers tracing along the paths of her tears to remove the last lingering remnants.

Her lips pursed a bit before relaxed. "Maybe I...I was too reliant on you and Edward? Maybe I had to go through this? I don't know." She didn't like that thought. She liked the fact that she had people she could lean on. Someone she could trust. Her family. "Do you have to leave again?" The question quietly left her as she looked up to him. For a moment her heavy, unnatural stare was doe-like.

He didn't see it that way, but then, his perspective on things tended to be vastly different from most. "I could not say, my dear Kathryn...but I think you have probably exceeded at least your own expectations over the last months. Personally, I had no doubt that you would do well." He grinned at her. "But then, it could be said that I am biased." Her question was met with slow smile, a shake of his head as his eyes settled on hers. "No, my love...you are, once again, stuck with me."

She snorted. "I became my brother. I think people were starting to worry I wouldn't come out. I did though. Oh! Rhi had her babies! I am a godmother now." Lets see what else was there. "Ebon made me his chief of security. I am more of a back up plan if he actually needs it." She might of continued on but her eyes met his. His words, however, caused her head to shake. "I was always stuck with you." She reached up to place a single finger against the stone that she never took off. Well okay ..she did but only to bathe!

He had missed much, it seemed, and wished he had not missed a single moment. Something would have to be done about that in the future, he thought. The smile on his lips softened as his eyes dropped to focus on the heartstone that he had gven her, a literal piece of himself. His own fingers came up to rest against it, brushing over hers as they did, his eyes coming back up to hers. "And glad to be so honored, my sweet Kathryn."

He would find her eyes had been distracted down to his own hand, her fingers flexed out and curling slowly to try and lace with his own. She had almost forgot how warm he was. His scent had long since been pulled away by time. There had been nothing that reminded her of him for months. Nothing but memories. "Welcome home, Clayton." The words were mumbled quietly as she looked back up to him but she knew even if she had whispered he would of heard.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on February 09, 2015, 01:39:18 PM
.: Chapter Nineteen: Two years and counting... :.
[size=9]Feb. 9th[/size]


It was a little over a month and she found herself still waking in the morning surprised to see him there either asleep at her side or roaming around nearby with Felix in tow. There was no complaining on her end. It was just after him being gone for so long it still, to her, felt like a dream. Like she was going to wake up one morning and realize that it had been her mind playing out a scene of longing.

But it was no dream and he reminded her of that in various ways every day.

This particular morning she found herself watching him slumber next to her with no clue to why she wasn't still asleep herself. Though the million and one things on her mind could very well be the reason.

A few days after his return had been their two year anniversary. Not that she brought it up but it was the mere fact he was still there that mattered.  And now, a few days away, was going to be their second Valentines day together. She really didn't remember celebrating it before him so she was at a loss at what to do for the day that was for couples to celebrate each other and their love.

Leaning over a kiss was placed against his temple and she stilled while he stirred. It was only when he seemed to fall back asleep did she shift away, the thick comforter brushed aside so that she could move out of the bed. Once the blanket was folded back into place she turned to head out of the room but before she could get too far it seemed Felix had a different idea. The large Moor Cat decided to pounce right in front of her half-awake self and the result was her bowling right into the large cat. A tumble and crash later she found herself laying on the ground and the moor cat nuzzling on her looking for pets. The rumbling purr was second only to the cat-in-manflesh that was now awake after the racket.

Moments later she found herself being demanded of not one but two great cats. Laughing she placed her palms against the mountain cat's forehead as he nuzzled and nudged at her. "Clayton stop! Too early!" That only seemed to encourage him more and soon enough the room was filled with laughter and loud rumbling purrs.

Are you happy?

Lucien's question suddenly popped in her head. Her answer to him had been cautious at best. She was nervous to say she was fully happy. Like it would be tempting fate to take it all away from her. Hell she had thought fate HAD taken it all from her when the two most important men in her life had left.

Was she happy?

Yes.

And fate be damned. She wasn't going to let go without a fight!
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on February 18, 2015, 04:43:31 PM
[size=9]Feb. 13th[/size]

She had done some planning and it was all for the simplest of things. To reconnect to the cat in man-flesh. Not that much was lost between them in the time that he was gone, mind you, but with him being gone just short of a year the two she wanted him all to herself. No work. No friends. Just them two. And what better day to do that than the day meant for lovers?

Arriving at Mount Yasuo she found herself riddled with emotions that left her bewildered. Emotions that had no source. As if there were something there that she was forgetting. Emotions that she quickly dismissed as uneasiness and quickly set about her task.

First stop was a couple she had spoken to earlier in the month, shortly after Clayton's return. She had actually contacted the folks at first as a retreat for herself. To recollect herself after all of the work she had been doing. Now she had more intimate reasons.

Guided by the pair she listened to the elderly woman's words as she went on about the history of the area, gesturing here and there. It was the little house that they were coming to that held her interest really. Secluded and among the trees... a little bathhouse with an attached spring to it. It had all the comforts they needed and a bit more.

"Now you sure you want to be out here all alone young miss?"

Her eyes tilted over to scan the trees. Winter had left this place and there wasn't a spot of snow.  She was both disappointed and glad. "I won't be alone as originally planned." she mumbled over to the elderly woman.

"Oh?"

Her eyes returned to the elderly pair and a small smile ticked the corner of her lips. "I'll be bringing my boyfriend along."

"Now you two don't need to be breaking things or getting familiar." the old woman scolded at her while moving ahead to gather some of the wood for the firepit.

The old man remained next to her chortling in his amusement, "Don't mind her dear. She is stuck in the old ways. You and your fella get frisky all you want."

If the woman's comment hadn't made her flush then the old man's had. Clearing her throat she shook her head, "We are just coming to relax."

"What happens, happens." he added.

Now she was worried about having a peeping tom during their vacation!

The couple showed off a few more perks of the place and information was passed between them. Meals would be brought three times a day and left out on the table just inside the sliding door of the sitting room. This would be perfect. Plenty of wildlife for Clayton to hunt if he wanted. Calm and Serenity. She wasn't all that good with quiet but she was pretty sure it wouldn't be that quiet while they were there...

Clayton was loud...

After parting ways with the elderly couple she took time to walk the meadows. Trees that would soon be blossoming into pink petaled flowers were lined prettily and the grass was growing plush with new life. A few more things were done in preparation for their second valentine together.

Two years. Still it amazed her. She wasn't sure why. He said he wasn't going anywhere and she had told him she believed him.

Maybe some part of her still worried...

Shaking her head she made her way through the portal. Time to go home and get things ready! Including the cat in man-flesh...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on February 23, 2015, 05:02:52 AM
.: Chapter Twenty: The things people don't know :.
[size=9]Feb. 23th[/size]


"Are you sure you want to do this." Kyle asked as he leaned over Katt's right shoulder.

"Yesssss." was his answer and most likely a bit too devilish. She didn't care! "A little more to the left.  Nhhhh! Hurry up Kyle!" Katt groaned and squirmed a bit.

"Impatient aren't you?" Kyle grunted quietly as he worked.

"Well yeah. I want to be done before gets home!"

"You know he is going to be pissed when he finds out."

"That isn't stopping you, is it?" she laid on the sweet talk. Yes apparently Katt can do sweet talk. Go figure right?

"Hell no!"

"Right!"

"Here?"

"No! Your other right! Are you even in the same room!?" She whined and pushed at Kyle's shoulders. "Here! Let me put it in!"

"Do you even know how to put it in?"

"...."

"Exactly," Kyle snickered over to her, "Now let me finish. You get any louder and we are going to draw attention."

"Well if you would hurry up already." she snapped back.

"Just a bit more... ... ... ... And done!" Kyle's fingers slapped on the edge of the table and he looked down to his partner in crime.

"Wow." Katt actually giggled. "Grab the pcui and lets see how it goes."

Kyle bent over to retrieve the PCUI that had been left on the floor for the sake of room.

"Like... oh my god, B.E.C.K.Y! Look at his butt!" The AI, D.I.A.N.A was standing at the other side of the table like a preppy teen girl with her fingers curling around a strain of hair. The way her mouth moved would suggest chewing bubblegum.

Katt about died when Kyle sat up straight a bit too quick. Biting her bottom lip she glanced over to the man. "I think ...it worked."

"Oh man Ed is going to flip." Kyle laughed as he placed in a few more details.

"Like totally!" D.I.A.N.A chimed in causing both Katt and Kyle to break into laughter.

"So you have made sure that this little change won't mess with any of the network right?" Katt leaned into the table and eyed Kyle so he knew she wasn't playing games. She wouldn't have him screwing with her brother's network. Course she knew he wouldn't. They both knew he wouldn't.

"Yep. I set it just how you wanted it. For her personalty to change when he is around. It is temporary and you have the code to over write it when you are ready."

"You don't think he will hate me for this do you?"

"Naw! A little prank like this? It will be interesting to see how he reacts."

"Maybe we should give her the same accent as him."

"Nah we should leave it as is."

The two remained in the lab for a good two hours just tinkering with small, fun, details. D.I.A.N.A didn't seem to mind. The AI might of even been having just as much fun.

...Who knows!
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on March 05, 2015, 10:35:13 PM
.: Chapter Twenty: The truth behind it all :.
[size=9]March 3rd[/size]


The Playboy himself was seated upon a couch near the hearth, one hand wrapped around a glass of scotch, the other holding a clear glass tablet that was alive with various lines of data and graphic displays dancing and scrolling across it. It was the latter that held his attention for the moment.

"And so she said I could bring Michi along next time but otherwise, she hired me at least for Fashion Week." Addie explained as the pair wandered up the front walk. She held a steaming cup of cocoa in her hands, little wisps trailing into the misty air. "Maybe Michi too if I can ever get her down to the shop to have her try stuff on."

Looking around as he listened to Addie as she spoke of her being hired as a model. "Surprised that you have tried to talk me into getting all dressed up for that." Glancing to her with a flash of a grin, while tucking his hands into the pockets of his coat. "But I wouldn't look good in a suit."

"I dunno if she's looking for dudes, you know?" She copied his grin with her own imitation and steps up onto the porch to shake off a bit of moisture that had collected on her jacket along the way. "Oh shush, you'd be fine in one."

"Probably not." Following her up the steps onto the porch, before moving to open the door for her. "No I wouldn't. Suits and me don't get along."

She snorted, rolling her eyes as she stepped inside. "Whatever Kane. I know otherwise." Entering the inn, she only had to blink a few times to get her eyes to adjust to the slight change in light. It was empty save for the one on the couch. Addie squinted at him for a few long moments before heading further in toward the bar.

He chuckled at Addie snorting and rolling her eyes at him and followed her inside. "There's no proof to say otherwise." Shutting the door before looking around, noting the lone figure at the hearth before heading for the bar as well. "Rather quiet in here." Murmured.

"Umm, the Governor's winter ball? You wore a suit to that." She leaned up onto her tip toes to whisper something into Kane's ear before continuing on her way. "SHHHHHH, don't say that word!" The q-word got Kane a trio of swats to the arm.

Blue-grey eyes moved away from the flow of information scrolling across the surface of the tablet towards the pair entering, looking them over. Neither seemed familiar, but then, he had been away for a while. The hand holding the scotch was lifted in a kind of wave to them before he took a swallow and went back to perusing the data he'd been looking over.

"I don't remember that event." Of course he did as he tilted his head to the whisper, followed with a light chuckle and nod to those words. "What? Quiet?" Grinning dispite getting swatted with a wave back towards Edward.
S
apphires narrowed at her warden and she shook her head before climbing onto a bar stool and sipping from her cocoa. "Yes, stop saying it or the Inn is gonna blow up or something."

Something scrolling across the surface of the tablet drew a snicker from him. Setting the scotch down, he played his fingers across the glassy screen, a swift tapping and sliding to send a brief message.

Waggles of brows at her as he made his way behind the bar. "Let it blow up." Sideways glance to Addie as he headed for the cooler.

Her hand scooped up some peanuts from a nearby bowl and she threw them at Kane's head. "Don't say that. The Inn's fix itself, I'm not fixing you."

The Playboy chuckled as he picked up his glass again, taking a swallow and setting it and the tablet down as he stood and stretched lazily. "Ah'd really pr'fer it didn't jus' yet, if it's all de same t'you." Heading barward, he stopped at the counter, only to lean over it and snag a glass from behind it before heading back to the couch to resume his seat.

Pelted by the peanuts and paused to dust the ones that remained on his coat off. "Oh fine.." Upon hearing the two as he snagged a beer from the cooler, only to hop up to sit near Addie on the counter.

She squinted at Edward, twiddled her thumbs a little and quickly picked up her cocoa for a drink. Ow, hot liquid is hot. "Do you gotta put your butt on the counter?"

"Yes I do." Aside to Addie. "I could stretch out on the counter." Pausing for a sip. "Besides. Who's going to complain about me taking up such a small space?"

Edward was used to being squinted and/or stared at. It seemed to happen a lot, really. He pretended not to notice as he picked up his tablet again.

"Uh the people that put their food and drinks on the counter. I know you were taught better manners than that." She reached over to poke him in the hip.

"I know of having better manners." Swatting at her poking hand as he remained on the counter. "Plus I'm wearing pants. I could change that."
"Kane Darkwing, you better your damn pants on in public." Another narrowing of the eyes at him. Izumi was given a smile though, expression softening at least until she looked back at Kane.

The dragon hatch had its uses and not only for the dragon lot. It opened, it closed, seemingly with nothing happening between. Ah but up in the rafters shadows did slink and crawl along. While the hunt was fun Katt just couldn't shake the excitement of seeing the man on the couch. Adjusting her footing she positioned herself much like a cat ready to...well...pounce.

"I'll keep them on in public for now." Prize winning grin at Addie for a moment, before looking and nodding to Izumi upon spotting her.

The tablet had his attention for the moment. Reading a message displaying itself on the surface, he grinned, setting the empty glass to the side. The dragon hatch opening and closing pulled his attention upward for a moment, eyes searching the shadows of the rafters a brief moment before he turned his attention back to the tablet again.

"I'm not wholly sure where his ass has been, so don't count on that." She grinned at Izumi and leaned out of Kane's reach just in case.

Coiled muscles coiled suddenly released and Katt sprung down to land on the edge of the couch, without flipping it, and she plopped down next to her brother. Arms thrown out she ...well she wanted to smack him a few times but instead he got a hug.

Looking between Addie and Izumi for a moment, before smirking behind his beer. "You know where it has been as you stare at it every night." Poor Addie.

"I do not!" She squeaked and flung more peanuts at him.

"Yes you do!" Laughing even as he got pelted before looking towards Katt as she appeared.

Edward didn't seem surprise, didn't even jump a little when Katt landed next to him, and in fact he was going to hug her at the same time as she was. "Well, hey dere lil sis. 'Bout time ya showed up. What took ya so long?" He of course was grinning the whole while.

"Do too." More chuckling before taking another sip. "The jerk that you love." Countering.

"Someone with bad directions." Katt eyed Edward. A polite nod was offered to the trio at the bar, her chin settling on Ed's shoulder. Hug for a while, he was going to have to deal. "What took you so long?" See ..that question can go two ways!

"Uh huh." He's totally not buying Addie's words. "We could test that."

"You forgot giving birth on the counters." Aside to Izumi. He's heard the stories.

Sideways glance to Addie and slowly smiled at her. Nope. He wasn't planning on being bad. Not him!

Edward didn't seem to mind the hug. With a chuckle he shrugged. "Been hanging out in N'O'leans, workin' on a project de past coupla mont's." Totally vague-like. "Jus' got back an' tryin' t'play catch-up."

Kane'd drag Addie down with him. Now looking between Addie and Izumi. "Easy way to deal with those types." Shrug of a shoulder as he shifted to stretch out on the counter. One hand behind his head as a makeshift pillow.

Sharp greens slowly narrowed at Edward's face but Katt'd let him be vague. Slowly releasing him she sat back and folded her arms. "Playing catch-up? Like...?"

"Eliminating them." Kane was being honest as he propped himself to glance towards Izumi, then peered at Addie. "You still adore me."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on March 05, 2015, 10:39:54 PM
Edward grinned, feeling that look on him and disregarding it for the moment. He had his reasons for being vague. "Well, Ah've been gone fer almost a year, sis. Ah'm perty sure dere's t'ings Ah've missed in dat time, yanno."

"Yeah lots of stuff. Pretty sure all your groupies were happy to see you returned...Mmm..How long have you been back?" Katt's lips pursed a little as she tried to situate her questions in a sort of order. "I've been worried..."

Leaning over, Edward picked up his half-full glass of scotch from the nearby low table, where it sat with the bottle and the other glass, and took a swallow, sitting back. A tap to the edge of the tablet shut the screen off and he set it aside. S'far's Ah know, yer de only one dat knows...Ah jus' got back dis mornin'." He smiled at her, shaking his head. "Yer always worried, sis. Ah keep tellin' ya dat ya shouldn' do dat. Yer gonna end up wit' grey hairs." He reached out and flicked a long dark lock
of hers with his fingers.

"Yeah well sorry for not wanting to lose you. I mean you can tend to be very...reckless." Understatement much? Absentmindedly Katt reached up to comb down some of the dark hair that he had flicked. "It isn't greys that I am worried about..." Shaking her head she glanced at his glass, empty glass, then back to him. Hint...hint. "I am glad you are back."

Edward could take a hint. Another swallow went down and he leaned over to pick up the Dalmore and pour a couple fingers' worth into the glass, which he then handed over to Katt. "Ah'm reckless? Who was it dat jumped off de Tower roof after me when Ah was tryin' t'do a flight test wit'a new suit?" He grinned and poked her in the ribs. "Ah'm glad t'be back, sis. Ah missed ya while Ah was gone."

"That would be you." She accepted the glass with a smile. A glance was made to the door and a slow nod of greeting was given to the pair. Looking back to her brother she shook her head. "And lets not go into the other stuff that I ended up finding when you looked like you were inches from death." That alone was reason enough!

His glance went around to nod and wave to those incoming. Shylah he recognized, and the man with her, though he couldn't put a name to the face. With a chuckle he turned back to Katt. "Okay, Ah jumped, but Ah was perfectly safe. You, on de ot'er hand, jumped after me. Ah still don' know what ya t'ought ya were doin'." The last comment he let pass - as she said, they didn't need to go into all that.

"As long as you have the bloodjewel I can shadowwalk with you in tow." With a strain since he was in his suit but still. "I didn't jump without a plan." she shifted slightly and lowered her eyes to her glass. "I don't think you realize..how important you are..."

He frowned slightly at that. "Ah don' know 'bout dat, sis. After all, life went on wit'out me...an' Ah ain't gonna live forever, ya know." He said this last with a smile, shrugging. "All right, so we'll chalk dat one up t'bad timing. But it's good t'know dat in de future." Reaching up, he slid a finger under the collar of his shirt and pulled out the bloodjewel, wrapped in platinum and hanging from a fine chain of the same. "Good t'ing Ah keep it on me."

She made a little sound in her throat. She obviously disagreed with him on a few levels but for now she'd let it go. Seeing the jewel on him seemed to surprise her..just a little. Okay a lot actually. She figured he probably kept it tucked somewhere. A small smile ticked the corner of her lips as she stared at the jewel but slowly her sharp green eyes tilted up to look at Ed. "(s) Where did you go?"

He looked at her a long moment, quietly contemplating how to answer that. He'd said he wasn't going to hide anything from his sister anymore, and he was already keeping something quiet about himself...mostly because he wasn't sure what to make of it yet. They'd get to that conversation eventually. Finally he spoke, swirling the contents of his glass idly. "Well, dat's a long story in itself, an' a list b'sides. Clayton took me out t'where he managed t'track down where he t'inks Leo is, but dat
was a bust...Ah couldn' cross de boundaries o'de realm. Apparently de area ain't compatible wit' any kinda artificial objects."

"Artificial objects?" She tilted her head a bit as she sniffed at her glass. No it wasn't that she didn't trust her own brother she just scenting to guess which Dalmore he chose.

It was the Trinitas, his personal favorite. Of which he'd noticed was down to one bottle in his private stock. But, well, he had been gone a while, as previously noted. Her question got a gesture to himself by way of an answer. "Yep. My entire genetic structure's been artific'ly altered, 'member? Ah took one step inside de boundary an' Clayton had t'drag me back when Ah collapsed. Felt like somet'in' was tryin' t'vibrate me t'pieces."

She blinked and lowered her glass slowly. So she was right. They did go in search of Leo without her. She wasn't sure how she felt about that but for now she focused on the information he gave her. "Yeah I remember..." Non-happy there. Her brows furrowed, "That must of been around when we lost contact." She was guessing, mind you. "Are you okay now?"

He nodded, tipping his glass back to drain it. "Yeah, Ah was fine soon as yer man pulled me back. Evert'in' technological we had on us was trashed, t'ough. Clayton's cell phone act'ally exploded. An' my suit was completely nonfunctional...had t'make a new one." This was, of course, only a small part of the story. He regarded his sister thoughtfully a moment. "Clayton didn' tell ya any o'dis?"

She listened quietly. The talk of exploding tech made her lips purse...briefly. It was the question about Clayton telling her that had her eyes turning to the rafters. "I've been keeping him busy with other things. I think he was waiting for you to get back to tell me, too." Slowly her eyes lowered down to her brother and how the hell was she keeping such a straight face?

His eyes turned briefly to the door when the Amazonian figure came through it, and a smile spread over his features. He was about to wave to get her attention when what Katt said cut through his divided attention. That, and that look. "Y'know...Ah don' need any details. Somet'in' tells me it's a good t'ing de Haven don't have any close neighbors."

A raise of her chin was offered to Issy before she lifted her glass to sip the Dalmore but not before speaking into the glass, "Not my fault he's loud." ...Okay maybe she's partly to fault...

Oh, so she wanted to play that game? Okay, so be it! He snickered as he reached for the bottle of Dalmore to refill his own glass. "Is dat so? 'Cause de reports Ah got from de manager o'de apartment buildin' say he ain't de only one dat's loud."

"Yes well...He's louder." She blinked slowly and her chin rose. "Is there something else I should be told? I feel like something is missing."

He eyed his sister a moment longer, lifting his glass for a swallow as the blue-grey eyes focused on her. "Yer t'inkin' Ah finally got a hair up an' d'cided t'take off t'find Leo wit'out ya, huh? Ah r'member dat conversation." He shook his head, his eyes shifting as he did, catching Issy's stare. In typical Playboy style, he lifted his glass in salute to the Judge with a grin, as if he'd only seen her yesterday, rather than almost a year ago. Possibly more. He looked back at Katt and shook his head. "Nah, sis...it was my idea t'go out dere, sure 'nuff, but dat was just a side trip. We went t'Clayton's homeworld first."

She glanced over to Issy and gestured to a nearby chair if she wanted it but her attention seemed to shoot back to Edward. "I..You...wha?"

He nodded to Katt, lifting his glass for another swallow. "Yeah. An' b'fore ya get all mad at him fer not sayin' anyt'in' or askin' ya t'come, don't. Ya couldn't've gone dere, 'specially not where he had t'go. An' he told me dat he didn' tell ya b'cause he wouldn't've been able t'tell ya no." He chuckled softly. "Ah swear, Katt, dat boy's got it fer you bad."

There was a minor ping of guilt when he said that and she shifted on the couch a bit. "Why couldn't I?" It seemed a legit question...and he had the answer. She knew he did. Her lips thinned as she looked into her empty glass.

It was a legit question, sure enough, and he knew it would be asked. And he did know the answer, but was he comfortable explaining it? Not entirely, because it wasn't necessarily his to tell. But he also knew Clayton, and he knew the big cat would be even less comfortable about it. That made for an interesting conundrum. "Let's jus' say dey ain't fond of non-humans dere at best...an' yer...well, you. Dey hunt an'kill yer kind dere...dey're kinda rabid 'bout it."

"And he brought you along? After your," she gestured a finger at him from head to toe..the rest of her question kind of dying because she wasn't sure how to ask if he could still be considered human or not. The gesture ceased mid-action and she blinked slowly at her brother. There was a slow tension that started to grow in her arms. "The hunt Reevi?"

He shook his head. "Dey considered my condition as bein' cybernetic. Dey don't have a problem wit' dat." He lifted his scotch for a swallow before going on. "Not Reevi, specific'ly...if dey ev'n have 'em dere. But anyt'in' dey consider d'monic in gen'ral...such as yer unique di'tary requirements, fer instance."

"Oh. Those type of people." she was familiar with those types. Not the race but people, yes. Raising a hand she clasped her fingers around the stone that hung from around her neck. There was no expression to read but she was worried now. "Then why me?"

He shrugged at that. "Apparen'ly it's some kinda deep-seated cultural issue. From what li'l Ah could gat'er, dat world had a real problem wit' supernatural predators in de distant past...so much dat a portion of de population evolved to hunt 'em down an' destroy 'em." He watched Katt when he said this.

It was ironic or if anything poetic. Slowly her fingers released the jewel and she glanced over to her brother. As much as it pained her to ask, "If he has grown up learning to hate and kill my kind then why is he with me, Edward? Do you think he is just with me to learn of me? Observe me?"

The gaze he fixed on is sister was thoughtful as he spoke. "Y'know, Ah asked him dat. He didn' seem like he wanted t'talk about a lot of it wit' me. But he did tell me dat dis," and here he leaned towards her and tapped the softly glowing heartstone, "ain't no ord'nary stone. It's a piece of his heart, right?"

She tensed and her hand went up to guard the stone from her brother's touch but she stopped herself. Barely. Instead the hand went up to wave to Jewell. "Hey Jewell!" Her hand slowly lowered and she looked to her brother. "Yeah. It is. At least that is what I was told." She didn't know the full details of it.

He nodded and leaned back. The thing gave off a strange sort of heat, he noticed. "Yeah, well, Ah'm pretty sure dat's what it is. Ah saw a few while we were on his world. Anyway, he said a coupla interestin' t'ings 'bout it. One was dat de only way dat one can be made is if a Y?mni's heart is content and full of love. De ot'er is dat ya couldn' wear it if it wasn' meant jus' fer you. An' apparently, him givin' it t'you is a pretty big deal..." He trailed off there, uncertain whether he should tell her the rest.

Are you happy? Lucien's question played in her head. Offering out the empty glass she apparently needed more. "Content." She was apparently chewing over what he had filled in.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on March 05, 2015, 10:47:08 PM
He reached out for the bottle and refilled his sister's glass, nodding. "Ah had de same t'ought as you when Ah found all dis out...was a li'l worried about de man wit' my li'l sister. He could prob'ly explain all dat t'you better'n Ah can. But de point is, Ah b'lieve him an' how he feels 'bout you. Ah wouldn' have let him come back t'ya if Ah didn't."

It looked like she was going to have to talk to the great cat when she saw him next. Once she had more in her glass she leaned back slowly and started to take a sip. "Is there anything else I should know, Edward?" The movement had Katt's eyes turning up and she smiled to Issy. She tilted her head to her brother like..'look who I found!'.

Isuelt stood before the couch and bent slowly near Edward to land a hand on his shoulder. Her voice dipped in volume a bit, "I'm glad to see the rumors of your demise were greatly exaggerated, Mr. Batten."

He thought about that for a moment. There was only one other thing, but he didn't know what it meant yet. Fortunately, he was saved from answering for the moment by Issy's approach, and he looked up at her with a wide smile. "Why, hello dere, stranger. Ah hope ya didn' listen t'any o'dose rumors. Anyone dat knows me knows Ah ain't gonna die easy."

She watched the two of them. Yeah if Edward had been dead there would be hell to pay for sure. "Now he can take his shoes back. I'm tired of filling them."

Conceding a nod, "Indeed, I know that to be true, Mr. Batten." She smirked then, letting pretense fall into a chuckle. Especially after hearing Katt. Over her shoulder she grinned to the raven-haired beauty. "You did fine." Then she looked back to her brother and lowered her voice. "It's good to see you, Ed." She knew that she was interrupting the siblings, but she wouldn't be bothering them for long and hopefully Katt would forgive her butting in.

She had offered a seat with them earlier so no it didn't bother her none. In fact she leaned back to give the two some time, sipping her Dalmore while falling into some thoughts.

He grinned at his sister. "Ah heard no complaints, sis." With a chuckle he looked back at Issy. "S'good t'see ya too, chere. How ya been?"

Issy nodded to him as she let go of his shoulder and straightened up. "Good, actually." And she meant it. For the first time in a long time, she was balanced and tip-top. Even Katt had noticed that she looked like she was fully rested. "But we can talk about me later. I'll leave you to your sister."

"Nonsense Issy. If you wish to join us," now she figured Issy had missed the gesture earlier, "Feel free to pull up a seat. Pretty sure he'd like something to look at besides me."

He had to laugh at that, shaking his head. "Ah t'ink ya underestimate how important you are, lil sis." He grinned over at Issy. "Alt'ough dis is a nice view, Ah gotta say."

Issy bowed her head to acknowledge the compliment from her colleague, complete with a cockeyed smirk. "I'm afraid your viewing will have to wait for another night. I'm needed in the West End tonight." Grinning. And she was no fool, she tossed a bemused expression to Katt, "Don't rake him over the coals too badly, eh? The city needs him." A deep chuckle rolled around deep in her throat.

Edward got a sort of snort as Katt sipped on her Dalmore. "Do you need assistance, Issy?" She figured to ask or maybe she was just dancing around the comment of dragging her brother through the coals. Hmmmm...Thanks for the idea Issy.

"Should be okay. But if I do, I'll let you know without a hesitation, Katt." After a moment, looked back to her brother. "Welcome home, Ed." Issy offered as a final, quieted sentiment.

He chuckled and nodded to Issy. "T'anks, Iss...s'good t'be back." The thought of being dragged over coals - literally or metaphorically - didn't seem to faze him.

Her thumbs hooked onto her belt as Issy walked from the couch and then released hold of the weapons' rest as she offered waves to the friends gathered at the bar. Reaching back, she took hold of her hood and this time pulled it up and over her forehead before she pushed out into the evening.

Katt watched Issy for a bit before looking to her brother. She had seen Andu's expression and for a moment she looked amused.

He had the feeling he was going to get a lot of those looks. Andu got a wave and a grin before he looked back at his sister.

"Oh My! It not only looks like Ed, it waves and grins like him. Where did you find such a skilled animatronic, Katt?" Andu resumes his lumber around the bar toward his usual spot along the patron side.

"Don't look at me. I didn't start any rumors of you being dead. I told people you were off somewhere doing who knows what." She was right too! "I'm still waiting for an answer by the way.." She blinked over to Andu. "Anim-wha?"

"Fancy moving statue." Andu grins.

"No I assure you that it is the real deal. Back home, finally." She nudged her brother a bit while finishing off her Dalmore. Looks like she may have to restock before he found out how much had gone missing in his absence. A whole year gone? That is a ..lot of booze..
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on March 05, 2015, 10:52:43 PM
Difficult to tell what he smelled more of; damp, horse or mud. Whatever the case they were honest scents, not the chemical stink of commercial fragrances, and Mesteno wouldn't apologise if there were complaints. Sure as hell better than the camphor oil in the Temple District. Letting himself in through the front door, he smeared back a few clinging strands of water-darkened hair from a tawny cheek and went striding for the bar.

"I didn't even have to pry him out this time. He came out all on his own." Scary right? Sharp greens tilted to track Mesteno. She could smell him from way over there but then again she had a better nose than normal. Hmmm...To pester him or continue pestering her brother...

A kitty-Katt had come slinking out like a little ghost, how about that? Mesteno flashed the woman (he thought of her this way, rather than a girl since she'd so complained once upon a time) a fiendish little grin, and he thought nothing of curving his path past her in order to touch a wet palm to her shoulder. Perhaps it was affection. Perhaps he merely intended to earn some word of complaint. "Salvete," he greeted those present, his throat a little raw sounding.

Great! Now she was going to smell like wet Mesteno. Horse? Both... She blinked when his hand found her shoulder and her chin rose slowly. There were no complaints but she did give him a look that suggested something more. A smile ticked the corner of her lips in ways of greeting the man. "Bonjour, Mesteno. It is good to see you." And it seemed like her brother zoned off so she had no problems in shifting on the couch like she might very well stalk after Mesteno.

She actually had to think about that for a moment. "Well you are part of the reason, yes. I was hoping to see you." After a stretch and a poke to her brother who had gone silent, she went off to play Mesteno's smaller shadow. She needed something else to drink than that Dalmore too. Sharp greens dipped to the ground watching the trail that Mesteno left in his wake. "You stink." Oh wait that isn't how she was doing... "I'm doing good now that my brother is back in town."

Genuine surprise he could hide no better than half-effort lies, and he turned it on his slimline shadow as if he intended to determine whether she was being serious. Evidently he believed her, because he didn't scoff. No, he was too busy laughing at her remark, and doing nothing at all to deny it. "I smell like work. But don't worry, I won't rub it all over you." Beyond the bar he plucked down his bottle of Grand Marnier, and waited for her to direct him to her choice of booze, a lean hand
half-raised, ready to pluck it from the shelf. "What're you having? And why was your brother absent?" He knew who she meant, even if he couldn't recall ever having been introduced to the man.

He smelled like horse and they both knew how Katt disliked those beasts of burden. When he looked her way her gaze turned up to him. She wasn't joking in any way. She was hoping he would show face. It isn't like he ever answers his cellphone. When he laughed her lips twitched a hint of a smile and she craned her chin just a bit to the left. "If you are willing to share," she gestured to his usual, "As for his absence I don't really know the full story. Stuff...for over a year..." A year was a
long time, "That is mostly why I haven't been around a lot. Taking care of his business and doing my work for the Gov." Sharp greens tilted and she observed the patrons one by one, familiar and not.

He kept himself tucked in tight against the edge of the bar so that anyone else rummaging for rot-gut could slip past without stumbling over his feet. At Katt's request, he searched out a pair of tumblers, and poured them both a few fingers of the over-sweet liqueur. The bottle left within easy reach of both of them, he stayed put on the opposite side so they could talk face to face. "So you're neck deep in the serious **** now," he remarked rather than asked, "You let everything else go for
good?" Last they'd spoken, she'd been furious over the matter of a particular business he chose not to mention for fear of resurgence.

"Not no more. With him back it means he can fill his own shoes again." And she'd gladly give him the reins back. Her gaze followed the creature heading to the hearth before turning on the woman who the creature seemed to come with. Slowly her attention found Mesteno again and for a moment she just stared at him. She knew what he was getting at. "The Bon Bon was shut down months ago because I was tired of the bullcrap I had to deal with. I still do catering and personal requests but the whole
business has been placed to rest. Other things I have done in the past are still going if not a few extras tucked under belt." Taking a seat she folded her arms on the bar. "What about you?"

The necromancer kept himself well out of the way of the new woman, though for no reason other than space was short and most people weren't fond of sharing. Curling a palm around his tumbler, he took in Katt's news with a hum that suggested he wasn't surprised, but was perhaps disappointed it hadn't resolved itself in a more... satisfactory manner. "On the bright side, it's one less thing to get you all prickled. I am sorry though, that place was your baby." As for himself? He considered quietly,
then hitched a shrug. "Ain't much to tell. I help out with Ivanya's people, do some work in the Temple District, hang out here when I can and that's about it."

Her shoulders slowly rolled in a shrug. "There are enough bakeries that mine going under probably won't even be noticed. I will still be bringing pastries and such here so it isn't as if much will change." She still hadn't touched her drink but she was thinking. Yeah it had been her baby and moving it to Wonderplex had been a big mistake. Craning her chin she watched Shae a bit, her brows twitching before lowering more. Slowly she looked back to Mesteno, "What of Evander?" She noticed that
wasn't on his list of things. It was followed by, "You work? Like a normal job?"

One or more of her questions made him laugh, and his smile stretched broad, crooked despite the even lines of his teeth. "Oh Evander's the same as always. Avoidin' bein' social, busy with his own gigs. We get done an' head home and harass each other." There had been a spell where they'd both been off world, and the after effects had been long-lasting, still yet to be shaken off, but to Mesteno it didn't matter. A little hardship meant nothing. "And yes I have a job... just ain't a 9-5 or legal in most folks' opinions." But who was to say what was legal in this damn metropolis? "Don't worry though, s'nothing that would... cause trouble for your government business."

"I like that. My government business." She mused a bit and slowly nodded. Hearing this about Evander and Mesteno still being together made a rare little smile show. This was good news indeed to her. They were, after all, one of her favorite couples. "Afraid I'd have to whoop you again huh?" It was hard to tell by most, and surely that didn't know her, but she was teasing Mestneo. Finally the glass was taken up that had been poured for her.

To some it might come as a shock. He'd had ill luck with lovers over the years, and after Samiel he'd been ready to resign himself to good old, meaningless sex. Evander though... well he'd stuck around despite all the necromancer's faults (oh there were many.) "I think you're remembering it wrong," he drawled. "I seem to remember you an; me duelin' and you all red faced and blubbery at the end." Pause. "Snotty nose and everything."

There was a crack in her expression, lips twitching out a small smirk. "I was not blubbering or snotty nosed. You know under different circumstances I might just of challeneged you to another." She waggled a finger at him while watching the woman with the fox and the man. Neither she knew but that was fine... Slowly she shook her head. "The red faced was for totally different reasons and you know that." There was a mumble and likely the word 'ass' somewhere in there.

Mesteno lifted his glass for a greedy swallow, gold-shot eyes lively with mischief. Oh he remembered well enough. He also knew Katt had proven herself a very competent fighter, though he'd expected that before he'd ever agreed to a sparring match. Briefly, he followed her gaze to the strangers, but it was a transient shift of attention, and all too soon he was watching Katt again. "You ever get that other matter settled?" Her armour. He simply wouldn't say it aloud, and hoped she'd just
miraculously guess what he was prodding her over.

It was easy to get lost in watching others sometime. The heavy, unnatural stare moved from other patrons to find Mesteno again. Digging through her memories she had to figure out what he was vaguely asking of. "You are speaking of my condition?" Slowly her head shook, just enough to disturb the obsidian hair that fell well past her shoulders. "I wish I could say it was settled...It has been a pain to be sure."

"S'been a long time," he murmured thoughtfully, surprised to hear there'd been no resolution. "You just kinda resigned to it or still searching for a fix?" Mesteno understood the people watching. He fell into the same habits more often than not. A result of old faces vanishing and new ones filling the gaps. He'd never had much talent for making nice with new visitors.

"It is ...complicated." It was her go-to answer but really it was. "If anything is done wrong I can perminately be hurt or killed. I've already been found in a pool of my own blood twice in the past year. I haven't given up. I'm...too stubborn to give up." She mused a bit and sipped on her drink. "I have kept up on my other skills, however. Train daily and most likely have raised the bill on costs for my brother over the past year or so." She didn't look like she felt bad about it either.

He knew about her inherent healing abilities, had seen her recover from a collection of bullet wounds that should have put a swift end to a simple human, so the fact that her 'condition' could be life threatening despite it left his smiles absent and his expression all frown and scowl. "I'm sure your brother'll barely even notice the outgoings," he snorted. "You still with your guy? Clayton, wasn't it?"

She blinked slowly at Mesteno for that comment. "What do you mean he'll barely even notice the outgoings, Mesteno?" At the mention of Clayton her lips thinned and she craned her head just a bit, cat-like turn of attention. "He was with my brother but arrived earlier by a months time. I am not fully sure why they were off doing whatever it was. I am still with him but there are...questions..now.."

"I mean what's a little extra money to him," he clarified. So far as he'd heard, there was a certain wealth to Batten Industries, and if Katt had been increasing expenditures he doubted there would be an issue. Her reply about Clayton, but perhaps more the body language involved, had him watch her closely. "I hope it's something you can resolve... if it's meant to be," he murmured. If her heart wasn't in it, if the trust wasn't there, he wouldn't blame her for wanting out.

"Oh he's not worried about the money, Mesteno..and that wasn't his reason for leaving. Apparently Clayton had asked him to go on some sort of travel with him." Her hands settled on the bar. Fingers stretched and she drummed them lightly. Her voice dipped as she looked up to Mesteno, "I am just finding out that his race pretty much grow up hunting and killing mine..."

"So the pair of them up and left without telling you where, and ou're only now learning about the slightly significant race issue...." He arched a brow at her. No doubt he sympathised, but he expected there was a whole lot of damn annoyed Katt all boiled up in there, too. "Do they know who he's taken for a lover? They gonna come hunting the pair of you now?"

She was annoyed but it wasn't boiling annoyed. She wanted answers. Lots of answers. "Pretty much. I wouldn't of exactly been able to go and considering their side trip is was likely just as well." Her hands clasped around the glass, not realizing that she was clinging too hard. "I don't know, Mesteno. That is some of my questions, actually. I was concerned about him maybe using our relationship to observe and hunt me..."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on March 05, 2015, 10:56:05 PM
That suspicion he clearly hadn't expected. Both eyes widened a touch, and he gulped down what was left of the liqueur, pouring himself a second glass before he even contemplated offering a reponse. "I can understand why that would be your initial fear," he told her, edging away from the bar to make way for Amber. He slipped around to lean against the bar beside Katt instead. "But you 'n he have been all sorts of intimate, right? You've let yourself be vulnerable around him. There must have been
opportunities where he could have done it and he hasn't. So why still suspect him of it?"

She flexed her fingers in a wave to Amber and would likely steal one of those tacos when nobody was looking. Sharp greens watched Mesteno in his trek before she actually would frown. "It depends on how much he wanted to learn to learn of me. I mean what better way than to get close." raising a hand she curled her fingers around the stone that hung around her neck. "I haven't spoke to him yet and there is only small doubt really. If anything it makes me...nervous.."

Regina was wise not to try the sneak attack. In part, she'd likely have found herself spiked upon uncomfortable body modifications. Mostly, she'd have wound up covered in damp, mud and horsehair from his less than tidy clothing. Slouching as he was though, Mesteno did spy the lady mortician, and he offered her a slim smile before he tilted his head back towards Katt to hear out the reasoning for her suspicions. "You've right to be nervous," he told her once she'd explained herself, "but, at risk of
sounding like a sentimental idiot, I think you know right here," pat-pat over his chest, "whether he's been playin' you for malicious reasons."

She chuckled quietly at Mesteno. Sentimental idiot. "You? Idiot?" She tsked quietly. Slowly her head shook and she glanced over to Regina. When she looked at Mesteno she held that serious stare of hers. "I know, Mesteno...and I'm scared. I don't like admitting that but..I am. I don't really know what to make of it. I mean he knows what I am. He grew up hating those like me. He grew up killing those like me. So why me?"

He squinted at Katt narrowly, as if in asking such a thing, she was really putting his rep on the damn line... but it was Katt, and so he sighed, and the scowl fell away as if he couldn't keep it fixed right. "The heart wants what the heart wants. The brain can pin whatever logic it likes on a situation, but if the connection is there, if the chemistry is there, that logic counts for nothing. What he feels for you must be strong enough to make him forget whatever bias, whatever stigma there is. He's set that all aside because you're more important to 'im than what he was brought up believing. Be happy." He swallowed down some more booze, as if being nice was withering his tongue up in his mouth.

That sounded like something she would of told someone else. Fingers combed through her dark hair to pull it from her face. "I know. I know. Like I said there will be some talking." Katt smiled a bit and glanced over. "Is that how you feel for Evander?" And no she's not forgiven him. There is still doom somewhere in his future.

It got worse!? Talking about other people's feelings was a whole lot easier than confessing his own. For a moment he said nothing, just nursing his booze with his expression relaxed and his eyes distant, far-seeing. Finally... "Ain't got the words for it," he confessed. Nothing he said could do it justice. That said, he wasn't the most eloquent of men.

Finishing off her own drink she nodded to Mesteno. "You are happy?"

"With him, yes. Life's always got room for improvements though," he told her, flashing one of those sharkish smiles. Truth be told he was plain picky. If his problems got sorted, he got bored. There had to be trouble enough to keep him walking the knife's edge.

"Going to adopt a kid?" She managed to keep a straight face with that one. It was damn hard though!

"You," he told Katt, "Are a punk. You're lucky I didn't say I'd adopt you, what with you still bein' all young and weak." It was a lame counter, but he was poking at the points she got snarly over most often. Apart from the pregnancy thing, anyhow.

"You'd unadopt me within twenty-four hours. We both know it. And for the record I am wearing steel-toe boots right now. I am not afraid to kick you where it will hurt." Which might be any part of his person. Gotta leave some surprise!

"Probably," he agreed mildly, turning his glass this way and that so that the alcohol climbed the sides, sticky-sweet. "Truth is, I've never been good with kids. Never wanted 'em, never even liked one save for Desdenova, and that's only 'cause he's so weird he ain't really like a kid, you know?" Such praise. "I like kids about as much as I like... wasps and ladyparts. Together. Wasps coming out of ladyparts."

"Thanks for the mental picture." She snorted. "Yeah I kind of figured that though. As long as you are happy though..." She paused a bit, "If I am able to fix my problem I'll let you know. And...thank you."

"Oh you're very welcome," he drawled, unashamed of the juvenile mental picture he'd painted. A final swallow drained his glass, and he pushed away from the bar. "I need to get a move on. Get the monster back home," he teased.

There was a brief confused look but then she looked to the door and gave quite a scowl. The horse...bleh. A nod was given to Mesteno. "Learn to answer your phone..."

"I'll keep an eye on it," he assured her. It'd make a change to receive actual messages rather than pictures of bodyparts (not that he ever complained of them). "You ever feel like another sparring match, feel free to hit me up." And with another light handed touch to her shoulder, he went slinking off towards the door.

She watched amusingly for a moment before looking over to Mesteno. "Until next time.." she mumbled after the man. He left her with a bit to think on.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on March 14, 2015, 03:34:38 AM
[size=9]March 6th[/size]

Four beanbag chairs were her friend right now. Yes she was hording them...no she didn't care. Nor did it seem the owners of the shop did. She had made a nest of sorts near the fireplace and was more or less staring off into space. The past few days had left her with a lot to think on, moreso after her talk with Mesteno.

There was no such thing as sneaking into the Teas shop, thanks to that bell on the door. But then, he wasn't in a sneaking mood today. In he came, opening the door and slipping through with his familiar catlike grace. A polite smile and a nod went to the old man behind the counter as his green-gold eyes turned about the room, settling on Katt in her nest. He couldn't help the grin that came across his features as he approached her. "Hello, Kathryn. You look quite comfortable."

Hearing that voice left her with a variety of mixed feelings. Slowly her eyes tilted up and over to the cat in manflesh, a small smile ticking the corner of her lips. The little handheld was settled against her lap but oddly enough she wasn't wearing her earbuds and listening to music or something. It was just there as if some sort of comfort. "Hey." A shift of her frame had her attempting to move in order to make room for him but it was like trying to swim against the current. After a bit of movement she gave up. He'd have to figure out something!
   
He couldn't help being amused, watching her struggle with the beanbags. When she stopped he finally moved, settling into the nest she'd created with feline ease, right next to her. He didn't need to be an empath to know she was filled with questions - he'd talked to her brother and gotten the details of their conversation. For a moment he simply watched her, green-gold eyes taking her in with no small amount of pleasure, before he finally spoke. "I understand we need to talk, love."

She was brooding for sure and it was likely why she chose this place, of all places, to do such. She watched him settle and slowly her eyes drooped when he spoke. Her brother apparently warned Clayton ahead of time. She wasn't sure how she felt about that. "Yeah...How much did he tell you?"

He shrugged, still smiling. He couldn't help it, really. She could be on a rampage and he'd still be happy to see her. "He told me everything you talked about." The green-gold eyes settled on hers, and he breathed a soft sigh. "I imagine you must have many questions."

He would find that her sharp greens were just staring at him. There were thoughts going on in that head of hers...and she wasn't sure where to even start. Slowly her brows furrowed, showing the struggle all the more. "Why did you go to your homeworld? There was a reason, wasn't there? It wasn't just a pop on over for the hell of it..." Slowly she sat up in order to face him a bit better. "Why didn't tell me? Why didn't you tell me about...about..." Slowly her chin lowered, ever so slightly
tilted to the left. "....what your people hunt. Beyond that ...why me? I mean..you know...what I am.."

He was silent for a long moment, regarding her. They were all valid questions, He answered the easiest first. "I went back because of my brothers. They were in trouble with the...'civilized' people of our world." He almost spat out the word 'civilized', clearly indicating his opinion of those he was talking about. "But I couldn't go alone...that is why I asked your brother to come. He would be accepted there, and he's the only person I trusted to watch my back that I could bring with me. You couldn't come because...well...of what you are." He looked at her. Not with pity, not with sadness or regret or resentment, but a simple warm, loving look. "That is no fault of your own. To me, you are the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes upon. To the people of my world...you are a creature of darkness...to be hated, feared, and hunted like an animal." His gaze fell to his hands. "I didn't tell you because it is not something I am proud of. It's true, I...I used to be like them. Like the rest of my people. But my people, the Yamni...most of those that hunt demons do so out of necessity, because that's what they were born to do. The others of my world do it out of fear and hatred. But myself...and a few others...we..." He looked away from her, and now shame crept into his voice. Shame, and a deep sadness. "...we did it for the pleasure. Because we enjoyed it."

Hated. Feared. Hunted. It explained why he was able to keep up with her when she went berserk. He was built for it. The more she listened to him the more she felt that ping of fear in her chest. Born to. He was similar to those that hunted her from Unity to Rhydin and after... Hunted, not out of necessity, but for the sheer enjoyment of it... Her eyes slowly turned away and landed on the fire. Slowly she drew her tongue over her lips, wetting the painfully dry flesh. She was listening more than he could ever imagine. So very closely... It was almost painful to breath and she was measuring out her breaths. "Why were they in trouble? Your brothers that is..."

He didn't look at her. Couldn't. He was afraid to see the look in her eyes. "They were on a hunt. It took them into the middle of a city. We...they...are not welcome there. They're treated much the same as the demons are, though marginally more tolerated." He forced himself to look in her direction now. She wasn't looking his way yet. He hadn't answered all of her questions yet, and after a moment, he spoke. "You asked...why you. Even knowing what you are." A smile found its way to his lips. He couldn't help it. You still have no concept of how you effect people, my love." His tone grew warmer as he spoke. "But that doesn't tell you what you want to know, does it? You want to know why someone like me - a creature born, bred, and evolved to fight demons, one that even professes enjoying it - would go and fall in love with one." He peered at her, reaching out to lay a hand on her shoulder, green-gold eyes seeking hers out. "Am I on target?"

"I don't...understand. I mean I can see a hunt being unhappily looked upon if taken into a place full of people but..what do  you mean they are treated much the same?" She was confused a little now. She was straining to keep certain things from spilling out. She had always felt that a person should be judged by who they are not what they are. Their race didn't define them. But this... Why did this feel so different? She likely wouldn't of answered, or even looked to him, if it hadn't been for his reach out to touch her. She tensed, nearly taking a full leap out of her own flesh. Sharp greens turned up to him quickly, "Yes..."

He sighed softly. "To explain what I'm talking about, when it comes to the people of my world who are not Yamni, would require quite a long history lesson. Suffice it to say, they are a fearful people, of anything that they regard as supernatural in origin. Including the Yamni, despite the fact that we are of the same world, the same ancestry." He didn't take his hand away, not moving to distance himself or come closer just yet. "Unlike most of my people, I've left my world. You must understand, my world gets interdimensional traffic much as Rhy'din does...though not nearly on the scale we see here.But our people don't leave our world - it's like a cultural phobia, stepping off our own soil. It was terrifying, the first time I left my world behind. But I did it, and once I was no longer on my world...I discovered many things that most of my people will never be able to fathom." He paused a moment, looking into her eyes again. "But perhaps what changed me the most was that my life was saved by one of the very creatures I spent my time hunting."

She silently listened to him, those heavy unnatural eyes of hers scanning his face. Scanning for any tell-tale signs? No. Just..searching. She wasn't even sure she knew for what. Eventually her eyes met his. As much as she wanted to avoid it she just found her gaze settling there. A slow curve of her lips took place as she started to spill a question but she stopped only to form another, "When we first met, that night at the teas. Were you...hunting me? Is that..why you were drawn to me?"

"Because you are a demon, you mean?" He shook his head at the question, smiling. "I was not hunting you...I was not hunting at all, in fact. I was simply...drawn there. When I first saw you, I knew you to be a demon - that can't be hidden from a Yamni - but...you're not like any that I met before. The demons of my world are cruel, unfeeling creatures with little thought outside of their hunger...except maybe for the pleasure of the kill." There was a return of the guilt in his features. He had been no better than the creatures he hunted, and he still hated himself for it. "You're...not like that at all. You're the complete opposite, in fact." And then a smile appeared on his features, and a hint of blood showed in his cheeks a moment. "Although I suppose it might explain why you smell so good to me..."

"You've seen me angry. I can be cruel..." And in her past she was all of those things. Cruel...unfeeling.. And there was part of her that still enjoyed the spilling of blood. She'd never admit to that. Damn it.. why was it every time he blushed she ended up staring. It was just...so damn fetching.  For a moment she was silently just staring at him though she did make a single sound to him saying she smelled good to him. That...was so wrong..in so many ways. Bad Clayton! A smile started to twitch her lips but something seemed to click and the smile shot down quick. "Do people know you are with me?" Her eyes turned to meet his. "Are you in danger because of me?" No..she didn't ask if she was in danger. She was always in danger! Him...Him and Edward...those were what meant most to her...

He blinked at the sudden turn of her mood, but he smiled and shook his head, lifting his other hand to touch her opposite shoulder. "No, my darling Kathryn, we are not in danger. My people know, but they will not pursue me." His smile turned a little sad as he said that, before he warmed again, one of his hands reaching to touch the heartstone at her neck gently. "And they cannot harm you, because of this."

Her brows dipped and she turned her eyes down to the stone that she was quite protective over. "Because of it..." She'd shake her head and look back up to him. "I am not worried about myself. I am worried about what they might do to you. They don't know me. They do know you." There was a bit of a pause and her brows furrowed. "I ..know you..right?" If anything she was making sure that at no point...he had been leading her on. She didn't want to think that but she did have to make sure. She had to make sure..

He couldn't help the purring chuckle as he looked at her, lifting one hand to caress her cheek as he looked into her eyes. Again, there was no regret, or sadness, or guilt, or even hurt in those eyes. Just warmth and love that was all hers. "You do know me, my lovely Kathryn. Better than anyone living." He shook his head to her previous question. "And no one will be coming after me, I promise you that...so long as I never return to my world." Before she could make any noise of protest, he moved his hand from her cheek and pressed his fingertips to her lips to silence her. "And before you say that I should not have to sacrifice that for you, please understand this: it is no sacrifice. That world is no longer my home...perhaps it never was. My home is here. With you, for as long as you will have me."

She knew if it came down to it...if someone did try to come hunt him..Well it just wouldn't be a pretty thing. No..that would be very..very ugly. Before she could say anything she found herself being silenced. Slowly nodding she squinted up at him. She'd trust that..right up until nipping his fingertips. Slowly her head drew back. "Is there anything else you feel I should know?"

He shook his head at the question, smiling. "Just that I'm sorry I didn't say anything before now. I intended to, but...well, we have been a little busy." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively at her with a very feline grin as he scooted a little closer to her on the beanbag chairs. "I just didn't want you to doubt that what we have is something real...I didn't want you to doubt me or the way I feel about you." He reached down and took one of her hands in his.

More than I already have..you mean.." He did seem to get a chuckle out of her with the waggling of his brows. She didn't attempt to stop him from getting close and her eyes turned down to watch his hand creeping close to her own. "I...do have something I should tell you..It doesn't have to do with this..subject. Though I am..happy ..that it has all been cleared up." Her fingers flexed and slowly curled to his own, more pressing than trying to claim. "Do you ...remember the subject we talked about at the inn?"

His fingers curled around hers as he chuckled, arching an eyebrow at her. "You may have to be more specific. We tend to cover a lot of ground when we talk, lover." He thought for a moment. There were only a couple of things that immediately sprang to mind. "You mean about having your godchildren in a couple of weeks?"

"No." She did chuckle though. He was right. When they talked they did tend to cover a rather large amount of subjects. Her eyes turned up to his face. "I was informed by a source that...I can't have children, Clayton. My insides are too screwed up..." she watched his face for a reaction. She already knew her own..she wanted his.

He frowned slightly as she said that. There was disappointment there, in no small measure. Ever since he had heard of a possible future with her, with children perhaps in it...the thought had been intoxicating, to say the least. It hurt to know that she couldn't have children, and not only for his own sake, but hers as well. His voice was soft as he spoke. "I am sorry to hear that, Kathryn. You would be a great mother." And then he brightened again, the purr back in his voice. "But we could always adopt. So long as we don't end up like Icer and Aurthur, taking on a quarter of the city."

There was a disappointment she understood and then there was hers that, as a woman, went slightly deeper. Her eyes drifted down to her stomach. "I don't...want to adopt." Her brows furrowed a bit. "If there was a way I could fix myself...do you think I should take it?" She didn't look back up to him. Instead she had turned focus on his hand. "I mean...it would be worth the chance...right?"

He blinked at that. It was a thought that hadn't occurred to him, though this was Rhy'din. If it could happen anywhere... Something registered to him, just as he was about to feel a ray of hope, and his gaze focused on her intently. "What do you mean? What chance?" He had to think a moment to really be able to voice what he was thinking, what he wanted to know. "What would the cost be?" If the cost was her life, even in some small chance, he wasn't sure he could agree to that.

"No cost beyond it working or not...as far as I know." He had the same thoughts she did. Slowly her eyes turned up to his face. "And the source that would be fixing me...you might not agree with." Hell she wasn't sure she agreed with it much herself. But it was a chance she was ...almost willing to chance. Suddenly her eyes went wide and she looked away, scowling at herself. "I am so sorry, Clayton. I shouldn't...even be talking about this."

"Kathryn." His hand found her cheek, a gentle touch to turn her eyes back to his. "If...you think it worth the chance...if it's really what you want...I would be by your side, no matter what. I won't deny that I want this for you...and for us. But it really is more for you to decide than it is for me."

For a moment, just a split moment, she considered not telling him. Or her brother for that matter. "The one who use to refer to herself as Renna...the woman who infected me with the Shadow Virus.. She said she could fix me by injecting me with another virus. One specifically for..fixing me."

He considered that for a long moment. He had only heard of the one called Renna, and encountered her perhaps a single time that was more fleeting than anything else. He only knew she was dangerous in the extreme, according to what he'd heard. "Do you trust her?"

Oh boy.. That was the question, now wasn't it? She looked away as she considered that. "I don't know... Partly? I do know she has the means..." She looked back over to him. "And I am not sure I should ask Edward about it. I mean it is a weird subject to bring up to my brother..you know?"

"Having never been able to get pregnant - as I'm male and all - I don't really know from experience." He let out a purring chuckle as he nodded to her. "But I do see your point." He fell silent again, thinking a moment, moving to slip an arm around her and pull her close. "She made this offer to you?"

Slowly she leaned into his arm and she closed her eyes. She was, just for the moment, soaking up the warmth... "When she ...infected me she learned all my ..well..we can just say she knows me inside and out and some. She said she can reproduce my .." she gestured at her stomach, "Or fix..Yeah..She offered it to me. Said she owed me for what she did to me. What she took from me..." She paused there. She was half expecting him to ask what even got the two of them speaking of pregnancy.

When he gestured to her stomach, he laid one of his hands on it. He couldn't help but be amused at the way she had trouble articulating things in that area, even now. For a moment he simply curled up with her, savoring the feeling of her close to him, a comfort like no other he could imagine. After a moment, though, he voiced the question she was expecting. "Might I ask how you came to this subject?"

Her stomach dipped in when he touched it, quivering under his touch even. She knew it was dumb to be thinking of having kids. When she heard the question she made a strange little sound that was more of a strangled groan than anything. "She...is with child.." Yeah. Everyone she knew was having kids. "I...asked her what it felt like..and it just came to me saying I didn't know if I could..and she said I couldn't."

He hadn't known Renna was having kids. But then again, there were few enough events in Rhy'din that caught his attention. Still, it made sense that the conversation might drift that way. He made no move to take his hand away from where it rested at the moment, just looked at her, into her eyes. "What would you like to do, my love? What is it you want?"

She was relaxed against him a little more until muscles had simply melted and her full weight was his to deal with. Not that he ever seemed to mind. Meeting his eyes she just stared at him while she considered the question. "I don't know... Being under the influence of the Shadow Virus was a nightmare for me. But...if this virus does nothing more than fix me..." Her brows twitched. "I know it is too soon to be thinking about it but it is something I would like to do. I mean...have kids. It is something I want to experience..."

Of course he didn't mind. She weighed about as much as a feather might to him, and the feeling of her molded against him was perhaps his favorite sensation in the world. Next to her scent, and other...more intimate sensations they experienced. "I would like that too, my love. And not simply for me, but moreso for you." He leaned in close and touched his lips to her temple. "You really will be a great mother. I'm certain of it."

Not simply for him. He ..wanted to have children with her. It still surprised her a little. "Clayton? Why...do you keep saying that? That I ..would be a great mother?" It was a question she suddenly felt she needed an answer to. She wasn't exactly motherly. Hell she had problems getting close to her godchildren... "It..will be something I bring by my brother before I cross that bridge though. I don't..want to keep anything from him."

He chuckled softly, a low purring sound as his lips brushed soft against her skin. "Because in my experience, my love, it is those that are most troubled and frightened at the prospect of motherhood that turn out to have had nothing to be frightened of." He leaned back a touch and eyed her thoughtfully, then nodded. "A good idea. Though I do not expect him to be very happy about it."

"I..." her brows furrowed, "Never really thought of myself as a mother or having children until..you. Or rather..that conversation. I still don't know." Yeah it did frighten her. She was a screw up.. She didn't want that for any living soul. "Yeah I know he won't be. I mean I don't want him to think that I am not turning to him because I don't think ...I don't want him to think I don't view him as someone I can turn to. I just..I don't want to make him uncomfortable. That is why I didn't..accept her offer when she first asked. It is something I am simply thinking on.."

He nodded, curling his arms around her with a soft sigh of contentment. "It is your decision, lover. Whichever way you choose, I will be with you." A purring chuckle escaped his throat for a moment. "Though I hope you will forgive me if I choose to be absent when you talk to your brother about this." Curious as he was about the aftermath of that conversation, he didn't want to get the looks he was certain he would be on the receiving end of from her brother.

She laughed under her breath. "Are you afraid that he might eyeball you as the reason for my decision?" She really wasn't sure how her brother would react. It was, to say, going to  be an interesting conversation for sure. "I'll forgive you but I think I might call claim that you owe me one." She grinned playfully to him and placed a soft kiss against his cheek. "Thank you..for letting me know about everything. You've no idea how much I've been ..." fretting? Worried? Concerned.

There was a long list.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on March 30, 2015, 02:00:15 PM
[size=9]March 26th[/size]

The night was rather cold for it being March and the snow was freshly coating the ground. She found herself at a spot that she normally visited when her mind was a mess. The fountain... She didn't know why but for as long as she could remember it was a spot she sat for hours on end, sometimes thinking - sometimes not, but always sitting.

Waiting.

Waiting for what...?

Staring at the sky she was deep in thoughts tonight. Thoughts of a party just so recent. It had been a spur of the moment thing she wanted to do for her brother. He deserved it as far as she was concerned... A surprise birthday party.

A surprise birthday party that was turned around into something ... else.

Her brother demanding attention had her thinking...well... the guy wanted to make a big show of his opening the gifts. It confused her why he gave Clayton 'the floor'. She could still remember that soft smile that Clayton wore. She couldn't remember seeing the cat in man-flesh so...nervous...

"My people have a saying, that our hearts are the hardest parts of ourselves, because it is the part we hold onto tightest. Sometimes, however, we may find one who can touch that part of us, and we loosen our grip enough to share it with them."

Her hand rose up, without even thinking, to the stone that hung from around her neck. Fingertips softly stroked at the stone with affections that were meant for only one.

"You have my heart, my love, and I can think of no other I wish to hold it ever again."

She hadn't understood why he was saying this in front of all of the party guests. Why he chose then and there to speak such words. What's more why did Edward have to make a scene of it. Even as Clayton had taken a knee and produced the small black box from his jacket pocket, she hadn't understood. It seemed everyone had up until that point except her... The ring, in all it's beauty, had been overlooked at the time. The cat in man-flesh had her attention. Her worry... Her concern...

"So I ask you, Kathryn Ayanna Batten, will you marry me?"


Even now as she thought about it, those words floored her, and at the same time left her with a million questions. Why? Had it been because of their recent talk about her being unable to have children? No. He cleared that up. Was it because of Edward bullying Clayton into proposing? No. That too was cleared up. Was he really proposing?! To her?! Why?? Why would anyone want to be with someone like her...?

Maybe it was the years of being told that she could never truly be loved that was tugging at her mind...She had thought she had gotten past that...

Maybe it was the fear that it was simply a dream. That Clayton and Edward were still MIA and off somewhere...But the weight of the ring felt so very...very real...

Maybe...

He'd known she would be here. Some things never changed, and this was her spot when she had things on her mind. He paused some feet away, green-gold eyes fixated on her as she sat, a smile curling his lips that he could never seem to help whenever he saw her. In motion once again, silent, stalking steps brought him closer, his softly purring voice carrying to her on the cold night air. "Good evening, Kathryn." The clock tower sounded its twelve chimes, and he chuckled. "Or morning, I suppose, now."

She inhaled suddenly and rather soundly. Either by his voice or by the ringing of the bell did she seem to return to life and the present. Slowly her eyes turned over to the cat in man-flesh. A smile ticked the corner of her lips and she slowly relaxed her posture. "Good morning, Clayton." Hands slid free of the hoodie and pressed to the edge of the fountain. She didn't dismount from the ledge but she did lean forward a bit. "I suppose it is pretty late isn't it?" Her own chuckle left her lips. "I just finished patrolling so was taking a little break."

He nodded as he approached, moving to settle into a lean next to her on the ledge of the fountain, close enough to be touching. Interlacing his fingers together, he looked down at them for a long moment, then towards her. For a long moment he simply just...looked at her, the green-gold eyes intense, before he finally spoke. "You have doubts."

She watched him as he came close and she slowly leaned to rest her shoulder to his. When he looked to her..with that intense gaze of his..she tilted her head slowly. Why was she getting that look? When he did speak she turned her gaze a little. "Not..so much as doubts. Concerns? I don't know. Dee thinks I am overthinking everything." She turned her eyes back to him and her fingers slowly crawled across the fountain's surface until her fingertips brushed what part of him they could.

He tilted his head as he listened, watching her. Her touch against his side was leaned into slightly, his hands unlacing and the one closer to her seeking her fingers out to curl around them. "So tell me. Let us bring the monsters out into the light and slay them together." His tone was laced with affection and warmth, even with the purring chuckle heard within it.

"I..." she curled her fingers against his own. "You...asked. I wasn't expecting it... I ..It wasn't because of our conversation about me having children. You cleared that up. You said when you when on the trip?" Her eyes slowly drifted up until she found his face. "Why? Why me? I mean..." her brows furrowed as she looked at him. She didn't have ways to make it into words. "Are..you really sure?"

The smile spread across his features as he nodded. "I've been sure. When I was on my world, and amongst my people, they knew who I had given my heart to. My brothers told them, after they heard it from me." He shrugged. "I was given a choice: to come home and renounce my love for you...or be banished from among my people forever." He let out another softly purring chuckle. "I took no time in realizing that I would rather be apart from them forever than never seeing you again."

She straigthened as he spoke and she stared at him in utter disbelief. "They...they..banished you? Because of what I am? Because you.." Her jaw tightened and soon relaxed. She couldn't help the apologetic look he was given. Hell she didn't even know she was doing it. "Did you go there..knowing that may happen?"

He nodded, the smile still on his lips as his hand came up to stroke her cheek. "Don't be saddened by it, my love. I'm not. Most of my people have not had the experiences I have, even the ones that are older than I am. It has left them close-minded and inflexible." At her second question he nodded again, and with it came another shrug. "I knew. Not that it mattered. It wouldn't have changed anything."

For a moment she allowed herself to find comfort in the grace of his hand at her cheek. "I can't say I am surprised. Your...race..Is much like the hunters that followed me here." Her brows furrowed and her eyes opened to look up at him. She couldn't remember some of the times during her younger years in Rhydin. It was odd..."If you are sure. I mean it is a little late now." She broke a smile, that smile that was only for him, "I kinda already said yes. Though I'll admit I have ...had difficulty accepting that it had happened." She didn't want him to know that she still hadn't looked at the ring. "Andu on the other hand! Boy he seems to enjoy making sure I let people know. Moment I stepped into the inn he was having me tell people."

He had to laugh at that. "I cannot say I am surprised. Though I rather thought Dylan would be the one spreading it around as fast as she could find people to tell." He chuckled softly, his arm moving to slip around her waist. "I am sure, my love. More certain than anything else." His other hand moved to take her left hand, the one with the ring on it. "I had meant to give you this in a more...private setting that night. But your brother's idea appealed to the romantic in me, I suppose."

She didn't lean away from his arm and she leaned into his arm. "My brother. Wait...you told him before you actually proposed to me?" She blinked to him and slowly drew her fingers along his own. "Is that what you two hens were clucking over when he pulled you away?" Did she just call them hens? Yes! She made a joke... "Mrm...I ...I know my reaction to your ...proposal was not ..normal." she mumbled quietly, "And for that I am sorry. Your words were very..." her free hand moved up to rest against her chest and she kneaded over her heart. "It was perfect..."

He chuckled and nodded to her question about her brother. "It's traditional even among my people to ask for the blessing of family before asking for a hand in marriage, and your brother is the only one I could think to consult." His eyes found hers as his arm tightened around her waist, pulling her close against him. "You have nothing to apologize for, lover. You are hardly the typical woman, after all, and that is just one of the many reasons I love you."

"Shows how much I know about the whole proposal thing, doesn't it?" Her hand moved from her chest to his own, fingers stretching out. She always did enjoyed feeling his heartbeat. "What..did he say when you asked?" Because she was nosey... Her other hand left his hand in order to draw her arms around his waist and hug him close. "I don't...regret accepting, if you are concerned about that." She wanted to make sure he heard her so her eyes were just a staring a him.

He let out a low, purring chuckle, though the chuckle faded and a softly purring sound rumbled from him as her hand found his chest, resting over his heart. Such a soothing touch, and what beat beneath her hand was hers, a subtle reminder that he loved. "He asked me why. I told him what I told you." His eyes met hers unflinchingly as he nodded, smiling. "I know, love...though I am glad to hear you say it. I can think of no one I would rather spend my life with, and I suppose I could have had that without asking you to marry me...but the idea of being not just yours, but tied together, is something I do want very much."

Her lips twitched and grew into a soft smile. Tied together. Her finger kneaded softly against his chest. As far as she was concerned..they were. In more than one way. Blinking she chuckled quietly if only to herself. "When..um.." Her chin dipped a bit in attempt to hide her face. "When do you want the wedding to be?" Was she blushing? Most likely...

No amount of hiding would conceal that blush from him. He could practically hear the blood rushing to her cheeks. "To be completely honest, I'm not sure...though I think I'd prefer during the summer. The idea of an outdoor wedding is quite appealing, and here that is pretty much the only season one could do it in without risking hypothermia."

"I don't know... The way winter is butting into spring..." she chuckled and lifted her eyes. "Do you..Do you have a place where you want to? If..um..if not there is a place I'd like to show you. There is a place near Mount Yasuo. Cherry blossoms trees waiting to bloom." Since winter has yet to decline so spring could take over. The blooms had yet to happen much to her disappointment. "I mean.." she blinked. "This..year?"

"I know." It was still cold, though the bitter edge had faded somewhat. He eyed her as she made her suggestion, letting out a softly purring chuckle. "I hadn't really thought about a location, but yours sounds like it would be perfect. If the trees bloom, that is." Arching an eyebrow, he grinned at her. "I wasn't sure of an exact date, honestly. I thought that should be something we discuss together."

She seemed to grow silent, drawing in on her thoughts...or maybe just her imagination. "Would you like to head home and talk about a date later or...or are you wanting to discuss that now?"

He considered that. It was getting rather late - or early, depending on one's perspective. "It's not something we need to discuss right this second, I think...though perhaps in the near future we probably should make it a point to talk about it." With a smile, he moved to stand, pulling her with him. "Right now, though, I believe I hear a bed calling our name."

"Sounds like a plan!" She exhaled a little and jumped off the edge of the fountain. Grabbing his hand she curled her fingers to his own and smiled. A little tug...a little pull...she'd head home with him on tow.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on October 29, 2015, 03:38:20 AM
.: Chapter Twenty-One: A brother's gift :.
[size=9]Sept 6th[/size]


"Miss Batten. There is a message for you from your brother."

She had almost missed D.I.A.N.A's message. The training facility was mostly dark but the floor was splattered in a rather alarming amount of blood. Huffing heavily in the middle of the floor she looked up to where she had figured the voice came from. Both shoulders were loose, body hunched over with her hands between her knees as she just stood there, struggling to collect herself. Blood trickled down her arms, pieces of flesh missing along the limbs that hung there.

"What's the message..." she rumbled a quiet growl as she forced herself to stand straighter, ignore the pain that coursed through her.

"Meet me by the fountain in the marketplace. I've got something for ya."

She blinked slowly and flexed her fingers, stretching the torn flesh along her arm until it didn't feel like it wasn't going to split any more. "Alright. I'm done for now, Diana. Thank you for the message."

"You are welcome, Miss Batten."

Making her way to the door she could feel the vitae dripping from her fingertips and leaving a crimson trail behind her. Once outside the door she grabbed up a roll of bandages and started wrapping up her hands, right up to her bicep as if it were an every day thing. It was something she went through weekly, if not daily, for months now. It wasn't a fun process and she hadn't grown any use to the pain but it was a necessity. She had to figure out some way to get her Reevi to work properly  and so far forcing it to manifest seemed to be the only course she could come up with. That, however, proved to do nothing more than tear her up. The Reevi still manifested inside the flesh instead of coating over it.

Sighing she finished tucking the bandages and sliding the hoodie over her top and shorts. To say she was surprised about getting a message from her brother was a mild understatement. She hadn't heard from him some time. He seemed to always be so..busy...

With what? She didn't know...

He was waiting in the marketplace. Despite having had no sleep, he looked fresh and rested, dressed in the long trenchcoat he always had on him, as well as jeans and a Batten Industries t-shirt, a familiar-looking black backpack slung over one shoulder. The message had gone out only a few minutes ago to his sister, and now he was just waiting for her to show.

The message had been received... but there was no reply.  Granted he wasn't left to wait for long.  Not far away she had stepped from the shadows, sharp greens looking to the man she was approaching.  She was looking him over for sure. "Edward..."  She wasn't there because he said he had something for her...

He truthfully hadn't expected a reply, but he knew she'd show. When had she not? He couldn't help the smile that found his features as he turned towards her. After all, how many sisters did he have? He didn't move from the leaning pose he had taken by the fountain, just beckoned her over. "Hiya, sis. S'been a while. How ya been?"

He looked well and it did help ease some of the worry.  Lips pursed briefly before she released a breath. Slowly she made her way over to him.  It took a bit not to grab him up in a long needed, reassuring hug. "Worried...It is good to finally see you out and about.". She was still looking him over a bit and after that her heavy gaze seemed to ease.  "You've been missed.."

The hug was much needed, and as she approached he pushed off from his lean and met her, reaching out to pull her in for that embrace. "Ah'm sorry, sis. Ya know me, always busy wit' some damn t'ing or 'not'er." Letting her go, he stepped back, giving her a wide grin. "Ah t'ink Ah'm gonna take a vacation from work for a li'l while, t'ough. Di keeps t'reat'enin'  t'lock me outta de tower if Ah don't."

The hug was leaned into, arms embracing the man and her forehead bumping his shoulder. She soaked it in for as long as he allowed. Once he pulled away her eyes tilted up. "I was starting to consider going into your lab.." Destroying things. That is most likely what she would of done. "So you will listen to Di and not your sister." She huffed a little at him. "I am glad..to see you." She really..really was. Maybe she would talk to Di about locking Ed out of the tower but maybe...that wouldn't work. Di listened more to him than her after all.

He stuck his tongue out at her, looking for an instant every inch an impish big brother as he chuckled. "Ah been workin' in de penthouse. Ain't been to de lab in a few weeks at least...been finishin' up a few projects and figgered Ah wanted t'be comfortable doin' em." He gave her a grin and a wink. "Speakin' o'dat..." He unslung the backpack from his shoulder, which she would recognize as being the one Clayton had been delivering to him recently, and held it out to her. "Dis is fer you. Took a bit t'get it de way Ah wanted it fer ya, but better late dan never, an' Ah didn' wanna wait 'til yer birt'day t'give it t'ya."

"So I should burn your penthouse instead?" Her eyes drooped a little as she stared at him. "You...haven't been in there for weeks with a bunch of women have you?" Yeah..projects. She was calling his bluff. Plus it stopped her from grabbing at his tongue. Sharp greens tilted to the backpack and slowly she reached out to take it. It was looked over before she turned eye to him. "Why was this at the inn? And why ask Clayton to get it for you?" He had to know there would be questions...

He chuckled. "Ya couldn' burn down de penthouse even if ya wanted to, sis. An' Ah had it stashed at de Inn 'cause Ah didn' want it t'be discovered. Ah had somet'in' Ah was developin' for dis, an' dat was de place Ah knew nobody was gonna find it." He grinned at her, seeming almost as excited as an overgrown kid. "'Member when Ah told ya Ah was makin' ya a suit?"

She was quiet as he talked. Couldn't but she sure the hell would try! She rumbled a quiet, displeased sound at him but it seemed to ease the longer he talked. It might of simply been his voice..the talking. When he asked the question she slowly nodded. "Yes..You didn't say why for specifically but it had been...mentioned. I figured it to be one of your back burner ideas or something."

He shrugged at that, the grin remaining on his lips. "Well, wit' one t'ing or anot'er, it kinda was put on de back burner, Ah'm afraid. Dat an' Ah had a couple t'ings in mind fer it dat took a bit o'time to develop properly. Sorry, but Ah wanted it t'be perfect." The grin widened. "Ya wanna give it a try?"

A gift from him.. If he would of known how much she treasured the pcui.. This had her looking at the backpack. "Perfect..." Now she was curious. "I do..." because now she was curious. About as curious as he was excited. "How?"

He looked around the marketplace. There were entirely too many people here for him to be comfortable with doing it here. The suit took time to get used to, even with previous combative training and skill. "Ah don' t'ink we wanna do it here. Wanna walk wit' me to de glen?"

Spending more time with him? What kind of question was that?! Shd nodded to him and slung the backpack over her shoulder. "Sure. As we walk you can tell me what you have been doing..."

He grinned at her as he turned and started towards the path south that led towards the Glen. "Aure, alt'ough ya'll prob'ly find it borin'. Data analysis, diagnostic stuff, dat sorta t'ing." He turned his gaze sidelong at his sister, arching an eyebrow. "An' you can tell me what's goin' on wit' yer impendin' wedding."

"Nothing." she said it simply as she walked along side of him. Hell she might of been trying to avoid talking about it. No..not really. There wasn't anything to really talk about. She just kind of shrugged as they walked. "Though Claire's sibling seems to find it amusing sending me pictures of pink froofroo dresses..."

He came to a momentary halt as they walked along the path, blue-grey eyes settled on his sister, a frown touching his features. "Waitasec. Whaddaya mean, not'in'? Do Ah need to light a fire under yer fiance's furry rear?"

She blinked slowly at him. Why ..was he frowning? She looked at him ..confusedly. "Why?" She craned her head and turned her eyes to the surroundings. "When he is ready we will ..talk."

He eyed her for a long moment, his head tilting slightly to the side for a moment as he regarded her thoughtfully. After a moment more he started walking again, looking around, scoping out the area. "Ya sure he ain't waitin' on you? Pardon me fer sayin' so, sis, but ya don't seem overly excited at de prospect."

"I am still surprised he even asked." She answered honestly to him. "I am..excited in my own way but it still feels.." She searched for a word as she followed him. "Surreal?"

He considered that a moment as they walked, looking around, then turning towards a clear area and heading towards it. "Ah s'pose Ah get dat. Alt'ough ya shouldn' be s'prised, sis. De man's head-over-heels in love wit' ya." He glanced at her and flashed a grin, then turned more serious for a moment. "Ya mean more t'him dan his own people. An' Ah t'ink he asked ya b'cause he wanted ya t'see dat he means t'stay wit' ya forever, no matter what comes."

Pressure much? No..she didn't think about it that way. She knew everything he was saying... He had said it before. She understood it but there was a deep seeded fear she just couldn't shake. That..and something else. "I know Edward..I know...And we agreed to talk about it. When he isn't busy...Or you keeping him busy." She tilted her eyes to him. Yeah she was calling her brother out for making Clayton an errand boy! "Is...it bad...that we haven't just jumped into the wedding?" She tipped her head. "Has...he said something to you?" Yep..now she was shaking him down for info!

They arrived at the clear area, and he came to a halt, turning to face his sister. "Not in so many words, lil sis. He ain't in any rush, dat much Ah know. He'd be perfectly happy t'stay wit' ya, married or no. He said dat much." He chuckled softly. "Since Ah'm takin' a vacation, Ah s'pose it'd be alright if Ah let him have one too." He gestured to the backpack. "Put it on. Bot' straps."

She almost told him that he needed to settle down himself but she knew, better than anyone, that it wasn't that easy. "There is one thing I do want to talk to you about ..that I need to speak to him about." She slid the second strap on and adjusted the pack to rest better against her back. "I..know that normally a woman takes her husband's last name...But.." Her eyes turned to Edward. "I..am not sure I want to. Not that it isn't a nice name..."

"Katt Sheridan." He considered it for a moment, then grinned, shaking his head. "Jus' don' have de same ring to it, does it?" He chuckled, then turned serious again. "De backpack is de deployment unit, an' attuned t'yer mental an' neurological patterns. It ain't gonna work fer anyone but you. Make sure ya have it on like dat, t'ough, or it won't work. When ya want it t'activate, all ya gotta do is t'ink de word 'armor' an' it'll do de rest."

"That isn't it.." she said quietly to him. No.. It was so much more..personal. Deep. She settled her hands on the straps as she listened to his explanation. "Hmmm." She was listening and maybe thinkin ga little too hard cause..yep..she thought the word. Wanna guess what happened next?

Sure enough, the single word thought activated it. The backpack split open and with fluid-like smoothness the armor flashed out to wrap around his little sister, the deployment a swift thing that took a matter of seconds, encompassing her from the top of her head to the bottoms of her feet. Her head was the last thing to be encased by the armor. Ever mindful of his sister and her own private fears, however, as soon as the helm was in place the holographic display came up, replacing darkness with  a full-field view in front of her vision. Air circulation systems built into the suit gave her fresh air, together with the display almost making it seem as though the helmet weren't even there.

So that answered her question of accidently setting it off! Her inital reaction was to jerk from her rooted place but it seemed that the process simply followed her. She didn't even have time to panic as the vision field came on leaving her almost as if the helmet wasn't even there. She had worn helmets before but normally they never closed. This..this was different. Almost as if it were not there at all! Raising her hands she gave a look over her plated fingers, testing out the motion by clenching and unclenching...Her eyes eventually turned down. This...was almost like wearing armor..not one of his bulky..large suits. "It..is lighter than I expected.."

He grinned as he walked around her, blue-grey eyes inspecting it. "Figgered ya wouldn' be comfortable in one o'de walkin' tanks Ah go 'round in. Ah d'signed 'round yer p'tic'lar skills." He winked at her as he came around the front of her again. "Ya always were de sneaky type. Wit' dat in mind, Ah kept de weaponry at a minimum. Ya got extending blades in de forearms, a pair o-detachable swords on yer back, an' de pulse generators in yer palms. All t'ought controlled. But de icin' on de cake is de stealt' system...a sorta cloakin' device dat took a while t'develop."

Her particular skills. There was a sound of amusement in the helmet. She wondered..did she sound different on the outside? "I do not mean to ..sneak..often." Just kind of happens. She really was in awe the more she listened. Swords and blades. "Pulse..generators?" She turned her hands so the palms were up. She blinked and turned her attention to him again. "Stealth system? Explain?"

He looked like she'd just asked him tell her a list of his favorite treats that she could make him. "De stealt' system is a retro-reflective coating dat'll activate wit' a t'ought. Stealt', cloak, invisible, or any sim'lar t'ought impulses will activate it an' render ya completely invisible to just about any met'od of visual detection in existence."

While he was explaining she seemed to of been going through the weapons, testing how they came to be and the fluidity of how the suit moved. She was, of course, careful of his presence. "Any method? Including your system searches?" Aka she was asking..if he could track. Instead of waiting for his answer the air around her shimmered and she disappeared from sight.

"'ey! Don' be disappearin' when Ah am lecturin' ya!"

"How about a game of hide and seek?" she quickly countered with a laugh.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on October 29, 2015, 05:02:32 AM
.: Chapter Twenty-One: Close to the Heart :.
[size=9]Sept 13th[/size]


She had lost time...

She did that a lot when she was just going through the motions. Patrolling...coming to the inn and doing the same thing..even if most people never realized that. It was fine by her really. She didn't do what she did for recognition, thank yous, or what have you. Hell more often or not she received someone's ire. Such was the way of things, right?

No this loss of time was different. Her mind seemed to of nearly shut down thanks to a little 'announcement' that One dropped on days ago.

"Edward is dying."

Such a simple statement...

Yet it was an massive impact..

And yes...he was human. Of course he was dying.  A slow, deteriorating death that all life eventually comes full circle to. But she was sure that was not the death that One was speaking of.

She wasn't quite sure why she even believed One. The reincarnation of Renna...

She never did like the woman calling herself 'One'. It bugged the ever living hell out of her. She even made it a point to say so.

Even still...Why believe her? Why did she know? Why wouldn't Edward of told her?

The longer she sat on the questions...the more it made sense... After all before he kept something like this from her and despite her venomously scolding him over it she knew that he would continue to keep things from her. For whatever reason he was...

She couldn't help but feel he didn't trust her... and that right there was where it hurt.

It ate at her... Stole her sleeping hours and made her not just restless but overworking. She avoided going home and seeking comfort in Clayton's company. The reason for that? It was quite simple, really. For one... She couldn't talk about it. She wasn't suppose to know about it after all and she knew she would end up telling Clayton. Second...What if he already knew? What if all this time he had been spending with Edward was exactly because of that. He knew.

...She wouldn't be able to handle that...

While she felt she couldn't talk about it to anyone there was one she did turn to. One she was going to talk to. Why? Because in Rhydin she and this person had a rare sort of relationship. She knew that she could tell him and since he didn't know Edward that he would not go off seeking to speak with Edward. Not only that but this person could keep a secret. He sure did keep her secret...

...Had for years...

She trailed around the building a number of times before going inside. She disabled any sort of devices that could be for recording.. That included D.I.A.N.A. and her PCUI. She made sure that for a short period of time that the Great Hall became a dead zone. After she was content with the dead zone she went looking for that person...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on October 29, 2015, 05:06:25 AM
He made no attempt to strike up conversation on that walk across the city to the market place where the Hall was located. Katt didn't seem to be inclined to speak where there were ears which might overhear them, and the necromancer seemed to be reticent, suffering a verbal drought some would have been relieved by. He held the door for her when they reached the entrance though, and let it drift closed on the cacophony of the summer marketplace on the other side.

Once they made it to the hall she took a moment to do something on her pcui...Not that he would see it. She walked past when he held the door open, sharp greens drifting about the place. Did she strike up conversation on the way..? No. But once inside she paced near to the center of the room before turning to him. Of all sources. Him. Why? ...There was a reason. "I need..advice, Mesteno. I.." There was something that showed, now. Something rarely seen on her. She'd wait a few breaths, "I..don't know what to do.."

He trailed after her, and despite how echoey the room was when Katt spoke, there was no sound carrying from his feet. He slipped a wide-ranging look about before answering, too, just to make sure they really hadn't any company. When all seemed clear, he contented himself with a seat on the window ledge, and leveled a shrewd look on her. He was observant enough despite his seeming lassitude of late, to realise she seemed anxious. Despite the odd choice of coming to him for advice (because let's face it, he wasn't going to win any prizes for good decisions) he seemed willing to lend her an ear. "Disclaimer, you follow it at your own risk," he drawled. "What's happened, Katt? Y'not usually like this."

Any other time..she might of laughed at that. This time? Not so much... "This..what I am about to say..." she pointed a finger between them.."Stays here." she wasn't asking but seemed to have some amount of faith that he would honor that. Her hand slowly lowered. "My...My brother is dying, Mesteno.." just saying it seemed to bring a measure of fear and pain. It was almost as if she couldn't even handle the thought. "The thing is..he hasn't told me. In fact he has gone to lengths to keep it from me...And I don't know what to do..."

Although she ought have known he'd keep his silence, he did her the courtesy of offering her an acquiescing nod; she seemed to need the reassurance just now. The news drew the thick lines of his eyebrows to knotting, and though he never asked for her brother's name, he assumed she meant Edward, since she'd referred to him as such in the past. "That musta been hard news for you," he murmured quietly, watching her still. "If he's gone to lengths to hide it, how was it y'came to hear the news then? Were y'snoopin', or hear it from someone who couldn't keep their trap shut?"

That..was an understatement. Hard news indeed. Her hands kneaded inside the hoodie's pockets, clenching and unclenching the fabric violently. You would think there would of been tears. Would of been something. There was a reaction, of course, just a little harder to see. The sharp hue of her eyes had dulled and her pupils were thinned to the point they were nearly swallowed by the green. "A third party who..felt that I should know. It was, in a way, a debt paid. I was not asking...Hell I thought he was just ...spending too much time in his lab. I bugged the crap out of him to get out..."

He didn't press her for the name of the third party, since he suspected she was disinclined to share it, but he nodded to assure her he followed what she'd explained so far. He could see she struggled, but he also knew it was the show of compassion that tended to break down the flood gates for most people, and Katt had her pride, just as he had. He wouldn't be that cruel. "I'm guessing that this third party made you promise not to act on the news he was givin' you," he ventured, lacing his
Mesteno   fingers loosely in his lap, letting his spine wilt lazily. "But you're torn 'cause you want to offer y'brother your support now you know."

It isn't the flood gates that are the problem. It was likely to be far, far worse than a few tears. "No..In fact they insisted I ..trap him and make him talk." She shook her head a single time to his assessment. "No. It isn't just that I want to offer support. I want to know why the hell he couldn't come to me! Why he couldn't trust me with this. He has to know that it was not something he should be keeping from me. Why..all this time that he kept something like this..from me..." Her lips drew and she took a moment, "But at the same time...Do I have the right to? Shouldn't I let him decide to come to me with it? Or...I..." she just allowed it to die there.

He wasn't doing well so far - his guesses had all been wrong! Still, he listened attentively, offering no interruption as she opened up on the matter, and gave it all due consideration as her words failed and silence ensued. His reply was not immediate, but it did come. "Some folks are like that. There's no rule that says they have to darken anyone's day with their troubles, even if they know that person wouldn't consider it a burden. I suspect he's trying to be selfless. He's come to the conclusion that what time he has left isn't going to be spent with people watchin' him with sorrow or worry in their eyes. Y'see people watchin' you that way and you feel... weak somehow." He wasn't sure how well he was explaining it, but he understood the man's choice. "This is happening to him, Katt. Hard though it might be to hear, you have to let him deal with it in his way. Unless there's something you can do to prevent his death, give him the bit of comfort he has in thinking he's protecting people."

She was listening. Oh how she was listening. He might of found her gaze a little more intense than normal as she watched him. While his words were not exactly..what she wanted to hear she did understand them..understand what he meant. No.. She didn't like it at all. Slowly her head dipped in a nod. This..Right here was the reason why she came to him. That trust he would give an honest point of view and opinion. "I am not sure how I will handle it when the time comes." She meant the death.

It was only opinion. She might have heard something more to her liking had she sought another source of advice, and perhaps the outcome of all this might have been quite different! Despite her nod, he wasn't sure she'd refrain from approaching her brother. "If there comes a time y'can see it in him, that he's failing, that he can't hide it anymore... At that point there's no reason to pretend. Maybe then he'll want someone to confide in, and if you're as close as y'seem, it'll be you he comes to. And I'm sure you'll be broken hearted, cara, because there's no point in pretending otherwise, but if he's suffering, be happy for him when it happens."

Approaching? No. She may very well avoid him. It will likely depend... "I am not even sure what he is dying of but when I saw him recently he ..didn't seem as if he were in pain." Unless he was on some good stuff! "In fact he seemed more of...like a child in a candy store..talking about the new thing he made for me." It did make it a little more clear why he wanted to give it before her birthday. And why he seemed...so intent on the wedding. "Do..all men hide such things from those that..are suppose to be close to them?" Wow..if she couldn't of given him more of a pointed look...

Either the pain relief was good, or he was a fine actor! Mesteno couldn't guess which, since he'd only ever seen the man in question in passing. At her mention of the wedding, he grimaced. Not because of any opposition to such things of course. "S'not gonna be any kinda happy day for you, with dark clouds like this looming," he sighed, lifting a hand to scratch absently at his jawline, before the pointed look she was giving registered. "You know better'n to ask that. Men are as varied in how they handle **** as women are. Some're far from independent - just look how many turn to their mothers when they're sick, how many call for 'em when they're dyin'. Some're gonna suck it up 'cause they were brought up that way, or they're proud, or they think society expects it of 'em."

"And some of them become super grouch." Her hands kept working inside of the pocket and she was likely to tear the fabric at any moment. She was still chewing over his words and opinion. "Could you do it? Act like everything is okay when you know it wasn't?"

Well, he wasn't about to deny that he could be grouchy. He did angle a brow up as if to ask, 'me?' but he spared her the innocent act. He was no good at faking it. "To the best of my abilities," he told her wryly. "My poker face needs some work. Usually I just tell folks I don't want to talk about whatever's botherin' me."

She nodded slowly. "Seriously needs work... "
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on October 29, 2015, 05:33:47 AM
[size=9]Sept 17th[/size]

How long had it been she was going on without sleep? She had lost count on the days now. Within the inn she had a few pillows nudged on the floor near the hearth and had slumped down into them somewhat like a cat getting comfy in its favorite place. Cheek settling to the side of one of the pillows she made no attempt to draw in the fan of dark hair that had spilled across the other pillows. She wasn't into sharing it seemed.

Shaking her head, One found herself moving away from the bar heading for the hearth to a particularly upset lionless of the Batten pride. Upset? It was not hard to tell. She looked like hell and chances were, she was hiding it pretty well from the others. Her footfalls ceases behind the prone Katt. She said nothing for the most part. She simply stared at her.

"What do you want?" Katt mumbled against her arm and the pillow. The question was directed without looking over to One.

"You look like s***."

"Captain Obvious." Wait didn't she have a bottle of water somewhere? She shifted to look down into the pillows. Somewhere...in there..

One muttered. "One does not think that a suitable heroic name."

Another time..she might of found that amusing. Finding the bottle of water she clamped her teeth to the cap, pausing to glance her dulled gaze at One. "What do you want?" was repeated.

She looked back with own equally dulled gaze. But that is only because she was refusing to express enough emotion. Slowly one got onto her knees so she was at a close level to Katt, right behind her. "Your biometrics indicate you are exhausted. Given the news to which I had imparted upon you, This One predicted this outcome."

A sound echoed in her throat when she felt One getting entirely too close for her liking. She didn't need to say it did she? Oh the 'back off' was right there on her tongue but she'd glance over her shoulder to One. "Stop checking my biometrics."

"It is automatic." One quickly fed her arms around Katt's waist and pulled her into an embrace.

She probably looked like she was about ready to twitch clear out of her own flesh when One suddenly wrapped around her. The sound in her throat exploded into a loud, gurgling growl and she pressed her hands to One's shoulder. "What the hell are you doing?!"

She kept the embrace. "Hugging you."

"Release me." she warned One quietly and made no efforts to yank One off. It was a simple hope that One would do so on her own without no physical force. "I ....appreciate the effort but I don't want to be touched." Seriously..no touchie!

"It must be frustrating." One stared. "Knowing someone you love will die." She tilted her head. "It must be hurt. Upset you. You must be thinking about it all the time. Is This One right?"

Her hands clenched on One and she yanked the woman down onto the pillows as she rolled over. Her voice lowered as she growled at One. "Shut up. Shut up. Shut up! It isn't your place to talk about it for everyone to hear." She'd try to pry One off of her then so she could get up.

One held on. Vice-like grips on both of her shoulders. Katt might be strong, but One was built stronger. She stared blankly at the growl. "I said nothing other than the limited needed information. I can name, names... but that would be obvious, wouldn't it?" She remained on the pillows, at a disadvantage. But she continued. She grinned darkly. "Be glad I won't be the one to put the nail in that coffin. The subject of our conversation is nothing more than a waste of space - a liar, a cheater...a creator of chaos for gains that suit the one but the many. Ever wondered, Katt, your situation? Surrounded by those that use you for what you are meant to be?" She tilted her head. "Katt. Death comes to everyone. Unfortunately, it comes to those who seek it."

"Let..me...go.." it was her last warning. She wanted to be released and fingers pushing low into One's arms to try and get her arms loose. "Just let me go..." Something One said caused her eyes to narrow and she shifted around in attempts to stand, regardless of being clung to.

One smiled. "I refuse."

Katt was not amused. "Rosa. You are pissing me off. Let go. I want to leave and go do some work. I can't do that with you latched on. I don't want a hug and if you are trying to give me comfort you are doing a piss poor job of it. So if you want to give me comfort...let...go."

"Ironic." She spoke, leaving go, laying there on the pillows. "One figured perhaps a violent reaction would make the Subject feel cathartic."

"You should see the training facility." Or what was left of it. She blinked slowly. "You ....were provoking me in attempt to get me to attack you?"

One tilted her head. "Obviously."

"When have you ever known me to throw a punch first...?" By now, of all people, she should know that Katt only got violent like that..if needed. It seemed not even being emotionally distraught changed that. "...Thank you, Rosa. But..you hurt me more than helped me. What you said..hurt.." Which was the point, obviously. "Excuse me..I need to go.." She really did.. Turning on her heels she started to the door, a dip of her head to Thorn and Les.

One lent up, eyes wide. "That was not my intention." Her wide eyes narrow at the closed door. She stood slowly and then glanced to the bar. "Ironic." One muttered.

Katt made her way into the city, her feet carrying her quicker with each step. There was no path taken.

It was simply...

...fleeing...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 05, 2015, 03:45:35 AM
[size=9]Nov 5th[/size]

The Playboy strolled into the market square, dressed in his usual black ankle-length coat, a hand-tailored suit showing under the open front, nodding and waving around to the citizens that passed near enough. Despite the lateness of the year, it was a pleasant enough day, and he planned to take advantage of it, stopping to peruse stalls and vendors at random.

Tomorrow was another town meeting and she was suppose to go over the security detail with Ebon. That and...Ebon wanted to talk to her over some business. What business? She didn't know. It was enough to get her out and about though. After briefing the inn, long enough to retrieve her mail, she made her way to the heart of the city with a stride that was purpose filled but lacking a certain umph. Her goal? The smoothie stall and the fountain for what one could consider..lunch.

He had stopped at a stall to chat with a vendor, a man selling a rather unique assortment of what appeared to be intricate crystalline lattice sculptures, but was surprised to find out they were in fact a sort of three dimensional puzzle. He'd never seen the like before, and was fascinated by them, apparently oblivious to everything else at the moment as he examined one from every angle he could manage.

She had gained the banana and strawberry smoothie and was just about to tail it to her favorite sitting spot when something caught her attention. It wasn't the sight...No. It was a scent on the afternoon breeze that caused her head to tilt just enough to peer across the crowd. Unmistakably ...spotted! For a moment she eyed the brother figure eyeing the crystal sculptures and she was torn in what to do. Go see him or leave him to his peace. That lasted a few minutes before she'd actually push from her rooted place and began to cut the distance between her and her brother. Sharp greens turned an eye to the vendor he was speaking with but didn't offer to butt into their conversation. Instead she stood behind Edward some feet away and just..eyed his back.

She'd come up just as they were negotiating price. "Dat much? Dat's ridiculously overpriced." He said it with a grin, however, as he picked up one of the more confounding-looking three-dimensional puzzles. "I'll take it." Handing over the currency as well as the puzzle, he waited while the vendor boxed it up. Once he had it, he tucked it under his arm and turned to go looking around some more...only to find his sister standing nearby, staring at him. Oh boy. Well, what else was there to do, really? Starting towards her, he gave her a smile, acting as casual as he could manage. He was still the Playboy, after all, nothing could change that fact about him. "Hey dere, lil sis."

"You didn't even try to haggle..." she pointed out to him in a way that was so matter-of-fact. Just..you know..being her. Same with her staring at his back, patiently waiting. Seriously did he know her to ever butt into one of his conversations? Unless she was involved, of course, but that was a different story all together. "It is good to see you out and about."

He chuckled easily, looking down at the box under his arm for a moment, then back at his sister, as he came near and to a halt. "S'not like Ah can't afford it, y'know. Why should Ah haggle?" He was taken aback for a moment. He'd been expecting something less welcoming, given the circumstances. "S'good t'be out'n'about, sis. Well...out'n'about doin' normal stuff, at any rate."

"Isn't the point of being a businessman to keep the money you earn to some degree." Hence..haggling. He would find that she wasn't going to act on anything. After all...she wasn't suppose to know. Nor did she know that he knew that she knew. It...wasn't easy though. She rumbled a sound. "Normal stuff." That statement almost amused her...Almost. Slowly her eyes drifted down to the box. "Is that what has you out?"

He snorted at that. "Sure, Ah s'pose dat's somet'in' t'consider. But on de ot'er hand, part o'de fun of bein' filt'y stinkin' rich is spendin' money of friv'lous, useless crap whenver ya want." He eyed her a moment. Clearly, she wasn't going to broach the subject, and he had a feeling if they didn't discuss it now, it would be uglier down the road. "Ya know, one t'ing Ah've ne'er been fond of is havin' a proverbial elephant in de room. Ah know ya spoke t'Renna, sis. Or rat'er, she spoke t'you."

He..did have a point she supposed. A person that had everything at their fingertips. Katt grunted quietly and her lips started to seek out the straw...until he said...that. She stopped and eyed him long and hard. "I was waiting for you to trust me enough to tell me yourself." There may of been something of a nerve struck that sounded in her tone. "Which conversation did you hear?" One or both.. Did matter. The fact she hadn't said anything else thusfar..might want to cause him concern.

The casual expression slipped from his features, to be replaced by something else. Anger, clear and simple, hardened his blue-grey eyes. "Bot' of 'em, but dat ain't de point, is it? Do ya really t'ink Ah didn' say anyt'in' 'cause Ah don' trust ya? 'Cause dat's just a stupid assumption right dere." He glared at her. "In case ya didn' know it, dere's damn few people in any world Ah actually trust, an' yer at de top of a very short list."

His anger only fueled her own and her eyes showed it. Katt glared right back at him. "You told me..No. You promised me that you wouldn't keep crap like this from me again. Remember?" She placed the cup to the side and held her hand open for the box he was holding. "How the hell am I suppose to feel? Tell me that?" Her jaw clenched and worked as if she were chewing on something. Most likely her own anger. "I should of been the first on your goddamn list to tell. How long have you known?"

He made no move to hand the box over, and when he spoke, his voice was low, full of building fury. "Ah found out a whole two days b'fore dat arrogant b*tch told ya, t'anks. An' did it maybe occur t'ya dat de reason Ah didn' say anyt'in' might've been 'cause Ah didn' want anyone t'know? Ah sure's hell didn' tell her, she found out 'cause she somehow picked up on it on her own. All Ah wanted was t'live de rest o'what remains o'my life like Ah have been, wit'out anyone but me worryin' 'bout de inevitable. Honesly, Ah never worried 'bout it before, an' de only reason Ah do now ain't fer me. De only diff'rence between den an' now is dat now Ah know how it's gonna happen, but jus' like ever'one else, Ah ain't got no idea when. 'Till den, Ah don' want anyone treatin' me like Ah'm 'bout t'keel over, or ask me how Ah'm doin' wit' dat damn expression on deir face ya always see when dey t'ink yer fragile or somet'in. 'Cause Ah ain't."

He can keep the box then. The more he talked the more she wound up and he'd barely get the last few words out before Katt was swinging at him, closed fist and for his right cheek. If he thought back he'd recall.. She did warn him if he kept anything like this from her again she'd punch him. She was keeping true to her word! "For a smart person you are really, really dumb! It took you all this time, knowing damn well she told me, to say anything?! And even then I had to basically corner you? What in the world makes you think I am going to think you are fragile?! The only thing that would change is that I would want to spend more time with you and get you out of that stupid lab! I mean seriously?! And just because you are dying doesn't mean I am going to treat you like glass! You of all people should know me better than that!" Furious didn't even describe how she looked but on top of that..there were tears. As rare as they were in public..they were there now. "Do you even have any idea how important you are to me?" She knew he was important to other people but that didn't matter right now. Nope. Totally selfish at the moment. "You promised me... In that it is your fault that I questioned your trust in me. If you should be angry at anyone it should be yourself!"

The automated protection system in his armor saw her coming, and by the time her fist found his cheek, it met not flesh, but the unyielding surface of the Ranger suit as, quick as thought, the coat he was wearing shifted to cover him up completely. Even so the blow snapped his head to the side, though it didn't stagger him as it otherwise might have. He turned his gaze back towards her, his voice coming out filtered by the armor. "You really don't want to do that. You'll speed up the process." The suit flowed away, reforming into the long coat again, but this time the expression on his face was resigned. "Ya know what, yer right. Ah shoulda told ya. But fer yer information, Ah've been spendin' my time tryin' t'find a solution t'dis. Ah ain't 'fraid o'dyin', but Ah ain't in no hurry t'get dere, eit'er. Best Ah can do is slow it down. But dis...dis ain't 'bout you, Katt. Ain't even 'bout me. What's happenin' t'me is..." He sighed, looking around. "...ya don' understand...if.....dis can't be contained, an' Ah go in de wrong place at de wrong time...it's gonna be bad, sis...fer ever'one."

She gurgled a sound when her fist met the metal. Fhkh that hurt! Even though her hand reeled back she didn't show it on her face. Nope..That punch was to prove a point...even if it hit the metal. "All this time you've been hiding away from the world to find that information. I could of been spending that time with you. I could of been helping. Or at least been there." Precious time that could not be gained back. It was important to her, even if he said it wasn't about her or him. He just..didn't get it. Still.. She did something she was ever good at. Her eyes closed and she bottled up the emotions that had caused the tears. Stuffed them nice and deep. By the time her eyes opened she was looking back at him with that masked that was ever so perfectly crafted. A gesture was made for him to walk and she would, of course, join him. "Explain."

He started walking as she gestured. Somehow, through all that, the package he was carrying hadn't been dropped. "Ya don' get it. Ain't not'in' anyone can do 'bout it. Ah can slow t'ings down, give m'self more time, but Ah ain't got a clue how much. Mont's, maybe years, d'pendin'." He sighed. "S'complicated. All comes back t'dat exper'ment Ah did awhile back, de Guardian Project. 'Member dat?"

She wanted to say he was the one who didn't get it but it didn't matter. She forced herself to swallow it down and she took to his heel, eventually making to walk at his left side. She was still chewing over the fact that he thought she, of all people, would actually treat him like..glass..fragile. He wasn't that..by far. Even if he was dying. She grunted at him when he asked. "Yeah I do. But...why is it back then you looked like hell ran you ragged and you look fine now? Or is it that the base of what is wrong with different...symptoms." She wasn't even sure if that was the word she would use for this.

He shook his head. "Diff'rent problem entirely. De exper'ment is what caused it, t'ough...alterin' my entire genetic structure, incorporatin' properties of de OmniPower material into my DNA. Made me stronger, tougher, faster, all o' dat, but dere was somet'in' Ah didn' know was happenin' at de same time." He looked sidelong at her a moment. "How much d'ya know 'bout how de armor works?"

Still sounded like the base of the problem. The root. Where it started. Katt shook her head and raised a brow at him. She tapped her pack and raised a brow at him. "No clue actually. You've never told me and I've never asked. You are the one who is all into the techno-mumbojumbo, remember? I am pretty stupid when it comes to all of that. What I have learned thusfar is all because of you." She chuckled and craned her head a bit as she looked at him. Hm...

He smirked. It was true, of course, and a lot of the information involved was beyond the understanding just about everyone but himself. "Well, t'give ya de basics...the armor is its own power source. It works by convertin' energy from any force dat can make it change shape. Ya could power yer armor jus' by walkin' around in it, if ya wanted to. Heat, cold, de force of an impact, all dat causes it t'produce energy." He paused a moment. "Well, now dat same material makes up part o'my genetic structure, an' it's been doin' de same t'ing. Problem is, de power it's been producin' is bein' stored in my cells, an' Ah never knew it was happenin'. It's been buildin' up since den...but de cells can only hold so much before..." He stopped there. The implications should be obvious, even to someone who knew as little about technology as Katt.

"So the energy has been building with no release or escape. So..." she blinked and glanced over to him. "You are going to explode..?" It was a guess and yep..in her mind? Edward was a balloon. Same concept, really. See she got it! She wasn't as dumb in it as she would like to think. After all it was him and D.I.A.N.A that had been teaching her.  She was watching his face to see if she got it right.

 Edward Batten: He was silent for a long moment as they walked. It was technically correct, of course, but... "Yeah...but dat don't quite cover de scope of it, sis. Ah mean, ya got it right, but if my calculations are c'rect - an' dey always are - me explodin' wit' all de energy stored up in my cells could take out most of Rhy'din, if not all o' it an' part o'de surroundin' countryside."

She didn't like the silence and the longer he was silent the more she seemed to be staring at him. At his explanation she pursed her lips thoughtfully. "You can't make something... to contain such a blast? Like..If you made a room of the same material as.." she tapped her pack. "That wouldn't..." Her shoulders slumped a bit. No she didn't like the idea of him blowing up. Not in the least..but she did understand his concern.

He shook his head. "Ah t'ought o'dat. De material can take a pretty signif'cant blast, but dat much energy bein' released all at once..." He sighed, his head bowing for a moment. Hell, he didn't like the thought of exploding either. He tried to avoid thinking about it as much as he could, in fact, or tried to distance himself from the thought when he was working for a solution. "Ah'm sorry, Katt. Ya shoulda heard it from me, not dat arrogant..." He choked down the word he wanted to say. "...and ya would have, too. Maybe not right away, mighta taken a coupla days, maybe a week, maybe longer, Ah don' know. But you woulda been de first t'know."

"What about multiple walls of it. That way it doesn't have to absorb it all at once but in waves and chunks? Wouldn't that make the waves weaker?" She stopped speaking when she noticed his head bowed. Reaching out she grabbed his wrist. He was scared. Maybe not scared of dying..but the ultimate of it all maybe? "I would of wanted to of known as soon as you could of. Edward..I have no want to baby you. Maybe spend more time with you..to make more precious moments and have that time...I am here and here for you to lean on. You seem..to not want that tho." She tugged if he'd allow if only for a hug. While there was still question if she was ..just an experiment..these were also her feelings. "I have to admit...I have told one person..but only because I needed someone to speak to...I didn't know what to do. It is someone you know..barely..by name..someone I know that can keep a secret. And I've no intentions on telling anyone else. It is your business to tell who you wish..when you wish..If you ever intend to."

He let her pull him in for the hug, and returned it. "Ya know s'not dat Ah don't want it, sis...Ah'm jus'...used t'dealin' wit' m'own problems on my own. Still not used t'someone else worryin' 'bout me..." He leaned back a bit to look down at her with a grin. "...not even after all dis time." He did arch an eyebrow at her when she said she told someone else, though. "Spill. Who'd ya tell?"

She hugged him for as long as he would allow before slowly releasing him. "Mrm? Mesteno..." Not Clayton. Not Race. Not Issy. She specifically picked someone..he didn't have close connections to or any at all really. "He is the reason I didn't come to you sooner. I ...wanted you to tell me when you wanted to." she mumbled the last bit quietly.

While they talked they made their way through the city, Katt not allowing him to leave until he had lunch and dinner with her. As far as she was concerned he owed her at least that much!
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 05, 2015, 03:51:43 PM
[size=9].: Later that night :.[/size]

Parting ways with her brother had not been easy for her. It seemed like the time they spent that day had been so...short... Informative...but short. Not enough to fill the void that the past months had left her feeling. That, however, was something she made sure not to show.

She was letting her emotions get away with her. That...wasn't normal. But it was him. Her brother. Her family. He really had no clue how important he was to her. How... much his presence meant in her life. How much it bothered her that she couldn't do anything, nothing at all, to even ease his mind. He did manage to, without even realizing it, ease something that was nagging at her mind.

Somewhere...another world...another alternate life...Edward Batten was not her brother but rather her Master. He was not the brother figure that he was to this day. No... He molded the beast. He controlled the monster. She was the abomination that her blood-family had worked to create.

A tool and nothing more...

Surrounded by those that use you for what you are meant to be?

She had to wonder if One actually understood those words... What they meant. In more ways than one. And for a time...yes..she questioned. Was Edward just using her?

Not just him...

Was that all she was meant for? To be used? To be a tool meant for nothing more than death?

Her eyes drew half-masted as she found herself standing before Asile-aux-Falaises. The place her brother allowed her to stay since she and Clayton got a little too loud for the apartment building.

Wasn't her fault Clayton was a screamer!

Slowly, but surely, she started her way inside and was greeted excitedly by the tuxedo cat and the Moor cat. The Moor cat nearly toppled her over but she managed to keep her footing while petting his massive head. The stroking to the large head ended as her eyes turned up to find the cat-in-manflesh standing in the doorway, a look of surprise. No doubt surprised to see her after nearly a month's time. She'd use this moment to her advantage and made her way to him.

Her hand stretched out, gently tapping her fingers against his hand before curling her fingers to his. When she saw his lips move to speak she shook her head faintly. Silently she tugged and drew him to the bedroom, tattered shoes kicked off along the way and somewhere along the way the burnt hoodie found the floor. She saw the questions in his golden eyes grow in number. He must of caught the scent of blood that was clinging to her.

Instead of even attempting to answer any of his questions she guided him to the bed and crawled in, his hand tugged on weakly to pull him along with her. He'd barely make it into the bed before she was headbutting her forehead to his chest, her arms curling to his waist to hug him, and her face buried. Inhaling his scent she pressed more until he had gave in and they both collapsed onto the bed. Face buried against him she remained like that, even as his own arms found place around her.

It was like this that she finally found sleep, his heartbeat a rhythm that she got lost in. After a month without any true sleep past a hour here and there she'd likely sleep the night away, unknown to the tears that found their way past closed lids and onto the flesh that she was nestled against.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on April 06, 2016, 04:40:06 PM
.: Chapter Twenty-Two: Triggers :.
[size=9]Jan 20th [/size]

Early morning in the Batten Training Facility there was a crash that left one of the doors twisted and bent open like a ramp welcoming someone to enter. The horrific screech of metal being manipulated was enough to have Kyle down to investigate though by D.I.A.N.A?s report he could already assume what was going on.

Katt was training again?

She trained hard and at times got a little carried away, sure, but what he found was not to this expectation. It was far, far worse. Climbing over the path that was once the door he found that the training room was, unsurprisingly, a wreck but what was surprising was the fact that Katt herself was sprawled on the ground in a pool of her own blood. The flesh looked as if it had been peeled off at certain places on her body leaving muscle and even bone exposed to the air. Even as he approached he could see she was still alive. Her chest heaved from the labor of heavy breaths and by the way her hands were moving against the ground it was almost as if she were trying to get up even in her current state...or she was twitching heavily in pain. Either way he took care in collecting her and moving her with care to the medical ward.

Stirring hours later she shifted in a bed that was not her own. Rather it was the bed of a room she had been placed in to rest up. She could tell that she had been given some of the specialized painkillers that her brother had made from her but there was also a feeling as if she had been given blood. Likely to ease and hurry the healing process. Either way it still took time before her mind reached out past the muddled stage to even think of moving?

...She really didn?t want to?

She didn?t need to think about what happened or how she ended up there?

Training to try and force the Reevi to reset was the attempt but not only that she tried to do what someone suggested. Instead of just using a part of the Reevi, why not a full body transformation? It, however, had been a horrible idea. Horrible and downright painful. She didn?t even manage a full body shift before the pain became unbearable?

?So you are awake. You are becoming rather reckless, Katt.?

Her head turned away when she heard Kyle?s voice. It wasn?t as if he were scolding her but rather lecturing out of concern, she knew, so didn?t need to see his face. ?Mrmm?? There was silence and when Kyle didn?t speak up again she decided to ask, ?You didn?t tell my brother did you??

?I am pretty sure he was alerted long before I even got there and D.I.A.N.A has been keeping him updated on your current condition.?

Nodding she slowly sat up, struggling in the efforts but eventually managing. When she looked over she took note that Kyle had been sitting nearby in a chair for some time? Even had a magazine with him. Now the question that weighed on her mind was how long she had been out. ?I managed to keep the damage down to the facility to a minimum.? That was always a good thing, she figured.

?You mean until you go training in your suit again.? Kyle chuckled and rolled the magazine between his hands.

He was right...of course. While she had been alternating between getting use to the suit and fixing herself, she had been doing a bit more damage than normal. Really she was expecting her brother to sit her down one day and tell her to stop. Tell her that the facility repairs was costing him a fortune and she was going to make him broke? ?I am just trying to get use to it. I think Edward wants to train me a little himself. I could be wrong?? Plus he had a lot on his plate already. Not that she knew all what was on his plate. She seemed to be the very last person to ever find out things. No matter how much she wanted to be there for him, he just wouldn?t let her?

The magazine was used to bop her head as Kyle stood. ?You won?t be any good to anyone if you go off and killing yourself.? He waved on his way out the door.

Probably had work to do, she figured? ?Thanks.? A smile ticked the corner of her lips as she bowed her head after the man.

Waiting a while longer before moving she glanced down to her arms. Already the flesh was regenerating but it was still damn painful. She had tried so many routes to fix the Reevi issue. Hell she had gone so far as to ask Ebon to go into her head, which anyone who truly knew her, knew that was not something she liked. Someone else in her head. Someone who could get swallowed up by the madness that was the abyssal chaos that was her mind?

...maybe she feared someone finding out that despite everything she really was the dark monster that she tried so hard not to be?

There was a deep seeded fear of that darkness. Being in the pit of nothingness. Being nothing. Feeling...nothing. No joy,  happiness, sadness, or fear. Not even pain. Whatever, or whoever, had awaken the emotions had left her with a gift she was not so willing to let go. She had been given life...

One question did remain loud in her head and had since the moment she found out her brother was going to die. When he did...how would she handle it? She had seen him nearly get swallowed whole by a dragon and a berserker's rage consumed her both mind and body. The dark part of her laid claim fully that day, leaving her with time lost and wounds gained when she woke. So if he died...and she lost him forever...how was she going to deal with it? Would she be able to? Or would that be the nudge that would send her spiraling down into the depths of her own darkness?

Frightful questions that left her shaking her head and despite not being fully healed she escaped from the bed sheets to gather her shoes. It was because of questions like those that she kept herself so busy. So she didn?t have think about them?

There was very little she ran away from but her own self seemed to be what she ran away from the most...

After changing into the clothes that Kyle seemed kind enough to bring her she started out of the room only to nearly bump into a nurse. The woman was barely taller than herself but kept herself planted.

"Oh, well, good evening, Miss Batten!" the woman quickly spoke while trying to usher Katt back into the room. "I was told to keep you in your room until you were fully recovered and you don't look anywhere near that."

"I'm leaving." It was so simply put as she slid past the woman's waving clipboard and slipped past her fully. She'd only stop once she was behind the woman. "See. I am recovered enough..."

"Miss Batten. I am under direct orders from both Mr. Pontius and Mr. Petrov to sedate you if I must." The woman was stern in her voice but it was clear she was nervous in speaking with such a tone at Katt.

Sharp greens had narrowed at the threat of being sedated. Both Kyle and Big Mike huh... Shame on them for hiding behind a nurse to get her to stay in bed. "Tch..." The sound escaped her and she considered...just for a moment...to just leave. Was she concerned the woman would try to sedate her? Not in the least... "Fine. But you inform Mr. Petrov that he is officially signed up for my next five training sessions." She didn't even specify if it was with or without the armor just to leave the man sweating a bit.

She moved back into the room, leaving the nurse standing there rather baffled. Most likely due to how easy that had been. Maybe she was expecting some sort of fight. "I want something from Rene for dinner too. No hospital food." Not like Batten's medical ward gave hospital food but still.

"Alright, Miss Batten. Is there anything else I can do for you?" The nurse asked while hooking Katt back to her IV but making it so that Katt would be able to pull the unit around if she desired to move around.

"Mrph." She grunted quietly. "No..."

The dark haired woman looked at Katt with a confused expression for the sound she produced. Like she was being scowled at and she wasn't sure why. "I'll check on you again in a few hours." The nurse stated as she exited the room.

A nod was given to chase the nurse out but if she, or anyone for that matter, thought she was going to stay in bed for twenty-four hours had another thing coming. They'd be lucky if she stayed until nightfall and that was only because she was expecting food from Rene.

For now she'd just sleep and try not to think too much about things...

Like when she was going to be asked about the wedding date...

...Again...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on July 03, 2016, 04:30:30 AM
.: Chapter Twenty-Three: A Reminder :.

A large tree arose from the yard at the Ilnaren's city home, and Doran stood by it, leaning against the trunk as he waited for Katt to come.  He'd told his father to pass the message along, when and where... being all mysterious.  As he waited, the youth lifted a flute to his lips and began to play a lilting melody.

Normally she would've snuck on in and tried to surprise the youth and yet not tonight. Instead the message had her confused but something else entirely kept her from doing anything...well..shadow related. Still the night clung close and seemed to separate from her as she approached closer. The sound of the flute caused a rare little smile to tug at her lips and once she was close enough she would just fold her arms and lean into her heels, listening... Maybe entirely too patiently...

Since she wasn't being intentionally sneaky, Doran noticed Katt when she stepped out of the night.  Reaching the end of his tune, he slipped the flute into its little carry-holster at his belt, and turned to look at her with an odd expression on his face.  Not angry, or upset... just a little half-smile that spoke volumes and nothing at all simultaneously.  He looked very much like his mother at that moment, with the moonlight coming from behind a cloud to catch his blue eyes.  "Hello, Katt.  Thanks for coming."

She was mildly curious if the flute was the one she had crafted for him or not. She didn't pry into it. Instead...she focused on the expression he wore. She could not think a single time when he looked upon her with such a face... Slowly her head tilted to the side curiously. "Good evening, Doran...Is something troubling you?"

It was, in fact, that same flute.  "You weren't at the Midsummer party the other night."  Pause.  "Well, not as you are, anyway."  Subtle?  Perhaps not so much.

"Mrm? Oh..." she shook her head slowly. "I was..." She grunted and glanced to the side. "Grumpy after an encounter at the inn so I ...stuck to home for a few days trying to shake off the feeling it left me with..." Her brows dipped briefly before she glanced longways to him. "What do you mean...?"

"She called herself Sylva."

"I'm sorry..I don't understand.." Sylva. The name didn't ring any bells.

Doran realized that he was being more subtle than he'd thought.  "Apparently she didn't like it when people kept referring to her as Katt."  Stepping away from the tree, he approached her, eyebrow raised--marking him as his father's child now.  "She's a teenage girl, living in a cave... and she's you.  You as you were, or at least as you might have been.  Did you know she's here in our Rhydin?"

Doran managed to do something that few ever could. She went stark still, like someone had shoved a broomstick down her spine. "****." Err....opps. Hopefully Ebon would forgive that...She grunted quietly and turned her attention fully to him. "She...is me..but at the same time..not. I am...aware she is in Rhydin, yes. She has been for a few years..."

"A few... years?"  In the time they'd known each other, Katt had seen Doran's face full of amusement, elation, boredom, worry, and more than a few times with puppy-dog lovesickness.  This might have been the first time she'd seen cold steel in his eyes.  "She has been living... on a cold... stone... cave floor... for a few... years?!  And you knew this?"

...She was getting scolded by a boy! She stared at him for several long moments. He was one of the few that could get away with that look and her not get livid. She understood where the look was coming from... "Doran... I tried to get her to stay at the dojo. She wouldn't. She finds my presence..disturbing..and quite frankly I find hers to be the same..." Her arms slowly folded, making no attempt to hide the fact that her arms were bandaged from the fingertip to her upper arm. "She wants no help from me...nor Clayton. When I tried to go to the cavern to give her food she moved elsewhere. After finding her a few times it is very apparent she wants absolutely nothing to do with me. It isn't for my lack of trying..." She huffed a bit. "So..she was at the festival? I suppose the amount of food drew her..." Easy targets...

He stared at her for a long moment... and then smirked a bit, not accusingly but more in amusement.  "Well, you tried, at least."  Faith in humanity, restored!  "You aren't lying about her finding you disturbing, she was vehement about not being 'that woman'.  And yes, she was at the festival, at least the first night.  I bought her some jambalaya and a couple of beignets.  I, ah, didn't tell her that you'd made them."  Doran chuckled a little at that, before growing somber once more.  "I know how disconcerting it can be when first encountering another version of yourself.  When I first met Velen, even I was a bit skeeved out... and Sylva is, I dunno, she doesn't even consider herself a person.  How much of her life do you know, that shaped her like that?"

She scratched at her cheek. "Every time someone sees her they call her by my name and I think it frustrates her. At that age I...I didn't have a name. Which.." She blinked and lowered her hand. "She's calling herself..Sylva?" When he asked that question she visibly winced. Her past was not something she would of wanted Doran to know of her. Ever. "From what I gather...when she arrived here it was about the time that I...I was just finished being trained by Master Silver. I was told throughout my youth that I was nothing but a tool...an abomination meant to kill. To follow orders until either I am deemed unusable or ..I died..." She didn't like telling the youth this. She knew it might bring up other questions and some likely pointed more at her than her younger self.

"Hmmm.  No wonder Pa feels a kinship with you."  Doran let it go at that; he may not have been able to 'read' Katt, but being an empath was as much about picking up on silent cues and body language as it was psionics, and he knew she wasn't comfortable.  "Yes, Sylva... someone gave her that name.  Desdemona, I think... I don't remember.  It suits her, in a way."

She nearly groaned. "It sounds like she has been getting out more if she has bumped into Des. And yourself." Raising a hand she rubbed at her face. "I don't know what to do about her, Doran...and at her age it was just before I came to Rhydin. So things for her are...different than I remember. By now I had a ...friend.." her brows furrowed as she tried to think of that friend but it was foggy, at best. "But emotions..were not easy for me. I was more an animal than a person. Just stealing and eating to survive. She won't accept help from me because I..scare her." She shrugged helplessly. "But thank you for feeding her..."

"I did more than that.  I gave her a way to call if she needs food, help, anything.  A jade figurine upon which I left an empathic impression.  If she thinks of me while holding it, I'll know, and I'll be able to find her."  He gave a little shrug.  "She may never use it, but... she's broken, Katt.  I couldn't just leave her with nothing."

Her head tilted and a soft smile curved her lips. "You have a good heart, Doran." The smile faded. He was right. She was broken. She knew too well... "I know you may not like it but you do know..you could always force her hand..."

There went that eyebrow again.  "That's a dangerous way of thinking.  Forcing something--or someone--that's broken tends to shatter it completely."

She glanced to him and chuckled. "Oh trust me..I know...But ...what do you intend to do? Just leave her be unless she calls? If you rather force her hand you can always go to her instead... I am not sure if she trusts you or whatnot but instead of waiting and hoping she will call for you..." She shook her head slowly. "I cannot say I know she would or wouldn't."

"Do you... know where she is... living?"

"Somewhere in the cave structures up past the glen. I have been cheating and having Felix finding her for me. If you ...are considering my idea I can get him to help you." Oh wait..had Doran met Felix? Hmmm..

"Felix?"  Apparently not.

She tilted her head faintly to the side and glanced to the trees. Without so much of a word a large feline that resembled close to a tiger yet black as night came strolling along. Wearing a half awake expression the large cat trotted its way to her side and stared at Doran with bright blue eyes. This cat was one of the great Moor Cats from the Ravenlock family, no doubt. A rare sight indeed. "Doran..Meet Felix."

He smiled amiable.  "Hullo, Felix."

The large cat yawned at Doran and huffed. Eventually the large cat moved close to plop himself on the ground at Doran's feet while Katt...well..she rolled her eyes. Yes, Doran saw her do that. "He hasn't been hunting in a while so I fear he may of grown...lazy."

"I think sometimes cats want you to think they're lazy so they can catch you off-guard."

She chuckled down to the large cat. "Felix says he likes you. You are smart witted. I..agree." Slowly her eyes tilted to Doran. "May I...ask you something, Doran?"

"Of course."

She tipped her head faintly. "Are you ..helping her because of me..?"

"I'm helping her because of her.  Because nobody should feel like nothing more than a tool, a weapon."  His tone was firm, though not harsh.

She wanted to smile at his testimony but something caused her to just look away. "Who else knows about her? Besides you and Des?"

"My father, Maggie, Aunt Rhi and Uncle Gory... they all saw her, but I didn't tell them who she was.  Andu seemed to know something of her, and there was someone else she mentioned but I didn't recognize the name."

That did explain why Ebon seemed to have no idea the reason of the meeting. "Yes....Andu was the one who spotted her some time ago and alerted me to her in the first place. It was..weird." She craned her head. "What was the name?"

"I don't remember... I may have imagined that, come to think of it."

"So worked up on helping her that you are hearing things?" Did..she just tease him? Maybe a little. "Are you planning to help her? If so I will give you some money to do so...Just..don't tell her it came from me."

"I'll help her if I can, yes... but don't worry about money, I'll manage that.  I'm an up-and-coming star of the stage, after all."

"Stubbornness runs in your family I see..." She tilted her head. "As you wish but the offer stands..." Her lashes drooped a bit. "And be careful, Doran. At that age I had yet to master my thirst...And it is likely she hasn't been feeding as she should be. Do not approach her wounded...alright?"

"Duly noted."

"Then again..." She turned her chin and looked out into the darkness. "You might end up liking it..." Did she just tease the boy? Only a little...in a really weird way.

"...well, she is cute."

Okay..that backfired. Blink.

Then he just flashed a grin full of mischief.

She glanced over to him to see that grin and knew she had been duped. Clever little boy... "I think maybe a change for her looks in some ways...haircut or changing her hair color...I am not sure what clothes she is wearing. Something to distinguish herself from...well..me..."

"There's a thought."

"Will likely help her stop giving evil eyes to everyone who asks." She chuckled and gestured to the large cat. "He is at your disposal until you are done with him. Speak to him as you would me. He will understand you but..he does not speak back. And..thank you, Doran..." She clasped her hands and slowly bowed at the waist.

He returned the bow in kind.  "You're welcome."

Slowly she straightened herself. "Do..you need anything else? Or ..want to talk? Questions.." She knew he likely had a few under belt he was dying to get off his chest now. She was giving him a chance.

"No... perhaps another time.  When you're older."  Was that another teasing grin?

Her lips curved a strange smirk. "Be careful saying things like that, Doran..." Her chin dipped faintly as she seemed to give something a thought but whatever it was she shook her head. "Please...be careful. If something happened to you...your father would have my head." Nevermind the guilt she would feel. She felt like she was sending him into a lion's den. A lion who was hungry and deprived.

"I'll be careful.  Thanks, Katt."  He looked down and gestured to Felix.  "You're welcome to stay here, if you like, or come inside... it's just me here tonight, everyone else is at the manor."

She watched as the great cat stretched out then rose, moving to join at Doran's side. Something hit her at that moment. "Doran...Do you remember when I said that she may not be feeding properly? At...this age I was struggling with something else..." Raising a hand she settled to fingers against her collarbone. "My blood, to be precise. At her age it is before I had one part of my blood locked away. So there may be times she seems to be in terrible pain..." She was warning him ahead of time so he didn't freak out.

"How does she feed?"

She tilted her head and watched him. It only occurred to her a few moments of staring that...he didn't know. Her lips parted to show her canines before slowly closing her lips in a low murmur, "Vampiric... I am not a vampire by any means but the way she feeds is very..vampiric..."

"I... see."  He nodded once.  "I'll be extra careful, then.  No going in wounded, as you said before."  See, he was paying attention!

"Correct. Because likely she will pounce from you and feed without permission. She won't kill you but...yeah...Some people find it alarming." Though like she said he might end up liking it. She just kept that part to herself for now. Turning slightly she glanced to him, obviously concerned.

"I am capable of defending myself, Katt, trained by more than a few capable instructors... though hopefully I won't need to.  I'll be careful."  He smiled and gave a jaunty salute.  "Good night!"

She sighed quietly and saluted him back. Silently she turned away and resumed on her exit. Felix huffed and stayed with Doran, moving along with him like a silent guardian.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on September 29, 2016, 09:32:56 PM
.: Chapter Twenty-Four: The death of One :.

The door to the Teas rang as the cloaked one entered. With the hood low, she nodded to the old man and his daughter on the way in, heading right for a particular table that was occupied by a certain someone. The cloak hung heavily on her and, her posture? Defeated. She looked haunched and walked in an odd sort of... manner. As if there was nothing to her thoughts. Nothing to her stance. Her walk slow and randomly interlaced with speeds.

Katt was slumped in her seat, somewhat asleep with her eyes opened...Or she was in heavy thought. Exhausted even. She had heard the bell - announcing someone's arrival, but she didn't look over quite yet. She didn't really have to. Despite being in a place full of aromas she practically could feel who it was. Eventually her position did straightened and she turned her sharp gaze upon the cloaked one.

Without invitation she sat into the chair opposite her, drawing a wicked gauntleted claw onto a nearby table. Of course, she would feel who it was. They were practically the same at one point. Well. At least her DNA was put to some good use improving her own entity; her arsenal. Her world. She spoke though, as if ill. Her voice was croaked and odd. Mechanical almost in some areas. "Look like s***."

"You sound how I look..." Was sent right back without a moments thought. Slowly Katt's fingers combed through her hair. Did she really look that bad? Oh well..."Why are you hiding under a cloak? It isn't cold enough for one yet..." As if that was the whole reason she was wearing one.

She slammed her claw onto the table and leaned forward. "None of your **** business, Batten." She hissed. "I came to see how you were. Is this how you greet me?"

She blinked slowly. One never called her that before. Always her brother... Briefly her lips pursed before relaxing. "I ask because normally when I wear a hood up I am hiding something. I am asking because I care enough to ask what you are hiding. So yes...that is how I greet you." Her head craned slightly to the side, sharp greens looking at the hood as if trying to peer past the folds of fabric.

There is a face there. Shadowed, wide-tired eyes. Bloodshot. "This One apologizes... I am being... emotional. Unagreeable. Annoyed." She curls her gauntlet into a fist of metal, the strain evident as she clenches. "I am sorry." She whispers. "There is no need to care, Katt. I am fine."

"I am hiding everything you assume." She responds quickly.

"You aren't one for lying..." It wasn't a scold...but rather a soft acknowledgement. "You do not need to apologize. If I might ask...what has you emotional and the aboves?" Granted she had a fair idea of what it was but sometimes just speaking helped. To talk sometimes aided in the weight and that is what she offered.

"The Betrayer? Not one for lying? Tell me another one." She scoffed.

She said nothing but rather just stared at One, expectantly, with that heavy gaze of hers. She was patient. Some things...never change.

"I miss him." She hissed.

"Be more specific, please." Him could be a few men that she knew associated with One. Including her ..ex-husband? She wasn't sure what he was now. Ugh okay that hurt her head. Next question please!

"Do you know, what is like to feel love to someone you never met before?"

There was a touch of confusion on her face at the question. "How..can you love someone if you've never met them?"

One stared. "You see a face you know you love. You feel a strong... feeling. Attraction. No reason. No rhyme. As if you are forced to feel emotions not of your own." One chuckled. "Brian Ravenlock. I love him. Hawk. I love him too. Darkmere. I love him too. Kruger. I love him too. Why? I don't know. The same is for Edward." She smirked then. "But... He was my first. My real first. When I came to be it was the only thing that mattered." She indicated a hand to the room. "But Brian, too, was strong with me. Both of them meant the world to me." She felt her lips curl into a sneer. "First, Edward. I told you, didn't I? I told you. Now Brian." She flexed her wicked fingers. Blades scorched the wood. "Renna met with Edward. I was the tail end of that creation." She placed her hands to her face. "Both of them. Gone. Going..." She snapped her eyes to Katt. "Desolation. Devastation. What a mess we made..." She slammed her head onto the table.

Her expression dimmed. So Brian had told her. Of course he had... She watched One's head move and she tried to slide her hand under One's head before it met the table. "You don't think I am not devastated? Brian has been like a father to me and my brother..." She drew in her lips. She had no words to what that was doing to her emotionally and mentally. "Yes..you told me..." She started quietly, "And we both know if we could do anything to help them we would..."

She turned her head up, her chin scratching on the table as she glared up abyssal orbs at her from below the hood. Bloodshot and wide. Every inch of her wanted the world to burn--it did. She attacked the docks not long ago and... she looked upon Katt as a simple example. She wanted to kill her. The item of Edward's love. Brotherly--it didn't matter. Every must die with him. This city. This life. EVERYTHING. Shaking, she felt tears streak down her cheeks. "Kill this clone, please."

That request drew her back and caused surprised. She couldn't even hide it. In fact it wore on her face loud and clear. "You...don't mean that." It was the pain that caused her to say it. She knew it was. The hopeless feeling. The feeling of loss.

"I am safe. Killing this shell is nothing. I have been terminating all of my presence here since... that day." She looked to Katt, grinning. "Don't think for a second you won't think it best that this is done. This, is, my main clone in this realm. The anchor. The main server. Just cut it off." She glanced then, aside. "Don't worry. My daughter is strong enough to last on her own."

She was silent, her eyes narrowing slightly. "If I thought it was for the best don't you think I would've killed you long ago with the shard piece you gave me?" Her expression relaxed. "Why are you asking me to do it?" There had to be some reason.

"Because he won't." She indicated to her. "You have the tool to do it."

"He would hate me if I did do it."

"He would never hate you. He loves you Katt. I remember you before you became a Batten. I used you... do you remember?"

She smiled faintly. "I wouldn't be too sure about that." Her smile faded somewhat. "Kind of hard to forget. I swear at times I still feel you..."

One stared. "My Virus remains in you. That is why. He would never hate you." She affirmed.

She tried not to twitch. "I thought it had been removed?" She would not deny she didn't like One near her brother. There was a venomous feeling over what she did to her brother. Thinking back to those days...that look on his face...Her arms tensed briefly only for her to force them to relax.

"Hard to remove my influence when the technology is all so similar..." She muttered. "Besides, all former hosts are outfitted with an immunity function to my Viral strains." She lifted a hand. "Antibodies to my commands are inside of you. I am sure Batten discovered them... well, then again... he didn't know everything."

"Most likely not. He has been offworld for almost two years..." She felt slightly itchy at the thought of One's influence still in her. "Is that..what you planned on to use in order to fix my...insides...if I had taken up your offer?"

"No. As I said, I have no influence over them." She stared. "I understand your distrust."

"More like curious." she corrected calmly. At least it was a detour from One's request. Did she consider it? She would be lying if she said no...

Her head lowered. The hood covering her face. "I love him." She muttered. "I am sure you will find that hard to believe."

"If you did love him you would not of hurt him the way you did." She was trying to keep herself collected but those mental images just kept coming back. "I love him, too, and I don't want to lose him. I want to smack him for thinking it was okay to hide it from me too. And I want to double smack him every time he says all things must die. Like that is suppose to make it easier." She pushed up out of her chair and used a foot to nudge the chair back in place.

"I've hurt him as much as I have aided him. Does it balance it all out? No." She laughed. "I enjoyed hurting him. But never once did I ever consider him... dead. To die. Our dances... our long waltz in the fights we had... there was pain. There was deaths. I knew I crossed the line when I took DIANA from him. I took away something he loved. I don't expect forgiveness. I don't deserve it. I never expect it. But he hurt me, too. It was our roles. And I will never hate him for that. I am sure to this day he will battle me forever more. But that is fine." She chuckled. "He's not going to do that, is he?" She looked at Katt with a sad smile. "I loved Brian. I got over it. He moved on... Heh, I'm speaking like I lived that life. As if I am Renna. But... I am. I am her." She chuckled. "And Edward moved on from me. He had his purpose in life. He was a hero. He was a good man. There is, or was, no life with me. That is the way of things. "Am I saying he loved me? I don't know." She shrugged. ??? "I am, and always will be, alone. I am a monster. I need death. I need flesh. I need blood and guts. It is what I am."

"So why do you want me to kill you? You can move on too, you know." There was something stirred but it was held under a mask. Held tight. "Give me a damn good reason why I should kill you and I will. Give me one that will strike so deep that I cannot deny you."

She leant back into her chair. "Kill me? Come now, Katt. You are merely ending my most powerful clone in this realm. Do you not understand what it is I am saying? I want nothing in this life--this realm, if he is not here." She tossed a hand to the city. "**** the rest. I care little for them all. If I need a reason to return, you can summon me. Otherwise? I want nothing to do with this place. What is the point?"

"You find a point. You find a reason. You don't just..give up. But if that is what you want..." There was a long silence. "I just..don't understand why you are requesting it of me. Besides having the means." She was a little surprised Edward did not.

"Katt." She leaned over the table and grasped her hands. "Look me in the eyes."

She blinked when her hands were grasped and she met One's eyes. A rare thing she met someone in the eye. "Mrmm?"

One smirked darkly as tears formed in the corners of her eyes. "Don't make me **** ruin this city to get what I want."

"You..." She was about to say 'wouldn't...but she knew better. Exhaling low she stared at One. "Not here."

A genuine grin passed her lips. "Wherever you want."

She didn't like this. It almost felt like a trap... But on one hand ...One on a rampage and destroying the city just so Katt would go through with things...Didn't leave her with great choices. "Mrph....I will let you pick where. Quiet..Nobody around. Hell if I want witnesses." There was a pause. "If...I do this..you promise me that you can be summoned if I need to..."

"Agreed." She glanced aside. "The Glen."

"No..I want to hear that word." Promises were not something she took lightly...by any means.

"You know I always keep my promises." She growled. "Fine. I promise."

"Even so that is still like a bonding. You know that." A slow shake of her head was given. "Your...original ...Is going to be irked at me for doing this isn't she?"

She stared. "You people are dumb. I AM the original." She waved a hand over her attire. "I wear this thing like a cloth."

One then pressed her hand to her forehead. "It's like commanding a puppet."

Her lips curved a frown. "Yeah I know. I am not smart like my brother." she snapped. Hands shoved into her pockets she started to the door. "If you are the original and I kill you then how are you suppose to be able to come back if I call?"

One snapped her spare claw up from the folds of her cloak to grasp Katt's forehead tightly, but briefly. She withdrew her grip not a second later.

The look on Katt's face? Priceless. The vision she saw caused her pause..she managed to clear her throat. "Alrighty then..."

"This clone is the anchor here. Killing this one will... well, end them all. In this realm, that is."

That was an imagine she can not shake. Lifting a hand she smothered her face. "I...I see..." Oh lordy she was going to be dealing with that for years to come. Thanks!

"Uhuh."

"Uh.." Right. She pointed to the door. "We...walking? Or..Um.." Yeah..she was going to need a moment.

"I'll see you there." She mused, standing up and simply walking straight out.

Good gravy! She shadow stepped out!


----The Glen----

Approaching the lake, One smirks to herself. "This will be fun." She mused. Pulling back her hood, she glances around the area, content with the world as it was. "Quiet. Out of sight. Good for you, no?"

She grunted quietly from the shadows that spilled her. "I..guess..." Disgruntled to say the least and she was still shaking her head.

"I don't see the difference." She waded into the lake a little. "But then again, I kind of appreciate the venue. I do love the water. A lake. I used to hide from Von Gart when I was child in the lake. Stupid Vampires and their hatred for running water..." She laughed. "I met Shion at a lake And I met Lysander, as well... and the fountain at the Marketplace..." She smirked wider still, eyes wild. "God I **** and kissed so many in that damn fountain."

She flailed her arms. "Oh my gawd!" She did not need to hear that!! One just may of ruined her favorite spot to sit!!

Her smile faded. "Let's get this over with."

"You are making sure you leave me with all sorts of things to remember you by aren't you?" She gruffed quietly. One arm lowered and she turned it just enough to make sure that One didn't see what she was doing to the arm. Was better she didn't know where the shard had been kept all this time. Namely under flesh.

"Might as well scar you more." She monotoned. "There's nothing more than I love, than your brother." She mused. "The first time we kissed it was... well, to be honest, it was normal. Like kissing Brian. Actually. Different. More tongue." She kept her back to Katt, though she did turn her head aside to reveal her smile. "Lots more tongue... but he saw me, you know. Laid bare. He saw my past. All of it. I think; or like to, think, it was all sympathy. It makes this easier. Sympathy." She knelt down into the waters of the lake and moves her fingertips to the water's surface. "Beyond this veil I have torn apart ten worlds seeking for perfection and yet, here, in this one; a place I can never touch, I cannot even attain something as simple as... him. I lost Brian to time and hatred. And I lost Edward... I lost him. I am a fickle creature. I steal hearts and use them to my advantage but he managed to dash mine to the pavement and stamp upon it without so little effort."

As long as she kept it to kissing she was fine, really! She watched One, her head swaying faintly. She couldn't say how Edward felt. He never talked to her in that way. There was always..walls. "You can still learn from it and move on. Find someone. I mean you have a child you can live for..."

"And you would recommend me as a Mother?" She spat. "Like my Mother before me. I care little for their existence. They are but a byproduct of my desires."

"Really? Honestly I thought you were kind of ..motherly when you were preganant. You seemed concerned even before the child was born."

"The twins are better off without me. I might be able to produce children but I am not capable of looking after them."

She snorted quietly. "And I am?" Wait..she can't even produce them so..eh..that didn't work out the way she had planned.

"You would make a wonderful mother."

"I have absolutely no idea why you would think that." Clayton said the same thing and she..just didn't see it.

"You're kind." She started. "You care so much for your family... Katt. I know you. Inside and out." She stared. "If there is a better woman here, as a mother, it would be you." She turned her head away and stared out across the lake. "Now. Stop stalling. Get this over with. You have things to do."

"That is because until Edward..I never knew what family was. Heck I didn't learn what a mother and father was until I was -" And she was caught. "Are you sure you will not change your mind?"

"There is no life worth living if they are not here for it. Not in this realm. Otherwise this world will not be worth existing."

Edward was going to hate her for this. Using the Reevi she formed a thin dagger with the shard being the point. With the way One was, it would be an execution style. Stepping close to One she lowered her free hand onto her shoulder. "I don't quite agree with that statement. Losing someone does...leave a great hole in ones heart, however. It is how you decide to deal with that.."

"For **** sakes Katt, I am giving you an opportunity to end my existence here! This should be everything you wanted and more. Besides... I never had a chance."

"Mrm..How many times in the past have I had a chance to kill you and hadn't? I took you in, instead. Or ..something else. I don't.. I don't kill as often as I use to." In fact she could count on a single hand how many she had since the Shadow Virus.

"You cannot kill what is already dead."

She thought about that mental image. Ugh! Nooo don't think about that mental image. "Then how can you be killed if you are dead?" Oh dear laawdddd did she just make a joke? She truly did suck at them.

One merely looked back at her. "Stop stalling."

"Can I ask one last question before I do this?"

"If you must."

"I know..I am not smart. I can't ever..really fill my brother's shoes." Whatever questioni she had was lost in that thought, and she frowned a bit.

"That isn't a question."

"Forget it." She mumbled. "Any last words? Requests?" Etc etc etc.

Last words..." She muttered. "What's the point. I am not dead beyond this death. You are merely killing the thing that Batten created. Tied, to this realm. Everything..." Tears crashed onto her folded legs. "It's funny. I took DIANA from him, but I felt nothing. I suppose it is only fitting I find emotion when I take away the one thing he and Renna had made." She tilted back her head, and stared to the sky. "This is going to hurt, Katt. I am just warning you now. You hold in your hands something that many have had. Batten had it, but he never took my life. I wonder about that. It won't be pretty. Strike and walk away."

She craned her head faintly. "What do you mean...going to hurt?" Yep now she wasn't stalling. That sounded like she needed to know and why was she only saying this now?

"You're holding something that can kill me." She mused. "This might be a clone but I can assure you, given this is the main link to this realm, I will feel it."

Aw crap. The real thing was going to get pissseedddd. "Oh. I thought you meant...me.." She sighed and squeezed One's shoulder. "You may not care about this but...I will bury your body in a nice place...You may be a clone but you are still your own person..."

"You haven't seen one of us die yet, have you?"

Her eyes rose up as she thought about that. "No...I can't say I have..."

"Best run."

"Oh geez. You are going to explode aren't you?" She tilted her head and squinted down at her.

"Failsafe. You understand, right?"

"I do.." She nodded slowly. "Then..I will mark a grave instead." She softly drew One's hair over one shoulder.

"For *** sakes, Katt, just do it. We're not friends. Heck, if I was in your position I would hack my own head off."

"You aren't me. You know how I feel ...about.." She frowned and drew her hand back before driving the blade forward, jabbing the shard through a space of the spine at the back of her neck. It was a quick jab but enough to where it almost went clean through the neck. Withdrawing the blade quickly she stepped back but eased the shoulder so that One's body just didn't drop.

Death was quite the instant happening for this circumstance. With the type of weapon that she had, there was no blood. The wound crystalized almost immediately and yet, with a rather minor spasm as her body went limp, dark veins quickly spread across the surface of her flesh--fat, tree-branching lines that twitched and pulsed. Rather suddenly, though, her skin rippled as if something beneath the surface was trying to get out and, with one more minor shudder and sudden stiffening of her limbs, she had become a perfect crystalline statue, wearing a cloak. Transparent, yet tinted a purpleish pink hue. She did say she would explode, right? Well, in the center of her chest, an odd glow began to grow and the air was definitely getting hotter.

The crystallization reminded her of Chaos' castle in the shadow realm. Stepping back she watched in an almost awe but mindful to withdraw the reevi dagger into herself along with the shard piece. "I'm sorry..." was all she could find herself to say in that moment before taking a few steps back. Was what she did right? It didn't feel like it... Even if it was requested of her. The sudden thickness of the air drew her from the sorrow and she scowled. "Goodbye.." was mumbled just as the shadows stole her from her spot. A quick get away before she got caught up in the blast. An afterthought was the concern of how big the explosion would be. Crap!

An explosion that left behind no scorch marks. No presence. The crystalline statue erupted as the energy rushed to get out from its shell, scattering deadly projectiles throughout the area, for miles around. Shards so small also created by the blast, were mere flakes of glittering light that fell across the scenery in an eerie yet beautiful event.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on November 30, 2016, 01:25:24 PM
.: Chapter Twenty-Five: Closure (sort of) :.

The Playboy sat at a table near the fire, tablet in hand, a large mug of coffee near his elbow, scrolling through streams of data that flowed across the transparent surface. A smirk of amusement sat on his features, perfectly familiar to anyone that knew him.

A smirk that was normally up to no good? Naww that couldn't be it, could it? Ahem.. The weather was quickly showing signs of incoming winter and while she may of been spending most of her hours doing other things, she was getting out. Unlike someone who hid in his lab all the time. After all if she stayed inside all the time she may very well miss the first snow. A little bump to the door sounded her entrance, dressed in jeans and a hoodie, you'd think she would step up her wardrobe, no?

He hadn't been hiding in his lab...in fact he hasn't even been on the planet, for the most part, over the past few months. Not that there was much in the way of a difference, right? As the door chime sounded, he looked up, his smirk spreading into a more affectionate smile as his sister shouldered her way into the shop. "Well, well, as Ah live'n'breat'. Gov'nor Batten."

Hot chocolate. That was what she wanted...what she got was a surprise. Sharp greens blinked and shot in the direction of her brother. For a long moment she stood there and..stared. There wasn't any gawking but definitely staring. By the time the shock of seeing him eased she was on the move towards him. "Don't call me that. Not you."

He laughed softly as he stood from his chair, setting the tablet down and moving towards his sister to give her a hug. "Well, it's true, ain't it? And congrats, by de way, sis."

"Yeah maybe but I don't want my brother to call me that. Specially after being gone so long!" Her arms went around him in a hug, squeezing something fierce. How long had it been? "Thanks..I guess. I wasn't expecting it to say the least."

Months, at least. He'd been busy, though. "Yer welcome. Ah ain't worried 'bout how yer gonna do. S'de person dat don't want de job dat us'lly d'serves t'have it." He hugged her tight for a long moment, finally letting her go to resume his seat. "Dat'll keep ya busy for at least de next year, Ah bet."

He maybe released but she did not! At least not for a few more seconds. Okay now she allowed him to sit. Nudging one of the chair from the table she'd follow suit but not without scowling at him. "I suppose. Not exactly the reason why I did it. I mean keeping care of your business for you does keep me rather busy. I am...really glad to see you." She really, really was! "Unexpected.."

He didn;t move until she let go, chuckling when she scowled at him. "Ah figgered ya would be. Ah meant t'be back fer de Day of T'anks t'ing, but Ah was a li'l delayed. Been busy m'self." He smirked at her. "Ain't exactly been loungin' on de beach...Ah'd go crazy bein' dat lazy."

"I don't think you know how to relax like that." There was a little admitting there on her part. "Wish you had been here. I would of thrown you into work with helping with all the kids." A threat? Possibly... "Are you..done with whatever it is that you have been up to? Clayton has been semi-sealed lipped about it."

"Dat so?" He looked a little perpexed as he took his seat, reaching for the steaming mug and taking a sip of the contents. It smelled like caramel macchiatto. "Ah told 'im and de rest o'de crew t'keep it quiet, but Ah figgered he woulda told you. Guess Ah shoulda clar'fied dat bit for 'im." He chuckled. "We've been raidin' human trafficking rings on de ot'er side o'de Eart' portal in de Tower basement. An' we're act'ally gettin' close to bein' done wit' shuttin' down de big ones."

She blinked a few times. "There is a portal in the basement?" Color her surprised. "Clayton is ..a good man. Probably didn't want to give you any reason to distrust him." Folding her arms she leaned back and watched him. Like she was attempting to figure him out a little but after a moment she tilted her head. "How did you find out about it? I mean...why did you get involved?"

Edward Batten: He nodded to her first question. How did she not know about that...? Unless it was just something she had never asked about. The portal was a closely guarded secret, known only to a few of his employees. Specifically, the ones from his Earth, which were not very many. "Vault E. Wasn't easy t'rig up, eit'er." Her statement about Clayton got a nod. She was probably right about that, even if Clayton did sometimes take things perhaps a bit too literally. But then, that seemed to be a trait of his  species as a whole, from what he'd seen. Her questions distracted him from saying so, however, at least for the time being. "S'like any'tin' else, sis. Ain't hard t'find if ya know where t'look. An' you know how Ah feel 'bout slavery. Not a fan."

"Yeah.." she mumbled quietly. After a moment she shook her head. She was trying to wrap her head around the fact that there was a portal in the basement! "I..see. I am..glad you are almost done but then what after that? Are you ..coming home?" Because lets face it. She missed him! Him gone so much, so long, she wondered if he was doing it to avoid her before the ..end.

He shrugged and nodded to her. "Ah t'ink we got one more t'go, an' we're movin' on dat in a coupla days. Gonna be a big op, too." He paused a moment, not sure how she was going to take this next part. She hadn't met all the players, but he was more or less sure she knew who they were regardless. "After dat, Ah'm comin' back here. Dere'll be some mop-up an' monitorin' action t'do after dat, but Ah'm assignin' Myles an' Artemis Heracleides t'keep an eye on dat. Dey're runnin' de Order dat used t'be spyin' on me, 'mongst ot'er t'ings. Dey got a whole intel network dat dey can use t'keep an eye on de smaller outfits an' take 'em down as dey pop up."

He held up a hand to forestall whatever question she was trying to formulate. "Yeah, Ah do. Ah know what yer gonna say. Ah shouldn't. Dat dey used t'work for an organization dat was tryin' t'steal my secrets an' take me down at de same time. An' if it weren't fer one t'ing, Ah promise ya, Ah wouldn't." He paused a moment, not sure just how she would take the next bit of news, and everything that went along with it. But he'd already tipped his hand a little. In for a penny... "Dey approached me, Katt. Not offerin' help, or any kind of bribery, or...anyt'in' like dat. Dey didn' even have a clue of what Ah was up to when Myles came t'me. De Order's been pretty much defunct since...well, a while back." The exact circumstances of that he'd long kept a secret, and likely would take it to the grave with him. It was one of the few painful memories he had. "He wouldn' say how, but Myles was able t'tell me what happened t'Leo. Where he is, what he's been doin'...ever'tin'."

She watched him with that blank expression. She was listening and taking the words as they came. Oh yes, that mind was going. Oh sure, nothing wrong with people looking to take you down coming and knocking at the door. It was a tad strange that he took it so..easily. That would of drawn up so many questions to her. She would of said something of it but then he dropped that on her and she stared. "Th-" She stalled. "They ..know where ..where Leo is? What happened? Is he okay?" She sat up a bit in order to lean forward in her seat. "How..much do you trust these people, Edward? You are being cautious still, right?" Wait... "You ...know where Leo is. All this time?"

He sighed softly. He knew these questions were coming, particularly the last one. "Ah've only known fer sure for a li'l bit, sis. Took me a while t'confirm it. But Ah trusted 'em 'cause de story he gave me jived wit' de little bit o'information Ah'd been able t'get m'self. An' yeah, he's okay. Better'n okay. De man apparently rules over de whole realm he ended up in followin' de incident wit' Raven up nort'." He paused, his eyes fixed upon his sister, clearly hesitant to say more, but he pressed on anyway. "Has somet'in' t'do wit' his heritage, but he apparently got married in de bargain. De previous chieftan's daughter, as Ah understand it. Ah ain't talked to him m'self, but de whole t'ing is wrapped up in de politics of de region, which are kinda primitive, from de report Ah got. Di has de details...Ah uploaded de file to her dis evenin' when Ah got back."

"He..is married..?" She blinked. She understood the politics marriage as she had nearly been forced into one but it was still surprising to hear. Raising a hand she rubbed her temple as if her head hurt a bit. It wasn't what he was saying, however. It was thinking on stuff that she vaguely remembered for some reason. She was in shock but quietly so. That was one hell of a bomb to drop on her. At least he was okay but..wow.. "I guess ruling over the realm is the reason he couldn't come back or ..let us know he was okay..." it was mumbled behind her palm, her hand angled to hide her face.

He watched Katt in silence for a long moment. He hadn't wanted to tell her this, in fact had put it off as long as possible, until he could confirm it for himself. That task had been a challenge in itself. "Yeah. Ah understand de transition when he took de t'rone was not an easy one, an' t'ings are still kinda volatile dere. But he's alive, an' managin' t'ings pretty well, accordin' to de info Ah got." He faltered a moment, then reached out to touch her shoulder lightly. He knew how complicated an issue this was for her. "Ah know how ya felt 'bout him, Katt. Ah'm sorry. His fat'er an' sister have some kinda way dey keep in contact wit' him, somet'in' to do wit' his sister bein' his twin or somesuch. An' dat's kinda spotty, at best. Some kinda interference from de area he's in."

There was mixed emotions on her face as she lowered her hand that showed rather easily on her normally blank expresion. "No..it is fine. I am just relieved that he is alright." There was an ache in her chest but she could deal with that behind closed doors at a later time. "Just knowing he is well and things are going good for him... I mean...if he didn't want to be there he wouldn't be...right? So maybe he is happy with how things panned out." Her hand tilted to pat his hand. "How I ..feel means very little in that light." Not to mention it wasn't like Leo had remembered how she felt either. It was due time she just..sucked it up. Right? "His sister...his father..they do anything against you...hurt you..I will break them." Simple as that...

There was a note of caution in his expression for a moment as he watched her. He knew his sister well, well enough to know there was a lot under the surface she wasn't letting him see. Apparently this was a Batten trait, whether they were related by blood or not. Her last statement got a smile out of him, and he nodded agreement. "You'll find yerself in good comp'ny. Clayton said somet'in sim'lar a week ago when Ah fin'ly broke down an' let him in on who they are, b'sides relatives of Leo's."

"He'd be lucky if he beat me to it." Her hand squeezed at her brother's hand to let him know she was alright. She was, for the most part. "I've missed having you around." got mumbled out as her hand released his and settled to her lap. "Is there anything else you want to drop on me? This is likely the best time.."

He took his hand from her shoulder, reaching for his mug as he shook his head. "T'ree days from now we go to wrap dis business up, an' den Ah'll be back home. We've done dis a few times now, so should be smoot' sailin', jus' takin' de last head off de monster." He let out a soft chuckle. "If it makes ya feel any better, de Order dat Myles is runnin' has a long hist'ry of hatin' slav'ry too. Prob'ly more'n Ah do. De founder of deir organization was bound in chains fer a long time, an' by a god, no less."

"So it is..sort of .. a source pulling you two together." Her head tilted faintly as she looked to him. "Did..something happen to you too?" She knew he hated slavery but she wasn't sure for why, if any reason at all. The fact he will be home soon though, that was comforting. Spending Christmas together was a possibility!

His features took on a closed caste, but he nodded, his voice softer. Almost sad, in fact, something that was a rarity from the Playboy. "Ah...knew someone, once. She's dead now." He fell silent, letting those words hang in the air a moment. He had no desire to bring up the tale of Ane, the closest thing he'd had to an actual relationship with a woman not related to him. "She sacrificed herself to destroy her masters, and to protect me. Sorta been a sore spot for me ever since."

She was partly tempted to ask if it was who he designed D.I.A.N.A after but the look on his face stopped her. A slow nod bobbed her head as she reached out, this time to comfort him. "That does explain a bit." His hand was given a squeeze if he would allow it. "Have you talked to Clayton since your time back?"

He squeezed her hand back with a smile, nodding as she asked about Clayton. "Yeah, caught him just as Ah got back. Almost like he was waitin' for me." He chuckled at the thought. He'd been many places with the enigmatic shapeshifting fiancee of his sister, and the man remained something of an enigma to him. Despite that, though, there were very few indeed that he trusted as much. "Which r'minds me, Ah'm gonna need t'borrow him from ya fer dis last raid."

She gave him a throaty sound. "Oh you are warning me this time?" Mhm he kinda deserved that one. She knew no matter what she said Clayton would be going so she just accepted it. "Has he told you about things going on?" She may of been trying to distract him from sad thoughts now. Maybe just a little but also him being updated didn't hurt.

Her gambit worked, bringing a smile to his face and drawing a laugh out of him. "Are ya kiddin'? 'Tween him an' Big Mike, Ah sometimes t'ink Ah'd like t'know less."

She raised a brow at him. "Well lets head to the tower for something to eat and you can tell me what you know and I'll fill in the rest. Wait..did he tell you about mini-me?" She was up out of her seat and practically pulling at his hand. He wasn't getting out of it, it seemed.

He knew that look, but at the moment nothing sounded like a better idea, and he got up out of his seat with little effort on her part. "Mini you? Ya mean Sylva, right? Yeah, dat's...jus' weird. Kinda wonder what she'd make o'me." He chuckled as he led her to the door. "Not all de details, t'ough. Yer gonna hafta fill me in on all dat."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on February 21, 2017, 11:08:22 PM
.: Chapter Twenty-Six: That feeling of Faliure :.
[size=9]02.15.17 -  Asile-aux-Falaises[/size]

The shooting had oddly enough of taken its toll on her. One shot to the skull barely missed putting her down for good. Two more from behind barely missed major arteries. It was damn lucky for her that they were such lousy shots. Still it put her down and out, making it increasingly hard to do anything more for the city.

How many times, before V-Day, did Mike and Kyle have to return her to her bed? And on V-day itself, among the mass chaos, did she go out in her suit to help out things in certain areas. It felt pointless at some point. Like it was never ending. And in the end Kyle found her in her suit, the hunk of technology keeping the woman on her feet while she bled out inside of it.

Condemned to bed after that was an understatement.

Miss Batten there is a message for you.

She groaned at the air when D.I.A.N.A?s voice rattled her brain. Soft and seductive as it was, it sounded like an air horn at that moment. Sitting up in the bed she tilted her gaze, spotting Mike pacing around outside on the patio. The man looked as if he had taken on more stress than he needed.

It probably would help if she stopped sneaking out while being hurt, now wouldn?t it? Didn?t help that she spent the night, right after being shot, helping the city the best she could. It ..still didn?t feel like it was enough.

So many hurt?

...lost...

...dead?

?Who is it from??

Jochin Nagadari
 
She blinked a few times. A text? From..Jo? A frown thinned her lips as she moved to sit at the edge of her bed, snagging up her PCUI that was on the bed stand.

Text from Jo: Hey, let me know you're okay.
Text from Jo: I know you think like you've failed
Text from Jo: but the city needs you more than ever

She stared at the set of texts for a long..long moment. It was almost frightening how Jochin, who hadn?t even spoken to her in a week or so, knew exactly how she felt at that moment. It was a little..surprising.

Idly she rubbed at her aching head while staring at the light of the screen. It made her eyeballs hurt. Eventually she managed to get thoughts together enough to respond.

Text from Katt: if you have time set up a place and time we can talk
Text from Katt: not suppose to leave but I have been sneaking out

Text from Jo: I'm just glad to know you're alive. I got you a present for the holiday. But I need to deliver it in person. Give me a time and place to meet and I'll drop it off.

Text from Katt: Do you like to climb?

Text from Jo: Its not a hobby of mine, but I think I catch your drift.

Text from Katt: Meet me on top of the clock tower. When you get there just text me. Whenever is fine
Text from Katt: Not at 4am in the morning jochin

Text from Jo: What makes you think I'd ever be up that late? :-D

She gave the screen a funny look. As if she didn?t know better...

Text from Katt: the flock of women that follow you?
Text from Katt: i know when my brother brings a woman home he is up until dawn sometimes.
Text from Katt: don't ask how I know
Text from Katt: it disturbs me that I do know

Text from Jo: I also work only at night. It makes hunting what I hunt easier. But not at 4 am. How about tomorrow right at sundown? I wake up an hour before usually.

Text from Katt: sure sure. Yeah that is fine. You should arrive there before me
Text from Katt: safer that way

Text from Jo: You got it. Stay safe. The city needs you now more than you think it does.

Text from Katt: please..be safe Jo

The tablet was slowly placed down and set to the side. Sneaking out was going to be difficult considering the detail surrounding the house but she would worry about that later. For now she curled back in bed for some much needed sleep.


[size=9]02.15.17 - Clock Tower[/size]

The clocktower. Jo had kept his promise. When wouldn't he, after all? He couldn't use the work out but he climbed it earlier, kept watch from where he stood, and smoked. The city looked different from here. Every aspect of it small. But not insignificant. The fires were all put out by now and the smoldering stopped. He stood, cast his keen sharp gaze out into the city below, and waited.

There was no sound that herald her arrival and no scent save the unusual smell of working oil and metal. That is because when she arrived she arrived in a rather abnormal state. From the shadows bled not the woman but a suit of armor - one of her brother's creations. The metal was of several different shades made to blend in with the shadows. "Jochin." The single word came from the helmet, distorted for good reason but one she isn't likely to get into just yet. The fact she was there, like this spoke volumes of the man.

It was odd when Jo hadn't sensed someone first. But the suit was a bit of technology he hadn't encountered just yet. Jo stepped forward and gave that suit of armor a hug that probably would have made the metal creak in protest.

Well if he thought about it..it was Katt. She didn't exactly carry a scent herself and she was always, unintentionally, sneaking up on people. The visor rose up and the panels of the hood folded back to slide down into the back shoulders of the suit just before she was hugged. "Nhhh. Gentle..Gentle.." She looked..well..horrible. Pale and exhausted beyond all measures of the sense. "The suit is kinda the only thing keeping me on my feet." And a big ol' bear hug now.

"Hey.." The cigarette was balanced between his lips for a drag. "I'm just glad yer okay darlin'." To Jo everyone had a scent. Distinct and determinable. Every race he could discern by just testing the air. Jo's nose was as sensitive as the rest of his enhanced senses. "How much longer you gotta stay in hidin'?"

Well her scent was there. Subtle at best and even Clayton's feline nose had trouble at time finding it. Her brows furrowed. "Hiding? I'm..not hiding." Raising a hand she stopped when she realized she was in the suit. Yeah she may of forgotten a little.

He set her down. "Well, yer doin' yer super hero thing." It was something Jo wished he could do. But only sometimes. Back on his earth Jo was a superhero that no one could ever know about. In Rhy'din he had taken the task of getting the job done and going home. And that was 8 years later.

"I..am not doing anything. I am not a super hero." she mumble. "I wasn't even able to do much to help this city. Nothing..really at all." Once she was put down she actually considered recalling the armor but was afraid she wouldn't be able to stand if she did. "Jochin...how..did you know how I was feeling?" A brow arched up as she looked at him.

"Because I know you darlin'." Back to the outer wall of the clocktower. Jo found the ledge and sat down on it, letting his legs dangle. From here he could have leapt rooftop to rooftop, but a fall to the ground would have hurt. "And I know you're yer own worst enemy and critic. Even if ya couldn't stop it, it doesn't mean tha city doesn't need ya now. Doesn't need ya ta say something ta reassure people. That they aren't alone. That you and the Watch are here ta help them. Because I know that's what you want to say." He poked her right in her stomach, a semi-hard jab of his finger. "Yer just afraid of tha critics. And I say **** them."

Thank you armor for protecting her belly! She blinked down to him and she tilted her head to the side. "What makes you think this city needs me? I've been doing stuff for years." She didn't need recognition for it but to say that the city needed her? It was a little hard to swallow really. "The seat of Gov really doesn't do anything." Moving to sit next to him she groaned out in pain. "I mean I've seen some Gov's help out and some do absolutely nothing."

"But I don't think you took it to do nothing darlin'." Long drag from his cigarette. Up here the wind blew harder and it was colder. "I think you did it ta help. But tha thing about tha city is, people here are powerful. And they may not want ya ta fight their battles. But tha people who can't fight? They're always going ta need you and tha Watch help them pick up tha pieces."

"Mrmm.." The sound echoed in her throat. "During the past..I dunno..four? Five years...I've worked in the shadows of those who sat in the position. It is a good way to stay in the information circle. I don't...trust..any of those who were going up this year." It was silly. "But yes.. I want..to do something good for this city. I really do. But I think I am better doing stuff in the shadows then in the limelight. I don't..want..or need..acknowledgement. I just want to help people. To make up..for what I did in my past.."

"I get ya darlin'." Jo had spent most of his life in the shadows. Fighting for what he thought was right. Doing what was necessary and never getting an ounce of acknowledgement. All that sacrifice for people to stay safe and all Jo got for it was having to be as secret as possible. "But at tha very least I think you should make an announcement. About where tha scared or lost or people who lost their homes can stay."

"I don't know what to say to them, Jochin." Nevermind she felt like she failed them. She did chuckle a bit though when she realized something. "You know it kind of surprised me when I saw your text. The fact that..you know me so well. I..Thank you, Jochin. For checking up on me. It really means a lot. And I appreciate the words. The encouragement."

"Tell them you're here. You're willing to help. You've been a good friend ta me fer so long. I think that's all people want ta hear when they're lost and alone. And afraid." Eyes over to her. "Now that I see that fancy armor ya got I almost wanna hang onta what I got ya fer Valentine's Day and keep it fer myself."

She barked out a laugh and instantly regretted it. "It was a birthday present from my brother two years ago. I just wore it when I came here so I could sneak out. Plus..Plus my body isn't really able to stand on its own right now." Yep! That is how badly she wanted to be there. She was using the suit just to talk to him. "I..didn't get you anything so you probably should keep it." Only seemed fair. "Maybe give it to a pretty blonde girl you are all flirty with." She managed the tease. Katt..teasing. Be afraid.

"I didn't expect ya too. But ya see, I got this habit a gettin' Valentine's fer all my friends kinda like I'm still in kindergarten." He grinned and reached into the inside pocket of his black coat. An odd bit of wood, bound in unprocessed leather. At the bottom were a trio of feathers. The item definitely looked Native American in nature. Except one of those feathers was a fiery orange and red, the color of flames. The other was a sky azure, and the last a black almost imperceptible to the
human eye. "I figured you might need it." He held it out to her, top side of odd carved wood first. "Its a shield. Hold it in the middle. Then say..." Jo exhaled the rest of that drag he had inhaled. "Karahkwa." An eery glow stared. Bright, almost like fire, that broiled just beneath the contained surface, a disc shape that was around a meter in circumference. "Nothin' I ever heard of, magic or physical, can penetrate that shield." Jo held it closer to her.

Her head craned a bit as she peered at him curiously. "What is kindergarten?" Curiously she looked at the item he withdrew and it was the feathers that seemed to gain more of her attention than anything. When he spoke of it being a shield she stared at it like she was about to call his fib. The way her head shot up when the disc became a display was probably amusing at best. Like she was startled yet definitely interested in what she saw. "W-Wow.." At first she didn't move a hand towards it but eventually her hand stretched out. Yes..she poked at it.

There was no pain, but that glowing bit of fire, disc shaped, and raging, was as solid as any physical, or metaphysical shield that she had ever felt. It made no noise. "And ta get it ta stop working you just say...Ehnita." The glow of disc shaped fire faded in a blink. Jo pressed it into her palm

She blinked several times as the glow dissipated and the end product was pressed her her hand. Her eyes shot up to him, a measure of awe on her face. "Are you sure? This..is for me?"

"I had no idea you had access ta fancy armor before I got it." With a small chuckle and another drag. Even if the winds raged this high up Jo barely felt them. "But I figured you would need it."

"My brother is all smart. Way smarter than I am." She looked at the item in hand fondly. "I can really use this. Thank you Jochin. Thank you for looking out for me." Her brows furrowed a moment and after a moment the armor began to leave her person, folding back and in the end of it clanked to the ground behind her ..in a backpack with the Batten logo on it. The woman herself looked bad. She was still kinda in the nightgown that the ward had her wearing but don't worry she wasn't flashing any hinny.

Jo whistled. Not because of what he saw. But because of how she looked. "You..need to get some rest." He knew that wasn't the nicest thing to say. "Thanks fer meetin' me here darlin'."

"Nice way of saying I look like s***." She smirked and leaned over to give him a hug. No armor to hinder that! She kinda..needed a hug. "There is..something I want to discuss with you before you leave. Something I said we would talk about but I didn't want to at the inn. Something I can't really make public knowledge."

Sidelong glance. He nodded. "Okay...."

"Do you remember when I said that something was going to happen and I wasn't sure how I was going to handle it?" Her hands settled in her lap. "My..brother is dying, Jochin. Nothing can be done about it." Lowering her eyes to her fingers she started to twist them, lacing them and unlacing them.

"I'm so sorry darlin'." He put one of his huge arms over her shoulders and pulled her in for another hug.

She leaned into the hug. "I am afraid that when it happens, Jochin, I am going to snap. He has..for a while now..been a sort of glue that has kept me grounded."

Jo stood from that seat on the ledge, hovering over her for a few seconds. "Don't darlin'." He took a long drag on his cigarette. "You always have more family than that." He nodded once, heavily, to affirm his point. "Don't you ever forget that."

Her eyes tilted up to him. "It isn't quite that simple but I understand what you are saying." Reaching out she pulled at the ledge in order to get herself up to her feet. "I've used enough of your time. Sure there are things you need to do but..but thank you for this. Really. It means a lot to me."

"I always have time fer my best friend darlin'. Don't think anythin' else but that. If you ever need me I'm just a text away." And without much of a head start, just three long, quick strides, Jo leapt from the clocktower to the nearest rooftop.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on June 07, 2017, 03:01:39 PM
.: Chapter Twenty-Seven: What is a little liquor between siblings? :.
[size=9]05.31.17[/size]


?What are you doing, Katt??
 
She heard ?Big Mike? before he even spoke. The lumbering man tended to announce himself with his steps before even arriving at his destination -
 which in this particular case was in CEO office of Batten Tower. Littering the table were numbers bottles of various sizes and colors, some rather fancy while others were plain clear bottles with slap on white labels. Without spilling a drop she continued to empty out one of the Dalmore bottles into a clear bottle. ?Nothing.?
 
?Well that is a whole lot of nothing,? Mike chuckled as he leaned on the table. ?So we can talk about what it is you are doing with your brother?s booze or we can talk about me seeing you browsing wedding dresses yesterday.?
 
That caused her to stop and her sharp greens tilted towards the big man. Well he just confirmed the idea that she had seen him sometime in the day. ?What were you doing? Following me??
 
Big Mike grinned and shook his head, ?You really aren?t going to tell me??
 
?If you go get me a few different types of juices...I?ll tell you,? was her reply as she capped the bottle and wrote something on the label.
 
?How many cups??
 
?All of it,? she answered as she started on the next bottle, ?Oh and a gallon of water.? Which probably wasn?t going to be enough.
 
Well that raised a brow and some questions but he didn?t hesitate to leave her to her task while he retrieved the needed liquid for this most peculiar project of hers. Once he returned he settled an assortment of jugs down just within her reach. ?So??
 
His inquiry didn?t go unanswered this time as she started to explain what she was doing. Very simply she was ...playing a prank on her brother. Yeah...that is what she called it. She didn?t slip into the reason but it seemed like he didn?t need one, which suited her just fine.
 
?Why didn?t you tell me from the start?? he asked as he opened a bottle and started to empty it out, ?I would have started helping right away!?

She stare at him, ?Because you shouldn?t get fired over something I do??

?You really think he would fire me for something like this?? he snorted at her. Two bottles were quickly done by his hands, "What do you plan on doing with the re-bottled liquor?
 
?Maybe.? she replied as she leaned back. "I am going to properly reseal them once done that way they keep their freshness. Maybe I'll donate them to some charity." The look on Mike's face was priceless when she said that. "I jest. I'll likely just give them back to him. In quantities..." Not that he really needed them. Not like the man couldn't go buy more, right? Probably what he would do. Brush off her prank and just buy more.  ?Do you think you can finish up the ones here? I am going to go get the ones in his room,? there was an instant laugh from Mike though she kept on talking, ?And the stash at the inn.?
 
Mike about lost it when she said that. She was going all out. ?Sure thing!?

She watched as Mike continued the job with a goofy grin on his face. If it came down to her brother wanting to fire Mike she would just claim that she ordered him to do it. A single nod was given as she grabbed a few bottles of juice and the water before starting to the door.
 
?Hey, Katt??

She stopped and glanced over her shoulder, ?Yeah??
 
?Nothing wrong with browsing dresses but you should try them on too.?
 
The nonchalant way he spoke caused a brow to rise and she looked away. ?I know my size.?

?That isn?t the point,? was a quick-shot reply back.
 
She didn?t understand but took the suggestion to consider at a later time. ?Contact me once you are done. I have something else I have for you to do.? She raised a hand to wave over her shoulder as she parted the office and headed for her brother?s room.

Luckily for her,  he wasn?t in at the time which meant: A) she wasn?t going to walk in on him during any ..activities...and B) she didn?t need to answer any questions on what she was doing.

Careful with her task, she went about sniffing the booze out without disturbing much of anything and what she did move around she was rather careful in placing it back exactly as she found it. By the time she was done there was no evidence that she had even been there. Hell, she even went the extra mile to have D.I.A.N.A turn off any security surveillance in the room during her period in his living quarters.
 
It was like she was never there?
 
...his lack of liquor would say otherwise...
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on July 03, 2017, 05:50:31 PM
.: Chapter Twenty-Eight: What We Are :.
[size=10]06.5.17 - Late evening[/size]


 
It had been a few months and with everything that had been going on, it could've been easily for her to forget things. However, the more Katt tried to ignore it, the more it seemed to nag at the back of her head. That little tug that would always be at the edge of her mind, persistent..demanding?
 
The youth that was her..in another life..in another time..Dubbed ?Sylva? by Desdenova. Befriended by him and some of the other young people she knew. Ebon?s children and maggie seemed to be an influence. It wasn?t hard for Katt to tell, even from a distance, that the girl was growing up..different than she had. She was thankful for that, even if the young woman gave her the creeps. Friends, at that age, she barely remembered having. Faceless beings with no name to account for. Which was weird as she had such a good memory. But it meant that Sylva had someone she could trust, people who would help and guide her.

However, with this friendship came things that made Katt increasingly uncomfortable, especially with her knowledge of what the youth was going through at the time. Observation told many things for someone who knew what signs to look for. Often times she didn?t even have to search for the youth, spotting her ever so often in the marketplace while sitting at the fountain. Or at Ebon?s orphanage, helping out with the children. Or at the theater where she watched and waited for Doran and Maggie to give words of praise for a good show. There were other things, little jokes and comments, catching her ear that left her pondering on which actions to take.
 
Action she did take or at least it started the start of what was a plan. The hardest part would come later but finding her wasn?t that hard. As late as it was in the evening, it meant that the youth was most likely heading to the treehouse that seemed to belong to Doran. At least this is what she gathered with one of her many of followings of the young woman. So Katt waited, patiently, just within the city to see if the youth passed.
 
She did this..for nights..until eventually Sylva did show up, carrying what looked to be a brown bag of various goodies she was bringing with her. It wasn?t hard to tell that Sylva had spotted her as well, even though she made no attempt to hide herself. The young woman slowed, keeping the distance between them.
 
?We ...need to talk, Sylva..? Katt started, unsure if that was even a start. She wasn?t sure what to say to the younger counterpart and the feeling of unease came over her.
 
?What do you want?? Sylva asked with a big of venium to her tone. She was not pleased to see Katt and she wore it on her face clear as day.
 
?I know what you are going through, Sylva. The pain. It isn?t going away with feeding as it use to, is it??
 
Sylva grew still while eyeballing Katt, her arms tightening around the bag almost protectively. ?How..,? she started but realized she already knew the answer.

?Because we are one in the same.? Katt started, quietly, ?Please..sit with me and hear me out.?
 
Sylva glanced past Katt before looking back to her and slowly nodded.
 
?Sylva...You are dying.? Katt really had no gentle way of putting it. ?When I...we...were born we were born of two bloods that..aren?t suppose to be in one person. They are killing you. Destroying you from the inside out.?

Sylva?s doll like eyes turned up to Katt, the news crushed her under its weight. ?H-How are you..How are you still alive and so old then?! Why are you lying to me?!?
 
Old? She blinked a few times at Sylva. Despite the young woman?s composure crippling, she still had a way of getting words out that surprised Katt. Sylva was the first to ever call her ...old. Most saw her young face and thought her younger than she really was. She looked like she was hanging around her late teens to early twenties and Sylva was calling her old!  Granted she was in her thirties now but still! ?I?made a pact with someone who sealed and burned away one of the bloods.?
 
?Can?t I just do that too?!?
 
The blurted words from Sylva had Katt refocusing on the reason she wanted to talk to the youth. ?That is ..why I am here. It is a choice that is on the table, yes. Or at least it could be. I would have to see if the one who did the pact would do it for you. But there are some things you have to understand, Sylva?no matter which one you choose, it will be painful.?

?It can?t be any worse than what I am feeling now??
 
?That pain you feel now? Will only grow as the days pass. If I am correct..if something is not done by winter?s time?? She watched Sylva?s face as she spoke.
 
?So go talk to that person!? Sylva insisted, nearly dropping the bag of goodies she had planned on presenting to Doran once she got to the treehouse.
 
?It..isn?t that easy. And even if he agrees to do it you will have to choose which one you want to keep and which one you will be without. The Altian blood is celestial, of the cosmos. It gives you your strength and presence of self. I am sure you have felt it when you are mad. When the ground bows to a sudden weight that you don?t seem to have. It is also why your eyes have no pupils. A full blooded Altian doesn?t have eyes like ours but are full of color. Their hair is normally white too and they have a very demanding presence.? Her hands clasped as she spoke. There was so much to fill this mind with in such a short amount of time.
 
?And the other?? Sylva?s meek voice spoke out across the distances, tears brimming her eyes.
 
?Reevi. A shadow caught between light and dark, either and yet both. We are the first female breed of the race, even though in your state you are half. Which makes us the First, aside from our father. That is why the creator of the Reevi race has such..interest in me.? She paused for a moment, her lips pursed as she thought over her own words. Words that she had not even spoken to her brother or Clayton. ?Reevi are agile and flexible with a metal-like substance that lives within our blood that can be used to not only protect ourselves and others, but can be used to create weapons.? These were just highlights, of course. Short explanations to serve as a way to give the young woman something to think about.
 
Sylva listened but kept looking past Katt, tempted to just flee past her and head to the treehouse, placing all of this behind her and just a bad memory. But fear kept her rooted in place. ?Can?t...Can?t I just be like Doran??
 
That question alone set up a few alarms, giving flesh to a concern that she had but yet to address. ?You can never be like Doran...or anyone else for that matter? You are you, Sylva.? She shifted on her heels as the young woman looked at her as if she were going to swallow her soul. ?There are..things you must consider as well, Sylva. If you choose Reevi you will still need blood.? Katt paused there.
 
?And if I choose the other?? Sylva questioned like a curious kitten.
 
?You will lose yourself,? Katt stated quietly, ?You will lose all memories, emotions, everything. The Altian will come and take you away, and you will go with them willingly. You will leave behind everything and everyone you have here. You will not remember their faces...their names? Nothing of it.? Testing the waters she watched the young girl?s face. ?Not even Doran.?
 
Sylva?s eyes went wide as she listened to Katt explain the consequences.
 
If Sylva was anything like her, the idea of losing your memories was appalling. Sylva had a lot more to lose than she did at that age. ?You would not remember Jonigan, Des, Maggie, or any of Ebon?s children and I am well aware of how close you?ve become with them. ?Specially Doran.?

Sylva shifted almost instantly and was once again eyeballing the path out to the treehouse.
 
?You like Doran, don?t you??

The question gained Katt an odd look from Sylva. ?Uh huh. He is a good friend.?
 
Katt grunted quietly, ?I want you to stay away from him. In your condition you are likely to hurt him and quite frankly if you were to hurt him...any of Ebon?s children or Maggie, I would kill you.? It wasn?t a threat but a promise and one she didn?t make lightly.
 
?I wouldn?t?? Sylva?s words left her lips though they sounded as unsure as she felt.
 
?The pain will get to where you will do it and not even remember until the damage is done. Then you will have to live with the guilt of it.? Katt assured the young woman.
 
?How would YOU know?!? Sylva snapped, ?I?m not like you! I would never attack the ones I care about!?

?I know because it happened and I was just a little older than you are now.? Katt understood the girl?s frustration..the fear.. It was weird being on the opposite side of the field of her own emotions. ?There are things that are different between us, now...yes...But that pain...That pain is not something one can forget. There is very little that compares to being destroyed from the inside out by your own body.? A small sigh echoed from her lips. ?Sylva. You need to stay away from them. For their good.. and your own.?
 
?No. I..I won?t. I can?t. I am going to continue to guard Doran?s t-?

She eyed Sylva as she presented the question, ?How would you feel if you attacked him and fed from him without his okay? He could grow to hate you. Fear you. What if you accidently kill him because you are unable to control yourself?? Even though she knew she warned Doran, she was pretty sure he didn?t understand how serious she was. How strong Sylva was or how dangerous she could be in a frenzied state.
 
?I wouldn?t!? Sylva venomously insisted.

?You cannot say that and know for certain.. Just like you can?t say you wouldn?t attack Maggie, Azure , Olivia..Even Des. Who is to say you won?t even attack others?? Just with Sylva practically living with Doran made him a bigger target. Easy access and the lad had a good heart. She knew he would try to help Sylva and only place himself directly in harms way. He was a good kid. ?I am not saying you need to keep away forever but you need to start separating yourself from these people. At least until we have a plan on what we are going to do.?
 
?I don?t want to lose my memories. I don?t want to lose my memories of Jonigan or all the friends I?ve made.? Sylva whined as she looked down to the bag.  She hadn?t even considered that dying was a real possibility and when that finally kicked in her eyes started to water. She had already came close to dying thanks to someone shooting at her but this? This was different. Cruel, even.

?I know, Sylva. and isn?t the only choice to you.?


?I don?t want to be like you either!? Sylva snapped. ?You are the farthest thing I want to be when I grow up!?
 
Ouch! Did Sylva see her as such a bad person that she would say such a thing? The comment left her silent and staring at the youth. Hell if she even knew what to say to that.
 
?I don?t want to be you,? Sylva clarified when she saw Katt staring at her in a way that made her skin crawl, ?I want to be me.?
 
Ah.. Okay now that was different. ?You already are, Sylva. You have strayed from any path that would have lead you to being like me. You?ve got family and friends. You have a ..home. Even though I honestly don?t like you having affections for Doran, there is also that. You have bonds, connections...I didn?t have those.  I even heard you are going to school now. I never did that.? As funny as it was, she did teach in one. Go figure, right?

?R-Really??
 
The relief in Sylva?s voice wasn?t hard to miss. It almost sounded as if some weight was lifted. ?Yeah?? Katt nodded slowly as she glanced up for a moment, a sound catching her attention. ?Listen. I know you don?t want to but distance yourself from people. I am not saying it has to be completely but limited would be ideal. Just until we can get everything panned out. If it comes to the decision that you?d rather just pass away...that would also make it easier for the people who know you.? While she knew Sylva didn?t want to die she also knew that the pain was going to get bad. Bad enough that Sylva may very well wish, and accept, death as a way out.

Sylva didn?t argue this time. Spending less time with people when she didn?t want to wasn?t what she wanted but she also did want to keep them safe. Katt was right. If she hurt Doran she would never be able to forgive herself. ?Okay.?
 
It didn?t take much to tell that her words had stressed out the young woman. ?Honestly..I should of came to you sooner but?? Shaking her head she sighed. ?I will look into a few more possible ways but for now decide on which path you want to take, Sylva.?

Sylva nodded meekly. ?Okay.?

Pursing her lips she watched the young woman for a moment or two worth of silence before sidestepping and gesturing her along. To which Sylva seemed to gladly accept and quickly scurried past and into the night. Katt stood there silently, lips pursed, as she watched the shadows in which Sylva had disappeared into. The night was still young and she had plenty she could do to fill it with.
 
Asking her brother if he had any ideas would be a start. Maybe Ebon since he was close to the girl.
 
Who else??
 
Time was running out and swiftly so?
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on July 03, 2017, 11:30:27 PM
.: Chapter Twenty-Nine: Of Metal and Heart :.
[size=9]06.25.17 - Late Night somewhere in the depths of the Glen[/size]


He led the way heading south of the city, outside the city limits. "Bet you're just dyin' t'see what dis is all about, huh?"
?
Behind her brother she followed but was oddly quiet, her hands clasped at the small of her back. There was no read as if she were thinking or brooding, just simply quiet. When he spoke it seemed to cause her gaze, which was already on him, to refocus. "Mrmm? Well ..yeah. You sure do like teasing though." Did that mean she had grown use to it? No, not exactly, but she could..attempt to tease about it.
?
He grinned, looking around for a moment, assessing their surroundings. "Well, Ah s'pose dat here's as good a place as any." He came to a halt, gesturing to the backpack. "You can toss dat or set it down somewhere for de moment. Ya ain't wearin' dat bracelet Ah gave ya yet, right?"
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She wasn't keen on the idea of tossing it around despite the fact that it probably could take it. So the pack was tucked under a tree before she turned to retrace her steps to him, her fingers digging out the bracelet from her pocket. "Not yet." Mostly because she wasn't sure which wrist she was going to assign it to.
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He nodded. "Good. Pick a wrist...it don't matter which one. Should work on eit'er or, just pick whichever one is de most comfortable. Once ya got it situated, take a second t'clear yer mind a bit." He grinned, arching an eyebrow. "Looks like ya got a lot on it at de moment, so take a minute if ya need it."
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She blinked at him slowly. "I do...?" She asked quietly as she slid on the bracelet on her left wrist. She eyed it, sitting there against her sunbaked skin. It was hard to clear her mind but she tried. Really she did. "Now what?"
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He was skeptical, but it would do, he supposed. Hopefully it wouldn't make that much of a difference. "All right, de next part you can do any way ya want, but ya need to be t'inkin' 'bout wearin' de armor. Ya can make it a mental command, or t'ink 'bout puttin' it on, even what it feels like havin' it on. Your choice. De first time not'in's gonna happen...dis is just to establish a baseline readin' for de armor to use as an activation trigger." He watched her to see if she was getting this.
?
That part wasn't hard but amusingly, at least to her, that came with thinking of the first time she had worn the armor. There was a fondness in that memory. ?With a faint cant of her head she glanced to the backpack to see and he was right, nothing happened. "So this link will be activated from anywhere? What about if I am offworld?" Of course she had to ask the tough questions.
?
He chuckled as he tilted his head slightly, listening to his AI as she murmured in his ear that the readout was complete. "De connection between yer armor an' de bracelet is carried on a quantum communication protocol dat..." He stopped himself from getting too technical. "It's got a long range, but if yer offworld an' leave de armor behind, no, dat ain't gonna work."
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"So no taking it with me to the shadow planes. Got it." She snickered and glanced to her brother, noting how his head was tilted. Was he..mimicking her? Nahhh. Not him. "Still..will make having to tote around the backpack obsolete. Not..that I didn't mind it." For reasons that she did not dare say why. "How long have you been working on this little..tidbit?"
?
He shrugged slightly, looking nonchalant. "Coupla months. Hard part was makin' de bracelet, really. It ain't easy to make a biomonitor like dat look like it could be some kinda jewelry, ya know." He chuckled. "Ya ready to give it a shot?"
?
"And we all know how much jewelry I own." Ring. Check. Necklace, check. She needed to get Ed to talk to Ducii about her endless closet and see if he could make one. Wait. Ducii and Edward in the same room together. Alone. Scratch that. Trying to erase that from her head she shook it a few times. "Is the bracelet a better way of you to try to keep tabs on me too?" Yes, that question happened. After all she had been half a month without her PCUI on her person as well as ..well usually everything she normally carried with her. ??Nothing happened from the backpack yet simply because she hadn't tried. Apparently the answer was more important at the moment.
?
He rolled his eyes at the question, shaking his head. "Ya know Ah don' do dat. Oh sure, yer location info gets sent to Di, but she don' share dat wit' me. Ain't my business. Ya get in some kinda trouble you need yer big brot'er for, however, an' it'll be a diff'rent story."
?
How good were those readings on her? Because hearing him call himself 'big brother' had a big ol' sway on her even if she didn't show it. "Why I got to be in trouble to need you?" There was a hint of a smile right before she grunted. The back panel of her suit snugged its way against her back and started to branch out why more of the suit started to fit itself to her on what seemed of its own accord. Was she trying to hide in the suit? Yes! She did seem to make an odd little sound when the ?suit's arm began fitting to her right arm but that could easily be missed. The helmet was the last fit and she glanced down to herself as the whole suit did a quick re-calibrating test. "Okay that was cool as hell."

He grinned as he watched the armor flit from where she had tucked it to start wrapping itself around her, his eyes following every movement, watching her reactions. He caught that odd sound but let it pass, enjoying himself as he watched it work. Once it was finished he looked the assembled suit over with an approving nod. "Looks like it works." The grin turned into a smirk, mischief making his eyes twinkle. "Wanna take it for a test drive?"

The visor of the hood slid up into the helmet part while she was busy gripping and releasing the grip of her hands. After a moment she looked up to him. ?"Sure." Did she ask what he meant? Nope! Whatever it was, she was on board.
?
The grin on his face widened, and at the same time a wavelike rippling motion passed through the fabric of his coat, the garment rearranging itself around him, appearing to move in pixelated flowing wavelets around his body until he stood there clad in his own armor, his voice taking on the slightly flattened computer-filtered tones that eliminated all traces of accent and subtly altered its pitch and timbre to give it a harmonic quality. "All right then, sis. Bring it on." He lifted a gauntleted hand and beckoned to her as he said it.
?
What the what? Now the appearance of his armor did bring about a few..questions. Okay, maybe a lot of them. ?He had been planning this all along and she could tell when he grinned like a cat who got into the cream. Shaking her head she raised a hand to slide her fingers along the visor as it lowered. "Rules? Besides you not using D.I.A.N.A to track my moves." Was she calling him out on cheating? Nooo. Just getting that out of the way of course. As her hand lowered he would find she had already dismounted one of the blades which was, for the moment, disengaged.
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His grin could likely be heard even through the filtering as he watched her. Not settling into a defensive stance, the pulse generators in his hands not even powering up. He looked like he was waiting for her to make a move. "No other rules. But don't count on that cloak system to save you, I have other ways of seeing you than using Di."

She was fine with that as her hand shot up as he spoke. Right after him saying there were no other rules. The energy pulse gen in her left arm sent off two shots in rapid session - one aimed for his chest and the other a wee bit..well..lower. Was it meant that way or was it just the height difference? Who knows! Either way she was already working on placing a bit of space between them with the blade yet to be activated.
?
He wasn't surprised by her sudden attack, though her aim was noted. That was just plain dirty, he thought, as he threw himself into a quick leap, turning his body horizontally and sideways, the pair of quick shots passing over and under him as he spun in the air, missing him by millimeters on both sides. The spin brought him around as he came down, landing in a low crouch much more nimbly than his bulk suggested, one palm raised, He fired off a quick shot of his own, this one aimed at the ground ?just in front of her feet. The repulsor blast blew up a small crater and threw dirt and rocks up into her face. Right on the heels of the blast he pounced forward, the armor's musculature propelling him at her midsection.
?
If there was one thing she had, it was quick reflexes. Another thing she had? A few tricks up her sleeve that he may of missed in his..days away. On a dime she managed to stop, toe of the suit bare inch from where the crater he created. And while she was, for the moment, unaware of his approach, he would find that when he got too close that something was 'not right'. Something that would seem familiar, in a way, wrapped itself around the elbows and lower arms of the armor and jutted outward like from her body. The Reevi skin bled through, creating near feather like blades that she released to fire like bullets in the incoming direction of her brother while the rest of her body turned to face him at the ready. If he tried to tackle for the midsection as it appeared, he was going to get a fight!

His armor's sensors screamed a warning at him as the incoming fusillade blasted out at him. While it certainly wouldn't cause any lasting harm, of course, he didn't want her getting a hit in on him so soon in the game. Instinctively he rolled to the right, the thrusters in his suit kicking off as he did so, twisting him out of the path of the blades, but also causing him to shoot past her. His palms opened in her direction as he went sailing by, aiming for where her back should be if she remained in his path.
?
Ohhh she was looking for one to hit. Just one. And even when it did hit there would be no damage but it would seem that it was stuck to his armor. But lucky for him, instead, they missed and disappeared somewhere into the grass. For now. Her head tilted, faintly, as he roared past but he would find that blade that she had been holding? Was now activated and if he was close enough it was going to nip but not with enough force as it seemed his shot to the back got her. She staggered forward but planted her foot so she didn't move too far. Instead she used the force to hunker down low before springing after him, twisting her body with the force of pushing off. Much like her namesake, a cat, she twisted in the air and was thrusting the blade right for the left shoulder as if looking for a place between metal - as she would any armor. Even if she knew there was none to be had.
?
Her blade nicked him going past, the touch just enough to throw off his attempt to pull up and come down on his feet, instead nudging him towards the ground and turning him so he plowed onto his back into the dirt. He had just enough time to start pushing up from the ground before the tip of her blade caught him on the shoulder, slamming him back down into the dirt again but failing to penetrate. Grabbing at the point of the blade with one hand, he directed his palm up at her face with the other, loosing a blast.
?
Ohh he was not going to like this! The blade was released once she saw he had it but at the same time her other hand shot out, apparently having the same idea as him but for his lower section. Instead she deflected and sent his shot off elsewhere instead of her face. Face shot! Not cool! So she left him a little present on his palm. At first it looked like just some glop on the palm but it soon enough found the thinnest cracks and ..well..Edward had a little friend in his suit right now. What was it up to? He would find out eventually. For now she tried to push off and away unless he ended up grabbing her. "Before I forget. I have a favor to ask.."
?
He kicked off as the shots bounced off of each other, one blowing a chunk of ground out a few feet away, the other flying off to make a medium-sized rock explode spectacularly. He pushed off once her blade was let go, letting it fall as the thrusters blasted him back a yard, then flipped him up and over in a backwards somersault to land easily on his feet. His suit reported the foreign substance, but was still analyzing it for the moment, "Oh? What might that be?"
?
It wasn't anything super harmful as long as she didn't will it to be but darn if when it touched Edward did he feel that creepy feeling of a shadowling's touch. A touch that would leave just about anyone's skin crawling and uncomfortable while at the same time feel like something slimy is crawling on you..without actually leaving a trail. It was just an overall discomfort. Just a friend that wanted to say Hi, Edward! In the most creepiest way possible. While she had his attention she had thought about asking him to make her as scythe to go with her suit...however there was something more pressing. Didn't mean she left herself open but she did seem to almost idly pick up the blade. "I know, to a degree, you have tested my blood. However, this was after half of it was nulled away." She just now realized, she wasn't sure if Edward was aware of her..past..of her actual two sets of blood she had been born with. "If given the time do you think you would be able to isolate a person's blood or blood traits? Not a whole lot of time though." In fact now that she thought about it, he may of been a poor choice to turn to. He had his own things to worry about...
?
He shivered a little at the sensation, but it was a small distraction. A mental command activated a few little countermeasures in his suit to expel the substance as he considered it. And his next line of attack. "Well, to be honest, I'm no expert on that sort of thing. D.I.A.N.A. probably knows more about it than I do. But still, I tink it's possible." He watched, he waited, prowling to the left as he spoke, his body in a slight defensive, waiting posture as he watched for her next move.
?
He really should've been paying attention to the ground and where those daggers had landed. She watched him prowl and just as he stepped to the side her hand rose up and her fingers clenched. On command the liquid Reevi became like spikes, jolting up from the ground until they stood proud in two feet of barbed salute. If they didn't hit they did serve to halt him from going that direction which aided her as she suddenly jetted forward to him, her body angled low and her hands holding the blades at ready. "Don't worry about it then." She would figure something out. Just..not sure what.

That was certainly a surprise, and completely unexpected, startling him enough that he jumped back the other way away from the spikes. His attention on the conversation and then by the sudden surprise of the incongruous emergence of spikes from the ground, he missed his sister coming his way until the last moment...enough time to start a leap upwards, not enough time for the thrusters to kick him completely out of the way.

The blades in her hands dropped and she reached out to grab one of his feet and you better believe she tried to ground him with all of her might. Even if it might of seemed like she was trying to hammer him down into the ground. Pent up frustrations? Naw, not here!
?
One thing he'd learned in long training hours, first with Kyle, then a rather unexpected partner later, was the importance of rolling with the punches, as it were. While he didn't know what exactly she intended until the last moment, he'd already relaxed himself in preparation, and when she swung him down, he let himself lay limp a moment, so she was almost swinging him like a flail at the ground. At the moment he felt himself getting close to being parallel with the ground, he acted, kicking ?out with his free foot towards her face as he pulled with the one in her grip, and as he did so the pulse generators in the heels of both boots fired off at her.
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He was SO lucky she was wearing a helmet otherwise she'd be irked at the fact he kept aiming for her face! She made a sound as she pitched back from the shock and made sure to place a little more space between them while she shook her head. Recalling the blades back she caught them as they shot her way but instead of using them she simply placed them back where she went. There was no move to make her way toward him again. No..she stayed right there.
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The blast from the boots was meant more for the shock value than anything else, naturally. It was another lesson he'd learned that always worked - everyone instinctively protects the face. As she let go he thumped down to the ground, her swing still managing to hammer him into the dirt hard enough to drive the breath from his lungs and make him see stars. The grunt that escaped him could be heard through the voice pickup, and for a moment he just laid there, wondering if there was now an imprint of his body that was going to be left behind as he started to push himself up. "Ow," he grunted as he felt a sharp twinge in his chest, pausing a moment on one knee. "I think you cracked a rib." There was a slight chuckle in his voice as he said it.
?
Ow. From anyone that wouldn't of phased her. This was a spar and she wasn't one for pulling punches just because and she didn't expect him to pull any either. However...it was him ..her brother. So for a moment the concern weighed more on her than the spar. "Are you alright? We can stop..."
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He sighed under his helmet, pushing himself up to his feet. It was almost fine already, his body's unique physiology already repairing the fracture in the bone. He could feel it - it was a weird, itching discomfort that he'd never had an easy time ignoring. "I'm fine. Damn, and I was just about to thank you for not treating me like I'm...like I'm fragile or something." And this time it was his turn to bound at her, arms extended, hands curled into fists, long, sleek twin blades extending from the back of his wrists.
?
Okay now that rubbed her the wrong way and it came in the form of both her hands coming forward. Both hands released a charged fire his way so that the shots combined into a large one, aimed for..well..his chest. They were barely released as she followed in the aftermath of their firing, one blade unsheathed, clenched and in swing for one of the wrists. The growl that followed? Might of been a sign that he had struck a nerve without even realizing it.
?
He was already in motion, and his momentum made it hard to dodge that blast. He just managed to move enough to take it more towards his shoulder than the middle of his chest, knocking him twisting backwards. He came down, twisting around, mostly on his front, hands splayed outward to catch himself from doing a faceplant, pushing himself up to his feet with the agility born of years of parkour training. The blades at his wrists, crystalline in appearance, suddenly glowed white-hot as he moved to intersect her swing at him. He managed to stop it, the ringing sound lost on him as the shock of her blow shook his arm from wrist to elbow.
?
"You are anything but fragile! How dare you even think I would treat you such a way! Even if you are...Even if you are-" The words, despite being distorted by the helm, were filled with open annoyance mingled with something else that was likely missed in the transition. She made no attempt to block his attempt, counter it, or even stop his blade from finding a land. Now close up he would notice gleams of black metal along the shoulders of the armor and suddenly they came to life, long spines formed of Reevi bowing forward and striking down at the armor so close to her now as if attempting to skewer even though she knew she couldn't dent it let alone land through it. Didn't mean she wasn't going to try to open it like a damn tin can!
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He saw all right, the spines making contact before he could push away. Automatically the armor hermetically sealed itself, at the same time a thought-activated electric current arced across his armor's skin, just as he pushed her away. He wasn't sure how that had pissed her off, but he could see the result. He took a couple steps back, hands out in a pacifying gesture, the blades sliding back out of sight. "All right, sis, I think that's enough. You got something to say, just say it already."
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She hissed when the electric current hit the Reevi. She felt that and quickly retreated but not as far as one would expect. In fact she seemed to be pacing from one side to the other much like a caged animal. "I just did." She grunted at him. "Issy seems to think that every time I see you that I am always pissed at you and that I should back off and just make sure the rest of your days are cushiony and filled with love. I am not always pissed at you but you do some really dumb stuff and you deserve a swift kick in the ass for it. But I am NOT and I CAN'T just treat you like you are fragile! You are better than that and to do so, even now would be disrespectful. So I may be a crappy sister and all," She pointed a finger at him, "But don't you ever say I treat you like you are fragile!" The respect she had for him was deeply rooted and she felt like him saying that was an insult, not to her, but to him and she would not have it!
?
He was taken aback, though it might be hard to tell behind the armored visage. It took him a moment to recover and process all that, and when he finally did he shook his head slowly. "Okay, so, some minor corrections. First of all," and he started holding up fingers as he spoke, "not a crappy sister. Second of all, we may have our little spats or whatnot, but I don't think I've ever seen you actually pissed at me until now. I like that you don't have a problem telling me what you think, not enough people have in my life. They mostly seem interested in telling me what I want to hear." He let out a chuckle as he paused. "And I just said you weren't treating me like I'm fragile. Maybe I should have said 'dying', but I don't think of myself as a dying man. This thing that's happening to me is just like what happens to anyone else. It could - probably will - take years at its present rate of progress, and maybe by then I'll have found a way to fix it. It's not like I gave up trying, you know." He made a grumbling noise. "I meant I was glad you don't let me off easy, whether we're slugging it out, or...well...I guess we're slugging it out any way you look at it, in a way."
?
"Of course you aren't giving up trying. You don't know how to give up trying, right? That is a family trait." Her voice sounded off, like she was struggling. So was being stubborn, right? "I am not going to treat you any different. I want to be open and honest with you." Even though she felt he didn't return it which was okay to her. "Of course I wouldn't take it easy on you. How else are you to learn and grow? A spar is suppose to test your limits and besides to go easy on you would be an insult to you and your skills." She stopped pacing but by no means did she drop her guard. "So..you really don't...think I am a crappy sister?"
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He continued watching her, subtly taking a step back. Not planning anything, really. But...just in case. He shook his head and chuckled as she asked that. "Seriously, you ask some of the silliest questions, sis. You're the best sister I've ever had."
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"That has to be one of the dorkiest comments I have ever heard you say. I am the only sister you've ever had." There was a pause there. "R-right?" It wasn't that she was so unsure but something else. She'd shake it off, whatever it was, and readied herself to attack. The cloaking shimmered her out of sight but even afterward she shifted through the planes just long enough to have her dropping down on him le-pounce mode.
?
He laughed as she asked that, nodding. "Of course, that's ri-" His response was cut off as she disappeared from sight. Quickly he sent a mental command to his armor, producing a series of ultrasonic vibrations, designed to pick up invisible solid masses...only to find she had disappeared. At the same time that registered, he found out where she went, as she came dropping down on him from above, catching him off-guard and knocking him down on his back.
?
Thump! She landed on his back like..well..a cat proud of the mouse it just pounced. Right up until she just kind of collapsed on top of him, panting though it sounded more like hissing sounds coming from the suit. The suit retracted after a moment or two, returning to the backpack state but the moment the parts started to separate is the moment that Ranger's armor was painted crimson. A pool of blood splashed him as she just sort of laid there on the metallic back, hair matted against her brow, cheeks, and neck. She mumbled against the metal. "You...are not..fragile..don't..ever..forget that..."
?
Whatever he was expecting, it certainly wasn't that, and seeing the claret that drenched him, he almost froze, some memory flitting across his mind, there and gone, before he moved to catch hold of her by her shoulders, propelling himself to his feet. "What the hell...Katt? Katt!" He didn't bother waiting for a response, shaking his head. He should have known. Somehow. Carefully he wrapped her up in his arms and the thrusters lit off, rocketing him back towards the Tower, trailing blood as he went.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 07, 2017, 03:33:25 PM
.: Chapter Thirty: Confliction of Self :.
[size=9].:7.3.2017:.[/size]

The invitation was intriguing, to say the least. No reason given, but from Katt and with a reference to possibly bringing Doran... he decided to go alone. The lad was in the middle of preparing for a show, after all, and there would be time to talk soon enough. Better sooner than later, if it was about Sylva as he suspected. Why else would Doran even be potentially involved?  So he arrived as Asile aux Falaises and rang for admittance.

"Hey Ebon." Katt's voice came from above and when Ebon looked up he would find Katt leaning over the balcony as if she had been expecting him. Enough that she was already crawling on the ledge of the railing and jumping down to join him in the front yard. "It has been a while. How are you?"

"I mean, it's a nice day, but from your mysterious invitation I got the impression that it was somewhat serious, so perhaps a bit more privacy?"

Ebon...drinking. She had only witnessed this a few times but drinking with Renna. At first she didn't say anything. Instead she shook her head and made a gesture with her hand. "This way..." She started to move, guiding him around the building and to the sitting area that gave a great view of the infinity pool and the bay. "I am sure many thank you for..taking one for the team." Just as long as she wasn't on the rage end of his wife she was good! She was pretty sure there were times when he was drinking her concoctions that she was sure his wife would show up. Outback he would find a table was already prepared with a teapot and a couple of cups set out all nice and neat. There were a few beignets, too. She seemed to pull out all the stops. "I am sorry about the mystery that was my invitation. I wasn't..even sure if I should involve you let alone..how to."

"I'm always here to help if you need it, even if it's just to lend an ear." Sitting down, he picked up a beignet and took a bit. "Mmmmm." Eyes closed in what could almost be described as culinary rapture. "I have missed these on a regular basis." Setting down the pastry, he leaned back in the chair and steepled his fingers in front of him. "So, What's on your mind? Is it your brother, or...?" He was leaving his suspicions unspoken.

Right to business. Ebon knew her very well but for him, there were pleasantries. She wanted to ask how his family was doing and so forth but maybe he was right. Sinking down into a chair she raised a hand and smothered it along her face. Where to begin? How to begin? "Sylva." His suspicions were correct and she made no efforts to hide it. "I know you have been ..in a way ..taking care of her. I don't know why or the likes. Is she a ward of your orphanage now?" That idea only made her stomach turn with the possibilities.

"No, she has taken up residence at a treehouse on the estate, one that Doran originally built for himself. He... invited her to stay there. It's close enough to the manor house that he can visit her, and it's quite comfortable, with power and facilities." He paused and took a sip of tea. "Although I'm not sure if she has ever started sleeping inside, or if she just lies out on the balcony landing." Another bite of beignet. "You know she joined us on our vacation right after Winterfest?"

She blinked at him. "I was..not aware of that." Apparently the connect Sylva had with the Ilnaren family was stronger than she thought. Tilting her head she looked at the table thoughtfully. "I do not remember if I have told you about my bloodline, Ebon." Part of her felt like they had already talked about it at one point. "But Sylva is coming upon something she is going to need to make a choice about or she is going to die. She is ..going to become a threat and I have asked her to remain away from everyone as much as possible until this...situation is handled."

"I know bits and pieces, mostly about your Reevi blood, but I don't recall if you've ever told me the full tale. Does this have to do with what Chaos did to you, with those mental blocks that I tried helping you with?"

She shook her head slowly. "No." So then he didn't know. "I guess I should explain my origin then." This wasn't something that she exactly shared with anyone. "I am born of two bloods. Two bloods that are not able to co-exist in a single form. My father, Caius, knew this. He fashioned a plan to create a weapon of sorts and found him a woman to fool. She was unaware of who or what he truly was or his plans. Months before I was born he left for war and when I was born my mother didn't name me. She wanted to wait for him to return so that they could name me together. When he did return he had my mother killed and me sent off on a ship to Mandrake." She decided to skip a bit of stuff now. "He is the First Male Reevi. And my mother was Altian. Technically I should be dead now as by around the age of 18 my blood would of killed me. Killing me from the inside out. But I made a pact with Chaos and he sealed away and nulled the Altian blood." She would pause there, letting it soak in.

For a moment that lasted eons, Ebon was silent as he sipped his tea and finished his beignet. His expression was stoic, but his eyes narrowed in thought before he spoke. "And Sylva is facing that same fate." It wasn't a question. "So she has to seal the Altian blood away. Do you think Chaos would be willing to help her? If he lives up to his name... well, I know from experience that entities who embody chaos are capricious at best." Then another thought struck him. "You say she has two bloods. What happens if she chooses to remove the Reevi?"

"That is exactly it, Ebon. I had to make a choice and made one in the midst of pain that ...was unimaginable. Yes, she is facing that same fate and going through Chaos is the only way I really know will work. I have asked Ed about being able to help with it but working with bloods is not his thing." So her choices were coming down thin. "I am sure if I request it he will help her..but it is her choice what to do. She can choose one or the other or..just die.." She scratched at her hair and sighed. "I have no idea what else to do." Her hand paused when he asked the last question and her hand slowly lowered. "If she chooses Altian then she will...forget everything. She will be as if a clean slate and the Guardians will come to take her from here. And ...she would willingly go with them."

That notion, quite frankly, staggered Ebon; if he hadn't been sitting, he would likely have collapsed. "Forget... everything?" He knew what she meant to Doran and he suspected that his son meant more to the girl than she may have realized. To be honest with himself, he had begun thinking of Sylva as practically family in his own mind. "Does she know of the choice that she's facing?"

"She does. I spoke to her about a month ago and have been seeking other paths to take. As I said to her, she needs to distance herself from people. If only because as it grows worse..as the pain grows..it will become blinding and she is likely to attack someone." She tilted her eyes to him. "I will be honest with you, Ebon. Compared to her, enraged, she could crush one of Ed's suits...if not crush it she could dent it with no problem. Altian blood is strong and coupled with the need for blood if only to quell the pain for a short time..." She shook her head slowly. "I fear she could hurt if not kill someone."

"To be fair, Katt, I could crush--or at least dent--one of Edward's suits... but it's not me that you're worried about, is it? It's Doran, and the other children, isn't it?" He drew a heavy sigh. "I've taught Doran to fight since he was seven years old, did you know that? He's very skilled, but still." His dark eyes looked up to meet her gaze. "Do you remember when that bounty hunter maniac came after Race? We both went in to help him... and I ended up with several cracked ribs, a punctured lung, and every bone in my right forearm splintered. So I do understand where you're coming from, Katt. Sometimes all the skill in the world is meaningless when faced with an overwhelming force fueled by rage... or hunger."

"I am not foolish enough to think that any of your children cannot protect themselves, Ebon. And you are correct. You are not exactly the one I am worried of. Would Doran be able to kill her if he had to? Would any of the children? Not only that but if she were to hurt them...she would condemn herself and avoid them. As I told her I know first hand. I did it..and the boy I did it to called me an abomination. He feared me. I ..still carry that guilt with me to this day. I cannot say she would be the same but chances are...she would." When asked if she remembered of Lobo she slowly nodded. It was hard to forget something like that. "Then there is the fact that it is someone you care about. And...she does care for your children, Ebon. As she does for Maggie and Des. I know she doesn't want to see any harm to any of them."

"So that's why she's been staying away from the house lately... why she's even been avoiding the treehouse some nights." He paused for a moment, and one eyebrow arched elegantly. "Would that also explain why some of the livestock has gone missing? If so, she owes me a few head of cattle." There was no malice in his statement, but rather an attempt to ease the mood a little. "I do understand, Katt, and I thank you for explaining it to me as you have. Although... now I wish I had brought Doran today. Eventually he's going to run into Sylva somewhere, and if he learns of this from her before he hears it from you, well, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes when he finds you in that case."

Her head tilted thoughtfully. "I do not know, to be honest. That may be something you would have to take up with her. I don't think she would mess with cattle. The blood tastets odd." Okay so that was maybe a little open, wasn't it. "But I cannot say who or what she feeds on if she is 'lost'." The situation was a little close to home. No..it was right there at her doorstep. He earned a blink when he spoke of Doran. "I..don't..understand."

"Just trust me that he could find a way to make you hurt if you got him angry enough not to care about the consequences. Fortunately, he tends to be fairly level-headed and focused... he has to be." Reaching out, he gently tapped Katt on the forehead. "You know that madness that you have inside your head? In some respects, that's what he lives with every day, floating on the surface of a sea of roiling emotions from just about everyone in this insane asylum of a city. I originally taught him to focus on a wall, to keep out the emotions around him. He was the one who came up with the idea of a boat."

She nodded slowly, understanding what he was saying to a degree. "I do not see why he would be so upset with me if she would tell him what I told her, though." Her brows furrowed a bit. "Ebon? What...is Sylva to Doran?"

"Honestly? I think he's at least a little bit in love with her. Maybe it's the resemblance to you..." He paused and gave Katt a curious look. "You know he had a crush on you for years, right?"

Doran was such a sweet lad and the idea that he had a crush on her was still..rather flattering. "From my understanding though I never seemed to realize it until the later years. But Sylva is not me..So it is likely a passing fancy, yes? When he realizes she is not me. And quite frankly I am glad for this, Ebon. She has taken a path that is all hers. She has..much I did not have at that age. Including the kindness of you and your kin."

"Oh, he realizes that she's not you... but by the time he really came to understand that, he had already come to care for her in her own right." Ebon smiled warmly at the comment from Katt. "She has brought joy into our house, and we are glad to have her. Still... I do think you should tell Doran what you've told me, before he learns of it from anyone else. If you kept that from him, well, he would likely see it as something of a betrayal."

The look on her face when he smiled at her like that was as if she was totally gobsmacked. His words surprised her, no doubt. "R...really.." Apparently Sylva had grown more close to people than she realized. "Do you think I should tell him or are you okay with relaying the message? I actually had suspected you would bring the lad with you but I did leave the choice up to you."

"I think you should tell him. This is something that should come from you, and... even you, he could probably 'read' at least a little, despite what's in your head. It would make it easier for him to understand."

She wasn't sure why she was so uncomfortable telling Doran herself. Maybe it was due to the fact he did kind of see Sylva as her. Pursing her lips she nodded slowly. "Alright. I will try to do that when he is free." She was silent for a moment and during this time she reached over to grab the pot and refresh Ebon's tea. "Thank you, Ebon. For taking her under wing. She wants nothing to do with me and while she makes me..severely uncomfortable I have tried to help her. She has, up until this time, refused my help. I am not even sure she will accept my help if I do get Chaos to assist me." Which may be a good reason to speak to Doran. Maybe he could sway that choice.

"I can't believe that she'd want to forget everyone she's come to know, not when the alternative is, quite frankly, having some abilities that the kids would say are... I believe the word is 'cool'. Would she be able to do what you do?"
"Yes but they are skills she would have to hone, like anyone learning. Hell she might even be able to awaken skills I do not know exist in me. That is something I can't say. Amazing how much our paths have varied, hasn' it?" Her abilities? Cool? She nibbled her inner cheek. "She may not want to forget but she also doesn't want to be like me. She could...also very well just accept death."

"Well, that may be an option, but... I certainly wouldn't recommend it." He finished his tea, and poured a second cup, adding sugar and a touch of milk. "If this Chaos won't--or, for some reason, can't--help her, what other alternatives have you considered. I know you mentioned Edward... but remember, you have far more resources here in Rhydin than you had on your own when faced with the same choice." Another sip, and a bite of his second beignet. "If you want, I could ask Eregor to consult. He may not be a scientist by nature, but he does have the advantage of coming from a society that's a few million years more advanced that even your brother's technology. He might know of something that might help. That is assuming that I can convince him to give DIANA access to his Tower's systems. He doesn't entirely trust Edward with new tech after his dealings with Renna, you know."

"To be honest after speaking with Edward, he has no real knowledge in how to do it. Diana has more knowledge than he does and I am not going to leave it to her to figure out something. As it stands Chaos is the only path I have to look at." While he spoke of Gory she didn't exactly know what Gory could do so she just felt..stumped there. "Ebon? Will...Doran be able to handle seeing Sylva in that much pain? It is going to get..pretty bad..."

"He'll handle it. He's a tough kid." A chuckle escaped from his lips. "Do you remember when Brian--well, not really Brian, but Raven--blew up the Bon-Bon and everyone thought you were dead? Doran went a little unhinged after that, and wound up wandering the streets of Rhydin for a while, carrying the spirits of dozens of Raven's victims around in his head. All that pain, all that yearning for vengeance... but when he finally found Brian, he let it all go and recovered himself again. He could even take some of her pain, to a degree... that might at least give her some time to feed safely, if necessary. I don't know."

Her head tilted as she listened to him, her lips parting faintly. Doran went..unhinged? Because of..her. She could not mask her surprise of this. "He is a strong lad, yes. I do not doubt that." She exhaled slowly and closed her eyes. "Please let him know that I wish to speak to him at his earliest convenience. He can contact me through DIANA at any time." Her lips thinned a bit more as she shook her head.

"I will, and I'll give him the contact codes. He'll probably seek you out tomorrow before the evening performance at the Shanachie. Have you seen it yet, by the way?"

She mused and opened her eyes to look at him. For a moment it could be seen in her eyes. She was..exhausted. "The Cats performance? I have. It is quite..amusing."

Ebon could see the exhaustion in her eyes, indeed, and felt it was time to move the conversation on to lighter topics. For now, the business seemed to be sorted, at least for the next few courses of action. "Doran and Maggie have been visiting gathering places all over Rhydin before or after many of the shows, in character with full costume and makeup. It's been a sight, let me tell you!" His laughter rang out, and then he asked about how her brother was doing, and did she want to see the latest pictures of the girls, and so on through the afternoon.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 07, 2017, 03:45:33 PM
[size=9].:7.10.17:.[/size]

Time was becoming a thing in her life she did not like. It was threatening to stealing away some of the most precious things in her life. Time was also not on her side, even in the alternate time. Her alternate self. This could've been avoided if she had reached out earlier to Sylva but there was just a want to stay out of the girl?s life that kept her away. That and the fact that the young version of herself creeped her out! As she stood there with Sylva, who was doubled over a few feet away, she could not help but take note of the changes that now truly separated them. Sylva was no longer destined to follow in her path, that much was certain. Still, she could not help but feel something was wrong with the child existing in the same place and time as she. Like time would implode if they touched, which was ridiculous.

Taking her through the veil had been difficult even with the shadow stepping as Sylva apparently did not have the protection that was required to be within the shadow plane. She knew that feeling. Like something was trying to tear you from the inside out but then the youth was in constant pain as it was, so likely the pain just lost in the sea of it all. ?We aren?t that far away. Once we are at the palace you should be protected by the walls. I will see about getting you some protection.? Katt murmured to Sylva as she waited for the youth to collect herself.

Pushing up slowly Sylva nodded to signal she was ready. The pain in her core was treated like most pain in her life -  placed to the back of her mind so she could function, if only for a few minutes longer.

This was something Katt understood. Pushing forward despite being in pain. It was something she...they..were trained to do. To ignore the pain even if it brought about their death. Somewhere in the back of her mind she was reminded of her sparring with her brother. How she was practically bleeding herself to death in her suit without him knowing - just because she wanted to spar with him. Just to spend a little more time with him? How selfish she felt at that moment.

Sylva slowly stood and looked to Katt before looking over her shoulder. She could see the world beyond the veil where time itself seemed to crawl to a near stop.

?Here time moves different. It makes using shadow stepping quite useful when it comes to moving long distances,? Katt explained as she watched Sylva.

?Shadow stepping? Can I do that?? Sylva looked to Katt and the strange trees past her. The trees looked as if they were alive, leaves swaying with no wind to breath through them.

?That is a good question. I could at your age but it was..difficult.? Katt turned and started to walk her way to their destination. ?If you decide, I am sure it would be one of the skills you could follow on.?

Sylva caught on that. ?Decide to be Reevi, you mean??

?You would entertain the idea of being Altian?? Katt inquired without looking back. Instead she focused on the palace that they were coming up on. The grandiose of the place was not lost on her but it was what it was made of her that always seemed to make it seem...imposing. A black crystal substance that wasn?t crystal. She still, to this day, had no idea what it was made of.

Sylva was silent as she took in the monstrous building before them, easily seen even over its own outer walls. ?I...don?t know.?

As they passed through the main gate, Katt made no attempt to greet any of the guards, not even bothering to announce herself. She entered with a guest as if she owned the place and this was done on purpose. ?You want to forget all the people you have met? What about the people you have made friends and family with? The lives you have touched..?

Sylva was silent at the question.

?You think they would be better off without you?? Katt didn?t ask but rather implied that was what the youth was thinking. Pushing one of the grand doors open she glanced to Sylva.

Sylva?s doll-like eyes rose up to Katt as she slowed as she got close. Her eyes lowered as she suddenly took to quickening her step and passing Katt in order to step into the main hall of the lavishly decorated palace.

Grunting at Sylva, Katt followed her in, releasing the door once she was inside. ?Just because Des is mad at you doesn?t mean he wants you to go away. And I am sure Ebon?s family would be sad to lose you, too. And Maggie. And Jonigan.? Katt was making sure that each name was spoken so that they hit home. What it was that Sylva would lose.

?Stop,? Sylva whined, ?I -?

?KAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT? Joshua's voice vibrated and bounced through the walls as the young man came sprinting down the winding stairs centered at the opposite way.

At first she nearly didn?t recognize him but he was the only one who addressed her so familiar here. The boy had grown, marking somewhere in his late teens to early twenties, his flax hair had grown well past his shoulders and seemed to be groomed just enough to keep out of his amber eyes. He was a fetching lad and a sidelong glance was made to Sylva. ?He is very friendly, so be prepared.? she mumbled to the young woman.

?For??

Before Katt could even answer, Joshua tackled into her person, scooping her up in a hug. ?It has been forever!? He had barely squeezed on her for two seconds when he had noticed there was someone else. Still hugging on Katt he looked to the young woman at her side.

?Joshua. Release me.? Katt mumbled as she gave him a quick embrace but then tried to peel herself out of his arms. ?I am here to speak with Chaos.?

Sylva watched the two with a bit of surprise. Katt never seemed the touching type and here this man was hugging on her like Katt was his personal doll. When he seemed to notice her she blinked at him then turned her eyes down sheepishly when she realized he was staring at her.

?Katt? She-?

?Isn?t a clone.? Katt caught his question, or what she thought it was, before he finished.

?But..? Joshua was obviously confused as he released Katt and turned full attention on Sylva. ?She?s so cute!?

?Bwahhh?? The sound came from Sylva as she looked back up to Joshua.

That was disturbing, Joshua. While she didn?t say it aloud it was surely written on Katt?s face. ?She is from a different timeline as I, Joshua. Her name is Sylva. Now go get Chaos for me.?

?Sylva. Nice to meet you Sylva!? Joshua was quick to scoop her up in a squeezing hug as well.

?H-Hi!? Sylva squeaked out, remaining perfectly still during the whole ordeal..

?Heehee!? Joshua released Sylva and saluted Katt, ?I?ll go find his lordship! Please wait in the waiting room!? Before she could answer Joshua took off, speeding his way back up the stairs that lead to the second floor and beyond.

?Well I see time has not slowed him down any.? Katt mumbled as she looked over to Sylva who looked a little stunned at what just happened. Lowering a hand to the young woman?s back she started to guide her to the waiting room where they would...well...wait.

?What did you mean, I am not a clone?? Sylva asked Katt after roughly fifteen minutes of waiting.

?Mrmm?? It was not a memory Katt wanted to relive let alone talk about. ?A few years ago someone was trying to recreate ...me??

?Oh?? Well that was uncomfortable to hear.

?Yeah?? As if she thought Sylva would understand. ?You aren?t a clone but the situation is eerily uncomfortable for me.?

?Is that why you hate me??

Katt was silent for a long moment. ?I don?t hate you, Sylva. You make me uncomfortable, yes, but I don?t hate you. If I did, we wouldn?t be here right now. It is kind of like how you don?t like being referred to as being me.? She glanced to the youth. ?You reminded me of what I was...But you don?t anymore. You are too different??

Sylva blinked at Katt. ?I am??

?Severely,? Katt agreed, ?There is no way you can end up like me, either. You have take a path so different from the one I had when I was your age that you are your own person. You are, in terms, a me that could've been??

?So you don?t hate me??

?Do you hate me?? Katt countered.

Sylva blinked at Katt, ?N-no! I just..I just don?t like it when people think I am you. I don?t want to be you. I want to be me!?

Katt chuckled quietly. ?Seems we agree then. We don?t hate each other, we just want to be ourselves.?

Sylva quickly nodded in agreement.

?Well this is curious. Who is your friend, my precious Dark Lily.? Chaos? voice rose to join the conversation as he entered the room. Once again he had changed his looks - dusty skin with black as night hair and bright gold colored eyes that could shamed a freshly pressed coin. An imposing figure standing slightly under seven feet, the man was draped in rich, deep robes that gave the impression that he floated when he walked. His eyes burned a stare on Sylva as he moved close to the pair.

Katt never could tell why Chaos was forever changing his appearance but she had a suspicious idea that he was attempting to find a figure pleasing to her. This one, to a degree, kind of made her think of Clayton. ?Chaos.?

Sylva turned eyes to the towering man. This was Chaos? His presence alone was a heavy feeling, as if he was crushing her with simply being there. How frightening and yet Katt was speaking to him as if she were on level with him.

?Who is this child and why does the air around her taste like you?? His eyes tore from Sylva to find Katt.

Thanks for not being creepy, Chaos. ?There was a time lapse, or something, that brought a past me to my present.? Katt informed Chaos. ?She?s long since started on her own path and now lives a separate life than mine.?

Chaos took in the information as he looked at the silent Sylva. ?I see.? He drew closer to the young woman, a long finger reaching out to touch her chin and raise her head just slightly so he could get a better look at her. He could, of course, see the differences. ?And why have you brought her here? Unprotected at that.?

Sylva quaked under the touch, the sensation of his fingertip touching her skin was unnerving but she didn?t say a word nor did she draw away as he examined her.

?She is at that crossroad, Chaos. That one I had to come to you about.? Katt explained as she watched Chaos with the girl.

Understanding shined in his eyes as Chaos moved his hand from Sylva. ?I see.? His attention turned to the door of the waiting room. ?Joshua. Stop lurking in the hallway.?

Joshua showed himself from the shadows of the hall, grinning sheepishly, ?Sorry, my lord.?

?Since you are so fascinated with our young guest, why not take her to the vault and give her the Iltherian. From there you can escort her to the Valley.? Chaos? turned his eyes to Sylva. ?I am sure you will enjoy the sights it has to offer and you may take of the valley as you wish.?

Katt stared at Chaos before looked over to Joshua who wore a surprised expression. Her attention slowly turned on Sylva, ?This will give me and Chaos time to talk about things. Please go with Joshua and enjoy yourself.?

?But?? Sylva started to decline.

?The Iltherian will stop the pain. It will give you protection to come and go from the shadow planar.? Joshua explained to Sylva. ?If you are unprotected like Lord Chaos has stated then you should come with me! And you will like the Valley! I promise!? Joshua held a hand out to Sylva while offering her a wide, welcoming smile.

?Joshua?? Katt spoke over to him and he looked over to her, ?Something happens to her and I will take it out of your hide.?

?Yes, Ma?am.?

?And Joshua??

?Yes??

?Stop hitting on her.? Katt stated flatly.

?I! What?? Joshua stammered. ? I am not!?

?Enough you two,? Chaos interrupted and softly pressed his large hand to the center of Sylva?s back, usher her to Joshua, ?Go now before I lose my patience.?

Joshua quickly scooped up Sylva?s hand. ?Yes, sir! This way, Miss Sylva!?

Sylva looked over at Katt, unsure of what was going on as Joshua practically dragged her out of the room.

Katt nodded to the young woman and watched the pair until they were out of sight. Even after they left the room she remained silent, listening to their steps.

It seemed Chaos was doing the same because as soon as they were out of range he turned his gaze on Katt. ?What makes you think I will assist this girl? She is not my Dark Lily and I have no reason to stop the process of her death.?
Katt gave a grunt and her gaze slid side-long to Chaos. ?You owe me.?

A brow arched high as Chaos moved, pondering over what exactly she was saying. Finally he shook his head, ?I do not see how I owe you anything, my dark one.?

?When you had that clone of me causing you problems,? Katt reminded him in her not-so-subtle way.

?Ah, yes, that. But you did not kill the thing. Aren did.? Chaos counted easily.

?Do you honestly think Aren would have showed up if it had not been for me?? Katt questioned as she settled down into one of the tall chairs that were positioned within the room for optimal conversation. She knew it wasn?t a trump card but she played the game with the cards she held and one hell of a poker face. Not that it was any different from the emotionless mask she tended to wear.

Chaos watched her as he mulled that over. She did have a point, to an extent. ?He was here for revenge.?

She tilted her head and gave Chaos a stare. Did he seriously believe that? Even though Aren had said it, she didn?t even believe it herself. He had been there because of her. He knew what the situation would do to her. If anything his actions after the death of the abomination proved this to her.

Chaos? arms folded as he looked back at her. ?What do I gain from helping her??

?My thanks??

?I?m serious. I have nothing to gain from assisting this youth. Why not take her to the council and let them -?

?You know why, Chaos,? she snapped at him, ?If she becomes Altian she would lose what self she has gained. She would lose the memories of those she cares about.?

?She has people she cares about?? Chaos? brows began to lower.

?Yes. Those she would look to as family and those who are dear friends.? She noticed the look Chaos wore but for the moment didn?t ask.

?Tell me about these friends.?

A brow crawled up at that but she shrugged and began to speak of the friends she knew. ?There is a older man who I am starting to believe is more family than friend. There is a young lad who I?ve known for quite some time. He and his family are very eccentric but in a pleasant way.? Most of the time. Des? mother could be motherly to even Katt at times. Quite frankly Katt didn?t know how to make of it when someone was motherly toward her. ?There are a pair of best friends who are very welcoming to her. I believe he?s gained a bit of a crush on Sylva but I am not sure how that is ...going.? And it concerned her a bit. Not that she was going to go into that. ?The lad-?

?These two best friends. What are their names?? Chaos questioned suddenly disrupted Katt. While there was a touch of concern to his tone he kept his eyes on her face with a bout of curiosity.

?Mrm?? The curious sound left Katt as she regarded Chaos, mirroring his curiosity but for different reasons. ?Doran and Maggie? They come from good stock and I know their parents.? She paused there while regarding Chaos further.

Her answer seemed to rest whatever it was that had rose the concern, ?I see. You may continue.?

?Mrph. You aren?t going to tell me what that was about??

?No.?

?Of course not.? She grunted quietly. ?Doran has siblings but I am unsure how they and Sylva get along but from what Ebon has said, she is very welcomed in their household. Maggie is Doran?s best friend and for someone so young she is very enriched in knowledge. Sylva is very fond of her and I think in a bit in awe of Maggie.? Her arms folded as she leaned back.

?That is enough.? Chaos urged her to stop. He found out what he needed to know. ?Why do you want to help her??

The question caused her to pause. Why indeed. She had no real ties with the youth other than the obvious. They pretty much avoided each other best they could. ?She has people who I know who care about her. It would make them sad if she died.? She started but her eyes slowly lowered as she considered that. It wasn?t her only reason. ?She deserves a chance to live, Chaos.?

Chaos eyed her silently before nodding. ?So be it. I will do it but it will take me roughly a month to prepare for the ritual.?

A brow slowly started moving up. ?It didn?t take you that long for me. In fact you were pretty spot on the moment with it.?

?That is because I knew you would come to me in time so I was always prepared. This is quite unexpected and she is not you, as you said. I will have to prepare some measures to make sure there is no recoil from what I will do.?

Katt considered it for a long moment before looking to the door. It wasn?t like they had a choice in the matter. ?Alright. But Chaos??

?Yes??

?You will not do anything else to that young woman. No tricks. Just get it done and over. She will owe you nothing and you will not dabble in her life.? Her eyes shifted slowly over to him. ?I will not let you hover over her life.?

A hand rose up to his chest and he looked offended by her words. ?I would do no such thing. After all, she is not the one I want.? His hand lowered, elongated fingers stroking at Katt?s hair. ?She is not my Dark Lily.? His touch left her hair,a few dark strains trickling from his fingertips. ?I will do this favor for you with no strings attached but I ask you do not forget my kindness in doing so.?

Katt grunted quietly. ?Sometimes I wonder if you are trying to woo me to your side or into your bed.?

Chaos bellowed out an amused laugh. ?I would never bed you. Unless you begged me to. Then I might consider it.?

?Keep dreaming. There is only one man I wish to lay in bed with and you are not him.?

Chaos waved a hand dismissively as he moved to settle in a chair across from her. ?You will talk to the youth and start to prepare her. I will do this in stages so it isn?t as..rushed as you were. Since I will need to dig in a bit before I can start anything and make sure there aren?t any engravings or protections to keep me from moving forward.? He addressed her with an even look as he spoke. ?Make sure, also, she is fully aware that she can very well die during the ritual. This moreso if she tries to fight me.?

Katt listened, nodding slowly, as she took in the information. ?Chaos. I want your word that you won?t try anything funny. You will do this for me??

?Why does it sound like it matters to you more than you are letting on?? Chaos asked as she was starting to pique his interest with how she was acting.

Sighing she raised a hand, rubbing it across her face. ?I?m losing my brother, Chaos. I am not handling it too well..? She felt like she was coming apart at the seams and she was afraid to even Clayton had noticed. It..frightened her.

?I see.? Chaos didn?t need more information, he knew where she was going. He also knew how much her brother meant to her. Enough that she struggled and fought against death, against him, and even herself. ?I vow, Kathryn, I will do nothing more than what contracted to..? He spoke low as he pushed up from his seat. ?I will leave you to rest while you wait for those two to return. When they do I will take some time with her to evaluate her then you two may leave.?

Katt nodded as she watched him. She had questions she wanted to ask as it seemed that this was far too easy. She watched as he bowed his head to her and slipped from the room, leaving her to her thoughts. There was no want to roam or anything of the place she wanted so she sat and waited patiently.

She had actually lost track of time but she wagered she sat there waiting for two if not close to three hours before Joshua showed face. What bothered Katt was that he was alone and looking a little distraught. ?Joshua? Where is Syl-? Before she could even answer there was a scream that flooded the halls. A scream that had her bolting outright from her seat.

?She is with Lord Chaos right now. He is- ? Joshua started to explain but another agonizing scream silenced him. He looked over his shoulder then back to Katt. ?She will be okay. It won?t take long so Lord Chaos asked that you just wait here.?


Katt glared at the young man before her but steeled herself against what sounded like Chaos torturing Sylva.

Joshua cringed and turned his eyes down. ?She liked the valley and has brought with her a few things she said she wanted to plant for her friends.?

Her expression softened and she felt a little guilty for giving the lad such a look. ?Thank you for taking her, Joshua. How did it go with the Iltherian??

?Surprisingly well. It bonded with her almost instantly.?

?She is young so it is no surprise to me.? Katt nodded as she raised her eyes to the ceiling. When her eyes lowered to regard Joshua again she found him nervously watching her. ?What??

?Um?? he started but was unable to finish the train of thought. Instead he redirected as he fiddled with his sash, ?I think they are done.?

She had noticed that the screaming had stopped also but was really hoping that it wasn?t because Chaos did something she was going to have to challenge him on. Still that concern was put to the side as she watched Joshua nervously fidgeting with the sash around his waist. ?Out with it, Joshua. What is on your mind.?

He stopped almost instantly. ?She passed out on her walk back,? he informed Katt quietly.

?What?? Well that certainly did gain her attention. ?Why??

?I don?t know!? Joshua quickly, as if to escape her ire. ?I guess that the travel through the veil was too great for her?? It was just a guess after all. ?Lord Chaos saw me carrying her into the palace on my back. He took her and excused me, telling me to inform you that they would be along shortly.?

Raising a hand she pinched the bridge of her nose. Who knows what problems that may of caused or what Chaos was doing to the girl to make her scream in such a way. ?Thanks for letting me know, Joshua.? It sounded like she may very well have to carry Sylva back. She found it a very tempting idea to bring Sylva to the tower and have D.I.A.N.A do a full checkup but that would be something she would have to think on. Before Joshua could rely Chaos came into the room with a rather zombie looking Sylva in his wake. Hugging some sort of item wrapped in parchment, the youth looked pale and wobbly. As if walking took all the efforts she could afford. Katt?s eyes went from Sylva to Chaos with an unspoken question in her gaze.

?She will be fine but for now I think it is best you take her and go. The first set of markings have been left on her bones and she apparently needs rest.? Chaos looked at Katt as if there was more to be said but instead he gestured Sylva to her older self. ?I will need you to return in a week,? he spoke down to Sylva, ?Consider this your time to spend with family and friend. If need be consider it the time made to say your farewells, just in case.?

?Chaos??

His eyes remained trained on Katt. ?There is a high possibility. She has already been told this. We spoke on length about a few things that she needs to take into consideration.?

?Like?? Katt didn?t like that Chaos wasn?t being forthcoming with information.

?That is for her to decide to share with you if she likes.? Chaos simply stated and turned to leave the chamber. On his way to the door he glanced over shoulder, ?It was nice to see you again, my precious dark one. You should come visit me more often.?

Katt grunted and glanced to Sylva, ?Are you okay enough to travel back??

Sylva nodded silently to Katt as she hugged on the bundle a bit tighter.

Chaos chuckled as Katt dismissed him. ?I?ll see you in a month, Sylva.? With that he turned sharply, his robes billowing out across the glossy flooring. ?Come, Joshua. We have things to do.?

?Yes, sir!? Joshua quickly responded and looked to Katt, Sylva, back to Katt. ?Bye.?

He seemed a bit deflated to Katt but she bowed her head to him all the same. Sylva had mumbled something to Joshua as Katt stepped closer to her, arms curling about the young woman. Without a word given, the shadows around them began to quiver, coming to life and crawling towards them. They drew up along the pair like living ink until it swallowed them whole. Then simply collapse, leaving nothing in their wake as the shadows returned to their original places.

Their destination was the tower and it was there that Katt took the time to leave Sylva in the medical wing. Not for a check up but simply for the youth to rest. The staff was given instructions to leave the girl alone and when she was ready to go, she had permission to do so. When Sylva woke she would find the package she had been clinging onto placed with care on a chair nearby.

With Sylva resting Katt restlessly set off on a few tasks.

A month was not a lot of time?
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 07, 2017, 03:45:52 PM
[size=9].:8.1.17:.[/size]

Less than a month later?

Katt sat on the fence of the small patch of earth that she had given to Sylva to plant the flowers she had brought back from the Valley. The youth seemed less energetic than usual but had found some peace in this little garden she had made. She had, surprisingly, asked Katt if she knew a place she could grow the flowers and Katt suspected it was because she knew how to take care of said flowers. So a little plot of land was set aside for Sylva on the estate grounds where she could grow them at her leisure. It seemed that it was her little hideaway from everything, including those close to her. Else why wouldn?t she just ask Doran if she could grow them near his treehouse or ask Ebon if she could somewhere on his lands? Or the Gardens?

There were plenty of questions she wanted to ask but none she spoke on. Most of them had to deal with what Chaos may or may not of told the youth. Also that he summoned for Sylva much sooner than the initial timeframe he had given them. Instead she watched Sylva when she came about, sometimes leaving muddy, sometimes leaving looking more soothed in spirit. Today the young woman looked defeated in a way. Probably nervous. ?We should leave soon?? she said to Sylva who was softly patting the ground near some of the growing moonflowers and twilight roses.

Sylva said nothing and kept tending the flowers.

Katt sighed quietly as she slid off of the fence. ?Sylva. The sooner it is done and over the sooner you can return to your family and friends. I am sure you don?t like being away from them and being stuck with me instead.?

Sylva?s hands stilled.

?You miss Doran don?t you? Maggie? Des? What about Azure and Oliva? Ebon and Phen, Cratos...Jonigan...?

Sylva?s shoulders slumped. ?Des hates me.?

A brow shot up as Katt regarded Sylva as she slumped. ?I doubt that??

?He does! Every time he sees me he seems mad at me. I don?t know why. And..and last time I left to go take a bath he shouted something very mean at me as I left.? Sylva stared at her dirty hands.

?Hmm. Well regardless if you don?t get this done then you can never find out why. Or talk to anyone you care about anymore? This is important.?

?I know.? Sylva mumbled as she stood and wiped her hands on her shorts.

?I?ll speak with him and see what is up for you. It may just be a misunderstanding.? Katt watched Sylva for a moment before gesturing a hand out for Sylva to take and once she did they were off.

Shadowstepping was the quickest way and instead of taking the pathway they would be able to step straight into the palace. Now that Sylva was protected from the onslaught that was the planar?s defenses. Sliding out of the shadows just within the main hall, Katt turned her eyes to Sylva to see if she was alright this time around.

Sylva remained quiet, focused forward. She had too much on her mind to really paying Katt?s concerns much mind.

With a quiet sigh Katt lead Sylva through the palace until they came across Chaos who was drifting from his studies.

?You are early but that is fine. I have made my preparations and we can begin immediately.? Chaos addressed Sylva rather than Katt, his hand offered out to the youth for her to join him. ?She will find her way back home after I am done, Dark Lily.?

Why did Katt feel like she was being dismissed. ?That is all? No small talk for me tonight?? Katt inquired as Sylva moved forward to join Chaos.

?None for you. My words are for this young lady this evening.?

?How long will it take?? Sylva asked quietly to Chaos.

His attention turned down to Sylva and he granted her a charming smile. ?I cannot say. A couple of minutes? Day? A year. We will have to see as it progresses.?

Katt frowned as she listened. ?If things start to get complicated I want to be contacted.?

?Of course.? Chaos agreed. ?I will send Xavier if I must.? He spoke as he started to guide Sylva down the hallway.

Katt didn?t like this. Chaos had never before dismissed her so readily unless he had something up his sleeve. ?Chaos. Remember your promise.?

?I will keep her safe, dear, do not worry. But we have much to do and things are already prepared. If we wait too long then I will have to start all over in my preparations.?

When he said don?t worry that is when she worried. She watched as the two of them disappeared down the hall. Instead of leaving right away she stuck around the palace for half a day or so, just to get sense of what was going on but when she couldn?t she ended up taking her leave. Sylva would return when she was ready. Or that is what Chaos had said.

Seems only time would tell that tale but something just felt...off.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on December 05, 2017, 02:51:29 PM
.: Chapter Thirty-One: Broken :.
[size=9].:11.24.2017:.[/size]

She didn't know how long she had ran but ran it was long enough that breathing felt like fire in her lungs.

When she entered the inn she wasn't expecting to see Renna there let alone ...him...

Leo...

It had been years now since she had laid eyes on him and the moment his voice reached her ears memories, thoughts, and emotions flooded her already struggling mind.

She couldn't even look at him let alone speak to him.

Was it the guilt?

Was it the pain in her heart?

She was happy to see him, of course, but there was just so much going on that she couldn't handle it.

So she ran.

It was the first time she could remember running from a situation where a person was in danger. And while she did speed away from the scene of Renna mind-controlling some woman to hurt herself, it didn't mean she left without doing something! She made sure the Batten medical team was on their way to assist.

She had left the inn at a slow pace but once out of sight? She took into a full sprint down the street, running until her lungs were on fire and her legs refused to go any further. She found herself on the arch of a small bridge that crossed over the streets and river, her body sinking until she was sitting at the very edge but not enough to actually look in the water.

That was where he found her, though he approached at a walk, his bare feet silent upon the street as he approached. He'd followed her scent once he'd made certain the girl was all right and the EMTs had spirited her away. ow, though, he came on silently, coming to a halt and finally settling into a lean against the railing of the bridge, silently appraising her.

She didn't need to look up to know he was there. She smelled him. Much like he knew her scent, she could taste his on the night air. It was near impossible to steel herself at that point so she didn't even bother to try. Instead she just looked at the water with a pained expression her face - a mixture of grief and relief. While there was no tears, the pain in her chest was crippling. She didn't say anything to him but rather kept her silence for a long span of time. Eventually she mumbled, "The girl will be alright?" When had she ever stepped down or ran from the likes of Renna? When someone's life was in danger?

He nodded, his green-gold eyes fixed on her, concern on his features. For her, not the girl he'd saved. "I am not at all certain she will be all right...such a thing will likely leave her traumatized. But she will survive." He reached out, one hand touching her arm, her shoulder, gentle, but not insistent. "What about you?"

"Renna obviously had her under control but I knew between you and -" her words stopped when she felt his touch and she started to shy away but managed, instead, to brace herself. "I knew she was in capable hands," she mumbled. "I am shamed I left in such a way but I couldn't stay. I..." Her shoulders visibly slumped. "Sorry.

He saw the brief hesitation, but didn't withdraw his touch, though he could feel the tension in her muscles. He was tempted to pull her into his embrace, but with her mind still recovering, he didn't want to push her. As for those capable hands, he kept his counsel to himself. Part of him was still outraged by the callousness of the man, to brush aside such a thing so lightly. He could guess the cause of her distress, however. "Seeing him was a shock."

Calling someones bluff could be dangerous - she knew this best. After all Race did it and shot her because of it just to get to the baddie. Her actions and words had been more risky, in her view. Still... Raising a hand she gently pressed her fingertips to her forehead, a small nod given. "Y-Yeah. I .." She didn't know what to feel and that is what scared her most. For all she knew Leo had still been lost out in the great unknown. Yet there he was... And she couldn't get the image of him out of head or his voice out of her ears.

This was a new situation for him, and he was admittedly unsure of what to say or do about it. He knew only that it distressed him to see her in such turmoil. It was all he could do to resist drawing her into the circle of his arms, as he would be wont to do if circumstances were otherwise. If she still had her memory, whole and intact. He leaned sloser, though, brushing her shoulder with his own. "If you need time, love..." He would give it to her, if she asked.

If he left her alone she knew she'd probably drink herself under a table, which was hard enough to do without hurting the bank. Still, she couldn't help but feel guilty even with him. She wasn't suppose to feel this way, right? Her hand flattened against her face even as he brushed his shoudler to her own. Instincitively she started to lean but stopped, her hand lowering suddenly. "He..knew you."

He nodded, not moving away, nor closer, sighing softly. "Yes. We've spoken a few times, at your brother's request. Edward is incapable of going to the part of the planet in which Leo's...kingdom is." He wasn't sure if that was the right word, kingdom, but it was the only one he could think of. "It has been some time, however."

Her face twisted and she looked to him sourly. "You knew where he was. You both knew! Why..Why didn't you tell me?" It didn't occur to her that these could be memories she forgot. In the moment, she felt a bit of anger through the ache and pain. Kingdom? She shook her head and looked away, scowling at the water. She wanted her brother back. Stupid Renna. Then again he was probably over there having himself a grand old time and she was just worrying for no reason.

As though he were reading her mind, he spoke, his voice soft, gentle. "You knew, before the amnesia wiped it from your memory. Your brother told you about it, in fact. It was after I asked you to marry me." His voice softened a touch more, though it was hard to determine what the emotional tone of it was, though there was no recrimination in it. "You seemed to be content with the knowledge that he was alive and well, at the time."

Oh how quickly her eyes returned to him but he was given a look as if he had grown a second head that was shooting cat calls her way. "You...asked me to marry you?" The way it was asked was as if she were expecting him to saying he had been joking, in which case it was a joke she didn't quite grasp. Slowly she shook her head. Okay...so part of her knew.. But even still..knowing and seeing him was different. "Sorry. I..I shouldn't of..jumped down your throat like that. Maybe I should be left be for a while." If only for his safety.

He smiled, a brief, purring chuckle emanating from his throat for a moment. "Indeed I did, Kathryn. In front of many witnesses, in fact. I'll have to tell you the story, sometime." He turned to regard her a moment, the shift in position taking him out of contact with her, his expression understanding but otherwise unreadable. When he spoke, his voice was soft, that same gentle purr. No one would ever know how hard it was to keep the sadness out of his voice. "If...that is what you wish."

In front of many witnesses. Why? Why would he ask her, of all people, to marry him? A swirl of questions joined in the mess that was already her head and she closed her eyes. "I'm sorry." She knew it was an unfair request. She was being unfair and cruel. "I just need a little time. I..probably should eventually meet and talk with him. But I just..need time to get my head on straight. I need...to find my brother..." Her eyes slowly opened. "Even though...he probably doesn't need me to find him."

Even with nearly three centuries of experience, he was hard-pressed to keep his own turmoil from showing on his face or in his voice. He managed it, though, just. The last thing he wanted, ever was to cause her any unnecessary hurt. She had enough to deal with. "I understand, Kathryn." He paused, then reached out, his fingers tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear before he turned away, towards hme, speaking over his shoulder. "If you need me, I will be at home." Bare feet made no sound as he started along the path towards home.

The touch to her hair startled her enough that she felt as if he had touched her very nerves and as he walked away she looked after him. He didn't need to tell her or do anything to make her feel hurt. She already felt it though it was more out of guilt than anything. Clasping her hands between her knees she mumbled, "Sorry." She had said that word a lot lately.

His voice floated back to her from the shadows he was even now fading into, just a hint of teasing warmth in it. "You have never needed that word with me, my dearest. Nor shall you ever."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on December 05, 2017, 03:03:10 PM
[size=9].:11.29.2017:.[/size]

He'd left his guard outside in the cold, a single tall figure wrapped in a steel-grey furred cloak trimmed in scarlet and gold, the hood pulled up to leave the features obscured from view, standing sentinel just outside the door, still and silent as a statue. He sat at the bar, perched on a stool, a bottle of Jack Daniel's close at hand, a glass half-full of the smoky amber liquid even closer. In his hands he held a clear tablet with glowing streams of data flowing across it, and it was on this that his attention was focused.

The sounds of the dragon shifting caught his ear, even as focused as he was, and he tilted his head a touch to regard the dragon from his seat with a warm smile and a nod. "Icer. It's been a while."

Hoodies and jeans. She didn't really venture out of her normal range of wear. Something that was missing was those old tattered shoes, however. It seemed they had finally met their doom and since she had yet to return home...well..she was roaming barefoot. Even still those steps were silent as she was carried across the porch and she shouldered her way into the inn.

That was something of an understatement, he knew. The last time he'd seen her, he'd been pulling her out of a hole in the earth. He was just about to say something about this when the door opened and he glanced that way. His eyes lingered on her for a moment, then went towards the door behind her, as though waiting to see something else. His eyebrows ticked upwards a moment when nothing happened. A finger tapped the edge of the tablet in his hand and it blanked. Setting it aside, he reached for his drink to take a swallow, glancing up as something makes an impact on the roof.

She wasn't expecting to see Leo there and she, unnaturally, staggered a step but at least managed to heel the door closed in a fluid motion. The sound on the roof caused her eyes to drift up as she made her way to the bar, her hands sliding in her hood. A distraction, yes, but she also lowered her head with a sigh. Once at the bar she forced herself to look up and over to Leo.

He kept his eyes up there a moment longer. Some stray memory, maybe, or some other instinct has him alert. Finally, though, he lowers his gaze and looks over at Katt, turning to face her. "Well, you certainly have changed."

A polite nod was offered to Icer and the woman who came in through the alley door. She was on the fence between sitting and standing so she took middle ground by leaning a hip against one of the seats. Granted, most of her attention was on the dark-eyed man as she tried to figure out what it was she wanted to say. Years - that is how long it had been that she had last seen him. Years, that left her heart in disarray. Hell the last time she saw her still haunted her. So what does one say after so long? Nevermind the eerie deja vu that was looming in the back of her head. "As have you." The words finally found voice.

He nodded. It was true, after all. Some things were inevitable, over the span of years. "Yeah, that can happen, I'm geven to understand." He glanced up again, just for an instant, then back down at Katt. "And how have you been? I heard you've had some...interesting times since I've been away."

The way he slipped into conversation felt like years had been shorter than they were but she had to remind herself... Before he disappeared his memories of her were limited to being his boss' sister. A small sound echoed in her throat as she glanced to the bottles in the Batten stash. "I honestly don't know. I am still recovering from something apparently and quite honestly I," her voice lowered, obviously meant only for Leo's ears, "I do not have any memories of the past four years. A side-effect of some sort."
 Raising a hand she tapped her left temple before sighing. "I will admit though...Seeing you...well...is a great relief. Welcome back...Leo."

Her eyes tilted to the pair entering and for a brief moment her eyes softened. "Hey..Leo? Mind if we go for a walk? Or go sit on the porch?" There wasn't many people but gods she felt like she was suffocating. "Or another time. That is fine too." She clenched her hands in the hoodie's pocket and after a brief, polite bow of her head to the couple, she started her way to the door. Fresh air was needed.

He looked after Katt as she started for the door, considering. He'd known about what she just said already - he was surprised to find he still had all of his access into Batten's network - and he was uncertain what was on her mind. She certainly didn't seem like the same Katt he'd known when he left. After a moment, he lifted his glass to drain it before setting it aside, tucking his tablet into a pocket, and starting after her.

Hell, she wasn't sure what she had on her mind and it was her mind! Sidestepping, she nodded a greeting to Miyu before catching the door and slipping out onto the porch. She didn't even look back to see if she was being followed. All she wanted was that cool night air and once outside, she made her way to the railing and slipped her hands from her hoodie's pockets to scratch at her scalp. How utterly frustrating it was being so jumbled.

He stepped out on the porch behind her, letting the door close behind him. The statue in the grey fur cloak stirred as he stepped into view, stilling again as he lifted a hand and spoke a single word - "Aspertre" - without so much as a glance given.

The movement was noted from between her hands but it was the voice that caused her fingers to stop their clawing and instead groom down the dark hair before both hands lowered to her sides. "You know..my last memory of you was when you left with Janie. You were so angry and I swore for the longest I thought it was at me." She chuckled quietly, her hands resting at her sides. "For years I worried about you, hoping against all odds you were okay and you would come home. Even if..even though you didn't really remember me." Did he remember? Did he ever get his own memories back? She never did ask. "I will admit...I have never lived down the guilt but I am truly glad you are well.." As she spoke she kept herself posed in away that she wasn't looking directly at the man. She may or may not of been studying the cloaked being at the steps.

He let out a rueful little chuckle, taking up his own lean against the porch railing. "You know, I barely remember that at all." Of course, he had another four years worth of memories to separate him from then. And what memories they were, too. He'd been consumed with a lot of other things in the meantime. He followed her gaze, glancing over at the cloaked figure, and looked back at Katt again. "My personal guard. It comes with the job."

"I have a better memory than most," she mumbled and normally that was true. If you did not count the four years missing currently. Slowly she nodded, showing her understanding to his statement and while she had a ton of questions, she did what she did best. She stuffed them, along with the rainbow of emotions, down deep to dealt with later - when she was alone. Forcing her posture into norm, she tipped her head a bit though still didn't look to Leo. "You could of taken the time to tell us you were okay, you know." Her eyes dipped before she turned a little more and finally looked at the dark-eyed man full on. It was still hard but she was working on it. "Are you going to stay in Rhydin or you just visiting? Or here to speak to my brother?"

Another person and another bob of her head in greeting even as the man breezed his way inside to the warmth of the inn. Her hands found her pockets and she turned her eyes to Leo again, awaiting his answer. The air was barely helping and at the same time not helping at all. His scent was much easier to pick out now without the smells within clouding it.

He sighed, shaking his head. "Yeah, well...things weren't quite that easy." He paused, wondering just where he could begin. It was a lot of ground to cover. "It's a long story, Katt. I'm sure you heard some of it, at some point...you just don't remember it now." He didn't turn away from her gaze, seeming much more at ease than she was. "Honestly, I came to talk to Ed about something. I can't stay here...I have...responsibilities." He waved over his shoulder at the guard. "Like I said...comes with the job."

She made a face, even if briefly, over Ben's..flamboyant entrance but once Leo's voice found her ears, her eyes returned fully to him. Right. Responsibilities. She was going to have to see if she started some diary or if Diana had things to fill in the blanks for her. This four year memory lack was annoying. She didn't dare ask what he wanted to talk to her brother about, pretty sure it was none of her business anyways. "Well until we get him back, you may have to stick around or help assist us on getting him back." She didn't need to say much on that end, did she? Reaching up she began to tug on her hood, drawing it over her hair and shadowing it over her face.

He smirked and nodded again. "Yeah, kinda figured that. Not gonna be easy, seeing who has him." He shook his head, looking out into the night again, dark eyes searching this way and that. "So where's Clayton? I rather thought he would be accompanying you, with you recovering and all. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would let you go unescorted."

A brow arched up a little. Would let her go unescorted. "That is an odd statement," Her expression evened out and she looked forward into the night. "I told him I needed to ...be alone for a little while. I am trying to sort out my head and I found myself snapping at him for things I do not remember. I felt ...bad...and conflicted. I don't want to...hurt him."

A polite bow of her head followed Penny though if any expression was with it, that was concealed in the shadows of her hood. It was his turn to arch his eyebrows. "Conflicted? About what?"

"Everything. I mean..I did have pretty much all my memories shoved by in my head, you know?" Her shoulders turned inward as she lowered her eyes. "And you. I mean after all these years you just popped up out of the blue. As Clayton said...it was quite a shock and I am dealing with ...that."

He frowned at that, and this time he did turn away, shaking his head. "So you sent away the guy that loves you, that is probably the one that knows you best, away?" He smirked as he pushed off from his lean. "From what I understand, he gave up everything of his past and turned away from his very nature for you. That's not the kind of person I'd be pushing off to the side."

"I didn't send him away, Leo. I need time to sort my head out. I am not dumping him nor am I throwing myself at you for old times sake. I won't deny that I still care for you," her head tilted and her eyes tipped up to look at Leo, "But I love him." She turned fully to the dark-eyed man. "It is the guilt I have held onto for so many years. I am the reason you lost your memory. You did it to protect me and I lost you for it. So the last memory of you, before you up and disappeared, was of you glaring at me as you left with Janie." Granted that part had been cleared up by her brother. At least to a degree. "All these memories come attached with strong feelings and they come crashing down. I just needed a little me time to deal with it. A lot of walking and trying to deal." she grunted quietly. She didn't like how he made it sound like she dismissed Clayton.

He held up his hands in a peacemaking gesture, smiling. "I wasn't saying any of that...just that if I were you, I wouldn't want to be left alone. I know how rough that can be, in your position. But just so you know, my losing my memory wasn't your fault in any way. I was younger, dumber, and made the mistake of underestimating my opponent. Maybe I was protecting you, but it was my own fault that happened. It wouldn't have, if I knew then what I do now."

"I don't plan on it for a long time. Just enough to where my head doesn't feel like it is exploding and it gives him time to take care of himself. I know he has been watching over me for a few weeks now. He needs to hunt and replenish his energy. He knows I know where to find him." She tilted her head a bit. "I am unsure I agree with that statement. I don't find it a question of being dumb or young. If that were the case...well...think of my brother. He is neither of those." Eerrrrrr! Did she just all her brother old?! Maybe. A small gesture was made to the steps. "How...about you join me for something to eat and we can catch up. You can tell me why the great Spartan needs a ..guard.." Like he really needed one. Pff...

He laughed at that, shaking his head. "Please. Your brother is the dumbest smart person I've ever met." He stepped back from the railing, gesturing to the steps himself. "Lead on, Miss Batten."

Her mouth opened then slowly closed. Considering what she thought her brother was currently doing? She really couldn't argue with Leo's statement. Slowly she started down the steps though gave the guard..person..cloak..a glance over. "I'm curious why you think he is the dumbest." This back to Leo as she started to walk.

He arched an eyebrow as he followed her down the steps. It wasn't until they were several paces beyond them that the cloaked figure moved from its place to follow, keeping a respectable - and respectful, it seemed - distance. "We can start with Renna, of course. Not to mention all the crazy experiments he tried out on himself..."

Anddddd Leo managed to hit the points that were right up there. "Yeah. I really hope that what I am thinking ...he is not doing over there. I really, really hope." She seemed to wait, the figure stared at for some reason before she turned and started to walk across the yard.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on December 05, 2017, 03:19:26 PM
[size=9].:11.30.2017:.[/size]

Her pace was slow to the inn. She had already checked three places for the cat in manflesh. She figured him hunting which was really part of the reason she said she needed time. Huddled down in the oversized hoodie she made her way up the porch steps, pausing briefly to look through the window. The pause turned into her slumping down onto the porch swing with a sigh and her attention tore to the streets.

Pulling her pcui out from her pocket she checked the time before slowly pushing up off the swing. She probably could check a few more places before she headed home. Why did she feel like she was on nerves edge? Sighing he shoved the pcui back into her pocket and made her way down the stairs.

Back to the streets.

But really where to go that she hadn't already checked?

The open land that was the glen? It was a walk but she seemed to have plenty of time on her hands so why not?

In the shade of a tree near where the path entered the Glen, there was a pile of clothing. Just a pair of jeans and a hoodie, really. But they had the scent of a certain felinesque man on them. Of the owner of that clothing there was no sign, for the moment.

By the time she made it near the glen she felt tired. Way more tired than she had felt in the last few days. Whatever it was, for now, was pushed to the side. The night air was tinged with a scent that was fondly familiar and it was enough to set her steps in a hurry. It was when she found the pile of clothes that she slowed. A small tick of a smile curled her lips. He was hunting. Collecting the clothes she bound them up and if she knew she could get away with it? She would of hid and waited for his return, just to see his reaction of his clothes missing! But she knew better.

She probably could have gotten away with it, if she thre the clothes into the lake with a stone tied to them. Of course, that wouldn't stop him, he could always walk home without them. ONe of the advantages to having alternate forms. No one balked at a cat not wearing clothes. However, she didn't have very long, it looked like, for who should come prowling out of the shadows of the wood than one very large, tawny mountain lion, head up and alert as he caught a whiff of a familiar scent.

Oh more like her hiding for a sneak attack while hording his clothes. Huddling the clothes close she settled a cheek to the hoodie before slumping down under a tree. Even when she saw the feline prowling close. "Well there you are. The cold hasn't hindered your hunting too much has it?" Her expression softened for a moment though had a hint of an expression he had seen when they first met. Purdy kittah.

That was an expression of supreme smugness on his features, no doubt, that settled on his features at her question. Only a feline could look that pleased with himself. Without hesitation the big tawny cat walked right up to her and lowered his head to bump it against hers gently, a loud, rumbling purr emanating from deep in his throat.

She chuckled, the sound low and throaty. "Yeah. Come snow or shine, nothing is safe from that nose of yours, huh?" His clothes was lowered to her lap and when he came in for the head bump her arms went around his neck to hug him, her face buried against his fur. "I'm sorry, Clayton. Sorry if I made you feel as if I was sending you away."

The thick tail lashed from side to side behind him as he leaned into that hug, the rumbling purr unceasing, his head moving to rub against hers, taking a deep inhalation of her scent from her hair as he did so. He might've even licked her, if he didn't have rabbit breath, just to show he understood.

"I'll...be honest. I needed the time for more than just that though." She remained leaning against him and she may of dipped her head a little. Him sniffing at her hair tickled. Not..that she would admit that. Give him the upper hand? Never! "I am worried for my brother, Clayton. Worried I won't get him back or that he won't be..him anymore. Or...just..stuff. It all is making me frustrated and I realized it when I snapped at you. I didn't want to do that to you." She exhaled and leaned back, her hands moving to rub along his cheeks and forehead. "But on a good note I have some news for you about that woman you saved."

He leaned into her caresses a moment, then dipped his head to snag his clothes in his teeth, and in a tawny flash he was out of sight behind a nearby tree. Not for long, though, and when he emerged he was pulling the hoodie over his head witha purring chuckle. "One of these days, you'll get used to the idea of not having to explain to me, love." He walked over on bare feet and moved to settle beside her. "The one with the butter knife?"

She waited patiently but the return of the cat in manflesh was looked upon fondly. It didn't last long and was replaced by a somewhat confused expression. "It seems only fair as I am ...wait..can you read my mind?" She waited until he was settled before leaning slowly until they were resting shoulder to shoulder. "Yeah, her. She didn't seem really interested in speaking with me but after we parted ways the other day I decided to go to the inn." For reasons she wouldn't admit to. "The woman was there, looking fine, drinking and carrying on conversation with people. She doesn't even really remember anything that had happened. Like barely anything at all."

He let out a throaty chuckle as he leaned back against her, one arm moving to wrap around her shoulders. "No, not as such...I can share your memories, but that is not quite the same thing." He blinked as she told him about the woman, looking at her with a rather incredulous expression. "Is that so? Hm. Personally, I think I would count that as among the experiences I would never forget."

"What disturbs me more is the fact she was back at the inn after such a short period. She should of been at least kept for a few hours after what she did but we can't hold a person against their will. Well I mean we could but..." She shrugged and tilted her eyes up to him. "So..you asked me to marry you? Why...? And what did I say?" Sure she coud wait for her memories to return to her but it was more for just listening to his voice. She had missed him over the past few days more than she was willing to admit. It felt almost like it had been far longer but oddly as if she were use to him being gone long periods.

He smiled and nodded. "I did. At your brother's birthday party, no less. In front of all his guests. You turned an especially bright shade of red, as I recall, but you also said yes." He let out a purring chuckle. "I'd had it in mind to do it more privately, but your brother convinced me otherwise." He looked over at her with a smile, that one he wore only for her. "And I asked you because there is no other I want to spend the rest of my life with, of course. Granted, we don't have to be married to achieve that, but I happen to be something of a romantic that way. And I'll admit to a certain curiosity as to how lovely you would look in a wedding dress."

Her brother had been in on it huh. It was enough to cause a chuckle but it never bubbled forth, mostly due to his tease about her blushing. Or maybe it was that smile he was directing her way. She felt her cheeks go warm but she didn't look away. Instead she watched the way his lips curved. "Huh." Really she never thought someone like her to be engaged let alone married. She was seconds from making a teasing comment about him being a romantic but his quip about her in a wedding dress caused her face to go redder. "Did we ever set a date?"

It was his turn to flush in embarassment, no small amount of sheepishness creeping into his tone. "We hadn't gotten around to that yet...things have been rather busy since then." He looked at her, rather closely this time. "How is your head, by the way? I know the experience can be...disorienting. I've been through it myself."

"The pain has subsided for the most part. I can actually sleep at night now without it feeling like my head is swimming. Bits and pieces of those four years have surfaced as well but they seem to be a little slower." Her head tipped and she smiled up to him. "Thank you for being patient with me." There was a small pause and she lowered her eyes, "You were worried I was going to return to Leo, weren't you?"

He was actually taken aback, shock in his features for a moment at the question before he let out a sudden low chuckle and shook his head. "Kathryn, you surprise me." He reached up under her chin to nudge it upwards just a touch, bringing her eyes back to his. "You seem to forget, my love, that I've had a part of you living in my head since the day I helped them remove that parasitic worm that was inhabiting you." He reached up to her neck, fingers finding the chain there and sliding under it to gently guide it to his palm, the crimson jewel and the ring with resting there beneath both of their gazes. "I know you gave your heart to me, Kathryn. That's why I gave mine to you." As he says the last sentence, the heartstone glimmers, a throbbing red light like a heartbeat for a moment, and then gone again.

Her chin rose and her eyes found him. Surprised him? Still his words caused her expression to soften again and she tilted her gaze to the stone he rose to her attention. Was the ring with it also something he gave to her? She didn't ask for now. Instead she raised her hand to gently touch his, that was holding the heartstone. "I was worried. The look on your face when I told you I needed time, specially after just seeing Leo." She gently squeezed at the side of his hand. "I met him the other day at the inn. I told him that I still care about him. And I do. But I love you, Clayton. You do have my heart and tonight, when you are ready, we will head home. Together."

He remembered. And thought he had kept it hidden better than that, though it had far less to do with Leo than with other matters. His being away so much, for one. There was a lot of ground to cover with a four year gap in her memory that hadn't quite caught up to the rest of her brain that he'd more or less jump-started. The last word to pass her lips drew a catlike grin from him, his tone taking on a playful note. "Together? You mean you won't go slip through the shadows to beat me home?"

That grin! A single noted chuckle sprung from her lips almost instantly. "I was thinking more like riding you." Wait..that didn't ...sound right. "On your back." she added. Still not right. "You know? Like a piggy back ride?" The hand against his moved to swat him even before he started to laugh cause she knew it was coming. "But if you rather me disappear in the shadows and end up who knows where and leaving you with your lonesome at home."

The grin had widened on the first suggestion. On the second, even more so. He was enjoying her discomfiture, all right, evidenced by the purring chuckle in his throat that became a full on burst of laughter as she swatted at him. He didn't give her a chance to make good on that threat, however, simply moved with sudden, fluid feline grace to scoop her up in his arms and stand, all in a single, easy, lithe motion. "Not on your life, Katt-nip."

She made a small sound when he scooped her up and both arms went shooting around his neck, mostly to steady herself. "Easy now." She didn't want to admit to him that she was feeling...well..off. Drained even. "I think the lack of food and sleep is getting to me." She chuckled and she leaned to softly kiss his jawline. Katt-nip. Anyone else and she'd give a dirty look. That was his and his alone. "Clayton? I do love you."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on December 05, 2017, 03:33:49 PM
[size=9].:12.03.2017:.[/size]

Renna sighed. She looked aside and then across the commons.

Gabriel still lingered there, silent and watchful, shadow among shadows. After all, Renna was a Ravenlock too.

Renna lifted her eyes to that lurking bastard. "What, do you want now? Or are you here to just observe me?"

You would think with as many days had passed by now she'd be up to full speed but damn if she didn't feel more sluggish. Enough so that Katt traveling through the streets was a slow crawl. Hands tucked into the pockets of her hoodie, she just now seemed to make it to the center of the market. From the tower it shouldn't of taken that long.

A slow smile creeps across Renna's face. She remains silent for now. She could smell her. She settled onto the fountain edge and merely kept her eyes on the other Ravenlock.

The sapphire eyes gazed back at her dispassionately. "I was not aware that I was required to explain myself to you."

Renna's eyes glared. "I was not aware I gave a s***?"

The eyes betrayed amusement, as did Gabriel's voice as he spoke. "I was not aware of that either."

Katt heard the voices before anything else. A brow slowly went up when she heard a voice she hadn't heard in some time. Close enough to the fountain she'd stop, hands clenched up in the pockets as she simply watched Renna from the short distance. She didn't even seem to attempt to find where Lup...or Gabriel as he calls himself now...was.

Renna looked to Katt. She fell silent.

You would think Katt to be staring daggers at Renna but instead she was just giving this overall blank stare.

"Find him yet?"

"You have him...so why asking me such a dumb question?" the reply had no sort of tone behind it.

"Just wanted to see your face." She mused. "Your pain. I do like it." She grinned darker still.

Katt was silent a moment but a question finally spilled from her lips, "Just me or people in general?"

"Mostly you, Katt." Renna whispered. "I do enjoy our meetings. I am just suprised you haven't attempted to murder this clone yet. Somewhat disappointed."

"The only time I have ever killed a clone was by your request. Or have you forgotten?" Katt grunted quietly. "I want my brother back."

"Not until he serves his purpose."

"And what possible purpose could you have that details my brother being in your grasp?" Katt's hands kneaded inside of the pocket, fists clenching and unclenching.

"I love him." Renna remarked.

"No. You don't. You are fascinated by him but love? No..you are not. If you did you would not put him through the crap you do." She glanced to where she had heard Gabriel's voice before looking to Renna. "I want to see my brother."

Gabriel remained where he was, of course, watching and listening. The sapphire eyes glimmered a moment with their own inner light as he looked Katt over, rather curiously.

The clone smiled. "You right. I don't. I am nothing but a simulation of those feelings. But, she does. By proxy? I love him. I love him more than life itself."

She rolled her eyes. Yes, Katt rolled her eyes. It does happen on occasion. "I call **** but whatever. I stand firm on my comment. I want to see him."

"Demand." She corrected.

"I am very much so demanding." There was no denying it.

Moving to Katt, Renna's smile fell into a sour smile. "All clones were cut off as promise. But trust me when I say this. He is alive. He is Edward." She threw a hand to the left, allowing a shimmer moment of the warp to shimmer beside her.

"And yet you are here. Which makes me question why you had me dispose of One." Her eyes tilted to the portal. Was that for her? It was a little amusing that Renna asked her to trust her. As many times as the woman had betrayed her trust.

And suddenly there he was, dressed pretty much like normal. And looking unharmed, although he had a rather unkempt appearance. He took a moment to look around, looking more amused than anything else. "Huh. Weird." He turned finally to look at Katt with a smile. "Hey, sis."

Where she didn't give Renna a sour look, Edward got one. Actually he got an expression like she was ready to deck him in that smile of his. That was how he was going to great her? Seriously? Ugh, then the idea of what she figured he was doing over there came back to her mind and her expression darkened. She grunted at her brother and seemed to be..waiting.

Renna remains silent.

Really? A grunt? He looked at her closer, then at Renna, frowning as he looked back at Katt. "Funny. I t'ought you'd look more...Ah don' know...energized." He winced, one hand coming up to press the heel of his hand against his temple for a second, blinking as the pain passed. "How...how ya feeling?"

Her eye twitched. "Really? You are going to ask that? Please tell me you haven't been over there having relations." She was not going to use the word in her head. "How am I feeling? How am I feeling? I cannot believe you are asking that, Edward!" Despite the anger in her voice, her shoulders slumped slowly.

He look taken aback for a moment. But jsut a moment. That turned into anger in a heartbeat, the Cajun accent thickening a touch with the emotion. "Ser'sly? Dat's what ya t'ink Ah been doin' over here? If Ah was just wan'in' t'get laid, Ah'm sure dere's eas'er ways t'do it. An' let's not ferget, sister dear, dat se las' time Ah had eyes on ya, you were wrapped in some kinda cocoon, wit' no way o'knowin' when ya were gonna come outta it. So yes, dammit, dat's de firs' t'ing Ah'm interested in!" This last came out at a yell, and as the final word was bitten off he winced again, shaking his head back and forth as though clearing it. He looked over at Renna, looking as though he were about to say something, only to see she wasn't there. "Merde."

"You sure the hell are looking well for someone who was kidnapped by the woman who put me in that state. Smiles and all." His yelling didn't seem to throw her off at all. She was pissed and it bled off of her. Her hands left the pockets of her hoodie, fists balled up at her sides. "I woke up to my big brother gone, kidnapped by a woman who tried to **** kill me. How the hell do you think I have been? I've been worried and scared for you but seeing you come out like that?" Her body tensed when she saw him looking for Renna but she had no energy to keep the tension and she closed her eyes.

He glared at her, still rubbing at his left temple with the fingers of that hand. "Gee, and here Ah was t'inkin' you'd be r'lieved t'see Ah'm all right. 'Cept fer de damn headaches an' dis ringin' in my ears, Ah'm doin' great. What're ya, pissed she din' beat de holy hell outta me?" His voice came out agitated as he turned away, looking around at something she couldn't see. "And dis foutu room she's keepin' me in, gives me de creeps."

He totally seemed to miss the point she just pointed out. "You look more like you are a house guest then her captive, Edward. Am I pissed she didn't beat you? No..I am glad you look well. But the fact you seem quite at easy while there are people over here worried about you pisses me off. Even Leo is looking for you." Err..okay that was a word she wasn't familiar with. "Fou..tu...?" It probably tones out like 'wtf'? Lowering her hand she scratched the back of her head. "I'm sorry I have just been so worried and you just smile at me like 'Hey how is it going' like nothing is wrong. Yeah. That did rub me the wrong way. Pretty sure you'd react the same way if our roles were reversed."

He blinked at her, honest confusion on his face. "Ah don't get it. How should Ah look? Ahmean, ot'er dan dis..." He looked around himself again, at the room he was in that she couldn't see. His expression as well as his voice were filled with an outraged disgust. "...dis abomination, Ah haven't been treated bad at all." He grumbled, turning and sitting on something invisible. "Nex' time Ah'll have her tie me to a chair or somet'in', act like Ah've been tortured..."

"Right. Sorry. Sorry for being worried." She reeled in all her emotions like a pro. Of course she was wrong for being upset at him for being all cheerful greeting like he had been. She emptied out to the point it hurt. "It is good to see you are well. I will make sure everyone knows you are being taken care of. Come home when you can so we can catch up." She flipped a wrist as if shaking off a feeling in her hand. "I have questions about what happened to me but those can wait for another time. Tell Renna I appreciate her letting me see you though I am not sure why she did." Though she had a general idea as to why.

He took his gaze away from whatever he had been looking at to stare at Katt incredulously. "Are...you **** serious?" Oh he was pissed. His voice went up to a yell. "Ya t'ink Ah wanna be here!? Are ya outta yer damn-!" He had nearly gotten to his feet as he spoke, and at this point he dropped to his knees, both hands going to his head. The yell caught in his throat, not anger but pain. For a moment, it looked as if his skin took on a luminous glow, light rippling through his body...and then he simply vanished.

Her brows furrowed when he started yelling. Did he really not see that he was coming off as less of a prisoner and more of a house guest? Still as he began to yell at her she already to counter. That is until she saw..what was that? Confusion shot across her face. "Edward?" She had never seen his skin do that before. "Brother?" Then he was gone. "Edward!" Panic mode activated.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on February 15, 2018, 01:04:11 PM
.: Chapter Thirty-Two: Fading :.
[size=9].:1.23.2018:. [/size]


She spent a better of the afternoon staring at her PCUI when she received a reply from Mesteno. Just stared. Seriously... The way he had acted before she figured he had lost his phone and any connection with her whatsoever so at first it was simply trying to figure out if it was him that sent it. By the time she actually replied it was closing in on the evening and the weather outside was starting to dip a bit to the cooler side.

The message was simple: an offering for the sadist to visit in a place he had never been. Rather...she invited him to her home. Asile-aux-Falaises, as her brother deemed it, was built on a mountain side overseeing the ocean and just on the borders of town so he would not only receive the text offering to visit but also directions.

Mesteno had never been good with directions, and was too stubbornly proud to resort to the modern convenience of GPS. Likely, it existed somewhere on his battered phone, but if that were the case, he hadn't explored its unappreciated functions to find out. So of course he wound up lost en route as he entered unknown territory, finally arriving at the cliff-top residence a half an hour later than he'd planned.

Despite the wall, he'd view enough of the property beyond it to realise that Katt wasn't slumming it (as if the address hadn't hinted it already) but it amused him to recall her visiting Sanctuary, the cabin so run down and shabbily maintained that most likened it to a warzone. He wound down his window (literally, manually winding it down - he hadn't entered the 21st century) at the gate to speak over the intercom for admittance, and so long as Diana didn't see fit to deny him entry, drove on until he found suitable parking, before sliding out and leaving his eyesore of a van on the avant garde property.

He amused himself imagining Katt arriving to welcome him at the door in pastels with a rich woman's manicure and some feather-trimmed, flouncy loungewear, which might have been why there was a renegade glint in his eyes if she came to answer his knock, rather than someone in her employ.

Mesteno would find that he'd barely have to speak a word into the intercom before the gate was opening. Why was that? Simply enough, really. Out of the handful of people Katt trusted Mesteno was pretty damn high on that list and that list had him on Diana's watch list, so to speak. So once the A.I. knew who he was it gave him full access without even need of verification. The guy could come and go at all hours if he deemed it, not that he knew it!
 
No guards to greet him, though there was a mighty big cat lounging out in the sun in the middle of the yard. The beast was about the size of a lion but black as night with lighter stripes. It gave Mesteno absolutely no care, as cats tended to do in that oh so indifference way. It seemed to be the only thing, other than Katt, to be around.
 
There was no waiting Katt at the door but she was around somewhere close enough that she heard the vehicle coming. No fancy outfit, not even shoes. She was in, instead, a pair of tattered jeans and a t-shirt that looked like it had seen better days. Oddly enough her hair was tied up in a ponytail. This is what greeted him as she came circling the side of the building, arms folding as she casually strolled to the edge of the driveway. Once he was out (and yes she would wait until he was completely out) she unfolded her arms to raise a hand in greeting.  

His feet detoured him towards her once she was spotted, his study unrepentant. Brief though their last encounter had been at the inn, he hadn't forgotten things overheard, and now he searched for any indication of lasting physical damage. Katt had survived much. Anything that had hit her hard enough to compromise her mind must have been considerable. He approached without more than a glance toward the equally indiferent feline, which was either extremely foolhardy of him, or merely a sign of his own trust, upon entering someone else's territory.

"Ah, the Lady of the House," he drawled as he neared, and here the evidence of a smile did slip past the grim norm of his expression. "Come to escort me to the servant's entrance?" he asked. "Can't have the rabble entering through the front?" It was good natured teasing, rather than any real hostility. If there were even any neighbours close enough to spy (and he doubted it), a place of this size, and with Batten technology installed, was likely going to have good defenses about peeping toms. Katt could probably have thrown an orgy and have no one be the wiser. No one would care about one disreputable man showing up.

And really, that was precisely what he looked like. Something playing at dress up, trying to pass for civilised.

The Moor Cat would only react if needed to and since the one it was bound to was calm, so was it. Though really it was lazy and spoiled. While she waited for Mesteno a look was given towards the great beast before her sharp greens found the man again. What notes he would find in his observation was actually a very noticeable one - she looked exhausted. Her movements less fluid and sluggish though she did her best to conceal this. It took effort to simply shift from one foot to another, which she did as she regarded the man thoughtfully.
 
"Mrm?" She blinked slowly at him before tilting her head and scoffing. There came a low, throaty chuckle at his tease. "If we were going inside, maybe." She gestured to the side in the direction she had arrived from, looking to take him around the building to the back porch. Past the infinity pool and to the sitting area. She was curious to see his reaction to the warming stones the porch was made of and the low flow of warm air that kept the winter chill at bay. "I know you aren't a big fan of sweets ...or food in general..but I do have something to offer you in the ways of drink." And she never knew him to pass up on a good drink.

His eyes narrowed, scrutiny all the sharper. What had been a burgeoning smile waned as if it'd never been. Whatever had happened, plainly she hadn't yet recovered fully. While he theorised, given his own recollections of her usually rapid recovery, he stepped into motion alongside her, strides unhurried. For now he was content to move at her pace, the better to study her, and keep track of where she led. The place was big enough that he was just as likely to lose his way as he would on the roads.

"You don't need t'play hostess f'me, Katt," he reminded her, content to dispense with any formalities. "And you have a lot of faith in my ability to drive safely under the influence. I won't pass up a water though, if it's not putting you out." Mesteno's scruples might be somewhat lacking, but he was a fiend for driving responsibly.

His gaze skirted out temporarily, to the view beyond the infinity pool as they moved alongside it. He could understand the appeal, the exorbitant luxury of it, but it still didn't fit with his perception of the artlessly dressed, barefoot woman he walked beside. Knowing of her associations, it didn't take much effort to conclude who was responsible for the opulence of the place. He barely managed to keep from asking her whether he was going to end up on surveillance footage somewhere.

He would find her pace slow and unhurried even if he had sped on ahead. Likely to get lost. "You took your time getting here." A little jab in return as she guided him along. A brow rose up as she tilted her gaze up to him. "Host? Why would I do that. Aren't you a friend coming over for a visit. I am hosting any party." In a roundabout way it was her saying her home was his. Though she probably should start placing up arrows so he knows where to go if  he got lost! If you are going to be here for a while I am sure one glass isn't going to send you spiraling off the road but if it is water you wish..." That was clearly no problem.
 
A single table was set aside for what was company, it seemed. Four chairs despite only two people, a bottle of some amber liquid and a few glasses, and a pitcher of water. Not that she knew he was going to ask for it but rather it was for herself. The condition she was in made it hard to deal with too much and that included liquor.  
 
Scratching back her bangs she'd would wait, letting him pick which seat he wanted if  he were to sit at all. "You know...I was surprised to get your text. Last time we talked you seemed rather...busy. I guess that is what has been keeping you for the past few weeks?" Month. Something like that...
"I don't recall having ever driven out this way, to be honest." The confession came as he selected a seat, dropping into it with an inelegant bonelessness and a grunt jostled from his throat. Briefly, he considered the ground instead, because floors had always been his preferences, but instead he watched Katt, to see if she handled herself with any particular delicacy as she sat herself in one of the other chairs. "I could get lost in a wet paper bag, where cities are concerned. Unless it's alleys. I'm good with those."

Alleys and wilderness. He was equally at home in either. Plainly he didn't intend to dwell on excuses for his lateness though. Instead he addressed her latter comment, unsurprised by it.

"Things're pretty unsettled right now," he admitted with a grimace. "Nothings been right for over a year. I'm sleeping in the van as often as I am with a real roof over my head and I'm never sure when things are just gonna show up and cause a s*** storm. It's less busy and more... unsure how safe it is to stop in the city for more than a little at a time." He snatched a glance at the sky then, as if he half expected storm clouds to start gathering, though from what he could say it was merely a uniform, wintry grey. "Sorry if it seemed rude," he had the good grace to say. "Y'probably not the only one pissed."

 If it were not for him she likely would of sat on the ground herself. Warming stones made for good heated seating after all. Pulling two glasses to the side she poured water in both to the rim before sliding one over within his reach. Only when this was done did she actually settle into a seat, choosing across from him. She was more like slumping down into her seat rather than the usual straight back sitting she usually did but it may have been because she was flattening her feet to those stones. Ahh! Warmth.
 
As he started to speak she leaned in her seat, attention turning to him as if giving full attention. It sounded like he had his own brand of trouble. Slowly her brows furrowed and her lips parted to say something only to draw closed. She was still trying to figure how to tell him about her memory loss... but by the sounds of it they hadn't talked about this before so it was easy to conclude that it wasn't something she had forgotten. "Things? What sort of things?" She found she had to stop to ask herself if she could help. One, she was in no condition to and she was well aware of her limits, and two, if he wanted her help he would have asked so by now, correct? Instead she turned her eyes up to the sky as, trying to see what it was he was searching for. His apology, however, caused her to blink and look back down to him. "Pissed?" She shook her head slowly to him. "I am not pissed, Mesteno. Concerned would be better to describe. After all you asked me to call you and I get no reply...Several times in fact."

"I got so used to being talked to in my head that phones..." he grimaced. This was Rhy'Din, where anyone suggesting they heard voices upstairs likely didn't need to explain or worry about being considered lunatic, so he spared Katt the temple-tap to indicate what he meant. "You're not the only one I found a few messages from, let's just put it that way. It was pretty well buried when I dug it out of the sand."

Another mystery, though he didn't offer to explain why it might have been lost in sand. Instead he addressed her other question, reaching forward to collect the glass of water with murmured thanks.

"A long time ago, I did something stupid for fun. Now it's having repercussions. My presence has been brought to the attention of a bunch of beings that can't decide whether they want to use me like a game piece, or just wipe me off the board entirely. And you know, I hate chess references, because everyone uses that s***." Rough spoken as always, words half snarl."Same lot I was having trouble with this time last year when we spoke though..." And now he eyed her, attention wicked-bright and unblinking, "You might not remember much of that."

He might have left it at that, a prompt, but he wasn't taking chances. "What happened to you? You're all sorts of wrong."

Use to being talked to in his head - now that was new to her. She had not been aware he had such abilities but maybe that was for the best. As long as he didn't attempt such on her if only for his own health. "I am not surprised, really. While you don't seem to think so...you are pretty popular..."
 
Folding her arms over the tabletop she continued to listen, not interrupting or at least attempting not to. His words gave her much food for thought and many questions sprang up due to it. She may have started into those questions if it wasn't the fact that he was already on the ball with his own. It was then she turned her eyes. "All sorts of wrong, huh?" She knew the question was coming but not like that. The statement of being all wrong had her silent. Eventually she sighed out and turned her eyes to him. "I can honestly say that I don't know everything. Clayton has informed me best that he could. I was infected, in a sense, by something that was attempting to take over my body. Not like use it for a period but rather take it over and kill off what made me..me..." Her brows furrowed a bit. "My brother did something to me and I don't know what because..he is missing. What I do know, as limited as it is..is that I was in a state of uncertainty for  a few months, locked in a sort of crystal chrysalis." She paused for a moment, regarding her own water, but she knew if she stopped now she may not continue. "I woke up without a lick of memory. Clayton was able to assist to a degree with that but I am still missing four years or so and there is a bunch of holes in my memories as is."
 
Leaning back in her seat she looked back up to him again, scratching at the side of her neck. "Along with that I ...My condition is questionable and the doctors have no idea what is wrong with me. Best to describe I am like a battery that is losing its energy..." For a moment, brief as it was, her expression dropped into something of helplessness before fading away into that emotionless mask she was so good at keeping up. "So I guess saying I am all sorts of wrong is very ...fitting."

Perhaps predictably, he didn't address her remark on his popularity, but he did make a face as if to suggest he was either extremely dubious it was legitimate, or he thought the whole idea of popularity was a goddamn awful thing to begin with.

Better that she let him lead the conversation to more Katt-centric topics. He immediately looked more comfortable, albeit at her expense. Attentive, as she had been, he listened with ever increasing levels of malaise flattening his mouth, until there was really little more than a bloodless line before he spoke again, all grim-eyed and low growl of a voice.

"I've come across something like that before, a draining like this. I doubt yours is going to be the same root cause," that particular threat had been dealt with, but the methodology... "You're not short on advanced tech, so I'm going to go ahead and assume here that you've gone through about every kind of medical examination the city has to offer, looking for a scientific explanation for the draining you mention. If you haven't already looked into arcane reasons, that'd be next on the agenda, but if that chrysalis you were in before was keeping you stabilized and preventing the drain, you'd be better off back in there until a long-term fix has been sorted. Otherwise you're gonna end up wiping out somewhere you're vulnerable."

As if expecting protest, he lifted a finger. Wagged warning.

"I know you don't wanna be back in there and you got your pride 'n s***, but that's not important if you wind up dead."

His expression pretty much mirrored her own when someone made the comment she was so say...popular. So she likely found his expression to be very amusing. That was for another time.
 
She watched his waggling finger for a moment. Okay so she was considering biting it. What? He was waggling the digit with clear indication that it should be bit! "Not short on tech, no. But we are short on the man who has done something to me that we have no idea about." Her eyes left his finger. "That includes the chrysalis state... We have no answers to what was done to me and what caused the state to begin with." As she spoke her hands clenched against her arms to the point her fingers grew white. There was something else, something that was upsetting her greatly.  
 
"I know my state leaves me vulnerable..." she murmured as she turned her eyes to the table's surface. "I do. But damn if I cannot sit still. I am so frustrated and ...I can't do anything to help my brother. I have spent nights just roaming the streets because I feel so damn restless." Being drained and restless at the same time made for one hell of a combination. One she did not appreciate!

Important she didn't wind up dead. Important? She looked up to him and raised a brow.

Likely he would not respond well to a bitten finger. It was wagged her way, but at least with a table's distance between them! If he noticed any predatory observation of it though, he didn't respond. Just went right on with his lecture. He was a damn pro at telling other people what they shouldn't be doing, and then being a hypocrite about it.

"I doubt he'd want you out there putting yourself at risk on his behalf, Katt. I don't know a lot about your brother, beyond what you've told me, and last I recall, you said--..." His words seemed to hit a brick wall. Katt had claimed she'd lost four whole years, and that, he was fairly certain, was going to include the period in which she'd confided that her brother was going to die. How much did Clayton fill her in on, he had to wonder. Perhaps she'd catch the implications of that pause. Perhaps she'd fill in the blanks and reassure him that she knew, but until that happened, he wasn't keen on blurting tactlessly, 'he's dying'.

One corner of his mouth pinched tight as he reformulated what he'd meant to say.

"You're not gonna remember the conversation we had in the Dragon's Great Hall a few years back, I figure. But it doesn't change the fact he wouldn't want you at risk on his behalf. Before he left, there was no data stored, no letters written, nothing you had access to that might indicate what the chrysalis was protecting you from, or what might have caused it in the first place?"

This had to be the weirdest feeling she had in a long time. Mesteno, of all people, lecturing her. Why did she feel like this should have been the other way around. "I am not doing it on his behalf, Mesteno. I can't help it. Seriously...I stand around here too long and I get frustrated and start breaking things. I am pretty sure my brother doesn't want me to break his place." Her arms released and she raised her hands to comb her back only to remember it was in a ponytail. His pause caused her hands to rest at the back of her head, sharp greens staring at him. "What was our conversation about?" He should have known that was coming. After all he knew she had no memories so of course she would want to get them back.
 
At his question of the information her hands slowly lowered, palms flat against her thighs. "If there was it isn't anything I can access. My brother keeps his private stuff...well...private. So Diana requires a certain passcode in order to access that stuff." She slowly shrugged to him. "I can ask Clayton though. I never really thought of the chrysalis protecting me from something." While it may not of seemed it, Mesteno's lecture was helping. Helped add a few questions that might fill blanks.

"Seems strange he'd keep something relevant to your health behind security you're not privileged to get past," he remarked, though his tone suggested he was musing over it, speaking aloud rather than really expecting any reply. "Unless he was trying to protect you from information he thought would do more harm than good." He didn't pretend to know the way Batten's mind worked. Playboy millionaire's likely had a logic entirely different to that of sadistic necromancers with the bad habit of forgetting where their cellphones might have been left.

He didn't want to touch on that conversation. Was avoiding it, unrepentantly, so he outright didn't answer. She was probably going to have to get pushy about that!

Again he fired questions instead, checking that bases had been covered, that beyond the future-tech, the talents of Rhy'Din's preternatural populace hadn't gone unsuspected. "This draining. Have you been able to follow where the energy is being drained to? And if so, what did you find at the other end? Is it only happening when you're in certain locations, with certain people, or at odd times of the day? Have you approached someone you trust with mental talents who could try and unlock the amnesia patches in your head?"

She gave him a look that clearly stated that he was not being helpful! "He keeps much from me and I seem to find out in the most unorthodox ways. That being said I don't know if he even kept records. I mean I know for a long time now he's been experimenting with my blood. Since things like aspirin have no effect on me he made me my own brand of aspirin to help me." She grinned, seeming rather proud of her brother for such a small feat. He really had the brains that she had no chance of shoeing when the time came.
 
His dodging of the question did not go unnoticed. She noticed this rather quickly, in fact. Her brother did the same thing when he was avoiding answering! "Drained...to?" Her head tilted. "I don't think there is anything draining the energy from me. At least I do not feel such a pull. Instead it seems like... Like I can't keep energy and I am quickly feeling like I have none to keep to begin with." Her arms moved again, this time to rest atop the table with palms flat. "Last time I approached someone to touch my mind, my own nearly drove them insane so no...not looking to go in that direction. I have been told that either the memories will likely return on their own..." As she spoke this bit her eyes tilted up to him. "What are you hiding, Mesteno? What is it that we talked about that you won't answer to?"

It required a lot of trust, to hand over ones blood and give another free rein over what they did with it. Mesteno didn't question that trust, but he did make another remark. "Seems weird that you'd let him do whatever he wanted and he wouldn't return the favour. But then, I suppose he trusted you with other s***..."

He groaned, set his untouched water back on the table and rubbed both palms over his face as she went tugging at the thread of conversation he'd been so eager to leave behind. There was some R-rated cursing in his native tongue going on behind those hands, and Katt ought to be glad she didn't understand it.

"Fine," he muttered darkly, "I'm only telling you this though because he already told you once, so he obviously wanted you to know. Not my business, really, to keep it from you. And if you already know, there's no harm done anyway." Did he sounds like he was reasoning with himself? "You told me he was dying. That he didn't have long. At the time I thought you meant he had maybe weeks or months, but here we are a couple of years down the line, and I guess he's still busy, so maybe he found a cure after all and fixed it. Is any of this ringing bells?"

It was weird and something she didn't have an answer to which is why she lowered her eyes. She wanted her brother to trust her and even though she knew he did but to what extent? After all he didn't tell her a number of things and kept her in the dark until it was too late. She started to fidget before forcing her hands flat. His sudden cursing helped with that.
 
Her eyes turned up to him and he was given such a dumbfounded look. While she didn't know what he was saying it didn't exactly sound like he was singing joyful tunes. That and his body language spoke volumes. "Am I supposed to pretend I understood all of that? I could ask Diana to translate for me." She may of very well of meant it too! His dark tone kept a teasing tone from rising, though. Seriously how could she tease him when he looked like he was being tortured!
 
His words gave her pause but it was soon enough she realized where he was going. Part of her wanted to laugh but instead a softness took hold of her sharp gaze. "Oh, that. Yes, Mesteno. I ...I know. Clayton told me after...after I had a run in with the person holding him captive. She decided to allow me to see my brother through a portal mirror to which I ...may of jumped down his throat." She scratched at her hands sheepishly. "He greeted me in such a nonchalant manner that it seemed like he was more of a house guest than a prisoner. We barked at each other and before the portal closed I could see him in some great pain. That...is the last I saw of him." Which has lead to her restlessness. "I don't want those words to be my last time him, Mesteno." Her hands clenched tight as she said those words.

He didn't bother to remark on a possible translation. Better she forget all about the obscenities and focus on what he'd just confessed. Which, as it turned out, was nothing she hadn't known already. The only obvious sign of his relief was a slow, quiet exhalation, and the slight easing of his posture through the shoulders and spine, as if he'd been subconsciously been holding himself ready for action of some sort. Neither fight or flight would have been entirely appropriate for the situation had she been shocked, but that didn't stop the instinct priming his wiry muscles!

"Sounds like you're not quite as in the dark as I thought you were," he remarked, "especially if you actually know who has him. So what's she demanding? She's taken him for a reason, obviously. Blackmail? Revenge? And is it personal, or is she trying to get at you through him?" Important questions. Ones he was far more comfortable talking about than he had been the issue of Batten's looming expiration date.

He reached for his glass again, and this time drained half the contents before he set it back down, knuckling a stray drop from his lower lip and clearing his throat quietly before he addressed the other issue they'd been discussing. "Your energy... if it's not being drained from you to be utilised by someone else - which is really damn wasteful by whoever's done this to you," his tone suggested he thought they were an idiot for it! "then can we consider it a tactic from this woman who has him captive to keep you from just going on the warpath effectively to try and get 'im back? Like they've managed to target you with some virus that's keyed to you. Personal biological warfare."

Oh it was quite clear he expected her to react not as she had. Probably expecting tears and freaking out, both she was all but sure the man didn't know how to handle so why did that amuse her? It was a tiny bit, mind you, but endearing at the same time. At the same time it was a reminder of sorts, at least to her. One that she would not be bringing up lest make the man uncomfortable. Well more....
 
"Mrmm..." The sound rattled her throat at his question and her lips slowly pursed. Her reasons... "I can say I honestly do not know. She is forcing him to work on something but what it is, I have no idea. Part of me thinks...No....I know she is also keeping him as a sort of torture for me. She thought I knew about his condition, which I didn't up until recently, but knowing she has him has been driving me up the wall."  Adjusting in her seat she turned her eyes out to the long scape of water that reached out to the horizon. "The woman is a nutcase and one I should of killed..." The words were low and she did not try to hide the venom they held.
 
It was in that moment she flinched and turned her eyes on him. He sure did know how to choose his words and in this case he hit the nail quite squarely. "You are a very smart man, Mesteno." It was followed by a single-noted chuckle. "What you speak of, the biological warfare...? The virus..." Raising a hand she tapped at her temple where the dark veins had at least eased up some. "That is what she had done to me and my brother countered. Reversed?" They both knew by now she had no clue what her brother did so she didn't clarify it past that. "The woman set a virus in me that was, from my understanding, suppose to wipe me out and replace what makes me...me...with something that is her. Kind of like..mmm.." Her head tilted one way then the other as she considered the word she was looking for, "replicate? Yes...we can say that. Replicate herself into .." she gestured to her body. "If this lack of energy is that virus or her doing, I couldn't say, but if it was I would think she would take better advantage of my condition than she has been. Up until now she has just been removing people from helping me...She enjoys watching me feel...helpless to the situation."

"Rhy'Din's full of nutjobs that need wiping out. You're not the only person to have regretted past mercy when it comes back to bite 'em in the ass. Or... just not having been thorough." In case mercy had nothing to do with it. He wasn't about to ask, and made a dismissive gesture with one hand as if it didn't matter either way.

For a moment he turned to peer out over the bay view, and frowned. It should have been cold as Hel's breath up there, and yet here they were, sat outside without a single shiver assailing him. He didn't question it though. Put that 'very smart' brain of his (he'd refrained from laughing when she said it by only a small margin) to use and deduced that it was likely some kind of climate control. Thankfully he was too focused on the conversation at hand to bother investigating why, his concentration deepening to the point his eyes had a glassy, far-seeing aspect.

He still sounded somewhat distant when he spoke again, as if really, he was musing aloud, rather than discussing it with her. "What she was trying to achieve suggests she's capable of some fairly advanced biological tampering. Perhaps in his rush to prevent the take-over, your brother didn't eradicate every... process? It's starting so sound as much computer science as genetics." His mouth twisted in undisguised malaise before he went on. "Perhaps to fuel the changes she intended, the virus had to use your body's own energy to achieve it, and that part didn't get shut off properly. So it's still burning through your system and not actually achieving anything? **** if I know, I never did science in school. What I know now is only because Lexius has been teaching me." He'd a habit of getting involved with men smarter than he. Not that it was hard to find them! "What're your plans?"

Her reasons were probably foolish to anyone she spoke it to so she never said anything about it. Most just chalked it up to mercy and she was fine with that though there were times she wondered if she was simply so weak for falling prey to her own fears. "I think when it comes to her, in particular, there is a lot of biting of both my brother's ass and mine. She claims to love him but...the things she's done to him makes me think more of an obsession than love."  
 
Shifting in her seat she tucked a leg under herself, using it as a sort of prop up so she didn't seem like she was slouching so much. He had points, more than he realized, with his words. Still, she was putting him in danger with just telling him this much. "I don't know..." she found the words were muttered much lower than she had meant them to be. His musings did give her some routes to check and suggest to the team. "At least you went to school..." The words came with a light teasing tone. "Sir Lexington. Shame on you for telling me that. I hope he..." She paused, deciding that her choice of words were not the best in this situation. The mention of the other man did bring questions that she had to tame down.
 
At his own question she blinked and turned her eyes to him. "What are mine plans. That...is a good question. I suppose I should just stay home and let Clayton and Leo deal with the situation of my brother. I don't think I will be much help and as you said, it would be bad for me to be caught somewhere in my condition." She obviously didn't care for the idea of leaving it to other people. "Help out were I can here without putting myself out there..." she gestured in the direction of the city proper as her hand lowered she uttered a single word. "Meh."

"Until I was seven. Then there was some... serious class cutting." It didn't take a stretch of the imagination to reach the conclusion. He just hadn't gone! "And sorry about Lexius. Nothin' meant by it." That he felt comfortable letting his rare moments of humour glare through the cracks when he was around her, suggested he'd known she wouldn't be offended. Merely a pity she had no recollection of anything. "I'll introduce you properly, one day. He's not much of a talker, and he's kind of difficult to get to know, but don't take it personally. He's just bad at socialising. Like me, but a whole lot worse."

Following the gesture she made with his eyes, he offered a grunt of acknowledgement to her discontent word (sound?) and offered her a look of commiseration. "It's a s***ty situation, Katt. Really. And I know it's gotta be driving you mad. I also don't think you're gonna be able to stick out the whole sittin' back and letting everyone else take care of things for very long. Sometimes it's hard to trust other people to do what you feel you could be doin' yourself, even if they are people you're close to. Especially when it's putting them in the line of fire, too." Especially, he did not add, but very much thought, when it was a lover." I hope that your brother is makin' the most of the time with her to try and find a way to get to the bottom of your health problem. It's a good opportunity for enemy insight. Maybe this time around, you an' yours can put an end to Ms. Nutjob."

"Oh...I am not offended or anything but your friend didn't seem enjoy being called that very much. Pretty sure I saw him looking at you like he was about to take it out on your hide." Better her saying than something else, right? Yeah, even she caught that one! "I would like that. To properly meet him, that is." Her lips twitched then ticked into a sort of crooked smile, "If I didn't know better you just described me in a nutshell." After all, who was it that usually sat and watched people? Good grief, how long had she been doing that now if she couldn't remember the last four years?
 
The roguish touch of her smile faded though not fully. "Yeah. See I think you know me too well." She chuckled when his assessment of her and the situation. He was right. Chances are she wouldn't be able to sit on her hands and do nothing. It would drive her even more mad. "I don't know, Mesteno. I honestly don't think my brother could kill her, even if given the chance." A hand lifted up, briefly, before lowering - apparently she was about to do something but decided against it.  
 
"If I die..I go out fighting. You know that right? But I don't plan on dying if I can't help it. I do.." No. Appreciate didn't cover how his concern made her feel. "I am honored to have a friend like you, Mesteno. Thank you." Yeah, probably a bit squishy talk for the sadist but heart-given regardless. "I will admit I am sort of surprised you aren't trying to use my condition against me to earn some payback."

"No challenge in it when you're like this," he pointed out reasonably, "and besides, this kind thing isn't a subject that's exactly ticklin' the old funny bone." His expression matched his words. Even the rogue smile she'd offered him wasn't something he could offer in kind. There was a tenacious frown, and a certain tension to the corners of his mouth just as reluctant to budge. Thoughtfully, he rubbed at the nape of his neck, and looked out over the water again, rather than at her.

"You're usually hard to kill." He stated bluntly. He'd seen her pock-marked with bullet holes at the Red Dragon, and he knew of the damage Ravenlock had done her, years ago. "Right now it's soundin' like you might just burn out before you ever get chance to face this bitch. That's not somethin' to laugh over. The hell's so special about this bitch that you don't think he could kill her, anyway?" The way Katt had worded it left him with an inkling that she meant she was resilient in unnatural ways, rather than just thinking Batten had some kind of soft side making things awkward.

Before she could answer, he hummed a low note of discontent, and added, "If I were a real good friend I'd be offerin' to help you out with this." There was no excuse he offered as to why he wasn't. Hopefully, Katt knew him well enough to guess at the truth of the matter. He was barely keeping his head above water with things himself. Didn't want his trouble finding her, when she was weak.. and it just might. Even sat there in her home, there was a chance something might come prowling after him to see what he was up to.

Again, he had a point and despite his frown...she smiled - granted it was a ghostly variety of it. Even that faded as he spoke and her eyes slowly drew closed. "I am not laughing over that, Mesteno. But if I don't laugh, even a little, at something..anything...I may very well drown more than I already am." She took a moment of silence, her head tipping one way. She felt the tears threatening at her lashes but for his sake she managed to will them down.
 
A slow exhale passed her lips and her eyes opened, half-mast and focused on him. "Because at one time he loved her. I think he may even still...to a degree..or just can't let go of that feeling enough that he would kill her. I don't know. Maybe he even feels responsible for her state of being though I can't seem to think the woman has always been mad and she just talks a good game at pretending not to be bats*** crazy."
 
Her eyes opened fully and she chuckled softly. "That right there makes you more than a good friend, Mesteno. But we both know you have your plate full enough as is and besides...It is nice to have someone I can confide in and trust like this so trust me when I say you have been helping. You are one of two people who have actually taken the time out to check on me when they saw how I was looking." She wasn't going to insult him by saying she also wasn't going to ask for help because the woman was attacking anyone who even so much as hinted at helping her.

He was oblivious to the carefully stalled tears, too busy glaring at the ocean as if he could blame it for the current state of affairs. He did tilt his head her way when she spoke again though, and tilted a look sidelong at her, as if the prospect of Batten having been romantically involved with his kidnapper made him want to start ranting about how bats*** crazy her brother must be for feeling anything even remotely for her, after what she'd done to Katt. In the end he let it go though. It was no less than what had happened to Evander with Niamh. "Like some weird ****in' stockholm syndrome." It was finally, sullenly offered, and he reached for his water again, though this time only to sip at it absently.

Unsure what to say about the lack of visits, he considered a moment, then turned back to her, legs stretched long under the table. "You'n me, life gives us a good battering. Isn't often we're not sportin' some new scrapes. I dare say that's the way it is for most folks in the city who have some fight in 'em, and those kind of people... well they're survivors. Folks expect them to pull through. They usually expect whatever's causing them problems to be more'n they themselves can handle when push comes to shove, that they'll just get in the way, hinder rather'n help, you know?" He seemed to expect that she did, because he went right on. "I don't have people knockin' at my door either when s*** happens. If you're not out in the open, they probably figure it's with good cause, so try not to take it personally."

How reassuring she'd find that, he didn't know. Maybe he was just making excuses for the way people behaved around them, or maybe he'd thought it all to death. One thing he knew for sure, usually people were struggling up their own s*** creeks, and usually, minus a paddle.

She was actually waiting for him to ask how it was her brother loved this woman and she wasn't exactly sure how to answer even if it had came up because hell if she knew!! She felt somewhat relieved when it didn't happen. "I don't know. I really don't. Maybe he is fascinated in her mind or something. He does tend to let his thirst for knowledge run away with him. Or his curiosity. Whatever you wish to call it."
 
Her hand lifted again and this time went through the motion of combing back her bangs and scratching them to meet with the rest of the black on her crown. She didn't want to do it earlier simply because she had been trying to hide the raised, dark veins. "Hey, I tried to check on you but..." Her brows furrowed as she looked to him. "Your place is no longer there. I guess you moved and I don't...remember.." Her hand lowered along her forehead then along her lower face as she huffed. "I do make it a point to check on those I care about."  
 
Her hand paused, fingers barely resting against her chin as if something just...popped into her head. With a tip of her head she turned her eyes to him, looking him over for some reason. After a moment she hummed thoughtfully. "I cannot say I agree or not. Some people are just..too busy with their own lives to really go out of the way to check on others. You know..smoochy face and popping out babies."

"Maybe he got to know her in her lucid moments," he suggested quietly, and not altogether easily. "Maybe he harbours some fool hope that he can fix her one day. Maybe even while he's with her now. Talk her out of whatever crazy she's planning." Could he blame him, were that the case? Calling time on something like that, making the choice to cut out the infection the person had become, was not going to be an easy choice, whatever the case.

He left the subject alone after those brief suggestions, finishing off the water and leaving the glass back on the table. "The place is still mine. It's just not safe to be there anymore. So right now, I don't have a place. I have plans, but it's going to take some work to get it all finalised, so until then, I'm either in the van, in a room at the dragon, in the desert with Lexius, or borrowing a room at my friend Vadriel's. S'not ideal, but stopping in any one place too long is asking for trouble, and I've never really needed much anyway." His home hadn't exactly advertised any particular domestication on his part.

As for the mention of popping out babies, he didn't bother to hide the distaste. "Yeah well, I suppose most folks do that at some point." In a '**** knows why' tone of voice, too!

"Lucid. I honestly doubt she ever was. When she was 'with him' she had infected me back then too. I...killed a lot of innocent people on the streets under her command. He may still harbor feelings and hopes for her but I think she has been nothing but using that. She doesn't love him. She just wants him like some obsession." The more she spoke the more her voice seemed to grow dark, almost edging on blood thirsty. "Quite frankly I have stopped caring how he feels about her. I know in the past he has questioned me for not forgiving her for some of the things she has done but this...I will never forgive her..." And if her brother died? There will be no hell that the woman can hide in that Katt would not find her.
 
Her lips flattened as she listened to him. "Do you want a place to stay? Both you and Lexius may and it is safe. I know a place that has wards and barriers." Even as she asked, she was pushing up out of her seat. She knew he said it wasn't safe to stay in one place too long but if the wards and barriers could provide a sense of peace, she was happy to offer it.
 
His tone had her pausing and it took her a moment or two but man was it hard not to laugh. "You know ...if I could have kids I would have them call you uncle Mesteno and have them visit you. Every ...day..." Like it was some sort of torture.

Mesteno wouldn't have forgiven either, after hearing what Katt described. He had to hold his tongue after hearing that her brother had questioned the lack of forgiveness. Really, for a genius, he seemed to be lacking some wisdom there! "I hope you get chance to kill her, Katt. Get some ****ing closure on the whole mess. Watching her do this to him, now, is salt in the damn wound."

As for needing a place to stay, he offered her a wry smile. "S'kind of you, but I've stayed at places with all sorts of wards and barriers. My own place had 'em extensively, and these things're just..." he struggled to find a term without plain stating he was dealing with Powers. Admitting it was likely to call them right down on their heads. "...I'm safer on the move." He rose as she did, with a faint sigh.

"People 'round here got a habit of makin' me godfather or whatever," he grumbled at her threat. "It's like they want the kid to grow up with mental problems and bits missing." Was he kidding? His face was so difficult to read in that moment that he just might have been serious.

Her brows furrowed then raised. "No. I don't want closure. I couldn't give a rats ass about it. What I want...I..." She swallowed down the lump that suddenly rose in her throat. Every time she thought about it she started to feel sick. "It is him dying with our last words to each other being an argument. I can't stand the thought of it. I don't want him to die thinking he is..less important to me than he really is." The last few words managed from her lips before she sealed them with a frown.  
 
Standing as she was allowed for her to be able to turn to the waterfront, her hands clasping behind her back. Deep breaths, girl. Deep breaths! "That is fine but if you change your mind let me know. I had to use this place when I was being chased. It hides your presence and sound but you need to leave it for at least a few hours every day in order for its barriers to recharge. It is like slipping out of existence." And with her nightmares, sometimes it was best to be where people couldn't hear you scream.
 
She peered over at him. Him a godfather? The way he sounded was much like how she felt when people said she was a godmother! "Oh who are you kidding.  As screwed up as I am? If I could have kids I think they would end up mentally broken or would run away once they could learn to walk. But I am not able to. At least that is what I am told. Being skewered in the gut too many times with swords and pipes will do that." Her head tipped and she peered over to him. "Mesteno? I do have a question... Have I ever given you a bloodjewel?" She knew it was out of the blue of a question but there was a reason.


Briefly, his hand found it's way to her shoulder. The kind of unobtrusive touch barely worthy of notice until it offered a transient, but warmly meant squeeze. Katt had never been keen on physical contact (unless they were hitting each other) and Mesteno was generally awkward with such things anyway. Still, it was an offer of a sort, compassion. He was just careful not to let it come with words, because the damned things could so often be the catalyst to tears, and he knew she'd hate to cry in front of him.

"Is it bad of me to say congratulations on being sterile?" he asked, and sounded genuine in his curiosity. There seemed to be no trauma in her admission of it, but he knew that some would deem him outright callous for thinking it. Whatever she might have answered though, she'd already gone and redirected his interest. There was only the briefest of hesitations as he rifled through his swiss cheese memory, and finally shook his head. "No. What is that? Food?"

The touch didn't startle her as most contacts did but it was him and he was the only one there. Granted if she had turned around and it was someone else with her mind playing tricks on her? That would have blown her mind! The squeeze did have her watching him a bit closer than normal but her eyes held a softness that barely held back the heavy stare that came so natural. She looked how she felt, no doubt. Tired...
 
A soft chuckle was given. "I don't know. I kinda wish I wasn't. I don't think I would be a good moment but at the same time..never know until you try right?" Okay that felt weird confessing that, of all things, to him! She wasn't sure if he even knew of her fear of kids...and pregnant women. Some things leave scars that nobody can see.
 
If his hand was still on her shoulder he would likely feel her lax a bit under the touch but not so much as to collapse. As light as the touch was, it felt like it weighed far more. "Mrm? F...food?" She snorted before she could catch herself. "No. I know better than to ask you about food." Her head tilted a bit as she eyed him, making sure he wasn't joking. Why...hadn't she given him one. Of all people she thought he would have one. "Hmm. How..odd.."

To his credit, he did nothing to try and persuade her she was better off as she was. She'd been brave enough to open up to him, so he kept his own natural revulsion of children unmentioned. Offered her a mild shrug. "There are places here in Rhy'Din who can fix anything. And I mean anything. If it's something you really want, you set your heart on it, you'll make it happen somehow. You're right though, I guess most people would want the option."

And like the subject of her brother and his strangely obsessive once-lover, he let the matter of her infertility rest. That she'd chosen to tell him was significant enough a thing that he didn't overlook it though. In fact he felt rather humbled to be so trusted with such a personal detail, even if she had made it plain before now that she had a good deal of faith in him.

When it turned out that what she was offering him wasn't edible, he arched an enquiring brow. "What's odd? Why would you give me jewellery?" Because that was what it had to be, right?

There were very few she trusted and even fewer that she trusted that was on the same level as he. She was guarded, for a reason, but Mesteno had proven himself time and again that he wasn't just worthy of trust but would be someone who was around for her to leave such trust in.  She trusted him enough that she was able to reach out and lightly tap her fingers to his elbow without concern of touching him. He never reacted oddly to the way her skin touched.
 
The touch lasted two seconds before her hand fell almost lifeless to her side and her eyes closed. A soft sigh escaped her. "That can be explained another time, Mesteno. You should go now." She didn't want to admit it but her body felt close to collapse and that was one thing she didn't want to do in front of him. The guy would probably freak the hell out! "Not that I am trying to rid you of my company or vice versa but it is getting late and I am sure you have things to do..."
 
When her eyes opened to look back at him, she knew how drained she looked and she almost apologized to him for such. "Pardon me for not escorting you back to your truck but I think I should go rest for a bit. I will do my best to stay out of the public for a while until things are safer and will let you know when I am better. Do me a favor though? Do not be afraid to call me or contact me. I like hearing from you. I like conversing. I like sparring with you....just not when I am about ready to faint on you." The last words were spoken as in a way to probably add fire to his heels.

With Katt as plainly as exhausted as she was, he didn't linger about and keep her from collapsing somewhere more comfortable indoors. "Next time then," he agreed simply. "Look after yourself, Katt. I'll keep my phone on me."

Because after seeing how drained she'd become in such a short space of time, it felt like tempting fate to not have it around should she need him. He made his way back to the front of the property unescorted, and in short order, the eyesore of a van was headed back along the clifftop road to town.

[size=9](Thank you Mesteno for taking the time to play this scene out with me!)[/size]
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on February 16, 2018, 12:36:07 AM
[size=9].:2.03.2018:. [/size]

She wasn't sure why she agreed to a training session with the newer employee, Calypso, other than the fact the woman braved up and asked her point blank for a little bout. She was sure the request came as to be used to get information out of her since she had been so seal-lipped about her brother. Calypso was far too interested in her brother for her liking...

As she watched the other woman prowling around the enclosed training room of the facility, she felt heavy - like her limbs were weighed down and they had only been going at it for less than thirty minutes. Maybe that was another reason she agreed...in her state she wasn't as afraid of hurting the woman as she normally would be. Not that she hadn't landed a few blows on the woman already. She held herself surprisingly well and even managed a few well placed punches. Punches were returned but did not hold their normal impact nor had any real sort of strength behind the blows...not that she would punch someone like this with full force. Didn't need her brother returning to find she had hospitalized one of his employees. Again.

"So ya not gunna share about the happenings with Eddie, huh?"

Calypso's voice rattled her mind back to the present and the fight. Her stance had fell off-guard without her even realizing it. "Mrm.." the sound echoed in Katt's throat, "Why are you so interested...?"

"Ya kiddin', right?" Cal chuckled as her hand rose up along the wall and away and she kept moving along. "He is my boss and he just poofed off the face of the world."

Katt kept a wary eye on her, wondering exactly what she was doing. Keeping distance? Sure, she had returned a few punches but nothing damage worthy. "Listen...if you are thinking of hitting on my brother..don't. He has enough crazy women chasing him around."

Cal stopped, almost gawking. After collecting herself she laughed out, "He gave word that I would get to check out some of his tech then he disappears before giving me that chance."

"So it is for his tech that you are interested in him?" Katt grunted quietly.

"Maybe. Don't get me wrong, he is quite a looker and hell of a charmer," Cal flashed a grin as she turned to face Katt fully, "But he has no interest in a gearhead like me other than maybe to share or bounce ideas off of."

"Good. If you steal his stuff or hurt him I am not afraid to hurt you, just so we are clear." The mumble came quiet as Katt lowered into a ready stance..

"Little lady, I don't think you are in any condition to be making such threats." Cal chuckled and crooked a finger at Katt. "I have been told how you are by a couple of the fellas. Gotta admit, you disappoint."

That mockery caused a frown to course along Katt's lips. "I.."

"I know. You are under an unknown condition. Kyle told me."

"Kyle has a big mouth." Katt grunted but it didn't change her mind that Kyle was a good man and one of her brother's most trusted.

"Well then how about we wrap this up?" Cal asked casually.

"You forfeiting?" Katt raised a brow at the woman calling quits. While it was true she wasn't in the best of conditions she thought she was doing pretty well.

"You've already lost." Cal assured Katt with a growing grin.

Katt eyed the woman suspiciously, "What do you mean?"

Cal's hand rose up and flicked her fingers against the air but in doing so, it would cause the thin wire to shimmer. Several thin wires had been set up around the room while Cal had been moving, designated in a certain way and held in place by some of her discs. When the shivering wire stopped, the disc reacted by suddenly drawing in, like a fishnet pulled upon with Katt in the dead center of it.

The disc whipped the net, enclosing quickly around Katt in a tight wrap that soon had her falling to her side on the ground. A clear startled look was set on her face. She had missed seeing the wires and was baffled to how she was so caught off guard. Was she that weakened?! Even if she was, it didn't mean she remained still. Within seconds she wormed, attempting to tug herself free of the wire cocoon.

"That..was sneaky." she hissed up to Cal.

"I prefer crafty. I have read up on you. You are pretty crafty, too." Cal squatted down in front of Katt and plucked one of the wires. "I wouldn't squirm too much if I were you. The net will automatically tighten the more you struggle. Normally I have it pressurized to kill but we don't want that."

Cal's words didn't stop Katt from struggling, even as she felt the bindings tighten around her. "Because my brother would have your ass!"

"True and as much as he is into crazy, I don't think he would like his employee killing his sister. Not that I want to. I want him to trust me. Want you to trust me." Cal smiled to Katt as she started to pull on one of the disc and it instantly started drawing in its wire. "So why not share with me where he is? I would so like to spend some time with him."

Something Calypso said triggered Katt and the moment she was able to reach from the net, she went grabbing straight for Calypso's throat. Growling she wormed her way out of the wiring best she could, Reevi struggling to form along her arms in hard coating.

"Whoa! WHOA!" Cal pulled back, barely slipping out from Katt's grasp. Springing up to her feet she stumbled back a few steps. "Why do you seem pissed off suddenly? And what is it with that black gunk?"

Pushing up, Katt brushed off the rest of the wires now that they were slacked. "He's been kidnapped by a crazy bitch who needs to die!" Even as she said it, she was jumping at Calypso, claws stretched out to swipe at the woman.

That was surprising and Cal jumped back, feeling the air that swipe caused. "s***. Really? Let me help if I can then!" It did explain why Katt didn't want to speak of the subject. It was a sore one. The worry of her boss began to swell more but at the moment she actually felt that her life might be in a bit of danger. Katt looked pissed.

Another swipe was made but this time it came with an uneven step, causing Katt to tilt but she caught herself. "Then stop asking me about him! It is none of your business!"

"That is enough, Katt."

Kyle's voice had Cal looking over as the tall, dark-skinned man made his way across the room. He was already reaching for Katt or maybe just guarding himself. Cal remained on guard, stepping back more from the enraged woman.

Katt turned when she heard Kyle's voice and her hands lowered, "Why are you in here? You are disturbing our session."

"You need to stop, Katt. You are worn out and taking your frustrations out on Calypso is no way to make a good impression." He eased his hands up. It was just in time, too, because Katt's body tipped as she collapsed. Kyle caught her by the shoulders and was about to ask her if she was alright only to find her eyes closed. "She passed out." He informed Cal quietly. His dark gaze turned up to Cal who was watching them with concern in her bright gaze. "Don't worry. She just pushed herself too hard. I'll take her to rest."

"M'sorry, Kyle. Didn't mean to push her so hard." Cal rubbed at the back of her neck. "Didn't know she was so bad off. You sure she'll be okay?"

"Yeah, don't worry." Kyle smiled.

"Not making the best impression on the boss' sister am I?" Cal sighed and brushed ou her ponytail before lowering her hand to her side.

"Don't worry about it. She is just under a lot of stress and really worried about her brother."

"Yeah, I get that. If there is anything I can do to help out, you'll make sure I know? I may be a lowbee here but I have grown rather fond of Eddie."

"Sure thing, Cally. As for Katt, it takes time to earn her trust. Be patient with her." As he spoke, Kyle collected Katt and started for the door.

"Of course." Cal could understand, to a degree, Katt's position. The pain of a loved one being held prisoner. She watched the pair until the doors closed then turned to collect the discs that had recoiled their wires.

Making his way through the tower, Kyle a curious look from other employees - after all he was carrying the one who filled Edward Batten's shoes when he was gone. He was nearly to the medical wing when Clayton came strolling around the corner. It was no surprise to Kyle that Clayton was there. He seemed to show up when one least expected. The passed out Katt was handed over without a word, knowing that Clayton would ask if he felt it necessary.

Clayton handled her with care and in his arms was the first time she had moved since passing out. Her face and body tilted just enough to tuck herself against he cat in manflesh. Seeing this caused a chuckle from Kyle and in turn got a questionable look from Clayton.

"Even unconscious, she knows it is you." Kyle chuckled as he started on his way. "Make sure she gets some rest. She is going to burn herself out before she has a chance to save her brother."

Clayton didn't say a word, instead looked to the woman in his arms. He knew she had been pushing herself, unable to do anything with the restlessness that her brother's absences seemed to have created. Lowering his head he nuzzled her lightly before making way for home.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 05, 2018, 03:30:31 PM
.: Chapter Thirty-Three: Question of Fate :.
[size=9]6.18[/size]


Making her way up the porch steps, Katt Batten paused to glance over her shoulder, like expecting something or someone. The strange little shadow that had been following her for months now was nowhere in sight. After a moment of pause she turned and shouldered her way into the inn.

It was a nice enough day, the sun was peeking out from the clouds, but Isuelt was tired. Tired of looking for shadows to hide in, tired of needing something to do with her time, tired of hiding from herself. She managed to muster up the courage to head to the Inn, wondering if she could keep a low profile. It was something she had really been working on lately.

A glance was made to her cubbie and for a moment Katt's nose wrinkled when she saw the letters stuffed into it. It was avoided and instead she headed behind the bar to fish herself a bottle of cranberry juice from the cooler. Another glance was made before she huffed at the box. "No." As if it had wooed her and she was vocally answering.

For the most part, Isuelt kept her head down, shielding herself from any passersby. She didn't want to answer questions or elaborate or really even be here. But the truth was that she had nowhere else to go. For the first time in her life, Isuelt was truly trapped. And she felt like a cornered animal. She had tried going elsewhere, but had run out of money; and she wasn't about to do anything of questionable morality for more...she was trying to push those days behind her. The door from the alleyway slowly creaked open. Isuelt hovered by the threshold, listening. It was quiet, as was usual during the day. A relieved Isuelt stepped in and kept her eyes averted beneath the hood of her sweater for a few moments as she tried to look around.

It was a rare thing that Katt was hungry enough that her stomach growled and even then she tended to ignore it. A rumble in her belly was silenced with a sip from the bottle, which was slightly jarred by the fact the alley door opened. Color her surprised to see someone else coming in let alone the scent being one she knew. The bottle was lowered and she blinked at the figure. Issy. In a hooded sweater? Wtf didn't cover it. "Hey, Issy."

Her legs halted, her steps ceased. Isuelt simply stood there as if being still enough would render her invisible. She immediately recognized Katt's voice and instantly felt shame. She didn't really remember what had transpired the last time she had seen and talked to Katt. She was a bit too inebriated. But she did remember waking up on Katt's couch and trying to skulk out as quickly as possible. Isuelt possessed a lot of pride; it could potentially be considered a hubris by some. And this new situation that she found herself in was absolutely soul-shattering. The deep shame she felt burnt her hotter than any torturous flame could. She turned her head slowly, and reached up to drop the thin hood. After all, it did no good in here. "Hi, Katt." Her voice was quiet, almost mousey. She sighed and headed toward her.

The sudden stop on a dime by the woman had her growing silent. She was half expecting Issy to suddenly bolt and that..kinda hurt. What did she do now? The sigh didn't help. The bottle was placed down and she used the cold that lingered on her hand to moved across the back of her neck. "I can go if you want."

Isuelt scoffed lightly, "Why should you go? You were here first." Isuelt lifted her eyes finally to look at Katt. While she wasn't drunk, she did look tired: sallow complexion, mildly sunken eyes and dry lips.

"You look uncomfortable at my presence and while I am not sure what I did, I do not wish to cause you any discomfort." It was as honest as an answer as one could get.

A chuckle actually sounded, "It's not you, Katt. It has nothing to do with you."

"The way you looked just now says otherwise. You practically cringed when I spoke to you." She grunted quietly. "You know how I feel about being lied to, Issy."

She sighed and sat down. "I said it's not about you, Katt. That's all I got. And that's not lying." She lifted her brows and looked at Katt.

Her lips parted to speak but seemed to come to some sort of realization - whatever it was, Issy wasn't going to tell her. As much as she had let Issy into her life, told her things that many do not know, that trust only went one way. Slowly her lips closed and her jaw worked, like she was chewing on something. When her lips parted again, "What would you like to drink?" Since she was already behind the bar and whatnot.

Trust was only trust if it was ready to be initiated; and Isuelt simply wasn't quite ready to accept the truth of what had happened in her life, let alone share it with others. She didn't lie, yet she didn't offer information on this certain subject as a method of sanity and self-preservation. She shook her head to Katt. "Just water is fine."

"Sure thing." She abandoned her own drink to go back to the cooler to collect a bottle of water. It was set in front of Issy, unopened.

"Thank you," was whispered as she stared at the bottle for a moment. Then, taking it quickly, unscrewed the cap and downed about half of it. Forcing herself to put down the bottle she drew a long sigh and then lifted her head to look at Katt. "It's really just something I'm dealing with, Katt. Really. Not you." She swallowed and looked over her friend. "How are you?"

Katt plucked out another bottle and settled it near Issy as a backup for the bottle she nearly consumed in one go. "Mrm? Your daughter, yes?" See, she remembered! "I..." She tipped her head a bit. "I don't know? Still feeling really weird and this contact is killing me." She really hated the thing sliding around on her eyeball. Just..ew.

"Yeah....yeah, that." The fact that Rose had been an issue was definitely another helping on her plate. "Contact?" She looked up at Katt. "Rose is uhhm.....difficult." Another bit of water. Though she shook her head for a moment, "Actually, I'm sure I was a pain in the ass at that age, too."

"Mrph. From what I heard she sounded pretty damn worried about you, Issy. So I think you are both pretty difficult." It was spoken in a 'just saying' type tone. Realizing the comment about the contact slipped she paused only to blink at Issy. Hoping to let the slip slide she peered at Issy. "At that age?" was teased.

"I actually have no idea how old she is, really." She shrugged, "But she looks like a teenager. It's all a bit....well...." She rolled her eyes, "What the ****, whenever Renna is involved you know it's going to be ***** up." She felt she needed to divert her attention from her seemingly insurmountable problems. "What's a contact?" She looked to Katt.

"A bit weird? She is still pretty much the victim of Renna's ...crazy. You both are..But from what I heard you care about her, too. I think you need to ease up on yourself and stop being so hard on yourself." Kettle. Pot. "We aren't defined by our mistakes, Issy. What defines us is our ability to accept we made the mistake and rectify it, learn from it, and try not to repeat it. Grow from it if you will. So you have time to be there for her, if you want to. Even if it isn't as her mom. Be there for as a friend, a consult. Someone she feels she can turn to. That..is if you want to." she shrugged her shoulders slowly then stared at Issy. "Mrrrmmph." Yep. That summed it up. "Have you not noticed changes in me?"

She took in Katt's words. Every. One. Of. Them. She took them in silence, staring at the water bottle. Katt was absolutely correct. But for now, it was Isuelt's stubborn pride that was standing in the way of what Katt advised. Hopefully, she'd find a way around it soon before she let it kill her. Changes in Katt? As a matter of fact, she had noticed some changes. Positive changes. "Actually....yes." She looked to Katt. "You seem....more..." Her whiskey-soaked brain searched for the words, "More...positive. More at ease?"

A throaty chuckle was given. "Not..that..but really? Hm.." She didn't even realize. Raising a hand she combed her fingers through her black hair and as the light rolled off the dark strains, a metallic sheen could be seen. Ah! A realization clicked about then. "Edward..is back. Kinda. Stubborn man is hiding out in his lab again. I think he is trying to figure out what happened to him. To us."

She watched Katt, then absolutely stilled when she mentioned her brother. "What? Really?!" Well, that was one heavy stone lifted at least. "He's okay?" She was taken aback at the incredible relief that washed over her.

She had a feeling that would lift Issy's spirits. A nod was given to her questions. "Yep. He is fine just ..." She rolled her eyes up for a moment before lowering them to Issy. "Being him. You know how he is. When something strikes his curiosity he will stay in his lab like a crazy person. I'll try to get him out so you can see for yourself."

Her shoulders fell in such solace that she was nearly brought to tears. She wiped her hands over her face and took a deep breath, letting it out in a big sigh. "I'm....I'm just glad he's back. Don't pull him out of his lab; he loves it in there."

While Issy was busy collecting herself, Katt moved her hand to her left eye and tapped her middle finger against her eye or rather tapped the contact which she was removing. It had been worn to simply conceal the fact that her left eye was no longer that icy green shade but rather a color Issy might find rather familiar - the same color as her brother's eyes.

She sniffed and lifted her head, pulling her hands from her face. Another deep sigh and she felt she could continue. "Sorry..."

"Do not apologize. I do understand." A napkin was nudged over to her in case Issy needed it. She was about to say something else but decided against it.

"No, no...it's good. It's good." Isuelt cleared her throat and finished the water, only to open the second one though she didn't drink from it just yet.

"Mrm.." Was all she said for now as she rolled the contact between her fingers.

As she got her thoughts together, she sniffed once again. "Yes, but you do seem...I don't know..." She was staring at Katt's eyes. Yep, different color.

"Weird-er?" Was what she figured Issy was looking for.

"No..." She canted her head to the side. "Happier. More...in control."

"Mrm..." She tipped her head a bit. "I am not sure about in control but I am happier. I mean my brother is home. We still have a lot to deal with and try to figure out what is going on with me. I think that is what he is working on too." Lots of testing on her part.

"What's going on with you..." Isuelt repeated, now watching Katt intently.

"That is just it. I ...we...don't know. Renna had infected me ..um..last year. A few months before Christmas." She wasn't sure if Issy knew or remembered, either way she was covering her grounds, "She was ...killing me. My soul anyways. Taking me over. Making me..her."

She nodded. She remembered. Ed had told her. In fact, that's when Ed had told her everything. About himself, about Katt. And if anyone understood how Renna's 'infections' could affect a person, it was Isuelt. "And now?"

Katt exhaled slowly. "He did something to me to save me. Something that I cannot explain. When I woke up he was gone and any answers he could have provided at the time was gone too. That was when she had kidnapped him. During his absence I had literally began to feel like a drained battery. Still functioning but...dying." She had no better way to explain it. "Physically I seemed fine and it even baffled every one of the doctors on his staff."

"But he's back now and figuring out further what to do?" She stilled for a moment, worrying that if the control and the happiness she'd seen in Katt wasn't Katt at all, but the part of Katt that was Renna? If what Katt said was accurate, and Renna was trying to turn Katt into Renna... Well, anything with Renna was possible.

"I am not sure how to explain it, Issy. I think even to a degree my brother is baffled." She scratched her neck. "I went with Leo, a sudden thing that we didn't exactly prepare for," which meant she didn't even tell Clayton let recruit anyone for the 'mission'. Leo had came to her rather sudden after all. "I ...cannot tell you what happened just yet. Not until we figure it out but...somehow I ...we..triggered. Me and my brother that is." See, terrible at explaining tech-mumbo-jumbo.

"Triggered?" That was never a good word, technology or otherwise.

She was trying to figure out how to explain it. After a moment she sighed and rubbed her face. "When we found him, he was in the process of dying, Issy. Ready to explode...right before my eyes."

Isuelt blinked and swallowed. Ed said that that would happen, but frankly, Isuelt never believed him. She didn't believe it would happen. She had total and complete faith in him that he would find a way to elude his fate. Still, she listened to Katt.

"I freaked." she admitted without any reserve about it. It was the truth, "So much so that without even thinking I ran to him. Ran to him and threw myself at him. I did not want the last thing we spoke about to each other be words like we had. Both angry. Even if we are siblings and that is natural, I just didn't want that. I couldn't handle the thought of him dying and those being my last words to him. It tore me up..."

Isuelt smiled softly as she listened to Katt.

Katt took a moment, waiting for the feeling to settle before she spoke again, "When we connected like that..I don't know. He explained it like he was a charger and I was being charged. I took that energy from him, at least a big portion of it and because of that he stabilized and I was..better. The drain I was feeling was gone..."

"Destiny..." Isuelt whispered the word in a state of awe. After all, who else could have done that? They 'saved' each other. Fate had made sure that they had met and had become siblings.

She blinked up to Issy. "Huh?"

Still whispering, "No one else could have done that for him....could have saved him. And no one else could have helped you in that moment. It was destiny..." She'd been thinking a lot about destiny lately. It was the only way she could swallow the sick tragedy that her life had suddenly become.

Katt snorted quietly. "I highly doubt that. I think it was more dumb luck than destiny. Whatever he did to me before he contacted me, which he wasn't even sure would work, and all of it." She grunted quietly and scratched the back of her head. "Destiny..." That was a word she had not heard in a long time. "Anywho... he is stable now and I am too. Though," she raised a hand up to her eye, "We have a little strangeness afterward."

A content smile sat on her lips for the first time in a long time. And as she looked to Katt's eye, she noticed that it wasn't only a different color. She definitely knew that shade of blue. "His eyes…You both..." She quieted, staring at Katt. 'Strangeness' didn't seem to cover where her thoughts went. "Wow," she spoke under her breath.

"Yeah. We don't know why. Just an anomaly. It isn't like he can see through my eyes or anything. At least not as far as we know." She chuckled. "But he also has it too. It looks..weird...seeing him with my eye color..."

It took a long moment before Isuelt looked away from Katt, or even moved. She seemed to just be absorbing her story. Finally she drew a deep breath and ran her hands over her face.

"I'm just...so glad you are both okay." Shifting her attention to others seemed to alleviate the sensation that she was drowning.

She blinked slowly at Issy. "You mean him? Edward."

The weight of what had happened over the past few months and weeks was just so solid on her shoulders, that the small lift of worrying about Katt, about Ed, felt as if she would find the surface again. Isuelt's eyes were rimmed with tears. She looked to Katt in question, "Hm?"

"You mean you are glad he is okay." Katt corrected herself mildly as she moved to collect a third water for Issy and a few napkins just in case.

She rested her head in her hand and nodded slowly. "Yeah," she whispered. "And you as well, Katt." She glanced down, "And I really didn't think I'd ever see him again. I thought he was done."

"Why me?" It confused her to hear that. She was just a big thorn in Issy's side. Hell if she was out of the picture Issy wouldn't have to worry about her getting in the way or being a bother, so pardon the confusion.

"Let me ask you a question, Katt," she placed her interlaced fingers on the bar before her. "If you died, do you not think I would grieve?"

"I don't know." It was an honest answer.

A dark brow arched. "Seriously?"

She stared at Issy. "Yes. For someone I have given so much of myself to, you have given very little in return. You keep me at arms length and don't even seem to trust me when I've trusted you with some things that I have told no other. Like about my mother and father... I never told Edward nor Clayton about that. Mostly because it never came up but that is besides the point. But you? The one time you confided in me and I tried to shake you out of your guilt, you took it as me scolding you. I have looked up to you as a strong figure and to this day I still feel as you look down upon me as if I am a child. And yes, at times I wonder if you would be happier with me out of the way so you could be closer to my brother without my interference. I don't question you care, Issy. I just know it is limited."

She was taken aback, both literally and figuratively. It was a gut punch that she hadn't planned on, and it showed. Her face wore the expression of a horrified bystander who watched two trains colliding. Her mouth was open, slack-jawed and she barely blinked as she stared at Katt. Isuelt knew that getting close to people was something she had always had real trouble with. Friends were something that she could count on one hand. Not because of their indifference, but because of Iseult's deathly fear of intimacy. She was horrendous at friendship, and she knew it. No matter how many times or different ways she tried, she usually was better when she kept people at a distance. It took Isuelt an insane amount of time to build up the courage to actually trust someone and bring them into the fold. She wasn't proud of it, actually quite the opposite. She was shamed by it. But, in her life, in her line of work, friends usually met awful ends. And somewhere in the back of her mind, she was 'saving' them by not letting them get too close. However, that notwithstanding, it often left her feeling alone, isolated, hopeless. "I..." She couldn't speak, she couldn't answer Katt. Her shame was so deep, it cut her to the core. Katt was correct about giving of herself, while Isuelt...well, Isuelt had done practically nothing. It was in that moment that Isuelt pondered who would grieve for her. Who would be there to to truly feel a loss if she died. She was shaken to think it would be far less than she cared to admit.

"I am not mad or anything, Issy," she made sure that Issy understood that, "Nor does it mean I don't think you as a friend. I do. But you grieve over me? I cannot honestly say I know. I mean I've only seen you cry once..." correction time, "twice." She seemed thoughtful for a moment before shook her head. "So don't say you are sorry or anything. If it bothered me I wouldn't be talking to you now. It is what it is."

"I'm sorry," the whisper was all she could muster amid her mortification. "You're right. I'm a terrible friend. I'm a cold person." She swallowed her pill.

"Told you not to say that." Katt shook her head. "Nor did I say you are a terrible friend. I am guarded too. I don't let most people close to me and for good reason. I have learned that sometimes you can give, but that doesn't mean the person has to give back in return. So stop it." She craned her head a bit before eyeing Issy. "Let me return the question. Would you grieve? And be honest."

"Yeah, I would." She couldn't quite bring herself to look at Katt. "You are generous, you care about people. You genuinely do. You freely give of yourself, sometimes literally. You've been to hell and back and you still give others the time of day without wallowing." She wiped at her own nose. "You're a good person, Katt. No matter what you go through, you always somehow bring yourself to be there for others."

"A good person.." hearing someone say that felt..weird. "You think of me too highly, Issy." She chuckled quietly and slid her hands into her pockets. "Nor do I give myself so freely. When I give parts of myself to someone...it means I trust them and I have serious trust issues." She knew her flaws! "I am not a good person. I am a tamed murderer trying to make amends for the mountain of lives she has taken."

It was now that Isuelt's gaze flickered to Katt. Isuelt had been battling her past for longer than she would ever admit. And very few people knew the truth of what Isuelt really was, or the choices she'd made. Edward was one of them. Every word that Katt said could have been applied to Isuelt. Her head ached and she needed a drink. She rubbed at her forehead and wiped at her eyes and face. It had been an emotional afternoon for her. The usual cold-as-ice warrior was having a lot of afternoons like that lately. She wondered if she were having a mental breakdown.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 05, 2018, 03:30:49 PM
She gave a throaty chuckle when Issy looked at her like that. "I know what you are going to say. Probably somewhere around 'you aren't like that' and stuff. When in the truth of the matter is I was, very much a murderer. Why do you think Renna is so fascinated with me? Because we are so much alike. Or were alike. There are differences now but that is because I chose that road. Remember what I said earlier? About mistakes?" She gestured faintly to the side. "If I didn't think you as a friend, Issy, we would not be talking like we are now. You are how you are and I've accepted that a long time ago. That does not make you a bad friend. But I also don't know answers to questions about how you feel about me. I am not asking you to change nor am I telling you so you feel guilty. I don't want you to feel guilty I just want you to understand why I am mildly confused."

She simply nodded slowly, feeling like her head weighed five hundred pounds. "Well, allow me to clear up any...confusion. Yes, I would grieve." The corners of her mouth turned down and she looked to the bottle of water.

"Then I have grown to know you a little more." Though she was admittedly surprised. "I would think you would be at least relieved to have a thorn such as I out." She chuckled quietly. "Do..you remember our conversation in the alley?" Or rather Issy was in the alley!

She wiped at her face once more and then wiped her hands on her pants. "You're not a thorn, Katt."

She grunted quietly, not responding but rather waiting for Issy to recollect.

"Which...which conversation, Katt?" Her brain was an absolute jumble of alcohol-stained half-memories lately.

"When you told me about your daughter and stuff. When you confided in me but you seem to think that you shouldn't of told me anything because of what I told you." Katt's hands settled against the bar.

"Yeah..." Again, the guilt of what she'd done hit her. How she'd pretty much thrown Rose under the proverbial bus for Edward.

"Issy. The things I said was true and honest. I said them because I see a strong woman. Prideful, yes. Stubborn, gods yes. But strong. Willful and Spirited. A good person. Someone I look up to. I didn't baby you. I didn't treat you like glass or give you lies to make you feel better. I felt you deserved better than that. You are strong enough to face the truth and once you dust yourself off and stop with the guilt, you can stand tall and move on. Be it to fix things, move forward to make things better, or something else."

Isuelt pressed her lips lightly together and looked toward the window, recalling the conversation. "I don't know what I'm looking for. I don't know what..." She sighed. "I've only felt this scattered a few times in my life. And each of those times..." She stopped short and gazed out the window.

"When you fall, you need to get back up, dust yourself off, and move forward. You speak so greatly about me but do you know how many times I have crashed, Issy? How many times I've been at the end of my rope?" She chewed her bottom lip. "I tried to kill myself when I was last infected by Renna."

She drew a slow breath and looked from the window to Katt. She knew all about finding the end of a rope. But it was something she didn't speak of to many people.

"Seriously don't think anyone would have blamed me, either. I mean Renna was wanting to use my body to..to...with Edward..." Katt just paled drastically at the thought of it and a few seconds later she shuddered.

"People like us don't get an escape as easy as death, Katt." She glanced down, feeling the full weight of that truth.

"Killing oneself is a cowards way out." Katt said it flatly. "To be unable to face and overcome. Our mistakes do not define us." She repeated. "What we do afterward, that defines us." She saw how Issy reacted to the words. "Whatever is going on with you Issy..You..." she stopped herself suddenly and closed her eyes. She didn't want to upset Issy again with her words so instead...swallowed them. Whatever Issy was going through made her like glass and less of the warrior woman Katt knew her to be.

Katt's intuition was on the money. Isuelt arguably had never been as fragile in her life as she was now.

Katt was chewing on her inner cheek, keeping to her silence for now.

"I've never been so lost. So without. So....useless." She was crumbling before Katt's eyes.

She blinked at Issy. "So..without?" She was still thinking it was about the girl. "Issy...You are anything but useless. Why..would you ever think such a thing." Seriously..she was baffled.

"I'm undone, Katt. I'm finished." She didn't even bother to look around her this time. She was glass, she was shattering.

Okay now she was even more confused. "So you are basically saying you are giving up? On ...everything? Everyone? Even yourself? Whatever is going on, Issy...I may not know what it is but I know damn sure you aren't useless."

"Everything I am....everything I was. It's gone." She was looking at the bar, but she wasn't seeing anything. "I have nothing. No home, no money, no job. Nothing. I've been cast out. It's over, Katt." It was a small miracle that she still had her voice, as weak as it was.

She listened quietly then her brows raised, slowly. "Cast out." Give her a moment. "From...the Sisters?"

Finally, slowly, she looked to Katt. Her hand was holding up her head as it softly nodded.

She stared at her long and hard. Ohhh the questions she had. "I don't know why you were..cast out...but they are saddened for the loss of you. As for you having nothing that is a load of crap. You have life in you Issy. Everything else is material things. Though now a bit of things make sense." She craned her head a bit. "Issy...You can either lay down or stand up. You still have life. You are still something. You are still someone. Being a Scath did not..
does not define YOU!"

"You don't understand, Katt..." She actually physically shuddered. "I...have known nothing else for almost my entire life. And the short spell that I did know something else....I...." She took a moment and actually guffawed at herself. What did it matter now? "I tortured and killed people for money. And I enjoyed it. Being a Scathachian was the only thing in my life that actually stood for something, that was meaningful, that made me not want to slit my wrists every morning when I work up and found that I hadn't been allowed to die in my sleep." After all, Edward knew all of this, why wouldn't Isuelt eventually confess to his sister? "No matter how much alcohol I plowed into my body, no matter how many drugs or abuse I'd done to myself...I always woke up." She was thoroughly disgusted with herself. There was no small part of her that didn't wish she would just keel over dead on the spot right now.

She chuckled deeply. "You think? You honestly think I don't understand? I spent all my life being a murderous puppet. I still struggle with emotions. Being Scath? Was not your life. If anything it was a stepping-stone to advance who you are. You aren't going to die because you are no longer with them. You just need to find something new to fill your life. I can help with a job and a place to sleep. The latter you cannot say no to."

"I have cause an irreparable harm to my Sisterhood. Me. All me. Because I was prideful, stupid, blind and over confident. And ashamed." Isuelt looked like a house of cards collapsing. "I deserve everything that's coming to me. It's my penance." She knew she was speaking with the words that the High Priestess would have admonished her with...if she were still alive. It was killing Isuelt not knowing if her Sisters had survived the surprise attack on their island...or if there had even been one.

"What did you do that is so irreparable? So damning that there is no way to repair? Because as far as I am concerned as long as you are alive you can make things right. Or do you plan on just wallowing in your guilt and killing over? Because I thought you were better than that, Issy." She sighed and scratched at her neck.

"I betrayed those who gave me life. Who gave me myself, gave me purpose, gave me everything." Her eyes rolled back into her head as she shut her eyes, her pain was so near to the surface she wanted to scream, or pull her hair out, or both. "I..." She couldn't go on.

Katt considered it a moment. "Gave yourself? No. They helped mold you, sure, but you are yourself, Issy. They didn't give you everything. You worked for it. You laid your life down for them countless times and if they cast you out for a wrong, after all the good you have done, then there is something wrong. However...now? Now it is time to find a new purpose. They did not give you everything. They did not give you your life here in Rhydin. They just enriched it. They did not give you the respect you have earned from the people and citizens of Rhydin or your friends. Them casting you out is not the end of you and I won't let it be."

Isuelt had been low before in her life: when her husband died, when she came to terms that her assassin's ways were getting the better of herself. But she had never felt this desolate, this alone. And she had let her pride keep her upright for months. She had let her absence keep up the charade that she had left with the Scathachians as they departed Rhydin. She had let her stubbornness root her to the bottom of a bottle of whiskey rather than ask for help. She was hearing Katt's words, but they sounded so far away. All she could hear was the crashing sound of her failure and her own self-hatred.
Her head collapsed into her hands as if the weight of it was simply too much to bear. Her voice peeked from beneath her fingers, just barely. "Please, don't say anything Katt. I'm ruined...I don't want the world to know. Please?"

"You aren't ruined but you are acting like you are, Issy. So pick yourself up if you don't want the world to know." She grunted quietly. "The Scath Sisters aren't who you are, Issy, but what you were. It is like saying that Batten Inc. is who Edward is. If he lost it all he would just pick himself up and rebuild. So stand up and rebuild who you are. Now..as far as for your home..You can stay at my suite at the Toujours le Vert. And if you want a job I can hire you at the Tower for Security. With your conditionals hell you could get a job anywhere!"

"Well, I'm not Edward, am I?" She lifted her head up and looked at Katt. "Do you understand how hard this is for me? How ***** hard this is to admit? To accept?" Isuelt wanted to sweep herself under the carpet. She simply wasn't ready to deal with her predicament, much less gather together a plan B like Katt was so right in saying. There were not enough words in the universe to convey that they were alone in the Inn just now.

"I do but are you just going to roll over? You are not Edward. You are Issy. A strong warrior woman. It will take time to accept but you will be stronger for it. I have faith in you. As a person, not as a Scath. I've never defined you as a Scath. That was your job to me, not who you were."

"But to me, it's who I was." She sat back, feeling utterly exhausted. Her voice was hard and the stains of tear tracks were bright red against her sallow skin. "I don't know how I'm ever going to get over this...Please don't say anything, Katt? Please don't say anything to Ed." She looked to Katt, knowing that she could keep a secret or two, just like her brother.

"I won't say anything to anyone if you promise to stay at Toujours le Vert. It is a big place and nobody will both you. If you promise to stay there then we have a deal."

All Isuelt wanted was a place to hide away from the world for a while. For an instant, she envied Renna's sanctuary off-world and Ed's lab. "Fine." She hung her head, "Deal."
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 05, 2018, 03:35:20 PM
[size=9]Few Days Later[/size]

The evening was one of those nights that people wait the entire year for: calm winds, temperate air, sweet smell of lilacs floating by. Isuelt was relatively sober and was actually enjoying the silence of the market. Lately, it was the little things that she tried to find pleasure in. It was challenging, but what's a challenge to someone like her, right? She sat on a low rock wall that separated some of the stalls from the more established shoppes, her legs dangling. She was wearing a black short-sleeved T-shirt and a pair of faded jeans, the products of a lost and found, and her sandals. Her dark hair was pulled back into a thick ponytail and her skin was looking like she had had some nutrition and some sleep. Her eyes were shut and her chin was tipped to the sky. Over the past few hours, she'd heard a few familiar far off sounds: yelling, commotion and a few rumblings of what she supposed were trash cans or other objects hitting the ground in a nearby alleyway. And the realization that it was no longer her responsibility nor her charge was both freeing and devastating. She was currently contemplating which hurt worse.

It wasn't like Katt Batten to get so damn tired after paperwork or maybe it was just the overall boredom of being stuck in the Tower for hours on end. Sluggishly Katt made her way through the market, attempting to shake off the feeling of lead in her feet. It was too late for some of the things she normally liked but it was never too late to go to her favorite lurking spot - the fountain. So that is where she headed, stopping briefly when she caught a scent on the wind. "Hmmm.." Katt could have been wicked and scared Issy out of her skin but right now didn't seem like the best of ideas. Instead she craned her head back, "Hey, Issy." Not that she pinpointed the woman by scent but she was nearby enough that given enough time she could have hunted the woman down. Adjusting the strap of her backbag, she waited to either be answered or ignored - one would have her moving along while the other would likely have her going home.

She opened her eyes and looked toward her name. A small smile perked her expression as she exhaled her reverie. Her posture even changed; a kneed coming up to be hugged by her arm, while her other leg continued to dangle. If one didn't know better, it would look as if Isuelt was actually casual and relaxed. "Heya, Katt." She nodded almost sheepishly, feeling a bit guilty for not staying where Katt had suggested for too long. It was difficult to staple herself in one place, it always had been. Especially now when her thoughts and focus were all over the place.

Katt's eyes lowered some at movement near the direction she had been heading and a brow crawled up when she spotted others over there. A little crane of her head was given before she was addressed. Her eyes quickly turned in the direction she heard Issy's voice. "You know I get reports from the complex, right? Was the suite not to your liking?" Her hands slid down into the pockets of her torn jeans.

The Battens were tough. There really was no lying to them. They literally had eyes everywhere. Isuelt learned that with Ed a while back, why should his sister be any different. Her lips shifted to the side and she canted her head as she looked off in the direction of the cityscape. Inhaling, she nodded slowly, "You know about that, huh?"

It was because of her brother that she had eyes everywhere. It wasn't like she wanted to but for some odd reason the man thought she should fill his shoes. "I had a feeling even before the cleaning service told me that the suite had barely been disturbed." Katt rocked on her heels a bit. "You are stubborn...I figured you wouldn't even go there let alone go there for long."

The smirk returned to Isuelt's lips as she looked down to her knee. "Sorry about that, Katt." After a moment, she lifted up her gaze to meet her. "I wanted to thank you."

"Don't sorry me. You promised and you broke it." She huffed quietly but didn't seem to push any further than that - at least not yet.

"Yeah, but you can't tell me you're surprised." She arched a brow and turned to fully face Katt.

"A little. I tend to hold promises in high regards. Not only that but you kinda don't want me telling people things." Not that she would which she suspected that Issy already knew which is why she didn't feel she had to uphold her end of the bargain.

Arching a brow at that. "I sorta feel that I...." She squinted off in the distance, making a note of the others who were enjoying the quiet evening in the market. Continuing her thoughts, she looked back to Katt, "I just have sort of a problem with handouts. Always did. I wanna feel like I'm earning it. Your generosity, that is." She was damn sure that Katt wouldn't say anything to anyone. She was even fairly certain that she wouldn't share the information with her brother. She shrugged. It was bare truth and there was something freeing about it. The fact that she had confessed her catastrophe to Katt had some merit in speaking with her now. Isuelt didn't have to work so hard at being evasive. "I need to earn it, Katt." her eyes flickered to her and beheld a certainty that sharpened her already deep gaze.

"You can earn your keep once you are back on feet, Issy. Besides as many times as you have saved my ass or been there for me? You don't think you haven't in some way earned it? Or my respect?" She grunted up to her almost as if she were threatening to come up there and Gibbs smack Issy.

Isuelt shifted on the wall before she hopped down and looked to Katt; gods be amazed, that smirk was still on her lips. And what was more, Katt's sensitive nose couldn't pick up the scent of whiskey.

She was pretty sure Issy was being a smart ass by sliding off the wall and standing on her feet. Har har har, Issy. A throaty snort came from her and she gestured, "So you want a job or what? I have some positions, private or otherwise, I can throw at you to see if you are interested. Then you can earn your keep and what have you."

She chewed on her tongue for a moment. The offer was very tempting. She kicked at the ground a moment and then blew out a long exhale. "That...would be interesting." Nodding slowly and looking to Katt. "I think..." She took a deep breath and exhaled as if cleansing some internal struggle. "I think I'd like to see about that once I know I'm good enough." She dipped her chin to Katt, trying to convey that she meant something deeper.

"How about something simple for now then? I can hire you privately to take over my patrols. With things busy around the Tower I have not been able to patrol the streets like I use to. The pay will come with some benefits but not as much as if you were Batten Security." Her hands clasped at the small of her back as she fell into a sort of business stance. "It will require you to be able to work with the Watch and various other sources which you should be used to. You would have to report to me." Scary, isn't it Issy. Katt as your boss. Be afraid!

She chuckled at that, though she hung her head a bit. "I guess I could start there..." Though she knew she wasn't supposed to be on the streets doing anything that resembled her Scathachian duties. But what else did she know? Really? She swallowed and wiped a hand over her jaw and chin, while dropping her voice, "I'm just not supposed to--" And who exactly would forbid it? Janie was still here, still doing what she could, but she wouldn't be out patrolling. And what if she was? Would she tell? Would she add incriminating evidence to Isuelt's court martial case?

"Mrm?" The sound questioned from her throat. "Not supposed to what?"

After a blink, Isuelt leveled her gaze at Katt and slowly let a smile cross her lips. "Nothing." After all, what did the rules matter now anyway?

Katt gave a throaty grunt and stared at Issy. She didn't believe that a lick!

"I can stick to the....the rooftops. Keep out of sight. You know that. It'll be fine." And what if something happened that she did have to apprehend? She was operating outside of the law, her Scathachian ties to the Watch were dissolved, save for Lt. Cullen. And she knew that he'd keep quiet.

"Not suppose to what," was repeated as she didn't let up and had no plans on doing so until she got an answer.

"I was ordered to cease all Scathachian duties. And your patrols are....are in the same vein." Adding a dash of insult to injury. "I'm not just gonna..." She paraphrased Katt, "Just curl up and die because of this. Right?"

She made a face at Issy. "First off..I am not Scathachian. They cannot demand you stop any and all activity just because it is in the same vein. They do not have jurisdiction over Rhydin to demand such a thing. If I employ you, you are a Batten employee, not a Sister. They can kiss my ass if they want to argue it is the same vein. That would be like saying that you can't have a job just because it is the same business. If they give you a hard time over it, they have to bring it up to me, not you. That is the most foolish thing I have ever heard." She was quickly losing any kind of faith she had in the Scath faction. "Curl up and die? Only if you decide to give up and you ain't coward enough to do that."

She held out a hand to Katt. "Well then, I guess you got yourself a deal, boss."

Her hand went to clasp Issy's hand firmly. "Good. I will have a schedule planned out for you. Make sure to go to Batten Tower to pick up your gear. I will make sure Kyle has it ready for when you get there. Mind you, you are also a branch of the Batten Inc and my brother...So...Make sure to be yourself."

Shaking Katt's hand, Isuelt marveled at the turn of events in her life over the past few months.

"The suite is yours, Issy. I am sure Edward would insist as well. So please..do use it. You will need rest for your work. If you need clothes and other things, then I will advance you a paycheck so you can buy things you need with the exclusion of booze. That you can buy on your own time." Standards! Katt has them.
Title: Re:
Post by: Katt Batten on August 05, 2018, 03:35:30 PM
Isuelt nodded to Katt's requirements, finding them fair. "About Kyle..." She shifted her weight slightly as they let go of their handshake. "Don't mention anything to him about...why I'm there? Maybe I wanted a change in direction?" She highly respected Kyle Pontius and wouldn't want him to think less of her.

"I plan on keeping my half of our bargain even if you don't plan on keeping yours. He has no reason to know why you need them and if he asks I will simply tell him they are a gift from me to you. Which is no lie, actually. It was something I had planned on doing for Christmas this year. You are just getting it a bit early. If my brother, or anyone asks, why you are working patrol for Batten Inc, I will tell them that you needed something to fill time. Which again, is no lie."

"Thank you," she nodded deeply to Katt though the Christmas comment caught her off-guard. "Really?" Katt was a pretty good gift-giver. She smiled, marveling at Katt's generosity. She had crumbled before Katt like a house of cards earlier, and now here she was being built up again by the younger Batten.

"You seem surprised." she chuckled quietly, "I gave you a sword, wound ointments, and I thought armor would complete it all." She shrugged slightly as she relaxed her stance some. "However...I will let you know this, Issy. I don't.. normally keep things from my brother and Clayton. In this case I am simply doing so because you asked me. I don't like it but it is also not my place to tell them."

Sighing, she nodded. "Your brother," she stalled. "I'll tell him myself. I promise." She knew the sort of catharsis his confessional had always brought her. In fact, this newest incident was one of the only things she hadn't told him about her life...and that was because he had been MIA. And as he had always been honest with her, she felt she owed him an explanation. Besides, the fact that he wasn't dead or dying was reason enough to celebrate a conversation with him. Especially when she thought she'd never see him again.

"Quite frankly I think you should and I am sure he will feel the same way I do. I mean seriously, Issy. As much as you've done for them. Not only them but for the people of this city. To discard you so easily because of a mistake? To not even give you a chance to redeem yourself? Quite frankly I question them." She didn't want to insult Issy or the Sisters but it was true. She questioned how authentic these sisters cared for each other if one of their own was so quick and easily tossed away. There was even a part of her that was rather inflamed over it but that part was placed on the backburner. For now..

She found the ground strangely interesting suddenly. "It's a bit of a long story, Katt. But...I promise I'll tell you." She glanced up at her new employer. "Don't be so quick to judge them. They acted in the right. They did what they were meant to do. What I would have done." She sighed.

"****, Issy. For people who were supposed to be so close knit and like family, you don't act like that. I don't care if you went bat**** crazy and tried to kill them all." She grunted loudly. "I doubt very little that you could tell me that would change my mind about that. They shouldn't have discarded you. They should have worked with you."

She lowered her voice and said quite matter-of-factly, "I'm awaiting my court martial hearing." She cleared her throat, "Assuming there are any Scathachians left alive after what I did."

She paused for a moment, "Their leaving, I am guessing, is because of you. That also bothers me. That they can so quickly leave and abandon their duties and the people here." She was itching to know, for sure, but still. Leaning a bit she folded her arms and eyed Issy. "Explain? Or do you wish me to wait until you are ready?" Thanks, Issy. Add to the subject of curiosity.

"They did not abandon their duties here. Their duties were fulfilled. They stayed because they wanted to at the time, but..." She swallowed and was not fully ready to tell the whole story. But soon. "They left to go and defend our home against a war that is coming." She looked to Katt. "They left to save what lives they could." She had a knot in the pit of her stomach and it was too painful to continue. Maybe after a few drinks, she'd spill her guts to Katt more than she had already. And tell her the entire story. And after what Katt had just done for her, that night would probably be sooner rather than later.

"Then let me rephrase that. They abandoned a city with people who trusted them with their lives and protection. They just up and left. Not a word to anyone. Even if they went to save lives, Issy, they did abandon their duties here. They withdrew without a single care to anyone in this city. I do understand there is a war coming to them but you do not just go abandoning people without word like that. People who put their lives and trust in you." She exhaled through her nose and shook her head. "And why not ask the people that they have helped for aid against this war? Whatever it is. Rhydin has helped other nations and worlds before. Their methods are questionable, at best."

She nodded to Katt. She understood that it was difficult for outsiders to comprehend the old Scathachian ways, the laws that had stood for millennia. That outsiders could never know the location of their home, much less arrive to aid them in battle. She did not slight Katt one bit. She simply looked up to her friend and smiled softly. "It's okay, Katt. Really."

"Meh." That was her answer to that! "I will await to hear the full story." Just so Issy knew she wanted to hear it. For now she moved on. "Are you able to use electronics? Cell phones and such?"

She bit her bottom lip and wrinkled her nose. "That's all part of the job requirements, huh?" Oh, that learning curve is going to be fun.

"It could be added to the list of equipment but if you aren't able to I surely am not going to force you." She mused quietly as she watched Issy's face. "Unlike my brother I am not completely plugged in."

"I'll learn." She lifted her chin. After all, she loved a challenge.

Well that was unexpected. "Alright then. I will have a cell phone waiting for you with the equipment then. If anything it will allow us to keep in touch with each other in case you need something." She gestured and started to walk. "For now...let's get you to the suite." Because she wasn't going to let Issy go on that front.

And just like that, Isuelt had a roof over her head, the promise of steady income and food, and a purpose. Everything that had been stripped from her for her own foolishness and prideful ways. "And Katt..." For just a moment, words failed her.

She took a few steps but paused and looked over to Issy, "Mrm?"

She blinked and her tongue clicked silently at her teeth. She couldn't find adequate expression for what she felt. She felt as if Katt had just saved her life. She took a deep breath and let it out. "Thank you."

She blinked. Wow Issy was throwing her for loops tonight. Her expression softened and she smiled, something rarely seen. "Don't need to thank me, Issy." She had a feeling Issy might regret thanking her in the future!

"Yes." She quickly answered. "Yes, I do." And quite serious. She swallowed and shuddered, trying to keep her icy-cold exterior intact. However, it faltered for a glistening moment. She sniffed and glanced down, figuring Katt had seen enough of Isuelt's tears to last her a horrified lifetime.

"I am humbled." she offered quietly. "But truly do you think I would be the only one to offer you such a thing? Edward probably would have done the same. Ebon. You have people who care about you, Issy. People who aren't Scath." She didn't want to admit that it killed her seeing Issy like that though. "Now the job is a different story. You are going to be a great help!" She gestured again. "Now come on. It is late and you got a full day tomorrow."

Reaching behind her head, she tightened her ponytail and nodded, following Katt, her new employer. "Yes, ma'am." The smirk was back, by the way.

"Don't call me that!" Was an instant complaint.