• Mature • It Hurts Until It Doesn't

Memory (714). Solo.

Slums that are a chaotic mess of shelters, thrown together and often crumbling into disarray, it is the main residence for the population majority. The streets are rarely patrolled, and usually only during protest riots or other revolution-minded action.

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Vito Rossau
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It Hurts Until It Doesn't

Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:35 am

73 ZI'DA, ARC 714 ⋆ IN THE CELLAR
It smelled of bile and blood and every other manner of things one could excrete. He had never experienced anything like it, as evidenced by his own body’s willingness to rid itself of the meal he had eaten much earlier in the trial. It had been bad enough when the heavy doors of the cellar were thrown open, sending dust and spores of whatever else into the air around them, but as they continued down the little staircase of cracked stone and descended into the cellar below, the sickly scent of gore had quickly become overwhelming.

The contents of his weak, inexperienced stomach had been thrown up as soon as they had reached the final step. All the way down he had held it, with his clammy hand covering his mouth and his mind desperately trying to imagine the deathly scents away, but some things were impossible to ignore. If only the hot, pungent smell had been the largest of items on his list of things to try to ignore, he might have had a chance. But it was not.

A humid heaviness pressed in, down, and all around him. The earthy basement walls of dirt and crumbling stone were wet, dripping condensation in painfully slow rolls to the floor. Though covered with… unidentifiable hides, and worn-out rugs, the ground beneath them was nothing more than packed dirt, and he could have sworn that he felt the heat rising up from below. In the farthest corner of the room, one of the hide rugs had been tossed to the side, and the dirt looked freshly stirred and packed again. If he could have focused on the stale smell of basement mold and dirt… but he could not. He did not. Even if his companions would have allowed him the luxury, he would not have allowed it himself.

He was not weak. He was untrained… he was but a fledgeling, fumbling his way through the dark. He was no longer a child, but not yet a man; he wanted things unachievable now. In the future, he thought, if only he worked hard enough and pushed through the growing pains like these, he would have them. He did not wish for sympathy or pity or lenience, for how it would hinder his surely exponential growth.

His companion standing before him was a poor example of a man. Both of them were, the one before and behind, who escorted the youth from the dark Shanty street to the depths below. One of them twitched and picked at his skin, he could have watched the scabs fall and heal over again if only he looked long enough; the other was a little more subtle in his ways, with a shiftiness that rested only in his dark, dilated gaze. Proper Heaps they were, dressed in the worn-out scraps of the teenager’s own attire. It was a surprise in itself, to him, that they had not robbed him blind.

The man that had led their way down the stairs – the twitchy one called Esau – raised a shaky hand and motioned towards the center of the room. A chair sat before a single glowing bloodlight. A man sat upon the chair, face hidden, unconscious. Two others sat at his sides just the same.

“Ourrr latest arrivallls,” Esau’s tongue rolled and stuck on the syllables it liked best. His voice was not quite nasally, but it was bothersome enough on its own.

“Asssssleep, ‘s you can ssee.”

Esau’s teeth remained firmly planted together in a smile even as he laughed, and the sound was breathy and lacking mirth. “Llllllazy lazy bugs,” he laughed, and flicked his wrist in a directionless flop of his bony hand. He was tall, for a human, and his thin skin stretched over his prominent skeletal frame, gaunt and sharp. His flighty gaze found the teenager and glanced between him and the vomit he had left upon the floor at the stairs.

“Gonna… a… cleean thad’up?”

“Why would I–”

The words broke off into a cough. He pulled at the collar of his shirt to cover his mouth as he did so, but it barely touched the overpowering scents that had filled his throat. Voice muffled through the fabric of his shirt, he said, “why would I cl-clean it up when there is more of it everywhere else?”

This seemed to puzzle Esau. The human’s jaw jutted outward as he scratched at his patchy stubble, and his eyes scanned the floor. “Well tha’s ourrs, tha’s why!”

They stared at each other for a long trill. If it had been intended as a joke, it had not been made clear enough to the young biqaj. “That is ridiculous,” he restated in simpler terms, green eyes glaring hard enough to bore holes into the twitchy man’s head. “Show me what I came here for.”
word count: 843
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Vito Rossau
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Re: It Hurts Until It Doesn't

Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:20 am

73 ZI'DA, ARC 714 ⋆ IN THE CELLAR
“Aszzz you wish,” the twitchy man dipped his head and waved his arms in a mocking bow. The human waved onward to the center of the humid room, and as he picked up his bony feet and moved, he glanced back at the youth with an air of suspicion. “Wha’s your name again?”

The man walking behind him coughed with an open mouth. Green eyes narrowed, and he considered the question for a trill. “Vito,” he replied. His mouth was still covered by his shirt, but it was stretching out the fabric, and he would not hold onto it much longer. It would serve him well if he could learn to overcome these things, and though the strong smell of bile and blood only worsened as they neared the occupied center of the cellar room, he let go of his shirt and let it fall back to his neck.

A gag was withheld. He would do this, if he wanted to be worth the effort that had been put into him – if he wanted to prove that he could be of more use to the Theocratum than just another participant in service. As they approached the seated, unconscious figures and his eyes traced over their forms entirely, Vito recognized the lines carved into their skin, red and gelled over with coagulated blood. They were hastily done, or looked as if perhaps the person who had done them had not quite remembered what they were supposed to look like.

“The mark of repentance,” commented the biqaj in his slow, serpentine voice. He lifted his gaze from the men – the bloodied sinners – and looked to humans with an eyebrow raised.

“Why them? What have they done to warrant punishment if they have already earned their marks?”

“Ahh, seeee…”

Esau swiped his sweaty hand back over his thinning hair. He shrugged a shoulder and motioned between himself and his quieter companion. “Not suure we’re suppos’a do that. We jus’ like th’ way it looksss, ya know? Wha’s it called again? You said… repnetanse?”

“Repentance.”

“Re..renen… huh?”

The twitchy man stared at him expectantly. He expected for Vito to repeat the word. Vito expected him to move the fuck on already, and stayed quiet.

“Anywaaay…” Esau looked back to the humans and reached out. He grabbed the one in the center by the hair, long and dark and scraggly. A bit of jostling and the man began to stir, awoken from his daze with a few hesitant, weary blinks. He looked from one man to the next in a clear state of confusion, before something seemed to register, and a sharp intake of breath preceded his attempt to start thrashing in his seat. Arms bound, he was stuck to the chair – but his mouth was uncovered, and he began to shout and curse and spit at all three of them.

Both of the humans began to laugh. The shifty one was a little quieter, but a little breathier than Esau. Vito’s glare was narrowed, and the green of his irises shifted to a bright magenta hue.

“How can you stand to listen to this?”

His hand shot forward to cover the man’s mouth. He continued to thrash and fight against his bindings, and after a trill, Vito felt his lips move against his fingers, and a sharp, sudden pain suddenly shot through them. “Ow! What the–”

Vito pulled back his hand and stared incredulously at the bloody half-moon left behind by the man’s teeth. The humans’ laughter only grew. Had they no respect? He did to the man what he wanted to do to them both – he reeled back his arm, swung forward, and slapped him across the face as hard as he could.

Knocked free from the hit, two bloody teeth were spat from the man’s mouth. Vito could not even try to keep himself from gagging at the sight of it. He managed to step to the side and turn away before he retched, and threw up what little had remained in his weak stomach. It splattered over the strange leather hide beneath his feet, and he heaved again, but there was nothing left to spew. Tears rushed forth to his peach-toned eyes from the strain.

“Ohoho, y’ got ‘em!” exclaimed Esau with a delighted clap of his hands, “loosened thoses up yeeestertrial. We was waiting to see thems falllll out.”

Vito did not bother with a response. He pulled in ragged breaths and closed his eyes, leaned over with his hands on his knees. He could do this… he could do this… it was all just blood and bile. And teeth. He covered his mouth as another gag threatened in his throat.

“You ohhhkay?”

A jittery hand came to rest upon his shoulder. Vito jerked away from it and straightened back to his full height. He wiped his mouth with the back of his bitten hand, and then finally turned back to face the other occupants of the dank cellar, glowering at all five of them. “Just get to it,” he requested, though it was more in line with a demand. “I am sick of wasting time.”

“Looks like yer sickkk from more th’n that,” the twitchy man joked, but Vito’s sour look twisted his mood. “Yesss fine. Jakob, ffffetch the goods. Tooools. Eheheheh.”

With some sense of composure regained, the young biqaj stepped closer. While Jakob moved away from them to presumably go and find the requested tools, Esau crossed his arms and let his dilated gaze survey Vito in a casual sweep. “Saaay… you said you’s with the bleeders? What're you wanting to learn this for?”

The bleeders. The term had never sat right with him. Vito lifted his chin and ignored the overpowering smells of the room to just say, “I am furthering my faith.”

Stepping back to the other side of Esau, in front of the tied-up human, Jakob returned with a coarse, heavy bag. For the first time since Vito had met the strange humans, the shifty one spoke, and his voice was low and smooth.

“We start with the legs. You’re our guest… so you do it. We say how.”
word count: 1065
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Vito Rossau
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Re: It Hurts Until It Doesn't

Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:00 am

73 ZI'DA, ARC 714 ⋆ IN THE CELLAR
Bones were a lot easier to break apart than he had thought. One could not be too forceful with them, or too direct, lest they simply crack at the surface. There was no denying that, with enough blunt force, one could achieve full destruction… but Vito was not strong enough for that. He was better off finding the right angles and joints, according to the odd wisdom and experience of Jakob and Esau, and doing what he could from there. “Angles and joints at all the right points,” or something close to that, but heavily slurred to the point that he was only assuming that that was what had been said.

Jakob had said to do the legs first. In reality, he meant the feet. Pale and gaunt and dirty, Vito had struggled at first to even look at them. When he had to touch them, it was all he could do not to throw up again. He asked himself what made them any different from the hands – just as dirty and bony and cold as the feet – and he tried to tell himself that they were just the same. Shorter fingers connected to a longer palm. Hands at the ends of two legs, that was all they were. One by one, the brothers stood above him and directed him as he dealt with each toe. One by one, they broke. One by one, he learned how to tear a scream from a dying man’s throat.

Too hard he pulled them. Too slow. Esau was loud as he called out the mistakes of the struggling youth; his brother was quiet and calculated in response. Try it in one foul swoop, kid, like this– and Jakob knelt down beside him to show him exactly what he meant. Quick. Jakob was quick, and confident, and Vito wished to be the same. All of that skill, hidden away in such a quiet, disgraceful mold of a man. He hated it.

From the bruised and broken feet, he was directed upward and over the legs. At some point the heretic’s throat ran dry of its screams and shouts, and left nothing but a faint scratching groan that eventually descended into silence. The other men seated to his sides remained quiet throughout the torturous endeavor, something that had confused Vito at first until Esau provided explanation:

“Theyyy knows not’a screech like ‘im,” and he pointed to the unconscious heretic, “elsewise they wanna gets poked toooo!”

Reasonable. Vito agreed that it was perfectly reasonable, and carried on as they directed him, though his clothes stuck to his body with sweat and his stomach ached from the smells. He had long ago thrown up the last of whatever had remained in his stomach, but it did not stop the dry heaves of his skinny form when he could not help but gag. His methods were far from graceful, and farther still from efficient, but they were, at the very least, effective. Legs, and arms, and ribs – what he could not break, he bruised, and his swollen fists were the evidence of his painful inexperience.

Muddy collections of silvery-blue scattered beneath his skin where he earned bruises across his own form. It was not until a deep, burning pain in his thumb stole his attention that he paused from his lesson.

“Fuck,” he said first, and then his voice raised to a shout as he held onto the injured thumb. “Fuck! I broke it!”

“Lemme sssseee,” Esau pushed his brother out of the way to come closer. Vito turned away from him, holding his hands out of reach. “No! Do not touch it. Just tell me what to do.”

He could practically feel the older man’s confusion radiating off of him. Scratching at his chin, the twitchy human replied, “weeeell… could wrap it, ‘f ya want.”

Oh, it was painful. It hurt so much that he could almost imagine crying.

“Show me how to do that,” Vito demanded, still turned away from Esau.

“I looook like a doctor t’ you?”

Well what the fuck had he suggested it for, then? A strangled sound escaped Vito’s throat, a mixture of anger and pain. He held a little tighter to his hand, but it lessened the pain for only a moment, before it flooded back into the broken thumb. Shaking his head, the youth kicked at the centermost heretic’s chair. He wanted to continue. He did not want to deal with a stupid broken thumb, not when he was not sure that he would be able to return soon. It was risky enough visiting now, and many breaks had passed since he had told Tribunal Adelina that he would be leaving to run errands.

“I have to go.” His voice shook, and the deep green of his eyes lightened into a gem-toned azure blue. What would Adelina say, when she saw him like this? Disheveled and sweaty and injured – but she was the only one that would fix it for him, he was certain of that. Vito took a deep breath, shut his eyes for a trill, and then turned back around to face the humans.

He bowed his head. He never did that. He was only too embarrassed to do anything else.

Quickly stepping past them, Vito added, “I will return. When I can. Find another favor to ask of me – anything, I will do it. Just bring me back and teach me more.”

It sounded desperate. It was desperate. It was exactly why he did not look back at them again, but kept his azure gaze forward and his silver-dusted, pointed ears held high. It was a dangerous promise to make with such men; it was one that he had already made before, and would surely make again. Vito let go of his injured hand to cling to the railing instead, if only to pull himself faster up the stairs and out of the dark and dismal cellar.

He would learn. He would improve. He would force himself to.
word count: 1033
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Re: It Hurts Until It Doesn't

Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:50 am

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Vito:

Knowledge:
Resistance x1
Intimidation x2
Torture x3

Loot: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: A broken thumb.
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.

Points: 10
- - -
Comments: My first Vito thread (I think)! You described Vito’s entering the cellar and his reaction to the smell and the things happening there in detail. I had no trouble envisioning what it was like. The NPCs were fitting for such a scenario and well-realized. I haven’t read a lot of threads that take place in Quacia yet, so this was interesting (I also enjoy reading threads that feature a bit of violence every now and then).

Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 114

Mutations

Crimson lines on the back of both hands.

Sesser

Ever Alluring I: The bearer has an enhanced constitution, staying strong and healthy in conditions where others would wilt and fall ill. Scars never remain, disease rarely seems to visibly touch the bearer, and he/she recovers from injuries much faster than the average member of their race. The bearer seems to age more slowly, though the effect is superficial rather than biological. In addition, everyone encountered is subconsciously attracted to the bearer, even those of incompatible sexual orientation. Those of alternate tastes may not feel compelled to flirt or pursue the marked, but the spark of incomprehensible arousal, however slight, is there all the same.

Worn Items

Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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