• Closed • We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

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

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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:37 pm

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"Tell me about Xiur, Padraig?" She'd asked, as they worked in the workshop / morgue they were just about to step out from. They'd had the time to talk, not least because they were both very thorough people and they had a job to do. They both knew why she asked; she needed to hear his voice, to be reminded of who they were, what they did.

The laboratory behind them was truly destroyed. Faith and Padraig had found themselves, taken literally from their beds and held here in the Scalvoris mountains. There, they had been in the same underground cells where Faith had been held previously. Having escaped from there, they'd been attacked by strange reanimated creatures in the laboratory they'd found which was obviously for experimentation on people. The things which had attacked them were very dead - again - and had been cut up into pieces in order to stop them from being reanimated. Whilst she had done that, Padraig had done everything he could to equip them from the laboratory itself. He'd performed some alchemy on the fly and he'd made sure that they both had footwear. "If we wrap bandages around our feet first, then the harder material gets held in place by further wrapping," she said, with a slight smile at him, "it stops the hard leather from hurting our feet." She didn't tell him how she knew, she didn't need to, but then he knew that of all of her, it was her feet which had taken the longest to heal. Either wearing shoes which did not fit or walking barefoot had taken an enormous toll. Moseke's healing meant that there were no scars on the soles of her feet any more, but there had been. Hard leather pressed against their feet in this circumstance would rub and hurt. The bandages would help.

She'd given him her blood in there, so that he could keep himself warm. They were both wearing the clothes they'd worn to bed. In her case a simple short night shift, in his case pajamas which were made with the technique she had leaned in sewing, making the clothing warm and comfortable. But the temperatures out here were below frigid and a needlecraft technique wasn't going to do it, so she was glad he'd done that.

"They are, or have been, experimenting on people," Faith said, slipping her hand into his for just a moment. "Either they're all dead, in which case we're likely to be meeting a lot of animated corpses, or there are some still alive." That might well mean a rescue, of course and she wished that she could know for sure, but she couldn't. She was afraid, there was no doubting it, but Padraig was being his usual self; calm and stoic, sometimes teasing to make her smile.

Outside, the storm was raging. This far up it would be worse, much worse than it had been in the low-laying grounds of Scalvoris Town and so they would need to strategise. With a final glance back at the room, she turned to him and breathed in, putting her fear into her hands. "What shall we do when we get out there?" Out there, of course, was the storm. The winds and the flying shards of ice. She felt her nerve start to give way and looked at him to see what their next step was.
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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:30 pm

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"He didn't stay long," Padraig considered, remembering his conversation with the Immortal Xiur, as he looked up from his work. "There wasn't much time to speak. He seemed, I don't know, humble I guess. He wanted to know when I first became interested in the stars. He told me the stars were there even before him." Almost as if, Padraig added, the Immortal himself might be interested in knowing what the scientist was able to discover about his own domain. "Or maybe he was just humoring me," he concluded with a slight grin.

As for the makeshift shoes, there was no question that Faith would be better at fashioning them than him. Padraig suspected she could fashion a ballgown out of a burlap sack, so she'd have no problem with the meager supplies that he'd found. And they might as well be the most expensive boots he could afford. To finally have a protective barrier between his feet and the bare ground, was a huge relief.

Were there others like them somewhere in the place? Certainly there had been, though Padraig wasn't prepared to hazard a guess as to what had become of them. "If they're still alive, there's no telling where they are." The other cages where they'd been, after all, had been empty. So what should they do when they got outside? "I'm not sure," he considered. "Alexander didn't bring us here just to let us walk right out again. In all likelihood there's some sort of trap awaiting us out there. If there's not, then he'll certainly follow and we ought to consider setting a trap of our own."
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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:24 pm

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As she went about what she was doing, and he did the same, the spirits in the room continued to crowd around and Faith looked up a few times and frowned. "Husband," she said, quietly and with a glance at him. "I think we might have an issue. Other than all those we know about. There are a disproportionate number of siblings, and a very disproportionate number of twins around us right now." Turning to look at him again, Faith gave a slight raise of her eyebrow and then carried on with what she was doing. "I just thought you might find it scientifically interesting as a fact." He knew her too well for her to hide what she was thinking or feeling, not that she would try anyhow, so Faith just spoke it. "I'm too busy being worried about you and I and our children to add in worried about Morana." Her twins name. "She calls herself Leech. I dreamed with her once."

She agreed though, as they tied their makeshift shoes up, that there was likely to be a trap of some kind brewing here. Whatever kind of trap he wanted to rig, she was happy to help, but that was very much his department. Unless, she quipped, he wanted her to pretend to be dead. That, she could do, but it seemed a little over dramatic in the circumstance.

Once they stepped outside the storm raged around them, whipping their hair and clothes and making communication almost impossible verbally. Thankfully, they didn't need words and, if they did, Padraig's mark from Yvithia certainly helped there. As soon as they were outside, Faith put her hand in his. The winds were strong enough for her to be worried about being lifted off her feet. Whilst she was very aware that she had not yet returned to the shape she was pre-pregnancy, Faith was still and would always be, a tiny person. So, she held on to him and looked around as best they could. There were other buildings, but the one right next to theirs was, literally, right next to it and also was the same shape and size. She tugged his arm and pointed that way with a questioning look on her face.

Her reasoning was simple. If there were prisoners, they'd seem more likely to be there. If the building served the same function, that was. So, they had their scalpels and saws, and that was very much her suggestion for where they went.
Last edited by Faith on Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 436
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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:03 pm

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Of all the things to worry about, when it came to the differences between those still living and those who weren't, Faith's twin sister who Padraig had never once met or seen, was fairly down the rank on his list. He frowned darkly as Faith enlightened him as to the nature of the ghosts, some of them, but merely nodded. "It may be one more reason why Alexander is so fixated on you, and might be in regards to our children too," he admitted.

"But it can hardly make him any more of a danger to us than he was already." Meaning that no matter the man's fixation on twins or lack thereof, it made no difference. He needed to be destroyed. Bot the scientist that Padraig was, and the man, agreed on that point.

To say the weather outdoors was a challenge, was an understatement. The wind howled, whipping at them and creating clouds of snow that stung exposed flesh and made seeing just a yard in front of them difficult. At least any tracks they made by walking through the snow, would be immediately covered up again. Padraig wasn't foolish enough to think that Alexander couldn't track them regardless. But anything that made it more difficult, was a good thing.

So when Faith tugged on his sleeve and gestured towards a nearby building, Padraig nodded and keeping hold of her arm, headed that way. Before stepping inside however, he made sure that he'd go first and took one of his makeshift weapons in hand, a scalpel fashioned into a dagger, just in case as he quietly as possible, pushed the door open.
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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:44 pm

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That it might be why Alexander was so fixated on her was something Faith could comprehend in an entirely intellectual way, yet in truth, even that was hard. That he might have any thought at all about their children? It made her want to kill. Not figuratively, not metaphorically, she just wanted to kill this creature who had haunted them for so long now. She said nothing, but her face spoke volumes as he said that and she focused on just putting one foot in front of the other foot and getting home. Home to the babies they needed to get home to. "Indeed," she replied when he pointed out that it made no difference and her only thought on it was simple. "Just like it won't make him any less dead when we're done." Brave words considering how terrified she was, but thoughts of her twin, of why Alexander was doing this and the almost physical pain she felt at the thought of those two tiny beings back home was enough.

Outside, it was impossible, but they had to make their way through and Faith held on to Padraig as they looked around. Agreeing on their destination, she had to admit to a feeling of dread at the thought of this. Where was he? He was watching, she was sure. Maybe he was doing this so that they would perform in some way, or because this was some kind of test. Faith felt more than frustrated, she recognised that hopeless was closer to it, but that swapped with furious and determined too. Glancing at him as he stepped forward, there in the biting wind with the ice hitting them, Faith felt a swell of emotion which would be impossible to hide even if they didn't feel what the other felt. Loved and protected, she did not doubt that they would be successful in that moment, because anything else was simply not acceptable. It didn't last long but in that movement of his, she felt that all would be alright.

Pushing open the door, the place was quiet. No growl of dogs met them, no vicious animal or construct of death greeted them with teeth and claws. They walked into a room, as large as the workshop / laboratory and also with a door at the far end. If it followed the same layout, that would lead down to the long corridor. But in this room were not tables and benches, no tools or equipment. Instead, there were cages. Rows of them, each one of them small, just big enough for a person. The individual in there wouldn't be able to lay flat, would have to sleep curled up or sitting.

And each cage had a person in it.

Bedraggled, undoubtedly freezing considering they were wearing what appeared to be smocks made from cotton. Bare footed and bedraggled, there must be thirty people in the room. Judging by the physical state of them, there were a number of things they could work out. Faith drew an in breath and then put her hand in Padraig's. The people there, in the cages, they did not speak, many of them did not even look up. There were men, women and children there, judging by the state of them they'd been there some time. All of them were thing, ragged and dirty. Faith squeezed his hand and spoke softly. "We need to find the keys," she said. "And find out what's through that door, too."
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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:59 pm

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So Alexander had a penchant for twins, and so far as Padraig was concerned, it was neither here nor there. Except for the possibility that had Faith not been a twin, the man might not be quite as interested. But that was no matter either. The fact remained that he was. And neither of them needed to say it. Neither he or Faith were the bloodthirsty sort. And yet in this case, neither of them would hesitate to kill the man. In fact if it was otherwise, they'd be long gone from this place by now. Except that neither was the running kind, either.

It was strange though. They'd gotten out of the cell, eliminated the dog like abominations and found their way outdoors. And now Padraig felt as if they were in more danger, more exposed than before. He wasn't sure why, except for the sense that in all likelihood, they were being watched. Toyed with even. When they pushed open the door of the next building over, he was even more unnerved. He'd gone in, makeshift weapon at the ready yet there was nothing to do battle with. No watchdogs, no traps, no nothing except rows and rows of cages filled with humanity.

"He wants us to come here," he whispered to Faith. So how could they begin to do what Alexander wasn't expecting them to? At any rate, the sorry state of the individuals in the cells implied that either they'd lost hope entirely, or their minds had been meddled with enough that they failed to respond to the notion that others were present. At any rate, he'd brought along a number of tools from the morgue that could double as a lock pick, and so he began working away at the cell doors, one lock at a time.

And while he was doing it? Something about it all continued to bother him, to tug at the back of his mind. It was bad enough, the situation they'd found themselves in. But there was something else. "This is too easy," he said, almost whispered to Faith. "Way too easy. I can't help the sense that somehow it's a trap and he's watching us. That he knew we'd come out in the open, then find this place." What was he suggesting then?
That they do the unexpected and head back in. Because surely, in there somewhere was something they'd managed to miss or overlook.
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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:28 pm

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He wanted them to come here? Faith frowned at that thought and she looked at him with concern. He was right, she knew he was. They were being led here and yet, what they could they do? Did he think that they should go out and go on to the next building? It might be that they should, but the people here, how could they do anything except this? And that, of course, was when he turned to her and said, this was too easy. She was trying to pick the lock of one of the cages, speaking in a low tone to the person in there. Yet, both by virtue of the Immortal marks they both had and due to the very basic facts of them Faith could feel how uncomfortable he was and she realised something. Last time she'd felt him this uncomfortable, she had ignored it and moved to the man outside the restaurant. That had led to her being snatched up in the street, a carriage ride straight from the beneath and a fight to the death, the end result of which was the birth of their babies. She looked up, a deep frown on her face as Padraig spoke to her and she nodded. He was right. He was completely and utterly right. "We are being predictable," she said and, taking his hand she stepped away with him. As they moved out, Faith could not help but glance back at the poor souls they left behind and she had every intention of reassuring the woman that they'd be back. Yet, as she turned to look, she caught sight of the woman in the cage - she looked no different than she had, ragged and haggard, but it was her eyes which caused Faith to stop her words and just get out of there.

Once they were out, the weather was such that anyone standing next to them would be hard pressed to hear them and Faith grabbed him and tugged his head down to hers. "You're right. I looked back and Padraig, the woman in the cage I was working on, she was watching us and she had hatred in her eyes." She spoke into his ear, wrapping her arms around him as though she was upset and in need of comfort. "Maybe they'd have waited until all the cages were open. Or maybe only the first few were locked. You were right. We have to hurry." Since she was there, she kissed him quickly and her silver eyes looked at him, resolute and afraid. So, she spoke what she needed to in order to give her courage as she held on to his hand. "Only you, for me." It was their way of saying a hundred things and she needed to say it. Having done so, they could get back in from the freezing cold.

Which they did, quickly enough. Back into the place where they had woken up. Of course, neither of them had questioned, then, why they were in here on their own. She had been before, after all. But maybe this time it was for a reason and so they set about properly exploring the place where they had been held. And at the far end of the corridor, the other end to where the exit was, there they both spotted an area of the floor where the stone was worn. Looking at it, they could make out a door, just visible in the wall but well hidden. It took a few moments for them to find the mechanism, but there was a bar on the closest cell which, when he turned it, opened the door a crack. And then a crack more.

And there, brightly lit (so much so that at first it might well make them blink in surprise, so used to the darkness down here), were a set of stairs. Down there? Assuming they made their way down, Faith stayed behind him but she was worried and was not far behind at all. Before they went in, she used the scalpel to make a small cut on her hand, forging him a sword from the cold ectoplasm which she could control. She did the same for herself, but as she finished, she looked at him and smiled, her face pale. "No more of that for me," she whispered. She needed to build her reserves back up, she explained. There was no doubting that she was pushing herself physically, but she had no option and so she pulled on every ounce of endurance she had and walked behind him.

Into a well lit, well equipped, fully functioning mad man's lab. Where a pair of identical twins were laying on beds, side by side and connected by all sorts of tubes and other accoutrements, both of them obviously on the verge of death or already there but with a familiar figure bending over them, his back to the two Augustins who had, it seemed, done something surprising.
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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:21 pm

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The more Padraig thought about it logically, and resolved, additionally, to listen to his, the more convinced he was that he and Faith were walking into a trap. To the extent that they were probably expected to have broken out of their cell in the first place. It wasn't just a matter of Alexander watching him, he thought. The man was toying with them, and so far they'd made the job an easy one.

Once he and Faith agreed that this place wasn't where they should be, the task not what they should be doing, he did something he never would have expected he would. It just wasn't his nature. He'd just managed to pick the lock on the very first cage, but frowning deeply, he locked the door again before the person inside could think of coming out. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "We'll be back." But would they? There was something else bothering him about these people and until Faith mentioned the glare from one of them, he hadn't been sure what it was.

"It doesn't make sense you know, to think they've been in there like that for very long," he suggested. They might have been expected to think it was the case, but somehing just wasn't right. "They've got no blankets, their clothing is rags at best. Out here? If they'd been there very long, and aren't already dead..." Undead, he meant. "They'd have died from exposure withing a few trials." At any rate now they were headed back to where they'd started, and beyond, exploring, looking for something, or someone.

Neither of them was the type to overlook the subtle things. Her expertise in medicine and his in other sciences predisposed them for noticing what others would easily miss. The trick though, once discovering the hidden passage, was discovering how to open it. And in fact Padraig had only discovered it by accident while standing back in frustration, with his hand wrapped round a bar for support. Then again, some of the greatest discoveries in history might happen by accident.

So down they went into a brightly lit area, and too bad it wasn't suns'light. He could have drawn a weapon out of it and saved Faith the sacrifice of making him one from blood. Clearly though Alexander hadn't expected them to venture further into his tower...unless this too was a trap. Always a possibility, he knew. Alexander might have underestimated the two of them, but Padraig wasn't willing to do the same in return. The lab was a fully functioning one, Immortals only knew what went on there.

They'd gone in quietly, and clearly the man was absorbed in whatever he was doing, or he'd have noticed or heard them. Glancing at Faith and wanting to take advantage of what little opportunity they had to catch Alexander by surprise, Padraig handed Faith his sword to hold, brought out one of the handheld explosives he'd created earlier, lit it, waited for must the right trill, and threw it right at Alexander. Then, because he knew the 'not quite alive' nature of their adversary, he also knew that the injuries from being blown into several bits might not be permanent; Padraig took back his sword.
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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:45 pm

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When he explained his theory on the people they had left behind, Faith looked at him with serious silver eyes and she nodded. "I'm afraid," she admitted. There was no harm to saying it, he already knew anyhow and saying it gave it less potency over her. "I feel braver than I would if you weren't here, but I'm in a nightgown and I want to hold my babies." Faith was determined, there was no doubt about that but this situation was such that she felt close to overwhelmed. So, she put her hand into his and trusted that it would be alright, that they would see the babies and that all would be alright.

Because he was right.

This had all been too easy, too linear. Those people pulled at her heart strings the way the man outside the restaurant had and Faith had, she decided, had enough of it. No more, now, she was done being led in circles by Alexander. Because where he led her, he led him and she wasn't putting up with it any more. Her resolve was apparent, but she did very much wish that she hadn't elected for the short cotton night slip. From now on, Faith determined, she was going to sleep fully clothed just in case. As they worked together, looking for a way in, she mumbled quietly to him. "I'm going to invent night-armour. Full body outfits, toes to ear-dimples, which cover and provide armour."

Her expression turned wide eyed when they found the door and yet, although she was pale from the loss of blood and ectoplasm, she smiled as his hand twisted one of the bars. One eyebrow raised and there was no doubt that she knew it had been an accident. Still, she said nothing, simply touched her hand against his, just once, as they made their way.

It was brightly lit, though it didn't seem to be flickering or anything. Faith wondered how he managed that and she dismissed the thought from her head. Really, sometimes, she considered that her mind was a very foolish place to live. But he hadn't seen them and Faith took the sword from Padraig without a word. Perhaps before, some other time, she might have tried to stop him from throwing what she knew would cause damage to not just him but the two he was working on. But they were already dead, she could see that and she knew that every trill against this creature, this monster was vital. So, she turned her eyes away as an enormous boom shook the place. What had he put in there? The force of it rocked them both and she handed back his sword as he reached for it.

The dust and debris cleared, and damn him to the beneath but Alexander was standing, still, turning to look at them. Not to say that Padraig's explosive had done nothing, because the creature was missing one arm and half his face, but it just didn't stop him. He snarled, his clothes more or less torn off his top half by the explosion, revealing the scar over his heart. Or where his heart had been. He didn't hesitate, grabbing the sword which was by his side and moving to them, his focus on slicing Padraig across from his left shoulder diagonally down to his right side. Alexander's moves were speedy, efficient and he was a far, far superior swordsman to Faith, she recognised it immediately.

Which meant that his moves were so fast that, as Faith moved to defend, she knew that she was too slow to stop him. However, the serious scholar who was her husband was an entirely different story in terms of skill levels.
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We'll give you freedom from the human trap (Pt. ii)

Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:30 pm

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Faith was frightened, and so was he. For Padraig, much more than for himself it was the fear of letting her down, not being able to protect her. After all, she'd been taken twice before. He'd done a lousy job of it to this point. But this time? He'd destroy Alexander once and for all, or die trying. And if that was to happen, then he'd find a way to reach out from the grave and do it. "Soon," he promised her as they explored the halls and secret passageways. Soon she'd be safe at home, cradling her babies in her arms.

He grinned a little when she suggested night armor however. It certainly would have come in handy this time. "Armor plated pajamas? I like it," he teased. But he wasn't laughing when they found Alexander, and he lit and threw the explosive. Now maybe it was the fact that the thing went off indoors, surrounded by stone walls, or maybe his ingredients had been more potent than ever before...or more concentrated. In either case, the extent of the blast took even him by surprise, and he'd created the thing. It should have been enough to blow a man to bits, and anyone else standing nearby him.

And yet somehow, when the smoke cleared and only the smell of sulfur remained int he air, there Alexander was. He was missing some of himself, other parts were mangled. But there he was nonetheless, and he was coming fast with a sword he'd seemed to pull out of thin air. But Padraig, having learned the lesson last time around, was ready for him. Faith might not be able to stop Alexander's charge completely, but at the least she'd slow him down, even distract him a little. So using that knowledge to his advantage, while Faith moved, so did Padraig. Alexander would have to knock away Faith's blade if he could, so while he was at it, Padraig swept his blade in a wide arc, meaning to slice the man's head cleanly off his shoulders.
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