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#7351 Edited by Kaede_ (205 posts) - - Show Bio

@gale_xanders: @renegade84: @_gaige_: @the_custodian:

One of the first things Lizzy had done when Kaede had met her was to tease her for her lack of video game knowledge. She'd admitted she didn't have any experience in that area. She also didn't have a lot of experience with reading - other than what was assigned in school - nor with watching television. Kaede played outside. Superheroes and supervillains were all vague faces to her, some half-recognized, most not. The woman looked like one of those who was vaguely familiar, but Kaede wasn't going to be able to place her.

She opened with laconic commentary and half-unveiled threats. Kaede was almost nervous for a moment, but glanced over at the Custodian and then relaxed. No. I don't know who this person is, but the Custodian brought us here, and I trust her. She wouldn't bring us into danger. This is just talking. Seeing how we react.

She knows a bit about us. Kaede wasn't sure whether to find that worrisome or flattering. Maybe a bit of both, really. No one ever knew who she was... although she wasn't entirely sure about being called a "hatchling," whatever that was. Her sisters used to call her odd names she didn't understand either. Most of them were references to shows Kaede hadn't watched, or books she hadn't read. It is only an insult if you let it be one. Let it go. I know who I am.

She smiled a little bit, watching the watcher. I don't think she's from around here. Hm... something a little exotic. She folded her hands together in front of her. Neuromind had crushed her lily. She had tried not to show it, but that had hurt. She'd tried to be nice, but he... he hadn't wanted her to be nice, she didn't think. She didn't know what he had wanted, but she didn't think it was kindness. She hoped he had someone to be kind to him - she thought he needed kindness, whether he wanted it or not. But that was neither here nor there.

No Caption Provided

Nor was she going to let one mishap ruin her day. Or her life. Or her self. I am stronger than that.

She stepped forward, calmly. "Hello. Are you the Custodian's friend? It's nice to meet you. This is for you. I don't know if you like pretty things, or what you consider pretty, but I do. Americans call it a camellia, which I always thought was a stupid name, but in Japan it's called tsubaki. The word is a little harsher, but I think it suits better. And sometimes, harsh things are beautiful."

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#7352 Edited by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

The night was cold and wet, the skies a dull, stormy grey from which rain emerged. Gusts of wind lightly swayed the peaks of the looming trees. Precipitation permeated the clusters of branches and leaves, some of which trickled down on Robin, whom sat against a dead tree stump near a small clearing amid the mossy forest.

He wore a sleeveless, smoky grey leather jacket and dark cargo pants, with a quiver full of arrows and a longbow at his side resting against the tree stump. He didn't appear to be awake, motionless with his eyes shut. But in truth, he heard everything; every drop of rain, every little rustle near the clearing, every cool draft of air. None of it bothered him. On the contrary, the nature was more peaceful than any dwelling. Allowed for more ruminations.

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#7353 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

A twig snapped near the motionless man, and should he look up he'd see a curious red wolf. Curious described both my physical appearance and my mood that night. I looked every bit the wolf, as that's what my body had become in one of the stormy night's many mood swings. I'd already been an owl, a doe, and a bobcat, but had eventually settled into wolf form. It was apparent there was something different about me, however. This was a hard thing to put a finger on, as, besides my red coat, there was little difference between myself and the average timber wolf. But the strangeness was there for all to notice, with me just as with the odd scent I was following, part man and part wolf. I accidentally snapped a twig following it towards the resting creature ahead, and now watched with erect ears and bright eyes, ready to bolt if he woke or seemed to notice me.

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#7354 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

The twig snapped and Robin's ears twitched where he rested. A cold bead of rain trickled down his forehead. For a moment, he stirred, his eyes open as he sniffed. Once. Twice. Again. Discerning the new scent that had wafted past his keen nose, akin to a wolf.

He blinked several times over. Then, the man closed his eyes once again, allowing himself to slip back into pseudo-nap. The rain beat harder against the trees. A low rumble resounded in the clouds. Once more, the noise didn't bother him.

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#7355 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

His movement drew my muscles tighter than a bowstring, but what he did pulled my curiosity tighter. He sniffed the air, smelling for me rather than looking as most men would. Laying my ears nervously back just a little, I stepped silently out of the tree line and froze again, caution obvious and interest hidden. He had a strange scent, like age and wolf and grief. I can't say how I can smell the last; it was very old but an emotion with which I myself was rather familiar. I stood as still as a lupine statue and watched him for movement, trying to decide whether to approach or leave him.

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#7356 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

Rare was it that a wolf ever posed any sort of threat. Rather, the sharp, predatory creatures were commonly indifferent to him, a few over the centuries having proved to be loyal companions to him.

Robin merely grunted in his rest, mind drifting through a myriad of recollections in this state of semi-consciousness. He could almost see images flashing before him, pieces darting in and out of thought; memories with no rhyme or rhythm, and no effort to make sense of them all. He muttered something, something unintelligible, but had yet to acknowledge the wolf drawing ever closer.

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#7357 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

Something was faintly familiar about him. I knew I'd never seen him in my long life, but something drew me to him. It wasn't predatory hunger. Not only was I in no mood to fight tonight, but my sharp senses picked up wolf in him. Of all the morals for me to pick up, it was that a lone wolf never attacked another except in defense. It sounds odd but it's the truth.

Was that it, I wondered as I grew closer. Was it that I recognized another lone traveller in the forest? No, no, I realized slowly as I watched his sleep like movements. It wasn't his singularity, as a wolf with no pack as I was. Rather it was the muttering, the rest from a long and weary road. Not necessarily age, but small pain that could only be seen by one who feels it. Grief, alongside his loneliness. A kindred spirit. I continued approaching deliberately and quietly lest I disturb his rest.

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#7358 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

Another low rumble through the clouds. A breeze rustled through the small clearing, carrying a nip and a few leaves with it. The sky remained a harsh, stormy grey but the downpour had begun to diminish. An odd serenity began to settle over the scene, unbroken by the occasional rumble. The man shifted slightly in his sleep, nestled against the dead stump.

Suddenly, Robin opened his eyes, revealing distinctive, orange hued eyes that almost shone like setting suns. He sniffed but once, scratching his mane of brown facial scruff. Then, sensing the red wolf's steady approach, he looked over at it, curiosity dawning on his features. He arched a brow, not moving from where he rested, but meeting the creature's eyes.

It appeared no different than a timber wolf, or rather, a red. He almost feel the spirit of intrigue emanating from the wolf. It had no doubt been drawn to this spot by the amalgamated scent of man and beast - of Robin and the wolf. Yet he couldn't shake the slightest inkling that there was something more to the wolf before him. Instinct perhaps? World's a strange one.

"Enjoying the rain?" he asked, almost satirically, voice thick with something of an English accent. He didn't expect an answer - his affinity to wolves was unspoken, an understanding that went without words.

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#7359 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

I froze when he looked at me. His eyes blazed gold just like a wolf's eyes would glow in the moonlight. Another strange thing about me, I realized, were my own silver eyes. Like my red and fair colorations, they never altered their shade. It might seem strange to an ordinary man, but a man with wolf eyes might not be as wary of a wolf with a girl's eyes. I did my best to seem friendly and shook out my coat in answer to his comment, something like amusement entering my aura.

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#7360 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

"Should I take that as a no?" Robin asked, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. He tore his gaze away from the wolf, peering at the quiver and bow at his side. Might as well get moving. Probably a town a few more miles out.

At last, he rose from the stump, swinging the quiver over his back, bow clutched in his other hand. The Lycan glanced over at the wolf, considering it. "Hate to break it to you, but I haven't any food if that's what you're expecting."

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#7361 Posted by Gale_Xanders (3102 posts) - - Show Bio

@kaede_ said:

@gale_xanders: @renegade84: @_gaige_: @the_custodian:

One of the first things Lizzy had done when Kaede had met her was to tease her for her lack of video game knowledge. She'd admitted she didn't have any experience in that area. She also didn't have a lot of experience with reading - other than what was assigned in school - nor with watching television. Kaede played outside. Superheroes and supervillains were all vague faces to her, some half-recognized, most not. The woman looked like one of those who was vaguely familiar, but Kaede wasn't going to be able to place her.

She opened with laconic commentary and half-unveiled threats. Kaede was almost nervous for a moment, but glanced over at the Custodian and then relaxed. No. I don't know who this person is, but the Custodian brought us here, and I trust her. She wouldn't bring us into danger. This is just talking. Seeing how we react.

She knows a bit about us. Kaede wasn't sure whether to find that worrisome or flattering. Maybe a bit of both, really. No one ever knew who she was... although she wasn't entirely sure about being called a "hatchling," whatever that was. Her sisters used to call her odd names she didn't understand either. Most of them were references to shows Kaede hadn't watched, or books she hadn't read. It is only an insult if you let it be one. Let it go. I know who I am.

She smiled a little bit, watching the watcher. I don't think she's from around here. Hm... something a little exotic. She folded her hands together in front of her. Neuromind had crushed her lily. She had tried not to show it, but that had hurt. She'd tried to be nice, but he... he hadn't wanted her to be nice, she didn't think. She didn't know what he had wanted, but she didn't think it was kindness. She hoped he had someone to be kind to him - she thought he needed kindness, whether he wanted it or not. But that was neither here nor there.

No Caption Provided

Nor was she going to let one mishap ruin her day. Or her life. Or her self. I am stronger than that.

She stepped forward, calmly. "Hello. Are you the Custodian's friend? It's nice to meet you. This is for you. I don't know if you like pretty things, or what you consider pretty, but I do. Americans call it a camellia, which I always thought was a stupid name, but in Japan it's called tsubaki. The word is a little harsher, but I think it suits better. And sometimes, harsh things are beautiful."

Xae had a soft spot for hatchlings, especially kind ones with a certain level of enthusiasm. She cocked her head slightly when the girl approached without fear and put her whip on her belt lest the girl accidentally touch it and find out it doesn't need to lash you to hurt. The production of the flower caught her attention and reminded her of people and times long dead. "It's more like we have a mutual connection." She said and crouched down, since at six foot six she towered over the poor girl. She gently lifted the flower from the girl's hand, turning it around in her fingers and examining it with great care not to cause harm to the flower itself.

"You're very perceptive." She told her. "My name is Xae and I knew someone once who would have loved this flower." She smiled a little but it was the sad smile of a memory from a better time...or at least from another time. "Alright, I have a place for you misfit hatchlings to lay low while you figure out what you're going to do next. You can go wherever you want after that, but first we need to talk and you need to get out of the spotlight for a few days."

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#7362 Posted by Hope_ (165 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_:

"Heh, what's modern to a time traveler anyway?" said Raymond with a bantering grin, allowing himself to peer around the apartment once more, taking in the old fashioned aesthetics. Looking at her once again, he fondly noticed the contrast between her clothing and the design of her home.

"As a matter of fact..." the Thief smoothly began, taking one of her hands in his own, "--I was wondering if you'd perhaps be interested in a little tour around a space sector I'm familiar with. It's just outside this solar system, so a quick trip over. I shan't reveal too much, however," he smirked. "I want to see your reaction."

"I would love that..." She smiled softly, allowing him to take her in his. "Space and you at the same time, I don't see how I could lose." Hope added with a brighter smile. She looked up at him a little, uncertain of proper etiquette in this situation but well aware of what she was tempted to do. Hope denied temptation, at least for the time being. "Should I change clothes or are these ok? I just got them a few days ago., I don't know if I like them yet. What do you think?"

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#7363 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_:

Raymond felt another surge of affection, and he too difficultly fought the desire to kiss her. It was better to wait. The day was young. "Your clothes are fine, love," he gently replied, turning his thoughts over to her simplistic outfit. "Y'know, interestingly enough, the colors actually remind me a bit of your suit." When he spoke, his words were colored thick with an AuE accent.

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#7364 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

I gave a short bark at his comment about food. I was glad he didn't know what I ate, and then confused at my happiness. Weird. I never regretted anything for any reason. Hm.

As he turned to go, I turned around and left. I disappeared in the trees, but I decided I'd keep an eye on him, following him mostly for the comfort of being near a kindred spirit.

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#7365 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

The trek through the forest was a slow one. The Lycan ambled past lush grass and towering trees, trudged across dirt and roots, swatting the occasional insect as it buzzed by. Robin thought he could still detect a trace of the wolf somewhere, but he couldn't so much as hear its steps. Thus, he plodded on.

Another cool draft and shafts of sunlight were just beginning to poke through the clouds. Town was close by. Another mile, he thought, if the new smells were any indication.

Suddenly, Robin froze. In a single motion, he'd drawn and nocked a iron tipped arrow and pulled the bowstring. His eyes were narrow, alert, knuckles white on the shaft of the bow. A bush shuffled overhead; a few pieces of bark descended some ways in front of the archer, from an unseen upper branch. The Wolf could smell one, two, three people in the vicinity. He caught a distinct whiff of gunpowder and blood smeared against metal. Brigands. Huh, I can appreciate the irony.

"Any chance we could discuss this, gents?" The archer asked, managing to maintain some air of civility considering the fact that he was about to get robbed. Once upon a time, he'd been no different from them.

Hardly a second later, Robin dove to the side against another tree stump. The loud BANG of a shotgun pierced the silence of the forest. Two men descended from a branch, wearing camouflage cloaks and black balaclavas. One held the shogun that had gone off, the other a desert eagle. The third emerged from behind a tree, clutching a tactical sword in one hand and a knife in the other.

Darn Venezuelan bandits.

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#7366 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

My silver eyes followed all of the activity in the clearing. Three robbers, two armed with guns, was an unfair match against the wolf-spirited man. Besides, I reasoned, I was starting to feel pecking. Taking one of them alive wouldn't hurt.

I tensed: then transformed. My canine physique changed to feline as I assumed the body of a panther. My eyes were still human, my fur red, my spirit lupine, but my sleek new form was all the better for a stalking pounce, which I released on the nearer of the two bandits with long-ranged weapons. The attack itself should break his neck instantly, easily narrowing my meal choices.

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#7367 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

Robin sensed the feline spring forth before he saw her. There came a sudden crease in his brow when he heard the first body hit the earth, a scream just barely issuing from its throat before a crack sounded from his neck. The Outlaw Prince had caught a trace of the panther's scent just before it appeared. A moment ago, it'd been the wolf.

For the time being, he dismissed the questions that had occurred to him. With no time to waste before another shot went off, the Lycan vaulted over the stump, an arrow already whistling through the air towards the knee of the brigand wielding the shotgun. It pierced through flesh and stuck into bone, and with a cry of shock and agony, the brigand collapsed.

Robin couldn't suppress a smirk as the third one ran off deeper into the forest, disheartened by the fall of his comrades. The archer didn't bother pursuing him, nor did he execute the one clutching his profusely bleeding knee. Instead, he looked over at the panther, frowning as multiple theories occurred to him.

"I appreciate the help, I really do," he began, studying the panther suspiciously. "But what exactly are you? Clearly you're not a wolf, and I've got the slightest inkling you're not exactly a panther."

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#7368 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

My silver eyes glanced up at the archer before a red smokelike substance swirled around me. No use hiding if he already knew I wasn't what I was. I stood up in human form and gently dusted off my rumpled clothes and worked a hand through a knot in my hair as an excuse to stare down at the incapacitated bandit as I spoke.

"The name's Red. I'm human mostly. A shade of human at least. I a a panther actually, and a wolf, and a soaroow and a viper and practically any other living animal you can think of. Pleasure to meet you."

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#7369 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

The archer simply stared for a moment, briefly looking mighty surprised at this revelation. He almost blankly examined the crimson smoke and the emergence of a stranger. Then, his raised brows lowered to a small frown, and he crossed his arms. It was a mark of how long he'd been alive that his reaction wasn't bigger.

"Red," he repeated, tonelessly. Like Red Riding Hood and the Wolf?

"Er, you as well," he replied, somewhat awkwardly. "Not to sound ungrateful, but is there any particular reason you've been following me, Red?"

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#7370 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

"I sensed a sort of kindred spirit between us," I answered as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Two creatures, both obviously more than human, both alone in the woods. Not really anything more than that." Having combed my hair out with my fingers, I glanced in the direction the swordsman had fled.

"Do you really intend to let him go?"

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#7371 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

"Quite the coincidence, Red," he remarked out loud, angling his head slightly to the left. He followed her gaze down the path that the blade wielding brigand had fled.

"I do."

For good measure, Robin started forward, towards the bandit bleeding out on the ground. In one, swift motion the archer smacked the ivory shaft of the longbow against the brigand's head. A loud smack and the brigand was knocked unconscious...and spared the agony of an arrow to the knee.

"There was a time where I wasn't much different from him and his crew. Well, I had a bit more class, but the similarities are there."

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#7372 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

I shrugged. "Fate is a strange mistress." My silver eyes glanced back towards the now-unconscious man, feeling a tug of predatory instinct. My hands slipped into my pockets, and I idly fingered a piece of chalk as my eyes returned to the archer. "You think there're more of them or just these three?"

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#7373 Edited by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

"Eh, not sure," he replied in an offhanded tone, starting down the path that would soon lead to a Venezuelan City. "If there are any, I can't smell them. Of course, Venezuela's a mutant nation, so it makes sense that some brigands could mask themselves."

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#7374 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

"Hm," I replied distractedly. I watched him leave, and debated whether or not to follow him. I recognized the direction as leading towards the nearest city and decided that the forest might prove safer, brigands and all. Last city i visited didn't take too kindly to me, and that was even before I tried to hunt there. It proved impossible really. They all watched me like hawks. I decided to stay out here for a while longer, especially with an easy meal at my feet. Might as well take what I could get. I'd wait to perform the ritual until he was out of earshot, of course, and then maybe I'd try to track down the surviving bandit to relieve my boredom.

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#7375 Posted by Renegade84 (59 posts) - - Show Bio

@gale_xanders: @kaede_@_gaige_: @the_custodian:

Marie blows a puff of hair, blowing away her bangs that were hanging over her green eyes. She gives Xae a hard stare, wondering if she was any better than Neuromind considering her reputation. And Marie knew enough of it not to trust the woman. She sure hopes the Custodian knows what she's doing leading everyone here.

Marie coughs, covering her mouth with one of her gloved hands. Then she quickly stuffs her hands in her jacket pockets, taking her gloves off as she takes her hands back out again. She coughs again, then remains silent as she doesn't think it's wise to say what was on her mind right now.

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#7376 Posted by Hope_ (165 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_:

Raymond felt another surge of affection, and he too difficultly fought the desire to kiss her. It was better to wait. The day was young. "Your clothes are fine, love," he gently replied, turning his thoughts over to her simplistic outfit. "Y'know, interestingly enough, the colors actually remind me a bit of your suit." When he spoke, his words were colored thick with an AuE accent.

"Oh, good." Hope said with a smile. "I thought that too when I bought them, I kind of wanted to tie my clothes in with my outfit you know? I don't know why but..." She shrugged. "I guess I've just come to like the colors." She smiled a little, watching him. "Sometimes I don't feel like I fit in here...but I don't feel that way around you, maybe it's because we're both strangers to this time."

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#7377 Posted by _Gaige_ (515 posts) - - Show Bio

@kaede_: @gale_xanders: @renegade84:

No Caption Provided

With a quick removal from a slipspace pocket Lizzy handed over a small bottle of fruity chewable medicine and her smoothie she'd yet to drink from. "Take these and don't get sick on me it's gross." She remarked with a humorous tone. Though it was clear she understood the more probable reasons for Marie's cough. "Actually I prefer the terms engineer or inventor over addict. Addictions imply it's bad, and even if I'm labeled a terrorist I refuse to think my creative little brain is bad. I'm Lizzy by the by."

"And no offense but for what it's worth I'd rather talk here. In plain sight implies nothing to hide. Going to a secluded base of a vigilante implies the opposite. If we're to get past the acusations they need to see they were wrong. That we're here to help also regardless of that." Lizzy remarked finding that all the stealth, covert tactics and conspiracy were what was perpetuating the violent cycles of the modern era. Instead she wanted to be the non stealthy, it was harder probably but right.

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#7378 Edited by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_:

It occurred to Raymond that he didn't know quite how she'd ended up in this timeline. There couldn't have been any time machines back in the 1950s. Perhaps some sort of temporal anomaly that displaced her? Or maybe she had time related abilities herself, and had chosen not to reveal them. Yet.

"I daresay luck couldn't have been any more in my favor when I met you upon arriving in 2016," he replied with smile of his own, sauntering over to the door. "Ready to go?"

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#7379 Posted by Gale_Xanders (3102 posts) - - Show Bio

@_gaige_ said:

@kaede_: @gale_xanders: @renegade84:

No Caption Provided

With a quick removal from a slipspace pocket Lizzy handed over a small bottle of fruity chewable medicine and her smoothie she'd yet to drink from. "Take these and don't get sick on me it's gross." She remarked with a humorous tone. Though it was clear she understood the more probable reasons for Marie's cough. "Actually I prefer the terms engineer or inventor over addict. Addictions imply it's bad, and even if I'm labeled a terrorist I refuse to think my creative little brain is bad. I'm Lizzy by the by."

"And no offense but for what it's worth I'd rather talk here. In plain sight implies nothing to hide. Going to a secluded base of a vigilante implies the opposite. If we're to get past the acusations they need to see they were wrong. That we're here to help also regardless of that." Lizzy remarked finding that all the stealth, covert tactics and conspiracy were what was perpetuating the violent cycles of the modern era. Instead she wanted to be the non stealthy, it was harder probably but right.

"They do need to see they were wrong, but they can't do that if you're dead. You need to re-organize, re-equip and get ready, then you can go out and show them how wrong they were." Xae ran the stem of the flower back and forth between two of her fingers idly. "I'm not taking you to a secret base, I'm just getting you out of the public eye until you guys can sit down and figure out your next steps. All I want to do is give you a place to go while you do it where you don't need to worry about government forces coming after you. There's a difference between secret and hidden in plain sight."

She smirked a little. "I don't reveal my secrets to random strangers. So can we go now, or do we want to keep talking in the middle of the street? It'll get difficult to talk when government forces show up."

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#7380 Edited by Renegade84 (59 posts) - - Show Bio

@kaede_: @_gaige_: @gale_xanders: @the_custodian:

Marie could only smile at Gaige's humor as the other girl handed her a bottle of medicine and her untouched smoothie. "Thanks." And she begins to sip the smoothie, it tasted good. She also pops in some medicine and begins chewing on it. But, she knows this won't... Can't think about that, not right now. Marie thinks to herself.

Marie didn't like the situation but Xae was the only one offering help. No one else was stepping up to the plate, either because they didn't care or they couldn't help. Or they don't want to help. Marie couldn't stop that negative thought from intruding in her mind. Plenty of heroes were there who could help them. Thee Champion, the alleged goddess...But none of them were stepping forward.

There was very little choice here. Marie didn't know what Xae's motivations were, but if she ended up betraying them all then Marie vows to make her regret doing so. She just hopes Xae's intentions here are honorable despite her reputation. "I say we go with her, we can always discuss revealing secrets and all that later. Either way, she's right. We do need to re-organize and we do need a safe place to stay before we can think about clearing our name. Either way, we need to get off the streets."

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#7381 Posted by Hope_ (165 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_:

It occurred to Raymond that he didn't know quite how she'd ended up in this timeline. There couldn't have been any time machines back in the 1950s. Perhaps some sort of temporal anomaly that displaced her? Or maybe she had time related abilities herself, and had chosen not to reveal them. Yet.

"I daresay luck couldn't have been any more in my favor when I met you upon arriving in 2016," he replied with smile of his own, sauntering over to the door. "Ready to go?"

She smiled broadly at his compliment. She hopped off of the table and followed after him, slipping a hand into his. "Of course I am." She opened the door for the both of them. There was no lock on it. "Let's go see what adventures await us this time." She smiled. "After all, the first time we went out we ended up dealing with space bounty hunters. Though I wouldn't mind a little more privacy and a little less heroing this time around."

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#7382 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_:

"In that case there's a few districts we ought to avoid once we get there," he laughed, lifting his head to the sky as they stepped outside. With near soundless propulsion, the sun glistening off its pristine grey and silver, the Thief's prized Starsurfer descended from the clouds with unparalleled efficiency. Dust finely cleared from beneath it as it landed just outside of the apartment complex. Moments later, the access gate rescinded up. Raymond beamed at the sight that never failed to amaze.

"I'm a good ninety percent sure there won't be any bounty hunters on our tail this time," he remarked as they ambled over to the vessel, tone dripping with satirical seriousness.

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#7383 Edited by Hope_ (165 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

"So cool every time." She remarked of the space ship as it settled down. Ninety percent? Good enough for me." she smiled and took his hand to ascend the ramp together. "You know the best part about your ship? It's kind of retro in its own way, it reminds me of those cars from the 1930s that were really high end with all the fancy stuff and the smooth lines." She said with her usual warm smile.

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#7384 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_:

"...you know, I've actually never thought about it like that," he admitted with a look of dawning fascination as the ramp rescinded and the access gate closed behind them.

They'd soon arrived in the bridge or venturing hall, the wide area from which the ship could be navigated manually. It was complete with a center table surrounded by chairs, viewports and panes enabling observation, and a pilot's area in the front. Rather than sit at the center table, however, he led her over to where a pilot and another could sit, upon which two, black chairs had been positioned beside each other.

Pulling out a seat for her, he mused out loud, "Whatever happened to those older vehicle designs anyway?"

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#7385 Edited by Hope_ (165 posts) - - Show Bio

@dreadstroke:

"Oh, you're flying manually today huh?" She asked with a smile and slipped into the co-pilot's seat. It was a little easier to sit down without a cape to worry about all the time. "Oh...I think the times passed them by a little." She said, answering his question. "I guess they just weren't what people wanted anymore, so things changed and everyone moved forward. I guess that's kind of a weird summary for society in general huh? People don't like the way things are anymore, so they change and move forward...or at least on anyway." She said, indicating she didn't think every social change since 1950 was for the better.

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#7386 Edited by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@estus_valentine:

Undisclosed American city, 8:06 PM EST

Liath hated his job.

It wasn't the job in particular. He'd spent his life as a hunter, a bodyguard, and an executioner, respectively, and now he was all at once. The problem was the witch he worked for. Maedra wasn't rightfully queen of anything. She was a usurping brat of a princess who didn't know the powers she meddled in. She was a weakling, but she had enough power to bind Liath to her--permanently. He resented her for that. And all over one tender servant girl, Maoli, who had been granted an immortality in servitude just like the Huntsman. Unlike Liath, Maoli seemed content with her lot in life. Good for her.

No Caption Provided

The hunter was currently on an errand for the royal brat he called Mistress. There were reports of a vampiress, a strong one, and Maedra--sorry, Queen Maedra--wanted to meet her. Based on the reports the creature was a mere child, but the queen put her best fighter to the task of hunting the girl. Typical Maedra.

Liath stopped when his werewolf sense of smell caught traces of vampire on the wind. He couldn't identify it, as he'd never smelled this Estus girl before, but it was a good hunch she was upwind from him. He turned that way through the dark alleyway as fresh snow fell around him. He began planning on what to do when he found her. He could kill her and say it was an accident, or self-defense. Maedra knew a lie when she heard it, however. He might provoke the vampiress to attack and then he wouldn't have to lie. That was better. Or he could do what he was sent to do and take the girl to meet his queen. This put a bitter taste in his mouth, but this looked like the safest choice. He'd have to see how the encounter went, and if there was an opportunity for treachery he'd make sure to take it.

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#7387 Posted by Dreadstroke (1131 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_ said:

@dreadstroke:

"Oh, you're flying manually today huh?" She asked with a smile and slipped into the co-pilot's seat. It was a little easier to sit down without a cape to worry about all the time. "Oh...I think the times passed them by a little." She said, answering his question. "I guess they just weren't what people wanted anymore, so things changed and everyone moved forward. I guess that's kind of a weird summary for society in general huh? People don't like the way things are anymore, so they change and move forward...or at least on anyway." She said, indicating she didn't think every social change since 1950 was for the better.

"I was honestly becoming too reliant on autopilot," he answered with a grin as he began to access the navigation panel. The panel, reflecting the chrome color scheme of the bridge itself, was modeled with a substantial quantity of knobs, levers, handles. The ship began to ascend as Raymond's hands almost leisurely glid over the controls. Through the crisp pilot's viewport the pair could see the vessel rise above the complex, smooth and nigh soundless in its ascent. The dimension of the Speed-Force powered its maneuverability, the ship's core crackling orange as it enabled the Starsurfer to hurtle up into the clouds.

"In that case, society's moved on bit much where I come from," said Raymond, offering Hope a meaningful glance. "In some ways, I mean. It's one of the reasons I became a time traveler, to enjoy better aspects society once offered." A sigh escaped him as they streaked into the upper reaches of earth's atmosphere. For all of its advancements, the society of his world was no less flawed than this one. Feeling better than to end on such a solemn note, however, he forced a smirk, adding, "-like retro cars from the 1930s that bear a striking resemblance to my ship, for instance."

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#7388 Edited by Estus_Valentine (17 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

An intoxicated smile and delirious eyes graced the face of the middle aged waiter as he had his life force drained from his veins. Estus was relaxed, enjoying an isolated meal on a road less traveled. A favored location of hers and one that brought about no complications... at least until now. Her eyes darted toward the path of the arriving wolf.

CLICK-CLACK CLICK-CLACK CLICK-CLACK CLICK-CLACK

Estus' eyes narrowed and she grew irritated. She removed her bloody fangs from the man's neck and moved her lips to his ears, whispering silent desires. The man adjusted his collar to conceal the evidence of the meal, and smiled. A few moments would pass, and as the wolf turned the corner to where the vampire had recently been feeding, he would collide with a man who was moving as though he was in a hurry. Regardless of whether the wolf tumbled with him, the man would fall to the ground, knocked back by the rebound.

"Oh sorry, sorry about that, are you okay?" the man asked, getting up from off of the ground and brushing the dirt off of his pants, "I guess I really shouldn't be running around like a madman at this time of night, huh?"

There would be no sign of the vampire if the wolf looked around, nothing but a smell that seemed to fill the area. It was as though she had disappeared, and yet, he could smell her as though she were only a few feet away....

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#7389 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@estus_valentine:

For a moment, Liath simply stared down at the man who had fallen when he hit the werewolf's sturdy form. Then his brow furrowed slightly, before he brought his boot down on the man's head, intending to incapacitate him. At the very least, he could finish what he assumed his prey started and have a slightly dry meal as an added perk to his mission.

Aside from the unconscious man's breathing and Liath's own heartbeat, the alley should now be silent. His nose picked up her scent nearly everywhere, so he closed his eyes and held his breath as he tuned his ears to catch small noises. There would be no breathing, no heartbeat, and probably no retreating footsteps from the vampire. Instead he listened for the rustle of clothing, the change in the slight breeze around a body, even the small fidgeting that was the nature of nearly all animals trying to keep still. He was listening to see if these things could be detected, and if they couldn't, it would mean several more hours of trekking through the snow and following broken trails.

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#7390 Posted by Hope_ (165 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_ said:

@dreadstroke:

"Oh, you're flying manually today huh?" She asked with a smile and slipped into the co-pilot's seat. It was a little easier to sit down without a cape to worry about all the time. "Oh...I think the times passed them by a little." She said, answering his question. "I guess they just weren't what people wanted anymore, so things changed and everyone moved forward. I guess that's kind of a weird summary for society in general huh? People don't like the way things are anymore, so they change and move forward...or at least on anyway." She said, indicating she didn't think every social change since 1950 was for the better.

"I was honestly becoming too reliant on autopilot," he answered with a grin as he began to access the navigation panel. The panel, reflecting the chrome color scheme of the bridge itself, was modeled with a substantial quantity of knobs, levers, handles. The ship began to ascend as Raymond's hands almost leisurely glid over the controls. Through the crisp pilot's viewport the pair could see the vessel rise above the complex, smooth and nigh soundless in its ascent. The dimension of the Speed-Force powered its maneuverability, the ship's core crackling orange as it enabled the Starsurfer to hurtle up into the clouds.

"In that case, society's moved on bit much where I come from," said Raymond, offering Hope a meaningful glance. "In some ways, I mean. It's one of the reasons I became a time traveler, to enjoy better aspects society once offered." A sigh escaped him as they streaked into the upper reaches of earth's atmosphere. For all of its advancements, the society of his world was no less flawed than this one. Feeling better than to end on such a solemn note, however, he forced a smirk, adding, "-like retro cars from the 1930s that bear a striking resemblance to my ship, for instance."

"I could see how autopilot would be easy to get used to." Hope said with a mirrored grin. "I'm sorry to hear that. The future can change though, so maybe you can do things to make it better. " Hope's eyes scanned the controls, both amused and impressed by the retro feel the of console. She'd seen more than enough smart phones to know that knobs and switches weren't necessary anymore, let alone in the future. "Oh so now the cars resemble your ship and not the other way around? You know...the control panel kind of reminds me of Star Trek, the old series where they had all the buttons and flippy things."

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#7391 Edited by Cormac (628 posts) - - Show Bio

@thisisgonnahurt

Many years ago....

No Caption Provided

The mountain path grew wide where the soil was soft and then narrow in the rocky passes. There were times it was barely there at all, no more than a mild disturbance in the dirt.

But always it lead upward to the peak, the only destination that Cormac had any care about.

The mountain path wound ahead as effortlessly as a blanket laid on a bed, yet each footfall costs Cormac more strength. It was as steep as it is narrow and rocky in a chaotic way, just enough to cover the entire lower half of his body.

Cormac had been below the mountain on a nearby village, having assassinated somebody at the bequest of his current employer. But in the distance what appeared to be a comet had violently smacked at the apex of the mountain.

For curiosity sake Cormac ventured to it, wandering just what was inside...

He was glad he had been wearing his thermal suit today. Although he couldn't die of the cold he certainly felt it's chilling effects. I hate this weather. The mauler thought, almost at the summit...

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#7392 Posted by ThisIsGonnaHurt (40443 posts) - - Show Bio

@cormac:

For eons, the Symaarians rode the line between domination of the galaxy and their own extinction. Twice were they plunged into the abysmal tides, but only once did they prevail. Without a leader, without unity, without a sense of justice common to the whole, they were torn apart at the seams and countless years of progress ended on a bitter note.

Civil War and genocide ravaged their worlds, leaving behind husks of civilization. Karnath was once such world, and it was here that the warrior Reynard came in contact with the most ferocious predator of this interplanetary conflict.

His name was feared from the dark days of the Great Crusade, a reminder of the brutality he enacted upon all he encountered. Blood and butchery were his hallmarks, and upon Karnath he undid thousands of years of life in but a single day. He returned Reynard's anger with an unfathomable rage of his own, kindled on the funeral pyres of an entire rim of planets left quaking at his passing. The Ninth Rim was shattered, and Reynard almost lost his life before escaping.

But his undefeated opponent did not relent.

He followed Reynard as close to Earth as he could before his ship was caught in a freak cosmic radiation storm. Yet this was merely a setback, and not his end, for not even the stars could claim his life and love for death.

Rampaging towards the last known location of Reynard's escape vessel, this monstrous pursuer crash-landed into the face of a mountain, changing its shape as he emerged from the dust and debris without pause.

He stood resplendent in blood-caked armor, the red remains of countless champions he had conquered plastered on his body in a cruel tattoo-like pattern as if made into a trophy.

This abominable man was called many things, but Typhon was the name he earned in his youth.

With a sudden adjustment in his neck, he popped it both ways before spitting on the ground. He had not noticed the beast advancing upon him yet, or rather, he wanted him to come closer.

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#7393 Edited by Estus_Valentine (17 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

Estus remained still and silent as she clung to the side of a wall a few feet above the strange man and glared down at him. He had harmed her minion and was taking far too long to leave so that she could finish her mean. She was not aware of the supernatural nature of the man standing before her, but that was irrelevant. For a creature such as Estus, combat was best avoided at all costs.

Regardless of whether this man was a vampire hunter, an investigator, or something much more weird, making noises, leaving corpses, or drawing attention to herself in any way was bad. She knew no fear at night, but it wasn't the night that she had to fear. As the man stopped breathing, Estus noticed the change. She sound of his breath stopped, as did the emission of carbon dioxide from his nasal cavity. A slight breeze passed through the alleyway, and her dress began to rustle in the wind. Her eyes narrowed as she realized the danger.

From above, as her natural camouflage faded with her movement, she jumped down behind the man and utilized her short stature to grab the back of his left leg. She pushed forward and then lifted up, her surprising vampiric strength looking make the man fall backwards and have his torso fall behind her. Were she successful, Estus would then use the man's leg as a grip to spin the man around a few times and then slam him into the ground with less force than it would take to kill the average human. She merely wanted to render him unconscious.

"Go away, there's nothing for you here..." a small girl's voice commanded the annoying man, making no assumptions that he had actually been knocked out.

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#7394 Edited by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@estus_valentine:

He had made the mistake of turning his head towards the sound of her dress and was taken by surprise when she attacked. Small creatures like her generally abandoned their prey when a stronger beast came along. It would appear I underestimated her, he thought blearily from the ground after taking a nasty knock to the skull. He stared blankly at the sky until he caught the sound of her voice, at which he snapped back into reality and got quickly to his feet lest she try anything else.

He doubted she knew he was a werewolf. If she thought herself weaker than he she would have run when she had the chance; if stronger, she would have pressed her attack. A vampire had once told him that a werewolf's blood was more filling and flavorful than a human's, and added to this was the fact that a fully drained lycan wouldn't turn into a vampire. He was very glad she didn't know his race, at least not yet.

It took a moment for his head to clear enough to focus on her and process her words. He looked her over before replying.

"I'm not here to fight, Estus Valentine. My name is Liath Bludholt. I'm here because you've interested someone very powerful, and she wishes to speak with you."

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#7395 Edited by Estus_Valentine (17 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

No Caption Provided

The little vampire took a moment to decide whether or not she should bother trusting the strange man before her, but decided that, at the very least, she wouldn't need to attack him in this moment. She giggled to herself, then she vanished, appearing beside the unconscious body to finish her drink for the night. After taking another pint, she would leave the man alone, allowing him to live his life normally to regain his strength. She instructed him to return to her in this spot a few days later with his newly gained strength to feed her once again. She knew better than to slaughter cattle.

She then turned to the strange man after taking her meal, 9 hours left before the sun would rise, and made her own demands.

"You want me to meet someone? Fine. Friends are always a good thing to have. But I'm not going anywhere. Out here in the night, this is my realm and I intend to stay here. Tell your boss to come out here and meet me if they want to have a chat. If they can't even give me that courtesy, then they don't deserve my partnership. Understand? Don't worry, I don't usually return to the same spot on two consecutive nights, but I'll be right here tomorrow if your boss can't make it tonight. Feel free to run along and tell them, I'll be waiting..." Estus explained, jumping to a rooftop and disappearing from sight.

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#7396 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@estus_valentine:

Liath watched her go, then debated following her weakened prey. He knew she wouldn't like that. He decided to see how her meeting with Maedra went, and left the place to locate his Queen.

When given the news, Ruby nodded to herself. There was much potential in the young vampiress, she knew, and by now there would still be eight hours of darkness if she went to meet her tonight. Coming to a decision, she picked up Fangnip the Wise and let him curl around her shoulders before motioning for Liath to lead and Maoli to follow. She wasn't much for words herself, and knew a banshee's voice could easily grow bothersome to a sharp-sensed vampire, so she would allow Fangnip to speak for her and Liath to protect her if something went wrong. She rarely wanted to be separated from Maoli, and her fellow druidess might be a greater help than Liath if this became a fight. Prepared for both the best and the worst, she followed her manservant back down the winding alleys of the city, back to the place where Estus had said she would wait.

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#7397 Posted by dawnpool (134 posts) - - Show Bio

@hope_:

"Maybe." As far as changing the future went, the only thing that really came to mind was trimming down a few family trees a couple centuries earlier, which would result in absolute erasure of certain individuals from the timeline. Raymond wouldn't have minded, but something told him Hope would have been greatly opposed to the idea. Therefore, he brought it up no further.

"Well obviously," he replied with a grin, his voice satirical. "It makes perfect sense. I must have accidentally flown through the 1920s and someone ripped me off. Could have at least paid me royalties." He laughed, humor filling his face.

Ray arched a brow at the mention of something called Star-Trek. It sounded like a television show, or maybe a movie. He could've sworn he'd heard of it before. "Star Trek...that's like, a famous series or something, right?"

A shudder stirred through the ship as they escaped the atmosphere; as they streaked deeper into the black that heralded the starry void. With a final shudder they broke free of earth, emerging into the endless stretch of darkness - where stars twinkled in the vast distance; where the sun illuminated the system in all its bulbous, golden glory. A sudden burst of near superluminal velocity and the Starsurfer continued its streaking path across the Solar System.

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#7398 Edited by Estus_Valentine (17 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

Estus watched as they passed by below her. She couldn't sense any irritating smells, nor did she see any weaponry on the travelers. After deciding that it was safe, she descended from her seat at the edge of a rooftop and landed with a small click as her heels hit the street. She would wait for the crowd to turn and face her before bowing to them in respect. The scent of wolves now filled the area and informed her of the unusual nature of her opponents. She wasn't concerned though. The fact of the matter was, the world around them and all of its men feared and hated the creatures of the night equally. Be they vampire, werewolf... or whatever the woman who had come to speak to her, there was a comfort in speaking to another pariah who understood the masquerade.

"Your servant knows my name. That's dangerous, you know? I want to know how he got it, and what interest you have in me. And I want to know your name too. So, to who do I owe the pleasure, and what do you want with me?" Estus asked calmly.

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#7399 Posted by ltlredwulf (2566 posts) - - Show Bio

@estus_valentine:

Maedra kept her head high and her body relaxed, but when she spoke her voice was no more than a whisper. Even this, she knew, could irritate the vampire's delicate ears, so she kept her words minimal.

"Word travels around over centuries. My name is Ruby Empousa, and I'd like to negotiate a mutually beneficial alliance with you. As you can probably tell, my voice is ill suited in dealing with sensitive creatures like yourself, so my servant Fangnip will speak in my place from here." Fangnip gave a respectful nod to Estus and climbed down from Ruby's shoulder to the ground, ready to perform his service.

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#7400 Posted by Estus_Valentine (17 posts) - - Show Bio

@ltlredwulf:

Estus squinted a bit as the woman spoke. Dim, red rings forming in her eyes as she bore the horrendous sound of her voice. She watched the dragon slither down its owner's body and onto the ground. She honored the small creature by lowering herself to his level, sitting Indian-style and leaning forward to match its small stature.

"Understood." Estus replied, her lack of amazement in the face of a dragon telling of her age and experience, "Now then, no more brevity. My patience grows short as the night. I want you to tell me, in detail, what it is that you want me to do and what I'm to gain from it. You've honored my requests and so I will honor yours. But time is never on my side, so I'd prefer it if you got to the point so that I can give you my answer."