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Krystal Itzume

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The Year That Once Was [Finished]
« on: November 13, 2013, 04:51:15 am »
"Where’s the popcorn?"

Plenty of things popped now as the young man crouched besides a steel wall, listening to the child-like outcries of the toclafane and the human screams. He was not listening to hear them, but to hear for the opportune moment to move. The toclafane would soon start chasing down the fleeing humans as more and more of the explosives that were set went off.

Pop, pop, boom.

He could find anything he needed, and with all the weapons Harold Saxon was producing, it was easy for him to take those same weapons and destroy all that the crazy man was building.

This would be the third factory to go up in flames in two weeks, now that Angelus had figured out how to evade the toclafane. It was difficult. He didn’t have an identification card and had no plans to be registered. The fact he had avoided them from the start was a miracle, and he wasn’t about to become known to them in any form.

Eyes shut as he waited.


And before him he could see the life that once was. The comfort of his own apartment, shared with another. On the couch sat his sister, 21 and sleepy, coffee in two hands seeming to serve only as a warming device. She hadn’t taken a sip yet. There was a ring on her finger, but the one who had given it to her was not present. Instead, it was Jasmine who slipped onto the couch, barely 21, and she who had demanded the popcorn.

Angelus stood besides the microwave as it turned, bag getting larger with each pop, bowl ready.
“It’s almost done,” Angelus noted, smiling.

His sister turned to look at Jasmine as her weight on the couch registered. Excited, sleepy, all at once,
“I can’t believe we’re going to get to meet aliens!”

Jasmine chuckled. Angelus boasted,
“Told you to vote Saxon.”

How wrong he had been. The toclafane sounded further off now, humans running away from the most recent explosion that shook the area. Angelus opened his eyes and straightened up, slow, calm, as another explosion rocked the building. Soon it would be nothing but ash.


‘Like everything else.’


But Angelus didn’t want to dwell on that. No, now was the time he had to make his own escape, though he did linger a moment longer.

There was no Andrew to walk in, half-asleep, half-dressed, to wonder why Angelus was awake before noon on a weekend.

Angelus wasn’t listening for that.
‘Come on, you bastard.’

Oh, he’d never forget that voice, not in a million years.


The television finally cut to the Valiant ship. Angelus joined the group on the couch with the popcorn, from which they all partook. They observed as President Winters was killed by a toclafane with growing dread, but they couldn’t look away until he addressed them.


“So, Earthlings! Basically, um…end of the world!”


“Fuck!”

Maya was on her feet first as the Master declared the drums were coming, and then some song blared over the television, coffee put neatly aside. Angelus and Jasmine followed suit, the popcorn bowl being shoved into Andrew’s lap as the others moved about.

“We need to go, we need to—”


“We need to barricade,”
Angelus countered. “We can move later, let them chase the fools who went out to run for now.”

“Decimate.”
Andrew said aloud, repeating what the so-called Master said. All eyes shifted to him. “Decimate. That’s only 10% of the population. We have a good chance of surviving.” He rationalized.

‘Idiot.’ The odds had not been in their favor.

The one who ordered the decimation did not make himself known, and another explosion told Angelus he had wasted too much time.


“And what happens after that?”

Maya, if she’d lived, would not have let it go that she was right not to Vote Saxon. He could almost hear her as he ran.

Her voice haunted his steps constantly. Even now, he could hear her chastising him for this violence, this senseless murder. The toclafane never died, Angelus hadn’t figured out how to destroy them. His only victims were humans, but right now, it was all he could do.


“We have to fight.”

Hot tears, though Angelus ignored them as he skirted another explosion and slid around a corner, to the window. Maya would have found some other way to go about fighting. She wouldn’t have wasted time with this, she would have found a way up onto that damn ship to deal with the only one who mattered, the only voice in the entire world Angelus wanted to hear.

Just to shut it up, forever.


“We won’t be allowed to live in peace.”

How right she’d been.

He dove through a window, feeling it tear away at his clothing, at his flesh. His clothing always ended up bloody, burnt, and torn. He rolled on contact with the ground.


“Well we can’t fight’em right now!”
Jasmine protested, “We don’t have anything to fight’em with. We can run and hide for now, get some stuff, and wreak havoc.”

Jasmine’s plan was the only viable one until he found a way on that ship. One day, he’d annoy the Master enough that he’d descend from his ivory tower. 

They had spent too long arguing in that apartment. As Angelus saw a man shot down by the toclafane, he remembered that harsh realization.

Andrew had been shot where he sat, still stunned, still rationalizing how decimation meant they’d live.

There was the fence, and on cue, it burst apart. Angelus ducked, arm shielding himself from the metal as it flew, and kept running. He escaped the confines of the weapon factory, and dove into the hide-away he’d made earlier. He wouldn’t be able to climb up the hill until night fell, when the vision of the toclafane wasn’t as good. For now, he could hide in the crevice, back tight against the wall, and just listen.


‘This is my punishment.’


For that was all he was able to do when his feet slipped from underneath him, and he fell into the bathroom from a shove. His head knocked the bathtub. He’d been dazed as the door was pulled shut. He could only hear her.


“Why are you listening to him?”

He still remembered his struggle to get up.


“The Master saved us from the darkness!”
Cheery, childlike. “We would do anything for the Master.”

Yes, that was who the toclafane had asked for, and who Saxon revealed himself to be. Master. It sounded like more than just a fancy title, it sounded like a name. Names had meaning, of course, but what person would name their child Master?
“What does he want?”

“To master the universe! The war drums call to him, and call, and call! It is his destiny, his fate, and your fate as humans to serve or die!”
A pointed question followed, “Will you serve the master?”

Live or die.

Angelus’s heart ached as he heard her answer. He couldn’t cry out. He couldn’t get himself up from the floor though he was desperately trying. His head swam whenever he managed to lift it too high, threatened ot make him black out.
“I won’t serve.”

To this day, Angelus wondered what had been going on inside her head, in those seconds that passed before she made her answer. Defiant to the end.


‘Promise me, Ange.’


Angelus covered the white, silk rose with his hand. Burnt. Bloody. It stayed with him. She knew he hated funerals, so she only made him promise he would attend hers, because she needed just one thing done to rest in peace.


‘My name means illusion, so remember, I’m just a figment of your imagination!’


Those two sayings always came back to him in these moments of darkness, while he waited, while he listened to others scream and beg, while he heard the explosions, while he imagined all the ashes. He wished Maya had been just an illusion. It'd be easier if only an imaginary friend had died, and not flesh and blood. She had always found that so amusing, when she found it out, much to their parents embarrassment. That hadn't been the intent.


“Aww….” The Toclafane seemed so disappointed. “He would have liked you! Oh well! He’ll have the one you saved!” Angelus heard the sound of the laser fired. No thud. The toclafane did not wait to claim its prize but went to cause more mayhem.

Her last words.


"I won't serve."

And then she was nothing but ash. He couldn’t keep his promise to make sure she was buried with a single white rose. He couldn’t find any dark chocolate, either.

Her rituals.


‘Something sweet, something bitter. Something light, something dark.’


Angelus’s favorite color had always been black. It was all he wore now. It made traveling easier.

« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 08:25:48 am by Krystal Itzume »

Bleu

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 06:49:51 am »
“Shit.”

~*~

“I can’t keep running,” a girl’s voice had said, exhausted and on the verge of tears. “Come on, Juls, it’s been three days.”

The girl’s clothes had been ripped, bloodstained here and there. She had once had long and curly, beautiful, brown hair – now it was short, a pixie cut that needed little attention. Her brown eyes were tired, red around the corners and pleading. Besides her, standing against the wall, was Juls. He was young, only just 17, but his eyes showed that he had been forced to mature.

“We can’t stop, Cat. They’ll find us.”


He had been scared.


~*~

The first explosion had attracted most of the Toclafane, driven them out of the place where he had been kept. Juls’ handsome face had been badly bruised – beaten at least several times within the last week for trying to escape. Curiously, the things did not kill him. No, Juls had made himself useful – indispensable around there.

“Don’t move you foolish boy, you.”

One had said before leaving.

Then a second explosion came. The weapon factory was being burned to the ground.

~*~

“I miss them,” said Cat on the fifth day. They had managed to find some food, but the terror never ended.

“I miss them, too.” Said Juls, a weak smile.

“I love you,” said she, curling under his arm.

“I love you, too.”


~*~

“Hurry up,” said an older man, urging the escaping Juls to open the door so that he, too, could escape.

“You should stay here,”
said Juls, regretting trying to get the door open more and more, “they will kill you. They won’t kill me! Please, just stay!”

The man shook his head.

“No, I have to leave,” insisted he, “I would rather die than stay here.”

A click and the door of another cell popped open. Not all slaves were treated like this, but some of them had served the simple purpose of being prisoners. The Toclafane and the Master alike seemed to enjoy seeing the humans caged just as much as ridiculed.

“Be careful,” said Juls, giving him a hardened nod before darting off.

“Be safe, kid.”

~*~

Juls’ chest heaved with muffled sobs. His fingers were entwined on his shaggy golden hair, tears leaving their mark on the dirtied skin on his cheeks as they fell. Cat had been shot just minutes ago, on their tenth day on the run. She had told him that she would be right behind him. She had lied.

Now she was just ashes.

He hadn’t even said goodbye. Their last kiss had not felt like their last.

“Damn you,” he said, voice broken.

The day after that, he had been caught. His faded spirit showed no rebellion on his capture.


~*~

Juls had never gotten this far out of the factory since his capture. It was night, and the fire’s smoke painted the sky in the chaos that had consumed the Earth. Whoever had planned the explosions had done him a great kindness – even if unintentionally. It had been timed perfectly with his plan to escape. When he turned to see what was left of the congregation of buildings, he knew that people must have died, too. It was a necessary sacrifice. The Toclafane were coming, Juls could almost hear them.

He took to the ground, covering himself with sheets of metal on the sides. When they passed, Juls kept moving.

Then another explosion erupted.

Juls had been too close to it.

His ears rang out, and his head felt like it was about to explode. The force of whatever had detonated had pushed him – sending him flying to the side. He tumbled on the floor, but rolled to lessen the damage. Juls knew that he had cut himself, but that did not matter.

The Toclafane were on him. He used what little strength he could muster to cover himself from his sight again. Soon enough, they would be gone. They would not look for him – not with everything burning around them.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 02:55:56 pm »
Angelus could stay still for a very long. The light changed behind his eyelids, but he didn’t sleep as he lived in memory. Over, and over, and over. His hand clenched around the white rose in his pocket, nails dug into his palm, until that light shifted. He opened his eyes to see the beauty of night, and he moved, stiff, away from the wall. He peered out of the crevice and saw it was all gone.

Nothing but space, ash, and corpses. He couldn’t completely destroy bodies like the toclafane. There weren’t any toclafane buzzing around, at least, not that he could tell.
‘There will be some.’ There were always some. He wondered where the vast majority went. Did they continue pursuing the humans? Did the Master send them to another factory? Did he even know? Care?

Angelus would have to find one of those clocks and see if his launch date had been pushed back. That was one of his goals, to see that clock move backwards after one of his bouts of destruction. The Master would certainly hate a delay before he went to war with the universe. The world wasn’t enough.

Angelus pushed himself away from the wall and stretched up. One hand moved to pull the baseball bat from its hidden place. The other grabbed his backpack and that was soon slung onto his back. He needed to get food, probably, but his concern was always filling it with explosives and things to make explosives. Never food.
‘When did I eat last?’ He thought, but discarded it.

He didn’t care. He’d eat before he died of starvation, but other than that, food didn’t matter.

The bat existed for when there were humans to deal with, those who served the Master. Sometimes, toclafane, and he’d noticed they wouldn’t use their lasers if he had this. This would never kill them, but he could knock them far away and get a good head start.
‘Arrogant bastards.’ But he played that to his advantage as best he could.

He stepped out into the moonlit area and smiled at the fact there were no buildings left. All the weapons were gone, exploded as well. He walked across the field, over the sheets of metal. One nearly made him stumble. He hadn’t recognized it was lifted, and quickly stepped off it. He glanced down, but imagined what was under it was not something he wanted to see.
“Sorry,” muttered apology, thinking he was speaking to a corpse, before he moved around it and kept walking towards the hill he needed to get over.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2013, 03:12:26 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Bleu

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 11:06:50 pm »
He counted, and minutes passed. Some explosions continued, and the ground shook underneath him. It was a terrible feeling, but not one that he had not gotten used to already. Juls lived in terror, always fearing for what would become of those who had survived. The thoughts distracted him from the chaos that surrounded him. The factory was being burned down, and it would soon be nothing.

Yet he couldn’t move.

The Toclafane could be near. They would take him someplace else – probably one he didn’t know. Now that there was nothing left to protect, would they kill him? Was he expendable now?

Juls’ fears and his worries were tamed. With the Toclafane’s movements around him, he laid still. His breathing was calm, and even. In the darkness, the Toclafane would overlook him – and they did. When he was absolutely sure that they had gone, he prepped his injured hand to push the plate away from him. He felt his injured hand complain, so much that Juls didn’t even want to look at it.

But then, movement.

It was clear, but it was different from the Toclafane. It was a human, probably one of the Master’s supported – the scum that had forgotten which side was worth fighting for. He tried holding his breath, trying to calm his suddenly pacing chest. Humans would not be so easily fooled by the night and by a sheet of metal that was clearly out of place.

And it didn’t.

Juls felt the pressure of the sheet against his chest, but he said nothing.

‘She’ll think I’m dead and just leave me alone,’ he hoped. After all, the only human Master supporters in the factory seemed to be female. He just assumed.

When it was a man’s voice that spoke a mutter, and an apology no less, Juls knew that it wasn’t a Master supporter. Could it be the one who had brought down the factory? Surely there were more of them.

“Wait,” struggled Juls, his voice cracking because it had been a while since he last spoke – and he was weak. “Wait, please.”

Juls didn't want to scare him away.

His hands pushed the sheet away from him, taking in the darkness of the night. He stood, avoiding the sight of his left arm, and looked towards the man who had already begun to walk away. He looked so much skinnier than any man ever should – even more so than him, and Juls was really skinny. He must have been starving.

“You did this?”

A whisper.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 11:58:37 pm »
Something spoke. Apparently it was not dead. Angelus paused, waited a beat, but not longer. He went about this alone for a reason, and that was to avoid his own demise and to continue. He couldn’t afford to wait.

And yet the sheet was moving. It was making quite a bit of racket. Angelus looked nervously around, then turned as he heard the sound of the male rising from the rubble. He was a good distance away now, far enough to run if this turned out to be a Master supporter.

The bat was moved in front of him, the only shield he had right then. It was a defensive posture he took, legs spread to ground himself.

He observed the other, weak. He spoke, and his voice carried in the silence of the night.
‘You did this?’ Angelus repeated it to himself.

“Yeah,” he answered. A smile found itself on his lips, but vanished with the gradual understanding this man must have been within. Would he hold him responsible for any damages? Would he be angry? His arm looked bad off, after all, even in the night. Ange didn’t carry things for wounds. So far he’d always been able to stumble into a safe house. He understood what to look for now.

The other before him was skinny, but only as skinny as expected. Those in the factories had to be fed so that they could work. Angelus knew he was skinnier. He’d developed a lean build that could hardly be called a tone any longer. Well, all he really needed to do was run.

It was a necessary evil, keeping humans alive. The Master must have detested it. The weak one before him looked like Andrew, or perhaps it was just the hair. The night made it difficult to pick out features besides some colors and shape, and even those were skewed.

Not skewed enough, though. Metal ball of death.
“Don't move,” he said, just as that ball rotated itself in the air so it would see them.

Childish glee,
“Stay right there!”

Angelus did, shifting his posture, readying the bat. Running would only get him shot in the back right now.
“Identify yourselves!”

“No ID.”
Angelus stated. Attention turned to him. That didn’t seem to compute with the toclafane.

“Then you shall be identified.”


“I will not,”
he answered, calm and collected. It had been a long time since he felt fear.  “I did this. I am not going to serve.” Ah, those fateful words. He watched as the toclafane seemed to bounce in the air.

“Silly man.” Blade-like spikes came out of it, as always. “Silly, dead, man.”

‘Bring it.’


He felt madness. Perhaps that was something. The metal ball spun towards him, and he swung, hard, knocking it away and disorienting it.
“Run!” He told the other, but he didn’t look back at him as he spun around and made for the hill. He’d climb over it, roll down, and run into the ruins of the city. He already knew where he was staying, so that was fortunate. If the other could keep up, he’d see that this survivor got medical attention.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 12:19:31 am by Krystal Itzume »

Bleu

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 05:53:45 am »
The young man smiled, and Juls was tempted to smile right back. Even if people had died inside the factory, the place would no longer produce weapons. It had been good. The stranger had put some distance between him. Juls would have done it too, were he in the stranger’s position. The moment of stillness was prolonged when a Toclafane made its way towards them – Juls legs seemed to be glued to the floor. It called to them, but Juls was still quite a way away from the man and the machine.

He had no ID – and so Juls knew how the Toclafane would react.

When the man spoke, Juls could sense the loss that his words carried. For a moment, he understood, despite the fact that he had only just met the guy. He would not serve – the words that Juls couldn’t seem to find when he had been captured. The courage that Juls had lacked was ever present in the man.

When the Toclafane advanced, the stranger swung a bat and hit it square. It flew back, spinning and disoriented.
Juls didn’t need to guy to tell him when to run, for he was already in midstride when the bat had landed its blow.  Over the hill they went, and down they rolled. The ruins of the city stood before him – one that was familiar but haunting all the same. Juls did not look back to where the Toclafane would emerge. He kept his eyes on the stranger as he moved, keeping up with him easily enough. Turns, everywhere.

Juls took notice of how the man ran. He didn’t run in circles, and the way his face moved did not make him seem like he was lost. No, Juls was certain that the stranger knew where he was going.

Wherever this guy was going, Juls knew that they would be well hidden.



Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 06:31:52 am »
It was not courage. Angelus would pretend it was, but as he ran, he knew otherwise. He was not brave, despite his reckless actions that others applauded. Those others had come out to help him, though he had to pick his allies carefully. There were those who would call the toclafane on him.

He learned quickly some of the signs. He learned how to pick his friends, and how to tell his enemies. The pattern of four was still prevalent amongst those who remained a support of the Master. It seemed difficult for them to shake. It was difficult for Angelus to shake as he started to slow to a walk, not wanting to draw attention from patrols.

He approached a house with broken windows. The smart ones didn’t occupy the best-looking residences. They hung up curtains in the windows toclafane had broken into. They tended to find places with basements or attics.

Angelus glanced back then to see the blond had followed. He said nothing, but walked to the door and knocked three times. That last rap against the wood was always hard, for he always wanted to follow it with a fourth. Strength of will was enough to pull back.

There was motion within. It did not take long for a man to answer. Wordlessly, he ushered Angelus in, and motioned for the other to follow along. Angelus stripped himself of his jacket once he was inside, tossing it and the rose in its pocket aside. The bat was tossed on top of the jacket before he moved to the steps that led downstairs. He held on to the backpack.

He didn’t announce himself, but others rose when they saw him and the wounds.
“Success?” One asked.

Angelus nodded.

Sighs and laughter followed. Congratulations. Angelus acknowledged it, but did not share their joy or relief. He simply moved to one of the cots and laid down on it as someone promised to look over his scratches. The backpack leaned against the cot.

Someone mentioned food. He wasn’t hungry. He shut his eyes,
“There’s someone else to look at,” he stated to remove their attention from him. He just wanted to sleep, and move on.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 06:37:45 am by Krystal Itzume »

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 07:16:04 am »
They slowed into a walk, which Juls silently appreciated. He could have kept running, but his body’s harsh movements were not doing his arm any favors. Walking seemed to ease the pain a little bit, but still not enough for Juls to muster the courage to look at it.  He looked at the buildings around him, trying to figure out where they were. There we subtle signs that he could remember, just in case he needed to find his way back.

The young man looked back at Juls before knocking on the door three times.

‘Three, not four,’ thought Juls to himself. Once upon a time he would have knocked four times – now that wasn’t such a good idea.

The door opened and a man ushered him in. Juls did not think twice, nor did he suspect that any danger would come to him from inside. There were others, each waiting anxiously to see if the man with black hair had succeeded in burning down the weapon factory. They were happy that he had. Juls said nothing on the matter.

People eyed him curiously, especially on older man. He was broader than he, much older, too. He looked at him with eyes of poison, curious as to why Juls had been let in so easily. Juls knew immediately that this man would never be his friend. Something about him sent a chill down Juls’ spine.

Someone began to tend to the stranger’s wounds, and as he rested he motioned for someone to check on him. Another woman approached, probably in her late twenties. She had a kind face, unlike the other man who had cursed Juls with just his stare. 

“I’m Rosie,” she said gently, as if expecting Juls to suddenly lash out at her, “can I take a look at that arm?”

Juls smiled. She immediately relaxed. It was clear in his expression that he was of no harm to them. Juls wasn’t warm, but he was clearly a very likeable person. His smile had been charismatic in a way that was rare.

“Go nuts, I don’t bite,” he said, trying to lift his arm. She helped him, and he caught sight of it. It definitely looked worse than it was. It was bloody and slashed. “Thank you,” he said as Rosie tended to his arm, though the gratitude was sent to the man who had led him to safety.

Rosie engaged Juls in conversation – asked him how he escaped, and what had happened to him. Juls didn’t tell her everything, but all that he did had been truthful. He had been caught less than a couple of months ago, and he was a slave at the weapons factory. He escaped by breaking out of his chambers and using the explosions as a diversion.

He didn’t say, however, that he had worked with the machines that built the weapons. The commands were too complex for just anyone to understand, and Juls had been the only one to be able to handle them. He knew the weapons, but wouldn’t say so right then.

Despite his hope, that place could still prove to be unsafe for him.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 04:52:34 pm »
‘I’m Rosie.’

The words around Angelus sounded like echoes. Perhaps he did actually need to eat, but all he wanted was sleep. He felt someone tending his wounds, a few stinging now and then as the alcohol was applied. He didn’t cry out, did not protest even once. He pretended to be asleep, and indeed, he did drift in and out.

It was easier. Once upon a time he used to have issues sleeping on ‘new’ beds. There was just something so foreign about it that he couldn’t get used to. Now, it was a necessity for life. He did not have his own bed, after all.
‘Well.’ Not completely true. He was pretty sure his apartment building still stood in London. Perhaps there was a group using it now. Would they wonder at those who lived there, or would they not even consider it, the way Angelus did not even wonder who had once furnished this house?

In and out.

He heard the stranger he’d brought. He spoke of his life as a slave under the Master. He’d tried to run, like so many others, but he was caught. He imagined the boy as some general line worker, moving things about.

Eventually, Angelus fell asleep to the buzz of alcohol stings and quiet conversation. He did not know for how long he slept, but he knew when he awoke that most of the others were sleeping, or pretending to be.

He rolled out of the cot, picked up his bag by the upper handle, and walked up the stairs. Light was peeking through the curtains. Angelus wouldn’t have cared what time it was. For him, it was time to leave. Up the stairs and into a room that resembled a bedroom, he found clothing too large for him. He still put it on, stripping of the mostly useless strips of cloth that remained attached to him. Button up flannel was good, warm. The khakis weren’t his style, but he didn’t care about such things any longer.

He left his attire on the floor as he stepped out. The older man was there.
“Are you going already?”

He nodded.


“Please, stay longer.”


He shook his head. He benefited no one by staying, though they seemed to think he would.
“Gotta head north now.” He had reached the shore. He didn’t know the town he was in, but he knew he couldn’t keep traveling west. North there would be more factories.

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 05:23:10 pm »
His last thought of being unsafe stayed with him for a while. Juls didn’t exactly care about how safe he really was, but he felt bothered. It was hard to explain. Conflicting. He felt bad about not fighting back the Master and the Toclafane, like so many had before him. He felt bad that he had taken refuge in a weapon factory, while others had found to guts to try burn them to the ground. Where others thought that this war was lost, there were those who kept on fighting.

There were even some who believed that they could be saved.

Could he not do the same? Was he not the best at working the weapon machines in the factory? Surely that was worth something.

Eventually people went to sleep, their soft breathing making hums in the otherwise silent room. Some of the nicer people had offered him their cots to sleep, but Juls only shook his head. Now that his arm had been cleaned Juls could see that it was not all that bad. It would heal in time. He needed not any special attention or accommodations, even if the wound had been more severe – he would have never accepted that. He found a place to sit, closing his eyes to rest. He felt his senses start to leave him, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t sleep.

He merely drifted.

He opened his eyes slowly as he heard movement. The stranger had gotten up and was leaving. Juls wanted to go with him – to help him. It was a feeling he couldn’t explain, but he had never felt such an inclination before. If Juls could provide even the smallest bit of help, he would do it. When was the last time that someone protected the stranger? The last time someone truly helped him? It might not have been the smartest choice, but after all Juls was only just 17. He was still young; he still had a lot to learn.

This, however, felt right. 

Juls silently moved from where he had been resting and followed the stranger. He spoke to the person that had welcomed them in, confirming that he actually was leaving. He wanted to go north, and Juls only assumed it was because more factories could be found there. Juls had heard of several locations where factories were increasing production. He knew where some of them were. North had been right.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” he said, though he really wasn’t sorry, “I know where they are – well, sort of.”

He meant the factories, choosing to take a guess of why the stranger wanted to go there. He only hoped that the stranger was not too opposed to the idea. Perhaps if they had some time alone, Juls could tell him why he would make his time worthwhile. He knew how to work the weapons – make some for their use.


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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 06:13:40 pm »
Angelus lifted his eyes to the straggler, the wounded, who suggested he knew where they were, “Everyone does.” They weren’t exactly inconspicuous. The Master wasn’t in hiding. His plans were out in the open. Humans pretty much only worked as doctors, factory employees, guards, or in food services. ‘Even the Master eats.’ If he were subtle, he might have poisoned the twinkies. Apparently they were a favorite.

He wasn’t subtle, though.

That wasn’t what the straggler was trying to offer, though. Angelus knew that look, the hope that lingered in it. Angelus was someone who tended to inspire despite his unfriendly disposition. He was hope in a dark world, because he was crazy enough to try and do something, anything, about it. He didn’t compromise himself like others, either. There was no hiding under an ID. There was never a question about where his loyalties were.


“You should stay here,”
he tried to brush him off as he stepped around the elderly man to pick up his jacket and put it on. It slipped on easily. He had gotten skinny, hadn’t he? This used to fit perfectly. “It’s safe here.” For now. That could always change. It wasn’t any safer with him, though.

Bat was held over one shoulder. One day he’d find some Velcro so he could carry it on his back. Until then, the backpack took its spot, alone, there.
“They have food.” He didn’t.

“Take some with you,”
the older man suggested.

Angelus just let out a sigh, exasperation.
‘You should.’ Yes, always should. Didn’t they learn that he didn’t, though?

Of course not. He never stayed amongst any one group long enough. They never even learned his name.


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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 11:37:22 am »
Juls couldn’t help but smile. He liked this stranger. Still, the young man didn’t argue with the stranger. Something told him that no matter what he said, the other wouldn’t listen. He instead looked at the man offering the stranger some food, some that apparently the stranger didn’t want to take. Juls wondered why, especially now that he had gotten a better look at him. He was scrawny, much thinner than anyone ever should be.

‘He doesn’t take very good care of himself,’ the thought drifted.

Juls would take the food from the man; follow the stranger even if he didn’t want to. He wasn’t bad company, even in times such as these they were forced to endure.  He knew how the weapons were made, and he knew a couple of things that could help them take down the Toclafane. He would rather tell the stranger in privacy, now just didn’t seem like a good time.

“I’ll make sure he eats,” whispered Juls to the older man.

It was clear, despite the lowness of his voice, that Juls was determined to follow the stranger. Juls couldn’t just go back to running away, without any help and without any direction. He knew now what he wanted to do, but wouldn’t it be easier if he could do it with someone else? Surely two people working together would be better than two people working separately.

Of course it was. The stranger had to see at least that much.

“I assure you that you will find my presence helpful, mate. I won’t slow you down.”


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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2013, 04:46:04 pm »
An exchange occurred in whispers, and Angelus made sure he was put together. Jacket, backpack, baseball bat—everything was in place. He turned to leave, but a voice caught his attention. He glanced at the other, the insistent one. It was a fight not worth fighting, and yet at the same time it was. If this stranger were lying, they would both be dead.

Not that he wasn’t already. Besides the point. He wouldn’t die yet. He couldn’t die, not until he’d met the man who called himself Master. They could go to hell together.


“You’re already slowing me down,”
it was a deadpan response, and Angelus didn’t wait for either the old man or the stranger to speak. He walked to the door, opened it, and closed it behind himself. With a quick glance around, he sprinted off, intending to put distance between himself and the one who wanted to come along. He couldn’t deal with someone right now, or so his mind insisted. He didn’t want a friend. It was the very last thing he wanted after he witnessed the murder of all his friends.

Attachment would only lead him to further trouble, and he had all the reason he needed to hate the Master. He didn’t need more fuel for the fire.

The man within the house had reached out a hand as Angelus spoke his piece and abruptly turned to leave. The words he was going to say were cut off by the sound of the door closing. He closed his mouth, his lips creasing in a defeated expression. He shook his head, but told Juls,
“You can find food in the kitchen. The fridge doesn’t work, but there is a lot of stuff that will last, a couple extra can openers…take what you need.” For somehow, the old man didn’t think the man with the explosives was going to escape so easily. 

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2014, 03:32:17 am »
The stranger’s response did not offend Juls, nor did it, in the least, bother him. He knew why people thought a certain way, and he definitely understood the hesitation the stranger showed towards him coming and tagging along. Juls wanted to respond, but the stranger didn’t give him any time to. He merely turned around, walked out, and closed the door behind him. There could not have been a clearer sign to show that the stranger wanted to be left alone.

‘He’ll starve,’ said a voice inside Juls’ head. It was a worry that had been present as soon as Juls had taken a good look at the stranger.

“Thank you,” he said to the older man before taking a look inside the fridge. They had more than Juls would have expected, but even then, Juls only took what he thought the pair of them would need. There was some water, and several canned goods. He asked the man for a backpack, and once he had one, he put everything he needed in it. He arranged them so that they wouldn’t move as he ran. Juls didn’t want to attract any Toclafane. 

“Keep safe,” he told the man before he left the place.

It was still dark out; the smoke of thee nearby fire was still visible amongst the otherwise clear sky. The stranger had a head start on him, but Juls had a pretty good idea where the man was headed. He knew where the factories were, and he knew where some of the bigger weapons were made. They could use their own weapons against them. Juls just needed to get his hands on the right key.

Juls began to move forward with a light jog. He moved and turned – using the shadows of the buildings as cover from watchful eyes. He had trouble escaping the factory because of the security it had, but keeping out of sight had always been one of his strengths. Eventually, Juls found himself running.

After some time, he saw a silhouette ahead of him. Juls was certain that this was the stranger. He couldn’t have gone much longer without any food, or without at least having some water. Physically, the stranger must be exhausted. Despite these signals, Juls wished the man to be okay. He didn’t want the stranger to be ill, so he needed to find a way of convincing him to eat at least something.

The gap between them grew smaller. Soon they were so close that ignoring each other was just silly.

“I can keep up,” said Juls, “but you really should eat.”

Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2014, 03:52:57 am »
Silence.

Angelus liked silence. It meant no drums, no music, no ‘Your Lord and Master’ nonsense. He could listen for the whirring of the Toclafane. He could listen for footsteps following him, too.


‘Damn you.’

He could hear them. He wasn’t jogging. He wasn’t running. Angelus would have, but his body protested too much. His arms were wrapped tight over his stomach, thinking that if he applied pressure to the ‘hurt’, it would vanish. It didn’t, of course. It just protested. He could have eaten, but for some reason, he had refused. Again.

Angelus ignored the other until he spoke. A frustrated sigh escaped through gritted teeth and Angelus turned a cold stare to the other.
“What the hell do you want?” He could not understand why he was here. He wanted no friends, no lost puppies, either. He didn’t address the topic of eating. Better to find out what this man’s game was. “Are you some sort of spy?” It was probable. He had worked in a factory, and seemed to want to make himself appear important. He wasn’t the stereotypical worker, lost in the new world, either. He was someone of importance to it all. That was something this stranger wanted to be known, too.

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2014, 01:10:59 am »
At last, the stranger spoke.

Juls did not mind being spoken to in such an aggressive tone. He no real idea what the stranger had suffered or endured. He couldn’t judge or remark to him, and neither could he pity him. He could help him. Up close, and even in the dark night, Juls could see that the man was in worse shape than he had previously thought. Just how far did this man’s pride go? Juls looked to him, seeing an echo of the pain and the loss he had experienced. He had experienced something similar. Everyone had.

“I want what you want,” his tone wasn’t aggressive, it was soft. He didn’t at all expect anything less than aggression from the man. Juls would not change his mind. “I want what everyone else wants. I want to see this Master dead.”

He opened the bag he had borrowed and tossed the man a water bottle. He fetched a spoon from one of the pockets and took out a can of black precooked beans. Juls managed with the can opener to get the damned thing opened.

“You won’t get far if you don’t eat,” insisted Juls. “I’m not a spy,” he spoke plainly, “but I can help.”

Juls stretched his arm to offer the man some food.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2014, 03:37:19 am »
Just that alone made Angelus smile. He wanted the Master dead. So many people wanted that, of course, but so many couldn’t say it. They were too afraid to even whisper it, afraid he could hear, afraid he was watching them all from his Ivory tower at all times. ‘Oh, if I ever get on that ship.’

But that wasn’t him. He was not an actor, couldn’t play nice long enough to find himself a position on the ship. He certainly could not now. He was beyond the point of no return.

He barely caught the water bottle, fumbled with it for a moment, but then opened it. It was sealed. Certainly not poison.
‘Maybe.’ He was wary of all food. It might not be poisoned, but the Master controlled it all now. He couldn’t imagine the food was made to the best of human interests.

Still, he drank. The second the water touched his throat, he found his thirst insatiable. It was empty in seconds, a long enough pause for this stranger to open the can of beans and offer it out to him.

Angelus stared. His stomach protested, surprised at suddenly being filled with liquid. It ached from that, more than from the hunger he’d been feeling. Angelus shook his head to deny the food.
“Not right now.” Too much pain, too quick. “Eat and walk,” he told the man, “No sudden movements.” He’d found walking actually worked out better. Toclafane would even ignore him if he was just walking, something about the casualness of it throwing them off. “Tell me how you can help.” He was pretty good at doing this on his own, after all. 

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2014, 07:01:02 am »
Juls felt like he could relax when he saw the stranger drink from the water bottle. At least now he knew that the stranger wouldn’t dehydrate. The hint of a smile that had formed on Juls’ lips wavered when the stranger refused to eat. Juls took comfort in noticing that the stranger he merely refused the food for now, which gave him hopes that he would eat later. Juls wasn’t very hungry, so he covered the beans back up as he walked.

“I know how to build the weapons that they use against us,” said Juls simply. There was no real benefit in hiding it from the stranger. “The ones people often see deactivate once the Toclafane die, but I know how to make them work again.” Juls had just not been able to find any that could be repaired. Most of the weapons laying around had already been tampered with to the point where they could no longer be fixed.

“You can choose to believe me or not,” said Juls with a slight smile, “but the Toclafane kept me around because no other humans could manage the machines used to build these weapons. I was the only one that could fix the broken ones.” Juls had tried refusing to work for them, but the Toclafane were not only excellent murderers, but they were even better torturers.

He kept walking, noticing the sky suddenly completely clear. They had walked to a point far enough from the town that the Toclafane did not frequently patrol, which allowed them to pace more comfortably. The trouble would be sneaking into the next city over, and escape it again once inside.

“Unless you’re like me, and you can fix the weapons. In that case, I’m no real use to you at all.”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2014, 07:30:11 am »
Angelus wasn’t good at repairing things. He could make ad hoc explosives, but he didn’t waste his time repairing things. He had the knowledge to do what he wanted, and that was cause destruction. Fixing them wasn’t in his mind, but now he did consider it. He had someone with the knowledge, someone the Toclafane had thought worthy of keeping around.

‘Wonder if you’d be good to ransom to the Master.’
That consideration played in his mind, too. He just needed the man to leave his ship. Would he do so for this stranger? ‘No.’ He’d send Toclafane. It wouldn’t work. Besides, Angelus didn’t know how to get in touch. The ‘smoke signals’ he sent didn’t seem to be working.

One of these days.
“Humor me,” he said. He didn’t understand the weapons well. “What am I going to do with these things? Do they kill Toclafane? Can you program the missiles to hit the Valiant?” He’d tried that. It did not go over well. He had burn scars across his left leg for that. Bloody flame-thrower Toclafane. He’d wasted too much time trying to figure the computer out. 

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2014, 08:30:24 pm »
Juls absentmindedly smiled when the stranger began to actually speak to him. He was no longer trying to dissuade him, or shoo him off in the other direction. No, the stranger was interested in the weapons Juls spoke of, just as Juls had suspected he would. Everyone struggling on the outside would benefit greatly from the knowledge Juls possessed. He looked at the stranger, walking in step with him. Juls didn’t want to walk too quickly for the other man was weaker than he was.

“The weapons are of greater technology than you and I can even imagine,” said Juls, “they can kill Toclafane a lot more quickly, as well as kill anything really. I’ve suspected that these weapons send and receive signals between each other, which is what makes them shut off when a Toclafane dies. I mean, how else does the Valiant connect with the Toclafane if not a signal?”

Juls kept his voice down, despite the excitement he felt when he spoke of the theories and conspiracies that he had been suspecting.

“If we can find the direct signal between the Toclafane and the Valiant, we can do all sorts of things to get close to the Master.” A pause. “And we can bring down as many factories as we can while doing it.”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2014, 08:54:47 pm »
The stranger spoke of the weapons, of a signal. ‘Yes.’ Angelus could agree with that deduction. There was a signal. Angelus didn’t understood it, he’d only figured out a connection between the four-beats and the Master’s control. Those who couldn’t break it always knocked four times. They would beg and they would plead otherwise, but it was clear in their wide eyes. Something in the beat was keeping humanity in line, inspiring fear.

The Master might be arrogant enough to attach everything to the same signal, that which brought the fear, the Toclafane, everything could be united. With the sort of power he had behind him, he didn’t need to worry about his one-in-all system being destroyed.
“I’ll take anything that can kill a Toclafane.” He’d start committing mass murder of them instead. That would get the Master’s attention.

“All right,”
Angelus sighed, “You can come along. We’ll figure this out.”

‘He’ll slow you down!’


The thought was violently shut down.
‘What progress have I really had?’

There was no argument his mind could make. Angelus didn’t like the idea of having someone tagging along, but he wanted what Julio told him. He wanted it all.
“Angelus,” he said, realized that might be a bit confusing a couple seconds later. “My name.” Not that anyone used it anymore. He hadn’t introduced himself to anyone in what felt like a lifetime. ‘Sometimes Ange, never Angel.’ 

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2014, 12:06:13 am »
Juls could see the information he gave taken in by the stranger – being processed and understood. It made Juls smile, like he hadn’t in so long. It wasn’t a wide big grin, but it was genuine and sparked from someone other than himself. The boy had almost forgotten the feeling.  Juls knew that having weapons that could kill Toclafane was something the stranger would appreciate. Everyone would. 

The smile grew wide as the stranger allowed him to tag along with him. Surely it was his proficiency with alien weapons, but Juls paid little mind to it. If it meant taking down the Master’s little army, Juls would be glad to slave over the weapons he had so refused to make.

“Juls Bauss,”
responded he with a nod. “Well, Julio, but everyone calls me Juls.”

On they kept walking, Juls pacing his steps to Angelus’. Juls hadn’t thought it possible, but the day was growing increasingly darker. In time, he could only make out the silhouette of his new companion by his side. Sure there were some lights, but not nearly as many as when the humans had control over their cities. Nothing was ever really populated, and starting up the electricity would be too much of a waste of time.

He had a flashlight in the backpack, but using it would risk getting caught. The lights of the towns ahead were good enough guides for them to walk.

“Just let me know when you want some food,” whispered Juls as they walked. He still wanted Angelus to eat something. His body could not keep going much longer without taking in something. Where was he getting all his strength?


Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2014, 03:24:02 am »
Angelus found his lips quirk, just a bit. ‘Boss?’ And yet despite the sense of humor, he refused to let himself be amused. It was a cold suggestion that came instead, “Just don’t start calling yourself The Boss.”

Harsh.

He felt little guilt over it, though.
“Juls works,” he said, but offered no nickname in return. There was no one who called him Ange anymore.

The water bottle was empty. Angelus walked on, relentless, really. He would never be able to explain how, except that it was a family trait. When they decided something was necessary, they found a way to do it, no matter how frivolous. He had made the decision to find and kill the Master.

It would be done, even if it took his dying breath to do so.
‘Will I see you all then?’

Somehow, he felt that he would not. That was the worst of it. They were lost forever.

The sky was darkening. Julio took him from his thoughts with a whisper and the man looked over to the younger one. Food. Right. How did food even taste?
“I’m not sure I can eat,” a confession, quiet. Drinking the water had made him feel sick, and caused him stomach pain.

He did cast his eyes towards the lights.
‘I know no one there.’“We’ll stay out of the city tonight.” He’d run the risk of exposing others. This city wasn't even all that important, anyway. No point in taking the risk when he could walk by it in the morning.

He made a motion and then followed it left of their position, closer to the road Angelus didn’t use. There was a bridge still standing, and they could easily settle near it and use its position as protection from being seen.

He took a seat with his back to the bridge.
“Is there enough for you?” He might consider food, but he didn’t want to waste such a small portion on himself when his mind had gotten to the point of telling him it wasn’t necessary. He’d lasted this long, after all.

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2014, 06:44:53 am »
Juls had smiled at Angelus’ harsh response to his name. That had been a first, but he didn’t mind the aggression one bit. Juls had not even felt confronted. It was a nice change of pace. He couldn’t go on walking without correcting it, however. “It’s spelled B-A-U-S-S,” he said with a chuckle, “and I would never call myself that. It’s dumb.” It wasn’t dumb, but Juls knew better than to disagree with Angelus in that moment. He had barely agreed to let him tag along; antagonizing him would only make things worse.

The young man frowned when Angelus admitted that he was unsure if he could even eat. Had his starvation gone that far? If it had, then he couldn’t go on much more without eating anything at all, and he couldn’t just start to eat as if nothing had happened.

Juls knew not how to feed a starving person, but he knew that it would be best to eat in small portions and increase them gradually. At least, that’s what he had heard. He didn’t have many more choices, it’s not like he could take him to a hospital.

“We have enough,”
said Juls, though he didn’t bother to take a look in the bag. He wasn’t in any risk of starving to death, anyway. Angelus took priority when it came to their food. They had settled by the bridge, both sitting with their backs to the wall.

From the bag, Juls took out the beans once more. “Here,” he offered the food once more. “Just eat a small amount; your stomach probably can’t handle much more than that. Slowly, we can get you eating normally again.”

In time – or so he hoped.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2014, 07:23:39 am »
Angelus reached for the offered food. He accepted it, looked down at the beans, and sighed. His stomach twisted in pain, growled, and Angelus wasn’t sure if it was hunger or disgust.

He never felt hungry.
‘Eat.’

With a sigh, he resigned himself to it, to feed his human beast and live a little longer. There was the spoon from earlier, and he took a bite.
‘Nope.’ He didn’t like the taste almost instantly. It was overpowering, and his disgust showed as his face warped with it. Still, he chewed. If nothing else, he’d learned to endure things he didn’t like. “This is shit,” he said once he’d swallowed.

‘Eat.’


Insistent.

At least he wouldn’t overeat with it tasting like this. He took a second bite, and then held the can away from himself, indecisive if he was done or not as he chewed and swallowed.

At once, the silence between them was comfortable and uncomfortable, if only because Angelus imagined it awkward for the other. He wasn't sure why he cared. His mind considered something to say for several seconds, but it was consumed with Saxon. What was there before that? What was there after it?
"What the hell is good food anymore?" Nope. There was just now and edible food. Yet, the question stirred thoughts of the past, so unconnected with people, at least for the moment. "I remember when it was so easy to get scrambled eggs, or a pizza." Pizza. That was good food. He missed pizza.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 09:21:59 pm by Krystal Itzume »

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2014, 04:16:10 am »
A wide smile came to Juls’ face, though it was hardly visible in the darkness. He was glad that Angelus had agreed to at least eat a little bit. The first bite came, and then a warranted complain about the quality.

“There isn’t anything good anymore,” said Juls, with half a chuckle. “I guess we now only eat to survive, as opposed to for pleasure.”

Those were the days.

The second bite came, and the beans were held aside. Juls reached for the can and covered it with the lid. “At least it’s something,” he said, noting that it would probably be best if he didn’t eat much more. His stomach was still not used to food, and he wouldn’t want to push Angelus into illness. No, it would be better for them if they were careful.

Pizza was mentioned.

“I hated pizza, before,” said Juls, as if remembering a time long gone. “And now I would do anything for a pizza.  Better yet, a burger.” He loved burgers and chips. The mere thought of it made his mouth water. At least it was something to look forward to, getting all these things back once the Master was put to justice.

“Let’s just find and kill that son of a bitch, and then we can have all the burgers and pizza we want.”

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2014, 04:57:59 am »
The can was removed. Angelus didn’t protest. Better to have it taken away. He had a feeling he might eat rather mindlessly even if it didn’t taste good. He didn’t consider it’d be bad for his health, so much as he feared running out of food completely. “Burgers,” Angelus echoed. He preferred the chips. He thought of the bars, mozzarella sticks and beer.

He remembered too much. That smile which started faded.
“You’re buying,” not cold. It could have almost been called friendly, a joke. “There used to be this nice place in London. Had karaoke every other Friday. Best burger I ever had.” Destroyed now, along with its secret sauce, and its plethora of dipping sauces for the chips. “They had marshmallow dipping sauce,” he liked sweets. “That with sweet potato chips…nothing better.”

And it would never be again. His stomach remembered, too, and made its protest. At least, Angelus took it for that, even though it hurt so bad. He winced and leaned forward.
“Too much water,” he figured it was more that. It felt more liquidy than solid. “Sorry.” He shouldn’t have gotten either of them thinking of hopeful things. He wasn’t convinced any of it would ever be possible. 

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2014, 08:07:44 am »
A soft chuckle echoed softly under the bridge.

“You’re on,” said Juls leaning back and resting his head on the bridge’s wall. “I particularly remember the bar right next to that,” he was surprised he could even tell which place Angelus was talking about. “I always thought that one day I would go in there, get a nice drink, and maybe scout the place. I never did, though. Perhaps I would have gone to the karaoke though. I can’t sing worth a damn.”

A laugh.

“What are you sorry for?” There was no need. “Nothing wrong with speaking of the places and things worth remembering. We have to hold on to at least something good. I’d go mad, otherwise.”

He let his eyes close.

“No need to be sorry, mate.”

Juls let the sounds around him distract him. It had been the first time in a long time since he had spent the night outside. Even when things were normal, he never did go camping. In fact, he had hated the outdoors back then. Now, everything just seemed to be more interesting. Everything that he had taken for granted before seemed to attract him.

The color of the moon, the sound of the wind. Food. Everything.


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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2014, 08:36:23 am »
Angelus turned his head as Julio mentioned madness. The grin on his lips was almost inhuman. “You realize I’m insane, don’t you?”

He meant it. It was no joke that friends would make with each other. Angelus felt that there was something very, very different with his mind from how it had been before. He imagined he’d snapped, and maintained some sense of purpose in the Master. In a way, the Master was all he lived for now. It was an obsession he welcomed, for when the Master was gone, the weight of his crimes would come upon his shoulders. The loss.

He would crumble under it.
“There’s no way someone can kill hundreds, thousands, of people and not be insane. Don’t trust me too much.” He shifted, but didn’t confess that he’d consider ransoming this newcomer to the Master, and so much else, if it would get him what he wanted. “Sleep. We’ll be fine here.” Angelus was already closing his eyes against the outside world.

Angelus did wake, and their travels continued. Angelus tried to eat a little more each day, though it did set them back a bit. Illness overcame him one of those days from eating too much.

He did begin to eat more normally again. Color and definition returned to him. When they arrived ‘North’ enough, Angelus was the one to find them human allies in the city so that they could rest and begin stocking up and building. Angelus built explosives, and sent out parties to fetch things that Julio wanted.

He wanted to rain down hell on the Toclafane. Now was the night to test things.
“You ready?” he asked Julio.

Bleu

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Re: The Year That Once Was [Closed]
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2014, 09:30:30 pm »
Angelus’ insanity was not something that bothered Juls, and he had told him so. Everyone who opposed the Master had to be insane. A sane person would never dare – the odds were too slim and the risks too great. Some people had conformed to the life that they had been given. Juls never did, and he was sure glad that Angelus didn’t either. Still, some of what Angelus said did stir Juls. Juls could not trust the man simply because he had let him tag along.

In his mind, Juls knew that it would be unwise to trust Angelus. In his gut, however, he felt that Angelus was a person that could be trusted. He may not have seemed it, but Juls could see something in him that he immediately liked. Behind the pain and the memories, behind the rage and the hatred, was a person who Juls could have befriended in another life. In other circumstances.

‘He’s not my type, though,’ it was a pleasant thought, however true. Angelus was handsome, with his tall stature and black hair, but that romantic spark was not there. A spark was present; it was a different spark, one that allowed him to believe that had things been different they could have ended up being friends. Juls let his senses leave him, hoping that perhaps that future could still come to exist.

His thoughts drifted to his own romantic endeavors. Catrina, his girlfriend, had been a person who Juls had grown to love. She had died some time before he got captured. In the night, he missed her. Juls wanted her to be near him, to tell him that despite everything, things would turn out the way they ought.

The following morning they continued their travels. With some difficulties Juls managed to help Angelus get back on track with his eating habits. He knew that he was annoying Angelus, but he didn’t really care. Juls could tell, too, that Angelus was getting more and more used to having him around. Juls had never felt awkward around him, but the rare awkward moments were replaced by comfortable silence.

Allies were made, and items were given. Juls had enough to feel comfortable traveling long distances. He was good at rationing food, and stopping himself even when his stomach ached for more.

“Ready as all hot hell,” said Juls, holding a beaten up blaster on his back. It had taken him longer than he had anticipated, but Juls had gotten the thing to work. The factory was before them, and it was time put an end to the Toclafane that were near.

Juls moved forward, taking cover in the shadows and the darkness of the night. The closer that they got to the actual building, the closer Juls could feel the Toclafane. From one of the side alleyways, a Toclafane emerged. Juls blasted it, and it silently sputtered. The young man rushed forward and caught the thing as it fell. Within seconds, Juls was opening up the Toclafane to retrieve whatever he needed.

‘Cover me,’ he signaled to Angelus.

When the other noticed this one deactivated, more would come.