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Timber [closed] Read 16927 times

Beau

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #150 on: December 27, 2014, 06:03:05 am »
Beckett dared to look up at the two women as they spoke, although he sensed the conversation ran on more levels than his ears could hear.  He waited for more of a cue, body tense as Mira accepted his explanation.  The queen took a step away, a tentative advance towards Mira, but then seemed to change her mind.

“What were you looking for Beckett?  Entertainment or something else?”  Her fingers drummed on her hip as she contemplated the possibilities.  “Diviners do tend to know what they are about, and while I have seen you thirst for freedom before, this run with danger is indeed uncharacteristic.  Did you know these men?”

Beckett blinked in honest surprise.  “No your Grace.”

“They smell of the land.  I could see you having known them before coming here.”

“I have never met them.  Indeed they did not introduce themselves to me, although they seemed to know who I was.”

The queen returned to his side, “A touch of fame it seems that has gone to your head.”  She ruffled the hair on his head before noting the blood on his arm.  “You are hurt.”

While she lifted his arm, he felt his skin tingle.  “They were plotting much worse.”

“Revolutionaries,” she scoffed.  “I am not worried about them.” She snapped her fingers and one of the men approached.  “Take him back to the castle.”

“But,” Beckett did his best not to look towards Mira as the order was given.

A horse was lead forward, and it seemed he was to share a mount with one of the guards. 

“Return to your room,” the Queen ordered.

Beckett had no choice but to take his place on the horse and go back to the castle as requested.

The queen watched them leave and shook her head.  “He’s like a child almost.  Naïve.  He doesn’t fully understand how dangerous the world is, or who to trust.”

Ileara turned to Mira.  “You know him.”  She smiled, although the gesture lacked mirth.  “I had not considered that.”  There was more to ask, but she chose to look up to the sky and the land around. A different time and place would be better. “Are there others nearby?  It seems these have no horses or means of transport – did they take you on foot?  Did they show you their base?  I’m most interested to know if there are others and if you can lead me there.”


« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 06:04:27 am by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #151 on: December 27, 2014, 10:35:23 pm »
Mira kept silent, finding it a better tactic while the Queen focused on Beckett. She observed his discomfort and how he continued with his own game of hiding the truth. It was admirable, but Mira still wondered if he would have done different, were she not present. Certainly, Ilaera would have been different.

Mira’s gaze followed Beckett as he was sent away, and didn’t avert from him even as the Queen spoke, until he was out of sight. Even then, her attention didn’t snap to the woman before her. She heard every word, though. She just wasn’t letting the Queen dominate her focus as she might have liked.


“They took us on foot,”
Mira answered. She considered confirming that the Queen guessed correct about where the men came from, but decided not to. She didn’t want to answer whether or not she had known them.

“They did take us back to what passed for a base. I do not know their full numbers,”
it had not concerned her, “Three seems too small.” Three were the dead bodies before them, but she couldn’t believe a mission like Emmet’s would send him with just three others. It was inadequate. She let her gaze go back towards the remembered direction, “I do not know this area well, but I know the way back to the base now if you wish to see it.” Mira found it strange that the Queen would wish separation from Beckett so soon, and to even pursue something else, but she accepted it. The guards sent with Beckett must be individuals she trusted quite a bit.

She’d have to remember their faces.


Beau

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #152 on: January 17, 2015, 01:11:01 am »
Ilaera didn’t like competition.  Her eyes narrowed as she watched Mira’s…distraction…with Beckett.  In her world anyone who dared look to another other than her – particularly when she was speaking – was far too sure of themselves.  Not for the first time she questioned the wisdom of keeping Mira so close.  But none of her inner angst showed when Mira shifted focus and finally looked her way.  By then, the ivory color skin was free of furrowed brow and worry lines.  She smiled (although not so much that it would crease her cheeks).

“Indeed, I would like to see their ‘secret lair’.”  She said it like a joke.  Villains in her midst wouldn’t remain so for long.  The queen lifted a hand to point in the direction where Mira had entered the clearing.  She wouldn’t be disappointed to see Mira walk that way.  “Curious that they separated you. With so few, you’d think there would be more strength in numbers.”

She paused, wondering what the answer would be.  Beckett’s story seemed so farfetched it might be real.  He indeed was valuable to her, but not for the reason many would assume – that he was some token of her power.  Only she knew of his gifts, and that secret she would guard.

It would be interesting, however, to know if Mira had figured out his skill.  She considered a question or two, as she walked two steps behind.  One hand toyed with her skirt until she realized the nervous habit wasn’t terribly becoming.

“How long have you known Beckett?”


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #153 on: January 17, 2015, 01:42:27 am »
Her Grace wanted to see the hide-out? So be it. Mira was curious if there was anything worth her attention there, too. There might be a few things to burn, lest they reveal her actual mission here. Better to glance through things with the Queen and hide what she could.

Mira led the way and kept her gaze forward as the Queen spoke at her back. She shrugged at Ilaera’s statement about numbers,
“To be fair, Your Grace, most would underestimate Beckett and myself. Neither of us look to be a threat.” And if they had known what Mira was, she wouldn’t have been conscious, considering they thought she’d switched sides. She’d be kept unconscious, or else, deprived of her senses, until she got back to the land.

With her answer given, the Queen posed another question.
“Tricky. It depends on how you are defining ‘know’. Even now, I wouldn’t claim to know him,” she wanted to explain that she didn’t consider she knew anyone until she could guess what they were thinking without looking, but did not. That would mean she’d have to explain that Beckett’s mind operated on an inhuman level because he was a diviner, and she didn’t want to explain levels to the Queen lest she learn to use them. She had already figured out mental guards.

Mira continued,
“I have known of his existence since childhood, and interacted with him and his family, but he was always shy. I have not known him in any meaningful way,” a part of her wanted to add ‘until recently’, considering this quest and recent revelations brought a much greater understanding to both of them. Ilaera would likely consider the kiss meaningful, though Mira could shrug it off as Beckett acting on a childhood dream.

Something done, and accomplished. If only she had made it a dream of his, and not reality. If only she had wiped his memory, or made it all a dream. Now he was too far away, and the more time that passed, the more complicated things would become to rewrite his memory.
‘Just leave it. He doesn’t understand.’

“Does that satisfy your curiosity on my knowledge of Beckett?”
Mira asked as the cave came into sight, and she continued towards it with no formal introduction to it as the hideaway of the rebels.

Beau

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #154 on: January 17, 2015, 02:06:38 am »
Ilaera listened to Mira’s words, finding them cryptic and simple.  She wanted to believe what she heard was true, but she couldn’t completely.  Paranoia ate at her along with an odd sort of jealousy she hadn’t expected and failed to guard against.

“Good,” was her word on the matter.  But was she satisfied? Not really. “I'm sure you won’t be disappointed when I…ask…you not to follow him again.”  She figured the word more likely to get her wish than an order.  Best to humor the peasant.  “Beckett isn’t meant for people to interact with.  In fact, he’s told me that he prefers his solitude, so you should not speak with him in future.”

Not that you’ll have the opportunity.

The thought became plot as she considered how best to secure Beckett so that he’d stop these ramblings.  He could be harmed, or he could interfere.  Ilaera really didn’t like interference.  New magical locks would need to be fashioned.  Perhaps something else like the collar to keep him in place.  Beckett – obedient.  Now that was a thought that made her smile.

The cave loomed ahead.  She paused before the land-like formation on her cloud domain.  “Rather obvious, isn’t it,” she scoffed.  Lifting a hand she touched the rough surface.  The rocks bit into her skin.  Her fingers clenched and deliberately pulled to remove a hunk of stone which she tossed on the ground.

She stepped under the archway and into the interior.  The air was cooler than she thought it would be.  Her nose wrinkled at the musty smell.  She saw the bloody handprint on the wall, but passed it by without comment moving further into the dim room beyond.


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #155 on: January 18, 2015, 09:43:23 pm »
Mira smiled at the words the Queen said, “I’m sorry, Your Grace,” though the Queen couldn’t see the smile, she couldn’t help but apologize for it anyway. “I thought you understood who you were attempting to lie to. It seems I’ve overestimated you.” Perhaps Ilaera truly did not understand what she was dealing with. Those trailing thoughts of ‘well, well, well’ might have only signified she noticed something, but did not put all the pieces together.

Either worked with her.

Beckett didn’t like being alone, and Mira wouldn’t allow the Queen to think that she believed that. As they entered the cave, she said,
“Fear is a good way to have power, Your Grace, but it is not the best way. People try to overcome their fears, but, you did not hire me as an advisor so I’ll not say any more unwanted words,” a shrug of shoulders, and then, “but I already told you—we of the land follow diviners, and if I see Beckett running from something, I will follow him.” 

Mira had not noticed anything interesting about the cave on her initial step into it, and she did not notice much now. She led the Queen past the bench, and into the room where she and Emmet had talked. Mira ignored the pang of guilt as she said,
“This was as far as I got. I’m sure somewhere there are supplies,” there were other tunnels through, and she motioned towards one without much thought. A few things were scattered about this area, and torches were lit to provide light.

Beau

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #156 on: January 29, 2015, 07:38:28 am »

I’m sorry – did you just call me a liar?

The queen refused to look at Mira as the accusation rolled through her mind, but resentment built and her nostril’s flaired.  If those words had been uttered in the hearing of her guards, Ilaera would have ordered the woman killed. 

And damn the consequences.

Beckett had warned her that someone was coming.  He’d interpreted her dream and thus she knew Mira would be important.  For what purpose she was no longer sure.  Certain behaviors made her more danger than ally but she would continue to watch and wait.  For now. 

Mira tempered her words which saved the Queen from correcting her.  She seemed content to move on towards the tunnels and indeed she was curious.  Was it wise though to venture on without an armed guard?  This could all be a trap.  For a moment Ilaera hesitated, nothing more than a small catch of her breath and a hitch in her step, but likely noticeable all the same.

“Oh?  Was Beckett running from something?” Her lips curved slightly as she considered how his plans to escape were now thoroughly thwarted.  “He’s always been a bit of a wanderer, but he knows his place.  You’ll note he didn’t protest being taken back to the castle.”  Of course she didn’t need to justify the need for such a thing.  “I’ve often wondered why he doesn’t fight for freedom more, but rather takes it in such small quantities.  It’s as though he’s waiting for something.  But what…well…only the future will tell.” 

She smiled over the tiny joke until she realized how true it likely was.  "I could have killed him at the new year.  He talked me out of it." Not that she'd admit that Beckett was skilled with words. Or even really had the power. "I suppose my heart wasn't in it to begin with.  I'm not one to part with toys easily."

The lighting in the cave was dim, but enough to see.  They hadn’t ventured far when it became clear that supplies were indeed stored here.   Under one archway a stack of wooden crates.   

“Open them.”  No point in breaking a nail.


« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 07:41:19 am by Beau »

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #157 on: February 02, 2015, 10:27:44 pm »
There were moments, like then, that Mira wished to just drop the façade entirely and yell at the Queen for the lies and for the games they played. Yet, that was not how people communicated. People communicated with the rules of politey in mind, and that meant Mira had to continue being so dishonest and to pretend she had an ounce of respect for the Queen’s position.

‘At least on land, we needn’t worry about monarchy any longer.’
A happy thought. She did so want to return there. “Yes, the future will tell,” Mira voiced her agreement with that, and said nothing on the matter of what Beckett was or was not doing.

He might point the finger at her soon enough. As the Queen worried over his want of little freedoms, Mira worried over his ties to the Queen.
“I am pleased to hear you do not throw away your toys like a displeased toddler.” Ok, she should have held her tongue. She didn’t. Now she had to open crates. ‘The guards would have been nice to keep around.’ Still, she eyed a crowbar and walked over to it.

Another thought came to mind,
‘Just kill her.’ As soon as she laid hands on the crowbar it came, and Mira swished the object through the air and then approached a crate. Her thoughts had a point. There were no guards here. ‘No, it won’t be that simple. Emmet made that clear. Besides, then I'll be out of a job.’ Supposedly only a few certain weapons could actually kill the Queen. If Emmet’s information was correct, then some noble had it, and was planning her death.

It was something she ought to mention, but she didn’t feel like doing so right then as she moved the metal between the two pieces of wood, and put what strength she had behind it to force the lid up, nails and all, and off.

That crate just had food. She glanced to Ilaera, before walking over to another and prying it open as well, one by one, showing money, showing weapons and explosives, and showing letters, books, and maps, among other things.

Beau

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #158 on: February 08, 2015, 03:26:29 am »
Her comment seemed to hit a nerve.  Ilaera’s lips twitched at the irritated response and the implied insult.  She filed away Mira’s reaction, no longer concerned that there was more between them than a shared acquaintance.  After all what would Beckett be to someone with Mira’s skill?  Oil and water no doubt.

The queen’s thoughts were quieted as the first crate was opened. She debated about frowning and making another comment about the lack of fresh toys, but she chose silence instead.  She stepped forward and let her hand run along the side of the box.  The wood was rough and the craftsmanship poor which surprised her.  Boxes fashioned such as these came from the land where the real trees were.  The wood had a softness to it that she wondered about.  She leaned forward and sniffed.  Instinct told her this was willow, and thus the possibility emerged in her mind that the crates were locally made.  A smart allay would think to use wood to cover their tracks and point to the land in the event of discovery.  Hadn’t she nearly dismissed the site as ordinary?

Could it be…?

She looked to see if there was a telltale brand to point to ownership, but found none.  Proximity to a certain house, and linkages with Beckett made her wonder if she’d been gullible.  But, by now Mira had opened other crates of interest.  Ilaera was drawn towards the letters and maps.  The paperwork would hold clues that fruit would not reveal.  Hungrily she tore into the pages, lifting a few to the dim light, riffling through others.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderfully ironic…” she said, voice soft as though she’d forgotten Mira was there. Her guards were down as she read one page that confirmed her suspicion.

I never really believed in prophesy.  Beckett will pay for this deception, as will his former ‘owners,’ assuming he ever belonged to them as all.

The smile on her face was full of malice.  “There is a house near here.  It seems our duck might have been coming home to roost.  I think it might be time to smoke out the truth.”

And burn that lovely farm to the ground, along with everyone in it.

She gathered her skirts and turned to go.  Ilaera had seen all she wanted to, and more besides.

Nobody makes a fool out of me.



Krystal Itzume

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Re: Timber [closed]
« Reply #159 on: March 08, 2015, 07:03:08 pm »
A trailing sentence was always a sign of opened doors. Mira would be a fool not to take it, and she did. To her pleasure, the Queen’s mind was open to her, and she let the surface thoughts of that trailing sentence go through her mind. It seemed the house nearby was a target. Mira didn’t smile, though she wanted to.

It would be such a shame if that family decided it was time to move all of a sudden, or never come back. Mira had already found the group of them wonderfully easy to manipulate. She imagined doing it again, before Ilaera could ever harm them. She let the thought stay in her mind as the Queen decided she’d had enough of this cave, leaving the majority of the letters behind.

There would no doubt be information that Mira desired, information lost with the deaths, but she wasn’t the sort to leave it lying. There was a flickering oil lamp set nearby, and since Ilaera’s back was turned to her, Mira didn’t even bother making it look accidental as she knocked it into the box of letters.

The glass broke, the oil spilt, and the letters went up in flames like that beautiful little farmhouse might.

There was the hope that the fire would spread and engulf the cave. There were plenty of boxes here, but the cave itself wasn’t as dry as Mira would have liked. The odds were, the fire wouldn’t go far before it extinguished itself.

Either way, Mira made no fuss of it, and walked to follow the Queen. No need to run after the vain woman. She’d seen everything she wanted—what did it matter if a little fire destroyed all she hadn’t seen?
“And what truth is it you want, Your Grace?” Mira decided to ask, so that she’d know what to look for, if only for her own needs. It clearly went around the idea of Beckett, likely confirmation of what the Queen had already deduced, but Mira didn’t feel like pretending she already knew.