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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2009, 12:55 
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"And so it came to pass that the lost heir would ascend to the throne, and all the creatures of the land came to his coronation, and peace settled over the land at last, the old bloody wars finally finished."

There was a thnap in the quiet darkness as the reader snapped the book shut with one hand. "Well then," he said in a raspy voice, "this oughta be an easy mission."

The other three figures behind him all laughed quietly. The wind blew through the field, rustling the tall grass around their knees. Everything else was still under the waxing moon.

The rough-voiced figure in the lead held the book in one hand and looked up at the sky, apparently studying the stars. "Follow the leader," he said, and his whole body seemed to shift, as if he had taken one step forward into nothingness. The second figure caught the book and graciously held it open for the next two. Then he smiled, though there was no one there to see it, and moved forward, and somehow his hand managed to catch the book as he went, and then there was no one left in the field at all.

.......

Aldrich opened his eyes to a desolate plain, almost a desert, sunk in late afternoon, the air hot and still. It took him only a moment to realize his team wasn't with him. The only person he did see was a man propped against a rock nearby, so still he might have been dead.

Conner's first impression was noise, a bustling, chattering, yelling crowd all around him. A marketplace, stalls lined up in rows, merchants selling all kind of bizarre products. Everything from day old bread to dragon eggs was being hawked somewhere around him. At first he thought his teammates were in the crowd around him, but it quickly became obvious there was no trace of Aldrich's coat or Ivan's shadowed face, or Wolf's bright jacket.

Ivan had a similar impression, but the noise that surrounded him was angry and derisive. He looked around an old building, dust swirling in streams of sunlight from the tall windows. Some kind of courthouse, he thought; all the seats were packed with people yelling and accusing, and at the far side a scared-looking elf stood handcuffed to a seat, eyes wide as the people ranted and the judge looked innocently on.

The first thing Wolf heard was, "Stop that slave!" and the first thing she saw was a terrified young woman dashing past across a cracked sidewalk, and before she could get her bearings she was almost run over by the angry slave owners giving chase. Without thinking, Wolf ran after them.


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2009, 14:14 
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The rectangular shape of the room and the large windows gave the courtroom--yes, that's definitely what it was--a feeling of an aquarium to Ivan, who could imagine floating helplessly among the densely packed and obviously angry crowd barely contained by the bar, the bailiff glowering at them and holding a ready looking baton with both hands, two deputies shouting at them, and the dark robed judge looking flabbergasted and red in the face from dealing with them. As for Ivan himself, he took it all in from a corner of the room, mostly hidden by the jury box but still clearly visible for anyone who would care to pay attention. As for the jury themselves, sequestered in their little wooden matchbox, their expressions ranged from simmering anger to petrified--though not one of them held a finger to the pale looking elf with the dead look in his eye on the witness stand. He looked about to pass out and never wake up.

Shark was not helping, distracting Ivan as he tried to wedge himself down behind the jury box and hopefully out of harm's way. The spectre wasn't appearing, but was chatting away, begging to be let go to rip a path for them to escape through. Ivan did his best to ignore him, even if the thought of simply bolting was appealing.

It was even more appealing when someone from the crowd on the far side of the room spotted him past one of the deputies and pointed with a shout. It was only moments later that he was grabbed under his arms and dragged forward, his signature cane with its ebony wood stem, silver head, and garnet inset ripped out his hand as he was shoved onto into the tiny box of the witness stand with the terrified elf before the crowd.

The pointer had apparently been elected spokesperson by virtue of his being disconnected enough from the mob to notice Ivan first.

"You see?! They even send their own little spies to crawl between us and break their own kind out of fair trial! Proof in your very own courtroom that they are nothing short of subversive, backwards little supremacists! Dispense with the formalities and finish this!"

The judge, taking advantage of the momentary lowering of voices from everyone but Mr. Pointer, was quick with his rebuttal: "And are you blind? There's no doubt as to what has happened, that much has been confirmed. But this must take place orderly and by arrangement, else we'd be no different from any of them! Now QUIET!" A bang of the gavel and the judge turned his attention to his newest accused, his sparsely haired head shining, "And who, are you?"



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2009, 09:28 
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Aldrich stood and took in his surroundings, his right hand idly fingering the pistol in his pocket as he did so. Clearly the first priority was to find his team, but if he was going to manage that, he needed to know where he was. The landscape was filled as far as the eye could see with nothing but dry, cracked soil, scrubby patches of short, yellowed grass, and scattered rocks and boulders. No sign of the town that had been their destination. Odd that. He was a very experienced Jumper. He didn't make such elementary mistakes.

The only hint that this place wasn't totally in the middle of nowhere was the figure that sat, completely motionless, propped against a rock. He had shown no indication that he was aware of Aldrich's presence (not that that meant anything; ordinary people usually failed to notice the 'Weavers), but his posture suggested he wasn't asleep. His eyes were closed but he wasn't slumped. His back was straight, supported by the rock behind him. His head, also, was leant against the rock, but upright, tilted back just a little. His legs were stretched out in front of him. If anything, the impression could have been one of rigor mortis.

Aldrich adjusted his trademark red scarf, pulling it up a little higher over his mouth, and went to check him out. His boots crunched on the gritty soil as he approached, but the man still showed no reaction. Nevertheless, as he came to a halt a metre or so away, Aldrich could see that the man's chest was in fact rising and falling almost imperceptibly in time to his breathing. He clearly was alive.

"Knock, knock," he announced in a gravelly voice. "Anyone home?"

The man before him grudgingly opened one eye and peered up at him, squinting against the glare of the late afternoon sky, but said nothing.

"Care to tell me how you got out here?" Aldrich continued.

"What's it to you?" the man retorted.

"Because I'm looking for the town," Aldrich replied. "Now I know they say eyesight deteriorates with age, but I think even my eyes are good enough to tell me this isn't the town. Nor can I see any sign of one. And yet, here you are. I'm guessing that wherever you've come from is where I need to be." Then after a brief pause, "Or are you gonna tell me you're a hermit?"

The man now opened both eyes and wearily clambered to his feet. "Can't a guy get any peace any more in this world? I came up here to get a break from the insanity that's broken out in town in recent times, to get some time to be alone and think, away from the paranoia. But if you really wanna go there, then head down that slope behind ya. It may look like nothing more than a dip in the landscape from here but once you're over the brow of the hill, you'll see there's a river valley down there. Follow the river west. You'll be able to see the town from there. It's hidden behind that hill." He pointed towards a rocky outcrop a short distance to the northwest. "About five miles. But a word o' warning..... They aren't taking kindly to strangers right now, and an unusual looking guy like you....."

He eyed up the yellow "A" on a blue blackground, visible beneath Aldrich's coat.

"Oh, don't worry about me," Aldrich responded. "I think I'll blend in just fine...."

He thanked the man for the directions, and the warning, and began to walk away.

"At least you're not one o' them elves or werewolves," the man called after him.

Aldrich carried on walking towards where the ground dipped away.

Hmmm..... Elves... werewolves... paranoia... Things certainly sounds like they're in a mess, he mused.

As he started down the incline of the valley side he glanced back. The man had returned to his former roost against the rock and was no longer paying any attention to him. Aldrich felt the air and gravity around him, pushed against it with a sense that it was impossible to describe to anyone else, and shot forward, rising off the ground as he did so. A few moments later he was walking nonchalantly along a quiet sidewalk on the outskirts of the town. The few people who passed him showed no reaction.

No problem with the human inhabitants, he thought to himself. But I'm betting those other characters'll be a different matter.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2009, 15:31 
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The sounds of the town swelled in Wolf's ears, the chatter of people, the rush of wind around her, the clatter of carriages and horses and a few other odd vehicles-some of them looked like what would have happened if Dr. Frankenstein were a mad mechanic instead of a mad scientist-passing over the tarnished road nearby. She was also pretty sure she could hear animals not far off and a few distant voices raised in song.
And, of course, the shouts of, "Stop that slave!" Wolf gritted her teeth and pressed after the slave's apparent masters, wishing desperately that she had Aldrich's superspeed. She wasn't entirely sure what she would do if she did catch up to them, but she had to do something. Wolf had never understood or accepted slavery, and she wasn't about to start now.
The pursuering masters-two men and a women-apparently hadn't noticed their own pursuer. They dashed down the street after the frightened woman and through a pair of mismatched gates into what was obviously a market of some kind. Stalls were set up in more or less neat rows, stalls of all different sizes, colors, designs, and selling all kinds of products. Wolf passed a tiny metal stand selling brightly colored wyvern eggs, and another hawking used dreams. The clamor of the market was incredible, and it only doubled when people raised their voices in protest of the chase. Wolf stumbled and nearly fell, and when she looked up her quarry was nowhere to be seen.


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 14 Sep 2009, 17:37 
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Aldrich had no idea whether his team had suffered the same fate as he had when they Jumped. If they had, they might be anywhere. But he guessed that they would most likely make for the town centre, so he did the same. The town was surprisingly large and on foot it would take quite a while, but he was reluctant to use his powers in such a public place. He had already passed several clusters of people gossiping about the latest news and it was abundantly clear from what he overheard that the man up on the hill had been right: there was talk of elves, vampires, goblins... and these people hated and feared them (in some cases, with good reason, he acknowledged). He heard the word "lynching" drift out of one conversation. If he showed himself as not "normal" and was spotted by some magic-sensitive citizen, the results could be ... unfortunate. So he continued to walk. Once or twice he spotted goblins sifting through rubbish bins down dark back-alleys, but the other non-humans, whom the local inhabitants perceived as such a threat, seemed to be keeping themselves out of sight.

What he really needed was some background information. What had caused this collision of two realities? Was it some bizarre natural phenomenon, or man-(or other creature)made? Maybe if he could talk to one of the locals about when things first started to go awry, he might glean something.That's if there's anyone in this town who wouldn't rather just try to glean something for themselves by offing me and selling my stuff, he reminded himself.

Deep in thought, he ambled across the road in front of a slow-moving horse and cart but failed to notice a strange steam-powered contraption coming up on the outside. The driver clearly hadn't noticed him either. Aldrich darted clear and, as he did so, he caught sight of the driver. It was the man from earlier. In the same instant he became aware of Aldrich, and applied the brakes, more out of surprise than necessity.

"We must stop meeting like this," Aldrich remarked casually. "People will talk."

Ignoring the comment, the man stuttered, "H-how did you get here so fast?"

"Oh, you could say I got a lift," he replied enigmatically.

The man looked at him quizzically, seemingly in two minds. One of those minds having finally prevailed, he sighed and said, "I'm headed to the market. Any use to you?"

"Is that in the centre?"

"It is indeed"

"In that case, it sounds very useful to me. I take it you're offering me a ride?"

"Hop in," the man responded. "Some of the roads are closed to vehicles when the market's open, so we'll have ta take the long way round, I'm afraid. Hope that not a problem."

"If it's quicker than walking, it isn't a problem."

Aldrich climbed up on to the bench seat beside the driver, glancing at the eclectic assortment of old farm implements, slate roof tiles and baskets of birds eggs, arranged haphazardly in the back of the vehicle.

"I make a living by scavenging whatever I can find around the countryside an' selling it," the man said by way of explanation. "Name's Johann, by the way."

"Aldrich," Aldrich replied. "And before you make the inevitable stereotypical comment, no, I'm not from around here."

Johann grunted, but his mouth betrayed the hint of a grin.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 14 Sep 2009, 21:10 
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Ivan suddenly realized how lucky he was to actually not have his gun with him--he'd have been killed on the spot. It's a wonder nobody had checked for the knife sitting within his jacket sleeve...

"Ivan, sir."

The judge leaned in closer, "Speak louder, no one will hear you like that."

Ivan tried pulling himself up a little higher to project, but managed to fail, unsurprisingly. "My name is Ivan Kerofsky," he managed to force out just a little louder.

"And just what the hell were you about to do just now, in my courtroom, in our district of the city, Mr. Carrotski?"

Ivan's eye gave a barely perceptibly twitch as Shark went off in the back of his head. "Carrotski! Carrotski! Because Care-off-ski is the most difficult name in the world. I bet he couldn't even tell you what the word 'illiterate' means if ya showed it to 'um!"

"Nothing, sir, honestly and truly. I was merely lost, you see, and--"

Mr. Pointer interrupted, inspiring a rash of mutterings and calls throughout the courtroom, "You got lost? A person doesn't just 'get lost' in the middle of a packed courtroom on the wrong side of town!" The deputies moving in, to their credit, did restrain from beating the unruly man. The judge, for his part, took to banging his brilliantly shined gavel again, as anyone familiar with television will tell you they do.

"Another comment from you, sir, and you will be removed from the courtroom! It's bad enough having to deal with this mob without having someone instigating a riot!" The judge huffed for a moment before settling down again and redirecting his attention back to Ivan. Well, sort of. He double took at Mr. Pointer once or twice more--as if daring him to say something to prove the threat idle. "Ahem! A person doesn't just 'get lost' in the middle of a courtroom, Mr. Carrotski. And it's obvious that you are in the wrong district. It is clearly indicated by the barricade that the Eastern District is for humans only. I'm afraid that even if you weren't in trouble for lying under oath, you would be for trespassing on Native Territory."

Ivan had his own double take at the last few statements. "But your honour, I've not been put under oath! And I'm not--"

Someone from the crowd, not Mr. Pointer; a bookish looking fellow: "Harrisburg New Ordinances, January of 2012 states clearly that new species must be aware of Native customs if they wish to comply to Native processes of law and acquisition. Also stated: any new species found on Native Territory must comply to Native processes, which are assumed to be in effect when new specimen is found on Native Territory!"

An opposing voice rose from the far side of the courtroom, "'Assumed to be in full effect as would be assumed for any Native citizen!' Don't omit the parts you don't like, supremacist!"

Ivan couldn't help thinking of the poor lady in the brown shirt who made the comment and then was piled upon by her fellows as rather dense, even if the only fair one present. Surely she should have seen the terrible beating that now resulted from the comment. Shark beat himself into a frenzy at the sight of the bailiff and the same two deputies trying to haul the mob off the woman, who could at least walk when it was all over almost 3 minutes later, the judge yelling and screaming the entire time. The jury still sat just as before, as did the first accused elf, who looked at Ivan with a dumb, scared stare once or twice, but otherwise did nothing. In the end, the judge simply yelled over the mob, as a another deputy managed to find his way into the courtroom, from what entrance Ivan could only guess at.

"Jury! Verdict?!"

The jury huddled for less than a minute, right in the box. "Two verdicts of guilty! No agreed recommendations for sentencing."

The judge muttered something about it not mattering anyways, his words lost quickly in the general ruckus, made louder at the delivered verdict. "Good! The only way to sentence multiple charges to each individual in such a case is death. Misters Carrotski and Skysport, the bailiff will lead you to a place where you may make any last statements you each may have, and then you are both to be shot. I'm sorry." Ivan noted with the final banging of the gavel the lack of sincerity in the judge's final statement. So did Shark, who again began demanding his way out, and was gaining some headway.

Luckily, it seemed Ivan's head was saved by the sudden opening of the back doors, which would have been far more dramatic had there been room at all for them to be flung open.

But then again, on sight of the person entering the room, perhaps death wasn't staved off all that much longer...



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 18 Sep 2009, 21:43 
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Connor frowned when he Landed, after searching for the others in the crowd and finding none of them. They'd been separated mid-Jump, it seemed. Ah, oh well. They'd find each other eventually.

As he examined his surroundings, he felt a hand reaching towards his pocket. Turning, he grabbed the wrist of the would be thief and smiled genially.

"Well, hello there. If you're looking for pocket lint, I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere. But it was nice meeting you."

The boy made a strangling noise, as if he was unable to speak or in pain. He coughed. Connor loosened his grip a tiny bit, and smiled again. Staring widely at him, the boy put a hand to his eyes.

"What's with the blindfold? You blind, mister? Bet the ladies are all over you."

Connor tightened his grip and twisted the boy's wrist. The boy yelped and raised his free hand in a gesture of surrender.

"I'm sorry, man! Just wondering. Geez, people are touchy lately."

Frowning, Connor let go of the boy.

"Care to explain that?"

"Sure, sure, just don't twist my wrist again. I need both my hands. My name's William, by the way. You got a name, or are ya just some mysterious wanderer? You sure ain't from around these parts."

William tugged on Connor's shirtsleeve, getting them out of the crowded market and over to an alleyway. They walked, William guiding their way.

"Things've been bad for a while. Strange bad. The elves and the werewolves game, and now everything's gone bad. Not all of 'em are bad, but they're weird."

"And people don't like weird. Alas, they shall be eternally disappointed, I fear." Connor kept contact with the boy, William. He didn't want them getting separated, an occurrence that would cause William to forget his existence. There was no one else Connor could get information from, at the moment.

As they walked, Connor took note of the boy's physical appearance. He seemed to be around 13 or 14, though he could be older. His hair was chopped rough and short, and his face was attractive, if a bit gaunt.

They turned a few more corners, Connor memorizing each one in turn, until they reached a low wooden building that looked like an abandoned shed of some sort.

"In here, mister..."

"Connor."

"In here, Connor. M' mates won't hurt you, so long as you're friendly."

Connor looked around, and grinned at William before following him in.

"Now, what were you saying about the elves and werewolves?"


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 19 Sep 2009, 15:30 
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"So, Aldrich," Johann began, clearly trying to make conversation, "where you from, and what brings you ta these parts?"

"Oh, I'm from a little place. A long way from here. You wouldn't have heard of it. And right now... cough... I'm looking for some friends. Got sepa...cough..rated. I'm bargaining on them heading for the town centre. Cough. Cough."

"Hmm.... Sorry ta hear that. I hope ya find 'em soon enough. It's pretty crowded in town on market day." Much of Johann's utterance was drowned out by further coughing from Aldrich. "You ok, buddy?" He asked, looking somewhat concerned?

"I'll live," said Aldrich, drawing his scarf up even further, to cover not only his mouth, but his nose too. Black smoke belched from the funnel of the strange vehicle and drifted over their heads, with occasional stray wisps caught by the breeze and carried down past their faces. "Interesting vehicle."

What idiotic notion induced me to travel in this mobile pollution-making device? he chided himself, but he didn't voice his thoughts. He didn't want to alienate his host before he'd had a chance to pick the guy's brains. He could be a useful source of information.

"Ya like it?" Johann responded brightly to Aldrich's question. His weatherbeaten face creased into a wide smile. "I built it myself. Completely from scavenged parts. Pretty impressive, don't ya think?"

Aldrich cracked up coughing again. "Ask me again when I'm not dying," he managed to croak.

"I thought you said you'd live," Johann jested.

"We all make mistakes," countered Aldrich.

"So how about you fill me in on what's been happening with 'them elves or werewolves'?" he began when he was able to speak a bit better. "You do the talking. I'll do the coughing."



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 24 Sep 2009, 20:09 
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After having a quick chat with the urchin boys, Connor left. He really hadn't learned much from them. All they knew was that strange beings had started showing up since a while ago, and everything had turned to chaos since.

"They wasn't much doin any harm a'purpose, Mister Connor. But every'un got mad and started bein' mean to 'em. Things've gotten nasty since they came."

Something was off here...

Making his way back to the market, Connor sped up his pace a little bit, as he sensed Wolf in the crowd somewhere. It didn't take long to find her, and he placed one hand on her shoulder, grinning down at her.

"Rough day?"


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 28 Sep 2009, 20:31 
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Wolf jumped so hard she almost fell off the stall she was climbing up on. The chase had stalled temporarily, with the incensed slavers arguing heatedly with a fat old merchant who had plastered his stall with signs reading, "Dreams, good dreams, prophetic dreams, nightmares, trade&barter encouraged, come one, come all." Wolf happened to know that the man had hidden the girl in the storage space within his tiny stall, but she didn't think he would be able to conceal her there much longer. She'd been hoping to distract the slavers, but they seemed so fixed on their quarry she wasn't sure how.

"Conner!" She jumped down and glared up at her calmly smiling older teammate. She was certainly glad to see him, but he could have timed his appearence a little better. The merchant and the slavers both turned towards them.

"Here there, girl," the merchant said irritably. "What are you doing?"

Wolf shot Conner an even more evil look. "See what you've done."

"Hey," one of the slavers snapped, stalking over and leaning over her. "You looking for someone's wallet to nick? Better not be."

"Can't be trusting those younger ones," another slaver remarked coolly. He was a skeleton-like man with uncut black hair. " 'Specially those ones who keep hangin' round places where decent folk are trying to sell and buy wares."

"I need your help," Wolf whispered to Conner, backing away from the slaver. "We have to distract these slavers."

Conner tilted his head to one side. "Please tell me you're not chasing them. We do have a problem to attend to here, Wolfie."

"You two together?" The slaver stepped forward and jabbed her finger at Conner's chest. "You are one strange looking fellow."

Conner remained standing stock still. His head did not move to track the accusing finger or the slaver. He did not appear to have noticed at all.

Sensing an attack of opportunity, Wolf jumped the slaver, kicking her in the stomach and toppling her over. The slaver screamed and the other two jumped forward, grabbing Wolf by the elbows. Conner cut in, shoving the slavers about with his Push until they tumbled over into one big dogpile. Wolf struggled out of it only to be tripped up herself. She fell onto the stand, which teetered dangerously. A jar fell off into the dirt, accompanied by the merchant's cry of despair.

A spectral creature rose up from the shattered jar, oozing rainbow-colored smoke and cloying mist. The slavers swayed as the smoke spread through the market, their eyes glazing over. Chaos took hold in the market. Wolf suddenly found herself unsure of her surroundings; it was like a bad drug trip or a bizarre dream. Everything seemed disjointed and uncertain. Colors appeared in odd places and the market seemed even more strange than before. Some thought within the dream encouraged her forward-someone was moving away, with something she wanted, or needed.

She staggered away, picking up speed as she left footprints in the dust and the multi-colored fog swirled around her. It was some time before she regained full wakefullness. The slavers, themselves looking a little dazed, were dragging the young woman out of the southern gates of the market. "Thought you could get away," one of them snarled. "You're going to regret that. It's to the Arena with you."
The young woman gave a low moan of terror.

Conner was nowhere to be seen. Wolf, seeing no other option, followed the slavers.


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 05 Oct 2009, 22:02 
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"Oh, just fabulous..." Conner was sent reeling from the sudden commotion caused by the escaped...whatever it was, people rushing out of the area, knocking against the poor blind man who obviously couldn't have been a threat if they simply walked over him. Yeah, that got annoying, but Conner supposed he didn't help it by the fact that he insisted on keeping the blindfold. What his peers understood now, but initially had not, was that his mental sight worked quite similarly to normal sight. It was based on focus, and while he didn't go totally blind from being knocked into and jostled about, things looked, well, how they would look to anyone, blind or not, when they were knocked into and jostled about: confused. By the time Conner steadied himself, Wolf was already on the run again. Such an impetuous girl, didn't do enough looking. Sight was wasted on the young and restless, was it not? Conner often found himself wondering what it would be like if people developed their senses slowly over time as they grew, like they did height and mental acuity. Would they appreciate them more?

But now, mental or physical, sight wasn't going to do Conner much good. His dash after his young colleague was cut short by the emergence of a long sharp something in his face. It struck him that, from seemingly nowhere, Conner was looking at a bayonet.

Oh a bayonet, fancy that. As if I didn't have enough problems.

"Move aside," luckily, the bayonet wielder did not seem particularly interested in skewering the befuddled blind-folded man, who backed up a few steps in a hurry. The bayonet man, who looked a lot like a twenty-first century policeman to Conner, waved the pointed blade to the side, gesturing for the woman who had been bustling past Conner to similarly comply. Farther ahead, Conner saw the policeman's friends, all wielding what looked like awkward affairs of old style bayonets on middle-era automatic rifles, clearing a path through the crowded marketplace. And there, disappearing down a sidestreet, went Wolf. Don't worry Wolfie, I'll be fine. Hope you don't get yourself killed.

"Make room! Clear a path!" The policemen, obviously, didn't care about Conner's problems.

Enter an entire new mob. A smaller, more orderly mob, but to Conner, still a mob. They were surrounding some figure of importance, too obscured by the suited individuals with cell phones and papers to make out. Wait, cell phones? Judging from everything he'd seen so far, cell phones weren't a norm here...

Neither were wings. But as the huddled, chatting group grew closer, Conner could make out the pair of tattered angel's wings protruding from the center.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2009, 19:52 
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Feeling oddly light-headed, Wolf ran after the slavers as they marched the young woman out of the south gates of the market. They were headed down a desolate street. The sidewalk was cracked and covered with various symbols and messages in sidewalk chalk, and large chunks of the road appeared to be made out of some odd, burned material, like hardened lava. There was not a lot of space for Wolf to hide, so she dragged along after the slavers, trying to remain inconspicious.

A few odd vehicles drove past them on the mix-matched road. The slavers skirted around several runes in pastel colors on the ground below them and pushed past a couple of large men in huge overcoats with the stubs of horns on their heads. Wolf jogged ahead a little, trying to catch anything the slavers might be saying.

"Right this way," one of them said, and they rounded a corner. Wolf stared up ahead of her. Another market lay in the distance, but this one was full of metal and wire. Cages...?

The slavers dragged their captive towards a large building towards the end of the street. The doors were old, weak looking wood with a lot of mixed bits of metal holding them together. Wolf ran forward as the slavers opened them and cautiously slipped inside after them. Inside it was very dark, and the air stank.


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 13 Oct 2009, 21:51 
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Conner didn't like the position he was in. Nobody around him seemed at all pleased to be where they were either. Those who had wondered forward and met the sectioned off path looked around with a confused, almost panicked look to them, but, in a decision that made absolutely no sense to Conner, decided to stay where they were when they saw that the rest of the plaza was rapidly emptying of the lucky souls who had apparently noticed that traffic had stopped moving. No, no sense at all. But then, he was a blind man who had just seen a physical manifestation of a nightmare erupt from a jar while trying to save the only person in the multiverse who could hit the kill spot of any species that ever existed within two seconds of first coming across it. Nothing really made sense, did it?

Still, whatever was coming was obviously bad news. The fact that the marketplace, crowded not even minutes ago, was now eerily vacant aside from a few rows of soldierly stiff citizens obviously scared out of their wits told Conner that. The rows around Conner were still irritatingly shifting, as if trying to sort themselves out, and Conner discreetly made his way backwards through the pressing bodies of the speechless denizens. It was a pity really, a part of him sincerely wanted to know what was beneath those wings he had glimpsed. Those creepy, zombie-like wings, which inspired such instant fear and order. But there was a young lady and friend about, probably about to lose a limb or head, and Conner was far too eager to keep his own rather than satisfy his curiosity. Oh yeah, and there's the fact that I'm lost in world that proves with increasing reliability that it shouldn't exist. Can't forget that.

Now on the edge of the "crowd," Conner allowed himself a smile. None of the sheeple now behind him had bothered to even look at him (which was kinda nice, seeing as everybody stared at him), and now he could simply continue on his way--

The gasps hadn't even reached his ears yet before Conner's sight alerted him to an incoming stream of bullets, which luckily came on in a straight line, on obvious warning shot, else he would have never been able to dodge them. The crowd parted instantly to gawk at Conner, who about lost his balance, as four of the policemen came charging out of the line towards him.

"Desist! In the name of the Inquisitor, you're instructed to desist your fleeing from the site of a homage to the Lord Inquisitor himself, and his agents, Custodians of Order! If you fail to comply, the next shots will render your sins cleansed." Conner didn't need to be told twice, and cringed as he raised his hands in the universal sign for "Fine, ya got me," and turned around. The policemen surrounded him quickly, training their oddly amalgamated weapons on Conner in a way clearly meant to establish that their threat was, in fact, not to be taken lightly. Conner could almost imagine, from the smug look of the visible mouth--his eyes being obscured by a SWAT-esque helmet--of the policemen to his left that he was thinking something along the lines of "Just try it, punk; see if we don't mess up that pretty face to match whatever's under that blindfold."

"Hands locked, behind your head." Conner complied. As he did so, he cast his mental glance to his right, and finally caught sight of what this had to all be about. The wings had finally arrived, the lackies with their cell phones following hanging back a few steps.

The man they were attached to made a rather fascinating subject to Conner, almost to the point of losing himself. From the once noble, but now crooked nose to the tattered, mangy looking black wings matching his silky, lanky black hair to the nearly emaciated frame evident beneath the worn but beautiful and simple set of show armour, the man, if you chose to call him that, had a sort of morbid beauty about him. Death warmed over had taken a trip to an 18th century royal court, and apparently this guy had come out. And the voice that came from who was indubitably the "Lord Inquisitor" was even more fascinating, flawlessly complimenting the owner's appearance and countenance with its own sort of musical lilt, as if created for the sole purpose of singing a dirge. Light and eerie, with clipped and precise language. Conner felt as if he could live forever simply describing this man in his own mind.

"And what, dare I ask, did you believe you could accomplish by simply leaving?" The Inquisitor asked. Obviously, it was rhetorical; he kept going. "Of course nothing, but I still expect an explanation as to why you did not submit to the proper display of respect." Conner directed his head straight forward, in this case, being taken as blind would work in his favour. Remaining silent however, probably would not. What was he supposed to say? The Inquisitor narrowed his dark eyes, veiled by a sort perpetual shadow or malevolence. "Hm, you actually don't know who I am, do you?" He smiled evilly, "Not a problem in the least. Don't bother talking, I'm perfectly capable of handling that, before you attempt to and say something you'll come to regret. You needn't know my name, not if you belong to this district. You need only know that you, coming from the Old World, are expendable. Beyond that, you're exhausted as a resource. You live by my good graces and those of my vassals, and will recognise that fact at every opportunity you have to do so." His smile increased to allow a few blindingly white teeth to peek from behind his thin lips, "I'm through." The Inquisitor turned his winged back on Conner, still with the rifles trained on him, and stalked back to the path blazed for him by his other policemen. The cell-phoners--or perhaps they were the Custodians of Order?--followed him dutifully, their conversations all suddenly concluded. The four policemen surrounding Conner, for their part, broke away, the smug one muttering something under his breath and looking sharply back at Conner as he departed.

And all the while, the crowd stood to themselves, having not moved for the sake of both witnessing the strange event (so many oddities here!) and not being shot. Their gazes lingered for moments before they hurried off to their normal tasks and gossip partners, the entourage of the Inquisitor moving on in an eastern direction.

Conner made himself scarce. His first priority was now to find Aldrich. Please don't be hurt Wolfie.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 21 Oct 2009, 19:14 
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Wolf walked down a long corridor, dimly lit and floored with old, cracked wood that looked to be going rotten in places. The air was thick and sour and distant cries and moans rang dully from somewhere behind the old, splintered walls. Wolf lagged behind, staying close to the wall, letting the slavers get well enough ahead to keep her safe from getting caught. People seemed to not notice the Weavers more often than not, but you couldn't be too careful in a place like this.

The hallway, Wolf began to notice, was sloped down, as if they were going down into the earth. It seemed to be getting closer and narrower, and she clenched her fists by her sides as she crept along the wall, feeling boxed in. The wood grew more cracked and broken under her boots the further they walked.

At last the hallway opened out onto a long walkway above an open floor packed with people. Rusting iron cages were filled with shackled slaves, of all colors and kinds, of all races. Wolf saw one figure with dazzlingly bright wings crumpled between the bars. Between the cages walked even more people. It took Wolf a few moments to realize what they were: prospective customers. This was another market.

A cry rang out, breaking her concentrated horror. Wolf turned and saw the slavers she'd been chasing descending a staircase. The girl was sobbing as they dragged her down the steps, one arm twisted in an unnatural position. Without thinking, Wolf ran forward. Her footsteps rang out hard on the floor and before she knew what was happening everyone was looking in her direction.

She tried to turn, to run back out the tunnel, but the slavers were running towards her and armored guards with tasers and pistols were surging forward. All the fighting skills in the world wouldn't help her before them: she went down hard.


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 24 Oct 2009, 17:19 
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"So yeah, " Johann finished, "not a pretty situation. We've got all sorts living 'ere. Not just the elves and werewolves, but wizards, vampires, orcs. You name 'em, we've got 'em. I'm not saying they're all bad. A lot of 'em seem pretty peaceable types and keep themselves to themselves. So long as they stick ta their own areas o' town then I've got nothing against 'em. Wouldn't want 'em as neighbours though. But some of 'em are just plain scary! And the Inquisitor is the worst of the lot! He's not..."

"The Inquisitor?" Aldrich interrupted, managing not to cough for a moment. "A name like that certainly doesn't conjure up images of fluffy bunnies. What does he do when he's around? Don't tell me.... he conducts inquisitions."

"To be honest, "Johann replied, "I don't really know exactly what he does. He's just.... in charge. Don't even rightly remember how he got ta be in that position. Me memory's rather hazy. I know there was a time when things weren't like they are now, but I don't recall how they got like this."

"Can you cough remember how long ago it all started to change?"

"Couldn't say exactly. Like I told ya, I've forgotten a load about the early days. But I'd guess about..... I dunno.... fourteen, fifteen years, maybe?"

"Hmmm....." Aldrich mused. This situation had been going on longer than he had anticipated. No wonder everything was in such a mess. "Tell me about this Inquisitor....."

By the time Johann had reported all he could think of about the Inquisitor - his personality, his public image, the laws he had introduced, the people who worked for him - their makeshift vehicle was within sight of the marketplace. Johann pulled into a small courtyard off to one side, and shut off the steam.

"I think I'd like to see your Inquisitor," Aldrich remarked as he climbed down on to the cobbled surface, relieved to be free at last of the choking smoke.

"Believe me, ya wouldn't." Johann countered, very firmly. "The best thing you can do is keep well outa his way. Attracting his attention is definitely not a good idea."

Johann, by now, had made his way round to the back of the vehicle and was heaving various items out. "Here, before you head off in search of ya friends, can you give us a hand with the stock? That's my stall just over there. That lad manning it's my son."

He nodded his head in the direction of a market stall, surrounded by miscellaneous clutter, where a fair-haired boy of about 14 was standing behind the counter. At the same time, he held out a crate towards Aldrich. Aldrich took it without demur and followed in Johann's footsteps.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 10 Nov 2009, 20:21 
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"Yeah, about ye high, black hair, comes down to here..." Conner indicated with his hands Aldrich's general description as he made his way to the outskirts of the marketplace. The fat, hairy man in the stall next to the woman he was talking to poked his head out to speak to Conner.

"Aye, you mean Alexei? 'E wuz 'ere 'bout an hour 'go!"

Conner sighed and shook his head, "No, he answers to Aldrich. Has a cough he hangs on to, kinda light-brownish eyes...?" The man just shook his head and went back to tending his sundry wares. Conner looked to the woman who acted similarly. Conner was about to walk away before the man stopped himself with a mighty pulling up of his drawers which somehow, for him, looked thoughtful.

"'Ey boy!"

Conner stopped to look at the grungy merchant, "Yeah?"

"You might try asking down ah Yohawn's place--'e's the last one in the market in that durection. Got hisself a buggy he likes ridin' round the place. Likes talkin' tuh kooks and strangers too. Mighta seen yur fella."

Conner nodded and gave a small salute of two fingers to the man as he spun on a heel in the direction indicated, "Thanks, I think I will!"



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2009, 21:01 
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Aldrich grunted as he deposited the heavy crate on the ground behind the stall. As he straightened up, Johann was already introducing his son.

"Peter, this gentleman 'ere is Aldrich. Met 'im while I was up on the hills. Aldrich, this is Peter. He's a good lad."

"Pleased ta meet ya," Peter said chirpily, and held out a hand.

Aldrich gripped it firmly in his own and rasped, "Likewise," from behind his scarf.

After issuing various instructions about the contents of the of the newly-arrived containers, Johann turned towards his vehicle once more.

"Would ya be willing again?" He looked hopefully at Aldrich.

"I guess so," Aldrich replied in a tone that stopped just this side of grudging. "It's not like I'm in a rush to get anywhere in particular. I'm probably just as likely to get information about my people here as anywhere else. I'll ask around the market once you've finished taking advantage of my good nature."

Johann shot him a worried look, but the sparkle in Aldrich's eyes reassured him that his temporary colleague wasn't as disgruntled as he was making out. "You should ask Peter. He keeps 'is eyes an' ears open."

As they returned with the second load, Johann told his son about Aldrich's missing friends.

"Yeah," Aldrich added. "I'm looking for a young girl, a bit gawky, freckles, spiky blonde hair, jeans and a green jacket. And a thin guy, very pale. Dark brown coat. Looks a bit old-fashioned. And also a short, blond guy. Looks about 25, wears a blindfold. Got black..."

"You don't mean him, do you ya?" Peter interrupted, staring across the market square.

Aldrich followed his gaze. From behind a gaggle of people clustered around one of the stalls, about 100 metres away, a young man in black fatigues, a black vest, and a very obvious black blindfold, emerged. Despite apparently being unable to see, he appeared to be stepping out confidently.

"Peter," Aldrich exclaimed, "You've just become my best friend! Thanks for the help. Both of you."

Then, with a slight wave of acknowledgement and a clearing of the throat, Aldrich strode out between the stalls.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2009, 23:56 
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The man was lean, almost disturbingly so, with sunken features and an unhealthy pallour about him. The first thing that came to Ivan's mind to describe him was "death warmed over." A cliched description maybe, but quite accurate. Ivan couldn't take him for the living dead though. He knew the living dead. He'd been there. But those wings, the tattered wings weren't a mark of the living dead, not any kind Ivan knew at any rate. And the man's bearing was...not quite right. All these thoughts held up rather feebly under any outside scrutiny; he could be a vampire. Ivan had only just seen him, fact-wise, he couldn't make any call. But these impressions and feelings came from Shark, whose keen instincts were still relaying to Ivan as the apparition growled at the man. And Shark definitely would have known if a vampire had entered the room.

The packed courtroom somehow--totally beyond Ivan's comprehension--managed to compress further, allowing the man a nice aisle down the center, which was being secured by two armed men at his sides and another behind him. The man himself apparently had no fear of danger from the front judging from his confidant stride and condescending glances about the courtroom. The judge stood as well, cementing the fact that the man, the vamp, the angel, whatever he was, was in fact a higher rank. But if these people and the judge were such xenophobs, why were they acknowledging this creature?

"Your Eminence!" the judge managed to blurt out, "To what do we owe the pleasure of your joining us today?" The man approached the bar and passed through the gate casually, not answering the query immediately. Instead, he strolled over to the witness stand to examine both Ivan and "Mr. Skysport" before turning his head to the judge.

"Dear judge, you won't tell me it's a crime to be interested in my patrons, will you? Our fine system of law should be proud! Though perhaps you've become a bit overzealous? I didn't know you'd started trying them in mass."

The judge smiled nervously but gratefully, almost in a mood that could be described as giddy. "Well your Eminence, the smaller there interrupted the proceedings so he could help his friend illegally. Not that he should have been here in the first place. Two counts of wrongdoing evident at once, they're obviously connected and court's already in session. We saw no reason to waste the time of the jury."

The winged man nodded once as he took a parting glance at Ivan and walked back to the center of the courtroom area not taken by the gallery. "Well enough. Were you about to execute the verdict?"

"Yes, your Eminence. They are both to be shot."

His Eminence shook his head and gave a look of slight dismay, "Tsk, too quick I'm afraid. As I said, our system of law is doing its job marvelously--however, it doesn't seem to be deterrent enough. We'll have this execution in a manner more familiar to the old population in the western districts. Perhaps then they'll comprehend why they should remain where they are." He gestured to the bailiff and his deputies, who had been keeping a wary eye on the entranced gallery during the exchange. "Put them both in binds and have them readied to move. My own men will do so once they are ready." Next he turned to the gallery and raised his voice, "Ladies and gentlemen! Two animals have run amok through your home! In the old world, they hung animals to drain. I see no reason not to do likewise to these two animals."

There was much uproar from the crowd at these comments, but Ivan missed it, suddenly overwhelmed by a wave of rage coming through Shark, who had taken less than kindly to the animal comments. Before Ivan could do anything, he felt himself pushed to the side, and his muscles and flesh rippled as Shark lunged through him in the direction of the winged-death, the demon.

It was fascinating how in the next moment, less than a second really, the demon seemed to move out of the way of the lightning quick attack, leaving Shark slamming into the floor beyond and the deputies and demon guards piling onto him. Shark screamed, not used to being outmaneuvered. The guards were quick about beating him, as the gallery pushed back through the exit. When the scuffle ended, Shark was pinned down to the floor chest down, with at least 4 knees wedged firmly in his back and his head pulled back by his hair so his huge black eyes could glare at his tormentor, who stood looking down with a puzzled amusement at this latest development.

"And bailiff," the demon crouched down to look into Shark's enormous pupils, "bring this one's effects."

-----

A tap on the shoulder brought Conner spinning around to look Aldrich in the face, and he stepped back in surprise. "God Aldrich," Conner looked about the market for any signs of Ivan or Wolf with Aldrich, but didn't see anyone else, "how do you do that?"



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 22 Nov 2009, 19:08 
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Aldrich tapped the side of his nose conspiratorially. "A magician never reveals his methods," he quipped. Then, more seriously, "I guess it's too much to hope that you've got Wolfie and Ivan with you?"

Automatically, his eyes scanned the nearby heads in the crowd as he spoke, seeking out a familiar face or a characteristic hairstyle. As he had half expected, there was no sign of them.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 23 Nov 2009, 23:08 
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Conner's heart sank. "I was hoping you had," he said. "I...well, I lost Wolf." He explained about the incident in the marketplace. Aldrich listened with a serious face, digging his hands deep into the pockets of his coat.

"I had to get out of the marketplace quick after that," he finished. "And I haven't seen hide nor hair of Ivan and his ghostie since we left-I don't even know if he made it through to this...place. Only thing I know is, she mentioned slavers." Waiting for Aldrich's deliberation, he smiled at Peter, who was trying to hide his blatant staring. Spooked, the boy ducked down below the stall, and Conner turned back to Aldrich.

"Well, boss?"


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 28 Nov 2009, 10:36 
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Aldrich ignored Peter's antics behind the stall he had just left and stood motionless, hands still firmly thrust in pockets and absentmindedly fingering their various contents, while he considered their next move.

It was possible that this "Inquisitor" person was just another victim of the collision of worlds, who had used the situation to his advantage and risen to power, but his gut feeling told him there was more to it than that. He needed to take a look at the man for himself as soon as possible. But right now the order of business was to find his missing 'Weavers.

As he stood musing, a word drifted to his ears from the general hubbub of the crowd. Someone had just said "Inquisitor". He immediately focused his attention in that direction and listened intently. It was hard to make out anything distinctly but a few words and phrases came over clearly enough:

"Yes ....... big ruckus ... courtroom ........... just came ..... trial .... interrupted .............. man in a brown ................. fight ... Inquisitor .............. who'd dare do? .............................. both ... execution..."

Aldrich's mind went into overdrive. Clearly there had been a trial and the Inquisitor was involved in some way. That much was interesting if they were going to be looking for the Inquisitor any time soon. But what really grabbed his attention were two phrases: "man in a brown" and "who'd dare do?" From what he'd gleaned about the Inquisitor, both from Johann and from Conner's report, the entire population was in awe of him. If someone in the courtroom had done something untoward in the Inquisitor's presence, it was most likely an outsider. The person in brown, perhaps? A brown coat? Ivan? Or, more likely, Shark? Whoever it was, it sounded like they were going to be executed...

"Conner," he rasped, a note of determination in his voice, "I think a visit to the courthouse is in order!"

And then, slightly less authoritatively, "Any idea where it is?"



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2009, 14:12 
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Conner tugged on the back of his blindfold. " 'Fraid not," he said. "Perhaps your young friend here knows?"

Peter poked his head back up over the top of the stall as both men turned to look at him. "I can lead you to the courthouse," he said, "but I ain't going in, not to the execution grounds either. I don't wanna watch no people get killed. Not...again." He looked down at his hands, avoiding meeting Aldrich's eyes.

Conner leaned over and put a comforting arm around the boy's shoulders. "We won't make you go in," he said. "And if we have our way, no one's going to get hung on the grounds today. Just take us to it, and then you can forget all about us."

Like everyone always does, he thought.

Peter looked as though he were considering for a moment. Then he stood up, shaking off Conner's arm. "Right, well, c'mon then," he said, smiling weakly. "We'd better get going if you're looking to stop it in time."

The boy bounded out of the stall and the two Weavers hastened to follow him as he lead the way to the courthouse and the growing crowd of hateful lynchers.


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2010, 17:00 
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Trudging, trudging, trudging, Trudging, TRUDGING! Don't these people know how to do anything faster than a snail?! I don't even know where we're going and I could have been there and back hours ago! Stupid chains and guns! CHAINS and GUNS!

We only got here a little over an hour ago. How could you have been there and back
hours ago?

I could have!
Shark growled menacingly at a one of the helmeted guards tugging at the chain leading to his shackled wrists as he continued his internal monologue with Ivan. I could have gone there running fast and then made it all the way back before they'd even left the courtroom. The COURTROOM!

They had been walking in the middle of the mob that had at one point been the courtroom attendance for nearly half an hour now, though it seemed longer. When they had set out, people coming and going as they passed what may have been homes or places of employment, the crowd had been raucous, loud, jeering and arguing. As they kept onwards, to the edge of the more urbanised part of town, the mob had sullied out, until now they made hardly any sound at all besides the rattling of metal against metal or wood, or the pad of feet on pavement and cement and grass. The whole thing had developed a very real feeling of a funeral procession. All that was missing was a dirge. Though Ivan, from his back-seat sort of view, could imagine that elf guy singing one from the mournful look on his face. He really had a wide range of emotions that fellow.

But that judgement was based on only a brief glimpse that he'd gleaned from Shark's keen eyes, which Shark kept darting between the guards tugging on him, the closer crowd, and the demon-man. The demon, for his part, still returned the looks with his own of curiosity and amusement, as if he were some scientist who had just gotten permission to dissect some strange new creature, and now waited only for the animal to reach the lab, where the scalpel waited.

Ivan decided to try and calm Shark a bit, perhaps make him more ready to do something smart rather than vengeful should a chance at escape appear.

Where do you figure they're taking us, Shark?

Somewhere open.
Shark turned his head forward, looking straight ahead between what heads he could with his arched down neck and hunter's posture, not helped by the lean added by his hands shackled behind his back. Smell the air? It's laced with hardwood sap. SAP! It's not very easy to get enough sap from a hardwood tree to smell on the air here. In a CITY!

At least,
thought Ivan, not as easy as it is with softwoods, pines. That means somewhere close has had a lot of trees cut down recently.

That makes it easy to run!

And hard to hide.

Not if there's still uncut parts of forest around. But we don't NEED to HIDE!

True to the first part. But yes, definitely to the second. Shark, you're disturbingly outnumbered. They have automatic weapons.


Shark didn't answer, just further furrowed his brow and cast a hateful glare at the guard who continued to tug at his wrists. The group had always been in what looked like suburbia, but had been walking through residential area in the past view minutes. Sparse trees lined the streets sporadically, but showed no signs of being cut. But gradually the houses thinned, and the trees thickened only slightly, until the road was mostly empty aside from the odd house, business, or church.

And then they reached the cemetery.

Oh...those are gallows aren't they...



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2010, 13:44 
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It took only a few minutes to reach the courthouse from the market place. It took even less time, having arrived, to ascertain from a bystander that the court proceedings had long since finished and the "guilty parties" - two of them: an elf and his strange-looking, brown-coated accomplice - had been led off to the execution grounds.

Peter looked thoughtful, but also a little anxious. "The execution grounds're right on the edge o' town. Usually takes 'em a while to walk the prisoners there, what with bein' shackled an' all that. We we might be able ta make it if we run all the way. They'll need a bit o' time to get things sorted once they get there. But I...." He trailed off.

Aldrich's eyes softened. "I know. You don't wanna go in. You just point us in the right direction, then you're free to go."

"Ok," Peter said, gratefully. "It's this way."

He set off at a remarkably brisk run. Aldrich took off after him, keeping pace easily. Despite his confident demeanour, inwardly he was worried about Ivan. He lamented the fact that he was forced to rely on Peter for guidance: he could have travelled so much faster alone, and the sooner he could find Ivan, the more time he'd have to work out a plan to save him. Nevertheless, his anxiety was far outweighed by his absolute determination that no harm would come to the junior 'Weaver.

After only ten minutes or so, they reached a long, straight road that seemed to be heading out of town, and there, up ahead, was a crowd of people . Peter looked back over his shoulder at Aldrich as he pointed and panted, "That's them! An’ they’ve just reached the cemetery."

"Good lad," Aldrich wheezed. He was fit, but physical exertion in this dusty town was doing his respiratory tract no favours at all. "We can take it from here. You head on back."

Peter nodded gratefully, slowed his pace, and then turned back.

Aldrich turned to Conner beside him. "Time for a ride, my boy!"

With that, he grabbed his colleague in a bear-hug, lifted off the ground, and vanished in a blur. He knew there was a slight risk of some magic-sensitive person seeing this, but in the circumstances, he was satisfied with the odds.

In no time at all he had reached rear of the crowd surrounding the prisoners, and set Conner down. Gradually they wormed their way closer and closer to the two shackled individuals. Aldrich could see Shark quite clearly now between the heads in front of him. He was chained to a guard by the wrists, and several other guards kept a close eye on him, but his legs weren't chained. He'd be able to run if he were set free. However, not only were the guards armed with automatic weapons, but there was also a very strange-looking winged individual who appeared to be watching Shark with great interest, and to whom, Aldrich suspected, the Riftweavers would be totally visible.

Aldrich jabbed Conner in the ribs. “Over there,â€



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 04 Jan 2010, 19:48 
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Conner aimed carefully, focusing all his mental sight on the shackles binding Shark's hands behind his back. It took a different kind of thinking to achieve that kind of precision. Everything else had to be taken out of consideration, removed from thought and sight. One shot.

The bullet zoomed through the air, with Conner's sharp mental hand guiding it on its path. It struck the shackles dead on, shattering the metal around Shark's hands. The Inquisitor's head whipped round, staring at the surprised vampire as more screaming erupted from the crowd. Conner ducked back, trying to merge into the crowd. He was shoved about and almost fell into the dirt, but managed to hold his footing. No one seemed to be paying any special attention to him-all eyes were on the scene unfolding on the hill.


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