Author Topic: And I hope you die, I hope we both die [Avery x Halberd, unfinished IM log]  (Read 283 times)

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Offline Avery!

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[11/10/2016 2:29:30 AM] Shakrashi: The air burned savagely hot with every breath. It choked like a garrote, the damnable smog, and threatened every fragile life testing the borders on either side of this great divide as surely as the flames that bore them skyward did. Think less dramatic, screaming, flailing incendiary death, and more to the slow plague, gripping tight, holding patient, dragging down and down.

She'd prayed for this once. Begged for it. Howled for it, like tribeswomen millennia from now would seek salvation in their gargantuan stone idols and powers too old and spanning for their control to touch. Now it came, years later. And it would kill her, had it the chance, as blindly as it would kill any Saboran.

A low, defiant snarl in her throat became a tickling cough. Up to her joints, Avery was coated in soot and leaf-litter. She staggered, only once, as she headed on, storming slowly and inexorably deeper into the ruins of this suffering city. So tired. So tired. In storybooks, she would have soared, light and brave in the face of it all. In storybooks, the smoke inhalation would have fueled her on. Here, it just stung her eyes, made her want to vomit. Made her wonder what the hell she was even doing here. What she was trying to prove.

Red eyes, somewhere near. Red insignia a mirror of her own. Avery never saw them coming.

[11/10/2016 3:19:00 AM | Edited 3:53:36 AM] Giant Bird Nerd: Half-remembered nightmares had coalesced into an inferno that incinerated the daytime. The ash choked the spaces in between it, narrowing the world into a heavy fog lit hellishly orange in diluted firelight - magma everywhere and nowhere all at once. it stung the pinprick corners of those red eyes into reflexive tears. The royal begrudged their existence with a half-conscious bristling of resentment as she lumbered along the edge of the ravine, scrubbing it away with a sudden hefty shake of her blunt-muzzled face. They implied a vulnerability that made opportunists salivate, a thorough antidote to having enough leverage to terrorize stampeding cattle into silence and stillness long enough to remind them that they'd rather take their risks with the volcano's ire - it had more forgiveness in its heart.

/Leftovers/, she mused in that mental corner, the eye of the storm, /from a time when this would've been my effing problem./

A coarse silhouette in the fog, her body curved a watchful lateral arc that /dared/ the streaks of panicking/fleeing passerby to try to bodycheck her into the abyss. if the mayhem at the edge of the empire were a stream of barracuda and herrings darting to feed or eff or fight or whatever she supposed they were on their way to do, Halberd was the shark casting a vast overhead shadow as it swam through and above. Her steps plodded, teeth glinting fiery saliva as she panted lackadaisical hot breath into hotter air. She devoured the scene with those eyes, this way and that, as far as visibility stretched. Not far. Just enough to rubberneck.

Maybe if she were unhurried enough, idly contemptuous enough, unruffled enough, she could cleave herself away from the heat that tunneled under her skin, seared the pit of her gut into spasms of emotion so virulent it clawed its way into physical manifestation, unrelenting and all-consuming. Nero fiddled as Rome burned; he didn't scream and scream incoherent rage into the obscured abyss and forfeit the last vestiges of pride for the base masses to devour too. Something insubstantial had been carefully cultivated for years, cradled in the jaws of guards and the fearful half-glances of underlings, in executions and promotions and careful rationing of safety. She'd fed the oiled machine and its self-perpetuation to proxies - and apparently they were going to fumble it away into the grasp of glorified raiders storming in on the coattails of a mountain's tantrum.

The idiots probably still thought they could regain every ounce of that wasted respect. /Respect/, the automatic word to fill that hole, even though another might have suggested /fear/.

Her eyes betrayed the carefree control, pupils blown hollow and wide; cropped from the picture, from the design, and pasted onto another royal, in lieu of Nero they'd befit French royalty at the guillotine.

The tangled end of an uprooted log blocked the way, stretching to the sky high enough to be both floor and ceiling; she skirted around it with a massive stride. Was welcomed to the other side of the roadblock with a snarl that blazed familiarity teasing at the edges of context before it choked off artificially quickly and dissolved into hacking. Halberd stiffened, head swinging up and eyes flashing with interest - hunger? predation? renewed energy? hope? - as her lip curled in reflexive silent answer.

There were dozens of scents she could recognize, but few she could even possibly half-recognize. Were she more superstitious, perhaps the grieving tyrant would have wondered about ghosts. This was not so dissimilar from apocalypse.

How typical of the establishment, to write off the world along with the perceived death of a throne! Doesn't the solar system revolve around the earth?

She changed course; moved inland, following unseen in the lung-searing, scent-smothering blanket of ash; cordoned the runaways and raiders off into a segment of memory that mattered much less than this.

Someone she knew, had known, would know again with one more step around a splintered -


The brawny tricolor didn't attack with the intake that came after that breathed-word exhale; it was an act of spite. She'd already ruined that face with her teeth, so this could be a reminder without the effort of repetition.

/"Avery,"/ she rolled over her tongue, cracked hard with the first syllable drawn out. Mocking. Naming. Blaming, in a sudden ugly sweeping rush of realization, as that muscle-trembling wrath erupted in her body like the world outside it. The incendiary lines contorted on her cheeks.

She'd released an alligator into the sewer.

Of course it'd bred.

Blind heated rage thundered her heartbeat into the back of her throat - /she could have rushed Avery from the start/ - but she clamped down on it and twisted it into submission, as she reeled away back into the gloom instead. Had Avery whirled around in time to see Halberd?

/Follow me,/ then, or else she'd track a swift semicircle around, shifting her position in an attempt to have her cake and eat it too. The element of surprise - betrayed by a taunt, then regained.

Maybe there was a ghost here after all, a poltergeist of everything that had hurt Avery and every way Halberd had hamstrung herself.

[11/10/2016 5:18:19 AM | Edited 5:25:21 AM] Shakrashi: She was not failing, but struggling, and her world kept on turning to the beat of that inevitability, a tiny world scattered among millions just like it that surely had never registered as even a blip aside Halberd's almighty planet, encircled by that solar system and all the galaxies and every last one of the higher effing powers-that-be themselves. They all came crashing phenomenally down, of course, unsupported by a throne so incomprehensibly meager in comparison it was scarcely even to them as a single atom was to a wolf's body. Incredulous it was not, that a woman like dear Sabora the First, who perhaps still in her black heart believed those that ran owed her so much thanks, could believe that the volcano raining hellfire all over her purloined forest amounted to apocalypse.

It caked her legs, the ash, the soot, contents of the mountain's vast belly spewed and carried for miles, thick and black with a consistency like chalk, edges abrasive should her flesh be bald. It streaked the corners of her mouth as well, smudged here above the brow, there behind the ear, from where Minos had lunged out as he fell, to save himself, to take her down with him, she'd never know. If her old nemesis was shark, then surely she must be tiger, flashes of black-streaked orange and wild molten-gold eyes and the muscle this place had carved from her bought-and-paid-for chassis. And wasn't that exotic-pet imagery terribly nostalgic, much like, say, approaching Saboro in a storm again, albeit palette swapped from deluge to lava? Or better yet, much like a family of four yards shy of the log bridge, breaking the Rules, daring to try and fly, their insides becoming their outsides, the children the cries the screams the teeth --

(no. no. think of something else. anything else.)

The mountains of her childhood, a red as rich as blood. The smell of roaming ibex. The first dustings of snow. eff, oh eff, oh god damnit. Pine, mint, r-r-rock slides -- oh, Hawthorne, why isn't it working? Hawthorne, why did I ever think this was what I wanted? The monster, redeemed at last, atones for her atrocities, frees cute babies and good people left behind, and she never again loses hours of her life or feels so sad she could die or wakes up at night screaming inconsolably.

Avery was no Nero of Rome. But she did have Halberd's eyes, hollowed as a ribcage cleansed by vultures. It was remarkable how similar they looked, in this snapshot of time, in these precious seconds before ground zero.

Heartbeats. Mine? Hers? She turned around, knowing without knowing who was coming to see her. Her name in Halberd's mouth sounded hideous and vulgar, a disgusting epithet. She didn't hide the fact that she'd kept her tattoos even after all this time. Didn't hide the ragged scars on her face. Didn't move, even as the tyrant crossed into her world with the same carelessness she'd taken it away with in the first place.

/I'll kill you,/ she ought to have seethed, or answered the approach with a whirlwind of righteous violence, or felt terror spreading over her skin like a terrible unwelcome infestation, or something, anything, other than stand her ground

and laugh. A hoarse sound, tarnished by the smoke, that croaked at the hitch of breath, so hateful and so mad with sudden mirth at the absurdity of it all, despaired by its total futility --

She'd never believed in ghosts.

/"It's going to be a hell of a show, Red Queen."/
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 06:10:22 PM by Avery! »
My fire is wild
My rage is deep
One black eye
Busted teeth

Played by Kotake