Knocking, Praying, Singing

November 27, 2017:

It sometimes takes a trickster to find a trickster.

Characters

NPCs: The Thee, Zorya and Mister Bole

Mentions: Micha (NPC)

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The world of 626 is an advanced one compared to many realities. A universe with a timetable that can dot the spikes throughout history where tampering with humanity has gone on and been acknowledged, where civilizations have been birthed from outside influence, where religions have formed around ancient metahumans or extraterrestrials, a realm where the mystical has bleed over, washed across the mundane and material world to mingle in, embed and brighten the essence, imbue old dead lines of the dragon veins with life… its a place where the unexpected is to be unexpected.

A reality where the mind is tested, sanity is taxed and most, if most are lucky they have to only ever acknowledge that they live in a world where Gods fly above cities proclaiming themselves protector this, grants safety, this has stretched the imagination and the realm of possibilities, broadened most of humanities expected scope. For most.

Robert stands on the edge of an old Polish strong cul-de-sac, the street corner scattered with refuse, a street lamp looming above the light flickering on and off with static. He is wearing a black jacket with a grey under hood its zipped in the front, jeans and cowboy boots. His long dark hair whipping around with the gusts that carry a sideways falling snow. Snow that is wet and touches down only to melt. His breath frosting out before him as he tries to pierce the gloom in to the darkness of the street block. Velocity has seen this look before in the past, these are those times that the Native is doing his 'spiritual shaman' thing, sensing through the worlds. Separating what is real and not. Generally a time not to interrupt him.

A crow lands on that lamppost, its shoulders hunch up and feathers ruffle, "CAW! CAW"


Velocity is gaining ground quickly, but that is her shtick, one that normally moves in a trail of sparking electric arcs, golden behind the blur of Green Accented body suit, only there for aerodynamics and added impact absorption, nothing more

CAW - Caw! A tilt of head and strands of deep auburn reflect a brightness underlain in those razored strands when eyes look upon the bird, slicing away from the Lightning Bolt ink over her eye, framing it in a bruised color… too fitting.

Lips part and as she /wants/ to say something, she says nothing, furrowing her brows and lips drawn tight and thin for silence. A hand lifts, gripping her opposing wrist to turn the gold bracelet of variant jewels, but not too far from origin, those 'spires' at the arches bite into wrist-bone and keep it in place.

Breath plumes from nostrils as words are bitten back after a single…" I don't…" And Carin goes quiet, the appearance enough to have her folding her arms across her chest but then taking shoulders into a hug-like clutch, a swift vibration, a blur of form…

Warm again…

Vel hates standing still.


The crows calls have Ripclaw blinking, eyes focusing on the hear and now as he inhales and looks at Velocity, a tight smile on his pale lips. "We cannot go in there. I am hoping… " A hand reaches up and he brushes bio-metal tips against his brow ridge, "Carin, I was attacked recently. I have been a terrible teammate in the fact I have not been open with any of you about this."

He turns to face her full on, his hand coming down to unzip the jacket, under the fabric is tank top and bandages, he pushes them aside enough to show the festering wound, Robert is a regeneration mutant-type. Ares model means he's extra durable too, built for war. Its not easy to wound him and it never lasts, "This, is not healing as it should. I thought perhaps I could deal with it alone and in being this way in my approach I have endangered all of you." Closing it back up.

"I apologize and will tell you everything." Another CAW from above and his red gaze lifts from Velocity to the black bird once more, "Thank you, brother."

"We have a few moments before our host arrives. Shall I tell you more?"


Velocity stills when Ripclaw speaks, and despite the pale complexion as well as the light gifted to her eyes due to a lacking…. Box…

When her eyes narrow as the zipper peels away, it darkens a facial pallor never meant to bare shadows to the world or to her people. Her family.

When the zipper rises and seals away the show of infection, her pale jade eyes rise with it to his face, a similar pallor of /Ghost/ly, but far more grim than her own that still (tries!) harbors a glimmer of hope, but now, those reddened brows furrow and her narrow soft lids is upon Riplaw. Lingering, then tearing away to look back at this… 'Brother' Raven.

"You better tell me more, Robert '/Bearclaw/'," the tone so low that even in the fall of snow and chill no mist forms before her lips. "Because I have recently watched The Crow, and none of this is appealing."

A slow blink and a phone is suddenly in her hand. "I need to let Corben know…"

"Who is the host?"

"Why the crow?"

"You cannot leave us now, we just got back to - - …" A face-scrunch tells it all while thumb hovers over a 'Send' button.

"Tell me."


Robert grins at Carin's tone, shes not the innocent or naïve child she plays up and he knows that. Thats just a mask. The young woman has fire and spirit but also a lot of dark edge, like all of them.

"This has nothing to do with the Crow or well… the crow behind me. He is simply here as a boon owed and a safer bet than approaching such things as we normally do."

"A creature, an ancient thing of origins that are older than this city around us has awoken or been birthed anew, not a pleasant monster one of raw primal hate and darkness. It attacked me while I was visiting the dreamscape, it… humbled me. I was a babe before it and it has been afflicting me, making me doubt myself and in doing so I have dishonored who I am and my teachers."

He nudges his chin as if to point with it towards the dark streets, "This is a step to rectify that, to gain back some of my confidence and honor. We seek aid here but it requires we play by the rules of the beyond."

"I am not leaving. We are family and we are together as we should be. Your help I do require. You may be the only but that comes… "

There is a KLAK, like a stick or cane hitting stone. Then another and another. Something moves from beyond then it stops. Hushed voices, whispers and shadows begin to move just beyond the wall of obfuscation, the veil of night. The denizens stir. A chill can be felt.


Von 99 Luftballons, (About 99 balloons,)
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont… (On their way to the horizon…)

"No need to explain yourself, Robert. I know better now…" But that exhale from Velocity is one that draws a trail of heated breath with the turn of her attention to the Crow, and then the direction of the *KLAK!*

"… nothing is what it seems." Even if her voice is firm, there is a lower of her tone, one that shows the relent into it all, but not…

Lids flicker upward to stare upon him, a small smile forming, knowing he has acknowledged the masquerade she places at the forefront and makes a shield to what lies beneath. "Comes…? with….?"

Vel's head tilts, and the edges of auburn fire graze expose pale collarbone where her parted suit leaves skin exposed, mottling in goose bumps as a new chill arrives. "You should have told me sooner. You do not have to ask."


"Rarely is." Ripclaw agrees. "Right now especially. These are not the mutates, haters, SHOC or usual type of threats we face here. Be strong. Remember your sense of self and accept nothing that is offered."

There is laughter now, it breaks the uneasy silence and two men and a woman approach, the female of the group a blonde in colorful shawls, loose baggy pants and a scarf over her mouth that wraps around her head. Piercings covering lips, nose, ears and an eyebrow. Pale hair threaded with beads and braids.
The nearest man dark of skin, a mustache in his lip, a vest outside of his long sleeved shirt, his black hair a massive halo as scraggly as his beard.

The last of them a heavyset fellow with a ponytail, black leather jacket that is too tight on his massive arms, hands thick and covered in rings. Their language fast, quiet to one another but grows louder and English, "The birds said there was strange creatures knocking." Wild hair says to the two under the lamp. "but I got to ask, you knocking, singing or praying?"

He isn't asking Robert. No, he is looking at Carin.

"It's important you answer with your heart, girl." The thin yet pretty woman says, swinging an arm out around the heavy pony-tails shoulders. "Maybe your soul even.

Robert's nose curls up, a sniff at the air and gives Carin an encouraging nod. As if telling her she can speak.


// Hast du etwas Zeit für mich.
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich, Von 99 Luftballons… (If you have some time for me. Then I will sing a song for you, about ninety-nine balloons…)//

"I hear they call them flatscans…?" A ause before the query inflection, but it comes with a rise of Velocity's auburn brow with the shadows, enshrouded through the fog in their approach.

Her words are to Ripclaw, even as they fall away into a cavernous echo, she hears his warning, fading as they question her and draw her brows to furrow, the abused-bolt of blue ink over one eye shadowing as her eyes dance from one to the next, but Ripclaw is not looked at again, now. She knows his state, and it makes one hand clench at her side, poise over green and gold clad hip. "I suck at singing, but I do it anyway, because it is all of the three…."

"… To me.." A glance towards Ripclaw then and her eyes close in a slow nod.

"We got nothing else but heart."


"Here we thought you was praying." The bushy haired man taunts loudly, the smell of alcohol exudes from the trio. It's thick in the air around them. Almost it's own moisture layer.

On queue of his own the heavy set fellow with the ponytail begins to rap his knuckles on the lamp post. "No, she was a knockin'."

"No. She is singing. Just look at her." The blonde woman sing-songs jokingly before leaning in to Velocity and extending clawed fingertips to touch her jaw.

Ripclaw's hand extends in the way blocking it's passage, "Do not touch." The mutant-warrior warns the woman.

A playful hiss is released and the hand recoils, "What do you think boys? Should we let these two mutants join us?"

"For a short walk." The dark man says quietly, "Just to see him like they want."

"Good." Ripclaw says roughly, his eyes traveling the 'gypsys' - he is tense and eager to be done with these three and their games. There is still much ahead.

"Wait wait, did you bring a gift?" Pony-Tail questions, "A gift is required or else we have to take something from you. Do you have a gift?" More games. It is always more games with these types.


Carin opens her eyes in time to see a clawed hand sweep away a 'gypsy'esque attempt, her eyes trailing his way, only slight from beneath the fall of red strands and the shadows they cast over the eyes that pierce their way and flash a 'speedy' virescence.

"I said….."

I

Said

The two words affirmed in every break, every moment between that gathers breath.

"Sing." No gifts. No exchange… Give Nothing!…

"I sang. It was from my heart. My soul. Nothing less." A hand extends to the two 'gypsies', but it is clad in a golden husk of armor, clawed and bejeweled, unthreatening…

"I only seek one thing…" And even though Carin exhales, her eyes go to the wound Ripclaw casts aside as 'menial'…


A raucous laughter ripples through the trio of gypsies at the shared responses. "You two are gems." The blonde snarks, "Come on then, luvvies." She waves them forth, lacquered nails doing the 'come hither' motion.

"We'll accept the song as song and gift. We're feeling generous tonight."

"We are." Adds Hair-Brush to Blondie, it is almost as if they are answering for one another in unity. As one the trio begins to walk back towards the waves of shadow and gloom vanishing. "Don't dally." A mocking tune from the trio or one… or all… the voices blur together.

Ripclaw looks Carin over, the wound on his chest covered up again. "Quit looking it. They'll notice it if you do that." If they do not already know it's there. "Not what we are here for either… " A lurch forward and the big man steps off striding after their greeters disappearing in to that shadow forest in the middle of a lit up city.
"Stay close to me."


"My song is not…" Hairsplitting?

Forgotten?

Menial (Low key)??

A huff and Vel blows a few strands of auburn alight in the flame-red from her face, casting shadows over her scowl that makes sparked green eyes, (fore)shadowed.

A glance to Rip, and recollection of what Chip and Corben call her voice… Or the opposite… " … A gift." But the final is whispered as Ripclaw shows his annoyance at her, causing her lips to twist in a forging of 'muted' promise, followed by a hands gesture of "lock and key" - "toss away!"

"…Perfect. You're missing out… Truly…!" Plucky, even though deep inside while she joins beside Ripclaw she wants to /remind/ him of his wound with a -prod- of her finger into aforementioned wound.

"Last thing I will do, is /dally/."


Through the shadows like will-o-wisps those before them flitter and their laughter leaving a trail and they're soon standing before a three story house, tapered alcoves, broken shutters a single porch light that looks more candle than electric bulb. The gypsies part around Ripclaw and Velocity, the Hair-Brush bows to the door, "Now you knock." He jests.

Ripclaw gives them a look then hefts the knocker letting it drop. Almost as if a gong was sounded the sound booms inside, entirely unnecessary. Then within three blinks the door groan-creaks open.

"Well lookit that! It appears you two strays are welcome. Go on in. No need to keep him waiting." Blondie ushers, almost touching them again but she doesn't. Recusing herself to dangle off of Pony-Tail again like some ornament.

The insides of the room are musty, a red wide carpet, a hallway forward and two open doorways left and right with a staircase leading upstairs. The scent of old woods, a smoke of some sort and what might be animal is heavy. Mystery scents hidden inside but those are faint. At least to Velocity.

One single step in and Ripclaw is playing vanguard and first to touch down. The laughter behind them fades as the gypsies start to hop skip away from the house, no more banter from them, no mocking and no games. Thats a plus at least.


"Him?" …waiting? A tilt of head leads her gaze from Ripclaw to the 'gypsy-tellers', back to Ripclaw while the knocker echoes an ethereal Boom! into a near/distance and the door opens.

Their Errant Gypsies "frolic off into the sunset", leaving them (or Vel, herself), feeling bereft and that ~chill~ finally settles as she steps within, ignoring that 'warning poise' of vanguard Ripclaw gives off with her own w(h)i(s)p of speed that puts her to the forefront where an unlit candelabra is hoisted, her fingers 'willy-nilly'ing'' in a flutter to rid of the sensation before the multiple candles are lit with a flick of lighter and a rapid sputter of lips.

The flickering cast has Vel's face silhouetted from one side and suddenly upon the next! Her smile is brilliant! Alight!

*/Toothy/*

The suit that is fitted over her lithe figure catches hints of further coloration and darkness where zipper normally covers, making the one far older, and over her eye seem to make more sense.

"Lights… Camera…." Where she would normally seem 'perky' in her diatribe, it falls monotone when she looks between tiny flames towards Ripclaw.

"Who is /Him/?" Almost a whisper, but in this instance…?


The room to the right itself is lavish though much dust lingers heavy in places, the couch an old thing, something from a time lost that has wooden legs and embroidered cushions with large buttons that are on the side of gaudy, buttons that pull the cushions in and make them poof out. A rocking chair with a lions head and claws for armrests is to their right, the pictures in here are round to square with heavy golden frames the paintings inside coated in film to the point of obscured. A chandelier hangs above, cobwebs reaching from light to light, only three work casting shadows in to odd corners, it makes it look menacing.

The dining or study to their left is littered with debris, a broken table and the floor itself has caved in to reveal a gaping maw that leads to a pit filled basement, nothing but dirt, pipes and what could be maggots roll. Staring too long in to the blackness of it will fill a person with a sense of unease, almost as though in its more blotched and shadowy areas something gazes back.

"Seat yourselves." A voice that can only be described as a river of oil over craggy rocks demands from upstairs, it releases a hacking sound, no a hock then a clipped cough, "Please." The rough sound now lighter, forced to sound almost gleeful. Yet it fails. The emptiness of it is there and not heard but felt.

"We prefer to stand, thank you." Ripclaw says coldly, his chin lifting up as he stares with red eyes at the top of the stairs.

In the darkness if Velocity is to gaze hard enough she will see what the Native beside her stares at, a creature, skinny and bent wearing a long overcoat with forked tails, a rounded bowlers hat that sits forward on a set of curved horns, a crooked nose bends over a wild and fray edged mustache and black beady eyes sunken in pits of a wrinkled skull stare down upon them. A cane swishes through the air and then KLAKs down on to the top stair. Then another. A slithering sound can be heard and the mind gives way to the imagination a tail drags behind this curled in on itself abnormality.
"A drink? I have spirits."

"This is /him/." Ripclaw rumbles quietly to his equally pale companion.


The lack of response from Ro… Ripclaw, has Ve… Carin, looking /out/, instead of *in*.

Despite what she knows, and what she /feels/, she goes to what she senses.

A shudder of that candelabra and hot wax litters over pale fingertips, coating dark swampy nail color in a white preservative to mimic her pallor.

Fitting for the 'Silence' upon this 'Hill'… Or the House upon it.

"You look like the Death I have been," A pause, and when Ripclaw speaks, her eyes lower, veiled only by dark lashes as she glances his way…. Holds in the glossy sheen that films over irises' and then reverts back, her chin lifting higher while that candelabra is valiantly! held like she is deserving of an Olympic Medal. "Warned about."

A pause and she is stepping forward, calf shoving an olde upholstered seat in a grind along the worn flooring. "Coffee?" As if offering, and not partaking. Velocity heard Ripclaws words.


At least one of you has manners." The bent creature remarks at Velocity, inspecting her quietly then Ripclaw. "You come to my house it is best you be polite. You Americans, this is what I should scoff, no?" His accent is thick and he walks 'sideways' this causes the tail behind him that is limp to drag on the ground, closer inspection shows snake like shadows twine all across the dust on the floor where visible, the source likely the fleshy pink tail of the 'man' before them. His jacket looks like it was once very immaculate but like this home is covered in dust, "Manners, yes, my manners your names you haven't given so I extend mine… it is uh, Mister Bole, Bolebar today. No?" A question and statement together.
Rounded too large knuckles fold shakily over the cane in his grasp, its silver head a birds beak, hooked down yet it possesses sharp teeth jutting from its slit. No eyes. Just holes. Heavily Mister Bole leans on it.

A tap tap of the cane on the ground, "Coffee, three of them. Zorya." He smiles, it doesnt meet black coal eyes but teeth show, stained yellow and sharp, lips thin and cracked. His mustache folds over his mouth to touch them, splays out and looks frayed, almost like it was burnt at the tips.

"I know why you're here, Bearkin, you smell of the Americas and it's forsaken children but you… you're an oddity. Not to say both are not but you two, one and both, man machines, such a wonderous blend. Such… wonderful blasphemy. Oh how you confuse nature."

"Devil Boruta." Ripclaw sounds of accusation, "You're a demon of the old world. Some would say a god."

A cackle from the dusty bent imp and his arms splay out wide, a hacking sound and he gets wracked with painful chortles. "Do I look like a god to you? Wretched children, ingrates."
"Zorya, coffee, hurry. It is cold." He sounds almost pitiful when he says the word cold. Like a child who wants a blanket or his cough medicine.


Velocity never sat, only /moved/ the seat to position behind her as if she would… But if it was 'demanded/ordered/ for her image would flicker as if obliging…

In the flicker-flacker of imagery, a fast forward laid to broken film and a scraped BluRay the only thing hold-steady is that piercing gaze of luminescent emerald, one framed in a punishment-lament of deep blue/green(bruise), towards Ripclaw.

"Mine is…..Carrie… Uh… Carrie Traylor." A pause as the candelabra is set upon a perch of the arm of her unclaimed chair. "Wretched…" A tic-tock of head. "Blasphemy…?" A quirk of lips, but then her eyes peel from Ripclaw to this…. Bole.

"Ingrates…?" A shake of her head, but despite the disheveled fall of hair, that gaze does not waver. "Who the f&*#768 do you think YOU are, today?, Bolebar?" Velocity is letting insult rub salt in the wound of her injured…

Deep breathes. Pacing pulse.


"Don't let him goad you, Velocity. His kind feed off emotion." Ripclaw says calmly, "We came seeking information."

"As most do, bargains, information, soul trade, a little charm here, some magic there, maybe a potion?" Mister Bole puts his hand over his chest, rubbing it as he stares with black buttons at Carin, not bothering to gaze at Ripclaw as he speaks,"You have a lot of spirit, a tasty fire, not as much metal in you as this other creature. Intoxicating." He inhales, a nostril curling up.

From behind him a gray shrouded form shambles, long dress, dirty at the bottoms, a shawl over its head, hair knuckles and claw tipped fingers holding a tray in front of it with three coffees up on it and sugar cubes in an old silver holder. It limps, drags itself like Mister Bole.

"We are not the creatures you two are, our fire left long ago." A whimsical smile breaks through the parchment of skin that is Bole's features.

"So you say and present. The one I seek, he knows you well, his name is Micha." Ripclaw insists.

There is a pause, like everything just froze in place and Bole blinks his eyes finally removing from the redhead. That shawl covered Zorya continues to move again or maybe she never stopped. Shes slow it is hard to tell, sluggish and deliberate, the tray offered to them all held aloft like she was offering prayer.

"Please drink." Bole encourages.

"We can't."

"You refuse?"

"Yes."

"No manners, insulting, this can not be. If you do not drink I do not speak of Micha."


The shift of Velocity's head scrapes that hair across defied cheekbones, accented by the shadows cast in flutter-lashes of narrowed gaze. It lands between Ripclaw and this Bole, but focuses on neither of them when she nods slowly and steps towards Zorya in her repose with tray upheld in offering.

Every step turns 'Nike'' into a gold laden coating that reforms to claws along the back of calves and over her heels, coating the 'tennis shoes' in something more 'heavenly' while 'demons' ply at their souls.

Ripclaw refuses and her hand extends to gather a proffered mug. "And if I accept, will you /help/ him?" Fingers coated in the same metallic gauntlet of gold close around a steaming mug, drawing it near lips long split form weathered severity.

Now, "Carrie" stares at "Bole" while the steam is /blown/ from the surface.

"Speak of Micha?"


Mister Bole's lips once more split in that fetid stain washed smile. "You drink, I speak." A motion for her to proceed and once she tastes the black Columbia brewed coffee he chortles, "Such fire. It was not so hard, no?"

A KLAK of that cane and he turns to face Ripclaw, "Micha, my good friend set towards his father. He promised me a game upon his return and said it would not be long. It is for his sake that you're not wearing your insides on your disgusting metal outsides, you creatures are abhorrent, I can feel the wretched technology in your bones, under your skin and veined through your minds it stinks of a future where I hold no place."

A rub of his thumb, "You confused mutts." It is almost as though Mister Bole is starting to work himself up, anger at his thoughts becoming incoherent as he begins to ramble under his breath, "Your presence kills a part of me, I hope that you do catch Micha and that your mechanical cancer poisons him as well, he cheats at cards, thinks he is too fast for me to see but I see, I know. I am just as cunning as he even if I slow with age and being forgotten. Enough now though, enough of you and your confusing scents. You are here only to remind me and I need it not." A SLAM of the cane and the shutters on the house suddenly rattle, doors open and yawn wide with screams. Ripclaw and Velocity are thrown free of the front room, rolled through the overgrown lawn and caught by the netted chain-link mesh of the fence, to look up is to now see an empty home, one story, broken doors, graffiti, not at all the three story Victorian style it once was.

"We overstayed our welcome." He winces, sitting upright and peeling himself free of the fencing. "To the west, to his father… I think I know where." A grunt and Robert stands to his feet offering his hand to Velocity, "We're not done just yet."

"How was the coffee?"

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