Waking : Fables : (FF) An Experiment In Regret Pt.3

“Are you well, Presia?” Eidolon asked quietly.

 “Well enough, Falcon.” Presia sighed and turned to face him. She wished she could feign surprise over the guest at his side, but the woman’s likeness to Lucifer was unmistakable. “What has Lucifer called this one?”

 “Lilith.” The demoness grinned. “I’m told you once refused him.”

 “Mutual disinterest.” Presia shrugged. “Enjoy his favor, Lilith. I want no part of it.”

 “Is there anything you need?” Eidolon ignored the petty feminine tension and continued his task. “Lucifer regrets not coming on his own and gives his assurance you are not forgotten.”

 “Lucifer regrets nothing.” Presia smiled. “But thank you. If you can spare her, I would like company.”

 “Only if you tolerate my own.” Eidolon agreed reluctantly and set a table for the two of them before he took a place at the door to wait quietly aside.

 “Favored and protected, I see.” Presia sat and gestured across the table for Lilith to join her. “I don’t often entertain guests. Join me.”

 “I’m surprised my Lord Lucifer bothers to keep you alive.” Lilith sat and poured herself a cup of tea. “He is usually quick to rid himself of the useless.”

 “He found my talents useful enough.” Presia laughed softly. “Some of us remain useful when clothed.”

 “Some of us know our place.” Lilith glared at her.

 “I am well aware of my place, Lilith.” Presia smiled. “I am his creation. Not his whore.”

 “You aren’t even worthy to be that.” Lilith upended the table as she jumped to her feet enraged. Ribbons of chaos lashed around her limbs that tore through her seat and sent it to splinters on the floor. “Let’s test your worth, Esper.”

 “Enough, Lilith.” Eidolon scolded her. “I have trained you better than this.”

 “Lucifer has given you his temper.” Presia righted and repaired the furniture as Lilith calmed herself. “A habit of his it seems. In time, you’ll learn to control it.”

 “Don’t antagonize her further, Presia.” Eidolon shifted in front of her and looked down with aggravated intent. “I do not need to touch you to hurt you.”

 “There is no need for threats, Falcon.” Presia grinned. “I meant it as hopeful advice. I have no grudge against Lucifer’s favorites. I just know the cloud rage spreads in the mind well enough to wish others the strength to abolish it.”

 With well wishes toward Lucifer’s beloved Presia fell on her knees assaulted by another vision.

 “What is wrong with her?” Lilith approached and Eidolon caught her by her arm.

 “Don’t touch her.” Eidolon sighed. “We’re leaving.”

An image of Lilith, her face wet with tears. Fading into darkness and starlight leaving the image of another. A young man that chilled Presia to her core even before he turned to reveal a smile wet with blood. She followed the droplet of crimson from his slender fingers into a river of blood and followed with her eyes until she could feel the heat of the swell around her feet.

 She stooped to touch the deep red and became the center of a shockwave that shifted her into the center of vision she had seen so often before. Only now she WAS the fire on the sands, looking up at stars now the color of freshly spilled blood.

 When the waves came and walls of ice surrounded the beast Presia reached up with clawed hands through snowflakes toward the bright eyes above her. For the first time the slender figure crouched at the edge of the cliff and reached down through the bitter winds toward the flames.

“So, Lucifer’s new toy will be the prism.” Presia lifted herself off of the floor. “And my destined starlight is drenched in ice and blood.”

 There would be plenty of time to interpret further and to become a master of patience. For now, Presia crawled onto her sheets and thought of the bright eyes she had seen so often and tried to imagine the face that could contain oceans so beautiful.

 Now those beautiful eyes were closed in what seemed like endless sleep and Presia wished for some of that patience from so long ago.

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Waking : Fables : (FF) An Experiment In Regret Pt.2

The demoness snapped from her trance with tears on her cheeks remembering the fairest blue of eyes looking down at her and the coat that whipped around a slender form like the dark wings of a dragon.

 She also awoke alone in a room with no exit. She felt weak and there was a sting at her neck. She sneered when she felt the thin chain that was causing it and cursed as she followed it to its abrupt end in the stone of her cell. The unfortunate thing of being born with necessary knowledge is that you are well aware of your place. She had been created by one of the strongest of the creators, the Watchers as they called themselves, and he was egotistical and prone to toying with his creations. He gave her knowledge, skill, and power. Then purpose that seemed almost cruel as it would mean sacrificing it all to become less than her potential nearly demanded of her. He also gave her a name; Presia. Though few would ever hear it.

 The one who had helped detain her was more subdued but no less frightening. The Falcon was renowned for being fierce and clever and his loyalty to the Dark Lord was unwavering. Lucifer could have managed on his own. His call for Eidolon had been a kindness. For all his mischievous cruelty, he had tried to spare his creation his wrath for the attack she visited upon him. It was after all a reflexive action he himself had instilled.

 “I supposed that collapse was a touch of the esper in you.” Lucifer perched on the headboard of the bed in Presia’s lavish cell. “A vision?”

 “More vague.” Presia scowled back at him. “A useless augury until I have learned to interpret such things. Though I imagine I will be spending enough time here to have adequate practice.”

 “I’m afraid that is the case.” Lucifer stepped onto the bed then hopped to the floor to approach her.as he gathered her hair flamed wings spread wide from her back and she sneered at him. “For precisely this reason. You are more extreme than I had anticipated. I can’t have you attacking the interested without warning purely because you catch their eye. Until you can discover your destined lover or can learn to control your temper, you’ll need to be protected. I won’t have my creations ruined.”

 “And how am I to find destiny with these four walls as my companions?” Presia pulled her hair away and turned to face him. “I know you are not a fool, this is just for your amusement.”

 “You put your visions to use for me.” Lucifer bartered as tugged the thin chain and pulled Presia closer. “I’ll see to it you remain untouched. I take care of my own, Presia. It will no doubt take time, but if there is starlight crossed with your own it will find its way. Until then there is no reason we can not be of benefit to one another.”

 “Remove this chain.” Presia grinned. “Then I’ll consider your offer.”

 “It stays.” Lucifer laughed. The thin length of chain that circled her neck and the tiny lock that closed it before it joined it with the ‘leash’ that kept her bound in the room was not just a physical restraint. It suppressed the gifts he had given her and made her more docile. The room was protected and sealed against her use of powerful magic as well. “I will see you soon, dear Presia.”

 “Don’t touch me again, Lucifer.” Presia glared at him as he started to vanish.

 “No one will touch you.” Lucifer left his words of comfort with his laugh to taunt her. “You have my word.”

 

“Come back to me, my Lord.” Presia held Frost closer and hummed sweetly. He had been entirely unresponsive at first, but her songs seemed to be getting through and at times he seemed to be dreaming. She had trickled her blood between his lips to keep him fed and at least visibly his wounds had seemed to heal. It was just taking longer than she had hoped and she scolded herself for the impatience.

Presia spent most of her days alone honing skills that Lucifer kept tight watch over. She was clever and talented and while he wanted her docile, Lucifer never discouraged her growth only ensured that it was kept in check.

 Her varied skills served him well. Even from her comfortable solitude Presia had a gift for finding knowledge; seeing what could be in visions and hearing the world in her dreams. With Lucifer as her most frequent guest, she shared the auguries and with his help learned to interpret them with a frightening accuracy.

 Eventually, as she knew it would, the world began to change. Lucifer’s visits became less frequent. The location of her lavish cell changed. His interest in his esper had not waned, so much as his love of the unknown grew. Lucifer had a need to be amused and knowing what was on the last page spoiled his fun.

 Lucifer would still stop by on occasion to affirm his promise to find her destiny. When his games were complicating his schedule, he would send messengers in his place. Presia enjoyed none of their company, but she had a vision recently that made her dread the coming visit.

Lucifer grinned into his reflection. His gaze selfish and arrogant as he placed his hands against the mirror and the skin between his ribs split as if sliced by a ghostly blade. His smile grew wider as chaos, not blood, poured from the wound and traveled along his arms toward his fingers splayed along the reflective glass. As magic touched the mirror the reflection bled and tears streamed down its face. Lucifer’s fingers broke the surface of the glass like water and took the hands of the changing form to pull it through…

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Waking : Fables :Frozen Flame (FF) An Experiment In Regret Pt.1

Presia sat holding her dear Master and pouring her every thought into his well being. She had every bit of faith that he would return to her. Her dear Lord Frost. She could no longer imagine life without him, but she could remember what it was before.

“Just lovely, my Lord.” Eidolon wiped the blood from his cheek. “After the effort to rid us the insanity of the fairer gender I fail to see why you would create one with such strength.”

 “I find her amusing.” Lucifer smiled over the demoness that clawed at his ankle as he pressed harder into her throat. “Besides her strength has a flaw.”

 “Aside from the mistake of using it against us?” Eidolon rested the edge of his sword against her face and had to admire the courage in the smile she offered in return.

 “The strength is meant to be given.” Lucifer stooped and tapped away the Falcon’s blade. “But I left her the choice.”

 “Seems ill advised.” Eidolon claimed the chaos of his sword and shrugged. “It also seems to have failed you.”

 “It was only an experiment.” Lucifer laughed. “I never wanted her for myself.”

 “Then you should have never touched me.” The demoness snapped at him. “I will belong to only one.”

 “Yes, yes.” Lucifer grabbed her wrist as she moved to claw at him and pushed her hair from her face. “And who was it that gave you such impeccable morals?”

 “Take your hands off of me.” The demoness screamed and engulfed her own limbs in flames to make herself clear. “My thoughts like my body are my own until I decide otherwise. I owe you no gratitude.”

 “That’s no small manipulation of chaos, my Lord.” Eidolon watched Lucifer grin as he endured the flames as if it were no more than a warm breeze. “What have you created?”

 “A very beautiful woman.” Lucifer sent a rushing torrent of water over her and laughed. His love of meddling made him indulge in a number of risks with this experiment. So many elements, so many souls folded perfectly together to create one magnificent creature. “A dangerous one until she finds her place.”

 “It will most certainly not be with you.” The demoness growled through clenched teeth before her body seized a moment and she was taken in by a vision.

A large fire crackled in the dusty sands of some abandoned desert. whispering of its loneliness to the silent night air. Sparks danced upwards as if reaching for the stars above and hoping for any one of them to reach back and touch the lonely flames.

 Then there was a roaring, the thundering sound of rushing water and the flames danced to life in the form of a great horned beast that spread its claws and waited for the oncoming torrent.

 As the storming waves raced toward the growing flames they slowed and circled the fire, taunting the beast as the surface of the waves frothed and crested with a great beast moving beneath the surface. As the great dragon burst from the waves it howled and turned its ethereal sea into walls of ice that encircled the flames and trapped the beast within.

 She reached up as the dragon changed form on the icy cliff, the form of a man obscured in the flickering shadows of flame and the cold wind that sent icy flakes into the beast’s eyes.

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Waking : Fables : Talon Pt 3

Talon amused himself with the memory and wondered about the possibilities. Another servant could be beneficial to have around especially with Frost currently out of commission, though he was fairly certain a fawn would not be quite as useful.

Then there was Frost himself. As opposed as Talon had been to working with a vampire when this experiment began he had grown ever so slightly fond of the twerp. And sentiment aside he was one of the Circle and Talon did not like other people touching his things. He wanted his vengeance for what had happened to the vampire.

He found himself standing again at Frost’s door. “Presia. Have your Master call me the second he wakes.”

“Stop pestering me, Talon.” Presia answered and he could hear the exhaustion in her voice.

Talon stepped outside the Circle building and stretched his arms above him. Drifa was a beautiful town, nuzzled into a fjord in the south of what used to be Greenland. Long ago it was called Nuuk. Of course, long ago it was a much smaller town. It had grown exponentially since it became Drifa as people sought out new lives. Still it was one of few cities on the island, and Drifa was the Circle that handled them all. In fact, Greenland itself had been deemed Drifa, and the city New Drifa. The Circle decided they hated it and refused to be newanything.

Talon was not entirely put at ease with Lucifer’s assurance that the presence lingering in Drifa was harmless. The brief encounter with the pair of strange creatures had irritated him. They were not entirely unlike demons, but there was something unique about them he could not entirely place. He could feel their power emanating nearby and it agitated him. That paired with the knowledge there had been a recent adventure in Eden led to a lot of questions that he knew Lucifer would never give him a straight answer to. His only hope would be to pry some of the details out of Frost. If he ever recovered.

Luckily, before Frost left the troubling matter of the drug HP had been wiped out of Drifa and Talon’s lessers and minor servants had seen to cleaning up any messes left in the wake. It was mostly back to business as usual so Talon decided to take Lucifer’s advice and stir things up.

It had been years since Talon looked over the northern reserves on his own, but he knew he would be well remembered. He spread his wings as he jumped into the air and headed north along the coastline. It had been far too long since he took in the scenery and he wanted to enjoy it as much as what came next.

He could smell the camp fires of the village before he could see it. The sweet herbs they burned to honor their fallen swept along on the breeze beside the rich aroma of their suppers. When he came close to the village he listened to the laughter and singing turn to nervous hushing and their gathering became a much more somber affair.

“Please.” Talon landed softly and shook his head as they started to bow theirs. Of course, he enjoyed every second of their subservience and fear, but he was not here to scare the lot of the fawn. He only had business with one of them. “There is no need for that. Go back to your songs.”

“Lord Talon.” Hallax fetched two cups of soup and offered one to Talon. “I have long dreaded this day. We should probably talk alone.”

“Probably.” Talon followed Hallax to his home and sipped at the offered soup. “This is quite good.”

“I knew when I fell for Hilda that her life would be short.” Hallax brushed off the compliment and sat his own cup aside. His stomach was too full of painful emotions to give it anything more. “You not only saved and protected my kin, but you gave me as many years as I could have with my dear wife. You and your servants have continued to protect us. For that I thank you. For all of it I thank you. But what you mean to take in return…”

“Now, Hallax.” Talon was impressed by the fawn’s calm but the claim was made long ago. He finished the cup of broth and sat it beside the untouched cup Hallax had brought inside with him before he rested his hands on the fawn’s shoulders. “Let’s not get sentimental over this. Have my payment delivered to me at the Circle building within a week and I give you my word it will live. If I have to collect it myself, I promise you…it will not.”

Hallax was quietly weeping when Talon left, but there was a silent understanding between them that this was personal. There would be no retaliation from the fawns and no reckoning from Talon. Just a painful decision for a heartbroken father.

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Waking : Fables : Talon Pt.2

So many years had passed since Talon even gave it a thought. As Lucifer left he could remember it so clearly. Man was still so frightened of the unexplained and their fear made them brutal. The few packs of creatures that attempted to live alongside them took a great risk and it so often ended badly. Talon was there to protect them.

 Even among humans there were some who rose above the fear and hatred and among the beasts those more trusting than others. And in rare occasions friendships blossomed. In even rarer occasion. Love. It was beautiful to witness. The lovely human girl and the fawn as they fell for each other during the long midnight sun. Neither cared for what the other lacked, they just enjoyed each other. The girl was charming enough in fact the fawn had brought her into the village countless times and she had been accepted as family. Hallax and his Hilda. Inseparable. Still she would always have to return home and it was during one of those partings that their perfect love was tested. Hilda was with child and though she tried to keep it secret from her family, by the time she returned to Hallax too many of her village knew.

“They will come for me Hallax.” Hilda had struggled to make the journey north and was weak with fever. “I shouldn’t have come.”

 Hallax and his family assured her it was nonsense. They would protect her and the child. She could stay with them always. But they knew she was right. The humans would come. They feared what a child between them could be. They had never approved of Hilda’s frequent visits and made her life at home very difficult to make that clear.

 Hilda’s pregnancy was difficult and made worse by the coming trouble, but Hallax stayed by her side. Never once letting her feel alone even when the humans finally made their way north.

 By the time they arrived they were little more than an exhausted pack of mutts. The angry mob that began the journey had just lost its fuel over the months of harsh travel as the northern darkness of winter gave them no warmth and little light. The fawn gathered to meet them and as they did so they were joined by their guardian.

 “It’s unfortunate that you made this journey for nothing.” Talon stood unmoving between the two factions and stared down the humans. “If you leave now, however, you can keep your lives.”

“Not with one of us held hostage by those beasts!” One of the mob shouted.

 “I am no hostage.” Hilda struggled even to stand but with Hallax’ help she moved forward on the icy plain to state her intent. “And if you think them beasts, then I am not one of you.”

 Hilda fell to her knees in pain. Hallax panicked beside her as he saw blood spilling around her legs.

 Shouts from the mob accusing the fawns of dark magic urged them forward until Talon swept his fingers across the ice in front of them forcing them back with a gust of wind and ice. He barked his orders to get the girl to shelter before he approached the startled humans.

 “These creatures are protected.” Talon paced in front of the fear struck mortals. “This is my last warning. You leave here and never return or I will have your lives.”

 They left with little argument and the fawns retreated back to shelters. In one such shelter Talon found Hallax trying to comfort his wailing wife as she grew more pale.

 “Lord Talon.” Hallax spoke with a trembling voice. He was young but would be well loved and strong among his kind. “I have no right to ask this. It was our love that brought this trouble…”

 “Why save you all if it is only to grieve?” Talon came to the woman’s side and laid his hands on her stomach. He felt the life inside fighting as much as the mother’s life slipping away. He quickly healed the wounds and helped to calm the child inside the womb as he listened to the others scrambling around him for water for the woman as her wails turned to relieved gasps. In that moment he could have walked away, but it just wasn’t in his nature. He had to have something for his trouble. He worked his magic to ensure it. He made certain Hilda was well and could survive the birth then stepped away to let Hallax and his family tend to her.

 “If there is any way I can repay you.” Hallax smiled at him with tear filled eyes.

 “You already have, sweet Hallax.” Talon smiled. “And one day I will collect. Make sure to keep it safe until then.”

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Waking : Fables : Talon Pt.1

“You borrow my Third and returned him broken.” Talon voiced his displeasure with Lucifer without hesitation when he arrived. “I do hope you intend to compensate for this loss.”

 “He will likely recover.” Lucifer assured him. “He was given the gift of the Vicern.”

 “Vicern?” Talon was suddenly puzzled as he was intrigued. “That would mean he was in Eden.”

 “Yes.” Lucifer grinned. “It also means that he has survived thus far. Give him time. Nei will recover.”

 “Answers then.” Talon insisted as he stood. “What was so important that I had to risk the twerp to begin with? And what is lurking in my city? They claimed to be friends of Frost.”

 “Let both matters go, Talon.” Lucifer stepped to the desk and leaned onto his fingertips. “Nei can share with you his tales of heroism when he wakes if he so chooses. As far as what lurks in your streets, it is harmless for now. Likely waiting on Nei’s recovery as you are and will move on once he wakes. Go entertain yourself with something else.”

 “And what would you suggest?” Talon scoffed. “I have only this office to keep me busy.”

 “Aren’t you the source of some local folk tales?” Lucifer laughed. “Go stir something up.”

 “With no reprimand?” Talon grinned.

 “You know which lines not to cross.” Lucifer nodded. “Now don’t bother me again over Nei. Presia will take care of him.”

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Waking : Fables Pt.2

The reserves of Greenland were protected even before the world became Tsuriai. It was largely protected by nature itself, harsh climate and isolated locale made it ideal to protect some of the creatures who decided to brave the world of humans. Talon had been charged with protecting it. As time went on, Karas joined him in that task. When Lucifer set up a new world the task of protecting the reserve fell mostly to Karas.

 One of his visits to the icy lands led to an encounter that would forever change his life. He happened upon a young girl with lovely brown curls heading toward a protected village of fawns in the reserve. Karas pounced in front of her and smiled hoping at once for her to return the smile and for her to do something foolish and give him a chance to stretch his legs for a change.

 “Out of my way, demon.” The girl huffed impatiently.

 “You have no place here.” Karas grinned at the flush her frustration brought to her face and decided to see how pink he could make her. “Human.”

 “I have every right to be here.” Thalia walked up to him confidently and slapped him across the face. “Now step aside. My father expects me.”

 “Father?” Karas rubbed his face as he sniffed at her. “Half-breed?”

 “You find that distasteful?” Thalia walked on without paying him any mind. “Some protector you are.”

 “You know who I am?” Karas caught up to her and fell in step beside her. He was suddenly excited by the fact he was recognizable after such a short time appointed to the Circle.

 “Second of Drifa.” Thalia droned on with a tone that suggested she was unimpressed. “Before that you helped protect the creatures here. Though you clearly don’t know them very well.”

 “Thalia!” Hallax exclaimed as he rushed at his daughter. He was not entirely thrilled to see she had arrived with a demon, but it wasn’t the one he had to worry over so he kept his distaste to himself and greeted the guest. “And who is your guest?”

 “Not a guest, Papa.” Thalia sighed. “We just met on the way. He is not staying.”

 “Charming girl, Hallax.” Karas teased. “I guess that’s the human half showing.”

 “We do not speak ill of the dead here.” Hallax answered sadly.

 “You should go.” Thalia turned and slapped him once more. “Before you offend someone else.”

 As some of the other fawns nodded in agreement Karas realized his sense of humor had crossed a line and he felt more than a little disgusted with himself. He bowed to Thalia and her father. “My apologies. I will take my leave.”

Breakseal

Karas saw her by chance weeks later on the streets of Drifa and ran right over to her. He had rushed in so quickly and hadn’t thought of a word to say and ended up standing there stupidly as she shook her head.

 “You are in my way.” Thalia smiled. The demon in front of her seemed to be sincere and despite her fathers’ warnings she was intrigued by his stumbling attempts to approach her. “Again.”

 “I wanted to apologize properly.” Karas took her hands suddenly. Warm soft fingers that squeezed his in return. “I really didn’t mean to upset anyone. Let me take you to dinner.”

 “I don’t really date.” Thalia laughed. This demon was so adorably awkward she couldn’t help but like him. “I’ll tell you what though, I was going shopping. You can hold the bags.”

 “Deal.” Karas wiggled all twenty of his fingers in agreement. “And I am sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”

 “Don’t worry over it.” Thalia smiled reassuringly. “My family is a little superstitious and my father doesn’t have much trust for demons.”

 “I thought the fawns were on good terms with us.” Karas shrugged and crossed one set of arms as he fell into a comfortable stride beside her.

 “We are.” Thalia paused a moment wondering if her fathers distrust was contagious. She shook off the momentary shivers and continued. “With Papa, it is personal. I suppose it should be my torch to carry as well. You will just have to try and prove us wrong.”

Breakseal

 

“I will never stop trying.” Karas smiled and waited for Thalia to finish her shift.

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