Title: Cry Havoc
Description: open to all takers
Mandron Cor’kerym - October 18, 2010 03:26 AM (GMT)
There was something satisfying about looking men in the eyes before you killed them. And it was that base sort of satisfaction that had him- as often as was permissible- riding down hard on the front lines of battles, hardly content to let faceless and uniformed peons do his slaughtering for him. Like a master clockmaker glorifying in the infallible correctness of some painstaking creation, Mandron found his contentment in the work of slaughter.
After all, he had been set to the world to rid it of vermin. To advance the great and venerable cause of his people, to be the hand to enforce the will of those who left behind. The instrument of change for the betterment of a nation to which he belonged, as surely and completely as a hound belonged to its master.
He was only trying to do right by it.
It was with an air of satisfaction that he returned to the camp, in the dark dead of night, the day's battle halted at the setting of the sun... and even then, the magefire of his selected contingents were happy to chase back the enemy's stragglers and burn their dead to ashy cinders wrapped like husks around charred bones. Smelling like sweat-salt and drying blood, he made for his personal tent, stopping near a small stand he'd arranged outside of it. He removed his smooth gloves, one after the other, and handed them out for the hand of a servant who took them wordlessly. He dipped his fingertips into the lukewarm bowl of water the stand held, and lifted his damp hands to his face. He rubbed at the skin, the coarseness of his stubble.
When he set his hands back in the water, they were dark with blood. He held his hand out once more, and it was filled with a linen towel that he pressed against his face. The collars and trappings of his mastiffs clanked quietly as they sat on either side, licking their wounds, their brindled coats as darkened with blood as his face had been. "Good dogs," he told them automatically and without feeling, tossing the towel back at his servant.
"Get me a map and count of the lost within the contingent. I want reports from the rear guard and a summary of the state of our artillery, as well as the shipment of munitions that I specified should be delivered early. Heat the tea-- earl grey, Branson, and not the chamomile mix, or I'll have you whipped and fed to Three and Seven."
Mandron didn't think much of names. Instead, his hounds had numbers. They received similar care that he did; a young boy came to use the water from the bowl to rinse off their coats and wounds, and the General himself went about the work of disarming himself before his tent, setting pistols and saber into the waiting hands of his attendants, turned to watch the horizon as the night darkened around him, lit only by the guttering flames of oil lamps and a sliver of moon.
Hero Verges - October 18, 2010 10:52 PM (GMT)
HERO AND THE GIRL HAD BEEN FIGHTING since the masquerade. The rebellion that Hero had shown this time, in so happily approaching the notorious Vector Le’ttaurius, had stung The Girl’s pride horrible. Since, The Girl had not been so easy to cave to her previously-dominant companion. The black knight was silent about where she had been during their meeting, and similarly, the white queen said nothing as to what had transpired between the two of them. For the first time in centuries, they were parted and their thoughts were not one. Both were in the dark, and neither liked it, nor wanted it any other way. The Girl didn’t discuss Vector with Hero; her fear was best kept private, certainly after her humiliating retreat at the ball – instead, she danced to a new monstrosity when they returned to the frontlines, defiant and in turmoil.
The Girl had set her fixed gaze on Mandron even before the masquerade. If anything, the time that she and Hero had spent apart from his ominous being had only hungered her more. Hero disapproved, of course, but The Girl had long since given up on expecting anything otherwise. She was silly and self-absorbed, her little peace-keeping companion, and so couldn’t be expected to understand anything as rational as this intense desire. Hero could keep her addiction as quiet as she wanted to, but there was nothing that she could ever hide from The Girl. Certainly not! Not even that nagging little reminder that the angel perched on their shoulder whispered – We’re going to end up with another scar, you know. It’ll be like Ciaran Locke-Deoradh all over again! Is that what you really want? Stupid bitch. – could do anything to stop her from realizing the greatness of this opportunity.
Mandon, while not quite as terrifying as the valorous yet vindictive Vector (But still a match for us, Hero pointed out pathetically. The Girl didn’t grace this with any sort of response), was a force to be reckoned with. He was a man of considerable physical strength, they thought admirably, although Hero attempted shy away from the topic before The Girl could derive a false meaning from her approbation of her target. It was always a pleasant thing, The Girl added convincingly, to have a strong soul, and his was one which had worn colors of violence for years and consequently had surpassed a good many trials. His soul was one which would taste like finely-aged liquor, stored in a locked cabinet that fear kept anyone from touching –
Until now, that was. The Girl was adamant. Hero had, in her own way, managed to save silly, surprising Sameah, but there would be no redemption for this one. But he’s so important, Hero thought helplessly, horrified at the honor of taking a life of such relevant. Naturally, that was exactly what appealed to her dark-winged companion. Claiming a figure of this much importance was a risk that they could hardly afford on their cover. Slipping on the nurse’s uniform after having been clad in such delicate elegance in the neutral lands had been hard enough without having to worry about their discretion, and yet here they were, with the world at their fingertips and the opportunity for it all to fall away. Cruelly, The Girl had been a hero herself in the daytime, having prevented any energy absorption as was so needed. Their vanity suffered as their scar became more and more visible, but they were only fit for one meal tonight. Mandron won’t stand for it; the Sprite didn’t. Hero’s voice echoed through their mind, and all The Girl could do was clench their fingers and inhale deeply. I doubt you can you be subtle, this time. This is war. They’re being massacred left, right, and center. One assassination will be expected. It was not a reassuring through. Assassination, Hero though, was to put it mildly. She closed her eyes and envisioned a clean, neat steal, the way that hers always were: a light, unobtrusive touch and a quick meal for two. The Girl fantasized messily of blood, and dreamed of newly-faceless beauties.
But she had lost control. The Girl dominated their physical existence, while, as usual, Hero screamed within a cage of muscle and bone. The Girl relished the extravagance that they had sacrificed during the day, changing to wear a more modern outfit than that of their false profession. Their city attire was flattering to their unhealthy figure, not enough to hide the unnatural thinness, but covering all the telltale signs of their substantial starvation. The slate blue drew out the color of their eyes, but also accentuated their fairness. It was better, though, The Girl decided stubbornly, than showing up in their bloodstained grime. The crimson spots made Hero squirm, besides, so the mutual decision led to the collection of a high-collared dress, with long sleeves draped in a black lace overlay.
That was how they went to approach the commander. A tactic? Of course there was none, not when The Girl had the reins. The strategy was gore, and the cleanup was nonexistent. This evening venture was for entertainment, and also out of necessity. They could enjoy themselves and relax, unworried. No! Yes, The Girl answered with finality, and they pushed towards his tent. Odd looks came from being the only woman clad as they were, but not from the approach of the general’s tent. This was evidently not abnormal.
They stood outside and listened to his harsh words to a man who seemed to be his manservant. Their lips twisted into a smile at his declaration, and The Girl felt a rush of appreciation for his tactic. She wondered if that would work on Hero. The general turned his head to the night, and The Girl slid their hand onto his arm, his soul protected by that thin sheath of clothing, leaving any attempts at a minor, subtle attack in the dust, “Two cups will be necessary, I think,” she said with a thin smile, characteristically empty and seemingly detached, “Just another day at the office, I suppose, General? Such … violent materials,” she said with a quirked brow, withdrawing herself from his warmth and allowing a man to pass with a gun in his hands, which she drifted their fingers over curiously.
Mandron Cor’kerym - October 19, 2010 12:14 AM (GMT)
Mandron had been in the midst of slipping out of his immaculately-tailored uniform jacket when he heard the noise behind him. Its dark colors seemed to drink in the little light available in the thickening twilight, the wet stains of blood dragged along the expensive cloth as if he'd ridden through a light rain. He set it on a peg outside of his tent, to be seen to by any of a number of mouselike, scurrying servants. The man was as demanding of perfection from himself as he was of his tailors-- of his servants, of his hounds. Perfection was not a thing to strive towards, it was a thing to be, and to force on his surroundings by the sheer force of his presence and will.
And Mandron was a man with a will hard enough to bend iron.
The night was cold on his face when he felt hands slide up his arm, sinuous as a snake and deceptively fragile. The hands-- female, he knew without looking, thin and slender in a fashion he had not felt in some time- were themselves nearly as cool as the darkness around him. Were he a lesser man, he might have let his eyes fall nearly close to relish such a bold sensation. After all, here on the battlefield and beneath the indifferent stars, who would care if a man turned propriety a blind eye to enjoy a momentary lapse in protocol? Men were driven to camp women in droves, eager to forget the horrors burned into the backs of their eyes, as if in the passionate clutch of panting breaths and sweat-slicked skin, they could recall a vision of the lights of home, shining bright and clear through the winter air.
But Mandron was not that weaker soul, and the martial stiffness of his shoulders went tense with the desire to slap the offending hand away. He did not answer immediately, but stood still and stony, as implacable to the preening for attention as a bronze-cast statue.
When he did, at last, level his face to watch her, it was with the slow deliberation of a bear. His dark-eyed gaze was flinty and narrowed, briefly searching the woman's face and then roving over the rest of her body in a swift scrutiny that was over in the space of a breath. He had the look of a man who could sleep soundly while the world burned to ash around him-- who could relegate a nation of casualties left in his wake to shallow graves and waltz along the freshly turned soil as if it were a glossy ballroom floor. "You will touch me when you are invited to do so," he informed her, in a tone that was perhaps only slightly warmer than he had used with his servants. "Or I will not only relieve you of your hand, but I will flay it to the bone before I do so." Personally, his voice seemed to add, and his body turned to face the smaller figure, looming over her as if wondering if she might taste well with a cherry glaze and ivory champagne. His magic rose around him, and with it a smell like old blood and old death, a cloying, choking, nauseating sensation that crawled coldly over skin like spiders and the fingers of the dead. Unnecessary additional warning to the threat... under the assumption that she could feel such a thing at all.
But he did not look away from the thin girl's figure immediately, some prickle at the back of his neck deterring the monstrous man from finding her entirely inconsequential. After sufficient pause, he indicated the tent with a tilt of his chin. A challenge, subtle as a shadow in the dark, veiled with an invitation that was as velvety-smooth and seamlessly delivered as his cautionary statement. Do you dare? "I only take my tea scalding. It loses its taste as it cools."
Hero Verges - October 19, 2010 06:16 AM (GMT)
THE GIRL LIKED THAT MANDRON felt he called the shots. It made the absolution she felt in her decision all the more secure, for now she saw a man who was both strong in will and strong in power. His soul, she felt instantly, would be more satisfying than almost anything else they had tasted – just the same as they had felt when they had boldly eyed the Sprite Queen Sameah. These things were rarities, these power-filled beasts with dominance in their body and their mind. Even his very scent was one which drew the Soul-eater’s darkest half towards him closer, admiring what felt like pure evil within such a demented spirit. The Girl appreciated the gesture which had scared the lesser being, Hero, back into their shell slightly further. She, after all, clearly the stronger of the two, did not fear decay but embrace it – one might even say she encouraged it, given her desires and frequent objectives. His coldness was deeply attractive in this matter, and both felt the little shiver that crept up and down their spite, one in terror and the other in exhilaration. His willingness to challenge them … damn these complicated affairs! When had mortality come to feel like such a game?
The Girl traced their fingers over their scar mildly as she turned her head, letting their improperly-worn loose hair reveal their neck as she shifted their gaze to the ground. Demure? Even Hero was unlike to have the skill of recreating such a sinful expression within their form, and thus The Girl was a cause lost beyond imaging on such matters. The Girl pleasantly contemplated his threats, while Hero warned her counterpart of their relevance. This wasn’t a safe territory to be treading on, and it wouldn’t do to continue coursing along in this vein of behaviour. But whenever had reason had any place in their fickle, selfish heart? Instead of backing away like Hero longed to, they stood stable and lifted their head to face Mandron. His chin tipped towards the tent, and their brows arched cleanly with a slightly amused purse of their lips. They smirked as he spoke, and neither could ignore the silent challenge of his words. Dementedly, The Girl could not find fear of his touch. Any skin-on-skin contact would be his demise, ultimately; only magic could truly affect them, and though they had little within them, even that was not worth worrying about. He wouldn’t catch on, The Girl was sure. Hero was less confident.
“If your intention is to frighten me off, General, I feel it might be expedient to inform you that there is nothing you can say to me which will cause me to leave,” The Girl said curtly, “Certainly not how you prefer your tea,” her audacity in the next sentence made Hero shudder, and they couldn’t restrain the barely perceptible lurch of their shoulders, “Your attempts at coercion mean very little to me. If my forwardness threatens your sense of control, I apologize in advance, but I’m not a young harlot with abrasive sexual prowess I’ve chosen to inflict on you come nightfall and you will not treat me as you would one such woman,” she had gained confidence that she understood the function of a man like Mandron, and that a threat would be as reliable as any well-laid trap. A challenge was what he had given her, and with a challenge would she respond, “Sir, it would be prudent of you to accept that you will not control me at any point this evening, and we may carry on civilly. I am in charge of my own person, and tonight I will control you.
“Here, a proper gentleman would offer the lady his arm and lead her in the direction of the intended location,” The Girl tipped their head to the side questioningly, bright eyes flickering at the tent, and once more their hair brushed and fell to either side of their neck, “Will you bother to pretend to be such a gentleman if I pretend to be such a lady?”
Mandron Cor’kerym - October 19, 2010 01:48 PM (GMT)
This was no ordinary woman, Mandron reckoned immediately. There was not even the barest nod to propriety, no flash of fear behind her eyes, no acrid stink of it rising from her skin. Immediately, a grim interest overtook the skin-deep sensation of his irritation, and he listened with due cordiality when she spoke.
A small, thin smile crept over his features like ivy, and the expression was as sharp and unfriendly as a knife blade in the dark. The General rocked elegantly back onto his heels, hands sliding into his pockets. "Symbolism, darling. The tea was a symbol. But I suppose your stubbornness will do in place of cunning." There was a flash in his eyes as he offered his arm to her. Making jokes at the expense of his guest?
"My sense of control is not threatened in the slightest," he informed her conversationally, leading her the stately few steps towards the tent. Its opening was drawn back for them as they approached by hands behind the oiled canvas, and there was no hitch in Mandron's stride as he passed through, his ungloved hand settled atop the fabric along her arm. The glow of thoughtfully placed cast-iron braziers and oil lamps painted the interior in thick red-gold, glancing off the painstakingly neat surface of a small writing desk and the ornately carved folding screens that hid the bed. The tent was not massive... but it verged on being so, boasting quality cherry-carved furniture that belonged far more reasonably in the room of some estate. Tall shelves flanked the desk, and were stuffed to overflowing with all manner of books and folded documents; two seating areas rest behind the desk, the tall-backed chairs fashioned of deeply rich, tobacco-colored leather. The sounds of their steps were muffled by the thick layers of furs underfoot-- the exotic hides of hunted animals, nature-painted in pretty striped patterns. One of the mastiffs raised his head from where he had been resting, at the foot of the desk, and his hackles rose silently as his golden-eyed gaze followed the woman on the arm of his master.
A tea service had been set atop a painted table between two chairs, and an impassive butler gave a stiff and silent bow towards the pair. "Two cups," Mandron informed the man, dutifully leading the lady to her seat. "I have no aims to control you, miss, do not mistake me. Only to inform you. You may do as you please... just do so in the knowledge that I will react accordingly." He moved with an eerie grace for someone in his middle ages, folding his legs to slip into his own seat, setting one ankle over his knee and lifting his hands for the plate of tea his butler had already made ready. Rather than sip at it, though, he watched the woman through the steam that rose from it, the smile long gone from his face, and replaced with some leaner, stranger expression.
"I, myself, find civility is often overrated. We may dance the number you propose, each wearing a mask for the sake of the game- I the gentleman, you the lady, exchanging dull pleasantries. But there are moments when avarice has its own sort of virtue, and tonight you find me appreciative of my own greed. Let us instead wear no mask at all." He lowered the tea and his voice, till it was little more than a harsh whisper. "We will be the monsters which we are among our own company, and see if that course may lead us to moments more revelatory."
He leaned back into his seat, fingers closing on the gray cup's ornate handle. "How do you take your tea?" The question was mild compared to his proposal, and the butler's hands hovered over the service while waiting for her reply.
Hero Verges - October 20, 2010 06:21 AM (GMT)
FIRST TO BE NOTICED WITHIN THE TENT was the décor. It was fine attire for a room, suited for a manor rather than a battlefield. It showed his success, they realized, with yet another shudder of indecision. If his furniture was representative of his ability, he was clearly a capable gentleman – and it certainly seemed a comfortable space, they observed as their eyes skimmed over the area, starting at the canvas top and coolly sliding down to the skins beneath their boots. Hero considered it quite garish, not favouring animals by any means at all, and thinking it silly to display them in a tartan of garish humour. The Girl, on the other hand, didn’t care for the animal which lay on the fur of an exotic beast with his eyes trained on them and his master. The dog was massive, with fleshy, intimidating features, and they barely managed to keep a distasteful sneer off of their face.
They arched their eyebrows in haughty amusement, and even Hero had the grace to appreciate his mannerisms. Mandron’s touch was proper, hitting at a clothed position on their arm which, although the safe player wished it could be that simple, was a polite thing to do, with his revealed skin. Their own hands were boldly, certainly improperly, exposed to the elements, without gloves despite the scandal the thought might have caused in a city such as Aster. Propriety had no place, they were coming to learn, on the battlefield. Urgency in the medical tents often overwhelmed grace, and so it seemed manners were not to be fussed with. Men were without shirts, and women were stained in red at almost all hours – it was simply the accepted way of life in a time of such horror.
Detaching themselves from Mandron’s arm, Hero and The Girl were seated in the high-backed leather. They folded their legs to the side elegantly, enduring what was expected of them to fold back into the deep back of the chair, the toes of their shoes on the ground and one arm luxuriously posed on the armrest. When tea was given to her, she accepted it with a nod in acknowledgement and a cold smile – involuntarily, but they were unfortunately incapable of given anything more – and listened patiently to the words that were spoken to her. When Mandron was finished, they studied him, appreciative of all that he had said, simply because of the cordial manner he had managed to do it in. The words which passed from their lips were just as light and social in sound, but the notes played didn’t match the tune of the song, “I take my tea black, thank you,” she said, a thought without need for any further consideration. The clean mimic which followed was a fluid representation of The Girl’s awareness of his words, intriguing as it was that he chose to address them, “That was, by the way, symbolism. I’m sure you’ve caught on, but I couldn’t be certain in the instance that your ego got in the way of your cunning.”
Hardly even thinking of allowing him to reply to this, The Girl addressed the issue he had risen in his final statements. While Mandron moved for the service, displeased for whatever reason with his tea, they transitioned neatly to what topic of discussion had been brought up. He was a fascinating thing, wasn’t he? “Cocky” was the word which came to mind first, followed by a little murmur of “obstinate”, as they contemplated the fluidity in which he transitioned from between his control and theirs. It was all so intriguing; honestly, there were so many interesting people about, it was a miracle that they were fed at all. Neither had realized there was this much depth within each individual. So many complexities, and so many ways that they could respond to little old … Hero!
Either way, Hero disliked this conversation of masks; it seemed a risky territory, something that The glorious, gratuitous Girl would take advantage of to discuss their condition. Well, her companion chortled unnecessarily, I wear a mask every day, and she’s still as weak and insipid as she was the day I was born. The Soul-eater quietly marked the most efficient routes of departure, speculating upon whether or not she would be able to gain the necessary control of their body to turn and run in the other direction. Coward, declared The graceless Girl, “Tell me, General: in wearing no mask, what will become of this encounter? Should I expect an aggressive revelation to suit your tools?” with barely a thought The Girl referenced the items which she had arrived to see being stripped from his person. They were fine things, those weapons, but they were nothing compared to hands, The Girl thought, lifting her fingers from her lap for a moment to observe their slender, bony worth, “A … tasteless one, perhaps, to accentuate your choice in decorum?” the insult was mild reciprocation for his imprudent implications regarding their character, “What monster is inside of you, and, really, is it a match for mine?”
Mandron Cor’kerym - October 20, 2010 02:21 PM (GMT)
He just laughed, a dry, quiet, crackling sound. Like the ice over lakes settling in winter as cautious feet tread over it. The humor was there, but it was not... pleasant. Mandron was charmed, in a fashion, by the woman's irreverent willingness to use the sharpness of her tongue. It was terribly girlish, spiteful, and would have been utterly unacceptable anywhere else.
The General took a soundless sip of his tea when his laughter faded, eyes twitching from his guest as she spoke to the butler. Something unspoken passed between them, and without so much as a bow, the other gentleman left without a word, slipping out of the tent with an uncanny grace.
"Why ask about the future when you can carve it for yourself? After all, it was you who precipitated this meeting, no doubt with some object in mind. Whether our exchange ascends to aggression, understanding, or simply continues on in the realm of exchanged insults is, I feel, directly related to your intention." After another slow sip of tea, he set the saucer and cup down on a small table near his elbow. There was a moment of silence from him while he leaned back in his chair, dark eyes unwaveringly turned to the face of his guest.
His rudimentary guess was to peg her between two and three hundred. There was a discordance in her movements and body that he knew was an indicator of age, among other things, but there was... the soft suggestion of naivete still hanging around the edges of her features and hovering in her voice.
"I've worked with enough of your kind to know what you are, girl, all allegories aside. The only thing tasteless here is your sad attempts at normalcy." He reached forward, swift as a serpent, easily closing his hand over hers, the pad pf his thumb briefly following the lines of her palm while his fingers cupped the back of her hand. The touch lasted only a moment before he used it as leverage to jerk the slim figure forward. Out of her own chair, and toppling against his hard frame; he'd risen to stand during the motion, unnaturally fast. Mandron's hands closed on the stranger's upper arms in a gesture that was about as close as he came to being gentle and, even so, threatened far worse should she try her hand at evading.
"Were you hunting, perhaps? Sick of stealing lives from the wounded and dying already? It's hardly much of a meal if there's not a struggle, I'm told." He would have been surprised at just how closely he'd hit to home. "Or are you another one of the daughters of Arrianus, come to deliver his messages? I'll see him when I've collected what I need here, and not a moment before."
Hero Verges - October 23, 2010 07:15 AM (GMT)
THE MAN TEMPTED FATE. Were their fingers not clothed in those thin gloves, his life would have begun the process of passing to them in a mere instant. It didn’t take much, just the slight contact, to steal his soul, and yet he pulled close to her. A perverse thrill twisted their lips into a smile, and they flew easily into the momentum he provided, towards his chest. Their hair whipped their face and the large, chestnut curls bounced against his shoulder. The man was built like a wall, they noted. This created the usual conflicting views. Rather than responding to his abrupt and graceless gesture, their figure was tranquil in his grip. The Girl quirked a brow at him, amused disapproval written on her face. Their body lost its tense posture – that stance which was regarded as socially acceptable – and her shoulders were forward comfortably rather than drawn back to accentuate her gender role, while her hips lost the straight form a lady was intended to present in public, looking up at him with some mild enjoyment and exasperation in one. The pressure from his hands on her upper arms was the only source of real discomfort, but they held still so not so show it.
A stab of fear struck through their core, and Hero filled with the greatest concern. While she writhed inwardly in detestation and question, The Girl was excited. Mandron knew. Now he would be a real challenge. They had never attempted, as he suggested, normalcy – or, at least, not The Girl. She had no reason to hide behind Hero’s pathetic façade. The front was a tiring one that grew old quickly, which was why only one of them took the care to hide it. If he considered this an attempt at blending in, he was sadly mistaken – unfortunately, Hero knew, this was The Girl being subtle, but their definitions of subtle were vastly separate. For one, it was a matter of discretion, and for the other it was the immediacy of bloodshed. The gruesome Girl one saw little need to withdraw into lies, and had told none. There had only been one, and it was that the monster was inside of her – the monster was outside, now, dealing their cards and placing them on the table.
“You’re correct on some counts,” she responded without skipping a beat, in spite of the sudden twist of their physical proximity and the comfort of the situation, “The dying don’t have much to them, I’ll admit,” and, to this, even Hero agreed quietly, “It simply means that more must be taken within a period of time – there’s just so little left within these beaten, degenerated shells. However unpleasant the person may be,” they spouted easily, “A lively body is what would best be fitted to our needs,” they said “our” ambiguously, meaningful in their heart but with the intent that it could just as easily be interpreted as a generalization about their kinsmen.
“However, I’m certainly no messenger. You’ll find I’m inherently self-serving. Though I’m curious: what is it that you intend to ‘collect’ here? I can think of nothing you will gain, and everything that you will lose,” they smirked frostily, their voice dry and cold, like a winter wind. The Girl found that Mandron had a dark entertainment value about him; he was impressive, but not so much that she couldn’t find something about him just the slightest bit ridiculous – it was, she decided, his confidence. It was funny – thus was the amusement of one not quite right, an animal who pinned humour on weakness and self-assurance, hypocritically, of course. She loved the idea of being a crooked ace up the sleeve of a player, and similarly loved that even the player was afraid to use her for her skill. It was arrogant and cocky mentality but, unable to see it within herself (for, really, wasn’t the only thing inside of her Hero?), she sought it out in others for pleasure. Mandron thought that he had them, but there was nothing farther from the truth. He had nothing but his hands on her – and that was a move which could be very easily turned into their favour.
| Sorry for the wait. :/ I'm so museless for Hero right now ... I feel awful posting something this bad for you. <3 |
Mandron Cor’kerym - October 23, 2010 03:25 PM (GMT)
(( Short, but... he's itching for a fight. ))
Mandron smiled. It was the expression of a man who was content to set the world ablaze, and might sleep soundly while it all burned to ash around him. And why not, when the only dream worth defending was that of his countrymen? And when it seemed the girl would not struggle, he eased his grip. Stroked her hair, so smoothly that one unfamiliar with the man might have called it absently, and shook his head as he listened.
He seemed not to care that the skin on the palm of his hand was tinged with gray and cool to the touch when he settled it on her shoulder. But he was entirely, dreadfully aware of what he was doing...
"'Unpleasant the person?'" he echoed, dark brows arching on his forehead, "Are you so finicky with your food?" The mildly voiced question was delivered with a roll of his eyes. But, bemused, he looked down to the strange creature he'd allowed into his tent. Bold little thing. She reminded him immediately of a sharp-toothed mongoose or weasel. Deceptive and deadly.
"I'm collecting people," he responded simply, unperturbed by the Soul Eater's wintry demeanor. "And information. I've already gained nearly all that I need, and so far lost nothing I didn't intend to lose from the outset." Not that he expected a woman, of all things, to understand the value of strategic loss. But neither was he ignorant of her meaning; a flinty look he shot down to her was proof enough of that.
If you're here to try and kill me, stop wasting my time and be about it.
Hero Verges - November 7, 2010 08:24 AM (GMT)
MANDRON WAS SO CLOSE TO THEM … The Girl breathed in his faint scent, like bloodshed and sweat, combined with that rotten thing that made Hero convulse beneath their skin. The angel of their pair was paralyzed silently in her worries, while the demon felt the familiar chill of a fight crawling down their spine. Their soul shuddered with anticipation – to bait such an enemy – is unwise,, Hero contributed helpfully, and her friend corrected her instantly: is exhilarating. Their breath caught as the general spoke, their head spinning with his words. He had a graceful way of making no specifications, all the while appealing to the darkest aspects of them, probably by all that was left to the imagination. Oh, he was such a sinister thing, perhaps overly so. They should have took it as a warning and run, and Hero should have had the control not to test their ability – she knew they should have their back facing him now and they should be racing at top speed –
But what if they were good enough? What an ego they would find within them, something to recover from the pain of Vector’s ignorance, and the gaping hole which was The Girl’s wounded spirit. The Soul-Eater had broken a part of Hero that perhaps this would regain and The Girl, oh, The Girl and her upset humility. She didn’t tell Hero, and Hero would never find out, what exactly it was that caused her to leave when the older male was around, but the private fantasy she now harboured about killing the only other thing which such a frightening capacity motivated her. The silence that The Girl kept was a vain effort of appearing fearless with Vector, but the deluded, absolutely crazed desire she injected into their system to destroy this secondary evil … was damning. Anything, though, on that quest for redemption, to make up for their flighty bout of fear. Hero, The Girl thought loudly enough that her companion heard it, had that same fear, didn’t she? In spite of all of her horseshit, surely she knew that she wasn’t batshit enough for Vector – didn’t she? Bullshit, argued Hero faintly, and the words fell hollow on the ground, but rejection was fresh in her mind. Could she have been so easily won over?
Boldly, The Girl made the move that she knew Hero would not be brave enough to make. She raised their trembling fingers up, still uncomfortably caught in his grasp, and managed to slip the gloves off of her hands. The Magician’s fingers played in their dark hair, and their eyes stared boldly into his. One move was all that was left to be made, and with one thick-lashed, long blink, Hero dropped their gloves on the space between their feet. Delightedly, they thought in a moment of shared fancy, how wonderful it would be to be able to tell Moiré of this conquer. Their success would be momentous, something which would elevate them to the highest levels of their clandestine society – how this would convert them in Vector’s eyes, from that pile of worthless tears to a violent monster of cold, calculating talent. Free of inhibition and Heroshit, they raised their hands to his face, hands so close that they could feel the faint brush of his sideburns against their palms: the proximity spurred their heartbeat.
“General,” their said, together, in a tone laced with the promise of hope and even a note of sultry anticipation. Their hands were tingling, prepared to touch his skin to their skin, a kill so easily made, and one which would end in matter of seconds, “Would you mind horribly?”
Yes, it seemed he would.
Mandron Cor’kerym - November 9, 2010 03:35 PM (GMT)
It was a swift and sure goodnight she promised him with those pale, pretty hands. A last breath-- perhaps two-- as loud in his ears as the crashing surf, a growing darkness in his vision. He'd toed the edge of that line many a time before. There were no small few Soul Eaters in his acquaintance, and long had he used such friendships as a means to look upon death. Let lesser men breathe in poppy smoke or take to morphine or laudanum for their vices. No giddy high could equal what the icy breath of his own end imparted for Mandron Cor'kerym, and it was only a shame, really, that this little tart was so impatient, so bold.
If only she'd had some vestige of self-restraint, some self-awareness of herself as the small, frail creature that she was... some inhibition, their discourse might have taken a far more advantageous turn.
Mandron allowed himself a distant pang of regret as their eyes met. She was not unattractive, and with such an air about her- as if edging along the thin line that separated girl and womanhood, a sweet face to hide a sharp tongue and delightfully dark wit- she might have been so useful. She had no idea what she'd done, or to what end she condemned herself.
"General," little minx, she manipulated her voice so well, and his smile broadened on his face just perceptibly, "Would you mind horribly?" It made his heart beat a little faster, lurching with a sick anticipation. Mandron's wicked tongue betrayed him while he lowered his own hands, one to brace against the nearby end table and the other circling almost as if to embrace the slight figure to him.
"No, dear," he murmured warmly. "I don't mind at all."
He stepped back, then, swift as a coiling serpent, the thin blade of a letter opener snatched from the end table and in his ungloved hand- which arced up in a fluid movement as he stepped back, one strong hand burying the point of the narrow blade in the soft skin underneath her jaw and up through her mouth. He buried it to the hilt, satisfied only when he could feel the resistance of the blade breaking past the roof of her mouth and into her skull. He held her up by that leverage when her knees might have wanted to go weak, half marched and half dragged her by his desk-- batting away her hands like gnats with his free hand, though the apparent and bemused warmth his expression favored her with had not vanished or dimmed-- where he hardly paused to snatch up the dagger that had been lain there beside the saber of his office.
"I don't mind," he murmured again to her pretty face, the lower half of which had been darkened by the ready rush of blood that had burbled from her red mouth. Mandron's hand on the letter opener was gummy and slick with more of the same, and it stained upwards along the crisp white of his shirt's sleeve like fire along a wick.
Two strides, and her back was shoved against one of the heavy columns that served as the central support for the tent that served as both office and living space; with an easy summons of the strength his broad-shouldered form imparted him, Mandron hoisted the girl up-- using no more than the hold of the letter opener on her skull and spine, unperturbed at the sickly sounds of tearing flesh as the hole in her jaw opened to a gash running down the length of her throat. When she was at an appropriate height, feet dangling well off the ground, he set the blade of the dagger at the point just beneath her collarbone, and shoved it through and past the resistance offered by lungs and spine- and stepped back to let her hang there like a hide set out to dry.
He moved about the room, set the letter opener carefully back on his desk while he passed to dip his bloodied hands into a waiting basin of water; Mandron was quite particular on matters of cleanliness. When his hands were free again of blood and wiped dry on one of nearby ivory handtowels, he turned back to the cooling body. Began rolling up his stained sleeves to the elbow, as meticulous about that as he'd been about even getting the last of the blood from under his fingernails.
"But only if you don't mind that I keep you, Girl." He stepped close again, hands folded behind his back, the very portrait of a military gentleman, his face a mask of genteel sincerity and almost paternal care as he addressed the pale figure. "It would be a shame to waste such art on the worms."