Private Tales To make unclean

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Harlowe

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Harlowe couldn't help but wince when the minotaur threw himself at the wall with all his strength and weight. It was a surprise the whole roof didn't come down on their heads and from the way a few others glanced up suspiciously she suspected she wasn't the only one thinking it. She was still eyeballing it and trying to puzzle out Victoria's motivations behind her flirting when the woman occupying her thoughts asked her question causing her to flinch as though she had been caught doing something wrong. If she could blush she probably would have.

"You should keep behind me, in case there are any more nasty surprises," she said softly and stepped in front of her before she could disagree. Victoria was, after all, the one paying them. It wouldn't do for her to end up in a pile of dust like poor old Emmy had.

As they stepped through the door they had to walk over the Minotaur who lay sprawled out on the floor in a pile of dust and rubble. She could hear his heart beating so didn't bother to stop to check if he was well; Samsun would be on his feet and back to asking stupid questions in no time. Harlowe set a quick pace down the hall to the room that was their target. Up here in the halls the sounds of battle were a lot louder. Muffled thumps and the smell of burning were punctuated by the screams of dying monsters and men. Harlowe clenched her jaw.

"What exactly are you going to do when inside?" she young vampire asked, glancing over her shoulder at Victoria.
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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Upstairs the tremor of Samson's charge reverberated through the floors, but few if any felt it. Armored boots stomped over the marble tiles alongside monstrous hooves and claws, and sounds of clashing steel, whistling arrows, and crunching bone overpowered all.

Victoria kept close behind Harlowe, not arguing when told to stay behind. She was an odd little vampire, but considering she had not doubled over in blinded agony from the holy symbol, Victoria considered herself in no position to judge.

"Desecrate their sanctum. Cut off their link to their god," she answered just loudly enough that Harlowe could hear over their running feet. "If we take that, their holy artifacts and magic should fail. Then they'll either leave my territory or be slaughtered. I'm not sure which I'd prefer at the moment."

As far as vampire lords and ladies went, Victoria was one of the more benevolent rulers (as far as she was concerned). She allowed her people to do as they pleased for the most part and took an active effort in keeping them fed and healthy. It was self-serving, of course, as a healthy population meant more food, lumber, and other materials to fuel her keep, but she hadn't turned her country into a livestock pen as had some of the more ruthless members of her race. So when something like this threatened that balance, she felt no guilt in expunging it completely.

Victoria's soldiers carried the box around a tight corner, and then she heard a shriek so horrible she thought the banshee had somehow got ahead of them. They rounded the corner just in time to see the front two soldiers fall to the ground. Or rather, their armor did. As it clattered into pieces, dry dust poured from in between the joints.

The armored men ahead of them could only be described as paladins. Two of them wore square helmets and knelt behind massive tower shields. To either side were men in white robes with crossbows. A single figure stood behind them all, this one looking older than the rest, and he stared hard at the approaching mob in disgust.

An arbolist leaned out from behind one of the shielding knights and fired. The bolt missed and splintered against the far wall, and to Victoria's momentary horror she saw that it bore no metal nor fletchings, just a solid bolt of wood. The other arbolist followed suit, and this time the bold struck one of her men in the shoulder. He groaned in pain but stood fast as his blood ran down the shimmering pure-silver bolt. The cathedral definitely knew what they were up against.

"Kill them!" she barked. "And protect the casket!"
 
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Harlowe

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In one smooth practised movement Harlowe drew the shield from her back and pressed the hidden trigger on the handle. The metal begun to unfold like silvery wings, turning from the slim but serviceable buckler into an imposing round shield that was just shy of her full height. A wooden stake shattered against the surface with a sound like nails on a chalkboard. As a human she would never have been able to manage the weight of it but as a Vampire, and the ingenious mind of a dwarf, Harlowe's broken shield she had died with as a human had been remade into something fitting of her new life.

More than a few of the Monsters clustered behind her and Victoria to seek the safety of the shield. Others had fled to the columns for protection but peeking out from behind them usually earnt them a stake in their direction. For the most part, however, Harlowe and her shield now seemed to be their main target.

"You need to get behind one of the columns!" she said over the loud almost consistent hits of wood off steel. "I'll draw their fire - go!" the Regiment didn't hang around to obey her orders but her eyes swept to Victoria. "That's an order for everyone."
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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Victoria ducked behind Harlowe as another bolt ripped past her face. She didn’t have the proper time to admire the shield’s craftsmanship, or work out just how it had erupted into existence, but she was glad that it had. There were steady thunks as bolt after bolt struck it. The wooden stakes broke against the metal, the silver ones (fired with less frequency) clashed loudly against it and fell bent to the floor.

"You need to get behind one of the columns! I'll draw their fire - go!"

Victoria watched as some of the Regiment dashed out for the safety of the columns, which suddenly looked much thinner than they had moments before.

"That's an order for everyone."

Victoria opened her mouth into an instinctual retort, but closed it half a moment later before nodding with grit teeth. She had hired these people for a reason, after all, and now was the time to listen. She bit back her pride with a clenched jaw, and carefully crept back.

The bolts kept coming, and Victoria abandoned her hopes that they would run out any time soon. Wooden stakes for the vampires, silver for werewolves, and everything in between would die from the injury regardless of material. She could make it to a pillar, with her speed she could definitely make it… but it would only take a single bolt in the right spot to end her right here and now. It was a slim chance but a chance nevertheless. She would not take it.

With a slow exhale, Victoria focused on dissolving away. Her body grew hazy until haze was all it was, and a cloud of red-tinted mist darted forwards like a silent snake. Bolts passed through it unfazed, brushing the delicate droplets harmlessly aside, and after a couple of seconds Victoria coalesced behind the closest pillar.
 
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Harlowe

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CLANG. BANG. CRASH.

Harlowe clenched her jaw as the bolts begun to increase in speed. There would be barely a minute to think if she had been human and even as a vampire there wasn't much more than that. Bolts shattered or skidded off her but she had been right to assume that most of the fire was being focused at her. Taking a deep breath she took a step forward.

BANG. CLANG. CLANG. BANG.

And another.

BANGBANGBANGBANG.

And another.

As more of the crossbowmen took aim at her the creatures along the darkness of the columns begun to creep forward inch by inch almost keeping in line with Harlow's advance. This was clearly a strategic movement that the Regiment had done before. Harlowe was not more than 20ft from the others when the onslaught and impact was too much even for her. She knelt on the ground and simply held onto the shield as the volume rose to a crescendo...

Jack was the first to pounce. The Banshee had led the column on the left and with a screech she pounced on the clergy-soldier nearest to her. Two other from the regiment quickly joined in and the left flank dissolved into chaos.
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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The noise was deafening. How many of the fucking things have they got over there?! Victoria cursed to herself, taking a peak beyond the cool stone just to pull her face back in to avoid another bolt. Harlowe, despite this, continued her slow progress. The rest of the regiment moved from pillar to pillar, and Victoria followed suit.

She kept an eye on Harlowe as she darted forwards, and paid little attention to the creatures she was now forced to pack together with. Suddenly pedigree mattered much less, when the choice was between huddling with a goblin or oblivion.

They were so close now that Victoria could smell the clergymen, and she wrinkled her nose at the incense that still lingered on their clothes. She was ready to strike, about to make a move for the nearest man when she saw Harlowe fallen to her knees. Even her immortal strength could not last forever, it seemed. With Jack's scream the arbalists faltered, and Victoria let loose the breath she didn't realize she had been holding.

She had taken one step towards Harlowe when she spotted the small, shimmering bottle lofted through the air. The man at the very back, the older and more severe looking one, had tossed something at Harlowe's shield and...

Victoria's eyes went wide in the split second it took to recognize the weapon, and the stone cracked beneath her foot as she burst forwards, caught the bottle, and hurled it far behind them with a cry of pain. She looked at her right hand, the palm steaming and already covered in deep, red blisters. "Holy water!" she warned whoever could hear her over the sounds of steel, before reaching down with her left hand to offer it to Harlowe. "Come on, love, almost there." She smirked, but her eyes were colder than ever.
 
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Harlowe

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Most people when they were on their knees panting with exhaustion would have thanked the person who had just saved their life. Holy water was not something she had let had the pleasure of testing out her immunity to but she was far more confident - or perhaps uncaring of her own being was a better way to describe it - than she was of Victoria's chances. Her lips pressed together into a thin line as she looked at the blistered hand and then, slowly with a touch of reluctance, took her uninured hand to help her to her feet.

"That was reckless. You could have been hurt," Harlowe said bluntly. If Victoria died she had little doubt her minions would turn on them and even if the worst didn't happen she knew they definitely wouldn't get paid. Her eyes flickered to the fighting as she dropped the older Vampire's hand. The regiment were clearly winning though they had lost their share of people. There were two more piles of dust and a pile of gloop which had once been a water hag. Who knew there was a type of water it hated?

"Stay back," she said firmly when her eyes turned back to Victoria and gave her a hard look before vanishing into the fray in the blink of an eye.
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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A gentle hoist and the vampire was back on her feet, although there was no look of gratitude upon her face. ”And you would have died. Painfully, and completely.” She wondered if Harlowe knew what holy water did to a vampire if fully submerged. ”Don’t think so little of me,” she said in a strangely pleasant tone, flexing her burnt fingers. The blisters remained, her undead gift of healing offering little against divine damage, but she shook out the hand to try and relieve the stinging.

She clicked her tongue after Harlowe vanished into the sounds of blood and metal. She wouldn’t be able to accuse her of being a poor guard, at least, and while she enjoyed getting her hands dirty from time to time the Regiment was doing a remarkably good job of ensuring that she didn’t have to. She turned lazily and motioned for her remaining three guardsmen to bring the dark, black box forwards.

She moved ahead slowly, following the wake of death that cleared a putrid path for her. The crates of holy water had mercifully not been broken, and all that stood between her and their final destination was a simple wooden door. This, too, had a symbol on it, but it did not hurt so much to look at as the one in the sewers before. A light prickling at the back of her eyes, perhaps, but she smiled wickedly at the thought of holy power fleeing this place.

Something grabbed at her ankle, and she looked down at a pitiful, bloodied human face. He stared back at her with such fear. It wasn’t fear of her, for he met her eyes easily. It was fear of his failure, fear of what he knew lay behind that door and what this monster would do to it. Fear of knowing he’d lost.

Victoria caved in his skull with a quick kick, and freed herself from his limp fingers. She reached out hesitantly for the door, stopping her hand just inches from the simple wood. She didn’t feel anything, no energy or invisible barrier, but her forehead creased in thought and she drew back. She did not trust it.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe was a blur of silver. In and out of the fighting she flickered, sometimes with her sword drawn other times without it. Each attack was like a vipers strike to pick off fighters who were fleeing or proving to be overwhelming for their adversary. Eventually all that remained of their foe was a bloody heap of mangled corpses. Jack left two of the troop with them in case any wayward monk happened upon the massacre and needed silence but the rest trailed after Victoria with a variety of not too serious injuries.

The young vampire wiped the blood from her cheek where it has splattered when she had slit a man's throat open from behind into a crimson smile. She was barely paying attention to where they were going until a sudden pain shot through her skull. Nobody else seemed affected but Harlowe gasped and clutched her head not more than a foot from the door, dropping to her knees in pain. Her vision swam and a screaming tore through her mind. Something old was behind there. Something old and very dangerous.
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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Victoria turned to Harlowe's sudden outburst, curling her fingers back even further from the wooden door. At first she wondered if the young woman had been injured in the fight, or perhaps struck by a splash of holy water carelessly knocked loose, but the hall was still and no foe had been left alive.

She crouched, scouring Harlowe with rubescent eyes. "What is it?" she asked. Her voice was velveteen against the cold quiet. "Harlowe, can you feel what is back there?"

Beyond that door was the heart of the cathedral. A small but most holy room that served as conduit between Arethil and heaven. From the architect's description, there would be an altar or artifact of some kind within. Only an act of supreme darkness could befoul such a blessed thing, and sever the connection to the divine. With the link broken, the clergy's magic would fade and their protections would falter. Their influence would no longer be backed by true power, and their presence in this land would crumble. At least, that is what Victoria hoped.

As for the red lady, she felt nothing beyond a faint tingling at the closeness of holy power. None of the other monsters appeared to be afflicted as Harlowe was now. How odd that she would be so compromised, and yet she had not fallen to the earlier trap when so many others had been blinded.

Victoria cocked her head to the side, considering. "Tell me how you were made." Perhaps the answers she sought lay in that history.
 
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Harlowe

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Leeeaaaveee thiisssss pllaaacceeee.....

The voice hissed inside her mind. If she had been able to describe it she would have said that it was actually a collection of voices, male and female, young and old, that spoke together through one mouth. It was both everyone she had ever known and nobody. The thudding pain begun to increase to a tempo the longer she remained on her knees. If Victoria had not come to crouch before her and put a hand on her shoulder she would have been face down on the paving slabs grovelling for forgiveness.

How were you made?

Her question made more than a few of the monsters glance at one another uneasily. All of them had had different experiences of signing the contract and had been given the chance by different Contractors. No two stories were ever really the same. But they all knew that it had been on behalf of something... more.

"I gave Him my soul..." she whispered through clenched teeth.
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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Victoria did not understand. What in the fuck did that mean? She had felt a connection to the young one, it was true. Maybe it had been because she was the only vampire the Regiment had sent, maybe it was because she had a quiet intensity that Victoria admired, maybe it was just because she was pretty but damn it all they did not have time for riddles.

She glanced back down the corridor to see if any of the clergy above was coming before speaking again. ”Gave? Well awfully nice that you had a choice, most of us have our souls ripped away without so much as an introduction. Who is He?”

She could feel the unease from the rest of the unit. She didn’t care. ”Anyone?” she asked the group.

She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. Harlowe was clearly distressed and in pain, and Victoria did not want to open a door to unknown danger. ”I am going into that room,” she said softly, stroking a hand through Harlowe’s hair. ”I won’t make you come with me, but I need to know what danger is in there.”

Without breaking eye contact from the raven-haired girl she signaled for her surviving soldiers to bring forward the black box. It was too large to go through the door, so they set it down on the steps, roughly shoving aside the bodies that were intact enough to move.
 
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Harlowe

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Harlowe had once been a religious woman. She had gone to church every Blessed Day and had said her prayers before she slept or took to the battlefield. She had whispered rites over fallen comrades and had grief eased with the thought she would see them again. When the monsters that had been hired by her peoples mortal enemies had taken to the field that faith had wavered. No God could create creatures such foul. In truth she still was not sure if there was a Creator or being of good anymore but signing the contract had proven to her that there was a creature so foul, so dark, so powerful that there was most certainly a hell.

And whoever ran it owned her soul.

"Don't," she croaked. Whatever was behind that door the Devil who had turned her into what she was was afraid of it and if that devil laughed in the face of holy signs she didn't want to know what it was afraid of. The other monsters were looking increasingly more agitated and they shuffled back.

"Maybe we should make a monk go in," Jack offered. It wouldn't be hard to hunt one down.

"It's... the heart," the thundering voice was not saying anything coherent in any language she knew but it was still a pressure inside her skull. "A heart..." she wasn't sure how she knew only that she was right. "Of a God."
 

Victoria O'Connor

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Victoria’s face was tense mixture of concern, frustration, and confusion. Her fighting leathers were heavily spattered with blood and the scent of the stuff was thick. It wasn’t as appetizing as it usually was, not with the harsh tang of holy water and blessed charms in the air.

”It is a keystone, a connection to a god… nothing more.” She said the words equally to convince herself as the others. The architect had kept no secrets, surely not after what they’d done to him, but this place was old and he had not even mapped the lower tunnels. It was quite possible he hadn’t realized upon what he had built… all too possible with their foolish, human minds.

She needed this place gone. She needed to shut off the fountain of divine favor that blanketed this place and that was souring her territory. It always started with one, then before she knew it there would be two cathedrals, a dozen more within years. It was an infection that needed to be excised.

”Find one,” she answered flatly to Jack’s suggestion. ”Bring him to me. He does not enter the room until I say.” Setback after setback. She glanced at the casket. They still had time.
 
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Harlowe

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Jack didn't need telling twice. The Banshee took Samsun with him - for muscle, so he claimed - and set off back down the corridor at a trot.

Harlowe, meanwhile, had managed to get from her knees to her backside as she leant up against the wall to the right. Instead of the natural pale beauty her skin radiated now it looked washed out and grey. Even her silver hair had lost its shimmer as if whatever poison lay beyond that door was leeching the very essence out of her bit by bit. With one leg bent and an army flung casually over it she used it as a pillow on which to rest her head.

"It is a heart," she mumbled from her spot. "And it's old... and it doesn't like us being here."
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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Victoria clicked her tongue in steadily building frustration. Where were they? Surely it couldn’t be hard to find a half-alive white robed fool. She remember then how she had just minutes ago killed some by that exact description, and held her criticisms.

If there was a god in there, a hostile one at that, how was Harlowe connected to it? It didn’t seem like the connection went both ways, otherwise she could just ask it to leave. Victoria almost laughed. As if it could be that simple.

”Hearts can die…” she murmured, feeling the distinct lack of a beat in her own chest.

In time the banshee and the Minotaur returned with their quarry. The man they brought was slight and bore none of the armor his paladin brothers had. His face was badly bruised and a red swath of dried blood covered from his nose to his throat. Victoria swallowed at its scent. Sweet… virginal.

She approached him, Samson restraining and holding the man up all at once. ”Tell me what is behind that door and you live. Tell me what is in the sanctum.” There was no more time to negotiate. Victoria’s already frail patience was ice-thin. ”For each minute you stall, the bull breaks one of your remaining limbs.”

The man, though “boy” could have been a more apt description, looked like he was trying to move his mouth. “H… he…”

Victoria nodded to Samson, and the hall filled with a gut-wrenching crack and a scream as an elbow twisted back on itself. “He!” The cleric screamed through fresh tears, “He is in there!”

”Who? Who is he?!”

More whimpers. Another crack. Another scream.
 
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Harlowe

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"The Lord!"

The monk looked like a lumpy, sagging sack. His wide eyes seemed to take up his whole face and she could see the whites stark against the slightly less-white=more-grey of his ashen skin. His mouth opened and shut like a dying fish as he hung in one of Samson's meaty fists.

"He told us of your coming," well that explained the relatively good defence. "He is All Seeing, All Powerful! To look on Him will burn the eyes from your head!"

Harlowe's nausea had faded to a background noise and she managed to push herself back to her feet though she didn't look much better off than the monk. She put a steadying hand on the wall. The Monk turned to her wildlly.

"You can feel Him too, can't you?"

"I can feel something," she admitted, reluctantly, and talons seemed to scrape over her mind again looking for an in. "And I don't think it is of this realm."
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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Victoria bit her thumb in irritation. This was... not what she had expected. She had encountered divine magic before, fought it many times. It was extremely dangerous but it followed rules. It was borrowed power, power that was sent from beyond this plane into lowly vessels. It needed a conduit, a way to reach Arethil. Sometimes that conduit was the mage themselves, through prayer or ritual. In places such as this the conduit was often a holy sanctum containing an artifact or offering, something solid to serve as an anchor.

But this monk was describing something different. This was not the vague moral guiding of a deity, nor some philosophic waxing brought by drugged hallucination. This was too present.

"He is here?" she asked with careful quietness. "He is behind that door, in the flesh?"

The man's voice was fading quickly, as she suspected his life was. "He is not of our inferior flesh. His is a body beyond knowing."

"But he is here." She repeated. "He lives in there and he speaks to you?"

The man's nod was barely perceptible, but Victoria did something very odd. She started to laugh. It was quiet, but it built to a thoroughly amused chuckling before she was done. "Oh!" She chirped, "Oh you stupid man." She cupped his sagging face in her long fingers and spoke to him softly, like one might a child. "Living on Arethil? Hiding in a secret room and telling you impossible secrets? That doesn't sound like a God. That sounds much more like a demon, don't you agree?"

She released his chin with a sharp flick upwards, cutting just a bit of his jawline with her nail. As for what sort of demon could emulate holy magic, Victoria had no idea. Perhaps she was entirely wrong. Perhaps there was a god in there, but she'd be damned if she wasn't going to make him prove it.
 
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Harlowe

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"Nothing that can create such wonders could be a demon!" The monk spluttered in outrage. He sucked in a breathe ready to launch on a crusade that would do nothing but give everyone here a headache and no doubt earn him a crimson smile across his wobbling adams apple. But before he could Harlowe stepped in and shook her head.

"The opposite," that was why her creator was so scared. This thing was Light where it was Dark. "I think it's... for lack of a better word, Angel. And I don't mean one of those feathered elves," she scowled. It had always rankled her how people saw the Avariel's as angels as a religious woman in her previous life. Angels operated on a whole other level of power much like the demons.

"I think... that is why my... Creator is displeased with me being here," she rubbed the heel of her palm over her chest.
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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Victoria was on the cusp of shutting up the monk permanently when Harlowe spoke. ”Well your creator should not have made you a mercenary in that case.” Her frustration was near a boiling point. She was so close, so so close to this dreadful night being over.

She thought back to the architect they’d captured, the things she’d made him reveal. Had he lied to her? No… no human was so resilient. He had said that in this sanctum was the source of the Cathedral’s power. It’s light. And it was well known to her and the dark sects she had consulted that desecrating such a source was possible.

She looked back at the long, black casket. It’s shape bore a heaviness that belied its contents. She fingered the dagger held securely beneath her jacket.

Finally she looked back to Jack. ”Your contract depends on granting me safe access to that room.” She was done debating. The regiment had been expensive. Let them prove their worth.

As a final last effort, she returned to the dying clergyman. ”What is it’s weakness,” she demanded, and her voice felt heavy in the air. It had been thickened with cords of deep velvet and haze, and she clamped her willpower over the fragile mind before her in an attempt to hypnotize the truth from it. ”What does it hate?”
 
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Harlowe

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"Her."

Harlowe had known what the monk was going to say but she still grimaced at hearing the word out there. There was a reason the other monsters gathered were only feeling a little disturbed by the place and not having such a severe reaction. Whatever it was, this angel or minor God, was as much afraid of the darkness within Harlowe as the Darkness was of it. Like two sides of a coin. She didn't shirk from what that meant though - Victoria was right. She was a mercenary. And she had been paid to do a job.

Squaring her shoulders the vampire took an unnecessary breath to steady herself and then stepped up to the door. That piercing voice shot through her mind was more in a scrabble of languages and tones that made her think it was more than just a single being.

"Get ready," she warned and then, closing her eyes, she threw open the door as it burned through her skin.
 
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Victoria O'Connor

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Victoria followed the clergyman's glazed gaze to the vampire behind her. She scrutinized Harlowe, looking her up and down and searching for anything that could make sense of all this. What had Harlowe said? That she had not been made like other vampires. That she had given "Him" her soul. Was "He" in that room, or was it some other presence of equal power?

Suffice to say the architect had not met a painful enough end for the horseshit she was having to wade through right now. She was about to interrogate Harlowe once more when the woman spoke her warning and went for the door. Victoria ducked back behind the large black casket her men had hauled all the way here, half expecting beams of holy fire to come blazing from the room.

They did not, and she dared to peek above the rim to see what lay beyond the threshold. The room was tiny, but it was difficult to make out all of the details with how bright it was. She could see Harlowe's outline, but everything else blurred beyond her.

"I do not look, my Lord! I do not look!" The monk had regained some of his mind, it seemed, and he had rolled over to plant himself face down in the gore, his eyes screwed shut.

To look upon him will burn the eyes from your head. Well, so much for that, Victoria thought, rising to her feet. The light was very bright but little more than that. With her pupils constricted to pinpoints against the glow, she could just make out some shapes.

There was... something... that seemed to be entirely made of light. Its exact form was mobile, but it had either sweeping wings or undulating tentacles. At the center there were swirling orbs, maybe eyes? She looked closer, and one of them turned a glowing, star-shaped pupil on her.

Now Victoria felt its presence. Now she felt the telltale nausea, full-body shivers, and innate fear of Holy Power. She dropped to her knees, unable to look away. Her eyes watered but were unable to blink, and she could not turn her face from its horrible stare. Her skin felt hot and dry.
 
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Harlowe

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It took everything in her power not to collapse to her knees too.

YOU DARE ENTER OUR SANCTUM.

The voice tore her apart and built her back together with every syllable until she didn't know up from down. Her fingers clutched at the door handle until it was little more than crumpled gold lump in her palm. The figure before her was hard to make out even with her keener sight but what she could see looked almost identical to the thing that had appeared in her Waking dream just after she had signed her soul over. The only difference was this one was white in the purest sense of the thing whilst the other had been darker than the sky on a starless night.

YOU HAVE A MIGHTY OPINION OF YOURSELF.

That voice had come from her. Or had it? She hadn't felt her mouth moving but she had felt it passing through her, using her. The other being went quiet as darkness began to fill the room until the two powers were perfectly balanced. Harlowe couldn't move but she hoped the others would take advantage.
 
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Reactions: Victoria O'Connor

Victoria O'Connor

Red Vampire
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197
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Heat. Rising heat. Victoria could not move her body nor avert her gaze from those horrible, alien eyes. The light was painful against her dead retinas, and her throat was dry and raw, her skin tingling and stinging. Only when the light began to fade into merciful balance was she able to blink, and she cough a few times to clear her cracking throat.

She looked back at her surviving three soldiers, and she glared. ”I see you on your feet,” she hissed. ”The next time I am on my knees I expect you to intervene!” She stood rapidly and grabbed the black casket, her fingers splintering the black wood as she dragged it forwards. Once she got it close enough to the door she ripped open the silver latch and flung the wide lid open.

Inside was plush, red silk. It was a suitable casing for the delicate cargo: a slight, blonde-haired woman. Girl, more like, she looked barely into adulthood. Her cherub-like features were set in rest with her hands crossed over her heart. The thin, white gown she wore lay comfortably over her body and she breathed in a gentle tempo belying the chaos outside.

Victoria leaned in and placed a hand like a cold vice on the girl’s shoulder. ”Wake up,” she commanded with a voice once more laced with hypnotic resonance.

The girl’s crystal-blue eyes opened at once, and Victoria pulled her up. ”Come on,” she grunted, hauling the young woman out of the box and steadying her on her feet. The blue eyes were dilated and bleary, still beneath the waves of long-term hypnosis.

Victoria dared to steal a glance back at Harlowe, but she didn’t know what she was looking at.
 
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Harlowe

Monster Merc
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281
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Above their heads two forces swirled. Embodying nearly every religions belief that there was a Dark force and a Light force, a good and an evil, that governed this world the two creatures whatever they were stalked one another. Each one probed into the others space before darting back with a hiss. They seemed, from what little Harlowe could understand, to be evenly matched. The voices continued to boom in her mind like a typhoon.

I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD. The Light thing hissed and the Darkness cackled in response.

YOU CANNOT KILL ME WITHOUT KILLING YOURSELF. There was a snarl that rumbled through the room.

YOU'RE NOT EVEN HERE, YOU HIDE BEHIND ONE OF YOUR TWISTED CREATIONS LIKE A COWARD.

AS YOU HIDE BEHIND YOURS.