A rescue (revised)

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A rescue (revised)

Post  Naitachel on Sat May 04, 2013 6:36 pm

(I know we wanted to redo this, so thought we may as well do it via thread. Warning: very sad.)

Drip.

Drip.

Drip, echoed through the concrete halls and metal walkways and stairs, all the way to the surface.

Except for the drip of broken water pipes, one would consider the place quiet. Or was it water pipes alone? For it was not uninhabited, no. A few mice and rats scurried around, but they tried to remain silent, for noise begged for death. A couple of cats called this place home still despite the bad memories their matriarch had, though one might not call them true cats anymore, yet even they knew better then to make noise. For bigger predators still called this place home and roamed the battered concrete halls and metal stairways.

There was one room where those bigger predators did not go, however. Those who survived had learned from the examples of others. Not even the smell of meat could lure the big predators back inside, for those who tried to feed within died in a contorted manner. A cat was usually present within it, holding vigil with the resident of that room, a duty they held to at their matriarch's demand, but she was dying. Would the younger cats keep that vigil after? That was uncertain. It was dangerous to traverse between that room and the surface anymore. Too any predators lurked on those paths.

The matriarch wanted to return below, however. Her time was coming, hastened by limited food and illness and injuries from close calls. She knew where she wished to go. The hardest part was getting there. So she rested by a door and bided her time, gathering her courage to venture below into the bunker system.

***

In the bunker below, something stirred slightly. He hurt, inside and out, physically and emotionally and spiritually. One comfort was that he was not alone, something furry rested against his foot, but otherwise, he had been abandoned. Not even the mutants had returned anymore, and any people who hadn't become them had long fled. It was quiet and lonely, and his heart had given up hope on being found anytime soon. There had been a time, long ago, when he had been bound and trapped like this before, but kin had found him then, saved him at the cost of a precious life. If that was what it took he would rather wait until the stone and concrete eroded to be found and freed by nature itself instead. It was trying, slowly. The chains were rusting after all. Slowly, painstakingly slowly.

They were likely dead. All he loved, the world above, it was destroyed. The last survivor had said so. Naitachel had no reason not to believe, as it had rung true--that man had not been lying. That news had broken his heart, and that was when he had closed his eyes the last time. Once again he had outlived those he cared for. The last of his kind, perhaps, as well. Even if not, he had no wish to continue this existence.

Rusting chains held his broken wings by the wing-shoulders above his head, the way men grabbed a rooster, twisted with broken bones that refused to heal. Others pinned his feet by the ankles apart to the floor, his wrists the main ones holding him up as they too were apart and tethered to the walls to either side of him. Black-edged wounds seeped slowly still, large claw marks and deep bruises from broken bones to his sides and back, similar holes eaten into the feathers of his wings from the fight with the demon. Other places, feathers were missing in what seemed a hap-hazard way, shallow and deep cuts in the oddest of places that didn't heal fully and continued to drain as well. Teeth had gnawed at his left arm and shoulder, but that hadn't healed much, either. The right shoulder, a ragged prayer shawl hung loosely on it and around the nearest wing, his only source of energy. A stained towel offered some modesty. The angel was ashen, ill from events and his surroundings and having been wounded by the demon, his silvery blood tainted a dull and darker grey with him where it pooled and dried on the floor.

Tainted blood had been the downfall. Men had sought it, not knowing the dangers it held and refusing to heed warnings. Angelic blood was a curse to those who took it without permission, and the intermingled blood and poisons of a greater demon only worsened the dangers it carried. They had changed, infected by it, poisoned by it, spreading the curse in a lesser form to others who also changed with it. Some of the mutant creatures, driven by anger and hunger, sought to bite the source they had taken it from only to die writhing by Naitachel's feet. Those who tried feeding off those corpses also died, twisted in pain. The room reeked of blood, death, and their decomposing bodies. Not even rats or bugs would touch them now.

The cat had been a companion through his suffering, an escapee from the lab whom they allowed in as she kept him sane, though they still kicked at her and struck her when they could. When the terror of change began, she had struggled to visit without injury, not always successful, but began to foray outside at other times. Change had struck her too, and her kittens were odd, larger, with bigger teeth, something entirely new though they followed her lead. One stayed with him now by laying on his foot, just enjoying the angel's energy through that simple contact, feeling silent sad gratitude in return. But the one he had first known rarely came to him anymore and the silences between visits from any of them were growing longer. At first he had wept in his despair and loss and loneliness, but the tears had run out and left him with nothing but the sound of water--and blood--dripping time away like a painful hourglass in this lingering limbo.

Drip.

Drip.

Drip.
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Re: A rescue (revised)

Post  Soraya on Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:38 pm

Impatiently, frustrated, Soraya kicked a rock, sending it into a pile of nearby debris.  

<Anything?> she sent to the family ahead, though they had just reported the same as they always did only a few moments before.  

Nothing.  No sign.

They had been at this since, well, since the air had cleared enough for them to emerge from the underground.  Radu had, for obvious reasons, been desperate to set out, to find his mate, though the rest of them were no less anxious to retrieve him.  He had insisted he'd be nearby, somewhere, though that was as much as they had managed; since that initial glimmer of hope, there had been no further sign of their errant family member.

That didn't mean they had given up on finding him, however.

And now the vampires, all except Brianna, had ventured out into the ruins of the city, looking for a clue, a spark, some sort indication of what had happened to Naitachel.

Soraya, being rather more vulnerable than the other members of the family, remained pacing a small enclosed area in the center of their search perimiter that had been declared safe and mutant-free for her to explore.  

The exploration part had taken her all of two hours, and now she was left to the same wondering, sitting, and thinking she had been doing since they had first set out on this search.

"You are supposed to be a seraph, Naitachel," she sighed, sitting heavily on a boulder and resting her head in her hand.  "Are you not supposed to have divine intervention on your side?"  She looked up and yelled, likely louder than was advisable lest she did alarm something unwanted to her position, "A sign would be nice!"
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Re: A rescue (revised)

Post  Naitachel on Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:33 pm

People. The cat hated most people.  They'd hurt, abused her, kicked her, poked her with needles and things, restrained her, and in the end they'd become those awful large monsters.  But she'd known a cute little girl once.  A girl who hugged her and snuggled against her fur, and petted her and gave her tasty treats, a warm and soft bed, and even played with her.  She had been small then.  But the cat hadn't forgotten her, and how she cried and tried to protect the cat when big humans came and took her away to this horrible place.  So the matriarch made rare exceptions.  Or perhaps just the one.

What roamed now... were not exactly human, though.  They smelled of blood and death and danger.  She wanted nothing to do with them.  When she realized some of them looked like what the angel had sought, she considered approaching one, but natural instincts screamed danger at her when they so much as approached her.  She cowered and hid amid the ruins, avoiding them, unable to even allow herself to be found by such predators.  They terrified her.

But... wait, there was... a real human.  She was alone, and she didn't smell like the others, nor like the mutated monsters.  And better yet, she didn't smell of pain and death, or the sharp antiseptic medical smell of the cat's tormenters.  Best of all... she looked like what the angel had shown the matriarch.

So the cat limped up a beam of wood to sit and stare at her when the human yelled at the sky.  And meowed, watching her.  Maybe this human might get the right idea.  They could help each other out.  Cat was tired, and the journey long and dangerous.  If this human female was anything like the little girl she'd known as a kitten, the woman could bring her where they both should go.
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Re: A rescue (revised)

Post  Soraya on Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:31 pm

"Meow."  

Soraya blinked up at the sky, frowning.  Had she just heard what she'd thought she'd heard?

"Meow."

The redhead looked down, searching for the source of the sound.  She knew there were animals still living amongst the ruins, feral now, though most had changed or mutated.  Unconsciously, she took in a deep breath, readying a scream, afraid of what it was that she might find when she located whatever it was that was meowing at her.

In the gloom afforded by the now-covered sky, it took a few moments to finally find the small, scraggly form sitting a short distance from her.

And though it looked tired and worn, its stare was clear.  It was just what it had sounded like - a cat.

"Well, hello there," Soraya greeted quietly, reaching a hand out to the poor thing in a gesture of welcoming.  "Poor thing, you look as if you have been through hell and back."  Then again, they all had.  But how had it survived out here this long?  That was a true feat.

"Had I known I would have brought you some food and water."

As she crouched there, hand outstretched, a strange nagging voice spoke in the back of her mind - You asked for a sign and this cat appears seconds later?  Strange coincidence indeed.
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Re: A rescue (revised)

Post  Prince Children on Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:58 pm

Tommen's fangs were bared in frustration as he tore through the lone mutant he had encountered while searching an abandoned office building.

Mutants and bodies.

All they found were mutants.  And bodies, which were perhaps even more frustrating to find.  How many people had died needlessly?

He growled and shook his head.  The point was finding Naitachel, and that was what he needed to focus on.  But each day they searched, each day Radu grew more despondent and yet more determined, and each day he felt his own hope slip.  It felt as if they had already combed the whole city and found no trace of him.  What's more, Tommen had no idea what sort of clue they could ever hope to find?  A feather?  

<I'd prefer a big neon sign complete with a lighted runway,> Michael's voice echoed in Tom's head.  The elder hadn't even realized he had been speaking, "aloud," to his brother, who was one search quadrant over.

The corner of Tommen's mouth twisted up slightly as he emerged on the roof level of the high-rise he had just cleared.  He stood, looking out over the ruined, silent city, trying to remember it as it had once been, full of people and life, full of noise, dreams, aches and joys.  

Now all that was left was the carcass of the goliath, slowly decomposing as more and more of the buildings disintegrated and more and more of its streets crumbled away.

<Do you think we'll ever have cities like this again?> Michael asked from whatever vantage point he himself had taken.  There was sadness in his tone.

<No,> Tommen answered plainly.  <Our colony is the safest place we'll have for a long time to come.  Though we might be able to rebuild a corner of it, should Naitachel ever return.>  Naitachel was a seraph.  He stood for life and creation, and in that perhaps even the hope of a modest future, even if it didn't hold the same glamour that was now lost to their past. Tom couldn't help but think that Naitachel's abilities would lend themselves to starting over and reclaiming the land

Even without all of that, Naitachel's return would bring them all a collective sense of relief, and happiness; he was part of their family, after all.

And maybe the bits of Uncle Radu that had disappeared, gone missing, would return, as well.  Really, finding Naitachel meant finding Radu.

With a sigh, the elder Prince son broke from his reverie and turned away.  <I'm heading into the next building over,> he told Michael.

<Yeah, I'm moving on too,> he answered Tommen, though he sounded distracted.  <This one here's a dead end.>
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Re: A rescue (revised)

Post  Naitachel on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:16 pm

The cat sniffed slowly at the redhead's fingers, then brushed her mouth against them, uttering a guttural purr. Well, she seemed nice enough, for all her fingers smelled of the frightening death ones. And she radiated good intentions toward the matriarch. So the cat stepped closer, butting her head against that hand.

Maybe this human could hear thoughts or smell intentions, too? So the matriarch tried, thinking of big pale feathers. In any case, after a few butts against that hand, the cat slowly limped her way towards the bunker. One way or another, she had to get them both that way. If the human wasn't up to using her other senses to catch onto the cat's desire for them to go there, well, she'd have to try leading at least some of the way. If the death ones followed this human, they should be safe enough--those would deal with the dangers ahead. Or so she hoped.
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Re: A rescue (revised)

Post  Prince on Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:12 am

Radu ignored the chatter of the others, focused only on the one thing that mattered most to him. He had to find Naitachel. He lowered his shields, casting about for him, and was immediately struck again by the anguish and anger and hunger of the mutants around them. He stumbled, but refused to raise them again as he felt it once more.  

There it was.

That tiny spark.

That hint that maybe, just maybe, they were getting closer at last.

Again Radu stumbled, nearly overwhelmed by the growing intensity of the mutants who surrounded this place, skirting it's edges but refusing to enter.

<Please, uncle,> Vlad pleaded. < You do yourself harm.>

<No more than his loss does,>  Radu answered at last, his deep baritone almost inaudible.

<More of those bodies are in here,> Min informed the others. <It looks like whatever killed them started with one then spread as the others dined on the dead.>

Mircea nodded, moving toward the room Min now searched. < Continue looking room by room, but be careful not to touch any of them. I suspect whatever killed them will do us no favors either.>

Radu seemed less interested in what they had to say than in that spark he felt. Reaching out further, he ignored the vertigo that seemed to sweep over him in waves. Mircea dashed back quickly, taking his brother by the shoulders and steadying him. <Enough for today.>

Radu looked at him sternly, <have we found him?> he demanded.

<No, brother, we have not. Not yet, but....> Mircea began, pleading with his brother to hear him.  

Any hope of that was dashed as Radu shook his head slowly, pulling away from Mircea and moving unsteadily toward the next of the  corpse-filled rooms. <Then it is not enough.>
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