9 Red Twilight Worldwalkers chapter 9
David calls his sword to his side and clashes with the wall time and time again searching for a hole in the defenses of their luxurious prison. Sparks fly and the blade glows radiantly, David shouts to channel his super human power. He revs the blade spraying the explosive gas to try to chip away at the magic wall. His effort are meaningless.
Milli rolls onto her back still reading, she pulls her lags tight into her body almost displaying her exceptional assets, her tail modestly folds up between her feet to cover her pouch. "you are going to kill yourself." She explains to David "Maybe H.P.A. means more then that, maybe it is describing the expected amount of punishment one can take before natural healing is no longer applicable. Some people have managed to recover from some pretty extreme stuff. It seems H.P.A. isn't even on the same scale, everything else is 1-25 but H.P.A. seems to start at 4 and goes into the thousands for some animals." Milli trails off talking to herself.
David throws his sword at the ground sweeting with anger. "are you going to do anything!?" he protest
Milli looks at him placing the book under her head as she crosses her arms behind her back "No. I am going to sit her quietly and wait."
"look maybe between us we have enough strength to kick down these walls." David frustrated waves about.
"then what wise guy?" Milli pushes herself up onto her hip turning to look at her partner "I got zapped enough by the Watchers, I know what a ready kilowatt feels like, I don't like it."
"then we… we… deal with it." David momentarily stutters.
"we can't punch our way out; we know that much already. So, we need a second option. We need to understand who is holding us and why."
David takes an autogenic breath to slow his heartrate and calm his nerves. "so what do we know?"
"however is holding us doesn't plan on killing us any time soon. You don't bandage wounds on someone you want dead, you also don't give them reading material and a room with a view." Milli thinks aloud.
"then what do they want us for?" David snowballs "you're a spy and I'm a prince…"
"I don't think money is at the forefront of metal-face's plan. He is after something more valuable then coin."
"like what?" David quotation finally sitting down. The two of them inch together resting on each other's back for support, booth tip their heads up watching the ceiling.
Milli turns her head slightly as does David looking over eachothers shoulder to the other. "Devil, what do you know about the Belmond?"
"ghost stories mostly. I just met the guy half a day before I met you." There is a strange calm as the two of them sit together.
"I don't think we are on earth anymore." Milli explains
"Charlie thinks he can kill Cravixs." David adds
"Devil, what happens when gods die?"
Both parties face forward again engulphed by the question.
Milli brakes the silences "Do you want kids?"
David shrugs "are you offering?"
"it's not off the table. I'm very much alone no matter where I am."
David nods. "I know the feeling."
Milli lowers her eyes "No you don't. outside of the dragon scales on your back you look human, you can do things like go shopping and walk around in a park and no one will look twice at you. Me on the other hand, I can't pass myself off as a girl no matter what I do. I live on retracted movement. I was given a chose by Joe. I work for him or I live in a box. Im still in a box, this one is just bigger then the last."
"I'm not afraid of you." David points out
"that's not the point. But… thank you." Milli hooks her tail around David hugging him.
Blood sprays over the courtroom table, Dante recoils in fear at first, his noise twitches as the erotic sent of fresh meat gets into the air. Count Abram lowers his head hiding his face, several other of the Methuselah look uneasy as well the young more-so then the others. Dante grows fur on his ears and his noise turns upwards bat like, his eyes sharpen and teeth hook.
Like a mother bird Countess Estargo pushes Dante behind herself hiding him from view, She squares herself with Dale Headsmen, she is ready to face the hunter head on. Estergo is the oldest at the table aside form Abram, but she still looks hardly over 20 to human eyes. "on one denies the fact that the Methuselah were once predatory!"
Dale flips his knife around gripping it back handed as he lowers his arms to his sides and turns to look to Celverant "you say these ankle-biting rats are in charge of shit there will be a good some more blood on the table then this."
Estrago leans on the table before her grinding her fist into the wood her eyes glowing a predatory yellow as she is filled with fervent passion. "we don't kill any more! That part of our history has passed!"
"y'all still look like spiders to me. Eyes filled with blood, lust dripping from your teeth." Dale taunts Estargo
"you indigent…" Estargo reachs onto her back unclipping her pole ax from her shoulder.
Dale's eyes narrow as he softly calls her out "come on bitch. Let's see your teeth."
Cinder cuts into the conversation "objection! That was clearly meant to be antagonizing."
Cleverant's body echoes his distaste "Agreed. You may be seated Brother Headsman." An army of clockwork hands float out of the ground and guide Dale back to his seat, somewhat forcibly.
Maxwell stands "my I speak your honorableness?" there seems to be a twang to Maxwell's voice that would lead some to believe him an islander, his dark curls and deeply tanned skin would second that motion.
Celverant waves him on "who would you like to address?"
"Lady St. Frances." He ushers.
"go on." Celverant insist
Abram folds his hands as he walks to the center of the room "Lady St. Frances, you are the owner of a ship called 'the Warhamer' can you describe this ship to us?"
"I am Arch Cardenal Magdalen St. Frances."
"my apologies Arch Cardenal, can you describe the Warhamer for us?"
"the Warhamer is a ship of Lander classification, it is equipped with a gravity stone that allows it to travel by both land and air, the Warhamer has a three-laired hall, consisting of a steal outer coating reinforced with a green wood inner-hall and a tertiary iron innermost lair, It is retrofitted with 12 50" cannons on both port and starboard the mass has been fitted with a armor piercing steam-work piston called the "Dragon Gater" she is manned by 25 sailors at all times and acts as the mobile fortress for both myself and my privet guard 'the Priest of Ax'." Magdalen gloats
Abram nods "ah, I see. And did you design and build this ship yourself?"
"No." The Cardenal expresses.
"then how did it come to be in your possession?" Maxwell feigns a confused expiration.
"The Warhamer was a gift from Arch Cardenal Merlin."
"then did he erect your ship?" Maxwell lead the inquest.
Krain interrupt "where did the ship in question come from?"
Magdalen explains "the ship was commandeered from a group of bandits after the 'Battle of Panama'."
Maxwell nods, "that is very interesting to me. You see I at one point owned a ship very much like the Warhamer. I lost it almost 10 years ago now when a team of men in my employment where attacked at South Mission. Only a short walk from Panama bridge."
Sythen joins the talk "are you saying Count Abram that the Arch Cardenal had stolen this ship from you?"
"I would not be so bold as to insult the royal family of Glyph here. I only say that to you," he waves to the audience "the Methuselah are a long lived people, and we are at a stage of our development where art and technology have become large exports. This could be benifical to all of you should I be chosen to arrange for trade." He looks back to the Glyph "I do not believe that you can boast so much."
Harm speaks out "It seem to me that on many worlds we have visited art trades at a higher price then bread and wine."
Celverant nods "this is in fact a truthful statement."
Maxwell smiles knowing now that the judges are largely on his side.
Magdalen stand up "you will not speak of life in such small terms! Humans or not heads of cattle to be given away for nothing more than comforts."
Harm addresses Magdalen "why not? I have seen men kill each-other for less than simple pleasures."
The court is divided when Lances jumps to his feat also "Did we not agree already to hold each other accountable for our own crimes and not that of our fathers?"
This descends into chaos within moments as all the Worldwalkers, the Glyph and the Methuselah start shouting amongst each other. The Kami watch in confusion, Vistell folds her hand over her breast and smiles smugly at the display. Lances in spite of his disgust, looks around the room taking notices of who has not engaged in the arguing; Harm, Vistell, Nine, and Syphen all seem vary indifferent to this part of the debate, and Celverant is completely unreadable.
Celverant's patients quickly expires, the room painfully echoes his will "Order, Please. Return to your sets." On one resist.
Syphen stands up "May I say one more thing?"
Celverant looks to the ill-defined shapeshifter "so long as what you say is relevant to the point at hand."
"I may have an idea that could clear up all this confusion…" Syphen starts
Celverant cut in "If you say human sacrifice again…"
Syphen goes on "A sacrifice to Rhoda the sleeping god would most certainly help us illuminate our minds…"
Celverant stops It. "Syphon, I have seen fear in my time, I have seen horror, and I have seen the most disgusting of filth man and man-kin have hidden in the darkest corners of space. But never have I seen anything more repulsive then you. When I think about what you are and where you came from I wish I still had the ability to vomit. You may be dismissed. I will not be requiring your services more-so today." Clockwork hand pick up the monster called Syphen.
Su-a-hoon looks back and forth "could someone please clarify what just happened?"
Dash looks to Su-a-hoon "Syphen is a walking dream, An Avatar from a world that no longer exists."
Harm picks up the story for Dash "as it is told Rhoda was born the smallest giant on a world covered in colossuses. To spite his tiny size Rhoda had a hunger, A hunger that rivaled any of the blood gods. When Rhoda was pronounced a man on the eve of his fiftieth birthday there was a feast, and for the first time in his life Rhoda planned to eat till his hunger was satisfied. He alone ate a feast fit for 20 giants but it did not fill the emptiness in his body…"
Krane cuts in "… his hunger grew evermore painful after that day, every Zzuragg knows the story, he ate and he ate more, not even stopping to sleep, the hunger was all he could think of. When he ran out of food, he began eating grass…"
Dash continues "when there was no more grass he started eating rocks, then other giants. At that point Rhoda started to grow…"
Harm continues "he grow and grow as his hunger grow allowing him to eat evermore ever-faster.
Cinder pitches in "He ate till he could reach into the air and pick up the moon, he took a bite out of the moon and he turned into a planet only know noticing that everything he ate became a piece of him, then he ate the sun, then he ate everything."
Harm finishes the story "and when there was nothing left to eat, he slept, and he dreamed, and his dream went forth in search of new pleasures for Rhoda to consume."
Su-a-hoon looks around the room "is this true?"
Harm looks at the gryphon "we don't know that it is not."
Celverant joins "many Worldwalkers have extra ordinary powers, easily being confused for gods when they appear on worlds where the powers they have previously did not manifest. Some of us even come to believe we are holy by nature." Celverant relaxes his tone slightly "I have seen more than one god face to face. I was not impressed by what I sow."
Father Nightingale stands and bows "your illustriousness, with that unpleasantness aside, I am most exited to return to our previous point of contention." Nightingale is the trimmest and most refined looking of the priest his hair is long and peppered, he ties it back with three ribbons running down his back, he is exceptionally joyful and optimistic it seems.
"Very well, who do you wish to approach?"
"I should like to talk to both the Bronze Queen and Countess Estergo. If I may" Nightingale explains
"Make it so"
Nightingale approaches Elles "First off I would like to thank you for coming to this meeting, I understand that you need to cut short your courtship ritual in order to make it here."
Elles giggles at Nightingale "yes that is true, but what I am disappointed by is I didn't see you at the courtship." She crosses her lags kidishly and puts on a comically face annoyed voice.
"I am horribly sorry about that; I had pressing matters to attend and simply could not make such arrangements" Nightingales eyes are shut and head tips with a wide smile as he talks.
Elles lays forward onto the table lewdly "Really Able? Where were you that you couldn't make time."
Celverant interrupts "Are you going to make a point?"
The two jump to attention straightening out their outfits and getting back to their reality "no, not really, sorry." Nightingale sidesteps over to Estargo "Countess Estargo, would you mind horribly if I ask you what you do for a living?"
"yes." Estargo crosses her arms and leans away from Nightingale, Nightingale looks shocked at Estargo's unwillingness to cooperate "Okay…" she gives in after a long moment of the two of them staring each-other down Nightingale looking progressively more upset. "my primary responsibility as a Countess had been as lead Landset of the house of Estargo."
Nightingale's smile comes back and he perks up "Landset, for the binifit of the court can you define that term?"
"the territory I watch used to sit in an alcove between three other territories. South of my house was Nossghoul, north of me was the land formally called Grimm, and east of me was the Bronze desserts. My job was to watch the walls and should any activity be detected in Nossghoul light the tower…"
Nightingale stops Estargo "Im sorry I just noticed that you keep using pastiness. Why is that?"
"Estargo house had fallen at the same time as Grimm."
"how?" Nightingale ask. Estargo looks up to Celverant as if to ask if this must go on. "did Nossghoul attack you?"
"I don't know." Estargo shacks her head. "we were attacked but the attacker was never pinned down, we don't know who they were or why they attacked my house. I lost 100 of my brothers that night and the wall fell, if not for Abram having had a dispatch within only an hour's ride… and Earl Crystleus being…" Estargo seems in shock as she is thinking.
Nightingale rest one hand under his chin "Astargo, were is Abram in contrast to you?"
Abram interjects "I watch the north most wall, it takes five days by sea to reach Estargo house."
Arwen looks between the three of them "and your point is?"
Nightingale becomes stern "what IS your relationship to Abram?"
Estargo straightens herself regaining her wit "we have no relationship."
Nightingale presses "you never had a relationship?"
"no, not since…" Estargo cuts herself off.
Nightingale brings one hand to his ear waiting for the rest of her statement "Im sorry since when?"
"since the 'Divide'." Estargo finishes her thought.
Nightingale smiles his Methuselah traits becoming more clear as his eyes flash yellow and the veins in his checks flicker blue "and what is the Divide"
Vesstle laughs "irrelevant is what it is. We talked about the divide yesterday."
Celverant looks to Vesstle "what your turn."
Estargo looks aggravated "I will go over this one more time for any one that doesn't remember. Thirty years ago, a new herb was discovered, one that had properties that treated a number of genetic defects present in our race. There are many amongst us that think this herb is immoral to use. There are puritans amongst us that want to keep using the old treatment. Abram and I seem to have found ourselves on opposing sides of this divide."
"what are the genetic defects?" Nightingale ask
"as if you don't know; pathetically low fertility is the first symptom, uncontrollable veraciousness, animalistic tendencies…"
Nightingale cuts back in "simplified we suffer from abnormal sexual frustration and hunger. And what is the treatment?"
"drinking mammalian blood…"
With that Nightingale attacks, he slaps the table and starts shouting his next statement "How much?! How often?!"
Danta steps up to protect Estargo this time "It doesn't mater. We have a new treatment now!"
"You traded one addiction of another!" Nightngale's voice is filled with fire, he is a preacher and he is ready to do what preachers do. "Hunger becomes sex, sex becomes opulents, and indulgence becomes murder. Thinly vailed demons walk in cold sunlight. Always hunting, always feasting. You think gold can pay for freedom? Sin has only one cure, blood, the blood of labor and service, you sit high on your thrones, but it is on our knees that we find forgiveness!"
Celverant stands "I will not sit her and listen to a sermon. Break for lunch. We reconvene here at 17:44 Glyph time."
Nightingale snaps back to his calm and friendly appeal, instantly smiling courteously the rage gone from his voice "Thank you for being such a good sport about all of this Bethany. Can I treat you out for lunch?"
Countess Estargo stands up and almost playfully pushes Able away. "Don't talk to me."
In mass the court finds its feet and file out of the room for lunch. Lances Jacob chases down Magdalen st. Frances. Jacob calls ahead "Magdalen!"
In the yard outside the court Dale Headsmen turns to intercept Lances, Dale pulls out his crossbow and holds it up threating Lances. "Looking for trouble stranger?" Dale steps forth pocking Lances in the chest with his bow "who are you and why are you dress in Glyph armor? Vampire spy?"
Lances looks down at the bow then back up at Dale "that is dammed unfriendly-like." Lances circles one hand out pushing the bow off line then feverously steps into a slap across Dale's jaw pushing the larger man off balances.
Dale jumps into fighting posture pulling out his big hunting knife. Magdalen turns dramatically to face the combatants "Father Headsman, stop." Dale freezes in place at the sound of Magdalen's voice "he has a point, why are you dressed in one of our armors Father Jacob?"
Lances calms himself "you are mistaking, this isn't Glyph armorer this is the hunters gear of the church of Jesuit."
"I am not familiar with the Jesuit branch, are you from Panama?"
Lances smiles "No, I'm from Main."
"I'm afraid I have never been there." Magdalen expresses.
Lances looks somewhat disappointed if not confused. "I take it that means that you are not the Magdalen I know?"
"It would seem I am not, and I would take it the that you like I are not yet accustomed to the rules of this place."
Lances steps in close to the Arch-Cardinal "I am a missionary in a unholy place it would seem. But there is still one thing that I know and I know it for sure. I serve the church and best as I know that means that I serve you."
"Interesting." Magdalen's glasses flash in the light as she thinks
Lances extends a hand to the Cardinal "how my I serve you my lady."
Magdalen takes Lances by the hand, Lances bows placing his lips to her hand. Magdalen smiles and looks to her bodyguard "Mr. Headsman take note, this is how a man should act in the presences of royalty." She looks back to Jacob ushering him to stand "Walk with me. I feel you are a man with many useful skills and I wish to know what they are."
"As you wish Cardinal."