iconAll times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:53 PM. | Welcome to Forum, please register to access all of our features.
Old 11-27-2019, 08:04 PM   #91
Junge
u havin a giggle m8
 
Junge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,917
Default

The shaft of Ringo's club clattered onto the wooden attic floor, as did her spear. Every bit of resistance the girl possessed evaporated as her entire mind save for the most rudimentary parts like breathing and standing disappeared. The blanked Ringo did grip at Liam's arm with an infantile strength, like a baby trying to hold onto a mother, but gone was any trace of skill or lethal intent. It was the desperate clinging of an idiot. There could be no counterattack now.

Without a moment of hesitation Liam's bottle swung in. Even with the trace amount of alcohol in her system the act felt thrilling, fulfilling even. Maybe it was some of the raven rubbing off on the tavern owner. Liam forced the bottle forward and towards the neck of her captured prey.

It hit nothing but air. In fact, the entire bottle suddenly flew out of Liam's hands and smashed itself into pieces on the floor. The woman lost her grip as her arm flung outwards to try to regain balance. Balance? Why? Her mind raced as a powerful force tugged Ringo away from her grip. The pull seemed to come from nowhere, as if some god of the heavens was yanking the girl upwards. Ringo looked equally confused but at least she had an excuse.

Liam's first instinct was to grab at the girl and stop her miraculous ascent. But as her own feet lifted off the ground the realization came all at once that whatever was moving Ringo, it had more than enough strength to pull Liam as well. A series of panicked yells shook through the tavern and Liam hastily let go of the girl entirely. The reverse was not true, however. The raven's power couldn't blank Ringo's own survival instinct and the cadet held on tight to Liam as if her life depending on it. Now the yelping became cursing as the two tangled combatants rose up and out of the hole in the roof.
Junge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2019, 08:14 PM   #92
Junge
u havin a giggle m8
 
Junge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,917
Default

It was then that the source of divine levitation became clear. A tether! A leash! A rope! How Liam missed it in the shadowy attic was obvious enough, and why Ringo stayed so close to that halo of light as well. Wrapped around the girl's waist was a length of rope, and on the opposite end of the roof was the White Clamshell's signature giant stone statue of a clamshell, whose whiteness had faded into an off yellow a long time ago. The statue was toppled off its base and desperately trying to roll off the roof as gravity pulled it down. As the clamshell fell so it pulled Ringo- and so it pulled Liam as well. The two entangled grapplers rolled down the roof unable to find their footing and the stone weight easily plummeted off the side, yanking them with an even more powerful force towards the edge.

Had that been the girl's plan all along? The doorknob distraction- just to buy time to set this up? Then when her memories were blanked...she let go of the rope, removing the last bit of tension keeping it in place. It was a spring trap loaded and set with exactly this intention! What a disgusting plan! This Village cadet must have intended to kill them both!

Well! Liam wouldn't be having that! Ringo was sliding much faster than Liam since the tether was on her body specifically, if Liam could get her to let go then only one of them would fall to the earth below. Liam's fingers dug into the ceramic roof tiles even as Ringo refused to let go of the woman's leg. The two slowed their descent this way all the way to the edge. Ringo laid inches to falling off the side. The clamshell hit the end of its rope and bounced tugging her even harder. Yet the cadet held on fast.

“Idiot!” Liam grunted in exhaustion. She raised her free foot up and began stomping Ringo's face. “Moron! Imbecile!”

Yet every time she lifted her foot to deliver another kick the expression on that girl's face looked as focused and stalwart as ever. The effect chilled Liam to the bone. The child solider should have no memories left, no military training to rely on, no years of experience to temper her personality and attitude into that of a trained killer...yet when Liam saw that expression she wore, the fierce determination in her eyes, it was as if nothing had changed.

Ringo hadn't been made into a warrior. She must have been born as one.
Junge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2019, 08:23 PM   #93
Junge
u havin a giggle m8
 
Junge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,917
Default

Bully to that! Liam's fingers burned with pain as her grip began to loosen on the tiles. The tile themselves shuddered and cracked, threatening to give way at any moment. This stalemate wouldn't last much longer.

There was nothing left in the tank for either. Mutually assured destruction seemed to be the only way out. Liam couldn't do anything else and Ringo was too dumb now to change the situation either. If the girl loosened the rope on her waist the weight would drop and both could live, though! Yet the voided mind of Ringo either wasn't aware of that fact or chose not to do it. The latter couldn't be possible. Nobody would willingly choose to die in such a stupid way.

As the last bits of strength tore away from Liam's grip she bit her tongue in frustration. There was no other choice. Her raven materialized at her side, perched on her captured leg as it were just another branch in the wind. Its large black wings spread outwards and blocked the setting sun, casting Ringo completely in its shadow. The yellow beak of the beast opened and out flowed a black, vaporous mist.

Every stolen memory walloped Ringo like a punch of the face. Her eyes refocused and her jaw clenched shut as the barrage of experiences came rushing back at once. Just enough- Liam would return just enough to overwhelm the girl, but not enough to save her.

Sure enough the shock hit Ringo's brain hard. Her own grip loosened on Liam's leg as the survival instinct of her primitive brain was replaced with her own years of training. No matter how much she might try, this girl was still a kid, and kids just weren't equipped to make snap judgment calls in strange situations! At that same moment Liam's heel crushed Ringo's face again and the girl's grip completely failed. A wave of pressure lifted off Liam's body as the weighty tug of her anchor disappeared over the edge. Victory! It was her victory!
Junge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2019, 08:35 PM   #94
Junge
u havin a giggle m8
 
Junge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,917
Default

Then the second line snapped taut and Liam shot forward after the burden she just disposed of. Her fingernails splintered as she tried hopelessly to grapple the tiles again. It was too little, too late, and she toppled over the side.

The floating weightlessness of free fall overtook her. Everything seemed to move as if in slow motion. Below her Liam saw the fast approaching ground, as well as the White Clamshell's namesake embedded in the soil of the courtyard below. The fall might not be lethal but it would almost certainly be crippling. Yet these were not the thoughts which filled Liam's mind as she tumbled downward.

How? What pulled her off the edge? Ringo was the one tied to the statue! The entire force of the pull came down by her leg, almost as if the girl never let go. But she had! Ringo released her hands from Liam entirely! Despite the rapidly approaching earth Liam used her precious few seconds to look down at the limb which betrayed her.

Fishing line. Coiled, knotted, and tight around her heel like a noose. Since when? Since before, long before. That doorknob- that stupid, pointless doorknob! That damnable cadet! She laid it before, in precise anticipation of the two of them being pulled together and tangled up! The rage inside Liam boiled over and a refusal to accept this reality. The world didn't work this way! It shouldn't! So many things had to have happened in such a specific order for this to be possible! At any point, if any one thing failed, then the whole plan would have been pointless! Who could possibly bank their entire life on such a slim chance?

Liam's hands shot out as if she could claw a handhold out from the air itself. Her mind screamed out for her spirit and so it appeared. The raven materialized below her and instantly disintegrated as her body crashed through its frail physical existence. Then it happened again, and again, and again. Each time the raven regenerated in a bundle of smoke and feathers only for it to disappear in the next instant as Liam demolished it. It all seemed so futile.

Yet.

Yet!

Her mind didn't loose focus. In those precious seconds she called on her power, the raven's power, rapidly and with pinpoint precision. Her plummet couldn't be stopped but it could be slowed. With a last howl her raven's body reappeared and bore a tremendous brunt of the gravity pulling her down, cushioning the fall in the split second before Liam hit the ground.

In a mighty puff of black smoke Liam smashed into the earth. Her body bounced a bit, then settled. Bits and pieces of the shredded roof tiles rained down from below and gently pelted her splayed out body like a drizzle of rain.

Everything stayed quiet for a moment.

Then Liam groaned.

Then she laughed.
Junge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2019, 09:04 PM   #95
Junge
u havin a giggle m8
 
Junge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,917
Default

Boy, did it hurt! The collision shook her skull and ribcage and she probably fell on her keys on top of that. But Liam could feel her toes. She could wiggle her fingers. Her vision was spinning and the black cloud wisps swirling around made it difficult to see, but she didn't feel as though any serious damage had been sustained. In fact as she began to move Liam realized she could probably limp away from this one. What else could you do but laugh in a situation like this? Ringo would have certainly taken more damage from her fall, if the girl was even still conscious. Sitting up slightly Liam already started looking for a weapon somewhere to bash the child's skull in. In the end the girl's meticulous plan failed, because there simply wasn't enough height to seriously injure Liam! That her raven could even be used that way- it was amazing what these spirit animals could do when called on in a moment of dire need. It almost felt unfair.

The smoke thinned. The large, now broken statue lay just a few feet from where Liam fell. It was a small blessing that she hadn't landed right on it. Luck was on her side today! Still pulling herself up with both arms she continued to blink away her shaken vision and search for the black-clad Ringo. The girl was small so it would be easy to miss her. Maybe she already crawled away? It wasn't conceivable that-

Aha! The girl was behind the statue, of course! She fell first after all. Liam got on all fours and coughed up another mouthful of laughter. What a strange sight it must have been. It was a good thing that dumb fisherman hadn't shown up. To be seen in such a sorry state! It would ruin the woman's credibility. By pure chance she looked upwards, where the sun was just beginning to disappear behind the tavern's structure. There might even still be time to get the inn ready for that nights patrons!

Her mouth opened again to cough but instead her jaw simply remained open. The breath stopped in her throat. Both pupils widened to take in that last bit of fleeting sunlight.

The sun wasn't being blocked by her tavern. It was being blocked by the rapidly falling body of a small child.
Junge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2019, 09:17 PM   #96
Junge
u havin a giggle m8
 
Junge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,917
Default

A tremendous wail like that of a dying cat penetrated the evening air. To Ringo it felt more like crushing the air out of a balloon. Both her feet landed square on the woman's back and slammed her back into the ground. She then dismounted with a little hop to regain her balance, spun around, and proceeded to kick every last bit of consciousness out of the devil woman. The only sound in the courtyard then was the girl's tiny grunts and a multitude of soft, squishy thuds.

With one last roar Ringo snapped her heel into Liam's face and the woman collapsed into a motionless heap. Ringo stood above the adult for a while to catch her breath. Three to four good heaving exhales later, the cadet spat on the woman, then rushed back to retrieve her grappling hook still dangling from the gutter above.

Putting together the pieces of this altercation was going to be a nightmare. Memories swirled around in her head, disjointed and impossible to piece together coherently. So much time wasted! She coiled the hook's rope back into her belt as she walked back towards the comatose Liam. Her fingers quickly dug through the woman's possessions in search of any kind of clue as to where to head next.

And Unmei! Abandoned for a whole day- the Leviathan save Ringo if any harm had come to her partner. Where was her club, anyway? And the spear she took from the hunter? On the woman she found little of worth, just a corkscrew bottle opener, a butane lighter, and a key ring of questionable use. The tavern owner didn't even have any money on her.

Anger still simmering Ringo rose again. The deepening shadows grew longer by the minute. She needed to go get Unmei from her hiding spot, then...figure out a new plan. That lock box was still inside and no doubt with her new keys Ringo could get some access. Maybe...

“Hey, you there!” Ringo's stern scowl instantly warped into a worried one. Standing right at the entrance of the courtyard were two Seagull guards. Ringo's expression fell as if to say 'come on, really?'

“That's the fugitive! Call the others, we got here in time!”

Frustration built back up and escaped the girl in a series of rapid eye twitches. She remembered the words of her favorite Academy teacher.

“When it rains, it pours.”

Ringo swung herself around and took off into a full sprint, rallying cries of Seagull's military hot on her heels.
Junge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2019, 09:31 PM   #97
Junge
u havin a giggle m8
 
Junge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,917
Default

Weekend night-lifers still crowded Seagull's busiest streets. The country wasn't quite a sleepy rural backwater as the Village propaganda liked to frequently state. Liam's hooded jacket covered the worst of Ringo's facial injuries and she measured her steps lightly as to not draw suspicion to herself as she kept to the sidewalk. Gas lamps all along the main capital road lit up to provide the citizenry with ample illumination to spend their well earned dollars on. Unmei's map was now lost along with wherever the rest of Ringo's notes were, so the cadet has little choice but to wander somewhat aimlessly.

“Hey, lass!” A merchant manning his fried squid booth shouted at Ringo as she shuffled by. “You look hungry! How about a nice after dinner squid on a stick to sate those urges?”

The hood covering Ringo's face lifted up as though she were considering it. Her pace slowed.

“Mister...” Her voice was a bit hoarse and the headache from all the mental shenanigans she dealt with a few hours before still caused her to slur her speech. “...uh, yeah, sure. I can come back and buy some.” Ringo await and kept her face turned away from the now disappointed salesman.

“Aw, come on! They aren't going to get any hotter!”

A weight seemed to be lifted from Ringo's shoulders at the man's response. So he didn't recognize her! Well, how could he? Ringo had only been in this awful country for a couple days, after all!

But it might be possible there were wanted posters or something, or this could be a trap! Keeping such paranoid thoughts in mind Ringo didn't turn to face the man. Instead she simply revealed one of her palms as if she were holding some cash. “Uh, hey, Mister, I can't spend this money yet. I need to go to the bank first, but I can't find it...”

Now it was his turn to be relieved. A sale seemed right around the corner! “Aye, little miss, you are a bit aways from it but you just gotta look for the bell tower by the capital building. It's got a red roof and those big glass double doors. You can't miss it!”

“Oh, yeah. Of course.” Ringo coughed. Faking sincerity was incredibly difficult for her. Actual sincerity was a lot harder still. “I'll, uh, see you in a bit then, Sir.”

“Sir?”

“I mean, Mister. Bye!” Ringo sputtered out her last few awkward words then began scooting herself back down the street. What an embarrassing exchange! The things Ringo subjected herself to in order to follow her superior's orders...

All part of the job though, right? Before long Ringo saw Seagull's one and only bank pull into view. The evening was still young so it was likely they had not closed yet, and even if that was the case the Village more than well equipped Ringo to deal with such an obstacle.

No, as she approached what she feared was the opposite. Any random Seagull citizen might be the next animal ghost wielding maniac out to get her. Neither Liam nor the hunter were any good at combat, as Ringo's successful victories over them could attest to. But even a small edge was enough to overpower the girl and all her training. It didn't help that there was some infernal rat demon tied to her stopping the Leviathan either. She glared down at her arm as she tried to pull open one of the bank's doors. When could she get rid of that nasty animal?
Junge is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump