Jethro: Go for a ride.

Discussion in 'Boat Trolls RP' started by Jethro Makwaa, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    Pancho wakes you up in the middle of the afternoon just to tell you not to look at some videos. At first you’re just confused, but she’s your leafbro, not like you’re gonna doubt her without a reason. So you stay off the internet until she’s done trying to talk Bel down and has a moment to explain.

    The gist of it is that Cloris took Erskin to a rainbow drinker party, drugged him, fucked him in public, and let her undead friends paw at him until he flipped the fuck out and had to be sedated. He’s not dead or (any more than usually) maimed, and they didn’t rape him, but he’s very upset and Cloris is openly terrible to him, and he’ll have some humiliating new scars to live with. Pancho keeps you company until you’re done crying and throwing pillows, then nags you into calling room service for a small, early breakfast and a snowpack for your sore and swollen eyes. She’s such a good ashmate; you let her know how grateful you are.

    You can’t help sending several begging messages to the account Erskin last contacted you from, even though you know it’s Cloris’s.

    - armchairDesperado [AD] began trolling briarThorn [BT] -

    AD: = erskin pls tell me you still have net access i need to talk to you bro i’m so fuckin worried

    AD: = please be ok man

    AD: = pancho tole me what happened to you, some shitwagon put up vids, imma pop ‘em one if i ever see 'em

    AD: = bro please i miss you an i’m scairt

    AD: = erskin cmon

    AD: = <><><><><><><>M<

    AD: = ok this is cloris’s account right? ma'am please lemme talk to my moirail, i won’t rat you out, hand to god.

    In between frantic, hopeless pings, you lie down with the cold pack on your face and listen to calming music in the vain hope of getting back to sleep.

    - briarThorn [BT] began trolling armchairDesperado [AD] -

    BT: are you awake?

    AD: = like i could sleep, jegus fuck

    AD: = wait is this you bro or um

    BT: your “bro” is currently ensconced in my hive. he’s out of his head and tried to bite me the last time I tried to speak with him.

    BT: I need you to fix him.

    BT: I’m sending you a car.

    BT: You are to leave your sylladex in your block.

    BT: I shouldn’t have to explain what damage you’ll cause if you should tell anyone you’re visiting, do I?

    AD: = lady, i ain’t gonna kick about ditching my electronics, but i done knit erskin a pile a prezzies an imma bring them things to him so he can hide his poor clawed up face in em an settle down.

    AD: = i can carry 'em in my hands i reckon so you can see i ain’t got a sylladex on me.

    AD: = also imma tell my ashen sister what the plan is, cuz otherhow you’re gonna have five trolls after your shiny butt insteada just bel, and none of 'em is pushovers.

    AD: = me tellin her i’m goin willingly is what you want to keep shit quiet, dig?

    BT: Fine. But you won’t tell her where you’re going or why. Are we clear?

    AD: = i ain’t know your address anyhow.

    BT: I’d like to keep it that way.

    BT: Don’t dally.

    - briarThorn has logged off!-

    - armchairDesperado [AD] began trolling crossfireHurricane [CH] -

    AD: = cloris is sending a car for me, i gotta leave my sylladex behind or she won’t take me to erskin

    AD: = i don’t think there’s a damn thing i can do to help you find the place with the kinda time i got

    CH: * Don’t be stupid, Jethro, she’s going to disappear you!

    AD: = that’s a possibility yeah

    CH: * Do NOT go.

    AD: = not a option, man. this my moirail we’re talkin bout.

    CH: * Damn it, Jethro, don’t leave Pancho and Galley leafless. What would Sigmah say?

    AD: = you ain’t as manipulatey as you think bro heheh

    AD: = this is my gamble an i’m takin it, so quit arguin. i just want you to come pick my stuff up so the hotel don’t gank it.

    AD: = mebbe meet up with paw, let im know what’s up.

    CH: * At least let me bring you a tracker. I’m about an hour out.

    AD: = bro, the front desk just called. i gotta go.

    - armchairDesperado has logged off! -

    CH: * Fuck.

    Thanks to your awkward attic modus, which is kind of dumb for small items, you actually do own a few bags. You were busily packing all your knitting stuff into a duffel while you fended off Bel’s fussing, along with a couple changes of clothes and a few paperbacks. You’re sure there are other things you’re going to wish you’d packed, but your ride is here, so this will have to do.

    Your ride is a dark, sleek car, and you can tell it glides through traffic like a shark among minnows just looking at it. The driver, an oliveblood, you’re guessing, by the accents on his uniform, exits the car immediately and helps you put your bags in the trunk. Judging by his face, he either has no idea what’s going down or he’s spectacular at hiding what he’s thinking. You feel a bit strange when he opens the back door for you, but climb in anyway. The seats are very plush.

    You miss your prowler.

    The driver’s got the heater on, which provides you a perfectly good excuse to open the window after a minute or two. Even after unzipping your parka and taking your hat and gloves off, you’re still way overheated, and you’re not about to take your sweater off right now. You turn your face to the cold breeze and breathe deep to ward off carsickness. You dangle your hand out until your fingers start to go numb, bring it in to warm up, dangle it out again.

    Every mile or so, you casually drop a plastic stitch marker. You don’t know if Paw can follow a scent trail that sparse, but if any lusus can, it’d be him.

    After all that secrecy, she lives right here in Scorpius. Twenty minutes of cruising down unfamiliar streets with increasingly fancy hives and lawnrings, the car pulls to a stop in front of Cloris’s hive, a slender three story adobe building with an iron fence around the ring, made with iron roses and thorny vines winding their way through it. It’d be a cool bit of craftsmanship if you weren’t starting to hate roses.

    The driver opens your door for you again, your bag in hand. You thank him and enter the gate, following a stone path that appears to be made of some kind of deep red faceted crystal. Her lawnring is full of trees and flowerbeds and a well tended lawn, but it’s all clipped so aggressively neat and symmetrical that you kinda feel sorry for it. Also it’s way too lush for the beginning of dark season. Does she hire someone to sweep the snow off it? Creepy.

    Cloris opens the door the moment you step onto her hivestoop. You you look up at her – farther up than you expected, she’s almost as tall as Bel – and narrow your eyes slightly. By how Erskin described her, you were expecting his matesprit to be as meticulously groomed as her gardens, but this is a troll who looks exhausted and sad as hell: her silk green dress forms a striking contrast with her white skin, but her hair is uncombed and her eyes are dark circled and a little too bright, like she’s been drinking.

    She doesn’t smile or greet you. Instead, she holds the door open for you. “Follow me.”

    Fine by you. You’re not interested in making friends with her. You just want to get to Erskin as soon as possible. You hitch your duffle higher on your shoulder and nod for her to go ahead.

    You pass lots of fancy rooms and catch glimpses of soft lights and paintings and lots of dark potted plants out of the corner of your eye, but you don’t pay it much mind, keeping your eyes locked on Cloris’s back. Her walk is slightly unsteady. You wonder if she’s still fucked up from the party or if she’s boozing tonight to deal with Erskin being… how he is.

    Wordlessly, she leads you down a flight of stairs and down into a dimly lit room. You summon a short little auger-shaped psi knife, prepared to punch out the lock – or her eyes – but the door doesn’t slam shut behind you and Cloris makes no move to rip out your throat.

    Instead, she turns on the lights, and you let out a weird sort of gargling yelp as you lock eyes on the creepiest fucking lusus you’ve ever seen.

    It’s a pitcher plant. It’s bigger than your thermal hull and white as bones–the vines and leaves are white, tumbling over the stone border of its garden bed and spreading out to encompass the walls and ceiling. You remember how you once found a white dogwood bush up in the woods near your hive, and you thought it was so pretty, you wanted to dig it up and plant it by your garden. But when you looked it up on the net, you found out it wasn’t a rare white-leaved species like you’d thought. It’s a mutation, and plants can’t live without clorophyll, not on their own, so they either die soon after sprouting… or vampirize other plants. That white dogwood looked a whole lot less pretty once you knew its roots were drilled into its neighbors’ roots and drinking their sap. Now here’s this white pitcher plant in a basement where the light don’t shine…

    It’s appropriate, is all.

    Cloris turns to look at you, and you see a little knowing smile tugging at her lips. You think she’s going to throw some kind of sass your way, but instead she just pats a nearby vine absently. “Hello, mother.”

    You wait a moment; when Cloris doesn’t immediately move on, you lift your chin stubbornly. “You gonna try an’ feed me to your lusus, or did you lock Erskin in the fuckin’ basement like a cartoon villain?” You look around for passages that might lead to your moirail, prepared to charge off alone if need be.

    She glances at the thing, as if sharing a secret with it, before dipping her head and chuckling. “She isn’t hungry right now,” she says calmly. “I put him down here instead of in his cupe because I was afraid he would hurt himself otherwise. Once you see him, you’ll see what I mean.”

    She turns on another light, illuminating the back wall, where her lusus’s vines don’t reach. There is a steel door. There are visible dents. Cloris approaches it on tiptoe, as if afraid of waking something, and touches her fingers to the handle. “Darling? I’ve brought you your moi–”


    Cloris flinches back with a little cry and grimaces at you desperately.

    “Give me the key and go,” you say levelly.
    • Like x 2
  2. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    She fishes the key out of her pocket and hands it to you. It’s iron, with a little rose crafted on the handle. “Fix him,” she says in a quiet, vicious hiss, and before you can reply she is already making her way across the room and up the stairs. As she climbs them, you think you hear her make a strangled sob.

    You roll your eyes. Just like Lu said -- she believes her own drama. You'd give her an earful if you didn't need to stay on her good side long enough to get Erskin out.

    Dropping your duffle, you stride up to the door and knock. "Hey bro, it's me. She's --" BAM. You don't flinch; you were expecting it. "She went back upstairs. I got the key, I'mma let you out, I just need to hear your voice so I know it's you."
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2015
    • Like x 1
  3. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    You’ve been working on this door for ages. You don’t know where you are or what whoever’s caught you has planned but you think you’re getting close, the bottom hinge has been ripped free of the stone and the rest of the sheet of metal is more dent and fissure than whole metal.

    There’s a new voice, rising and falling, and you snarl dire warning. One more hinge and a lock, and you’ll be able to sink your fangs into them. You redouble your efforts.
  4. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    You were hoping for words, but you still recognize his voice. He keeps banging though; you're pretty sure he didn't hear you, or didn't understand.

    Well, okay, if you'd been through what that hellbeast put him through, you'd probably be off your rocker too. You can work with this. You put the key in the lock, wait until just after one of his big pounding thumps so he'll be in the process of stepping back, and quickly turn it and throw the door open.

    And then, fully expecting him to come out swinging, you deliberately don't move out of the way. You're dextrous enough to dodge or block his frenzied blows, you hope, and you've already learned the hard way that talking him down doesn't work too good. It's going to have to be the dramatic, movie-style papdown.

    "Bro," you say hopefully, and open your arms.
    • Like x 1
  5. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    Light, and a troll standing firm between you and anywhere else but your cell. You ram forward a as viciously as you’ve ever rammed the door, and are caught—swung, snarling, around, and the crackle of psionic against your skin is as sharp and blinding as the pouring light all around you. You make a painful, instinctive gesture to ward your face with your hands but they’re still bound and it only makes you stumble. You catch your balance and charge again, your horns set low to protect your face, to gore.
  6. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    He looks like hell. Oh god, he looks so bad. He's nearly naked, nothing but a pair of tiny Cloris-green shorts, even a seadweller must be cold dressed like that in this clammy basement. His hands are shackled behind him, and he's been running into the door with his head, his horns are battered, his shoulders bruised, his eyes rage-red and blind with fury -- oh your poor Erskin.

    "Shooshoosh, hey now, it's me, it's me babe, it's Jethro," you keep repeating as you work to keep him from hurting you or himself. It's easier than it should be; he's weakened, off balance, exhausted. "I'mma get you out but you gotta chill first. You're hurt, baby, you don't wanna go nowhere like this. Shh lemme help."

    You're suppressing your psi as hard as you can, but it's obvious it's still bothering him. Dammit, you oughtta not be crying when it's him who's in this rough spot, not you.

    "Shh. Shoosh, I'm here, I gotcha. Shooooosh."
    • Like x 1
  7. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    The fourth time you fail to catch the troll’s body with your horns or fangs, you have to retreat to the wall to pant for breath. You’re not approached— it’s only humming, speaking softly, you’re the only one here growling. You cast around the new space to get your bearings, lights, plant, walls— stairs, yes. A few breaths more, staring down the other troll, and you run for it.


    Another fucking door. You shriek frustration and hammer at this new obstruction with renewed fury until you get wind of the troll coming up behind you. You hesitate, caught between escape— not likely to work any time soon— and attacking— even less likely. But the troll just edges closer bit by bit, crooning, and then sits on the steps.

    When you give up on waiting for a frontal assault you brace yourself for a sneak attack and turn back to the door. It’s thinner, and wood. It won’t take so long. While you ram it the troll starts singing— at you? to you?— and it’s not such a bad sound. It lets you know where the troll is, anyway. When you have to lean against the door for a rest, it’s almost... nice.
    • Like x 1
  8. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    Finally, he's blown off enough steam to hold still for a sec. You don't know if your silly songs helped, but maybe they broke the nightmare atmosphere a bit. That's what you were hoping, anyhow.

    You offer your hands, but don't try to grab. "Can I get those cuffs offa you now?"
    • Like x 1
  9. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    You slide down to sit, your shoulder against the door, your hands awkwardly off to the side. The outstretched hands are empty, clean. He hasn’t.... hurt you. Or held you. And isn’t crowding you. His face, he wants you, it’s all over him, you’re of some use to him, he’s got that look. He wants something from you. He was just— he was just fucking talking, he just asked, you can’t— you didn’t hear it, he just, he’s been talking. He’ll tell you what he wants from you.

    What,” you get out. You lick your dry lips, feeling clumsy and unsure. You’ve been snarling too long. That was the right— the right bit, though. You said.

    He repeats, and you listen carefully: he wants your cuffs off. He wants to take your hands.

    “My hands,” you say. You chew on the next bit carefully before telling him: “You can’t have them. I’ll bite you.”
    • Like x 1
  10. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    "I -- what?" You blink. "No, Erskin, baby, I don't wanna take your hands. I wanna untie your hands. You got them cuffs on an' you don't like 'em, right? Lemme fix that for you."
  11. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    You shift around on the step, hesitantly, your shoulders nearly up around your fins with suspicion— but if he’s close enough to grab anything he’s close enough to get his face ripped off. You turn your back to let him get at the cuffs.
    • Like x 1
  12. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    His hesitation is painful to see. He doesn't even recognize you. But you've been through this with him before, and you'll go through it again as many times as he needs you to. "She didn't give me the handcuff key," you warn him, "so I gotta use my psi. I know you don't like that feel. But I promise I won't hurt you. I'm just gonna open the cuffs. Okay, doin' the left one now… now the right… there, unlocked. You can take 'em off."

    You take your hands away and hold them open in plain sight, and you wait.
  13. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    Your arms come apart for the first time in— ages, forever, you don’t know, and it hurts, your joints all screaming as you bring one wrist up to your mouth to tear and then the other. The material that resisted your every effort to rip cuts cleanly against your fangs, and then you strip the scraps off and curl up around your numb hands, gasping with relief. It nearly doesn’t matter this new door is in the way, your hands are— you have them back, you’re free. The fingers are stiff and prickling and you flex them, hissing, until the worst of the burn and buzz wears down, then you bury your face in your palms with a soft moan.
  14. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    You ache with the need to hold him, but it's too soon, he still doesn't know you. "I'll be right back," you tell him. "Gotta get something from my bag. I'll just be a second."

    When you hurry back with your bag, he hasn't moved. You get out the cabled afghan you knit him out of bulky yarn, soft and squishy, striped white and wine, and sit back down next to him.

    "Erskin? I got a present for you," you tell him. "I made it while I was waiting on you to call. I was thinkin' you might be cold after all that walkin' through the snow, an' it just… made me feel better to be workin' on it. I…" You have to clear your throat and wipe your eyes on the back of your wrist. "I know my psi bothers you, so maybe you don't want a hug right now. But I figure… maybe this could be a hug. If you want one."
  15. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    You’re busy taking inventory of your horns— they’ve been hurting fiercely, and you’ve a few cracks and chips in the forward curves, but they’ll be alright— when he sits back down and drops a thick square by your side. You leave off worrying at yourself to examine it, cautious, and it’s soft and easy to gather up into your arms and study the intricate designs and it’s— familiar, the knots, the build, and it smells good, familiar and warm. It smells like safety.

    “Who...” you start, but that’s not the right word. “I don’t...” You grimace, and flex your claws in the fabric and peer at the troll, staring at you hungry enough to suck clean your bones, and you study him. When you take one of his hands in yours he lights up but he holds so still. And he smells just the same as the blanket.

    You tug him to sit by your side, and— you know him, you think. This is alright to do. What he wants from you isn’t going to involve— it doesn’t hurt. You don’t think. You hold on to his hand, and study it, so you don’t have to look at him looking at you.
    • Like x 1
  16. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    "I had a medkit," you say regretfully, tracing your thumb gently over the back of his hand. "And a buncha food options an' like ten flavors a Haterade. For when I found you, for in case you needed 'em. But Cloris done made me leave my sylladex behind." He doesn't seem to be understanding you, but you think that's okay for now. You think probably what matters is your voice being calm and gentle, and you not making any unexpected moves.

    After he's examined your hands thoroughly for a while, you offer to wrap the afghan around his shoulders, offer with both gestures and words, let him take his time to process the idea. You don't do it until he nods. With the thick blanket between his skin and yours to muffle your psi, he leans on you and lets himself be held.

    You murmur pale nothings to him while your brain races with plans for getting him the hell out of here.
  17. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    You shake Jethro off and turn your attention back to the door, because— you can’t relax here, now, like this, the both of you penned in. It’s intolerable. You lever up to your feet and catch yourself against the wall beside the door. Your hands are— they’re better, they feel something close to alright. You could batter this door down but you’re— you’re tired, you’re sore. You haven’t lost a horn yet and you don’t want to. So you determinedly set your claws into the hinge of the door and start to pry it out of the stone.
    • Like x 1
  18. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    You don't understand what he's doing for a moment, and by the time you realize it there's purple oozing from his fingers. "Hey, hey now, hold up," you urge softly, nudging him aside. He could easily resist, even tired as he is, but he doesn't. "I might could get this open 'thout fuckin' up your poor hands more. Don't reckon this key works… yeah, no. Okay, gonna use psi," you warn, and give him a moment to prepare himself before you summon your auger again.

    It takes just about everything you've got to drill the lock out of the door. The door might be wood, but it's got a steel core -- fire door, you guess -- and a solid deadbolt. You're no Galley. You can't brute-force it. You have to hold the finest edge and then make it vibrate slightly like a tiny saw. It only takes a few seconds, but it feels a lot longer, and sweat is running down the back of your neck by the time you're done.

    You press your thumb to the circle you cut and pop it through. "Kay, try it now," you say with a tired grin.
  19. Erskin Aspera

    Erskin Aspera flintlockGallivant

    The door swings open at a touch, and you catch yourself against the frame as your bad leg wobbles on you. Jethro hovers at your side, and when he holds an arm out you take it, and lean on him. He’s shorter— warmer— but solid, and when he curls his arm around your waist it feels tremendously good.

    “Had... I had a cane,” you say, and look around as if it might be lying around under a bush before you stop yourself. You shrug awkwardly, with his shoulder under yours. “I’ll be fine. Here, there’s a... a fountain, I want. To go there.”
  20. Jethro Makwaa

    Jethro Makwaa armchairDesperado

    Getting outside without meeting Cloris seems impossible, but somehow your luck holds. You help your limping moirail out into sweet moonlight, and there at the end of a row of rigidly pruned fruit trees is the fountain he wants. You let him set the pace, though you can tell it pains him to speed up. When you reach the fountain, you lower him to sit on its rim, and sit beside him, and offer him water in your cupped hand so he doesn't have to let go of your shoulder or the stone.
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