amadhay: (Default)
 in which amadhay’s a worm

 

 

“Oi, Lazy Bird,” Ribbon called from the doorway, “Up and at ‘em.”

“Why?” Amadhay sighed, staring at the overhanging above her. It was week three. She was bored of the bouncing game, especially since Atlas had ordered the wards to be strengthened once she had hit 52 bounces. There was no way she was going to beat it any time soon. She hadn’t left the room in nineteen days. She had been with the Palnoki for twenty, twenty-one if she counted the day they had taken her.

The tiny bathroom was without a door since day ten, when she had removed the doorknobs and used them as a weapon, giving Ribbon a really bad headache and then tried to catch Stefan in the door when he’d come with some message from Atlas she hadn’t listened to. She had more clothes in the wardrobe, all folded, not hung. They had taken the hangers after day three, when she had gutted Stefan, not that it had really hurt him. She had even lost all of her heeled shoes the previous day, when Tanhakinshu had effortlessly disarmed her before she could stab him with the makeshift weapon.

She couldn’t see any way to get out. Ever since refusing to talk to Atlas again after day two, the only people she ever got to see were Ribbon, Tanhakinshu, and very rarely, Stefan. She was seriously missing Monkey, Benjy, and Rea. Honestly, she was even beginning to miss Alphonse, and Essie. There was nothing for her to do except talk to the Palnokians, and they were tight-lipped about missions, which was normal topic fodder for her. At this point, she just didn’t see any reason to get up if she couldn’t go anywhere.

“Because you’ve been wallowing around in pity all day and it’s really getting to be a downer. So, Lazy Bird,” Amadhay rolled her eyes, tuning Ribbon out after the nickname. Ribbon had taken to calling her some kind of bird since day seven, when she had been Red Bird as a nod to her code name.

“Did you hear me?” Ribbon asked, throwing the curtains open before pulling the blankets right off of Amadhay and tossing them away from the bed. Amadhay didn’t move until the chill of the air forced her to sit up, shivering. “Get dressed warm,” the older woman ordered. “We’re going for a walk.”

Amadhay stared at her, not sure that she had heard her right. “I’m allowed outside?”

Ribbon shrugged. “I’m making an executive decision. You need out of this room and, let’s be honest, there’s snow piled up taller than you outside. If you run, you won’t get far.”

“I might teleport,” Amadhay warned.

“Where?” the brown-skinned woman asked with a shrug. “We’re too far for you to teleport anywhere you know, and it’s the same snowy conditions for thousands of miles around us before you can get to Palnoki ruled civilization.” She laughed at a sudden thought. “So go ahead. We’ll play hide-and-seek.” The self-assured grin on Ribbon’s face made Amadhay determined.

“Guess we’ll see,” she countered.

Ribbon laughed again. “If we’re going to play, I should invite Kimmy, Nico, and Tenshu. They’re always up for a game of hide-and-seek.”

Amadhay scowled at her, hugging herself for warmth. “It’s not hide-and-seek if you’re all looking for me.”

Ribbon grinned. “I promise we’ll be fair as long as you swear not to be a sore loser.”

“I don’t lose, Ribbon.”

“But when you do, are you a good loser or a bad loser?”

“If I don’t get away,” Amadhay thought over a good trade-off, though she had no plans of honoring it since she planned to get away, “I’ll stop trying to kill you all.”

Ribbon laughed. “Whoa, kitten. Let’s not go that far. You’re fun when you’ve got fight in you and let’s be real. Ten told me about the last time you agreed to that. Just promise to play more. It’ll be fun. I swear. You’ll have as many chances to run through the snow and freeze to death in an attempt to leave as you want.”

Amadhay almost laughed at the woman’s word choice, but controlled herself well enough to keep a stoic face.

Ribbon, apparently, however knew that she was close to laughter, because she raised her eyebrows as imperiously as possible. “Shall I invite the Borg Queen for your enjoyment?”

Amadhay snorted. Ribbon had always made it abundantly obvious that there was no lost love between herself and Johannes, in fact, the cyborg seemed to hate Ribbon more than she hated Amadhay. And considering Ribbon had told her that between stabbing and tasering Johannes and simply being a Hakinato, she had managed to land herself in the cyborg’s top three disliked people, that was pretty bad. That meant Ribbon was either number one or two. “I bet she’d love that.”

“A chance to off both of us? Undoubtedly. The cold? Not so much. She was pretty pissed when we moved here from the Green Castle,” Ribbon muttered, going through Amadhay’s wardrobe. She tossed a pair of thick, light colored leggings, white jeans, a long-sleeved, skull patterned shirt, and a white sweater on the bed. “Get dressed,” she said before also tossing a white, fluffy coat and a matching hat and glove set over.

The look Amadhay gave her showed how much Amadhay didn’t understand the weather. “I was thinking just this,” she gestured to the black, long-sleeved shirt and tight black pants she was currently wearing, “With the fuzzy boots and cloak.”

Ribbon outright laughed at her. “Not hardly. I’m not seriously going to let you freeze to death. I’d never forgive myself. Besides, don’t you want to hide well? Red and black isn’t going to blend very well with all that snow.”

Amadhay frowned, but when Ribbon crossed her arms in a way she was beginning to recognize meant that she couldn’t change the other woman’s mind, she gave a characteristic sigh to imply that she thought Ribbon was being ridiculous. “Fine. I’ll just lose some of it when I get away,” she grumbled before changing into the lighter colored ensemble. Once she was warm enough to feel like she was in a desert, she glared at the brooch on Ribbon’s silver cloak.

“Trust me. You’ll be happy once we’re outside,” the green-eyed woman promised before she opened the door to the room, leading where Amadhay hadn’t been since her last venture out to talk to Atlas. She gestured for Amadhay to leave the room first.

“This isn’t a joke, is it? I’m not going to walk right into the wards, am I?” Amadhay asked nervously, playing with her hair. She wished that she had time to have Tanhakinshu braid it before she tried to escape. It would have been easier to tuck her hair away if it were in two braids than with it all out and curling more like Amaya’s than her normally carefully groomed curls. She hadn’t wanted to admit that she would be there long enough to actually need her specialized shampoos, and that was one of the few things the informant hadn’t told about her, so she would have to suck up and ask Ribbon to get it.

Of course, she was going to get out of there today, so it didn’t matter. She would be back on base, with her shampoo and preferred lotions and warm weather by dinnertime. She hoped.

Ribbon rolled her eyes. “Just go, Red Bird. We can only play while Atlas, Scarlet, Mitch, and Stefan are all out.”

Ohh,” Amadhay drawled, immediately feeling less nervous now that she knew that Atlas was nowhere around. “I see. You’re being sneaky. Kids play while the parents are away,” she teased.

“Yep. I’m in charge of your stay right now, so I say we go outside and get some freezing fresh air.” Ribbon winked at her, who gestured for her to be the first through the door.

Amadhay walked to the doorway and, after giving Ribbon one more wary look, stepped over the doorway and into the hallway. “Well,” she said back to Ribbon, who was snickering. “That was anti-climatic.”

“I told you. No tricks. Just fun,” Ribbon said, closing the door behind her as she moved to stand next to Amadhay. She gestured with her head for Amadhay to follow her before heading down the hall.

For a moment, Amadhay considered splitting right then and there. However, she had found that Ribbon was nothing if not trustworthy. If she had said that she was taking her outside and giving her whatever chance she wanted to get away, she was going to do it. Besides, she had no idea where the exit was from here and even if she did get away from Ribbon, getting lost on the base would do her no good.

So she followed Ribbon. She doubted the other woman realized that she definitely saw her relieved smile. She didn’t say anything about it, wanting to allow her to believe that she was gaining her trust. She was just biding her time.

“We just gotta get the others and then we’ll go outside,” Ribbon explained unnecessarily. Amadhay wouldn’t have known that they weren’t going outside until they had ended up wherever she was currently being led either way.

“Okay,” was all she responded, sticking close to Ribbon as she was led down several hallways.

One thing she had to give to the Palnoki was that their decorating was wonderful. Her red room aside, every room she had seen had warm, golden wallpaper with black and silver accents. The hallways all had smooth, dark mahogany wood floors, something she only recognized because it was the same wood that her wardrobe and vanity table were made from. The lighting throughout was in the form of electric torches lined an even four feet apart, varying from right to left. A few times, they even walked under chandeliers.

There was no art hanging from the walls, but even without family pictures, it all had the feeling of a home, albeit a rich one, rather than a base. That was what got her the most about what she’d seen of the Palnoki. Most of them were like a family. Even Ribbon and Johannes were like family, if very estranged ones, which she completely understood given her relationship with her own family. The Palnoki were more of a cohesive family than her own was.

Ribbon paused at a door, a purple door. That caught Amadhay’s eye immediately, given that all the other doors had been the same color as her own, with a scent of apple wood. Ribbon grinned at her before quickly knocking four times.

“What do you want, you butt-monkey?” was called from inside the room. Amadhay raised her eyebrows at Ribbon, who rolled her eyes.

“It’s me, not butt-monkey, whoever that is. Come out Kimmy, we’re gonna play hide-and-seek.”

“Aren’t you on babysitting detail?” the same voice called from inside the room, though it was obvious the woman inside the room was coming closer to the door.

“Yup. She is part of the we who are playing.”

The door was immediately thrown open and Amadhay was given her first glance of Kimiko. Her first thought was confusion, because Tanhakinshu had called her his sister and this snowy-skinned girl who couldn’t be any older than she was, certainly couldn’t be the olive complexioned man’s sister. Her pitch-black hair had blazing purple streaks and was pulled into two precise ponytails with skull ponytail clips keeping them in place. Her lips were painted a solid purple, nearly black and her mismatched gray and gold eyes were heavily outlined by black makeup. The plaid miniskirt, ripped t-shirt and bare feet told Amadhay that the girl was faring much better in the cold than she was.

“Wow. You really broke her out,” Kimiko said, staring at Amadhay just as openly as Amadhay was staring at her. Without the door between them, Amadhay was able to appreciate the other girl’s husky voice. “Does Ten know?”

“I’m inviting him to play too,” Ribbon responded with a careless shrug.

Kimiko grinned, “Let me get dressed. I gotta see this,” she said before dashing back into her room. Almost immediately, she came back. “By the way, I’m Kimiko. Hi.” She gave Amadhay a wave before she dashed back into her room again.

That’s Tanhakinshu’s sister?” she asked Ribbon once she thought Kimiko was far enough away not to hear.

Ribbon shrugged. “As much as I’m their sister,” she explained.

“So they’re not really?” Amadhay asked, though she was pretty sure she knew the answer.

Ribbon glanced at her and back at Kimiko’s door before she looked at Amadhay for a long moment. “They’re more related than most siblings who share blood,” was all she said. It didn’t matter though, because by then, Kimiko came back out of her room, decked in all white and looking strangely like a white rabbit with her dark hair tucked into a white hat featuring long rabbit-like ears that were wrapped loosely around her neck as a scarf.

“Let’s get Ten!” she exclaimed, closing her door. She began leading them this time, moving much faster than Ribbon had. Amadhay hadn’t noticed that Ribbon had been walking slowly enough for her to take in all the details of the base, which she now wondered at. What was Ribbon’s endgame? What did she have to gain by letting Amadhay get a feel of the base?

She shook the thoughts away because they genuinely didn’t matter and Kimiko was asking her questions.

“So you aren’t going to try and kill any of us, are you? Because that is a sure way to ruin a good game.”

Amadhay was actually slightly intimidated by the other girl’s bluntness. She expected it from Ribbon, who was powerful and a known threat. She even expected that kind of bluntness from Tanhakinshu, who was a similar powerful and known threat. Something about Kimiko unsettled her. Maybe it was the way she seemed so eager and bouncy, because Amadhay knew that to be part of the Palnoki, she had to have some sort of major power. She was an unknown, and Amadhay hated unknowns.

“I dunno,” she responded after a moment. “If someone gets in my way, maybe.”

Kimiko glanced back at Ribbon. “I thought you said we were playing hide-and-seek.”

“We are,” Ribbon assured her. “Red Bird here just has a different goal than the rest of us. So we’re not gonna get in her way except as much as the game needs.”

“What does that even mean?” Kimiko asked, stopping in front of a black door. She knocked four times. “Ten! Nico! Stop making out, we’re playing hide-and-seek!”

“Is that a real thing now?” Ribbon asked Kimiko, making Amadhay look at her in confusion.

“Oh yeah. They started hooking up last week. Something about Nico getting blue balls from his vampire linsh,” Kimiko answered, giving four more knocks.

“Kind of gross,” Ribbon commented, wrinkling her nose slightly.

Tell me about it. Sloppy make outs galore,” Kimiko agreed as the door swung open to show Tanhakinshu and a blond man, looking rather disheveled. Tanhakinshu’s hair was out of its normal ponytail and his shirt was on backwards.

“I really don’t feel like playing right now, Kim,” Tanhakinshu said before his gaze locked on Amadhay. He looked accusingly at Ribbon. “What the deep Water pit is she doing out of her room?”

“I made an executive decision,” Ribbon responded with a wave of her hand. “We’re going out to play hide-and-seek. She’s playing with us. Are you coming? If so, get dressed quickly.”

Tanhakinshu looked from Ribbon to Amadhay, and then at Kimiko, who shrugged. “She says she has a different goal than the rest of us.”

Tanhakinshu sighed. “I’ll be out in a clack,” he said before ducking back into the room.

“Nico?” Ribbon asked the blond, who was studying Amadhay. She was pointedly not making eye contact with him because he was decidedly not wearing anything except for tiny black, briefs.

“Sure,” was all he said before following Tanhakinshu back into the room.

“We’re gonna go on out,” Ribbon called to the men, taking Amadhay’s arm and leading her away.

“Last one out is It!” Kimiko called over her shoulder, following them. “So, what is her goal?” she asked once they were a few hallways away from Tanhakinshu and Nico.

“Ask her,” Ribbon said before Amadhay could launch a complaint about them talking about her as if she weren’t right there with them.

“Kay,” Kimiko turned her attention to Amadhay. “What’s your goal for the game?”

“I’m getting out of here,” Amadhay stated calmly.

Kimiko scoffed. “You are aware that you are completely surrounded by snowdrifts taller than you, right?”

Ribbon snickered and Amadhay shrugged. “That’s not going to stop me.”

Kimiko laughed. “Typical. Have you ever even been in this much snow?”

Amadhay shrugged, but they all knew that meant she hadn’t.

Ribbon,” Kimiko whined, “This isn’t going to be any fun for her. She’s gonna sink into the snow and be stuck and get caught first and be It and hate it all.”

Ribbon shrugged. “Then help her?”

“You’re not going to?”

“No, why would I? I’m giving her the chance to get away. I don’t think that me helping her would make it fair.”

Kimiko gave a disapproving sigh and patted Amadhay on the shoulder. “Don’t worry. I’m going to help you out as much as I can,” she assured her.

Amadhay gave her a wary look. “Why?”

“Why not?” Kimiko asked, sounding genuinely perplexed.

“Aren’t you worried I’ll get away and you’ll all be in deep with Atlas?”

Kimiko laughed. “If you are able to actually get away, even with my help, you deserve it. But let’s be real. You’d probably freeze to death even if you got far enough away to be in danger of getting out of here.”

Amadhay scowled and Ribbon bopped her on the forehead. “Remember your promise. You’ll have fun and keep playing even when you realize it’s impossible,” she reminded her as they finally reached the front doors. They were large glass and wood doors as wide as she was tall, with a single lock that had no key.

“Ripples,” Ribbon said to the door and it swung open, allowing them out. At the perplexed look Amadhay gave the door, she grinned. “All of us have a code for the door. It only works for us, so don’t think you can use it to get out,” she teased.

“Mine is Butterball,” Kimiko supplied for no reason other than to be part of the conversation.

With that, the three of them stepped out into the cold. Almost immediately, Amadhay turned to go right back inside. Laughing, both Kimiko and Ribbon linked arms with her and pulled her further out into the cold. The door closed behind them, effectively locking Amadhay out in the frozen wasteland.

“I’m not dressed warm enough for this,” Amadhay whined, trying to dig her heels into the cobblestone of the porch.

“You get used to it after a bit,” Kimiko promised, though Ribbon shook her head to tell Amadhay that she was lying.

“Just let me go back and get two more layers on. Then I’ll be all up for this,” she pleaded, but they just laughed at her.

“C’mon. We have a head start while Ten and Nico catch up,” Kimiko said, veering away from the base and toward the endlessly white landscape. Amadhay glanced back at the base to see that its exterior was a mundane looking cabin. She could tell that most of it must be underground, considering there wasn’t much to it. She could see her room from here, though. In fact, she could look right into it from the wall of window behind her bed, and that bothered her a bit. How often had someone stood on this porch and watched her without her realizing? How often had someone watched her sleeping?

And then that thought completely left her mind when she stepped into the snow because she was sinking into the whiteness. She squeaked, gripping tightly onto Ribbon and Kimiko, who had only sunk down to their ankles. She was down to her hips.

Pulling her back up to the top of the snow, both women laughed softly. “What kind of snow is this?” she demanded, giving up all pretense of standing and choosing to hang onto the shoulders of the taller women, keeping her legs up so that she didn’t slow down their progress.

“The deep kind,” Kimiko quipped. “You all don’t see this back on Roadesia.”

That gave Amadhay a pause. Back on Roadesia? Did that mean she was Over the Water or did they just not consider Palnoki part of Roadesia? She stopped thinking about it, however, when Kimiko and Ribbon dropped her into the snow again. She sank down to her hips again before scrambling back to the top. “Wait! Don’t leave me!” she called, trying to catch up with them and failing miserably. She kept sinking deeper and deeper into the snow. She was up to her chest by the time Kimiko came back for her, tugging her back up to the top.

“You can’t stand in one place too long,” Kimiko advised her. “You sink when you stop.”

“I sink when I move,” Amadhay complained, looking around for Ribbon. “Where’d Ribbon go?”

“She’s going to try to distract Nico while I get you somewhere you have a chance of hiding well.”

“Why?” she asked, having honestly given up any thoughts of getting away. She could barely stay on top of the snow with help, what chance did she have on her own? If she did somehow manage to get away, what was she going to do then? They were right. She’d freeze if she got away. She would get lost in the never-ending whiteness and freeze to death. Becoming an Amadhay-sicle had never been one of her goals in life. “I just want to go back inside. It’s too cold.”

“Nope,” Kimiko said, pulling Amadhay after her. “Come on, haven’t you ever walked on something fragile before? Walk lightly. Walk up,” she ordered, making Amadhay stare at her blankly. “When you’re trying to walk silently, how do you walk?” she asked.

“Quietly?” Amadhay suggested.

Kimiko rolled her eyes. “Walk like you’re trying to be silent.”

Amadhay wasn’t sure that it was going to help, but she recognized the look in Kimiko’s eye. That was the same look Christein had gotten right before he had forced her to learn to swim by swimming away and letting her flounder until she figured it out on her own. “Don’t you dare leave me here,” she hissed, but Kimiko grinned and let go of her, backing away quickly so that she couldn’t grab onto her.

Immediately, Amadhay started to sink. Instead of trying to walk, she attempted to jump. While it helped her get out of the hole a little, she didn’t get anywhere. She considered using her Gift, but decided against it. She couldn’t walk on water yet, so she doubted she would run fast enough to not sink in, and besides, she heated up when she used her Gift. Melting the snow would only sink her even farther. Without someone to pull her up, she couldn’t get up without making more room, so she started digging herself out. After a few clacks of trying to dig herself out, she found that she had less dug herself out than she had begun to make a tunnel of sorts through the snow.

“Well…that could work too, I guess,” she muttered to herself, teeth chattering. She continued digging, finding that she was no longer aboveground. She was underneath the snow, burrowing through it like a worm in dirt. Scrunching her nose at the thought of comparing herself to a worm, she went through a mental list of burrowing animals and changed that to a snake. While she acknowledged the part of her brain that reminded her that snakes didn’t actually burrow, she refused to compare herself to rodents, which actually did.

She wasn’t sure how far she had gone or even how deep she was until she popped up back on the surface. As it was, she still wasn’t sure of how far she had gone, but she was aware that she had been out for a while because the sky was darkening. Either way, she was cold as ice and was glad to be aboveground again. In fact, it wasn’t until she had settled there for a few clacks that she realized that she had actually figured out a way to stay on top of the snow. But the moment she thought about it, she began sinking again, which actually saved her from being caught. As she sunk back down, she saw feet approaching, so she froze as still as possible.

“Have you found her yet?” Ribbon called, sounding worried.

“No. You haven’t?” Tanhakinshu replied, equally as anxious.

“What about Kimmy?”

“Nico’s with her right now. She’s freaking out. She thinks Atlas is going to kill her.”

“Well…” Ribbon’s tone told Amadhay that the woman thought that Kimiko had a valid reason to think that Atlas would kill her.

“If anyone should be worried, it should be you, Ribbon. You brought her out here,” Tanhakinshu snapped, and made Amadhay aware that she was definitely the elusive “her.”

“Can we not make this about Atlas for one fucking click,” Ribbon snapped.

“Fine. Let’s make this about you. And how worried you should be that you lost her.”

“See I would be worried about me if I thought she had gotten away. But you didn’t see her. There was no way she got very far. She kept sinking. That’s the only reason I didn’t keep an eye on her. She’s probably in some hole closer to the Ice Castle.”

“And if she is, she’s dead,” Tanhakinshu stated as fact. “Have you thought about that?”

“Yes!” Ribbon yelled at him, “And that is why we’re looking for her, asshat. If she’s awake somewhere, she’s alive. And I know that she’s alive because she’s so stubborn that she wouldn’t let some snow kill her.”

“I don’t think she let some snow kill her,” Tanhakinshu snapped back. “I think you tricked her into a stupid fucking game she had no way of surviving and you let some snow kill her because you were impatient with waiting for her to come around, because you were bored maintaining her.”

“She’s not a fucking plant, Tenshu. I wasn’t maintaining her. I brought her out here so that she could have some fun, not die.”

“Well fat lot of good that did. I doubt she’s having fun wherever she is.”

Amadhay wanted to listen more to their conversation, but her body wasn’t a willing participant. Her teeth were chattering and no amount of gritting them made her able to keep them still anymore.

“What’s that sound?” Ribbon suddenly asked.

“I don’t know,” Tanhakinshu responded drily, “Is it the sound of your conscience?” he asked.

“No, asshole, it’s…it’s like…” she trailed off, but Amadhay heard the crunch of footsteps coming closer, then felt one of the tunnels collapse. Ribbon gave a loud curse, falling into her hole. When the snow settled and she could see again, Ribbon was staring at her in mute surprise.

“I found her!” she yelled up, reaching out for Amadhay.

“Did I win?” Amadhay asked.


Next Chapter

amadhay: (Default)
 in which there is a deal

 

 

Amadhay had noticed that, at some point, they had given her a nice assortment of gorgeous, high-heeled shoes.

She wasn’t sure when the wardrobe had filled up with clothes for her, and honestly, she just chose not to really think too hard on it. The fact of the matter remained that she had clothes in her style (meaning lots of black and very clingy) and a lot of high-heeled shoes. The heels of a few of them, her favorites actually, were spikes. She had been eyeing them for the past few days since she and Ribbon had dressed up all pretty and been told that no, she still wasn’t allowed outside of the room. It had probably been in their best interest, considering she had already made escape plans involving the pretty pins Ribbon had put in her hair (that Stefan had pointedly taken out of her hair), but it was a bit depressing for her to still be stuck in the room. She needed to see something other than her own four, disgustingly red walls and the furniture inside. And the piles of snow.

“So, I have a deal,” Tanhakinshu said, standing in the doorway. The door was open and she knew for a fact that Ribbon was gone because the woman had told her that she would be gone for a day or two. The temptation was great, but the curiosity of Tanhakinshu’s deal was even greater.

“What is it?” she asked, standing up from the bed. The red shoes she was wearing gave her at least five inches of height. She was still shorter than him though. Her height didn’t matter, considering she had a hard enough time standing in the shoes now that she had sharpened the heel enough to a good weapon point. All that mattered was getting close enough to Tanhakinshu to stab him with the heel. After he told her the deal, that is.

“You want out of the room, right?”

“Right…” she said, wondering where he was going with it. She was almost standing directly in front of him.

“How about you promise not to kill anyone and I’ll give you a tour of the building,” he suggested.

She narrowed her eyes, looking into his olive ones to see how much he meant that. He seemed pretty sincere. Unfortunately, for him, she decided that she didn’t really want him around her when she got out. He was too much of a liability for her to get away. She smiled, and put her hand on his shoulder. “Sure. Just let me get out of these shoes. They’re too high,” she explained. He laughed as she bent down and took off the left shoe.

And then she used her Gift. Moving faster than almost any creature could, she jerked up and slammed the heel into his chest while he stood there motionless.

Or at least that was the plan. In actuality, he caught her by the waist when she jerked up, seeming to think she needed stability since she was only wearing one heel. He moved just as fast as her when she tried to slam the heel into his chest. In fact, he moved faster, tossing her back from him. She fell onto her back, but scrambled up, kicking her other shoe off. She had both heels in her hands now, and tried not to be too put off by the fact he was easily moving the same speed as her even though she was using her Gift.

The only people who had been able to do that to her before had been an arachin and the cyborg. A Palnokian arachin, now that she thought about it. All of the people who could match or beat her speed were in the Palnoki. She wondered, for a moment, if that was done purposely, if they were there specifically for her.

No, she decided, launching herself at Tanhakinshu, it’s just a coincidence. The necromancer once again caught her by the waist and tossed her back before kicking the door closed. This time he attacked, pinning her to the floor. If she hadn’t been so taken by the speed of him, she might have been able to struggle enough to get him off. She didn’t, though. Instead, she lost focus of her Gift and moved at her normal speed.

He snatched the heels from her and was back at the door before she could catch her breath. “All you had to say was ‘No deal,’ you know,” he said with obvious irritation before leaving, slamming the door behind him.


Next Chapter

amadhay: (Default)
 in which amadhay is bouncing

 

 

It was day six of her captivity and Amadhay was literally bouncing off of the walls.

Five zoots into being alone in the room after Atlas had finally left her alone, and Amadhay had learned that the wards binding her there did strange things when she attempted to teleport out. First, and most strangely, it let her. She physically left the room, could see the barest glimpse of her intended location, which was right outside the window, in the piles of snow, and then was bounced right back, every time, without fail.

Second, it was a guessing game where she would end up in the room when she returned. The first time she had left from the window and when she returned, it had landed her nicely on her bed. The second time, however, she had left from her bed and ended up stuck inside of the wardrobe, which had been uncomfortable to say the least.  The time after that, she had literally been bounced back, with force, into the wall, which prompted her Gift to take action, sending her into a type of warp every time she hit the wall. She bounced thirteen times before the other wards on the room froze her in place. She had to give props to the whomever had thought up the wards though, because they softened her crashes into the wall so much that it was as if she were bouncing against a mattress, leaving her completely unharmed if a little disconcerted.

Ribbon, a familiar looking tall and slender dark-skinned woman, had to come to unfreeze her. That had, at least, solved the mystery of who the blood witch was. Ribbon had explained that any time Amadhay moved fast enough to be in danger of combustion, the wards would freeze her for her own good. All that Amadhay heard was that if she moved fast enough, she might break the wards.

The second time Amadhay had made it to bouncing on the walls, she found she only made ten bounces before the wards caught her. With that, she had decided that she would keep at it until either one of three things happened: (1) she broke the wards and got out, (2) she was allowed out of the room, or (3) Ribbon killed her. Ribbon was getting really tired of having to come unfreeze her every few clacks, a matter she made very vocal.

The older woman had even threatened to make her wait for a zoot before coming, but Amadhay had called her bluff. She might not understand much of her situation, but she knew that Atlas wouldn’t want her uncomfortable, beyond her obvious captivity, for more than a few clacks at the most. Besides, she had the feeling that Ribbon liked her too much to leave her hanging.

Really, it had become kind of a game for the two of them. Ribbon would ask every time she came in how many times Amadhay had bounced, and Amadhay would tell her, with a strange sort of camaraderie. So far, she was at 27, which was, in her opinion, a horrible number, so her current goal was an even 30. She was also pretty sure that she had grown on the woman. They were almost close to what she would call friends, despite their power balance with Ribbon being the maintainer of her cell and her being the celled. In fact, the woman was now the one to bring her food starting day five. Ribbon claimed that Stefan was holding a grudge against her for shooting him (even though she had explained to him that she hadn’t known he was like Atlas, and shooting him in the head had been a mercy killing, not an act of spite) and other acts of similar destruction in attempts to get out. Amadhay didn’t really believe that, considering Stefan healed almost instantly no matter what she did to him.

She bounced to 27 and felt the familiar heat of the wards begin to warm up to freeze her, but still she pushed herself to move a little faster. She hit 28, 29. Come on, one more, she pleaded with her body and crashed into the wall once last time before she was caught, frozen in place except for her face.

“Yes!” she exclaimed, hearing footsteps coming to her door. “Beat the record and got thirty!” she called to the person who entered, assuming it was Ribbon since she couldn’t see as she had been frozen upside down and with her back to the door.

“What are you even talking about?” a male voice responded to her.

The unknown voice had the immediate reaction of stripping her of all the joy she had been feeling.

“Who are you?” she demanded, wishing that she wasn’t in such a vulnerable position around this nameless Palnokian.

Through her hair, she saw black clad legs walk in front of her. “I don’t think we were introduced properly yet,” the male said before crouching so that his head was nearer to hers. He pushed her hair up from her face with his arm and allowed her to see him. It took her a moment to recognize him until he tilted his head as far as it would go to the side, so that they were almost looking each other eye-to-eye. “I’m Tenshu.”

The ponytailed necromancer gave her a shy smile that she immediately didn’t trust.

“I hope there’s no hard feelings about Base,” he stated, his olive eyes regarding her closely.

She narrowed her eyes. “You killed my best friend. Would you have hard feelings if I had done the same to you?”

He shrugged. “I also unsealed him. I didn’t have to.”

She gave him an unimpressed look. “Except if you hadn’t, we would have tortured you until you did.”

He shrugged. “And it all would have been pointless, because I would have sealed him to eternal torment if you had.”

She raised her eyebrows. “And then I would have killed you.”

“And Base would still have been dead.”

They stared at each other for a few, long clicks, neither blinking. They were both aware that they were trying to outdo each other, but it wasn’t until Amadhay couldn’t think of anything to counter that with that she realized she had to give that round to him. The sheer audacity of him asking for her to pretty much forget he had tried to kill her friend actually impressed her. She kept his gaze, and neither blinked, yet another war of their wills, until they both began to smile. Amadhay was smiling because she could tell that she had met her match. She wondered if that was why he was smiling as well.

“I’m still not going to thank you,” Amadhay stated.

I will thank you for not hurting Mitch. I know it must have been hard for you,” Tanhakinshu responded, giving her a full smile. She felt a traitorous fluttering in her stomach at that. He was a very pretty boy. Prettier, by far, than most of the men she knew. Prettier even, than many of the women she knew.

“Don’t thank me. I was under orders not to harm him if it wasn’t necessary.”

“You were?” Tanhakinshu asked, raising his eyebrows. “Who gave that order?”

Amadhay started to answer, but then she paused. She frowned. She couldn’t actually remember ever being given the order, only that she had been told not to injure them. Christein had said something about it, but…she couldn’t actually remember ever hearing the order for herself.

“Someone,” she said vaguely. “Can you get Ribbon? I kind of want to get down.”

“Can’t,” Tanhakinshu answered, lowering his arm so that her hair covered her face again. “She’s on a mission right now.”

That surprised her. Amadhay had honestly just assumed that Ribbon’s job was to make sure that she was nice, comfortable, and still stuck in the room. “What type of mission?” she asked.

“A secret one,” he said before pulling her hair up again. This time, he finger-combed her hair into some semblance of control before putting it into two braids. While she wasn’t exactly comfortable with him touching her as if he knew her, it was calming the way he combed through her hair in even strokes, giving two to one side and then two to the other. He even braided her hair using four parts, which, while it definitely made her wary of him, she did appreciate.

“Who taught you to braid like that?” she asked.

He grinned at her, gently playing with her braids. “My sister, Kimiko, is obsessed with the number two. Everything has to be in twos. Atlas told me you were obsessed with symmetry, so I figured you might be similar there.”

She wanted to roll her eyes, but she had to admit, at least to herself, that it was nice that he had thought it through enough to try to comfort her. Whatever his intentions, he had done something nice for her and she couldn’t help but respect that.

“It’s all part of the job,” she said.

“What?” he asked, giving her a confused look. He let go of her hair and it dangled between them.

“You killing Benjy. I would have done the same thing in your position, so I figure I can’t be too judgmental.”

“Is that your way of saying you’re not going to hold it against me?”

Amadhay looked away from him for a moment. “Maybe.”

“I’ll take it,” he said with a laugh in his tone. “Also, I guess, maybe I should let you down from there.”

“Can you do that?” she immediately asked, curious about the powers of a necromancer. She had once heard that they were adept in all forms of dark magic. She wondered if that were true, or if necromancers were only naturally good at necromancy and had to learn other magic forms if they wanted to use them.

“Sure. Ribbon told me how to do it before she left. She also said that I should leave you stuck until Atlas made me let you down, but I figure our new understanding of each other could be better cemented if you weren’t upside down.”

“Yeah, maybe just a little,” she said sarcastically, rolling her eyes. By the time she was done rolling her eyes, she was unstuck. She dropped unceremoniously, partially on top of him.

“Okay, that might not have been fully thought out,” he admitted, making her laugh even though she didn’t want to.

“If I have a concussion, I hope I get to break your leg,” Amadhay said, which made him give a shock of laughter. He helped her sit up before he dropped from his crouch to sit cross-legged on the floor with her. He studied her expression for a moment and she kept it perfectly deadpan, getting another laugh from him.

“I’m not sure if that was twisted humor or you’re being completely serious.”

Amadhay grinned at him. “Maybe you’ll find out someday.”

“I’m sure I’ll find out when you get that concussion,” he joked, making her feign a headache.

“Oh, the pain. Black, I’m seeing black,” she spoke dramatically, watching him from the corner of her eyes as she flailed about.

“You might be color blind,” he replied. “All I see is red. It’s kind of overpowering.”

“I know right?” Amadhay exclaimed, forgetting that she was only pretending to play around with him to make him lower his guard enough to use him as leverage. Whatever Project Apocalypse was depended on him living long enough to become a father. She could use that.

“I take it Atlas didn’t ask you about your opinions before painting?” Tanhakinshu asked. “I mean I figured you didn’t want the meadow scene that had been here, but the red is kind of…”

“Garish? It’s garish,” Amadhay stated, wondering whose room it had been, since a meadow scene sounded very particular. “Honestly, I would have much preferred a meadow scene. It’s harder for invisibility spells to blend with scenes than just one color.”

“Really?” Skeletal Smile asked, looking genuinely interested.

“Definitely. Patterns, pictures, it takes more concentration. They have to blend different parts of their bodies differently and be sure not to miss anything.”

“But what about the ones who  just reflect? Wouldn’t it be easy?”

She snorted. “Reflectors have to stay still.”

He eyed her for a moment. “How would you even know? I doubt you’re much for being unseen.”

Amadhay started to mention Christein’s hardship blending in, even with his second Gift of camouflage from the chameleon of his aelfe before remembering that she was still talking to the enemy. Just because she was pretending to be friendly with him didn’t mean that she had to tell him secrets, especially not secrets about her cousin that could get him killed.

Instead, she went in a different direction. “Tell me about the Palnoki,” she demanded. “Because I’m kind of confused.”

He raised a single, slender eyebrow. “What about?” he asked.  

“I figure there are a lot of you, but I seem to only see the same recurring ones. There’s you and the vampire, Ribbon, Atlas, Stefan, the cyborg, I know of an arachin, and I’ve heard stories about another vampire and a reaper. It sounds like a weird assortment of people.”

Tanhakinshu nodded slowly. “Atlas brought us all together,” was all he said.

She waited a few clicks for him to continue, but he didn’t. “How did you meet Atlas, then?” she asked, hoping to get even the smallest bit of information.

He gave her none. “I have to go,” he said, standing up with an easy speed that made her narrow her eyes and watch him a little closer. “But I bet Atlas would answer any questions you have,” he added over his shoulder as he left the room before she could argue or ask any more questions. She knew that he was implying she should talk to the man, but she had no plans of doing that.

She sat there silently, thinking everything over. All that she could determine was that she had two babysitters. She had two very good targets to use for her means. Or, if she looked at it the way she was sure Atlas would prefer she did, she had two people who could easily become her friends if she let them. She certainly planned on letting them.


Next Chapter

amadhay: (Default)
 in which ben is dumb

 

 

It wasn’t until Amadhay wilted against him that Ben realized something serious was going on.

The two of them had been working as a team to attempt to interrogate Atlas in hopes to gain even the slightest bit of information from him. Even misinformation would have been better than what they got.

The man had spent the entire zoot staring blankly ahead. He had given no reaction to any of their questions. He’d ignored Ben when he’d gotten in his face. He hadn’t even batted an eyelash when he’d had one of Amadhay’s blades to his face. He was completely stoic.

Or rather, he had been until now. The moment Amadhay gave a low sigh and leaned against him, he had noticed Atlas sit up a little straighter and turn his gaze to her. Ben instinctively put her behind him in a protective manner after the man had looked her up and down, a slow grin appearing on his lips.

“Amadhay, you need to leave,” Ben said out of the corner of his mouth. The girl gave a soft sound of protest, which made him look away from the Lord Palnoki and to her. All of the strange glow she had been carrying with her and never explained was completely gone, and instead she just looked exhausted and weak. She was barely standing, so he sincerely doubted that she could use her Gift to get out. He doubted she could walk out at all, even without using her Gift, not without his help.

Atlas was standing, becoming more menacing by the click and Ben knew that he should leave and lock him up in there, but Ben refused to leave Amadhay. He scooped the girl up into his arms, ignoring her squeal of surprise and slurred protests. Inching toward the door with her, he kept his eyes steady on Atlas, who didn’t move, simply kept his eyes on Amadhay.

When he was almost to the door, Atlas grinned at him. “Go ahead. I’ll let you go on. Get her to safety.”

Ben narrowed his eyes. “What do you think you’re doing?” he demanded, shifting Amadhay’s weight in his arms. She purred softly, pressing her face into his shirt.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Atlas responded dismissively, moving from the table.

Ben made a rash decision when he realized that Atlas had no plans to hurt Amadhay. Moving from the door to set Amadhay down on the table, he jumped back between Atlas and the door when the shorter man made his way to leave the room. “You aren’t going anywhere,” he said, making Atlas sigh.

“Either you let me go and take her to safety or I kill you,” Atlas stated blandly.

“Don’t you dare kill my Benjy,” Amadhay slurred, trying to get off of the table and to her feet. Ben looked from Atlas, to her, and back, trying to keep his stand against Atlas, but not wanting her to fall. He had no idea what was wrong with her, but knew that it was probably Atlas’ fault. Atlas’ doing was actually probably a better phrasing, he suddenly realized, finally coming to the understanding that Atlas Palnoki had been in control from the moment the man had allowed Amadhay to bring him here.

“It’s your choice, Base,” Atlas said, giving him a look that told him that he couldn’t be bothered to care one way or the other.

“You can’t kill what’s already dead,” Ben told him with more bravado than he felt, reaching toward the gun on his belt.

“Wanna bet?” a voice came from the doorway.

Too late, Ben looked behind him to see the necromancer standing with his arms crossed over his chest. Before the phantom could move, Skeletal Smile stabbed him with a blade. He was sure it was a different one than when he had sealed him because this one hurt much more than the other had.

The last thing Ben saw before he fell to his knees, fighting for breath, was Atlas going back to the table and picking up Amadhay.


Next Chapter

amadhay: (Default)
 in which riff learns something

 

 

“There is a Palnoki member trussed up in my office, and I want to know why. What happened?” The Lord Pheoganis, Arne Riffle Hakinato, roared.

Amadhay and Christein both straightened up, Amadhay averting her eyes in hopes the man wouldn’t see that she had been close to crying. Arne Riffle approached the duo, merely glancing to the limp body over Christein’s shoulder before focusing his cerulean blue eyes on Christein. “Debrief,” he ordered as his security detail lined up behind him.

Amadhay swallowed quickly before stepping forward to indicate that it was her mission. “Base and I went to gather Skeletal Smile, Palnoki’s Wrangler, and Borg Queen. We were apprehending the two men when Base was,” her voice caught in her throat and she glanced to Benjy’s body. An impatient noise from Arne Riff made her eyes snap forward. “He was attacked. I fell his attacker, the necromancer, and we put him in your office. But Benjy…” she cleared her throat. “Base is dead,” she finished, her words hard. Her normal stoic face for debriefing their leader was showing cracks and she hated it. She couldn’t stop herself from glancing back to Benjy’s body, however, noting the stiffness of him.

“Benjym Base is already—” he looked from Amadhay to the body over Christein’s shoulder, this time looking to the light brown hair, hair that should have been black. “Oh.” He glanced back down to Amadhay, this time catching her eyes focused on the body and she mentally cursed herself for being caught. “Oh. Get the necromancer, then, and have him unsealed.”

“Yes, sir,” Amadhay replied instantly, moving to the office before the words left her lips.

Christein tried to keep up with her, but she inevitably made it to the office first, storming into the room and grabbing the Palnoki member by his shoulders, pulling him up. She kicked him in the stomach before he could register surprise at her abrupt entrance. The man coughed, his gag suspiciously missing, and fell back, eyeing her in mute surprise. It all happened in a matter of clicks and by the time his body fully hit the ground, Christein was at the door.

When Christein entered, she backed from the necromancer at the pointed look her cousin gave her. Behind him, Arne Riff entered the room, eyes first going to the man laying on the floor, breathing hard but cursing viciously, and then to the girl, standing as far from the necromancer as she could.

“Well?” he demanded, cutting his eyes from Amadhay, to Christein. Christein set Benjy’s body gently on the floor beside Skeletal Smile and Amadhay started toward the body. When she noted that her uncle was watching her, she, instead, crossed her arms over her chest,  and pressed her back against the wall, attempting to appear less invested in Benjy’s revival.

“Unseal him. Now,” Amadhay ordered from her corner.

Christein moved back to stand beside his father, watching the scene dispassionately. She understood why he appeared not to care about Benjy, even though it bothered her. He was doing the same thing she was trying to do and having much more success. He didn’t want Arne Riff to have any reason to question any of their actions. He was trying to cover for her, just like always.

Skeletal Smile wiggled his tied arms behind his back, looking to Amadhay, who narrowed her eyes. Her body seemed to move out of sync with her mind before her mind slammed back into place when she tried to use her Gift to move to the necromancer with ultraspeed. She glanced at Arne Riff, who looked at her expectantly. She always forgot that she couldn’t use her Gift around him until she tried.

Either way, the jolt made her feel slightly better, if a little sore. She tried not to show the pain radiating down her spine as she moved behind Skeletal Smile, leaning down to untie his hands. When her hair fell, hiding both her and Skeletal Smile’s faces from the view of the men standing in the doorway, she wondered when her ponytail had come undone.

Using the obstructed view to her benefit, she put her lips to Skeletal Smile’s ear as her hand lightly glowed a heated red. She pressed it to his back, letting the warmth of her power seep into the burn at the top of his shoulder from her earlier blast. “You fix him, or I will kill you so slowly that you’ll wish Lord Phoeganis had you,” she whispered before backing up, letting the rope fall to the floor behind him.

The red was actually a quick spell she had learned to heat her meals and couldn’t get any warmer than her body temperature. While her body temperature was warmer than his was, it certainly wasn’t going to hurt him, but he didn’t know that. He didn’t know that she didn’t know any quick or subtle lethal spells, and she certainly wasn’t going to tell him that.

She glanced at Arne Riff and Christein, both of whom were eyeing her suspiciously, though Christein’s eyes held a warning for her. Giving them a quick nod, she was back in her corner by the time Skeletal Smile put one of his hands to Benjy’s chest.

Skeletal Smile looked at Amadhay and, keeping eye contact with her, he moved his fingers around, as if he were gently massaging Benjy’s chest. He quirked a challenging eyebrow at her, which she responded to by narrowing her eyes threateningly. She didn’t like the way he seemed to be taunting her when she was the one with the power. He didn’t know it, but that was the moment he became her personal problem. One that she was going to exterminate as soon as her Benjy was alive again.

When a dry heaving came from Benjy’s body, she broke eye contact with Tanhakinshu. The most noticeable thing, aside from the breathing, was the darkening of Benjy’s hair. While not black, it was losing its color, desaturating to a gray. His eyes were screwed tightly shut, which gave her hope. Those unseeing green eyes had been disturbing for her in a way that nothing else had been.

The breathing came easier as the silver blade reappeared in his chest as if it had never dematerialized. Amadhay made eye contact with the necromancer once again, and his hand slowly trailed up the blade, as if taunting her.

‘You’re welcome,’ Tanhakinshu mouthed before he gripped the handle of the blade. Yes, it was far too personal to think of him as his codename any longer. He was officially Tanhakinshu to her, an enemy of Amadhay, not the Phoegani’s Red Robin.

She flinched when he pulled the blade out of the phantom’s chest and shot forward. Ready to hurt the necromancer, she shoved Tanhakinshu away, in the direction of the door. However, when the phantom began to inhale, she forgot all about the other man and dropped to her knees at his side, eyes widening as his chest rose and fell once, twice.

She only had eyes for Benjy. Her Benjy, whose hair and eyes were black again, whose skin was still pale as porcelain, but warm again. Benjy was coughing, lying there on the floor, very much alive,  again, or at least as close as he was going to get. She held her breath when he stopped coughing and just laid there, unmoving.

“Benjy,” she said, gripping his hand. “Benjy?” She asked worriedly when he stayed limp. He squeezed her hand weakly. “You’re okay!” she exclaimed, sniffling back a cry. “Goddess and Escort, you’re alive,” she whispered.

There came a disgusted noise from the door. She wasn’t sure if it came from Christein or his father, and she didn’t care. She heard shuffling and a cry from the necromancer which she assumed to mean that they were leaving her alone with Benjy.

“Ama…Amadhay…” he coughed again, putting the hand she was holding to his head. His skin was still paler than normal, but warmer now.

She swallowed back a sob, making herself stronger. “Yeah, Benjy. It’s me,” she responded, placing a kiss to his forehead. “Are you okay?” she asked.

He groaned. “It hurts.” She heard the door close firmly. She didn’t look up.

“Benjy,” she closed her eyes, “I am so happy you’re still alive.”

“Comparatively,” he joked, looking at her. “Hey now,” he said slowly, forcing himself to sit up. “You’ve been crying.”

“Allergies,” she lied with a shrug. She knew that he knew that she didn’t have any allergies that affected her eyes, but hoped he would just let it go. He did, though she could guess that it had more to do with the apparent exhaustion it was being brought back from the dead than because he took her signal.

“I think I’m going to just nap here for a moment.”

“You probably don’t want to do that,” Christein said, making Amadhay start. She looked up to find him still standing at the door, his face expressionless. “Lord Phoeganis is going to want his office back sometime soon.”

Benjy’s eyes snapped open. “I’m in Arne Riff’s office?” he demanded.

Amadhay nodded. “We had the necromancer in here so—”

“You got Skeletal Smile? What about the vampire?”

Amadhay shook her head. “I had to—”

“You let Hunnigan get away?” he demanded, suddenly appearing to feel better enough to take issue with her decisions.

Benjy,” she protested. “You were dead.”

Benjy paused, taking in her expression. He looked past her, to Christein, who was still expressionless, but he nodded at Benjy. “You can’t just fail your missions like that,” Benjy scolded her softly, turning his head back to face her. Amadhay let go of him with a slow nod. Benjy started to apologize when he saw her face close up, but she didn’t give him a chance to speak.

“No. You’re right. I shouldn’t have saved you,” she snapped. “I should have just gone after Hunnigan. And then found Johannes. And then interrogated them. Then I should have gone back and made the necromancer fix you.”

It was true. She recognized the truth the moment she said the words. Both Benjy and Christein watched as the realization came over her that he could have been unsealed at a later time. She had failed a mission for no reason other than her emotions. She stood up and moved robotically to the door, ignoring Benjy’s calls after her. Christein gave her a long look before allowing her to pass him.


Next Chapter

amadhay: (Default)
 in which amadhay is compromised

 

 

“Christein!” she yelled again, hoping that he was near enough to hear her this time.

Her grip on the necromancer’s hair loosened and they both dropped to the floor. “Christein, please come help me,” she cried out, her voice wobbly as she tried and failed to get to her feet. All she could think about was Benjy. Benjy was lying on the ground, getting colder by the click. Benjy was lying still and he was never still. Benjy might not wake up. Benjy might not smile at her again or tug on her hair or surprise her with little gifts or annoy Christein anymore. Benjy was—

Christein appeared and began swearing like a pirate. When she looked up at him, hoping—no, knowing that he would fix everything for her, he scowled at her.

“Amadhay, what the deep Water pit is your problem?” he demanded, his true irritation showing in the slip up of using her name rather than title. She felt for her mask, which was still in the same pocket she’d put it in earlier, before taking a step towards Christein. It was then that she realized that he was staring not at her, but at Skeletal Smile, who was limp and slightly battered on the floor beside her. She started to speak, but Christein cut her off. “A, you were only supposed to bring ‘em here. He’s no good nearly dead. And B, where’s Ghost Sparrow and the other two targets? You failed.”

She was tired of that word failed. She was tired of hearing it aimed at her and she was tired of caring about it. Right now, all she could care to think about was Benjy’s body lying in the woods, not moving, and Christein wasn’t helping. Amadhay glared directly at him, not caring that it was disrespectful or that she needed something from him. She glared to make him stop talking—rather yelling—at  her and it worked. He paused. He stared at her with his eyebrows slightly raised and his lips pursed to say more but no words were coming out.

 “Benjy is dead, Monkey,” she told him in a slightly wavering voice, trying to sound like herself. She wasn’t feeling like herself, but she knew that with every word, she was a step closer to helping Benjy, so her voice got stronger with each word. “He’s back at the acquisition point. I didn’t cover him like I should have and now he’s—” she broke off and Christein moved toward her.

“He was already dead, Amadhay, that’s kind of the point of being a phantom,” Christein said slowly, reaching to help her up. That sentence sent her from strong to hysterical. He didn’t understand. If he didn’t understand, then he wouldn’t help her. He had to help her. She couldn’t do it on her own.

“He’s sealed, Monkey. The necromancer sealed him.” She whispered before looking at the limp body of the pretty man. It only made her angrier, more hysterical. He was still pretty when damaged while Benjy was dead and cold and didn’t look like himself anymore.

“He is dead until that piece of trash unseals him and I’m too damn weak to carry him so I need your help!” she practically screamed, pushing herself to her feet. Without a second thought, she turned from Christein, putting her full attention on the necromancer and kicked Skeletal Smile at the wall.

“Don’t do that,” was all Christein snapped at her. When she turned her glare back to him, he flinched. “I’ll help!” he exclaimed, reaching out to pull her away from Skeletal Smile before she could do him any more damage. “I’ll help,” he said softer when her glare weakened and she rubbed her eyes roughly. But she didn’t cry. Assassins don’t cry.

At Christein’s insistence, they moved Skeletal Smile to a more secure area, a room she had never seen before, and bound him to keep him from escaping. She would admit to not using nearly enough rope for protocol on Palnoki members because she was in a hurry, but Christein didn’t say anything about it. Just as she was tightening the last rope binding his legs together, she noted that he seemed to be coming to. With a glance at Christein, who was watching her closer than was normal even for him, it took all of Amadhay’s willpower not to just kill Skeletal Smile then and there. Instead, she took satisfaction in gagging him tightly and silently hoping that he would choke on it and die. 


Next Chapter

amadhay: (Default)
 In which benjy is hurt

 

 

“The blond one will be Mitch. He’s Palnoki’s Wrangler, you know of him, right? Good. The one with the ponytail will be Tenshu, Skeletal Smile. You’ll have to keep your eyes on him ‘cause he’s tricky.”

When Amadhay nodded, he grinned and began to tune his intercom headset. Bland static, pure white noise came from the device and made Amadhay tap her DS to check to see if it was still functioning. Amadhay shook her head at Benjy when she saw that it was.

 “Just remember that we’ll still have to find the cyborg after this, okay? She’ll be easy for you, Red,” he whispered. Something about that caught Amadhay, but she decided to think on it later.

When her DS stopped working, she nodded to Benjy. He tapped his intercom headset and said, “Ghost Sparrow reporting. Received?”

“Received,” Benjy’s communications operative immediately replied through the scrambling static.

“I’m doing a mission with Red Robin for Interrogation and the Info Depo, just so you know.”

“Understood. Carry on.” The cutoff of static to end the communication indicated the beginning of their mission.

“Right on,” Benjy smirked, “Let’s go Lil’ Red.” He faded out on her, going to find their marks. Since apparently Benjy’s information liaison kept tabs on where all known necromancers were at all times to keep Benjy safe, it had been easy enough to find the general location of Skeletal Smile. Luckily enough, it appeared that Skeletal Smile and Palnoki’s Wrangler were together, which Benjy had assured her was normal for the pair. All they needed to do was find the two in this small woods. She had already bet the phantom that they would be at the meadow clearing. It was where she and her sister used to go when they needed to talk in private.

While waiting, Amadhay had time to think. There was definitely something hokey going on. She had been too irritated about the interrogation to think about it earlier, but Atlas had really come too easily. She had gone in expecting a suicide mission, and had come out with one of their greatest enemies bending to her will. And there was something in the way that he looked at her. She couldn’t put her finger on it but—

“They’re behind the trees down there. Come on!” Benjy’s voice came excitedly. He didn’t even bother to become visible again.

The thrill of a real, honest mission excited her. All of her earlier irritation about being put on interrogation duty blocked out her worries and all she could focus on was the mission. She had a necromancer to take out. It would be her first. She was excited.

Her first sight of the men was a disappointment. The ponytailed one, Tenshu Tanhakinshu, had on all black, with black jeans, black canvas shoes, a black t-shirt with a skull on it, and even a black leather coat. He was ridiculously pretty and had a slim figure. She couldn’t see a muscle on him. His partner, Mitchell Hunnigan, was no better, wearing jeans, a blue plaid button down, cowboy boots, and a matching hat that threw his face into shadow. He was talking animatedly. While both looked vaguely familiar to her, neither of them looked like they were formidable foes. Still, she had to remind herself that she looked even less likely to be dangerous at only five feet and still plump from aelfe youth.

When the vampire suddenly froze, she knew it was time to move. Using her Gift, Amadhay zoomed down the hill at her top speed, ramming into Skeletal Smile and knocking him a good three feet from the Wrangler. Instantly, she let go of her Gift and in a much slower speed, she tucked into a roll and unfolded onto her feet before Skeletal Smile, who caught himself. He automatically drew his gun with his left hand while aiming his blade on her with his right.

Amadhay just barely skidded to a stop to avoid impaling herself. Blades were always dangerous if she wasn’t careful. She wasn’t too worried about the gun though, considering no one had ever managed to shoot her before. Skeletal Smile’s eyes shot just over her shoulder, and she followed his gaze to where the Wrangler was attempting to attack the only partially corporeal Benjy.

“You!” the pretty-boy hissed.

She was irritated that he wasn’t even looking at her when she was his opponent, not Benjy. She intended to show him why he should be paying attention to her with a quick, incapacitating jab to his ribs, but the necromancer just dodged her, still paying her no mind as he slid another knife out of his coat and threw it past her.

She watched it pass her, but it didn’t connect in her mind that she should have tried to stop it until it hit the mark right in the center of Benjy’s chest. She expected to see it go right through him since he wasn’t fully materialized, but it didn’t, and he instantly became completely corporeal, falling to his knees.

Amadhay and Benjy’s eyes went wide at the same time. “N-no. Please, don’t,” he managed to get out as Skeletal Smile dropped his weapons to clasp his hands together, making blue light surround Benjy. Amadhay started toward Benjy when he screamed in pain.

“N-no!” Benjy screamed pleadingly and she faltered, turning back to Skeletal Smile uncertainly. “Amadhay!” the phantom cried out, pushing her into action.

She had never seen something take Benjy down like that, but she knew she had to stop the necromancer at all costs. Lips moving rapidly, her eyes turned a deeper red as she focused the full power of her incantation on Skeletal Smile’s chest. A bright purple ball jolted her body as it shot out from between her outstretched hands, gaining speed before slamming into Skeletal Smile, dropping him to the ground.

The Wrangler cried out, but Amadhay didn’t even look at him, instead using her Gift to make it to Benjy right as he collapsed. He was jerking violently when she focused her eyes on the blade, readying herself to pull it out. Before she could, however, he went still and the blade faded from existence, leaving only a tag to float to the ground beside Benjy. His eyes were open, staring at nothing, the black slowly but surely turning to what she feared was his original green eye color.

She tried not to allow herself to lose composure. “Benjy?” she questioned softly, cautiously touching his chest where the blade had been, checking to see if the blade was invisible or truly gone. It was gone. She shook him lightly and after receiving no reply, she snatched the tag up, hoping for some clue of what to do for her friend. Right there on it, however, was her worst fear. The runes on it read to declare that it was a seal tag specifically designed to seal an Undead’s soul away. It had done its job already.

“Monkey,” she whispered, needing her cousin to come to help her, to fix this. She stared at Benjy’s dead eyes, feeling her own eyes begin to prickle.

She refused to cry. When Christein did not appear (which really he had no reason to do since he wasn’t really mentally linked to her, he was just incredibly observant), she chose to instead focus all her energy on fixing this. A seal could be broken. Her eyes narrowed as she turned them back to the body of the other man. She appeared beside the Wrangler, not even looking at him as she shoved him away from his partner, who, while barely conscious, was visibly in no small amount of pain. Giving neither a chance to do anything, she grabbed the necromancer by the ponytail and teleported back to base, instinctively knowing, or rather hoping, that the vampire wouldn’t dare to touch her Benjy’s body.


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November 2016

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