Deals with Devils

The capital of the Guylos Empire is the city of Guygalos. Very much like the other towns and cities on Zi, Guygalos is in dire need of a power wash. It is difficult to find a corner you can turn and not find an Imperial Soldier on duty. The war may be over, but they all remain very loyal to their work. They stand ready and willing, to fight at a moments notice to protect their Capital and Emperor.

Deals with Devils

Raven
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Raven
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Joined: 20 Jul 2004, 02:20

21 Oct 2017, 06:07 #1

Behind the stone divider wall, hot water sprayed the surface of the shower, filling the bathroom with a warm, thick mist.

Raven tugged the poncho up and over his head, frowning at the blood that had stuck to the inside. That had been his favorite poncho. It was perfect for hiding things- such as attention drawing bloody mangled clothing- while moving through the city. But cleaning it now seemed like an impossible task. Looks like he’d made yet another sacrifice to the clothing gods, he thought with a snort.

Next he peeled the black shirt away from his skin and over his head, in spite of it clinging anywhere it possibly could. It smeared his face with bright red, and he froze as his reflection in the small mirror caught him off guard. He glared down at the shirt in his hands, as if this was somehow all its fault. He wrung it like a wet towel into the sink. Thick blood oozed out and slopped into the sink in thick plops.

He stared at it with some degree of horror.

Raven?

Shadow’s concern reached him through the door. ”I’m fine,” he assured the organoid, who grumbled but wandered away from the closed bathroom.

Raven held it eye level and let it unroll, his brow furrowing back at him in his reflection through the gaping hole in the fabric. He growled a curse and slapped the thing down on the counter. He stared at the speckled surfaces, realizing this had probably happened before but he hadn’t been conscious to see his own bloody mess. It was pretty shocking, to say the least.

..Raven? Shadow’s voice echoed in his mind again. ”I’m fine!”

He shook his head and waved off the whole mess, stomping around the wall to the shower, still partially clothed. Maybe he could save himself some cleanup, he figured, and ducked into the stream, only then stripping the rest of the articles off and throwing them in a far corner with some annoyance. Hopefully the clothing gods would be satisfied now. Housekeeping sure wouldn’t be.

Raven watched the rust colored streams collect and disappear down the drain. With each angle he turned the color ran fresh. He clawed his fingers through his black hair, unknotting areas section by section. That was when he noticed the deep grooves in his palms were.. gone!?

He did a double take, stunned and alarmed, and began searching for other known marks with quite some fervor.

Raven!

“Shadow, I’m fucking fine!” he yelled back in irritation.

The organoid snorted at the attitude and wandered away again.

Raven stared at his hands, then down at his chest and torso. It was perfect. Everything was perfect. No bullet scars. No burn scars. No slices, gashes, or slashes. And most shockingly, no ragged, horrid scar from Asarin. “I’m fine. That’s the problem,” he muttered. He braced the wall with both hands and closed his eyes, letting the water wash over him. Finally it ran clear, but his mind was foggier than the room.

Outside, in the bedroom, Shadow plodded over to Blizzard and Vira in a huff. He’s not fine, he growled, planting his butt down on the wooden floor with a thud and brooding like an alienated parent.
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Vira
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21 Oct 2017, 08:13 #2

Vira felt it, too, but she did not intrude further. The reality of their situation had caught up to her, and as the both horror and euphoria of Raven's near death experience twisted in her stomach, she now wondered what they were supposed to even do. Vais, in his smallest form, perched on the arm of the leather couch in the other room, his claws piercing the material. He was drowsing, yet a word drifted through Vira's consciousness from the dragon.

"Live."

Vira wasn't sure how, but she knew they could. They could make it work. Nothing was more terrible than losing him completely, and after the harrowing experiences she had suffered already, an errant shadowbeast was probably the least of her concerns. He had shown himself able to resist her, after all.

Blizzard hid a grin at Shadow's expense from her spot on.. the bed. Blizzard had hopped up on to it, the mattress squeaking in protest the whole way. Now she looked down upon them haughtily.

Of course he isn't. And he's grumpy!

Vira rolled her eyes at the organoid.

"I'd be grumpy, too. I'm sure I would have been if I had known about Vais when he first infected me."
I don't think that's the problem..

She sighed, "I know it's not. But I don't know how to fix that part."

Blizzard tapped a claw on her muzzle.

Maybe you should go talk to him?
"I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to be both--"

Blizzard hopped down from the bed and bumped and prodded Vira over to the bathroom door. She protested, of course, but Blizzard rumbled and said something privately to her. She paused and thought about it, and gave Blizzard a worried look. The organoid shrugged and paced away, taking one of Shadow's headspikes and tugging him along and towards the living room.

C'mon, Shads, let's see if Vira can cheer your poor human up, she said, cheerfully, knocking the door closed with her tail. Thankfully, Hisk asked no question when they arrived. He was poking obstinately at a blender he had found, his head stuck neck deep into the cabinet under the sink.

Vira sighed, resigned, looking forlornly down at her own blood soaked clothes. They did, indeed, have to figure this out.. What they were going to do. So, both with no shame, and no preamble, she opened the door and stepped into the damp heat, closing the door behind her. It instantly gathered on her skin and dampened her hair. She swiped a hand across the mirror to clear the wetness, staring at the cut the knife had made in her shirt. None of this blood was her, it was Raven's, and that scared her a bit. She knew he had been healed, but she also knew parts of him were not.

"Are you alright?"
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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Raven
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21 Oct 2017, 09:07 #3

The faint rattle of the door and change in the air dragged him back to the moment, though he was more annoyed with the interruption of his thoughts and assumed it was Shadow acting like a worried mother hen. While Raven knew he should be thankful for such a vigilant companion, he only glared at the wall, exasperated with the beast.

But then Vira’s voice reached him unexpectedly, and, somewhat stunned, it took a moment for her question to even register.

And it took another moment to answer, the room gradually returning to its former temperature.

All the scars are gone,” came his voice finally.

He shoved away from the wall. “I never wanted them,” he edged closer to the opening and leaned there so he could speak clearer to her. “Look,” he demanded, shoving a now perfect hand into view. Those had been some of the worst, deepest, most annoying scars that she would have known well. “Gone.”

“I’m just.. not sure I paid the right price.”
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21 Oct 2017, 10:27 #4

"You almost died, Raven," she replied, "Don't you think that's a pretty significant price?"

She thought of her own scars.. The ones on her arms from Asarin, on her body from Grython. They were thin white lines, a stark reminder of the past and their dangerous enemies.

"You've paid a price. Her name is Sevisse," Vira did not feel the wolf's presence at all, as if she was hibernating. Restoring her strength. Even the call of her name did not rouse a shred of the shadowbeast's notice. "I hate her. Not just because of what she's done to me, but what she's done to you. But a tiny, dreadful part of me is still grateful to her."

Vira's voice wavered slightly with the truth of it.

"It disgusts me to think of her in any way but a burden," her eyes narrowed, and she shrugged angrily out of her jacket, the crimson blood now stark against the white of her shirt. "But you're here because of her, and I don't know what to do about that."

She smiled a little.

"Thinking back.. it's a little ironic my feelings for you have caused me to be thankful for a wretched beast like her," she leaned against the vanity, the mist sticking to her bare arms in ever growing drops. She rubbed a hand down her face, giving an abrupt laugh.

"Some days I just wish shit could be normal."
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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Raven
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22 Oct 2017, 02:13 #5

“I hate normal. And I hate coming to Guygalos,” he spat with venom. “I’ve watched people grow up and live their lives without once piloting a Zoid here. Not once have they had to defend their own life, and never have they had to take someone else’s. I’ve watched people grow and start their own families in peace. It sickens me.”

He shook his head angrily, running a hand through his soaked hair, pushing the sopping wet bangs away from his eyes. But with a heavy sigh, his frustration subsided.

“But.. if I’m honest, that’s jealousy talking. I suppose I share your sentiment.”

The water pelting the surfaces was the only sound for a painful moment, as he debated explaining his conclusion to her.

“Vira... This “wretched beast,” life saving or not, puts everyone in danger. It would have been better if I died. I’m afraid for Shadow and I’m terrified for you.” Saying it aloud was hard. It taxed his ability to keep collected, but he managed. He wanted to take her in his arms again and apologize- apologize for not getting them both out of the way, and for asking for Sevisse. He could have resisted. But he selfishly asked for his own life.

“Vira, I..” He pressed a thumb and index finger to his eyes, as if closing them made it easier to speak, “I can’t stay here with you... I want to! I really, truly want to, but it’s too risky!”
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22 Oct 2017, 03:38 #6

"It wouldn't have been better," she replied firmly. "Yeah, we have a problem with Sevisse, but you're alive. She won't dare take physical form with Vais around, and you were able to resist her."

She understood his hesitance. Vais himself had been hostile towards Raven for a long while. It had been difficult to control him, to prevent him from snuffing Raven out so she would be in peace. That had been when the relationship between them was tenuous in the first place, but she had never wished to bring something so unearthly down upon the other pilot. Vais had never explained how she had "tamed" him, so to speak, but she knew he had been willing to listen, or Raven would be dead.

"It's not the end of the world. We can find a solution. You didn't give up on Shadow when death made him feral, and you know he's not going to give up on you, either. You might be able to hide from me if you leave, but not from him."

She walked up to the wall that separated them and poked imperiously at the rock, whether he could see it or not.

"It's more risky for you to leave. Regardless of what we have, it would be foolish to leave Vais. He can prevent her from leaving you. Sevisse is at least aware of Razor, of Timber. Of Van. She could systematically kill anyone and anything you associate with, with or without your help, if she's able to take physical form. She would do it to break you."

Vira thought of it and winced.
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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Raven
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22 Oct 2017, 05:06 #7

Raven said nothing. He weighed the two options.

She had a good argument, and it was in her favor that he wished she was right. Again he sighed, slowly realizing it could turn into a mental battle with the shadowbeast if he stayed, but that was better than her rampaging across Zi and snuffing out everyone he had contact with.

"You are persuasive," he finally admitted, his grin audible. "When you put it that way, staying with you would be the responsible thing to do." He pushed off the wall, "Are you sure you want to deal with me?" he asked, mostly joking though maybe a hair serious. He peeked out from around the corner at her, and the mischievous look on his face disappeared when he saw her bloody shirt. "Damn. I forgot about that," he looked her over slowly, "Why white? There's no saving that one. Take it off, that's horrible." And he waited. An impish grin creeped its way to his lips and he raised an eyebrow, as if daring her to do so as he watched.
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22 Oct 2017, 06:10 #8

"Of course I am," she replied, grinning at him as his face appeared. "Now that's a dumb question, don't you think? I've been "dealing" with you for six years, and most of those, I'd rather have lit myself on fire before I'd see you naked."

She arched a finely curved brow at him, considering. Slowly, she moved in front of him, and she grinned just as impishly.

"I don't know.. you know what they say," she turned on the bedroom eyes, something she had gotten really good at lately, "If you want something really bad, you should do it yourself."

It was said innocently enough, and though she really tried to stop herself from grinning like an idiot, it spread across her face like wildfire.
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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Raven
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22 Oct 2017, 07:36 #9

His heart sang with excitement as she rounded the divider. He snatched her wrists, mirroring her expression as he pulled her back into the hot water.

"I get the white now," again he scanned her as the water made the fabric mostly transparent. He shook his head, laughing to himself in amusement.

Gently, he pressed her forehead with a kiss, then, grabbing the bottom edges of her blouse, peeled it up and off over her head in one swift motion. He tossed it in the far pile with the other discarded clothing and wasted no time in unlatching the bra. He peeled off that article too, dropping it beside them, then went to work unbuttoning her pants without pause.

The water was rusty again, but he couldn't care less. It washed away the residue, revealing, in spite of scars, her perfect skin. He towered over her and lifted her chin, his lavender eyes peering intensely into her sapphires. The smile was gone, and he hovered dangerously close to her lips, craving.
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22 Oct 2017, 10:09 #10

"Yeah, I bet you do," she replied, halfheartedly rolling her eyes at him. Men. They were all the same. She watched the blood, his blood, turn pink from the streaming water, washing away the horrifying reality of the day. She had almost, almost lost him.. had been painstakingly short seconds before it was too late for Sevisse to save him. She had felt it, him, slipping from her awareness like the streams of water slipped down the drain.

Despite herself, she couldn't hold the tears that mixed with the water. It had been anguish, and she couldn't remember exactly when he had become so important to her. There had been years of tense tolerance between them, years of taunting and speculation and life threatening situations, until finally, they were standing here together.

She reached up and cupped his cheek, the truth of her feelings swimming in her eyes, and she saw it reflected back at her. She had said she was willing to look past the beast that lived within him now, and as she pulled him down to her embrace, she hoped he knew it too.




Oi! Leggo!

Hours. Hours. Two! To be exact. Of this. Of Hisk versus the kitchen appliances. He was currently wrapped up in the blender cord, the microwave laid at his feet, and the can opener was clutched in his teeth. Vais still slept, oblivious, curled up on the sofa like some big, pointy cat. Blizzard was stuck watching this silly stuff.

Hisk tripped over the wire, the can opener skittering off across the hardwood. He screeched. Loud. Probably loud enough for the entire floor to hear, and he struggled like an eel against the floor, the wire still wrapped steadfastly around his midsection.

She turned to look forlornly at Shadow.

Kill me.
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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22 Oct 2017, 20:24 #11

Shadow, too, was exhausted from just watching Hisk. There was no way to keep him both contained and quiet, so he had opted for contained.

He turned the same look back at Blizzard. How he wished the humans would come set him free. He needed a break.

But Shadow knew better than to enter the room until they were ready. In spite of distancing himself for their privacy, their intense sweeping waves of passion were still fresh in his awareness, but it had been calm for awhile now. While he had distanced himself from them, he couldn’t completely sever the connection. It only left him wondering what being human was really like. They felt peaceful now, which was a welcome change to all the turmoil of the day.

Finally, the door partially opened and a steady “sshhh” found its way past the organoids and Vais to Hisk. Raven leaned into the room, fully clothed, though his hair was still damp. He looked extremely puzzled at the scene before him. “Hisk, what on Zi are you doing?” he asked, surprisingly gently considering the situation and whom he was talking to.

Shadow sighed and rounded the couch to his human, pausing a moment to shake off the discomfort he had been put through by.. nearly everyone. Raven offered him a small smile as he approached, and ran his hand along the smooth side of the metallic creature’s face, yet still looked to Hisk, expecting some kind of answer.
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22 Oct 2017, 23:38 #12

Hisk froze. Now, normally Mister Lord Raven didn't talk to him like Vivi did. Was he in trouble? Was the universe inverting? Was the heat death upon them? He stared at the man like he had grown two heads, until the microwave shrilled loudly and broke the organoid from his trance. He suppressed a yelp into his talons, and glowered down at the appliance.

Hisky is stuck! He whined, wriggling in the wire for emphasis. An' nobody came to help Hisky.. so 'ere we are.

He scratched his muzzle apologetically, Er.. please help Hisky..

Vais chose this moment to crack one red eye open. It snapped to Raven, inspecting him for a moment before he gathered himself and resumed his perch on the couch arm. He yawned hugely, seemingly unconcerned about the danger that lurked in the human. Blizzard watched him in exasperation, not equating the normally fierce beast with this lazy version.
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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23 Oct 2017, 01:09 #13

Raven stared blankly, then deadpanned to Shadow.

He basically tied himself up. Would you rather he roamed free for the past two hours?

“Nope,” he quipped, slipping the rest of the way into the room and moving to Hisk.

Raven stood over Hisk, arching a brow at him. He traced the cord with his eyes, and spotting the knotted section, grabbed the blender and weaved it back through the tangled wires. With only about three twists it was loose, and he pulled it free of the metal dragon with a quick snap. He backed away from the floundering beast, wrapping the wire around the blender and setting it on the table.

Shadow followed and bumped the human’s hand with his muzzle, lifting it up with a grumble. The touch had been smooth. Extra smooth. Raven seemed to understand Shadow’s inquiry, and held his hands up to the organoid’s eye, shrugging. He was already over it.
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23 Oct 2017, 01:24 #14

Hisk made an odd, squealing noise of gratitude, and actually refrained from diving back into the kitchen cabinets or going with his first urge to glomp the poor human. He instead bee-lined for Vais, and the dragon peered down at him warily.

Beastie? Why does Hisky feel like he's seen the dog thing before?

Vais contained his eye twitch superbly, and he shifted talons, not exactly keen to tell the truth. While Hisk was.. er, special? he did not deserve the harsh reality. He had been a normal organoid before, but Sevisse had broke something in him. She had not done the merciful thing and killed him.

"How much do you remember of your life?"

Hisk tapped a claw on his muzzle, thinking.

Er, well. Hisky remembers hatching. But not faces. Remember feelings. But not things.. Hisk seemed to be struggling, as if the task of thinking and trying to come up with memories was difficult for him. He made a soft noise.

Hisky knows something happened.. but it falls out of Hisky's head.

Vais reached awkwardly out and patted the organoid with his claws, unsure of how to comfort the beast, but he did feel sorry.

"It would have been the right thing to do," he muttered to himself, "but she is not merciful."

But, Hisk seemed to get along relatively well. He was loyal, and loved his companions with a fierceness any organoid could be proud of.
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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23 Oct 2017, 03:00 #15

Raven watched Hisk and the shadowbeast with some interest. He had a new appreciation for Hisk as of late, in spite of his bumbling self, but he had never noticed Vais taking pity on him before. It further softened his feelings towards the shadowbeast. It was one more reason to understand why Vira was so fond of him.

“C’mon, time for bed,” Raven patted Shadow’s snout and made his way back to the bedroom, flicking the lights off in the living room as he passed through.

The organoid strolled after him into the bedroom, tilting his head at the other human already tucked under the covers. He said nothing of it though, even as Raven turned off the last light and slipped under the covers with her. This would take some getting used to, he thought, but there was a peace and kindness about his human now. He didn’t want to spoil it, so he assumed his typical position for the night, curled on the ground next to Raven’s side.

Raven, still revelling in their evening experience, wrapped an arm around her and secured her close. He closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath against her black hair. The cool fabrics nestled close to them, and their warmth combined staved off the desert night chill. He felt so relaxed and safe. He was eager to see her in the morning, but sleep weighed heavily on him now. With the organoids near, and Vais on guard, he tasted what could be their normal. It was sweet. It was nearly perfect.
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23 Oct 2017, 03:18 #16

Hisk crept back towards the kitchen as the lights went out, Vais's eyes making a dim glow as he watched Raven disappear. Blizzard followed, turning around to look at the dragon briefly before she, too, disappeared through the doorway. The shadowbeast remained where he was perched, no longer sleepy. He supposed he had been stuck with the duty of babysitting Hisk.. Lord help them.

Vira grumbled something intelligible, but cuddled into him anyway.

Blizzard looked utterly confused for a moment, before she plopped down beside Shadow. The poor organoid didn't seem to know what to do with herself. She glanced over at her friend, her eyes glowing.

Well.. I guess we get to have a slumber party?
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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23 Oct 2017, 03:28 #17

Blackness.

Then she stood before him. Terror filled her eyes.

The shot pierced the silence and ripped through her skull, spraying grey matter, blood, and bits of bone across the ground.

She fell in a heap, blood pooling beneath her as smoke drifted up from the gun he held.

He trembled at what he had done. Tears streamed down his cheeks but he couldn’t utter a protest.

The blood ran to his feet and washed over them.

You did this!” she burst into screaming, and he pulled the trigger again, further obliterating her.

Blackness.

Thick, absorbing all sound and light, an expanse of nothingness, and yet it weighed heavy on his chest.

Something appeared in the distance. He couldn’t make it out.

Soft cries reached his ears and an unease gripped his stomach, but he pushed closer to it.

He blinked, and her corpse stared back at him with hollow sockets. He stumbled back in shock but some invisible thing blocked his escape. Bloody, disfigured and decomposing, but unmistakably Vira.

She faced him, clutching a golden, serrated blade in her ribs. “You did this!” she accused sharply, maggots writhing in her empty sockets.

He tried to protest the horror but could not. No words would form. Until-

Blackness.

A door appeared.

A red glow smoldered at the edges.

Soft cries came from within.

He reached for the shuddering knob. He turned it smoothly.

As he jerked it open the cries became screams as entrails spilled to his feet. Her body hung from thin black chains that dug into and sliced her flesh. Her torso was so mutilated he couldn’t make out her lower half. In spite of injuries completely incompatible with life, her sapphire eyes found him, and hatred festered in them. “You did this!” Louder and louder her repeated accusations became screams that cut him to his core.

Raven’s eyes flung open, his heart racing, his breathing labored and his face and hair wet. The suffocating weight remained on his chest. His body would not respond to his command to move. Move. Move! Panic gripped him.

To his utter horror, golden orbs appeared in the corner of the room.

The shadows soon followed and Sevisse materialized before his frozen eyes. Wordless, she approached the bed, looking down on the two humans.

”No, stop! Stop!” he pleaded, but no words came out. He couldn’t speak. He couldn’t move!

Her teeth shown in a cruel smile and she plunged them into Vira’s flesh and raked them across her form, splitting the flesh open.

”Stop!” Repeatedly, rhythmically, she dragged her fangs through, absolutely rending the body.

”Stop!” The blood flowed through the blankets and spread over his body.

”Stop!” Then her jaws snapped around Vira’s neck and her blood sprayed the wolf. ”Stop!” She lifted the woman up, and with one swift crack, she dropped the lifeless body back on the bed. He could do nothing. Nothing at all! He stared at the lifeless sapphire eyes. He wanted to scream, but was absolutely frozen. The lacerations widened, melting into streams of blood. Rivers of blood. Until-

Raven’s eyes flung open, and this time he shot up out of bed. Sweat clung to his skin and his hair stuck to his face. He searched the room in a dizzying panic, then looked down to the woman fast asleep beside him. He touched two fingers to a vein on her neck and her pulse beat back- vibrant and alive. But his eyes still darted around the room in total confusion.

It was so vivid. So real.

Guilt and fear welled up inside him.

Careful not to disturb Vira, he slid the blankets from himself and slipped out of the bed. With a speed only the military could instill, he laced up his boots and threw on his jacket. He kneeled down to the bag by his bedstand and rummaged through, and grabbing a pistol, he made a silent dash for the living area.

At once he was at the exit, his hand on the knob, twisting it with certainty, but suddenly froze. His heart raced. It pounded so hard he thought it might explode from his chest. Maybe this was what Sevisse wanted.

Raven release his grip and took careful steps back from the door.

He jumped as he noticed Shadow’s outline in the living room. He hadn’t heard him approach at all.

You’re okay. Everything is okay, assured the organoid, noting the rapid rise and fall of the man’s chest and panic in his eyes.

“Stay back,” Raven demanded.

You were having a nightmare, Shadow ambled up in spite of Raven’s command, It’s not real.

Raven moved away as much as he could before he was backed against the wall. Shadow reached with his muzzle and poked the human on the cheek. Raven shuddered at the cool touch, but suddenly threw his arms around the dragon’s massive head. He squeezed him tight and pulled him down as he slid down the wall to sit on the floor, panting as the panic subsided.

After a moment, Raven released his grip on the organoid and set the gun down beside him. He rubbed his face with both hands and wiped the sweat away, his breathing still rapid but returning to normal.

What were you going to do with that?

Raven looked at the organoid but said nothing, refusing to admit the extreme his vivid nightmares made him consider.
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23 Oct 2017, 04:00 #18

"Nightmares are common in newly infected hosts."

The voice drifted through the living room. Vais, still occupying the sofa arm, had been watching Raven closely as soon as he had stumbled into the living room. Though his color was different, the same hellish lantern glow of the shadowbeasts' eyes bathed the room in dull crimson light. He hopped down from his perch, his claws clacking against the smooth wood floors as he padded over to Raven. He was just shy of Shadow's height at this size, and he sat in front of the human with his tail flicking.

"I felt your distress, and some of the vilkas' power briefly, but I don't think she influenced it entirely," his eyes flicked to the gun, then back. "I'll tell you truthfully that I have never been fond of you, boy."

The dragon's tone was not overtly kind, but it wasn't cruel either.

"But I have grown fond of my host, and I would protect her from anything, and her feelings for you extend that to you, as well."

Vais reached with his muzzle, slowly, careful of the skittish human. He touched the leathery softness against the boy's forehead, feeling his feverish skin. He sighed.

"Your body is not used to her. You will be ill for a while, feverish. This fuels the nightmares. Whether she is directly behind this one or not, eventually, she will utilize them against you. Especially if she sees how they affect you. I think that is why I felt her for a moment earlier," he tried not to sound grim, but he was a shadowbeast, he knew. "The vilkas is aggressive, you must know this. You cannot take me as an example of how a parasitic entity like myself operates. I was once like her, I have killed many, many living things. I protect Vira now because she is different."

He did not elaborate on how.

"Your onset will be rapid. If you were not to resist her, you would delve into hysteria and commit atrocities. Your physical brain will erode away until she is finished, then, she will move on. You must also understand that she will attempt to make you do things, psychologically she will influence you, even if you aren't aware of it."

The dragon tilted his head suddenly, bristling with a growl. He felt a sliver of the vilkas' awareness slide across his armor. She was smug.

"Like I said. I have no great fondness for you, but I will help you. Ask me anything."
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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23 Oct 2017, 04:42 #19

"The last part was her, I'm sure," he admitted reluctantly. It hadn't even been 24 hours and she was festering.

He crossed his arms and rested them on his knees, letting out a sigh and collecting himself as he gazed back at Vais thoughtfully. He felt grateful for the two dragons in front of him, even if Vais sometimes made him uneasy. At least he was honest. He had never considered Vais to be a parasite physically attached to a brain. It made sense, and he appreciated the dragon's fondness of Vira even more, to not erode her very mind.

But that meant.. Sevisse was going to use him up as an energy source?

He wasn't even entirely sure what to ask, and he knew this opportunity may not come again. His brow furrowed in thought.

"How can I tell if she's influencing me? How can I resist her better?" His expression changed as something dawned on him. "Even if I do.. how long can I live like this? She has a foothold. Not total control, but she is feeding on what she can, right?" He focused acutely on the beast as he connected together all the bits of information he had gleaned over the years.
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24 Oct 2017, 04:29 #20

"Well, you are a bit more fortunate than most people. You actually know you are infected. Other humans, they get diagnosed with varying illnesses.. paranoia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders.. There's no way for doctors to see shadowbeasts. We do not actually alter any part of your body composition, but our effects do erode. You are familiar with Alzheimer, I am sure. The brain decays. This is also how it works with my species," the dragon seemed a little bothered reciting these facts.

"You can tell when you have thoughts that are not usual. If you feel strangely about things you don't normally feel. Say, you look at your Zoid and want to use it to kill. Or if you see a gun and want to use it on yourself or others," Vais fixed an eye briefly on the weapon Raven had. "This inherently will help you resist. If you are aware of the negative thoughts, you may choose how to act on them. If you are strong enough, which I believe you to be, you should not have trouble ascertaining when it is the vilkas attempting to force you to her will."

Again, he briefly felt Sevisse's power.

"Such as now, I can feel her. I will be able to help you tell when she is trying to subvert you," Vais tapped a claw on the wood floor. "I cannot physically enter you like I did when I healed you. I cannot hope to remove her from your body now that she has infected you. It would kill you outright."

Vais found the more he spoke to Raven, the more he actually wanted to help. He had been responsible for millions of cases just like his.. perhaps it was time to admit he was so eager to help because he wanted to atone for some of his cruelness.

"I am not sure of that," he said, apologetically. "You may survive a few years if we cannot find a way to extract or kill her and she is particularly aggressive. Or, you may survive as long as Kurt. He did not inherently attempt to resist what the vilkas told him to do, yet he served her purposes so she slowed her eating, just as I do now."

Vais's eyes glowed a bit stronger.

"However, I do not think you have to worry about long term."

Now, his tone changed to ice, "I know you hear me, vilkas. I will find a way to kill you, of that you may be sure."
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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24 Oct 2017, 05:34 #21

Shadow sat next to his human and faced Vais. His head tilted at the other dragon, then back at Raven, who seemed, more or less, unsatisfied with the answers. Using the Geno Breaker to kill? Wanting to kill? He had thrived on that for most of his years, no shadowbeast needed there. Wanting to kill himself? That had come up before too, though he had never tried anything.

Though, he looked sideways at the pistol. There had been something different in the thought this time. He wasn't sure how exactly, but it was somehow more sinister and urgent. It was completely justified, a total solution, without thought of consequences. Raven was adept at plotting out actions and reactions, like a long game of chess, and he could dominate. He blinked, realizing he had not thought through it at all, and that scared him.

"A few years?" he echoed in surprise, eyes refocusing on Vais. This time, he felt her darkness tug his thoughts again, and he froze, afraid to fuel her, trying to decipher what was his own, and what was Sevisse.

Shadow similarly looked surprised, but said nothing, only taking in and processing.

"I.." he stared ahead, straight through Vais and back to the bedroom. "... I suppose it's surprising I've made it this far... But lately, I was hoping I could stick around for awhile," his voice softened with remorse. He had just admitted to Vira he was jealous of normal, and now he felt it further slipping through his fingers. It was like a doctor had given him a terminal diagnosis, and the hope he had wavered.

Then something else dawned on him, the realization causing a mix of anger and betrayal to replace his sadness. His eyes narrowed at Vais with some defiance. Even though he was in no position to accuse the beast, his feelings for Vira emboldened him.

"You-you're eating away at Vira, aren't you? You've been attached to her just as long as Sevisse was to Kurt, if not longer!" There was fire in his eyes and strength in his voice, as he had trouble reconciling Vais as both friend and a parasitic entity slowly eating the life from the woman he finally knew he loved.

Shadow growled to gain Raven's attention, to calm him.

Raven grit his teeth and snapped his gaze to the floor.

"How long does Vira have?" he asked, struggling to contain himself, but managing. He knew the dragon would not take kindly to his accusations, but this wasn't about them- it was about Vira. And their future. Or.. whatever little of it there was left.
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24 Oct 2017, 06:16 #22

"We will find a solution, one way or another," Vais said, hoping to reassure him. Though he wasn't exactly sure how, he was confident he could find a how. The dragon knew when things were possible and not possible. And though he had never had an occasion to kill another member of his race, he had heard of it from others. He had also heard of beasts who had forsaken their natural instinct to cause misery for their hosts. Back then, he had scoffed at the idea. Now, he knew.

The change in the boy's demeanor did not surprise him, and though he didn't particularly like him, Vais did not react negatively.

"I am. I was dormant in the girl for ten years. Around the time she left the other boy's home, I forget his name. I have not been attached to her for as long as the vilkas was to her father. As far as I can gather, Kurt had been infected for well on thirty years. I have been with Vira for sixteen."

He was quiet for a moment, as if deciding on how much to say.

"She has not been irreparably damaged. I am powerful, much more so than the vilkas. And, I am old. I do not need to eat much," he paused, again, thinking. Finally, "I am over 600 million years old. Six hundred and forty seven, if you want to be exact."

He stopped again, as if the number astonished even himself.

"I will have to leave. Soon, if I do not want to harm her. She has some strain from me.. She has lost a majority of her ability to sense emotions from anyone but her organoid and myself. Otherwise, nothing has been lost cognitively. Nor will it. I do not intend to risk it further. Though, I am not sure where I will go, yet. Perhaps off planet."

Vais sighed, heavy, "I have not told her this. It is why I didn't particularly want her to come "rescue" me from Kurt. He could not have killed me on his own, and I could have escaped eventually."
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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24 Oct 2017, 07:11 #23

Raven looked up, somewhat surprised Vais wasn't more upset with him. In spite of himself, he did feel some awe at the shadowbeast's age.

Shadow even had difficulty wrapping his mind around the number.

He studied Vais thoughtfully, then chuckled, imagining the beast an old man offering him advice on life and the universe. "That's really old," he offered a faint smile, "I'm only in my mid-twenties and I feel like I've seen too much already. I can't imagine how you feel."

The pilot shivered once, his fever fluttering.

"Let me make sure I understand this," he first pressed an index finger to his lips, then sunk his chin into his palm, brows furrowing in thought, "You and this dog are ancient parasites that feed off a host and their fear and trauma and all that. You're not actively consuming because you choose not to. Sevisse would if she could, but she can't. But she's trying. Your kind can leave as you please, but generally that's not the first choice."

He tapped his nose thoughtfully, "You can only kill her if she's in a physical form. She won't come out. She just wants to use me, unless I'm not around you, then she might slip out? But that's extremely dangerous," he gestured the shape of a box with both hands, "She's contained right now, sort of?” He arched an eyebrow in question at the dragon.

He placed both hands on the ground at his sides, looking up at Vais. "She wants to kill you and Vira. I'm slowly dying. Vira is slowly dying. If you leave, Vira is vulnerable, and there's nothing stopping Sevisse from murdering her and then wreaking havoc. If you stay, Vira dies.”

He tapped his fingers against the wood in thought. “Well, other than asking her to leave nicely, which I really don't think she'll agree to, I'm not seeing a solution here.”

He glanced away in thought.

“…What happens if you just kill me?”

Shadow hissed down at the human, who shrugged and looked to Vais expectantly.
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27 Oct 2017, 06:52 #24

Vais did a draconic version of a shrug. "I can't say I remember anything besides key events from that long ago, anyhow. I remember the universe in a younger state, when life on planets wasn't so advanced. But, I cannot say I recall much beyond whispers of threads of memory. Though, yes, by human standards you have dealt with some, as your species says, crap."

He snorted in amusement.

"You are partially correct," he responded. "Yes, my species in ancient, but the vilkas is not. She is only around 2,000 years old. The oldest of my kind that I have met personally was almost two billion years old. We do not feed on "fear", necessarily. We degrade the brain. We feed on your body. Most of us are just cruel, and like to make our hosts' lives miserable. I do have to eat, occasionally. I only feed once a year, and even then only enough to keep my basic facilities, which are adequate."

The dragon, though strong, could be much more, and it glowed in his eyes back at the human sitting before him.

"And no, the vilkas is feeding off of you. This is the source of your fever. Your body is attempting to fight her, but your immune system has no defense for this. As for leaving, well. The vilkas needed you to survive. All shadowbeasts are parasites. We cannot live if we have no host. I have eaten orally to sustain myself during some periods of my life, but it did nothing more than brief flashes of energy."

The dragon glanced back towards the room behind them, "Partially correct. She is only contained at this moment because, as you said, I am here. She would not dare exit you with me here, as I could kill her. If she gains physical form, she is susceptible to damage, as you saw when I slashed her flanks at the castle. I cannot enter you myself and kill her, as the stress placed upon you would kill you anyhow. I would have to pluck her from your brain, physically, and when a shadowbeast ingrains, it is attached unless it leaves the host."

Vais knew they were in a pickle. He had to stay close and monitor two humans now. Though, he supposed they could spring some kind of trap on the vilkas if Raven were to leave of his own volition and she attempted to take advantage.

His attention was dragged back at the organoid hissing, and he blinked at the boy.

"Exactly that. You would be dead. The vilkas would exit you and attempt to flee, or perhaps attempt to infest your organoid, or Blizzard. Also, Vira would not be thrilled with me," he grimaced at the thought, as if he wasn't freakin' millions of years old.
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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27 Oct 2017, 23:44 #25

“Oh... I guess we won’t be starving her then.” A knot formed in his stomach at the thought of the wolf steadily devouring his brain.

He was silent for a moment, working through his conclusions.

Then he looked up to Vais suddenly, with fresh concern and renewed urgency.

“Should we tell Vira? I don’t want her to worry about something she can’t do anything about, but..” he struggled to find the words. His remorse grew, and it was almost apparent on his face. “Isn’t it cruel to her to pretend everything is fine? To let her think there’s some kind of future here?”

You speak like your death is guaranteed... The future is not set, Raven.

“I don’t want to hurt her…” his eyes dropped to the floor. “Not physically, not emotionally. That much I do know.”
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28 Oct 2017, 04:49 #26

Vais's maw stretched into a frown. "There is no way to tell if we can find a solution, but I am confident I can," he said firmly, but not unkindly. "Either way, you are in the same situation presently."

The dragon did not seem impressed with the boy now, and he snorted a bit disdainfully.

"Vira has lived on her own for many years now. She has seen cruel things, committed cruel things. She has already hurt, she knows what it is like. It is not your place to decide for her what she wants to do about you," he seemed miffed, and it echoed in his tone. "She is happy with you. I doubt that opinion would change because of hardship."
<div align=center>


Vira - Blizzard / Hisk - Berserk Fury
Vais


'Til we close our eyes for good.
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28 Oct 2017, 06:34 #27

There was fire in his eyes as his gaze snapped back up to Vais. “Just because someone has been cruel doesn’t mean they’re immune to cruelty, and just because they know what it’s like to hurt doesn’t mean they should keep hurting.” Cutting himself off, he rubbed a hand down his face with a groan, stopping before he got too intense. “I’m sorry. I do appreciate your help. This is challenging.”

He looked to Shadow, somewhat downcast.

Or maybe he was just exhausted. He couldn’t tell anymore. It was all bleeding together into one big negative pile.

“Maybe my head will be clearer in the morning. I should try to sleep, I think,” he said, somewhat apologetically back to Vais.
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