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Bad Fish

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Mist Gul
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:51 am    Post subject: Bad Fish Reply with quote

"Listen to me very carefully, Lewyn," Mist spoke clear and crisp, the warm gold of his gaze stern as he regarded a woebegone young male, "Anyone who knows you're a fae and insists on putting a decorative chain of iron bells around your waist is not your friend."

"But she was really smoking hot," the youth protested weakly.

"So are these burns," Mist retorted, flicking the bandaged wounds smartly. Lewyn groaned and tipped over, clinging to himself. His mother nodded in approval as she watched her idiot son.

"He'll be all right, Mrs. Conar. Just keep it clean, use the silver salve... here, you can take this jar home with you, but you can get it at any drug store or apothecary," Mist continued, picking up a cloth shopping bag and packing it neatly with bandages and other supplies. He paused and peered at the young man.

"You are the fifth boy I've seen in the past two weeks with these burns. Just who is this smoking hot girl that you're so willing to let damn near kill you?"

Lewyn gaped at Mist in horror.

"...She... I... But. No. Mom!" he stammered, and she exhaled, pressing fingertips to her brow.

"I have told you and told you and told you. You are fae, we are fae, cold iron can kill us. Particularly when it's made into bells and wrapped around your body."

"But that's stupid, Mom!" Lewyn complained, white faced.

"So is trying to ignore it and ending up in the emergency room and being very very lucky that they happened to have a mage on staff," his mother snapped, her features stressed and haggard despite her irritation. Lewyn hunkered, wings wilted down, and finally sighed.

"M'sorry Mom," he mumbled, "Uhm. I dunno. It's just this girl, she's really hot, she's a fae, too, so... I don't know what's going on."

"A fae girl is doing this?" Mist pressed, just as Mrs. Conar did, both regarding the boy oddly. He nodded, miserable. After a moment, he pulled out his phone and showed them a photo.

Mist drew back, brows knit, upper lip snagged. The hot fae girl in the photo was a hideous creature, lank and slick skinned, lamp like eyes, wide and yellowish, in a head lacking a nose and lips. Her mouth was open, hagfish jaws filled with needle like teeth and dripping slime.

She wore a 'Juicy' t-shirt over emaciated and filthy body.

Lewyn yelped and nearly threw the phone when he glanced to the image, horrified.

"Lewyn..." Mrs. Conar sighed, taking the phone from him and eying the terrible visage depicted.

"She was hot! She was so gorgeous! She had blue hair and purple eyes and ? not... this..."

"She's an unsidhe of some sort. Probably a river undine. An amoral fae, one of the darkness," Mrs. Conar explained, "And you didn't bother looking past her glamour, and here we are."

"Why would she be doing this to other fae?" Mist asked, frowning faintly. He took Lewyn's phone and ran his fingertips over the screen, too lightly to flick the image away.

"Why do humans do horrible things to each other?" Mrs. Conar replied, shaking her head, her shoulders lifting in a shrug, "Where did you see this girl last, Lewyn?"

"The skate park where the ambulance picked me up," he responded glumly. Mist nodded, thoughtful, before handing back the phone.

"You are grounded, young man, until you can prove to your father and I that you won't happily stick your head into a noose just because a pretty girl is holding it, not to mention spending much more time on glamours," Mrs. Conar scolded, though she hugged the boy tightly, struggling to keep from weeping. She did not like thinking how close she'd come to losing him.

"If you could get it around the other parents and children that this is happening, and talk to the local police..." Mist offered, finishing off the paperwork to release Lewyn, "I have a bad feeling about this. I am going to call the other boys that were attacked."

"Thank you," Mrs. Conar told him, earnest and quiet. Mist simply smiled and dipped his head, elegant and quiet before slipping from the room.
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Mist Gul
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Jacob Henderson Memorial Skatepark took up about a quarter of a city block, a masterwork of concrete, plywood, and steel sculpted into a shredder's paradise. Everything from the absolute novice to the radical aerialist found representation. Picnic tables, sun shades, a small multipurpose building with snack and parts shop, equipment rooms, and restrooms completed the space.

Teens flocked to the park weekends and after school, many anxiously waiting for the park caretaker to open up and loan out tools. Just as many swooped through the bowls and pipes and steps, practicing their moves or showing them off. It was lively and filled with teenage drama.

In point of fact, as Mist walked quietly for the park, a pretty little elf girl abruptly snatched up her books from a picnic table, woebegone, blue eyes limned in tears, lips pursed up and quivering. A toss of brown hair, and she whirled from the scene. She was sobbing by the time she got to Mist, and collided with him.

Mist crouched to pick up the scattered books, and suddenly had his arms full of woe and misery. A brow quirked as he continued to pick up the books, deftly shifting the girl to his side, then simply lifting her as if she was a little child.

She really was, he mused, head tilting as he took time to inspect the girl. Thirteen, fourteen, he could remember being that relative age. It wasn't that long ago. Not for him. A gentle finger brushed away a tear.

The girl bubbled out her troubles, clinging blindly to Mist, great gulping sobs punctuating her words. She so loved Isador, and everyone knew it and that new girl even said how cute Isador would be with her and she meant her and not her, and now the new girl had Isador just staring at her...

"What is her name?" Mist asked, lifting his gaze and looking the park over. The girl sniffled, wiping her face with her sleeve.

"Uhm. Beatrice. Maybe. She's said she's Mona, too." Spite stabbed through her voice for a moment.

"What does she look like?"

The girl started to speak, but paused, frowning.

"...I don't know. I... I thought she had red hair and brown skin and orange eyes but... I... I... We're not supposed to use glamor around friends and stuff, and not at school and... But..."

"Has she been going to your school?"

The girl's head shook slowly, her brows knitting.

"Aren't you taught to look through glamors?" Mist inquired, smiling faintly as the girl abruptly realized that she'd been picked up by a stranger. A very tall, very handsome, very gentle stranger, but still.

"Uhm... yes...?" she responded in a sheepish squeak, wincing. She stared fixedly at Mist's face, the glow of the runes and his eyes. The thick, long blond hair and tan skin. Isadore was suddenly a dim memory. She began construction of a whole new cloud castle, featuring this stranger.

"And are you usually running away in tears so thick you don't realize whom you..." Mist continued, only to stop, and swore softly under his breath in fluid Sindari.

"...I don't...?" she responded, doleful, utterly enchanted by this random prince charming. Mist's lips pressed together, silently casting a spell in a wide radius around himself and the girl. It rushed off of him in a silent, invisible wave of energy in a widening radius.

Several pings answered the questing. Three sobbing girls had run that way in the past several days, each abruptly ceasing their woe within forty feet. Mist turned a slow circle, head tilted.

Nothing worth attention came to his mind, but that stopped him. There should be much worth attention, there had been magic done near that spot at least thrice. Mist closed his eyes for a heart's beat, then looked once more.

A spindly creature leaned, overlong arms folded over sunken chest, to a light pole outside of the park perimeter. Mist tipped his gaze back to the girl, who still gazed at him in adoration.

"This girl, Beatrice, Mona, was she your friend? Close to you? A few girls, perhaps?" he asked thoughtfully. The girl nodded, shrugging. That all was ceasing to matter at all to her.

"Yeah, but know we just met her, it's not like she's my best friend or anything."

"Are some of your girlfriends missing?"

She startled faintly.

"...Yeah, Asphodel and Mimi and Sarita, but it's no big deal, they're just um. Uhm. I mean their parents are all freaked out but..."

Mist frowned faintly, taking out his phone. He quickly found the stories, but they were buried and unimportant. Asphodel Winiree disappeared after school, her friends were all certain she had willingly left with her estranged father. Mimi Gateson had run off to be with her internet boyfriend, and had sent a message saying she hated her abusive parents. Sarita Rosaree simply abandoned the group home where she lived. She had a record of running away.

"Ye's Mist Silhaeven?"

Mist startled faintly and turned to regard a dark haired and skinned woman, finding himself pinned by argent eyes as bright as his own. The girl squeaked faintly and stared, as well.

"...Yes, I am," he responded slowly, taking the woman in. Half elf, half human, he was certain, but of what breed, he hadn't a clue. She was five and half feet in height, and seemed taller. Her hair was a river of bone straight black taken up in an untidy ponytail.

"I be Halcyon Waterspout, actin' detective for th' Guard. T'were told ye'd sent word o' a few lads burnt by a rogue fae. And bein' as ye's about the only other'n concern't about this other than the families o' the boys, I be thinkin' I'd best be speakin' with ye."

Mist stared at the woman as the girl did, wide eyed and not terrifically comprehending of the woman's accent.

Halcyon regarded them flatly.

"Tell me what you know about the boys burned by the rogue fae please, I am an officer of the Guard," she repeated, slowly and clearly. A moment later, irritation flashed across her impassive features. She withdrew a small leather case and displayed both identification and a badge. Mist glanced to it, then nodded.

"...I haven't heard an accent like yours in a long while," he apologized lamely, "And I was afraid of that. A fae, I am told probably a river undine, evil or amoral, has been attacking young fae boys and girls."

"Ye mean the three missing girls," Halcyon asked, a frown fleeting over her features. While Mist nodded, the girl sputtered, flushing, and desperately trying to take Mist's attention from the paladin.

"No, no, it's not that, I mean, they're all okay, they just... ran away."

"This one would have been next," Mist spoke softly, turning to cast a gaze upon the lanky creature leaning to a light pole nearby. Halcyon glanced to the being as well, absent as if she hadn't seen it, but turned a nearly imperceptible nod to Mist.

"The female doing this seems to have an immense power of glamor," he added a moment later, "Even these children, who have been taught to deal with glamor, are blind to what she is until they see a photo of her."

"Which means we has plenty of witnesses, and nay one that can say what happened," Halcyon murmured, "And I already be in trouble for reducin' the population o' *****."

"The glamor must be removed," Mist decided with a slight shrug. He finally set the girl down onto her feet, but held onto her arm, pushing her a step towards Halcyon.

"Keep hold on her, she was supposed to go running into the loving arms of a beautiful young man who would take her away from all this, and he is still standing there waiting."

"Nay, she has done that arready, ye silly git," Halcyon chuckled softly. Mist paused and stared at the woman in dismay, only to look again at the girl. He groaned, dropping his face into his hand, shoulders slumping.

"Bah, I'd think ye'd be used to it, ye's pretty enough," Halcyon noted, amused. The girl huffed at her, outraged.

"It's not glamor, I'd know if it was, we all know how to deal with glamor!"

"Mmhm. Meantime, m'lass, I shall be takin' ye home. What be ye name?"

The girl pulled at Halcyon's grip to find it was steel under a gentle seeming.

"...Freesia Humblebee."

"Freesia. Ye has a choice. Ye may walk away with me dignified like a lady, or, unconscious over me shoulder. Which shall it be?" Halcyon queried, polite. Freesia gaped at the woman. After a moment's thought, gauging the steel in the silver, Freesia sighed and nodded. She would walk like a lady.
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Mist Gul
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mist paced the perimeter of the skate park, silent, thoughtful, unobserved. Despite how flashy a blond he was, how beautiful, how bright the runes on his face and body were, he had ways to dim his appearance.

There were layers on layers of spells and wards on the park, preventing injury, abduction, violence, which explained well enough why the girls were sent running away from the park. They couldn't be taken from the park. It was why the boys were enticed to put the chains on themselves. Teenaged drama was free to run rampant in within the confines of the boundaries.

A pleasant featured fae man oversaw the small community center and shop housed within a comfortable and plain rectangular building. He loaned out tools, sold parts, drinks and snacks. He gave mechanical advice and kept the bathrooms clean. He rented out the various picnic areas and the community center for parties, he hired kids on to help out.

A freezing rain began to fall as Mist walked. He changed course and cut through the park, stopping in the shelter of one of the picnic areas to watch the group of kids vying for Beatrice's attention. At first, they huddled together. Then, one by one, the kids fled for their homes.

Except for her. Beatrice, Mona, whatever she called herself. Mist watched her coolly.

"Oh, look, Trampzilla's admiration society abandoned her."

Mist quirked a brow and picked out a pair of young troll girls walking, their pace determined, through the icy rain. One sneered, tossing fashionably fat curls of raging purple hair over her shoulders.

"I can't even tell what they see in her, she's nasty scrawny and she's so ugly, not even an orc boy would look at her."

"Glamour," the pair chorused, disgusted, the first one snorting "Lame" a moment later.

"My brother nearly yanked her head off the other day, said she was doing this freak dance around his band mate, Lew, and next thing he knows, Lew's all wound up in iron and junk, and screaming in pain, so he had to help Lew and let the trash ho go," the purpled haired girl sniffed, tossing her head once more.

"We should bash in her head. Cept we'd get trash ho brains all over us, and euw."

"Yeah, and worse, we'd get kicked out of the park. Like when Mazy tried to punch that skeezy bitch last year."

"Actually, all we have to do is wait, she'll slither down her little scum hole since there's no one here to fawn over her, and then plug up the drain," the other pointed out reasonably.

"O-M-G, Ygra, you're a genius," the purple haired girl hissed, widening cobalt eyes.

Mist's brows knit as he ease dropped on the girls. His gaze flicked over to Beatrice once more. She was obviously in an ill temper. She got to her feet and waved at the male being leaning to the post, and he responded with a shrug. She stared at him, and he shrugged again.

Agitated, Beatrice shook her fists at the male, and he simply shook his head and walked across the street, vanishing into an alleyway. Beatrice turned, aggravation clear in every movement, and walked to a low spot in the grass.

It had been a drain, Mist could tell, but a small artesian well had overcome it, creating a muddy, stagnant puddle around the original drain pipe. As he watched, Beatrice slithered down into the pipe. Moments later, the pair of troll girls hurried over to the drain.

Ygra cheerfully clamped the iron pipe closed with a grip of her hand and push of shoe to the side of the metal.

"Say, this is iron. Why doesn't it bother her?" the other girl wondered, "And she was carrying that chain around, too?"

"Duh, Heidi. Not all fae are affected by the same things," Ygra scoffed, "But she sure knows what hurts our fae. But the moment I say anything about sweet lovely beautiful speshul snowflake Mimi, or whatever her name is today, they all get huffy and pissy and we're racist and crap."

"Ugh, I know. And what is it with her and names?" Heidi shuddered. Ygra started to speak, then paused, narrowing her bright orange eyes.

"That's probably her thing. Her name. Like some of the old gods, if you know their right name in the right place, they have to obey you."

"Then maybe we should get together with Recktal and Blaise and have a little chat with Tramperella once the fae have gone home," Heidi purred, cracking her knuckles slowly and carefully.

"Yeah, but I don't want our friends hating on us because they can't help but to see her as pretty polly perfect," Ygra exhaled, "It's just like Darlene and her baby. If you don't help Darlene out of her stupidity, the baby suffers, and no one wants to call CPS on her."

"Who's going to believe us, anyhow? The cops don't care. Their parents care right up until they lay eyes on her, then we're just mean, spiteful little troll girls," Heidi exhaled, sagging, "Come on, let's get home, I'm freezing."

Mist tilted his head and slowly paced after the girls. He stopped at the drain and knelt, holding his hand over the morass and newly clamped pipe.

A pair of pale and filthy arms reached up out of the mud in a splattering of ice and muck, seizing Mist's hand. It yanked him under, into the puddle, with scarcely a yelp of protest.
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Mist Gul
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wasn't easy to take Mist off guard when he was on guard, and he almost respected his assailant for managing that. Almost. He found himself falling, and hit the moss and slime slick concrete sewer caisson under the defunct drain.

He was up in an instant, runes flaring brilliantly, but the words of a dark banishment poised on his lips fell still as he found himself staring at the most miserable creature he could remember seeing outside of his own mirror.

About three feet in height, twisted, misshapen, broken. It was a humanoid of some sort, with ratted dreadlocks, an eye squeezed shut with infection, red and angry. Its legs were bowed bizarrely and wrapped closely in rags. An old chain leash was embedded in the flesh around its waist, the other end fastened to a padlock on an iron bar of the ladder leading down into the caisson.

"Please please not be mad, please please, help Doofy," it appealed, prostrating itself before the tall elf. Mist straightened, and found his head knocking to the roof of the concrete vault. He frowned and dropped to a crouch, inspecting the strange little being.

"Why did you bring me here?" he asked quietly, glancing up as his voice echoed. Oddly, Doofy's voice did not.

"To help, please, please, please!" Doofy entreated, hands knotted into fists, curled close to its chest. Tears spilled over its one good eye. Mist nodded, looking around once more.

"Explain why you're here, and we'll see what can be done," he responded. Doofy exhaled, half in resignation, half in dim hope.

"This not my place. Not my woods, not my home, not nothing. They made Doofy come do work for them, for years and years and years. Doofy wants to go home. Doofy was foolish, Doofy agreed to pretty shiny lady and look. Look. Broken and sick and starving."

"What work are you doing?" Mist asked, head tilting as he gauged the strange creature. It pointed upwards.

"Silly troll girls think She goes through drain. No. Drain is only marking place for me. I make the waters come there. And She goes through the waters."

"Who is She?"

Doofy shook its head, miserably rubbing at its swollen eye. It shrugged its shoulders.

"Don't know. Blah blah blah big words and important things and Doofy is just water nix. Fae should be fae, fae should be fae, and Doofy just wants to go home."

Mist grimaced faintly, regarding the nix.

"Where is home?"

After a moment, an exhalation all but collapsing its chest, Doofy shook its head.

"Don't know. Don't remember. Whole other life, Doofy was happy singing swimming and sporting in clean clear water. Now, dirty sewage filth and pain."

Mist considered for a long while, silent and still. He couldn't leave the wretched creature there. He couldn't pass by its pain. Yet this was the one place where he knew he could find the unsidhe girl.

He glanced to the roof of the caisson. It was cracked through, the concrete colonized fully with mold and lichen. There must have always been an artesian well there, particularly since a full sized drainage vault had been sunk to contain it.

"Come on. I can't leave you here," Mist admitted with a wry flicker of smile. Doofy stared at him, biting on its lower lip. It flicked its gaze sidewise.

It was enough. Mist reacted, snarling out an aversion spell, the words somehow sounding elegant from his lips.

The results were hardly pretty. A cacophony of sound echoed relentlessly through the caisson, diesel powered howling, a madding siren. Heat etched itself into the cement, crisping the lichen, broiling away everything organic, accompanied by blinding strobes of ugly yellow and pink light.

Mist snatched up the nix, breaking the chain in a single movement, and vanished.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halcyon examined the mess the next day. The night before, a few hours worth of screaming, hysterical ? eel-like humanoids had come swarming out of the street drains when she led a small crew of likely sorts to find Mist.

The mage was supposed to have met her to discuss the kidnappings and attacks, but he'd never shown. He'd sent her a message saying he would be there after a walk through the skate park. That was the first place to look, clearly.

Trish was a young, eager young lass who inevitably reminded Halcyon of Kirha, minus the overpowered machinery and weapons. There was a charming naivety to her smile and movements, which nearly completely hid the competence and skills underlaying.

Icer was a well meaning but ditzy haus frau of a dragon, but one could not dismiss the dragon part of the equation. She came along intending to find her friend. Halcyon was entirely fine with that.

Roni arrived, joining up with the small group as she wandered towards the inn. Once she heard they were looking for Mist, she was all in. She was a small and intense thing to Halcyon's eye, likely much more ferocious in defending her loved ones than herself.

In all, it pleased Halcyon to have such a group. She always had wanted her very own squad of Amazons.

Icer and Trish had spotted the mage, laying unconscious in a mess of rubble and icy muck some twenty feet from a blown open sewer drain. Splattered around him in various states of cohesion were dark, oily creatures, foul smelling and somewhat humanoid.

Mist had with him, protecting it, it seemed like, a small fae in horrible shape. Icer and Trish quickly worked to free the elf and fae from the wreckage, well aware of dozens of huge hot eyes glaring at them from the open sewers.

Halcyon waited with Stupid and Roni, watching several more of the eerie creatures, attenuated and gleaming with slime, pulled from the drains to shamble for them. They couldn't attack from the park, but getting trapped in a little bit of enchanted land in the middle of a pack of unseelie was not Halcyon's cup of joe.

In any case, she didn't earn the title of Paladin because she looked damn good in silver armor. She called out a challenge, and nodded faintly when it was ignored. So Be It.

Trish swore to herself as she saw the arriving eel-people. Using Stupid for some cover, she changed forms, from laughing twenty something human to a furred, fanged fury of a big cat. Icer lashed out viciously as she struggled to get Mist to Stupid's wide back, then Roni dashed in, more dextrous with her hands. She stared at the oncoming horrors, drawing her own pistol rather than to take the one Halcyon offered.

Once the elf and little fae were aboard, Stupid surged back to his hooves, and began a ponderous march right through the ranks of the eel people. The attack was quick and brutal. The eel-people hadn't expected any sort of resistance, perhaps a few bored paramedics, and instead faced a small group of warriors who had no intention of backing down.

The creatures looked like they belonged in some foggy upstate inn, quietly draining their sanity to sleeping gods. Trish eyed one as Halcyon offered some belated introductions around.

Roni, Stupid, Icer, Halcyon, Mist, unknown fae, and ? Kitten McCatface.

Trish could only stare at the Paladin. Kitten. McCatface.

Halcyon shrugged slightly. She knew enough weres to know that most were fairly protective of their furry alter egos. Trish sighed. Kitten McCatface it was, then.

As they walked away, returning to the inn while Halcyon lugged Mist and the little fae off to the Emergency room, the eel-people began to erode. They dissolved slowly into black puddles of ooze which the morning sun burned away.

(Adapted from live play with Roni, Trish Cromwell, Mist Gul, and Icer1976 because I am too lazy to transcribe the log. Thank you all!)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When Halcyon had told Trish that Larkspur was going to 'dream her sister back', she almost hadn't believed the paladin. There were more things in Rhydin, it seemed, that were dreamt of in Trish's philosophy. No puns intended.

It had been sheer luck for her to catch up with Mist and Roni later in the week--not that they hadn't planned a spaghetti night, but this preceded that, and information was what she needed. Of course, underlying everything was the burning need to protect her student! At the Red Dragon, they sat and compared notes. Not that Trish liked any of it.

"Wait. The girl's a dream dancer?" Roni asked as Trish mentioned it. Curiosity burned in her drowning black eyes, as she waved for Mist to join them. The elf made graceful movements through the others gathered, and joined them at the bar. The fae continued.

"Do you think her mother would talk to another dream dancer about it?" Up go both brows, and the question was followed by a sip of cocoa. "I'd be willing to help if it mean finding a child. I kinda find people for a living." She paused. "Or I could step in and try to find her so the girl doesn't.

For the moment, Mist eavesdropped shamelessly, though he had greeted both Trish and Roni, and Icer as well. Really, the dragon was eavesdropping too, to judge by how she stayed close by. Roni handed Trish a card. "You're a P.I., too? That might help, the Winirees seem to think I don't have much cause to be sticking my nose into this." Trish snorted a little at that. "But dream dancing out of a five year old has 'bad idea' written all over it.


"Trish's student is a dream dancer. But she's not trained," Roni explained to Mist. The corners of the elf's mouth turned down, and concern entered his usually cheerful golden eyes. "Oh dear," he said. "Hopefully her mother will speak to Roni..."

"Yeah, that's what I'm hoping," Trish said, groaning. "And she could help find the others, perhaps," the elf added.

"Other girls?" Icer asked.

"There are three girls missing." Mist glanced over at Trish, then. "Hopefully they will let you. Children are stubborn, she'll keep trying until something happens."

"You're telling me," muttered Trish.

"Three? You mean includin' the case that came to me last week?" Roni asked, now, looking between the others.

"Another case came to you? I've got... Uhm. Just a moment." he leaned lightly to the bar and withdrew his phone, flicking through the screens. "Asphodel Wineree, supposedly left with her father. She hates her father. Mimi Gateson ran away to be with her internet boyfriend, who doesn't seem to exist. And Sarita Rosaree who ran away from her group home despite a pending adoption." He shrugged a bit to Icer. "It was in the newspapers, but few seem interested in it."

Trish shook her head, then. "I don't know the others, but Asphodel would never have left with her dad. We've got a no-contact order on file for him with Larkspur. He's not her actual biological father, but her mom wanted it, just in case." Because the guy was a sicko. A scientific bent, sure, but when it extended to his own kids...or any kids, even. Sometimes that sort of thing was fine, when it was needed and all above board, but...suffice it to say, it hadn't been.

"I could check when I return to patrolling, " Icer said.

"Those are the same girls," he nodded to Trish, then exhaled softly, frowning. "I have -- yes, cult, more or less," A nod to Alea, "Actually, terrorists. From what I could understand from Doofy, the ondine that had enslaved him wants fae to remain pure blooded fae, and those who are not should die, and those who do not agree with her should also die. All of the boys she's tried to kill, each of them was pure blooded, but they all are friendly or more with kids who aren't fae."

"Like some of the girls you named, too." Another mutter. There were more and more twists and turns, but something Mist said made Trish scowl again, thinking of something that Larkspur had said. "Mist, Lark said that she dreamt of Asphodel being excited about being married, but that Lark couldn't see a groom. You mentioned a cult..." It turned her stomach. "Do you think she might be a sacrifice to something?"

Also, the fact that this whackjob ondine had named that poor water nix 'Doofy' made Trish pretty mad, too.

"We're trying to find a safe space for him," Mist said. "And think up a better name, too." Which mollified her, a little.

"You could use my help," Roni offered. Not that anyone seemed likely to turn her down, either.

"The kids line up at 8:30, school starts at 9. I can loiter outside and try to get her mom to talk to you, assuming they don't send Sunny to bring Larkspur to school." Sunny was Larkspur's older brother. Middle child, between her and Asphodel. He often frequented the skate park, too. Who knew what the ondine thought about him?

"Okay," Roni said, nodding in agreement. "I'll be there and do my best to talk to 'em." Trish nodded. With that, the discussion turned to other things.

Trish wasn't sure how much success Roni had had with either Mrs. Winiree herself, or Larkspur, so when the administration day rolled around, Trish made her way to their brownstone to chat with Lark once again. She was more than a little concerned--she knew how precocious Lark was. She was seriously trying to keep her student out of trouble! Not that Trish didn't understand, deeply, how much Larkspur cared for her sister and wanted to help her.

She'd never had a sibling, herself, but Trish imagined that it was a hell of a lot like what she felt for each and every student of hers, past, present, and future.

The little blue-and-purple-haired girl kept rubbing chubby fists in her eyes, and stamping her feet--prelude to another tantrum, probably--but Trish had her phone out. She showed Larkspur Roni's picture again, the one attached to the detective's phone number, and leaned down to look in Larkspur's vivid golden eyes. She tousled the girl's hair a little, and smiled. "Listen. I'm not saying don't do it at all. You remember Miss Macaroni? I told her to help you. I just don't want anything bad to happen to you, just like you don't want to have anything bad happen to Asphodel, okay?"

It didn't surprise Trish at all that her five-year-old student gave her a hard, narrowed-eyed look before she spoke in piping tones and nodded. "Okay. Yeah, I remember. I know. You're helping. No one else wants to!" Which...wasn't entirely accurate, Trish knew, but try telling that to a kid. Lark stomped a foot again, but Trish reached out to give her a hug, trying not to show how upset she was, too. There were already tears threatening from Lark herself. Ones that turned into fat droplets that wet the teaching assistant's shoulder.
"I know, baby. I'm doing everything I can, just like I promised you."

The girl's mother poked her head out of their door. "I'd like her to come in, now, Miss Cromwell. Thank you for all your help, though." It was fairly clear that despite everything, the fae woman didn't trust Trish nearly as much as her daughter did. That was life, though. There was some reluctance on both their parts to disengage, but "You know I'll see you tomorrow at school, Lark." A pause. "Well, if we have school, that storm hasn't shown yet, but it might. We'll see what happens." Tousling those naturally ombre curls, and releasing the child to her mother as she stood.

She'd have to get in touch with Halcyon again. The sooner the better.

(With thanks to Mist Gul, The Halcyon, Roni, and Icer1978, and an honorable mention to Alea!)
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Mist Gul
Young Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trish hadn't really wanted to tell Larkspur's mother about her daughter's prospective dream dancing talents. It wasn't as if she'd pinky sworn or anything, but it was pretty clear the five year old had gotten it into her head that she was going to save Asphodel, thank you.

Juniper Winiree scowled at the slightly-taller Trish, and it managed to make the teacher duck her head a little. Not worried, per se, but a bit chagrined, perhaps? Meanwhile, Larkspur glared up at Trish.

"It was for your safety! Besides, if something bad happened to you, I can't get you medical help. Your mom can," Trish entreated. Even though Mist was there, and he was medically inclined, cover your ass was Dad's best advice. "And you remember Miss Macaroni."

Mist was there, and was quiet, just watching and listening. Larkspur huffed, and shot a scowly face to Roni, or, tried to. Miss Macaroni! It was just a smile away. She had met the fae woman at school, and been chattering about her for days. Larkspur turned a wide smile to her mother, Juniper.

It had been long, terrifying days and nights for Juniper. For years, she had thought she had finally escaped her first mate. Husband, but she hadn't chosen the man. She had been forced to marry him by virtue of some stupid old world custom. All she was, and worse, the children she bore to him, to him was test animals. But she had escaped, given real lifes to her children. And then... Just like that, Asphodel was gone.

But no one was willing to help them. Except...

If Juniper was going to respond to anyone, it would be Trish or Roni.
"This is Mist, by the way. He's a nurse practicioner at...uh, I forget which clinic," Trish added, indicating the elf. Juniper, for her part, seemed rather unimpressed, lips pressed in a thin line. She had stepped in front of her five-year-old daughter and just watched the curious trio from eyes the same color as her daughter's.
"South Side," he supplied quietly.
"Yup. Miss Macaroni! Here and present. Would you be less grumpy if I offered you a lollipop?" Roni cheered as she pushed her way beside Trish. Kids liked candy, so she was definitely one to be prepared. She took a couple steps closer then got down on her knees so she was level with Larkspur.
"If it helps, I know what you do with your dreams, yes? You want to find your sister." As she spoke, she produced a small bag filled with candy, and pulled a lollipop out to offer to the kiddo. "I find people with my dreams as well. I do it with part of my job sometimes, or in case I need to contact someone and have no other way to do so." Pause. "It is a useful gift."
What five-year-old wouldn't be interested in a sweet? Larkspur took the lollipop--but she didn't eat it yet. At least her mother gave her a nod. Ostensibly, all three of these individuals, strange though they might be (but only Mist a real 'stranger') were authority figures, and Trish especially had a vested interest in Larkspur's safety. It made Juniper soften, if only for a fraction.
"She keeps talking about Asphodel, and I am really at wits' end..." With both her child and the lack of care from the police. "She said that you dream dance, also?"
"Yeah, mama! I've dreamed her. Once or twice." Maybe more, even, but Larkspur liked secrets. Like most of her kind.
Mist watched, quiet, but he smiled now and then, and tried not to loom. His height could be intimidating, but he really wasn't. He looked Lark over thoughtfully. The poor Mom looked to be at her wits end, certainly.

"And That's why I do the things I do. Too many get pushed aside and forgotten by the Watch. The city's ever constant swirl of chaos. I like to help those that fall through the cracks or get pushed aside. They're just as important as the rest," Roni offered, quieter and serious, lifting her gaze to Juniper as she spoke. She could see the pain there, then the agreement. She lowered her attention back to Larkspur.
"Do you think we can dream together, and find your sister? I wanna bring her home, and I want to keep you safe in the process of finding her." As she spoke, she plucked a jawbreaker out of the bag of candy. The wrapper crinkled noisily as she popped it out and into her mouth.
"I want to, but..." Larkspur looked up at Juniper. Mom was still frowning, but really, it was less anguished and more resigned, now.
"You won't be alone. I'm not sure if I trust this, but..." Trish offered, lame but brave. Unspoken, there was a medic and Roni was someone Trish knew, and seemed to trust, and really, what better chance did she have to get Asphodel back? Her choices were limited. Juniper nodded, opening the door to their brownstone to let the unlikely trio in. Larkspur skipped ahead to their living room.
"I'll make sure they're all right," Mist confirmed with a flicker of smile. He'd brought his medical bag, but he expected to need to use his powers more than the stethoscope.
"That means Miss MacaRoni gets the couch!"
Trish couldn't help a giggle at that, Mist chuckled. Roni tossed her head. Sofas were just fine!
"I get the couch? Sweet! I love couches. And snacks. Should I have maybe brought a blanket? I didn't think about that." Animatedly, before she was scrambling to her feet, and with Juniper's allowance, moving to step inside. She paused, and though she didn't touch the woman, her fingers hovered by her shoulder.
"I will protect her fiercely, like I would my family." Soft words followed by a flicker of a smile. Then she continued on to scramble through the door way and follow Larkspur, like she hadn't said a thing. She knew words didn't mean much, but she hoped the woman saw some truth in them.
Juniper didn't say anything, no, but her eyes warmed, perhaps, a tiny bit. Trish just headed in after the others, closing the door behind and gesturing Larkspur's mother ahead. Technically, she wasn't needed. Just moral support, such as it was.
Larkspur just laughed, high and piping and sweet. To her, this was just a big adventure.
"I'll make some hot chocolate. Maybe that will calm you down." Juniper decided, amused as she shooed her daughter ahead of her, June preceded Trish into the kitchen.
It was a sleepover! One slightly more nerve wracking than the usual. Mist hung back, quietly pacing around the house. Setting heavy wards around it. He paused at each window, each door to trace a pattern in the air, whispering, then touching at the mandala on his chest. Carefully sealing the home away from anyone to enter without permission, and effectively making it invisible to anyone seeking for it.
Soon the scent of cocoa was perfuming the air. Trish only asked for a half cup--clearly she was aware of certain fae hospitality standards, but she didn't need the soothing qualities of hot milk, because she wasn't going to be sleeping.
Or so she hoped. Larkspur didn't need to be told to drink hers, either. Despite the sugar and chocolate, the child soon needed to be carried to bed. Probably due to all the excitement!
Sleepovers were awesome. Or at least Roni tried to keep them that way. She had instructed the girl to seek her out first, and from her dreams, they would press on. Roni also came prepared for herself.

Sleep was always a fleeting thing for her, and never something that came willingly. There was a small vial produced and poured in her cocoa. It gurgled once, then produced a puff of blue smoke, before she made busy drinking it.

It was something of a sleep aid... or at least it appeared to be one, because not much more than 15 minutes pass, before she sprawled on the couch, and sleep was creeping, creeping up, and washing over her in a wave. Sleep claimed her, and dragged her down, not to the pull and tug of other's consciousness, but into the realm of her own design.

There were flashing lights, and pressing bodies. She was on a stage, dancing... Then she stopped. The music died with a whine, the lights flashed on, and stayed that way. This wasn't right, wasn't appropriate for the girl coming to find her. A moment of concentration has the color bleeding from everything, until her dreamscape was nothing but stark sterile white... Then... Then she waited.

Ching ching ching. The noise was quiet, gentle, and rhythmic. Larkspur must have seen one of the 'dragons' from the Lunar New Year festival, because there was one made of light guiding the little girl. She had one petite hand clasped in its mane, letting it tug her along until they were right there.

"He guided me here!" Larkspur was both quite happy with herself, and proud that she'd made a guardian and guide. But now he was no longer needed, and so her 'dragon' simply swirled away into a wispy blink of light, and then was gone. Roni was left with a petite, golden-eyed girl with blue-and-purple ombred hair, clad in only a nightgown.

"Hello there lovely," Roni greeted the girl warmly, before her eyes danced over the the dragon-lion that had brought her, "He did a wonderful job at leading you here, he has my warmest thanks." She smiled, and watched, abyssal hues bright as the dragon dissipated into nothing. A moment passed, before she offered out her hand. "Shall we go and find your sister now?"

"Yes please!" Offering a chubby hand up to Roni. Trish trusted her, and Larkspur trusted Trish, so why not? It all worked out to the child.

That was a lot of trust being put on her. Trust Roni truthfully wasn't certain that she deserved, but she was going to do her damned hardest to prove herself. With a deep breath, she reached out to take Larkspur's little pudgy fingers in hers. "How did you find her last time? Or did that just happen?"

Larkspur's face screwed up.

"I just kind of wanted to, really bad. I didn't think anyone was doin' anything, and..." Her lower lip quivered, but she didn't give in to tears, at least. Lark just stamped a foot encased in a Paw Patrol slipper. "I just felt I could do it. And I did!"

"Oh. Well." Roni paused, pursing her lips. "Do you think you could do it again, but with both of us this time? I don't wanna push ya too much. Or should I show you my way of finding people in dreams? Teach you something new, dream dancer to dreamdancer?"

Larkspur's eyes got wide at that, and she nodded.

"Show me! Rhydin is so big, and I don't always know places to say where they are. I might be able to find her with both of us, but I want to learn how you do it too!"

"Okay! So. Bear with me, because like I've never ever taught anyone anything like this, so I might suck." There's a pause, before she started to shift and drop down to the floor, where she could sit, legs crossed. "Sit with me. So. Your dragon friend found me, yeah? We're gonna do the same for your sister. It's all in focusing on more than just what's here."

A wide gesture swung out to encase the dreamscape around them, as bleak as it was currently. "You focus on the more, and there you find the dreams and minds of those everywhere else here that is dreamin'." She was slow with her explaining, watching the girl to see if anything was sticking.

Larkspur was still wide-eyed, and listening. Trish had said Larkspur was one of her smarter kids, and it paid out here. Nodding vehemently, Larkspur said: "It was real easy to tell when Sunny and Momma and Daddy were, and Asphodel when she was here--that's why it was easy to find her the first time, I think. My dragon-lion friend doesn't always help me, but he's easy to see."

Because he was brilliant rose gold and looked like he was made of light, when he was around.

"Yes! Good. You do understand what I'm talking about. Good. See that more is where you're gonna find her, but you gotta push until you find that familiar feeling." There's a pause, and a curious look. "Your dragon-lion friend helps?"

"I dreamed him and he comes when I need him. Mostly when I ask him to. I dunno what he does other times." Though she looked a little shifty at that. She might know. She might not. Trish might have mentioned that Larkspur liked to test her limits a little bit, too. This was definitely a part of that.

"Uh-huh." Roni picked up on stuff like that, and she squinted at the girl. "I think you are a lot like me in knowing many things you shouldn't. Or claiming to not know them." Simply spoken, along with a touch of a smile. "You think you can find your sister my way? We can go together, and I can make sure we stay safe."

"I can try!" Squinching up her face and narrowing her eyes, clearly this was a part of the 'pushing' until she found a familiar feeling. Or a familiar mind, in this case. But Larkspur was frowning. "She's really far away. Just like a little whisper."

In the distance, something shimmered rosy-gold. Larkspur caught up her breath with a gleeful shout, grabbing Roni's hand.

"Come on!" Larkspur was taking Roni to find her sister!

The lion-dragon's glow was an unexpected thing. Darkling forms moved away from it. Maybe Larkspur's friend knew more than she did. In the clearing way, her sister's mind was brighter, calling out. Come, come little sister, come... And somehow, there was a dark chord to that cheerful loving call.

Roni didn't hesitate. Larkspur grabbed her hand, then she was on her feet, and going, going, drifting towards something. Larkspur led the way, she followed, as for now it was all she could do. That, and keep a tight grasp on that little hand of hers.

Landmarks swam into view. A row of tenement houses, painted blue and yellow, recently rehabilitated. A big green rail car turned into a cafe. A field. And in the field, a little Greco-Roman temple, pillars holding up a dome, dolphins on the very top. Come, come closer, come closer...

As they made it to the field, Larkspur's lion friend barred their way, wrapping around them both over and over.

That alone stopped Roni short. Even if the dragon-lion was but a figment of a bigger dream, and not entirely hers, Larkspur trusted him. Larkspur nearly bumped into Roni's legs, and frowned, lower lip trembling again.

"She's in there. But he doesn't want us to go in. Why? Why??" she scuffed a foot at the lion, almost a kick, but not quite.

"Because maybe it is not safe. He keeps you safe, does he not?" Roni murmured, turning and reaching out a hand to steady the child, even though it was not truly needed. "Keeping you safe is the most important thing. If he will let me go, I will. But perhaps it is best you stay here with him."

Roni's eyes narrowed as she took note of all she saw. Often, real things stood among the dream scenes, and it seemed likely that those houses, the rail car, and the temple, all were real.

So very very very pretty, a dryad manifested some twenty feet beyond the dragon-lion's boundary. Golden curls spilled over tanned shoulders, eyes of purest blue shimmered, rosy lips curved into an inviting smile. Clad in shifting hues of water, she gestured them to her. Dragon-lion was not having Larkspur go a step further, but Roni was free to move.

Larkspur didn't let Roni's hand go. Not just yet.

"I don't like it. Noooo," Larkspur scowled a bit at the oh-so-pretty dryad. She was not familiar. Nor was she Asphodel. This wasn't right! The child stamped a foot, and sat down. Not quite a prelude to a full-blown tantrum yet, but it was close.

"I will find out what is wrong. This is why I came, yes? In case such complications came up," Roni murmured warmly, though she watched the dryad keenly. She paused, and shifted down to a knee and pulled Larkspur into a hug.

"Larkspur." She sounded serious, and abyssal hues dropped to find her. "I need you to be strong, and not fall apart, yes? Your sister needs that too. Can you be strong for us?"

That little flare of anger seemed to push back the pretty Dryad. Oh. Oh. How sad. How sad. Poor little girl. She should comfort that darling child. All smiles and hands outstretched.

The dragon-lion stood above the child, though it didn't move or even make a sound. Teeth bared, however. Oh yes, come closer! To claws that tear, and teeth that bite!

Larkspur rubbed her eyes as Roni hugged her. And she sniffled, a little. "I can try. Asphodel needs to come home."

"Exactly. And in order for that to happen, you have to be strong. We are so close." Roni pressed a kiss to Larkspur's forehead, then slowly started to untangle from her. "Be strong, so we all can be proud."

And then Roni stepped away. She made her way up alongside the Dragon-lion, a hand out to brush along his side. Keep Her safe, keep her safe.. Urged thoughts, conveyed in a touch, before she was stepping away from even the dragon-lion.

Thin fingers collected a blade of grass, which seemed to soly be for the purpose of something to fiddle with. Her midnight hues landed on the Dryad, before her steps finally slowed, and came to a stop. Her head canted to the side. The creature was not a figment of the dream, but another being, another consciousness.

"Why are you here? You are not the one we seek."

The dryad was all appealing smiles and moues, ever in motion, hands, hips, feet shifting and swaying gracefully. Her lashes batted, her smile deepened into dimples, her voice when she spoke was dulcet, honied, and flowing. Gesturing them closer, closer, closer.

The only snag was that the lion refused, and little Larkspur was willful, and who was this dark witch? The dryad smiled smoothly through those snags.

"I will lead you to Asphodel. I will lead you. Asphodel will be happy. I will lead you and we will be happy." her voice kept repeating, echoing, soothing and more, hypnotic. Her gaze bored into Roni's.
Willful, indeed, little Larkspur!

"I don't know you, and Mama said to not talk to strangers!" the child barked. There was a lot of 'I don't like you!' in her tone, and anger as well. If there was a rock near to hand, she'd pick it up and fling it, but Larkspur was only five, and the missile would probably miss.

Honeyed words and smooth tones were things that the fae were familiar with. Body movements that were all too distracting. There's a touch of a frown on Roni's features. There's always that natural allure that hums with fae. Ever so slowly there is a bird-like tilt of her head.

"Yes? You will show me. I am excited to see her. " Simply.

"Yes, come, come to me, we will run to her and you see her, come with me, come, and we'll see..." over and over, she drifted a bit closer, her hands outstretched. All so sweet, so innocent. Just wanted to help. That's what fae did, didn't they? In all of the nice fairy tales. They helped. They were sweet and pretty and so very kind. Always helping girls kidnapped by wicked people return to their families...

"Don't you dare touch me," Roni announced flatly, "You can help by just leading the way. Please, pardon my frankness. But I am always wary, lovely, always, always. To many times bitten." There's a casual wave of that blade of grass she had plucked her way. "Nothing against you in particular."

"She doesn't like you." Larkspur grumbled, "She wants to talk to Mama." Still sitting stubbornly. The dragon-lion still said no, and she didn't like this too-pretty fae. She seemed...too good. Too sweet. Too pure, with maybe something rotten at the core. Every nuance of the child's posture still said no.

The dryad was just so so SO sad that poor Roni was so untrustworthy, because Roni was such a pretty girl and such a lovely person and how awful it was that she had been made so untrusting and and and... she moved closer, and gestured to Roni to follow. Her smile was so meltingly sweet. "Come with me. Come. There will be so many wonderful things to learn about yourself."

It was always the prettiest of things that seemed to have the nastiest of cores. Zagan had been so pretty too. It was how she convinced herself that things could of been worse. She was ever careful to not let the Dryad too close. But as she led, the fae followed, always cautious.

Especially with the words spoken. She'd be learning things about herself? There were already so many that she didn't like.

It always was the pretty ones, wasn't it? The dryad drifted closer and closer to the water-temple over that field of dried grass and brush and trash.

"We are pure. We are pure and therefore we are beautiful. We bring wholeness and health and beauty to our kind. We must wash away what is impure and become what we were meant to be, before we were infected with these other beings." she crooned, drifting along. Little streamlets trickled in her wake, shimmering and cool.

The trash was noted with mild interest, but the woman's sweet words had Roni's attention back on her, and a dry snort escaping her. "That's bull ***. Nothing is ever truly pure. Never. Even the purest of things have some kind of taint that will boil and fester if fed and left to grow." There's a faint hum as she followed along, fingers still fiddle fiddling with that grass blade.

"Oh, poor sweet child, that is the taint of the others upon you. That is just what was forced upon you by those terrible mortals and their horrible ways," the dryad crooned, turning and moving closer. Swaying and waving, like she was merely her own reflection the water. Closer. Cool and clear. It must be lovely to touch that pure water.

"It wasn't mortals that tainted me." Roni snapped flatly. Zagan was a fae. It was half the reason why he was so scary. There's a deep draw of her breath, before her attention narrowed on the Dryad.

"Where is Asphodel? You are still taking me to her, yes?" There was a simple redirection of the attention shifted back to the girl she sought. A couple more steps brought her closer.

"Of course it was. Fae are pure, fae are beautiful, fae are perfection," so smoothly said, the dryad could only be an utter fanatic. "Yes. Yes. Here. Here she is."

Oh such lies from such lovely lips: the ground liquified under Roni's feet. Turned to muddy water and began to spin like water running down the drain and pulling all with it.

That had a cackle of laughter rolling out of Roni.

"We are the most twisted creatures out there..."

Then the ground turned to liquid beneath Roni's feet. There was a brief frantic moment where panic surged through her, before a wash of calm reason washed over her. This was a dream, and it was her domain.

Sloshing, struggling against the pull of a vicious cycling of water came to an end when there was a series of stones that appeared, and she caught the first, and pulled herself up on it, out of the current. Quick scrambling steps had her onto the next one, and the one after that, leading for the Dryad herself. She only paused to snag a stick caught in the swirl of water.

"No no we are..." the mellifluous simpering stopped short as she realized that Roni was not tamely sucking down the vortex. And in fact, Roni had taken over the dryad's intentions ? all to push rocks out, a stick? This was HER dream... wasn't it? The dryad should be in command here, and... she wasn't.

A gaze more offended and appalled than afraid clipped to Roni. She raised her arms, and brought more water upwards in geysers of cool water rushing to spin around Roni.

There's a less than pleased snarl that tears from the fae in response to the sudden surge and swirl of more water. There was water below her, water above her, and it was all threatening to wash her away and suck her down.

It was blocking her path to the dryad as well. Roi wanted it to stop, stop, stop. And just as she willed it, it was so. Water stilled and fell, at least for the moment.

"Asphodel. Where the *** is she? M'gettin' impatient." As Roni spoke, those stones she conjured? She made her way across on them, hopping one to the next, and that stick in her hads was suddenly.... a heavy wooden bat.

What. WHAT. The dryad stared stupidly at Roni.

"You can't do that. You can't do that! That's mine! Those are mine! How dare you!?" she squawked ? prettily, but still ? squawking like a plucked parrot. She stared at the bat.

"You wouldn't dare, I'll drown you, you horrid little trollop!" she hissed, grabbing for the waters, but finding that they slipped through her fingers like sand. She let out a screech and rushed at Roni.

"I absolutely dare, you wretched pretty thing. The waters might be yours, but you're out of your league here, bitch. This is my domain." Viciously gleeful, those abyssal eyes watched as the pretty thing rushed for her. Roni waited, waited, and when the moment was opportune? She swung that bat, right for her ribs.

"Yer gonna damned wish that ya just took me to the girl."

The dryad was still under the impression that it was her dream, that she was managing to invade Larkspur's dreams -- which had been very difficult thanks to that damn dragon-lion -- and she was in control. The bat to the ribs dispelled that notion with a crack of ribs and woof of air from her lungs. She was flung back and collapsed into a half-puddle of astonished outrage.

Five, four, three, two, one: she erupted into fury, sending up geysers and debris as she launched again for Roni. Pretty, but not all that bright.

Roni was in power. She was in control of the dream, of what happened, and she wasn't about to let some pretty rotten thing shred her to pieces. Roni was fueled by the simple need to protect the precious waif of a girl that had gotten her there. She charged, and this time Roni swung for the knee. It cracked with a satisfying crunch and steel bending shriek from the dryad.

"You gunna keep on bein' stupid? Or ya gunna be smart, and back the hell off?" Roni asked politely, though by her unhinged grin, she was happy to keep pounding on the other female. The dryad glared at her.

The dryad screeched, the sound taking on harmonics. A horrible sound: and it did nothing. It should have, judging by the smug smirk which turned to abject confusion, and then to horror. Squealing, she dissolved on the spot.

Just water laying on the ground, slowly seeping through. But. At that moment, Roni was able to see that Asphodel was there, under the water temple, sleeping. Just that glimpse before the dryad fled entirely.

The terrible screech that tore from the dryad made the fae wince at the most, because ow that noise was horrible for her ears.

"Of course she ran." The words come scoffed, before she cleared her throat, and straightened. She was almost positive she had seen Asphodel under the temple. A look spanned over the surrounding area, committing what she saw to memory. Then, bat in hand, she ambled her way back towards Larkspur.

"Now we just need to get your sister in the waking world," Roni grinned, picking Larkspur up and tossing her lightly in the air. The dragon-lion rumbled and walked them back to sleep...

(Written with the usual suspects, Roni and Trish and Mist. Very Happy)
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