RP Transmigrate

Delfi

Active member
On the second to lower level of the ship, at the end of the long hall opposite to the room all prisoners were taken into was the laboratory. Riley called it his laboratory though he wasn’t the only one to use it, on the account that most subjects had been captured or purchased by him.

In his latest research, He hadn’t been interested in rational creatures. He had experimented with them, sure, but there was something about the primal aspect of the wild life that he gravitated towards. There was nothing more powerful than instinct, and that was too easily clouded by reason. He wished to find a way to blend the two, keeping the strength and the smarts, but removing the emotion and the contradictions.

“Who’s there?”
He asked, without looking away from the open stomach on his work table. The creature lying in it was a bear with grey fur, and by the scars and stitches, it was clear it wasn’t the first time Riley was opening it up. Behind him there were tall metal cages, some covered in thick fabric, held some of the most exotic creatures that still hadn’t been extinct. The noise in the room was common, but this time for some reason they all chose to stay quiet.
 
She hadn't been here before - not inside. With as much time as she had, there was plenty of time to wander the ship, but the lab had never enticed her. That was... not her place, she didn't think. Someone else's. This time, though, she was seeking... something. Distraction, perhaps. She craved vengeance like the man that followed her craved blood, but the ship was aloft and vengeance was distant. Elsewhere.

The cacophony silenced, when she entered. She wondered if the Truth Teller had something to do with that. He'd made the rest of them acknowledge her, after all - why not the creatures? Or perhaps it was something else. Perhaps they feared her. Perhaps they should.

If only she could remember why.

She had changed, perhaps at long last. The torn, bloodstained shirt was gone, replaced by one in pale white, midnight-blue embroidery along the collar line. It didn't fit her, and the neckline slipped down, leaving one shoulder half-bared, half-covered in frost the same color as the shirt. The sleeves would have been too long but she'd pinned them tight, the barest glint of copper at her wrists below the flowing fabric. It stuck to her, wet, crinkling with bits of ice when she moved.

Her hand lifted one of the drapes over the cages, peering within, wondering what she would find there in the dark - but whatever it was, it wasn't something she was looking for, and so she let the fabric fall once more, where the corner of it dripped water onto the floor as she looked around to find... ah.

There they were.

The tinkerer.

Her steps turned, crossing the room, peering into the depths of the opened bear's stomach as if contemplating whether she wanted to stick her finger inside and poke it.

"Oh... a bear."
 
Oooh - It was the woman.

Riley hadn’t spoken to her since she joined the crew, but she was King’s guest, so he knew to respect her. It was the first time he’d brought guests, and one that didn’t have to wear a white robe.

“Not just a bear,” he said, slightly offended. “On the outside a bear, yes. With a bull’s heart and a parrot’s brain. Parrots are very smart creatures.” Riley’s gloved hands moved meticulously, poking the insides of the creature in search of the best place to insert the venom glands he’d harvested from a platypus. The eyes on him were a distraction, so he put his tools down, smiling politely at the blonde. “Are you looking for something?”

***

Naveen didn’t wear a mask anymore, because he thought Sinead would like it better this way. He’d kept the goatee and mustache, but fixed the save for a more polished look, to match his pulled back hair. His skin looked even paler beneath the black fabric, but he’d grow accustomed with it. Unlike Sinead, he'd been in that lab many times before. He followed her like a shadow late in the afternoon, keeping enough distance between them that she'd feel his presence, but wouldn't be disturbed by it.
 
"Parrots... hm." A laconic smile. "I don't suppose there are a lot of creatures that have trained people to carry them around while they shit on their shoulders." Now, where had that come from? It was undoubtedly the most Naveen had heard her speak all at once, or the Truth Teller, for that matter. Usually her words had been sparse, distant even from themselves. This had been a fully-formed thought, though, if rather vulgar for someone that Solomon King was going around calling his Princess.

The gleam faded, gone as quick as it had come, and she was back to effervescent distraction once more. "I'm looking for..." For what? Or for who? She turned back slightly, her eyes taking in the vampire's dark form a few paces behind her, where he could be a threat. To her or to someone else... she didn't know. He was trying not to bother her, she thought. It disappointed her, somehow.

"...Mm. I don't know." Vengeance. They probably did not have that in one of these cages, she thought. "I don't know... what I've lost."
 
His eyes widened and his lips parted ever so slightly. Then, a moment later, Riley erupted in jolly laughter.

“You know what? This one is a massive shitter! I thought switching his intestines would fix the issue, but it’s the parrot brain, I tell you!” The gnome removed his bloody gloves, leaving it at the silver tray along with his tools. He took a turn around his subject to get to Sinead, and looked up at her with an outstretched hand.

“Dr. Riley Cruadalach, at your service.” He said, letting go after a firm shake. A bow or a kiss on the back of her hand was the ideal greeting for a princess, but that wasn’t what Riley saw on her. He saw a brilliant mind, simmilar to his own.

“This isn’t a lost and found, but if you need something new…” He trailed off, looking over at Naveen. “Did you fix your depression?”

If he was still human, he might have blushed. Naveen stepped closer, putting a hand around Sinead’s waist.

“I’ve embraced it. All of it.” He said, bringing an amused smile to Riley’s lips. He remembered vividly Naveen sobbing in every corner for the loss of his beauty, and he had to admit, he liked this version a lot better than the old one.

“You did a good job with this one. My lab’s doors are open, if you ever wish to use it.”
 
They offered her a hand and she took it, finding her own shaken rather than kissed. An interesting sensation, she thought, not entirely sure whether or not she preferred it to the Truth Teller's more aristocratic gestures. They introduced themselves as...

....as....

A frown touched her features, as if something had been not quite right there, but she didn't know how it was meant to be. Everything seemed far away from where it was supposed to be, and the most difficult part of it wasn't that it was far away, but rather the feeling that it was supposed to be, if only she knew what that was.

If she remembered.

No. No, she remembered enough. Death, vengeance, betrayal-

A hand touched her waist from behind, and she stepped forward, the motion quickening to a spin that would have almost put her into Naveen's embrace if one had been offered - but for two things: the step that had taken her forward left a little space between them, and her hand that had been raised, almost - almost pressed over his nose and mouth. Her eyes were on his, uncertain.

No, he hadn't been trying to-

-whatever it had been-

-not this time. Her fingers curled inward and she lowered her hand, sparing him from whatever it was she had been about to do. She took the step forward once more, towards him now, close enough to lean her head against his shoulder and stare distantly, wondering what it was she had expected to do and what she had been about to do about it.

The other had spoken, once more. She must... attend to that.

"I'm no tinkerer." This she knew. "Do you..." A question, half-formed. "The ship? Do you... work on it?"
 
As brilliant as her mind was, it was also confused. Death was a traumatic event after all, and it would've been odd if she’d emerged from it unscathed, especially when it happened all at once. If only it had happened little by little...

“I’m not allowed to say.” Riley answered, slightly disappointed that she wasn’t a tinkerer. Honestly, what was Solomon thinking. “Is there anything else? I have work to do.”

***

Sinead was about to punch his face, Naveen was pretty sure, but suddenly, she stopped. Shouldn’t he have touched her? She didn’t seem to mind it earlier… But perhaps she had just been caught off guard. Despite the threat, he had a feeling she prefered it that way.

With her head now against her shoulder, the vampire tried not to react to the change in the topic of conversation. His eyes however, glanced up to the walls, as if searching for something. Of course, there was nothing there, but they were being watched and Naveen knew it, just as well as Riley did.

“If you can remember something about what you’ve lost, Riley could make something that’ll replace it.” The blonde said, tightening the grip around her waist and lowering his head to whisper in her ear. “Close your eyes and remember the details. Like you did when you changed me.”
 
Not allowed to say. That was a strange way of putting it. She wondered what else the crew here was not allowed to say. The question of whether there was anything else, she didn't know how to answer. Perhaps there was something else, but she didn't know what it was. Perhaps there was nothing else at all.

The embrace around her tightened, not at all like a noose, which was unfortunate. It would have been more comforting that way, she thought. Not comforting - familiar. She'd reacted easily enough when he'd come up from behind. There had been a certainty to the movement, none of this... confusion. None of the haze.

He was offering suggestions, and she didn't know if she'd rather have had them or something else. The whisper beside her ear intrigued her, though for the proximity more than the words. Perhaps he'd try to kill her again.

Or... had he ever?

She didn't know. She wasn't about to close her eyes and give him the opportunity. She slipped from his grasp instead, walking slowly back to the perimeter, alternating between trailing her fingertips slowly along the wall of the ship and the cages that were interspersed along it, lifting dark cloths and lowering them again, leaving them dripping little puddles, forming icicles from the dangling corners. Some of the creatures she peered at longer than others, and after a while there was a very lengthy pause before she slipped her fingers between the bars of a cage and withdrew something from the bottom of it, holding up a single blue feather.

Hm.
 
“That’s one of my favorites.” Riley said, a gleeful smile forming on his thin lips. While Naveen stood in place, the short goblin walked over to the cage the undead woman harvested the feather from.

“Come here, my girl!” He called for the creature, hidden in the darkness at the far end of the cage. It was big, a mass of dark and light blue feathers the size of a wolf. On top of it something slithered, reflecting the dim light entering the part of the cage that wasn’t covered by a cloth.

“She likes fish.” the scientist commented, while sinking his hand on a nearby tank. The live fish wiggled in his hand, the water surrounding it freezing inexplicably. Riley’s hand just made its way through the bars of the cage and the entire thing moved, revealing it’s tall legs of an ostrich, who’s neck had been replaced with a golden serpent, that snatched the fish from his hand with a quick attack.
 
Whatever the creature was, it certainly wasn't what she was looking for. Her fingers stroked the edge of the feather, frozen now, lined in frost and encased in ice, much like the fish that was wriggling. The creature was quick, though, and the ice didn't have time to kill the fish before it was snatched.

Death...

A little death only, unsatisfying. She didn't have any particular interest in killing fish. "If she were... bigger..." A thought, half-formed. "Mmm... but... you couldn't keep her on the ship."

No, she would have to be far too large for that. Larger than the ship. "But if you set her in a town... she could snatch them out of the sky." She extended a finger, not caring particularly if it was bitten or not. A little smile curved her expression, almost sweet. "When they tried to fly away. They must not fly away." She twirled the frozen feather in her other hand, idly, with something that was almost thoughtfulness.

"I want them all dead."
 
Lifting her head up, the fish slid down the snake’s throat, creating a visible lump on the outside. When it was half way down, her slit eyes turned to meet the orange eyes of the stranger in the room with her finger pointed at her. She seemed to consider if it would taste as good as the fish, her thin tongue peaking out in temptation before she quickly moved towards it like she’d done the first time, but before she could bite it, Riley’s hand slapped hard at her snout.

“It’s dead! You won’t like the taste of it!” The scientist scolded, getting a hiss in response before she recoiled to the back of the cage. While the fae spoke her thoughts out loud, he couldn’t help but crack a small smile.

“I see what you and the captain have in common.” He said, walking towards the next cage. “Isn’t his army enough?”

Solomon had many harpies, well over a hundred, though Riley didn’t bother to count. It wouldn't be enough against the entire empire’s army, but he knew the old elf had many more tricks up his sleeve.
 
She blinked, maybe because of the creature, maybe because of the question. "What good is his army?" A shrug, or half of one, and she paced to the next cage, frost following her like a cloak. She didn't lift the cloth this time, though, staring at it for a moment and then moving on, restless, as if she were the one in the cage and not all of Riley's creatures.

"I want to kill them." It was hers, her vengeance. She could pace the ship for hours, seeking distraction in remaking things that might have once been remembered, but she didn't need memory. She needed-

-death. Vengeance.

It was too abstract, the army. Having someone else send his army to enact her desires, what good was that? She wanted to be present in those desires, close and personal. She wanted to touch - to reach out, to have and to hold and to watch the light fail from their eyes as the blood tide rose up to kill them all.

"Once upon a time..."
Soft and singsong, a scrap of a story. A beginning - it was a beginning. There had always been a beginning. Some day, there would be an end. She wanted to be there for it.
 
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